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Jack Gardner
Vane, an upcoming indie game courtesy of developers who previously worked on The Last Guardian, thrusts players into the skin of a bird who can take the form of a young child to explore the ruins of a decrepit civilization. Created by the folks at Friend & Foe Games, players will have to delve deeper and deeper into the mystical ruins of a culture long gone (or is it?). The trailer seems to intentionally remind the viewer of minimalist titles like Ico and Journey.
 
Vane comes to us courtesy of Friend & Foe Games, a studio founded in 2014 by several developers who have worked on titles like the previously mentioned The Last Guardian, but their pedigree also includes action-oriented games like Battlefield 3 and Killzone. Despite the impressive credentials, the studio isn't a large one. Their website only lists a team of eight who have worked on Vane. They also seem to have another project in the works; an arcade brawler titled Dangerous Men, though not much is known about it at this time.
 
As far as the story goes, all we know is that a pile of mysterious, golden dust transforms a curious crow into a young child. Armed with curiosity and the ability to transform back into a bird form, the kid begins to explore a vast world filled with wonder, excitement, danger, and dread. Mysterious technology begins to churn to life at the child's approach, reshaping the world as they continue their journey to who-knows-where. As the journey continues, who knows what shape the barren desert might take as it awakens. 
 
 
If you ever wondered what Ico would be like if you could turn into a bird and were exposed to existential terror, Vane might be right up your alley. in many ways it reminds me of Rime, last year's indie game about a child exploring a strange world from Tequila Works. That's some high praise given that Rime was flippin' great. Also, the synth music buoying the action in the above trailer is just excellent.
 
Vane will release on January 15 for the PlayStation 4. 
 
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Jack Gardner
League of Legends was once the most played and most popular game in the world. To this day, it enjoys a colossal following that most games can't even dream of matching. Let's dive into the history of the MOBA genre and discuss some of the game's best qualities and biggest faults. 
 
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: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening 'Sweet Dreams, Koholint' by DaMonz, Christine Giguère, Denis Bluteau (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03825)
 
You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well!
 
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
 
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Jack Gardner
Sonic the Hedgehog will be coming to the big screen in November 2019 and the official movie poster has made its way to a debut on IGN. Some interesting tidbits were dropped in the handful of quotes they were able to snag from people working on the production - it's totally worth a read if you have the time.
 
And without further ado, feast your eyes on the full Sonic the Hedgehog poster:
 
 
The poster reveal comes on the heels of a teaser trailer shown in Brazil that had the audience "agitated" and... yeah, that sounds about right. I'm anxious and excited and more morbidly curious than ever before to see what exactly this incarnation of Sonic will look and sound like. The team clearly intends for the hedgehog to be a more realistic take on the character than ever before, with hair effects and some updated running shoes that clearly had a lot of time and effort put into their design. Also, his hands. Look at them. Sonic is supposed to wear big, dumb gloves so that he doesn't have freakishly human-sized hands when compared to his massive noggin! OH NOOOOOO-
 
This live-action Sonic film stars Ben Schwartz as Sonic, James Marsden as a human sidekick named Tom Wachowski and Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik. The story, what little we now know about it, seems pretty straightforward: Sonic finds himself in the modern day world, befriends Tom Wachowski, and makes an enemy of Dr. Robotnik. Also, there will supposedly be sections of the film that don't take place on Earth, which hints at some interesting directions for the story. 
 
Also, apparently the realistic approach for Sonic's design means that they took a more grounded approach to the blue blur's eyes. What exactly that means is unclear since the poster doesn't reveal the character's eyes. Hopefully this creative gamble pays off in a charming character we can believe in and not some sort of eldritch monstrosity that haunts the popular zeitgeist for decades to come. 
 
We'll find out when Sonic the Hedgehog races into theaters on November 8, 2019.
 
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Jack Gardner
Spoiler alert: Both machines rely on emulating games made for other consoles and handhelds.
 
Soulja Boy has taken it upon himself to enter the console business by launching two new pieces of hardware with his name attached. Under the brand SouljaGame, the rapper released the SouljaGame Console and the SouljaGame Handheld, both of which seem to be part of a larger effort on his part to put together a line of branded products that includes the SouljaWatch, SouljaPad, SouljaPhone, and SouljaPods. While certainly an interesting business move, observers have noted the similarity all of the products bear to high profile knock-off electronics that can be found on services like Wish or Alibaba.
 

 
Compare the SouljaGame Console on the left to the Product X PRO 4K Video Game Console found on Alibaba
 
The reliance on emulation stands out as perhaps the most shocking part about the launch of these devices. The SouljaGame Console comes packaged with 800 console titles and promises to play games intended for SouljaGame, PlayStation, NeoGeo, PC, Sega, Game Boy Advance, and NES games. The console also claims to be capable of outputting 4K resolutions. Meanwhile, the SouljaGame Handheld comes stocked with 3,000 titles and claims to play games intended for Nintendo Switch, 3DS, PlayStation Vita, NeoGeo, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advanced. 
 
Setting aside the dubiously legal nature of emulation as an explicit purpose for a commercial product, the console itself seems to be a slightly repackaged version of the Product X PRO 4K Video Game Console. Both share almost exactly the same specs, right down to the built-in library of 800 games and the support of TF memory cards up to 32gb in size. Both consoles even make use of controllers that appear to be wholesale ripoffs of PlayStation's controller designs. 
 

 
As for the SouljaGame Handheld, it's even more of a mystery. The handheld's massive library seems to be an eclectic grab-bag of titles with the games advertised on it ranging from something that looks like an Incredibles game from the Game Boy Advance, an untranslated Pokemon game, Golden Sun, Sonic Racing, and more. It also claims to have download support and the ability to play games on the handheld on the television via a "connerting cable." The device seems like it can also play videos as it boasts MKV and AVI file support.
 
Honestly, I don't know what to make of this. I don't think I could recommend anyone go out of their way to buy either of these machines, but I also can't deny that I have a morbid curiosity that makes me want to experiment with this strange collection of devices. On the other hand, with the recent revelation that Sony's PlayStation Classic runs on emulation, boasts fewer games, and is easily hacked, maybe there's a market for a dedicated emulation machine with a much larger library?
 
What do you think of Soulja Boy's ambitious foray into the console and handheld markets? 
 
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
Will the woeful saga of Fallout 76 ever end? If you'll recall, earlier this week Bethesda announced that they would indeed be offering replacement bags for those who bought the Power Armor edition of Fallout 76 and were dismayed by the cheap nylon of the bags as opposed to the sturdy canvas bag that was advertised. To do that, customers were directed toward Bethesda's support site where they could fill out a form for a replacement. 
 
The only problem? Due to lax security on the support site, some people who filled out the form were given access to the data of other customers. 
 
The leak has since been fixed, but the data of over one hundred people was visible to some customers seeking their rightfully owed duffle bag. That information included emails, addresses, partial card numbers, and the types of cards used. It remains to see how or if Bethesda will make up with its customers for this particular goof. For the moment, here's a gif of their likely internal strategy.  
 

 
Since the initial reporting of this security breach, Bethesda has released two statements about its internal investigation into the matter:
 
 
After a brief investigation, Bethesda updated the community again with a statement you can read below:
 
 
How do you feel about Fallout 76 after all these kerfuffles and a rocky launch for the title?
 
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! 

Jack Gardner
According to Brazilian entertainment website PremierLine, Paramount Pictures debuted a teaser trailer for the upcoming 2019 Sonic the Hedgehog film at the São Paulo Comic Con. The teaser hasn't quite made its way online just yet, though there are some interesting details from PremierLine's account of both the teaser itself and the audience reaction to it.
 
The teaser begins with a close up on the face of Sonic which the site compares to the stylings of the upcoming Detective Pikachu film. It's "textured and realistic" which... I'm not sure if that's what fans of Sonic the Hedgehog are looking for in their zippy hero flick, but maybe I'm off-base with that assessment. After the close up, Sonic begins running and breaks the sound barrier with a boom to conclude the teaser.
 
It's not much to go on. Interestingly, the PremierLine describes the audience as "agitated" which doesn't sound good. However, that could also be a poor translation, so we'll have to wait and see for ourselves. Supposedly the teaser will drop for other regions later today.
 
The Sonic the Hedgehog film will be hitting the big screen on November 8, 2019.  
 
Is a realistically styled Sonic the Hedgehog something you want in your live-action Sonic film? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments.
 
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! 

Jack Gardner
Up until yesterday, Destiny 2 players were encountering a certain bug when trying to complete the Inverted Spire strike mission. Under certain conditions Protheon, the Modular Mind, would grow to over three times its original size making for one of the most unexpected and hilarious encounters in the game. 
 
Unfortunately the most recent update to Destiny 2 prevents Protheon from attaining his previous gains. The normal sized Protheon is still bigger than the player, but not awe-inducingly big. This has caused some fans to jokingly take up the hashtag #BringBackBigBoy as a way of requesting that the oversized alien come back in some form or fashion. 
 

 
We will see if Bungie decides to include some Bigboi easter eggs in future patches, which might not be as far fetched as one might think. Their response to the fans was to tweet out a video of the glitch in action and roll with the Bigboi name.  
 
"This week we fixed an issue where Protheon, Modular Mind, the boss of the Inverted Spire strike, grew three times his normal size. You asked for video evidence so here's your "bigboi" in action," read their tweet on the subject, followed by some jokes in the replies about how big the robot had become. 
 
 
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Jack Gardner
Back in 2015, a small, four-person team based in France launched a Kickstarter with the modest goal of raising $44,000 to create a game in the classic JRPG mold. Their pitch for their dream game wound up bringing in almost four times that amount and development on Edge of Eternity began. Three years later and a team of nine people, Midgar Studio has released the Early Access version of Edge of Eternity along with a development road map - and the game certainly looks impressive as heck.
 
Though released to the public, the Early Access version of Edge of Eternity remains very much in its alpha stages. It only includes the first chapter of the story that will bring players on a journey through the first major area of the game built around the hub city of Herelsor. The first portion of the Edge of Eternity's Early Access includes six self-contained sidequests and a number of procedurally generated quests alongside the main story. It will also contain a portion of the soundtrack composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, the man responsible for the soundtracks of Chrono Trigger, Xenoblade, and Shadow Hearts.
 
The actual gameplay in Edge of Eternity combines classic open world roaming with turn-based tactical battles that rely on an innovative hex system. Players will explore, level up, and unlock new abilities by using a system that seems similar to Final Fantasy X's ability grids. With each major update milestone, the gameplay systems will be expanded upon and deepened with new abilities, items, and more.
 

 
Edge of Eternity takes place on the fictional world of Heryon, a planet in turmoil following an invasion of technologically superior outsiders known as the Archelites. In order to survive, the nations of Heryon banded together under an organization called the Consortium and managed to trap the invaders within their mobile fortress by turning to the powerful magic found within the crystals native to their lands.
 
The war entered a prolonged stalemate for decades until the invaders released a new weapon: The Corrosion. The plague ripped through the cities rendering those afflicted with it to develop strange mechanical mutations while slowly going mad from the agony of the disease. In an effort to combat the incurable sickness, those who brew too close to technology or made unauthorized use of it would be labelled as criminals and sent to their deaths.
 
Edge of Eternity follows Daryon, a soldier for the Consortium who receives a fateful letter from home telling him his mother has fallen ill with the Corrosion. That knowledge spurs Daryon down a path at odds with the forces around him. Through a twist of fate, Daryon meets the renegade Selene, a young woman on the run after being found guilty of illegal use of technology. The two will need to rely on one another to survive in a world of war and monsters.
 
Interestingly, Midgar Studio will also be including a set of modding tools for Edge of Eternity called The Eternal Forge that will come with a built-in mod manager. I wouldn't typically think of JRPGs and extensive modding, but the possibilities mixed with the solid foundations of the game itself.  
 

 
Following this initial release, here's what to expect coming as free updates in the near future, bearing in mind that each major update will include new zones, sidequests, monsters, items, and abilities.

The Plains of Solna - Late February 2019 - Another section of the open world with a new city named Old Herelsor, the devs describe a farm "sheltering a very, very special creature," too. 

The Reunion - Spring 2019 - A new segment of the open world with an entirely different environment biome, a dungeon, and a continuation of the main story 

The Man who survived the Corrosion - Summer 2019 - A new city with expansive quest support and a new party member (it is a JRPG after all!)

“As a small indie team of nine people, making an epic JRPG adventure is a huge and work-intensive task. We believe that the labor done so far and its results are already quite an achievement, but we’re still a long way away from getting the game to where we want it to be,” said Jeremy Zeler, founder of Midgar Studio. “Following on from our successful Kickstarter campaign, launching Edge of Eternity into Early Access allows us to further involve our community through the development. It allows us to get direct feedback on new story content, new areas of the game world, the general feel of the game as we expand and build towards the full, polished release our fans and followers are expecting us to deliver.”
 
 
Edge of Eternity is currently available for PC players through Steam Early Access. People who buy it now will be able to help squash bugs and offer the team suggestions to shape development as the title heads for its full release on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
 
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
The adventuring party descends into the subterranean ruins of an orc lair in search of an artifact they can use to free a wizard from the clutches of a dangerous cult. What fell purpose might lurk in the creeping darkness below?
 
We Wanted Adventurers is a liveplay Dungeons & Dragons podcast that follows a motley trio of unlikely heroes as they bumble into adventures both big and small across the fantastical continent of Nevarrone. For the uninitiated, a liveplay podcast features an unscripted recording of a traditional tabletop roleplaying game, with all of the goofs and drama that comes with the territory.
 

 
"Aftermath", "Scissors", "Werq"
Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
 
You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. You can follow the show on Twitter for updates. Let us know what you think of the show! We know that some parts of it are a bit bumpy, but I hope it doesn't get in the way of your enjoyment as we all learn and grow together. Thank you for listening! 
 
New episodes of We Wanted Adventurers will be released every Wednesday
 
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
Epic Games is rolling in cash courtesy of Fortnite, the cool thing the kids are playing these days (or so some cool kids tell me). What exactly has it done with all of that moola? Use it to start a digital storefront designed to compete with the likes of Steam and Good Old Games. 
 
"For the past five years, we've been building tools enabling Epic to bring our games directly to players. We built the Epic Games launcher on PC and Mac featuring Fortnite and Unreal Engine; we built a worldwide digital commerce ecosystem supporting dozens of payment methods; and we gained great economies of scale thanks to Fortnite's growth," said Tim Sweeney in his initial announcement of the Epic Games Store. All of this has put Epic Games on track to launch their storefront. 
 
The main selling point that Epic Games wants everyone to be aware of is their dedication to showing fairness to developers who sell games on their platform. A major part of their announcement states that all developers will earn 88% of the revenue from sales on the Epic Games Store, a piece of information that was accompanied by a chart comparing an their 12-88 revenue split to Steam's 30-70 (or 30-55 in some cases) split. 
 

 
The graphic also makes it clear why Epic Games is pursuing a piece of the digital distribution market: Devs that make use of Unreal Engine 4 automatically pay 5% of their game's revenue to Epic, but if Epic sells those games on their own platform, they can up that cut to 12% regardless of game engine, all while getting good PR for sharing more revenue with developers who sell through their store. It's a win-win relationship for Epic and those who sell through them. 
 
Given that Epic now has strong ties to an entire generation of gamers through Fortnite and the Epic Games launcher, this makes complete sense. They have the technological infrastructure, a readily available pool of customers, and the unique position to reap larger profits while attracting more developers. Another benefit will be a more curated atmosphere that lacks on a service like Steam that has already opened the development floodgates for practically anything to make it onto the platform. Sweeney wrote that the service will help devs reach their players by giving users a newsfeed that will update with information and updates from developers. 
 
Developers will also be able to reach out to streamers, vloggers, and bloggers through Epic's Support-A-Creator program to help get the word out about up-and-coming indies. The somewhat murky part of this is that through this program content creators will be able to receive a cut of the revenue (determined by the developer) from purchases made using their referral links. The first 24 months of the service will see Epic Games covering the first 5% of the revenue shared with content creators, so that's pretty neat. 
 
Sweeney's announcement was a bit lacking in details regarding exactly when the service would launch, though more details will be coming on Thursday, December 6 during The Game Awards. The Epic Games Store will first launch for PC and Mac before spreading to Android devices and beyond over the next year.
 
Are you excited for a new digital store in the mix? Is a bigger revenue share for the devs enough of an incentive for you as a customer to switch over to Epic? 

Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
Growing out of a group of podcasters who left IGN, Kinda Funny Games has become something of a force in the game industry due to the popularity of their shows and the massive support of their fans through Patreon. The lovable presence of Greg Miller, Nick Scarpino, and Tim Gettys has fueled their rise - along with a keen sense of when to seize an opportunity. When Sony announced that the PlayStation Experience would not be happening this year, the team began crafting their own industry show to fill the void the indie-oriented PSX had left behind.
 
“I’ve always loved how Geoff’s Game Awards dovetail with PlayStation’s PSX. The Game Awards take care of all the huge news, announcements, and trailers, and then PSX offers a lower key, fan/dev-focused event where other — often smaller — games can shine. With it taking 2018 off, we thought it would be a great opportunity to take it upon ourselves to offer game makers a platform to celebrate their work.” said Greg Miller one of the co-hosts of the Kinda Funny podcast. And what a celebration they have planned.
 
The showcase will make a splash having lined up over 60 titles to share with the world during the hour-long Twitch livestream. Several titles shown during the broadcast will be released to the world simultaneously, which certainly lends the showcase an extra bit of intrigue. So far Sega, Humble Bundle, Devolver Digital, Drinkbox Studios, and Bithell Games have all confirmed to be attending and bringing something (or perhaps multiple somethings) to present to the world. 
 
“The whole Kinda Funny team are champions of positivity and kindness within games culture,” said Mike Bithell (Thomas Was Alone, Volume). “When Greg told me they were working on a showcase to celebrate games and those who make and play them, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it. I can’t wait to see what they’ve made, and I can’t wait to share a fun surprise with their fantastic community.”
 
You can catch the Kinda Funny Games Showcase this Saturday, December 8, at 10 AM on the company's Twitch channel. 
 
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
This has been quite the year for THQ Nordic's acquisitions. So far, the publisher has bought up Deep Silver's parent company, Koch Media, Bugbear Entertainment, and Coffee Stain. With those companies under its belt, the expansion of THQ Nordic now controls, and seems to have plans for: The Saints Row franchise, the Metro series, Kingdoms of Amalur (a really interesting buy, to be sure), ReCore, Alone in the Dark, Wreckfest, and Goat Simulator just to name a few of their higher profile properties - which doesn't include all of the IP already under the company's belt. And with the acquisition of Carmageddon from Stainless Games THQ's expansion isn't slowing down anytime soon.
 
It's safe to assume that buying up all of these properties means that we can expect to see remasters and entirely new games in these franchises. With Carmageddon, though, this is likely the first move in making a brand new entry in the series. The last title, Carmageddon: Reincarnation, released back in 2015 and had a lackluster reception despite a successful crowdfunding campaign. All things considered, the franchise is primed for a comeback in another three years - conveniently the amount of time it would take to develop a reboot or sequel. 
 
For those unfamiliar with Carmageddon, the franchise began in 1997 with a racing game that offered a number of different ways to win its races. Players could play traditionally, destroy all of the other racers on the course, or run over all of the pedestrians in the level. The violence inherent in the last option was used to comedic effect by the game, though it caused a great deal of controversy around the world. Various international versions of Carmageddon changed the pedestrians to zombies or robots while countries such as Brazil banned the game completely. Eventually it was released on PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo 64 - though the latter two featured heavily edited versions of the game to comply with Nintendo's family friendly policies which have since... *eyes Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus on Switch* relaxed. 
 
Are you excited to see Carmageddon getting a second (or third) chance at success? It seems like a quirky racing title with an emphasis on destruction could do pretty well alongside the Forzas and Mario Karts rolling around these days. 
 
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

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