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Nintendo

Nintendo cuts price of single Joy-Con, but not by much

The standard price of a solo Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controller is going down by $10, to $39.99, beginning Nov. 9. It’s been $49.99 since the console launched more than three years ago.

Nintendo announced the price drop Friday morning. A pair of Joy-Cons is still $79.99 (also the launch MSRP), so while this (probably) more reflects their individual cost, you still save nothing if you buy a full set rather than two individually. You can have any color you want, as long as it’s blue (for the left controller) or red (for the right).

Though the permanent MSRP on a pair of Joy-Cons is still the same, right now Amazon has a pair on sale for $69, in four color schemes — classic red and blue not among them, though.

It’s not a spectacular price drop, but if one of yours has an issue (like cough, cough, drift or something) it’s still cheaper than getting a pair. And a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is still $69.99, for those wondering.

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World Of Warcraft Chairs From Secretlab Let You Choose Between Alliance And Horde

Before World of Warcraft: Shadowlands releases next week, gaming chair manufacturer Secretlab is giving you the chance to reaffirm your allegiance with two new World of Warcraft chairs: one for the Alliance and the other for the Horde.

The Secretlab chairs, which are rebrands of their popular 2020 range, come adorned in the regalia of the faction you choose. The Alliance version is dressed in a dark blue PU leather, with gold accents and trimmings to suit the opulent stylings of the Alliance’s stronghold, Stormwind City.

Secretlab World of Warcraft gaming chairs

Starts at $449

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PC

Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War's Main Theme Music Revealed; Jack Wall Returns

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War has brought back Black Ops composer Jack Wall to do the music once again. Developer Treyarch has confirmed Wall’s involvement in the game, and also released the main theme music, which is meant to reflect the ’80s and the Cold War period.

Wall told SPIN that he used a number of soft synth instruments to create a “dark, shadowy” feel that felt appropriate to the time period.

“I wanted to create something for the main menu that immediately said very clearly ‘Cold War’: Reagan, Brezhnev, Soviet choir,” Wall said. “I wrote a distinctly ‘of the era’ Soviet-sounding theme, mixing Soviet choir and orchestra with dark synths. Making music and sounds from the ’80s–[using instruments like] Moog Modular, Minimoog, and CS80, as well as other soft synths–to give it that dark, shadowy Black Ops feel in the time of larger-than-life Cold War political figures like Reagan and Brezhnev.”

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/9FvtJDPJCe8

Wall also created the music for Black Ops 2, 3, and 4. Outside of the Call of Duty franchise, Wall is known for the music he wrote for Mass Effect 1 and 2, Jade Empire, Splinter Cell, and Lost Planet 3.

Black Ops Cold War releases on November 13 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, along with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. The game’s cross-play beta recently ended, and if you took part, you can now claim a special freebie for Call of Duty Mobile.

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The Last Of Us 2 Actor Doing More Motion Capture Work, Confirms Role In New "Kick*ss Game"

Actor Derek Philips set tongues wagging after posting a photo of himself wearing a motion capture suit along with the caption “Back to Work!!!” this week.

Philips, who is best known for his role in NBC’s Friday Night Lights, featured in Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us 2 this year as Jerry Anderson, father of the polarizing playable character Abby.

TLOU2 became the third highest-grossing US PlayStation title back in August, following its release in June. The game is also set for a TV adaptation but there’s no word out on when it might be released.

Look away if you haven’t played the game and are keen on avoiding spoilers because we will touch on Philips’s role in the game just a tad. Jerry, as mentioned above is Abby’s dad, who appears in TLOU2 flashbacks as he was killed by Joel at the end of the first game. Naughty Dog brought him back in order to show the events that led up to Abby’s actions in the newest installment.

The above had fans commenting in hopes of some new DLC for The Last of Us 2 and who could blame them? Some were against it, however, given the backlash over having to play as Abby for what several players have claimed was an unbearably long time.

Derek has since cleared that up, claiming his new project has nothing to do with Naughty Dog or The Last of Us but is instead part of a new game he isn’t allowed to discuss at the moment.

“Hey all, this picture is not Naughty Dog or TLOU related,” he tweeted on Wednesday. “It is for a kick*ss game that I’m not allowed to say anything else about at this time though. Thank you all so much for the enthusiasm.”

The Last of Us 2 is out for PlayStation 4 as a Sony exclusive. Naughty Dog has confirmed the game will be playable on the upcoming PS5, as well all the other titles that form part of its PS4 lineup.

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Ghost Of Tsushima 2 already in development at Sucker Punch

The creator of Ghost Of Tsushima is hiring for new people to work on a game set in feudal Japan, as work on a sequel already begins.

We’ve given up being surprised at how often companies give away what they’re working on via something as mundane as a job ad, but today’s reveal is that Sucker Punch are already hiring for people to work on Ghost Of Tsushima 2.

The job ads don’t mention any names but they’re after a Narrative Writer who has a, ‘Desire to write stories set in feudal Japan’ – which is a bit of a giveaway really.

They’re also hiring for an Associate Outsource Artist who they’d like to have ‘an interest or familiarity with traditional Japanese culture and aesthetic’.

It’s possible what these new hires would be working on is just DLC, but that seems unlikely given the game has just had a major new free update, in the form of the excellent Legends multiplayer mode.

There’s been no hint of any story DLC so far and if there was to be an expansion, you’d expect that to be underway already with current staff.

Given the game’s success a sequel is guaranteed either way but the only clue as to what setting it might have is the reference to feudal Japan, which is a rather large slice of history that lasted from 1185 to 1600.

Ghost Of Tsushima was set in 1274, which is unusually early for most samurai fiction, especially in games, and before the codifying of the bushidō code in the 17th century.

The idea of ninja also did not exist in any recognisable form until the 15th century and given the direction the original game’s story took it may be that the sequel will attempt to portray the early history of the concept.

That’s just speculation but the fact that there will be a sequel, and that it’s probably already in development, doesn’t seem in doubt.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=ymjtB5BrEoM%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

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League of Legends Patch 10.22 to Bring Samira Nerf, LeBlanc Buff

League of Legends patch 10.22 is set to bring another nerf for new champion Samira, and a buff for mysterious assassin LeBlanc. Additional nerfs are on the way for Karthus, Zed, and Lulu’s top lane. Buffs are in the books for Xayah, Sejuani, Nasus, and Brand, while Annie, Ashe, and Jinx will be getting some adjustments. Patch 10.22 is just around the corner, expected to go live on October 28th.

A preview of the changes included in the upcoming patch was released yesterday by Mark “Scruffy” Yetter, League of Legends’ lead gameplay designer. Scruffy states that this will be the final update of the season, and things are looking “pretty stable.”

The preview lists four champions ready for nerfs, the first of which is Karthus, the Deathsinger. The champ currently has a 59% win rate at the highest queue level, and the patch preview describes him as “too strong in both Jungle and Mid in Elite play.”

Next up is Lulu, the Fae Sorceress, who will have her top lane prowess taken down a notch. The preview states she is too strong as a solo top laner for “skilled” ranks. Lulu currently holds a 56% win rate at the highest queue level, and a 15% ban rate across all skill levels.

Samira, who stepped on the Summoner’s Rift just a few weeks ago in patch 10.19, will be receiving another nerf in patch 10.22. The incredibly powerful Desert Rose has had multiple nerfs since her release. As stated in the preview, “[Samira’s] still climbing in power as players are mastering her, previous nerfs weren’t enough.”

Xayah, LeBlanc, and Sejuani are all slated to receive buffs in the upcoming patch, though no further details were given. Nasus’s ultimate, Fury of the Sands, will get a resistance buff, going up from 15-55 to 40-70. Buffs are also on the way for Brand’s passive ability, Blaze, and his E, Conflagration.

Champion adjustments are coming for Annie, whose E, Molten Shield, will see a damage reduction and a mana cost increase. Ashe’s W, Volley, will now fire 7-11 arrows instead of a set nine. Jinx’s E, Flame Chompers, will now deal all damage immediately instead of over time.

League of Legends patch 10.22 is set to go live on October 28th.

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News

Solasta: Crown of The Magister Hits Early Access Today

Looking for a Dungeons & Dragons video game experience but don’t want to pay $60 for the unfinished Baldur’s Gate 3? You might be interested in Solasta: Crown of the Magister. While also an Early Access game still in its early stages, Solasta offers more affordable tabletop-style gameplay. It also offers some different takes on D&D combat by allowing players to use verticality and build a whole party from scratch.

Solasta: Crown of the Magister can now be found on Steam: Early Access at the discounted price of $29.75. For that, you’ll get a ten hour campaign and a look at how developer Tactical Adventures is playing with established D&D ideas. The base rules are the same (in fact Wizards of the Coast is allowing the game to use the SRD 5.1 rules), so you’ll still roll for initiative, cast magic missile, and try to get those rogue sneak attacks. Things change once you hit level three, as Tactical Adventures is introducing its own subclasses and magic items.

Another way Solasta differs from Baldur’s Gate 3 is in how it emphasizes tactics. Baldur’s Gate 3 has gotten a lot of attention for its freedom of choice and character creation (especially the boring things people are making with it). Solasta also offers choice, but more in how you build out and use your characters. You construct the whole party of four from level one and not just a main character.

From there, you quickly learn that verticality and lighting are big aspects of Solasta’s gameplay. Climbing to get away from an enemy’s reach or snipe arrows from above is a common occurrence. Environmental hazards, something many tabletop DMs forget, appear right from the tutorial. Resource management is also important, as for once you’ll actually have to keep track of your torches and rations.

Essentially, if you prefer your D&D with more combat and survival, Solasta may just be up your ally. It is Early Access, so be prepared for some stiff animations and so-so voice acting. Still, with in-person D&D off the table for a while, this might be the best way to get back to adventuring.

Solasta: Crown of the Magister is now available on Steam as an Early Access title.

NEXT: PS5 Will Attach A Spoiler Warning To Shared Screenshots

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Sergio is the Lead News Editor for TheGamer. But usually he asks people to call him “Serg” because he wants to sound cool like the guy from System of a Down. He began as a convention reporter for FLiP Magazine and Albany Radio’s The Shaw Report to get free badges to Comic-Con. Eventually he realized he liked talking to game developers and discovering weird new indie games. Now he brings that love of weird games to TheGamer, where he tries to talk about them in clickable ways so you grow to love them too. When he’s not stressing over how to do that, he’s a DM, Cleric of Bahamut, cosplay boyfriend, and occasional actor.

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Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Already Has A Cheater Problem

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War doesn’t even have a final version yet, but it does already have a problem with cheaters.

Beta testing for the game has reached its conclusion after two weekends in the hands of those who wanted to get a taste of what the game would have in store for multiplayer. As expected, players were having problems with the open beta. Xbox players weren’t able to find the app to open the game, for example. Black Ops Cold War could be the best Call of Duty in years—when the game works correctly, anyway.

One of those adjustments is going to be making sure that cheaters and exploits are found and exterminated, though, because some of what we’ve seen is pretty egregious. A couple of Redditors showed us what it’s like playing with a Cold War cheater, and it’s not even subtle.

Obviously, players who want to play the game as intended aren’t happy. The hacks are so blatant and unbelievable, that it’s reminiscent of a time when “God Mode” cheat codes were a thing. It’s not something that Activision and Infinity Ward want to happen in the game, but they do have existing solutions for this.

In Warzone, for example, cheaters are forced to play one another when they’re proven to be cheating. It’s a solution that’s similar to Cheater Island from Fall Guys. Frankly, it’s one that we hope is brought to Cold War, though it would be ideal if these exploits were patched.

Regardless of what Infinity Ward decides to do with cheaters, it is going to need to happen on day one of the official release. If aimbots this ridiculous are found in the final version of the game, players are going to be justifiably more upset than they were during the beta. Hopefully, these reports of cheaters made their way to Infinity Ward and gives the devs the data needed to make sure it doesn’t happen again. If these cheats continue, you’ll have more than the bushes to worry about in Cold War.

Up Next: What Did Game Freak Have Planned For The Canceled Pokémon X & Y Follow-Ups?

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Michael spent some time owning and running a bar. He is currently living on wheels with his wife, playing video games, guitar, and watching Pewdiepie comment on memes. #Floorgang

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Digital Downloads Of FIFA 21 Exceed Physical Sales – A First In Franchise History

For the first time in the history of FIFA games, digital downloads have exceeded physical sales. Could this be the start of a new trend, or is it more of an anomaly?

That is something that will be decided, in part, by the next-gen consoles—all four of them. In previous years, when Microsoft and Sony wanted to upgrade their new hardware, we expected that there would only be one version of it. This year, however, both companies have decided to offer a version of the console with a disk drive and one without one. In addition, Microsoft is leaning heavily on its Game Pass Ultimate subscription service that will allow you to download—or stream—hundreds of games for free, without the need for a disk.

With those two facts in mind, it would be reasonable to assume that both Microsoft and Sony expect that the future of gaming is digital. FIFA’s sales numbers, according to Game Sales Data, seem to back that up as digital downloads of FIFA placed it at the top of the download charts for the UK.

On the physical side of things, FIFA 21’s sales fell an incredible 42% compared to FIFA 20. The digital sales don’t completely make up for this drop in physical sales, but it does potentially indicate that more players are interested in downloading games rather than purchasing physical disks. Due to the pandemic, it could also be that many players felt that attempting to get a physical copy wasn’t worth the effort or uncertainty.

If you were trying to buy a Nintendo Switch this summer, for example, you may have been met with empty shelves and scalpers selling them for thousands of dollars. Similarly, Super Mario Bros. 3D All-Stars had a similar problem – scalpers were listing the game for $10,000.

Whatever the reasoning, this could prove to be a turning point for FIFA and potentially the gaming industry overall. If it is, we could see the disappearance of not only physical games, but the time-honored tradition of waiting outside of GameStop for a midnight release.

Up Next: What Did Game Freak Have Planned For The Canceled Pokémon X & Y Follow-Ups?

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Michael spent some time owning and running a bar. He is currently living on wheels with his wife, playing video games, guitar, and watching Pewdiepie comment on memes. #Floorgang

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The World Of Critical Role Review: A Marvelous Guide On The Power Of Storytelling

Beginning as an at-home Dungeons & Dragons campaign between close friends (who also happen to be professional voice actors), Critical Role has become a highly popular livestreamed role-playing show drawing in a massive amount of viewers every week. Critical Role’s first nonfiction book, The World of Critical Role: The History Behind the Epic Fantasy, is an origin story on how this entertainment company came to be, a behind-the-scenes look into what makes the show successful, and a love letter to the show’s loyal and talented community of fans, affectionately referred to as the Critters.

Author Liz Marsham and the cast of Critical Role (Ashley Johnson, Marisha Ray, Taliesin Jaffe, Travis Willingham, Sam Riegel, Laura Bailey, Liam O’Brien, and Matthew Mercer) have co-written this book, with photography from Ray Kachatorian and illustrations by Oliver Barrett, Rich Kelly, and Francesca Baerald. The World of Critical Role is a beautifully written and illustrated guide that encompasses the power and magic of storytelling through role-playing that Critical Role is known for.

The Best Of Both Worlds

Sitting at a hefty 320 pages, The World of Critical Role is a comprehensive guide to the show and its two campaigns, covering the important aspects from its roots to the individual details that make the show immersive. This book contains some never-before-seen content that even the most dedicated fans have not experienced, such as special behind-the-scenes photos, artwork, and interviews from the cast members themselves.

In addition, The World of Critical Role has the advantage of being both an immersive retelling of how the show got to be where it is today and an extensive guide in all things Critical Role.

Liz Marsham breathes life in the history of the show. She pairs personal interviews with the cast members with show highlights to make you feel as though you were sitting at the table, experiencing it all for yourself. Whether you are reading these legendary moments from the show for the first time or revisiting for a bit of nostalgia, the excitement that the cast felt at that moment is infectious. The photography, both artistic and functional, sprinkled throughout this section perfectly adds to the feeling of being included and having a seat at the table.

The artwork is quite beautiful as well, adding to the charm of the guide and the world that it represents. Whether it is a small doodle that pairs with the text featured or a large-scale piece separating the chapters, each art piece beautifully fits in and adds to the colorful landscape of the pages.

A Little Something For Everyone

It is apparent while reading this book that it was created with a wide audience in mind. Whether you are a Critical Role novice or you have been watching the streams since day one, there is something in this book for you.

A thoughtful feature included in the book are the names of the Critters who participated in the book’s pre-order bonus. Critters who provided proof that they pre-ordered the book earlier this year had their first and last names printed on the endleaves of each copy in the shape of Critical Role’s logo. This was a lovely way to include fans in on the project, and a fun search to find their name when they receive their own copy.

Any fan of the show might feel like they know the cast members pretty well, after having watched them play D&D for hours upon hours on end. However, fans may be pleasantly surprised to find details about the cast members that they might have not heard before. Whether it is the way that D&D has changed their lives or the way they view their characters, I am confident that you will discover something new about the Critical Role cast.

For the detail-oriented fan, you will be pleased to know that this book is chock-full of notes on items of importance, main and guest characters, recountings of critical moments in the show’s history, snippets from interviews with the cast and crew, and more. It is unlikely that you will find this book anywhere close to lacking in detail, and most likely will be surprised at just how expansive it is.

As a newer Critter (who began watching CR during its second campaign), I loved learning about the show’s beginnings. For someone like me who entered into the CR world after it had reached incredible fame, it is hard to imagine a time when it was just a group of friends playing at a table at someone’s house, and I know I am not the only one.

Final Thoughts

This book is an excellent addition for any Critical Role fan who might want to reminiscence on the best moments from the show or want more detail into the behind-the-scenes of the stream. Beautifully written and illustrated, this guide and memoir reflects the love of storytelling through Dungeons & Dragons that is so present in this show.

This book was a joy to read, and it was by no means a quick one either. I found myself laughing and wonderstruck, much like I do when I experience the show week by week. I only wish that the chapters, although creative, were more specifically named or defined, as with a large guide such as this, I would have loved to be able to navigate it more easily and return to the parts that I love the most.

Besides being a staple for any Critical Role fan, this book could also be enjoyed by a fresh-faced audience. Newcomers to the show might not resonant with a large portion of the content the book references, but it is well-written and explained in such a way that someone who might have never heard of the show would still be able to follow along.

A copy of this book was provided to TheGamer for this review. The World of Critical Role: The History Behind the Epic Fantasy is set to release on October 20, 2020, and is available for pre-order now.

All images reprinted from THE WORLD OF CRITICAL ROLE. Copyright © 2020 by Gilmore’s Glorious Goods, LLC. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Available to Purchase HERE.

NEXT: Critical Role Starts Non-Profit To Assist First Nation Education

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Brie is writer for TheGamer, covering mainly Nintendo games and D&D. She has been playing games for as long as she can remember, starting with those awful computer games marketed to children of the early 2000s, and now is addicted to basically anything Nintendo-related. Brie is also caught up with Campaign 2 of Critical Role (which is quite an accomplishment to her, so she wanted to let you know). She also watches it every Thursday night and totally doesn’t fall asleep in the middle of it and then has to catch up later.

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