Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

A new Hearthstone World Champion has been crowned in Amsterdam. He is Chen "tom60229" Wei Lin from Taiwan, coming back from an 0-2 deficit to defeat Michigan native Frank "Fr0zen" Zhang to win the Hearthstone World Championship in a thrilling five-game series.

The final game of the series saw both players lay down their Jade Druids. Both players went back and forth, with Fr0zen getting his Malfurion the Pestilent Death Knight out first, while tom60229 countered with Fandral Staghelm and Jade Idol. From there, tom60229 built up massive Jade Golems, with Fr0zen unable to keep up.

The first game of the series started off great for Fr0zen. The Michigan player had his back against the wall against tom60229's Jade Druid. Even after a Skulking Geist play that left the Druid in fatigue state, Fr0zen's Mage was down to a single health point and in range of a lethal Ultimate Infestation. But a fortuitous Arcane Artificer draw allowed Fr0zen to play Flamestrike for 7 Armor, putting him completely out of the Druid's range and propelling the Mage to victory.

While Fr0zen jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, tom60229 climbed back quickly. After winning with Highlander Priest, he wrecked Fr0zen's Jade Druid with Tempo Rogue and a massive 10/10 Edwin VanCleef on Turn 2. That allowed tom60229 to tie the series in short order.

"Pretty much, to beat Druid, first you need the Keleseth buff and second, you have to have a very big VanCleef," tom60229 said in the post-game press conference. "So once I saw the opportunity, I knew this was my chance."

Earlier in the day, the first semifinal game saw Fr0zen take on China's JasonZhou. This series went all five games and came down to a Warlock/Druid matchup. While JasonZhou was able to draw both of his Living Mana spells to fill the board, they weren't enough to penetrate Fr0zen's 3/9 Voidlord. Fr0zen followed this play up with Faceless Manipulator and Doomsayer, knowing that he could resurrect his Demons with the Bloodreaver Gul'dan in his hand, while his opponent's minions would stay dead. JasonZhou realized he was going to have his resources completely wiped out and conceded.

As for the other semifinal matchup, tom60229 faced off against HCT Summer Championship winner Kim "Surrender" Jungsoo in a tense four-game set. Surrender went into the series riding a record 15 HCT match win streak. His hopes for a world championship were dashed in the final game, where tom60229 started the game drawing Prince Keleseth and Shadowstep, giving his minions double +1/+1 buffs. Surrender didn't go down easy, drawing removal spells like Dragonfire Potion and Psychic Scream. But an SI:7 Agent and its "Deal 2 damage" combo effect were enough to send the Summer Championship winner home.

With his first place finish, tom60229 takes home $250,000. Runner-up Fr0zen wins $150,000. In total, an even $1,000,000 were issued across the weekend's 16 competitors.

This marks the end of the 2017 Hearthstone competitive year for the Year of the Mammoth. Next season will see players compete under a new Standard rotation, which will see the Whispers of the Old Gods, One Night in Karazhan, and Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansions all shuffle to Wild. The Hearthstone Championship Tour itself is also receiving a noteworthy revamp, as first revealed back in December.

(Photo credits: Helena Kristiansson)

Shacknews - Asif Khan

Welcome to the new Shackcast, the official Shacknews podcast of Shacknews. On the eighteenth episode of the Shackcast, the gang talks about CES 2018, Zelda, and more with your host Asif Khan and special guest co-host Greg Burke. Tune in to hear us jibber jabber about games, CES 2018, and their mutual love for Zelda: Breath of the Wild. They also make some time to bash Star Wars.

Download this episode (right click and save)

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Check out 3DPrinterSpencer's Nintendo Switch accessories that Greg was talking about on the show.

Special thanks to the salsa from in-room dining at Encore Las Vegas for their unofficial and unpaid sponsorship of this episode of the Shackcast.

Shacknews - Joe Stasio

Nintendo’s history of releasing quirky, exciting gaming peripherals continues with the announcement of Nintendo Labo, coming this spring. If you haven’t yet learned about Labo, the product comes packed with “blueprints” to a number of constructable cardboard cutouts all of which interface in some way with the accompanying Nintendo Switch software of the same name. Naturally, the family’s interest is peaked by this news and so we spend a good portion of time going over this very weird and lovely concept before we jump into some heavier topics.

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David Cage’s Quantic Dream, the development house responsible for the upcoming Detroit: Become Human, was hit this week by allegations damning the company for harboring a toxic work environment and fostering a negative office culture made evident by high employee turnover. The boys discuss these allegations, which Cage denies, and go on to talk a bit more about how a company’s culture can affect the mental health of its staff.

Afterward, we lighten things up again with Round Two of 19Q Magoo, everyone’s favorite 20-questions spinoff where the first question is implied and therefore omitted “Is it a video game?” … Yes. Yes it is. If you missed Round 1 of 19Q Magoo, you can listen to it here (don’t worry though, you can start with this one, too!) Thanks for listening!

On Today’s Show- Joe Stasio- Chris Buffa- John Benyamine- Andrew Zucosky

Shacknews - Asif Khan

The Chatty community is throwing down for Rocket League bragging rights. Please take a look!

Shacknews - Kevin Tucker

Guys, we almost did it — we almost had a week where Nintendo was able to *completely* dominate Modojo @ Shacknews headlines. It's not surprising, really; with the sad, ever-growing decline of the PlayStation Vita, Nintendo essentially has a monopoly on portable gamers' time and money. That's totally fine from where we're sitting, because the 3DS and the Switch continue to see some of the better game releases of the past few months. Still, we owe it to ourselves and the dedicated mobile and portable gaming realm to seek out more than just what Nintendo has on offer.

This week we take a look at Big N's latest scheme to fill up our game rooms with a variety of inexpensive and varied game accessories through the new Labo range of cardboard-based peripherals.To keep things on the level, we're also touching on the latest updates in Pokemon Go as well as fresh developments for some of the bigger names in mobile gaming.

Nintendo Labo - A New Way To Play

Ol' Nintendo likes to keep us on our toes, and the company did so this past week by alluding to a then-upcoming presentation where they'd reveal a new way for players to enjoy Nintendo games. There was all sorts of speculation, and none of it really came close to the truth — that Nintendo had been developing a number of cardboard cutout peripherals that players could use to do everything from play the piano to twist the throttle on a mock set of motorbike handlebars.

It's kind of cool, kind of weird, but still 100 percent Nintendo. After all, the company long ago filled players' rooms up with loads of plastic-based peripherals that were only good for one or two games, so why not print funky designs onto cheap-as-dirt cardboard to achieve the same effect?

It's not all cardboard remote-controlled trinkets, though. Nintendo has also put three new games into the Select library of 3DS titles, including Super Mario 3D Land, Ultimate NES Remix, and A Link Between Worlds, the title players suspected might get a Switch re-release. The Switch has also recently gained support for Sony's free-to-use PhyreEngine game engine, further narrowing the gap between mobile developers and Switch developers. We also took a fresh look at some of the best free 3D-printed Nintendo Switch accessories, little trinkets that can help boost the adaptability of an already immensely-flexible console.

Release Dates, Updates, and Hot Takes

We've gotten some news about game updates this week that should please fans of top-tier mobile titles: Warner Bros. Interactive Studios has put together a new update for Middle-earth: Shadow of War Mobile that adds new boss battles and an all-new four-player cooperative gameplay mode. Niantic has also been working on a new Pokemon Go update that should help players stay more organized and more connected. Beyond that, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp has also recently gained a way for citizens to craft their own clothing.

Players have also gotten news on several imment and upcoming game releases: Strikers 1945 II, the classic-era vertical shooting title, is just about to land on the Nintendo Switch, and Korg is gearing up to release the Korg Gadget music composition software on the Switch, too. Tactical RPG series Mercenaries Saga is getting a three-pack collection for Nintendo's hybrid handheld, too, which is certainly nice. With all this intellectual property landing on the Switch, one would think just about everyone wants a piece — however, Netflix still seems uninterested in the Switch.

Lastly, entertainment juggernaut Disney has decided that it's time to approach the mobile gaming scene with proper respect, and the company has developed a new strategy that sees it partnering with four established mobile game development studios. We don't yet know which intellectual property will be worked on first, but we like to think the company will at least try to avoid some of its past mistakes.

Shacknews - Kevin Tucker

Pokemon Go just can't be stopped. We've been reporting on the game since around the time of its initial release back in July of 2016, and for better or worse, Niantic's AR-based hit has consistently found its way into headlines ever since. The latest news that Pokemon Trainers have been curious about regards the game's latest update, which is version 0.89.1 for Android users and version 1.59.1 for iOS users.

What's New In Pokemon Go 0.89.1 and 1.59.1 Update

As might be expected, the update includes a selection of fixes for various bugs as well as some new functionality. According to the official Pokemon Go website, the latest update has "resolved a bug that caused the Pokemon collection screen to scroll to the top after evolving, transferring, or renaming a Pokemon," which is good news for those plagued by the persistent error. In addition, Niantic has added the ability for players to sort their Pokedex by region, which allows even more flexibility when researching which pocket monsters to track down next.

The update has also improved Pokemon scaling throughout various parts of the app, as well as provided tweaks to the incubator sorting order when initially selecting an incubator. Beyond that, the update has also addressed "various bug fixed and performance updates," the likes of which don't seem to be worth diving into much further.

It's worth remembering that the game recently saw the addition of Generation 3 creature Kyogre as a new Raid Boss, but the little aquatic critter won't be around for too long, as it's slated to disappear around mid-day on February 14. To find Kyogre, trainers need do nothing more than load up the app and seek out the nearest Raid Battle; chances are it'll be there waiting to do battle.

Shacknews - Kevin Tucker

Since right around the release of the console version of the title, Middle-earth: Shadow of War Mobile has been dominating players' times when they're out of the house. Big as the game is, it's about to get bigger, as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and IUGO Mobile Entertainment have recently released a fresh update to game that adds new events, new bosses, and an all-new four-player cooperative gameplay mode.

The update for the game has landed just this week, so players starting up Middle-earth: Shadow of War Mobile after the latest version released will now find a number of additions and improvements. In particular, the update includes tweaks to the matchmaking system that should allow for a better all-around experience, and new custom-tailored events are soon to land promising a number of unique and valuable rewards.

Of course, all this will be overshadowed by the game's bigger additions, namely the new four-player, totally-synchronous cooperative mode where players are tasked with testing their skills against waves of filthy orcs and an ever-growing roster of bosses. Speaking of bosses, the game's update will also throw in the new Balrog event where players will face off against Tar Goroth, a foul beast forged in the darkest realms of Middle-earth. New Arena events will be added, too, including Dwarven battles, Gondorian bosses, and a special Overlord event.

Players will be able to take place in the Balrog event from today through January 22, with the Tar Goroth battle acting as the event's grand finale. Beyond that, players will also find that champion Helm Hammerhead has received potent buffs during the course of the event, offering double damage for a limited time.

Shacknews - Chris Jarrard

Initially teased on Twitter by Sega at the start of this week, the recently unveiled hospital management sim Two Point Hospital has been generating a ton of buzz with PC gamers online. The project is being handled by Two Point Studios, a new outfit that contains several key players from Bullfrog and Lionhead Studios. Bullfrog Studios was responsible for unleashing Theme Hospital into the PC gaming world more than twenty years ago. The management sim became a bona fide classic and inspired countless imitators and spinoffs throughout the years.

In a new interview with PC Gamer, Mark Webley, Gary Carr, and Ben Hymers of Two Point Studios discuss the new game, their history, and the possibilities for future games from the studio. Two Point Hospital takes place in the fictional Two Point county and the devs would like to expand on the universe and offer other light-hearted simulation games that will take place near the hospital.

Two Point Hospital looks to bring back the comedic spirit of the original Bullfrog games with a nice coat of 2018 paint. It will be an excellent opportunity for the current generation of PC players to get a taste of what was all the rage in the 90s. Best of all, Two Point Studios won’t have to worry about being chewed up and spit out as a dead husk by EA. RIP Bullfrog and Lionhead Studios.

Shacknews - Sam Chandler

Monster Hunter World is almost upon us and keen hunters everywhere are trying to figure out what kind of monsters they might be hunting come January 26. Recently, a leak surfaced that claimed to detail every single monster that exists in the realm of Monster Hunter World, and though this information is unconfirmed, a good hunter is always prepared.

Before you get your hands on Monster Hunter World, take a moment to acquaint yourself with the many creatures you might encounter on your travels. You might even see a few of them in the currently running Monster Hunter World beta.

All Monsters in Monster Hunter World

Below are the names of every monster included on the list of leaked names, but again this hasn’t be confirmed by Capcom, so tread lightly.

Presently, there are 45 monsters on this list, along with their general location. We'll be sure to update it once Monster Hunter World goes live and we've tracked down these fiends.

Some information pending. Check back soon!

  • Unknown Monster
  • Alatreon
  • Anjanath
  • Azure Rathalos
  • Barnos
  • Barroth – Located in the Wildspire Waste
  • Bazelgeuse
  • Black Diablos
  • Deviljho
  • Diablos
  • Dodogama
  • Gajau
  • Gastodon
  • Girros
  • Great Girros
  • Great Jagras
  • Jagras
  • Jyuratodus – Located in Wildpsire Waste
  • Kestodon
  • Kirin
  • Kulu-Ya-Ku
  • Kushala Daora
  • Lavasioth
  • Legiana
  • Lunastra
  • Memos
  • Nergigante – Located in the Wildspire Waste
  • Noios
  • Odogaron
  • Ososhi Kirin
  • Paolumu
  • Pink Rathian
  • Pukei-Pukei
  • Radobaan
  • Raphinos
  • Rathalos
  • Rathian
  • Shamos
  • Teostra
  • Tobi-Kadachi
  • Tzitzi-Ya-Ku
  • Uragaan
  • Vaal Hazak
  • Xeno’jiiva
  • Zorah Magdaros

Because a few of these monster names have appeared in the beta, there’s a good chance the rest of these monsters will make an appearance in the full release of Monster Hunter World. Make sure to bookmark this list and check back in the coming weeks as we update and confirm the monster names and locations. We'll also provide a brief description of how to take them down!

Check out our Video Game Release Date Schedule 2018 for more hits releasing this year.

Shacknews - Bill Lavoy

Xur has returned to Destiny 2 for another week. See where he's hiding, and what he's selling. Browse through our Xur location and wares guide to figure out what you should be spending your Legendary Shards on.

Where is Xur?

Xur has decided to abandon his meeting places in the wild and return to the Tower this week. You can find him in the Hangar near the Dead Orbit faction. He'll be behind there and up some stairs.

What is Xur Selling?

Xur brings with him the Three of Coins to help you get more exotic drops as you play the game, and he’s got something called the Fated Engram, which is guaranteed to give you an exotic weapon or armor piece that isn’t currently in your collection. The Fated Engram is the one you want. Three of Coins is currently bugged and should not be purchased under any circumstances.

  • Tractor Cannon Exotic Shotgun - 29 Legendary Shards
  • Knucklehead Radar Exotic Hunter Helmet - 23 Legendary Shards
  • Actium War Rig Exotic Titan Chest Armor - 23 Legendary Shards
  • Transversive Steps Exotic Warlock Armor - 23 Legendary Shards
  • Three of Coins - 31 Legendary Shards (Do Not Buy)
  • Fated Engram - 97 Legendary Shards

What Should You Buy?

You should always buy what you don't have, even if you don't really want it. Complete your exotic collection on all three characters, because the meta in Destiny 2 concerning exotic will change with future updates and balance tweaks.

That’ll do it for Xur this week. If you need help finding the best use for your exotic weapons and armor, be sure to visit the Shacknews Destiny 2 complete strategy guide.

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