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Saga #39 Review

Thu, 10/27/2016 - 00:36

With a narrative as complex as Saga’s, progression options are limited. It usually happens one of two ways - either the book focuses on pushing a particular storyline forward at the cost of others, or equal time is spread across the collective narrative, albeit at a slower pace. Issue #39 ends up going with the latter, Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan allowing events of the past to settle as threats of the present inch ever closer.

This arc, as much as any other, has been Hazel’s story, and in that regard issue #39 does a solid job of further exploring the character’s state of mind. At first glance the relatively quick way in which the story moves past Isabel reads a bit heartless, but Vaughan has his reasons. It’s actually a great character move on his part, imbuing the adult characters with naïve optimism as the young Hazel moves right into cool acceptance. That maturity continues with Hazel’s conversation with Ferdie, where she and the young meerkat-boy share their views on love and the afterlife. With all the fantastical happenings of this series it’s easy to forget just how much of Hazel’s childhood has been stripped away. She’s worldly and wise beyond her years, shaped by events she has no control over. Given the increased attention this arc on the war between the people whose blood she shares, it’s easy to see that focus continuing as we move forward.

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South Park: "Fort Collins" Review

Thu, 10/27/2016 - 00:30

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

All the pieces are falling into place as South Park's twentieth season moves towards its big climax. This week's episode might just be the best of the season so far. It continued to build on various ongoing plot threads while finally making Cartman a more active and amusing participant for a change.

And not a moment too soon. The Cartman/Heidi subplot has easily been the weakest element of the season, mainly hinging on Cartman's played out "Women are funny" shtick and the saccharine sweet nature of their romance. It's an odd status quo for a character who's so often the driving force of the show, or its main villain, or both. But finally, Cartman was shaken out of his post-Twitter bliss by the realization that he stands to lose as much as anyone when the Danish expose the world's online trolls. I think the episode could have found a funnier moment to flash back to than Cartman's surprisingly tame takedown of the Ghostbusters reboot, but no doubt he has far worse skeletons in his closet just waiting for Heidi to discover.

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Arrow: "Penance" Review

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 23:00

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

Nearly every new TV series needs at least a few episodes before it starts settling into a proper groove. And even though Arrow hardly qualifies as new, the revamped status quo and expanded cast this season do create their own new challenges. This season has struggled to find a clear sense of focus so far, and “Penance” marks the point where the pieces finally seem to be falling into place.

It definitely helped that “Penance” was able to more elegantly juggle that large ensemble cast. The conflict was split along two main fronts this week, with Ollie and Lyla working to bust Diggle out of military prison on one end and the rest of Team Arrow dealing with the return of Tobias Church on the other. Other than the flashbacks and the minor subplot involving Felicity and Rory, there wasn’t much to get in the way of those two main threads.

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Abrams' God Particle is Actually Cloverfield 3

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 22:47

The J.J. Abrams-produced sci fi flick 'God Particle' actually takes place within the Cloverfield universe, a new report claims.

A source close to The Wrap says that the movie will be next year's Cloverfield entry (after this year's 10 Cloverfield Lane), with a new one expected to be released annually.

Bad Robot and Paramount's God Particle was first announced in 2012, but went into limbo for several years after Paramount's independent arm InSurge went under. It's now back on track with a February 24, 2017 release date. Here's the description of God Particle from our original 2012 article:

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New Gravity Rush 2 Screenshots, Details Revealed

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 22:26

A whole bunch of new Gravity Rush 2 screens have appeared on PlayStation's official Facebook page, which also offer fresh details on the game.

The screens show off new city-sized enemies, abilities, characters and areas for Kat to explore. Check them out in our gallery below!

It was recently announced that Gravity Rush 2 would be delayed a little over a month to January 20, despite "production proceeding smoothly".

"Gravity Rush 2 is the conclusion of Kat’s journey," director Keiichiro Toyama explained earlier on in the month, "so we want players to have enough time to dive deep into her story. In addition, as a lot of work went into online features that allow for asynchronous player interaction, we want as many people as possible playing the title at the same time."

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Here's When You Can Learn More About Nintendo Switch

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 20:53

Nintendo announced that it will unveil more information about its upcoming gaming platform, called Nintendo Switch, via a presentation on January 12, 2017.

The news was delivered in a presentation by Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima to financial analysts today in Tokyo. He said major details regarding the company’s new home gaming system will be shared at the event for media, analysts, and trade partners in Tokyo. It will be livestreamed globally on Jan. 12, but the company said it would share specific times at a later date via social media.

The Nintendo Switch 2017 presentation will include launch date, pricing for the system, and details regarding the lineup of games currently in development by the Japanese video game maker.

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Yes, Titanfall Had a Story; Here’s the Breakdown

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 18:59

The original Titanfall was a frantic and fast-paced multiplayer experience, deftly combining bold new ideas with staples of the online FPS genre. And despite popular belief, it did have a story. It wasn’t very well-told and wasn’t very easy to follow, but it was there.

Since Titanfall 2 comes complete with a single-player campaign, let’s get caught up on the lore of this sci-fi world.  Who built those mechs? Why are people fighting? Where exactly are we? This is a closer look at the who's-who of the world of Titanfall.

There are two main opposing factions in the world of Titanfall: the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation and the Frontier Militia.

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Bryan Fuller No Longer Star Trek: Discovery Showrunner

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 18:46

Due to the demands of having three television series in the works, Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) has reportedly stepped down as the showrunner on Star Trek: Discovery, the upcoming CBS All Access series.

According to Variety, it was decided late last week that day-to-day oversight of Trek will be handed over to the show's executive producers Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts, both of whom are close to Fuller. Fuller will remain "actively involved" with Star Trek: Discovery but just not on a day-to-day basis. Fuller is currently handling shooting and post-production on Starz's American Gods and is prepping an Amazing Stories reboot for NBC.

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Apple AirPods Launch Delayed

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 18:31

AirPods, Apple's wireless earbuds, won't hit the expected October release window, as the company needs "a little more time" before they're ready.

"The early response to AirPods has been incredible," an Apple spokesperson told TechCrunch. "We don’t believe in shipping a product before it’s ready, and we need a little more time before AirPods are ready for our customers." Apple didn't provide a specific reason for the delay.

Announced during Apple's September event, the $159 USD AirPods will run for five hours on a single charge and feature a charger built into their case. The headphones are also able to detect when they're in or out of your ear, and will power on or off accordingly.

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Nintendo Switch: The Major Unanswered Questions

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 18:13

It's amazing how much information can be revealed in a trailer only three minutes long. Nintendo managed to introduce its all-new console, the Switch, in a concise, compelling video package that actually included six different pieces of hardware – the screen-equipped Switch itself, the TV-connecting Dock, the Pro Controller, the left and right detachable Joy-Cons and the Grip that can house them both – and yet everything felt neatly explained.

. . . well, maybe not everything. Because though we did learn a lot about the Switch through its first commercial, we've been left with plenty of unanswered questions in its wake. Let's turn our attention now to several of the biggest mysteries still surrounding the machine, and hope that solid answers arrive long before the system goes on sale next March.

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Unlocked: Marty's Mass Effect Adventure

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 18:05

DOWNLOAD UNLOCKED 269 (Audio version)

On this week's Xbox show, we discuss Bethesda's public proclamation to not facilitate Day 1 reviews of their games anymore, talk about the upcoming Skyrim Monopoly board game, chronicle Marty's adventures playing Mass Effect for the very first time, and more!

Oh, and Unlocked now has its own snazzy new homepage! Bookmark this: go.ign.com/unlocked

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Call of Duty: Zombies #1 Review

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 18:05

Video game adaptations have a spotty track record in the comic book medium. That's to say nothing of the fact that zombie comics are a dime a dozen. So that's two strikes against Call of Duty: Zombies before the series even begins. But as always, the trick is in finding the right creative team to bring these adaptations to life. And that's exactly where Call of Duty: Zombies succeeds.

This mini-series hearkens back to Call of Duty: Black Ops II's zombie mode, focusing on Dr. Richtofen and his four zombie-slaying minions. The comic doesn't directly adapt the game's storyline, but instead tells a side-story featuring that familiar cast. The result isn't a particularly deep comic. As with most zombie stories, survival is the name of the game, and there's plenty of character banter and gore along the way. The characters themselves are fairly two-dimensional and archetypal. Misty is the cocky hotshot. Marlton is the nerdy scientist. Stuhlinger is the grizzled veteran. And so on. But at least it's readily accessible regardless of your familiarity with the game.

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Halloween Events Coming to GTA, Destiny, Pokemon Go, and More

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 18:00
See the special skins, challenges, and giveaways in all your favorite games this year.

Sherlock Season 4 Premiere Date Announced

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 16:58

Sherlock fans can ring in the new year with the show's season 4 premiere.

The official Twitter account for the BBC series revealed that the series will return on January 1, 2017, alongside a teaser image seen below. The first episode of Sherlock's return is called "The Six Thatchers."

Sherlock Season 4 begins January 1.

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Toy Story 4 Delayed, Incredibles 2 Release Moved Up

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 16:45

Disney has swapped released dates for two of its upcoming Pixar sequels.

Instead of hitting theaters on June 15, 2018 like originally planned, Toy Story 4 will now be released on June 21, 2019, with The Incredibles 2 taking Toy Story 4’s 2018 release date, Disney/Pixar announced today. The Incredibles 2’s production is reportedly ahead of schedule, according to The Hollywood Reporter, hence the change in release dates.

Cars 3 is still set for a June 16, 2017 release.

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Far Cry and BloodRayne Director Uwe Boll Retiring

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 16:13

Uwe Boll, the director behind several video game-to-film adaptations -- including Far Cry, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Alone in the Dark, Postal and BloodRayne -- has announced he's retiring from filmmaking.

According to Metro News, Boll's last film will be Rampage: President Down, with the director saying his politically-minded films just aren't making an impact. "Rampage 3 will be watched on Netflix, DVD or iTunes or whatever," he said.

Boll went so far as to say the "market is dead," noting that "with streaming everywhere there is just a big wave of movies flooding around and you have no impact." He also highlighted the drastic decline in DVD and Blu-ray sales over the past few years as "the real reason" he's retiring, adding, "I just cannot afford to make movies."

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Bride of Frankenstein Reboot a 'Tale of Liberation'

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 15:33

Bride of Frankenstein writer David Koepp says the Universal monster saga film will be "a tale of liberation."

Speaking with Collider, Koepp touched on the female perspective of the Bride of Frankenstein reboot. "It’s one of my favorite scripts I’ve written in years because if you reimagine the Frankenstein story, it gets into so many issues of men trying to feel dominant over women," he said.

"To create someone who then says, 'You don’t own me,' it becomes a tale of liberation," Koepp added. "... It was really fun, and I hope it gets going soon because I think it’d make for a great movie."

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Sid Meier's Civilization VI Review

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 15:10

Every game in the legendary, 25-year-old Sid Meier’s Civilization 4X strategy series puts a new spin on the grand concept of taking a nation from a single nomadic tribe to a world-dominating superpower, one turn at a time. In that way Civilization VI looks familiar, but it’s loaded with some very smart and bold improvements that give it new levels of depth. Once I get absorbed into a campaign it becomes so engrossing it’s difficult to think about anything else.

Under its colorful, cartography-inspired art style and varied, stirring music that swells to accent what you’re doing and in what era you’re doing it, Civilization VI is crammed with an almost overwhelming number of systems. It’s got trade, it’s got religion, it’s got espionage, it’s got Great People, it’s got archeology, it’s got the kitchen sink. For the most part, that’s awesome because there are so many chances to build out your nation in different ways to take advantage of opportunities on its randomly generated maps and pursue the different victory types, and it’s all baked in at the ground level so that things like trade routes don’t feel tacked on and optional (they are, in fact, the only way to build roads in the early game). This feels like a Civ game that’s already had two expansions.

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Beyond: Red Dead Redemption's Deep-Cut Western Roots

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 15:07

Hey gang! This week, your pals Max "The Far Side" ScovilleMarty "Zippy The Pinhead" Sliva, Brian "For Better of For Worse" Altano, and Andrew "Garfield" Goldfarb wax poetic (and cinematic and artistic) about Red Dead Redemption 2's reveal trailer, and Jared Petty's lovely writeup about its Western themes. Titanfall 2 is being received really well, and finally, Bethesda is done sending out early review copies, which is a little frustrating for people in our field.

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Suicide Squad #5 Review

Wed, 10/26/2016 - 14:54

This new series is continuing its trend of delivering flawed odd-numbered issues followed by stronger even-numbered issues. The consistency to that lack of consistency is becoming frustrating. But even in its lesser moments, this relaunched series is head and shoulders above what came before.

The main story in this issue serves as a transitional tale, as the team returns to Belle Reve and regroups following the disastrous mission in Russia. That doesn't do much to keep the book's momentum high, but Rob Williams does deliver some strong character moments in this issue. The highlight is easily the interaction between Killer Croc and Enchantress, as each finds an unlikely kindred spirit in the other. There's also some much-needed development for Hack, and even a suggestion that General Zod has a more lasting and significant role to play in the series. As heavily as the comic is drawing from the recent movie, it's always good to see evidence that the series is trying to build its own voice and identity.

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