Jack Gardner

 
The recently released Elex is, quite simply, a painful slog of an RPG. At turns charmingly sloppy and infuriatingly obtuse, it feels like a bumbled combination of Dark Souls, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and Mad Max. Elex stands as proof that you can create a world that pits magic Vikings, drugged up wasteland raiders, technologically advanced religious zealots, and magically enhanced super mutants against one another and somehow still render it all boring. How does it accomplish this feat? Read on.
 
Elex takes a step in the wrong direction right off the bat with its protagonist. Commander Jax takes on the central role of this adventure. He's part of the Albs, a society of enhanced mutants that have purged themselves of all emotion in exchange for the massive power granted by a substance known as elex. However, we don't know any of that as in the opening seconds we see Jax's sci-fi fighter jet get shot down by unknown people for unknown reasons. The backstory to this scene gets inexplicably doled out in small doses via flashbacks to years before the events of the game. 
 
We have a protagonist without emotional responses to anything and a blank backstory. Jax does have one interesting spark of characterization, though. Severed from his connection to his fellow Albs, Jax slowly begins to either regain a connection to his emotions or not depending how the player behaves. Unfortunately, that aspect of the character never really feels explored, leaving Jax an incredibly bland and uninteresting lead. After being shot down in enemy territory, emotionless Jax embarks on a quest to get revenge.   
 
A bland protagonist might be something a game could survive if the supporting cast can shoulder the extra weight. Elex's writing and NPCs simply can't bear that burden. The dialogue hamstrings any attempt to build up other characters. The very first interaction the player has with an NPC results in that character explaining several times in the same dialogue tree that the player can find supplies in the nearby town. Did you know you could get supplies in town? Hey, no worries, you can get supplies in town. You can take some jobs and gear up in town. It never really becomes better as the game progresses, either. Sometimes characters will seemingly glitch over dialogue or have wild mood swings between dialogue options. One of the NPC companions went from feeling neutral towards Jax to idolizing him over the course of one conversation on one sidequest. On a different quest, I selected a seemingly innocuous dialogue option that prompted an NPC to attempt to murder Jax - and the game warned me after I killed him that the game had been altered significantly. 
 

 
Combat stands as one of the weakest elements of Elex. Despite existing in a world of hand grenades and plasma rifles, melee weapons serve as the primary way players deal damage in the world. Those who want to rely on ranged attacks will quickly find them weak, especially early on, and this can quickly lead to being mauled on all sides. That leaves players to rely on melee or the various faction abilities. In order to access magic, psionic powers, or chemical augments players will have to ally themselves with one of the game's three factions: the Berserkers, the Clerics, or the Outlaws. If you haven't allied with one of the three groups, generic combat will be the only option available.
 
That leaves melee, which seems to be aiming for a Dark Souls-like rhythm, but fails spectacularly. Players must manage their stamina to make sure they can dodge or defend against enemy attack patterns. If attacks are properly managed, a special attack can be performed to deal critical damage. These attacks locks Jax into prolonged animations that frequently miss their target, leaving him vulnerable. This can be a huge problem in a game where even low level enemies on the easiest difficulty can take a player from full life to death in a handful of attacks. With such life and death stakes, the spotty hit detection becomes an unending source of irritation. I died several times from attacks that hit a visible distance away from Jax's character model. 
 
Important note: For a very, very, very long time after beginning the game, Jax will be weak. If you truly want to explore the open world of Elex and meet the other factions, you will encounter enemies capable of instantly killing Jax. Those deaths might occur with little to no warning, too, as many enemies are simply leveled higher from the initial areas - meaning you'll only know that they are different from the enemies you've defeated handily before when you get close enough to target them and see a skull by their names.
 

 
Jax's weakness might be remedied by an empowering leveling system. The leveling system in Elex somehow manages to be a convoluted mess. Each level gives you 10 points to spend on character attributes and a learning point that can be spent at the various trainers throughout the world to learn new active and passive abilities. Attribute requirements are tied to each ability and each piece of armor and weapon in the game. If you want to have better armor, you need to gain a new level and put points into the required attributes.
 
I'm sure there must be mid-tier weapons somewhere in Elex, but I couldn't find anything that seemed meaningfully different or more powerful from the blunt axe I found during the first hour of the game after having played the game for over a dozen hours. The weapons that I did manage to scrounge up all had requirements far beyond what I could equip. So, naturally, I put points into those areas to try to be able to use something better than that axe. The downside of that approach was that I couldn't put points into things like constitution, which meant I couldn't equip better armor or shields. Even when I finally managed to have the points in dexterity and strength required to shoot a plasma rifle, I was sorely disappointed to learn that at best it only tickled most enemies. This led me to a the following conclusion: In the world of Elex a level 0 blunt axe is somehow more powerful and effective than using a plasma rifle that requires 50 dexterity and 30 strength. 
 

 
Elex's story offers a great degree of flexibility. That flexibility goes to waste in a world that squanders a lot of intriguing concepts and potential by linking it with bland characters and fetch quests that exist to waste time. I bring that up to point out that Elex asks players to join one of the factions - but a player looking to make an informed decision without faffing about in the area with magic Vikings forever will have to make their way through almost certain death to reach the Clerics and the Outlaws to see if joining them might be preferable. A single sidequest might require fifteen minutes of running through the wilderness. Traveling between settlements could take much longer. Dying en route puts you back at the point of the game's last autosave, which can result in hours of lost time. To alleviate this, fast travel teleportation pads exist throughout the world. However, they can also be easy to miss and remain deactivated if the player doesn't walk on top of them. This problem even seems to be recognized in the game design since one of the generic abilities (with insanely high requirements) reveals all of the teleportation pads in the world.  

I would not recommend Elex to anyone. It manages to trick the player into forgetting about its frustrations by playing the way one would expect from a middle-of-the-road RPG with grand ambitions, but it invariably falls into some new pitfall included in the game either by poorly conceived design or by complete accident. The setting holds a great deal of promise, but the narrative often finds itself too caught up in world building to remember that compelling characters are necessary. The dialogue manages to be uniformly atrocious and grating. The visuals look great from a distance, but closer inspection reveals a lot of characters and environments to be pretty ugly. Glitches routinely pop up - one time I initiated a conversation with an NPC and Jax teleported halfway through the ceiling and remained trapped there after the conversation finished. Other than an intriguing premise and a fun trailer, Elex has very little going for it.
 
 
Elex is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.  

StarkleSparkle
Article written by Canadian Zangeif, a fourth-year participant who raises money for the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba. 
 

 
2013 was the best and worst year of my life. My wife and I were expecting our first child and every day waiting for him was electric. Our son was born September 2, 2013 after an emergency c-section. 
 
The labour was tough on both my boy, Magnus and my wife, Jennifer, but they made it through and the feeling of joy was indescribable.
 
My wife and I had to stay in the hospital due to complications with the c-section, and Magnus was transferred to the NICU because he had to be fed intravenously, due to trouble eating because of an obstruction in his bowels.
 
The doctors started planning for surgery. Those days were tough, we were pretty much living out of the hospital and I spent more than my fair share sleepoing on the floor, going to and from work in the hospital.
 
The surgery went well, and then as recovery was observed it turned out Magnus developed a blood clot which was showering pieces into his lungs so Magnus was then put on a ventilator. His health slowly started to fade because he was unable to fight the infection and he was too young to handle the clot busters. I vividly remember a moment when he opened his eyes for only a moment and it gave us hope.

 
Late on the night of December 7, we got the call that everyone from our family should come right away because Magnus wasn’t doing well. We rushed out of bed and out the door without thinking, refusing to believe the worst.
 
Magnus left us that night. My wife and I went through many phases in our grief as time passed. Eventually we settled on being thankful to everything the children’s hospital did because we did get three months and five days longer with our angel Magnus, thanks to their support.
 
Losing a child is something that isn’t supposed to happen, it changes you. Through our grief I noticed an advertisement for Extra Life and I knew I had to participate to help other families from knowing this pain. We have been participating ever since then and have raised a lot of money through friends and family over the years and it feels good to do this in our sons honour. Thank you for listening to our story and why we do extra life.
 
 

StarkleSparkle
Article written by Sid Wing, a fourth-year participant who plays for Children's of Alabama.

 
Some have asked - "Why do you do this 'ExtraLife' thing?" For kids like my Grand-nephew Cyrus. Last year he celebrated his 3rd Birthday, began attending developmental preschool, and took his first steps!
 
None of this would have even been possible with out Monroe Carell Jr Children's Hospital. Who knows what amazing things will happen for him THIS year!
 
At 28 weeks gestation, we learned that Cyrus had a “constellation of defects” that pointed to a genetic disorder. His mom, my neice, had to have an amnio-reduction procedure at Vanderbilt two weeks later, in order to avoid amniotic fluid-related complications. At the same time, the team took extra fluid in order to determine whether there was a genetic cause for Cyrus’ many defects.

 
Cyrus was born by emergency C-section on October 22, 2013. He had an APGAR score of 2. The NICU had already been alerted about his condition, and we already had a team dedicated to each of his systems. The entire medical staff there were attentive, supportive, and collaborative with us regarding his care and treatment.
 

 
There was no stone left unturned; because of Monroe Carell Jr Children’s Hospital, Cyrus, for whom the chromosomal anomalies should have been a death sentence, is alive to celebrate his third birthday and reach new milestones.
 

 
 
 
 
 

Jack Gardner

 
The creators of Rock Band have a new game available today called Super Beat Friends that has just released on the Nintendo Switch. The party game features a cartoonish collection of sports mini-games that weave frantic multiplayer action with some boppin' music. The relentlessly positive title offers engrossing co-op and competitive modes in a package that's designed to appeal to all ages.
 
Games included in Super Beat Sports include:
 
Rhythm Racket - Protect your own goal while gunning for your friends' in a more musical take on a classic game set up. Whacky Bat - Players must hit back pitches using bats while timing their swings along with the music to build combos and earn points. Net Ball - Similar to volleyball but played with hockey sticks, 1-2 players try to keep the volley over the net going for as long as possible against alien opponents. Buddy Ball - Bash balls with 1-4 buddies! Gobble Golf - The goal here is to feed aliens by grooving along with the music either solo or with a friend. 
   
Super Beat Friends supports HD Rumble in the Switch's Joy-Cons, which leads to Harmonix claiming that "each swing feels unique" throughout the game's 100+ levels. Also, Super Beat Friends maintains 60 frames per second across all of the Switch's modes of play.  
 
 
Super Beat Friends is available now on the Nintendo Switch eShop - maybe a good game to pull out on Game Day?
 

StarkleSparkle
Article written by Lora Williams, a fourth-year participant who plays for KU Pediatrics, The University of Kansas Medical Center.
 

 
I've been doing Extra Life for four years and at the core of why I do it is my mom.
 
My mom is 61 and is the smartest and strongest person I know. She loves to garden, travel, and read. She loves a good mystery and is always wanting to know more about the history of everything. My mom was born in the 50s with a birth defect called clubfoot in both of her feet. That means all the tendons, muscles, and bones weren't where they belonged when she was born.
 
Throughout her childhood, she underwent countless surgeries, wore braces, and missed a ton of school. Surgery then wasn’t what it is now, and although my mom can walk, it’s not without much struggle and pain. When I was a young kid, you could hardly tell my mom had any problems at all. Then in the course of a year or two everything shifted and my mom became quite sick. Sick beyond just her birth defect. Sick to the point she had to quite work and go on full-time disability.
 

 
For a few years, the doctors thought she had lupus. But if House taught us anything: it’s never lupus. Instead, she was diagnosed with a rare condition called Porphyria cutanea tarda. Porphyria causes sun sensitivity which creates sores on her skin as well as sickles her blood cells. Needless to say, she gets sick and tired when out in the sun for too long. She also developed chronic joint and bone problems and has had both of her hips replaced in the last 10 years.
 
The amount of pain my mother is in during her daily life is an amount I cannot imagine. It’s amazing she even gets out of bed. She takes pain meds that would probably kill some people. Thankfully, her doctors believe her and give her the medicine she needs to make life bearable. And with the help of canes and walkers, she gets around where she wants. From middle school until now I’ve been a primary caregiver for my mother. I helped make dinner, get things around the house, take her to appointments, and more. However, my mother has attended almost every performance of mine and even comes to my shows in adulthood. 

 
She’s been the best mother and my only parent for all my life. I’m not sure how much of her daily life now would be improved with better care in hospitals as a kid, but judging from what I know of people my age with clubbed foot, surgery has improved greatly. Lots of things have improved greatly and that’s a lot to do with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
 
But it’s not just the children in the hospitals that CMN Hospitals impacts: it’s also the families. I’ve had just as much fun meeting the siblings of Miracle kids as I have the “sick” kids themselves. The Miracle kids get a lot of attention, but CMN Hospitals makes sure no one is forgotten. It’s the little things like that that keep me doing Extra Life.
 
They don’t forget about the family dynamic. As a child caregiver, this means a lot to me. I saw both ways you could live your life: through my eyes as a healthy child and through the eyes of a caregiver to someone who has never been healthy. Every year, I meet more and more people CMN Hospitals impacts and I find more and more reasons to keep doing it.
 
Not only does it change lives for those in the hospital, but it changes the lives of those who do Extra Life. It has changed my life. It allows me to give back doing things I enjoy and remind myself of the important things in the world. Like health. And family. And sometimes, fun! Extra Life has also given me a huge community. It feels like home. All thanks to the person my mom has made me today.
 


herobyclicking
 
 
 Here we are in the final stretch before Game Day! October was one of our busiest months. The Los Angeles and Orange County Guilds crushed TwitchCon. We launched the official Extra Life Discord channel. The ESA Foundation announced their challenge. On top of all of that, Extra Life’s first recruitment push for Child Health Day went incredibly well! 
 
Our monthly updates are sent out to let you know about the important news from around the community. Buckle in, because you’re the best gaming has to offer!
 
 
Child Health Day Recap

Last month we told you to mark down Child Health Day and push the word out about Extra Life. Over the course of 24 hours, our combined efforts saw over 400 new Extra Lifers join to play games and heal kids and raised over $40,500 for local hospitals!
 
 
 
Launch of Discord

 
In preparation for Game Day, we’ve launched the official Extra Life Discord channel to help community members connect with one another! Over 700 people have joined to share their streaming tips & Game Day ideas, meet local Extra Lifers, and game together.
 
ESA Foundation Announcement

 
The ESA Foundation Challenge is back again! Their generous $60,000 grant is divided into two prizes that YOU can help unlock for your hospital. For more info and to see how your hospital compares in the rankings, visit our ESA Foundation Challenge page! 
 
Humble Bundle Galore! 

 
Not only was $28,000 raised by the Degica Games and the RPG Maker Software Bundle for Extra Life last month, but there's also 2 other Humble Bundles currently available that support Extra Life! Check out Double Fine Production's Day
of the Devs Bundle, as well as the official Humble Extra Life Bundle to stock up on games for Game Day!
 
 
Twitch Con

 
Shout out to the Orange County and Los Angeles Guilds for helping out at TwitchCon earlier this month! Throughout the weekend, they raised over $1,500 and recruited 330 new Extra Life members. In addition, Twitch broadcasters took part in a charity decathlon and took home 3rd place for Extra Life!
 
Fundraising Update

 
We head into November having raised $3.9 Million and over 40,000 gamers who have pledged to play games and heal kids for their chosen CMN Hospital. The stage is set for us to absolutely demolish our 2016 record! Let’s go out there and shatter some numbers. 
 
Game Day can be any day of the year, but expect us to make some noise this coming weekend during the official Extra Life Game Day on Nov. 4th. Tune into the stream for hourly fundraising updates on twitch.tv/extralife4kids from 8am MT on Nov. 4th – 8am MT on Nov. 5th! Never stop pushing forward for fun, fellowship, and – as always….
 
For The Kids,
Mike, Liz, Lou & Jeromy
Team Extra Life
Children's Miracle Network Hospitals
 
 

Jack Gardner

 
Happy Halloween everyone! It's that wonderful time of the year when we grab a bowl of candy, kick back, and try to scare the pants off of ourselves. In the spirit of the holiday, we've put together a list of some effective horror games that will chill, thrill, and fill you with dread. Most of you are probably familiar with the Alien: Isolations, the Amnesias, the Outlasts, and more of the horror giants that dominate the genre, so this list will be made up of some of the lesser-known titles that still manage to hold some surprises. Without further ado, here's your definitive list of interesting indie horror games presented in no particular order!
 
Duskers
 
If there is one lesson that the movie Alien taught us it is that few things are as scary as average joes just trying to survive in space. Duskers takes that premise and runs with it in a gripping, survival horror roguelike. As a lone salvage operator using technology that would be right at home in a 70s sci-fi film, players must attempt to eek out a living by investigating wrecked ships. However, those ships can only be explored and salvaged using remote controlled drones. Players need to juggle the control of the drones with hacking into the wreck's systems and also avoiding the unknown terrors that lurk in the bowels of these seemingly abandoned vessels.
 
As it progresses a mystery slowly unfolds in the form of corrupted ship logs and strange environments. Meanwhile, dangers threaten to kill off the drones, the only tools available to sustain the player. Drones must be controlled by typing and hopping between them can be an absorbing task. The tension and learning curve created by the purposefully clunky retro interface lends itself to the horror - it really does feel like you're watching as your drones are taken out one by one with hope fading as each one goes offline.
 
 
Duskers is available on PC.
 
The Last Door
 
Are you a fan of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos? Do you have a soft sport for the works of Edgar Allen Poe? The Last Door draws upon both of those giants in the realm of literature to create its own rich contribution to the horror genre.
 
The Game Kitchen, the devs behind The Last Door, have actually created two seasons of this niche horror title, each consisting of four episodes. The first season follows the investigation of Jeremiah Devitt after he receives a letter from an old school friend and journeys to visit - only to find that an insidious force is at work and seems to be targeting his old associates. The second season serves as a direct sequel to the first, but to explain more would be to provide spoilers.  
 
While The Last Door certainly possesses some shortcomings commonly associated with retro adventure games, the journey and surprising effectiveness of its growing sense of dread are well worth the effort to overcome the game design obstacles that occasionally rear their heads. 
 
 
The Last Door Seasons 1 & 2 are available on Andorid, iOS, and PC, both as standalone collections and in-browser.
 
Lone Survivor
 
Lone Survivor released back in 2012 as a side-scrolling survival horror title. It attempts to walk the line between stealth and combat while painting a gruesome, engrossing world that constantly invites the player to question the sanity of the protagonist and the veracity of the world. The story centers on a nameless man in a surgical mask who must survive in a monster-filled apartment complex with no apparent logic to its construction. Players explore the world, encountering baffling characters and disturbing scenes. 
 
The game isn't so much a tour de force journey as it is a lengthy soak in madness. Its atmosphere has a darkly hypnotic effect that beckons players into Lone Survivor's twisted depths. It can take a little while to feel the title's hooks, but give it a chance in good faith and Lone Survivor will reward persistence.
 
 
Lone Survivor is available on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, and Wii U.
 
OverBlood
 
We've talked about OverBlood before. To be honest, it probably doesn't belong on this list because it simply isn't that scary by today's standards. What it lacks in spine-tingling thrills, OverBlood more than makes up for in sheer entertainment value as a so-bad-its-good game. Admittedly, people who enjoy playing games that are so bad they transcend badness and come back around to being worth playing represent a very, very niche group. But, if that's the kind of thing that you're looking for - the Troll 2 of video games - OverBlood definitely possesses the hapless charm necessary for a great night of failed scares and amazing character moments.
 
OverBlood tells the story of Raz Karcy, a man jettisoned from cryo containment only to find that he was never supposed to wake up. Mysteries unfold and friendships form as he begins to explore a seemingly abandoned research facility. 
 
 
OverBlood is available on the PlayStation One and PSN.
 
The Forest
 
While The Forest has been available for several years now, it is unique on this list in that it remains in Early Access on Steam. While many might be put off by the mere association of Early Access-ness, The Forest has both come a long way since its initial release and offers a unique horror experience. 
 
Players take on the role of a man who survives a plane crash on a remote island only to find that his son has been kidnapped by the cannibals that inhabit the island's underground caves and come out to hunt at night. A pretty straightforward set up, right? Things get complicated by the fact that The Forest is an open world crafting/survival game at heart. Players will need to survive in the wilderness, construct a base of operations, and learn to survive the hair-raising night attacks by the island's blood thirsty humans. The result plays like a fusion between Outlast and Minecraft. In fact, it's entirely possible to succumb to the island's ways and become a cannibal yourself and abandon the central rescue mission.  
 
I don't hear The Forest talked about much, but if you are put off by the fact that it remains in Early Access, keep an eye out for it to officially release sometime in the near future. 
 
 
The Forest is currently available in Early Access on PC and will be coming to PlayStation 4.

Jack Gardner

 
It's almost Halloween! In honor of the scariest of holidays, we tackle Frictional Games' landmark horror title Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Developed by a small team that had previously created the Penumbra series, Amnesia: The Dark Descent released in 2010 arguably creating the biggest waves in the waning horror genre since the release of the original Resident Evil. It featured Daniel, an amnesiac who awakens in a gloomy castle with a note from his past self urging him to make his way to the heart of the castle complex while avoiding a malevolent entity bent on his destruction. It possessed no combat mechanics, instead purposefully disempowering players, encouraging them to run and hide from the various dangers throughout Castle Brennenburg. 
 
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: Splatterhouse 3 'Call of the Mask' by Beckett007 (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01772)
 
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

 
The Steven Universe games are strange beasts. Save the Light releases tomorrow for PlayStation 4 and November 3 for Xbox One. It serves as a direct sequel to Attack the Light, which released on Android and iOS. That's the exact opposite of how most game series tend to work. On top of that, Save the Light will be the 15th game involving the characters from Steven Universe.  
 
Strangely, or perhaps less strange for fans of the hugely popular Cartoon Network series, the console adaptation of the franchise looks to be incredibly well put together. The aesthetic remains true to the show by adopting an almost Paper Mario-like style. The combat system also appears to be something that fans of classic RPGs and newcomers alike could enjoy with a variety of special moves, summon-like fusion forms, and unique battle mechanics that freshen up the hybrid real-time and turn-based battles.
 
 
Steven, Garnet, Pearl, Amethyst, Connie, Greg, and Peridot all join forces to save the light tomorrow on PS4 and November 3 on Xbox One.

StarkleSparkle

Chronic illnesses and long-term hospitals stays have lead a group of teens to use Extra Life as a way to provide comfort to other children and patients at a local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.  As a group of patients, ages 14-19 that are currently receiving treatments from McLane Children’s Hospital, and their siblings, these teens are on track to raise over $57,000 through Extra Life, to provide needed equipment and resources for patients.
 
While in the hospital for their own treatments, the group of teens met regularly to socialize, hang out in the hospitals teen lounge, and play games. Through these interactions with each other, the teens formed the Teen Advisory Board for the hospital, to help focus on the social and physical needs of patients. When they found the hospital had a greater need for assistance with donations to help provide patient care, the teens quickly shifted their focus to help fundraise for the items.
 
 
Extra Life was chosen as the fundraising platform because it gave them the online and mobile ability to raise funds while still undergoing treatments at the hospital. The teens used the peer-to-peer platform to raise money, while they played games in the teen lounge.  To date, the teens have raised over $30,000 to purchase a vein illuminator and a Blanektrol, all of which the teens have all been benefitted from.  
 
“It is remarkable to see a group of patients who have every right to focus on themselves choose to focus on how they can improve the lives of others around them,” said John Lauck, president and CEO of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “They are an inspiration to our entire Network as we continue to look for opportunities to save and improve the lives of kids.”
 
Check out Team McLane Children's Champions to learn more about these teens and their efforts for Extra Life. 


Jack Gardner

 
The first Metal Gear project without the guidance of series creator Hideo Kojima finally has an official release date. Konami's Twitter account made the announcement and revealed the list of pre-order bonuses players can receive should they buy before release.  
 
Metal Gear Survive shifts the focus of the series from single-player stealth to four player co-op. Taking place in the aftermath of Ground Zeroes, the followers of Big Boss are sucked into a dimensional portal to a new world inhabited by zombies. Four of the survivors of this incident fight to scrabble out a living and perhaps find a way home. 
 
Survive is different, to be sure. The departure from the series roots following the unamicable split between Hideo Kojima and Konami led to an outcry from fans deriding the title. However, what has been shown of the title shows promise - not necessarily strong stealth gameplay, but perhaps still as a solidly constructed, respectable game. 
 
 
The pre-order bonuses consist of the following:
 
4 gold plated weapons: Bat, Sledgehammer, Survival Machete and Survival Spear 4 metallic colored survival scarves: Green, Blue, Pink and Silver The thumbs up and happy gestures Mother Base nameplate The BOXMAN [THE ORANGE] accessory Kabuki face paint  

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

Jack Gardner

 
Remember the bright future of motion controlled gaming painted by Microsoft? It doesn't seem like it will be coming to fruition any time soon. In an interview with Co.Design, Alex Kipman, the creator of the Kinect, revealed that manufacturing of the Xbox 360/One accessory has shut down. Stores will be selling off their remaining stock of Kinects and that will be that for the device once heralded as the future of video games. 
 
After being introduced to the world in 2010, the device has sold over 35 million units. Despite an array of features and abilities, not many developers were ready to trust to the device for their games anything more than gimmicks like voice control or simple gesture recognition. In fact, the biggest success for the Kinect seems to have been outside of gaming in academia for the purposes of research and development of new technologies and techniques. 
 
What do you think? Was the Kinect too ahead of its time or was it simply a good idea that never really worked as well as it was supposed to?