Jack Gardner

One of the sticking points that some Switch owners have had with their new console is taking it with them on the go. The battery typically lasts less than three hours after removing the console from its dock, thought that time can be improved by playing less hardware intensive games. 
The days of those battery woes might be coming to an end with a new accessory developed by UK design company InDemand Design. The device, dubbed the SwitchCharge, latches onto the back of the portable Switch to act as both a case and a portable power source. The battery allows for an additional 10-12 hours of battery life depending on the games being played. In addition to that primary function, SwitchCharge offers an improved kickstand for stability when placed on flat surfaces and slots to carry two additional games while mobile. The SwitchCharge also solves a minor annoyance that has plagued Switch owners since launch: Charging while playing on the go.
If all of these things seem great, how can you get your hands on one? InDemand Design has started an Indiegogo campaign to raise $80,000 to jumpstart production on the SwitchCharge. The campaign runs for another month and is currently sitting at around $67,000 a single day into its campaign.
Indiegogo backers can get a SwitchCharge for a discounted amount at different reward tiers. Those who wait will have to pay the full $130 retail price.
What do you think? Does this device make for a better Switch or does it need more features to sell at $130? 
Jack Gardner

As you may know, we’ve been in an ongoing process to roll out Extra Life Guilds in cities across the United States and Canada. Today we’re incredibly excited to share that we are launching Guilds in 5 NEW cities! In just a few short weeks, we'll be welcoming Birmingham, Charlottesville, Dayton, Fresno, and Saskatchewan into the Guild program.

These new additions to the Extra Life family will be launching soon, joining the ranks of our 73 other Extra Life Guilds across North America.
Guild Launch & Kickoff Meetings Schedule

What's a Guild and Why Should I Join?

A Guild is an organized group of local Extra Lifers who go above and beyond the typical Game Day fundraising to help strengthen Extra Life in their local communities. Supported by their Children’s Miracle Network Hospital they attend local gaming conventions to chat with people about Extra Life, share best practices with other Guild members in the Extra Life community hub, and host socials and game nights to meet other members in the community. 
If you want to take your fight for the kids to the next level, seek out your local Extra Life Guild to get more involved.  
For The Kids!
Jack Gardner

From Kickstarter to the big screen, We Happy Few has come a long way from its humble origins - and it isn't even fully released yet! Variety has reported that We Happy Few developer Compulsion Games has inked a deal with Gold Circle Entertainment and dj2 Entertainment to give them the rights to a We Happy Few film. 
We Happy Few might prove to be a difficult story to adapt as the game relies on procedural generation. However, the setting and imagery is undeniably rife with opportunities for adaptation. The game takes place in an alternate version of 1960s England where the population has become controlled via a system that ensures every citizen is under the influence of sedative medication that keeps them from seeing reality. One citizen, the player protagonist, manages to buck the medicine and embarks on an attempt to uncover the seedy truth behind the aggressively sterile control of their town. 
How exactly this will translate onto film remains to be seen, but Gold Circle and dj2 are in the market for writers able to tackle a video game adaptation. Gold Circle made a name for itself as the production company behind films like My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Pitch Perfect. Meanwhile dj2 Entertainment has been handling work on the Donnie Yen vehicle Sleeping Dogs movie and the Sonic the Hedgehog adaptation.
The real question I have is how a game that hasn't had a full commercial release as a finished product already got picked up for a movie deal. That's a crazy fast turnaround that makes me nervous, but I wish the best for all involved.  
Jack Gardner

The Jak and Daxter Collection released back in 2012. That collection remastered Naughty Dog's original PlayStation 2 trilogy in 720p and 60fps for the PlayStation 3. Now, fans of the action-adventure duo will be able to play Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, Jak II, Jak 3, and, as a new addition, Jak X: Combat Racing once again on the PlayStation 4.Instead of releasing as a physical or digital collection, gamers can now purchase each game individually via PSN.
The series comes with a number of upgrades over previous releases. Each PS2 title will support 1080p upscaling at 60fps with trophy support. Jax X will have a new splitscreen mode, but support none of the online features. Shareplay and Remote Play will also be available.
For those who haven't purchased the PS3 collection, the option to snag Jak and Daxter on PS4 is a pretty good deal. For those who already have the PS3 collection, the ability to grab just Jak X: Combat Racing eliminates needlessly having duplicates of games.
No concrete release date has been revealed, though the updated PS2 classics are expected to release later this year. 
Jack Gardner

As March ends and April begins, now is the perfect time to look back on all that we accomplished over the past month. We finalized the donation total from 2016, had a blast at PAX East and pulled off the biggest Extra Life United event ever!
Our monthly updates are sent out to let you all know the important news from around the community. Buckle in, because you’re the best gaming has to offer!
Community Update
PAX East was easily one of our most successful events yet. The Boston Guild did a fantastic job recruiting at the event; over a dozen volunteers pitched in from March 10 – 12 to make it a success for Extra Life. Because of their efforts, we would like to welcome 459 new members to the Extra Life family!

Throughout PAX East, the Forza Challenge was in full swing. Those who stopped by and managed to snag top lap times won a sweet board game for their victory.   

Over 300 people attended Extra Life United in Orlando, FL on March 23 – 25, the biggest turn out yet for our signature eSports event. Outside of the gaming tournament and $150,000 prize pool, attendees were able to meet miracle families from every state and province in North America, as well as meet other Extra Lifers to discuss fundraising ideas, Guild tactics, and just have a good time.  

A big thank you to Twitch and other community supporters for helping make the event possible. Be sure to head over to our Twitch Extra Life channel to see some of the video highlights! 
  Guess what? We are about to launch Extra Life Guilds in several new cities! We’re welcoming Birmingham, Charlottesville, Dayton, Fresno, and Saskatchewan into the fold. These new additions to the Extra Life family will be launching soon, joining the ranks of our 73 other Extra Life Guilds across North America. 
  International Tabletop Day looms ever closer. Mark April 29 on your calendars and get ready to play some board games. A substantial number of Extra Lifers have been planning mini-Extra Life tabletop marathons that weekend. If you’re planning one, to add your event to the calendar on the Extra Life community site.  
~2016 Fundraising Total~
Let’s get to the big number reveal for our 2016 fundraising total. When all the dust settled from our accounting team collecting the offline donations, matching gifts, and various odds and ends we were stunned.
In 2016, the Extra Life community came together and raised a whopping $9,694,148! That’s up from our 2015 total of $8.3 million!! Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to set such a high bar for 2017!!!

It’s only the beginning of April and we are already setting the bar even higher than last year, so let’s all keep pushing forward for fun, fellowship, and – as always….

For The Kids!
Jack Gardner

Terry Cavanagh and Stephen Levelle (also known as Increpare) teamed up back in 2011 to create the video game equivalent of a short story. Oíche Mhaith (which translates to Irish for "good night") is free, takes about 20 minutes to complete, and will leave you a sobbing mess. Fair warning: it features some NSFW language and images if you're interested in giving it a try. It's basically an M-rated, 8-bit Flash game about a broken family as experienced by a kid. If you are looking for a game that will haunt you for days, Oíche Mhaith will give you much to think about.
You can find and play Oíche Mhaith on the Increpare website: https://ded.increpare.com/~locus/oiche_mhaith/
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: VVVVVV 'Clubbed Baby VVVVVVeal' by Danny Baranowsky (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02205)
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, 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

The release of Prey is little over a month away and the hype machine has begun to chug along at full speed. As part of a PR push for Prey, Bethesda and Gamestop have organized a science-fiction film festival with Alamo Drafthouse featuring a selection of classic movies that inspired the development team behind Prey.
The Inspirations of Prey - Film Fest begins on April 4 and runs until April 27. These events will take place at Alamo Drafthouse theater locations around Texas, California, Colorado, Virginia, and New York. Each week a new film will be shown. The line-up consists of MOON, Starship Troopers, Total Recall, and The Matrix. Each ticket for a screening comes with a poster from Mondo, a slick graphic design company that approaches pop-culture with an artistic eye.
You can see if the festival will be coming to a location near you and buy tickets on the Alamo Drafthouse website.

On top of that, there will be small events at the theaters from iam8bit and Gamestop that will give attendees the opportunity to play Prey before release. These special fan events are happening at the locations and times below:
Austin at the Alamo Drafthouse – South Lamar at The Highball
Tuesday, April 4  5pm

San Francisco at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – New Mission at Bear vs Bull
Tuesday, April 11  5pm

New York at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – City Point at House of Wax
Wednesday, April 19  5pm

Los Angeles at The Regent Theater
Tuesday, April 25  9pm
These events will require an RSVP beforehand, which you can do here, and admission is not guaranteed, so get there early if you plan on going. 
Prey releases on May 5 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Jack Gardner

Lair is without a doubt not only one of the best games period, but THE BEST GAME period. "Why even bother having an episode about it?" you might ask. We simply figured that enough was enough and that greatness really should be paid its due. We were so excited to cover this game that we even released the episode two days early! 
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: Wizards & Warriors ''Wizards in My Armor (Warrior in My Long Johns)" by Brothersynthe and Trenthian (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01665)
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, 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 can be easy to forget the hype machine leading up to a potential big release. When Destiny was first announced, the excitement was palpable. Bungie's promotional images and appearances played up how big the Destiny universe would be. It was a bold new frontier full of alien threats, unknowable constructs, and visually striking heroes. The story seemed larger than life, promising the kind of broad space opera that captivated the world with the release of Star Wars.
Accordingly, Destiny's initial trailers adopted a tone fitting those expectations. The first gameplay reveal from E3 2013 offered glimpses of the game Bungie had so carefully crafted, backed by a reverent voice over with a building orchestral score. We saw broad vistas that offered adventure and imposing enemies that threatened us. This experience would surely be something monumental; it would change games forever. 
Of course, that's not what happened. Destiny turned out to be a highly polished game with some glaring flaws that couldn't deliver on the full promise of what our minds had imagined (as few games truly do). Over the years, Bungie has slowly worked to claw back that dream, adding features, fixing flawed systems, expanding the story, and more. This ongoing development helped Destiny retain its player base.
I suppose that's why the drastic shift in tone in the reveal for Destiny 2 has me scratching my head. Revealing a new game in a series not known for its comedy with a joke trailer is unusual to say the least. The trailer and its accompanying teaser are fine and functional, but the tonal shift is something I think warrants a little bit of a think. 
The trailer for Destiny 2 is a very far cry from how Bungie had initially pitched the franchise. Nathan Fillion reprises his role as the Hunter Exo named Cayde-6 in both the teaser and the trailer proper. Fillion adds a comical punch to what had once been played very straight and earnest. I'm not entirely opposed to the idea of Destiny taking a more tongue-in-cheek approach to its previously self-serious lore, but it does seem rather at odds with the story and tone thus far, especially given that Destiny 2's inciting incident sees humanity all but wiped out and its last line of defense scattered throughout the system.
If we continue to see this style of marketing in the lead up to E3 and beyond, it is very possible that Bungie and Activision have decided to steer Destiny's sci-fi epic into more of a Borderlands-like jaunt for loot and humor. If that's the case, it's entirely possible that the developer and publisher have been seeing the reach of Destiny-related social media. We could be seeing an entirely different type of game from what Destiny's player base has come to expect from the quality of life adjustments and expansions to the original Destiny. How that potential revision of the Destiny brand might go over with long-time Destiny fans remains to be seen.
Destiny 2 releases September 8 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Jack Gardner

Destiny released back in 2014 to a lukewarm critical response and blockbuster sales. Developer Bungie managed to somewhat salvage a game they had once toted as an ongoing, decade-long project (a claim that the company denied a year after Destiny's release). Implementing many, many patches, overhauls, and DLC expansions, Destiny finally began resembling the title that had shown such critical promise running up to its release. 
Today, after a small tease earlier in the week, Bungie pulled the curtain aside and gave a glimpse at what they have planned for Destiny 2. A new enemy has emerged from the depths of space: Ghaul, leader of the Red Legion. Following a devastating attack on humanity's last city, players will be forced into the wilds of the solar system to seek anything and everything that could be used to take back the city and defeat Ghaul. The trailer shows that the sequel to Destiny will indeed be axing the Tower hub that players have come to know over the past few years - along with all of the accumulated gear -  in favor of something new. What exactly that new hub players could call home might be remains to be seen.

After ignoring the PC market for the first entry, Destiny 2 will be coming to the computer gaming space, too. It will be interesting to see how the co-op shooter fares outside the confines of consoles. Perhaps mod support? That could be very interesting indeed. 

Destiny 2 releases September 8 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Those who pre-order will receive access to the beta period of Destiny 2 and possibly some other goodies depending on the retailer. 
Jack Gardner

Get ready for some farming nostalgia and small town romance, Natsume stealth released their 2003 life simulator Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life onto the PlayStation Network for PlayStation 4. This move comes as part of the company's celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Harvest Moon series. A Wonderful Life represents the first of two games from the PS2/GameCube era to see a re-release on PS4.
In A Wonderful Life, players start with next to nothing aside from a rundown farm with a cow and a dog. Over the course of a few seasons in-game, players can build the farm up into a production juggernaut or let it be and spent their time walking around the nearby town talking with the locals and wooing the several eligible romance options. Players can eventually marry their digital partner and have a kid who then grows up into an adult.
The special edition of A Wonderful Life comes with a number of welcome additions to the original game. Players have an additional love interest, more animal types, and the option to continue playing after the end of the story mode. There are also a number of quality of life changes that veterans will likely notice. 
Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life is now on PSN for $14.99 - who else is going to be farming up a storm in short order?

We're proud to announce the recipient of the 2016 Victoria Enmon Award, Betsy Rand, program director at Seattle Children's Hospital.  Betsy was presented the award at Extra Life United, during #ChildrensHospitalsWeek during the Evening of Celebration on Thursday, March 23. 
The Victoria Enmon Award is presented to a CMN Hospitals program director who embodies the spirit of Victoria. Victoria’s battle against acute lymphoblastic leukemia inspired the Extra Life movement. Throughout her battle, Victoria remained strong and an inspiration to others. 

Extra’s Life success is in part because of the CMN Hospitals program directors who work tirelessly with guilds to recruit and grow Extra Life efforts in their hospital market area. Betsy attended multiple events throughout the year, including PAX West, where she helped the guild recruit over 1,200 Extra Lifers in one weekend. Betsy has worked with her hospitals social media team to increase social awareness around Extra Life, always has a great outlook and makes the program better as a whole.


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