Category Archives: Game

Never-released NES game ‘Mystery World Dizzy’ released for free

There’s a new Dizzy game that’s actually quite old: it was originally supposed to be released in 1993, for NES.

Never heard of Dizzy? That’s OK. It just means you probably didn’t grow up gaming in Europe during the ’80s and ’90s. It was a big series at the time, starting in 1987 with Dizzy — The Ultimate Cartoon Adventure.

Read Also : New Pokemon Go Update Coming Soon, Here’s What It Does (Not Much)

That first game was released for the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad PC, and Commodore 64 — remember any of those? It was created by Philip and Andrew Oliver — known as the Oliver Twins — and published by their early collaborator, the U.K.-based Codemasters.

The Dizzy series follows a smiling, egg-shaped creature who leaps around — avoiding hazards and solving puzzles — as he tries to keep his people, the Yolkfolk, safe from an evil wizard called Zaks. Like many popular games from the era, it takes cues from Nintendo platformers like Mario.

The Oliver Twins (and later, Big Red Software) created a string of Dizzy games, spin-offs, and compilations between 1987 and 1994. Some of that stuff never got released at the time, but has trickled out since.

Such is the case with Mystery World Dizzy, a browser-based port of a game that was originally intended for an NES release in 1993. In its original form, Mystery World is technically just a spiffed up remake of Fantasy World Dizzy, the third game in the series and perhaps the best-known of the bunch.

The 2017 port comes from the Oliver Twins, who announced the release on Twitter.

This actually isn’t the first old-made-new-again port from the Oliver Twins. Back in 2015, the sibling game makers delivered a similarly never-before-released port of Wonderland Dizzy, an NES version of the series’ sixth game, Magicland Dizzy.

Several years earlier, the Olivers attempted to revive the series with a proper sequel, called Dizzy Returns. They brought the effort to Kickstarter in 2012, but ultimately fell far short of the £350,000 funding target, with only £25,620 pledged.

New Pokemon Go Update Coming Soon, Here’s What It Does (Not Much)

A new Pokemon Go update is coming very soon, developer Niantic has announced. Android version 0.61.0 and iOS version 1.31.0 are “in the process of being updated,” and the downloads should be available soon.

Included in the update is a new language setting–Traditional Chinese–along with various bug and text fixes. Lastly, the Pokemon collection screen’s scroll bar has been changed, though precisely how is currently unclear.

Read Also : 10 Upcoming Video Games To Look Out For In April 2017

Pokemon Go’s last patch introduced a new bonus system whereby you get a new evolution item for completing the seven-day “First PokeStop of the Day” challenge. Previously, you would receive 2,500 XP and other items for the Photo Disc when you visited a PokeStop every day for seven days in a row.

A recent Water-type event introduced shiny Pokemon for the first time to Pokemon Go. Some fans were concerned the rare creatures would cease to be available after the event ended on March 29, but it seems shiny monsters are indeed still catchable.

Niantic has continued to support Pokemon Go since its launch in July last year. It brought creatures from Pokemon Gold and Silver to the mobile game in February, while trading will arrive at some point this year and PvP battles are also in the works. Lastly, the developer has confirmed that legendary Pokemon will arrive before the end of the year.

10 Upcoming Video Games To Look Out For In April 2017

March 2017 was a veritable storm of non-stop releases. What with the new Zelda, the new Mass Effect and Nier: Automata, you’d be right in thinking April has a tall order to stand out against such a stellar list of titles. So what does it look like?

First off is the obvious: there’s one particular JRPG on everyone’s mind, it’s scoring an incredible 94 on Metacritic right now, and you’ve either never heard of it, or you’re probably already sinking your teeth in.

Elephant in the room aside, there’s also a bit more coming down the pipeline in April to look forward too: A kickstarted revival of the 3D collect-a-thon platformer is finally hitting the finish line this month, alongside the next spin-off of the storied Dragon Quest franchise.

Although it’s otherwise a bit of a dry month for Nintendo exclusives, those of you looking for a game to pop into your Switch could be revving your engines – that is, if you haven’t already played the bejeezus out of it on Wii U. Perhaps the biggest thing to look towards this month isn’t the big name games, but the smaller ones.

There’s a particular Tetris game from a few years back that’s finally crossing over from Japanese shores, along with… a Micro Machines game?

1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

2. Super Red Hot Hero

3. Puyo Puyo Tetris

4. Dragon Quest Heroes 2

5. Micro Machines: World Series

6. The Silver Case

7. Yooka-Laylee

8. Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition

9. Shovel Knight: Specter Of Torment

10. Persona 5

‘Marvel Heroes’ fans are NOT happy about this ‘Omega’ console release

Marvel Heroes is a free-to-play PC game that plays like Diablo, but stars Captain America and his friends. Marvel Heroes Omega is the just-announced console version of that four-year-old game.

The former’s fans are not happy about this latest development.

Let me catch you up real quick. Marvel Heroes launched in 2013. It was conceived as a sort of spiritual successor to the Marvel Ultimate Alliance console games, but redesigned as an MMO.

It also came with a great pedigree: David Brevik, one of the creative leads on the original Diablo, was the CEO of Heroes studio Gazillion Entertainment during the game’s development. He left in early 2016, but not before helping to sand down the early rough edges.

SEE ALSO: ‘Persona 5’ is a great and popular game, but it’s not for everyone

While it wasn’t universally praised at launch, the sticky, loot-obsessed gameplay and Marvel Comics tie attracted a loyal following. Heroes improved over time, especially after a 2015 re-launch that merited a fresh round of reviews; the 2013 game that had launched with a lowly score of 58 on Metacritic suddenly climbed to 81 after its re-emergence.

This week, Gazillion announced Marvel Heroes Omega. It looks like a straight port of the PC game — though the specifics are unclear at this time — and it’s coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sometime in the next couple months. Here’s a trailer:

So. What’s with the drama?

The general consensus among many of Marvel Heroes’ current players: they feel ignored. Gazillion made great strides when the game re-launched in 2015 and won praise where it hadn’t before. A regular stream of updates followed for the next year, further fine-tuning the game and adding to the already-large roster of heroes.

Then, sometime around the middle of 2016, things slowed down. Gazillion’s regular dialogue with the community tailed off and game updates became less regular. A community that had grown accustomed to lots of cool stuff on a regular basis started seeing less. It became a point of contention.

With most games, it’s normal to see support start tailing off after a year or two. Marvel Heroes isn’t most games, however. It’s an MMO — a “live,” constantly evolving online game — and that type of experience depends on a regular flow of new stuff. Without that support, community tends to wander off.

Jump ahead now to April 2017 and the Omega announcement. A console version of Marvel Heroes had already been rumored, but its official reveal seemed to confirm a growing worry within the community: Gazillion’s focus had shifted. They felt like the PC version had become yesterday’s news; Omega, which can reach the larger console audience, is all that matters now.

This is reflected already in Marvel Heroes’ various community touchstones around the internet. An Omega Q&A on the game’s official forums is currently at 21 pages and counting just 24 hours after it first posted.

The very first response, from forum poster Quelaan, sets the tone: “So, no transfer to consoles AND consoles get their own items. Hilarious, really. What are the chances that console version will be the primary focus now? Quite high, I’d say.”

Another early response, from Tzeentch, speaks to the lack of communication from Gazilliion: “I have a question that’s not answered here – why hasn’t one of the higher ups come down here to reassure the PC players and explain what the future is for the PC version of the game?”

This goes on for pages and pages, and it’s not the only example. There are multiple other posts that take a similarly combative stance toward Gazillion and its communications shortfalls, as well as a whole separate uproar on the Marvel Heroes subreddit.

Redditor SavingPrincess1 offers a concise summation of fan worries in a post bearing the title “The sky isn’t falling….

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It’s also worth noting: a lot of these concerns are echoed by one of my Mashable co-workers. He’s a big fan of Marvel Heroes, with well more than 1,000 hours invested in the game, and he’s not at all thrilled with the current state of the game.

To be clear: these are all entirely reasonable concerns. The disappointment over PC characters not being transferable and Omega having some exclusive content is understandable, but the root of the issue articulated in the above Reddit post — and, I think, in the general discontent among fans — is Gazillion’s lack of communication.

In the end, a lot of this drama is going to sort itself out naturally. The smart move for Gazillion — and likely what will happen, in time — will be to make sure console players and PC players have access to the same basic content.

Maybe one platform or another will have an exclusive outfit, but Gazillion’s goal should be to get all versions on the same page, in terms of who you can play as and the challenges you can tackle. It’s better for the community, sure, but it’s also easier on the studio side if work on one update applies to everyone.

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That said, these gripes coming from the community are understandable. It’s likely Gazillion slowed down on both the content drops and the communication because it was focused on Omega. That’s a normal thing in game development; chatty content creators tend to start clamming up when a big reveal is on the horizon, usually because they’re working on the thing.

But whether or not the silence was justified, the fact remains that Gazillion’s active community of players felt like they’d been left in a lurch. Omega’s announcement coming after that then amounted to a betrayal: after months of dwindling communications and content, there’s now something to blame.

I can see both sides here, and I think both sides will have something to take away from this when all is said and done. Assuming Gazillion knows its business — and by all appearances, it does — many criticisms being leveled right now will turn out to be unfounded.

Yes, players still won’t be able to transfer characters between platforms and they’ll still gripe about console-exclusive costumes… but those are minor features, and the kind of gripes that many games face on a regular basis. The bigger issue — the sense that the PC version of Marvel Heroes is functionally “dead” now — should dissipate once Omega is running and the content spigot switches back on.

As for Gazillion, there’s a harsh lesson here: switching over to stealth mode when you have an active, passionate community is a perilous choice. It’s an understandable stumble, but one the studio would do well to learn from as it maps out the future of Marvel Heroes.

‘Persona 5’ is a great and popular game, but it’s not for everyone

What is Persona 5 and why will gamers not shut up about it?

If you’re not plugged in with Japanese role-playing games — colloquially referred to as “JRPGs” — then it’s easy to miss Persona. The series lacks the mainstream name recognition of a Final Fantasy, and its unusual gameplay isn’t easily summed up.

SEE ALSO: Blizzard Remastered The Original ‘STARCRAFT’ So You Can Game Like It’s 1998

It’s worth taking the time to learn, however. Persona is a special series, and this fifth numbered game is doubly so. I’m here to make a case for playing Persona 5, even if you’ve never touched a JRPG in your life (but especially if you have).

Just to be clear: this isn’t a comprehensive history of the series, which is an entire saga unto itself. This is specifically a look at the kind of experience you’re settling into when you play.

What is Persona 5 all about?

At the most basic level, Persona 5 combines elements of dungeon exploration and turn-based combat versus monsters with the time management and relationship-building of a social sim. By day, you’re a Tokyo high school student — where joining the right clubs, making friends, dating, and socializing all count for something — and by night, you’re a dungeon explorer.

Sometimes. This is where the time management comes into play. Progress through Persona 5’s story is tracked according to dates on a calendar, and that calendar spans multiple months of the school year.

Time matters in this game, meaning whenever you choose to do a particular thing, you are also simultaneously choosing not to do any number of other things. If you spend an afternoon exploring a Palace — Persona 5-speak for dungeons — then you can’t go out on the town or visit the cute doctor in your neighborhood.

In the story, your unnamed protagonist and his ever-growing circle of friends are Phantom Thieves. They have the ability to visit Palaces — which are physical manifestations of a person’s darkest inner desires — and steal the treasure contained within. Doing so erases the IRL Palace owner’s questionable impulses and forces them to face the reality of any hideous acts they’ve committed.

A Typical Day

Each day in Persona 5 consists of multiple phases: Morning, Lunchtime, Afternoon, After School, and Evening. You don’t always have control over what you can or can’t do at a given time of day. Sometimes, certain phases won’t even come up. But that’s the basic shape of things.

When it’s a school day, there’s a scripted routine of leaving your home — the upstairs room of a local cafe — and taking the subway to Shujin Academy. On a lucky day, you’ll nab a subway seat — this happens randomly and automatically — which gives you some extra time to read.

Once you arrive, there’s typically a slice-of-life cutscene where something happens during class. You might chat with a fellow student and field a question from a teacher. The internet is your friend when the latter happens, as correct answers can boost your stats.

Most days, the After School and Evening hours are yours. You can visit a Palace — which takes up both phases — go shopping, brew coffee, work out, study, hang with friends, and more. Managing the time you spend on all of these activities — each of which provide different benefits — is one of Persona 5’s primary challenges.

The important thing to remember when you’re playing: there are so many calendar days. Yes, you’re usually operating under a timeline. But that doesn’t mean you should rush to complete a Palace before you’re ready. Take advantage of Persona 5’s glacial pace. That’s why it’s there.

Personas and combat

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In the same way that Palaces exist as a fortress to protect a bad person’s darkest desires, Personas are the physical manifestation of a person’s psyche. They are both the source of your and your friends’ powers and the sum total of enemies you do battle with.

Each party member is locked to a single Persona, and thus a single set of abilities. They’re typically specialists of some kind or another; one party member might be your go-to for fire, another for ice, for bless, for nuclear… all the different types of damage you can do. Personas level up and gain new powers alongside their human counterpart.

Your own character is special — for spoiler-y reasons — in that he can wield and switch between multiple Personas during any given battle. He can only carry a set number at once, but he’s able to level all of them up and even fuse them together into more powerful Personas. And of course, as that collection grows so too does the protagonist’s ability to deal all the different types of damage.

That flexibility is a valuable asset in Persona 5’s combat, where enemy weaknesses and strengths play an all-important role. Hitting an enemy’s weakness staggers it, effectively canceling its next turn.

Stagger all the enemies on the screen during a single turn — which ends after all your party members have acted — and a new set of options appears. You can try to capture one and add it to your Persona collection, shake them down for helpful items, or commit to an “All-Out Attack” — a powerful group pile-on that immediately ends most fights against standard enemies.

Here’s how you know you’ve got the hang of Persona 5 battles: most of them end before the enemy gets a chance to attack even once. Bosses and minibosses work a little differently — they don’t end as quickly — but the premise remains the same: exploit weaknesses as you discover them.

Palaces and Phantom Thieving

Most of Persona 5’s battles play out in Palaces, which you visit and slowly map out over a period of days and weeks. Your ultimate goal as Phantom Thieves is to locate a Palace creator’s treasure and steal it. Once you find the treasure, you leave a “calling card” in the real world — thus setting up your final visit to that Palace and its attendant boss fight.

Safe Rooms are your progress markers as you explore, with each one you find adding a fast travel location to your list for that particular Palace. You’re not meant to map out an entire Palace in the space of a single visit, so fast travel is an essential tool — though you can only use it when you’re in a Safe Room.

There are two stats to keep in mind for each of your characters as you explore: HP and SP. The first is a measure of your health and can be restored at any time using a variety of consumables and/or Persona abilities. The latter is what you spend whenever you use a Persona ability; restoring that one is… trickier.

There’s a small handful of consumables that restore SP, including one — coffee — that you can learn to make in the real world. Generally speaking, however, SP exists to limit your time spent in Palaces. You’re not supposed to have an easy time restoring it; when one or more characters run low, that means it’s probably time to call it a day and head back to the real world.

Friends and Confidants

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The most important piece of Persona 5’s long-term strategy is finding a balance between your time in alternate dimensions and the real world. The former is where combat, character leveling, and Persona acquisition happen; the latter is where you gather useful resources and maintain relationships.

Many of the important people in the main character’s life are called “Confidants.” Your means for interacting with them and building a relationship varies from character to character, but the basic premise remains the same: relationships level up as they grow, unlocking various benefits — bonuses for Persona fusion, new items to craft (such as the aforementioned coffee) or buy, and boosts to your abilities.

Building stronger links with your Confidants isn’t an exact science since your bonds are tracked invisibly. It largely depends on how you better the main character as a person across five different categories: Knowledge, Charm, Guts, Proficiency, and Kindness.

These social stats are fueled by the various things you do in the real world. Your Knowledge increases when you study or answer questions correctly in class. Guts get a boost when you participate in clinical trials or read certain books.

Figuring out how to improve different social stats is something you learn as you sample the many things Persona 5’s Tokyo has to offer. Different Confidants connect to different social stats, so choosing which one to focus on improving is often a matter of deciding who you want to be closer with.

As you interact with friends in the real world, occasional pop-ups let you know your relationship is ready to improve. Those pop-ups serve as an important alert: the next time you hang out with the person in question, your Confidant rank will rise.

The most important thing to understand about Persona 5’s social simulation: it’s not something you can overlook. Real world activities and relationships give you the power you’ll need to tackle the game’s increasingly challenging Palaces and other alternate dimension locations.

In summation

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I’ll say this outright, just in case you haven’t picked up on it already: Persona 5 is a very slow, very lengthy game. Expect to spend a minimum of 80 hours digging through the story, and probably more than 100 if you’re new to the series.

You’re going to read lots of text and spend similar amounts of time wading through menus. This is an exciting game, but it’s not focused on action. The key hooks are the story, the characters, the art design, and — on the gameplay side — the allure of slowly building this team of thieves and planning metaphysical heists together.

Persona 5 is a very rewarding game, but it’s also a commitment. All I wanted to give you here is a better sense of what you’re getting into once you settle in.

‘League of Legends’ unveils two new champions and they are in love

Two new champions have arrived on the League of Legends public beta to shake up the bottom lane: lovers-in-arms Rakan and Xayah.

Rakan the Charmer is the support-half of the relationship. He’s a flashy and highly mobile instigator with abilities that allow him to leap or sprint into action to land damage on opponents or offer a shield to an ally. Xayah the Rebel is the AD carry-half of the relationship. She’s a deadly and tactical reactor that prefers to dance around the edge of battle and dish out sweeping attacks against multiple enemies.

Not only does this dangerous new couple look like they’ll play well together, they actually get specific benefits when they’re on the same team, including shared speed and damage buffs when they trigger abilities near each other, and the option to sync up recalls. Talk about champion synergy.

Read Also: You Can Now Play ‘Final Fantasy XIV’ For Free Until Level 35

Let’s take a look at Rakan’s and Xayah’s abilities:

Rakan’s abilities

Passive: Fey Feathers — Rakan’s coat occasionally generates a shield, even in combat. Rakan can reduce this ability’s cooldown by attacking an enemy champion.

Q: Gleaming Quill — Rakan slings an enchanted feather forward. If it connects with an enemy champ or epic monster, it deals damage and Rakan’s cloak surges with magic. After a brief moment a heal triggers in the area around Rakan. The heal activates immediately if Rakan touches an ally.

W: Grand Entrance — Rakan leaps forward, landing (stylishly) at his destination. He then pauses for dramatic effect before launching into the air and knocking up nearby opponents.

E: Battle Dance — Rakan leaps to an ally’s side, shielding them from harm. He can cast Battle Dance again for a few seconds after, even on the same target. If Xayah’s the target, Rakan rushes to her aid from an increased distance.

R: The Quickness — Rakan breaks into a sprint, enchanting his coat and captivating his audience. While The Quickness is active, Rakan charms and damages all enemies he touches (works once per champ). The first champ he touches grants him a huge burst of movemenet speed.

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Rakan works similarly to an assassin, waiting for the right moment to enter the fray. But instead of tearing down single champions on his own, he’s much better at setting up multiple champions like bowling pins for a marksman to knock down. Rakan can make a grand entrance with Grand Entrance, swiftly charming a group of enemies with The Quickness and making a speedy escape with Battle Dance.

Xayah’s abilities

Passive: Clean Cuts — After casting an ability, Xayah’s next few basic attacks will pierce through all enemies in their path (dealing reduced damage to all targets after the first). They’ll also leave a feather where they land. Feathers remain on the field for a moderate length of time.

Q: Double Daggers
— Xayah throws two blades in a line, damaging all enemies hit. The blades leave a feather where they land.

W: Deadly Plumage — Xayah conjures a storm of feather blades that increase the strength and speed of her next few basic attacks. If Xayah attacks an enemy champion while empowered by Deadly Plumage, she’ll gain a short burst of movement speed. If Rakan is nearby when Xayah activates Deadly Plumage, he’ll also gain the ability’s effects.

E: Bladecaller — Xayah recalls all feathers, which deal damage to any enemies they strike on the way back to Xayah. If a target is struck by several feathers at once, they’ll be briefly rooted.

R: Featherstorm — Xayah leaps into the air, becoming briefly untargetable. After a short delay, she hurls a storm of blades in a cone, each of which deals damage to struck enemies and leaves a feather upon landing. Xayah may continue to move while airborne.

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Xayah is a champion that requires some forethought before engaging in fights. She can set a feather-filled trap with her basic attack and Double Daggers, then thwart her attackers with Bladecaller. She can also get away in a pinch with Featherstorm, which makes her untargetable as she makes her escape.

Both champions also have a special recall called Lover’s Leap — If either Xayah or Rakan is recalling, their lover can sync up with them, choreographing a perfect return to base.

The new champions are available to test on the League of Legends public beta environment today. Their full release has not yet been announced.

Blizzard isn’t choosing what countries will be in this year’s ‘Overwatch’ Cup — Players are

The Overwatch World Cup is back, but this time you get to help your country make the cut.

The 2017 Overwatch World Cup is bringing 32 teams representing 32 countries together to compete for glory once again, but this time countries are invited based on their average competitive skill rating from its top 100 players. So the more you and your fellow countrypeople have won in competitive, the better chance your country has at competing at the Overwatch World Cup this year.

In a change from last year’s World Cup, fans no longer get to directly vote for who they want to play on their country’s team. This time around, players vote on which Overwatch experts (chosen by Blizzard) will assemble the teams for them. These experts will include analysts, coaches, statisticians, and more. Only “eligible players” will be able to vote for them, although Blizzard did not share what qualifies them at the time of the announcement regarding eligibility.

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Voting will begin after the top 32 countries are locked in on April 26. You can see where your country ranks at any point at the Overwatch World Cup website. Currently, the top five countries in the world are South Korea (last year’s champions), China, the United States, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Last year’s 60 countries were pre-selected by Blizzard, which didn’t include many countries with Overwatch communities. This year, there are no limits on which countries can make it.

After teams are decided, they’ll be split into four groups of eight and compete at week-long live qualifiers this summer. Fans can watch the matches online for free or attend in person at venues in North America, Europe, and Asia. The top teams will move onto the finals at BlizzCon.

More information about the 2017 Overwatch World Cup schedule will trickle out as we get closer to the summer but, in the meantime, go help your country make it to the top 32.

You can now play ‘Final Fantasy XIV’ for free until level 35

Final Fantasy XIV might not be free-to-play, but it just got a whole lot closer.

Square Enix has officially removed the 14-day access restriction on free trial accounts. That means you can start a new trial character and play as much FFXIV as you want until you hit level 35. Once that happens you need to either subscribe or start another character.

This marks a major change for one of the last top-tier subscription-based MMORPGs not called World of Warcraft. Previously, the free trial ended after a two week timer elapsed, regardless of your progress.

You’re getting an awful lot of free content now. Leveling even one character up to 35 will take some time — at least a few days of moderate play (or one day of super-efficient, heavy play). And you’re allowed to create as many as eight, as long as there’s no more than one per World (the FFXIV designation for servers).

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Prior to hitting level 35, there aren’t many restrictions on what you can do in the game. You’ll be able to link up with friends and randoms, visit the Deep Dungeon, and take advantage of the cross-platform play between PC and PlayStation 4.

That’s another cool thing: FFXIV is available for PS4, and it works surprisingly well as a console game.

I dove down the FFXIV rabbit hole for a couple weeks during a lull in my Destiny obsession. I didn’t play for long — never even reached level 20 — because the initial 30-day subscription expired and I didn’t re-up it.

Now that the ticking clock is gone, I’m actually tempted to jump back in and keep going with my character. FFXIV is a standard MMORPG in many ways, but it’s set in a fantasy universe filled with familiar touchstones. Like Chocobos. Everybody loves Chocobos.

To try it for yourself, head over to the game’s official website and create an account or — for the PS4 folks — find and download the free client in the PS Store. It’s been a while, but I remember the setup process being quick and easy.

For the low price of absolutely nothing, there’s no harm in checking this game out, especially if you’ve been jonesing for more Final Fantasy after the long-awaited 2016 release of Final Fantasy XV.

Blizzard remastered the original ‘StarCraft’ so you can game like it’s 1998

Well that was unexpected.

StarCraft is coming back. Not as a sequel or as yet another expansion for StarCraft II. Instead, Blizzard Entertainment is cooking up a remaster of the 1998 original, with a spruced up 4K resolution sheen and an assortment of modern contrivances aimed at making it easier to play a 20-year-old game in 2017.

The re-release, titled StarCraft Remastered, will launch this summer. Functionally, it’s meant to be the game you remember — none of the rules, mechanics, or any of the stuff that made StarCraft the gold standard of the real-time strategy genre will change.

It’s just going to look better. And sound better. In addition to a new coat of 4K-friendly textures — effectively, sharper versions of the original game’s art with a wider range of supported aspect ratios — all the dialogue and music has been re-recorded.

For story devotees, StarCraft Remastered will also feature comic book-style interludes that put an eye-catching new spin on the 1998 game’s Terrans vs. Protoss vs. Zerg royal rumble.

The message on Blizzard’s newly launched StarCraft Remastered website is clear: the year-long development process led to a mountain of cosmetic improvements, but the gameplay core of the experience won’t change in the slightest.

Here are some side-by-side looks at what “remastered textures” actually means in the context of a 20-year-old game.

You can view all of these images (plus a few others) in GIF form on the newly launched StarCraft Remastered website. If you’ve got any other questions about the re-release, you might find answers in Blizzard’s extensive new interview with TeamLiquid.

Blizzard is baking in support for campaign cloud saves, keybindings, custom maps, and replays. StarCraft Remastered will also lean on Blizzard’s Battle.net for matchmaking and social features.

To top it all off, the original version of StarCraft: Brood War — which includes the core game and its celebrated expansion — will be re-released in the Blizzard store as a free download. The package, dubbed StarCraft Anthology, was recently removed for unexplained (but now abundantly clear) reasons.

The new version 1.18 release fixes bugs, improves performance on modern operating systems, and adds support for keybindings as well as an observer mode. StarCraft Anthology will arrive in the Battle.net online store sometime this week.

‘Star Wars Rebels’ finale: Watch Thrawn throw down

Star Wars Rebels wraps up a strong third season this weekend — and a long-anticipated showdown between Imperial and Rebel forces is here.

The season introduced the Empire’s Grand Admiral Thrawn, a fan favorite character from old Star Wars novels known for his enlightened strategic cunning. Thrawn tends to win his battles with brain, not brawn.

But in this clip from the Rebels finale, exclusive to Mashable, Thrawn shows he’s not above using fisticuffs when necessary.

The Grand Admiral discovers a Rebel spy in his own ranks — Agent Kallus, an officer who has adopted the codename “Fulcrum” once used by former Jedi padawan Ahsoka Tano.

Now that his cover’s blown, the Rebel plan to take our heroes’ planet of Lothal is in jeopardy. And from the full trailer for the finale, it seems the Rebels are as overmatched by the Imperial fleet as they are in Rogue One:

The Star Wars Rebels season 3 finale airs on Saturday March 25 — and since the show has already been picked up for season 4, we doubt this is the last we’ve seen of Thrawn or his opponents.