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This Week in Gaming News: Fortnite iOS, Remasters and Apologies



Welcome to the first of a weekly column where I look to round up the most important happenings in the gaming world over the last week (disclaimer: I decide what’s important), and deliver them in somewhat bite-sized fashion and top it off with a nice dose of my own opinion on it all. Sort of like one of those Mars bars you used to get in a kids’ party bag, topped with extra sugar. Tasty, right? Then let’s dig in. Here is the top five biggest gaming news.

Fortnite Battle Royale on Mobile is Available to All (Unless You’re on Android)

Bro, you must already know this, right? For those who’ve been in a coma until right this second, I’ll give you 10 seconds to reacquaint yourself with the internet, during which time you’ll realise that Fortnite is everywhere. See? Now, the game being everywhere is literally the case, as Fortnite for mobile left its beta state this week and became available to play on iOS without requiring the chain letter-style invite system it launched with in March.

There aren’t enough thumbs on one human for this UI

Nobody will be surprised to learn that it most definitely isn’t perfect at present – in fact, I’d personally call it a near-unplayable mess of terrible touch controls, lag, and the inability to turn on inverted aim (yeah, I’m one of those freaks). But hey, it’s Fortnite – the game so popular it’s caused disgruntled mothers to go on British morning television to complain that their kids are playing it too much, and disregarded girlfriends to sign a petition to get it banned because it’s ‘brainwashing’ their boyfriends – and it’s on mobile, so anyone with an iOS device can play it during those toilet breaks and commutes where they can’t play it on their console or PC for a few minutes. Because they’re brainwashed don’t you know.

Rare Cancels Sea of Thieves ‘Death Tax’

There are only two things in life that are inevitable: death and taxes – we all know this. But death and tax at the same time?! Come on, Sea of Thieves. Leave it out, yeah?

Oh, they did.

This ghost ship really isn’t as cool as it should be

For those who aren’t aware, Sea of Thieves currently has a very messy, verging on pointless, respawning system. You die, you show up on a ghost ship with other dead dudes, and then you respawn on your ship a few seconds later. It makes being killed arbitrary, but also allows for you to be spawn killed over and over again by dastardly dawgs with nothing better to do (which, when talking about Sea of Thieves, is likely true). To make death feel a bit more weighty (y’know, like death does), Rare proposed a ‘Death Cost’, which was described by the developer thusly:

“Death Cost – This new feature has the Captain of the Ferry of the Damned deduct a small gold fee when you die. Rates are dependant on the cause of death, so the more avoidable the death, the less patience the Captain will have when we enable this feature!”

Naturally, the internet internetted all over this proposal, with the chief concern on forums being that those PvP spawn-killing griefers I mentioned earlier would seemingly be able to drain all your gold in a matter of minutes as you died and paid over and over again. Rare denied this was the case, saying that death to other players would not incur a tax, but by golly if Reddit isn’t a place occupied by people who are hard to please.

So they’re only sorry for the messaging then?

So, the ‘Death Cost’ is gone before it was even here. It shows that Rare are willing to listen to the community, but perhaps also that they were more concerned with how they relayed this to players rather than agreeing that the proposed system is a bad one. It matters not either way, and Rare will have to come up with a different solution to the respawning skulduggery. 2017 was a turbulent year in terms of online games upsetting players, but if Sea of Thieves‘ ‘Death Cost’ reversal has proven anything, it’s that some developers do listen, and that if you’re going to make a game with ‘Sea’ in the title, you should probably expect a little salt.

We Now Know Lots About Dark Souls Remastered

It turns out Dark Souls Remastered isn’t going to be a complete remake like February’s Shadow of the Colossus, but it’s not all bad – well, not until you start playing and get killed over and over again anyway. While the remaster hasn’t had a complete graphical overhaul (who really expected this anyway?), it will feature 4k resolution and 60fps on Xbox One X, PC and PS4 Pro, 1080p/60fps on Xbox One and PS4, and 1080p/30fps on Switch (720p when in handheld mode), as well as some improved lighting and upgraded textures. More in the camp of ‘standard remake fare’ than anything else, then, but that 60fps will make a huge difference in how the game feels and plays. And, yes, it’s been successfully tested in Blighttown – it’s cool, you guys.

We can now praise a slightly prettier sun!

Series veterans probably had a wishlist as long as Bed of Chaos’ arms when it came to quality of life improvements, and the announced changes are impressive, if not quantitative. The main changes of note are:

  • The maximum number of players online has increased from 4 to 6 for even more gank potential.
  • Password Matchmaking is now available, as in Dark Souls 3.
  • 3v3 and 6-player deathmatches have been added.
  • Multiple consumable items can be used at once instead of one at a time.
  • Covenants can be switched at Bonfires.
  • Button configuration is available – switch jumping to the left analog stick, quick!
  • The online network has been changed from P2P to dedicated servers.

The bonfires are much more… fiery in the remaster

There are numerous other additions from less fiddly item-switching mechanics to changes to summoning and PvP healing, and From Software certainly seems to be ably straddling that tightrope of keeping the core game intact and pure (one major change would almost certainly usher in the age of internet fire) while adding minor-yet-important updates. No, it isn’t redone in the Dark Souls 3 engine, but Dark Souls is often cited as being beloved because of it feeling distinct to the other games in the series, and this remaster will certainly keep that notion intact.

‘Middle Earth: Shadow of War’ is Removing Microtransactions

Well, well, well. Look who finally turned up to the corporate apology party. Turns out that when money-grabbing microtransactions are no longer lucrative – or your game has become largely irrelevant – it’s the perfect time to say you’re sorry and take them away. Warner Bros. issued a quite astounding apology this week for all of that exploitation they did, and announced that they were going to completely remove the market from Shadow of War a whole six months after the game’s release.

The official statement reads:

The core promise of the Nemesis System is the ability to build relationships with your personal allies and enemies in a dynamic open world. While purchasing Orcs in the Market is more immediate and provides additional player options, we have come to realize that providing this choice risked undermining the heart of our game, the Nemesis System. It allows you to miss out on the awesome player stories you would have otherwise created, and it compromises those same stories even if you don’t buy anything.

I wonder how many of these Orcs were paid for…

There you have it, a multi-billion dollar corporation apparently takes six months to realise that offering players the chance to skip through parts of their game actually undermines the hard work the developers put into creating it. What an epiphany! That, or they knew all along that they were purposely undermining the system because that’s the entire point of offering players the ‘choice’ to buy Orcs instead of playing to earn them. Either way, it’s finally made a largely-praised game that many people would likely have boycotted into a viable experience – at a greatly reduced price from when it launched. Naturally, anyone who actually pumped money into the game up to this point might be a little cheesed off, but for the rest of us, we can hopefully now appreciate a good game for the right reasons.

Spyro The Dragon Reignited Trilogy is Confirmed

Unlike the aforementioned Dark Souls Remastered, Spyro has undergone quite the visual makeover. Activision announced the remake this week with a new trailer and a release date of Sept. 21st as a celebration of the original game’s 20th anniversary and sweetpurpledragonfirebreath does it look absolutely gorgeous.

Watch this in motion – it’s so smooth

Once again, the chaps and chapesses over at Toys For Bob – of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy fame – are handling development of the 3D platformer, and once again the original games have been remade from the ground up. As well as the improved visuals, the Reignited Trilogy will feature updated controls and an enhanced rewards system.

There’s not much more information announced for the game, but what more do we really need to know? Why not just check out the trailer and I’ll catch you all next week.

Crotchety Englishman who spends hundreds of pounds on video game tattoos and Amiibo in equally wallet-crippling measure. Likes grammar a lot, but not as much as he likes ranting about the latest gaming news in his weekly column.


Fantastic Fest 2019: Second Wave Adds ‘Knives Out’, ‘Parasite’ and More




This year’s Fantastic Fest is shaping up with one of the strongest lineups in recent years and if the first wave announcement didn’t impress you, the second wave of films announced today will have you running to buy tickets.

Wave two brings a ton of exciting new titles including Rian Johnson‘s Knives Out, Bong Joon-ho‘s Palme d’Or winner Parasite, as well as Richard Stanley‘s The Color Out of Space and the latest from filmmaking duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead, Synchronic.

This year, Fantastic Fest will also be spotlighting Mexican genre films such as The Black Pit of Dr. M and The Ship of Monsters—and, the festival will also include a sidebar dedicated to LGBTQ+ representation in genre cinema.

Check out the full second wave film lineup below. Fantastic Fest runs September 19-26. Be sure to check back as we will be covering the event once again this year.

Abou Leila
Algeria, France, Qatar, 2019
North American Premiere, 139 min
Director – Amin Sidi-Boumédiène
In the midst of the Algerian Civil War, Lotfi ventures into the desert with his lifelong friend S., who hopes to find and kill the elusive, dangerous terrorist Abou Leila.

The Antenna
Turkey, 2019
US Premiere, 115 min
Director – Orçun Behram
Somewhere within an unnamed city in Turkey, the residents of an apartment block await the installation of their new antenna as ordered by the central government. No one can prepare them for the evil that will be unleashed.

The Black Pit Of Dr. M
Mexico, 1959
Repertory Screening, 82 min
Director – Fernando Méndez
Two doctors make a pact on behalf of science: Whichever one dies first will return to share the secrets of the afterlife. This pact will not end well.

USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 80 min
Director – Joe Begos
While trying to complete her latest painting, a starving artist facing a lack of inspiration spirals out of control in a blaze of blood-soaked, drug-fueled glory.

Blood Machines
France, USA, 2019
North American Premiere, 50 min
Director – Seth Ickerman
The wild sequel to the Carpenter Brut music video, Turbo Killer, shoots you into a turbulent psychedelic adventure of galactic hunters tracking down the soul of a spaceship set to a killer synthwave soundtrack.

Butt Boy
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 100 min
Director – Tyler Cornack
Writer/director/comedian Tyler Cornack’s Butt Boy introduces us to Chip, a middle-aged man whose first prostate exam stirs feelings deep inside leading to an addiction that can only be shown to Fantastic Fest audiences.

Climate Of The Hunter
USA, 2019
World Premiere, 90 min
Director – Mickey Reece
The “Soderbergh of the Sticks,” Mickey Reece, returns to Fantastic Fest with his 27th feature. Two beautiful sisters vie for the affections of a man who may or may not be a vampire.

Color Out Of Space
USA, 2019
US Premiere, 111 min
Director – Richard Stanley
Unimaginable terrors befall the Gardner family after a meteorite lands on their front lawn in Richard Stanley’s entrancing, horrific adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s short story.

Iron Fists And Kung Fu Kicks
Australia, 2019
North American Premiere, 107 min
Director – Serge Ou
From the Shaw Brothers to The Matrix, this wild documentary tells the story of how kung fu films conquered the world from the 1960s to now.

Knives Out
USA, 2019
Special Presentation, 130 min
Director – Rian Johnson
In attendance – Director Rian Johnson
From acclaimed writer, director Rian Johnson comes Knives Out, a fresh and modern take on the classic “whodunnit” mystery genre.

The Lodge
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 108 min
Directors – Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala
Five years after Goodnight Mommy stunned Fantastic Fest audiences, Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala are back with another disturbing psychological twister about a brother and sister spending Christmas with their shadowy soon-to-be stepmother.

The Long Walk
Laos, Spain, Singapore, 2019
US Premiere, 115 min
Director – Mattie Do
In attendance – Director Mattie Do
An old Laotian hermit discovers that the ghost of a road accident victim can transport him back in time fifty years to the moment of his mother’s painful death..

2014, USA
Repertory Screening, 65 min
Director – Stewart Thorndike
In attendance – Director Stewart Thorndike
After the loss of her child, a young woman begins to suspect that her neighbors might be part of a satanic cult and that she might be their next target.

A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
USA, 1985
Repertory Screening, 87 min
Director – Jack Sholder
In attendance – Actors Mark Patton and Kim Myers
Jesse (Mark Patton) is the new kid on Elm Street and Freddy Krueger might not be the only monster in the closet in this much discussed but under-appreciated queer horror classic.

Austria, 2019
US Premiere, 90 min
Director – Karl Markovics
In a retirement allotment in Vienna, a crabby 91-year-old finds both himself and his humanity when he hires an Afghani refugee to help him in Karl Markovics’ remarkable and poignant third feature.

South Korea, 2019
Texas Premiere, 131 min
Director – Bong Joon-ho
Bong Joon-ho’s seventh feature — about an unemployed Korean family conning their way out of their basement apartment — is a roller coaster ride of laughs, gasps, horror, tears, and perfection.

Belgium, 2019
North American Premiere, 97 min
Director – Tim Mielants
Patrick is not having an easy time. First his domineering father passed away and now his favorite hammer is missing. Before the day is out, Patrick’s search will lead him to discover answers to the questions he didn’t even know existed.

Phil Tippett – Mad Dreams And Monsters
France, 2019
International Premiere, 80 min
Directors – Gilles Penso & Alexandre Poncet
After their documentary Creature Designers – The Frankenstein Complex, French journalist Alexandre Poncet and filmmaker Gilles Penso deliver an in-depth, sad, and beautiful documentary about the stop motion and VFX artist Phil Tippett, a man who changed the landscape of visual effects in film.

The Platform
Spain, 2019
US Premiere, 90 min
Director – Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
In attendance – Director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Somewhere in the future exists The Platform, a vertically tiered prison where the upper levels have access to exquisite food and the lower levels fight for survival. Level assignments are random, but how long can a prisoner’s luck hold? One man is about to find out.

1977, United Kingdom
Repertory Screening, 78 min
Director – Norman J. Warren
Jessica and Josephine find more than their relationship at stake when they’re chosen by a shape-shifting alien as his target for an observational study.

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare On Elm Street
USA, 2019
US Premiere, 100 min
Directors – Roman Chimienti & Tyler Jensen
In attendance – Directors Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen
More than thirty years after its release and his departure from Hollywood, Mark Patton (star of A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge), sets the record straight on the famously queer horror sequel in this fabulous, surprising, and eye-opening documentary.

The Ship Of Monsters
Mexico, 1960
Repertory Screening, 81 min
Director – Rogelio A. González
Two Venusian women and their robot servant are on a mission to find suitable candidates to repopulate their planet. Soon their ship is filled with bizarre specimens from across the universe, leading to an adventure like no other!

USA, 2019
US Premiere, 96 min
Directors – Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead
In attendance – Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead
Two paramedics find their world ripped apart when they start encountering deaths linked to the otherworldly effects of a new designer drug called Synchronic.

Trampa Infernal
Mexico, 1989
Repertory Screening, 77 min
Director – Pedro Galindo III
In Mexico’s most notorious unseen video-era masterblast, a crew of toxically masculine bear murderers runs afoul of a forest-dwelling war veteran wearing a mannequin mask and Freddy Krueger glove. Entertainment ensues!!

The True Adventures Of Wolfboy
USA, 2019
North American Premiere, 88 min
Director – Martin Krej?í
Suffering from hypertrichosis — which covers him with animal-like fur — Paul knows he’s not like other kids. But a seemingly random package from his estranged mother will send him on a journey of self-discovery alongside extraordinary characters.

The Vast Of Night
USA, 2019
Texas Premiere, 90 min
Director – Andrew Patterson
A rural 1950s radio DJ and a telephone operator uncover a strange signal that could change everything in this stunning science fiction debut feature.

USA, 2019
World Premiere, 92 min
Director – Joe Begos
In attendance – Director Joe Begos
In the near future, a new drug called Hype has turned America into a war zone. The addicted are more mutant than human, and they’ve set their sights on assaulting a VFW post in Joe Begos’ star-studded latest.

USA, 2019
World Premiere, 71 min
Director – Jack Henry Robbins
In attendance – Director Jack Henry Robbins
This bizarre retro comedy, shot entirely on VHS and Beta, takes us back to when 12-year-old Ralph, over one formative week, mistakenly records home videos and his favorite late night shows over his parents’ wedding tape.

Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, 2019
US Premiere, 98 min
Director – Lorcan Finnegan
When young couple Gemma (Imogen Poots) and Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) drive out to a maze of temptingly affordable houses in the suburbs, they find themselves unable to leave.

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Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Antlers’ Gets a Mysterious Trailer




Fox Searchlight has released the first trailer and poster for Antlers, a rural horror film about a small-town Oregon teacher (Keri Russell) and her brother (Jesse Plemons), the local sheriff, who discover that a young student (Jeremy T. Thomas) is harboring a dangerous secret that places the entire town in danger.

Director Scott Cooper and producer Guillermo del Toro have teamed to adapt a short story from Nick Antosca, the creator of the criminally underrated horror anthology series Channel Zero. Not much is yet known about Antlers other than Fox Searchlight, now owned by Disney, has scheduled the film for a 2020 release. Rounding up the main cast is Graham Green, Amy Madigan, Scott Haze and Rory Cochrane. Watch the trailer below.

Antlers Movie
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Be Excellent to Each Other with these Awesome ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ Figures

“History is about to be rewritten by two guys who can’t spell.”




Since its release in 1989, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure inspired a sequel (Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey), a Saturday morning cartoon, a comic book series, and launched actor Keanu Reeves into movie stardom. And now, three-plus decades later, Bill and Ted are getting their own scale collectible set courtesy Sideshow and Blitzway.

This is your chance to own the friendly duo in one go! The work put into creating these high-end figures is truly astounding as the figures capture the look of a young Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves just as we remember them. If you have $399 to spend, they can be all yours.

Check out the photos below along with the official press release.

Bill and Ted are two high school buddies who dream of becoming international rock stars. Their hilarious time travel adventure is depicted in the amazingly audacious comedy Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

It’s like having them pop up right in front of you, with their iconic fashion and elaborate accessories. Besides, the iconic props are designed to let you reproduce a variety of wonderful scenes from the movie.

Be excellent to each other and travel to the past through the exciting story of Bill and Ted!

The Bill & Ted Sixth Scale Collectible Set specially features:

Highly detailed likeness of Alex Winter as Bill S. Preston Esq.
Highly detailed likeness of Keanu Reeves as Ted “Theodore” Logan
Newly designed and developed male body with over 30 points of articulations and flexible soft arms
Two (2) Newly designed and developed figure stands
Twelve (12) interchangeable hands (total for both) including:
Two (2) pairs of guitar hands
Two (2) right blow fist hands
Two (2) pairs of open hands
Two (2) right good fortune hands

Costume for Bill:

One (1) purple pattern shirt
One (1) graphic t-shirts
One (1) pair of blue jeans
One (1) pair of pattern underpants
One (1) pair of striped socks
One (1) pair of canvas shoes

Costume for Ted:

One (1) blue jacket
One (1) black vest
One (1) graphic t-shirt
One (1) pair of graphic shorts
One (1) pair of inner training pants
One (1) pair of striped socks
One (1) pair of canvas shoes

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Watch the Creepy Trailer for ‘Little Nightmares 2’: Six is Back and She has Help.




One of the biggest surprises to come out of Gamescom 2019 so far is the announcement of Little Nightmares 2, the sequel to the puzzle-platformer hit horror game developed by Tarsier Studios.

While the first Little Nightmares has you take control a character named Six while avoiding instant death as she traverses alone amongst the depths of a dungeon, the sequel will give her a companion named Mono, who must accompany Six throughout her terrifying new journey.  

Little Nightmares was one of our favorite games of 2017 and so we can’t wait to get our hands on the sequel. In our review, James Baker wrote, “Tarsier Studios have created a wholly original concept to a horror genre that has leaned more towards thriller before anything else, bringing its roots back without relying on jump-scares and needlessly-gory shocks. Just like hide-and-seek, Little Nightmares captures the fear of being caught, albeit in a creepy, macabre style.”

Little Nightmares 2 will be released sometime in 2020 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.

Watch the trailer below and if you are a fan of the first game, we recommend reading this article that dives deep into the meaning behind Little Nightmares.

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NBA 2K20’s Story Mode Gets a Stunning Trailer




NBA 2K19 features to date, its strongest MyCareer mode with the aptly titled, “The Way Back”, a fascinating look at the culture behind college basketball recruiting. The story mode was well received by critics and fans everywhere and in our review, we called it, “an incredible achievement that conveys the fabric of modern American life, aspirations and incidentally, sports, in close-up and at length”.

NBA 2K20 which will be released in less than a month, promises to include an even better story mode, and while we haven’t played the game yet, we have plenty of reasons to think it might be. Not only does it feature an all-star cast with top-tier talents such as Idris Elba and Rosario Dawson, but the story mode – entitled “When the Lights Are Brightest” – is being produced by LeBron James’ Springhill Productions, the same company behind the upcoming Space Jam 2.

NBA 2K20’s latest trailer, which debuted Monday during Microsoft’s Inside Xbox show live from Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, give us a good idea of what to expect. We get a glimpse at Idris Elba and Rosario Dawson in action as well as the rest of the supporting cast which includes Thomas Middleditch, Mark Cuban, Ernie Hudson, Lamorne Morris, Scottie Pippen, and Jaleel White!

The NBA 2K20 demo will go live on Wednesday, Aug. 21 and will allow players to create a character and get a head start on MyCareer. Any progress made will carry over to the full game, which will be released Sept. 6 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.

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