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)!*


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

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

Everyone's favorite platforming knight finally has his helmet off and he's.... a catfish? The shovel-wielding warrior for justice was doffed his helm for the First 4 Figures line of Shovel Knight figures. The line of figurines will be available in three days, but the helmetless version of Shovel Knight will be exclusive to First 4 Figures. 
The other figures available feature Shovel Knight with his helmet on and the Ornate Plate version of Shovel Knight (basically the golden version). Each of these figures goes for $299, which is quite a lot of money. Even if those are outside of your holiday price range, isn't it neat to know that Shovel Knight is a weird fishman-frog-thing? An interesting twist to a thoroughly weird and lovable game. 

Shovel Knight is available on pretty much every platform in existence. The upcoming and final DLC, King of Cards, is scheduled for 2018. After that, who knows? Maybe we'll get a story about Shovel Knight's aquatic origins!

Jack Gardner

The developers at Virtuoso Neomedia Enterprises describe Blazing Legion: Ignition as "an introspective, character driven, tactical first person bullet-hell about mecha and the consequences of becoming who you have to be." It is a concept that the game's producer and lead developer Ethan Redd has summarized as "Top Gun meets Gundam." And, honestly, that's one appealing pitch for pretty much anything - someone turns to me and says, "Top Gun meets Gundam" and I'm gonna respond, "Cool, let's do whatever that is!" 
Players take on the role of Vana, a legendary ace mecha pilot, as she comes to the forefront of a populist revolution against a galactic empire. the action hops between the present day realities that threaten a massive space war and Vana's memories of past missions with the Burning Legion, her former comrades. The team at Virtuoso hopes to balance out the frantic action with more thoughtful, quiet moments that give context and meaning to the explosive, kinetic action sequences. 
If the striking color, stylish combat, giant robots, and dramatic sensibilities of late 90s anime are up your alley, then Blazing Legion definitely deserves to be on your radar. Blazing Legion: Ignition should be released for PC sometime in 2018 with a show-ready demo surfacing around GDC in March. 

Jack Gardner

Metal Gear Survive hits store shelves in February, but before the official release Konami will open up a beta in January. the beta will run from January 18-21. The beta will open up the game's co-op to test out the core mechanics (and network stability) of Survive: Base building, crafting, and combat. People who play the beta will be given in-game bonuses in the core game, such as a FOX HOUND name plate, a bandana, and a Metal Gear REX head. The beta will be immediately available to everyone on January 18. 
Speculation has run rampant about the future of the Metal Gear franchise since the high profile departure of Hideo Kojima. Konami's follow up to Metal Gear Solid V certainly raised some eyebrows when it was announced at E3 2016. The shift to some kind of zombie survival game struck many as odd and the lack of information on the game only caused people to become more uncertain, especially after the guiding force of the franchise split from the company. 
To give players an idea of what to expect, Konami has released a lengthy, commentated trailer to give an overview of Metal Gear Survive. First off, the story is not canon. It takes place in an alternate reality where following a massive attack at the conclusion of Metal Gear Solid V a portal opens up to another dimension, sucking up parts of structures and soldiers from Mother Base. One of the soldiers from the base, the protagonist, manages to avoid being sucked into the wormhole, but is sent into the rift several months later by a shadowy government organization. Once on the other side, the protagonist must hunt for food, build a base, fight off the ever-present zombie threat, and complete missions out in the strange, new world. 

Metal Gear Survive releases on February 20 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Jack Gardner

The fine folks at crea-ture Studios have been hard at work for the past month managing a Kickstarter campaign that aims to help them finish their skating simulator Session. Session has managed to succeed, cresting its fundraising goal and surging toward the various milestones set for it that would unlock additional features in the final game.  
The basic goal crea-ture Studios has for Session is to create as fluid a skating experience as possible. To that end, it employs a novel dual stick control system with each stick controlling a different leg. This allows for the performance of smooth and skillful tricks that rely on players understanding how to shift their weight between each foot. The mastery of this control scheme not only affects how players pull off tricks, but also how they maintain them. Shifting weight will have effects on the duration of tricks, making them either failures or flawless successes.

In a major departure from previous skating games, Session won't have a scoring system. Tricks will be performed for their own merit with the option of filming and sharing them on social media. This combines with the in-game cameraman. Players can choose from various filters and angles to capture their tricks in the most flattering light before editing them in-game to share with friends and strangers alike. 
Inspired by the golden era of skateboarding, the early 90s and early 2000, Session's primary goal is to make you experience what skateboarding really is; an incredible sport where there are no other goals other than expressing your creativity and achieving success through hard work, perseverance and bits of madness for no one else other than yourself.
Still, some people might find the lack of positive reinforcement via a points system perplexing, given the history of the genre. Crea-ture Studios explains it well in their Kickstarter saying:
There's still a week remaining on Session's crowdfunding campaign. The next stretch goal is solidly in sight CA$155,000 and the total raised so far sits at a little over CA$137,000. Beyond that, Session will have online multiplayer if the campaign can raise CA$255,000. If you aren't quite sold on the premise, but are interested in checking out Session to see if it might be interesting, the Kickstarter has put out a demo, which can be downloaded here.
What do you think? Are you craving a successor to Tony Hawk's skateboarding throne?

Jack Gardner

Earlier this year, Atari announced its intention to enter back into the hardware game after a abandoning the field decades ago. That's all set to change soon with the release of their chosen device, the Ataribox. Atari has announced that pre-orders taken via an Indiegogo campaign will open tomorrow. 

Not much is currently known about the capabilities or support of the new console. We know from the initial announcement that the device sports four USB ports, an SD card reader, and an HDMI port. Atari has also stated that the Ataribox will be supporting classic Atari games as well as more "current content." Their website promises both new and old content on the device. 

Presumably more details will come alongside the launch of the pre-order campaign for the Ataribox - it would be very strange to offer pre-orders on a device with only vague claims about support for it! Those who sign up for the Indiegogo waiting list have a shot at grabbing a limited discount on the device. 

What do you think? Is the Ataribox something you're interested in or will you have to wait and see what it can do?

Jack Gardner

Fresh off of seeing Crash Bandicoot's swell in popularity following the release of the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy, Sony seems to be angling MediEvil to be their next big blast from the past. The franchise ran from 1998-2005 and consists of MediEvil and MediEvil 2 (MediEvil: Resurrection, too, if you count a remake of the original as another installment). Though there have been some re-releases of the titles on PSN and a few appearances by series protagonist Sir Daniel Fortesque in Sony projects like Everybody's Golf 2 and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.
The undead series might be one of the lesser known Sony properties, but clearly one that the company feels deserves another chance to find an audience. MediEvil stars Sir Dan, a gifted storyteller given the station of knight and made honorary captain of the Royal Battalion, which turns out to be a real bone-head move when an evil wizard named Zarok returns from exile and tried to wage war against the kingdom. Sir Dan dies immediately from an arrow to the eye... only to be resurrected centuries later when Zarok, who was defeated previously, pops up again to cast a spell resurrecting an undead army. The only one in the kingdom gifted with undeath and a thirst to prove himself a hero, Sir Daniel Fortesque takes up his sword and sets off to save the land from the undead menace. 
MediEvil comes from the same vein of action-platformers that formed the backbone of late 90s video games in Crash Bandicoot, Mario 64, or Spyro the Dragon. While it might not have been a smashing hit at the time, perhaps it can make more of a splash twenty years later with a new coat of paint? 
So far, not much is known about the resurrection of MediEvil. It's coming to the PlayStation 4 in 4K and it will likely be out in the next year or so. It's unclear whether this remaster will include the full MediEvil series or if it will only be the first game. 
How do we all feel about MediEvil remaster?

Jack Gardner

Part Devil May Cry, part Ninja Gaiden, part Final Fantasy XV, and part something new entirely, Lost Soul Aside has been on the indie radar since mid-2016 when a trailer surfaced showcasing its combat, world, and hints of its story. The original trailer has since been viewed over three million times, bringing a great deal of attention to solo indie game dev Yang Bing. The Shanghai-based developer set up a studio called Ultizero Games and crafted the entire thing (at least up until that point) solo, with relatively little input from others. 
A site was launched that offered more tantalizing glimpses of what Lost Soul Aside might hold for players, though not much in terms of what the game might actually be about. The only hint of the tale that the game hopes to tell reads as follows:
Lost Soul Aside appears to be an open world action game starring a war veteran who has inadvertently become fused with a strange creature that gives him the ability to fly, project energy from his sword, and access to a wide variety of combos and attacks. The action feels very reminiscent of the combo systems seen in Devil May Cry and the modern incarnation of Ninja Gaiden, which Yang Bing has said served as a big point of inspiration. The art style and openness of the environments has garnered comparisons to Final Fantasy XV. The world itself spans across vast locations set on floating islands. Some locations are temperate fields full of flowers, others are parched deserts or ruined structures. 
Since the initial reveal, Lost Soul Aside has been relatively silent. Yang Bing kept his head down working steadily on Lost Soul Aside all the way up to PSX 2017. On the 9th, he released a short teaser for a demo that would appear at PSX. The trailer shows off a short gameplay segment that people at the show would be able to play, including a face-off against a massive creature with blue energy swords. 
There's still no release date or even platforms announced (though it is pretty safe to assume it will come to PC). However, the demo has people talking. Sources from the show have reported people lining up for a chance to play Lost Soul Aside and those who have had a chance to play say that it's a fun, responsive indie game well worth keeping an eye on. 
What do you think of Lost Soul Aside?

Jack Gardner

Fueled with a love of retro PC RPGs and the dream of reviving them for the current generation, four Finnish developers put everything on the line to craft Legend of Grimrock. Their creation climbed to the top of the Steam sales charts and spawned both a sequel and a successful Kickstarter for a live-action series (which has yet to materialize). While it certainly has flawed AI and a repetitive environment, Legend of Grimrock deserves another look for the way it brought a dormant genre back to life. 
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: Secret of Mana 'Variations of Fear' by Kylok, Bree, and Trev Wignall (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03647)
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

It's hard out there for a new development studio. You need to really stand out from the crowd. When The Astronauts debuted their first game, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, back in 2014 they managed to do that with a thoroughly surreal journey and fantastic visuals. It was a thoughtful, mysterious adventure game that involved unraveling a series of murders and uncovering strange, seemingly occult puzzles. Witchfire completely bucks expectations and draws upon the team's roots in shooters - many of The Astronauts worked on projects like Bulletstorm and Painkiller. 
The result of that pooled experience thrusts players into the world of a dark fantasy FPS very reminiscent of Painkiller. The protagonist struggles against skeletal enemies powered by mystical forces in gorgeously gothic locations. The jaw-dropping environments and enemies have been constructed using advanced photogrammetry tech that allows the team to scan real-world objects and use them as assets. The technique is scaleable to assets the size of buildings, so whatever the team is planning will be big.
Adrian Chmielarz, one of the co-founders of The Astronauts, gave a bit more context for the mysterious teaser saying, "[Witchfire] is still a long way from release and we are not announcing any other platforms than PC/Steam. The reason we’re launching the teaser so early is simply to let everyone know that we’re alive and kicking, and how radically different this new project of ours is compared to our previous game, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. [...] While Witchfire is also a shooter, we’re aiming to make a game unlike anything we have done in the past, both in tone and in game mechanics."
We don't know much more than that, though there are some hints that 2018 might hold more information as production on Witchfire continues and The Astronauts finalizes more features and builds up the world of Witchfire. Until then, imagine the possibilities presented by a spiritual successor to Painkiller mixed with the narrative sensibilities The Astronauts have demonstrated thus far.