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Jughead #1 Review - Thu, 10/08/2015 - 03:00

Archie Comics has had quite the banner year, thanks in no small part to the revitalized flagship title currently flying off the racks. Not content to let Riverdale's resident redhead have all the fun, the publisher delivers the first of the brand's character specific offshoots, starting with none other than Archie's main pal, Jughead. Creators Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson bring their trademark hilarity to the lovable slacker with the big heart and bottomless stomach, delivering an amusing debut that'll keep you coming back for seconds.

The most surprising thing about Jughead #1 is how little it's beholden to the main Archie title. The cast and setting are the same, but beyond that Zdarsky and Henderson are left very much to their own devices. Considering that Zdarsky is essentially left with the keys to the jalopy, it's no surprise then that he takes it out for a spin, his story traversing all manner of narrative paths real and imagined. His tongue in cheek (burger in mouth?) sense of tone is apparent throughout, from Jughead's opening video game intro to his Game of Thrones inspired dreamscape. That's not to say it's all aimless buffoonery, as the introduction of a no-nonsense new principal incites a culinary revolution (and a forward arc) from the gruel-adverse glutton.

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Bethesda Has ‘Concerns’ About Battlecry - Thu, 10/08/2015 - 01:40

Bethesda has revealed it has concerns regarding its upcoming free-to-play multiplayer combat game Battlecry, currently in development at Austin, Texas-based BattleCry Studios.

“We have concerns about the Battlecry game and whether it is meeting the objectives we have for it,” reads a statement supplied to Progress Bar and confirmed with IGN by Bethesda. “We are evaluating what improvements the game needs to meet our quality standards. The studio remains busy during this process on multiple projects.”

The statement was provided in response to a query regarding the game’s absence from Australia’s EB Expo over the weekend.

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Paper Girls #1 Review - Thu, 10/08/2015 - 01:23

At this point they may as well add the release dates of Brian K. Vaughan’s new titles to the list of national holidays, so circle worthy are they on our calendars. Vaughan’s latest, Paper Girls, traverses the early mornings and front stoops of 1988 Cleveland, OH, as seen through the eyes of four young paper delivery girls. Joined by the stellar art team of penciller Cliff Chiang and colorist Matt Wilson, Paper Girls is a lovely start to a coming of age tale full of surprises, and one that makes good on utilizing its extended page count.

Solicits of Paper Girls have billed the read as Stand By Me meets War of the Worlds, and issue #1 is quick to embrace said comparisons. To say much more would verge on spoiler territory, but suffice to say Paper Girls is far from what you’d expect, Vaughan blending his more traditional coming of age tale with an intriguing sci-fi bent. The best part of said mix is how little it informs the direction of the issue as a whole. Even with the many strange occurrences happening within the books loaded pages, Vaughan never once ceases to put his characters first. He uses the double-sized issue to cram in as much character work as possible, ensuring that each of the four paper girls – Erin, Mac, Tiffany and K.J. – are gifted their own unique personality and voice.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #50 Review - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 23:49

IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series hits a big milestone with this issue. And the occasion certainly feels momentous, as issue #50 effectively caps off the past four years' worth of storytelling while simultaneously paving the way for new things. Even though the cover price is fairly high (despite the extra pages) and one of the key elements in this issue falls a bit flat, the overall package is satisfying.

Issue #49 set the stage for the final showdown between the Turtles and the Foot Clan, as our four heroes face off with Shredder's mutants in hopes of challenging the top dog himself. It's a brutal, violent issue from start to finish. And that makes a perfect showcase for Mateus Santolouco's artwork. This series never really achieved its true potential until Santolouco gave it the visual overhaul it needed. It's only fitting that he returns for this critical chapter. Every page is a fluid ballet where lithe ninja warriors clash with oversized, brutish mutants. The action is both graceful and hard-hitting. And nowhere in this epic battle does Santolouco neglect his expressive character work. Cory Smith also chips in here, rendering flashback sequences that, if slightly less flashy than the others, give the conflict a somber, wistful edge.

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You Can Now Watch Stan on Your PS3 & PS4 - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 23:29

Want to watch Aussie streaming service Stan on your PS3 or PS4? There's now an app for that.

The on-demand service has launched on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 today, just in time for Stan's biggest 'get' series - Ash vs. Evil Dead - which drops October 31st.

“Our partnership with PlayStation brings Stan to the highest selling game console in Australia" said Mike Sneesby, Stan CEO, in a press release. "We are thrilled that new and existing subscribers can now access Stan’s library of award winning TV shows and box office hits directly on their PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4.”

“Launching Stan on PlayStation is a significant milestone in our roadmap as we bring Australians more ways to access our exciting line-up of content in HD on the big screen.”

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Arrow Producers on the Season Premiere's Big Reveals - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 23:23

Warning: Spoilers for the Arrow Season 4 premiere follow.

Arrow returned tonight with its Season 4 premiere, and "Green Arrow" certainly delivered some surprises. IGN was among a group of journalists that talked with executive producers Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle about the big events, and we discussed the final scene first. Obviously.

Someone is actually dead. Guggenheim said, "It's not a fake out, that's not how we roll." He couldn't answer who the person in the grave is but said that the six months is in show time rather than real time. And no, the person won't be resurrected. Mericle said, "They will stay dead. We want to bring stakes back to the show, and so we'll be finding a way to handle the Lazarus Pit portion of Season 3 in Season 4 in a new, inventive way that I can't reveal but it will be cool." Guggenheim added it will feel organic and very earned and that "it's actually very elegant."

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Arrow: Season 4 Premiere Review - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 22:56

Warning: full episode spoilers follow.

It was tough to know just how excited to be for Arrow’s fourth season. On one hand, despite its high points, Season 3 was pretty disappointing overall. But on the other, all of the changes announced for this season (in terms of tone, costumes, villains, etc.) look to be moving the show in the right direction. And if the premiere is anything to judge, Arrow is on firmer footing as it charges into Oliver Queen’s new status quo.

More than the new villain or the costume changes, the most obvious difference in this episode was Ollie himself. It’s almost strange seeing our morose, tortured hero so genuinely happy and at peace with himself. For all that the Season 3 finale failed to justify Ollie’s sudden shift away from the vigilante lifestyle, this episode really conveyed that psychological shift. Stephen Amell deserves a lot of credit for altering so much of his usual performance. From the tenor of his voice to the way he carried himself, Amell nailed the idea that Ollie is a fundamentally different person than he was back in May.

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American Horror Story: Hotel Premiere Review - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 22:29

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode follow...

With style and bravado to spare - including a post-punk/goth soundtrack featuring the likes of Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division, and She Wants Revenge (whose one hit basically sounds like Joy Division) - America Horror Story returns to its Los Angeles haunted house roots with "Hotel" - a lavish and gory new season featuring an avalanche of unfortunate souls orbiting a perpetually cavernous art-deco inn called The Cortez.

It's a world that comes with a rather high "buy in." Viewers are to somehow believe that this type of instantly suspicious place full of freaks and could exist within the real world and somehow fly under the radar. Season 1's "Murder House" also came with its own sordid, haunted past, but it had been outed and was actually part of a morbid murder tram tour for out-of-towners. The Cortez, as big and diabolical as it is, has somehow not made the papers in quite the same way.

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Here's Hasbro's New Force Awakens Han Solo Toy - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 22:22

Hasbro debuted a bunch of new Star Wars: The Force Awakens Black Series figures (and a Black Series labeled Kylo Ren helmet) at its New York Comic-Con party this evening, giving us an up-close look at 'old' Han Solo's outfit in the film.

Phasma, Rey (who are already available for purchase) and Ello Asty - a new alien species in the Star Wars universe - were on display among others. Check 'em out in the slideshow below!

10 Best Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys

All photos taken by Eric Goldman.

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What Did You Think of Supernatural's Season 11 Premiere? - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 21:00

Hey guys, with travel underway to New York Comic Con, our review of the Supernatural season premiere may be delayed until Thursday (though we're gonna try our best to have it tonight!). In the meantime though, you can chime in on your thoughts on "Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire" in the comments below. Look for the review at this URL when it's complete.

Supernatural: "Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire" Photo Gallery:

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Lexus Built A Fully Functional Electric Car Out of Cardboard - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 20:12

You can build a lot of things out of cardboard, but Lexus is probably the first to build a working electric car out of it.

The carmaker, or rather, the five person team from LaserCut Works and Scales and Models, took on the project to celebrate how talented they are, while also proving how much work and dedication goes into making a Lexus. The team, which also works on Lexus' production line, spent three months and 1,700 laser-cut cardboard sheets to build a cardboard version of the IS saloon; people can drive it as well, all thanks to its electric motor.

As you might expect, building a modern day car out of cardboard isn't easy, and when the time came to put the cardboard Lexus together, it had to be done correctly the first time. The water-based wood glue used during assembly needed 10 minutes to dry after each application, and once it was dry there was no going back if something went awry. Fortunately, any and all necessary changes were made during the initial creative process.

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NXT TakeOver: Respect - Results and Reaction - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 20:11

Welcome to IGN's NXT: TakeOver blog. It's our first time covering an NXT event like this, so hopefully y'all are game. The idea of not honoring Bayley vs. Sasha Banks getting that prime, coveted main event slot didn't sit well with us, so here we go.

Aside from the big 30-minute Ironmanwoman match, this two (and a half?) hour event is really about tag team action as they'll be crowning the winners of the Dusty Rhodes tournament. And, of course, a couple of preliminary matches featuring (once again) Apollo Crews and new-to-NXT Asuka (formerly Kana).

So let's dig in and show some RESPECT...

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Video Game Voice Actors Vote Yes on Potential Strike - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 20:09

The SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) union has today confirmed its strike referendum was a “resounding success” with over 96% of its members voting in favour of a potential strike.

SAG-AFTRA notes that this result does not mean its members are currently on strike, but it does give the union the authority to declare a strike if they remain unhappy with their ongoing negotiations with the video game industry.

The union’s list of demands includes residuals for games that sell over two million units, stunt pay for vocally stressful recording sessions, and a stunt coordinator on set during performance capture. These demands can be viewed in full on their website.

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Star Wars: Shattered Empire #2 Review - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 20:04

While Star Wars: Shattered Empire started off with an impressive opening issue, the follow-up leaves a lot to be desired. The story has two strange time-jumps, which throws off the momentum generated by the cliffhanger from Issue #1. More troublesome is the sudden focus on Princess Leia, leaving protagonist Shara Bey without anything meaningful to do. The first chapter skillfully avoided focusing too much on the original cast, but this time it’s tipped too much in their favor. With Shattered Empire only being a four-issue mini-series, one underwhelming issue is too much.

The issue begins on a high note, that’s for sure. A mysterious Messenger from the Emperor makes a strong, unsettling entrance, demanding blood from a Star Destroyer captain and delivering an Order 66-esque codeword that triggers yet another evil master plan. This setup is foreboding and creepy as can be, from the strange lettering of the Messenger’s dialogue to his red robes resembling the Emperor’s personal guards. Unfortunately, the result of that codeword comes way too quick and feels a little too much like the scheme of a Captain Planet villain.

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Goosebumps Review - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 19:29

Based as it is on the monstrously popular book series from the 1990s, it wouldn’t be surprising if Goosebumps the movie played best to a very specific demo -- the Millennials who so cherish the last decade of the last century and were raised on R.L. Stine’s spooky anthology tales as well as the TV show based on the same.

But Sony’s Goosebumps, which stars Jack Black (as a fictional version of Stine) and was directed by Rob Letterman (Black’s, ahem, Gulliver's Travels helmer), does not require such generation-specific fandom in order to be enjoyed, and is in fact an all-inclusive monster romp that’s fun and spooky and just a little bit touching too.

While a Goosebumps movie has been rumored since the ’90s, one can see the potential difficulties of adapting the books. As a series of anthology stories, there is no set protagonist or villain for a screenwriter to latch onto. (See Twilight Zone: The Movie for an example of a beloved anthology series gone wrong in movie form.) But the notion of making Stine a character in his own series, and pitting him in a single tale against a host of some of his most popular monsters, fiends and ghouls from across the pantheon of Goosebumps books, proves to be the key to unlocking the series’ big-screen potential.

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Amazon Reportedly Putting Together Live TV Service - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 19:12

Amazon is reportedly working on an online television service that would exist alongside its current programs available through Prime Streaming.

According to a report on Bloomberg, Amazon has reached out to major media companies, including CBS and NBCUniversal, about carrying content from those company's channels.

Bloomberg's sources say the talks are preliminary, but some of them do go back several months. Analyst Dan Rayburn thinks its possible Amazon is sizing up the economics of such an undertaking "which would involve them talking with content owners about costs."

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SuperMansion: Series Premiere Review - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 19:12

Like so many parodies before it, Crackle's stop-motion cartoon SuperMansion -- you can watch the premiere via YouTube below -- satirizes the superhero genre with themed observational humor and crude antics. Think The Awesomes or Drawn Together but in the style of Robot Chicken, whose executive producers Matthew Seinrich, Zeb Wells and Seth Green also developed this show. But while SuperMansion definitely has its moments, most of the jokes have already been done before in other projects -- including Robot Chicken's own DC Comics Specials.

On the plus side, Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston voices the main character, Titanium Rex, the geriatric leader of the League of Freedom, whose "Golden Age" is well behind them. Now they all live in a mansion together, struggling to stay relevant in a world that's sick of superheroes.

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Tech Wizard Builds NES in an NES Cartridge - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 19:11

A glorious technical wizard has re-created a Nintendo Entertainment System built right into one of the system's cartridges for portability and convenience.

Reddit user KevlarYarmulke shared an image of the creation below in the subreddit r/gaming.

It's one of the finer examples of people taking older hardware and fitting it into a new casing or device, as was seen last year in the hacked Canon printer running a playable version of the classic FPS Doom.

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Unlocked: Burnout Is Back! - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 19:00


On this week's Xbox show, we celebrate news that the creators of Burnout are bringing the series back (albeit under a new name), rejoice at the Stone Age setting of the just-announced Far Cry Primal, calculate the crazy value proposition of the Fallout 4 Xbox One bundle, take credit (not really) for making the icky Deus Ex: Mankind Divided pre-order campaign go away, check Destin into a rehab facility for his Destiny problem (also not really), and more!

Oh, and Unlocked now has its own snazzy new homepage! Bookmark this:

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Emperor Palpatine Has a New Codeword, Operation: Cinder - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 18:55

In today's Star Wars: Shattered Empire #2 by writer Greg Rucka and artist Marco Checchetto, which takes place after Return of the Jedi and before The Force Awakens, we learned that Emperor Palpatine has yet another special military codeword that triggers an evil plan.

Warning: beware spoilers for Star Wars: Shattered Empire #2!

Even though Emperor Palpatine is dead, we see that the Empire's forces are still active and desperate to restore their rule. On the Star Destroyer Torment, we see Captain Lerr Duvat clearing the bridge to receive the Messenger, who wears a red cloak not unlike the ones worn by Palpatine's personal guards. He plays a message from Palpatine, assumedly recorded before his death, which commands Duvat to begin "Operation: Cinder" in order to quell the resistance, rebellion and defiance in the galaxy. It definitely has a similar vibe to "Order 66," which was the secret command he gave the Clone Troopers to destroy the Jedi.

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