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Disney's Live-Action Pinocchio Movie Reportedly Loses Director, Status In Question

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 10:29

Disney's new live-action Pinocchio movie has suffered what sounds like a major setback. Cinematographer Seamus McGarvey said in a new interview that director Paul King (Paddington 1 and 2), pulled out of the project over the holidays for family reasons.

McGarvey told Discussing Film that King personally chose him to be the cinematographer for the Pinocchio movie, so now that he's out, it means McGarvey is as well. He initially said the Pinocchio movie "has been canceled," but he went on to say that Disney is looking for a new director, and then production may start again. Or it might not, McGarvey said.

"I don't think it's a secret anymore, but the film has been canceled. Over the holidays, over Christmas, the director pulled out of the film for family reasons," he explained. "Disney are trying to find a new director. They're trying to get it going but I'm unlikely to be involved now because Paul King, who directed Paddington 1 and 2, wanted me to be his [director of photography] on the film.

"Who knows, the director they eventually bring on, it will probably be delayed by some time now; it probably won't shoot until July or August, if it does at all."

When Disney finds a new director, this person will likely choose their own director of photography, and from the way McGarvey was speaking, it sounds like it wouldn't be him.

McGarvey earned two Best Cinematography Oscar nominations, for the movies Atonement and Anna Karenina, both of which were directed by Joe Wright.

King is not the first director to drop out of Pinocchio, as Pan's Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro was originally eyed to direct. He's not doing the Disney movie, but he is set to write and direct an animated musical adaptation of Pinocchio for Netflix. Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty) was also attached to direct the new Pinocchio before dropping out.

Tom Hanks is reportedly being considered to play Pinocchio's father, Geppetto, in the new film, though whether or not the recent director change affects this remains to be seen.

While the new Pinocchio might not be happening soon, Disney has a few live-action remakes coming up in 2019 including The Lion King and Aladdin.

2K And NBA Agree To Huge New Deal Estimated At More Than $1 Billion

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 09:53

2K Sports and the NBA have announced a major extension on their licensing deal for the NBA 2K series in a move that's said to be worth north of $1 billion.

The official line is that this is a "significant, multiyear global partnership extension." Terms were not disclosed, but The Wall Street Journal reports that Take-Two, which owns 2K, is set to pay as much as $1.1 billion over seven years to the NBA and its players' union. That information is credited to a source who is said to have knowledge of the deal.

According to the report, the $1.1 billion over seven years is "more than double" what Take-Two paid the NBA for its previous licensing deal that was announced in 2011. The figure is said to be based on a percentage of sales of NBA 2K games.

One of the reasons why the licensing fee might be so much bigger this time around is because the NBA 2K series is believed to be an even bigger revenue juggernaut now that the franchise includes microtransactions. This has been a company-wide push, as Take-Two has said it aims to put microtransactions in all of its franchises going forward. NBA 2K's use of microtransactions, which started in 2013, has been controversial, but they are still in the game and will no doubt continue to be used in future titles.

The latest NBA 2K game, NBA 2K19, was a smash hit. It sold more than 10 million units, and it drove even more money from its microtransactions. In total the NBA 2K series has shipped more than 86 million units since it first launch 20 years ago.

Take-Two chief Strauss Zelnick said he's excited to work together with the NBA to "find new and innovative ways to captivate and engage basketball fans, and expand further the success of the NBA 2K brand."

The NBA also has a licensing deal with Electronic Arts for the NBA Live series. However, it's not immediately clear if the NBA has reached a new deal with EA as well.

In addition to the NBA 2K series, 2K Sports published last year's NBA Playgrounds 2, which is an arcade-style title.

Fortnite Season 8 Is Approaching, So Of Course A Mysterious Orb Has Shown Up

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 09:35

Something strange is once again afoot in Fortnite. With only a few weeks remaining in Season 7, it appears developer Epic has already begun laying the groundwork for Season 8 of Battle Royale mode, as players have discovered a couple of mysterious new objects around the map.

Perhaps the most notable is a strange, icy sphere that can be seen floating above the castle in Polar Peak, the new snowy mountain introduced at the start of Season 7. At the moment the sphere is simply floating in the air, but its sudden, inexplicable appearance is certainly reminiscent of the infamous purple cube that materialized last summer and ultimately led up to the start of Season 6.

The sphere isn't the only strange object to mysteriously appear in Fortnite. Players have managed to destroy the iceberg near Happy Hamlet, revealing a bunker underneath--although it's unclear where it leads or what purpose it serves. On top of that, players have spotted mysterious, giant eggs locked in prison cells beneath Polar Peak's castle.

What these objects portend for the game is anyone's guess. By this point, however, it's become something of a tradition for strange in-game phenomenon to usher in a new season of Fortnite, so we likely won't have to wait too long to see how these tie into the impending Season 8.

In the meantime, Epic recently rolled out Fortnite's 7.20 update, which brought back glider redeploy and introduced a new gun: the Scoped Revolver. Players also still have a few more weeks to complete any remaining challenges before the new season arrives. You can find tips on those in our complete Season 7 challenges guide.

After Fortnite Lawsuits, Forza Horizon 4 Removes Carlton And Floss Dance Emotes

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 09:11

A new update for Microsoft's racing game Forza Horizon 4 removes the "Carlton" and "Floss" dance emotes, which are similar to the ones that led to lawsuits against Epic over their use in Fortnite. Microsoft quietly removed the dance emotes in the Xbox One and PC game's latest update. The patch notes posted on the Forza website only state that "The 'Carlton' and 'Floss' avatar emotes are no longer available."

Microsoft provided no explanation for why the dance emotes were removed, but it seems likely that the company saw what happened with Fortnite and wanted to avoid legal action being taken against its game. This is only guesswork. A Microsoft representative offered the following statement to GameSpot on the removal of the emotes: "Forza Horizon 4 features a large portfolio of content and is continuously updated."

Alfonso Ribeiro, the actor from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, sued Epic Games for using "The Carlton" in Fortnite, while Backpack Kid also sued Epic for using "Floss" in the game. Those cases, which seek to see the game stop using the emotes and pay damages, are ongoing. Epic has also been sued by rapper Terrence Ferguson, who claims Epic stole his Milly Rock dance for Fortnite's "Swipe It" emote.

Actor Donald Faison's trademark dance from the show Scrubs also appears to be replicated in Fortnite as an emote, and Faison says Epic "jacked" his dance for the game.

GameSpot's search of the database containing nationwide court records for the United States yields no apparent results for any lawsuits against Microsoft over dance emotes in Forza Horizon 4.

There appears to be some amount of uncertainty regarding whether or not a dance move can even be trademarked. However, it remains to be seen what specific legal tactics that Ribeiro, Backpack Kid, and others will use in their cases against Epic against Fortnite. Keep checking back with GameSpot for more on this story.

New Xbox One Games With Gold Now Available

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 08:20

We're midway through January, which means the second half of this month's free Games with Gold are now available. Through the end of the month, Xbox Live Gold subscribers can grab another pair of titles at no charge on Xbox One and Xbox 360, and they'll be yours to keep and play so long as you have an active subscription.

On the Xbox One side, the off-road racer WRC 6 FIA World Rally Championship is free download from now until February 15. Xbox 360's free game, meanwhile, is Far Cry 2, which is still regarded as one of the best entries in the open-world shooter series. It's up for grabs until January 31, and thanks to backwards compatibility, it's also playable on Xbox One.

On top of those two titles, Gold subscribers still have a little more time to download the poignant 2D platformer Celeste, which is free throughout the entire month of January. Regarded as one of 2018's best games thanks to its challenging gameplay and touching story, Celeste follows a young woman's struggle to reach the top of a mountain. Developer Matt Makes Games also has a free DLC expansion on the horizon for it, making this a good opportunity to experience the game if you haven't yet.

Gold members still have a few more hours to grab January's other freebies, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and Never Alone, before they go back to their full price. You can find the full list of this month's free Games with Gold below.

In addition to the new freebies, a new sale is now underway in the Microsoft Store, offering deals on a variety of Xbox One and 360 games for Gold and non-Gold members alike. The sale runs through January 21 and includes nearly the entire Far Cry series, as well as Halo 5: Guardians, Life is Strange: Before the Storm, and SteamWorld Dig 2.

Games With Gold January 2019

Xbox One

Xbox 360

Watch Glass For Free Before It Hits Movie Theaters

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 06:22

If you simply can't wait to see the new M. Night Shyamalan movie Glass, you're in luck! Universal Pictures is giving away tickets to early screenings around the United States on January 16.

Glass is the third part in Shyamalan's trilogy that also includes 2000's Unbreakable and 2016's Split, bringing Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson) and David Dunn (Bruce Willis) face-to-face with Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) and his Horde of personalities for the writer/director's take on an epic superhero story. The tale, set largely at a psychiatric hospital housing the three men, also stars Sarah Paulson as Dr. Ellie Stable, a psychiatrist who believes she can treat those that believe they have superhuman abilities.

Notably, the film also sees the return of supporting characters from both previous films, as well. Spencer Treat Clark and Charlayne Woodard reprise their Unbreakable roles as David's son and Glass's mother, respectively, while Anya Taylor-Joy returns as Casey Cooke, one of the girl's kidnapped by the Horde in Split.

Glass won't be in theaters until January 18, but you have the chance to check it out two days early. All you have to do is head over to the site Universal Pictures has created for the event, find the screening closest to you, and secure your tickets to see the film before the rest of the world. Each person has the ability to request two screening tickets.

Black Ops 4's Blackout Mode Going Free For A Week

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 06:04

Treyarch has announced a free trial for Blackout, the battle royale mode in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. The trial will be available for Xbox One, PS4, and PC beginning this Thursday, January 17.

Once you've downloaded the trial, you'll be able to participate in Blackout matches with other players. This trial does not include the full game, so you won't have access to either of Black Ops 4's Multiplayer or Zombies modes. The Blackout trial starts on January 17 and continues to January 24. If you're a fan of Call of Duty's battle royale mode, play on PC, and don't care too much about the other parts of Black Ops 4, there's a $30 version of the game that cuts out Zombies and only includes Blackout and Multiplayer.

Treyarch has also released a new update for Black Ops 4 on Xbox One and PS4. The update adds an improved looting interface in Blackout--a highly requested feature on consoles--which replaces the movable pointer. On PS4, Gauntlets and new Elixirs have been added to Zombies as well. These additions are scheduled to come to Xbox One and PC at a later date.

Blackout is the first battle royale mode in a Call of Duty game. Similarly to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite, the mode pits up to 100 players on one map. In order to improve your chances of survival, you need to scavenge for weapons, armor, and items. Survivors are pushed together over the course of a match as the survivable area on the map shrinks over time. Once killed, you won't respawn, so victory is given to the player or squad left standing by the match's end.

Blackout mixes up the battle royale formula by implementing elements from some of Call of Duty's other multiplayer modes, such as computer-controlled zombies. The new mode takes place on Call of Duty's largest map to date, one that's partially composed of other multiplayer battlefields like Nuketown and Hijacked.

Although it's probably the selling point of Black Ops 4, Blackout is hardly the only good part of the latest Call of Duty game. In our Black Ops 4 review, Kallie Plagge gave the game an 8/10, writing, "Black Ops 4 isn't short on content, and its three main modes are substantial. Multiplayer introduces more tactical mechanics without forcing you into them, and it largely strikes a good balance. Zombies has multiple deep, secret-filled maps to explore, though its returning characters don't hold up and prove distracting. Finally, Blackout pushes Call of Duty in an entirely new direction, making use of aspects from both multiplayer and Zombies for a take on the battle royale genre that stands on its own. Sure, there isn't a traditional single-player campaign, but with the depth and breadth of what is there, Black Ops 4 doesn't need it."

New Battlefield 5 Update Now Live, Here Are The Patch Notes

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 05:55

Battlefield V's second free DLC expansion has begun. Developer DICE has rolled out the first wave of Chapter 2: Lightning Strikes content on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, bringing a new mode, weapons, and gameplay fixes to the World War II shooter, with more content on the way over the next few weeks.

Headlining this week's additions is Squad Conquest, a new mode described as "a tighter and more intense version of Conquest." Here, 16 players divided up into two teams of eight must battle it out on smaller versions of the Arras, Rotterdam, and Hamada maps, each of which features "more tactical layouts." As DICE explains, "A core belief behind Squad Conquest is a restricted number of variables to allow strategy to be able to exist--you have to be able to predict player behavior and patterns, which is reflected in all three map layouts."

Additionally, the developer has added several new weapons to the game: the Zk-383 SMG (Medic class), Modele 1944 semi-automatic rifle (Assault class), and M1922 MMG (Support class). These can be unlocked by completing the Weekly Challenges in January and February. A new vehicle, the Tank Hunter, is also on the way as part of Chapter 2.

Finally, DICE has implemented a long list of gameplay tweaks and bug fixes, including improvements to Time to Death and Death Experience. You can find the full patch notes for this week's update--courtesy of the Battlefield website--below.

There's a lot more content on the way as Chapter 2 rolls on. Next month, DICE will introduce the cooperative Combined Arms mode, as well as a new Grand Operation, Battle of Hannut. March, meanwhile, will see the return of Rush mode for a limited time. Battlefield V's battle royale mode, Firestorm, is also slated to arrive in March as part of Chapter 3.

Battlefield V Chapter 2: Lightning Strikes Patch NotesTable of Contents [hide]
  • Battlefield V Chapter 2: Lightning Strikes Patch NotesNew Mode: Squad Conquest

    Squad Conquest is a tighter and more intense version of Conquest, where two squads per team battle it out over smaller, more tactical layouts of three existing maps: Arras, Hamada, and Rotterdam. These maps all feature 16 players on two teams, three flags, spawning restricted to HQs, and limited access to vehicles. A core belief behind Squad Conquest is a restricted number of variables to allow strategy to be able to exist--you have to be able to predict player behavior and patterns, which is reflected in all three map layouts. Clear lanes and conservative combat areas allow players to predict where enemies are coming from, where they need to defend, and how to subvert enemy movement.

    New Weapons

    These are some of the weapons that will be obtainable through the Weekly Challenges in January and February:

    • ZK-383 (SMG)
    • Modele 1944 (SA)
    • M1922 (MMG)
    Time to Death and Death Experience Fixes
    • The name of the enemy that has killed a player is now shown in the game world when the player has died. This highlights the killer and helps players understand who killed them and from where, especially in crowded situations.
    • Improved the death experience with the addition of a camera that now follows and zooms towards the killer. This will allow players to understand what killed them and the position of the killer.
    • Improved accuracy of the visual representation of incoming bullets for other players. Tracers should now properly appear to consistently appear from the shooter, and should be clearer when the victim is looking directly at the shooter.
    • Fixed an issue with the UI directional damage indicator that delayed the indication of damage to the victim.
    • Made tweaks to the UI directional damage indicator to more accurately point towards the enemy damaging the player.
    Soldier Fixes and Tweaks

    Vault

    • Improved vaulting so that it no longer incorrectly triggers against steep hills and slopes.
    • Improved vaulting detection when trying to vault through a window that’s already broken. This will make vaulting in those cases less sensitive to tight attack angles.
    • Fixed an issue where players could receive fall damage from vaulting over a wall.

    Revive

    • Fixed an issue where players would pick up a weapon while reviving on console.
    • Fixed an issue where the camera would clip through the soldier while in the man down state when the player had set a very high FOV.
    • Improved the camera behavior when a player revives a downed player very quickly.

    Animation

    • Improved soldier ragdoll behaviors and made them more granular when killed in different poses (stand, crouch, prone) and based on the impulse of explosions.
    • Soldiers killed by explosions will now blend nicely into full ragdoll when they land rather than snapping to a specific ragdoll position when landing.
    • Players will no longer get a strange arm pose when melee hitting an enemy three times in a row and then switching to the Fortification tool.
    • Fixed an issue where the ammo self-supply animation could get stuck and play indefinitely.

    Miscellaneous

    • The Heavy Weapons trait is no longer as powerful on AA guns which previously would result in them having almost no overheat while firing.
    • Improved sliding activation consistency from double-tap by reducing the impact of turning while sprinting.
    • General improvements to the detection of auto-peek over and auto-lean.

    Prone

    • Increased the horizontal free aiming angle when prone by 40°.
    Vehicles

    Gameplay

    • Halftracks now take more and more consistent damage, making them easier to destroy.
    • Fixed an issue where the Stuka quick repair did not resupply when flying through a resupply point.
    • Increased the damage of the Stuka BK37 cannons against all targets, while also reducing the splash range. Accurate shots versus vehicles and infantry will be greatly rewarded, but inaccurate fire will still suffer significantly reduced damage. These are intended as precision-strafing weapons, and should be powerful on single targets but weak on area targets.
    • The damage caused by the Mine Clearing Line Charge Specialization will register in the kill log and in the kill cam as well. Also, friendly players are no longer affected by the damage of the Mine Clearing Line Charge.
    • Fixed so that all tank cannons one-hit kill all types of airplanes, even those equipped with Specializations that reduce damage from Flak.
    • Increased the ammo capacity of all airplane cannons from 150 rounds to 200 rounds. The previous reduction caused players to return to reload more frequently than intended.
    • Standardized an unintended imbalance between the coaxial and port firing vehicle machine guns. Overall this is a big buff to German machine guns, and a small buff to British ones. Some British machine guns were doing too much damage over all, and some German machine guns were doing too little. The close range damage of the German guns has been increased to match the British guns, and the long range damage of the British guns has been reduced to match the German guns. As a balancing factor, the range of all of these machine guns has been increased, so players should not see a reduced effectiveness in the British machine guns, and should experience an increased effectiveness of the German machine guns.
    • Reduced the damage reduction of explosions on players in prone. Players were previously resisting up to 25% of an explosion when prone, which was only intended in a few edge cases. This was fundamentally breaking the intended damage of tank shells, as players could absorb too much damage. The damage of explosions is otherwise is unchanged.
    • Reduced reload time of rockets to 15 seconds (was previously 30 seconds).
    • Reduced reload time of bombs to 20 seconds (was previously 30 seconds).

    Visual & Audio

    • Resupply Station locations for vehicles are now pinned to the edge of the screen when ammo resupply is available, in order to help players find these resources. These icons scale in size and transparency the further a player is from the resources to prevent icon clutter.
    • Fixed a bug which would make vehicle paint jobs look less detailed compared to how they look in the customization menu.
    • The Stuka siren has been made louder.
    • Improved audio mix on planes to have more noticable propeller sound and less engine sound.
    • Improved the graphics on the wheel compartment of the Blenheim MkI.
    • When spawning into a top gunner seat, players are now holding the machine gun properly.
    • Fixed the third-person animation when entering the Churchill Mk VII Tank so it aligns better.
    • Third-person animations should now play properly when using the backseat in the Kettenkrad.

    Fixes

    • Fixed an issue where players using higher sensitivity options could be counted as being out of bounds while in a top gunner seat while actually being within bounds.
    • Players should no longer fall under the map when spawning into a vehicle that managed to get destroyed right before the spawn.
    Weapons, Gadgets, and Specializations

    Gameplay

    • Removed the Extended Magazine Specialization for the M1907 SF and made the extended magazine equipped by default. Recoil Buffer has been added as a replacement. This weapon's Specializations will be reset and the means for unlocking them will be refunded. The M1907 SF was not useful enough without the extended magazine upgrade, making the hipfire upgrades a bad choice.
    • Decreased the effectiveness of the Ported Barrel Specialization on the M1928A1 to better balance the weapon in the SMG class. The upgrade was a bit too strong, leading to a slightly too controllable weapon.
    • Reduced the base deploy time of the StG 44 to 0.80 seconds from 0.85 seconds to better align with the animation. This was not in line with other assault rifles. You can shoot a bit sooner after switching to this weapon now.
    • Enabled semi-automatic fire for the M1928A1 which was previously missing.
    • Increased Suomi Kp/-31 reload speed when not using extended magazines. Reload times are now 2.3 seconds (previously 2.5 seconds) tactical and 3.45 seconds (previously 3.75 seconds) empty. The base reload was a bit too slow for the small magazine, making the extended magazine upgrade too important.
    • Fixed an issue where some weapons were inaccurate for too long when going from sprinting to firing when aiming down the sights (ADS). Some weapons did not reach full accuracy when fully zoomed in when transitioning from sprinting to ADS, leading to unexpectedly high recoil when firing. This was most noticeable on SMGs.
    • Fixed an issue where SMGs and weapons with the Enhanced Grips and Slings and Swivels Specializations remained inaccurate when going from sprinting to firing in hipfire. SMGs and weapons with these upgrades did not recover accuracy quickly enough when going from sprinting to firing in hipfire, reducing the intended mobility advantage they should have.
    • Made tweaks to SMG weapon positions in hip fire when firing and strafing to prevent the weapon from covering the crosshair.
    • The Panzerfaust no longer has a long delay before being able to fire after switching to the weapon.
    • Fixed so that the Panzerfaust one-hit kills all types of airplanes, even when equipped with Specializations that reduce damage from Flak.
    • Reduced the damage of the Panzerfaust. The Panzerfaust is very easy to use, and widely equipped. As a fast fire-and-forget weapon, its damage payoff was still too good against all types of armor. The damage is still high enough, even against a heavy tank, that a smart player can utilize a dedicated anti-tank loadout to defeat the enemy using skill and tactics.
    • Increased Throwing Knives max damage range to 10m from 6.5m.
    • Reduced the delay between two consecutive Throwing Knives throws by 40%.
    • Adjusted parameters for explosive damage when behind cover so that players behind cover properly receive reduced damage when cover is destroyed.
    • Adjusted damage multipliers for grenades and Panzerfaust versus various barricades so that multiple grenades are required to tear down a sandbag Fortification.
    • The RSC now reloads with the correct amount of bullets even if there’s already a bullet in the chamber.
    • If the player revives a friendly while reloading, the reload will now properly get interrupted instead of completing it during the revive animation.

    Visual

    • Fixed the sling swivel so it no longer floats below the MP28.
    • Fixed clipping weapon when firing the M1928A1 with some iron sights.
    • Enemies firing no longer have their heads moved backwards while firing, which could cause unpredictable head movements when players tried to land headshots.
    • Improved the trajectory of supply pouches when thrown towards players.
    • Aligned the optics for the Lattey sights while in ADS using the M1897.
    • Fixed an issue where the hand pose would break when switching the primary weapon and the Ruby pistol.

    Scope Glint

    • Adjusted the size and intensity of the glints for medium powered scope and high powered scopes. Medium powered scope glints are now smaller and less intense than high powered ones.
    • Pushed the visible distance for scope glints a bit further. They will now start being visible from longer distances (both Medium and High).
    • Scope Glint for medium scope visibility falls off over longer distances.

    Fixes

    • The interaction prompt now properly appears when looking at a Spawn Beacon if it can be picked up.
    • Fixed a bug where players were unable to switch to their secondary weapon when having the M30 Drilling Equipped while using rifle mode.

    Damage

    • Reduced the minimum damage of the Gewehr 43 and Selbstlader 1916 to 33.5 from 35.
    • Increased the damage for the Mk VI Revolver. Two-hit kill range is now 12 m (previously 7 m), three-hit kill range is 30 m (previously 12 m), four-hit kill range is 50 m (previously 30 m). Minimum damage is now 22 instead of 15. Damage dropped too steeply for the rate of fire and magazine capacity of this weapon.

    Handling

    • Buffs to SMGs in this update are aimed at improving the mid-range combat ability of the Medic class. Reductions in recoil and increases to accuracy will allow the SMG user to maintain damage on target and increase their effectiveness over all.
    • Improved SMG sustained fire when hip firing.
    • Reduced SMG base dispersion to 0.15 from 0.2. This makes SMGs feel a bit more controllable and enables the low rate of fire SMGs to be reasonably effective at medium range without having to get accuracy upgrades.
    • Reduced Suomi Kp/-31 vertical recoil to 0.76 from 0.8.
    • Reduced Suomi Kp/-31 horizontal recoil to 0.93 from 0.95. The Suomi was a bit too hard to control compared to the M1928A1.
    • Reduced EMP recoil pattern strength to make firing single shots less awkward. Single shots were heavily biased to go sideways, making them awkward to use compared to other weapons.
    • Increased M1A1 vertical recoil to 0.6 from 0.55. This weapon was outperforming other weapons at intended ranges and will now be more difficult to land multiple shots on target at longer range.
    • Increased M1907 SF vertical recoil to 0.82 from 0.68. This weapon was outperforming other weapons at intended ranges and will now be more difficult to land multiple shots on target at longer range.
    • Reduced the vertical recoil reduction when crouching to 25% from 30% and when prone to 40% (previously 50%).
    • The vertical recoil reduction when crouching or prone no longer stacks with the reduction from using a bipod. This was inadvertently making bipods inconsistent, making fire patterns with bipods difficult to learn since they were different in each stance. Stance changes reduced recoil too much, especially when combined with a bipod, which virtually removed all handling difference when prone. This affects MMGs when prone most noticeably.
    Maps & Modes
    • Final Stand: players are no longer able to skip revive in this mode.
    • Breakthrough on Rotterdam: removed an out of bounds spawn for the defenders near the A flag.
    • Panzerstorm: fixed an issue where there would be lamps floating in the air after the building they were in was destroyed.
    • Final Stand: fixed the black deploy screen.
    • Airplanes no longer take damage when taking off from the landing strip on the Practice Range.
    • Fixed an issue where the gamepad vibrations would not work on Grand Operations.
    • On Aerodrome, the Fortification sandbags will no longer block the view of the stationary weapon near the airplane hangar.
    • Fixed the floating Flak 39 on Panzerstorm.
    • Fixed a piece of barbed wire that was seemingly invisible on Devastation near Flag A while playing Conquest.
    • Improved the railing on Rotterdam near the canals so they are easier to vault over.
    • Fires on levels no longer cause unintentional lens flare effects.
    • Decreased the intensity of the white environmental smoke on Devastation.
    UI/HUD/Options
    • The Distinguished Defender’s Cross ribbon is no longer awarded multiple times upon completion.
    • Players are now able to scroll through the map list from the server info screen ingame.
    • Added the missing M24 grenade icon on the statistics screen.
    • Fixed an issue where the “enter vehicle” prompt could be visible while in parrot camera view.
    • Fixed a bug where squad orders were delayed for top gunners in tanks.
    • Added the missing image for Panzerstorm in the Advanced Search menu.
    • Rarity of vehicle skins is now shown in the Vehicle Customization screen.
    • Special Assignment icons should now always be visible on all challenges.
    • Fixed an issue which could result in the bleed out functionality not always working.
    • Added a Zoom Transition Sensitivity Smoothing option (this is off by default). When enabled, this option allows players to smooth out the sensitivity transition when aiming down sight instead of instantly transitioning to the zoomed sensitivity. This option only affects legacy aiming users as it’s already automatically enabled when using Uniform Soldier Aiming.
    • Fixed an issue where the killcard would not be visible if the player gets revived too quickly after getting killed.
    • Made various text fixes.
    Audio
    • Voiceovers are now played when notifying players in the man down state that you are coming to revive them.
    • Footstep audio has been improved making walking and sprinting louder for a better gameplay experience, while crouching and crawling generates less sound to enable sneaking and stealth gameplay.
    • Fixed an issue where the disabled sound for planes would keep playing after repairing.
    • Improved footstep sounds based upon what type of physics material the player is stepping on, on both Arras and Twisted Steel.
    • Fixed an issue which could result in the "kill confirmed" audio confirmation to not play at the correct moment.
    Stability
    • Made multiple crash fixes and general stability improvements.
    PC Specific Improvements
    • Increased the density of the fields on Arras when playing on lower settings, to not give a visual advantage to those playing on low-spec PCs.

Winter 2019 Anime Guide: What To Watch And Where To Find It (US)

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 05:00

With January halfway over, the Winter anime season is well underway. 2019 introduces a bunch of series to watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hidive, and VRV as well as several movie premieres to see in theaters. Below, you'll find our top five recommendations for the season, as well as a list of every other anime we know about that's coming out in the United States between January and March. Keep in mind, these recommendations have been made based on these series' first few episodes and--if available--corresponding source material.

Be sure to check out our recommendations of what to watch from last season if you're looking for an older show to binge. And if you haven't already, submit your votes for Crunchyroll's third annual Anime Awards. The deadline is January 18.

On its first episode alone, The Promised Neverland is set to be one of the best series of the season. The anime brings to life one of the greatest Shonen Jump manga from the past few years and implements minor changes that up the tension of an already fairly pulse-pounding thriller. I really don't want to spoil anything about this show, as its suspenseful twists are best experienced without any prior knowledge. However, it's worth noting that the anime reworks the beginning of the manga's story for the better by implementing details from later narrative arcs to improve the portrayal and growth of its characters. Hopefully this decision to tweak important people continues throughout the season--the manga has a problematic portrayal of black women that definitely should be improved in some way--without too much being done to Emma, the best female protagonist that Shonen Jump has ever seen. As is, the show's animation already perfectly captures the abrupt shifts in the characters' state of mind, and the use of sound really hammers home those transitions.

The Promised Neverland is available on Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hulu, Hidive, and VRV.

Also this Winter, there's Mob Psycho 100 II, which is the second season to one of 2016's most popular anime. Made by the same folks behind One Punch Man, this series continues to deliver more hilarious misadventures of the young boy who's one of the world's most powerful espers as he tries to live a normal life. Seeing incredible, colorfully animated sequences in this second season isn't surprising. However, we didn't anticipate just how beautifully wholesome this season's plot is already shaping up to be. Catch up on Mob Psycho 100 if you haven't already, because this second season might turn out even better than the first.

Mob Psycho 100 is available on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and VRV. However, the second season is only on Crunchyroll and VRV for now. The English dub is scheduled to arrive on Funimation at a later date.

Anyone who knows a story that's focused on a beloved pet can probably guess almost every plot point My Roommate is a Cat is going to explore. However, despite the cliche nature of the anime's story--a socially awkward man finds the push to open up to others after adopting and befriending a stray cat--the show is still compelling to watch. Through the anime, we see the same set of events through both the perspectives of a man and his feline friend, and it allows for moments of both hilarious misunderstanding and heartfelt connection between the two. They're both lost souls that learn to love again by being together. Yes, My Roommate is a Cat is super cheesy, but it's absolutely worth watching too.

My Roommate is a Cat is on Crunchyroll and VRV, and an English dub is scheduled to premiere on Funimation on January 30.

In terms of action-focused series, consider checking out Dororo, a remake of the 50-year-old anime of the same name, which takes place in feudal Japan and is about a ronin outfitted with prosthetics after his eyes, nose, ears, tongue, skin, and limbs are all ripped out of his body by demons. This anime's first episode pulls you in with the unsettling origin of its antagonist, and it respects the viewer enough to lay the groundwork for its two protagonists without the use of clunky exposition. Despite being a rehash of a half-century-old story, this series breathes fresh life into its narrative with well-animated action sequences and adjustments to the backgrounds of certain characters. It's good that the anime is willing to change too. Progressive for its time, the Dororo manga handles its main characters--a man with severe physical disabilities and a boy who is assigned female at birth but aggressively identifies as male--rather poorly, so this new series should only use the original story's ending as a loose template. Based on what's been shown in this new anime so far, I'm optimistic Dororo will pull a Devilman Crybaby and modernize a classic series for the better.

Dororo is an Amazon Prime Video exclusive.

Our final recommendation goes to Boogiepop and Others, which has nothing to do with the first Boogiepop anime and follows the original light novel instead. It's an excellent jumping in point for anyone who's missed out on the past 20 years of this critically acclaimed supernatural series. Don't let the first episode of this anime turn you off. Boogiepop leaps between multiple points of view to slowly deliver bits and pieces of its spooky narrative, so you'll need to watch at least the first two episodes to realize there's way more to this story than a high school girl with an androgynous-looking split personality, her boring boyfriend, and a cannibalistic serial killer.

Boogiepop and Others is on Crunchyroll and VRV, and an English dub is scheduled to premiere on Funimation on January 18.

Even though neither made this list, I'd be remiss to not at least acknowledge both The Price of Smiles and The Magnificent Kotobuki. Unlike the other anime listed above, these two are original stories that aren't based on pre-existing literature or media. Neither has done anything yet to truly stand out, but they've both done enough to earn a "keep your eye on this" recommendation. In both series, I see the potential for something special--similar to 2018's A Place Further Than the Universe or 2017's Princess Principal.

The Price of Smiles is available on Crunchyroll and VRV, while The Magnificent Kotobuki is available on Hidive and VRV.

There's over three dozen anime releasing in the United States this season, and we've listed them below. We'll update this article if additional titles are announced.

Where To Watch Winter 2019 Anime (US)Movies And Short Film Anthologies
  • Dragon Ball Super: Broly -- Select Theaters (premieres January 16)
  • Godzilla: The Planet Eater -- Netflix
  • I want to eat your pancreas -- Select Theaters (premieres February 7)
  • Modest Heroes -- Select Theaters
  • My Hero Academia: Two Heroes -- Funimation (releases March 26)
Action And Adventure SeriesSlice Of Life And Comedy SeriesRomance And Harem SeriesThriller, Drama, And Supernatural SeriesScience Fiction And Fantasy Series

Halloween Blu-Ray Deleted Scene Hints At A Morbid Laurie Strode Story

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 04:55

When Halloween hit theaters in 2018, it reintroduced the world to one of the most beloved final girls of all time in Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). After surviving Michael Myers in the original Halloween film, the new sequel revisited the character 40 years later, after a lifetime of preparation for the eventual return of the masked killer.

The new Halloween film portrayed Laurie as a fierce warrior that was simply biding her time until Michael struck again, even if it drove a wedge between herself and her daughter. Survival was the thing that mattered to her above all else. However, in a deleted scene from the newly-released Halloween Blu-ray, fans are given an interesting and dark insight into Laurie's mind that is missing from the theatrical cut of the film.

The scene begins as an extended version of the shooting montage, which shows Laurie putting her skills with a gun to use during target practice. As she's cleaning and checking her guns after practice, though, there's a startling moment in which Laurie puts a single bullet into a revolver and holds it up to her head.

Laurie stands there for a moment, seemingly contemplating whether or not to pull the trigger when her doorbell rings. On the other end of the doorbell are the podcasters from the beginning of the movie, who have unknowingly saved her life.

Seeing this small window into the mind of Laurie Strode is as haunting as it is sad. This is a woman whose entire life unraveled after the events of one night when she was a teenager, leading her to a life of survivalist preparation as she waited for the other shoe to drop. As determined as she was to be the one to stop Michael once and for all, it looks as though sometimes the weight of the world on her shoulders nearly became too much.

This is just one of the deleted scenes on the Halloween Blu-ray, which range from scary to silly. The release also features a few short featurettes with behind-the-scenes footage from the film, along with, of course, the movie itself. Halloween is available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital now.

Fortnite Patch Notes For The 7.20 Update: Glider Redeploy, Scoped Revolver Added

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 03:05

Today has brought with it yet another new Fortnite update, and Epic Games has revealed the patch notes for update v7.20. The patch is now live across PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile, bringing back the recently teased glider redeploy mechanic, along with a new weapon and limited-time mode. Here's the full rundown on what to expect next time you jump in.

Glider redeploy was first tested in Season 6, allowing players to open their gliders again during a match and hang glide if they were at a high enough altitude. This time around, Epic has itemized the ability. Players will now be able to find new items--confusingly called Gliders--as loot, which add "charges" that allow them to redeploy their glider during a match a set number of times.

"The goal with the item is to provide mobility and utility, but in a form that can be balanced and iterated upon," Epic explained. "By implementing glider redeploy as an item we can iterate on multiple different levels (i.e. redeploy height, movement speed, drop chance, charge count), including inventory slot tension."

In addition to glider redeploy, Epic has introduced another new weapon to the game: the Scoped Revolver, a handgun that allows players to fire precision shots. The gun can be found as floor loot or in chests, supply drops, or vending machines. It comes in Epic and Legendary variants and uses medium ammo.

The developer has also kicked off a new LTM: One Shot. In this mode, players only have 50 health, and the only weapons and items available are snipers and bandages. Gravity has also been reduced, as has the Storm wait time for all phases of the match.

Rounding out the update is a number of bug fixes and gameplay adjustments. Most notably, Epic has made a couple of improvements to ziplines, making it easier to change directions while riding one. You can find the full patch notes for the Battle Royale changes below; the full patch notes for other modes are available on Epic's website.

Fortnite v7.20 Patch NotesLimited-Time Mode: One Shot

Summary

There’s low gravity and every player has 50 health. Snipers are the only weapon and Bandages the only healing item. Jump high and aim well!

Mode Details

  • Gravity is set lower than normal.
  • The Storm wait time has been greatly reduced in all phases of the game.
  • The only weapons in this mode are Hunting Rifles and Sniper Rifles.
  • Semi-auto Snipers and Bounce Pads have been removed from the Vault in this mode.
  • Players will spawn with 50 health and can only heal if they find Bandages.
Weapons + Items
  • Scoped Revolver
    • Available in Epic and Legendary variants.
    • Fires Medium Ammo.
    • 42 / 44 damage per shot.
    • Available from floor loot, chests, Supply Drops, and Vending Machines.
  • Added Gliders, an item that grants Glider redeploy.
    • This item takes up an inventory slot and can be found from normal loot sources.
    • Gliders do not need to be selected to deploy. Activate them by pressing your jump button while in mid-air.
      • Rarity is Rare.
      • Gliders come with 10 charges.
      • Each deploy uses a charge. When all charges are used the item disappears.
      • Glider redeploy does not consume a charge when using a Launch Pad, Rifts-to-Go, or respawning in a Limited Time Mode.
      • Found from floor loot, chests, Vending Machines, and Supply Llamas.
  • Minigun adjustments
    • Added an overheating mechanic. Overheat occurs after approximately 6 seconds of continuous fire.
    • Reduced the wind-up time by 37%.
    • Updated the audio for the Minigun.
  • Rarity color adjustments
    • Balloons changed from Epic to Rare.
    • Stink Bomb changed from Epic to Rare.
    • Scoped AR decreased from Rare/Epic to Uncommon/Rare.
  • The following projectile-based weapons now have the same projectile trajectory as the Heavy Sniper Rifle:
    • Bolt Action Sniper Rifle
    • Suppressed Sniper Rifle
    • Semi-Auto Sniper Rifle
    • Hunting Rifle
  • Weapon first-shot accuracy now works with icy feet and while on ziplines.
  • The reticle center dot on Scoped Rifles has been reduced in size. This will mitigate situations where it appears you’re on your target but still miss the shot.
  • Trap drop chance adjustments
    • Total drop chance of Traps from floor loot increased from 3.98% to 4.73%.
    • Cozy Campfire
      • Drop chance from floor loot increased from 0.26% to 0.73%.
      • Drop chance from Loot Llamas increased from 6.63% to 15.47%.
    • Launch Pad
      • Drop chance from floor loot increased from 0.53% to 0.98%.
      • Drop chance from Loot Llamas increased from 13.25% to 20.77%.
    • Mounted Turret
      • Drop chance from floor loot decreased from 0.8% to 0.73%.
      • Drop chance from Loot Llamas decreased from 20.42% to 15.47%.
  • Small shields max stack size has been decreased from 10 to 6.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug that could cause you to lose the ability to switch weapons if firing a Grappler while crashing a vehicle or interacting with an object during travel.
  • Fixed a bug where your ability to fire would be delayed after discarding a Grappler.
  • Removed the ability to ride or be pushed by a Grappler due to the ability for players to move fast enough to cause network issues.
  • Fixed Balloons not being popped by explosions.
  • Fixed issue causing odd dynamite size/scaling when picking it up and re-throwing.
  • When a player is eliminated by Down-But-Not-Out bleed-out damage, the elimination distance is calculated from the original down location rather than the distance when they are fully eliminated.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause Scoped Rifles to have full accuracy earlier than intended.
  • Fixed an issue where the center dot of the reticle while scoped did not line up with the center dot while unscoped.
  • Fixed dynamite re-throw ability from being canceled by changing weapons or being a vehicle passenger.
  • Players will no longer receive credit for a "No Scope" in the elimination feed if they use a scope to eliminate a player.
Gameplay
  • Zipline improvements
    • Added the ability to change direction via player movement input button. Just move in the direction you’d like to go while riding a zipline, no jumping required.
    • Rather than moving at max speed as soon as entering the zipline, players will now accelerate over time to reach that max speed.
    • Destruction effects have been turned back on while riding a zipline.
      • Players will destroy the nearby player buildings before attaching to the zipline so their path becomes clear
  • Added a third decimal place for mouse/controller sensitivity to allow for more granular values.
  • To help with situations where walls are built mostly underground, we've added functionality where an extra piece will be built for free on top of that piece.
    • This occurs when the wall piece is showing less than 30% above ground.
  • Gamepad Sensitivity
    • Building sensitivity change also applies to edit mode.
  • Editing will no longer interrupt gun fire and pickaxe swings.
  • Corn stalks will no longer block gunfire.
  • Editing a structure will now begin without waiting for a response from the server. This should cut down on ghost shots before editing and make it a smoother experience.
    • Confirming the edit will still require sending data to the server and be impacted by high ping or poor server performance.
  • Vehicle impact damage to a player will now respect shields instead of directly applying to player health.
  • When a plane explodes due to any reason, it will now deal damage to both passengers and pilots. This damage no longer ignores shields.
  • Infinite dab is even more infinite...Dab for 11 hours instead of 10 hours in the lobby.
  • Adjusted map art to more accurately represent player & marker positions.
  • Textures of props used in emotes are now pre-streamed so scorecard and other emotes that use props will have less chance of using a low-resolution texture.
  • X-4 Stormwing passengers now have the same Hold to Exit functionality as pilots.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed instances of glider redeploy not deploying when exiting a Stormwing.
  • Fixed grenade throw animations not playing the follow-through when watching other players throw a grenade.
  • Fixed the preview length on many emotes in the lobby to hear the full music track.
  • Completing the "Play a match with a friend" Daily Challenge now correctly counts towards other quests that require completing daily challenges.
  • Fixed players not being able to destroy the Boombox from certain distances.
  • Fixed some issues with ziplines
    • Players will no longer be flung across the map or get in broken animation states.
    • A cooldown has been added to ensure jump spamming will not allow players with mild network issues to fall through the zipline collision.
    • The zipline magnet will no longer remain over players heads.
    • Players no longer fall when colliding with enemy structures.
    • Players no longer dismount ziplines at steep angles when under bad network conditions.
  • Fixed an issue where players would sometimes take 2 instances of impact damage from getting hit by the X-4 Stormwing.
  • Damage numbers when shooting Mounted Turrets now properly displays as vehicle damage instead of player damage.
  • Players who are emoting on the starter island will no longer continue emoting after jumping from the Battle Bus.
  • Gliders and Umbrellas will no longer appear sideways or misaligned when dropping from the Battle Bus.
Events
  • Tournament systems have been significantly updated to support upcoming features. We’ll be operating a series of small scale test events as we test these updates with more players.
    • We will be testing in waves until we are confident in the new functionality. At that point, we will again begin running tournaments regularly for all players.
  • Older tournaments will be removed from the Events tab on Switch & mobile devices for the time being.
    • Data for those tournaments has been saved and will return to those platforms in a future release.
  • Players will be automatically removed the from match after 60 seconds of spectating after being eliminated.
Audio
  • Fixed shield damage sound playing when shooting or getting hit by teammates.
  • Gliders that have music can now play their music in the lobby for previewing.
  • Reduced the volume of the X-4 Stormwing.
  • Reduce the volume of the Boombox.
  • Added unique bouncing sound to Dynamite.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed music cutting out on mobile/Switch platforms.
  • Fixed incorrect boost audio loop for Quad Crasher on mobile/Switch.
  • Fixed missing medium-distant Scoped AR gunshot sounds.
  • Fixed loud winter biome ambient audio on mobile/Switch.
UI
  • Updated the ammo icons in the inventory to look more realistic.
  • Building resources of spectated players are now visible.

Bug Fixes

  • Prevent pickup HUD interaction prompts from appearing while in a vehicle, since picking up is disabled while in a vehicle.
  • Fixed error displays when a friend request fails.
  • Prevented special preview actions (Play Again, Switch Model, Full Screen, etc…, shown when viewing a cosmetic item) from disappearing after opening and closing the chat window.
  • Fixed a red background showing up when the chat window is opened while doing a 'Full Screen' preview of a Loading Screen cosmetic.
  • Prevented unrelated loading screens from sometimes showing up instead of the selected Loading Screen while doing a 'Full Screen' preview.
Social
  • Battle Royale players can now accept party invites from players in Save The World and join games in progress.
Art + Animation
  • Both Lynx and Zenith now have custom idle poses in the lobby.

Bug Fixes

  • The size of the Red Knight shield and Raven Back Bling from the Frozen Bundle now matches their original versions.
  • Fixed a bug that was preventing the Deadfire Outfit from being reactive in game.
  • Improved quality of the Golf Clap emote on mobile and Switch.
Replay

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a few replay loading issues that could cause a loading screen to appear when it was not necessary for one to be displayed.
Mobile

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug causing users to aim-down-sights when exiting vehicles.
  • Fixed turbo building while holding extra build buttons.
  • Fixed an issue where the Add Friend button for other party members in the Main Menu was not able to be clicked on mobile devices.
  • Added HUD button
    • This HUD button shows when you enter the in-game settings as a separate section to turn on/off certain HUD aspects.

John Wick 3 Teaser Trailer, Poster Confirm Full Title; Trailer Coming Soon

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 03:01

Sure enough, not long after the release of the new poster, we've also gotten a very brief John Wick 3 teaser trailer. You can watch that above; it teases that a proper trailer will be coming this Thursday, January 17, so you don't have long to wait before getting a good sense of what to expect from the upcoming film. Read on for a look at that stylish new poster as well. The original story follows below.

We've had plenty of images from the upcoming third John Wick movie over the past year, but no footage as yet. The movie comes out in May so a trailer won't be far off, but ahead of that a stylish new poster has been released. The movie's official Twitter feed also confirms that the title is John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.

The poster shows star Keanu Reeves standing in front of what seems to be the glass door to the Continental, the franchise's chain of hitman-friendly hotels. The word "excommunicado" is on the door--fans will recall that Wick is on the run after killing a rival on the supposedly neutral ground of the Continental in John Wick: Chapter 2. Check it out below.

We’ll be seeing you…John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is in theaters May 17. #JohnWick3 pic.twitter.com/5JV41DW7wZ

— John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (@JohnWickMovie) January 15, 2019

The release date for John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is May 17, 2019. Ian McShane and Lawrence Fishburne will reprise their roles from previous movies, and the new cast includes Asia Kate Dillon (Orange is the New Black), Mark Dacascos (Cradle 2 the Grave), Jason Mantzoukas (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Good Place), and Angelica Huston (Isle of Dogs).

The film is directed by Chad Stahelski, who helmed Chapter 2 and co-directed the first movie. When the movie was first announced, Stahelski spoke about his plans for Parabellum. "We want, not so much to go bigger on the third one, but to show you more of the intricacies of the world," he said. "I feel like there are all these different subtleties that I skipped over in Part 2, that I'd like to go back to [with Part 3] and show you the inner workings of different parts of New York."

A John Wick TV spin-off named The Continental was also announced by Starz last year, but there has been no further news about the status of this project.

Mario Tennis Aces Might Be Adding More DLC Characters

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 13:58

Mario Tennis Aces launched for Nintendo Switch last year, and it's steadily added new DLC characters over time. Now, data-miners have discovered references to a pair of new characters that could come to the whimsical tennis game some point in the future.

Link, the hero of the Legend of Zelda franchise, might become a playable character in the future, the data-mine suggests. Also discovered were Dark Link and Champion's Tunic outfits that would presumably be able to be unlocked. It's also been reported that Baby Mario might be coming to Mario Tennis Aces, based on data apparently found in the game.

Datamine evidence suggests Link may become a playable character in #MarioTennisAces , with Dark Link and Champion's Tunic alts being provided through the Online Tournament (requiring 500 and 2000 points respectively to unlock them). pic.twitter.com/qx54WAWrQB

— Mario Tennis Aces Club (@MarioTennisClub) January 14, 2019

DO NOT think that Link is 100% coming to Mario Tennis Aces. In addition to not every Aces datamine being legitimate, Camelot does have a habit of putting things in and out of the files, as we've seen with extra stages. https://t.co/c6bAWpgFBs

— Mario Tennis Aces Club (@MarioTennisClub) January 15, 2019

However, as the MarioTennisClub Twitter fan account reminds everyone, data mined from the game's files might not necessarily be representative of what's actually coming to the game in the future. Sometimes content found in game files, especially for developer Camelot, is never released publicly.

If Nintendo is set to announce new content for Mario Tennis Aces, January might be a fitting time. After all, one of the biggest tennis tournaments of the year, the Australian Open, is taking place right now in Melbourne, so Nintendo may see that as an opportunity to piggyback on the elevated interest in tennis worldwide.

A number of DLC characters have already been released for Mario Tennis Aces, including Birdo, Shy Guy, Koopa Paratroopa, and Petey Piranha.

Mario Tennis Aces released in June 2018 exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. In our review, author Justin Clark stated, "Off-beat stages and creative use of characters from the Marioverse ensure that you'll never lose sight of simply having fun, but don't let the adorable exterior trick you; Aces takes its unorthodox tennis very seriously."

The Sopranos Prequel Movie Adds Two More Big Names

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 11:36

The Sopranos, regarded as one of the best TV shows of all time, is coming back through a prequel movie, and now we've learned about two other actors who will star in it.

Variety reports that The Punisher actor Jon Bernthal and Oscar-nominated actress Vera Farmiga will have roles in the movie, though there is no word on what characters they'll play. Bernthal and Farmiga have appeared in mobster media before, with Bernal starring in the Frank Darabont TV show Mob City and Farmiga in Martin Scorsese's Boston mafia movie The Departed.

All we know so far about the Sopranos prequel movie, which is called The Many Saints of Newark, is that it's set in the 1960s during the Newark race riots. Sopranos TV show creator David Chase co-wrote the script with another Sopranos veteran, Lawrence Konner.

The film is being directed by Alan Taylor, who directed episodes of Game of Thrones and the Marvel movie Thor: The Dark World. Perhaps more relevant to this movie, he also directed episodes of The Sopranos.

Alessandro Nivola (Jurassic Park III) will play Dickie Moltisanti in The Many Saints of Newark, but, as mentioned, it's unclear who Bernthal and Farmiga will play. Dickie Moltisanti is the father of Christopher Moltisanti, who was played by Michael Imperioli in the TV series.

The Sopranos ran for 86 episodes, from 1999 to 2007. The late James Gandolfini starred as mob boss Tony Soprano, a role for which he earned multiple awards. Nivola told The Associated Press (watch the video above) that Tony Soprano will be in the new movie, but it's unclear who may play him. Whatever the case, the film will go into the history between Dickie Moltisanti and Tony Soprano. Filming begins in April.

Tom Cruise Announces Two More Mission Impossible Movies Coming From Fallout Director

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 11:08

After the big success of 2018's Mission Impossible: Fallout, director Christopher McQuarrie is signing on to write and direct two sequels, according to a new report. Not only that, but Variety's report claims the sequels will shoot back-to-back so they can be released sooner to capitalise on the hype surrounding the franchise right now.

According to the report, the first would premiere in summer 2021 with the next one following a year later. McQuarrie seemingly confirmed the news on Twitter.

Missions: Accepted#MissionImpossible

— Christopher McQuarrie (@chrismcquarrie) January 14, 2019

Shooting back-to-back is not new for movies, as Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame were shot one after the other so they could be released in 2018 and 2019. All three of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies were shot in the manner, too.

Mission Impossible: Fallout, which starred a 56-year-old Tom Cruise, was a massive success commercially and critically. It made more than $791 million worldwide, which represented the biggest box office performance in the history of the Mission Impossible series. It was also well-received by critics, notching a franchise-best 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes; it was heralded as one of the best action movies of 2018.

Summer 2021 and Summer 2022 pic.twitter.com/V6SNvZx2La

— Tom Cruise (@TomCruise) January 15, 2019

According to Variety, the first of the sequels may start shooting in 2019. Cruise is currently filming the Top Gun sequel, while McQuarrie is keeping busy too, as he's set to direct the new Rainbow Six movie Without Remorse starring Michael B. Jordan.

Presumably Cruise will return for the two Mission Impossible sequels, but there is no word yet on the story or what other actors may join him.

Watch Thanos Snap Away The Simpsons Family; Only One Member Survives

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 10:44

The latest couch gag for The Simpsons was all about Thanos. The opening sequence of Season 30, Episode 12 that aired on Sunday saw Thanos from The Avengers movie series snap his fingers and turn Homer, Marge, Lisa, and Bart into dust.

Maggie is spared, and she cutely hops up onto the couch and sits peacefully next to Thanos, destroyer of worlds. We also see that the Soul Stone is actually Maggie's pacifier. The Simpsons family got unlucky here, as four of the five non-animal family members got snapped away when the world average is one in two. Here's the sequence:

Disney is buying most of Fox's assets, including The Simpsons, so there probably aren't any legal issues with Thanos popping up in Springfield.

We'll see Thanos next in Avengers: Endgame, which comes to theatres in April. It's expected to close out the current Avengers storyline, and the film should deliver some reveals and surprises given how Avengers: Infinity War wrapped up.

Can Captain Marvel Time Travel?

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 10:44

Now that it is officially 2019, speculation about Avengers: Endgame has started to ramp up considerably. The countdown to April is ticking down day by day and the Captain Marvel movie is just around the corner, so the clues are pouring in from all sides--including this interesting detail shared by Samuel L. Jackson as reported by Entertainment Tonight.

When asked about Carol's position within the MCU's power hierarchy, he said, "She's pretty much the strongest character -- in terms of someone with powers are able to do things -- in the Marvel universe. So, for Carol Danvers to be that person and for Brie to become that person, it's gonna be a dynamite thing. I mean, [the Avengers] are up against some really, really tough odds right now--we saw throughout Infinity War--so now we know that we need something that's as powerful as Thanos." We've known Carol's status as one of--if not the most--powerful heroes in the MCU for some time, but Jackson continued, adding this juicy fact. "And at some point, we'll find out how powerful she is and all the things that she's capable of. She's one of the few people in the Marvel universe that can time travel, so…"

Now that is very interesting. Over in the comics, there's no real precedent for Carol to have the ability to travel through time--at least, not without some sort of outside force--but time travel has certainly factored into her stories more than once. In fact, at the start of the now iconic Kelly Sue DeConnick run, from which the movie version takes direct inspiration, Carol was sent back in time to her own origin story via a temporal anomaly supercharged by her abilities. So, while she may not literally be able to focus and send herself through the timeline, the energy contained within her has shown that, under the right circumstances, it may have that capacity.

However, there is also the lack of clarity regarding Carol's MCU origin that must be considered. Her comics counterpart can get away with a lot, considering the bulk of her abilities boil down to the extremely comic book-y handwave of a sci-fi machine exploding and messing with her DNA--or, at least it did, until her origin story was revised yet again late last year. The MCU version seems to be taking yet another angle on the situation, giving Carol a healthy dose of amnesia and stripping away the ambiguously magical explosion in favor of something a little more medical. If that's the case, it wouldn't be too far a reach to look at the MCU's version of things with a bit more "realism" anchoring things--making the whole time travel angle a bit of a head scratcher.

It's certainly possible that Jackson simply misspoke in the interview, or was deliberately planting false information to lead speculators astray. However, giving Carol the ability to time travel would certainly explain why Fury thought to page her at the end of Infinity War in the first place. After all, it's one thing for Carol to be the most physically powerful hero in the universe, but punching things and shooting energy blasts can only do so much when half of said universe has been disintegrated.

The other logical explanation, assuming that Jackson wasn't trying to lead fans on a wild goose chase, is that Carol somehow comes into possession of the Time Stone--which may or may not be a bit of a stretch, considering its own set of wildly undefined rules and laws. Is it possible that, somehow, during the events of Infinity War, Doctor Strange sent a copy of the Time Stone back to the 1990s for Carol to find? Or, was the Time Stone in the hands of the Kree Empire at one point or another during Carol's tenure with them? Maybe Ronan the Accuser's quest for Thanos started way before Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 1 and the Time Stone has been in play for much longer than we'd all originally thought.

We've only got three more months to speculate before Captain Marvel officially hits theaters--so fold up those tinfoil hats and start guessing.

Red Dead 2 Facing Legal Action From The Real Pinkertons

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 09:52

In Red Dead Redemption 2's world, the Pinkerton Detective Agency, a team of detectives hunting down Arthur Morgan and the rest of the Van der Linde gang, is the main antagonist organisation. Now, the real-life Pinkerton company is taking action against Rockstar Games over the way in which Red Dead Redemption 2 uses its name. For its part, Take-Two is claiming fair use with respect to the Pinkerton name.

Court documents discovered by The Blast reveal that Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations--the real detective agency founded in 1850--has issued a cease and desist letter to Rockstar Games and Take-Two Interactive in December.

Pinkerton Consulting said Rockstar had a "clear affection" for Pinkerton by using the name in Red Dead Redemption 2. However, the consulting company took issue with its use in the title because it might have led people to believe the real Pinkerton was involved in the game's development. Pinkerton is demanding that Take-Two pay an unspecified lump sum fee or a share of royalties in the future.

On the other side, Take-Two says in response that its the use of Pinkertons in Red Dead Redemption 2 is protected under the First Amendment in the United States. "Put simply, [Pinkerton] cannot use trademark law to own the past and prevent creators from including historical references to Pinkerton agents in depictions of the American West," Take-Two said.

Take-Two fully acknowledges borrowing the Pinkerton name for Red Dead Redemption 2, but says it does is just one of the "myriad of ways that Red Dead 2 accurately portrays the historical Nineteenth Century American landscape."

The Pinkerton National Detective Agency was a real group that played a major role in American law enforcement in the Wild West in the late 1800s. The US government hired Pinkerton agents to track down people like Jesse James, Butch Cassidy, and the Sundance Kid. Take-Two also reminded Pinkerton that Red Dead Redemption 2 was not the first piece of new media to reference Pinkerton, as the movie The Long Riders, the TV show Deadwood, and the Elton John song "Ballad of a Well-Known Gun" all reference Pinkertons. In the 2013 game BioShock Infinite, the protagonist is a former Pinkerton agent.

Take-Two also points out that the Pinkertons, while a central part of Red Dead Redemption 2's story, only appear in 10 of the game's 106 missions. "The inclusion of Pinkertons in the Red Dead 2 story is neither excessive not exceptional," Take-Two argues.

"Creative works about the American West are permitted as a matter of law to include such real historical events, figures, and businesses," the company goes on to say. "Particularly where there is no likelihood that consumers will be confused about the source of the creative work, trademark owners should not be permitted to use trademark law to harass authors, chill speech, and diminish the historical tenor of works like Red Dead 2. Historical fiction--television, movies, plays, books, and games--would suffer greatly if trademark claims like [Pinkerton's] could even possibly succeed."

Additionally, Take-Two pointed out that Red Dead Redemption 2 uses Pinkerton's original name, Pinkerton Detective Agency, and not the company's current name, Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations Inc." Further still, Take-Two mentioned that Red Dead Redemption 2 uses Pinkerton's historical badge, not the current one.

Take-Two said Pinkerton filed its complaint in part because it was trying to profit from Red Dead Redemption 2's enormous success. Indeed, the game is a huge hit; by Take-Two's latest count, it had shipped 17 million copies.

Take-Two requests that a judge knock down Pinkerton's request and deny a trial by jury. What's more, the video game company wants Pinkerton to pay Take-Two's legal fees and other expenses related to this case.

Approached for comment, Take-Two told GameSpot, "As a practice, we do not comment on legal matters." A representative for Pinkerton could not be reached at press time.

WWE Royal Rumble Match Card, Date, And Location For The 2019 PPV

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 09:44

When it comes to the Royal Rumble PPV, the card for the WWE event is changing, since we're still a few weeks out. Most recently, Braun Strowman was taken out of the picture for the Universal Championship and replaced with Finn Balor, a former champ who had to vacate the belt because of injury.

WWE's yearly event, the Royal Rumble, is almost here. It has one of the most interesting matches of the year, where 30 participants enter the ring, one by one, and have to eliminate each other until there is only one superstar left standing. The winner of the event gets to challenge their brand's champion at Wrestlemania, so the stakes are high.

This year's Royal Rumble is coming to PPV and the WWE Network live on Sunday, January 27 at 7 PM ET / 4 PM PT, with a Kickoff Show starting two hours prior. Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona will host the event, and you can still pick up tickets if you're interested. Single tickets are going for as cheap as $36 as of this writing, but the prices will fluctuate as we get closer to the event.

While it's still a couple weeks away, there are currently eight matches on the card, and there could be a few more added, two of which should be on the Kickoff Show. There is plenty to be excited about for this year's PPV. Aside from both the men's and women's rumble matches, which are the most fun thing WWE produces every year, Becky Lynch gets a rematch for the Smackdown Women's Championship against Asuka. That should be a spectacular match, and on Raw, things have been heating up between Sasha Banks and Ronda Rousey, and fans seem pretty excited about the championship match.

Below, you'll find the Royal Rumble match card and every confirmed entrant for both the men and women's Royal Rumble matches.

Royal Rumble Match Card:
  • Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Kalisto vs. Hideo Itami (Cruiserweight Championship)
  • The Bar (c) vs. The Miz & Shane McMahon (Smackdown Tag Team Championship)
  • Asuka (c) vs. Becky Lynch (Smackdown Women's Championship)
  • Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Sasha Banks (Raw Women's Championship)
  • Women's Royal Rumble
  • Men's Royal Rumble
  • Daniel Bryan (c) vs. AJ Styles (WWE Championship)
  • Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Finn Balor (Universal Championship)
Confirmed Rumble Participants: Men
  • John Cena
  • Dean Ambrose
  • Seth Rollins
  • Samoa Joe
  • Finn Bálor
  • Drew McIntyre
  • Kofi Kingston
  • Big E
  • Xavier Woods
  • Apollo Crews
  • Baron Corbin
  • Elias
  • Jinder Mahal
  • Jeff Hardy
  • Bobby Lashley
  • Andrade "Cien" Almas
  • Rey Mysterio
  • Mustafa Ali
  • R-Truth (No. 30 Spot)
Confirmed Rumble Participants: Women
  • Natalya
  • Bayley
  • Sasha Banks
  • Ember Moon
  • Ruby Riott
  • Sarah Logan
  • Liv Morgan
  • Alicia Fox
  • Mandy Rose
  • Sonya Deville
  • Zelina Vega
  • Carmella (No. 30 spot)

Make sure to come back to GameSpot on Sunday, January 27 for live coverage of the event and a review of the PPV to follow.

New Pokemon Go Hoenn Event Announced, Brings Back Gen 3 Legendaries

Tue, 01/15/2019 - 09:40

Pokemon Go's Adventure Sync Hatchathon may be coming to an end soon, but a new event is set to kick off immediately afterward. Beginning January 15, Niantic will hold a two-week-long celebration of the Hoenn region, featuring a ton of Pokemon originally from Ruby and Sapphire.

Throughout the event, Gen 3 Pokemon such as Numel, Zigzagoon, and Taillow will spawn much more frequently in the wild. On top of that, players will have a chance to encounter Shiny forms of Zigzagoon and Taillow, while any Shroomish that evolve into Breloom during the event will know the Grass-type attack Grass Knot.

Raid Battles will also feature Gen 3 Pokemon, including the Legendaries Groudon and Kyogre. Gen 3 Pokemon will be much more likely to hatch from 7 km Eggs during the event as well. There will also be new Field Research tasks themed around Gen 3 Pokemon.

Rounding out the celebration, Niantic will offer new avatar items based on Team Aqua and Team Magma--the villainous teams from Ruby and Sapphire--in the game's Style Shop. The Hoenn event is scheduled to end on January 29. You can read more details on the Pokemon Go website.

On top of the Hoenn celebration, Niantic is hosting a new Limited Research event this Saturday, January 19. Much like a Community Day, it will only run in each region for three hours. During this time, players will be able to get special Limited Research tasks from PokeStops, each of which ends with an encounter with Feebas.

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