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Jack Gardner
If you're one of the many people who purchased the Power Armor Edition of Fallout 76 with the expectation of high quality physical goodies, you were likely disappointed by the duffle bag that came with the more expensive version of the game.
 
Last week, buyers of the edition took to the internet to air their grievances. The bag that had been advertised was made of a sturdy canvas material, but Bethesda deemed that prototype to be "too expensive" and the nylon material was chosen instead - at least, according to one reply sent to a disgruntled customer. Another customer received a response claiming that "due to unavailability of materials" the company had switched from canvas to nylon. The company tried to cover its tracks by going back and changing the advertising images of the bag to show the nylon version, but the hand was already caught in the cookie jar. In an attempt to make nice, Bethesda offered players $5 of in-game currency as a way of apologizing - but fans weren't having it.
 
To rub a little more salt in the wound, it was revealed that Bethesda had given out the high quality canvas bag to important influencers - for free.  
 
The ensuing firestorm has darkened the internet for the past week along with other stories about problems with Fallout 76 (like roving bands of players killing other players while uttering homophobic slurs). Faced with a mounting vitriolic response and potential lawsuits for false advertising, Bethesda has taken steps to try and replace the bag.  
 
The company's support Twitter announced that they would be creating and shipping replacement bags for those who fill out the online forms requesting one. The tweet read, "We are finalizing manufacturing plans for replacement canvas bags for the Fallout 76: Power Armor Edition. If you purchased the CE, please visit https://beth.games/2QDropM and submit a ticket by Jan. 31, 2019. We’ll arrange to send you a replacement as soon as the bags are ready."
 
If the link doesn't work for you, you can head over to Bethesda's support website, help.bethesda.net. From there, navigate to the Fallout 76 section and select Billing / Purchase / Code. In the new menu, you'll find the form you'll need to fill out if you want a replacement for the Power Armor Edition's bag. 
 
Is replacing the bag enough to make up for Bethesda's attempt to save money or is it just the first step of many they will need to take to win back jilted fans? What would you like to see them do?
 
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Jack Gardner
Things were simpler in 1999. Everyone was worried about an apocalyptic computer clock error, people obsessed over Tang and talking animal movies, and video game ads could still reach a mass market via television. And so it was that Super Smash Bros. initially introduced itself to a generation of gamers - with four frolicking, bobble-headed mascots beating each other to the tune of "Happy Together" by The Turtles. The popular fighting game kicked off almost a decade of sequels with an ever expanding roster that includes the best characters not just from Nintendo but also the wider video game industry. 
 
So, let's look back on the game that started it all - is Super Smash Bros. one of the best games of all-time?
 
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: Super Smash Bros. 'FALCON PUNCH' by Benjamin Briggs (http://ocremix.org/info/CEO_2015:_Champion)
 
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
 
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
Have you ever wanted to own the source code to Leisure Suit Larry? Well, you can for the low price of $2,225 (as of this writing). Al Lowe, one of the leading figures at Sierra On-Line, has begun putting his vast collection of game dev memorabilia up for auction on eBay and people are going wild over it. 
 
The legendary Al Lowe worked at Sierra Entertainment during they heyday of adventure gaming and took leading roles programming and creating music for games like King's Quest III, Space Quest, and became the guiding hand of the lovable loser Leisure Suit Larry's failure fraught quest for love.
 
The 72-year-old legend invited game collector YouTuber Metal Jesus Rocks into his home to help determine what might bring in some money and go to loving collections. According to Lowe, Sierra never bothered to keep backups of its code or even copies - so his collection of source code for the Leisure Suit Larry games, Kings Quest III, and more are the only copies that exist on the planet. 
 
 
Currently, there are four items up for auction, though there's a strong possibility that more could be on the way. So far, the source code for Leisure Suit Larry I and II are up for sale and are going for over $2K apiece. Lowe also put up the game that inspired Leisure Suit Larry, an obscure Sierra game called Softporn. Finally, interested parties can bid on a Christmas card from the Sierra offices. Of course, all of these items come on floppy disks, even the company Christmas card.
 
Keep an eye on the collection for more being added in the near future. 
 
UPDATE: Lowe has added two items to the offering, both extremely rare Apple II games that are likely some of the last of their kind.
 
The first is Dragon's Keep, the first game Al Lowe ever created. It comes from an age when games came in bags instead of boxes. He created the game out of his own home with the help of his wife and sold it out of his home before Sierra bought the rights (and began packaging it in boxes). If you can get it running, it's an adventure game about overcoming a dragon's keep. Currently, Dragon's Keep is going for $1,225.
 
The second item has attracted a great deal of attention. Bop-A-Bet is another incredibly rare game, one of only 200 in it's bagged form. The game helps teach kids the alphabet by having kids go through a maze while bopping letters in the correct alphabetical order and then bopping a bunch of punching bags after the round is over for additional points. The bid for this item is currently lounging at a cool $10,000 so... someone out there really wants this educational game from 1982. 
 
Finally, the bids for both of the Leisure Suit Larry source code bundles have each topped $10,000, too, putting them out of reach for many out there. The Christmas card and the game that inspired Leisure Suit Larry are both still within biddable reach for dedicated game history aficionados.  
 
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Jack Gardner
It's truly a great time for indie games. The adventure genre was long dead, but the current state of the industry has allowed the classic style of game to experience a phoenix-like resurrection, exposing an entirely new generation of gamers to the thrill of storytelling and puzzle-solving many of the old guard of gamers were able to experience in Space Quest or even Zork. HomeBearStudio, a small Dutch game development studio has just released a beautifully illustrated adventure game, Nairi: Tower of Shirin, on both the Nintendo Switch and PC to delight both young and old gamers alike. 
 
Nairi: Tower of Shirin tells the story of Nairi, a girl from the upper crust of a society populated by both humans and animals. Losing everything she has, she winds up in the criminal underbelly of Shirin, an oasis in the middle of a vast desert. In this new, seedy life of crime, she meets Rex, a former gangster who left his old life behind to become a scholar. Together, the duo work to unravel the enigmatic mystery of the tower that sits at the center of their city.
 
Buoyed by an adorable cast of characters all lovingly drawn and animated, players will need to use their creativity and smarts to solve puzzles in this modern take on the classic point-and-click adventure genre. The Switch version allows players to play it traditionally or take point-and-click extremely literally and point their joy-cons at the screen to interact with the game. 
 
Overall, this game looks sweet and cute beyond words - plus it retails for $9.99. Check it out if you need some more indie spice in your gaming library.
 
 
Nairi: Tower of Shirin is available now for Nintendo Switch and PC.
 
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
You know the massive boss ships that float down from the top of the screen in classic bullet hell games? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play as one of those for a change? Now you can thanks to Spacewave Software's Rival Megagun!
 
Rival Megagun has two players competing against one another as they battle through SHMUP (Shoot 'Em Up) levels while trying to take one another out. When hitting certain power levels, players can cross the vertical divide to attack their opponent as a colossal boss ship - a Mega Gunship, if you will. 
 
Players can tackle the game solo against the AI, play against friends in local couch co-op, or take on all comers online. The game features a number of different playable characters each with their own strengths and weaknesses and unique Mega Gunship forms. There's also a solo play arcade mode for those who want to immerse themselves in the classic roots of the genre. As players progress through the Rival Megagun, they'll unlock new components and weapons for their various ships, enabling customizations and opening up devious tactics to spring on unsuspecting rivals.
 
 
Rival Megagun is available today for PC and PlayStation 4, November 30 for Xbox One, and December 12 for the Nintendo Switch.
 
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
If you're interested in turn-based 4X strategy titles, Praxis Games wants you to know about Interstellar Space: Genesis entering into alpha. The devs have touted the title as "virtually feature complete" and noted that they worked with Neon Dolphin and Grant Kirkhope, composer of such classics as GoldenEye 007, Banjo Kazooie, and Civilization: After Earth, on their space-faring soundtrack.
 
Interstellar Space: Genesis follows much the same premise of other space 4X strategy games (the four Xs stand for Explore, Exploit, Expand, and Exterminate) - players take on the role of a leader on a galactic scale and spread out into an unknown galaxy. There are tons of unknown dangers, both from alien empires and random events left by past or present civilizations across the sea of stars. Players will have to decide to pursue either peace or war when dealing with rivals. Will you rule the galaxy through bloodshed or with a gentle, guiding hand?
 
 The title features turn-based tactical combat augmented by the ability to go in and customize ships to fine-tune them to suit different needs. Players will be treated to a Grant Kirkhope musical score; something that's always a treat. Interestingly, each civilization will be given a random tech tree to spice up the different playthroughs, just one part of the many ways Interstellar Space seeks to differentiate itself. Players will be able to create custom alien races with their own unique needs and leaders. Colony management takes up a large part of the game, as does terraforming and diplomacy. Corner the market in asteroid mining or space tourism and use those funds to push even further into the unknowns of space. 
 

 
Praxis Games was founded by the duo who run Space Sector, a website dedicated to sci-fi strategy games, Adam Solo and Hugo Rosado. Mr. Rosado even worked for the European Space Agency as well as the private space sector. He commented on reaching the alpha stage of Interstellar Space: Genesis saying, "Space has been my passion since childhood. I was lucky to have a professional career in the space industry – at both the European Space Agency and private aerospace space company Elecnor Deimos. Now, I’m still in the space industry – but the venue is quite different: We are developing our first 4X title, and our launch is just within reach. Hopefully, everyone who gets to play this Alpha build will love it as much as we’ve been enjoying the development process itself!”
 
People who pre-order will gain immediate access to the latest build and help shape its future with their feedback. However, pre-orders will only be available through the Humble Store through December 16.
 
 
Praxis hopes to release Interstellar Space: Genesis for PC during the second quarter of 2019.
 
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
It appears that Nintendo will no longer be trying to shake money out of streamers and video creators. The company has announced that they are changing their policy on what is and is not acceptable use of their games on various media platforms like YouTube and Facebook. You can read the full list of changes along with a Q&A section for clarifications on the Nintendo website.
 
"We are humbled every day by your loyalty and passion for Nintendo's games, characters and worlds, and respect that you want to be able to express yourself creatively by sharing your own original videos and images using content from our games," reads the opening of their statement on the matter. 
 
A list of the changes to Nintendo's policy with some explanations and expansions:
 
"You may monetize your videos and channels using the monetization methods separately specified by Nintendo" - so far these include the ones included below: Facebook - Facebook Gaming Creators, Facebook Level Up Program Niconico Douga/Niconico Live - Niconico Creators Program, Niconico Channel OPENREC.tv - OPENREC Creators Program Twitch - Twitch Affiliate Program and Twitch Partner Program Twitter - Amplify Publisher Program YouTube - YouTube Partner Program. "We encourage you to create videos that include your creative input and commentary. Videos and images that contain mere copies of Nintendo Game Content without creative input or commentary are not permitted." - Basically, you can create Let's Plays, walkthroughs, and more as long as you aren't just reposting Nintendo content or silently playing through the game (though there's a strange caveat to that last point that allows people to post gameplay and screenshots if they use the built-in system features like the capture button on the Switch).  "You are only permitted to use Nintendo Game Content that has been officially released, or from promotional materials officially released by Nintendo (such as product trailers or Nintendo Directs)." - DON'T SNITCH "If you want to use the intellectual property of a third party, you are responsible for obtaining any necessary third-party permissions." - Nintendo doesn't have time to secure other companies permissions for some of its products, aint no one got time for the legality of other companies. "You are not permitted to imply or state that your videos are officially affiliated with or sponsored by Nintendo." - Pretty simple. None of that, "My uncle works at Nintendo so I am sponsored by Nintendo!" malarkey.  "We reserve the right to remove any content that we believe is unlawful, infringing, inappropriate, or not in line with these Guidelines." - This translates roughly to mean that they can still put copyright strikes on videos that they feel stray too far from these guidelines.   
Basically, the changes they announced mean that people will finally be able to stream and make videos about Nintendo games and receive the full revenue from those videos, which should be great news to all of the gaming creators out there.
 
This represents a big change from the Big N's attempt to capitalize on their fandom by automatically monetizing video content featuring its games on YouTube and pocketing the revenue - a system it updated in 2015 with its Nintendo Creators Program that offered participants 60-70% of the revenue from their videos.  It remains unclear at this time whether this means the Nintendo Creators Program will disappear entirely or evolve into something different. 
 
Honestly, this is pretty awesome. 
 
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
Encountering a magical being in need of aid, the party agrees to help in exchange for something to speed them on their way to Faragos and learn the fate of the traveling companions they left behind.
 
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.
 

 
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
Members of PlayStation Plus will be receiving a treasure trove of great games this month. Each of the currently active consoles connected with the service will be receiving two games each, and they're all incredibly solid and fun ones. The headliners for the month are definitely the PlayStation 4 titles. users will have the chance to snag the existential horror game SOMA as well as team racing title Onrush. 
 
SOMA comes courtesy of Frictional Games, the studio behind Penumbra and Amnesia: The Dark Descent. It weaves a strange and unique tale about sentience, robotics, and the nature of being, forcing players to grapple with questions that might threaten to keep them up all night. It's a horror game, certainly, but the horror largely eschews jump scares and instead builds its dread slowly, in a way that sticks with you long after the credits roll. Oh, and it is all at the bottom of the ocean, just in case you were looking for more water in your games.
 
Meanwhile, Onrush stands as a unique racing game that doesn't determine winners by who comes in first place. Instead, racers are divided into teams and win the various modes by performing enough stunts (Overdrive), passing enough checkpoints (Countdown), staying within a certain area on the race track (Lockdown), or a battle mode where each player has three lives (Switch). Onrush was developed by members of the same team that worked on the Motorstorm series. 
 
PlayStation 3 players will gain access to Steredenn: Classic, a sidescrolling roguelike and Steins;Gate, an adventure game/visual novel involving time travel that has spawned manga and anime adaptations in the years since it released.  Steredenn: Classic, if you've never heard of it, is similar to games like classic spaceship shooters like R-Type, but with a more modern style and roguelike elements that make each playthrough unique. Without spoiling anything about Steins;Gate... it's good, definitely check it out for some compelling drama and branching storylines.
 
 
Finally, the PlayStation Vita is getting some love! This month, PlayStation Plus members can download Iconoclasts, a sidescrolling metroidvania released this year (crazy, a game released on Vita in 2018!). Users can also grab Papers, Please, the highly acclaimed indie game from Lucas Pope, the developer who recently released Return of the Obra Dinn. Both games are truly quality indie games and it warms the cockles of my cold heart to see them available to a lot of people on the Vita. 
 
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
Tabletop gaming can sometimes be seen as the older brother of video gaming that's more set in its ways. We hear quite a bit about how indie game developers are pushing the visual medium in new directions, but there are people out there doing the same in the tabletop space. One such pioneer is Everest Pipkin, an artist, creator of a multitude of neat things, and sometimes game developer. Yesterday, Pipkin announced their latest endeavor: To create a tabletop game about building a world.
 
In a series of tweets, the developer outlined the basic premise and goals of the game. Titled the ground itself, 2-6 players spend a few hours putting together a world and its history. It can be a fun thing to do on a whim or as part of a larger world building effort for a different tabletop like Dungeons & Dragons or Exalted or any other setting into which someone might struggle breathing life. Players make use of simple gaming tools like decks of cards, a coin, a common six-sided die, and paper to help navigate  the ground itself's systems. 
 

 
"Fundamentally, [the ground itself] is about the echoes and traces that are left behind events- whether those traces are physical, social, emotional, or almost invisible. it is about dialing into the stories that are held in the physical memory of one single place," said Pipkin as part of their initial announcement.
 
When exactly the ground itself might become available for people to experience remains a tricky question, though Pipkin has said they expect to release the game within the next month (maybe in time for the holidays?). The game is currently undergoing playtesting to work out the kinks, but this seems like just the thing an old-hand at world creation might want to try with some of their friends to form a fresh world full of new possibilities in the coming new year.
 
Keep an eye on Pipkin's Twitter or Patreon for the official release date.
 
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
If you're in the market for a heartwarming and hilarious tale about a frog detective (and why wouldn't you be?) the latest game from Grace Bruxner and Thomas Bowker definitely delivers. The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game stars a detective who happens to be a frog as the trusty amphibian investigates a supposedly haunted island. No tricks, this isn't going to suddenly turn into a bloody horror fest or take a turn into uncomfortable territory like Doki Doki Literature Club. 
 
 
Seriously, this game's adorable. It's all about trying to figure out who or what is causing problems for a kindhearted sloth for cryin' out loud! It takes about an hour to complete and sells for $4.49 on Steam. It boasts impressive features like the following:
 
a frog lots of new friends to meet amazing and nice original soundtrack a great time to be had  
If those aren't intriguing video game features then I just don't know about you anymore, Todd.
 
The Haunted Island, a Frog Detective Game is available now for PC.
 
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
Wow, with all the hubbub around Pokémon Let's Go it can be easy to forget that the original Pokémon games that started it all released 20 years ago (or 22 years ago in Japan)! The phenomenon of pocket monsters continues to this day and seems to be losing very little steam. It has proven to be one of Nintendo's enduring juggernauts able to spin off into everything from disaster relief games to live-action sleuthing films. This week we invited Kevin Slackie on the show to talk about both the original Game Boy titles and their newest incarnation in Pokémon Let's Go! 
 
Also, apparently Jessie and James of Team Rocket fame are canonically 15 years old? There was a lot of weird stuff swirling around OG Pokémon.
 
And now to pose a question to all of you Pokémon Let's Go players out there: If you could only have one and the other was erased from existence, either Pokémon Red & Blue or Pokémon Let's Go, which would you hold onto? 
 
You can (and should) follow Kevin Slackie over on Twitter: @KSlackie
 
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: Pokémon Red 'Moondrops' by Sockpuppet (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02514)
 
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
 
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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