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Which is better: fighting your doppelganger or additional challenges that give rewards in advance?



Last time you decided petting a dog was better than entering cyberspace. I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed. And you probably don’t even notice how I’m sulking out here in cyberspace because you’re so busy tickling some lousy stinky baby mind. Okay, okay, whatever. This week, everything is dedicated to the tasks set for you. Which is better: fighting your doppelganger or additional challenges that give rewards in advance?

Fighting your doppelgänger

You enter the arena with the bosses, and there they stand: your enemy, your next victim, yourself? I’m always thrilled when a game forces me to fight my doppelgänger.

The best recent example is Elden Ring’s Mimic Tear, a quicksilver blob that solidifies into the shape of you, resisting your weapons and spells. If you defeat him, you will be able to summon him as a friendly spirit, your own little self in your pocket. The Shivering Isles expansion for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivions similarly forces you to face your own shadow. And the Control mirror side quest is absolutely worth it for Jesse to pick up esseJ’s cool coat. Come on, tell me more examples.

Mirror matching can be difficult. You can see how your build is done without the slowness and clumsiness of your meat. In a way, this confirms! Your buildcraft has proven to be reliable. This is also interesting because players and NPCs rarely fight with the same toolkits. We are so accustomed to having advantages, to having access to many more systems than these fake people. That’s how monstrous to see me face to face, huh? But it can be just awful if the game buffs my doppelgänger for an extra challenge or to balance out the non-human AI (why do they so often have so much more health than me?).

In many doppelganger duel games, people find ways to experiment. The RPG classic is to strip down before a fight, take off your stout armor and put away your shiny swords so that your clone doesn’t show up with them, then hurriedly change as soon as your naked opponent shows up. It’s cheese, of course, but pretty funny: 1) fiddling with the system and reminding that NPC that you have special access to reality; 2) see this idiot in their/your pants. Another way is to equip harmful skills and items by having your twin poison himself or sacrifice health with abilities you know better than to use. I admit that I equipped bad builds in Guild Wars to achieve a mirror match for some of my characters. If it ruins your fun, well, you only have yourself to blame, and only you and your twin need to know about it.

Some twins are admittedly completely useless, just a display of wobbly AI that clumsily mixes spells and attacks with no combos and agility to fuel my kills. I feel a little sorry for them, but I still appreciate the thought. And if you agree with a little self-deception, of course, let’s say it proves that you are so smart and good at video games that even AI with silicon synapses cannot surpass you.

If you like, I’m willing to listen to the arguments that fighting game mirror matches can count. They are you, you are them, you have the same movements, and they can have a human mind that knows how to be you. Convince us? Or dissuade us.

Additional challenges giving rewards in advance

In most games, optional challenges are evaluated later, and rewards are given if you meet the conditions. It’s a bit boring. One thing I’m starting to see more about roguelike is the opposite. In these few great games, you get a reward in advance and then you say, “Ok, cool, here’s your new fancy toy, now let’s see if you can keep it.”

Lately, I’ve been playing a lot of Slice & Dice, a dungeon-building game that sometimes has optional challenges before the battle. It will show you the items you will get and additional monsters you will face in battle if you agree. Do you know exactly the rewards and risks as you feel about this game? Are you sure these items will give you enough extra power to defeat the bonus villains? Or do you want to flip the dice and take a chance? If not, hey, don’t worry, get down to the official fight.

Although they are not formal challenges, Brotato, a fun little wave survival game, reproduces this effect on several items. The Peacock item gives you a permanent 25% XP bonus plus a temporary whopping additional 100% XP boost for the next wave after purchasing it, but you will also take 50% more damage from enemies during that wave. It feels like a big challenge, especially when you know the next wave is a horde. Survive and you will come out laughing. But if you’re overconfident or miscalculate your running power, you can easily die. And the Bait item offers a permanent damage boost at a low cost, but in the next wave, it will spawn a handful of tough, bullet-spitting leeches that will chase you. Defeat them and you’ll earn some damage, but these leeches can be deadly nuisances if you buy them at the wrong time. I have died for both of these items and I have flourished with both. Putting these effects on items is a smart way to handle this. Take me by surprise when I’m lazily looking for great deals and challenge me.

I guess the broader application of this idea is difficulty modes where you get better drops or bonus stats at higher difficulty levels, but no, that’s too broad. Let’s save this particular thing for another time.

This thing might be mostly related to roguelikes and other perma-death (or at least non-save) games, but it’s much more interesting to me than the rewards after that. Give me a cool thing upfront, give me the excitement and (over) confidence that comes with that cool thing, and then make me fight tooth and nail to keep it. Arm me and then send me to be beaten. Give me room for arrogance, because no feeling defines me anymore.

But which is better?

The only thing that can improve Mirror Match is to offer me a powerful item in advance that I know the doppelgänger will get and use against me. Yes, it seals it for me. What do you think, dear reader?

Pick a winner, vote in the poll below, and post your position in the comments to convince others. We will meet again next week to see who wins and continue the great competition.

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Take-Two’s fourth quarter brings higher sales, deeper losses



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Take-Two Interactive today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and the full year ended March 31, with the company continuing to post strong revenue growth thanks to the Zynga acquisition but continuing to suffer losses.


Take-Two Results for Fiscal Year 2023

  • Net Revenue: Up 53% to $5.35 billion.
  • Net orders: up 55% to $5.28 billion.
  • Net loss: US$1.12 billion compared to a net profit of US$418 million in the previous year.

Take-Two results for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2023

  • Net Revenue: Up 56% to $1.45 billion.
  • Net orders: up 65% to $1.39 billion.
  • Net loss: US$610 million compared to a net profit of US$111 million in the previous year.

Take-Two Forecast for Fiscal Year 2024

  • Net revenue: from fixed to 2%
  • Net bookings: up to 3-5%
  • Net losses: $518 million to $477 million.

Basic moments:

The most important drivers in the fourth quarter were familiar faces led by NBA 2K23, Grand Theft Auto Online/Grand Theft Auto 5, via hyper-casual games, Empires & Puzzles, Toon Blast, Red Dead Redemption 2/Red Dead Online; WWE 2K23, dragon fusion and words with friends.

In terms of sales news, Grand Theft Auto 5 has currently shipped 180 million units worldwide and Red Dead Redemption 2 is up to 53 million units.

To date, NBA 2K23 has also reached 11 million units, a new franchise record at this point in the game’s life, and also boasts the highest virtual currency sales.

While the results of these games helped lift the company’s fourth-quarter net orders above the forecast range of $1.31 billion to $1.36 billion, they failed to deter Take-Two from a similar increase in losses than expected.

Take-Two had forecast a fourth-quarter net loss of up to $214 million, but beat them to post a net loss of $610 million.

The company attributed the deeper-than-expected losses to impairment losses of $465.3 million on acquisition-related intangible assets and $54.2 million on capitalized software development costs for unreleased and canceled games.

While the company is forecasting net losses for the current fiscal year as well, investors have something to look forward to, saying net bookings will rise to $8 billion in fiscal 2025, with additional growth expected in fiscal 2026.

In our pre-briefing with Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick, we asked if this $8 billion goal is achievable without the release of a major new Grand Theft Auto game. (Grand Theft Auto 6 has been announced, but the company hasn’t given a release date yet.)

“We don’t talk about specific names,” Zelnick says. “We believe this is very achievable. As you know, we rarely talk about our years. And when we do that, it’s because we have a high degree of confidence. This is a reflection of a process we have invested in over the years. . We’re starting to see this come to fruition in FY24, and then in FY25, we expect big things to happen.”

He notes that the company currently plans to release 36 games in fiscal year 25 and 26.

As of fiscal year 24, Take-Two expects to release three “immersive core” games by the end of March 2024: NBA 2K24, WWE 2K24, and “a highly anticipated new IP from one of our flagship studios.”

There are also two “midcore/arcade” games in development this year, one of which (Lego 2K Drive) will be released this week.

Take-Two recently canceled the release of Midnight Suns for the Nintendo Switch. With rumors growing that Nintendo is preparing a successor system next year, we ask Zelnick if Take-Two plans to continue supporting the Switch beyond this year, when it already has the Lego 2K Drive and Zynga Star Wars Hunters.

“Yes, I think we will continue to support him,” he replies.

Another console question we asked Zelnick is about mid-gen console updates. Around this point in the last console cycle, Microsoft first announced that there would be an Xbox One X, and Sony soon followed with the PlayStation 4 Pro. We ask if we should expect to see such iterative hardware this time around, and if it affected Take-Two’s business in the previous generation, and if so, in what way.

“It probably will,” Zelnick says, “and they haven’t really impacted the business much.”

While Take-Two’s line of consoles and PCs is getting a lot of attention, the company’s outlook for the current year also highlights just how much the Zynga acquisition has changed the business since it closed a year ago this month.

In fiscal year 22, mobile devices accounted for just 12% of Take-Two’s orders. In fiscal year 23, that figure rose to 47% and the company expects that figure to rise to 53% this year.

Zelnick acknowledges the shift, but says it didn’t take much effort from the top management of the company to make it happen.

“We have always had a very decentralized approach to our labels and [Zynga president] Frank Gibo continues to lead Zynga in an extremely independent manner,” he says.

“We look forward to providing support and we do have centralized features as you can imagine, including data analytics and our consumer database that can benefit all of our labels. In terms of existence, Frank and his team lead and manage Zynga; we think this is the best way to create value in the mobile space.”

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Intel reveals which CPU/GPU combination offers the best bang for your buck



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RPG Cast – Episode 676: “Sending All Our Love to the Koroks Down the Well”



RPGamer has been in the RPG business since 1998, and the current version of the site was launched in 2018. Due to massive changes to our backend and systems, only certain content created since 2018 has been migrated to our new site. However, all of our old content can still be found at

broadcast schedule

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Times and content are subject to change.

10:00 – Breakfast with paws
18:30 — Hero Harmony

11:00 – THERE in AM
13:30 – HerrFrog Plays
6:30 p.m. — Scar plays classical

10:00 – Breakfast with paws
18:30 — Hero Harmony

11:00 – THERE in AM
13:30 – HerrFrog Plays

10:00 – Breakfast with paws
6:30 p.m. — Scar plays classical

8:00 – search for spare parts in the dungeons.
12:00 – Role play

8:00 – Role play carnival
13:30 – HerrFrog Plays
16:00 – Happy Sundays with paws

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