For Honor Update 1.05 Out Now; Patch Notes Detailed

For Honor’s latest update has arrived, and it is accompanied by a comprehensive set of patch notes.

A myriad of changes and improvements have been made to the experience. Some of the highlights include:

  • The visual element of the Warden’s Superior Block has been tweaked to avoid being mistaken for Uninterruptible Stance 
  • Regenerate can only be used while idle, fixing an exploit
  • Peacekeeper’s Zone Attack has been balanced to be less overwhelming to opponents
  • Heavy Finisher “phantom hit” issue has been addressed

For more on Update 1.05, be sure to read the complete patch notes. For more on For Honor, check out GI’s review, and read our own Suriel Vasquez’s thoughts on why For Honor is a great gateway into the fighting genre.

Beta Test For Honor Update 1.05 Out Now; Patch Notes Detailed

Candy Crush Saga Developers Working On A Call Of Duty "Mobile Experience"

A recent announcement from King, the developers of the ultra popular Candy Crush Saga, reveals that the developer is working on a new mobile “experience” centered around Call of Duty. While King doesn’t outright say the company is making a game, it’s a fair expectation given that King’s expertise lay with making mobile games.

The page itself is a hiring call, with the developer noting it’s looking for an art director and senior systems designer, among other things.

Activision, the publisher of Call of Duty, purchased King for nearly six billion dollars in late 2015.

[Source: King]

Our Take
I’m honestly surprised it’s taken this long for King to undertake a Call of Duty project, given it’s Activisions’ flagship brand. I’ll be interested to see what King makes out of the series and hope that it’s not too wounded by predatory free-to-play mechanics, like so many other mobile games. 

Beta Test Candy Crush Saga Developers Working On A Call Of Duty “Mobile Experience”

DICE Reveals Roadmap For Battlefield 1 Updates

Today, Battlefield 1 developer DICE revealed the roadmap for the game’s upcoming updates. The biggest bits of news are that Battlefield 1 will be receiving monthly updates instead of seasonal patches and that the Platoons system DICE has been testing out will soon be ready to go up in the Spring Update. The Spring Update doesn’t have a release date yet, with DICE simply saying “stay tuned for more updates.”

DICE also talked a bit about the first of the three upcoming expansions for the game, In The Name Of The Tsar:

 In The Name Of The Tsar will bring you to the Eastern Front, where you will fight alongside the Russian army and witness the brutality of combat and the bitter cold of the Russian winters, as seen in the concept exploration images in this post. Prepare yourself for all new tactics employed by the Russian army. Though the frost is cold, the steel is colder.

You can read the full blog post here.

Battlefield 1 received a 9.25 from us, with reviewer Matt Bertz saying “In an era dominated by modern military and sci-fi shooters, Battlefield 1 going back to the Great War is a refreshing change of pace.” You can read the review here.

Beta Test DICE Reveals Roadmap For Battlefield 1 Updates

The Best Ganons Ranked

Though other threats face Hyrule, Lorule, Termina, and everywhere in between, Ganon is clearly the biggest and most prominent adversary Link faces over the course of the Legend of Zelda series. He’s the ultimate evil that necessitates the perpetual rebirth of the legendary hero. Since Ganon takes several incarnations over the course of the games, we decided to rank his various appearances in the Legend of Zelda franchise.

Before you proceed, be warned: this list contains spoilers for all the games listed, including Breath of the Wild.

For this list, we excluded Demise from Skyward Sword, as that isn’t Ganon, as much as it is the evil force that will eventually create Ganon. We also left Hyrule Warriors Ganon off, as that version exists outside of canon. His appearance in Phantom Hourglass is also limited to a short recounting of the events of The Wind Waker, so that version is also left out.

Check out our rankings below and let us know your rankings in the comments section. For more Zelda rankings, check out our pre-Breath of the Wild ranking of every game in the series.

11. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
In Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Ganon doesn’t appear in gameplay, which solidifies this appearance as his worst. However, in the story to the series’ first sequel, Ganon’s minions are trying to resurrect him after his death in the original Legend of Zelda, but they need Link’s blood to do so. Following that logic, Ganon only appears when Link dies. It’s a small role, but it’s menacing enough to remind players what is at stake… plus, since Zelda II is one of the more difficult entries in the series, players see the screen pretty often.

10. Link’s Awakening
Link’s Awakening is a different beast from other Zelda games. It leaves Hyrule behind in favor of Koholint Island, and Ganon is not the main threat. At the end of the game, a nightmare takes the form of the evil beast, and Link must fight a formidable shadow of his biggest enemy. Because this isn’t truly Ganon, and he isn’t the main antagonist of the game, this version ranks low.

9. The Legend of Zelda
Ganon’s premiere showcased him as a great evil, but the battle does not amount to the climax it does in other titles. The large, pig-like Ganon warps around the room, launching fireballs Link’s way and only appearing for a brief moment for Link to strike. Eventually, Link is able to land the final blow and Ganon explodes into a pile of ashes. The battle is over quickly if you know what you’re doing, but it still establishes Ganon as the big bad for the franchise.

8. Oracle of Ages/Seasons
The Oracle games are quite different from one another, but if you manage to complete both adventures, Link is able to face off against Ganon. His hidden nature requires you to complete both games and makes the battle feel like a special reward. The fight is also no walk in the park. He phases in and out of visibility, and appears even more massive than any 2D game before. The face-off is a solid reward for completing two underrated adventures.

7. Four Swords Adventures
For much of the game, you don’t know Ganon is the main adversary of Four Swords Adventures. Later on, it’s revealed that he is in fact the main threat. The final battle sees Link constantly sent to the Dark World, which is shown with a pop-up Game Boy Advance screen. Ganon is an imposing creature to face off against due to his massive size and diverse moveset.  He also features a cool death sequence thanks to the enhanced visual effects.

Head to the next page for our top six incarnations of Ganon – Remember… spoilers for recent Zelda games ahead!

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Beta Test The Best Ganons Ranked

New Mass Effect: Andromeda Patch Is Live

The patch that Bioware said was coming for Mass Effect: Andromeda, which has received a lot of criticism for its technical issues, is finally here. According to Bioware, the patch fixes a number of issues with the game. Here’s the full rundown:

Improved tutorial placement

Increased inventory limits

Single player balance changes: Ammo crates, armor, weapons, nomad, profiles, attacks, and progression

Multiplayer balance changes: Weapons, cover, and enemies (see below for detailed notes on balance changes)

Improved matchmaking and latency in multiplayer

Added option to skip autopilot sequences in the galaxy map

Decreased the cost of remnant decryption keys and made them more accessible at merchants

Improved logic, timing, and continuity for relationships and story arcs

Improved lip-sync and facial acting during some conversations, including localized VO

Fixed an issue with Ryder’s movements when running in a zig zag pattern

Improved the appearance of eyes for human and asari characters

Fixed various collision issues

Fixed bugs where music or VO wouldn’t play or wasn’t correct

Fixed issue where global squad mate banter sometimes wasn’t firing on UNCs

Fixed issue where player was unable to access the Remnant Console Interface after failing decryption multiple times

Fixed issue where fast travel is sometimes disabled after recruiting Drack until the player reloads a save

Fixed issue where Ryder can become stuck in the start of Biotic Charge Pose

Fixes issues related to some saves

Fixed issue where objective sometimes becomes un-interactable for players in multiplayer

Streaming and stability improvements

The developer also recently revealed the roadmap for patches and updates for Andromeda and promised adjustments for a trans character after the character’s writing received criticism.

Beta Test New Mass Effect: Andromeda Patch Is Live

Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (April 6, 2017)

A lot of great blogs are featured in this week’s Blog Herding, as well as a writing challenge inspired by a recent vacation in Washington D.C. Now read on!

Community Blogs
For March 30 – April 5:

I
Beat Ganon and then I Didn’t Pick up Breath of the Wild for 10 Days

While I can’t read all of this blog as I haven’t finished the game like Haley
Shipley, I think it provides a nice view on what the game becomes for players
who finish the story. Do you go out and collect more items? Do you finish more
dungeons? Or is the game finished when you see all of its story?

One
Man’s Thoughts: Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Attackcobra gives us yet another take on why the latest Zelda is so awesome. I
agree with one part a bunch: I actually spend a lot of time crafting when I
normally wouldn’t. Maybe it is because food is just so important, and that I am
awful at capturing fairies, but I spend way too much time cooking fruit dishes.

Opinion
– Ubisoft Needs Better Writers

When it comes to Ubisoft, Buswaxer25 does not think highly of the writing. In
fact, the blogger calls it cringe-worthy. I’m not sure I agree completely, but the examples
of DJs spouting nonsense is hard to argue against.

Writing Challenge Responses:

Community
Writing Challenge: Gaming Travels Memories

Building on a similar past challenge, GerardoExber takes his travel stories to
the blog page in a new way. Here he shares three different memories, and each
one is an interesting choice – and not what I expected, which is great. I’m
just glad he had some games to play with such a long commute!

Community
Writing Challenge – Traveling

I would like to welcome Aaron Bivens to the Writing Challenge! For our
blogger’s first WC blog, the topic is open-world game travel. Plus, traveling
in games with narrators – like Bastion – which is also something Aaron enjoys.

Writing Challenge: Traveling In Video Games
Riding horses around a gaming world is what Cyndaquill calls good traveling.
Plus, like the blogger writes, fast traveling can cause you to miss so much of a
beautiful world. I actually don’t like riding a horse in the latest Zelda (even
a little hill makes a horse unresponsive), but I loved riding them in Gun.
Unless they died. That was super sad and unexpected.

Writing Challenge:

While in D.C. I received a huge dose of history, as one does
when visiting the east coast of the United States. From old buildings to the
Smithsonian’s historical collections, to facts upon facts about statues, I
started to think about video game renditions of history. What are your
favorites? Is it the way Call of Duty recreates cruel warfare? Is it the way
Assassin’s Creed uses historically accurate architecture? I want to know what
you like about video games that cross into history. Or get creative. Which
games feel like they have an actual history?

I hope you enjoy
the blogs! Please contact me via my Game Informer page or on Twitter at @LouisGarcia12 with
any blog news or playdate suggestions.

Beta Test Blog Herding – The Best Blogs Of The Community (April 6, 2017)

Undead Labs Talks Map Size In State Of Decay 2

Developer Undead Labs posted a small update on the main website for State of Decay 2 that revealed some details about the size of the world in the upcoming sequel. Undead Labs says that the game will launch with three maps, each roughly the size of the world from the original game:

Hey, all, I’ve seen a lot of chatter about what everyone is hoping to see with a map. We’re finally far enough along that I can safely tell you: We are launching with THREE maps. Each roughly the size of the original. You should expect to see slightly different environments, definitely different landmarks and locations, different layouts lending themselves to different strategies, unique home sites, and even different mission types.

Why’d we do it that way? Well, primarily, because it makes the game more fun. It really feels like you’re moving from one small town to another, and creates a tremendous sense of immersion. And perhaps counter-intuitively, it makes the world feel even bigger. You know how on one map (even one three times the size as the original game’s) the longer you play, the more you start feeling deju vu with every mission? That’s less of an issue with separate maps. And see above about strategies and missions. Oh, and one more detail – the multiple map set up makes it easy to expand the world down the line, if you know what I mean.

You can read the full post here. You can also check out our list of five features we want in State of Decay 2 here.

Beta Test Undead Labs Talks Map Size In State Of Decay 2

Persona 5's Most Useful Confidants

Building relationships with your allies is a main component of Persona 5. These characters are called confidants (series fans previously knew them as “social links”), and the better you get to know them, the greater your rewards. But who should you focus on?

From a story perspective, you are free to pursue whatever characters you find most interesting. However, from a purely practical standpoint, a handful of confidants offer big benefits that you should obtain as soon as possible. Many other confidants offer solid rewards, but if you want to optimize your progression (and learn about some cool characters in the process), these are the relationships you should prioritize.

Note: Beyond the revelation that the following characters eventually become confidants, this is a spoiler-free list that does not reveal information about the characters’ personal arcs.

Sadayo Kawakami (Temperance)
Time is of the essence in Persona 5. How you spend it (and who you spend it with) helps shape the story and progression, so you want as much time as possible. However, when you spend the afternoon dungeon-crawling, you also lose your opportunity to do anything that evening (you are supposedly too exhausted). When you max out the Temperance confidant, you are able to get that time slot back, which adds up to a ton of extra activities, stat boosts, and relationship bumps over the course of the game.  

Chihaya Mifune (Fortune) 
The best thing about this confidant is Chihaya ability to boost your relationships with other confidants. When you reach level seven in the Fortune arcana, she is able to remotely raise your affinity with any other confidant. This costs some money, but more importantly, it doesn’t take time. So, if you aren’t able to advance to a new level with a particular character, you can visit Chihaya and give that relationship a boost. That could push it up to the threshold of leveling up, so you can go visit the other character right away to take advantage of the increase and deepen your bond.


Left to right: Yuuki Mishima, Chihaya Mifune, Sadayo Kawakami, Tae Takemi, Hifumi Togo

Tae Takemi (Death)
Advancing the Death arcana is your key to obtaining healing items at reasonable prices. At level seven, you get a 50% discount on the various items in Tae Takemi’s shop – but the most important ones are the SP Adhesive. These automatically restore some SP in combat, and since that resource is tied to your ability to exploit enemy weakness and heal your party, having it regenerate a little every turn means you can delve deeper into dungeons and grind longer.

Hifumi Togo (Star)
You get three key abilities from forging a deeper bond with Hifumi Togo. At level one, you are able to use Joker’s turn in combat to swap out current party members for back-up party members. At level nine, you no longer have a turn delay when you choose to escape from battle – it happens instantly. Level 10 is kind of like level one, except any character can swap on their turn, so you don’t need to wait for Joker. These abilities give you more flexibility in battle, and make it easier to get out of bad situations.

Yuuki Mishima (Moon)
Unlike the other the entries here, the Moon confidant doesn’t give you any rule-breaking abilities, but you shouldn’t neglect Yuuki Mishima. As you progress through this arc, you earn passive bonuses that boost the experience points earned by your active party and back-up party members. By the end, the boost is significant, and everyone is earning the same XP regardless of whether or not they fight in a battle. When you’re steeling yourself for the late-game challenges, this keeps you a step ahead.

For more Persona 5, you can read our review and watch our episode of Grind Time focused on the game.

Beta Test Persona 5’s Most Useful Confidants

Link Uses An Impossible Machine To Levitate To Hyrule's Apex In Breath Of The Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is not a game that can be modded, which makes oddball discoveries like this all the more mind-blowing.

In today’s example of, “I had no idea you could do that in Breath of the Wild,” YouTuber mety333 uses Link’s magnesis tool and one of the minecarts found near Goron City to float Link to the very top of Hyrule. He literally hits the ceiling and then paraglides for an absurd amount of time for a splendid view of the world. It’s an impressive and bizarre feat.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For more absurd Zelda shenanigans, head here for Hyrule’s most epic tumble. You can also head here for our review of Breath of the Wild, and here for the game’s best sidequests and bonus content.

[Source: mety333 Youtube, via Reddit]

Beta Test Link Uses An Impossible Machine To Levitate To Hyrule’s Apex In Breath Of The Wild

Playtonic Games Details Yooka-Laylee's Day One Patch

Yooka-Laylee is in the hands of reviewers (here’s our review!) but it doesn’t officially release until April 11. When it releases, it will have receive an update and Playtonic Recently detailed what it will include.

You can find the full list of patch notes below.

  • [Fixed] Camera will become locked in place after completing Gravity Room challenge in Galleon
  • [Fixed] Grappling the seeds as they break in Planker’s challenge causes erratic behaviour in Moodymaze Marsh
  • [Fixed] Game softlocks and has to be reset if the player leaves the course and faints during the Nimble race in Tribalstack Tropics
  • [Fixed] Softlock will sometimes occur on the Hub C slide if the player faints at the same moment as the timer reaching zero
  • [Fixed] If the player leaves Brreeeze Block’s room in the Icymetric Palace in Glitterglaze Glacier but remains in the world and returns to the same room then the isometric camera will be deactivated
  • [Fixed] If player is killed by a bizzy in hub B and knocked back into the archive door at the exact same time, the screen will still transition. When the player respawns, they will be unable to move
  • Performance improvements to various camera transitions in the introductory cut scene
  • Performance improvements to Shipwreck Creek and Hivory Towers. Various areas have been improved including camera movement
  • Performance improvements when using the light beam in the Icymetric Palace within Glitterglaze Glacier
  • Performance improvements during the House of Cards ball roll course in Capital Cashino
  • Performance improvements in the Bee-Bop arcade game

For our review of Yooka-Laylee, head here. Brian Shea said of the game, “This is a game that was built for those
who look back with fondness on the classics that spawned it, and in that
regard, it delivers completely.”

 

Our Take
It will always be a bummer that day one patches are now a regular part of playing video games, but if it’s improving the game I suppose there is no reason to continually complain. It is what it is.

Beta Test Playtonic Games Details Yooka-Laylee’s Day One Patch