Shacknews - Brittany Vincent
Shacknews - Sam Chandler

There are a lot of weapons that you can use in Monster Hunter World, and now there is another to add to the list: Aloy’s bow from Horizon Zero Dawn. As part of a limited time event, players on PlayStation 4 can get their hands on the armor and bow of Aloy – but it’s a bit grindy.

How to Unlock Aloy’s Bow

To get your hands on Aloy’s bow from Horizon Zero Dawn, you will need to head to the nearest Quest Board or Quest Lass and navigate to the Event menu. In this menu you should find a quest titled “The Proving” which should ring a bell for anyone who’s played the game. This is also how you can unlock Aloy’s armor!

This time-sensitive quest requires at least Hunter Rank 11, and takes place in the Ancient Forest where you have 50 minutes to hunt an Anjanath. Upon killing or trapping the Anjanath, you will receive an item called “Nova Brave Trophy”, which is essentially a ticket. In order to craft the bow, you will need to acquire 2 Nova Brave Trophies, which means completing the quest a minimum of two times for the bow alone.

The full list of materials needed to craft Aloy’s bow are:

  • Nova Brave Trophy x2
  • Anjanath Fang+ x3
  • Monster Keenbone x5
  • Anjanath Plate x1

You can actually get the majority of these items by killing the Anjanath as part of the quest, but if you’re struggling to get the Anjanath Plate, swing by the Melding Pot to craft one.

With Aloy’s bow in hand, and her armor on, you’ll look like you’re straight out of Horizon Zero Dawn. Be sure to check out our Monster Hunter World guide for more content and walkthroughs.

Shacknews - Kevin Tucker

Warhammer: Vermintide 2 is gearing up for its release next month, and part of developer Fatshark's plans for the game's final push before launch involved a closed beta test that ran over the course of last weekend. In it, players were granted access to a number of missions that saw them laying waste to the horrendous Skaven population and for the first time doing battle with the ranks of the Chaos Army. I was fortunate enough to jump in to the first-person slaying action, and I'm happy to report that Warhammer: Vermintide 2 is a bloody and well-polished experience that should suit players with a taste for challenging action.

Fresh Meat for the Grinder

I'll admit that I have had almost no experience with other Warhammer games. With that said, I have heard much about Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide, namely that it seemed to have taken inspiration from games like Left 4 Dead, yet-another series I just happened to miss out on through the years. Fortunately, this lack of familiarity gave me the opportunity to approach Vermintide 2's cooperative action with an entirely blank slate.

Jumping into the experience was very simple. Players had (and will have) a choice of a few different characters, each presenting its own unique playstyle. For most of the test I rolled with the elven archer Kerilian, a fighter well-versed in ranged weaponry that eventually gains passive abilities that boost her dodge distance, staminate regeneration, and critical hit chances. Other characters naturally have different abilities, and the most efficient teams will have to leverage their heroes' various skills in a way that supports the entire group — assuming they can all get on the same page.

After selecting a character, the game threw myself and three other random players into a hub world where we could choose from a set selection of different game missions. Throughout my gameplay I only ever saw two missions, one involving a raid on a nearby village and another that had us slinking through a forest to take down a gigantic monster. And try as I might, not once was my crew able to topple the task at hand.

Challenges Steeped In Blood

Through both of the missions, the likes of which I ran through about four times each, my prevailing thoughts were of how hard the game was. Enemies approach players in quickly moving swarms, and between the swing of a sword and the resulting gush of blood and viscera, it was tough to get a precise lock on exactly what was happening. This is one of the main reasons I chose Kerilian, since I could stay back and pick off outliers who circled around my allies for a sneak attack.

Still, my quiver would eventually run dry, and I was forced to get up close and personal with Vermintide 2's particularly ugly foes. Every time I did, I'd become surrounded by enemies and would simply swing my blade until the only living beings nearby were friendly. However, this strategy didn't work in the forest level, where enemies seemed specifically keen on seeking me out and placing my hero in a sort of neck vice I could never escape from.

The forest mission was also tough because of its gigantic mid-level adversary, who spawns shortly after the party moves through a tight corridor. Allies who ran ahead to deal with lesser monsters would get swarmed and fall, resulting in teammates doubling back through the narrow path in an effort to find safety. Unsurprisingly, this behavior left us pinned in an area with no escape. Despite repeated attempts, myself and my crew of cobbled-together allies was never able to topple the creature.

A Grim Sort of Beauty

Even though my efforts never amounted to any technical success, I was able to get a good flavor for how Warhammer: Vermintide 2's action plays out. The controls and mechanics are all very straightforward, and despite never having played a game quite like this one, there was essentially no learning curve whatsoever. Every action and button was clearly identified, and I never once fumbled as a result of any sort of sloppy craftsmanship.

What's more, Vermintide 2 looks and feels very polished. Though aiming with the bow and arrow might have felt a little airy, the swing of a sword or similar weapons felt properly weighted, and watching the detailed environments evolve from somber sunset evenings to blood-soaked battlefields was a treat all in its own. Though its doubtful anyone would argue that this game is among the best-looking games of this generation, there's certainly more than enough eye candy on offer to keep players satisfied. It even runs well enough on budget-minded hardware, with my comparatively old-school GTX 1050 able to pump out a reasonably steady 60 fps at 2560x1080 using medium graphics settings.

All in all, Warhammer: Vermintide 2 looks to be a great experience for players who like to share in bloody battles with a group of their friends. Time will tell how fresh the action feels after 20 or more hours spent, but for a weekend romp, Fatshark's latest title certainly offered up a fair amount of fun. From what could be seen, there won't be much on offer for players who like to customize their characters or dive into a rich story-based campaign, but if blood, action, and teamwork are all on the agenda, Vermintide 2 should provide satisfaction in spades.

Shacknews - Bill Lavoy

When I loaded into Monster Hunter: World today, I was greeted with The Proving, a quest that rewarded me with the ability to craft Horizon Zero Dawn armor. One of the ingredients to crafting that armor, however, was the Anjanath Gem. I only needed one, but it turns out that even one can be extremely difficult to come by.

How to Get an Anjanath Gem

An Anjanath Gem is a high rank reward that can be carved from the broken tail or head of an Anjanath. You can view these details by increasing your Anjanath research level to six. You will notice, however, that the chance of an Anjanath Gem dropping is quite low. There are some things that you can do to increase your chances, though.

The first thing you’ll want to concern yourself with is the type of quest you’re loading up. What you would ideally want are gold level rewards from your quest, so sort through your potential investigations for an Anjanath target and some gold level rewards.

Even when you find the right quest, the drop rate of the Anjanath Gem is low, so you’ll want to focus on breaking the head and the tail of your target. Even this can be difficult since players are getting to the point where they can smash an Anjanath in about five minutes. Often, I found that the Anjanath was dead or captured long before I could focus on severing the tail or breaking its head.

Of course, to up your chances of this happening you’ll want to land combinations and power attacks on the head and tail. If you can mount the beast, climb to the head and tail and work that specific part of the body. There is no guarantee that you’ll break the part you need to, but this is your best shot.

Assuming you can break the tail and the head of an Anjanath, be sure to loot the parts from the forest floor. There’s only a small chance you’ll get the Anjanath Gem you seek, but this is your best shot. I’ve read of players attempting Anjanath hunts 20 or more times before getting the Anjanath Gem.

Once you get the Anjanath Gem, make that Horizon Zero Dawn armor, then head to our Monster Hunter: World guide hub for everything you’ll need to continue your hunter’s progression.

Shacknews - Brittany Vincent

The Nintendo 3DS seems to be entering its twilight years, but Nintendo has promised a full slate of games throughout 2018 at the very least. There are a decent amount of hits to look forward to on the handheld scattered throughout the rest of this year, thankfully, so if this is the 3DS's last hurrah, it looks like it's going to go out with a relatively large bang. We now present our choices for the Nintendo 3DS games we're hotly anticipating in 2018. 

Detective Pikachu

If you've ever wanted to solve crimes with an indomitable, wise-cracking Pikachu by your side, the upcoming Detective Pikachu is for you. It's finally coming stateside with the yellow mouse and his good friend Tim Goodman solving the mystery of Tim's missing father this March 23. It's even being turned into a theatrical release starring Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu. It's going to be a lot different from any Pokemon game that's come before it, but it looks like a fun, good-spirited time that should offer plenty of heartfelt moments and puzzle-solving fun akin to the hijinks seen in the popular Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series. 

The Alliance Alive

FuRyu's latest RPG, The Alliance Alive, takes place a thousand years into the future after demons take over the world. Humanity has been pushed back into a small band of freedom fighters by the powerful monsters, creating a resistance force that's been working toward building a network and launching an attack on the demons in a bid to take the world back so that humans can once again rise to power. Traditional role-playing fans will get a kick out of the familiar stylings, and newcomers will be excited for the engaging story. It's scheduled for release March 27. 

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux isn't a brand new game, but an enhanced port coming to Nintendo 3DS. It's based on the original Nintendo DS release of Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, one of the more divisive entries in the series. It's the fourth Shin Megami Tensei release overall, with a tale that follows a team dispatched to investigate an enormous black void in the South Pole known as Schwarzwelt. It can swallow anything it touches, so it must be stopped. That's why a special task force is sent out to contain it and figure out where it came from in the first place. It's set for release this year. 

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age

This is the eleventh core entry in the long-running Dragon Quest role-playing series. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age will mark the newest fantasy narrative with traditional RPG mechanics, lots of different monsters to fight off (including those adorable Slimes and Drackys, of course) and a story that'll grab you from the very beginning and keep you engaged. You won't need any prior knowledge of the series to jump into this game, and you'll still be able to enjoy the trademark Dragon Quest elements fans have been excited for ever since the series' debut. The game is still projected for a 2018 release.

Shakedown Hawaii

Shakedown Hawaii is certainly not Retro City Rampage 2, so don't get it twisted. It's a whole new standalone game that's actually a parody of white collar organized crime, shady business practices, and other fun, adult things like that. You'll play the role of an aging CEO who finds himself working with a company whose practices are quickly running out of style and out of time. He's got to find a way to modernize his business, and fast, by any means necessary. So instead of fighting against ne'er-do-wells, you'll beat down white-collar workes, executives, and similar folks. The game is aiming for a 2018 release.

Shovel Knight: King of Cards

The fourth campaign expansion for Shovel Knight, Shovel Knight: King of Cards, will feature King Knight. It'll also be free for anyone who owns the Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove collection. It's meant to recount the tale of how King Knight took his throne and likewise joined The Order of No Quarter. It's aiming for a 2018 release, so you'll be shoveling yourself into fun at some point this year. 

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Hearthstone's Wild Brawliseum is now open for business for the next week. In lieu of the usual Tavern Brawl, a Wild format free-for-all is now available. It'll operate in the same style as Arena, with players aiming for 12 wins for bigger and bigger rewards. But if they reach three losses, their run is over.

The biggest difference here is that there are no Arena drafts. The Wild Brawliseum is a purely constructed deck. So it's probably a good time to take the best of the best into battle, especially since the first run is absolutely free. Fortunately, Shacknews has a few suggestions.

Kripparrian's OTK Control Druid

I watched Octavian "Kripparrian" Morosan tinker with this deck for about a month before Wildfest was even announced. Kripp found a delightfully devious one-turn kill Druid deck that centers around the specific win condition of Aviana, Kun the Forgotten King to refresh the Druid's Mana Crystals, and then laying down Ixlid, Malygos, and Faceless Manipulator to create a whopping four (!) Malygos on the board for +20 Spell Damage. That's bonkers and can wipe out any heavily-armored opponent with just a couple of cheap Moonfire or Living Roots spells. The trick, of course, is getting to this point, so ramping up and playing Ultimate Infestation will count for a lot.

Tempo Storm's Exodia Mage

The talented folks at Tempo Storm came up with this one. Because all Wild cards are on the table, players don't need no stinkin' Quest to get the one-turn kill they need. The main win condition centers around Archmage Antonidas and having enough Sorcerer's Apprentice cards to make his generated Fireballs spells all free of charge. To do that, players need to make skillful use of Molten Reflection, Siulacrum, and Emperor Thaurissan for heavy discounts. They also need to utilize freeze spells and Ice Block to control the board and stay alive. Once there's enough juice to put down Antonidas and enough Sorcerer's Apprentices to get the infinite well going, don't waste any time and just let her rip.

Also, don't get discouraged if a Sorcerer's Apprentice gets pulled out by Dirty Rat. With Emperor Thaurissan, Simulacrum and the two Molten Reflection spells should be more than enough to still get the Exodia turn rolling.

Seven's Dude Paladin

There are several variations of Dude Paladin out there, especially with the influx of Secret Mages. One of the best variations of the deck I've seen out there comes from Seven, co-host of Turner's Nerf This! podcast. This deck is all about overwhelming opponents with massive Silver Hand Recruit numbers and then bopping them with Dinosize and the Stonetusk Boar for a 10/10 Charge.

What's good about this deck is that it's open to a lot of change. For example, I'm not keen on the Boar, simply because of the high potential to pull it out from Call to Arms. But with so many Secret Mages out there, why not pack in Eater of Secrets as a tech choice? Or if you aren't a fan of Unidentified Maul, then why not sub in Muster for Battle and keep the Silver Hand Recruits coming? Dude Paladin is a viable road to victory right now, so take your favorite variation into battle and throw in everything you've got.

Kripparrian's Giant Hunter

Oh, so you want to play with broken stuff? Okay, that's cool. Back in September, Kripparrian brought attention to a certain interaction involving Naga Sea Witch. The Naga Sea Witch's effect makes everything's base cost into 5, but that means a lot of Giants get their costs reduced to 0. That includes Mountain Giant, Molten Giant, Sea Giant, and Clockwork Giant. If that isn't enough of a nightmare, Mad Scientist and Freezing Trap help keep the board under control, while Flare offers card draw at the expense of those pesky Secret Mages.

Of course, as Kripp later discovered, the Giants Hunter isn't quite unbeatable. But for the purposes of the Wild Brawliseum, why not give it a try? If for no other reason, try it because it's a really fun deck to trot out.

So what are you busting out for the Wild Brawliseum? Join the conversation in the comments and let us know. The Wild Brawliseum will run from now until the end of the weekend.

Shacknews - Charles Singletary

If you’ve ever pondered the result of tossing a tabletop RPG, JRPG, and rogue-like into a blender, behold For The King from development team IronOak Games. The game survived its crowdfunding campaign, has found a publisher, and will be leaving Early Access in April. The devs are also targeting releases on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in early 2019.

For The King is the first game from IronOak, a team made up of developers who have previously worked on titles such as Sleeping Dogs, Dead Rising, and Need for Speed. The game pulled in over $100,000 during its Kickstarter campaign in 2015 on a goal of just over $30,000.

“For The King is a passion project for us and very much an homage to the RPG genre,” said Colby Young, Game Designer of IronOak Games, in a press release. “Early Access has been great for the game, allowing us to listen to fans and make the game as strong, polished and fun as possible. Now with its full release, and our new publishing deal with Curve, we can’t wait for more players to experience For The King.”

The gameplay in For The King will have players, solo or with a co-op partner locally or online, traverse the procedurally generated hexagonal kingdom of Fahrul. You’ll sail around, take on creatures in turn-based combat, and journey into dangerous dungeons before hiding out in safe camps. The quests and events are procedurally generated like the map in each playthrough.

The game sports a polished low-poly design that really gives it a look reminiscent of tabletop RPGs, something that appealed to the game's publisher: Curve Digital.

“We’ve been following For The King since its Kickstarter, and we’re extremely excited to announce today that IronOak has become part of the Curve family,” said Jason Perkins, Managing Director of Curve Digital. “The office is full of board game players and we frequently play them in our downtime. To have a title which encompasses this passion is thrilling - we can’t wait for the title to be fully released.”

For The King is available in Steam Early Access for $14.99 right now, but will go up to $19.99 when it leaves Early Access in April. The console versions are slated for early 2019 and we’ll update as more information is made available.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

One might have thought to themselves, "There's no stranger pre-order bonus for Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition than Half-Life equipment." What could be more bizarre than getting Gordon Freeman's gear? It doesn't get weirder than that, right?

Electronic Arts said, "Hold our beer."

See, Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition is also on sale over on EA's Origin storefront. But while Valve can offer up pre-order tie-ins to their exclusive gaming franchise, EA is following suit with a pre-order tie-in to one of its own franchises. That franchise... is The Sims.

Yes, those looking to pick up Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition can opt to do so from Origin. And if they do so before May 1, they'll receive Llama Suits and a Plumbob from The Sims 4 to use in Final Fantasy XV. Because nothing strikes fear in the heart of evil quite like a brooding teenager in llama-themed spandex.

For more on this pre-order deal, visit the Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition listing on Origin.

Shacknews - Kevin Tucker

Just two days ago we reported on an interesting new development over on the Nintendo website. Without making any sort of formal announcement, Big N updated its web portal with a new system that allowed users to leave their own reviews for specific Nintendo Switch games. The news first hit Reddit last Friday, and was subsequently picked up by a number of outlets over the following days. However, after less than one week's time, Nintendo has already pulled the user review system from its website.

Across some of the webpages for games that had been previously updated for use with the user review system, fans will now find a posted statement from Nintendo that provides insight regarding the company's decision to pull the feature. Under the new "Customer Review status" header reads the following:

"Customer reviews have been taken offline as we evaluate this feature and its functionality. We currently have no estimated date on when an update will be provided. We appreciate the positive response and thank the reviewers who provided such thoughtful commentary on the games."

An example of Nintendo's short-lived user review system.

Unsurprisingly, no specific details have been given regarding the why behind this rapid removal of user reviews. We all use the internet, however, and it isn't much of a stretch of the imagination to assume that the system quickly became overloaded with filth, banality, or both. Either that, or Nintendo felt like it might not be a good idea to allow users to leave less-than-stellar game reviews on the official websites dedicated to those games.

Are we really surprised that Nintendo has pulled this feature from its website? No. Do we expect to see it again? No, not really. According to the provided statement, Nintendo doesn't seem interested in bringing back user reviews any time soon. In fact, in a statement provided to Kotaku, Nintendo twice referred to the feature as a "trial," and after thanking fans for their enthusiasm, the company reiterated that there is "no estimate on when an update will be provided on the status of this initiative."

Shacknews - Charles Singletary

Though they may have bumbled the release a bit, Blizzard has officially revealed Overwatch hero #27: Brigitte! She's a tanky support and we clipped some gameplay so you can see her abilities at work. Pay special attention to her shield duration and enjoy!

For more great videos, including interviews and gameplay, check out the Shacknews and YouTube channels. 


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