Krispy Kreme UK Xbox doughnuts are “Nexus Level” advertising

If there were still any doubts about video gaming becoming mainstream, the fact that major brands are coming up with all sorts of antics to appeal to that crowd. No one can probably top KFC’s gaming PC, but there are some that come a close second. Krispy Kreme’s idea to celebrate the Xbox’s 20th anniversary may seem tame in comparison, but it will at least give gamers a tasty treat while also offering the chance to get a new fridge, er, Xbox console in the process.

Of course, it’s not uncommon for brands to cozy up to gamers, and Xbox itself has done its fair share of partnering with food brands to advertise its newest console. In fact, one could say that Microsoft has been advertising the Xbox Series X|S like no other, which isn’t that hard to do when you have a console with a rather unconventional design.

Krispy Kreme UK’s idea, however, is a bit more practical and useful, even if arguably unhealthy. It’s introducing what it calls a “Nexus Level” doughnut, which is pretty much just a sugary treat bearing the iconic Xbox logo. Of course, it wouldn’t be good advertising without a short clip that pokes fun at the usual tech product launch tropes.

The campaign, however, isn’t just for the doughnuts (or donuts) themselves. While you can buy a single piece of these “ergonomically shaped” treats, a box of a dozen earns you a chance to win an Xbox Series S and a month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to go along with it. Whether eating those twelve doughnuts will be a single-player or multiplayer campaign is left up to the player.

Unfortunately for Xbox fans around the world, the promo is only available in the UK and Ireland. It also runs from August 2 to 22 only, so better get your stomach and taste buds ready if you’re anywhere in those areas.

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The Best Weapons in Scarlet Nexus and How to Get Them

If you want to stand a chance against the biggest, toughest, and most dangerous Others in Scarlet Nexus, you’ll need a weapon that can dish out some major damage. Your base weapons can get you through the early stages of weak mobs, but sooner rather than later, you’ll want to upgrade those starter weapons for ones with a bit more punch to them, especially when going into the endgame content. As with most RPGs, you’ll be picking up and buying new weapons all the time to keep your character on pace with the ever-increasing challenges.

Because this is a single-player experience and not a game intended to be grinded out for weeks or months with new content constantly added, there are weapons that stand above all the others that you can get as the most powerful in the game. The tricky part is that you will want to get them for every character, not just your primary one — and the process of actually getting your hands on them isn’t easy, either. If you need some hints about the best weapons in Scarlet Nexus and how to get them, check out this guide.

Further reading

How to get the best weapons


There are two main steps you need to take in order to get the best weapons for any character in Scarlet Nexus. The first is to actually get the weapon in question. You can get weapons either through random drops, quest rewards or by purchasing them from the shop. The absolute best weapons, which is what you came here for, only become available after you pass certain thresholds in the game’s story. Once you’ve reached the specific phase, you have a chance of finding that weapon out in the world as a random drop, but the most reliable way to get your hands on them will obviously be through the shop.

Next, once you have the weapon, you will, of course, want to upgrade it to the maximum level. Upgrading a weapon requires different materials that drop from enemies. Once you reach the final level of upgrade for either Yuito or Kasane, however, you will need a special material called Phantom Art that you can only get after beating the main campaign. Your party member’s final weapon upgrades will also take rare materials you can only pick up in post-game side quests, but they’re not limited to one per playthrough, like Phantom Arts are.

The best weapons for each main character


Your katana-wielding male lead, Yuito, has one of the best weapons in Scarlet Nexus, called the Otori. The base weapon you start with is called the Douji Setsu Ami, which will set you back a hefty 5,000 Kin at the shop. The first upgrade you need to get for it — by going to the shop and navigating to the Exchange section to upgrade — requires the base weapon, two Rat Species Subjugations, and three Battle Record S. The Rat Species Subjugations are dropped from the rat species enemies located in the abandoned underground railroad level, or the Sumeragi land 1 level. Battle record S are less specific drops and simply have a chance of appearing after you beat stronger types of regular Others.

The final upgrade to make this weapon into the Otori requires the upgraded Douji Setsu Ami, obviously, plus one Phantom Art and one Buddy Rummy Analysis. Again, we covered how to get Phantom Arts above, but the Buddy Rummy Analysis comes from the Buddy Rummy Others you encounter on the Kunad Highway: Entrance to Suoh. Get all this to the shopkeeper, and you’ll have the awesome phoenix-inspired katana.


Your mid-range fighter’s best weapon is the Hitori. These throwing knives pack a major punch but take a bit of work to get. First, as always, you need to get the base weapon to upgrade. In this case, you’re looking for the Mao Kai, again costing 5,000 Kin from the shop. To upgrade it, you’ll need to track down two Pendu Species Subjugations and three Battle Record S. The Pendu Species Subjugations are dropped from the Pendu Others on the Kunad Highway: Entrance to Suoh, and we already covered where to get the Battle Record S with Yuito.

Once upgraded, to make the final form of the Hitori, you will need your one Phantom Art plus one Rainy Rummy Analysis, which are rare drops from the Rainy Rummy Others.

The best weapons for party members

A battle in Scarlet Nexus.

The only note to make off the top here for getting the materials required for your party member’s ultimate weapons is that they all require a special Phantom Art material that comes from a specific side quest. We’ll note what side quest that is, but bear in mind that these will only open up once you’ve beaten the main story.


Never underestimate what a blade is capable of, no matter how small. Kagero’s Sekiei may be a tiny dagger but will dice up Others before they know what hit them. Purchase the Invisible Dancer V6 first, then go out and collect two Pound Species Subjugation and three Battle Record S to get the first upgrade. Pound enemies can be found in Sumeragi Land 5. From there, add in the Phantom Art: Lizard and Judy Chinary Analysis to create the ultimate form in the Sekiei. The quest you’re looking for to get the Phantom Art is called Help with a Report, and Judy Chinary Others can be fought at Mt. Hino or Sumeragi Land 7.


The talented crossbow wielder Kyoka’s best weapon is the Houga, somewhat resembling a bee in design. The base weapon you’re working with is the Buronguhorn 286. The first set of materials you need are two Pendu Species Subjugation and three Battle Record S. The Pendu Others show up on Kunad Highway: Entrance to Suoh, and by now you know where to get Battle Record S. From there, to create the Houga, you’ll need the Phantom Art: Honey Bee and one Dispen Fisher Analysis. This Phantom Art comes from the Want to Learn More quest and the analysis as a reward for beating the Dispen Fisher boss.


What’s not to like about a chainsaw-wielding lady? Arashi’s weapons normally have some more creative names, but her best weapon is the more elegant Ayame. That doesn’t mean it isn’t deadly, though. To start off, make sure you get Arashi the Innocent Rabbit Hug 6. Combine this with two Pound Species Subjugations and three Mysterious Ecology S to get the first upgrade. Pound Species are in Sumeragi Land 5 during the Memory of Rebellion, while Mysterious Ecology can be found from powerful Others in the Abandoned Subway: Suoh Line 9. Your final upgrade will need the Phantom Art: Horse and a Brawn Yawn Analysis. This Phantom Art is a reward for doing the Enchanted by Weapons side quest, and Brawn Yawn enemies spawn in the Kunad Highway: Entrance to Suoh area.


Shiden is a dual wielder who utilizes his Electrokinesis to deal a shocking amount of damage lighting fast. His ultimate weapons are the Kan’nen, which start out as the Special Guard Stick Rikugo Kai. Once purchased, you will need to farm two Yawn Species Subjugations and three more Battle Record S. The Brawn Yawn Others you need to farm spawn at the Kunad Highway: Entrance to Suoh. To turn the Rikugo into the Kan’nen requires one Phantom Art: Catfish and one Rotunda Pagoda Analysis. This Phantom Art comes from completing the For the Exhibition side quest, and just take down Rotunda Pagodas until you get the Analysis.


Completely contrasting Luka’s somewhat smaller stature, his massive hammers are always a sight to behold, especially the Shojin. Adorned with golden elephants, this thing is just as tough as its animal inspiration. The base weapon here is the Weight Hammer V6. Upgrade this with two Yawn Species Subjugation and three more Battle Record S. The Yawn enemies show up on the Kunad Highway: Entrance to Suoh. From there, get yourself the Phantom Art: Elephant from the For the Exhibition side quest and one Coat Mote Analysis by beating the enemy of the same name to unlock the Shojin.


Who needs a weapon when you can just pull on some gloves and let your fists do the work? Gemma is all about that close-range, knuckle-bleeding combat, and the Kiseki gloves let him hit with all his might. To get his best weapon, using that term loosely, you start out by getting the Gou Musou Land Type and upgrading it with two Bound Species Subjugation and, you guessed it, three Battle Record S. Bound Others spawn in Sumeragi Land 5. From there, combine that weapon with the Phantom Art: Turtle and one Coil Moil Analysis, the former of which you get for completing the No Interference! side quest and the latter for beating the Coil Moil boss.


Tsugumi is perhaps the smartest member of your team, just for the fact that they are using a gun, and Tsugumi’s firearms still follow the RPG systems of having different stats. To get her best pistol in the game, the bird-like Enmu, you first need to get the Lily Bell M20-6. Take that and two Pool Species Subjugations and yet another three Battle Record S to hit the first upgrade. The Pool Species Subjugations come from Scummy Pool Others located in either the Abandoned Subway: Suoh Line or Hirasaka Station entrance and exit. The final upgrade into the Enmu requires the Phantom Art: Swallow and one Naomi Randall Analysis. This Phantom Art is your reward for the Verifying the Secret quest, and you will need to beat the Naomi Randall boss for their analysis.


Hanabi’s best torch weapon is very appropriately modeled in the aesthetic of a monkey and is just as beautiful as it is deadly. Named the Kaen, this torch is the perfect fit for Hanabi’s fire-based abilities. The base weapon you will be working with is the Torch Type 6. Add in two Paw Species Subjugations and three more Battle Record S to pump it up one upgrade level. Paw species Others can be found in a few places, such as the Kikuchiba: Middle-level Shopping District and Arahabiki Control Layer: Purification Bridge. To turn this torch into the Kaen, add in the Phantom Art: Monkey and one Gankin Fisher Analysis. This primate-themed Phantom Art is the reward for completing the Important Mission side quest, and you can find the analysis simply comes from killing any Gankin Fisher-type Others.

Editors’ Choice

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Scarlet Nexus Review: A Deep Story With Even Deeper Action

“Scarlet Nexus is an excellent action roleplaying game for all fans of the genre.”

  • Unique combat
  • A surprising story
  • Fun characters
  • Lengthy runtime
  • Stylish visuals
  • Weak exploration
  • Heavy on backtracking

There’s no shortage of Japanese action roleplaying games on the market, but Bandai Namco’s Scarlet Nexus is a new IP that stood out from the crowd and immediately caught my eye. After playing the demo that was released earlier this year, I knew I was in for a good time and I am overjoyed to find that my hunch was right.

Scarlet Nexus is a game that takes any expectations and pushes them aside by amazing players with new ideas in every direction. This “brainpunk” title takes place in a futuristic world where humans have found a way to use a hidden gene to unlock superpowers in certain people. That premise perfectly lends itself to both the gameplay and story, both of which pleasantly surprised me throughout the entirety of my experience.

While the game starts off a bit slow and took a bit of time to get into, Scarlet Nexus is a worthwhile experience and a great addition to any JRPG collection thanks to its bombshell of a plot and gameplay.

A shocking story

At the beginning of Scarlet Nexus, I had the impression that the story was going to be by the books with boilerplate characters. Thankfully, I was entirely wrong. While the characters can come off as trope checkmarks to anyone who has seen an anime in the last decade, they have so many memorable moments together that they quickly grew on me and I was left wanting to spend more time with them.

The world of Scarlet Nexus is a futuristic one where certain members of humanity have awakened to various superpowers thanks to a psionic hormone discovered in the brain. Along with that, there are Others, wonderfully designed mutants that come from the sky and feast on human brains. The Other Suppression Force (OSF) was formed to combat the zombie-like threat.

Scarlet Nexus boss battle.

Things begin with players selecting either Kasane Randall or Yuito Sumeragi, two new recruits to the OSF who have very unique powers and skills. However, there is a lot more to this new duo than meets the eye, and that’s where Scarlet Nexus‘ story really shines.

Those surprises are truly what make Scarlet Nexus‘ plot so special — you just have to witness them for yourself.

Things begin as you’d expect with a story like this. You meet your teammates, undergo training, go on a mission or two, get to know one another, the usual. Then suddenly, one surprise begins to hit you after another, leading to a story with no brakes and tons of excitement. Before I knew it, I was finding characters to root for, jeering at others, and constantly wondering where things were going to go next. As is usually the case with a story like this, players will be left wondering just who and what they can trust and what they can’t.

I wish I could go even further in detail, but that would mean spoiling everything. Those surprises are truly what make Scarlet Nexus‘ plot so special — you just have to witness them for yourself.

Psychokinetic beatdowns

The story isn’t the only area where this game excels, as the gameplay also kept me glued to my screen. As early as the opening tutorial, Scarlet Nexus wants players to know that it isn’t like any other action RPGs. That’s thanks to its unique battle mechanic, which allows for some fun visuals, combos, and strategies.

The game has everything you’d expect from a character-driven action game/hack-and-slash title — perfect dodging, weapon attacks, and launchers. What sets it apart is its usage of the psychokinesis attacks and assist specials, which are what had me so interested in the title in the first place.

Scarlet Nexus rpg combat.

By holding R2, players consume a psychokinesis gauge. This allows players to control surrounding objects and toss them at enemies, scoring big damage. Attacks can be chained together with standard weapons and specials, with the chains growing longer and more elaborate as you level up, making way for some fun combos. As with any game that puts a big focus on combos and free-flowing combat, you can already guess what kind of things you’ll be seeing with this system, but it gets even wilder courtesy of the SAS mechanic.

As early as the opening tutorial, Scarlet Nexus wants players to know that it isn’t like any other action RPGs. That’s thanks to its unique battle mechanics that allow for some fun visuals, combos, and strategies.

SAS is a brain-to-brain connection that allows players to temporarily use party members’ different abilities, basically granting different assists. That includes elemental attack augments, invisibility, time slowing, a doppelganger that can double attacks, or having a partner jump in with an assist attack.

This mechanic adds a deep strategic element to battles, as different SAS attacks have unique stats that are more effective on certain enemies. For example, one enemy can shoot water, which will spill all over it after a certain amount of hits. Using an SAS assist with electric properties allows players to score higher damage on their waterlogged foe. In the beginning, players start with one of these assists and work their way up to four at once, opening the door for some high combo potential. It just takes a bit of grinding to get there.

Yes there’s an RPG in there, too

While the action and story take center stage, the game has no shortage of the usual RPG elements.

In order to get all of a character’s abilities unlocked, players will need to fight through the story and revisit previous areas to level up and earn Brain Points. As with many other RPGs sporting a mechanic like this, players select points on a map to decide what path they’ll follow to level up next.

On the other side of the playing field, party members can be leveled up to unlock more SAS abilities. That’s accomplished by increasing a bond level with them, similar to the Persona series. Bonds with a character are increased by talking to characters or giving them gifts, in turn unlocking more abilities. Once a certain requirement of interaction is hit, players also unlock a bond episode, a special cutscene that features the player character getting closer to whoever they’ve bonded with. This also increases an overall team bond, granting bonuses like special items and free revives. While it may sound like a chore, it opens a lot of fun dialogue moments between characters while not getting in the way of the core combat loop.

Scarlet Nexus overworld exploration.

There’s also the classic material system that RPG fans will be familiar with. Throughout levels, players find little digital cubes that they’ll need to pick up. These can be taken to a shop and traded for different cosmetic pieces for the party, health items, and various weapon and stat upgrades.

It feels lively thanks to the abundance of NPCs and great care put into the look, feel, and sounds of the different maps.

The one downside of the RPG gameplay is the game’s exploration. While I really liked the bright and detailed city and ruinous environments of the game, traversing the city feels tacked on. Items are placed in empty and dull hallways and often feel unnecessary. It gets even more annoying when backtracking to these areas to find more.

Despite this, I enjoyed my time exploring the world of Scarlet Nexus. It feels lively thanks to the abundance of NPCs and great care put into the look, feel, and sounds of the different maps. I just wish item hunting didn’t feel like a drag at times.

Our take

Scarlet Nexus is a must-play for any fan of Japanese action RPGs and standard JRPGs. If the story doesn’t grab your attention, the combat will. It has enough meat to its action to distract from its very minor blemishes. Its characters are a delight to interact with and seeing them grow together really had me fully invested in all of their arcs. I left the experience craving another title like it that takes its excellent action even further.

How long will it last?

It should take over 60 hours in total. The unlockable abilities are worth hunting down, too, adding lots of extra replay time for those who want to dive deeper.

Is there an alternative?

There are tons of other action RPGs on the market. The Tales series and the renowned Final Fantasy 7 Remake are some that I would recommend, but Scarlet Nexus offers such a rich and unique experience that I wouldn’t turn it away.

Should you buy it?

If you’re hungry for a some good action or a great story, I highly recommend jumping right into this one.

Editors’ Choice

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Tech News

The Pixel 5 is Google’s smartest phone since the Nexus 5

When Google unveiled the Pixel 5 alongside the Pixel 4a 5G at its Launch Night In event on September 30, I was perplexed. On paper and in pictures, the $699 Pixel 5 made little sense compared to the $499 Pixel 4a 5G, not to mention the Pixel 4 XL.  I struggled to understand why Google made a smaller phone with very similar specs for more money.

I might have been a little hasty. After spending a few days testing the Pixel 5 alongside the Pixel 4a 5G, Google’s game plan is a whole lot clearer. I’m still not convinced Google needs two 5G phones in its lineup—and I’d like the Pixel 5 a whole lot more if it were $100 cheaper—but I’m no longer sure the Pixel 5 is the superfluous model. The Pixel 4a 5G may seem like a no-brainer purchase for $200 less than the Pixel 5, but the difference between the two phones is a lot bigger than a couple of gigs of RAM and some aluminum.

pixel 5 display Michael Simon/IDG

A hole-punch camera helps Google keep the bezels nice and uniform on the Pixel 5.

I also get what Google is trying to do. Google is calling it “the ultimate 5G Google phone,” but its focus isn’t on gimmicky features like Motion Sense or Active Edge, or even niche camera tricks that show off Google’s AI prowess. Rather, the Pixel 5 is about taking the high-end Pixel experience and distilling it in a smart and stylish package that challenges the very definition of a flagship.

A design without compromises

Much like the Galaxy S20 and S20 FE, the Pixel 5 and 4a are extremely similar phones. Both have a small hole-punch camera in the upper left corner that looks a lot better than the Pixel 4’s giant forehead or the 3 XL’s notch.

The Pixel 5 has subtle enhancements that give it an almost luxurious feel. The aluminum back, Simply Sage color, and chrome power button all add a touch of luxury compared to the plastic 4a. It doesn’t quite feel as metallic as the original Pixel duo to the paint over the wireless-charging-friendly plastic, but it has a very nice texture. It’s downright Apple-like, a comparison I never thought I’d make for a Pixel phone. It’s like the iPhone 11 versus the Pro, or the XR versus the XS. 

pixel 5 camera Michael Simon/IDG

The camera bump is a lot less bumpy on the Pixel 5.

The Pixel 5 is also the first Android phone I’ve used that actually has uniform bezels around the screen. Google is using a flexible OLED to bend the display under itself and reduce the chin, a surprising and impressive bit of engineering for a phone that doesn’t cost a thousand bucks. While it seems like a small thing, once you turn it on for the first time, you won’t look at another Android phone the same way. Even the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra doesn’t have quite the same visual appeal after switching over from the Pixel 5.

Altogether, the $699 Pixel 5 is the first phone Google has made that actually feels like a premium device. At just $200 more than the Pixel 4a 5G, it’s a smart addition to the lineup.

My only criticism is that it might be a bit too small for some buyers. The Pixel 5 has a 6-inch display, which is actually two-tenths-of an inch smaller than the 4a 5G’s, and more in line with the iPhone 12’s 6.1-inch display. It doesn’t feel overly small, but Android phone makers have conditioned us to equate bigger with premium, and Google is bucking the trend with the Pixel 5.  

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