Shacknews - Brittany Vincent

Following the heroes of Marvel’s expansive comic book universe can be a difficult thing, but there are always familiar faces to look to in the publishing giant’s enormous catalogue. Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 takes a veritable menagerie of characters and sprinkles them throughout a kid and family-friendly adventure that puts even the smaller names in comic book history to good use.

The first Lego Marvel Super Heroes was a smashing success, so it was no surprise we’d be seeing another game following in its footsteps. Packing a ridiculous amount of characters (over 200, to be exact) into its core game, it offers several chances to play with heroes from your favorite series and find some new faces you absolutely adore as well. If you enjoyed the first game, you’ll find plenty to love here as well.

Getting By With A Little Help From Your Friends

Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 takes place four years after the first game, and Kang the Conqueror is now in Chronopolis doing his best to take over every world he comes into contact with. The Avengers are working to stop him, but Kang has found a way to thwart the team, creating several different portals between dimensions to invite all manner of enemies and other creatures into the world for the Avengers and friends to take on.

You can take up the mantle of several familiar Marvel heroes to push back Kang’s allies the best you can, such as Captain America, Gamer, Star-Lord, Doctor Strange, Spider-Gwen, and so many more. The diverse roster is unlike anything you’ve seen before in the Lego games, and if you have a favorite character, chances are they’re in this game. If you enjoyed the cinematic take on Guardians of the Galaxy, you’ll be pleased to know the gang’s all here, as are Black Panther, Ant-Man, Thor, and more. That’s no doubt the game’s immediate appeal, and you’ll thrill to see everyone in action, even if there are some characters you need to Google to get the backstory of. The game does a good job of filling in some of the missing details for you, though. 

Building Blocks to Success

The meat of the game is much like the previous Lego titles, with players starting at a hub to make their way to the next mission and completing side quests on the way there. The game opens up to allow players to explore Chronopolis further in true sandbox style, which offers plenty of content to wade through as you unlock additional characters with new abilities to continue progressing. You’ll need to swap out between heroes to solve different puzzles as you make your way through each mission, in true Lego game style, so not much has changed on that front.

What has changed is the option to create your own custom hero from scratch. Instead of playing as one of the preset heroes, you can make one with the abilities, appearance, and other aspects of your choosing. The customization options are based on what you’ve unlocked already throughout the game, but you don’t have to make an entirely new hero. Alternatively, you could make a hero that’s already in the game and give them powers you wish they’d always had in the first place. If you think Spidey would be better suited with some kind of ice powers, then it’s your prerogative to make that character, as cool as that is.

Speaking of cool, there are tons of collectibles to pick up on your way through each mission as well, so if you tire of busting through missions, you can pick up the astounding amount of collectibles nestled around the world as you move forward. That’s another mainstay from the last game and the Lego titles in general, so even if the game is a bit simple for more seasoned players, finding collectibles isn’t always a cakewalk.

Brick by Brick

The world of Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is great-looking, even if not everything is created out of Legos. All the characters are, of course, but the tradeoff is that you get more realistic environments to explore, which was a great decision on the game’s part. It adds to the level of polish that the excellent voice acting builds on. You’ll even hear Stan Lee’s iconic voice throughout the game in some areas, as he’s a “collectible” as well.

The only concern here is, like other Lego games and the previous Marvel title as well, the game can be quite simplistic and repetitive. You'll be completing essentially the same objectives over and over in different forms, but luckily there's excellent writing and the trademark Marvel humor you've come to love and expect. That ends up elevating it above other licensed titles, as well as the fact that it's a great game to kick back with and spend a weekend running through, especially if there are younger ones in your life who want to get in on gaming time with you. 

If you enjoyed the first Lego Marvel Super Heroes, there's no doubt you'll love this one too. If you're looking for a sandbox where you can play with just about any of your favorite Marvel characters you'd like, this is your stop. If you're looking for a challenge, look elsewhere. 


This review is based on the PS4 release. The game key was provided by the publisher. Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is available for purchase now for $39.99 on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Capcom is giving its fans something to be thankful for on this holiday week. The newest iteration of Puzzle Fighter is finally making its way to mobile devices on a global scale, giving people a new way to escape the politics conversation at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

The new Puzzle Fighter was first revealed at the end of August. This a fresh version of the old-school classic, developed by Capcom Vancouver. The mechanics remain mostly the same, with players building up gems and destroying them in order to take the fight to their opponents. The latest Puzzle Fighter iteration includes daily single-player missions, leaderboards, and new support character mechanics. On top of that, this game will go beyond the Street Fighter roster and reach into Capcom's vault of characters, bringing out Darkstalkers' Morrigan, Dead Rising's Frank West, Devil May Cry's Dante, Final Fight's Haggar, Mega Man X, and more.

There's even a Color Blind mode. Capcom has accounted for its color blind fanbase, accounting for any certain people's inability to distinguish colors.

Before flying home for the Thanksgiving holiday, maybe download this for what's sure to be a long week. Puzzle Fighter features purchasable Gem Stacks and character booster packs, but is otherwise free-to-play. Pick it up on the App Store and Google Play store.

Shacknews - Asif Khan

It doesn't really take much to convince a Shacker that CD PROJEKT RED is an awesome video game company. It was that love and respect for the company's games that lead The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to be named Shacknews Game of the Year 2015. The studio has been somewhat silent recently outside of handling complaints about the CD PROJEKT RED's crunch-like development cycles. This weekend they broke the silence about their upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 in response to a tweet claiming that the game would be a "game as a service" to make it more "commercially significant." Their response was pure gold.

It is refreshing to hear that the current landscape of loot crates and microtransactions has not affected CD PROJEKT RED's vision of Cyberpunk 2077. "We leave greed to others," could definitely be construed as a shot at EA after the tough Star Wars Battlefront 2 launch they have had with multiple stumbles regarding monetization of the game. Either way, it is refreshing to hear that Cyberpunk 2077 will be nothing less than The Witcher 3. If they can live up to that claim, it could very likely be Shacknews Game of the Year 2077.

Shacknews - Brittany Vincent

With the holidays fast approaching, Nintendo has finally gone ahead and let the cat out of the bag. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is debuting worldwide on mobile devices everywhere on November 22. That’s this week, if anyone was keeping track. Wednesday, to be exact!

You could be hanging out with all your new animal pals at your own adorable campground in just a couple of days — that is, if you didn’t already make an Australian App Store account and download the game ahead of its official launch.

The official @AnimalCrossing Twitter broke the news this evening, with Isabelle making the announcement personally. The latest Nintendo mobile title is going to make its official debut just in time for Thanksgiving campground tending and lots of mobile device obsession over the holidays.

That’s a good thing, in case your Uncle Albert wants to tell a whole bunch of boring stories about his vacation. We don’t really use slides anymore, but we definitely have phones and lots of storage, which might be worse.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp puts you in the shoes of a new campground manager, whose job it is to make sure your visitors are happy, entertained, and safe — and build the best darn camp area you can, of course. You can customize your own camper, make new animal friends, and even have your IRL friends visit. It’s going to be an absolute blast, and it’s about time to go ahead and jump into the game proper.

If you’re going to be checking it out, make sure you check back at Modojo @ Shacknews for some helpful tips to get you started. Even if you’re an Animal Crossing veteran, a few pointers could always get you in the right direction, you know. Especially with Tom Nook lurking around. 

Shacknews - Asif Khan

Last week, SEGA teased a Valkyria project announcement, and today they have announced Valkyria Chronicles 4 will be coming to Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch consoles in 2018. Check out the announcement trailer.

Here is the full press release:


Soldiers, strategists, and commanders--the call has come in from the front lines. It's time to rejoin the fight! The beloved Valkyria Chronicles series makes its grand return westward in 2018 with Valkyria Chronicles 4, a new mainline chapter in the saga for PlayStation®4, Nintendo Switch™, and Xbox One™. Return to a continent ravaged by conflict with a familiar-yet-refined tactical RPG battle system, a vibrant and evocative art style that portrays a living canvas of watercolors, and a gripping World War II-inspired story full of momentous triumphs, heartbreaking loss, and unexpected hope for the human spirit.   

It is the year 1935 EC... 

The continent of Europa is engulfed in the flames of the Second Europan War between the Atlantic Federation and the Autocratic Eastern Imperial Alliance. Although the Federation struggles valiantly against the Empire's forces, the relentless imperial military machine threatens to consume them. With victory slipping away, the Federation executes Operation Northern Cross: a last-ditch attempt to capture the imperial capital and end the war. 

Commander Claude Wallace and his loyal childhood friends in Squad E are sent to fight for the desperate operation's success, but they will have to endure harsh bone-chilling elements, waves of imperial soldiers, and the terrifying Valkyria... and unravel a grave truth that will shake them to the core. Valkyria Chronicles 4 Features:

  • A Coming-of-Age Story in a Time of War - Valkyria Chronicles 4takes place in the same timeframe as the original Valkyria Chronicles, but focuses on a whole new cast of main characters. Players will take command of the eager, young Commander Claude Wallace, engineer/heavy weapons extraordinaire Riley Miller, hotheaded Darcsen Raz, ice-cold ace sniper Kai Schulen, and more. Together, they will experience the painful realities of war--but will the bonds of Squad E's friendships survive the frozen battlefield?  
  • The Next Generation "BLiTZ" Battle System - The part overhead turn-based strategy, part RPG, and part real-time 3rd person shooter "BLiTZ" battle system returns to the field. New features include an explosive new class called the Grenadier, numerous offensive/defensive battleship support options, chances for a unit to have a "Last Stand" action before death, and more. Plus, fight the imperial threat with more units on larger-scale maps than ever before. 
  • CANVAS Aesthetics - The series' signature hand-drawn visual style is back and overhauled for the newest generation. Inspired by watercolor compositions, the CANVAS Graphics Engine blends visual elements of reality and imagination to create an expressive world filled with colorful emotions. Watch the journey of Squad E unfold like an interactive painting! 
  • The Return of a Legendary Composer - The illustrious Hitoshi Sakimoto, original composer of the Valkyria Chronicles series and countless other emotional epics, returns to provide a sweeping orchestral soundtrack for the game.

Valkyria Chronicles 4 will be available on PlayStation®4, Nintendo Switch™, and Xbox One™ platforms in the Americas and Europe in 2018. The game is not yet rated by the ESRB. Please visit the official Valkyria Chronicles 4 website for more information.


Fans of the series will have to wait until next year's release date to get their hands on the game, but Shacknews will keep you posted on any news from SEGA about Valkyria Chronicles 4 as it breaks.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

The annual MINECON kicked off on Saturday morning, celebrating all things Minecraft. As one would expect, viewers of the MINECON Earth livestream were treated to details about the world-builder's next update. And for that update, everyone's going under the sea.

Titled 'The Update Aquatic,' Minecraft's next update is being touted as the game's biggest one to date. Most of the focus will go into the game's oceans, adding new fish types, dolphins, coral, explorable shipwrecks, and also some new water physics to go along with all of it. The trident weapon is being added for underwater defense, along with new enchantments, such as the Loyalty enchantment that ties the weapon to its user, allowing anyone to call their weapon, like Thor with Mjolnir. The Update Aquatic is coming soon.

The Minecraft website has more details on everything revealed at MINECON. This includes 2018 delays for the Super Duper Graphics pack and the Nintendo Switch version of the game. Want to watch the whole MINECON Earth 2017 livestream? Check out the presentation in its entirety below.

Shacknews - Asif Khan

Welcome to the new Shackcast, the official Shacknews podcast of Shacknews. On the twelfth episode of the Shackcast, the gang talks about Star Wars Battlefront 2 microtransactions problem, Rocket League on Switch, GameStop's stock, The Game Awards nominations, and more with your host Asif Khan, co-host David Craddock and special guest Lola the Pom. Tune in to hear us jibber jabber about games, fast food, and having too many damn games.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Listen on iTunes Podcast App

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Now on Stitcher

Special thanks to Bombay Sitar for their unofficial and unpaid sponsorships of this episode of the Shackcast.

Shacknews - Kevin Tucker

This past week has been eventful for players fond of role-playing games: not only has Skyrim finally landed on the Switch as well as PlayStation VR, portable-oriented players have also just today been treated to the likes of Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. These two titles follow their forebears only by one year — one day less than a year, in fact — and though many would argue that's too soon to be releasing an enhanced version of a game, the truth is that they're perfect send-offs for a series soon to migrate to the Nintendo Switch.

Not all things are about Nintendo, of course, though we do understand feeling that way sometimes. This week we've also found some news regarding the mobile versions of the world's most popular soccer game franchises as well as an exciting new gameplay trailer for thatgamecompany's upcoming iOS- and tvOS-exclusive title. This critical information and only the barest of references to medieval weaponry await in the Modojo Rewind.

Of Catching And Training

Being mobile and portable-minded gamers ourselves, the biggest news this week concerned the recent release of Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. We were able to get our initial impressions of the games out early, and after experiencing all the sights and charms that the region of Alola has to offer, we are proud to offer our official review of Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

In a related note, Pokemon Go players were given some good news this week when the development team at Niantic assured fans that support for Pokemon Go won't be taking a hit by the work being done on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. That's not to say that they don't need more help, of course, just that they're "100% committed" to the continuing support of the AR-based hit.

Nintendo Switch Roundup

For Switch players, the big news this week was the inevitable release of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on Nintendo's hardware. Nintendo and Bethesda both made a big showing of the game running on a Switch before the hybrid console had even released, and after months of waiting, it's finally arrived. And, naturally, we dove head-first into Skyrim on the Switch in our review.

One of the big questions regarding Bethesda's breakaway hit RPG on the Switch was how many corners would need to be cut in order to get the title working on the system. Would graphics and gameplay be finely-balanced like an oak-shafted halberd, or would the power needed by an open-world RPG lead to a clumsy bludgeoning of the game's biggest features? As it turns out, Skyrim performance comparisons between the Switch and other consoles have been undertaken, and the results are fairly surprising.

Oh, and speaking of Switch game features — a new patch for Stardew Valley on the Switch has been submitted to Nintendo pending approval, and among the features is support for video capture, which could make Stardew Valley the first third-party Switch game to support the feature.

Mobile Kickoff

Soccer is one of the biggest sports on the planet, and any football fans who have played FIFA or PES know how addictive they can be. This undoubtedly meant that FIFA and PES would make their way to mobile devices, and now both franchises are ready to long pass into the new year. FIFA Mobile has introduced an all-new season alongside a newly-added campaign mode, and PES 2018 Mobile has been released providing players access to new Legendary athletes like David Beckham and the just-added ability to play with friends.

As for those who like their games a little less technical, Catan Studio has released a new text-based adventure game for mobile devices set in the Catan canon, which is interesting to say the least. Also, thatgamecompany has taken part in a new six-minute video that dives into everything there is to know about Sky, the upcoming Journey-esque iOS and tvOS title that was unveiled earlier this year at Steve Jobs Theater.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

It's not quite Black Friday yet, but that's not stopping the console shops from offering up some of the best deals of the year. Both PlayStation and Xbox are putting forth some outstanding pre-Black Friday deals. The catch is that they're only for Xbox LIVE Gold and PlayStation Plus members, so if you're already paying for those services, why not give these deals a look?

Also, it should be noted that there's a free Overwatch weekend going on right now. So jump right on in and consider picking the game up while it's on sale.

Here's our selection of this weekend's console deals:

Xbox One

The following games are a part of Xbox One Games with Gold/Deals with Gold. An Xbox Live Gold Subscription is required to receive these discounts.

The following deals are available to all Xbox One users.

PlayStation 4

The following deals are available to all users. PlayStation Plus members may be eligible for additional discounts.

  • PlayStation is gearing up for Black Friday. Come back next week for the full list of PS4 Black Friday deals. PlayStation Plus members, however, should keep reading below.

The following deals are available only to PlayStation Plus members.

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Wii U

Xbox 360

The following games are a part of Xbox 360 Games with Gold/Deals with Gold. An Xbox Live Gold Subscription is required to receive these discounts.

The following deals are available to all Xbox 360 users.

  • Come back next week for more Xbox 360 deals.

PlayStation 3

The following deals are available to all users. PlayStation Plus members may be eligible for additional discounts.

  • PlayStation is gearing up for Black Friday. Come back next week for the full list of PS3 Black Friday deals.

The following deals are available only to PlayStation Plus members.

Nintendo 3DS

PlayStation Vita

The following deals are available to all users. PlayStation Plus members may be eligible for additional discounts.

  • PlayStation is gearing up for Black Friday. Come back next week for the full list of PS Vita Black Friday deals.

The following deals are available only to PlayStation Plus members.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Earlier on Friday, Shacknews spotlighted this weekend's Rainbow Six Siege: Pro League Season 3 Finals. With this being such a big weekend for Ubisoft's tactical shooter, of course there's going to be a free weekend. On top of that, the game is on sale for the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, the Humble Store has kicked off its Fall Sale, GOG.com is offering up the Double Fine catalog, and GamersGate is getting the ball rolling on Black Friday just a little bit early. Check out the full list of deals below.

Here's our selection of this weekend's PC deals:

Amazon

Direct2Drive

Fanatical (Formerly Known As Bundle Stars)

Pay $3.49 for Carmageddon: Max Damage, Punch Club Deluxe Edition, System Shock: Enhanced Edition, Guts and Glory, Serial Cleaner, Final Exam, Monochroma, and Sudden Strike Gold. These activate on Steam.

Or pay $13.59 for Batman: Arkham Knight and all of its DLC. These activate on Steam.

Or pay $4.99 for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and all of its DLC. These activate on Steam.

GamersGate

GOG.com

Green Man Gaming

Humble Bundle

Pay $30 or more for Starbound, Darkest Dungeon, Minecraft: Story Mode, Stardew Valley, Move or Die, Duck Game, Her Story, She Rememered Caterpillars, Stronghold Legends: Steam Edition, DreadOut, Pony Island, Mighty No. 9, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, Arma: Gold Edition, Grey Goo, Sorcerer King: Rivals, Shadowrun Returns, Kholat, Primal Carnage: Extinction, Lakeview Cabin Collection, The Park, Magicka, Machinarium Collector's Edition, Jump Stars, Fearless Fantasy, No Time to Explain Remastered, and Psychonauts. Some of these games are only available in limited supply, so get them while they last. These activate on Steam.

Or pay what you want for Rebuild 2: Gangs of Deadsville, SimplePlanes, and Out of the Park Baseball 18. Pay more than the average $6.25 or more to get Mad Games Tycoon, Plague Inc.: Evolved, and Train Simulator 2017. Pay $10 or more to also get Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition. These activate on Steam.

Origin

  • Plants vs. Zombies GOTY Edition - Free!

UPlay Shop

  • Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege Complete Edition - $44.99 (50% off) (Base game and season passes also on sale.)

Steam

As well as regular discounts, Steam has a couple of additional weekend deals.

...

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