Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

There are very few complaints from the Shacknews community about Dark Souls, largely considered by them to be one of the best games in recent years. One of those grievances, however, is the unwieldly Games For Windows Live support. The problem was compounded further when the service was officially discontinued earlier this year. Bandai Namco has finally stepped in to address this by migrating the game to Steamworks.

According to the Bandai Namco Tumblr page, Dark Souls owners will get the option in November to redeem their existing Games for Windows Live tokens in exchange for a Steam copy of the game. Players will have a limited period to transfer over their characters and progress, with a cutoff date yet to be announced. Expect more specific date ranges to be announced in the coming weeks.

Thanks to poster harvord for the tip.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Harmonix is one of the first developers most people think of when it comes to music-based games. No studio has understood what it means to feel the rhythm in games quite like they have. Years after they decided to go the independent route, 2014 looked to be a banner year for the Boston-based developer, particularly with Disney's Fantasia: Music Evolved hitting stores today. With next-gen consoles came a rejuvenated Harmonix, ready to bring their unique grasp of the music genre to the Xbox One.

Prior to E3, Shacknews checked out Harmonix's Xbox One slate. On top of Fantasia, the Dance Central franchise was set to make its return in December. Harmonix appeared to be in high spirits, ready to face the months ahead with two games set to take advantage of the Xbox One's Kinect sensor, a tool that Microsoft made clear was the centerpiece of their next-gen console experience.

Fantasia showed great potential with a vibrant world that came alive with the aid of music, not unlike the classic Disney film. The setting was whimsical, the music remix idea was a novel one that encouraged multiple playthroughs, and co-op made for a genuinely intriguing couples activity. It wasn't a perfect experience, because of some issues with Kinect readings, but the concept appeared to be solid. It had also shown considerable improvement, from the time I saw it at last year's San Diego Comic-Con, to the day I went hands-on again with the game during this year's Game Developers Conference, to the most recent GameStop Expo when I tried out a near-finished copy. With a mix of a beloved property and an experienced studio, Microsoft had something uniquely suited to its peripheral.

Unfortunately, days later, Microsoft pulled an Xbox 180. After a year of hyping up the capabilities of the new Kinect sensor and pointing to it as the justification for the Xbox One's $499 price point, the publishing giant did a major about-face and announced that future Xbox One packages would come without Kinect for $100 less. In an instant, the Kinect went from essential must-have for the next-gen Xbox One experience to a glorified paperweight. Instead of taking gaming to the future, Microsoft quietly condemned their creation as a mere gimmick.

Former Harmonix PR director John Drake's tweet that was issued at the time of the announcement said it all. As Kinect's biggest supporter, nobody stood to lose more from this announcement than Harmonix. Microsoft wasn't about to help out, either. They were quick to distance themselves from Kinect, to the point where Gamescom came and went without a single mention of the ill-fated sensor. Consequently, both Dance Central Spotlight and Disney's Fantasia: Music Evolved were quietly shuffled out with little to no fanfare. Harmonix was essentially left to fend for itself.

At the end of the day, however, the studio stands to grow stronger.

Harmonix will continue to support Dance Central and Fantasia with DLC, but their Kinect obligations are now largely behind them. This means they can now move forward with a clean slate, free to explore other gaming avenues. The studio has not allowed itself to be pigeonholed, as evidenced by other games on their docket. The iOS autorunner Record Run released earlier this year to tap into the mobile audience, while A City Sleeps applied Harmonix's musical talent towards the world of bullet hell. Though they've acknowledged that it needs a significant overhaul, Chroma eventually aims to bring music gameplay to first-person shooters.

Then there's Amplitude, which was funded nine days after the Kinect announcement. The reboot of the beloved franchise will indeed live again, with Harmonix recently releasing a gameplay video to show their progress. Amplitude not only represents a return to a past success, but because it was fan-funded, it gives them the total autonomy that they so greatly desired when they bought their own rights back from Viacom back in 2010.

Of course, one can't discuss Harmonix and the past without discussing their greatest success, Rock Band. Rumors of the series' triumphant return continue to persist, with PR communications lead Nick Chester addressing the series as recently as this past weekend in an interview with Forbes. Chester reiterated that the series would return "when the time is right," but that time may be looming closer than ever. Dance Central Spotlight has already cracked the nut of handling past-generation DLC by re-constructing it from the ground up and offering it to past buyers for free. A new Rock Band may not be coming tomorrow, but with a solid foundation of games in place, the developer is now in a far better position today to start thinking about the future of that franchise.

Who knows? There's still a chance Microsoft might do right by Harmonix in the end. With Black Friday a month away, there's always a chance that a standalone Kinect bundle with downloadable copies of Dance Central Spotlight or Fantasia may be in the cards. Whatever happens and whatever song comes on next, Harmonix remains standing with a bright future ahead.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Overkill Software is continuing their Crimefest celebration for hitting 1.5 million in their Steam Community Group with even more free stuff for Payday 2 users. Today, the studio and publisher 505 Games have announced that the event will culminate with movie tie-in content for the upcoming film John Wick, offering a chance to play as the character himself.

John Wick will be added to Payday 2 as a free playable character with tomorrow's update. Unfortunately, he will come without any Keanu Reeves-isms. He will, however, come with a new perk system called Hitman that allows him such abilities as Akimbo, letting John Wick dual-wield weapons. He will also have his own pistol with custom modifications and a knife for melee fighting, as well as three different sets of sunglasses. He will not say "Whoa" as he puts them on.

As for more immediate and less movie-based goodies, today's Crimefest news offers more details a new mission that sees heisters attempting to escort Hoxton away from his courthouse hearing. There's also new information on the Fugitive's skill tree and the Criminal's perk deck, which should help users towards their goal of a free Hoxton!

For more, you can check out the Crimefest website and watch the most recent video below.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Curious to see what an 8-bit Destiny would look like? Would you also like to see Loading Ready Run put all of our questions and frustrations with the title in a short, yet hilarious video? Then you’ve come to the right place.

The following video performs both pretty well as the 8-bit art is done exceptionally well and most of our frustrations, especially with the Cryptarch, have been included within this video. I won’t go into too much detail as to what the video includes so I won’t ruin it, but if you consider yourself a regular Destiny player, you are going to want to watch it.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Q Games announced The Tomorrow Children back in August leaving many who watched its announcement trailer scratching their heads as to what exactly is going on in the title. If you were intrigued by whatever it was we saw, then you can start signing up for the alpha test for the title.

The Tomorrow Children’s official website recently started accepting requests to join the title’s upcoming alpha. PlayStation 4 owners will just need to submit their PSN ID and their birth date in order to apply for the alpha. If mining along and fighting large monster is your thing, then head on over and sign up.

Glory to arstotzka!

Oops. Wrong game.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

The first of five add-on packs for Alien: Isolation will be arriving on October 28, SEGA announced today.

The Corporate Lockdown add-on pack will offer three new maps within the game’s Survivor Mode along with a new playable character, a unique set of objectives and a new game mode. Players are tasked with escaping the station across three challenge maps: “Severance”, “Scorched Earth”, and “Loose Ends.” Each challenge maps will have their own online leaderboards which challenges players to escape the station as fast as possible. For those who are looking for a real challenge, Gauntlet Mode tasks players to attempt to complete all three challenge maps back-to-back without dying.

Corporate Lockdown will be available on October 28 and is priced at $7.99 individually, although Season Pass owners will be able to download it and the four additional add-ons free of charge.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

We’re sure those who decided to pick up Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor are still pretty addicted to the game, which is why WBIE is helping to feed your addiction to murdering countless Uruk as a new Power of Shadow bundle has been made available for free across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam.

The Power of Shadow bundle includes a number of upgrades that allow players to don gear that resembles Sauron’s Black Hand as well as use the new Epic Runes of Power. The runes include One with Nature, which offers immunity to poison attacks, Ascendant, which causes double focus time for slow motion ranged combat, and Elven Grace, which increases defense by halving the damage taken from enemy strikes.

There's no word whether or not the Power of Shadow bundle will be made available for free for those who are awaiting the last-gen version of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Just a few days ago, Xbox One owners were given access to the console’s October system update which added a ton of new features including Snap Center and the Friends section. Today, Microsoft has released new information regarding its upcoming November update.

Some of the most notable improvements focus more on player customization of not only their console, but also their Gamertag profile as well. Custom backgrounds have made a return as the feature has been missing since its launch. Users have the option to choose a custom color or achievement art for achievements that have been unlocked. Other customization options, such as using your own images, will become available later on.

In regards to the Gamertag customization, the November update will allow users to share their location, bio, and showcase items. Showcase items can be a mix of up to six screenshots, video clips or achievements you’re particularly proud of that you’d want to show off to others.

Sharing your favorite game clips will also be easier as the update will offer Twitter integration, allowing users the ability to share their most precious moments to their Twitter followers.

Additional updates include TV trends, improvements to the MiniGuide, Store improvements, and more. To see everything Microsoft has planned for the November update, head on over to Major Nelson’s blog.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Update: Actually, it's not too late to get that demo code, so let's update this, shall we?

Pokemon fans already have a special demo of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire to look forward to tomorrow, but there may be more to it than originally thought. In revealing two of the latest Mega Evolutions to hit the newest version of Pokemon, The Pokemon Company revealed that some of those base Pokemon can be caught in that demo and used in the full game later down the line.

Mega Steelix gets a major Defense boost, making it even more of a tank than it already is. It also gets the Sand Force ability, which ups its Rock, Ground, and Steel-type moves by 30 percent during Sandstorms, meaning you'll either want to have the move equipped or you'll want to tag it up with a Pokemon like Tyranitar that can summon Sandstorms automatically.

Mega Glalie is… scary-looking. I mean, look at this thing! That's to be expected from something referred to as the 'Face Pokemon.' It's also called that, because it'll hit opponents right in the face with its increased Attack and Special Attack stats. The Refrigerate ability will turn all Normal-type moves into Ice-type moves.

It should be noted that Glalie can be caught in the upcoming special demo for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, which can be carried into the full game with Pokemon Link when it releases next month. Of course, it will not come with the all-important stone that allows it to Mega Evolve. That will still need to be found in the full game, but Glalie by itself is nothing to sneeze at.

Tto get the demo, a free Pokemon Trainer Club account had to be created at the Pokemon website prior to October 19. However, there are different ways to get it, as detailed by the Nintendo website. These methods include visiting select cinemas, purchasing Pokemon Puzzle Challenge or the Pokemon Trading Card Game when they release on the 3DS Virtual Console, or buying a digital copy of Pokemon Art Academy.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Have a case of the Mondays? Let Shacknews help you with the latest episode of Shack Snack as we give you all of the news you need to know for today.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare PC system requirements revealed

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is set to release in just a few short weeks, and today, PC players will finally know if their current rig will support the game now that its system requirements have been revealed. The game’s Steam page was recently updated to reveal just want kind of specs Advanced Warfare will require in order to be playable

Far Cry 4 Season Pass includes day-one mission and Yetis

Ubisoft has a surprise for Far Cry 4 fans. That surprise is... not surprising at all, of course, because Far Cry 4 is getting a Season Pass. Yes, as has become the trend, the latest entry to the series will have Season Pass content, though Ubisoft will go a step further in this case and have some of this content ready to release on launch day.

Super Smash Bros. Wii U getting live Nintendo Direct this week

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will be the focus of an upcoming livestream event, Nintendo has announced today. The livestream will take place later this week, on October 23 at 6pm ET / 3pm PT and is said to focus on “50 new things” regarding Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.


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