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Gaming Daily: Rockstar’s Leslie Benzies Departs Studio

What a Tuesday it has been for Pokémon fans. Nintendo announced some of their biggest plans to celebrate the series’ 20th anniversary, and it sounds like it’s going to be a baller year. Rare pocket monsters will be distributed throughout the year, new exclusive gear will be sold online, and there will even be a re-release of the original Pokémon card set. Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the new handhelds being sold on February 27. But, more on that later.

In today’s Gaming Daily: Rockstar‘s Leslie Benzies leaves the studio, Nintendo announces special Pokémon-themed 3DS, fan creates BioShock Infiniteinspired settlement in Fallout 4, Amazon announces new video game savings for Amazon Prime subscribers, and Final Fantasy XV handles accessibility in a different manner.


Rockstar’s Leslie Benzies leaves company after nearly two decades.

In an unexpected turn of events, Leslie Benzies, head of Rockstar North, has departed from the company after an extended sabbatical. Leslie has been with the company since 1999, and played a big role in the first Manhunt and Red Dead Redemption. He was even inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts & Science Hall of Fame. So, it’s safe to say that he’s a very talented man. The news was confirmed by Rockstar, who released this statement to Kotaku:

“We can confirm that Leslie Benzies went on sabbatical on September 1, 2014 and has decided not to return to work for the company. We are very grateful for Leslie’s contributions to Rockstar over the last 15 years as we worked together to make some amazing games.

Leslie helped us build an incredible team that will continue to create great experiences for our fans. Leslie will always be a friend to the company and of course we are going to miss him but we wish him the absolute best for the future.”

It’s yet to be seen what impact this will have on the company. As of right now, Aaron Garbut and Rob Nelson will be leading Rockstar North.

HT: Kotaku


Special 20th anniversary Pokémon Red and Blue 2DS incoming.

Nintendo is celebrating the Pokémon franchise’s 20th anniversary in style. The mega-company has announced that a new 3DS bundle is coming to North America, which includes the New 3DS, 2 Pokémon-themed faceplates, and both Blue and Red pre-installed. It looks like a great bundle for any pocket monster fanatic. You can bet I will be purchasing one, despite already owning a New 3DS XL. There’s still no word on whether we’ll be getting the special Pokémon 2DS’ that have already been confirmed to launch in Europe and Japan. We will have to wait and see. My body is ready for the year of Pokémon, though.

HT: Nerdist 

Someone recreated BioShock Infinite‘s floating city in Fallout 4.

We’ve already seen plenty of crazy settlements inspired by different IPs built in Fallout 4, but this one may be the most impressive. Girls Plays Games has recreated a section of BioShock Infinite‘s floating city, Columbia, in Fallout 4, complete with explorable interiors. It’s stunning to say the least. You can take a video tour above. The city is even floating!

Impressive, right? If you want to create your own BioShock inspired settlement, you can visit her site to check out which mods were used to create this masterpiece. Infinite wasn’t my favorite BioShock title, but it definitely had the most gorgeous scenery in the franchise. Now, allow me to go cry about my Fallout 4 settlement building skills.


Amazon announces 20% off video game pre-orders.

Amazon has announced today that Prime members will get 20% off on all pre-ordered and newly released video games. From the sound of it, this deal is permanent, and acts as an extra incentive to sign up for Prime. It’s actually very similar to the Gamers Club Unlocked service at Best Buy in which you get 20% off new games, and even gift cards for pre-ordering certain titles. Best Buy’s service will set you back $30 at the minimum depending on when you purchase it, while Amazon Prime is $99 for a year. I like this move by Amazon, because it at least keeps them competitive in the video game market. I’ve been a Gamers Club Unlocked member for 2 years now, and can tell you it’s a great deal for those that buy a ton of games every year. Prime however, has the incentive of getting free 2-day shipping and deals on other non-gaming related items, so it’s now become a much better bundle. 2016 is going to be filled with awesome titles, so this could be a nice way of saving some cash.

HT: Nerdist


Final Fantasy XV will take an interesting approach to accessibility.

Accessibility in games has been handled in different ways over the years, with difficulty settings being the most common way of allowing players to change the experience to fit their skill level. But, Final Fantasy XV is ditching the difficulty settings, and instead will allow players to change between two different combat modes.

“The equivalent to difficulty level settings in FFXV is a system where you can switch between different battle modes,” says lead game designer Takizawa Masashi on the title’s official site. “By having this ability to switch modes, we want to make it so that both players who like action oriented, technical gameplay and also those who want to fight at a slower, more relaxed pace can all enjoy the combat in their own style. This switching system is a key part of the gameplay that we decided to introduce based on the feedback we received from the Episode Duscae demo. We will go into more detail about the system closer to the game’s launch so stay tuned for more information.”

I actually don’t believe this will be so different from the standard difficulty options. The one part that could actually be difficult in this game is the combat, so having something more accessible is basically the equivalent of having an easy mode. But, putting my cynicism aside, this is a cool alternative.

HT: Game Informer 

That’s it for today, folks. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m stoked for the Pokémon festivities to begin already. Make sure to keep it here for all of the pocket monster coverage, and for the rest of your nerdy needs. Will you guys be downloading the classic Pokémon RPGs once they hit the virtual console on February 27? Let us know in the comments below!

Image: Rockstar

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