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XXX: Return of Xander Cage Review

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 19:01

It’s been 15 years since we last saw Vin Diesel in xXx as thrillseeker/secret agent/big-coat-wearer Xander Cage and, since then, the series has matured very little. xXx: Return of Xander Cage lobs out one ludicrous set piece after another, giving you very little time to think about the nonsense you’re seeing onscreen, which is a good thing because the film seems like it was written by a child.

The thing is: that child is best friends with Vin Diesel, so it’s kind of okay.

According to 2005 sequel xXx: State of the Union, Xander Cage was killed in an explosive attack, but in this sort-of threequel, he is very much alive, with no real explanation as to why. The way we know that Xander Cage is alive is because he’s reintroduced to us in the film by jumping off of a dangerously high satellite pylon and skiing down a jungle, which is something dead people very rarely do. Despite being up to his old death-defying tricks, Cage is no longer an agent-for-hire and instead spends his days watching football in the slums of Brazil.

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Why Ewan McGregor Needed to Rerecord "Be Our Guest"

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 18:22

Ewan McGregor might be no stranger to musicals, but recording his musical number as Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast proved trickier than he initially expected.

While promoting Fargo: Season 3 at the 2017 winter TV Critics Association press tour, McGregor opened up about to a small group of reporters about why he botched "Be Our Guest" on the first go-around.

"I hadn't been in a recording studio for a long time, and I was in a recording studio in London when we recorded the song for the first time. There was an enormous amount of pressure, I thought," he recalled. "I had only just arrived, I was jet lagged from LA. I got off a plane one day and the next day I was in a recording studio. It's very nerve-wracking recording, because you're in a quiet room and through the glass there's people who are looking at you, and they speak to each other and you can't hear them. In this instance there were 50 people in there, and I was standing jet lagged alone trying to sing in a French accent this big number. Every time I stopped they would go, 'OK, hang on,'

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Why Final Fantasy XV’s 13th Chapter is Important

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 17:48

Warning: Contains spoilers for Final Fantasy XV's latter half.

After a decade in development hell, Final Fantasy XV released late last year to critical acclaim thanks to a vastly improved plot over its previous single-player only predecessor, a slick combat system that straddles real-time and traditional JRPG elements brilliantly, and an utterly gorgeous and expansive world to get lost in.

Still, while the stunning open-world of Lucis is the most celebrated feather in Final Fantasy XV’s cap, what criticism the game has received has been aimed at its final third, as its open-world focus narrows into finely structured, linear chapters in the build up to its dramatic finale. Chapter 13 in particular bears the brunt of this negativity.

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New Star Wars Rebels Clip: Sabine Wields the Darksaber

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 17:37

In this week's new episode of Star Wars Rebels, "Trials of the Darksaber" -- airing Saturday, January 21st on Disney XD -- Sabine (Tiya Sircar) tries her hand at harnessing the power of the Darksaber while training with Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.).

In this clip from the episode, Sabine finds herself having trouble mastering the Darksaber's abilities, unable to utilize her skills to take down Kanan. Check it out, and then check out the photo gallery from the episode below...

The official synopsis for "Trials of the Darksaber" reads:

"In an effort to recruit her people to join the rebels, Sabine reluctantly agrees to learn to wield an ancient Mandalorian weapon, but soon finds the challenge more difficult than expected."

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Fire Emblem Warriors Also Coming to New 3DS

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 17:14

Nintendo has revealed that Fire Emblem Warriors is coming to New Nintendo 3DS systems in addition to Switch.

Fire Emblem Warriors will be available in Fall 2017.

Fire Emblem Warriors was announced during last week’s Nintendo Switch reveal event. It continues Koei Tecmo’s long-running Warriors series, known as Musou in Japan and made popular via several Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors titles.

Koei Tecmo first expanded the series to Nintendo characters with 2014’s Hyrule Warriors on Wii U, a Zelda-focused spinoff that came to 3DS as Hyrule Warriors Legends last year.

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Fire Emblem Heroes Announced for Mobile

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 17:12

During a Nintendo Direct today, Nintendo fully revealed its Fire Emblem mobile game, Fire Emblem Heroes, which will be available on iOS and Android on February 2nd.

An animated cutscene intro was shown off for the game, and Nintendo confirmed that the game features "brand-new art, hand drawn by a variety of artists" and "newly recorded voices." Each map will be an 8x6 grid built for smartphones. Players can drag an ally to an enemy unit to attack, or use traditional Fire Emblem controls on the touch screen. The series' weapon triangle will also return.

Players will take on the role of a summoner and summon characters from the Fire Emblem series to build their team. Orbs are used to summon additional characters, and they can be earned through gameplay or purchased within the app. Players will also be able to visit a Training Tower to level up their heroes.

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Fire Emblem Confirmed for Nintendo Switch in 2018

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 17:08

During a Nintendo Direct today, Nintendo confirmed that a new Fire Emblem game is headed to Nintendo Switch in 2018. This new mainline FE game will be the first for a home console since 2007's Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn for Nintendo Wii.

This game is separate from Fire Emblem Warriors, which was announced at the Nintendo Switch event. The Fire Emblem Direct also showcased Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia coming to 3DS eShop in May. Nintendo also revealed Fire Emblem Heroes, the first FE game for mobile devices.

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Fire Emblem Echoes Announced for 3DS

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 17:08

During a Nintendo Direct today, Nintendo announced a new Fire Emblem for 3DS, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. It will be released on the 3DS eShop on May 19.

Alm and Celica are the names of the dual protagonists, who are "locked in a tragic war dividing the continent of Valentia." On May 19, amiibo versions of both will also be available.

Nintendo said the game is inspired by 1992's Fire Emblem Gaiden, which only released in Japan. Shadows of Valentia will feature free-roaming, dungeons, and "flexible character progression," according to Nintendo.

Alm and Celica amiibo

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EA Play 2017 Announced

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 16:48

Electronic Arts is bringing back its pre-E3 event EA Play this year.

The event — which includes live broadcasts, community contests and more — will highlight the company's upcoming lineup of games. EA Play was started last year and served as a departure from a traditional E3 booth.

No games have been announced for EA Play yet, but it's probably a safe bet we'll see new iterations of the FIFA, Madden and NHL franchises. Plus, the company might highlight EA Originals, like Sea of Solitude, along with Star Wars Battlefront 2.

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Wrestling Wrap Up: Who Should Undertaker Face at WrestleMania?

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 16:37

The Wrap Up's going to be slightly short-sheeted this week as we head into the Rumble two Sundays from now. There's not too much to gab about without knowing who the big winners are at the PPV, but we can get all smarky and speculate-y about what's going on with Undertaker.

For months now, it seemed like Taker vs. Cena was a lock for 'Mania. Now the rumors are rumoring that that match is kaput. I, for one, was actually excited to see those two go head to head, but I guess we need to start re-examining the topic/question of "Is this Undertaker's final WrestleMania?" Many of us are assuming it is, though with Taker recently proclaiming that he was "back" on SmackDown (while most recently appearing on RAW), there's been nothing mentioned about a grand farewell. So it's possible that Taker/Cena's being held off until next year.

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The Walking Dead Toned Back Gore After S7 Premiere

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 16:07

After a bloody violent Season 7 premiere, The Walking Dead has dialed down the gore.

The show's executive producer Gale Anne Hurd revealed at the 2017 National Association of Television Program Executives conference that the Walking Dead team did make a conscious decision about lowering the level of violence on The Walking Dead following feedback from fans, Deadline reports. After the backlash to the premiere and "feedback on level of violence," "we did tone it down for episodes we were still filming," she said.

"This is not a show that’s torture porn," Hurd added. "Let’s make sure we don’t cross that line."

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WWE #1 Review

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 16:03

I said it with my review of November's WWE: Now. Then. Forever #1 special, and I'll say it again now - the biggest strength of this new series is the fact that it manages to capture the pageantry and soap opera of professional wrestling and make it appealing even for the neophyte. Reading this series reinforces my lingering desire to dive more heavily into the WWE landscape. And really, what more can you ask for from a licensed comic?

The ongoing series builds directly on the groundwork of Now. The. Forever. #1 and, as such, should really be treated as WWE #2. Writer Dennis Hopeless continues his look behind the scenes of Seth Rollins' 2014 betrayal of his former teammates in The Shield, exploring what motivated that betrayal and fueled Rollins' ambitious climb to the top. Again, I'm coming at this series from a fairly inexperienced perspective, so I'm perhaps not the most qualified person to judge how much depth it adds to such an infamous moment in WWE history. But Hopeless certainly tells a complete and satisfying story independent of any "real world" connections. Rollins isn't simply treated as a heel, but a conflicted man who craves glory and maybe harbors a little more guilt over his actions than he'd like to admit.

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How to Get Wimpod and Golisopod in Pokemon Sun and Moon

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 16:00
Learn how to catch these quick Pokemon that can't be caught through wild battles.

Buy Resident Evil 7 Biohazard Once and Play on Xbox One and PC

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 15:46

Resident Evil 7 Biohazard is coming to Microsoft's Xbox Play Anywhere program. Gamers who digitally purchase the game can play it on Xbox One or PC without needing to buy an additional copy.

Resident Evil 7 joins a growing list of games eligible for Xbox Play Anywhere. Some of Microsoft's bigger recent games, including Gears of War 4 and Forza Horizon 3, are part of the program.

As part of the program, gamers can save progress, DLC, "Gamerscore and Achievements to Xbox Live," and continue their game on "another Xbox One or Windows 10 PC."

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This is Us Renewed for Season 2 <em>and</em> Season 3

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 15:33

Multiple season renewals are still quite rare in network TV, making it pretty notable when NBC announced they had renewed This is Us for both Season 2 and Season 3 at the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour today.

This is Us has been a huge hit for NBC, becoming the number one new show of the 2016-2017 TV season on any network. Both Season 2 and Season 3 will consist of 18 episodes, committing the network to at least 36 more hours of the series.

Said NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke, in a statement. “This is Us is as good as anything we’ve ever had. We’re thrilled to renew it for two seasons and there’s no doubt it will have a long life on NBC. On behalf of everyone at NBC, we’re grateful for the artistry of the cast, crew, and producers assembled by our gifted creator, Dan Fogelman. In a world where there are literally hundreds of television dramas, we’re proud to have one of the very best that is also one of the highest-rated.”

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Identity of Hybrid Green/White Power Ranger Revealed

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 15:01

The identity of Lord Drakkon, the new Power Ranger with a look that appears to be a fusion of the Green and White Rangers, has been revealed in today’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #11 by writer Kyle Higgins and artist Hendry Prasetya from BOOM! Studios.

Warning: full spoilers for the issue below!

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #11 cover by Jamal Campbell. (BOOM! Studios)

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Spider-Man: Miles Morales Hero of Sony's Animated Film

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 14:54

Move over, Peter Parker, because Miles Morales will be swinging onto the silver screen in Sony's animated Spider-Man movie.

Sony Picture Animation president Kristine Belson has announced that the film will focus on Morales. This follows rumors from last year that the black-Hispanic teenager would serve as the star of the animated Spider-Man instead of Parker.

In a pre-recorded intro to the press, the film's producer Phil Lord said, "There are a ton of amazing surprises in this movie. The animated nature of it allows us to go places where we’ve never gone before. The thing that inspires us most about Spider-Man is that anyone can wear that mask. I think that’s why the character is so popular. That underneath there you can be any race, creed or color. You can be any gender. And everybody can kind of project themselves into that hero and that’s the kind of movie we’re trying to make.”

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Batman #15 Review

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 14:34

The past few months of Tom King's Batman run have thoroughly made up for Catwoman's early absence in the DC Rebirth lineup. Batman #15 wraps up King's brief collaboration with Mitch Gerads, as "Rooftops" ends with a fitting tribute to the beautiful but doomed romance that is Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle.

Gerads somehow manages to impress even more in this issue than he did with Batman #14. His striking use of color has a lot to do with it. His Gotham City is bathed in an ethereal blue glow, but one now bathed in creeping sunlight as Batman and Catwoman's last night comes to a close. The color becomes equally crucial during a very well-executed flashback scene as each character recounts a different version of their first meeting. Bruce recollects the events of 1940's Batman #1, and so Gerads' art shifts to a very convincing approximation of Bob Kane's. Selina, meanwhile, recalls their much more violent first encounter in Batman: Year One. Here again, Gerads alters his style to mimic David Mazzucchelli's gritty work. That Gerads can dance from one mode to the next so effortlessly on the same page speaks volumes about his talent.

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Can Nintendo Convince You to Switch?

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 14:04

Welcome back to Game Scoop!, IGN's weekly video game talk show. This week we're discussing the Nintendo Switch, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, and more. Watch the video above or download the podcast below.

Download Game Scoop! Episode 420

Or subscribe in iTunes and never miss an episode.

OR subscribe to the NEW Game Scoop! YouTube channel and never miss a video.

Every Avenger Confirmed for Infinity War (So Far)

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 14:00

By the time Avengers: Infinity War comes out in 2018, there are going to be a lot of superheroes populating the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So many, in fact, that not all of them will necessarily be appearing in the next Avengers film.

While we can assume a lot of the Avengers will be joining the next big screen team up, only a handful have been confirmed so far. We've gathered up a list of every actor who we know will be appearing in Infinity War. Click right through the below gallery to see who will be in the upcoming movie:

Beyond just Avengers heroes, Infinity War reportedly is eying Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage for a significant role. The new movie will begin shooting this summer in Scotland.

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