Sea of Thieves Free with Xbox One X Purchase for Limited Time

For a limited time, those who purchase an Xbox One X will receive a free digital copy of Sea of Thieves.

As detailed on Xbox Wire, the promotion will run from March 18 through March 24 in “most Xbox markets.” The Xbox One X costs $500 USD on its own.

Additionally, Microsoft will also offer a Sea of Thieves Xbox One S bundle. Priced at $300 USD, the bundle will launch alongside the game on March 20 and comes with a digital copy of Sea of Thieves, an Xbox One controller, a 1TB Xbox One S console, and one-month subscriptions to both Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass. You can pre-order the bundle here.

Continue reading…

Pokemon Go: Fan-Favorite Legendary Lugia Returns For A Limited Time

One of the first Legendary Pokemon to be released in Pokemon Go will soon show up once again in the popular mobile game. Beginning today, March 16, Pokemon Go players will have another opportunity to capture the Gold and Silver Legendary, Lugia, for a limited time.

As before, players will encounter Lugia as a Raid Battle boss at Gyms. This time around, however, Pokemon Go developer Niantic says the Legendary Pokemon will know the “newly improved” Flying move Sky Attack, although Niantic didn’t elaborate as to how the attack has been improved.

In order to capture Lugia, players will first have to team up with other trainers at a Gym to battle the powerful Pokemon. Only once Lugia has been defeated will each participant have a chance to catch it. Fortunately, The Pokemon Company has teased that Lugia will be easier to capture than it previously was if players are able to successfully take it down.

No Caption Provided

Lugia arrives on the same day that another Legendary, Rayquaza, leaves the game. March 16 also marks the day the rewards for Pokemon Go’s Legendary Week will expire. As a result of that event, Pokemon that prefer windy weather–such as Salamence’s first form, Bagon–have been more likely to hatch from Eggs. Players would also receive double XP as an additional bonus.

Lugia will be available in Pokemon Go until April 2. Shortly after it arrives, Niantic will host the third Community Day event. That takes place on March 25 and runs for three hours, beginning at 11 AM PT / 2 PM ET and ending at 2 PM PT / 5 PM ET. The featured Pokemon during this month’s Community Day will be the classic starter Bulbasaur, although Niantic has yet to announce what it’s exclusive move will be.

Sonic Mania Plus Adds New Characters, Competitive Mode

An updated physical release of Sonic Mania titled Sonic Mania Plus has been revealed, complete with new playable characters and modes.

SEGA announced the edition during the SXSW Sonic the Hedgehog panel and later posted to the Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter feed. The new edition is coming in Summer 2018.

The updated game will feature an all-new four player competition mode, as well as an “Encore Mode.” No details about the new modes have been revealed so far.

DYcApPAVMAATgUF Sonic Mania Plus promo art with updated features.

Continue reading…

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 Update To Progression Bringing Back Microtransactions

Star Wars: Battlefront II was heavily criticised for the way it allowed players to pay real money to get loot boxes that could contain items that actually affected gameplay. Some cried out that this represented a pay-to-win situation. It was a lot of bad press for EA. In response to this, EA removed microtransactions from the game completely just before its public launch, with the developer saying it needed more time to adjust them before bringing them back. Today, EA confirmed that microtransactions are coming back in April, though this time around you will only be able to purchase cosmetic items–that is, those that do not affect gameplay. Previously, EA let you pay for an opportunity to get items that gave you a theoretical advantage such as improved grenades or shields.

Before microtransactions return, however, EA is launching an update on March 21 that significantly changes how progression works. Presently, Star Cards and other items that impact gameplay, can be acquired in loot boxes–called Crates in Battlefront II–that you can unlock through normal gameplay progression. But with the new update, the only way to get Star Cards is through standard progression. “If you earn enough experience points to gain a level for that unit, you’ll receive one Skill Point that can be used to unlock or upgrade the eligible Star Card you’d like to equip,” EA said.

If you already acquired Star Cards, the good news is that you won’t lose these when the update comes out. Additionally, all of the extra heroes and weapons you already unlocked will stay with you when the patch arrives.

Regarding Crates specifically, you’ll get these in a number of ways, including logging in every day and completing the game’s various timed challenges. Crates will only include cosmetic items–such as emotes or poses–as well as Credits.

Then in April, EA will launch a new in-game store where you can buy new character customisation options by spending Credits that you earn by gameplay or by spending Crystals that you can get with real money. As an example, EA said you’ll be able to make a Rodian Resistance fighter, which wouldn’t happen in the official Star Wars canon.

Interestingly, it’s this kind of canon-breaking mash-up that EA CFO Blake Jorgensen said last year was one of the reasons why the company did not offer cosmetic-only items in Battlefront II’s loot boxes. In fact, Jorgensen said EA was against cosmetic items all-up.

“If you did a bunch of cosmetic things, you might start to violate the canon,” the executive said at the time. “Darth Vader in white probably doesn’t make sense, versus in black. Not to mention you probably don’t want Darth Vader in pink. No offense to pink, but I don’t think that’s right in the canon.”

It remains to be seen how deep the customisation will go. Indeed, we wouldn’t imagine Disney would be OK with the kind of situation Jorgensen offered up. Then again, this happened, so you never know what Disney might be OK with.

Whatever the case, EA said the updates to Battlefront II’s progression system are a “major step” in the company’s effort to “improve the core of the game and add new content.”

In addition to the changes laid out below, EA said it is planning to add new modes to Battlefront II in the future to keep things interesting and fresh. Some of the modes will be “radically different” than anything that’s come before. We’ll report back with more details as they are announced.

The debate around Battlefront II’s initial microtransaction system extended beyond gaming circles. Lawmakers from the United States and around the world launched investigations into loot boxes to, in some cases, try to determine if they constitute a form of gambling. In the wake of the Battlefront II controversy, the ESRB announced that it will put a label on games that will read “In-Game Purchases” to inform people, and in particular parents, that the game they are buying offers the ability to spend extra money. Some are questioning the effectiveness of this and asking if this new system will be effective at all.

Fortnite Mobile Friend Invites Now Available

It seems that Fortnite‘s mobile test is expanding quickly. With the first invites having already gone out on iOS, Epic Games is now allowing select participants to begin bringing their friends into the game–so if you know someone who’s in, now is the time to start bugging and/or bribing them.

Some Fortnite mobile players, including one of us here at GameSpot, has received an email informing them that friend invites are now available. “You have new friend invites ready to send!” the email reads. “Share them with your friend to give them instant access to the Fortnite Invite Event on iOS.”

At least in our case, we received three invites. These aren’t sent through the email itself; instead, you have to open up the game on your mobile device, log in, and send them out from there. As pictured below, if you have invites to send, you’ll be alerted by a notification in the upper-right corner of the screen. Click that, and you’re presented with links to send out each invite. Once it’s accepted, you and the recipient will automatically be added to each other’s friends list.

No Caption ProvidedGallery image 1Gallery image 2

Fortnite mobile is only in beta currently, but as Epic promised, it does essentially deliver the full Battle Royale experience (as you’d expect, because cross-play is set to be offered with other platforms). It does feature some minor changes, such as a new indicator to point out things (like nearby chests) in case you’re playing without sound. You can check out some Fortnite mobile gameplay in the video above. An Android version is also in the works and will be released in the coming months, and the ongoing iOS test will continue to expand.

Tomb Raider Producer Reveals Why Angelina Jolie Cameo Didn’t Happen

Tomb Raider producer Graham King has revealed why the production team felt an Angelina Jolie cameo appearance wouldn’t work in the new Tomb Raider movie reboot.

In an interview with CinemaBlend, King explained the film doesn’t have a story moment that justifies having Jolie suddenly show up and interact with the new Lara Croft, Alicia Vikander.

“It was never a story that had that moment where you could, you know what I mean?” King said. “Pass the baton over.”

Jolie portrayed Lara Croft in 2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and 2003’s Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life. Warner Bros. still wanted to find a way to include Jolie, according to King, but he and the rest of the team ultimately decided against it for fear of ruining the reboot’s different tone.

Continue reading…

Where to Learn Japanese, Spanish, and More Online

If you buy something through this post, IGN may get a share of the sale. For more, read our Terms of Use.

Learning a new language is tough but can be extremely rewarding. Beyond the obvious utility that comes with knowing another language, your brain actually learns to think differently. You can approach problems in a whole new way by thinking them out in a different language. It’s really cool. If you’re an adult looking to pick up a new language outside of the classroom, there are several high-quality options for online courses and self-directed learning tools.

We’ve broken down several of the best options below for learning Japanese

Continue reading…

Sega Teases New Sonic Racing Game News

Another Sonic racing game is possibly on the way. Following rumors that a sequel to Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed was in development, the official Sonic Twitter accounted tweeted out a brief video that seems to confirm the hedgehog is heading back to the race track.

The tweet, which you can see below, only features the words “[TOP SECRET]” along with a brief, 22-second-long video clip. The video begins with a closeup of a car’s headlight, while sounds of a revving engine can be heard in the background. The video ends with what looks like the silhouette of the game’s logo, with only the letter R visible.

The latest Sonic racing game, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, was first released back in 2012. Like its predecessor, it’s a Mario Kart-style arcade racer that features iconic characters from throughout Sega’s history. You can read more about the title in our original Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed review.

This was a big day for Sonic fans. In addition to the above tease, Sega announced Sonic Mania Plus, a physical re-release of last year’s acclaimed 2D Sonic game. On top of the existing game, Plus features new content in the form of an Encore mode and two additional playable characters: Mighty and Ray. Sega also announced a partnership with Puma to sell Sonic-inspired sneakers.

Wakanda Forever! Black Panther’s Dora Milaje to Star in New Comics

Black Panther’s Dora Milaje, the elite force of female protectors in Wakanda, are getting their own comic book series.

Marvel editor Wil Moss announced Wakanda Forever on Twitter, a collection of one-shot comics featuring the Dora Milaje teaming up with various Marvel superheroes, including Spider-Man. The three-part story is written by Nnedi Okorafor with art by Alberto Alburquerque.

Amazing Spider-Man: Wakanda Forever cover, image via Twitter.

Continue reading…

Sonic Mania Plus Adds New Characters And Modes On Switch, PS4, And Xbox One

Sonic Mania, last year’s acclaimed entry in the Sonic series, is finally set to get a physical release. Sega has revealed Sonic Mania Plus, a physical re-release of the existing game that packs in some brand-new content.

Among the new features are two new playable characters, Mighty and Ray. There’s also a new Encore mode and an expanded version of the four-player competition mode where you go head-to-head with other players. This was all shared during a Sonic panel at SXSW and then teased on Twitter, so we don’t yet know all the details.

Sonic Mania Plus will be available in a physical package this summer for Switch, PS4, and Xbox One. That’s notable, as the only physical version of Mania was the Collector’s edition (which came with a digital copy of the game itself). This new Plus version includes holographic packaging, a 32-page art book, and a reversible cover that makes the game look like it’s for Genesis.

Other news that is sure to excite Sonic fans is a partnership with PUMA to sell Sonic-inspired sneakers and–more notably–a teaser for something related to Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. Whether this turns out to be a remaster, a full-on sequel, or something else remains to be seen.