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Anthem’s Release Still Considered Early Access, Key Content Delayed

Some bizarre information emerged from BioWare earlier today, as the development team revealed that the studio still considers Anthem to be an early access release and that nearly all of its key content from its initial roadmap will now be delayed indefinitely. The news comes hot on the heels of anticipation for the upcoming new Stronghold release, a move that would have inspired some excitement for a game that has too often been viewed as an exemplary instance of corporate greed and rushed development sinking an otherwise promising new IP.

Anthem‘s struggles are nothing new—in fact, they began in what fans initially believed to be the early access release period that saw Origin subscribers given a full week of play time before other PC, PS4, and Xbox One users were given the chance to join in. Lately, a player-made Anthem survey indicated the dire conditions that surround the game now, suggesting that over half the game’s initial playerbase had already quit the game permanently while a further third were considering leaving if something didn’t change relatively soon. After a flurry of initial Anthem patches saw developer BioWare attempt to stopgap some of the most egregious bugs and missing features, news about the game’s ongoing repair process has been strangely quiet.

Related: Former BioWare GM: Anthem’s Launch Was Tough To Watch

In an update posted to Reddit by Anthem team member Darokaz, staff updated fans on the status of the game as well as the silence that has been a troubling but consistent element of BioWare’s approach as of late. Troublingly, the post indicated that BioWare still inexplicably believes that Anthem is in early access release. The post then addressed Anthem Update 1.1.0, which introduced the new Stronghold called The Sunken Cell as well as a few other quality-of-life changes that have been requested for weeks now. Finally, the update dropped a bombshell on fans—a dramatic number of Act 1 features were being delayed, with little reason other than there being more pressing fixes given. Here’s what’s being delayed:

  • Mastery System
  • Guilds
  • Legendary Missions – Phase II
  • Weekly Stronghold Challenge
  • Leaderboards
  • Some Freeplay Events
  • Cataclysm

In short, nearly everything that has kept fans sticking around and hoping for something better in the near future will be delayed by BioWare as the studio continues to try and figure out how to sort out the cataclysmic mess that is Anthem. While Cataclysm was a huge focus on early content releases in the build-up to launch, its May release window is now being used to simply release information about the feature, which fans still don’t know about. The post also closes out by addressing the many complaints over Anthem‘s loot that have literally persisted since the beginning of the game’s launch, stating:

We have heard your concerns around end game loot. We agree that our loot and progressions systems need to be improved and we are working towards this. When we have more information to share, we will.

Basically, the most recent update on Anthem is that nothing is going right. Now seems to be an appropriate time for fans to panic, as months after the game’s release, the only thing Freelancers have to show for their continued support is one extra Stronghold and the promise that things will get better, just not on schedule. It’s an atonal message from a developer that already needed to do a lot to win back the faith many had placed in its ability to produce quality products, and it’s hard to imagine anything except an extremely negative backlash waiting in the wings for BioWare after the latest Anthem update brings nearly all bad news.

Next: Fixing BioWare’s Problems Are A Top Priority For Studio

Source: Darokaz


2019-04-23 01:04:37

Cody Gravelle

Fortnite Adding Avengers: Endgame Content This Week

The worlds of Fortnite and the MCU will soon be crossing over once more, as an event themed around Avengers: Endgame will be coming to the hit game just one day before the highly anticipated movie officially hits theaters. Fortnite is currently one of the most popular video games on the planet, and it counts two very important directors among its fans: the Russo brothers.

Anthony Russo and Joe Russo are huge fans of Fortnite, and they were responsible for a crossover event between the game and Avengers: Infinity War, which led to the “Infinity Gauntlet Limited Time Mashup” mode, where the players had to rush to find the Infinity Gauntlet on the map. If the player found the Infinity Gauntlet, then they would turn into Thanos, and would gain the power to wreak havoc on their opponents.

Related: Watch Josh Brolin React to Thanos’ Sick Fortnite Dance Moves

There’s another crossover event between Fortnite and the Avengers franchise on the way, as the official Fortnite Twitter account has uploaded a picture that shows a Fortnite character holding Captain America’s shield, with text confirming that the game and the movie are indeed crossing over.

There’s no information yet on what form this crossover will take, except for the fact that some kind of Captain America skin will be available, or that his shield will be available as a weapon in the game. The popularity of Fortnite and the media attention that the Infinity War crossover received means that anything is possible, including a potential mode where the players can use superpowers based on the members of the Avengers in order to take on a returning Thanos.

Fortnite faced stiff competition earlier this year when Apex Legends accrued a huge fanbase, and threatened to steal its market share. The success of Apex Legends has petered out (in no small part due to the slow update schedule), while Fortnite has maintained its massive audience. The fact that Fortnite is crossing over with the biggest movie of 2019 just goes to show the kind of popularity that the game still has, and the presence of Avengers characters and skins will likely see a huge surge in returning players who are fresh from seeing the movie. There’s no bigger name in global pop culture right now than Marvel Studios, and renewing their alliance with Fortnite will only serve to further their continued dominance.

More: Prince Harry Wants Fortnite Banned In UK

The Fortnite and Avengers: Endgame crossover event is due to take place on April 25, 2019, one day before Avengers: Endgame officially hits theaters around the world.

Source: Fortnite/Twitter



2019-04-22 03:04:44

Scott Baird

Sony’s Stricter Sexual Content Rules Could Be An Issue For Developers

The PlayStation brand is enforcing stricter content guidelines in relation to nudity and sexual content in their games, which is a reaction to international responses to the depiction of women in video games.

The PlayStation 4 is the current leader in the video game console market and Sony has often allowed games with sexual content to appear on the system without censorship, but only in certain regions. There are games such as Grand Theft Auto V and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt that featured both male and female nudity, which were not censored on the PlayStation 4 in the west, but were censored in Japan.

Related: The PlayStation 5’s First Details Have Been Revealed

It has been confirmed that Sony is using stricter content guidelines than before, as the Wall Street Journal is reporting (via Kotaku) that there will be harsher restrictions placed on the depiction of nudity in video games that appear on the PlayStation 4 platform. The reason given for bringing in stricter rules is due to a growing international response to material that can be considered sexist, as well as the rise of streaming platforms making it easier for games with explicit content that were made for the Japanese region to be shown across the world. There is a concern from Sony executives about the damage that these kinds of games can do to their reputation, with the #MeToo movement cited as one of the reasons for their concern.

The stricter content guidelines are limited to Sony, as Nintendo is fine with using the standard rating body in each region to determine what kind of content they will allow in their games. Sony’s latest shift in content guidelines is the opposite of Nintendo’s current approach, as the Switch now has games that are less censored than their PlayStation 4 ports. A recent example of this is Dead or Alive Xtreme 3: Scarlet, which doesn’t feature any explicit content, yet the PlayStation 4 version of the game had content removed that is present in the Switch version of the game. Devil May Cry 5 had a brief shot of a woman’s backside censored in the international PlayStation 4 version of the game, while Nintendo only pulls games off the eShop when they almost show full nudity.

It makes sense for Sony to be concerned about the reaction to the sexualized depiction of women in video games, but they also run the risk of alienating third-party developers that might grow frustrated with the extra work that goes into developing for the PlayStation 4. There have already been instances of games being delayed on the PlayStation 4 due to censorship reasons, such as Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal being pushed back in order to remove content from the PlayStation 4 version of the game. If Sony is not careful, then they might find themselves in the same situation as Nintendo did when most of their third-party developers jumped ship to the original PlayStation.

Next: PSN Name Changes Are Finally Coming Later Today

Source: Wall Street Journal (via Kotaku)


2019-04-17 08:04:02

Scott Baird

All Disney+ Streaming Content Will Be Available to Download Too

Disney’s new streaming platform Disney+ will allow users to watch TV shows and movies without even without an internet connection, as all the streaming content can also be downloaded. Disney+ will offer both legacy content from Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, National Geographic, and other branches of the company, as well as new original content like The Mandalorian, Falcon & Winter Soldier, and a live-action adaptation of Lady and the Tramp.

The market of streaming services has been getting increasingly competitive over the past few years. While Netflix still stands tall as the most popular distributor of streaming content, platforms like Hulu and Amazon Prime have been building up their libraries as well, and newer media platforms like DC Universe are also vying for attention. Then there are traditional TV networks adapting to the world of streaming with services like HBO NOW and CBS All Access.

Related: Captain Marvel Will Stream on Disney+ at Launch

Disney, however, has the major advantage of having a massive existing library of owned (rather than licensed) content that now includes all of 20th Century Fox’s assets – such as The Simpsons, all 30 seasons of which will be made available on Disney+. The streaming service will launch in North America on November 12, 2021 and then roll out worldwide, with a complete international rollout by 2021. But if the massive amount of content and the competitive price tag of $6.99 a month aren’t enough to tempt you by themselves, the promise of being able to download content just might.

This will most likely work in the same way as Apple Music, which allows users to download songs to the app so they can listen to music without an internet connection, but have to first be logged into an account with an active subscription. There is no download limit, so users will only be restricted by the amount of space available on their devices. Disney+ will be available through smart TVs, web browsers, mobiles, tablets, and game consoles.

The ability to download content and watch it offline can be a dealbreaker for users who have unreliable internet connections, or who enjoy watching TV shows and movies while travelling. While this is a major selling point for Disney+, it may have a knock-on impact on sales of physical media like DVDs and Blu-rays, especially since Disney+ will be available to watch in 4k.

Disney’s influence in Hollywood has grown enormously over the past decade, with Marvel and Star Wars movies and live-action remakes of Disney classics providing a steady stream of box office smash hits. We’re still a long way off from the launch of Disney+, but already it looks like the company could dominate the world of streaming entertainment as well.

More: Marvel What If TV Series Imagines Peggy Carter As Captain America


2019-04-11 08:04:53

Hannah Shaw-Williams

Space Junkies Review: Top-Quality Gunplay but Light on Content

Ubisoft’s Space Junkies sets the groundwork for a great competition-ready zero-G VR shooter, but a lack of content and character dulls its shine.

The announcer in Space Junkies, Ubisoft’s brand new VR shooter, is trying his best to do an impression of Fred Schneider from the B-52s. Through an overblown, slightly mocking Sprechgesang, he welcomes new players into the tutorial and beyond, a persistent unseen voice goading and guiding, attempting to establish some character to feed the resultant hi-jinks of this zero-gravity FPS, and while it’s a kind of admirable energy, there seem to be more than a few essential qualities missing from this new PlayStation VR game that somewhat under-delivers on its potential.

That tutorial is a good one, though. You’d think that moving around in all directions with a headset on would be frustrating at best and nauseous at worst, but Space Junkies makes that movement enjoyable. Through a combination of directional actions that utilize most of the buttons on the DualShock 4, players can hover vertically, move and strafe around, and even speed-boost straight ahead. The movement is strongly tied to a player’s head-tracking, a system which has seen similar use in other games and works well here, though it may take some time to get used to. Without boosting, character movement is a little on the slow side, but feels stable and sensible, and a few camera tricks help prevent players from losing their lunch, like darkening edges of the screen during lurching turns.

Related: Singularity 5 Review: Fierce Challenge With A Glossy Design

By the end of the tutorial/boot camp level, you’ll feel quite confident in dashing around, taking tight turns, and firing weapons, of which there is an interesting but limited assortment. The Ricoshaker rebounds bullets off of walls, making them excellent for taking out opponents in tunnels or tight quarters, and the Plasma Rifle is a hearty sniper-like weapon which requires charging for maximum effect. Even the simple pistol, dubbed the Sunblaster, has its own quirks, including a snazzy reload action unique from the others. What’s more, any weapon depleted of ammo can be quickly thrown, which transforms it into an incidental grenade, making for hilarious hail-Mary ends to heated fights.

Determining how best to use available weapons in live play will take considerable time, as well as memorization of their spawning locations while you loop around an arena in search of the best picks. In one of Space Junkies’ most original mechanics, players can not only dual-wield these firearms, but actually use both of their hands to manipulate them in certain ways. The Plasma Rifle is a great example of this, where the left trigger primes it and the right trigger fires, though careful use of a limited-energy shield can protect players from crafty campers from an insta-kill headshot.

So that’s the good news: the basic armory and movement abilities are pretty much five stars across the board, particularly for a VR shooter. Unfortunately, though, Space Junkies suffers from a severe lack of content at time of launch, with a small handful of arenas and essentially two simple game modes: 1v1 and 2v2. Furthermore, team play is specifically gated to friends, so there’s no random 2v2 matchmaking available, and if you don’t know anyone else with a PlayStation VR, you’re stuck with straightforward 1v1 deathmatch. The reason for this seems apparent — it’s to avoid potential griefing with strangers, where playing duos means a single teammate could ruin a match for their side — but with a smaller possible player-base due to the tech involved, you’d think Ubisoft might see fit to just let us roll the dice, rather than put up another barrier for entry.

That being said, this sensibility seems to have fed into the reason for the game’s robust pre-match active lobby. Here, players can goof around in a space station and also use the mic to speak to their upcoming opponent, and maybe even possibly make a PlayStation Plus friend in the process. If you want to team up with strangers and experience the fuller and more interesting 2v2 mode, this represents your only method to make it happen.

Matchmaking seems unreliable at the moment, and facing a much higher-level player in your first matches will likely occur. Again, this is probably due to an overall dearth of players who own modern VR tech. Additionally, Ubisoft saw fit to implement cross-play functionality, which is a surprising feature on consoles these days (or, at least, on the PlayStation 4), but it comes at a heavy price in this particular circumstance: Oculus/Vive players have the clear leg up over their PS VR brethren. Since they’ll be using actual dual controllers like the Oculus Touch, they can dual-wield and aim in different directions and even emote with each hand. Sure, the 1v1 and 2v2 match varieties mean this is more understated — an 8v8 match, for example, would give dual-wielders a much greater range of targets to shoot at — but it’s still a glaring imbalance for a game that intends to be played with a competitive mindset.

Still, the DualShock 4 does the job, and using it to aim is certainly functional, and there’s a fair amount of possible precision that, through practice, can feel rewarding in high-tension play. Gameplay will send you spinning around in circles as you hug sharp turns to get the drop on your opponent, and the sense of improvement with each completed match feels righteously satisfying. Space Junkies has a genuinely well put-together sense of mechanics, and there aren’t an enormous amount of games that have unified full-3D movement and gunplay to this high standard.

Graphically, Space Junkies looks about on par with many games downgraded for PS VR. Sacrificing texture detail for higher frame rate was the right move, just don’t confuse PC screenshots for the actual PlayStation results (note that this version was tested on a standard PlayStation 4, not a Pro). For the soundtrack, there’s a catchy bit of music that will inevitably start to grate, as well as that B-52s announcer that just seems like a lazy fill-in to add a somewhat “wacky” feel to the proceedings. Neither audio aspect fits quite right, and feel a little like try-hard additions to inject character where there really isn’t any to be found. Maybe if there were additional modes, like teams battling alien hordes or playing some kind of futuristic sport, these details could feel well-rounded but, as they are, they feel arbitrary and disposable.

Regardless, they also don’t get in the way of the central gameplay, which is genuinely strong and absorbing. There’s reason to believe that more features will be added to Space Junkies as time goes on (there is word that PlayStation Move controllers will see eventual integration in a future patch), and the basic combat is strong enough that it could potentially support a competitive and passionate community. What’s damning is that Ubisoft is asking for $40 for a limited amount of content, and presumably expecting PS VR owners trapped by limited options to simply plunk that money down. If they indeed continue to support and expand upon the game in future updates, they could certainly have something special here, but absent of any promises for a stable community (or AI bots, at the very least, please), consumers should be a little wary when committing to this one.

Next: Smash Hit Plunder Review: A Decent Destructive Diversion

Space Junkies is available on Oculus, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR. A digital code for PlayStation VR was provided to Screen Rant for purposes of review.


2019-04-06 10:04:05

Leo Faierman

EVE Online Has Much More Triglavian Collective Content Coming

CCP Games is introducing several new Tech 2 Triglavian Collective vessels to EVE Online as the developer teases major story beats related to the mysterious new faction in 2019 and beyond. During the keynote presentation at EVEsterdam 2019, the first of many stops around the globe as part of the EVE Invasion Tour, the developer unveiled new EVE Online content and quality of life updates that directly target issues discussed and raised by the game’s community and community representatives (The Council of Stellar Management, or “CSM” as it’s referred to as).

Coming to EVE Online this spring, developer CCP Games is adding three new Tech 2 Triglavian starships to the game – the Nergal, Draugur, and Ikitursa – based off of already existing vessels in the game. Four Triglavian ships were previously unveiled at EVE Vegas 2018. Below are details on the three new ships based on the limited info CCP was willing to share.

Related: An Exclusive Update on the Status of CCP’s Project Nova

The Triglavian Collective are a new faction to EVE Online, announced at EVE Fanfest in April 2018, and introduced into the game a month later as part of the Into the Abyss expansion. They brought to the game not only new Precursor ships, technology, and weapons but also new environments as part of Abyssal Deadspace – the home for new, faster-paced PvE content that’s only going to grow in the future.

For players, Abyssal Deadspace and the Triglavians add another layer to the mysterious lore that’s increasingly becoming a more prominent part of EVE Online, and while many may not have noticed, this faction has been slowly seeded into the game’s backstory for years. The mystery behind them, and other factions like the Drifters, offer a pathway for years of potential content according the devs we spoke with at EVEsterdam who are excited for what’s to come on this front. And for the developers, Abyssal Deadspace lets them play with mechanics, environments, and scenarios that don’t otherwise occur in universe of New Eden.

  • A beefier version of the DAMAVIK precursor ship.
  • It has increased defense from being Tech II.
  • It has bonuses to raise the maximum charge amount for Entropic Disintegrators.
  • It will be able to use Assault Damage Controls.
  • Is based of the Kikimora.
  • Less range than the Kikimora but can use Command Bursts and Micro Jump Field Generators.
  • Designed to be tighter, more vicious, and intense.
  • Is based off the Vedmak.
  • Similar to the Nergal assault frigate.
  • Increased defense from being Tech 2.
  • It has bonuses to raise the maximum charge amount of Entropic Disintegrators.
  • Will be able to use Assault Damage Controls
  • Feels like the Cerberus / Caracal in its design.

In addition to the three ships, as part of the in-game EVE Online story the Triglavian Collective communicated with people of New Eden for the first time, demanding humanity comply with the flow. Speculation has been running rampant for a while and the devs are loving the discussion. Also teased was another mutaplasmid, one that could be health/repair related.

How Big of A Role Will The Triglavians Play in EVE Online’s Future?

Joshua “CCP Fozzie” Bayer, Senior Game Designer for EVE Online explained that of course the Triglavians have “very big role” to play long-term.

“The Triglavians are a major force in New Eden now and that’s only going to grow over time. The details of how that’s going to happen we’re not quite ready to reveal yet although a lot of players are already speculating about that and we’re REALLY excited to watch that speculation. It was great to watch the first players encounter the new location in Abyssal Deadspace that was shown in that Scope. Some players thought it was a bug, some players just got confused because we released it off our normal cadence of release so there’d be a surprise for people.”

Bergur “CCP Burger” Finnbogason, Creative Director for EVE Online, smirked silently when I asked about how important to the long-term the Triglavians and Drifters are, and if there’s still a possibility for another faction down the road. “Well, you saw the Discourse video, you saw Scope, during the keynote. You can maybe put two and two together,” Finnbogason teased while impersonating a maniacal laugh.

The lore being teased and the mystery behind the Drifters and Triglavians are supremely interesting. These two factions alone offers years of potential storytelling but does that hinder the chances of CCP adding other, totally different factions as well? We ask since every time something entirely new gets added to EVE Online we see CCP’s creativity in the designs of new aesthetics, new technologies that come with all-new factions, something some players tell us they want to see continued. CCP Burger:

“It’s a beautiful dance introducing new things versus iterating on existing things versus pulling back and not doing anything – Not not doing anything but more like allowing things to brew and carve out their own place in space. This is something we’ve learned through trial and error, on what point do you seed stories, at what point do you tell people about what we’re doing, at what point do you not say anything and allow the world to kind of brew, at one point do you allow the tinfoil machine to take you to incredible places. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Caroline Star story when the Drifters came into null space. When we were developing that story we were actually listening to the forums and Reddit and Twitch streams, YouTubers, and bloggers. We were reading everything that came in and the fantastic thing is that when we write stories we have a general idea of where we’re going and we know the end goal but how we’re actually going there we let the community inspire us. It’s so fantastic when you open up to this and you get all this input and you can start to lean on a couple of stories and then you kind of move over to another story and you can press something down and elevate other things. It’s a really fantastic way of developing stories and storytelling to have this interactive moment with the community.

I mean, it’s super scary and it’s really difficult [Laughs] and it’s very painful – we have a lot of arguments or a lot of debate – but at the same time it creates such depth and it echoes the amazingness of EVE Online. It’s a lot of humans with human emotions doing human things in a sci-fi setting and why shouldn’t this story in part also follow that form? So it’s the irrationality of human beings and you’re like [whispers] “I could have never thought of this” so there’s a lot of back and forth and sometimes we go completely utilitarian and it’s like “no, our truth is the only truth!” and sometimes we scale back and listen and allow ourselves to be inspired by the community and be baffled by the community. Shoutout to the Discourse guys – that stuff is amazing!

CCP Fozzie adds:

“Yes, I think it’s both true that these factions leave a ton of room for growth and we build our storylines so that It can be evolved over time. Storyline writing in an MMO is a pretty uniquely collaborative effort because often you’re writing story threads that you know may be picked up by someone five years from now, and it might be a different person. We have a lot of secret notes about all of this but that leaves still a lot of room for interpretation for us to evolve in the future. Sometimes we take ideas from players where they would speculate “oh this would be great if this was this, and this was that,” and we make it happen! You’re trying to create something that has enough structure for a really cohesive storyline but also enough freedom to evolve, and the Drifters and the Triglavians are both big parts of that. They’re both story threads that we can use forever, basically, in the same way as the original EVE lore of the Jove, the Sleepers were pulled in. Even in 2003 we had writing about the Sleepers but when the wormhole space was introduced that became a much bigger deal than it had been before.”

Paul “CCP Falcon” Elsy, Senior Community Manager at CCP Games, explains that this lore has been in the works for quite some time:

“This is a storyline that’s been building for a few years now behind-the-scenes. Some of the assets put in the game go back to 2013-14 so it’s been building for a long time, with the appearance of Jovian outposts, that kind of stuff. And obviously, the opening of Abyssal Deadspace. It’s something that’s building and I think it’s going to continue for quite a few more years. There is a lot of content we have and are planning so it’s going to be pretty interesting. I just have to be careful to not spill the beans on any of it!”

CCP Falcon continued, reiterating that we should “never say never” about additional new factions in the future. “It’s interesting to see how these two NPC factions interact as well. There’s a lot of boogeyman in EVE now. There’s the drifters, Sansha’s Nation, and there’s the Triglavians now too.”

More: How CCP Games Plans For EVE Online’s Long-Term Future With New Tech

Source: CCP Games


2019-03-28 05:03:48

Rob Keyes

Nintendo Switch Comics Service Releasing Free Content

A Nintendo Switch comics service is now a thing, thanks to comics subscription service InkyPen. The company has stated it has the intention of creating a “Netflix for comics,” and apparently that goal begins with offering an expansive catalog of content for Switch owners, who will be receiving some free comics out of the deal.

The idea of a Nintendo Switch comics service is a tantalizing one for many users, who already use the device primarily because it allows them to take their gaming wherever they like. The portability of the Switch has made it one of the most successful consoles Nintendo has launched, and it continues to churn out first-party titles that are Game of the Year contenders with a reliability many studios could only dream of. Any service that brings easily-consumed content to the Nintendo Switch will immediately begin garnering attention simply because of the console’s flexibility.

Related: Here’s All The Switch Indie Games Revealed By Nintendo’s Spring Showcase

According to an InkyPen press release, the company boasts “one of the largest” subscription catalogues in the world, ranging from new indie hits to big-name corporate properties that comics fans need access to when it comes to justifying a subscription. The Nintendo Switch comics service delivering free content is part of an initiative from the company to attract new readers, especially because InkyPen has managed to iron out many of the bugs that were affecting its service previously. With “new publishers coming on board in the weeks ahead” it makes sense to give potential customers a sample of what the subscription service entails.

InkyPen also seems like one of the best places to offer a Nintendo Switch comics service because it boasts a more eclectic catalogue than some of its competitors. InkyPen doesn’t focus on a specific genre or region, instead offering a wide range of comics from the United States, Europe, the webcomics scene, and manga from Japan. The company is also making the expansion of the manga section a “main priority,” which makes sense since the Nintendo Switch is such a dominant force in Japan and there’s a substantial amount of crossover between fans of anime and manga and gamers who enjoy Nintendo products.

InkyPen is only available for the Switch at the moment, but the company has also noted that as the service expands, it will support the ability for other user accounts to carry over. There aren’t any other platforms currently mentioned as being a target for InkyPen’s services, but it’s clear the intent exists, and it will be interesting to see how a Nintendo Switch comics service fares. The device certainly seems like a perfect fit, and if InkyPen manages to find success with a newly improved system and some free samples, there’s a chance other subscription based content services begin to consider the Nintendo Switch for their needs as well.

More: Cuphead Coming To Nintendo Switch This April

Source: InkyPen (via CBR)


2019-03-22 10:03:22

Cody Gravelle

The Shining Sequel Doctor Sleep Is Aiming For An R-Rating

Doctor Sleep – the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s sequel to The Shining – is aiming for an R-rating, according to director Mike Flanagan. Just about as long as there have been Stephen King books, there have been Stephen King movies. King’s first published novel, 1974’s Carrie, was translated into a film by no less a director than Brian De Palma in 1976. Ever since, King’s work has remained a go-to source for Hollywood studios, including several franchises. However, while sequels to King-based movies are common, very rarely are they based on actual follow-ups by the author.

The reason for that is simple: King doesn’t write sequels often. For the most part, King is content to let his stories stand alone, outside of the Easter eggs and select recurring characters he enjoys throwing in for fans as a way to establish that most of his work takes place in the same universe. While some notable exceptions exist – The Dark Tower saga, the Mr. Mercedes books – King generally prefers to tell new stories, rather than revisit his old ones. Which is what made King’s decision to release a sequel to The Shining in 2013 such a delight for his longtime fans.

Related: Ewan McGregor Says Doctor Sleep Movie is Faithful to Stephen King’s Book

While most King diehards would be unlikely to argue that Doctor Sleep measures up to its classic predecessor – a novel many hold up as one of King’s all-time best – reaction to the book – which focuses on the adult life of Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor), decades after the spirits of the Overlook Hotel corrupted his father Jack – was largely positive. Now, five years later, Warner Bros. is prepping a film adaptation of Doctor Sleep. For anyone worried that King’s sequel will be sanitized of violence, adult content, and language in order to draw in more viewers with a PG-13, director Mike Flanagan tells Collider that the film will likely be rated-R.

The news that Doctor Sleep is aiming for an R-rating is sure to please both fans of King and fans of the horror genre as a whole. While there have certainly been good horror films made with a PG-13-rating, too often studios are all too willing to compromise a story’s content in order to make it more accessible to a wider theatrical audience. For example, one need only look at the heavily compromised Dark Tower movie, although to be fair, the rating was hardly its biggest problem. Thankfully, with the runaway success of films like and Deadpool and Warner Bros’ 2017 King adaptation IT, studios are becoming less resistant to the idea that a film can be both R-rated and hugely successful financially.

It’s going to be an interesting couple of years for King fans, as 2019 will see both IT: Chapter Two and Pet Sematary hit theaters, with both films also expected to receive R ratings. A Netflix original film adaptation of King and son Joe Hill’s novella In The Tall Grass is also slated for next year, while Doctor Sleep will arrive in early 2020. In the meantime, Hulu’s Castle Rock series is set to return for season 2, while the Audience Network’s Mr. Mercedes show continues to air, and CBS All Access is in development on a limited series adaptation of The Stand. It’s good to be the King, and right now, it’s good to be one of his fans.

More: 25 Crazy Facts Behind The Making Of The Shining

Source: Collider



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2018-10-10 08:10:58 – Michael Kennedy

20 Things Wrong With American Horror Story We All Choose To Ignore

The horror anthology hit TV show American Horror Story just might be the magnum opus of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck. Scarier and more riveting than any of the duo’s other projects, the spine-tingling series features a new theme and characters every season that are all still linked to each other’s universe. From the casting announcements to the series hints, theme reveals, and each season’s unique introductory visuals, it’s riveting entertainment all around. Even so, some seasons fall further off the mark than others, with many episodes barely even registering on the “horror” radar while others left us scratching our heads wondering what the heck just happened.

The thing is, we tend to give glaring errors, plot flops, and other things wrong with the show a pass because we love it so much. From intriguing horror to irresistible characters, from unexpected plot twists to some of the best storytelling on TV, American Horror Story keeps us coming back, not because it’s flawless but because it’s still addictive despite, and sometimes because of, its many flaws.

We might love a character and conveniently forget that he or she is a monster. We’ll keep tuning in even after an entire sequence left us feeling disgusted, embarrassed for the actress who had to play out the scene, or even angry at the creators themselves. It’s just that addictive.

We love it and we’ll keep coming back for me, even with these 20 Things Wrong With American Horror Story We All Choose To Ignore.

20 Some Seasons Aren’t Scary

With a name like American Horror Story, you might expect every episode to be a scream-fest. That’s just not the case, especially in seasons four and five. While there’s no shortage of horror-inducing characters in these seasons, they didn’t really give us nightmares like previous and subsequent seasons were able to do.

Were we jaded from all the mutants, ghosts, zombies, and other creatures in previous seasons?

Both Freak Show and Hotel fell short on promises of terror, often vying for more intense drama (a calling card of Falchuck and Murphy) instead. While we still received interesting stories, Gaga’s vampire and Twisty the Clown just weren’t all that scary.

19 There’s No Reason Given For All The Hotel Vampire Kids

In season five, Hotel, Lady Gaga’s character, The Countess Elizabeth, is a little less fabulous than we expected her to be. Perhaps she couldn’t live up to the Gaga we all know and love already. One of the things that just made zero sense about the character was her propensity to collect children and turn them into little vampires. Does Elizabeth have an old woman in the shoe complex? Is she just that bored? What is the point?

Here’s the thing about kids in horror movies: they add instant scare-factor. Take a look at most scary film kids, from Village of the Damned to The Others and you’ll see the scariest moments. The fact that the vampire kid collection wasn’t even scary was a pretty big letdown.

18 Teeth Fall From The Sky For No Reason

Season six of AHS, Roanoke, was able to recover some of the lost ground from the previous two less-scary seasons but still suffered from the lack of the one and only Jessica Lang. The season saw a return to the haunted house theme, always popular in AHS history, and wove in some new elements, like the whole “based on a true story” theme.  Between Deliverance-like hillbillies and more incredible Kathy Bates, Roanake was much better-received than Hotel, but it had some weird unexplained moments, like teeth randomly falling from the sky.

Not only do the teeth inexplicably fall while Matt is at work, but they also disappear.

The reason why is never given, prompting us to chalk this one up to “random scare tactic.”

17 Queenie Tried To Hook Up With A Minotaur

While we definitely applaud Murphy and Falchuck’s use of mythology throughout American Horror Story, it often makes no sense. Gabourey Sidibe was fantastic as Queenie, the young and lonely witch who gave as well as she got, used LaLaurie as her own personal racist slave, and really deserved main credits billing. But there was that one time she tried to hook up with a grotesque Minotaur…

While the inclusion of adult content is pretty standard in AHS, getting involved with a man who has bull’s head sewed over his own is pretty far out there. It didn’t make any sense, nor did Queenie’s own survival following the incident (or anything else including the Minotaur, really), so we just move along and say that there’s nothing to see here.

16 Zoe’s Hell Is Just Life Without Kyle

Zoe Benson, portrayed by Taissa Farmiga, starts out as a compelling character in the third season of American Horror Story, Coven. She has unique powers that pay homage to classic horror and a long journey ahead.

Tossing in a love interest is a great way to derail a personal growth story.

That’s what happened to Zoe with Kyle, her resurrected boyfriend played by Evan Peters. While we’re glad that Murphy and Falchuck used Kyle to illustrate that mothers can be abusive to their sons just as much as fathers can, “life without Kyle” as Zoe’s own personal hell is really stupid and overly angst-ridden.

15 Aliens In Asylum Makes No Sense

When it comes to American Horror Story, many fans reacted to the inclusion of aliens in season two, Asylum, in the same way that fans of Indiana Jones reacted to the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. For many horror fans, aliens don’t enter the territory without very specific rules, and you certainly don’t add aliens into an already-existing story for a scare factor.

The aliens of AHS also just weren’t scary. Sure, they made Pepper more interesting and gave convenient explanations for a few weird happenings, but at the end of the day mixing aliens in with mutants, a mean nun, demons, and war criminals just doesn’t work. It’s a hodgepodge of plot devices tossed together like a salad with too many kinds of dressing. Sometimes simpler is just better.

14 The Musical Sequences

We get that Sister Jude is losing her mind in this tenth episode of season two, Asylum, but must we lose ours as well? The episode itself was gripping, but watching Jessica Lange sashay through “The Name Game” wasn’t nearly as eerie as it should have been. It played off as more of an homage to the creators’ Glee in a way that didn’t work.

While some critics enjoyed the mind-boggling number, many of us like to pretend it never happened.

It’s not the last time the showrunners implemented a bit of music and dance, either. Season four, Freak Show, featured several ditties, including a rendition of “Come As You Are” by Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson’s “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, and Lange singing David Bowie’s “Life on Mars”.

13 What Happens To Dr. Arden’s Experiments?

The mutants created in Dr. Arden’s horrific experiments are the stuff of nightmares, and they definitely present an interesting side story among the rest of the godawful happenings at Briarwood Manor in season two of American Horror Story, Asylum. Their issue, of course, is that they disappear off the radar without much of a peep.

Once turned into a mutant and taken to a hospital, Shelley, played by Chloë Sevigny as a homage to the many women unjustly committed to asylums throughout history, seems as if she may be able to lead the authorities toward Arden, but alas, Joseph Fiennes’ conflicted yet greedy Monsignor Timothy Howard takes her out instead. We don’t hear much about them afterward. What happened to the mutants?

12 The Messed-Up Historical Figures

Anne Frank was lobotomized by the evil Dr. Arden from Briarcliff Manor in season two, Asylum. Not only does this make zero sense, but it also really does a disservice to Anne Frank’s memory. There is a lot of artistic license taken with historical figures throughout American Horror Story, from Delphine Lalaurie to James March. Even characters used as backgrounds for new characters, like Nellie Bly’s inspiration for Lana Winters, often seems a bit much, especially when the representation is so loose.

The misrepresentation or grand re-representation of historical figures is nothing new.

Our own history books present complete falsehoods about everyone from Christopher Columbus to Paul Revere. Perhaps it’s just so glaring because we acknowledge that now, particularly during an age of “fake news” awareness.

11 The Opening Sequence And Spoilers Promise More Than We Get

One of the most exciting elements of a new season of American Horror Story is always the opening sequence and the slowly-revealed spoilers. Cast announcements and cool visuals trickle in until we finally get to see that first episode with its incredible casting graphics. The creepy opening sequence does much more than announce the cast: it revs us up like the announcer for a really scary joust about to take place.

The only problem is that it often goes downhill from there. While season 1 typically delivered, the casting graphics in seasons like Freak Show were actually scarier than the episodes themselves. That’s a real problem if we are supposed to be watching a horror program.

10 We Have No Idea What Happened To The Pig Boys

They were a successful execution of “the scary children” in a way that the little vampire entourage of the previous season just couldn’t seem to manage, so maybe that’s why Murphy and Falchuck decided to never let the “pig boys” of season six be seen again.

Aside from the fact that the boys could have made for some truly scary storytelling, the problem here isn’t just that they had no deeper involvement in the story than “check out these creepy kids” but that they don’t even have a resolution. Why the kids say, “Croatoan!” and why they drink pig milk remains unknown, and we may never know what happened to the charming little tykes.

9 No Consequences for the bad things the “good guys” do

As fans of American Horror Story, we sure do forgive a lot of murderers, don’t we? When someone bad finally goes good, all of their wicked deeds don’t seem to be as problematic. Even sweet Nan takes out Joan. Misty Day, otherwise a kind hippie, offs a couple of guys with alligators.

Were these warranted attacks? Maybe, but that doesn’t erase the fact that many characters end the lives of others and we pretty much turn a blind eye toward it like we wouldn’t if they occurred in real life. Of course, from people returning from the grave to mutant attacks near an asylum, there’s really not a lot in the show that applies to real life.

8 There’s Really No War Between The Coven And The Voodoo Witches

During season three, Coven, there’s a big build up about an oncoming war between the coven and the voodoo witches of the area. Both are led by powerful women, and who wasn’t excited to see Fiona, played by Jessica Lange, and Marie Laveau, played by Angela Bassett, go up against one another?

While there was plenty of tension and a zombie attack, it pretty much stopped there, especially after the witch hunters came to town.

AHS often builds up to something we’re expecting and completely abandon it for another plot instead. While we get that they want to keep us on our toes, broken promises do leave us unsatisfied and underwhelmed.

7 Zoe And Madison Gave Their Souls To Azaezel And It Never Came Up Again

When the bus full of frat boys who assaulted Madison wrecks, taking out all of the monsters on board on Madison’s whim, it’s satisfying. Even seeing Kyle taken out doesn’t bother some of us, given that we’ve already seen Evan Peters return from the grave before and wouldn’t be surprised if he returned. He may have stopped his “brothers” but he certainly tried to help them not get caught, making him complicit in the attack.

When Zoe and Madison decide to put “boy parts” together to resurrect Kyle as the perfect Frankenstein boyfriend, they sell their souls to Azaezel in order to do so, and yet it never comes up again. Given that both girls bite the dust during the show, shouldn’t that at least be an issue?

6 Roanoke’s Reality Show Inception

It was one of the most pointless plot points to ever be inserted into a season of American Horror Story. During season six, Roanoke, we’re treated to a reality show type of setting where re-enactors help us understand what happened to the Millers in “My Roanoke Nightmare”, an obvious play on so many other popular reality-based ghost hunting and experience shows. That’s an intriguing concept that works well for much of the season, but then we’re hit with reality-ception.

Getting all of the actors and people involved in actual events together for the blood moon event is one thing, but what about the disclaimer that nobody even survived the ordeal? If that’s true (which makes sense, since this is Roanoke), how did we get the footage in the first place?

5 There’s No Point To Scathach

Scathach, the mythical warrior from the Isle of Skye in Irish folklore, is an incredible character. It’s too bad we didn’t really get to know her in season six, Roanoke.

Lady Gaga’s Scathnach has a plethora of powers, is said to be the first Supreme and yet has no real point in the series.

The witch does a few nefarious things here and there, from purchasing souls to rendering people evil and insane, but in the grand scheme of things she has no real point except to serve as one of those random elements of horror woven in to just be spooky. Given the history of the traditional character, it would be amazing to see Murphy and Falchuck to use this as a tie-in for a more myth-heavy season.

4 People Are Constantly Offed Only To Be Brought Back

Character losses in the American Horror Story realm are pretty much like those in any comic book series: you don’t ever count them as permanent. Even when an entire series ends and you believe a character to be truly gone, they may return in another season! It’s definitely not a new tactic to have characters return from the grave; it’s a strategy used in everything from Dallas to Supernatural.

It makes us feel a little more jaded and a little less invested when tragedy does strike.

Oh, Fiona is sick? Oh, Ethel’s not going to make it? It’s too often meaningless. We want to feel affected, and we can’t help but worry a bit because we do love these characters, but deep down we’re always still wondering when they’ll return.

3 Twisty’s “Resolution” Is Basically A Deus Ex Machina

Season four’s big villain, Twisty the Clown, turned out to be much more Bozo than Pennywise. Sure, he was scary-looking, and he had the tragic backstory to boot, but Twisty’s crimes felt more garden variety scary movie than the monstrous panache we’d expect from AHS.

Twisty, played by John Carroll Lynch, even had a disappointing resolution as a character. Not only was he never really sorted out by a main character or a victim bent on revenge, but he was literally yanked out of the show to join Edward Mordrake’s nightmarish troupe, collecting the clown’s soul after hearing his tale of woe.

2 Misty Day Was Unjustly Lost

One of the characters fans most resonated with in season three, Coven, was Misty Day, played by the talented Lily Rabe. Misty’s character screamed Supreme, from her unique abilities to her lack of really caring about the position.

Misty was all about fairness, being kind to animals, and protecting the vulnerable, making her a fantastic character to root for.

Unfortunately she was also a red herring. Falchuck and Murphy offed her in such a terrible way in a Hell made up of her own personal vivisection nightmare, which made zero sense given her ability to bring things back to life so easily. Misty didn’t deserve her ending, but neither did Nan and many other characters.

1 Tate Is A School Shooter

Tate Langdon is one of the most romanticized characters in the history of AHS. The season 1 character is a doting friend, devoted boyfriend who would do anything for Violet, and speaks volumes of teen angst to many a smitten heart. It doesn’t hurt that Evan Peters, who plays Tate, is easy on the eyes as well. Is that why it’s so hard to remember that Langdon is such a deplorable character?

Tate is a school shooter. He took the lives of several classmates and should represent what we most despise and do not condone in this nation right now. He also assaulted Violet’s mother, Vivian, causing her to become pregnant with his Antichrist baby. How can anyone still crush on this guy knowing what harm he’s done?

What other problems with American Horror Story do fans overlook? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-10 08:10:37 – Sara Schmidt

Showtime Orders Season 2 Of Jim Carrey’s Kidding

Just a few weeks after its series premiere, Showtime announces that it has renewed Kidding, the fascinating tragicomedy starring Jim Carrey. In addition to Carrey, the series also features the likes of Catherine Keener, Judy Greer, and Frank Langella as members of the Piccirillo family, ostensibly the people caught in the orbit of the national treasure that is Carrey’s Jeff Pickles, aka Mr. Pickles, the beloved children’s entertainer who happens to be going through a massive existential crisis at the moment, as he struggles with the grief over losing a child and seeing his home life disintegrate as a result. 

While that might not sound like the typical kind of comedy Carrey is known for, it does strike a chord similar to his work on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with acclaimed director Michel Gondry, who is an executive producer on Kidding and also directed the pilot episode. The result is a show with a lot of emotion, a dark sense of humor, and that takes place in a slightly heightened world. It all adds up to one of the more unique series on Showtime right now. 

More: The Man In The High Castle Season 3 Review: More Sci-Fi Action Refocuses The Series

Showtime announced the news today in an official press release that included a statement from Gary Levine, the network’s president of programming. Levine said: 

“KIDDING has established itself as one of the most endearing and inventive shows on television. I feel like I have been watching Mr. Pickles my whole life, and I look forward to being entranced by his unique blend of hilarity and heartbreak in season two.”

The news comes shortly after the network axed I’m Dying Up Here, the ’70s-set stand up comedy drama, on which Carrey served as an executive producer. With that series lasting only two seasons, and with the continuation of network’s long-running Shameless now in question, following the planned departures of both Emmy Rossum and Cameron Monaghan (Gotham), Showtime is in a position where a series like Kidding – i.e., one with big stars – could become a key part to the network’s future success. While it’s questionable whether or not the fates of those other two series played a role in Kidding being renewed for season 2 or not, it certainly seems as though the fascinating, melancholic series could be an important part of Showtime’s lineup for quite some time. 

Next: Titans Premiere Review: Mature Content Doesn’t Make For Mature Storytelling

Kidding continues this Sunday with ‘The Cookie’ @10pm on Showtime.



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2018-10-10 02:10:38 – Kevin Yeoman