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Co-op action RPG Surfpunk brings style and surfing to the genre

by: Jason -

Surfpunk, a co-op extraction action RPG from developer Double Stallion was announced today. No release date or platforms were confirmed other than PC, but the accompanying gameplay trailer shows a lot to be excited about. As a Raider, you and up three friends can play in online co-op while exploring procedurally generated islands in an anime-inspired tropical world, fighting enemies, and gathering loot as you try to keep humanity alive. On-the-fly crafting lets you create weapons and resources at your Beastship, moving seamlessly between your ship and the islands on stylish surfboards with your pals.

We get a lot of ARPGs these days, but Surfpunk looks to be doing enough different to stand out from the crowd. Check out the new gameplay trailer below while we await further news.

Splitgate 2 revealed, free-to-play arena shooter to launch in 2025

by: Jason -

Do you recall a free-to-play arena shooter called Splitgate? It took the gaming world by storm back in 2021 thanks to its “Halo but with portals” gameplay. After what started as a college project blew up, developer 1047 Games received a massive influx of funding from investors that literally changed the game for them. As such, they decided to sunset content support for Splitgate in 2022 in favor of creating a full-blown AAA sequel. Now, with a team of around 150 people, they have announced Splitgate 2, built from the ground-up in Unreal Engine 5, and dropping in 2025 for PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One.

A cinematic trailer sets the stage for future reveals, but it certainly has my mind racing over the possibilities for the sequel. I’m inferring a lot, but in the trailer I see character skills and/or abilities, new weapons, new equipment, and perhaps omni-movement. Take that with a grain of salt until it is confirmed, but all of that would be incredible.

What 1047 did confirm is the presence of three unique factions that allow players to utilize strategies based on their playstyle, earning progression-based rewards in the process. Also, to hold us over until 2025, a companion app is now available to download on iOS and Android, featuring a comic series and collectibles that will earn you in-game rewards when it launches next year.

Terry teased, Punk VS Big Bird in Street Fighter 6 EVO finals

by: Joseph -

Street Fighter 6 is still fun as hell to play, but it's also fun as hell to watch. I watched the Grand Finals for EVO with prominent fighters Punk (Cammy) VS Big Bird (Rashid), and it was absolutely amazing to watch. If you get the chance, youtube EVO, and watch some highlights. But only after you watch this match, because it was just absolutely amazing to watch. Even Sajam and IFC Yipes is on commentary, which makes it so much cooler. I love this game so much. And so does everyone else, as FIVE THOUSAND people entered this tournament for Street Fighter 6. 

Then, they tore back the curtain, and showed us Terry Bogard, coming to Street Fighter 6 this Fall. They showed the new stage, the Pao Pao Club, from Fatal Fury, and his intro to his World Tour mode interaction. I cannot wait. And no Terry, I am NOT ok. 


Heihachi, burritos, and Nike in Tekken 8

by: Joseph -

I woke up this morning with a sentence echoing in my head. "Heihachi Mishima is dead", quote Raven, who didn't confirm as such. Because he is very well alive, and he's coming back to Tekken 8 in the Fall. My colleague Nathan is experiencing Deja Vu.

Sunday, during EVO, Harada-san came out and talked about Linda's release date, which is today for early access, and later this week for everyone else. Then he talked about burritos from their sponsor Chipotle. THEN he showed off the new Tekken X Nike Air Foamposite Kazuya + Jin, coming as a customization for in game fights, plus real life shoes accessible to EVO attendees for now. I owe C10 an apology. Find and follow him here.   

It's real, and with him comes a story expansion, containing both the Prime Minister Linda, and Eddy Gordo. The Nike crossover, with Nike plastered all over the buildings, is wild to me. Check it out for yourself. 


Somehow.... Heihachi returned

by: Nathan -

Well you knew this would probably happen sooner rather than later. The next character for Tekken 8's first season of DLC is.... Heihachi Mishima. Well that didn't take long now did it?

Im getting a little bit of Deja Vu here. Street Fighter 6 was a brand new story in the long running series that was finally post Street Fighter 3 with a new setting, new characters and a new story. Bison was dead, Shadaloo is gone and now Bison has already brought back from the dead in the second season of DLC.

Tekken 8 isn't gonna wait for the second year for that. After Tekken 7 was called "The end of the Mashima saga", Heihachi Mashima has returned. Check out his trailer below. 

Heihachi will release in the Fall of this year. 

Multiversus announces Season 2, adds Samurai Jack, and Betelguise

by: Joseph -

Not to be outdone at Evo, Multiversus has officially announced Season 2, which unlocks ranked mode, and adds two more characters to the roster. Samurai Jack (my new main), and mere months before his long awaited sequel, Beetlejuice. The season is called Back in Time. But wait, there's more. 

Ranked mode allows you to play 1v1, and 2v2, and will net you rewards based on leaderboard points. The game also plans to add a new fighting arena, based on the Warner Bros water tower. I don't know. Samurai Jack will be available July 23rd, but you may have to say Betelguise three more times, for he doesn't arrive until later in the season. 

SVC Chaos Announced at EVO, released TODAY

by: Joseph -

Capcom and SNK are cooking again. After the fact that Mature and Vice were announced for KOF XV, SNK followed up with a random, but very unexpected announcement that SNK VS Capcom Chaos (SVC Chaos) will be released for PS4/5 and Nintendo Switch, and is out TODAY for Steam, for $19.99 USD For those of you who don't know, this is the third entry of the SNK X Capcom Versus series. Notice I said the third. 

There were two more before this, Capcom VS SNK, and Capcom VS SNK 2: Millennium Fight 2001, the latter, and more popular allowing you to pick up to 6 different "grooves", which were made up of combinations of meters and mechanics from multiple fighting universes. these two games were made mostly from the Capcom side of things, to where SVC Chaos was made from the SNK Playmore side of things. It wasn't that popular, but I feel like this release, with rollback netcode, that might change. There's a different version with Shin Akuma and Mr. Karate, but I'm not sure if those characters are unlockable. Watch this crazy...er...chaotic trailer here. 

The D&D 2024 Life Domain Cleric is even more of a healer that no one wants to be

by: Randy -

I got to be a player once, instead of a dungeon master, in Dungeons & Dragons. It was thrilling. Getting to come out from behind the dungeon master's screen and sit on the other side of the table is eye opening. There were four of us on the players' side, and the dungeon master brought us into his homebrew world he'd been building, piece by piece, for half a decade.

Being something of a "forever DM," I was naturally going to slip into the role of a bard for this one-shot adventure we'd play with 10th level characters right out of the gate. But instead of the musical mayhem I was hoping to wreak during our fights, it turned out that the party instead needed a dedicated healer. Not a problem. If we needed a healer, I was going to be the apex healer: a Life Domain Cleric. During that one-shot adventure, I not only read up on life-preserving spells and wore a polytheistic holy symbol bandolier—I learned the patience of a healer.

As soon as a battle begins, healing spells aren't needed. So, I prepped the party members with temporary hit points and reminded them of my newly formed and completely untested mantra: "Healing begins before you're hurt." They seemed unimpressed. Our first fight was against some homebrewed monstrosity I could only refer to as a "Zombie Ball." I leaped off the city walls, swinging a bludgeoning weapon, and was promptly run over twice by the rolling World War Z mass of rotting humanity. I swung my mace and probably did a whopping 1d6 damage. Again, the other players were unimpressed.

I retreated. My first healing spells were cast on me. It was truly a "Physician, heal thyself" moment. That's when I figured out that my role as a Life Domain Cleric required the aforementioned patience of a healer

As D&D designer Jeremy Crawford describes in this video, a Cleric with the Life Domain subclass is the preeminent healer. And as with all character classes going into the D&D 2024 Player's Handbook, there are tweaks. The Preserve Life spell now works on undead and constructs. I'm supposing that's become a need as more and more player species (formerly races) and their summons, familiars, etc., dip further and further into undead and construct species—and an undead Toxic Timmy summoned by the Warlock, or the presence of a Warforged species (a living construct), can all use a little healing, too. Especially since they're often the ones being sent in to do the dirty work.

D&D 2024 is also exploring the idea that creatures from, say, the Negative Energy Plane not only can't be healed with normal healing, but that they're harmed by normal healing. That makes sense to me. I didn't even realize that wasn't already a feature of vanilla 5e. Sounds like they're still ironing out the wrinkles, however, and we'll have the final form of that power by the time the D&D 2024 Monster Manual comes out in February of next year.

Clerics are a tough sell. Few players want to exclusively use their actions to heal other players. Most players want to deal some damage instead. Because, let's be honest, the best way to prevent a creature from killing you is to kill them first. That's why in every massively multiplayer roleplaying video game you've ever played, incomplete groups are always shouting for a healer. You need 'em, even if you don't wanna be 'em.

I'm guessing that's what my Dragonlance players are needing right now. The Knight of Solamnia, the Undying Warlock, the Lunar Sorcery Sorcerer, and the War Wizard are trying to regain Wheelwatch Outpost and they're finding out that Red Dragon Army soldiers are a tad more dangerous when there are 20 of them. Where's Mishakal's Blue Crystal Staff of healing when you need one?

College Football 25 officially out, divides fan bases, breaks internet.

by: Joseph -

No one thought this would ever happen, and here we are. The first weekend of a game that has distracted gamers from other distractions. College Football 25 is out for everyone, and I must say, I've seen a mix of emotions. 

While I won't harp on a certain company saying "It feels a bit rushed", I will say that Madden players seem a little upset that the college game is not a re-skin of their precious franchise. My friends and internet community are also having a hard time finding an Xbox, preferably the Xbox Series S. I DJ'd a graduation party today, and the graduate left the party to scour the city for one. He came up short, though I told him to just go online and buy one. Of course, he wanted one right now, so much so, that I almost walked away with a free Xbox One S, as his plan was to buy a series X, and take it back when he found an S. He sold his Series X a year back. Fool.   

I myself, haven't dug into the game much. My friends are having a blast, some joking that they won't see their significant other for the next 72 hours. The jokes are fun and abundant, especially the gif I saw saying that College Football solves all the worlds problems. Yes, even that one. 

EA, you have a hit on your hands. Don't mess this up. If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go continue to anger my fellow Ohioans, whilst playing with Michigan. Go BLUE! 

D&D's Pharoah adventure was made by the same people that made Strahd and Dragonlance

by: Randy -

Two things about Pharaoh. One, I'll never be able to spell the word "pharaoh" on the first try. Two, the existence of this Dungeons & Dragons adventure fascinates me as a cultural relic. Pharaoh was written by married D&D power couple Tracy and Laura Hickman. The Hickmans wrote the adventure Ravenloft. And Ravenloft is home to the most beloved of Big Bad Evil Guys: Strahd. Count Strahd von Zarovich, if you're nasty.

Pharaoh was the Hickmans' foot in the door at  D&D headquarters. With its lonely antagonist cursed to wander the Desert of Desolation indefinitely, it's hard to not see Pharaoh as the literal progenitor to the lonely antagonist cursed to wander a castle of desolation indefinitely—Strahd. Likewise, Pharaoh's pyramid is a place designed for insidious traps and monsters, just as Strahd's castle would become.

Not only that, but creating discrete headers and popouts for sections of the adventure—"tricky trap"—was quickly adapted into other D&D adventures going forward. Technological advancements don't always come in the form of 3D tabletop battle maps and digital minis. Sometimes tech advancements are something as simple as readability and playability. 

Pharaoh is one of six old school adventures that've been hand-selected to appear in Quests From the Infinite Staircase adventure anthology. All of the adventures therein have been revamped from 1st Edition to 5th Edition D&D.

This video also talks about something called the Tears of Athas. Now, if you're a fan of the Dark Sun campaign setting, then the word "Athas" is setting off alarm bells. That's the name of the planet that Dark Sun takes place in. I'm quietly freaking out just thinking about it, even if they're ignoring the fact that they just said the word "Athas."

Now, if you turn on YouTube's closed captions, YouTube takes a stab at it and types "athys." Whether it's Athas or athys—or some third spelling of the word—we won't know until I buy the book or Wizards of the Coast makes the book available to me for assessment. Ahem. Wizards of the Coast. Makes the book available. To me. Assessment.

(Too many folks in the tabletop roleplaying industry like to call that a "review." But review always sounds disingenuous to me. Especially when you haven't played through the adventure and you're just skimming pages. I mean, we typically review video games here at Gaming Nexus. None of our writers would skim the instruction manual and then write a review of that game without actually playing the game. So. There's my two gold pieces on that.)

Quests From the Infinite Staircase is out now on D&D Beyond, in both digital and hardcover formats. Folks are traipsing up and down those stairs as we speak, on the road to level 13 if they complete them all.