Starting Tomorrow, Marvel Snap Will Let You Battle Your Friends

Marvel Snap is very good. We’ve said that before. Heck, we even called it one of the best games of 2022. But it did lack one big feature at launch: the ability to challenge your friends. Tomorrow’s Marvel Snap update will finally add the much-requested feature to the popular card game.

Following a beta period, Marvel Snap came out on phones and PC back in October. It quickly became popular due to its focus on small decks, fast matches, and random chaos. Since then it’s received multiple updates, adding good stuff like artist credits, and bad stuff like expensive in-game bundles. But what people really wanted was a way to directly face off against their friends. Shortly after release, the devs promised a battle mode for buddies was coming later in 2022. Then that quietly got delayed to 2023. But it’s finally arriving tomorrow, and I’m very excited.

Battle mode in Marvel Snap will work a bit differently than how current matches play out. Instead of one fast match, you’ll play multiple rounds against your friend using the same decks. Developer Second Dinner says matches will likely last around 20 minutes, which sounds a bit long for my taste, but we shall see.

How Battle Mode will work in Marvel Snap

Here’s how the developer explains this new mode in a blog from earlier this month:

Battle Mode pits two opponents against each other through multiple rounds. Each player starts with 10 health. Instead of Cubes, what’s at stake is the amount of damage the winner will deal to the loser. If you can deplete your opponent’s health to zero, you win!

In Battle Mode, the stakes become front and center. Every SNAP and Retreat takes extra meaning, as every point of health is critical to remaining alive.

Barring any last-minute delays or issues, starting tomorrow, January 31, you’ll be able to challenge your friends to a duel in Marvel Snap. On top of that, a bunch of rare and powerful cards are dropping in Series, like Shuri and Black Panther, letting you farm them easier from the collection path. And they’ll cost less in the Token Shop. All around good news!

While some might not care about this upcoming battle mode, I’m very excited. Being able to duel your friends is an important part of a good card game. I also need to beat my coworkers with my awesome Zabu deck. It will make the game even better and make me feel like a smart, powerful gamer. That, or I’ll get my ass kicked so bad that I delete my decks and never return to Slack.


WoW Player Hits Max Level Before Even Starting The Game

A Reddit user recently posted a brief, bombshell documentation of how they accomplished something they claim has never been done before: arrive at World of Warcraft’s newbie starting area, Exile’s Reach, at the highest possible character level 70. Initially noticed by Games Radar, user Cheatcho’s post is happy confirmation that anything is possible, as long as you have, like, 200 days to do it.

Those 200 days are crucial—Cheatcho’s process required over 200 “real days” dedicated to completing five account-wide (meaning any rewards obtained extend to every character on an account, and missions can be started and finished by any character on the account) pet battle quests (level-boosting fights between pet companions). But pet battles can only be performed once per day, so Cheatcho had to milk the process, hitting up five NPC trainers, Old McDonald, Eric Davidson, Lindsay, Bill Buckler, and Dagra the Fierce, daily and completing their challenges to benefit their new character.

“Why?” they posited on Reddit, “Because it’s the ultimate solo player way to level a character. You never leave [the Exile’s Reach] ship. You never defeat another player, dungeon boss or even group with anyone else. You never die. And because I consider doing it fun.”

Though Cheatcho claims to be the first Level 70 in the Exile’s Reach starting area specifically, their process—sticking to a starting area, battling pets to level up as leisurely but effectively as possible—has been done many times before in other parts of the WoW, for nearly the entire last decade that pet battles have been available.

Read More: World of Warcraft Player Reaches Level 100 Without Choosing A Faction

Following in tried-and-true footsteps, Cheatcho kept their process straightforward and repetitive. They hit trainers with a speedy, damaging spell, a level 25 Arcane Explosion, which Cheatcho writes “is fast and smooth. The spell [Area of Effects] all 3 of the trainer pets at the same time and finishes them off in a few rounds.”

“Leveling from 60 to 70 takes about 60 irl days and takes about five minutes per day if you have one character at any level parked at each of the pet battle trainers,” they continued. “You can also level a neutral Pandaren the same way if you decide to do it. Combination between the pet battles and herbing/mining while you are rested for an hour a day will get you to max in a month or two.”

“What the fuck,” someone replied.


Prince of Persia Remake Development Starting Over Years Later

Hey, remember that Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time remake Ubisoft announced back in 2020? The one it’s delayed twice, and that has switched developers at least once? Well, it turns out that at some point after the switch to a new studio development on the remake completely restarted, which makes it sound like the new(-ish) adventure is years away from release.

Announced in September 2020, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time remake was planned to launch in 2021 with improved visuals compared to 2003’s original game. Development on the remake was at first led by Ubisoft Pune with assistance from Ubisoft Mumbai. However, in December 2020 the game was delayed until March 2021. Then in February 2021, the remake was delayed indefinitely. And then in May 2022, a year ago, Ubisoft announced that Ubisoft Montréal—the original studio behind the classic Sands of Time trilogy—was taking over the project. At the time it sounded like they were building off the work already done by Pune and Mumbai. But now…well, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

On May 24, Ubisoft quietly revealed in a newly updated Prince of Persia FAQ that development on the project has seemingly started completely over, writing that that game—which was supposed to be out in 2021—is now in the “conception phase.” The studio is also apparently “building up the team” that will develop the game while working on early prototypes of it. That all seems to imply that the original remake was mostly or even completely tossed out and Ubisoft Montréal has gone back to the drawing board to start over.

Here’s Ubisoft’s full statement from the FAQ page:

With Ubisoft Montréal taking over the development of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake, the game is currently in the conception phase. As part of this early stage of development the studio is building up the team, defining priorities, developing prototypes, and testing gameplay elements.

Kotaku has reached out to Ubisoft about the remake.

In a Ubisoft News blog post published Wednesday, the remake’s producer, Jean-Francois Naud, further elaborated on the current state of the game’s development, saying that it’s “still in an early stage” and reiterating what the FAQ says, that the team is being built and gameplay is being prototyped. Naud also confirmed that fans won’t hear more about the remake in 2023.

While it’s possible the game hasn’t completely restarted development from scratch, it’s not a great sign that this already-troubled project that has seen multiple delays is still being prototyped and that the team for it isn’t even fully in place yet. If you were hoping to play this new Sands of Time remake anytime soon, well, I wouldn’t hold your breath.

And just in case you were wondering, Ubisoft confirms in the updated FAQ that, no, it isn’t working on any other Prince of Persia remakes, and doesn’t have plans to. Considering how the Sands of Time remake is going, that’s probably for the best.


Baldur’s Gate 3 Is Altering Its Ending, Starting With Karlach

In the weeks since Baldur’s Gate 3 launched, some fans of Karlach, your party’s feisty, hopeful, and powerful Tiefling Barbarian, have been unhappy with the conclusion to her storyline. There are even extensive threads about it on developer Larian Studios’ own forums, with some decrying the particulars of Karlach’s potential, player-dictated fates. It seems the studio has heard all the feedback, and is planning to address it with a new “optional” ending for Tiefling warrior.

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Karlach is getting a new ending in Baldur’s Gate 3

A lengthy blog post on Baldur’s Gate 3’s Steam page addresses numerous planned updates, and specifically talks about Karlach’s ending and the team’s plans to, not necessarily change it, but to at least add something that might bolster it. While there aren’t any real details yet, the post describes the new ending as being “fiery, poignant, and [giving] her the ending she deserves.”

Karlach is one of the only characters in Baldur’s Gate 3 who, depending on your choices, doesn’t really get a happy ending. She has an infernal engine in her chest that is slowly killing her, and the only options she has in the endgame are to either return to the Avernus, one of the Nine Hells, where she won’t burn up, turn into a Mind Flayer in order to shed the engine entirely, or die.

Karlach’s mortality and her reckoning with it are a huge part of her arc. Everyone else in the party is dealing with the threat of becoming a Mind Flayer, but they have hope that once they find a way to purge themselves, they can go back to their old lives. Karlach doesn’t have that hope, and that’s been a point of contention for fans of hers. What remains to be seen is if Larian plans to add a new option to save her, or if it will be expanding upon the established story in ways that might, at the very least, be more satisfying. Whatever it is, it will be part of the game’s next big patch.

As a Karlach fan, I’m conflicted. I like the notion that she might get an enhanced epilogue (especially for players who romanced her, as the game pretty abruptly ends if you pursue that relationship and choose to go to Avernus together), but I do think her grieving her own life and coming to terms with her death in her final moments was what made her story arc so compelling to me. I would be disappointed to see the end of her journey be changed entirely to just make it “happier.” Not everything needs to have a resounding hurrah at the end. Plus, if she goes back to Avernus, she can perhaps find another way to survive one day. For me, the hope that she might find a new solution feels good enough for me, but it doesn’t sound like everyone shares that sentiment.

Larian will be updating Baldur’s Gate 3‘s epilogue

It sounds like Larian is looking to expand upon Baldur’s Gate 3’s ending beyond Karlach, with the Steam post saying other new content will be coming to the epilogue. The ending that exists in the game now is pretty brief, some might even say abrupt depending on choices you’ve made, but the studio said it trimmed things down before launch because it feared the cinematics were becoming “too long” and “detract[ed] from the epicness.” But after some pushback, it looks like Larian will be adding new scenes to the ending, and that might extend to currently unused scenes dataminers have found in Baldur’s Gate 3’s files.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is available now on PC, and the PlayStation 5 version is coming out next week on September 6. An Xbox Series X/S version is also in development and planned to launch this year, but the Series S won’t be able to play the game’s split-screen co-op.

Bayonetta Creator ‘Over’ Old Job, Starting YouTube Channel

After announcing that he would do so late last month, Bayonetta director Hideki Kamiya left his job as vice president at PlatinumGames on October 12. And the very same day he became free of the studio he’d co-founded, he also hard-launched a new YouTube channel, “Hideki Kamiya Channel.” Its first and only video (which has two versions, with English or Japanese subtitles) features Kamiya explaining his decision to leave Platinum, what he’ll do now that he’s left, and his extended thoughts on making curry.

“[I] made CURRY the other day,” English subtitles say. “I had cravings for homemade curry. […] I went to the supermarket and bought ingredients while looking at the recipe on my phone. It says one onion, or maybe it was one-and-a-half, and one potato…”

Yeah, Kamiya doesn’t seem anguished about leaving Platinum, where he directed action-adventure game The Wonderful 101 and supervised every Bayonetta follow-up. The video shows him carrying a box stuffed with collectible figurines and plushies down from the Platinum office, about which he can only say, “I’m over it. I’m so over it.”

Later in the video, Kamiya—with his silver sport sunglasses on—says that it’s been three months since he settled on quitting Platinum, which he wanted to do out of his “beliefs as a game creator.”

“I’m not going to retire yet,” he says. “I want to keep creating games,” though “reasons” he couldn’t elaborate on—probably a non-compete clause attached to his contract at Platinum—prevent him from working in the gaming industry for at least a year. For now, Kamiya, who’s been in the gaming industry for some 30 years, says he’s feeling “very refreshed” watching Netflix instead of “[attending] those boring meetings with all kinds of important people.” He promises to post only “completely useless” information on his YouTube channel.

“[My channel] won’t be help to anyone wanting to be in the gaming industry,” he says. (Shots fired, Sakurai.) Then he drives his sour cherry red Lamborghini into frame. He pushes open one of its batwing doors to speak to the camera: “Off to the UNEMPLOYMENT CENTER. See ya!”

I’m happy for him—the only thing more fulfilling than spending decades of your life becoming a major, powerful figure in a cutthroat, creative industry is doing absolutely nothing.

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