Shacknews - Steve Watts

It's almost February 14, and that means greeting-card-inspired love is in the air. This is the time of year that we see romance emphasized on TV and movies, but video games have had a rocky relationship with the concept of relationships. For as well as games have captured types of violence that aren't even possible, they've often struggled to represent real human connections, including love.

This week, the Chattycast talks about how love is represented in games--from highly-scripted stories like Final Fantasy to the CYOA style of BioWare's dialogue systems. What do games get right and wrong about love? How can they improve? What video game relationships have stood out the most to you?

Be sure to visit AudibleTrial.com/Chattycast for your 30-day trial with a free audiobook download of your choice.

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Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Today is a big day for followers of the Marvel Universe. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe proper has been building to its own climactic clash of heroes, the people at FOX have been working on stories revolving around Marvel's merry band of mutants, the X-Men. Among the rights it currently holds are for one Merc with the Mouth named Deadpool and today marks his official big screen debut. (Well, as long as you forget that… other thing he was in.)

While Deadpool's big screen presence has been limited over the years, he does have a few video games to his credit. So to celebrate Wade Wilson's taking Hollywood by storm this weekend, Shacknews is going to take a look back at some of his more memorable video game outings.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (2006)

Deadpool technically made his video game debut in Raven Software's X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse the year before this, but Activision's all-out event featuring all of Marvel's finest is where Deadpool truly stands out. Much of the appeal of this four-character dungeon crawler is assembling some of the all-time great Marvel teams: the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men. Everyone has united for the purpose of stopping Doctor Doom and the Masters of Evil in a conflict where the very world is at stake.

Then there's Deadpool, who's in it for the kills and the laughs. Ultimate Alliance uses Deadpool as some much-needed comic relief, especially if he's paired with fellow quipper Spider-Man. There's also a story reason for his presence, as members of his supporting cast, like Weasel, are assisting S.H.I.E.L.D. with the search for Doom and the Masters.

However, Ultimate Alliance also offers the perfect introduction to Deadpool for those unfamiliar with the Merc's antics. He can be found in one of the game's central hubs where a dialogue option will ask him why he treats everything like a joke. The answer captures Deadpool's character in a nutshell, expositing on his cancer diagnosis and his subsequent treatment from the Weapon X program that also created Wolverine. Deadpool was given an equally amplified healing factor, but as explained in the game, the process left him so scarred (both physically and psychologically) that his whacked-out humor is more than a result of psychosis. It's a coping mechanism, since the procedure would have driven lesser men insane (well… a different kind of insane than Deadpool's, anyway.).

Best Deadpool Wisecrack: "The day my father Odin banished me from Asgard, I was bitten by a vampire and had radioactive waste dumped into my eyes. To make matters worse, my mutant ability to control weather activated just as I was hit by a blast of gamma radiation. Nah, actually, I got this way by volunteering for the Weapon X program. They promised to cure my cancer. And they cured it all right, by giving me an outrageous healing factor. Then they labeled me psychotic and tossed me into a prison lab. So I escaped and became what some people might call a 'mercenary'. I prefer the title 'cleaner of the gene pool'."


Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 (2009)

Activision's second dip into Ultimate Alliance didn't feel quite as memorable. Part of that was the switch over to developer Vicarious Visions, but it was also because it was hard to build on the scope of that first game. So while basing the story on the Civil War story arc was a nice novelty, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 didn't offer that same pizazz as its predecessor. But hey, there was still Deadpool!

Deadpool didn't have as many memorable character moments or dialogue this time around. In fact, his best moment might have been when he first popped up in the story and ranted about cherry blossoms. Even Deadpool knew his role was somewhat diminished, which is why he decided to confront the Vicarious Visions developers during the game's end credits.

This confrontation stands out as one of the funniest moments of the game and perfectly illustrates what makes Deadpool such a fun character. It also wouldn't be Deadpool's last hostile run-in with a game developer, as we'll see shortly. Those curious about Deadpool's encounter with a game programmer can listen to the full scene here. (That's provided you don't mind spoilers, of course.)

Best Deadpool Wisecrack: "I refuse to say some clever quip because you set down the controller."


Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (2010)

In 2010, players got to explore four different versions of Spider-Man, including the one hailing from the Ultimate Universe. For those unfamiliar, the Ultimate Universe of Marvel Comics attempted to tell Marvel tales with a fresher, more modern twist. That also led to alternative versions of different characters, which includes Deadpool. The Ultimate version of Deadpool was an antagonistic mutant hunter and over the course of his plan to kill off the X-Men, he ran afoul of Spider-Man.

This game appearance represents Ultimate Deadpool's attempt at revenge. And while this version of Wade Wilson wasn't exactly the same fourth-wall breaking psychopath, he got to bring out his more humorous side by putting on a deadly reality television show. As one might surmise from reading this, Deadpool wasn't playable, but he was rather this stage's boss. As players navigated the level, they'd have to take out Deadpool's cronies while the Merc with a Mouth cracked wise in the background.

The stage would culminate with a one-on-one against Wade himself, as he'd use a dimensional fragment to amplify his power and split himself into three pieces. Aside from making Deadpool more powerful, it also meant Wade could literally tell jokes to himself, highlighting another aspect of his manic personality.

Best Deadpool Wisecrack: "I love this! Finally, someone to laugh at my jokes! Hey, what's green and makes noise? The Incredible Honk!"


Marvel vs. Capcom 3/Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (2011)

Deadpool didn't quite take off in mainstream popularity until well after the heyday of Capcom's "Vs." series. So when Capcom's best returned to clash with Marvel's mightiest, Deadpool definitely had to be on the invite list. Sure, the game had its fair share of loudmouths and jokers like Spidey, Devil May Cry's Dante, and Dead Rising's Frank West, but those are mere pretenders to Deadpool's crown.

Wade fit in like a glove with his array of powers and abilities. His katana and sidearms were perfect for special moves, while his teleporter allowed him to bounce around the stage. But not was Deadpool relentless with his one-liners, he also used the very fourth wall that he breaks so much as a weapon! His Level 3 Hyper Combo sees Wade grabbing his life bar and clubbing his opponent over the head with it before whacking them into the distance. It's still one of the oddest and funniest attacks seen in a fighting game.

Best Deadpool Wisecrack: "I just beat Mag-freakin'-neto! Where yo' curleh mustache at?"


Marvel Heroes (2013)

In the spirit of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, Gazillion gathered together the farthest corners of the Marvel Universe for its first MMORPG. Naturally, Deadpool needed to be a part of the action. Like in Ultimate Alliance, he's a valuable source of comic relief, but this time around, the solo nature of the game helps capture the 'mercenary' idea much better.

Gazillion has also gone a few steps further in helping capture the spirit of who Deadpool is through his various character builds and skill trees. Players can specialize in Wade's firearms and heavy weapons (Hurty), his potent hand-to-hand combat and his expertise as a swordsman (Fighty), or his craftiness on the battlefield that sees him utilizing traps and other unexpected methods (Tricky). The developer has also honored the various phases of the character's life, offering costumes for Detective Deadpool, Pirate Deadpool, X-Force Deadpool, and even Lady Deadpool.

Deadpool isn't done getting love from the Gazillion team, either. As part of the jump to Marvel Heroes 2016, Deadpool received a character revamp that's offered up new animations, effects, and nine new moves for the battlefield.

Best Deadpool Wisecrack: "I'd sing some Black Sabbath right now, but the bean counter says we spent all our money on writers. What a waste."


Deadpool (2013)

Well, if any game was going to spell out just what it means to be Deadpool, it was this one. After reviving the Transformers franchise from the drudges of movie tie-in junk, High Moon Studios set out to do Wade Wilson justice. That didn't just mean an action game. It had to be an adult action game.

While Wade's other game appearances have been friendly for all ages, this game (much like the movie hitting theaters today) needed to be for a more mature audience. Hence, this is Deadpool's first and only M-rated game. And boy, did it nail everything on the Wade Wilson checklist. Fourth-wall breaking? Check! Ultraviolence? Check! Naughty swear words? Check-a-roonie!

Voice actor Nolan North was certainly no stranger to this character by this point, but he was truly allowed to cut loose here with some of the funniest dialogue given to the character in a game yet. The jokes not only gelled with Deadpool and his existence as a comic book character, but it even took shots at the nature of video game development itself. The game started off with Deadpool getting threatening messages on his answering machine from High Moon for blowing their budget and essentially ruining them (a joke that, in hindsight, maybe isn't so funny today), while a later scene follows up on this by briefly sticking Wade in a top-down 8-bit adventure, since that's all that the studio could afford. There's a later sequence that sees Deadpool pumping so many exploding kegs into an area, he breaks the scripting in the stage. The only trouble here was that sometimes the jokes came at the expense of the gameplay. For example, Deadpool joked during the endgame sequence about repetitive, monotonous battles and lazy design, but at the end of the day, the player still actually had to play those repetitive, monotonous battles. That's part of the reason that Deadpool's game, while doing total justice to the character, wasn't quite the masterpiece that we hoped it would be.

But time, much like Wade's healing factor, heals all wounds. Three years later, Deadpool's first game is mainly remembered as an exemplary (if imperfect) showcase for this marvelous character, which is part of the reason that Activision brought it back for next-gen consoles. Those looking for an idea of what an R-rated Deadpool will look like in the movie theater should first take a look at the Deadpool game, which delivers a lot of that same adult humor. While High Moon suffered heavy layoffs after the game's development, the studio ultimately put together the best love letter to Wade. Hopefully, the film will do well enough that another conversation can be had about giving Deadpool another shot at his own game.

Besides, what's Wolverine got that he doesn't got?

Best Deadpool Wisecrack: "That's what happens when you mix C4 with a bean burrito! Now be honest... I'm not the only one with a little bit of s*** in my pants, am I?"


Any favorite Deadpool gaming moments you'd like to share? Join the conversation and leave some in the comments.

Shacknews - Josh Hawkins

XCOM 2 is filled with various types of currencies and materials that you’ll need to do things throughout the game. But the most important of those currencies is Intel. Intel can be gained a different number of ways. You can gain it each month from the Council, and you can also gain it from Scanning remote areas that pop up on your map as the days pass.

You can also gain Intel by completing certain Research tasks like Analyzing ADVENT Datapads and other equipment that you team picks up from the various missions you’re sure to undertake. Perhaps the easiest and most fruitful way to gain Intel, however, is to return the Avenger to the Resistance Base and Scan from there.

The only real downfall to this, aside from boring yourself just sitting there watching that line spin in circles, is that the Avatar Project waits for no one, and each day that passes will push the timeline forward without you being able to stop it. This makes scanning from Resistance HQ something that should be done in moderation, as you wouldn’t want to let the Avatar Project get too far ahead.

Shacknews - Josh Hawkins

With the addition of buggies as a new means of transportation in Dying Light: The Following, Techland has added an assortment of decorative paint jobs throughout the expansions massive countryside landscape. This guide will help you find each and every paint job available in the newest area of Dying Light.

Due to the complicated and large nature of the game world we will be featuring several images for each paint job to help you locate it as easily as possible.

Blue Gentleman Paint Job

To find this paint job you’ll need to find an apartment located on the southern side of the coastal city.

Enter through the ground level entrance and then climb up to the first floor to find the spray cans between some chairs.


Juli Paint Job

This paint job can be found in a single lonely yellow house north-east of the large lake. Look for a chest on the above the steps on the upper floor.


Limited Edition Paint Job

To find this paint job you’ll need to head to the Volatile Hive located in the tunnel north of the lake. Once inside, keep to the left until you find a corridor. Then turn right and follow this corridor until you spot these spray cans in a box at your feet.


Mother Paint Job

You’ll find the Mother paint job at the Children of the Sun mansion just after you complete the mission where you first meet mother. Head down the stairs and look in the north-eastern corner.


Hussars Paint Job

The Hussar’s paint scheme can be found in the safehouse located close to the massive power dam in the map’s south-western area. Look for a wooden table in the backyard to find these cans just waiting to be picked up.

This guide is a work in progress. Check back often for new paint job locations and other updates

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Developer VBlank Entertainment wrapped up its 2015 by unveiling the upcoming sequel to Retro City Rampage, called Shakedown Hawaii. As it looks to wrap up this follow-up to the 8-bit Grand Theft Auto-style romp, a new teaser trailer was released to give players an idea of what's coming to the 3DS.

In terms of story and gameplay details, this new teaser doesn't add much to the original. It further establishes the atmosphere of going from a bustling metropolitan city to a tourist resort town, while retaining the top-down shooting and drive-by chaos of the original Retro City Rampage. VBlank Entertainment is not revealing the full story details at this time, but notes that there will be "much more to it than the driving and shooting."

While the trailer below shows what Shakedown Hawaii will look like on Nintendo 3DS, the game is also set to hit PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

The folks at Studio Wildcard are quite serious about bringing a comparable ARK: Survival Evolved to consoles. In fact, the Xbox One version of the survival game is about to get a special feature that the PC version does not have: couch co-op.

Yes, the latest Xbox One update will introduce split-screen multiplayer functionality, so that two players with Xbox One controllers can jump online and work together. Studio Wildcard is touting split-screen as an Xbox One-exclusive feature that can be used both online and offline.

Local players can also crack open some beers, both in real life and in the game, with the introduction of beer as a consumable item. Xbox One owners can now craft beer kegs, just as PC players can.

In fact other aspects of that same PC update are now available on console, with Xbox One players able to tame Gallimimus, Dimetrodon, and Dung Beetles. They'll also find some new inventory items, like SWAT-style Assault Armor, Electric Prod stun batons, and Greenhouse glass structures.

As for the PC crowd, they'll continue to get new dinosaurs, but Studio Wildcard is handling a major issue there first: cheaters. The developer has implemented the BattlEye Anti-Cheat system, which will run on all official servers. Unofficial servers will also have the option to run this protocol using the '-UseBattlEye' command. More information on this can be found in the Steam Announcements page.

ARK: Survival Evolved is available as part of the Steam Early Access and Xbox Preview programs. An official launch is still slated for this summer.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Prior to last week's Super Bowl, Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch announced that he would be retiring from professional football. Lynch is a former Super Bowl champion, but has been present on television in recent years, thanks to his quirky personality. One place Lynch has been seen has been in a couple of Call of Duty: Black Ops III trailers. Remember this?

Treyarch remembers Lynch and that's why the developer was among those looking to honor for the former Seahawk and pay respects to 'Beast Mode.'

YouTube personality Chaos stumbled onto Treyarch's tribute for Lynch in Call of Duty: Black Ops III. A recent update to the game saw the developer place the number "24" in dozens of spots across the multiplayer map, Combine. Chaos details what the Combine map looked like prior to this update, with generic station numbers placed across the facility. But in order to pay tribute to Lynch's trailer work and his affinity for Call of Duty, Treyarch replaced all of those numbers with "24." (And yes, Activision did confirm that this was done in tribute to Lynch. This is not just Treyarch suddenly expressing how much they love Jack Bauer.)

It's a fun little easter egg and one that can be seen in the video below.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

You thought you could escape Deadpool! But your chances of escaping the Merc with the Mouth are about the same as you turning on the TV and not hearing the words "X Gonna Give it to Ya!" Deadpool is everywhere and that includes the weekend's console deals! He's all over everything called Xbox or PlayStation. (Not Nintendo, though. Court order says Deadpool must stay 500 yards away from Mario and Princess Peach at all times.)

Okay, there are a few games on sale that don't star a wisecracking mercenary. PlayStation users can find a big-time Flash Sale going on right now, while Xbox Live Gold users can find Mortal Kombat X on Xbox One, and Nintendo users can find a wide range of indie games on sale for Wii U. Check out the full list of deals below.

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

Xbox One

The following games are available to all Xbox One users.

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.

PlayStation 4

The following deals are available only to PlayStation Plus members.

Nintendo Wii U

Xbox 360

The following games are available to all Xbox 360 users.

  • World of Tanks Currency Packs on sale here.

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.

PlayStation 3

The following deals are available only to PlayStation Plus members.

Nintendo 3DS

PlayStation Vita

The following deals are available only to PlayStation Plus members.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Well, we've reached the end of another Steam sale. So then what's left to get excited about if Steam is recovering from its latest big sale? Those still looking for some deals can find the biggest fall releases still heavily discounted over at Green Man Gaming, while Ubisoft has relaunched its UPlay shop and is celebrating President's Day with the best games from its catalog. And if you absolutely must buy something from Steam, there's always Deadpool. I hear he has a movie out this weekend. Check out the full list of deals below.

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

Amazon

Bundle Stars

Pay $1.99 for Drive to Hell, Gunnheim, SkyDrift, The Apogee Throwback Pack, Crimsonland, Alien Breed: Impact, Ubersoldier II, and Super Cyborg. These activate on Steam.

Or pay $3.49 for UnEpic, Freedom Planet, Nether: Resurrected, King Arthur's Gold, Insurgency, Outcast 1.1, Surgeon Simulator - Anniversary Edition, Super Win The Game, Dungeon Defenders, and Dyscourse. These activate on Steam.

Or pay $14.99 for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and its DLC packs. These activate on Steam.

Direct2Drive

GamersGate

GameStop

GOG.com

  • Blackwell Bundle - $2.99 (70% off)
  • Blackguards 2 - $6.99 (70% off)
  • Other games in GOG.com's Daedalic/Wadjet Eye sale, including Deponia and Richards & Alice, can be found here.

Green Man Gaming

Use the code FEBURY-SVINGS-20PERC to get 20% off your purchase. Some exclusions apply.

Humble Bundle

Pay what you want for Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Grow Home, and Rayman Origins. Pay more than the average $8.45 to get Far Cry 3, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist, Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. Pay $15 or more to also get Assassin's Creed Rogue and The Crew. Pay $75 or more to also get Tom Clancy's The Division (pre-order), a Tom Clancy's The Division T-shirt, and three Humble Store coupons for 66% off any three Ubisoft titles. These games activate on either Steam or UPlay.

Origin

  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted - Free!

UPlay

  • Assassin's Creed Syndicate - $35.99 (40% off) (Gold Edition and Season Pass also on sale.)
  • Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege - $44.99 (25% off) (Gold Edition, Collector's Edition, and Season Pass also on sale.)
  • Child of Light - $3.75 (75% off)
  • Watch Dogs Complete Edition - $15.00 (70% off)
  • Far Cry 4 - $16.00 (60% off) (Gold Edition and Season Pass also on sale.)
  • The Crew - $14.99 (50% off) (Complete Edition, Wild Run Edition, and Season Pass also on sale.)
  • Other Ubisoft games in UPlay's President's Day Sale can be found here.

Steam

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

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Valentine’s Day is on Sunday, and whether you like it or not, people are going to be extremely lovey dovey if you decide to go out into public spaces. Couples will be courting one another up and down the avenues and we’re sure you’ll see a bouquet of roses before the work week starts up again.

Regardless if you’re celebrating this weekend’s festivities by paying more than you know you should for a Valentine’s Day dinner, Sony wants you to save some money with its latest Flash Sale. This weekend’s sale discounts a number of noteworthy titles, like Battlefield 4, Divinity: Original Sin, Resogun, Far Cry 4, Diablo III, and many more.

Many of these games can be enjoyed with a co-op partner, like LEGO Jurassic World, Rayman Legends, and Army of Two. But if you prefer to beat the living snot out of your loved one, games like Street Fighter Alpha 3, The Jackbox Party Pack, NBA JAM, and Injustice: Gods Among Us will surely make things awkward for you and your lover after you completely annihilate them.

This weekend’s Valentine’s Day deals will be available from now until February 15 at 11am PT.

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