Prestige Raid is Live! by Caleb Sawyer

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Hello Guardians! Hardcore Destiny 2 players will be happy to hear that the Prestige level of the Raid has been released. For those who don't know, the Prestige Raid is the Leviathan Raid, but rather than the power entry level being 280, it is 300. Players can expect a few changes, though nothing hugely different. The Royal Gardens have been reported to be sporting a couple more dogs, as well as one less orb and one more Psion to kill in the Gauntlet. Bungie has also said that players can earn, "unique rewards to help [them] shine."

So gather your friends, equip your best gear, and dive into the depths of Leviathan again. Become Legend.

~Caleb
@Lubwub

Destiny 2 is Upon Us! by Caleb Sawyer

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Tonight is the night! For countless fans, eager to see the next evolution of the Bungie shooter, tonight is going to be a long night. As if you didn't know, the highly anticipated sequel to Destiny releases tonight at 12am ET. That's 11pm for those of us in the Central Timezone and 9pm for the lucky bastards on the West Coast. 

There were a lot of things that made the first Destiny less than stellar. Several of those issues weren't immediately apparent to the public, though their impact on the game was. Some of those issues stood at the forefront of the title. With a shorter than desired storyline, plot holes, unfinished threads, and a lack of content, the first Destiny had to work hard to make itself into the game it intended to be. 

This time, the news of departures from Bungie were nonexistent. The rumblings have, instead, foretold a game that is far larger, with more to do, and with a story that Bungie fans would expect to see from the sci-fi storytellers. 

So lock in Guardians, grab whatever supplements you will need to stay up late, and get ready to get your greedy fingers all over some tasty loot. The Cabal have come. New Guardians must rise!

~Caleb
@LubWub

Tokyo 42 Releases on PS4! by Caleb Sawyer

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SMAC Games and Mode 7 have released their trippy isometric shooter on PS4. Tokyo 42, described by the publisher as the lovechild of Syndicate (the original) and GTA 1, is a beautifully unique twin stick shooter that places players in a futuristic Tokyo. Fighting to clear your name of murder, the player becomes a hitman (I know, seems counter productive) and hunts the one responsible for framing you. 

NerdyBits had the opportunity to play Tokyo 42 when it released for Xbox One, and boy did we enjoy it! Tokyo is stunning, with multilayered neighborhoods, temples, parks, and monuments littered across a stylistic and fresh open world. The game features adversarial multiplayer and a full single player campaign. Tokyo 42 is ruthlessly fun and, at times, painfully difficult, but there are few games that make raining lead on a group of enemies as beautiful as it does.

Go grab your copy of this truly unique shooter. You can find it on PC, Xbox One, and now PS4 for $19.99. You won't find anything else like it.

~Caleb
@LubWub

Post Mortem is Live! by Caleb Sawyer

Our new podcast/feature hybrid Post Mortem goes live today! Post Mortem is an extensive look at a game or topic that is written out and then recorded as a podcast, giving readers and listeners the ability to consume the material as they like. The articles are longform so if you have the time, settle in and give it a thorough read through, but if you have things to do, say you are in your car, queue it up on the radio and give it a listen. This first episode is about Ghost Recon: Wildlands, and Caleb goes into the both the mechanical side of the game and the moral implications of the protagonists' actions. 

So head on over to the Post Mortem page, give it a read/listen, and let us know what you think!

NerdyBits is Back with Bounty Board! by Caleb Sawyer

It has been a long time since we have produced quality content on a consistent schedule. We apologize for that (sincerely). But now, we're back, and better than ever! 

Bounty Board is the first part in a revitalization project that stretches as deep as it does wide. With a new weekly podcast NerdyBits is stepping up a putting our best foot forward. We have a lot planned for the future, so look forward to more post activity, live streams, experimental podcast shows, interviews, and so much more. 

For those of you who have stuck around: thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It means the world to us. For those of you new to our site: Welcome! You couldn't have chosen a better time to get on board.

Stay tuned for Episode 002 of Bounty Board today at 12:00 pm CST

Digging into Andromeda by Caleb Sawyer

It took a bit to get used to the new Mass Effect and all that came with it, but five plus hours in and Mass Effect: Andromeda has its claws embedded. 

Starting a new game has its ups and downs. New mechanics and systems take a little getting used to, even in brilliantly developed games. For Mass Effect, this is the beginning of a new era. New characters are introduced, new worlds, in this case a whole new galaxy. Straying from the traditional snap-cover based shooting mechanics, Andromeda seeks to make combat, and gameplay overall, a more fluid, visceral experience. I won't lie, I had my struggles. After trudging through the first engagements with the grace of a lanky teenager who hadn't quite mastered the use of their own limbs, it is finally clicking with me. A few hours of multiplayer with my friends later, I understand the new engine and its intricacies a bit more, and in a game as big as Andromeda, a little goes a long way.

...in a game as big as Andromeda, a little goes a long way.

Combat is just as pulse pounding as previous installments, without a doubt. But the lack of snap cover made the transition a bit harrowing. The first hour of play I died about as much as college girls (or me, if I'm honest) visit Starbucks. And while I repeatedly tried to do what I did years ago, Andromeda was liberal in serving size of punishment. Andromeda is unforgiving, both as a game and a galaxy. The enemies are smart. The Kett, the game's new primary antagonists, are unrelenting. Grunts are accurate, elites are smart, and shielded tanks walk right at you. Perhaps a testament to their implementation of a new cover system, hunkering down and fighting off waves of enemies just will not cut it.

As I said, I have only put in about six hours yet, but as soon as the scale and purpose of Andromeda made itself known, I was hooked. World exploration is interesting enough to make me drive away from my objectives hoping to discover new locations and missions. But it was calling in the first settlement that really locked it in. Mass Effect: Andromeda is about finding a new home for the human race. Establishing that first settlement, and the steps that led up to getting there, restored a feeling of wonder that I hadn't felt in Mass Effect since the first installment.

Caleb Sawyer
~@LubWub

Free Comic Book Day: Feed Your Inner Nerd for Free by Benjamin Sawyer

Videogames have been a giant part of my life. Even introducing me to other nerdy habits, like comic books, which happens to compliment my love of reading.

I remember when I first started following my first comic book series: Cable and Deadpool. I was playing X-Men: Rise of Apocalypse and I fell in love with the Merc with a Mouth. My brother, probably tired of hearing me rant and rave, said I should check out the local comic book store and read more about Deadpool’s shenanigans. The next day, I went and was directed to several Deadpool comics. I continued to go back and the issues were done by the time I made it home. We started buying two, or three each visit. Then, to feed my obsession, back issue sales became my scene. 

This is why I cannot help but talk about Free Comic Book Day (FCBD). 

FCBD is a collaboration of the North American comic book community coming together for the love of comic books. Local comic book stores work together to distribute comic books to the community while gaining national coverage. The first FCBD was in 2002 and was associated with a release of one of the first big comic book movies, “Spider-Man.”

FCBD is always the first Saturday in May, so this year’s, Saturday, May 7, is associated with the movie release of “Captain America: Civil War.” This year, the organization is celebrating 15 years of bringing free comic books to the community. 

FreeComicBookDay.com has a store locator on their website to help people find a participating store near them. While some stores may limit the number of comics given out, everyone is guaranteed one free comic book. The retailers receive a heavy discount on each of the comic books that they give out for free and some stores give out merchandise. It is all on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Some stores hire professional cosplayers to appear for the day for pictures and attendees are also encouraged to attend in cosplay as their favorite comic book characters. 

According to FreeComicBookDay.com, “[The event] is administered by a panel representing all parts of the comic book industry: retailers, publishers, suppliers, and Diamond Comic Distributors. Each year, publishers apply to provide comic books at cost to retailers, who in turn give them away for free. Diamond handles marketing and logistics for the event, shipping comics to shops and handling marketing and PR for the event.”

Besides just supporting the art form of comic books which has been around since the early 20th century, this day is a great way to promote comics to children. Comic books can be a great motivator for kids to get into the habit of reading and enjoying it. For me, I already had that love, but it kept me reading. Comic books are also a great way for parents to bond with children as they read the books together. 

But the bonding over comic books is not just for children and parents. Comic books vary in artists, writers, concepts, topics, humor, and more. It is hard not to find something to enjoy. This effort is easy to see on any FCBD at any local retailer. Crowds of people of all ages bond over the issues available. FCBD tries to provide comics that are both different and entertaining for avid comic readers and inviting for novice comic readers. 

Along with a sense of community and love of reading, this event promotes local business. FCBD drives consumers to local comic book stores and shoppers get to check out what the store has to offer, leading to future business for the comic shop. In this way, local small businesses are able to tap into a promotion that is nationwide and generate more publicity than they could with their own local advertising. 

To continue the community bonding aspect of the event, attendees are encouraged to take pictures of themselves enjoying FCBD and tweet @freecomicbook and use #FCBD2016 and #FCBD. 

The list of comic books to choose from can be found at http://www.freecomicbookday.com/Home/1/1/27/981. There are even downloadable previews for some of the comics. Follow FCBD on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates. 

I hope you will join me and other fans by participating in this year’s FCBD Saturday. 

@AnimeKat13
~Kathleen
 

Homefront: The Revolution Gets Release Date by Benjamin Sawyer

Homefront: The Revolution, sequel to 2011's underdog title Homefront, got a new trailer today, and with that new trailer, a release date. The open-world shooter is being published by Deep Silver and developed by newcomer Dambuster Studios, a development studio created by Deep Silver when the acquired the franchise from Crytek. The title takes place in 2029, in a future where Korea has invaded and occupies the United States.

 

Look for Homefront: The Revolution on May 17th.

@LubWub 
~Caleb 

No Man's Sky Gets a Release Date (?) by Benjamin Sawyer

The new No Man's Sky trailer "I've Seen Things" is the most recent content to come out of the reclusive studio Hello Games, the English indie studio behind one of the most anticipated games on current gen consoles (specifically the PS4). The trailer shows off some new gameplay, a voice-over, and for the first time in months, a release window. 

Here's to hoping that, come June, we may find ourselves amongst the stars.

@LubWub
~Caleb 

Ubisoft's Lukewarm Fiscal Year Thus Far by Benjamin Sawyer

According to the latest earnings report from the Canadian publishing titan, Ubisoft has seen a significant drop in sales. The report, ending with September 30th, and therefore weighing earnings before major title Assassin's Creed Syndicate, reports a $224.9 million 2015 first semester, nearly a 61% decline in year-to-year sales.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot points out that, "The fact that more than 80 percent of our annual sales are expected to be generated in the second half of the year mechanically weighed on our earnings for the first six months,” but nevertheless, a 60% drop in sales is a frightful discovery for any company. Take into account that last year's first semester was bolstered by the extemely well selling Watch Dogs (May 2014), and that Assassin's Cred Syndicate, a title currently sitting at the top end of the game industry both in critical and commercial succes, and maybe this report is really nothing to fret about. Ubisoft also has three more major titles slated to release this fiscal year, Rainbow Six: Siege, The Division, and Far Cry Primal.

48.3% of this year's first semester of sales for Ubisoft can be attributed to digital sales, rather than retail, which is almost double the same category last year, but it is still a drop from the 56% that Ubisoft boasted in Q1 of this year.

For the official document follow the link here.

@LubWub
~Caleb Sawyer
 

SmuggleCraft Shows Off New Gameplay Trailer by Benjamin Sawyer

St. Louis Indie Developer Happy Badger Studio released a new trailer for their upcoming title SmuggleCraft last week. The trailer shows off some new sounds, lighting, and a multiplayer mode that was not prepared when I got hands on three weeks ago. It also gives people a good look at a game that is still growing, really giving players a glimpse of what that process looks like. 

SmuggleCraft is still a far way from release, but each piece that gets added to the puzzle adds to our excitement. NerdyBits is looking forward to SmuggleCraft. Give it a look-see, maybe you will too.

@CalebTSawyer
~Caleb 

 

NerdyBits Heads to Happy Badger Studios by Benjamin Sawyer

Today, EIC Caleb Sawyer will be visiting Happy Badger Studios to discuss the studio's newly announced SmuggleCraft. The small, St. Louis based studio, known for mobile titles like Strange Donuts vs. The World and Cosmic Kitty Pop!, is making the console leap with this new game, set to release exclusively on PS4 (as well as PC, Mac, and Linux) in 2016.

SmuggleCraft is a reconceptualization of the everyday racing game, giving players a world with procedurally generated tracks and story impacting player choice. Players will take on the persona of smuggler Ferre Astraea in a world where over-regulation is the norm.

For more info on the game, head to Happy Badger's SmuggleCraft announcement page here, or comeback tomorrow to read Caleb's write-up from today's visit. 

@CalebTSawyer
~Caleb 

Happy Badger Studios