Mesobot looks like a giant AirPods case, but it’s in fact a sophisticated machine that tracks animals making the most epic migration on Earth.
After what seems like an eternity, Advance Wars is finally coming back. Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp is heading exclusively to Nintendo Switch on December 3. It contains remasters of the first two games in the series, and it’s starting to go up for preorder now (see it at Best Buy).
The game includes from-the-ground-up remakes of the 2001 Game Boy Advance game Advance Wars and its 2003 sequel Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising.
Preorder Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp
- Get it at Best Buy – $59.99
Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp is only available in a standard edition. If that changes down the line, we’ll add the information here.
What Is Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp?
For years (and years, and years) strategy game fans had been pining for a new Advance Wars. But it seemed Nintendo had left the franchise behind in favor of its other turn-based strategy game series, the fantasy-flavored Fire Emblem. And while this isn’t a new entry per se, it’s good to see new life breathed into the modern military series Advance Wars.
This game contains full remakes of the first two Advance Wars games, which originally appeared on GBA in the early 2000s, before the series graduated to the Nintendo DS. In them, you’re in command of the Orange Star Army, which means you’re responsible for telling your land, sea, and air-based troops where to go and which enemies to engage.
You can play through the two campaigns, or you can go up against friends in Versus Mode.
Other Preorder Guides
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Chris Reed is a commerce editor and deals expert at IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @_chrislreed.
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Yakuza: Like A Dragon is coming to Xbox Game Pass. Sega has returned to that service over and over with Yakuza games.Read More
At times it seems like Griftlands is trying to see how many good design ideas it can stuff into itself without exploding. Strategic deck-building combat? Check. An addictive roguelike loop? Yup. Multiple storylines with compelling RPG elements? Uh-huh! Visual-novel goodness with social links? That too! Even more incredibly, this hodgepodge of awesome components crammed together into one game create something utterly unique and enduringly memorable.
Griftlands is a deck-building roguelike in the same vein as genre standouts like Slay the Spire and Monster Train in which you earn random cards battle by battle until you lose and do it all over again. The main way Griftlands distinguishes itself from those games is that each of its campaigns tells a more substantial story – and for the most part they’re all exceptional. Whether I was playing a mercenary on a quest for revenge, a retired soldier turned double agent who’s playing both sides of a rebellion, or a blackout-drunk slacker who’s been disowned by his family, everyone – whether they’re playable or an NPC – is looking out for number one. They might be looking to make a quick buck, plotting revenge, or making a grab for power, but almost no one is innocent or without ulterior motives. As a fellow grifter in the midst of this chaotic hive of ruthlessness and double-crosses, you’ve got to learn quickly or become another mark added to the pile of corpses; it’s a perfect setup for a conflict-heavy roguelike if I’ve ever seen one.
My favorite character, Smith, is an idiotic, carousing, two-legged dumpster fire of a person with practically no redeeming qualities… so I really related with him. His story centers around redeeming himself for a life wasted and the Disco Elysium-esque way in which he couldn’t care less about anyone or anything around him was an ideal backdrop for my heartless plotting. Figuring out a strategy to make the right friends and mitigate (i.e. murder) my enemies continues to bring me no end of joy.
Even after completing all three campaigns, the tongue-in-cheek fantasy world of con artists and thugs, goofy personalities, and hilarious dialogue were all just more reasons to try “just one more run” – even when I got my teeth knocked in at higher difficulties. There was always something pushing me to complete the run or at least get to the next major plot development.
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The general outline of each campaign follows the same storyline every time, but the exact missions you’re sent on, the characters involved, and the random encounters you stumble upon are procedurally generated so that no two runs are quite the same. With the exception of Sal’s campaign, which is a pretty bland revenge quest with few surprises, the stories aren’t something you’ll want to skip; even on repeat playthroughs I’ve found that small details change enough to keep it interesting, and it’s all based on the missions generated and the decisions you made.
Adding to the already substantial amount of charm is Griftlands’ hand-drawn Saturday Morning Cartoon style and bizarre-looking anthropomorphic animals and humans who live in its world. Voice acting is done through a Sims-style gibberish language, meaning you’ll be reading a lot of subtitles (which are enhanced by the tone from the voices), but the soundtrack during combat is every bit as catchy as you’d hope from a game you’re expected to spend a lot of time playing through again and again.
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What makes Griftlands’ style of adventure especially interesting is that victory is not all about stabbing people in the front. Confrontation comes in two delicious flavors: social encounters, called Negotiations, and turn-based Battles, both of which require you to curate and upgrade their own specific deck of cards. Each mode has in common card-based mechanics and knocking down an opposing health bar before yours is emptied, but that’s more or less where the resemblance ends. The dramatic change of pace from encounter to encounter gives Griftlands a different feel than most of its peers.
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Battles tend to be fast, action-packed, and very similar to Slay the Spire (and equally challenging and replayable), where you and any allies or pets you might have knock the snot out of all manner of beasts, robots, or fellow grifters who cross you. Because combat can be brutally challenging on higher difficulties, creating the perfect mixture of defensive cards, offensive cards, status effects, and items is essential for survival. In one playthrough with Sal I stacked up cards that cause bleed damage to drain my opponent’s health, while in another I used Smith’s bizarre ability to regenerate health by getting hammered and hurting himself to create an unstoppable rampaging drunken ogre. And, as is typical of this type of game, I couldn’t replay those the same way even if I wanted to; thanks to the way adventures are procedurally generated and loot is randomized for each playthrough, you have to learn to roll with the punches and find the best strategy by literally using the cards you’re dealt, which is a blast.
Negotiations, on the other hand, are slow, strategic, and complex contests of wits where you use persuasion and coercion cards to whittle down the enemy’s core argument in an almost incomprehensible flurry of status effects. Arguably there’s even more strategy to these encounters than to Battles because of all the different status effects and modifiers that require you to continually re-evaluate your plans – which can be fun or annoying depending on the circumstances. Also, there are multiple approaches for getting your opponent to see things your way. You can focus on “domination” cards, which use threats, insults, and coercion; or you can try “influence” cards, which use swagger, persuasion, and tact.
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As you debate your opponent you’ll deal and receive dozens of buffs, debuffs that can be a bit of a headache. In one particularly irritating encounter, the enemy relentlessly spams your deck with cards that cost money to use or deal damage to you unless you pay, and even adds a dollar cost to playing your own cards. Watching your hard-earned cash fly away while a smug cockroach smiles on-screen can be infuriating – but beating them at their own game is almost always worth the effort.
Sometimes the amount of things to consider and juggle in Negotiations can get tiresome, which makes exerting brute force through Battles seem like an ideal alternative. That can create a problem, though, because attacking everything in sight just to avoid talking through your problems tends to make you a lot of enemies, and making lots of enemies usually leads to death. And I mean the bad kind, too. As in, your own death. That said, once I took the time to learn all of the different elements at play in a Negotiation and develop a strategy that let me utterly dominate someone without ever drawing a weapon was an incredibly rewarding loop.
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There’s also quite a bit of randomness to deal with that’s mostly outside of your control. As you work your way through the verbal or physical blows of Griftlands, you’ll be forced to make lots of decisions with unknown consequences: side with one faction over another, make judgement calls during random encounters, and choose to draft and upgrade cards and character perks that may have a massive impact on your Battle and Negotiation decks.
But these outcomes can be influenced by the decisions you’ve made around who to become friends with and who to alienate. For example, if you get into a Negotiation against someone you’ve taken the time to build a positive relationship with, the going will be much easier since they like you. Or even if someone who likes you is simply in the room when you get into trouble with someone else, they’ll come to your defense and grant you bonuses to the encounter. Likewise, earning the ire of people around you will saddle you with devastating debuffs and make the going much more difficult. Decisions you make, big and small, tend to have a ripple effect throughout any given run that can come back to bite you or save you down the road. In a world where backstabbing and ruthlessness are a core part of gameplay, things get sticky very fast and the stakes are incredibly high in the best possible way.
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Although each campaign is relatively short and can all be beaten in a few hours if you’re good or lucky (and I was neither), the sheer replayability of Griftlands is staggering. There are tons of unlockables, modifiers, increased difficulties, and alternate game modes. Like most deck-building games you’ll unlock prestige difficulties with each new tier you’ve conquered and gain access to new cards that are added to the available pool in the next run. You’ll also get to buy perks that give you slight advantages in the next playthrough, so even if you’re struggling to complete a campaign you’re making progress with each failure – a nifty feature if you find yourself staring at the “game over” screen more often than you’d like to admit (like I may have).
Once you’ve had your fill of the story, an unlockable Brawl mode will let you cut to the chase and skip all the dialogue and decisions to give you back-to-back Battle and Negotiation encounters that simulate what you might find in a given run. This is helpful if you’re like me and sometimes just want a little deck-building combat without all those pesky concerns like nuance or being a moral person. There’s also daily challenges and a boss rush mode that puts you through the paces with the most difficult encounters that Griftlands offers.
It looks like now, CNN and MSNBC are teaming up to promote their leftist version of journalism and the truth. On Thursday evening’s The Beat with Ari Melber, host Ari Melber featured CNN host, Brian Stelter to defend himself against the recent criticism surrounding his interview with Jen Psaki. He also conceded that the two liberal cable networks have the same goal: “[Defeating lies is a] challenge for CNNs and MSNBCs of the world.”
Stelter’s interview with Psaki faced a lot of well-deserved mockery for throwing softballs and portraying Psaki as a truth telling hero who will no longer allow propaganda and misinformation in the briefing room. Melber asked Stelter to respond to the criticism and explain how he remains fair:
Sometimes, I think I’m just a content machine for FOX News, because they need something to complain about. But, in all seriousness, I think it is important to be critiqued and we all have to learn from criticism. What I was trying to do with Psaki was more of a feature interview, because I was not on the main political program interviewing her about news and day policy.
It’s no surprise that MSNBC is now defending CNN because after all, according to Stelter, together they face the challenge of “defending the truth and defeating the lies.” Perhaps the real challenge is finding new ways to respond to conservatives and any form of logical criticism while continuing their push for a radical agenda.
The segment ended with one final jab at conservatives by Stelter with a shameless plug for his new book: “And I think people don’t appreciate just how many lies were aired on FOX and on Newsmax and on OAN in the run-up to the riot. So that’s really what I tried to explore. I also delved into why right-wing TV has radicalized so much, because, even compared to the Trump years, these channels have become more radical.”
Obviously the liberal media could never admit to their own radical agenda and constant complaining, and it has even gotten to a point where CNN and MSNBC “journalists” have to come together to ensure they can control the narrative.
This Segment was brought to you by Verizon and Liberty Mutual. Click on the links to let them know what you think.
Below is a transcript of the segment, click “expand” to read:
The Beat with Ari Melber
6:19 p.m. Eastern
ARI MELBER: Usually, at CNN, you’re often in the other chair asking the questions. And, Brian, a lot of people say you have a great track record. But there was criticism of your recent interview with the White House communications director, Jen Psaki. Let’s take a look at what people — some people said maybe you were too warm. Take a look.
BRIAN STELTER: When you watch the news, when you read the news, what do you think we get wrong?
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, look, I think some of our muscles have atrophied a little bit over the last few years.
STELTER: I want to know what the job is like versus what you expected it to be like?
PSAKI: Well, I’m a human being. When a question, the premise of a question is based in inaccurate information, misleading information, that can be frustrating.
STELTER: Five months in, do you feel you have made any progress with that, defeating the lies?
PSAKI: I try every day to.
MELBER: Your response. And explain to us how you approach your interviews, how you try to be fair.
STELTER: Sometimes, I think I’m just a content machine for FOX News, because they need something to complain about. But, in all seriousness, I think it is important to be critiqued and we all have to learn from criticism. What I was trying to do with Psaki was more of a feature interview, because I was not on the main political program interviewing her about news and day policy. So I was trying to do more of a feature interview, and I thought it went well. But I think it’s so important that we do listen to our good-faith critics, and we do try to learn from them. That’s the only way that journalism in this country is ever going to get better and we’re ever going to win trust back is by hearing our critics. And I thought one of the most important Biden lines in the inaugural, which I brought up with Psaki, was when he said, we all have a responsibility to defend the truth and defeat the lies. In some ways, that is one of the biggest tests of the Biden era. It’s a challenge for Facebook, as you said.
STELTER: It’s a challenge for the CNNs and MSNBCs of the world.
STELTER: There’s a bright line we can all draw between reality and disinformation. And that’s a challenge both for you and me and for the White House, frankly.
MELBER: Well, let’s take that to your book, because you know how this works. They’re telling me I got 30 seconds, but tell us about your book, out in paperback. Why should people look at it now?
STELTER: I love hearing the wrap in my ear, the wrap sign from the producers. I get it, Ari. I had to totally rewrite the book because so much has happened. January 6 was a riot of lies. And I think people don’t appreciate just how many lies were aired on FOX and on Newsmax and on OAN in the run-up to the riot. So that’s really what I tried to explore. I also delved into why right-wing TV has radicalized so much, because, even compared to the Trump years, these channels have become more radical. And there are a lot of dissenters inside FOX who are disturbed about it. So I think that’s the new story in the Biden years. Is the GOP’s media machine going to continue to radicalize, and how is that going to affect the rest of the country?
MELBER: Very relevant. It’s a book as much about journalism and media as it is about where our politics are headed.
With endless new customization options, like new email clients and a feed reader, Vivaldi 4.0 just got better.
Pride month seems to be more like an obsession than a celebration this year with every media outlet, including those devoted to kids’ programming, pandering to the vegetable soup community.
The FOX TV network is the latest to go all in on the pro-gay programming, releasing very flamboyant advertisements for Pride Month teasing the gayest moments of recent and upcoming seasons over some “rainbow-themed” original music.
FOX TV hit the Pride Month ground running, featuring an ad on June 1st dedicated to the festivities. FOX posted the ad to its Twitter account with the caption, “Happy Pride Month! Join me and my FOX Fam in celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and achievements. #TVForAll.”
Oh interesting. Know that “LGBTQIA+” stands for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual/Aromantic/Agender,” so yeah FOX TV is not just about tolerance for different sexual persuasions, it’s about promoting the reality-denying transgender/non-binary/genderfluid tenets pushed by the extreme radical left.
Basically the floodgates have been opened, and huge mainstream channels like FOX are now down with whatever the LGBTQIA+ activists say they need to be down with. Will they be marketing to kids with cartoons promoting puberty blockers next?
As far as the content of the ad went, FOX dredged up a bunch of pro-LGBTQ clips from its lineup and clipped them together over trendy pop music. It began with Call Me Kat star Leslie Jordan, a vivacious gay old man, wearing a rainbow sequin jacket, a bowtie and throwing rainbow confetti, while shouting “Happy Pride, y’all.” Yeah, charming.
In addition to featuring Jordan’s campiest moments on TV, FOX’s ad showcased gay-centric clips from shows like The Masked Singer, 9-1-1 Lone Star, The Great North and even The Simpsons. Did you ever think you’d see Smithers kiss Mr. Burns? Well, that was in the clip, and we were pretty weirded out.
The song choice for the ad was even more obnoxious. FOX TV used the song “Little Bit of Color” by artist “Indecisive Decisions” to add the whole rainbow/Pride theme. Lyrics throughout the ad sang out, “Once you taste my rainbow, everyday’s summer.” They also sang, “Ring my bell and we can get together. Why just paint with one pastel, when you could have ‘em all?”
The ad then concluded in a fury of confetti, and a message written by the FOX team, which said, “FOX is beaming with pride.” They also added “Happy Pride Month!” Yeah sure, “Happy Pride Month, “y’all.” Of course, this is how the media changes the culture. According to a recent Gallup poll, now 55% of Republicans supposedly support the LGBTQ agenda.
Mainstream networks like FOX are clearly successful with the agenda, even among the more conservative party in the United States. People need to be careful, lest 55% of Republicans soon become OK with transgender women being allowed on girls’ sports teams. And already it seems like some of us are OK with that. Let’s slow it way down, please.