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Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot's Launch Trailer Spoils The Ending If You Never Watched The Anime

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 16:20

The final trailer for Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot has arrived ahead of the game's January 17 launch, and it's a good reminder that this is a game made with the fans in mind--so much so that it goes ahead and spoils how the game will likely end.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot covers the events of Dragon Ball Z from the Saiyan Saga through to the Buu Saga, as portrayed in the anime series (as well as the manga and the abbreviated Dragon Ball Z Kai). The opening cinematic pays tribute to the original anime's opening, and now this launch trailer--which is set to We Were Angels, the second outro theme of the original Japanese release--reminds us how it all ended.

The trailer focuses on both the defeat of Kid Buu and Vegeta's iconic monologue, during which he recognizes Goku's superiority as a warrior. While there's a few episodes of the series left after this, it is, essentially, the big final conclusion where the last villain is defeated (assuming Kakarot does not delve into the events of either Super or GT).

The trailer's willingness to spoil the ending is a solid indicator that the game is assuming some existing investment on the player's part--DBZ Kakarot might not be a great introduction to the series for newcomers.

It's not too late to preorder the game, if you want to nab any pre-order bonuses. If you want a taste of the game first, we have gameplay footage of the first 90 minutes.

PUBG Is Adding A New Small Map With Destructible Buildings In Update 6.1

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 12:13

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) is adding a new small map that will offer a twist on the traditional PUBG experience. It's coming as part of PUBG's 6.1 update, which is live now on the public test server.

The map, Karakin, is a 2x2km island that mixes open terrain with rocky outcrops and small villages. It's a 64-player map, and also contains extensive underground tunnel systems.

Karakin also introduces an entirely new threat--the Black Zone, which means that the map will be hit with disasters that may or may not level buildings or entire towns. It means that players won't be safe camping in a building, and that the map will change in real time as the match progresses. When you hear a siren and see a purple circle on the minimap, it's in your best interest to run.

Karakin also introduces a new sticky bomb weapon, which can be used on breach points to storm buildings or create more sight lines if you're camping in a building. There are hidden areas on the map that can only be accessed by blowing up walls or floors with sticky bombs, too, which will carry loot. Certain walls also have bullet penetration too, so if you know an enemy is on the other side of some drywall you can take the shot.

A new vehicle has also been added to Erangel and Miramar, and is live in-game now. The Motor Glider allows two players--one driving, one as passenger--to take to the skies if they build up enough speed, letting you rain down death from above (or simply seek sanctuary.) 10 will spawn in at the beginning of the match, but you'll need to find fuel to operate them.

These are the highlights, but further patch notes for update 6.1 are available on the game's website.

Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene is working on a new game right now called Prologue. We don't know much about it, but it's not a shooter.

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Has Extended Its First Season

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 11:58

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is extending its first season by two weeks. Infinity Ward has announced that the season, originally due to end on January 28, will now wrap up on February 11. This will be a one-time extension, and will be done to make room for new activities and rewards.

"Over the next few weeks, a host of new items and challenges will arrive, including an in-game Challenge to earn the new Crossbow weapon, more remixed game modes, new playlists, and more in the Store to discover," the announcement reads. During the rest of the season, there will be double XP and double tier progression to help you rise up the ranks.

Infinity Ward recently released a roadmap for what's coming to the game in the near future, including new playlists and loadouts. The first season has also dropped new maps and missions for players.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare received a 7/10 in our review. Reviewer Kallie Plagge said that the game's multiplayer is "up to par, with a variety of game types for different kinds of players."

Gylt Dev Compares Stadia To "Early Days Of Steam," And Loves Developing For It

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 11:26

Google Stadia has had a rocky launch period, and reviews, including our own, have largely been apprehensive. But the system has a big fan in Raul Rubio, CEO and creative director at Tequila Works, the studio behind the Stadia-exclusive horror game Gylt.

Speaking to Gamesindustry.biz, Rubio says that the developer was approached by Google two years before the system's launch, and says that the studio had a "very open and honest dialog" with Google. He says that Gylt was, ultimately, the "smoothest production for a Tequila Works game ever." Earlier titles from the studio include Deadlight, Rime, and Groundhog Day: Like Father, Like Son.

Rubio says that he "only has good words" about the team behind Stadia, saying that they were "very hands off" and let the studio work autonomously. He says that while Google shared a lot of data, they did not focus on the game's artistic ambitions when providing notes: "most of the time it was facts, like where people were getting stuck in the game."

Rubio says that he has been impressed by Stadia, and the way it works regardless of your hardware, thanks to streaming technology. "It's going to get better," he opines. "In fact, one day when we look back, people will wonder why people were questioning streaming at all. I'm not talking about Stadia specifically. I'm talking about streaming in general."

Addressing the complaints, Rubio says that in his opinion, "this is like the early days of Steam in a sense that this is when people were complaining that it took too long to download... (and that) the price was exactly the same as a boxed game."

He also says that there are "many features that are super cool that are not active yet" for Stadia. It's not yet clear what features Rubio is referring to, but hopefully we'll find out more about Google's ambitions for Stadia in 2020.

The Stephen King Dark Tower TV Series Has Been Canceled At Amazon

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 11:17

Amazon is no longer moving forward with its TV show adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower. Deadline reports that Amazon Studios has decided not to film a pilot.

The showrunner is The Walking Dead's Glen Mazzara, who is working with production company MRC (House of Cards, Ozark, Ted) on the project. The company is now reportedly meeting with other, unspecified networks to try to get the show off the ground.

Deadline reports that The Dark Tower has been "very difficult to adapt" for TV. Not only that, but sources told the site that the pilot that Mazzara was pitching was "not on the level of other large-scope elevated genre series" that Amazon is working on, such as Wheel of Time and The Lord of the Rings. As such, it decided to part ways with the show.

Sony made a Dark Tower movie in 2017 starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, but the TV show is separate. The show is said to be focused on the origin story of gunslinger Roland Deschain and his battles with the man in black.

In the movie, these roles were played by Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, respectively, while the TV show is said to have cast Sam Strike and Jasper Pääkkönen for the parts.

While Amazon Studios won't move forward with The Dark Tower, the company is producing the aforementioned Wheel of Time and Lord of the Rings shows, while the company has also hired Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge for $20 million per year to create new content for the network.

An Aquaman Animated TV Show Is On The Way From James Wan

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 11:05

2018's Aquaman starring Jason Momoa was a massive success, bringing in more than $1 billion at the box office. It's no surprise, then, that DC is looking for ways to expand the franchise, one part of which is a new animated TV show for the streaming service HBO Max.

The show, Aquaman: King of Atlantis, follows Arthur as he takes over as ruler of the undersea world. The three-episode mini-series is being produced by Aquaman director James Wan. However, it's unclear if the new TV show is connected to the movie.

"Aquaman takes the throne of the underseas kingdom for the first time and discovers that it’s not easy being in charge--especially with a half-brother trying to take Atlantis for himself, surface dwellers causing problems under the sea, and ancient evils threatening danger perpetually," reads a line from The Hollywood Reporter's description.

King of Atlantis will also feature the characters Vulko and Mera. Willem Dafoe played Vulko in the movie, with Amber Heard portraying Mera. It's unclear at this stage of Momoa, Dafoe, and Heard will be back to voice their characters in King of Atlantis.

The show is just the latest extension of the Aquaman series, as DC is also producing Aquaman 2 and a spooky spin-off focused on The Trench.

HBO Exec Reveals Tentative Game Of Thrones Prequel Show Release Info

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 10:41

The highly anticipated Game of Thrones prequel show House of the Dragon will likely arrive in 2022, an HBO executive has revealed. Variety got the scoop during the Television Critics Assocation press event, where HBO programming chief Casey Bloys told the site that 2022 is his "best guess" for the show's release date.

There have been multiple Game of Thrones spin-off series in development at any given point over the past several years, especially as the main saga hurtled toward its controversial conclusion in 2019. This particular prequel is not the Naomi Watts-starring show that was cancelled back in November; that show was believed to be titled Bloodmoon and would have been set during the Long Night, a legendary extra-long winter in the series' mythology. Instead, House of the Dragon will focus on the Targaryens and their early conquests in Westeros, which places it just a few hundred, rather than several thousand, years earlier than the main series.

Back in November, when the show was announced, Bloys said HBO "look[s] forward to exploring the origins of House Targaryen and the earlier days of Westeros along with Miguel, Ryan, and George." George is, of course, series creator and author George R.R. Martin, while the other two to which he refers are GoT veteran Miguel Sapochnik, who will serve as showrunner and direct multiple episodes (including the pilot), and writer Ryan Condal, who also serves as co-showrunner.

More recently, Bloys told Variety that the previously planned prequel didn't die due to any particular glaring problems, but simply didn't come together.

"Pilots--sometimes they come together, sometimes they don’t ... And I would say that was very much the case here. There’s nothing I would point to and say 'Oh, this was the problem,'" he reportedly said. In comparison, House of the Dragon is largely based on Martin's 2018 book Fire and Blood, a Targaryen epic written like a history text. "One of the benefits of 'House of the Dragon' is there was a text from George and there was a little bit more of a roadmap," Bloys said.

With this new Game of Thrones show seeming more and more likely to actually happen, one question remains to us: Will George manage to actually finish the next book in the series--not to mention the one after that--before yet another chapter of this story is told on the screen? Here's hoping.

HBO Max Offers Update On The Green Lantern TV Show

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 10:34

DC sure does love its live-action superhero shows. At the TCA winter press tour, Sarah Aubrey, Head of Original Content at HBO Max, was able to offer an update on the upcoming Green Lantern TV show, originally announced back in October.

Aubery said that the network is "still in the early stages of talking to [executive producer Greg Berlanti] and the series, so far, is going to span several decades and focus on the origin story of two major Green Lanterns on Earth." She went on to confirm that the space-side of the story would involve "a Green Lantern favorite character, Sinestro."

For DC comics fans, nodding to "two major Green Lanterns from Earth" doesn't particularly narrow things down. The comics pantheon includes seven core Green Lantern heroes from Earth, each with their own unique origin stories and four more Green Lantern adjacent heroes from Earth who, with a little bit of narrative maneuvering could possibly fit the bill. That said, it's certainly possible that the show will focus on two of the more recent additions to the Green Lantern Corps, Simon Baz, and Jessica Cruz, who were given their own buddy-cop title at the start of DC's Rebirth era back in 2016. Their book, Green Lanterns, focused predominantly on their exploits as newly enlisted Green Lanterns with jurisdiction over Earth, which would certainly fall in line with the Earth-based focus Aubery mentioned.

Sinestro, on the other hand, suggests the possible involvement of one of the most famous Green Lantern characters: Hal Jordan, who played a direct role in the ex-Green Lantern Corps hero's eventual turn to evil and the creation of the villainous fear-based Yellow Lantern Corps.

HBO Max will launch in May of 2020.

More from the TCA winter press tour:

Star Wars: Rise Of Skywalker Passes $1 Billion, But Trails Force Awakens And Last Jedi

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 10:27

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has crossed a major box office milestone. The sci-fi blockbuster surpassed $1 billion worldwide on Tuesday. The achievement comes just under a month following the movie's release on December 20 in the United States.

The Rise of Skywalker joins The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi in passing $1 billion, though it does still trail those films significantly at the box office. The Force Awakens ended its theatrical run with $2.068 billion, with The Last Jedi finishing at $1.33 billion. The Rise of Skywalker will stay in theatres for some time longer, so it will be interesting to see how it finishes.

For comparison, The Force Awakens needed just 12 days to make $1 billion, while The Last Jedi took 19 days to hit the milestone. The Rise of Skywalker needed 28 days to reach $1 billion, according to numbers crunched by Variety.

Breaking the numbers down by region, The Rise of Skywalker has made $481 million in the US and $519 million from the international markets for a total of $1.001 billion.

Comparing to the non-mainline Star Wars movies, Rogue One made $1.056 billion at the global box office, while Solo pulled in $392 million worldwide to stand as one of the worst-performing Star Wars movies ever.

The Rise of Skywalker received mixed reviews, and it was also the only one of the new Star Wars movies to not get an "A" Cinemascore rating. The movie was directed by JJ Abrams, who also made 2015's The Force Awakens. Rian Johnson directed The Last Jedi.

The Rise of Skywalker was Disney's seventh 2019 movie to make $1 billion, following Avengers: Endgame ($2.79 billion), The Lion King ($1.65 billion), Frozen II ($1.37 billion), Captain Marvel ($1.12 billion), Toy Story 4 ($1.04 billion), and Aladdin ($1.05 billion).

The Snowpiercer TV Show Has A Release Date

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 09:53

The latest adaptation of the post-apocalyptic science fiction story Snowpiercer will arrive on TNT on Sunday, May 31 at 9PM, the network announced during a Television Critics Assocation (TCA) event.

The original story comes from the 1982 French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand, and Jean-Marc Rochetteollows, but the more well-known version these days is the 2013 film adaptation by South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho (who more recently directed and co-wrote last year's phenomenal Parasite, GameSpot's favorite movie of 2019). According to a press release, TNT's version is based on both the graphic novel and the film, whatever that means; it's likely the show will take elements of both and stretch it out to span multiple seasons of television, though the exact details of the show's version of the plot aren't yet known.

The series' story takes place multiple years after a civilization-ending event that left the earth in a seemingly permanent, uninhabitable frozen state. The remnants of humanity circle the globe on a massive, state-of-the-art train that can never stop moving. The show, which was first announced almost exactly a year ago to this day, stars Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs, along with Alison Wright, Mickey Sumner, Susan Park, Iddo Goldberg, Katie McGuinness, Lena Hall, Annalise Basso, Sam Otto, Roberto Urbina, Sheila Vand, and Jaylin Fletcher. In addition, Sean Bean has reportedly been cast in the show's second season, though that hasn't yet been officially confirmed.

The news of Snowpiercer's release date is welcome, especially considering the show's highly publicized troubles during production. After the pilot was shot, acclaimed writer Josh Friedman was fired by the network over "creative differences," and Graeme Manson took over to oversee reshoots and run the rest of the season. Friedman subsequently called Manson an "idiot" for not contacting him out of respect before taking on the job. Then Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson quit the show, publicly stating that he too would not return for the reshoots. "The 72-page Snowpiercer TV pilot script by [Friedman] is the best I've ever read," he said at the time. "The feature-length pilot I made from that script may be my best work. The new showrunner has a radically different vision for the show."

Speaking about these delays during the TCA event, star Daveed Diggs pointed out that "it takes a long time to make really good s***."

Executive producer Graeme Manson echoed that sentiment: "I think it had a long birth. I mean, it's a really great property," he said. "I was a huge fan of director Bong's movie, huge fan of the graphic novels. And it took a long time to get [the show] right."

This story is developing--keep checking back for more info.

Robert Downey Jr. Reveals Whether Or Not He'll Play Iron Man Again

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 09:51

Robert Downey Jr. has no plans or desire to play Iron Man again. The actor said in a new interview that the idea of returning to play the iconic superhero is "off the table." Instead, the veteran actor would rather pursue different projects now that he's done all he can do with Iron Man.

"To me, starting up again is off the table," he said on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. "I feel I've done all I could with that character. There would have to be a super compelling argument and a series of events that made it obvious. But the other thing is, I want to do other stuff."

Robert Downey Jr. first played Iron Man in 2008's Iron Man, which kicked off the entire MCU. He would go on to portray the character numerous times in Iron Man sequels and later mash-up movies culminating in his starring roles in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

Iron Man was instrumental in taking down Thanos in Endgame, and he made the ultimate sacrifice to get the job done. Given the way Marvel plays with time and continuity, it's possible Downey Jr. could return as Iron Man one day, but it seems unlikely. A more plausible scenario would probably be Marvel rebooting the character with a different actor.

According to Deadline, Downey Jr. will appear one more time as Iron Man in the Black Widow movie that's due in theatres this May. That movie is set before the events of the final two Avengers movies. Beyond that, however, it seems he's hanging up the suit.

Downey Jr. stars as Dr. Dolittle in the poorly received movie now in theatres in the US. He is also set to star opposite Jamie Foxx in the basketball movie All-Star Weekend and is lined up to reprise his role as Sherlock Holmes in the next film due in 2021. On top of that, Downey Jr. will play the medical fraudster John Brinkley in the biopic from Richard Linklater.

Downey Jr. has received two Oscar nominations in his career, one for Tropic Thunder and the other for Chaplin.

James Bond Will Never Be A Woman, Producer Says

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 09:27

James Bond will never be a woman, so long as producer Barbara Broccoli is steering the series. She said in a new interview with Variety that she wants to create new female characters in the 007 franchise, but James Bond will always be a man when she is in control.

"He can be of any color, but he is male," Broccoli said. "I believe we should be creating new characters for women--strong female characters. I'm not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that."

Broccoli's comments come after Pierce Brosnan, who portrayed the legendary super-spy James Bond in four 007 movies, said it was time for a woman to play Bond. At the time, he said this would be unlikely to happen given Broccoli's stance, and now we know why.

"I think we've watched the guys do it for the last 40 years. Get out of the way, guys, and put a woman up there. I think it would be exhilarating; it would be exciting," he said.

It is rumored that one of the plot points in the upcoming No Time To Die movie will feature Lashana Lynch's character taking over the 007 title from Daniel Craig. This has yet to be confirmed. However, we do know that Craig is reportedly planning to retire from playing James Bond after No Time To Die.

Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, and Léa Seydoux (who also appears in Death Stranding) all return to the roles of M, Q, Miss Moneypenny, and Madeleine Swann respectively. The new cast members include Rami Malek as the villain, as well as Billy Magnussen and Ana de Armas.

No Time To Die hits theatres on April 10, 2020. In other news, it was recently confirmed that Billie Eilish will sing the movie's title song, while Hans Zimmer has been brought in to score the movie.

Bloodstained On Switch Gets New Performance Improving Update

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 09:15

Released in June 2019 for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night was a return to the classic 2.5D Metroidvania from its original creators, bringing with it a brand new story and location. While Bloodstained on the former platforms proved to be a solid success, the Switch version has been plagued with issues since day one of its belated-release. While it's seen a few updates to alleviate issues, the developers have just released the game's largest patch yet, which aims to improve performance significantly.

With the 1.04 patch, developer ArtPlay stated that the Switch release would see a general improvement to performance and reduced load times, making it a bit closer to its counterparts on other platforms. According to the devs on the forum, these are the critical areas that the Switch release will see an improvement:

  • Stability issues, such as crashes experienced while interacting with bookcases.
  • Fixed an issue with corruption during dialogue which could lead to crash.
  • Some Performance improvements related to animations.
  • General Bug Fixing.

In a comment on the game's official forum, the Bloodstained devs stated the following: "While we will continue to work on overall performance improvements for Switch, this update brings the game’s platforms to a nearly identical state for content. This is an important step leading into the upcoming Zangetsu release, which we will talk more about in the near future."

While other versions of the game have seen their fair share of bugs and odd quirks, the Switch release of the game is the most troubled. Where the Switch edition falters is when switching the game from docked and undocked modes. Immediately following its release, the developers stated that they would be devoting much of their resources to improve the Switch edition. This particular update brings it a bit closer to the other releases of the game.

In GameSpot's full review of Bloodstained, editor Steve Watts praised the game's style, and how it paid homage to classic Medtroidvanias like Symphony of the Night: "It’s that sense of comfort in its own skin that makes Bloodstained such a treat. This isn’t a bold modernization of the genre or a departure from its roots. It is exactly what it set out to be: a return to the style of a bygone era, with a few modern improvements. Its perception was always going to be affected by how well it invoked the feeling of a classic Castlevania game, but Bloodstained does that and better. With more flexible combat and level design that always beckons to check just one more room, Bloodstained shows that a modern Metroidvania can stand alongside its predecessors as an equal."

Destiny 2 Corridors Of Time Emblem: How To Get The Secret Reward

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 09:13

The latest content drop in Destiny 2 has added something big: a secret quest that returns players to the Corridors of Time. That interdimensional location was key to an earlier mission in the Season of Dawn, in which players traveled through time to rescue Saint-14. Heading back into the Corridors of Time requires you to explore the maze in hopes of finding its secrets.

While the Destiny 2 community is still working to solve the puzzle of the Corridors of Time, there is something you can get right now. Take the right path through the Vex maze and you can earn a special Saint-14-themed emblem. Like the rest of the puzzle, it requires you to take a careful path through the Corridors. You can see what's been solved of the puzzle in our Corridors of Time guide, but here's how to get the emblem right now, called the Savior of the Past emblem.

When you enter the Corridors, you'll find yourself in a big room filled with doorways, each bearing a different symbol. In order to unlock the emblem, you have to enter the doors in a particular sequence. The symbols include ones that look like a clover; a snake; two interlocking hexagons; a diamond with three plants inside it; and a plus sign. While the rooms in between each contain Vex who will attack you, you can avoid fighting them by running past them.

If you mess up the sequence, just backtrack through the last door you entered. You'll return to the first room of the Corridors of Time, where you can interact with a signpost the left of the door that lets you rest your travels through the Corridors and try again.

Savior of the Past Emblem Pathway Code
  1. Diamond
  2. Clover
  3. Snake
  4. Plus
  5. Hexagon
  6. Hexagon
  7. Plus
  8. Hexagon
  9. Diamond
  10. Clover
  11. Snake

When you reach the end of the sequence, you'll enter a room called the Timelost Vault. Approach the center of the room until you're prompted to interact with an object labeled "???". Activating it will unlock the emblem. You can leave by approaching the grave in the center of the room, which will teleport you back to the start of the maze.

The Corridors of Time puzzle also includes a series of lore entries, which you can unlock by reaching the Timelost Vault through a number of specific pathways. Check out our Corridors of Time guide for all the codes, and all the information the Destiny 2 community has uncovered about the puzzle so far.

Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC Character Reveal: Start Times And Watch It Here

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 08:25

The next DLC character for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will finally be revealed this week. Game director Masahiro Sakurai is officially unveiling the newest add-on fighter during a 35-minute stream taking place tomorrow, January 16.

Nintendo hasn't shared any hints as to who the DLC fighter will be, only confirming that tomorrow's stream will offer an "in-depth look" at them. If you're eager to see who the final Fighters Pass character is, we've rounded up what time the stream starts in different regions below. We've also included an embed of the presentation so you can watch it right here on GameSpot.

Whoever the new challenger turns out to be, they'll mark the fifth DLC character offered as part of the aforementioned Fighters Pass, which costs $25 USD / $37 AUD / £20 GBP. The previous four fighters have all hailed from different third-party series and include Persona 5's Joker, Dragon Quest's Hero, the bear and bird duo Banjo and Kazooie, and Fatal Fury's Terry Bogard.

While the Smash Ultimate Fighters Pass covers those five characters, that's not the end of the game's DLC. Last September, Nintendo revealed that even more DLC characters are in development for the game, although the company hasn't dropped any hints as to who those fighters will be.

In other Smash Bros. Ultimate news, the game's next Spirit Board event kicks off on January 17 and adds a handful of brand-new Spirits from the Switch-exclusive action game, Astral Chain. The title also recently received a minor update that added support for the upcoming Dark Samus and Richter Belmont Amiibo figures.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC Reveal Stream Start Times
  • 6 AM PT
  • 9 AM ET
  • 2 PM GMT
  • 1 AM AEDT (January 17)
Watch It Here

Pokemon Sword And Shield "Twilight Wings" Anime Short Is Just Lovely

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 07:34

A lot of Pokemon fiction focuses on kids who want to be the very best (like no one ever was), but the world of stadium Pokemon competitions as shown in Pokemon Sword and Shield means there must be plenty of fans in the Galar region too. A new Pokemon anime short focuses on one such fan, with a sweet and wholesome tone that just warms your heart.

The short focuses on John, a little boy who has spent years of his life in hospitals. When he hears that Chairman Rose is paying a visit to the medical center, he sees an opportunity to pursue his dream: to watch a match with the Champion, Leon, in a real stadium. The short is only about six minutes long, so you'll have to watch to find out what happens.

The short is part of a seven-part series called Twilight Wings, focused on the residents of the Galar region. That seems to suggest that the series as a whole might not focus on John alone, but the stories of other Galar residents could intertwine with his as it goes on. New episodes will be released monthly.

Meanwhile, we recently learned that Pokemon Sword and Shield will be getting large-scale expansions with new territories, new characters, and lots of new monsters to collect. The first, the Isle of Armor, will launch in June. The second, Crown Tundra, will follow this fall. A free update gives you a small taste of the expansions, and more updates are set to add old Pokemon into the game.

Pokemon Sword And Shield News & Guides

Get Stardew Valley And 6 Other Games For $10 In New Humble Bundle

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 07:32

Humble's latest bundle benefits Sweet Farm, a non-profit animal sanctuary, so it makes sense that it would bundle Stardew Valley, a game where you can raise and care for animals, with a bunch of other great titles about nature and critters. The Humble Sweet Farm Bundle combines Stardew Valley with six other PC games for $10.

As usual, Humble is offering different game tiers depending on how much you want to pay. Paying $1 or more gets you Niche: a genetics survival game, MagiCat, and Evergarden, while paying more than the average ($7.20 USD at time of publishing) adds Equilinox, Ultimate Chicken Horse, and Samorost 3. Pay $10 or more, and you'll get Stardew Valley as well. All buyers will also get the soundtracks for Niche and MagiCat.

Once you choose how much you want to pay, you can choose where you want it to go by dividing it between the game publishers, Sweet Farm, and a tip for Humble.

Stardew Valley received a massive patch back in December that fixed a ton of bugs and added some new features, including a late-game movie theater, new 14-heart events for spouses, and fish-breeding ponds, in addition to clothes tailoring and dyeing, new clothing and items, and much more.

In addition to the latest bundle, Humble is hosting a new winter sale, with deals on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Game of the Year Edition for $15, Control for $40.19, and Astroneer for $19.49. More of last year's best games are also discounted, including Resident Evil 2 and Devil May Cry 5 for $19.79 each, Metro Exodus for $20, and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night for $28. You can check out all of the games on sale at Humble.

Humble Sweet Farm Bundle tiers

Pay $1 or more

Pay more than the average ($7.20 at publishing)

Pay $10 or more

See the Sweet Farm Bundle at Humble

Best Deals This Week

New Shenmue 3 DLC Adds In More Playable Characters, Special Battle Event

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 07:25

After nearly two decades following Shenmue II's 2001 release, the series focusing on the adventures of a young martial artist seeking revenge finally saw its return to action with Shenmue III. While the game has an assortment of tasks to distract yourself with, the developers have plans for a new DLC to add in even more to do.

As the first post-launch update for the Shenmue series, the upcoming Battle Rally DLC will add in a new event for Ryo and his friends to take part in. Releasing on January 21 for $8 (players who own the collector's edition will get it as a free-update) the event is a competitive combat race, which puts places the protagonist in ancient relay race where he'll have to maintain a steady pace against his opponents. Along the way, he'll face off against foes in hand-to-hand combat to progress to the next part of the race.

While Ryo spends much of the game on his own, tracking down clues and engaging in interesting side-activities, he won't go it alone in this new event. Joining him is Wei Zhen, a new character introduced in Shenmue III, and Wuying Ren, a returning character from the original sequel. For the first time in the series, you'll be able to play as other characters aside from Ryo. As it's a relay race, you'll eventually need to switch off between different partners. When you shift over to Ren or Wei Zhen, you'll be able to utilize their unique skills in combat, setting them apart from Ryo's familiar style.

It certainly sounds like an interesting update for the game, which helps to flesh out the village's history. Something is fascinating about getting to revisit a game that seems quite symbolic of a particular era of gaming, which sought to grow a bit further while being confined to specific design philosophies. With a new round of updates coming, it'll be interesting to see how Shenmue III continues to evolve from here.

In GameSpot's full review, writer Heidi Kemps spoke about the game's struggles to maintain the essence of the original within a more modern gaming landscape. "Shenmue III has its moments. It delivers on the promise of creating interesting and engaging new environments for Ryo and friends to explore and play around in. Yet, I can't help but think that the game's dogged determination to retain the same "feel" of its Dreamcast ancestors at any cost hurts it immensely."

What Pokemon Can Learn From Temtem

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 06:23

Temtem, an upcoming MMO inspired by Pokemon, is still very much a work-in-progress. In its current state, there are still balance issues to be fixed, facades of buildings that need filling out, and more work to do to get the game fully up and running. But already, Temtem has revealed some clever twists on the Pokemon formula--and more than just letting you battle alongside friends.

Like every core Pokemon game, in Temtem, you start with a titular creature and head out on a journey to battle and collect more of them. In the recent closed alpha, I was able to join up with a friend almost immediately after getting my first Temtem, and it was seamless and easy to explore and battle together in real-time (though we used Discord for voice chat). The sheer novelty of doing Pokemon-style double battles alongside another human player, rather than controlling both creatures on the field yourself, was exciting--it's something that Pokemon players have wanted for some time, and it's one of the big features that Temtem offers as a direct competitor.

And Temtem handles it well, too, in terms of battling. Most Temtem battles are 2v2, as opposed to Pokemon, which largely has you in one-on-one situations during the story. You have a six-Temtem party of your own, and in a co-op battle, you each can use only the first three Temtem from that party with one in battle each at a time. You get to coordinate with your buddy as to what Temtem you want in your combined party, any strategy ideas, and then how you execute each turn--in short, it gets you engaged in teamwork. You can also switch out one of your Temtem during battle in favor of your friend's, though they'll control both monsters at once.

Some Temtem have moves that really capitalize on this coordination. While Pokemon have support moves that can boost each other in double battles, there are currently no moves in Pokemon that get a boost just because of who your partner is. In Temtem, however, some moves have "synergy" effects when the right Temtem is in battle with you. For example, there's one move called Urushiol that gets a power and effect boost if your partner is a Toxic type. While you could use synergy by yourself, it was fun to both discover these kinds of moves and execute on a strategy with a friend.

Temtem still needs to be balanced further, but so far, it is also way harder than any recent Pokemon game, even when you're playing with someone else. Part of that is certainly because I don't yet know what all the Temtem are, how their types work, or any of the intricacies of the game, but we were really on the verge of death around halfway through Temtem's equivalent of Route 1. Understanding synergy (or any of the type matchups, even) was not advanced but essential knowledge even in the beginning, which was a refreshing challenge.

The main downside to co-op, like in any game that has a non-zero amount of dialogue, is that it's hard to coordinate when you're chatting and when you're reading. I ended up clicking through quite a bit of dialogue just so my friend wouldn't get bored waiting for me, and we barely explored the towns or talked to NPCs. It made me wish that Temtem had strayed from Pokemon's formula significantly here, since running around the tall grass and battling in co-op works well, at least in concept.

So yes, it would be awesome to battle alongside a friend in Pokemon. But more than that, I would love to see Pokemon adopt Temtem's synergy mechanic, which could potentially add a fresh dimension to competitive Pokemon battles that doesn't rely on going bigger and stronger--like Dynamax and even Z-Moves and Mega Evolutions before it. Double battles are my favorite format, and I also just love to see Temtem embracing it as the default, while adding a bit more challenge to suit the depth of strategy that doubles affords. Whether Temtem can fully capture my heart the way Pokemon has remains to be seen.

Temtem is scheduled to release in Early Access on Steam on January 21, 2020.

Fortnite 11.40 Update Out Now, Here Are The Patch Notes

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 06:18

Fortnite developer Epic Games has rolled out a new patch for the hit battle royale game. Update v11.40 is now live across all platforms and introduces a new way to upgrade certain weapons called "sidegrading."

Thanks to this new feature, you can now modify the Assault Rifle into the Heavy Assault Rifle at upgrade machines in non-competitive playlists. Additionally, Epic has reduced the amount of material it costs to upgrade weapons, while the Flint-Knock Pistol, Shockwave Grenade, and Impulse Grenade have all been added to the Battle Lab.

On top of that, update 11.40 resolves a handful of bugs and other issues in the game. Among other things, Star Wars Achievements display again on the Legacy timeline, and a bug preventing the "visit different bus stops in a single match" challenge from properly tracking progress for certain bus stops has been fixed. You can see the full patch notes, courtesy of Epic's website, below.

Beyond the v11.40 update, Epic has also announced a new line of skins for the game called the Icon Series, the first of which is based on popular Fortnite streamer Ninja. The skin will be added to Fortnite's in-game shop on January 16 alongside a Ninja's Edge Back Bling, Ninja Style Emote, and Dual Katanas Pickaxe.

Season 1 of Fortnite Chapter 2 runs until February 6, so there's still some time to complete any weekly challenges from this season that you may not have gotten around to. If you need help clearing them, you can find maps and guides for the trickier ones in our Fortnite Chapter 2 challenges roundup.

Fortnite News

Fortnite: Battle Royale v11.40 Patch Notes
  • Introducing Sidegrading: the Heavy Assault Rifle returns.
    • In non-competitive playlists, you can now use Upgrade Machines to "Sidegrade" your Assault Rifle into a Heavy Assault Rifle.
  • Reduced material costs for upgrading weapons at Upgrade Machines.
  • Added the following items to Battle Lab:
    • Flint-Knock Pistol (Common and Uncommon)
    • Shockwave Grenade
    • Impulse Grenade
  • The iPad Pro (2018 release) now supports 120 FPS.
  • Clickable thumbstick buttons (L3 and R3) are now usable on supported iOS controllers.

Bug fixes

  • Players' Star Wars Achievements have returned to the Legacy timeline.
  • Resolved an issue involving the "F" key not enabling proper movement after direction was remapped to it.
  • Resolved an issue involving editing quickly causing players to remain in Edit mode.
  • Falling into a Hideout no longer causes the Bolt-Action Sniper Rifle's crosshairs to disappear.
  • Resolved an issue involving the "Visit different bus stops in a single match" Remedy vs. Toxin Challenge not tracking progress for some bus stops.
  • The Spectrum Contrail again changes colors while in motion.
  • Continued to make improvements regarding FPS drops and hitching on mobile devices.
  • Resolved an issue involving mobile players getting stuck in a loop on the Select Fire Mode screen.
  • Resolved an issue involving console players being unable to progress through the gifting process if they did not have Two-Factor Authentication enabled.

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