We’re kicking off the “Design our T for a trip to E3” contest for the 5th year in-a-row! The contest is simple - submit a design for the Official Extra Life 2017 Platinum T-shirt and if your design wins, you and your best bud get airfare, two nights at a nearby hotel and passes to E3 2017 as Extra Life's special guests! Here's a complete list of the perks:
Your design will become the official T-shirt design of Extra Life 2017 and end up in the closets of thousands of Extra Lifers  A free* trip to E3 2017 in Los Angeles, CA on June 13-15 for you and a friend (includes airfare and a two night stay in a nearby hotel), two passes to E3 2017 and some new threads featuring your design. When people ask where you got such awesome apparel you can point to your brain and wink at them Your design will be inducted into the Extra Life T-shirt Hall of Fame
Register to participate in Extra Life 2017 here. Only designs of registered participants will be considered. Download and review these documents in full for submission details. Design Guidelines_2017.pdf Terms and Conditions_2017 Final.pdf 2017 T-shirt Contest_Required Submit your design here by Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017, at 11:59 pm PST. The top designs will be selected by the Extra Life team and subject to voting by Likes on Facebook starting Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 12:00pm PST.  Voting closes on Friday, May 12, 2017, at 12:00 pm PST and the design that garners the most Likes wins! The winner will be contacted and announced the same week.
If your question is not answered within the Design Guidelines or Terms & Conditions/Official Rules documents, please leave a comment below or click here to email us.
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 or comment below and let us know!
For The Kids,

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

Activision wanted Call of Duty to return to its roots and the latest trailer really goes hard into those roots. Revealed during an accompanying hour-long livestream, Call of Duty: WWII brings players back to the battlefields of the European theater of World War II. 
The trailer begins on the landing boats of Normandy and seems to imply players will be storming the beaches from a first-person perspective when the title releases later this year. Players take on the role of a new recruit to the 1st Infantry Division as they fight their way through Europe against Nazi Germany.
While the trailer does class things up with an operatic, punctuating score, there are still enough yelling, shooting, explosions, and punching to remind you that this is going to be a brutal Call of Duty experience. 
Of the details that have been revealed regarding Call of Duty: WWII's gameplay, perhaps the most unique is the axing of passively regenerating health. In the last decade of Call of Duty titles, recovering health meant taking cover and waiting for a few moments before popping up again, ready to do battle. That's not the case in Call of Duty: WWII. Instead, players will have to rely on their allies to bring them medicine and bandage their wounds on the battlefield. This extends to other needs, too. Out of ammo? Players will have to call out to their squad to bring them more. Need covering fire to make it to the next patch of relative safety? You'll have to shout for your allies to do that.
If that sounds custom-made for a co-op experience, fear not! While the single-player campaign has players relying on AI companions, Sledgehammer Games has added a second co-op campaign with its own story so you can harangue your real-life friends to give you health, ammo, and cover.   
More details on Call of Duty: WWII will be revealed during E3.
Jack Gardner

With Phoenix Point, the creator of the original X-COM, Julian Gollop, returns to the genre he helped create almost 25 years ago, but this time it has a twist of Lovecraftian horror.
The upcoming tactics game takes place in the near future. Global warming has unleashed a horror from beneath the ice: The Pandoravirus. This virus wipes through the world and pushes humanity to the brink of destruction, collapsing society to a handful of havens held together by warlords who fight over the remains of the old world. The Phoenix Project is the last hope to turn the tide, a small group of soldiers and scientists that have assembled to stand against the relentless virus.
The Pandoravirus merges DNA and evolves it at a rapid pace, resulting in large numbers of mutated animal-human hybrids. These Lovecraftian horrors roam under clouds of black mist in the areas outside of whatever safe zones humanity has managed to scrape together. They also possess intelligence, acting with goals and motives at which humans can only guess. Some creatures even use weapons and armor they've taken from the world's battlefields. However, the scariest feature of Pandora's children is their inherent ability to evolve to protect themselves from their enemies. As players progress through Phoenix Point, enemies will evolve to best counter the strategies used to defeat their kind previously.  
Much like XCOM, there will be two aspects to the gameplay: Turn-based tactics and global management. Humans still retain control of the skies, but the Pandoravirus holds dominion over the seas. Humans and horrors clash over who reigns over the land. Having control of areas and being able to scavenge them for supplies will be crucial for funding research into ways to counter the virus and evolve your own equipment. Players will also be able to tackle missions to achieve various objectives, like taking down massive behemoths that roam the continents. These monsters will take coordination, planning, and vehicle support to take down. Failing to defeat them could result in entire cities being wiped off the face of the earth.
Unfortunately, not all of Earth is united behind the Phoenix Project. Numerous factions and warlords don't believe humanity can or should be saved. These attitudes sometimes put them at odds with the Phoenix Project's goals of stopping the Pandoravirus. While some might join the cause, others will not and their resources or locations might be crucial to the survival of the Project and, by extension, humanity. Players will have to negotiate with these factions, making promises, bartering, or even war to bring them around and save the planet. This type of negotiating with havens can take many forms, as Snapshot explains:
Missions will often have multiple objectives that can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Procedurally generated battlefields will have some degree of destructibility that can be used to think outside the box and defeat the enemy mutants. New weapons, technology, and more can be gained through victory, but defeat could mean even worse horrors that use the same tools against you. Soldiers gain experience over time or can undergo special training away from the battlefield. Each class a soldier can become has its own skill tree to personalize and empower each character under the player's command. Snapshot Games says that these skill trees will be extensive, so that might mean more customization than what we have seen in the rebooted XCOM's systems. 
Overall, this game looks like something to keep on your radar if you're a strategy fan. While Snapshot Games currently only has Chaos Reborn under its belt, Julian Gollop is no slouch. Phoenix Point is almost guaranteed to be an interesting game with his involvement. After a year of solitary development, the project has been put on Fig to begin a round of crowdfunding which will last for the next 43 days.
The actual PC release of Phoenix Point remains far off, Snapshot Games doesn't expect to ship it until late in 2018.
Jack Gardner

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons was born from the vision of filmmaker Josef Fares. Fares, a Lebanese refugee, managed to escape the country's civil war in 1987 and relocate to Sweden with his family. He became a prolific director in the Swedish film world and made Jalla! Jalla!, one of the most popular films in the country. Released by Starbreeze Studios in 2013, Brothers adopted a highly unconventional dual joystick control scheme for its isometric adventure game. It became an instant critical darling, but what did it do right to earn that praise? Perhaps things are different when revisiting the game from a 2017 perspective.
Is Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons worthy of the praise it received for its cinematic vision and unique control scheme? Is it one of the best games period?
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: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 'Love and Loss' by Sebastien Skaf (
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

After a long period of rumor and speculation, Activision Blizzard has confirmed that the next Call of Duty will indeed be returning to the battlefields of World War II. The next installment will be called Call of Duty: WWII. More details will be revealed in a livestream on the Call of Duty website next Wednesday, April 26. 
Images purporting to be from Call of Duty promotional material have been circulating internet forums for the past months, but nothing official came out of Activision. The only hint that the images and information might be real was from an Activision investor call back in February in which the company stated that they would be going back to "traditional combat" after their forays into science-fiction action. Due to the lackluster performance of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, they said that their 2017 addition to the series would be "giving the players what they want."
Though Call of Duty initially started as a series set exclusively in the historical conflicts of World War II, that changed with Infinity Ward's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. That game catapulted the series into ubiquity and Activision never really looked back. Treyarch delivered one more WWII entry to the series in 2008 with Call of Duty: World at War, but after that the series shifted focus to highlight fictional, near-future conflicts. After almost a decade, seeing Call of Duty return to its roots is a refreshing change of pace.
Jack Gardner

This isn't super complicated - Good Old Games and Steam have been having massive sales on games published by Deep Silver, which includes the Saints Row franchise. While the sales themselves offer some really great prices, the real steal is that one of the core entries in the series can be downloaded for free. Gamers can get their digital hands on a copy of Saints Row 2 for from either service at the low price of $0. Both versions are essentially the same, though the GOG version comes without any restrictive DRM. 
The offer from Steam lasts until tomorrow at noon while the GOG offer only extends until the early hours of tomorrow morning. 
Jack Gardner

According to Eurogamer, anonymous sources close to Nintendo have confirmed that the company will be releasing a Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic, similar to the miniature NES Classic that was recently discontinued. Those same sources say that this miniaturized SNES has been scheduled for release this holiday season. 
This report also reveals the reason for the sudden discontinuation of the NES Classic despite continuing high demand for the micro-console. Nintendo never expected it to do all that well. They planned to produce enough to satisfy those who would buy it as a novelty. Instead, demand far outpaced their expectations, leading to an extended production schedule and plans for the SNES Classic. The production of the SNES Classic, sources claim, is what caused the discontinuation of the NES Classic.
This entire story hinges on Eurogamer's sources being accurate, so take it with a grain of salt. We'll update the story to let you know if Nintendo contradicts what the sources have said. That being said, this would be an awesome move that could see a fever-pitch of fan demand. The NES was certainly iconic, but the SNES library is tough to beat for quality and quantity. Depending on what games Nintendo puts on the plug-in console, there could be stampedes for the SNES Classic. 
If this turns out to be true, we will likely hear about it during E3 in June.
Jack Gardner

Interesting dynamics and history are at play with Bandai Namco's creation of Project Vein.  
You see, Bandai Namco basically lucked into the gravy train that has been the Dark Souls series for the past five years. FromSoftware worked with Sony to publish the first Souls game, Demon's Souls. However, due to its initially lackluster sales performance Sony wasn't particularly interested in going through the trouble of bringing Demon's Souls to the wider world. Niche game publisher Atlus saw potential and stepped in to bring the game to North America where it became a cult classic. Unfortunately, sales still weren't huge and no publisher seemed overly eager to publish Demon's Souls for the European market. Even traditional FromSoftware partners like Tecmo Koei and Ubisoft turned their noses up when approached. That's when Bandai Namco stepped in to publish Demon's Souls in Europe, laying the groundwork for their future partnership with FromSoftware a year later. 
When it came time to release Dark Souls, FromSoftware self-published the game in Japan, but worked with Bandai Namco for a wider release in non-Japanese markets. That deal turned out to be huge for Bandai Namco. Dark Souls started printing money and Bandai Namco got a nice chunk of that profit. From was so satisfied with how Bandai Namco handled their end of the publishing deal that Dark Souls II and Dark Souls III were entirely published by Bandai Namco. 
However, FromSoftware is an independent developer. That meant they were free to have their games published by whatever company they chose. That freedom allowed them to work with Sony to publish Bloodborne, a new IP that similarly sold incredibly well - but it sold incredibly well for From and Sony, Bandai Namco could only watch from the sidelines. 
Project Vein looks very, very heavily inspired by Bloodborne. The promotional hashtag teased at the end of the trailer #PrepareToDine is even a slight variation on the original Dark Souls' catch phrase, "Prepare to die." I don't think that's a bad thing at all - some of the greatest works of art draw heavily from other works of art. However, I do think that at least some part of this Bandai Namco's decision to develop and self-publish Project Vein has to do with chasing after that sweet, sweet Bloodborne money - without having to rely on an independent developer like FromSoftware that could cut them out of future ventures.
Not only that, but Bandai Namco would actually own the Project Vein IP if it became successful. They would be free to adapt it to other mediums, much like what they did with their God Eater franchise. Interestingly, the same team that developed God Eater has now been shifted over to work on Project Vein. If you look at God Eater, there is a franchise that spans several games, several light novels, an anime series, and a trading card game, all of which have done relatively well. If Project Vein proves to be even half as popular as Bloodborne, it could be similarly adapted and serialized.
There's a lot of money on the line if Project Vein succeeds. Bandai Namco has tasted the success of Dark Souls and watched on as FromSoftware, the goose that was laying golden eggs for them, created another smashing success for Sony. A lot of this is speculation on my part, but Project Vein seems like Bandai Namco's attempt to cash in on the popularity of FromSoftware's mechanics and dark style. Here's hoping that this results in a great game that can live up to or surpass what inspired it and not a retaliatory cash grab. 
Jack Gardner

You know what? I'll come right out and say it - we don't see nearly enough vampire games. BloodRayne, Vampire Rain, Vampire: The Masquerade, Castlevania, all of them star or feature vampires, but they often fall short of being something that truly lives up to the vampires of legend. That might be changing with Vampyr on the horizon and now Project Vein.
Project Vein comes courtesy of Bandai Namco, the publisher of the Dark Souls series. The slickly animated teaser trailer holds a number of tantalizing details about what the game itself could hold. It seemingly stars a lady vampire who is hunting other vampires or occult creatures. The main character seems to be wielding a rifle with a bayonet attachment that serves as both a melee weapon and a ranged weapon, something imported from Bloodborne's similar hybrid combat. Players will also be able to make use of AI companions to help them in battle. 
In the world of Project Vein, vampires are called Revenants and they have great power. Unfortunately, the process of becoming a Revenant strips these powerful beings of their memories. Together they live as part of a society called Vein. The tagline, "Prepare to dine," seems to imply that blood will perhaps serve as the Souls-like currency of leveling up. Revenants need blood to avoid the fate of becoming a Lost, a savage creature that has discarded its humanity. Perhaps our heroine has a duty to hunt these Lost creatures?
According to translations by Gematsu of the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, Project Vein is described by Bandai Namco as a "dungeon exploration-type, hard action RPG." Namco Bandai has put one of their most successful teams, the one behind the God Eater series, onto Project Vein. 
Project Vein is still far from being finished. It's roughly estimated to be only 30% complete and people shouldn't hope for it to be done by the end of this year. It will likely release at the tail end of 2018. Here's hoping it doesn't go the way of many cool vampire projects like the cancelled PS3 title Harker.
Jack Gardner

StarCraft received its first update in eight years today. The patch added a number of quality of life upgrades, like windowed fullscreen and windowed modes, improvements to matchmaking, game replay autosaves, new anti-cheating measures, and a number of compatibility fixes for Windows 7, 8.1, and 10. Oh, and the entirety of StarCraft and its expansion, Brood War, are now free. 
This comes on the heels of last month's announcement that StarCraft would be getting a complete remaster. The reborn RTS classic will be getting a full graphical overhaul and offer 4K resolutions to PC fans and newcomers alike. If you've never played or lost your original StarCraft game, now seems like the perfect time to give the game that started eSports and catapulted Blizzard into ubiquity a shot. 
StarCraft Remastered will release sometime this Summer, but in the meantime you can download and play the StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War for free on PC and Mac. All you have to do is head over to the StarCraft site and scroll down a bit. 
Jack Gardner

The folks at Lizardcube release their side-scrolling action-platformer Wonder Boy today. The vibrant, dream-like game follows the either Hu-Man or Hu-Girl as he/she ventures into Monster Land in search of the dragon's room. Unfortunately for our hero, the room isn't without its traps. The dragon curses Wonder Boy, dooming him to live in various animal-human forms. The trailer shows these forms in action: Lizard-Man, Mouse-Man, Lion-Man, Piranha-Man, and Hawk-Man. Each one has different advantages, like a fire breath attack as Lizard-Man or the ability to fly as Hawk-Man. Players will need to master each form in order to recover the Salamander Cross and remove the curse for good. 
As a nice added bonus, players can switch back and forth from the modern, hand-animated style or a retro 8-bit aesthetic. These changes can be made on the fly and even extend to the audio and sound effects.
Wonder Boy is an old Sega franchise that had some of the strangest numbering and naming conventions, even by gaming standards. The series goes Wonder Boy, Wonder Boy: Monster Land, Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair, Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, Wonder Boy V: Monster World III, and Monster World IV. Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap is a modern reimagining of the 1989 Sega Master System title Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap for modern consoles and possibly an attempt to revive the dormant Wonder Boy IP for a new era.  
Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch
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