Naomi N. Lugo

 
On October 13 it was announced that "pay what you want" platform Humble Bundle was acquired by media company IGN. Full details of the transaction have not been formally released, but the news has been confirmed by both parties. 
 
Humble Bundle elaborated on the acquisition in a blog post titled "Humble Bundle is Joining Forces with IGN!" Within the post, Co-Founder and CEO of the company Jeffrey Rosen stays relatively vague but offers insight into why they chose IGN and what resources they have gained.
 
"We chose IGN because they really understand our vision, share our passion for games, and believe in our mission to promote awesome digital content while helping charity. I can’t think of a better partner than IGN to help Humble Bundle continue our quest," said Rosen.
 
It seems as though Humble Bundle's outward motivation was gaining a support network that a huge company like IGN would definitely possess. "We will continue to bring you all of our humble products, but with more resources and help from IGN," said Rosen. Along that note, the company seems like it will still maintain its separate identity with the CEO saying, "we will keep our own office, culture, and amazing team with IGN helping us further our plans. We will raise even more money for charity."
 
The way that Humble Bundle works, gamers are able to get games for a lower price but are incentivized to pay more than the base price with some of those dollars going to charity. Since their founding, HB states that they have been able to donate about $106 million. Some of the charities that they have supported include GamesAid, Make a Wish, American Red Cross, Save the Children, War Child, Worldreader, WWF, Zidisha and of course Extra Life . Their current charity is SpecialEffect. 
 
Since the sale of games is involved, there easily could be an ethical line crossed by IGN in their game coverage. Polygon was able to get this statement from Executive Vice President and General Manager at IGN Mitch Galbraith, "editorial integrity is something we take very seriously at IGN, and I am confident that we will strike the right balance when it comes to our coverage of Humble Bundle and the games they sell. Our readers and customers have always come first — and that won’t change."
 
Have you ever used Humble Bundle? What do you think of a media company acquiring a company that sells games? Let us know in the comments below.
 
 
 

Naomi N. Lugo

 
After a couple of delays, it seems like it's finally safe to be excited for the release of South Park: The Fractured But Whole. And last night's latest entry into the core TV series season 21, episode 4 "Franchise Prequel " all but solidified the fact that yes, the new South Park game is indeed coming out in less than a week. 
 
The new episode aired October 11 and starts out with a superhero audition and evolves into commentary about Facebook. Innocent enough right? We've had episodes with the gang running around in superhero garb before, but there was more than just a subtle nod to the upcoming game at the end of the episode. In the final scene, there was a dialogue that will seem familiar to anyone who saw the E3 2016 trailer since its almost the exactly same (save a few edits). We see the group splitting up into two "franchises" creating the conflict for the game. 
 
 
With all of this in mind, Matt and Trey are probably giving us a hint to who at least one of the in-game villains will be, Mark Zuckerberg. Some background, in the episode some alarming pictures show up on Facebook of the Coon and Friends, thanks to Professor Chaos' ingenious and devious plan to slander them via the web. The parents of the SP universe, as competent as ever invite Mark Zuckerberg to the tiny mountain town to resolve things. Zuckerberg proves to be more trouble than he's worth (and has a weird dubbed voice?) and refuses to be "blocked" out of town. 
 
And if you needed any more evidence that the episode and game are indeed tied together, South Park tweeted this out in anticipation of the airing.
The game officially releases on Tuesday, October 17. It follows its 2014 predecessor South Park: The Stick of Truth. Both games feature RPG gameplay closely resembling the style of the show. 
 
Will you be playing The Fractured But Whole? How do you think gameplay will differ from The Stick of Truth?
 

Marcus Stewart

 
The sky-high price tag for VR has been one of the primary barriers keeping a majority of gamers away from the technology. At Oculus' Connect 4 event earlier today, Facebook announced plans to remedy that situation by dropping the price of its original headset as well as introducing a significantly cheaper model.
 
In with the new first. Oculus Go is a standalone, "all-in-one" headset retailing for $199. Similar Samsung Gear VR, no PC (or phone) is required; just strap it on and play using the Wii nunchuck-esque single palm controller. Oculus Go arrives in early 2018. 
 
As of today, you can purchase the standard Oculus Rift model for $399.That package includes two touch controllers, two sensors, and seven free games. That's one whole Benjamin down from the $500 price that went into effect earlier this year, which in itself was a cut from $600 launch tag. 
 
If you've been eyeing VR but haven't taken the plunge yet, are these announcements enough to entice you? Does VR interest you at all?   

Marcus Stewart

 
EA has once again opened up the Vaults of EA and Origin Access, subscription services that gives members access to "free" games from the publisher's portfolio, among other perks. Headlining the pack of newcomers is Mass Effect Andromeda, which launched earlier this year to a polarizing reception. Members will also be able to play EA's biggest holiday titles ahead of launch, including Star Wars Battlefront II. 
 
Beginning this month until December, the following titles will be added to the Vault.  
 
Mass Effect Andromeda
Dead Space 3
The Sims 4 (Play First Trial)
Star Wars Battlefront II (Play First Trial)
Need For Speed Payback (Play First Trial)
 
If you're an EA Access member, what do you think of the new additions? For non-members, is this line-up enough to convince you to give the service a shot. 

Marcus Stewart

 
Friday the 13th is nearly upon us. In addition to bringing a full day of misfortune, it also gives us the next terrifying chapter in The Evil Within saga.  
 
Sebastian Castellanos is on a desperate mission to rescue his captured daughter Lily, who was presumed dead years ago. Unfortunately, that means taking another insane trip through the terrifying world of STEM. Evidenced by the trailer, Sebastian has a whole new suite of nightmares to contend with. That includes humans threats, such as photographer-turned-evil antagonist, Stefano and the wicked priest, Theodore. Check out the launch trailer to help mentally prepare yourself for the frights to come. 
 
 
The Evil Within 2 his October 13 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. If you're looking for more pre-release scares, check out the game's E3 reveal trailer. 

Marcus Stewart

 
By most accounts, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is a well-crafted role-playing adventure with one major flaw: the western localization is horrid according to its players. After receiving quite a bit of backlash over this problem, NIS America President and CEO Takuro Yamashita responded in a letter to fans stating how the company plans to address the issue. 
 
Yamashita acknowledges and apologizes for the mistakes (described as grammatical errors, typos, and inconsistencies). He promises to fix them by having a new translator and editor re-evaluate the entire script, re-translating where needed. Additionally, an internal investigation into how the original translation went out the door in the first place has begun to ensure something similar doesn't happen in the future.
 
The work is slated to be completed by the end of November. At that point, the new translation will arrive as a patch for the PS4 and Vita versions of the game. The delayed Steam version will include the changes when it launches at a yet-to-be-determined date. 
 
If you're playing Ys VIII, how do you feel about the upcoming script improvements? Were you as unhappy with the original translations as other fans? 
 
 

Marcus Stewart

 
If a recent trademark filing is to be believed, the Nintendo 64 may not be the next console Nintendo gives the Classic Edition treatment. First reported by Anime News Network, a Japanese trademark Twitter account that posts trademark registrations tweeted a filing that included a picture of a Game Boy (in the header above).  
 
The trademark was listed under the category of " Programs for household video games" among other, similar distinctions. Bear in mind this could always go nowhere, but its worth noting similar reports surfaced for the SNES Classic before that was announced. Take a look at the tweet yourself here, but keep in mind that its all in Japanese. 
 
What do you think of the likelihood that this leads to a Game Boy Classic Edition? Would you be interested in one? 
 

Marcus Stewart

 
We may be a few weeks away from the launch of Assassin's Creed Origins, but that doesn't mean we can't discuss the stuff you can add to the game after it hits shelves. Ubisoft has laid out the road map for the game's season pass and other post-launch content, offering goodies both paid and otherwise.
 
For Season Pass holders (which comes with the Gold Edition), you'll get the following: 
 
The Hidden Ones story pack where players take on Roman forces years after the events of the main game. It launches January 2018.  The Curse of the Pharaohs story pack. Players battle undead pharaohs and other supernatural beasts from Egyptian mythology. Look for that in March 2018.  Roman Centurion and Horus packs containing new outfits and other accessories in November. At launch, you'll receive 500 Helix points and an exclusive weapon, the Calamity Blade.   
If you're into not paying for stuff, Ubisoft plans to shower both player bases with post-release content free of charge. This includes Photo Mode, a multiplayer Horde mode, the educational Discovery Tour that teaches ancient Egyptian history, and special timed boss events called The Trial of the Gods. Most will be available at launch, with Horde mode and Discovery Tour arriving next year. 
 
Assassin's Creed Origins launches October 27th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. For more on the game, check out its E3 2017 reveal trailer. 
 
 

herobyclicking
While being a participant and donating to Extra Life is the primary and most direct way to help Extra Life and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, you can also support us with these simple, mostly free ways! If you're looking to send some additional love our way, here are four easy things you can do, right now!
 
 
Follow and share us on social
 
Following us and sharing our awesome content on Discord, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, our Community Hub and Instagram helps get the word out about the amazing things we ALL are doing. Believe it or not, there still plenty of folks who have yet to hear about playing game and healing kids, let's make sure they find out about us!
 
 

 
 
Subscribe to us on Twitch!
 
Our Twitch channel is a Charity Partnered channel! Which means that you can now subscribe and support the kids while enjoying hours of content from our amazing community. If you happen to be an Amazon Prime member, you get one (1) free subscription (Twitch Prime) each month which "includes bonus games and exclusive in-game content, a channel subscription every 30 days at no additional cost to be used on any Partnered and Affiliate channel, ad-free viewing on Twitch, exclusive emotes, and chat badge." 
 
Free content? No ads? Support Extra Life? Sounds like a no-brainer ;)! 
 
Check out the Twitch Prime guide to learn how use your monthly subscription for subscribing to our Twitch channel. 
 
 

 
 
 
Auto hosting the official Extra Life Twitch channel
 
When you're not streaming, consider adding our official Twitch channel so your auto hosting list!
 
Step 1: Sign up for a Twitch account!
 
Step 2: To auto host Extra Life's Official Channel, just go to your "Settings" > "Channel & Videos" > scroll down to "Host List"> select the "+" > search for "ExtraLife4Kids" > add "ExtraLife4Kids" > select "Save Changes". 
 
Add our Official channel to your list today!
 
Read more about it: https://blog.twitch.tv/grow-your-community-with-auto-hosting-e80c1460f6e1#.ayik03n2q
 

 
 
Use our Humble Bundle Charity Partner Link
 
If you're like us, you like games. A lot. It's even better when you can buy a lot of games for a great cause. 
 
Enter, Humble Bundle. If you're not aware of this awesome group, then it's definitely time to get acquainted. When buying your PC games, software and digital books, use Humble Bundle to purchase them AND contribute to charity. Specifically, Extra Life!
 
Use the following links to purchase and support Extra Life: 
 
For the latest Humble Bundles: https://www.humblebundle.com/?partner=144206
 
For Humble Bundle Monthly: https://www.humblebundle.com/monthly?partner=144206
 
For all of your Humble Store purchases, be sure to add Extra Life as your selected charity! Take a peep below.
 

 
Once you set Extra Life as your selected charity on Humble Bundle, your purchases from the Humble Store will support us!
 
 
Add these easy and fun steps to your Extra Life arsenal and help us to continue to support sick and injured kids across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
 
Keep being amazing!
 

Marcus Stewart

 
After The Enigma laid the table cloth for what’s to come, The Pact continues to set the silverware. More than anything else, the second episode cashes in on the development of Joker-in-progress John Doe by smartly flipping the roles of his most iconic relationship. 
 
The Pact injects a big dose of villainy with a few new faces, most notably one Dr. Harleen Quinzel. But this ain’t your 90s afternoon cartoon Harley Quinn. Keeping in line with Telltale’s penchant for shake-ups, Harley debuts as an established, independent, and intelligent killer. While she still retains her sick yet charming sense of humor, Quinn is far from the ditzy sidekick role she typically assumes. In fact, The Pact marks the first time I’ve ever felt genuinely intimidated by Harley. The change works surprisingly well, largely because of how Telltale managed a skillful switch-a-roo in her relationship with John Doe.
 
Basically, John assumes Harley’s original role. Completely infatuated with Quinn, he aims to impress however possible. After establishing John’s new origin and behavior, his characterization (side note: his sad innocence actually made me feel sorry for him) pays off by making him a believable second-fiddle to Harley. This dynamic, along with your friendship with John, comes to a head during an edge-of-your-seat mission involving the twisted pair and the player. I won’t go into details, but trying to navigating the minefield of both psychos’ temperaments while completing a high-stakes task stands as The Pact’s defining moment.  
 
Maintaining Bruce’s increasingly blurry code of conduct is a demanding balancing act that The Pact does a nice job of showcasing. Chiefly, during the aforementioned mission and especially in Bruce’s tumultuous dealings with Tiffany Fox. The latter takes a profound leap forward in a couple of different ways, both of which I’m anxious to see the result of. 
 

 
On the opposite spectrum, Jim Gordon and Amanda Waller’s feud stagnates, lessening the tension. Their story remains the same “we don’t like/trust each other” thread without any real development. Speaking of Waller, The Pact fumbles out of the gate by not logically following-up on last episode’s cliffhanger i.e. Batman not flat-out asking Amanda “So how did you find that out?” 
 
Gameplay in general takes a backseat to dialogue choices outside of the action-packed opening chapter. That sounds worse than it actually is, as conversations largely keep you guessing and demand attention to details and consistency with your answers. My contradictions were called out several times in a great touch of realism.  
 
In classic Telltale fashion, a Bruce-focused chapter towards the end teases potential failure, yet seems difficult to actually pull off. Based on the seemingly concrete conclusion, that suggestion of variance mostly feels like smoke and mirrors. The same might be said of how players choose to assist John in making a good impression with Harley. I went out of my way to screw that up for him, but the result didn’t differ from if I’d been an ideal wingman. Granted, that could be a facade on John’s part and potentially bite me in the butt later, but at the moment I’m a little bummed how similarly that subplot pans out here. 
 
 
Conclusion:
 
The Pact’s firm middle section is the strongest aspect of an otherwise decent block-building episode. I loved the Harley Quinn stuff, and it plays beautifully into John’s slow burn towards his awakening, so to speak. Maintaining Bruce’s integrity becomes easier said than done, leading to some painful choices and intense moments. The non-answer to The Enigma’s big question bugs me. For logic’s sake, I hope that gets resolved sooner than later. Overall, a solid installment that introduces more fascinating pieces for the story to come. 
 
Batman: The Enemy Within - The Pact was reviewed on PlayStation 4. It’s also available now for Xbox One, PC and will launch later for iOS and Android.

Jack Gardner

 
Atari has been known for decades as the company that popularized home video games. The company even made headlines recently when it teased that it would be releasing a new console with the possibility of exclusive titles coming to the system. While no new announcements have been released regarding the Ataribox, the company has somewhat unexpectedly unveiled a line of high-tech hats.
 
Dubbed "speakerhats," Atari has begun pushing their branded hats as the next evolution of headwear headphones. Atari touts the speakerhats as "a unique new listening experience." The central hook is that the hats look exactly like normal baseball caps, but they have bluetooth-enabled stereo speakers and a microphone seamlessly embedded in the hat's structure.
 
The speakerhats can be used for listening to music, mobile gaming, streaming video, and phone calls. Basically, anything that an obtrusive speaker system can do, Atari's hats can do - without being overly distracting to the people around you. Atari hopes to use the hat's bluetooth capabilities to one day be able to coordinate multiple speakerhat-wearers to listen to the same device's sounds without any lag. 
 

 
For those interested in the specs, The Atari speakerhat holds some interesting tech. Each speakerhat holds the following: Proprietary high-fidelity stereo speakers and microphone, V 4.1 CSR/Qualcomm cVc audio technology, 5-band EQ, a rechargeable lithium Ion battery, a universal control button, and an LED indicator light.
 
The line currently has a limited edition Bladerunner 2049 tie-in hat available, too. Each hat retails for about $130.

Jack Gardner

 
The Dreamcast was home to some of the strangest games of the early 2000s. In 2001, Crazy Games released Illbleed, a title that truly helped the studio lived up to its name. Illbleed follows a young girl named Eriko Christy who, having been traumatized by her father growing up, no longer feels fear. Eriko's condition comes in handy when she must travel to an insane horror theme park riddled with devious traps to rescue her missing friends. Illbleed may have failed to find a significant following its release to lukewarm reviews, but it has slowly gained a cult following over the years that admires its off-kilter scenarios, hilarious, B-movie writing, and strange mechanics. 
 
Can a game that seems laughably bad be so good that it could be considered one of the best games period?
 
This week we are joined by Matt Conn, founder of GaymerX and MidBoss, and John "JJSignal" James, the director of 2064: Read Only Memories, both of whom jointly nominated Illbleed. 
 

 
Outro music: Chip's Challenge 'Da Funk You Know 'Bout Chip?' by That Andy Guy (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03620)
 
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