Friday, November 22, 2019

Something we can all agree on? Less Affleck Batman, more Batman...

I didn't know I needed this in my life, but here we are. Fellow Batmanfans, are you a bit bummed after the critical flop that was last month's Justice League movie? Tired of Ben Affleck taking to the press to waffle again and again on whether he'll do a standalone caped crusader flick? Well this week, the animation arm of DC threw us all a frickin' bone. Coming in 2018, Batman Ninja is set to be the first theatrically-released full-length anime film in the Dark Knight's repertoire. Well, theatrically-released in Japan, that is. But a new English-subtitled version of the trailer release Friday hints that some kind of North American release (be it in theaters, VOD, Blu-ray, or via streaming service) will eventually come, saving us all from Affleck angst. (credit: WB / DC Animation) Takashi Okazaki (Afro Samurai) handled the character design, and the first glimpse of the Joker should make any Gotham fan ecstatic. The trailer offers quick looks at all the gang..

Doom VFR review: A rip-and-tear delight… but only on the right...

Enlarge / In screenshot mode, Doom VFR looks a lot like normal Software/Bethesda reader comments 2 Share this story Game detailsDeveloper: id Software Publisher: Bethesda Platform: PSVR, HTC Vive Release Date: December 1, 2017 ESRB Rating: M for Mature Price: $30 Links: Steam | Official website The first time I ever tested a modern VR headset, I played Doom. My 2013 PAX West demo came courtesy of Oculus executive Brendan Iribe, who put a duct-taped, unfinished VR headset over my eyes before booting a modified version of Doom 3. Almost instantly, I praised the immersion. I oohed and ahhed at my ability to rapidly turn my head to line up demon-killing buckshot. I appreciated the lighting and perspective tricks used to convey how much chaos was going on all around me. There really was nothing like it at the time. Oculus continued demonstrating this build of Doom 3 at other events to drum up excitement for its eventual headset, a fact not lost on the folks who happened to own the..

Water remains wet, Netflix renews its mega-hit Stranger Things for S3

Netflix As expected as Will Byers having a supernaturally bad day, Netflix officially announced it's renewing Stranger Things for a third season today. The confirmation came via Twitter, after Netflix ran a surprisingly close (though always tongue-in-cheek) poll about appetite for another trip to Hawkins, Indiana. Who are these monsters that want less Steve and Dustin in their lives? TV renewals generally depend on things like cost of production and ratings returned, but Netflix's non-traditional business model makes those decisions less obvious for onlookers. Still, the overwhelming popularity of Stranger Things (it's a 94 on Rotten Tomatoes, earned five Emmys for S1, and warmed even our sequel-skeptical hearts this fall) made this a matter of when and not if. Series creators the Duffer Brothers have always maintained in interviews that they had a multi-season story to tell, though this fall they've been vaguer than before as to whether that's a four- or ..

“Safe Mode” lets you explore Soma’s horror without risk of death

In "Safe Mode," you only have to worry about the philosophical implications of this horrible Soma monsters, not the risk of death. reader comments 19 Share this story Developer Frictional Games has announced a new "Safe Mode" for 2015's Soma, intended to keep the title's horror atmosphere while removing the risk of in-game death. Much like previous player-created mods like "Wuss Mode," Safe Mode will leave the game's monsters and puzzles intact. But while the Wuss Mode mod simply made players immune to damage, the official Safe Mode will also change the in-game monsters' behavior while protecting players from harm. "Our goal has been for Safe Mode to not feel like a cheat, but for it to be a genuine way of experiencing the game," the developers wrote in an announcement. "So we’ve considered what each creature should be doing, given their appearance, sound, and voice." In Safe Mode, players will no longer have to sneak past enemies stealthily, but "monsters might ..

Mobile mindfulness: An unscientific review of the Headspace meditation app

EnlargeHeadspace reader comments 2 Share this story It's hard to anticipate stressful times in life before they happen. Sometimes you have an inkling before the storm hits; other times, the storm beats against your door before you have any chance to react. The latter happened to me a few months ago, with personal and professional situations looming over me at every turn. While I have never been clinically diagnosed with anxiety, I knew I had only experienced stress like this a couple of times in my life. My anxiety was getting the best of me and, for a period of time, had turned me into someone even I wouldn't want to hang out with. Meditation has been touted as an effective way to manage stress, so I turned to the Headspace meditation app in an attempt to get control of my own mind. Headspace is one of the most popular mobile meditation apps available today, and, although I was skeptical about meditation in general, I decided to give it a shot. Adding meditation to my dail..

Destiny 2’s Ghost is actually an Amazon Alexa speaker and skill...

Enlarge / A Ghost, but IRL.Amazon reader comments 13 Share this story From the Power Glove to Fallout 4's real-life Pip Boy, gamers have been pitched a lot of ridiculous hardware over the years. The Destiny 2 Ghost Alexa speaker and accompanying Alexa skill are no less ridiculous. The skill, which also works on other Alexa-enabled speakers, allows Destiny 2 players to ask questions like, "Who are the Red Legion," or "What should I do next?" and get answers back in the same voice they hear in the game. Amazon and game publisher Activision claim there are more than 1,000 lines to hear. Listed functions include telling you more about the game's lore, identifying your next activity, changing your equipped gear, or inviting other players to group with you. As far as we're aware, it's the first Alexa skill to connect directly into an online game. Further ReadingBungie opens up about Destiny 2 changes after hidden “scaling” debacle When Ars' Sam Machkovech tried the..

Bungie opens up about Destiny 2 changes after hidden “scaling” debacle

Enlarge / Bigger weapons and clearer XP gains are coming to Destiny 2, along with private competitive matches. reader comments 19 Share this story Further ReadingDestiny 2 misrepresented XP gains to its players until the devs got caughtOver the Thanksgiving weekend, intrepid player-investigators caught Bungie misleading players about how much experience they were actually getting for repeated quests in the game. In the wake of that embarrassing revelation, Bungie last night posted a lengthy "State of Destiny 2" development post promising to be "more open" about the game's systems and offering a detailed roadmap of upcoming changes. "Our team has been reading feedback and working on updates to improve the game," Design Director Luke Smith and Game Director Christopher Barrett wrote in the post. "We’ve also been reading some tough criticism about our lack of communication, and we agree we need to be more open... We know it’s frustrating when there isn’t enough of a dialog with the ..

The race to human-powered robot athletes is already underway

Enlarge / Meet Prosthesis, just your ho-hum giant mech racing thing.Jonathan Tippett / Furrion reader comments 1 Share this story If Jonathan Tippett had his way, the Olympics of the future would showcase more than mere humans—he foresees human-powered robot athletes, too. And at a Toronto tech event this July, the Canadian mechanical engineer asked us to imagine racing events where pilots would embed themselves in massive exo-bionic mechs. Think of it as a pimped-out version of the dual-arm power loader Ripley donned in Alien or maybe the setups now familiar to Titanfall competitors. We didn’t have to imagine for long. Tippett soon showed off the first entrant into this idea of mech racing, and the gasps made their way around the room quickly. Tippett had introduced us to Prosthesis, an electric-powered, 8,000-pound, 15-foot-tall exo-bionic platform that amplifies the motions of the pilot sitting within a cockpit in the middle of the mech. Built from chromoly steel, Prosthesis can po..

The entire freaking gang is here in first Avengers: Infinity War...

EnlargeMarvel Studios reader comments 35 Share this story Unsurprisingly, this holiday season of movies has been met with the first-ever trailer for the most anticipated summer blockbuster of 2018: Avengers: Infinity War. If Wednesday's trailer is any indication, we'll have to wait for a continued trickle of information to see what the heck will happen in the movie, but for now, at least we know that roughly 40 gazillion Marvel characters will be in this one. Also, none of them appears to be happy. Avengers: Infinity War's premiere trailer. Scarlett Witch and Vision get closest with a calm, moonlit embrace. Otherwise, every Marvel character in the trailer is either writhing in pain, staring intently, or charging into battle. The full cast of both Avengers films can be seen here, with the exception of Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye being conspicuously absent from the trailer. Black Widow has gone blonde, and to show her up, Captain America opts for a beard. Show-off. (We ..

EA on cosmetic game items: “You probably don’t want Darth Vader...

EnlargeAurich / Gentle Giant reader comments 35 Share this story Further ReadingAfter fan outcry, EA kicks real-money purchases out of Battlefront IIEarlier this month community furor over perceived "pay-to-win" elements in Star Wars: Battlefront 2 led EA to temporarily pull microtransactions from the game entirely. But those community complaints wouldn't apply to the kind of cosmetic mictrotransactions seen in many other online multiplayer games, which offer new costumes or visual flair without directly affecting gameplay. EA CFO Blake Jorgensen says those kinds of offerings probably aren't in the cards for Battlefront 2, though, because of EA and LucasArts' focus on "not violating the canon of Star Wars." In a presentation at the Credit Suisse Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference yesterday, Jorgensen said that "cosmetic things" in Battlefront 2 are difficult to pull off without messing up a brand "that has been built over many, many years.... Darth Vader in whit..

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