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  A Gathering of Charity Gamers, For The Kids *  
Gamers from all over have taken the world by storm in giving back to those who need it most. Through Extra Life, tens of thousands of gamers have raised over $40 million for sick & injured kids treated at Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Gamers are saving lives!

Join us at Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World along with other charity gamers like you for Extra Life United!    ACTIVITIES SCHEDULE TRAVEL INFO FAQs  
 *The first 150 attendees who register get 1 FREE Disney World 
1-day Park Hopper pass ($160 value)!*
 

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It might seem an obvious choice to write a blog with the intent of “giving thanks” as we wrap up the Thanksgiving holiday here in the States last week, but when you're fortunate enough to have a community like the Extra Life community, we feel it’s an honor and privilege to do so.
 
You see, a couple weeks ago, we witnessed something happen in the Extra Life community that we had a hard time even imagining. We watched a single Extra Life team raise over $1 million #ForTheKids… in 24-hours. In fact, we watched them raise over $1.2 million! Team Rooster Teeth, led by the fearless Jack Pattillo and Caiti Ward, hosted their 7th Extra Life marathon over the years, full of antics and crazy shenanigans, to raise money for children and their families who desperately need your support.
 
To simply state that we’re thankful for Jack Pattillo, Caiti Ward and everyone over at Rooster Teeth team would be grossly understating who they are and the role they’ve played in growing the Extra Life community to become a force for good for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Since 2010, Rooster Teeth has enlisted nearly 11,000 of their fans into the Extra Life community and together, have raised an astonishing $3.5+ million dollars for 155 different Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (that’s just over 90% of our member hospitals) across the US and Canada. You can understand that when we see someone use #RTEXTRALIFE, we know they’re serious about playing games and healing kids.
 
We know that the Rooster Teeth gang does some pretty, well, unorthodox things for donations. But this year we wanted to be sure note this ultimate “awwww cute” highlight.
 
 
 
The Rooster Teeth community is in it for the long haul as the company has pledged to raise $3 million for Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin, TX to help pay for a new mental health wing so kids with mental illnesses will have a special place to be treated. The new mental health wing at Dell Children’s will have a healing garden that provides a place for the kids to play, relax and recharge during their stay and treatment in the hospital and will be properly named the “Rooster Teeth Healing Garden”!
 
 
 
As we recall the time spent with family and friends last week we are reminded of the love and enthusiasm that powers Extra Life. We are grateful for Rooster Teeth, Jack, Caiti and the thousands of people who’ve watched, shared, participated and donated to Extra Life, supporting and improving the lives of families in their own and other’s communities. This love and enthusiasm that powers Extra Life continues to amaze all of us here at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
 
On behalf of our hospitals and kids receiving treatment and care, thank you.
 
Mike, Liz, Lou & Jeromy
Team Extra Life
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

LeaveIt2Beaver
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

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If you've ever wanted a handy-dandy instruction manual to help share Extra Life with friends, family and co-workers, then consider this best practice as an answer to your desire! Perfect for sending as a PDF attachment or printing out to share at events, conventions or meetings!
 
Introducing the official Extra Life Instruction Manual! 
 

 

Jack Gardner

 
The Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series stands as one of the most popular JRPG series these days. The series typically focuses on mild-mannered high school students who lead double lives as wielders of powerful entities known as personas. Persona 5 proved to be one of the most popular games of 2017, so it is no surprise that fans have been creating art and projects based off of the series. One of those fans, James Austin, created a flexible set of rules to govern a creative tabletop roleplaying campaign. 
 
Currently the game sits at version 0.2, meaning that there are still a number of alterations planned for Shin Megami Tensei: Persona The Tabletop RPG. As it stands now, the rules cover character creation, persona creation, character progression, a basic compendium of skills, combat, status ailments, items, an overview of downtime activity examples, examples of how "the other world" works, detailing social links, and some ideas about how to expand the game in interesting ways. It's not comprehensive, occasionally filling gaps in its contents by suggesting players refer to the Persona wiki pages. However,
 
One of the interesting aspects of the rule set is how flexible it seems to be. Many tabletops can fall into the trap of rule complexity equating compelling gameplay. Not so in James Austin's adaptation of Persona. The entire system relies on the rolls of six-sided die, a break from your typical d12 or d20-based games. Keeping it simple opens the game up to newcomers to tabletop roleplaying in general while encouraging players to go bananas with their created characters and game masters to go as big and as crazy as they can manage with where they want to take the fiction of Persona. 
 
Overall, it seems to be a fairly light RPG system that a creative group could really turn into something interesting. Austin has set up a Tumblr where he plans to post updates to the game as he continues developing the idea. You can download version 0.2 and the character sheets for free. A printer-friendly version is available for people who still rely on pen and paper for their tabletop fix. He also welcomes feedback to help improve the ongoing development of the unofficial tabletop adaptation of Persona. 

Jack Gardner

 
Stardew Valley's developer, Eric Barone, has long promised a multiplayer mode for the popular farming/life sim. Chucklefish, the game's publisher, pushed back the release to the nebulous time period of "early 2018" stating that the multiplayer functionality needed more polish. On Sunday, Barone gave an update on the status of co-op, tweeting a screenshot of four people playing Stardew Valley. 
 
 
When it does launch later this year, some features of the multiplayer addition have been confirmed. First, the update will not require players to create a new farm and existing saves will be open to co-op. Though the tweet references LAN gameplay, co-op will also be available via online play. 
 
Given that the LAN connection is currently functional, we might reasonably expect to see Stardew Valley co-op sooner rather than later. 

Jack Gardner

 
Detective Pikachu released in Japan a couple years ago and found some pretty impressive success. So much, in fact, that Hollywood went to work on securing the rights to adapt it to the big screen as Pokémon Go fever swept the globe.
 
That adaptation is slated to be entering production this year with Ryan Reynolds of Deadpool fame taking on the lead role of Detective Pikachu. Rob Letterman, known for his takes on Gulliver's Travels and Goosebumps will direct the project. Currently, the film has a release date of May 10, 2019. 
 
And all of that was done without Detective Pikachu ever seeing a Western release... until later this year. 
 
 
The quirky Japanese tale of a talking pikachu with an attitude and a mind for mysteries will be releasing on March 23 of this year for the 3DS. It focuses on the relationship between Detective Pikachu and a young boy named Tom Goodman who get roped into an escalating series of puzzles and crimes that threaten to tear their city apart. 

Jack Gardner

 
We haven't heard an awful lot more about the upcoming action-RPG Vampyr since last year's E3, but Dontnod Entertainment has been hard at work on the bloodsucking adventure. The game casts players as Jonathan Reid, a mild-mannered London doctor who becomes afflicted by a vampiric curse that urges him to kill and feed. As London descends into the middle of a deadly plague, Reid must navigate the consequences of his actions as he weighs the value of each life he encounters.

The folks at Dontnod and their publisher, Focus Home Interactive, have put together an upcoming webseries exploring the development process of Vampyr. The glimpse behind the scenes will be called "Dontnod Presents Vampyr" and will consist of four episodes with each one focusing on a different aspect of the game-making process. Each part will be five minutes of insight as explained by the people working on the subject matter highlighted along with new gameplay footage. 

The first episode, titled Episode I: Making Monsters will go live on January 18. It will dive into how the studio arrived at the core ideas behind Vampyr. Why is Jonathan Reid a doctor? What makes him special as a protagonist? Why is his story interesting? The episode will attempt to answer those questions while also explaining how those questions translate into compelling narrative and gameplay opportunities for players. 
 
 
Each week after the January 18 launch of the series will see a new episode released. The full roster of episodes is as follows:
 
Episode I: Making Monsters Episode II: Architects of the Obscure Episode III: Human After All Episode IV: Stories From the Dark  
There's no hard release date for the game quite yet, but Vampyr will release sometime this spring for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Be sure to check out the webseries for more interesting tidbits about Vampyr's development!

Jack Gardner

 
After almost a year and a half of development, Slipgate Studios will be bringing their adult-oriented action-platformer to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as updating the PC release with a host of finalized content. The release marks the culmination of promises made during the late 2016 Kickstarter campaign that introduced the world to Rad Rodgers. 
 
Conceived as a project to pay homage to the platformers of the late 80s and mid 90s, Rad Rodgers stars a child bearing the titular moniker who finds himself sucked into a video game world. With the help of Dusty, Rad's out-dated console which now has a face and a foul-mouth (voiced by Duke Nukem voice actor Jon St. John), Rad Rodgers becomes involved in a mission to save the First World, a jungle suffering from a corrupting disease.  
 
The first chapter of Rad Rodger's adventures comes with over five weapons that allow Rad and Dusty to blast, punch, and blaze their way through the First World. Explosions and hot platforming action are accompanied by a fresh take on retro platforming soundtracks composed by Andrew Hulshult, complete with synthesizers and a driving pace. Occasional glitches might occur in-game, which give Dusty a time to shine. The aged gaming console can then enter a mind-bending area behind the scenes called the Pixelverse where he can attempt to repair the glitch. 
 

 
While Rad Rodgers will be appearing on consoles for the first time, the PC version has been out since the tail-end of 2016. Those who already own Rad Rodgers will see an update that adds a huge collection of new stuff to the core game. Several new levels will be added along with new boss encounters, four new enemies, and redesigned puzzles. Players will be able to unlock hats as they progress throughout Rodger's adventures, meaning players will be able to customize Rad with over twenty different hats. Leaderboards will allow players around the world to strive to achieve the high scores on each level. Slipgate Studios have also added the Excalibat, a weapon previously seen in Rise of the Triad. 
 
As it does have a decidedly adult sense of humor, the game presents the option to bleep out objectionable language and replace the copious amounts of blood generated in-game with purple goop. 
 
 
The PC update releases alongside the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Rad Rodgers on February 21. 

Jack Gardner

 
Today, Nintendo unleashed a condensed series of announcements onto an unsuspecting world (except for the slip-up when Gamestop tweeted out about an unannounced Nintendo Direct). The Nintendo Direct adopted a new mini format that narrowed down the announcement window to fifteen minutes.
 
To start things off on an interesting note, Nintendo announced that a revamped version of The World Ends with You would be released on the Nintendo Switch sometime this year. The cult classic DS title's re-release might be a sign of a possible sequel in the works. 
 
Pokkén Tournament DX will be receiving two waves of additional DLC characters to bolster the ranks of the Pokémon fighting game. The first wave release will include Aegislash and two support Pokémon; Mega Rayquaza and Mimikyu. Blastoise will come in the second wave accompanied by support Mew and Celebi. The DLC will also include avatar customizations. 
 

 
A new Kirby title with four-player co-op is in the works. Kirby Star Allies offers new powers, enemies, and sets players onan adventure to save Dream Land from a deadly alien foe. Star Allies will release on March 16 for the Nintendo Switch.  
 
Building off of that announcement, the demos for Kirby Battle Royale and Dragon Quest Builders are both available today on the Nintendo eShop.
 
Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition releases on the Nintendo Switch. It combines all of the content released for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS into one package for the Switch. It also includes outfits for Link and Zelda based on the designs in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
 
A fresh Mario Tennis game has appeared! Mario Tennis Aces offers a crazy campaign complete with tennis-based boss battles, the first in the series since the Game Boy Advance version of Mario Tennis. Also, Waluigi looks like he came ready to play hardcore.
 
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA will be coming to Nintendo Switch later this year. the action RPG has players fighting for survival after being shipwrecked on a mysterious, monster-filled island. Players will have to build a base and rescue other survivors in order to find a way off of the island and uncover its secrets. 
 

 
A new update will be coming to Super Mario Odyssey. After beating the story, a new mode called Balloon World will unlock. Players can talk with Luigi to access these balloon-based activities. Players will be able to hide or find balloons for each other. It's essentially online hide-and-go-seek with balloons and an online leaderboard. The update also includes snazzy new duds for Mario and filters for taking in-game pictures.
 
Perhaps the strangest announcement of the day was SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy, a spin-off fighting game featuring the women of the SNK fighting game franchise. Players will be able to pull off combos and moves with just one button. To finish off opponents, players will have to initiate their Dream Finish move. Characters can all be customized with a variety of outfits. 
 
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle will be receiving a DLC update that adds Donkey Kong into the fray. The package releases this spring.
 
Pay Day 2 will be releasing on the Nintendo Switch on February 27. The Switch version adds a new character as a timed exclusive, a Japanese hacker named Joy with a digital, shifting mask.
 

 
From Zoink Games and EA, Fe will be coming to Switch on February 16. It focuses on the journey of a small, singing creature on a journey to heal the magical forest it inhabits with its song. 
 
If indie games are more your speed, Celeste seems to be a promising platformer with a charming pixel aesthetic that releases on January 25.
 
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze re-releases on Nintendo Switch May 4. The new version comes with a new mode featuring the surfboard-wielding Funky Kong, a character who's too cool to die. It offers a fresh, more laid back approach to the charming-yet-difficult Nintendo platformer.    
 
finally, to close out the announcements, Nintendo unveiled Dark Souls Remastered! The From Software classic will finally make its way onto a Nintendo system while also offering a bevy of improvements over the original release (which still totally holds up). 
 
You can watch the full video of the Nintendo Direct Mini presentation below!
 
 

Jack Gardner

 
We'll finally be seeing From Software games on the Nintendo Switch! To close out their Nintendo Direct Mini presentation today, Nintendo revealed the first trailer for Dark Souls Remastered, a rework of the original Dark Souls that aims to revamp the game on a technical level for more modern hardware. 
 
That doesn't mean that Dark Souls Remastered will only be available on the Nintendo Switch (though what an exclusive that would be). The remaster will also be releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Each version of the game will have its own improvements as follows:
 
PlayStation 4/Xbox One (1080p, 60 fps) PlayStation 4 Pro/Xbox One X (Upscaled 4K, 60 fps) PC (Native 4K, all textures 2K unconverted, 60 fps) Nintendo Switch (TV mode: 1080p, 30 fps; Handheld mode: 720p 30 fps)  
In addition, there will be some improvements to the backend systems that supported the original Dark Souls release. The password matchmaking from Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3 will be integrated into Dark Souls Remastered, which should make it easier to connect with specific friends for online play. For that matter, the number of people who can enter the same world has been upped from four to six. In a break from how From Software has supported online play in the past, the developer will now have dedicated servers for online play rather than peer-to-peer connections. All of this should invigorate and smooth the online Dark Souls experience for both newcomers and veterans alike.
 
 
Dark Souls Remastered releases on May 25 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch. 

Jack Gardner

 
Celeste Mountain looms over a tantalizing mystery, one that Madeline, our young protagonist, determines to uncover. Using Madeline's reservoir of stamina, players must navigate the treacherous terrain and dangers to discover new characters and locations. Mastering her mid-air dash will be crucial to making progress.
 
For people who are more invested in the story than the challenging gameplay, developer Matt Makes Games has included an assist mode. Assist mode allows players to tweak difficulty to find the most enjoyable way to play through Celeste. Options range from slowing down time to pure invincibility.
 
Celeste also caters to the hardcore gaming crowd with a unique challenge mode for the most skilled players called The B-Side Chapters. 
 
Nintendo will launch Celeste as a digital title for the Nintendo Switch on January 25.