Call of Duty Modern Warfare Season 4: COD Warzone update adds Stimulus Trios

Infinity Ward has confirmed the launch of the game’s latest Call of Duty Modern Warfare Season 4 update. The Playlist changes are now live across PS4, Xbox One and PC, and have removed the 200-player Quads mode. As the name suggests, 200 players would drop into the map instead of just 150, making for a more crowded map.

Normal Quads Mode has now been bumped up out of the sub-menu and will be the go-to Quads mode for this week.

Meanwhile, Stimulus Trios will be the new variant you can find in Warzone, and is something gamers have already encountered.

A message from Infinity Ward confirms: “A playlist update for Warzone is going out now across all platforms.

“This update removes the BR 200 playlist, adds BR Quads back into the submenu, and brings BR Stimulus Trios into the mix.”

Gamers who have tried out Stimulus in Warzone will know that there is no Gulag, but instead, players will automatically drop back in if they have enough cash.

This is usually set at $4500, and Warzone gamers will still have the option of using a Pay Station during the match.

This will be the first time Stimulus rules will be available in a team format, so it will be interesting to see what affects it will have.

Those who played the Solo version report that it gave you more chances to win but could also be bad for your K/D.

For those who might not have played Warzone before, here’s everything you need to know about the Gulag:

“During Battle Royale matches, upon your first death in Verdansk, your Operator will be dragged off to the Gulag. Although there is a Gulag Prison in Verdansk you can explore during a Warzone match, this area of the Gulag is not the same as the area you can visit in Verdansk. The area where Gulag prisoners fight is completely sectioned off from the main Warzone experience.

“You reach the Gulag only after your Operator is downed and bleeds out. Self-Revive Kits and squadmate Redeploy Tokens can mitigate this circumstance.

Here, you’ll be alongside those who have also fallen during combat, including enemies you may have taken down yourself. Don’t get too comfortable with your prison mates; they may become the one person standing between you and a second chance in the Warzone.

“After being sent to The Gulag, your Operator will wake up outside a dingy cell overlooking the shower area where players will face-off in a 1v1 Gunfight to get back into the game.

“These Gulag showers are significantly different than the map named Gulag Showers playable in the 2v2 (and 3v3) Gunfight game mode within the full version of Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare. The Warzone Gulag 1v1 layout is randomly picked out of three possible layouts.

“At the top of your screen, you will see how many matches are left until you step into the showers along with the names of the players currently fighting.

“When it is your turn to enter the fray, your screen will fade to black, then come back with you in the showers.

“You’ll see the loadout you’ve been given for this 1v1 fight on the right side of your screen, and the match will begin after a quick countdown.”

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Games Inbox: Should Call Of Duty go back to a near future setting?

The Thursday Inbox wonders when God Of War 2 and other new PS5 games will be announced, as one reader asks what Solar Crown means.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

Realistic future
The most interesting thing to me about that Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Zombies pic was the robots, not the zombies. At some point soon the games are going to be looking at what to do next and wonder how they’re going to tackle near future again, since it hasn’t been done for a while. Now, a lot of people got angry with the jetpacks and everything, which I could understand even though I enjoyed them, but the fact is that the near future, and even present, of warfare is drones and robots.

We’ve all seen those US army tests of the four-legged robot and the biped one they try to purposefully knock down and that stuff has been around for years, so who knows what is actually state of the art at the moment.

Maybe it wouldn’t be suitable for Call Of Duty but I’d actually like to see a game do a serious near future (as in 10 years ahead, max) war game that didn’t just hand wave science away as magic and tried to predict how things would be. Between robots and drones I don’t know how much hand to hand combat there’d even be in the future. When you can just remote pilot a flying syringe filled with poison what’s the point in having even special forces?
PS: Given it’s still not been announced what’s the latest a Call Of Duty could feasibly be released?

GC: First week of November used to be the norm, but it’s been October the last two years (initially because of Red Dead Redemption 2). They’ve never been as late as December before.

Everyday magic
Someone really seems to have it in for Ubisoft and all these leaks, eh? I can understand why they’d want to be taking them down but I find them pretty uninspiring and to be honest my interest in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has gone down quite a bit.

The latest leak with the Dark Souls style boss battle is particularly weird because there’s absolutely no attempt to make anything seem realistic. I realise it could all be a hallucination or something – she is coughing over some gas or something at the beginning but how many times is that excuse going to be used?

The problem with putting magic and the like in though, is not that many care (I would imagine) about realism but because we’ve all seen generic swords and sorcery games a hundred times before and Assassin’s Creed used to be something different. You could argue the old formula has run its course but for me the new one is just getting more and more generic.

Second wave
Some rumours go around (no evidence whatsoever, mind) that Sony are holding back some first party reveals for later, to spice up their other events/respond to Microsoft. I’m struggling to think what existing franchise they could be given how many sequels and reboots were in the first reveal.

There’s God Of War 2, which is obviously just a matter of time, but I hope the other ones are new IP. I thought the reveal was fine but the biggest problem for me was the lack of new ideas. New IP has been one of the best things about Sony this gen and I think we all could’ve lived without another LittleBigPlanet or even Ratchet & Clank.

Anything to break the Sony formula, as apart from anything I don’t think it’s going to be bettered after The Last Of Us Part 2. Here’s hoping soon have a quick response to Microsoft’s event this month.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Silver lining
RE: Next gen console prices. I understand the frustration of not knowing, and the author made some very valid points, but I’m OK with it so far. I think given what’s been happening all over the world, and the state of the US right now, both will be pushing for the lowest price they can. And the longer they have to work out how much they can afford to lose is fine with me.

Whilst the ongoing situation in the world is terrible right now there are always benefits to economic downturns, cheaper consoles could be one.

Next gen innovation
RE: Rob and button mapping. The Switch and Xbox One both have system level button mapping options. On the Switch setting it’s in the Controllers and Sensors menu, on the Xbox One it’s in the Ease of Access menu.

This is not anywhere near as useful as it being in game yet, as neither console allows you to store game by game profiles unfortunately, but it can be done.

If they can both extend it to allow you to create profiles on a game by game basis, then I think that would be the ultimate solution, we just aren’t there yet.
Antony White

This year’s model
RE: Marcs73. I purchased the 2019 model LG 65SM9010PLA (SM90 series) In January this year and I can’t fault it to be fair, pal! I’m not sure if the LG model you mentioned is the newer version of the one I’ve bought? (The 2020 variant) Mine has the IPS panel with anα7 Gen2 processor. I think the 2020 version of my TV has the latest upgraded α7 Gen3 processor? Here is an extract I copied for you regarding gaming on my TV:

‘In cinema mode we measure a lag of 89.9 ms, as with all manufacturers this is quite high. In lag game mode the lag drops to 17.8 ms and that is a fantastic result. The SM90 supports ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode). When ALLM is activated, the TV automatically switches to game mode when it receives an ALLM signal. You can then safely switch to a different image mode, while maintaining the low input lag. ALLM therefore remembers that you prefer that mode.’

Switch land
Assuming we get to hear about those new Super Mario remasters fairly soon – even if Nintendo talk about nothing else all year – it makes me realise that we’re never going to get what was my favourite Wii U game: Nintendo Land. I know a lot of people mocked it as a launch title but I wonder how many actually played it?

The games may have been shallow but they are easily the most popular party games I have ever played with non-gamers. Without fail they always get people involved and even if a session only lasts an hour tops it gets the job done. But without the GamePad there’s no way to make it work again. You could do it with two Switches but I don’t think Nintendo would sell a game that had that kind of hardware requirement.

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

Enjoy the silence
Well thanks, Davos, for the accusation that some of us are basically blinkered fanboys for essentially trying to speculate about why Nintendo are being so silent. The point of my letter was, despite my frustration and everyone else’s, if they’re not in a position to sell more hardware because of severe stock shortages, that just might be a factor in their PR strategy.

Sony has indeed had success by letting us know about key games years in advance. So has Nintendo, and we currently know about Metroid Prime 4, Bayonetta 3, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. I do agree that’s not enough at this moment, plus they’ve shown nothing of those games since their announcements, and yet the Switch has continued to track roughly with the PlayStation 4’s history in terms of units shifted.

I’d very much like to have had confirmation about what’s lined up for 2020 a lot sooner than we will at this point, which is why I’m trying to understand, not justify, their rationale. There might not be a big explanation for why they were silent between, say October and March, but that doesn’t strike me as massively uncharacteristic. I’m pretty sure they did a similar thing the year before in fact, and maybe even the year before that.

If I had to guess I’d say they intended to announce the 2020 line-up in March or April (as usual), then for a couple of months COVID-19 suddenly made it uncertain whether their developers could deliver for the rest of the year, then the big stock issues hit and, along with strong Animal Crossing sales and Direct related production constraints, they didn’t feel they could fully capitalise on any big news until a bit later.

On the flip side of what Davos and Kirsch have said, is anything I’ve said really that much more of a stretch than ‘this unprecedented behaviour is nothing to do with unprecedented stock issues or unprecedented virus pandemics: Nintendo simply have absolutely nothing to show or say, whether in terms of 2020 or beyond, even though they’ve very recently said there are still unannounced games coming and they’re all tracking for their intended 2020 release windows’?

Are the suggestions offered really more far-fetched than the idea that they haven’t had important strategic meetings about what to do and they’ve simply spontaneously downed tools and switched off all the lights in the office for half a year, then lied about having unannounced games for the rest of the year in the hope that people will just eventually accept that there’s nothing?

Having so little activity around one of your most successful consoles ever when it’s meant to be at the peak of i’s activity is an interesting topic. Just because you’re interested in discussing why this is happening it doesn’t mean you’re trying to credit them with some ingenious plan or blindly defend questionable decisions.

GC: We don’t think it’s far-fetched to suggest that Nintendo doesn’t have anything ready for release in the next six months, beyond remasters. Although, as you imply, the more likely explanation is that they’re not sure what will be ready, or when, and are, as usual, being overly cautious. But even the worst days of the Wii U didn’t feel this dead (largely because they still had the 3DS as backup).

Inbox also-rans
The free games on Epic Games Store at 4pm today are Killing Floor 2, The Escapists 2, and Lifeless Planet.
Andrew J.
Currently playing: Neo Cab (PC)

Does anyone know what the Solar Crown subtitle for the new Test Drive means? Is that a reference to a place or a car?

GC: We’d be interested to know this too.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Cranston who, inspired by the release of The Last Of Us Part 2, asks what is the best ever video game story?

No matter what kind of game it was, or when it was released, what do you feel has been the best story told in a video game, and why? Was the story the main element of the game or just part of the overall package? Did it work so well because of the script, the characters, the voiceovers, the integration with the gameplay, or something else?

How important is the story to you when playing a video game and how much do you care when it’s not very good? And how much do you put up with poor gameplay when it’s good?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Follow Metro Gaming on Twitter and email us at [email protected]

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World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands beta starts next week – how to sign up

Blizzard has officially announced the beta for new World Of Warcraft expansion Shadowlands, as well as a collector’s edition.

The eighth expansion for World Of Warcraft still doesn’t have a release date, despite this week’s livestream, and technically neither does its beta – but it is due to start very soon.

Beta invites will be going out very soon, with more during the summer, and all you have to do to be in with a chance of getting one is make sure you’ve opted-in. To do that go to the account management page on and toggle on the option to receive beta invites.

Beyond that it’s just down to the luck of the draw, but we imagine there’ll be more invites the closer the expansion gets to release, as it is only a beta and some of it will still be work in progress.

The livestream is above but the highlights were the new Theater of War dungeon and Covenant sanctums, each of which have their own mini-games and rules.

The level cap for the beta will be 60, with the Castle Nathria raid, legendary rune crafting, Covenant campaigns, and PvP being added in over time.

Shadowlands might not have a date yet, but Blizzard are adamant that it will be out this autumn (or fall as Americans would have it), with this very definitive-sounding statement:

‘You have our commitment, we will be releasing Shadowlands this fall even if we end up shipping it from our homes.’

What they won’t be shipping from their homes though is the Limited Collector’s Edition which contains all of the following:

• Hardback Art of the Shadowlands book
• Shattered sky mousepad
• Set of 4 collector’s pins featuring the sigils of each Shadowlands covenant
• Shadowlands Collector’s Edition digital soundtrack key
• Epic Edition digital game key, which comes with 30 days of game time and all of the in-game extras from the digital Epic Edition:
• Ensorcelled Everwyrm mount
• Anima Wyrmling pet
• Eternal Traveler’s Hearthstone
• Illusion: Wraithchill cosmetic weapon effect
• Shadowlands-level character boost

There’s no indication of how much it’ll cost yet but as there’s no super expensive-looking statue, or similar, it’ll probably be on the cheaper side for these sorts of things.

Or maybe not, we’re going to be honest and say we don’t know what the going rate is for a Wyrmling pet.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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Set Oculus Link Resolution Easily With This New Option

Oculus PC software v19 adds the ability to choose between 3 render options for your Oculus Link resolutions. Alternatively you can have it automatically set based on your graphics card.

Oculus Link is the feature which lets Oculus Quest act as a PC VR headset via a USB cable. This gives Quest owners who own a gaming PC access to the Oculus Rift library and SteamVR.

Games running on Quest itself don’t have graphics options. Like a console, developers find the balance of detail to maintain solid framerate. But PC components vary in performance, so allowing different render resolutions makes sense for Oculus Link, where your PC renders the graphics.

You can find the new option in the Devices tab of the Oculus PC app. Click on ‘Quest and Touch‘ and scroll down to ‘Graphics Preference‘:

The resolutions of these options aren’t shown in the Oculus software- but we tested each option in a Unity app, logging the eye texture resolution it resulted in:

  • Prioritize Quality: 2784×3056 per eye
  • Balanced: 2448×2688 per eye
  • Prioritize Performance: 1568×1728 per eye
  • Automatic: ‘Performance’ for GTX 970, ‘Balanced’ for RTX 2070

Changing requires restarting the Oculus software, so unfortunately you can’t switch mid-game. It’s unclear if it has any effects other than resolution.

Valve’s competing SteamVR platform allows precise selection of resolution, with the ability to save per-game values. A third party tool Oculus Tool Tray brings this functionality to the Rift platform.

If you want to keep it simple, this system gives you a solution to slow performance in certain games; select ‘Prioritize Performance’ mode.

It doesn’t matter if you’re using USB 2.0 or 3.0, it seems to work in either mode.

The Oculus SDK offers a feature to dynamically set resolution to maintain framerate, based on current GPU utilization. Some Oculus Store games use this feature. We tested in Unity and found this dynamic system takes priority when enabled, ignoring the Link resolution setting – keep that in mind if you don’t notice a different in some games.

Oculus Software v19 is currently available on the Public Test Channel. To opt in, navigate to the Beta tab of the Oculus PC app’s Settings. You’ll see it start to download in the Library tab.

Will you be setting Prioritize Performance to maintain a solid framerate? Or will you lock yours to Prioritize Quality to get the sharpest visuals? Let us know in the comments below!

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Ninja Streams On YouTube For First Time After Mixer's Shutdown

Popular video gamer and prominent Fortnite livestreamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is reportedly in talks with multiple livestreaming services, including YouTube. He has not yet signed a new exclusive deal since his previous home Mixer was shut down by Microsoft. But Ninja streamed Fortnite today on YouTube for the first time, accompanied by a group of other streamers–TimTheTatMan, DrLupo, and Courage–and attracting more than 100,000 concurrent viewers.

“Ninja is currently in negotiations with streaming platforms and no exclusive deal has yet been signed, including YouTube,” esports consultant Rod “Slasher” Breslau reported before Ninja’s stream started. “Today’s YouTube livestream from Ninja is all on his own. Maybe he’ll stream on Twitch too.” The stream ultimately was only broadcast on YouTube.

Earlier this week, Ninja’s wife and manager, Jessica Blevins, tweeted that this week “will be fun.” This suggested some kind of announcement may be imminent; that may relate to the YouTube stream above, which marks Ninja’s first stream in several weeks. He tweeted in excitement about the stream, but offered no indication of what he’s planning to do moving forward.

Ninja left his massive Twitch platform for an exclusive deal with Mixer last year. However, Microsoft recently announced that the livestreaming service would close up shop after July 22, netting him a massive payout and the flexibility to move to either Facebook Gaming (where Microsoft is shifting its efforts) or to regain his freedom to go elsewhere. Where Ninja will go now remains a mystery, but it was spotted earlier this week that Ninja was testing a YouTube stream on his official channel.

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Sizing Up the Valorant Esports Scene, So Far

Tactical shooter Valorant has been out for just over a month, and to no one’s surprise, professional esports teams are already cementing themselves in its burgeoning competitive scene. According to a variety of sources, the average salary for a full, five-player team can range anywhere from $15K USD to over $25K a month, depending on region. Some individual players are being paid considerably beyond that range.

The highest tournament prize pool offered to date was a modest $50K, with no leagues currently running. However, this has become a familiar pattern in esports. In the two years prior, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS and Apex Legends each saw players signed before any official tournament could be announced, and Valorant has taken the trend to a new extreme; with teams assembled while the game was still in beta.

Just like other games, players can provide additional market value through streaming and content, with many having already built a fanbase through Twitch or in other games. The most notable competitor in this regard was Jay “sinatraa” Won, the decorated 2019 MVP of the Overwatch League, who abruptly quit the game to play Valorant for Sentinels

Ultimately, one can’t decry a company for trying to establish its name in what may or may not be a major esports property in years to come. This is especially true for team organizations that built their brands on esports that have been underutilized or wholly neglected by their respective publishers.

So far, Valorant publisher Riot Games has only sanctioned (not run) any competitions, under the “Ignition Series” banner. Among the first of these events was a tournament co-hosted by team org T1 and events/production company Nerd Street Gamers — two companies with investment from Philadelphia Fusion owner Comcast Spectacor

The event consistently attracted 50K live viewers on Twitch across multiple days of competition. Those sort of viewership figures compare to cs_summit 2, a lower-tier Counter-Strike tournament which saw daily viewership in the 40K-60K live viewer range. Another example would be the North America finals for Overwatch League’s May Melee, which peaked at 88K viewers.

Rather than immediately set up a franchised or closed ecosystem like League of Legends, the Ignition series format combines invited pro teams with qualified amateurs. “Investing in this type of amateur ecosystem development is what gives esports longevity,” John Fazio, CEO of Nerd Street Gamers told The Esports Observer

There is no set time after which a competitive video game definitely becomes an esport. Even those that have been on the market for years, and are still played in tournaments today, can’t all claim to have a self-sustaining ecosystem that would endure if publishers and organizers pulled the plug tomorrow.

Valorant has its nuances. It is the first new IP from Riot Games since the company’s inception. Aside from League of Legends, Riot has only teased competitive scenes for its spinoff games e.g. Teamfight Tactics

Furthermore, this game isn’t running on a wholly untested formula. Valorant unabashedly uses the format and gameplay of Counter-Strike, but with class-based elements similar to Overwatch. The former has endured for decades thanks to a tension-building, round based setup, while the latter built on the legacy of Team Fortress 2 with a variety of characters and different playstyles. 

Fazio said Nerd Street Gamers brought in broadcast and production talent from both titles. Riot then offered significant marketing and logistics support. “Observer tools are the big focus for us and Riot has been incredibly inquisitive, receptive, and collaborative when it comes to feedback from the tournament operators,” he said.

The lion’s share of the T1 x Nerd Street Gamers Showdown prize pool was taken by Team SoloMid (TSM), which began in 2008 as a League of Legends team. 

Valorant’s mechanics are more similar to Counter-Strike than any other FPS game,” TSM’s head of talent Mike Scales told The Esports Observer. “When recruiting talent for a new game you have to account for everything [i.e. games played, accomplishments, mistakes] to estimate their potential trajectory.”

Rather than a blanket attacking and defending team, Valorant players have a (current) choice of 11 “agents,” each with an ability set that could wall off sections of the map, detect enemy movement, or revive a dead teammate. 

“We feel that the agents released so far have been balanced well and that the necessary parameters for winning come from teamplay,” said TSM coach Taylor “Tailored” Broomall. “I don’t think ‘meta’ is the correct word to use when describing comps right now, as any team could run any combination and win games, they just need to adjust their playstyle to it.” 

On the question of a prospective Valorant league, Broomall personally feels that league formats feel like “drawn-out tournaments” that soak up practice time. “That’s my experience coming from Counter-Strike, a game with an unclean and disorderly competitive past. 

“As long as the leagues do not stifle the smaller, promising young teams and it is structured in a healthy manner for the players, then I’m all for it.”

So far, the other Ignition Series events have been held largely by esports team organizations, including G2 Esports and Team Vitality. As the months progress and the likelihood of live esports events is determined, we’ll see how esports’ larger competition operators (i.e. ESL, DreamHack, FACEIT, BLAST) take on this new title. 

Riot’s decision to hold its own events also remains a question of when, and not if.

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Animal Crossing Pirate Gulliver Guide – All Pirate Items In New Horizons

Part one of Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ summer update has arrived, and it’s brought a brand-new special visitor: Gullivarrr! Although it’s just Gulliver doing pirate cosplay, he offers a different set of prizes than when he visits as regular Gulliver–and while Gullivarrr also requires your help getting back to his (pirate) ship, helping him works differently, too. It’s less confusing than it sounds!

Gullivarrr is a separate visitor from Gulliver, and according to dataminer Ninji, you can get both of them in the same week–just not on consecutive days. Gullivarrr’s appearance is random, but you do need to have purchased a wet suit (from Nook’s Cranny or via Nook Shopping) before he’ll visit. You’ll know it’s Gullivarrr instead of regular Gulliver right away, as he wears a pirate outfit and talks like any good pirate would.

When And Where Does Gullivarrr Show Up?

Gullivarrr is one of the random visitors in New Horizons, which means he can show up on any given weekday. You can see our Animal Crossing special visitors guide for more details about visiting NPCs and their prerequisites.

If Gullivarrr is around, he’ll be somewhere on your beach, and you’ll need to wake him up (by talking to him with A). He’ll be around all day long, so there’s no huge rush. Once you’ve talked to him, he’ll ask for your help finding his communicator so he can get back to his ship.

How To Find Gullivarrr’s Communicator

  • Requires: 1 x wet suit

While regular Gulliver will have you combing the beach for five different communicator parts, pirate Gulliver will ask you to look for his communicator in one piece–the catch is that it’s somewhere in the ocean. You’ll need a wet suit in order to find and return his communicator; see our guide on how to swim in New Horizons if you aren’t sure how to use it.

You can find the communicator the way you would any sea creature: Swim until you find bubbles floating to the surface, then dive to retrieve what’s below. The communicator has a small-sized shadow and shouldn’t take you more than a few tries to find. When you have it, make sure you return it to Gullivarrr, who will send you a gift in the mail the next day.

All Pirate Items (Gullivarrr Rewards)

Below is a list of all the pirate-themed furniture and clothing items you can receive from Gullivarrr as a reward for helping him (via GameFAQs’ Animal Crossing: New Horizons catalog). Items marked with an asterisk (*) have multiple color variants.

  • Pirate barrel
  • Sideways pirate barrel
  • Pirate-ship cannon
  • Pirate-ship helm
  • Pirate-treasure chest
  • Pirate-treasure crown
  • Pirate-treasure robe
  • Pirate’s hat
  • Pirate bandanna*
  • Pirate eye patch
  • Pirate beard
  • Pirate dress*
  • Pirate outfit*
  • Pirate pants
  • Pirate boots
  • Pirate wall
  • Pirate flooring
  • Pirate rug

What About Rusted Parts?

Rusted parts are an ultra-rare crafting material. So far, there seems to be only one DIY recipe that requires rusted parts: the Robot Hero, a large Gundam-inspired furniture item. You can purchase the Robot Hero recipe for 5,000 Nook Miles once Resident Services has upgraded to a full building.

You can only get rusted parts when Gulliver visits. Luckily, this applies to pirate Gulliver, or Gullivarrr, as well! Just like with regular Gulliver, make sure to check the recycling bin in Resident Services the day after he visits. There will be one rusted part there waiting for you!

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Smash Bros. Ultimate Is Adding More Square Enix Spirits

Nintendo is holding another Spirit Board event in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate this week. The event kicks off July 9 at 11 PM PT and features new Spirits based on Square Enix’s retro-inspired RPG, Octopath Traveler.

Throughout the event, four new Spirits representing Octopath Traveler’s main cast–Olberic & Primrose, Tressa & Cyrus, Alfyn & Therion, and H’aanit & Ophelia–will appear periodically on the Spirit Board. If you defeat the new Spirits, you’ll add them to your collection and earn more SP than usual.

The Octopath Traveler Spirit Board event runs until 11 PM PT, July 14. You can read more on Nintendo’s website.

If you missed your chance to unlock the Cuphead and Warframe Spirits during their respective events earlier this year, you’re in luck; those are once again available in the game. You’ll be able to encounter them randomly on the Spirit Board or in Smash Bros. Ultimate’s in-game shop.

Smash Bros. Ultimate’s latest DLC character, Min Min, comes with her own entourage of Arms Spirits to unlock. The new fighter arrived last month alongside the game’s 8.0 update, which made balance adjustments to numerous characters and introduced a new wave of Mii Fighter costumes, including one based on Fallout’s Vault Boy.

In other Smash Bros. news, Nintendo Switch Online subscribers can grab a new freebie for the game. Nintendo is offering another free Spirit Board Challenge Pack, which comes with a handful of helpful items for Spirit Board mode. Nintendo also confirmed that Amiibo figures of Joker and Dragon Quest’s Hero are releasing this fall.

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Nintendo Switch Gets Ys Origin Physical Edition, Up For Pre-Order Now

Another classic game is making its way to Nintendo Switch later this year: Publisher Dotemu announced Ys Origin will release on the Switch sometime in 2020. In addition to its Eshop launch, Ys Origin is getting a Collector’s edition distributed by Limited Run Games, and it’s pleasantly affordable.

The Ys Origin Collector’s edition for Nintendo Switch went up for pre-order today, and it’s selling for $70. The Collector’s edition gets you a physical copy of the game for Switch, a CD with the soundtrack, a steelbook case, a Collector’s edition perfect bound art book, and an 18″ by 24″ reversible poster. This is a limited-time open pre-order period, and you have until Sunday, September 6 to place your order for the Ys Origin Collector’s edition. Products ship two to four months after the initial sale.

Ys Origin first released worldwide on Steam in 2012 and later released on PS4, PS Vita, and Xbox One. The game takes place in a land called Ys and features three playable characters: a knight called Yunica Tovah, a mage named Hugo Fact, and a mysterious fighter known as “The Claw.” In Ys Origin, the world is on the brink of destruction, and a search party sets off to find the protective goddesses who have disappeared into the night. Playing as each character unlocks more of the story and allows you to experience their distinct combat style and skillset.

If you’re curious to try out the original before shelling out for the Collector’s edition, Ys Origin is on sale on Steam as part of the Steam Summer Sale–you can currently grab it for just 5 bucks.

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Blink 182's Mark Hoppus Covered "Dammit" In The Last Of Us 2

Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II features a neat, and fairly sophisticated, mini-game of sorts that lets you play music on an acoustic guitar. Numerous different chords and strumming patterns are possible, and this has led to some wonderful videos of covers of famous songs popping up online.

Now, Blink 182’s own Mark Hoppus has gotten involved. During a recent Twitch livestream on his account, Hoppus covered his own song, “Dammit,” using the Last of Us 2’s in-game guitar. It’s a four-chord song, so it translates quite well in the game as an acoustic version of one of the band’s most famous tunes. It’s a delight to watch Hoppus in this video, even if he forgets the words at one point.

You can buy a replica of the guitar from The Last of Us 2, but at $2,300 it’s not cheap. Sony partnered with guitar company Taylor for the custom acoustic guitar based on Ellie’s guitar from the game.

In other news about The Last of Us 2 and guitars, you can watch this cool video of Australian singer-guitarist Tash Sultana performing a cover of “Through the Valley” from the game’s soundtrack.

The game has a strong connection to music, as Pearl Jam’s “Future Days” is used in the post-apocalyptic game with dramatic effect. Naughty Dog had to push hard to convince Pearl Jam to allow the studio to use the song. Also, writer-director Neil Druckmann recently explained why Joel was aware of “Future Days,” despite it never being officially released when the game takes place.

The Last of Us Part II is a huge sales success, with more than 4 million copies sold in its first three days. The game will be among the thousands of PS4 titles that will work on PlayStation 5 when it’s released later this year.

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