Hey Extra Life Community -
We have some exciting news to share! In an effort to help make fundraising more fun, more accessible and ultimately easier, we’ve added two new applications to the Extra Life experience. Now you can fundraise through Facebook or on the go from your phone!

Extra Life Facebook App
Fundraising has never been quicker or easier than with the new Extra Life Facebook App. It installs in just a few seconds and allows you to opt-in to automatic status updates, upload Extra Life profile and cover pictures and ask your entire Facebook network for donations in just a few clicks. To start fundraising through the Extra Life Facebook App, login to to your Extra Life account, and click "Fundraise with Facebook" in the participant dashboard.

Extra Life Mobile App
Manage and share your Extra Life experience on the go with our new Extra Life mobile app. This free app lets you fundraise and connect with others through SMS, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Email. You can update your Extra Life page and check your fundraising progress all from the palm of your hand.

Download the app here: iPhone | Android
We’ve also spent the last couple of months improving the mobile experience on the Extra Life website so give the new apps a try. We want to hear what you think so send any feedback and ideas to community@extra-life.org or comment below and let us know!
For The Kids,

Mike Kinney
Team Extra Life
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
Jack Gardner

Ubisoft has begun the hype machine by unveiling a teaser trailer for Far Cry 5. The franchise has set its eyes on the wilds of the United States.
With a haunting scream in the wilderness, a mysterious running man, and a church hymn, Ubisoft has kicked off what has to be some of the strongest reactions to a Far Cry game reveal since the 2010 reveal of Far Cry 3. Details are scarce, but the teaser implies that the action will be taking place in Hope County, Montana. 
More details will be coming later this week. The official announcement trailer will be released this coming Friday, May 26, to show exactly what will be going on in Far Cry 5. Maybe we'll even see a release date? 
What do you think? Is Far Cry in the United States a great setting?
Jack Gardner

In 1992, developer Cyberdreams teamed up with legendary nightmare artist H.R. Giger to create an adventure game unlike any other. Tasked with unraveling the mysteries of a creepy house, terrifying visions, and a spitting migraine, players were slowly roped into a world of imaginative horror as envisioned by the artist who brought the world Ridley Scott's xenomorph in Alien. Over the course of three in-game days, players must make all the correct choices or the consequences could be deadly.
With schedules being what they are, sometimes coordinating a full episode of The Best Games Period can be difficult. When we can't have a proper discussion, we will be breaking off to do these shorter mini-casts, Honorable Mentions, to talk about fringe games that we might not otherwise be able to talk about on a full episode.

Outro music: Dark Seed 'Introduction' and 'Passing Time' by CrazyGroupTrio (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvycbZ0FWP0)
You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it!
If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod 
New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
Jack Gardner

Valve has been hard at work trying to perfect their virtual reality platform. They've just taken a big step by creating SteamVR Home, an interactive VR hub for Steam games. SteamVR Home is currently in beta, but can be accessed by simply opting into it. 
What does SteamVR Home do?
Over the past year, Valve has been taking feedback from players and refining their vision for what a VR hub should be. The waters of virtual reality are still largely untested, so that feedback was critical to learning how SteamVR Home should function. Many environments and backgrounds have been uploaded to the SteamVR Workshop and creators have been clamoring for more tools so they can piece together better hub areas. Now, players will be able to create those areas with sound, better detail, animation, interaction, and even social elements.
Those better environments can now attain higher resolutions, support animation, sound, and even games in their own right. To find the perfect hub, players can teleport around areas and explore hundreds of hubs created by the community. if one of the environments suits a player's fancy, they can save it and even create special props and drawings to decorate and personalize the space.
The social integration is a huge addition. Those functions are now built into SteamVR Home. Players can invite friends into their home space or make an entire environment open to the public so anyone can join. Voice chat is possible, people can interact with the various decorations and tools in the given environment, and friends can explore new worlds together. Each player will be able to fashion an avatar for themselves, complete with accessories and props. Players can unlock more accessories by completing quests in other SteamVR areas. 
Of course, these wouldn't be very good hub areas if they didn't serve as, you know, hubs! From the default home area, players can launch VR applications, scroll through their friends list, and access other rooms. Creators will also be able to integrate those features into custom hubs. 
Many of the features in SteamVR Home have been borrowed from another Valve application titled Destinations. If you've been using Destinations and are worried about losing all your progress or stuff, don't fret. All of those in-game achievements and items will carry over into SteamVR Home. Destinations will cease being updated and all focus will switch over to SteamVR Home. Valve released a statement to those who have supported Destinations, saying, "We've been amazed by the incredible work the community has done in Destinations, and appreciate all the feedback you've given us as Destinations has gone from a simple photogrammetry viewer to something more. You are all veterans of this creative space and we hope you'll pass your knowledge and experience along as the rest of the SteamVR community gets access to these worlds."
If you are interested in opting into the SteamVR Home beta follow these steps: Open Steam > Find SteamVR in your Library > Right click and go to Properties > Select the Betas tab and pick SteamVR Beta.
Jack Gardner

Today, Bungie held their explosive worldwide reveal of Destiny 2's gameplay. The event showed the opening mission of the game, titled Homecoming, in action as well as a new trailer and plenty of details on what Destiny 2 will do differently from the original Destiny.  
The event opened with a neat backstory trailer, which you can see here at 14:10 of the livestream. This new bit of story follows Zevala, one of the Guardian Vanguard, as he is resurrected to be a defender of humanity. He fights and dies and then fights again. We see him helping to build the Tower and securing the city... but all of that is just set up before the fall that begins Destiny 2. 
With just that cinematic, it's clear that Destiny 2 will be more focused on story and building up characters. Luke Smith, Destiny 2's director, took the stage to confirm that Destiny 2 would be tackling many things differently than its predecessor, really hammering home that this was a fresh start for both the franchise and its fans. Smith laid out the the number one priority of Destiny 2's vision by saying, "this is about having a story you can relate to. It's about having characters you want to hang out with, characters you want to work with. This is about having enemies, of course enemies, that you want to face. it's about the way we build our environments at Bungie. We want to create experiences that make you want to seek what's around every corner."

The second focus of Destiny 2 will be to provide players with a robust assortment of activities. Exploration has been reworked to include side-missions, treasure maps, global objective events, and more. Those side-missions will have a storytelling focus involving vocal NPCs and send players into Lost Sectors, dungeons that are filled with enemies, loot, and bosses.
They have also reworked how PvP will work in Destiny 2. In the upcoming incarnation of the Crucible, all PvP will take place in 4v4 matches. The HUD has been changed to include information on opponents, such as their loadouts and whether their super ability is ready to fire. There will be new game modes, such as the now revealed Countdown mode - the first attack-defend game type. There will be new strikes, a new raid, and more. Players will be able to launch all of these new things while exploring the alien worlds of Destiny 2 without going into orbit.
Speaking of the planets, Destiny 2's campaign, titled The Red War Campaign, consist of Earth, Titan, Io, and Nessus. The Earth area is known as the EDZ (European Dead Zone) and it represents the largest in-game space Bungie has designed to date by a factor of two. This is where humanity has retreated to after the fall of Tower. Titan is an oceanic moon on which humanity built massive stations during its golden age. Now the Titan stations are slowly falling into its waters. The Vex have infested Nessus and transformed it into a new machine world covered in their technology and weaponry. Finally, Io stands as a holy world for Destiny 2's warlocks. It was once touched by the Traveler and now presents a number of mysteries that could aid Guardians in their fight to reclaim Earth. 
The final part of Destiny 2's vision is always having someone with whom to play. Luke Smith estimates that about 50% of Destiny players weren't able to access the multiplayer endgame content like raids or high level strikes. This was largely due to Destiny lacking a matchmaking system. Bungie made the choice to drop matchmaking for Destiny because they believed the toxic nature of gaming communities could lead to too many terrible experiences for players if they were matched with strangers. In Destiny 2, they feel as if they have a solution.
Clans will be directly integrated into Destiny 2. Players will be able to fill their own rosters, create clan banners, and fashion descriptions of their respective clans. Bungie plans to implement a reward system that will benefit everyone in the clan when players collectively achieve goals. Not everyone will have to be a part of a clan to care about the clan system. In order to solve the matchmaking conundrum, Bungie has created what they call Guided Games. Solo players looking to raid will be able to pick clans with which they want to play. Clan descriptions can be perused to find good groups of players. This will, in effect, work as a sort of matchmaking curation directed by each player. In Bungie's view, this acts as a win-win. Clans will be able to fill empty spots and solo players will be able to access that endgame content. 

Bungie showed a portion of the Homecoming mission. Players experience the attack on Tower first hand as fleets of ships deploy troops and artillery bombardments. This slice of gameplay displayed the new class super abilities in action. Hunters can summon the Dawnblade, a fiery sword that grants players the ability to fly, slice enemies, and shoot plasma slices into the distance. Titans can make use of the Sentinel, a shield that both protects its bearer and can be thrown to serve as a powerful attack that ricochets between enemies. Lastly, Warlocks have the ability to summon the Arcstrider, a mystical monk staff empowered by electrical energy that sends its wielder with acrobatic combat energy. 
The story of Destiny 2 follows the aftermath of a major invasion of an alien called Dominus Gall, the leader of the Red Legion. Gall is an extremist who believes the Traveler chose poorly when it selected humanity to receive its power. He aims to take that power away and use it for its own ends. In taking that power, he destroys the Tower, the last safe human city on Earth.
Destiny 2 is a game about loss and then recovery. Players will be starting fresh, having lost everything. The main objectives will be to reunite the leaders of the Guardians, the Vanguard, who have scattered across the solar system. In finding the Vanguard, players will hone and recover their abilities, perhaps building up enough power to challenge Gall. The game will include more cinematics than Bungie has ever created before and more story missions, all in service to the more narrative focused approach the studio is taking for the follow up to Destiny.   

To cap it all off - Destiny 2 will be available on PC for the first time. That's not news, but now we know how Destiny 2 will be available: Blizzard. Bungie is working with Activision to create Destiny 2 and Activision is calling in Blizzard to support the title via Battle.net. People interested in buying Destiny 2 on PC will only be able to buy it through Blizzard's platform to exist alongside games like StarCraft 2, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch.  
The Destiny 2 Beta will launch sometime this summer, so be sure to free up the 68Gb of space needed to store the game on your hard drives!
You can watch the entire livestream of Bungie's event below.
Destiny 2 officially launches for PS4 and Xbox One on September 8. The PC version doesn't have an official release set. Bungie says that they want to do the PC version right, so it is possible the PC version of Destiny 2 will be released sometime after September 8. 
Jack Gardner

Square Enix announced at E3 2015 that the long-awaited Final Fantasy VII remake was finally going to become a reality over a decade after first showing footage of a remade Final Fantasy VII opening running on the PlayStation 3. Since then, more sceenshots and trailers have appeared along with details about how Square Enix would be releasing the game as an episodic series (not the way many would prefer to play FFVII, but at least the remake would finally exist).
Now the director of the PlayStation 4 HD remaster of Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, has revealed that Square Enix might very well be expanding its remake efforts to another Final Fantasy title from the PlayStation One era, though that revelation comes with some predictable caveats. 
In an interview with The International Business Times - UK, Takashi Katano let some insider speculation slip, saying, "[Final Fantasy 12] is a PS2 title, and you look at the other titles in the series and technologically anything before the PS2 era is going to be quite difficult to do a modern remaster of to a suitable level of quality. That means [a future game] is far more likely to be a remake."
That statement is hardly controversial - Square Enix has reimagined and remade the earliest Final Fantasy titles for mobile, PC, and Nintendo DS/3DS several times over the years. However, this news coming from a director of a major Square Enix project seems to imply that any upcoming remake would be a major, franchise undertaking, perhaps on par with their efforts to remake Final Fantasy VII.
The question seems to be which Final Fantasy game would see such a complete overhaul? Final Fantasy V and VI, though originally released on the Super Nintendo, could be a contenders as both eventually made their way to the PlayStation and the current director of the Final Fantasy VII remake has expressed interest in remaking those two titles in particular. However, significant camps of support are present for Final Fantasy VIII and also Final Fantasy IX.  
Expanding on his statement, Katano explained that the process would be less about what any individuals within Square Enix would like to port and more about what their customers want, "I've personally been working at Square Enix for 20 years now and I've got a lot of memories from that time. I think the way that we look at it is not the game that [we] would like to remake it's really down to what the players, the fans, want to see. We really have to hear their voices on that, if they want to see a remake or a remaster of a certain game then that's more likely to be the one we go for."

Anything beyond the Final Fantasy VII remake is likely still in only the very earliest stages of development, if at all, but it is certainly wonderful news to hear that the company is open to revisiting their classic line-up with more modern technology. 
Article written by Robert Sullivan, a second-year participant who plays for Janeway Children's Hospital Foundation

I am Robert Sullivan and I am 14 years old.  My little brother Steven is one of the Canadian Champion Children.
I joined Extra Life a year ago and I have been enjoying it ever since. When my brother was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, I was devastated. Cancer spreads to everyone in the family, not just the person who has it. I also have severe anxiety so I get stressed easily and have panic attacks if I get to scared or overwhelmed.
I wanted to help raise money for kids who didn't have enough money for treatments, trips, games, and gaming consoles and one day my dad gets an email from the Janeway Children’s Hospital Foundation about Extra Life, so I joined and started streaming.
I was watching the ExtraLife4Kids channel on Twitch and asked the streamer if there was a server for Extra Lifers to play Minecraft on. She responded no, so I created one in 1.8. The server will be up 24/7 unless my computer updates or is down for maintenance. Anyone can record, livestream, play etc.
Since my brother Steven is the Champion for Newfoundland and Labrador, we were able to go to Ottawa and Florida for the Champions trip and Children’s Hospitals Week. We attended Extra Life United 2017 and I met my favorite streamer Sevadus!
I also had met another Newfoundland streamer his name is Nathan Roberts aka Noofynate. He is good friends with me and my family and we played games at Extra Life United. He is a kind and open hearted person. I want people to be just like that and most of them are! So, that is how I joined Extra Life!
Ip for the server is: ExtraLifeFactions.myserver.gs. On the server there is a shop, custom plugin, vaults and enchants!
Jack Gardner

Swedish game developer Villa Gorilla announced today that they will be partnering with publisher Team17 to bring their combination pinball-platformer to life. Yoku's Island Express offers a strangely enticing mix of pinball gameplay and platforming with pinball elements. Players take on the role of Yoku, a heroic dung beetle wh- wait, hear me out! I know video games are sometimes weird just for the sake of being weird, but this one seems weird AND cool. 
Yoku has arrived on Mokumana Island, a land of anthropomorphic animals, in order to take over for the old pterodactyl's mailman job. Though he thought this island gig would be relaxing, he soon discovers that Mokumana's guardian deity has fallen into a deep sleep plagued by nightmares. The slumbering god's troubled dreams create earthquakes and misery for the colorful characters of the island, even bringing down Yoku's post office. So, in order to get the relaxation he always wanted, Yoku sets off on a mission to awaken the troubled god and restore peace to Mokumana. Using Yoku's travelling ball, you know, as dung beetles do, players can help him navigate the pinball-like stages to explore the world, collect fruit, and rebuild the ruined post office. 
The hand-painted world of Yoku's Island Express was created by industry veterans and ex-members of Starbreeze Studios (Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons), Jens Andersson and Mattias Snygg. Andersson explained the new relationship with Team17 by saying, "with Team17 we’ve found a publishing partner that cherishes innovation and style – something we recognized way back when we played Alien Breed on our Amigas. We feel that their commitment to quality and fun gameplay is a perfect match for us."
Yoku's Island Adventure will be coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC in 2018.
Jack Gardner

Most game studios celebrate when they launch a new game. Successfully shipping a new title into the world represents a huge accomplishment. It's a real occasion that calls for a party treat. A party treat like cake! When the XCOM 2 dev team managed to ship their game, they decided to commission a spectacular cake in the shape of the skull alien made famous by the turn-based-strategy title's promotional material. The cake was no lie - at least not in this particular instance.

2K's UK division reminisced about the food art earlier today, sharing images of the cake along with a game-related pun. The cake (and the pun) are pretty impressive.
The cake was designed by Michelle Wibowo, a world renowned food artist and confectionery sculptor. The UK-based artist has won several medals in the Culinary Olympics, holds a degree in architecture, and has had her work on display in numerous museums. Wibowo drew upon her architectural background for the XCOM 2 cake, crafting 1500 human skulls out of sugar to adorn the outer surface of the food sculpture. And, yes, the entire creation, including its base, was edible.
Michelle Wibowo has also worked on a number of non-gaming related projects which I only bring up because I wanted to include this adorable picture of two corgis eating a dog-friendly cake shaped in the image of a giant corgi.

Jack Gardner

Soulcalibur released for the Sega Dreamcast as part of the console's North American launch in 1999. Developed by Project Soul, the fighting title served as a successor to Soul Blade on the PlayStation. Two versions of Soulcalibur were developed - one for arcades and one for the Dreamcast. Though the arcade version launched in 1998, the Dreamcast version contained numerous improvements and additional game modes while offering graphics and animations on the same level as the arcade version - something almost unheard of in 3D gaming before the turn of the millennium.
Harold Goldberg, prolific video game writer, author of All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How 50 Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture, and founder of The New York Videogame Critics Circle, joins the show this week to defend his nomination of Soulcalibur.
Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative.

Outro music: Soul Blade 'Jazzer Soul' by MkVaff (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR00194)
You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it!
If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod 
New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
Marcus Stewart

What Remains of Edith Finch injects refreshing amounts of interactivity and imagination into the successful (and polarizing) narrative adventure sub-genre. As the teenage titular character, players embark on a quest to learn about an ancestry defined by a series of unfortunate events. Each of Edith’s relatives have perished under strange, often freak, circumstances. Is the Finch family cursed? Why was Edith shielded from the details of her family history throughout her life? Similar games would have players solve these mysteries by reading notes, listening to a narration, or watching a cinematic.  What Remains of Edith Finch differs by dropping players into a collection of creatively designed gameplay sequences that beautifully chronicle the Finch’s accounts and ensure players remain captivated until the credits roll.
From the get go, the game grabs your attention with its distinct narrative presentation. Edith’s thoughts are conveyed in physical words that not only appear in the world, but can be interacted with. Stepping through paragraphs bends sentences until they shatter into ethereal alphabet soup. This may seem like a small, stylistic, touch, but I found that it did a great job in keeping me actively engaged in the story. Instead of passively heeding a narrator, I actively read along with Edith and occasionally needed to look around to see where her text would materialize next.
Similar to games like Gone Home, players search areas for points of interests that propel the narrative forward. The abandoned Finch house and the surrounding property carry several decades’ worth of history from the generations of Finch’s that have resided there. The immaculately detailed home is a delight to wander around in. Giant Sparrow did a great job of making the house feel not only lived-in, but making players feel the presence of its former occupants. Movie posters of a child actress proudly litter one hallway. A bedroom split between military and space aesthetics paint the tales of two disparate twins. Stranger sights such as a dilapidated playground slide fashioned after a dragon further suggests an eclectic household. I got a great sense of the Finch’s individual personalities and was eager to learn about their curious history.

Examining the sealed-off bedrooms of each family member reveals a playable memory sequence providing a glimpse into their lives–including their demise.  Gameplay, and even the entire presentation, alters dramatically during these segments. The story of a hungry child transports players into the deadly minds of various carnivores who must hunt down prey. A troubled teenager’s over-the-top power fantasy comes to life as a top-down style adventure game. One of the most vivid and inspired sequences details the attempted comeback of the aforementioned former actress that I won’t spoil.
Although not every activity is necessarily deep, these moments make Edith Finch an unpredictable and exciting journey. I remained consistently eager to discover the next story and see what fresh scenario I’d encounter next. More importantly, they prevented the game from falling into one-note territory. Before the act of strolling around the house lost its luster, a new type of memory sequence emerged to liven things up. Games of this ilk tend to waive substantial interaction in favor of delivering a pure narrative experience, which can turn off players who require more than a good story to stay invested. What Remains of Edith Finch regularly commands attention with frequent surprises and varied mechanics.
Every Finch tale ends in tragedy, and I like how some of the family members’ fates are left up to interpretation. A few deaths are explained relatively plainly (such as a hunting trip gone sadly awry) but others are expressed using clever allegories and context clues. In a way, drawing my own conclusions made the endings sadder because my imagination was allowed to run wild.  Despite the often whimsical and light-hearted forms these stories take, reenacting some scenes feels appropriately painful, particularly for the younger Finch relatives.
With a large family tree to get through, the game’s message does begin to feel overly hammered in towards the end: life is fleeting and should be cherished. Thankfully, the touching and bittersweet finale provides an unexpected twist that sends the game off on a high note. Be prepared to gain a greater appreciation for every breath you take after playing.  
What Remains of Edith Finch could be the narrative adventure game for genre detractors. Boasting imaginative and varied gameplay, players engage in a lot more than just walking around and observing objects. Gameplay always presents a new twist or angel. At times, even dexterity is challenged, which rarely occurs in this style of game. The wonderfully told Finch stories bolster the intriguing premise and some tales will likely stick with players long after they’ve put the controller down. These merits make What Remains to Edith Finch the easiest “walking simulator” to recommend to newcomers and naysayers. Enthusiasts of the style should absolutely spend a night pondering life and death within the Finch household.
What Remains of Edith Finch was reviewed on PlayStation 4 and is available for PC and Mac.
Article written by Jamie Studzinski, a fifth-year participant who plays for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin

About eight years ago, while working at Wal-Mart, I had a chance to visit Phoenix Children's Hospital in Arizona as part of a fundraising campaign for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. I saw how comfortable the children were there, as much as being at home. We were showed how the fundraising donations were used and how it helped the children and families.
At that point, I was wondering what more I could do. And then I thought back to my brother, Jeremy, who had cancer at an early stage. He was admitted to the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin where he received treatment and was cured of his cancer. All this happened before I was born. And it's thanks to the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin that I am able to say that he is still around today.
When I heard about Extra Life, it seemed like a no brainer to me. Gaming was a huge part of my life, and my brothers when we were growing up; from video games to board games to card games, we played it all. To do what I love to do and help children and families in need, just seemed like a win-win situation to me.
I am part of an Extra Life team. Our team name is Phoenix Down, because we are giving kids a second chance. We are changing lives. And I think that name speaks a ton to what we are doing. Last year we raised over $5K for Children's Hospital and I couldn't be more proud of the team and commitment they made! 
I've been doing Extra Life for five years now, and I occasionally stream for the Extra Life stream team. Its been the best experience that I can say I ever had in my life. Thank you everyone who does extra life and makes a difference!"
Right now my favorite game to play is Overwatch, I have spent countless hours in the game and it really is the back bone of my charity streams.
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