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    Patch 8.2 PTR - Gnome Heritage Armor Quest Chain

    Curse
    By Curse,
    Patch 8.2 PTR - Gnome Heritage Armor Quest Chain
    The Gnome Heritage Armor quest chain is now available for testing on the PTR. It requires you to have a level 120 gnome that is exalted with Gnomeregan to start the chain.

    • The quest "Shifting Gears" can be picked up from Ace Pilot Stormcog by the Stormwind Embassy. He says that the Alliance has made a new request for Gnomeregan's might in the war and asks you to meet Captain Sparknozzle in New Tinkertown, the starting area for the gnomes.
    • There you find out that the Alliance is willing to fund a new aerial task force, the Gnomish Elite Aerial Rangers (G.E.A.R), and you are to be the lead of the test team. You then introduce yourself to your team, Fizzie Tinkerbow, Cog Captain Winklespring, and Emaedi Autoblast.
    • You are then tasked with retrieving the Prototype Arcane Engine within Gnomeregan's Engineering Labs. What follows is a trek through the halls of Gnomeregan, avoiding broken robot explosions and faulty gas pipes. You also are attacked by giant spiders and leper rats along the way.
    • When you make it to the prototype engine, you find that it is being guarded by a mechanical dog named Lass-E x12. After destroying the dog and claiming the engine, a security alarm goes off and you escape back outside via a teleporter nearby.
    • When you give the engine to Captain Sparknozzle, he states that he sent the team to investigate a distress call from Fizzlecrank Airstrip in Borean Tundra. There you find out that troggs have attacked and must take care of them with a prototype bomber gun attached to your back. The gun will either fire a missile or an exploding mechanical chicken when you use the extra action button.
    • After killing 10 troggs, you find out that an intelligent trogg named Krugg the Smart stole a Defendo-bot and you are tasked with using the bomber gun on him as well, finding a broken communication device on his corpse.
    • You present the device to Fizzi and help her get her machine working by flicking a lever. The device shows a hologram of Telzo Sparkspanner, an assistant to the deceased Thermaplugg. He is behind the trogg attacks! The signal is coming from Storm Peaks, so you and your team take to the skies in your airships to track him down, finding out that Telzo wants revenge on all followers of Mekkatorque for the events of Gnomeregan.
    • When you arrive at the Storm Peaks, the tracker goes haywire and you are forced to land, using a cloaking device to stay hidden from the Ironbound troggs that are invading the area. You then take control of a spider tank with a rail gun and flamethrower to dispatch some troggs while the tracker is fixed. You eject from the tank and use a helicopter jet pack to reach your airships, and find out that Telzo is inside the Halls of Stone. You then command an airship to shoot the armies of troggs below before being struck and sent crash landing into the Halls of Stone.
    • Your crew and you then take on Telzo, who is inside his mech the Smasher x900, which launches electric goop at you, send balls of electricity flying in your direction, and puts up a shield that blocks all frontal attacks. When it is defeated, Telzo ejects saying that the titan defenses are under his control, but he is killed during his speech.
    • You then return to New Tinkertown and receive the Heritage of Gnomeregan along with the G.E.A.R. Tracking Beacon, which functions the same as the Flight Master's Whistle but summons your G.E.A.R airship instead.

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    Mortal Kombat 11 Makes Difficulty Adjustments To Towers Of Time

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
    mk11_jax_gear2.jpg

    After hearing complaints about the progression system in Mortal Kombat 11, especially how difficult it is to complete the time-limited Towers of Time, NetherRealm promised the other day to make behind-the-scenes adjustments to fix these issues. Today, in a release day Kombat Kast, they detailed exactly what that means.

    To begin with, enemy health, which can often be 10x what your character has, will be lowered to be a lot more achievable. Modifiers that shoot in from the background, like missiles, will be blockable and fire off less often. They are still looking into the frequency and value of rewards and will make various adjustments to that over time. Overall, the difficulty is lower for this mode, but they still want it to feel hard, just not as if the game is cheating you out of a victory.

    NetherRealm does stay firm on the idea that they do not ever want to sell anything that can affect gameplay and they are not going to sell anything to unlock chests in the krypt. In addition, all players will be getting a stimulus package containing 500,000 coins, 1000 souls, and 1000 time krystals, the latter of which is used to buy premium outfits. That update will be out later this week.

    You can find our review of Mortal Kombat 11 right here and read our argument for why NetherRealm should allow custom variations into the game's ranked mode.

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    Do Not Expect More Content For Devil May Cry 5 Anytime Soon

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
    dmc5_screens_lady_png_jpgcopy.jpg

    Capcom has always had a reputation of putting out new expansions for games in new forms, whether it be fighting game revisions or content updates like Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen. The Devil May Cry series has seen its share of this, as well. Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition retooled the game and added extra content like a playable Vergil; Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition took a few years but added multiple playable characters to the mix; even DmC: Devil May Cry got a retooled and rebalanced Definitive Edition on newer consoles.

    It would make sense that Devil May Cry 5, Capcom's extremely successful fifth game in the series would very quickly get some new content, perhaps in the form of more playable characters from the game's story as maybe DLC. It turns out that's not so, as it looks like development for the game has more or less wrapped, according to producer Matt Walker, who appeared on Twitter last night to answer fan questions.

    Unfortunately dev on DMC5 is finished. I'd personally like to see the ladies playable too. We can only hope that at some point we can convince the people up top that it's worth doing.

    — Matt Walker (@retroOtoko) April 23, 2019

    This does leave the door open for a future Special Edition down the road, but at the moment, it doesn't look like there's anything more being worked on for the game. A tweet earlier this month from director Hideaki Itsuno seems to indicate that, now that Bloody Palace mode is out, he has already moved on to whatever his next project may be.

    It was a joint cherry-blossom viewing of the DMC 5 team and the new project team.
    DMC5チームと新チームの合同お花見でした!#DMC5 pic.twitter.com/9BJvBTLHyN

    — Hideaki Itsuno (@tomqe) April 9, 2019

    Before the game's launch, Itsuno also said that he was given the choice between Dragon's Dogma 2 and Devil May Cry 5 and chose the latter. We could theoretically be in for another seven year wait for a special edition of Devil May Cry 5, but if it means there's a Dragon's Dogma sequel in the middle, I can live with the wait.

    Devil May Cry 5 is currently available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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    Super Mario Maker 2 Launches On June 28

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
    mariomaker2.png

    Nintendo took to Twitter today to announce that Super Mario Maker 2, the sequel to the Wii U's Mario creation suite, will be arriving in late June. This means you can go through E3 without worrying that Super Mario Maker 2 will be distracting the entire industry.

    Let’s-a go! Let your imagination run wild as you make and play the Super Mario courses of your dreams when #SuperMarioMaker2 launches for #NintendoSwitch on 6/28! https://t.co/TnK9rQwRJi pic.twitter.com/eSJfb7JSPj

    — Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) April 24, 2019

    It is a little odd to suddenly drop the date for the game out of nowhere without actually saying much about the game yet. We know that Super Mario Maker 2 contains slopes, very likely has multiplayer, probably has Toadette, has a 3D World skin, and it's hard to really know for sure what else. Hopefully Nintendo will find the time to detail the rest at some point before release.

    On the plus side, Super Mario Maker 2 is the next major Switch game out, so now we have a release date for it.

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    Starlink Coming To PC, More Star Fox Content Coming To Switch Soon

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
    STLK_Screen_Scanning_180611_230pm_1528725717.jpg

    It has only been a few weeks since Ubisoft's Starlink team announced that, in light of the game's low sales, they wouldn't be producing any more new toys for the game's toys-to-life lite title. But it's not like Ubisoft to give up on a game when they could keep it alive, so Starlink will still get supported in the future, and we have more of an idea of what that support will look like now.

    As was announced at a previous Nintendo Direct, the next Switch-exclusive piece of Starlink content is more Star Fox-related missions, this time centering around a story of Star Fox's teammates pursuing the rest of Star Wolf's team. You can check out a trailer for that paid expansion below.

    Click here to watch embedded media

    Crimson Moon as a whole is a free update, including new pilots, ships, racing tracks, and weapons. The Star Fox part, which is obviously exclusive to Switch, will cost $11.99 as DLC. Both updates arriving on the same day next week on April 30.

    In addition, Ubisoft is bringing Starlink to PC. While the game is perfectly playable without the physical toys, if you already own the controller attachment from either the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 versions, that will be compatible with the PC. The PC version will have all the content of the console versions, Star Fox aside, and will also launch on April 30 alongside the Crimson Moon update.

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    Mortal Kombat 11 Review – A Disgusting Delight

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    ss_5b88f071939e32c790dd9e84890d9c197956a

    Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
    Developer: NetherRealm Studios
    Release: April 23, 2019
    Rating: Mature
    Reviewed on: Xbox One
    Also on: PlayStation 4, Switch, PC

    In each new Mortal Kombat installment, we look on in horror as combatants are dismembered, mutilated, and devoured in disturbing and comedic ways. Even when their bodies are reduced to unrecognizable heaps of flesh and bone, most of these characters find ways to bounce back into fighting form for a sequel, making it seem like the war between realms will never end.

    Mortal Kombat 11 repeats this bloody dance, and is even more ridiculous in its narrative setup than previous entries. A new character named Kronika is messing with the timestream and wants to rewrite history, so characters don’t just kill their enemies – they also kill the past versions of their enemies. The champions of each realm are divided; good guys turn bad, bad guys stay bad but unite with their past selves to do even more ambitious bad things, and all kinds of glorious chaos erupts. Key characters die, some come back from the past, and it all ends up being a hell of a ride. It's silly in the best ways.

    mkrta.jpg

    This time-travelling narrative is sharply written, offering a number of clever era-specific jokes, such as an older and wiser version of Johnny Cage having a serious chat about decency with his younger self. The story also slows down to have heartfelt moments, and I’m not just speaking about a freshly squeezed heart beating in someone’s hand (although that does happen). This dramatic tale is huge in scale, powerful in its surprising twists, and appears to be written with the words “The End” in mind. This story delivers a legitimate conclusion to the saga. If another sequel ever come to fruition, it will likely begin from a clean slate. NetherRealm Studios does a nice job of wrapping up character arcs and bringing this epic battle to a close.

    The concept of retreating to the past dovetails into the combat, unlockables, and modes. Plenty of modern ideas are woven into the combat, like customizable move sets and gear to level up, but the flow of the battle hits more of a classic Mortal Kombat tone. Characters generally move faster than they did in Mortal Kombat X, but the removal of the run button results in a slower and more nuanced fray. Creating combos and managing space are still at the heart of combat, but new offensive and defensive meters offer up strategic choices mid-fight, such as cashing in energy to amplify a special move. Using Crushing Blows to increase damage based on meeting certain conditions is another strategic layer. If you’re on the verge of death, a powerful last gasp comes in the form of the ridiculously violent Fatal Blow (replacing the X-Ray move), which chips away at your enemy’s health as their body is shredded. The Fatal Blows are a little too long, but increase the tension and can give you a shot at a match that may not have started well.

    Click here to watch embedded media

    The combat absolutely hums, and NetherRealm does a fantastic job of communicating every little facet of it through extensive tutorials. The idea of spending time in tutorials may not sound fun, but they are excellently crafted and break down everything from frame data (how long it takes to start a move) to character-specific lessons (like teaching you how to master Scorpion’s Hell Port). Spending 15 minutes in them for your character of choice will help you immensely, especially in figuring out which moves you bring into battle. Being able to customize your move set is an awesome addition that gives you ownership over your characters.

    Finish a tutorial and you may get a new costume for that character. Complete a Tower of Time and you could be showered with coins, consumables, and augments. Players are rewarded for almost every action they make in Mortal Kombat 11, but the gathering of goods isn’t satisfying most of the time. The vast array of unlockables ends up being a problem considering how low the odds are of getting what you want. Most rewards are hidden in chests that offer a random selection of stuff. Not all chests are random, but most are. You are at the game’s mercy, hoping it delivers something of note for a character you use. On one hand, you can sink a ridiculous number of hours into this game and continue to earn new things. On the other hand, if you just want to unlock gear for Sonya Blade, it’s a crapshoot with terrible odds.

     

    The chests you open are all located in the Krypt, a sprawling maze that you explore from the third-person perspective. Just navigating the Krypt can be confusing, but you encounter a number of interesting (albeit simple) puzzles along the way, and I love the nostalgic trappings (like Goro’s Lair, complete with the corpse of the big guy). The Krypt is a fun little game in itself, pushing you to hunt down items to progress. As you do this, you come across those damn chests. One chest may require 6,000 coins, another demands 250 hearts, and a third 100 souls. The abundance of currency types is an annoying aspect that needlessly dilutes your earnings and leads to far too much grinding. Even if you get a mask you want for Sub-Zero, you may not have augments that fit it, which requires more grinding.

    NetherRealm fully anticipated this, and incorporated Injustice 2’s A.I. battle systems to allow players to earn stuff without even touching the controller – but only five times per day (outside of their general use in the Towers). This is completely optional, but oddly, some character skins can only be unlocked through A.I. battles, which again offer random rewards. Pushing you to earn rewards by having the A.I. play the game for you is a bad idea.

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    You have no easy paths to the loot you want, unless those items show up in the premium store. This marketplace uses its own currency type that is doled out in minimal quantities, but (you guessed it) can be obtained in bulk with real money. The entire loot system has a disgusting feel to it, which is a shame because the combat and variety of challenges are damn good.

    The Towers of Time embrace more of an old-school design (in showing you exactly what you’ll be rewarded most of the time), and deliver fun rotating challenges over the course of a day. You just have to move quickly to get what you want before the Tower disappears. The challenges in the Towers are good fun, and throw different fighting conditions at you in each match. In the first bout, an opponent may summon Kabal to lend a hand for a hit or two, and the next match may take place in an arena with fire shooting out of the floor. To overcome the increase in difficulty these fights bring, you can use consumables to create combat augmentations of your own, like giving your punches electrical properties, or the ability to recover 50 percent of your health. The challenges can be a workout, but they offer an incredible amount of depth and are legitimately enjoyable to play. Sadly the consumables you use are gone after one use, so you have to ration them.

    The Towers also reward you for finishing matches with Fatalities and Brutalities. I can’t emphasize just how violent and crazy these finishers are. NetherRealm clearly put a lot of thought into making them as ridiculous as possible, and you can’t help but laugh at just how over-the-top they end up being.

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    A variety of versus modes are offered for offline play, and you can also battle online casually, in private lobbies, or in ranked matches. The online play was mostly stable, but I did run into matches that were nearly unplayable due to my opponent’s terrible connection. I also ran into a few instances where I would be kicked out of modes (even the Krypt) when my online connection was lost.

    Mortal Kombat 11 may have loot issues, but the combat has never been more rewarding. You can finish the entertaining story mode in one sitting, but getting the gear for the character you want could end up being more of a time-stealing tale than the one the game tells.

    Click image thumbnails to view larger version

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    Score: 8

    Summary: Mortal Kombat 11 shines in its combat and story, but struggles in its delivery of loot.

    Concept: The past and present unite to create one of the deepest and most satisfying Mortal Kombat experiences to date

    Graphics: We used to gawk at the blood and gore, but Mortal Kombat 11’s eye-stealing qualities are the detailed facial animations and colorful backdrops

    Sound: Ronda Rousey doesn’t click as Sonya Blade, but most of the voice work is solid or appropriately campy. The sounds of violence and agony may also be a little too good

    Playability: Signature Mortal Kombat special moves and combos with customizable move sets and plenty of challenges to complete. The flow of combat is fantastic. Easily the best playing in the series

    Entertainment: Most of the content is amazing and fun, but the loot issues and microtransactions come close to being a self-inflicted Fatality for NetherRealm

    Replay: High

    Click to Purchase

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