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The Arcade Vol.5: Cardi B fails to secure the ‘CoD’ bag as horror IKEA game floors players

Good to see you again, fellow netizens! As for those of you who are new here, let me bid you a warm welcome to the Arcade: a space for you to soak in all the quirkiness and intrigue the world of video games has to offer. Why don’t you take a seat, save your progress, and download the latest gaming news with us? Oh, and enjoy your stay while you’re at it.

1. Two ‘Pokémon’ fans have completed a living master dex of all 900+ Pokémon

Back in the 90s, Pokémon’s slogan was the infamous “Gotta Catch ‘Em All!” and at that point in time, it was a reasonable feat, with only 151 of the critters in existence. Fast forward to 2022, and with the imminent release of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, we’re about to head into the thousands—making that iconic tagline not so achievable anymore.

But for two Pokémon super fans, this daunting task didn’t stand a chance. Back in 2018, Redditor SpacebornKiller and his friend started what is known as a living master dex—physically owning every single Pokémon in existence.

A mere four years later—and thousands of trades, transfers, and a little hacking here and there—the living master dex of every Pokémon ever created was complete, and the two real life Pokémon masters suited up to celebrate. With tenacity like this, these two should definitely take up shiny hunting. Don’t worry lads, give it a couple of months and you’ll have even more Pokémon to catch. A trainer’s work is never done…

My best bud and I started the Master Dex way back in 2018 and we're finally finished. Every single Pokémon from their oldest possible game. Had to dress up for the occasion. from PokemonHome

2. ‘Trombone Champ’ is the new hit indie game of 2022

Many games have gone viral over the years. From Undertale to Among Us, sometimes all it takes is a simple idea and clever marketing to get your creations out there in the market. And this is exactly what has happened with the newest indie hit, Trombone Champ. As a delightfully silly game, it sees you wield a trombone and try your darndest to play a variety of tunes using only your brass instrument. Think of it as Guitar Hero’s wacky cousin.

Created by a mostly one-person company, Holy Wow Studios, the developers gave a bunch of game keys to YouTubers and Twitch streamers upon its release and, in just one week, it has gained a huge amount of momentum on Steam, the world’s leading PC game platform.

The studio has since tweeted about how much Trombone Champ’s success means to them, and that it’s going to take a while to get everything in order as running the studio isn’t even their primary job. They have hence asked the community to be patient with them. Take all the time you need, Holy Wow.

3. A new horror game about being trapped in IKEA is in the works

Everyone likes to pretend that they live in the wonderful displays on a trip to IKEA. But what if you got trapped in there overnight with hoards of monsters dressed as employees and the building was never ending? Well, that’s the premise of the new indie horror game, The Store is Closed.

Inspired by the SCP Foundation—a collaborative writing project which combines thousands of stories, documents, and more of supernatural creatures and entities, all into one shared universe—specifically, the story of SCP-3008, which refers to an ex-IKEA building that teleports visitors to an alternate world where the map is endless and full of monsters, players will explore an IKEA-like store either alone or with friends, and must craft weapons and defences from the furniture they find.

The Store is Closed is currently on Kickstarter and has raised over $21,677, smashing its original goal of $11,377. It aims to release in 2024.

4. ‘Grand Theft Auto 5’ player needs help getting around after failing in-game driving test

We all know that if you fail your driving test in real life, it’s best not to get behind the wheel of a car. Well, for Redditor MotorDesigner, the same applies to video games. Say what now?

After failing the San Andreas driving test, the Redditor reached out to the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) subreddit and asked for legal ways to get around the city without a car. Ironic, considering you can do pretty much anything, legal or illegal, in GTA.

Well, to be honest, the in-game driving test doesn’t look too taxing. Questions include when it’s permissible to run a red light, what the correct driving position is, and how best to drive when “getting serviced orally by a girl while driving.” Lovely. Despite having rock-bottom standards, MotorDesigner failed to pass the San Andreas Department of Motor Vehicles’ test, and therefore cannot drive legally in the city.

Users were quick to respond to his plea, with suggestions including hopping on the bus, or riding the subway. One person responded “This test really explains the NPC traffic lol.” I hope you pass next time, buddy.

i took the San Andreas drivers license test. i failed😔. now im forced to use the bus in missions. from gtaonline

5. Ubisoft and Bungie working to port gamers’ characters and games to PC after Google Stadia implodes

If you don’t know what Google Stadia is, then I don’t blame you. The streaming-only console released in November 2019, and just over three years later, it’s now being discontinued.

But for the people who have actually invested in Stadia, this disruption is posing a huge problem. Once their servers go down in January 2023, all games, characters, and progress they have amassed to date will cease to exist. Simply put, they’re on track to face a gamer’s worst nightmare.

Thankfully, Ubisoft and Bungie, the companies behind Destiny and The Division, are putting in the work to rescue gamers’ save data by porting them to PC. Heroes, indeed.

Unfortunately, there is no clear plan as of yet laid out by Ubisoft and it is having to work the specifics out on the fly. The same can be said for Bungie, a heavy Stadia supporter, with Destiny 2 effectively being the system’s flagship game, and it also used Stadia internally to test its creations as the studio has increased its development from home.

6. Cardi B misses out on huge ‘Call of Duty’ collaboration

We all know the drill by now—a new Call of Duty game comes out and Activision rolls out the big guns to advertise it. Fans have seen the likes of Paul Davidson, Steve Aoki, and TimTheTatman this year but one major star missed out on the big promotion.

Hip-hop icon Cardi B has stated in recent tweets that, due to scheduling conflicts, she was “missing out on a multi-million dollar deal.” 

Due to a court hearing regarding two misdemeanour assault charges stemming from a 2018 incident involving her and two other women who worked at an adult entertainment club, the rapper had to miss the 15 September shooting of the advert, much to her dismay.

7. Naughty Dog could be working on a new post-apocalyptic game like ‘The Last of Us’

If you haven’t heard of The Last of Us by now, you really need to sort your priorities out. With two remasters, a sequel, and a brand new TV show coming out next year, it might just be developer Naughty Dog’s biggest franchise to date.

However, after a recent job posting, it seems that the Uncharted creator might be kicking work off on a brand new post-apocalyptic game. While there’s a lack of details at this point, the posting states that Naughty Dog wants an artist who is able to create assets for an AAA title, including realistic skin textures using shading techniques.

There have been no game specifics mentioned, and it could be for a myriad of things, from continued production of content for The Last of Us 2 to working on an entirely new game, but one thing’s for sure—Naughty Dog is working on something, and fans should be excited.

8. ‘Overwatch 1’ is dead. Long live ‘Overwatch 2’

When Overwatch 2 was announced, everyone knew it was only a matter of time before the highly-popular team-based shooter would shut down, making way for its new and improved sequel. And on Monday 3 October, the time had come.

Many recorded their last few plays and the shut down of the servers, although for a game with such prestige and a huge fan base that was loved by millions, Blizzard mercilessly pulled the plug without any kind of formal goodbye, leaving players with a simple “disconnected from server” message. Although it resulted in a sad day for many, the move was a necessary evil in order to make way for the franchise’s shiny new sequel, Overwatch 2, which is available now.

9. ‘Overwatch 2’ is not letting gamers with prepaid mobile plans play, and fans are furious

Mere days after its release, Overwatch 2 is already running into problems. Primarily, the issues are originating from Blizzard’s two-factor authentication system, which requires players to have a phone number linked to their account in order to play.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, not quite. For some reason, the security system isn’t recognising mobiles on a prepaid phone plan, meaning only phones on a contract can be accepted.

Rightly, this is leaving fans furious, with one netizen, Redditor malcaster taking to the Overwatch subreddit to complain by comparing it to other real-life situations. “Imagine walking into a bank and them refusing to allow you to open up an account with them just because of what type of phone service you use (i.e., or provider, such as MetroPCS),” they wrote. “It’s oppressive, and it’s honestly disgusting. Blizzard, fix this.”

Let's Discuss not allowing "Pre-Paid" Phones from Overwatch

Since this issue arose, Blizzard has issued a statement regarding the problem and will be loosening phone number requirements for a majority of existing Overwatch players. However, new accounts will still have to meet the SMS Protect requirements.

The Arcade Vol. 4: Big Chungus in ‘MultiVersus’ and Kermit the Frog’s spidey senses are tingling

Good to see you again, fellow netizens! As for those of you who are now here, let me bid you a warm welcome to the Arcade: a space for you to soak in all the quirkiness and intrigue the world of video games has to offer. Why don’t you take a seat, save your progress, and download the latest gaming news with us? Oh, and enjoy your stay while you’re at it.

1. First look at HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ TV show

Back in the summer of 2013, the game of a generation was released and AAA story games haven’t been the same ever since. For those of you that don’t know what I’m on going about, The Last of Us follows Joel, a survivor of a zombie apocalypse that ravaged the globe as he is tasked with escorting Ellie, a young girl who is immune to the infection and the world’s only hope at survival, across America to doctors who can prepare a vaccine. That description barely scratches the surface of how emotional and moving this game is, and it is a tale you should really experience for yourself.

But back to the topic at hand. Almost ten years on and with two remasters and a sequel to its name, it was only a matter of time before Ellie and Joel’s story made it to the big screen. Recently, a teaser has been released for HBO’s adaptation of The Last of Us, featuring The Manalorian’s Pedro Pascal as Joel, and Game of Thrones’ Bella Ramsay as Ellie. The mini-trailer was part of a collection of teasers for the services’ new season, but what little bits were shown were enticing enough. 

The clip shows Joel handing Ellie a gun, running through the streets with *redacted* (no spoilers here) in his arms as well as the introduction of Parks and Recreation’s Nick Offerman as Bill. There was no showcase of the zombies in the snippet, but we did catch a glimpse of some nasty looking fungal infection on a wall, hinting at the dire state the world is in. The advert showcases a range of new shows, but if you wish to skip to The Last of Us, then jump to the 1:43 mark.

You can expect to join Ellie and Joel on their dangerous journey in 2023.

2. Sony’s PSVR2 will release in 2023

It has been revealed that PlayStation’s new virtual reality headset, PSVR2, will be released in early 2023.

Sony’s newest VR device will feature an OLED display with 2000×2040 pixel per eye and a smooth refresh rate of 120Hz. It will also take advantage of inside out eye tracking and have 110 degrees field of view. Fancy or what?

Sony has confirmed that there will be over 20 games available at launch, and added that it’s currently developing exclusive games for the headset, including Horizon: Call of the Mountain, based on the widely popular series of the same name.

While the PSVR2 has specs that rival the Oculus Quest 2 and the Valve Index, the fact that it is a wired headset and needs a PlayStation 5 in order to function could become a hindrance, but that remains to be seen. Will you be picking up this next-gen headset?

3. ‘Genshin Impact’ new update is everything fans wanted and more

Genshin Impact developers HoYoverse have seen massive amounts of success with its online Japanese role-playing game (JRPG) in the past, but players have always felt frustrated by some aspects of the game’s open-world design.

In this newest update however, HoYoverse is right on the money and the new area of Sumeru is a delight to explore. You can zip around the canopies of Apam Woods thanks to the strategically placed four-leaf clover sigils, and when you do have to climb mountains, unlike the other areas where it was a constant race between how fast you could get to the top and your stamina bar running out, this time there are convenient stamina flowers right where you need them. It makes going back to old areas feel cumbersome and even more frustrating in comparison.

Sumeru also brings back the use of elemental puzzles, meaning you’ll be rotating your team members frequently to make use of their unique elemental abilities. For instance, by charging a green mushroom with Electro energy, you can jump far higher than if you simply just jumped on it. There is also a new element, Dendro, which can be combined with others for a variety of different effects.

Sumeru feels like a return to Genshin’s roots. The last area, Inazuma was hostile and had puzzles that were seemingly hard for no reason. Sumeru’s more relaxed approach brings back what made this game so fun to begin with: finding fascinating new sights no matter where you look.

The Sumeru update is playable now.

4. ‘Pokemon GO’ Ultra Beast horror shorts are actually terrifying

Pokémon isn’t known for its horror elements. Sure, the games have spooky bits, such as the infamous Pokémon Tower from Pokémon Red and Blue which is haunted by ghosts, but it’s not blood-curdlingly scary. However, recently, to celebrate the end of Pokémon GO Fest 2022, a three-month real-world celebration and for the addition of Sun and Moon’s Ultra Beasts in Pokémon GO, the folks at Niantic have released a series of 90-second found footage style horror shorts featuring the Ultra Beasts, and, credit where credit’s due—they’re very well done.

One of the shorts shows a Nihilego floating in a dark, quiet Japanese underpass as an onlooker films, while another—arguably the scariest one—shows a Japanese man working late in an office when the power goes out. Opening the window, he discovers a Xurkitree drinking up the power from the building, which turns around and attacks him.

While Pokémon hasn’t really done this kind of typing in the past, these shorts prove that the iconic video games and horror go quite well together. Hopefully, we’ll see something similar to this once Halloween rolls around.

5. Chinese pizza place shuts down due to ‘Genshin Impact’ collab

Genshin Impact is back in the news again, this time not for its fancy new update, but for its collaboration with a popular pizza chain.

In China, players have been able to enjoy the game in a new way, with Genshin Impact teaming up with Pizza Hut for a special collaboration. The promotion features the characters Amber and Eula wearing the American pizza delivery chain’s uniform and also includes some in-game rewards. As you can imagine, pizza plus video games is a winning combo, so much so that police have had to shut down at least one Pizza Hut restaurant over crowd safety concerns.

Due to China’s strict COVID-19 regulations, you can see why the police were forced to intervene. Fortunately, this was just a temporary closure and the store resumed normal operation once crowds had been sorted out.

Unfortunately for international players, this event is only taking place in China, but it goes to show that the popularity of the free-to-play gacha game only continues to rise.

6. ‘Rick and Morty’ in ‘God of War: Ragnarok’ promo

God of War: Ragnarok is probably one of the most anticipated games of 2022. A follow-up to 2018’s God of War, if it is anything like its predecessor, it is sure to be a massive hit. Heck, even Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said it’s the game he’s most excited to play next.

As the November release date looms, Sony has begun to release promotional material for its new title. One of the coolest pieces of teaser is a highly anticipated Rick and Morty collab.

Rick and Morty enter the nine realms and the impressionable boy is immediately attacked by some vulture-looking birds. Typical. Meanwhile, Rick ignores him and opens a chest to find the Leviathan Axe, main character Kratos’ weapon of choice in both God of War and God of War: Ragnarok. He then looks straight at the camera and says there are some “unannounced upgrades” in there too, hinting at possible new weapons for Kratos to use.

With the first episode of Rick and Morty’s sixth season airing recently, it makes perfect sense for the show to promote itself with a tie-in to one of the most popular game series around. Maybe show creator Justin Roiland should consider more video game episodes in the future?

7. Kermit the Frog is Spider-Man

After four years of being a PlayStation exclusive, Sony’s mega-hit Spider-Man game is finally available on PC. And you know what that means? Mods. You’ll get the standard mods that turn Spider-Man into Venom, or maybe Carnage, but one modder has gone above and beyond and given our web-slinging hero a crossover we never knew we needed.

Introducing the hero of Manhattan: Kermit the Frog. That’s right, our favourite green muppet now fights crime too. Modder TangoTeds is to blame—or thank—for this glorious creation. What’s even better is that the mod changes the game’s default suit, meaning from when you boot up the game, you can start beating up bad guys and zooming around New York City as the mean green frog. An iconic mod for an iconic game.

8. ‘League of Legends animated show ‘Arcane’ wins first animated Emmy

If you know anything about League of Legends (LoL) it’ll probably be its reputation for having astronomical levels of toxicity among its players. However, its foray into TV has exceeded all expectations.

Arcane, an animated show based in the LoL universe, and featuring many of its characters, has done very well for itself, becoming the first streaming series to win an Outstanding Animated Programme Emmy. The show even beat out some very well known contenders such as The Simpsons and Bob’s Burgers. A huge feat, recognised by Arcane co-creator, Christian Linke: “It’s a big deal for us as we come from video games. It’s been amazing to see the world embrace our characters and our stories.”

Riot Games, creator of LoL worked closely with Arcane animation company Fortiche, but acquired a significant non-controlling stake earlier this year. They worked together to bring character Jinx to LoL in 2013 and have several unannounced projects on top of Arcane in the works, so stay tuned. While the show may have been a huge success, there are many who would rather not see Riot Games prosper, especially due to its damaging record in regards to how women are treated in its workplace.

9. Fighting game ‘Mutliversus’ trademarks Big Chungus meme

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be well aware that hit fighting game Multiversus has been out for quite some time and features a whole host of characters from our favourite cartoons: Jake the Dog from Adventure Time, Harley Quinn from Batman and even Ultra Instinct Shaggy, a popular meme of Shaggy from Scooby-Doo where Shaggy gets the same power as Goku from Dragon Ball Z.

Now it seems that Warner Brother Games, the creator of Multiversus, have set its sight on a new meme: Big Chungus.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, the Big Chungus meme is essentially a fat version of the iconic Looney Tunes character, Bugs Bunny, who is also a playable character in the game.

This doesn’t guarantee that Big Chungus will make into the game as a playable character, it’s possible it could be used as a purchasable skin from Bugs Bunny, or simply not used at all. But given Warner Brothers’ track record with Ultra Instinct Shaggy, I wouldn’t be surprised if a little piece of 2018 found its way into the coolest fighting game of 2022. 

10. ‘Hogwarts Legacy’ account link lets players choose house and wand before playing

Calling all Potterheads! Boy, do we have a treat for you. February 2023 will see the release of the highly anticipated Hogwarts Legacy video game. Set in Hogwarts in the 1800s, players will take on the role of a wizard student enrolling in their 5th year. During their time there, they’ll learn how to use magic and fight the evil that threatens the peace of the world.

In order to make things a little more personal for players, Hogwarts Legacy is letting those with a WB Games account link it with their Harry Potter Fan Club account. By doing this, players who have been sorted into one of the four Hogwarts houses on the Fan Club app will be able to start the game in that specific house. Additionally, if they have taken the wand quiz and discovered which type of wand would be drawn to them, their in-game character will also end up with that wand.

This is a lovely little touch that will make fans of the series enjoy their adventure at Hogwarts even more. Of course, given who wrote Harry Potter, there have been calls to boycott the game, so as to not bring any more attention to JK Rowling and her views on transgender individuals.

Hogwarts Legacy releases 10 February 2023.