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Category: GAMES


This Game About Cleaning Up Bloody Murder Scenes Gets A New Trailer

Serial Cleaner is an indie game with a twist on a grotesque premise — instead of going through levels and murdering hordes of faceless enemies, you’re tasked with cleaning up the aftermath of somebody else’s murder spree. To see some of what the game has in store, we got an early look at the trailer above.

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Serial Cleaner’s story mode will encompass a 20-level campaign that, morbidly enough, takes you through some scenes inspired by real-life murders from the 1970s. According to a spokesperson for the game, levels will include: “A boxing gym, a disco club, a roadside motel, a sleazy bar, or the rooftops of downtown blocks.” And the game will also include challenge modes to increase the game’s difficulty. “One of the Challenge Modes,” a spokesperon told us via email, “erases the visual cones of police officers, another changes the visuals, as if Cleaner was completely drunk.”

Interestingly, some of the challenges are dependent on when you play the game. “Some of the challenges can be only played at night, because Serial Cleaner implements real-world data. That means that if you play our game on any platform at night, and you’re connected to the Internet, it’s also night in the game! And that influences the gameplay.”

Serial Cleaner is currently availble through early access on Steam, and it’s set to release sometime this on Xbox One and PS4.

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Crash Bandicoot Remaster Dev Talks Remaking Classic Games

Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy is a trip down memory lane for old school fans of the iconic PlayStation franchise, but it’s also a great entry point for those who haven’t experienced the games before.

The collection looks to maintain not only the vibrant aesthetic changes that the each series entry introduced at the time, but also the sharp, fine-tuned feel of each game’s platforming and mechanics. Whether you’re a longtime fan of the series or not, N. Sane Trilogy is shaping up to be a great place to experience the early adventures of this tenured marsupial.

We recently got the chance to talk with Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy’s creative director Dan Tanguay, discussing his history with the franchise, the challenges of remastering the original trilogy, and the legacy and lasting appeal of Crash Bandicoot as a gaming icon.

GameSpot Staff: Where does your personal work start with the Crash Bandicoot franchise?

Dan Tanguay: It’s actually tied into the history of Crash Bandicoot itself. Naughty Dog originally created the series, but Universal published it. Due to the series’ popularity, Crash became a mascot for Sony, and as a result, the games were exclusive to Sony’s platforms. However, at a certain point, Naughty Dog and Universal parted ways, so it started looking for new developers for the Crash games. Traveler’s Tales [the Lego games] handled the first few new games, but Universal approached us in the early 2000s to create a sequel to Crash Team Racing. I was the creative lead on Crash Nitro Kart, which came out [in] 2003.

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Universal then wanted to expand the franchise by creating Crash Bandicoot games for Game Boy, so Vicarious Visions made a number of those, which eventually culminated in a Crash and Spyro crossover game. Activision eventually bought Universal, and since Vicarious Visions is also part of Activision, the project quickly came together. We actually have a few team members outside of myself who worked on those early games who are now working on the N. Sane Trilogy, so it has been a homecoming for us to work with Crash again.

Was it difficult to balance preserving the games as they were while adjusting them to accommodate modern audiences?

Yeah, it can be pretty tough, especially considering the size of our team. Everyone needs to be involved in the decision making process over what needs to change and what doesn’t. You also need to think of your audience first, as there are a number of different types of audiences for Crash. There’s a nostalgic audience–I fall into that category–that fondly remembers the character and the experience of playing each game, but we also have a very hardcore audience, many of which still play Crash to this day.

At the same time, we wanted to broaden Crash’s appeal, so we had to keep in mind the new audience that might’ve never played these games before. It was important for us to consider that audience and how they might react to any decision we make. As a result, whenever we made a decision, we had to constantly ask ourselves: “But who are we making this decision for?” In the case of, say, remastering cutscenes, that’s a no-brainer. We remade those to make them enjoyable [to] everyone, but we also made sure to craft those scenes so they could hit the nostalgic Crash audience square in the feels.

But when it comes to factors like each game’s handling–especially on-foot handling–you have to carefully consider the changes you’re making. For example, we worked on Crash’s jump throughout the entire course of the project. At one point, we implemented his jump and thought: “Oh, yeah we got this.” But then we showed it to our hardcore fans on staff, and they’d be like: “Yeah, no you don’t.” At a certain point, we could have capped it off and kept it as it was to appeal to our nostalgic audience only, but we knew that it wasn’t nearly good enough for our hardcore audience. We’d repeat this process over and over again throughout development. It was incredibly important for us to make it all feel good.

What has been the most difficult challenge remaking these games?

As I mentioned earlier, refining Crash’s jump was definitely one of the biggest challenges. The N. Sanity Trilogy is an unusual remaster in the sense that we had only a slim selection of original files to work from. The chief thing that we started with was the original gray mesh geometry for each game’s levels. While that laid a blueprint for how it all should be, we still had to recreate Crash’s jump from scratch to work within the remastered playspace. That took a lot of time and iteration and going back between the original games and their remasters.

But another thing that was very challenging was trying to find the right balance between difficulty and frustration. We knew that would impact the new fans that we’re trying to create, so we would often bring in user testers–people who weren’t Crash fans–and just see how they fared playing the game. A guiding rule we learned from that process was to not change anything unless it was absolutely critical the original challenge of the game.

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For example, we didn’t want to change any of the puzzles in each of the games. However, we would look at how those puzzles were introduced. In Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, there’s a lab assistant in the jet pack levels that shocks you with electricity. But it was difficult to know when that would happen, so we implemented a better telegraph for players to immediately recognize the threat. It was simple changes like that–which don’t change the gameplay puzzle–but better communicate it to the player.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about revisiting the original trilogy and remaking the games from the ground up?

Well, there are a couple of things. First, you learn a lot about fans and how much they love the games. You really have to go back to your 20-years-ago self, and remember that these games were some of the most beautiful games on PlayStation, and that they sold so many copies. The fandom for this series is huge, and it’s not just the folks on Reddit or NeoGAF.

To give you an example, I was chatting with one of my wife’s best friends and she asked me what I was working on. We had finally publicly announced the game, so I could tell her, but she prefaced her question: “Hey, just to let you know, I’m not a gamer. I don’t play games. Whatever you’re going to tell me, don’t feel bad when I tell you I don’t know what it is.” But then I tell her I’m working on Crash, and she responds: “Oh my god, I love Crash.”

The funny thing is that this isn’t an isolated incident. I’ve had this happen time and time again where I discover people who don’t consider themselves gamers, but have fond memories of Crash because of how popular he was at the time. Experiencing this was pretty eye opening to me.

Did you reach out to Naughty Dog during the N. Sane Trilogy’s development process?

We have. Since we worked directly with Sony on this, it reached out to Naughty Dog. Before we premiered gameplay at PSX, Sony took our build of the first Crash game to Naughty Dog and had Evan Wells and a few other folks sit down and play it. They were blown away. They had a very similar reaction from what we’re seeing from everyone else where it’s this sensation of: “It’s just as I remember it!” And that was amazing to hear.

But to hear it from the creators themselves was really validating. They gave us their feedback at that point, but when we showed them Crash Bandicoot 2 and Crash Bandicoot: Warped, they told us that we nailed it. At this point, it feels good to know that they’re in our corner and that they’ve trusted us enough to deliver the goods.

There’s a huge following for Crash Bandicoot. What do you think makes Crash Bandicoot resonate so much with the gamers who played it at the time?

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To me, the staying power a lot has to do with the character of Crash himself. He’s basically a playable, living cartoon, and he has a great personality in how he’s a little irreverent, but also fun loving. He’s this embodiment of what makes cartoon characters so great. I believe people project a lot of their love for animated cartoons onto Crash.

Some people believe Crash Bandicoot is a series that mostly thrives from nostalgia? What would you say to that?

Honestly, I feel like some of that isn’t Crash’s fault. Some of the later games didn’t live up to the potential of the franchise. That certainly didn’t help keep him fresh in people’s minds moving forward, but hopefully we can change that with the N. Sane Trilogy.

Is there an aspect of the series that didn’t appeal to you when you first played the games, but now has become an absolute favorite?

One aspect that’s really is a highlight for me now–and it seems simple, but I’m really excited to to share it–is time trials. Back in the day, I didn’t think as much of time trials, but it was a really smart move on Naughty Dog’s part in extending the longevity of the game. As a result, it was very natural for us to want to include time trials not only in the third game, but in the first and second as well. In N. Sane Trilogy, there’s over 80 levels of time trials for people to play obsessively over and over again. That’s an aspect of our game that our team was looking forward to the most, because now they get to live out their fantasy of being able to complete these levels they know and love, and compete with their friends to see who can run them best.

The time trials seem simple at first, but I feel it’s going to provide the series with some legs. It’s entertaining to watch and turns playing with a friend. It also seems like it’ll translate fairly well into livestreaming and other things like that.

You’ve once said Crash Bandicoot: Warped is your favorite in the series. Why did that game appeal to you more than its predecessors? Had the previous entries not hit the right notes for you?

Well, I do enjoy the previous entries as well, but the reason why that game is my favorite is wrapped up in my history. Warped was my entry point into the Crash Bandicoot franchise, so that’s just naturally the one I like. Also, from a development point of view, that’s where Naughty Dog refined the formula to the point where it was very accessible to a mass audience. I actually started my game development career right around the same time that Crash Bandicoot came out. I had started playing games on PC, so I didn’t own a PlayStation for a long time. But when I did pick one up and started playing Crash, it was quite inspirational to see what consoles were capable of at that time. Vicarious Visions did eventually start working on console games, so Crash actually served as an inspiration to whatever I was working on consoles.

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What’s your favorite boss fight from the original trilogy?

To me, Naughty Dog hit its stride with boss fights in Crash Bandicoot: Warped, so the one I enjoy the most is the Dingodile fight. It narratively sets the stakes so well; he’s about torch this cute penguin, but then you intervene. And once he’s defeated, the penguin gets his revenge at the end. It’s also one of the more mechanically unique Crash boss fights out there.

Could releasing this collection eventually lead to a completely new entry in the series?

Ultimately, we want Crash to return to the mainstream consciousness. We want him to be in everyone’s homes again and to create new fans with this collection and the work we’ve done on Skylanders Imaginators with the Crash Action pack. Would we love to see another Crash game? A new one? Absolutely, but we’ll have to wait and see how this one sells and what the people above me decide.

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Princess Fairy Rush – Pony Rainbow Adventure by TabTale LTD

Princess Fairy Rush – Pony Rainbow Adventure by TabTale LTD Download on the App Store.

Price: Free
Rating: 4.5
Category: Games
Version: 1.0
Created: June 8, 2016 at 03:17AM

> The storm has destroyed the magical rainbow and it’s up to YOU to bring it back! YEAH!
> Join your adorable pony friend and beautiful princess fairy on a journey to restore the fallen Rainbow Towers!
> Collect rainbow pieces in 8 enchanting worlds like Forest, Desert, Magic Forest, Sky and more!

> Run and jump through 8 enchanting worlds and 100 magical levels!
> Collect strawberries and rainbow pieces along the way!
> Personalize your pony with adorable decoration combinations and accessories!
> Play the Daily Spin and earn prizes like surprise treasure chests!
> Overcome obstacles and enemies like bats and wild pigs
> Collect ALL the exclusive Fairy Dust cards!
> Have fun with adorable animations and sound effects

With over 850 million downloads and growing, TabTale has established itself as the creator of pioneering virtual adventures that kids and parents love. With a rich and high-quality app portfolio that includes original and licensed properties, TabTale lovingly produces games, interactive e-books, and educational experiences. TabTale’s apps spark children’s imaginations and inspire them to think creatively while having fun!
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Failure To Fame: The Story Of Arkane Studios

Arkane Studios is a developer that has made its mark in the industry creating games, like the Dishonored series and this year’s Prey, that follow in the tradition of classic first-person immersive simulators on PC. But how did the studio come to be and who are its major players? In this three-part behind-the-scenes video series, GameSpot travels to Arkane Studios to explore the history of the team, the roots of modern first-person RPGs, and the decade-long struggle that led to the studio’s current fame.

Part one gives us a look at Arkane’s breakout hit, Dishonored. Part two delves into the origins of the immersive sims and the genre’s influence on the studio. And the final part gives us insight on how Arkane learned from these early games, its struggles to iterate on its own work, and its hopes for the future.

For more videos like this, watch our GameSpot Studios documentaries on Mass Effect Andromeda and the history of Relic Entertainment. You can also check out our full GameSpot Studios playlist on YouTube.

Part 1: How Dishonored Saved Arkane Studios

Arkane discusses its struggles to find success for 12 years, how Dishonored propelled the studio into the limelight, and helped revive immersive sim RPGs.

Part 2: The Secret Origins Of Arkane Studios

GameSpot tracks down Richard Garriott and Warren Spector, two legendary developers who helped pioneer immersive sim RPGs in the ’90s, to discuss how they mentored the members of Arkane Studios.

Part 3: How Arkane Studios Mastered a Genre

We talk to Arkane about the challenges that came with the success of Dishonored, the problems with making a sequel, how Prey develops the studio’s identity, and where the team wants to go in the future.

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HBO Boss Talks Game Of Thrones Spinoffs And When Season 8 May Air

HBO’s programming president, Casey Bloys, spoke to Entertainment Weekly for a wide-ranging discussion that touched on the Game of Thrones spinoffs and Season 8.

Regarding the spinoffs, of which five are in the works, Bloys stressed that it is very early days for these projects. Of the five projects being considered, Bloys said he would be happy if only one eventually gets made. One note here is that Bloys references four spinoffs in his answer, but author George R.R. Martin has said five are actually being considered.

“I wanted to make sure fans know this is a really embryonic process,” Bloys told EW about the spinoffs. “I haven’t even seen outlines. In the press at large, everybody said, ‘There are four spinoffs’ and they assume that means each one is happening and we’re going to have a new Game of Thrones show per quarter. That’s not what’s going on.

“The idea is not to do four shows. The bar set by [showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss] is so high that my hope is to get one show that lives up to it,” he added. “Also, this is a long-term plan. Our No. 1 goal is the seventh season this summer and getting the eighth season written and aired.”

This echoes what Martin himself said last month, when he made it clear that the spinoffs are not a lot more than ideas alone at this stage.

Bloys went on to say that the epic size of the Game of Thrones universe sets it apart from other franchises.

“You couldn’t do this with a lot of shows,” Bloys said about developing as many as five spinoffs. “The fact that there’s enough material to even contemplate making different prequels is crazy when you think about it. George has all these histories he’s thought about and that’s one reason why the books are so good.”

Bloys also assured fans that whatever Game of Thrones spinoff eventually gets made–if it does ever happen–will be a high-quality production worthy of the franchise’s name.

“I want to make sure that [any prequel] feels worthy,” he said. “We have some amazing writers who want to take a shot at this. They’re also looking at different times in the universe and all will have different feels. This increases our odds of finding one that’s unique.”

Also in the interview, Bloys said basically everything is on the table in terms of format, including a limited-run series.

Switching to Game of Thrones Season 8, Bloys said it’s possible the final season could air in 2018 or 2019. The timing hasn’t been decided yet. “They have to write the episodes and figure out the production schedule. We’ll have a better sense of that once they get further into the writing.”

The ful interview is very fascinating and is packed with interesting insight–read it here.

Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres in July–you can watch the newest trailer here.

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GTA 5 Online’s Gunrunning Update Gets More Details And Screens

Rockstar Games has announced more details about Gunrunning, the next major update for Grand Theft Auto Online. In a blog post, the developer outlined some of what’s new, beginning with Bunkers. These are huge underground areas that look like the main hub of operations.

You can store things in your bunkers such as a Mobile Operations Center, which is a vehicle with a modular design that can include living quarters and weapon/vehicle workshops. Additionally, the drivable Mobile Operations Center lets you upgrade and customise vehicles, one example being adding turrets to a car to make it a machine of death.

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“Weaponized Vehicles are a brand new class to stock and customize,” Rockstar said. “Build a fleet to cover every eventuality: from the ultimate utility of the fully amphibious, canon-toting APC, to a mobile anti-aircraft trailer that’ll have pilots soiling their cockpits across the state. Weaponized Vehicles can also be employed as company assets instrumental in delivering cargo to any drop-off.”

Additionally, you can command your bunker staff to conduct “research,” which takes the form of unlocking upgrades such as weapon mods and a “whole range of brutal tech” for vehicles. Additionally, the Mobile Operations Center can be upgraded.

A series of new images from the Gunrunning update have also been released; you can see them all in the gallery above.

The Gunrunning update for GTA Online launches sometime in June.

In other news, Take-Two recently announced that Grand Theft Auto V has shipped 80 million copies.

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2017 Splatoon 2 World Inkling Invitational Teaser – Nintendo Switch

2017 Splatoon 2 World Inkling Invitational Teaser – Nintendo Switch
The 2017 Splatoon 2 World Inkling Invitational splats onto the scene on June 13 and features Splatoon 2 for Nintendo Switch. Composed of four pre-qualified squid squads from the U.S., Japan, Europe and Australia/New Zealand, the tournament will find teams participating in the first-ever international Splatoon 2 competition.

Splatoon 2 is Available July 21st!

#NintendoSwitch #Splatoon2 #E3

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Please support me here on Youtube! The 2017 Splatoon 2 World Inkling Invitational splats onto the scene on June 13 and features Splatoon 2 for Nintendo Switch. Composed of four pre-qualified squid squads from the U.S., Japan, Europe and Australia/New Zealand, the tournament will find teams participating in the first-ever international Splatoon 2 competition.

Splatoon 2 is Available July 21st!

#NintendoSwitch #Splatoon2 #E3

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The Best Comic Book Movies This Decade, Ranked

27. Thor: The Dark World

There’s been no shortage of great comic book movies released over the last 10 years. Here are the 26 best, ranked by their Metacritic scores.

First: While Thor has fit seamlessly into The Avengers, the character’s solo movies just don’t seem to live up to their hype. The Dark World had the promise of an adventure on Asgard, but it didn’t connect.

The film received a 54 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

26. Man of Steel

While you may be hard-pressed to find someone that’s a fan of Zack Snyder’s DC Extended Universe films–or his dark, gritty take on Superman–at least Henry Cavill looks the part of the titular Man of Steel. Unfortunately, the movie does him no justice.

The film received a 55 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

25. Watchmen

Zack Snyder’s vision of the cult classic comic book isn’t necessarily bad. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly long and too complex for those that aren’t already fans to understand. While it’s a faithful adaptation of Alan Moore’s original story, perhaps it could have been streamlined a bit more for film.

The film received a 56 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

23. Iron Man 2 (tie)

Iron Man 2’s biggest problem is that it follows Iron Man, the incredibly well-received movie that kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Mickey Rourke, fresh of an Oscar nomination, stars opposite Robert Downey Jr. as the movie’s villain Whiplash. Sadly, it all pales in comparison to the first outing.

This film received a 57 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

23. Thor (tie)

While better than its sequel, Thor had way too much backstory, both on Asgard and on Earth, to truly make a major impact. It also leaned heavier on comedy than any of the other Phase One films in the MCU, which leaves it as the odd movie out.

This film received a 57 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

22. Spider-Man 3

Packed with villains, a dancing Peter Parker and the introduction of Spidey’s iconic black costume to little fanfare, Spider-Man 3 is such a strange film. While it was still a box office success–and entertaining in some parts–Sony opted to reboot the franchise rather than develop Spider-Man 4.

The film received a 59 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

21. The Wolverine

It would be hard for a sequel not to improve upon X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Adapting the Silver Samurai story from the comics, The Wolverine moved slowly but told a solid and interesting story in the X-Men universe.

This film received a 60 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

20. The Incredible Hulk

This is the strangest film in the MCU’s Phase One. Five years after Ang Lee’s Hulk, Marvel rebooted the character and recast Edward Norton in the role. The movie delivered better than anyone who watched Hulk could have imagined. Still, Norton was recast in future MCU movies by Mark Ruffalo.

This film received a 61 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

19. Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 just didn’t fit what fans expected of a comic book movie. Director Shane Black brought emotion back to Tony Stark and gave Downey’s character a redemption story as he rebuilt himself, literally and figuratively.

This film received a 62 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

18. Ant-Man

Marvel took a turn with Ant-Man, presenting what was essentially a heist story that just so happened to involve superpowers. It was a nice change of pace for Marvel that opened a new avenue in the MCU.

This film received a 64 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

16. Deadpool (Tie)

The Merc with a Mouth finally got his time in the sun with the dirtiest, most vulgar comic book movie one could possibly imagine. Deadpool wouldn’t fly in the MCU, but he fits surprisingly well in the X-Men universe and proved to everyone that R-rated superhero movies can be successful.

This film received a 65 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

16. X-Men: First Class (tie)

Many fans thought the X-Men franchise was dead after X-Men: The Last Stand. Instead, it went back in time to show the origins of several characters in the universe.

This film received a 65 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

13. Avengers: Age of Ultron (tie)

While the sequel to Marvel’s Avengers wasn’t quite as good as the first, it did illustrate how close the team of superheroes had become since their first adventure together. Unfortunately, crazed robot Ultron didn’t prove to be a worthy adversary.

This film received a 66 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

13. The Amazing Spider-Man (tie)

The Amazing Spider-Man felt like more of a genuine adaptation than the trilogy that came before it thanks to Andrew Garfield playing up Peter Parker’s more humorous side. That can’t necessarily be said about its sequel, though.

This film received a 66 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

13. Captain America: The First Avenger (tie)

It’s one of the most iconic stories in Marvel Comics history, and director Joe Johnston did it justice. Set during World War II, The First Avenger finds the right balance between action and heart while setting the stage for just how grand the MCU would become.

This film received a 66 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

12. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

If there’s such a thing as too much Baby Groot, it has yet to be seen. The second Guardians manages to expand the crazy world set up by the first movie, while also taking the time to focus on developing each and every one of the main characters. It’s the rare sequel that lives up to the first movie in practically every way.

This film received a 67 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

11. The Avengers

Marvel’s first superhero team up couldn’t have gone much better. With a worthy villain in Loki, Avengers gave the team a reason to come together and made use of the cast’s natural chemistry to create a truly special moment.

This film received a 69 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier stands in the MCU as one of the best single superhero movies of all time. With a deeply personal story between Steve and Bucky, dazzling action moments and the destruction of S.H.I.E.L.D., Winter Soldier works on every level.

This film received a 70 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

9. Doctor Strange

As with Ant-Man, Doctor Strange broke the mold of what people expect from comic book movies. Instead of superpowers and storylines bogged down in continuity, it dealt with the mystic and set its hero on his own adventure.

This film received a 72 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

8. X-Men: Days of Future Past

With time travel as a tool, Days of Future Past bridged the original and new X-Men casts, making for a truly memorable experience in an effort to save the world. It also gave director Bryan Singer the chance to fix some of the things that left fans annoyed by The Last Stand–such as the death of Cyclops.

This film received a 74 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

7. Captain America: Civil War

Adapting one of the better modern comic book arcs, the film pits Iron Man against Captain America in a battle that tore the Avengers apart. It also introduced the newest Spider-Man, who was a welcome addition.

This film received a 75 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

5. Guardians of the Galaxy (tie)

The film that showed Marvel they could go outside of the box, Guardians took a little-known comic book team and made them mainstream heroes as they fought colorful alien monsters in space, all to a perfect soundtrack. As with Ant-Man and Doctor Strange, this movie benefits from not having to do any heavy-lifting of MCU continuity. The threads are there, though.

This film received a 76 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

5. Wonder Woman (tie)

Wonder Woman delivers the hope that the DC Extended Universe has been missing. While movies like Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad were dark and gritty, Wonder Woman was bright, empowering and actually pretty funny at times. Will it turn the tide for DC, though?

This film received a 76 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

4. Logan

Hugh Jackman’s final adventure as Wolverine is also the best in the entire X-Men franchise. Taking a cue from Deadpool, Logan leaned heavily into R-rated territory, embracing the violence and gore that are a trademark of the Wolverine comics. That, mixed with newcomer Dafne Keen as a little girl with similar powers to Logan, created one of the most artistic comic book movies to date.

This film received a 77 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

3. The Dark Knight Rises

The final film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy serves as a true ending to that version of the characters, something a lot of superhero franchises never get the chance to do. While there are some questionable choices made in the film–like Joseph Gordon Levitt’s character’s real name–Batman versus Bane proved to be an epic showdown. If only Bruce Wayne was in the cowl more often during the movie.

This film received a 78 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

2. Iron Man

Iron Man, the movie that launched the MCU, is great from top to bottom. Downey is inspired casting as Tony Stark and his journey from egotistical playboy to superhero is riveting.

This film received a 79 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

1. The Dark Knight

It’s been called the Godfather II of comic book movies, and for good reason. The Dark Knight furthered the Batman mythology while introducing a truly legendary take on the Joker, with Heath Ledger embodying the painted madman in a way nobody else has before. This movie set the bar for what a superhero movie could be–a standard that will always be incredibly difficult to surpass.

This film received an 82 on Metacritic.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

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New Need For Speed, Gold PS4 & Shadow Of War Delayed! – GS News Roundup
Need For Speed Payback was revealed, PlayStation Plus’s June free games were revealed and the next Assassin’s Creed protagonist may have been leaked.

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Friday The 13th: The Game Review

When we published our review in progress of Friday the 13th last week, it was after a couple days of playing relatively smooth matches on PC. Since launch day, the PC version has remained our go-to option, but more out of necessity than by choice. On both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Friday the 13th has been intermittently unplayable. Yes, private matches with friends are sometimes possible, but if you wish to join up with a band of strangers online for a bout of deadly hide-and-go-seek from the comfort of your couch, you’re either entirely out of luck or stuck waiting upwards of ten minutes for a match–after days of not being able to play at all.

Developers Gun Media and Illfonic are on the case, providing frequent updates that seem to be improving the situation in minor ways, but for reasons involving platform holders’ patching policies and new bugs that emerge with continued testing, it’s hard to imagine Friday the 13th being anything other than a half-baked experience for the foreseeable future.

Even if servers were up to speed and able to keep up with the purported influx of eager players, you could still look at Friday the 13th and ask yourself if it would have been better off released as an early access game. The answer is “yes.” The dearth of maps, inconsistent frame rate on consoles, laughable animations, and shoddy collision detection are evidence of a game that isn’t ready for prime time.

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These issues are disappointing, but not only on the principle of meeting the expectations of a finished product. There is a good game in Friday the 13th that pops its blood-soaked head up every now and then. Its asymmetrical teenager-versus-supernatural-murderer premise is one that will speak to anyone with an affinity for survival games, cooperative problem solving, and ’80s slasher films. It has great potential, which is why you can’t help but be frustrated to see it left unrealized, if not outright squandered.

A single match lasts 20 minutes, and that time will either fly by or feel twice as long depending on which role you’re randomly assigned to. As a camp counselor, you are set free in one of three maps pulled from early Friday the 13th films, and are tasked with either repairing escape vehicles, calling the cops, hiding from Jason until the end of the match, or killing him–an obtuse and complex process that the game never explains, let alone hints at. If you are the lucky one who’s picked at random to play Jason, your only goal is to kill every counselor that you can get your hands on.

Playing as Jason is without a doubt the most enjoyable time you’ll have with Friday the 13th. As the lone killer, you are essentially unstoppable, and you gain new abilities over the course of a match that increase both your awareness and mobility. Jason can warp from one end of a camp to the other, rush across large stretches of land (think Evil Dead’s encroaching force), detect fearful or active counselors, and silence the haunting theme that usually plays when he’s approaching a target. He will also earn the strength to bust through doors rather than hack them open, a skill that directly thwarts a counselor’s best line of defense: shelter. Playing as Jason is the epitome of a power fantasy.

These shortcomings and ongoing server issues aren’t easily overlooked, and work against what promise Friday the 13th shows.

When caught, a counselor has a small chance to fight back by staggering Jason with a single-use weapon such as a pocket knife or a flare gun. But most of the time, once Jason has someone in his grasp, they are as good as dead. There are several places to hide, which include tucking yourself into an armoire, a camping tent, or under a mattress, but Jason can still find you if the counselor you’re controlling is prone to yelp in fear–an automated process triggered by the sight of Jason. Pick a counselor with a high stealth rating, and you’ll have an easier time waiting out a match from the safety of a confined space. It’s a boring but effective way to “win.”

If you instead choose to escape rather than simply avoid Jason, you will have to poke around every available building in search of items like keys, fuel, and batteries to repair nearby cars and boats. Items are placed at random locations, so you never know exactly where to look. Teamwork then becomes important as you can coordinate your efforts to simultaneously search multiple buildings and report Jason sightings as you go. This is of course assuming that your fellow counselors are not only wearing chat-enabled headsets, but that they are willing to lead or be led at all. Playing with friends makes this easy; playing with strangers does not.

When you are a counselor without reliable comrades, Friday the 13th is typically boring or frustrating. You either hide or wander around cautiously in search of items, or ironically invite death to hasten your progression unlocks. The amount of XP you earn from sticking around long enough for the results screen to appear is unreasonable; you’re likely to earn far more from dying and waiting than actually making an earnest effort to be a resourceful player. XP plays into a progression system that allows you to acquire new counselors and outfits as you level up, so if you want to experience the breadth of Friday the 13th’s playable characters, you might as well exploit–or put up with–the match-based XP bonus early on.

It’s refreshing when the counselor routine is interrupted by being assigned to play as Jason, but regardless Friday the 13th grows stale in short order. Part of this comes down to the fact that there are only three maps to choose from, but numerous bugs and presentation flaws are equally grating. Characters regularly clip through objects, get stuck in geometry, and occasionally end up floating off of the ground, entirely negating their vulnerability.

These shortcomings and ongoing server issues aren’t easily overlooked, and work against what promise Friday the 13th shows. As of now, a week after launch, it’s short on content and performs poorly all around, especially on consoles. The story goes that the developers weren’t prepared for amount of people who wanted to jump on day one, but that does little to assuage players who were convinced that they were paying for a finished product. Despite showing potential that may one day be realized, Friday the 13th comes across as an unfinished game that shouldn’t have been released in its current state.

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Gears Of War 4’s “Biggest Update Ever” Launches Next Week, Here’s What It Adds

Gears of War 4 developer The Coalition has been adding a steady stream of new content to the title since its release, but next week’s update will be the game’s “biggest ever.”

On June 6, The Coalition is rolling out the free Rise of the Horde update, which adds two new difficulty levels to both the Campaign and Horde modes (Inconceivable and Ironman), as well as 20 new Achievements. The update also sees the return of two fan-favorite maps: Avalanche from Gears of War 2 and Rust Lung from Gears of War 3.

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The biggest changes, however, are reserved for Horde mode. In addition to the new difficulty levels, the update adds 15 Horde skills (three per class), along with new Loot drops. Existing skills, meanwhile, can be raised to Level 6 following the update. Season Pass holders will also get a free Gear Pack that contains five of the new Horde Skills, as well as a bonus Horde Expert Pack.

Microsoft is offering a limited-time free trial of Gears of War 4 for both Xbox One and PC players. From June 9-15, you can download a trial version that lets you try “10 hours of free play.” This trial encompasses the first act of the game’s campaign and gives players complete access to the Horde and Versus modes, including the new content being introduced in the Rise of the Horde update.

You can find the full breakdown of features and changes coming in Rise of the Horde on the Xbox website.

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Wonder Woman: Who Is Ares?

Wonder Woman has had a plethora of memorable villains throughout her 70-year career in comics, but none of them is as menacing or powerful as Ares, the god of war. Although the original version was a bit of a comical character, he later became a fearsome foe and at one time, a formidable ally during Wonder Woman’s history.

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The character that would eventually become Ares first appeared in Wonder Woman #1 back in 1942. Back then, he was based on the Roman god of war, Mars. The DC version of the character was created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter. Mars seemed a bit comical and a bit of a doofus, even for a golden age villain. The character continued to go under the guise of Mars up until the mid-’70s where he was called both Ares and Mars interchangeably.

Ares went through a reinvention in 1987 when writer/artist George Perez, along with writer Greg Potter, turned the Roman legionnaire into what we know today–the Greek god of war, Ares. He was a towering and intimidating knight in dark armor, and many times, you could only see his glowing eyes beneath his helmet. The Injustice: Gods Among Us Ares is based on Perez’s version.

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Ares is an extremely powerful god. He is a master of war, strategy, and tactics on the battlefield, so he’s a formidable foe for Wonder Woman. He is immortal, has super-strength and speed and can telekinetically control weapons. His armor is near indestructible and in addition to all of that, he can shapeshift and teleport. He is one of DC’s strongest villains.

While Perez and Potter’s version of Ares was the baddest of the bad, the villain got reinvented, once again, for Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s run of Wonder Woman in 2011. During their 36-issue storyline, Ares was depicted as an older man with a long beard, who looked a lot like Azzarello. The character’s legs were always covered in blood.

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This version of the character was commonly called War. He and Wonder Woman are discovered to be family, following the realization that Diana is the daughter of Zeus, making her and Ares brother and sister. This is a very different version of the character. He is old, beaten down, and plays the role of mentor to Diana. This story gave a lot of depth to the character and made him sympathetic.

Currently, writer Greg Rucka, along with artists Nicola Scott and Liam Sharp, are in the midst of redefining the characters yet another time. Ares was imprisoned after failing to to unleash a virus to fuel his power during the “Year One” storyline. Later in the series, he is reintroduced after coming out of a portal inside a mysterious-looking tree. As of issue #23, Ares is still in chains, but it’s only a mater of time before he’s released again.

If you’re looking for more stories involving Ares, you can check these storylines out.

  • Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals – A reimagining of Ares by iconic creator George Perez.
  • Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang – The story behind the first 36 issues of this volume is a big departure from Perez’s version, but it’s one of the best-written versions of the character.
  • Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott, and Liam Sharp – The 2017 bimonthly volume jumps back and forth between the past and present, and a few stories follow the newest evolution of Ares.

Wonder Woman is in theaters now. Check out GameSpot’s review of the film here.

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Classic Games Offered Through Switch’s Subscription Service Have “New Features”

New details regarding Nintendo’s online subscription service for Switch have emerged courtesy of Famitsu (as translated by fansite Nintendo Everything), shedding some more light on the difference between the service’s “Classic Game Selection” and Nintendo’s Virtual Console program.

In addition to online play and voice chat through a dedicated smartphone app, Nintendo’s new online subscription service offers Switch owners “ongoing access” to a catalog of classic titles, such as Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight, and Dr. Mario, for as long as they have an active subscription. However, it was unclear if this service (tentatively known as Classic Game Selection) would be a replacement for Virtual Console, which allowed players to purchase classic Nintendo games individually, or a different program altogether.

Famitsu reached out to Nintendo for clarification on this topic, and the company confirmed that Classic Game Selection is indeed different from Virtual Console. Unlike typical Virtual Console games, the titles offered through Classic Game Selection contain “new features.” Nintendo didn’t elaborate any further on what these features may entail, but the company did confirm last night that some classic NES games, like the aforementioned Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario, would support online play. SNES titles are also under consideration.

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However, Nintendo still isn’t discussing its plans to offer Virtual Console on Switch or what Classic Game Selection means for the service. No classic Nintendo titles are currently available on the console, though the eShop is filled with a growing number of classic Neo Geo games. We reached out to Nintendo for comment on whether Virtual Console games would appear on Switch, and a spokesperson for the company replied, “We have nothing to announce on this topic.”

Famitsu also confirmed that your subscription is tied to your individual Nintendo Account rather than the console. Multiple users would each need to pay a subscription to access the service’s benefits. You’ll be able to subscribe directly through the eShop or by purchasing prepaid cards.

Nintendo’s online subscription service for Switch will now roll out sometime in 2018, instead of this fall like the company originally announced. Until then, Switch owners can continue to use online services in titles like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and the upcoming Arms for free.

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