Shacknews - Steven Wong

FreeStyleGames goes in-depth on Guitar Hero Live's multitude of features, including the different bands and venues, GHTV, and the return of karaoke singing to the gameplay. However, it is unknown at this time how big of a role vocals will play. Will your bandmates sneer at you if yoiu mess up the song notes? More to the point, is there an Auto-Tune power-up? We'll find out soon enough as we draw closer to the game's release.

Guitar Hero Live releases on October 20th for Xbox One and PS4. 

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Capcom has previously revealed that M. Bison would continue his reign of terror in the upcoming Street Fighter V, but it wouldn't be a party unless he brought his Shadowloo partners along with him. The first one has been revealed, in the form of the narcissistic Vega.

Vega brings back his claw-based attacks, as well has his abilities to leap off the side of the screen and suplex his opponent at will. There's a twist this time, though. Vega can toggle to a fighting stance that does not use his trademark claw, which gives him access to new command grabs. His V-Trigger is the Bloody Kiss, which targets his opponent with a rose before he charges forward right behind it.

Vega's return should generate some much-needed excitement into Street Fighter V in the wake of the disastrous beta from a few weeks ago that had to be postponed. Capcom has pledged that, one way or another, there will still be three betas, though a new beta date has yet to be announced.

Shacknews - Steven Wong

Today, Harmonix announces 17 additions to the extensive Rock Band 4 song line-up. These songs include hits like "What's Up" by Non Blondes and classics like "No One Like You" by Scorpions. A full list of the newly announced songs can be seen below along with an all-new trailer featuring some of the music.

Rock Band 4 launches on October 6th for PS4 and Xbox One.

  • Non Blondes – “What’s Up?”
  • The Black Keys – “Fever”
  • Disturbed – “Prayer”
  • Duck & Cover – “Knock Em Down”
  • Eddie Japan – “Albert”
  • Fall Out Boy – “Centuries”
  • Halestorm – “I Miss The Misery”
  • Heart – “Kick It Out”
  • Heaven’s Basement – “I Am Electric”
  • Lightning Bolt – “Dream Genie”
  • Rick Derringer – “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo”
  • Rush – “A Passage To Bangkok”
  • Scorpions – “No One Like You”
  • Slydigs – “Light The Fuse”
  • Soul Remnants – “Dead Black (Heart of Ice)”
  • System of a Down – “Spiders”
  • White Denim – “At Night In Dreams”

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

The opening group stages are over and now it's time to jump into the Main Event. The fifth annual iteration of The International Dota 2 Championships is about to go live. It's one of the biggest eSports events of the year, with the first place team taking home a cool $6,470,659. Here are the brackets going into today's proceedings, courtesy of the official Dota 2 International website.

Dota 2 lovers are welcome to join us here at Shacknews and watch the full stream below.

For those that are not well-versed in all the intricacies of Dota 2, the always-helpful Newcomer's Stream is also making its return this year, just in time for the Main Event. That stream can be found here.

This is also one of the most anticipated events of the year for the Shacknews community. Watch along with us and don't forget to join the conversation with the rest of Chatty. (Don't be afraid. The community won't bite.)

Also, if you're looking to take your Dota 2 International excitement on the road, remember that many bars across the country are broadcasting today's matches. A full list of those locations can be found on the Dota 2 International website.

Shacknews - Steven Wong

Topping news from Gamescom this week is an announcement from Microsoft regarding Gears of War. Fans who purchase Gears of War: Ultimate Edition or the Xbox One Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Bundle will be able to unlock the entire Gears of War collection on Xbox Live via backward compatibility.

All you have to do is play Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on Xbox Live between August 25th and December 31, 2015, and the Gears Collection will be unlocked when backward compatibility launches in the fall. The games in the collection include the Xbox 360 releases of Gears of War, Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3, and Gears of War Judgment. So, fans will be essentially get five games in one, although the backward compatibility games will not feature updated graphics for the Xbox One, but other features like DVR, snap, and screenshots will be supported.

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition releases on August 25th.

Source: Xbox Wire

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Live streaming platform Twitch is continuing to expand its presence with each passing day. In recent weeks, Twitch has sought to branch out to countries beyond the United States. Most recently, it offered a Japanese-language stream for the 2015 Evolution Championship Series tournament to great success, drawing in over 1.4 million views. Now Twitch is announcing plans for further international expansion, just days ahead of its planned coverage for Gamescom 2015.

Twitch has announced plans to open up shop at three more worldwide gaming conventions: Tokyo Game Show in Japan in mid-September, Electronic Game Show in Mexico in early October, and PAX Australia to close out that same October month. Twitch is pledging the same level of presence at these events as they've offered for E3 and PAX Prime, offering a platform for publishers and developers to show off upcoming games and new announcements. The Tokyo Game Show plans, in particular, come in the wake of Twitch's expansion into Eastern regions, adding infrastructure to Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea.

The international initiative comes a week after Twitch unveiled its Broadcaster Language Mode, which allows Twitch channels to enable chat for select languages.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

From its initial announcement, Rare Replay was squarely aimed at bargain hunters. While I bristle at judging games by their hour-to-dollar ratio, it was obvious this collection of thirty games from one of Microsoft's most storied studios could make its name on sheer quantity alone. I imagined myself reviewing this game like a carnival barker, shouting to passers-by about value. Think of the savings! What I didn't expect is to see it come together as such a cohesive historical document, capturing the development of the industry through the microcosm of a single studio.

The significance comes from seeing Rare's library placed side-by-side. It didn't take long before I started to notice how the pieces fit. It was like gaining a first-hand glimpse into the studio's culture by noticing game concepts and mechanics transferring between projects. RC Pro-Am's drifting mechanics are a clear predecessor to the Backlash in Blast Corps. Banjo Kazooie's not-quite-edgy humor led to the more blatantly off-color style of Conker's Bad Fur Day. These are similarities that only became apparent to me when playing the games in sequence.

The games themselves are augmented by a series of well-produced featurettes covering the history of the company, the creation of specific franchises, and even revelations about projects that never came to be. They're unlocked by achieving Milestones, a form of achievements that run throughout each of the games. I wish I'd had more say in which order to unlock the videos, perhaps with a currency earned from completing Milestones, since some of the mini-docs definitely interested me more than others. Even the ones covering games I didn't care for as much were entertaining, though.

Not all of the Rare games here are hits. Some of the older arcade games, in particular, have a tendency to feel obtuse and dated. There's a reason Pac-Man's popularity has spanned the years and Knight Lore has not. There's something to be said for intuitive mechanics, and some of those early game showed Rare's reach exceeded its grasp. 

Still, the misses show influence on other Rare games, or the gaming landscape in general. Sometimes they even seemed ahead of their time. I was particularly impressed by Atic Atac, which plays like an early prototype of The Legend of Zelda despite releasing in arcades years earlier. Gunfright was essentially an open-world game with consequences for shooting civilians. It's nice to see such ambitious ideas with hindsight, even if they didn't work out particularly well given the restrictions of the time.

The classics are also given some extra love in the form of Snapshots. These quick retro challenges come in single-serving Gallery or the multi-game Playlists, and do a decent job of breaking out small chunks of gameplay from the early years. They're presented in a very straight-faced manner, however, so those hoping for more modern-day twists and remixes a la Nintendo's NES Remix games will be disappointed.

I would be remiss not to mention that this isn't exactly a complete Rare collection. Thanks to a variety of licensing issues, several games like Donkey Kong Country, Goldeneye, and Rare's various handheld games are nowhere to be found--except, oddly enough, as casual mention in some of the featurettes. It's perfectly understandable, and I wouldn't call it a complaint, but if I'm going to praise it as a museum of Rare games I have to acknowledge that some of the wings are closed.

Regardless, it does deserve that praise. Rare Replay is a lengthy jaunt through the history of video games by way of one particularly diverse studio. The games range from uniquely ambitious experiments to fondly-remembered classics. It's an easy recommendation for value-conscious gamers who want to squeeze every last drop of entertainment from their dollars. Perhaps more importantly, it packs a surprising amount of historical heft, making it just as much a must-have for those interested in a broad and distinct look at the medium itself.


This review is based on a Xbox One download code provided by the publisher. Rare Replay will be available in retail and digital stores on August 4, for $29.99. The game is rated E-M.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

If you missed them, be sure to check out highlights from Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, and Day 6 of Summer Games Done Quick 2015.


Summer Games Done Quick 2015 is officially over. All week, money has been raised for Doctors Without Borders, with the world's best speed runners putting on a week-long show. For one last time, Shacknews is looking back at the best highlights across the week. Here are the best runs from Saturday.

Day 7 Highlights

Shadow of the Colossus (PlayStation 2)

Two words: boss rush. That's part of what made Shadow of Colossus such a pleasure to play through, but more than that, it was the breathtaking world that was on display. But there's no time to admire the scenario, because streamer Meows went into this run with the goal of completing Shadow of the Colossus in less than an hour. Part of the trick to beating the bosses is simply finding them, so watch as he begins his diligent search.

Dark Souls II two-player run (PC)

You may think you've finally gotten a semi-mastery of Dark Souls II. After a year, it's somewhat expected. But the exploits of runners Oginam and FearfulFerret put any other pitiful efforts to shame, as evidenced by their co-op run. No, not co-op in the sense that there are two players, but rather both of these players are sharing a single controller at the same time. Watching them finish From Software's latest Souls game in under 90 minutes is amazing enough, but there's never been a Dark Souls II run quite like this. Check it out below.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 100% run (Super NES)

What does it take to complete The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (all of A Link to the Past) in under two hours? Only speedrunner Xelna has what it takes, as he shows off all of his tricks and his non-warp glitch arsenal, including some immensely useful tips for anyone that has ever been tortured by the wormy boss Moldorm over the years. This particular run is an incredible learning experience, particularly with Xelna's abilities to get around certain early parts of the game and his skills with the Pegasus Boots. It's amazing to behold, with the man nearly setting a world record, but only bested by his own previous record. Check out the full run below.

Super Mario 64 120-Star three-way race (Nintendo 64)

The highs of triumph and the lows of agonizing defeat are both encapsulated through this Super Mario 64 race, in which puncayshun, cheese06, and Simply show off their best talents. It's amazing to watch them cheat some of the animations and hidden areas to shave minutes off of their time. That's why it's so easy to cringe whenever any of these speed runners miss a jump or even die at an inopportune moment. The race itself is a thrilling back-and-forth affair and is a can't-miss.

Super Metroid four-way race (Super NES)

Speaking of the agony of defeat, nobody experienced it in the final day quite like speed runner Oatsngoats. At the 12:30-minute mark of the run, he had a bad run in with the ghostly Phantoon and wound up dying. With no auto save enabled, it essentially eliminated him entirely. Such is the risk that speed runners undertake with such a bold endeavor.

That left zoasty, DavidClemensn, and Straevaras to try and finish the game in under the 50-minute estimated time. Watch as they sprint, bomb jump, and morph ball their way through Samus' greatest adventure. The precision jumps and shot timing required to finish the game so quickly is an incredible sight, with the three remaining runners desperately trying to keep pace with one another.

The intensity of the race was only matched by the two donor factions desperately funding their cause with minutes to go. Did the runners Save the Animals or Kill the Animals? Watch the run below to find out.


When all was said and done, Summer Games Done Quick 2015 raised over $1.2 million, the most money raised during a GDQ week to date.

As Games Done Quick becomes an even bigger phenomenon over the coming years, the hope is that this total will only continue to rise, for the benefit of truly worthy charities. This week has, once again, highlighted the generosity of the gaming public and shown what players are capable of accomplishing by coming together in the name of good.

Do you have any favorite moments from Summer Games Done Quick 2015 that you would like to share? Join the conversation and leave a comment in the thread. Join us in early 2016 when Awesome Games Done Quick returns.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

If you missed them, be sure to check out highlights from Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, and Day 5 of Summer Games Done Quick 2015.


This is it! It's the final day for Summer Games Done Quick 2015. Games Done Quick will wrap up its fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders today and will look to reach the $1 million mark. Shacknews is looking back at the best highlights across the week and here are the best runs from Friday.

Day 6 Highlights

Dustforce DX (PC)

Dustforce DX had all the potential in the world to steal the show and it did just that on Friday morning. Speed runner Calistus not only showed off the quickest way to polish off some of the most difficult levels in the game, he also found a slew of secret levels that most casual players have never even seen. It was an incredible show and one that's worth catching.

Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (Super NES)

It was hard to pick from the Mario block, especially with some truly incredible races from Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario Sunshine, and Luigi's Mansion. So why pick The Lost Levels runthrough? To be honest, much of it was because of pure entertainment factor. Streamer GameJO6 (a.k.a. Big John) was one of the most entertaining runners of the week, offering both informative commentary and a sharp wit throughout his time. He made sure to explain the differences between the Super Mario All-Stars version of this game and the 8-bit original, as well as walk everyone through the intense difficulty of Worlds 1 through D. Big John deserves all props, so catch his run below.


Day 7 Runs to Watch

Dark Souls II (PC) - 10:03AM PT

From Software's series of 'Souls' games has confounded (and enthralled) the Shacknews Chatty community for the past couple of years, mostly for its high difficulty and the constant need to regroup and get stronger. So it'll be interesting to watch a speed run for Dark Souls II, since the "YOU DIED" messages will need to be kept to a minimum.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 100% no-glitch run (Super NES) - 12:43PM PT

Many of the older generation games have seen their speed runs defined by glitches and often-unseen shortcuts. However, through the generosity of the SGDQ donors, there will be no shortcuts for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Speed runner Xeina will run through the game in its entirety, targeting a time under two hours. So for those looking for an abbreviated, yet complete look at an all-time classic, tune in just before 1PM.

Super Metroid race (Super NES) - 5:18PM PT

As has so often been the case with Games Done Quick, the final day will feature a Super Metroid run. This year, runners David Clemens, Oatsngoats, Zoast, and Straevaras will all engage in a four-way race to see who can complete Samus' most memorable 2D adventure the fastest. This run will also determine the fate of Super Metroid's animals. Will they live or will they die? The answer was in the hands in the SGDQ donors and the viewers will witness the answer for themselves later tonight.

Summer Games Done Quick will air all week on Twitch. To donate, be sure to visit the Games Done Quick website.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Summer is rapidly coming to an end, so before the major fall releases start to see the light of day, the PC gaming retailers are looking to get some last major sales out. Bundle Stars is offering up some big-time deals on Mortal Kombat X and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, while GamersGate kicks off its End-of-Summer sale and Steam offers large price drops on its upcoming SteamOS lineup. Check out the full list of deals below.

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

Amazon

  • Amazon appears to be recovering from last week's QuakeCon 2015 sale. Come back next week for more!

Bundle Stars

Pay $19.99 for Mortal Kombat X and all of its DLC, including all current DLC characters. These activate on Steam.

Or pay $2.49 for Edna & Harvey: The Breakout, The Detail Episode 1, 1953 - KGB Unleashed, Claire, Oknytt, Joe's Diner, Doorways: Chapters 1 & 2, and Lucius. These activate on Steam.

Or pay $2.49 for Kingdom Rush, Secrets of Raetikon, Pixel Piracy, PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate, PixelJunk Shooter, Velocity Ultra, Qora, and Gauge. These activate on Steam.

Or pay $19.99 for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and its DLC packs. These activate on Steam.

Or pay $2.99 Prime World: Defenders, Heroes of Annihilated Empires, Knights & Merchants, Runespell: Overture, Eador: Genesis, Hoard Complete Pack, Puzzle Kingdoms, and Frozen Synapse Prime (Double Pack). These activate on Steam.

Direct2Drive

GamersGate

  • GamersGate is in the middle of its End-of-Summer Sale. New games will go on sale each day. Friday's deals include Sid Meier's Starships, Alien Isolation, and the Saints Row Franchise. Check out the full list of today's deals over on GamersGate.

GameStop

Get Games

  • Darksiders Franchise Pack [Steam] - $14.99 (75% off)
  • SpellForce 2: Faith in Destiny [Steam] - $3.74 (75% off)
  • Other games in Get Games' Nordic RPG Weekend can be found here.

GOG.com

  • Death to Spies - $1.79 (70% off)
  • Faces of War - $1.79 (70% off)
  • Other games in GOG.com's Weekend Stratagems sale, including Men of War and Total Annihilation games, can be found here.

Green Man Gaming

Use the code GMGSAV-E20GMG-SAVE20 to get 20% off your purchase. Some exclusions apply.

Humble Bundle

Pay what you want for Outland Special Edition, Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes, and Mercenary Kings. Pay more than the average $5.40 to get Endless Space Emperor Edition, The Stanley Parable, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II, Screencheat, Freedom Planet, and Coin Crypt. Pay $18 or more to also get Space Engineers [Steam Early Access]. All games work on Steam and Steam keys are available with a $1 minimum.

Or pay what you want for Vanguard Princess (w/Hilda Rize and Lilith DLC packs), Supercharged Robot VULKAISER, and 99 Spirits Special Edition (w/Art Book and Music Collection). Pay more than the average $7.42 to get Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure, NEO AQUARIUM - The King of Crustaceans, and The Sacred Tears TRUE. Pay $10 or more to also get Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1. All games work on Steam and Steam keys are available with a $1 minimum.

  • The Humble Store is celebrating Summer Games Done Quick 2015 by offering major discounts on select PC titles that were featured throughout the week. Check out the full list of games here.

Origin

Steam

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

...

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