If you follow Pokemon at all then you're likely aware that a new movie was recently released in Japan that's a CGI remake of the original Pokemon movie appropriately titled Pokemon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back. I hadn't heard much more about an English release until today when I happened to notice a new trailer dropped on the Pokemon Facebook and YouTube pages. The movie will be called Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution and...well, if you've seen the first movie then you already know what's going to happen. This is literally a CGI remake of the first movie and most of what is shown in the trailer fans will likely remember from the original. I'm sure some things will be a bit different and it won't be a literal shot-for-shot and word-for-word remake, though I really hope they keep Ash's line about vikings mostly living in Minnesota. While I'm still on the fence about the CGI in the movie, I'll likely see it at some point.
Can't get enough of The Walking Dead? Wish you could experience the perils of a decivilized society?
I've got great news for you.
Skydance Interactive has released an all-new behind-the-scenes look at their upcoming VR game, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners.
The below video showcases the various ways to approach survival in the game, including transforming resources into food, being cognizant of the supplies you carry in your backpack, and crafting an array of weapons to use against the walkers.
Saints & Sinners is set in the flooded remains of New Orleans (man, that city can't catch a break). Like previous Walking Dead games, the freedom of choice is a heavy influencer on gameplay.
Saints & Sinners will be available on 1/23/2020 on Oculus Rift, Rift S, Quest (via Link cable only), HTC Vive, Cosmos, Valve Index, and various WindowsMR headsets.
iBuyPower this year not only had some great computer setups, but they're moving into a new space with colored lighting.
With Intel announcing the Ghost Canyon Nuc, iBuyPower had their take on a small form factor case. The Revolt GT3 measures just 15'9" x 6.5" x 8.7". The panels are held on to the side by magnets so they can easily be changed out. iBuyPower will have both mesh and tempered glass panels for you to use. With the mesh panels, they are concave so you can put them facing in to have a sleek case, but you can also reverse them to allow more room in the case to add say a hard drive or fans.
Inside, a frame holds all the components that can easily slide out for you to tinker with. One side holds the Ghost Canyon NUC and power supply while the other side will house the graphics card. What's nice about the internal frame is it's kind of suspended inside the outer frame by rubber supports so it gives a little bit of protection to the internals, which is important for when iBuyPower ships systems to help decrease the chances of it being damaged in transport.
iBuyPower will have both an iTX motherboard and as I mentioned earlier, the Ghost Canyon NUC. For those wanting to get the Ghost Canyon version, it'll come with a power supply because there's a proprietary cable for that.
They are looking at around April for Revolt GT3 systems to be available.
Two water cooling setups were shown in the booth. The Element Duel case features a split design where the motherboard and expansion components face out one side and the other half houses your hard drives and power supply. Tempered glass on the front and side lets you see inside the chassis pretty easily and you can admire the custom bends in the water cooling that you can do with this case.
iBuyPower will sell this in both custom builds and the case only so you'll have the ability to just pick up the chassis and put in your own components on this one.
Now, when doing water cooling, iBuyPower figures there's about a $500 premium to build and ship these systems. There's a lot that goes in to protecting everything in transport. With the Element CL, they're looking to knock that premium down to roughly $100. There's a large reservoir in the front of the case and as you can see in the pictures, there's only a single 90 degree bend from the components to the reservoir. This cuts down a lot of time as they aren't doing many custom bends in the tubes.
Another way they are cutting down costs and making it more solid is they use shark bite fittings. Inside the connectors are these teeth that grip onto the tub making a solid connection that you can almost hang on. The tube will break before the connector slides off. To take the fitting off, you pull down on a ring that releases the teeth. No more twisting so putting these together should be a lot quicker.
So the design of the Element CL and the parts used, iBuyPower will look to streamline the prebuilds of water cooled systems and help consumers save some money as well.
I'm a fan of the companies' Snowblind cases with the transparent LCD screens on the side and at CES 2020, they showed off their next iteration of it. It uses the same panel as last year and it's the same split design as the Element Duel. It also has that updated pogo pin connector that was shown last year so taking off the panel and putting it back on is a breeze.
Finally, iBuyPower is moving into the smart home space with a set of smart lights. The first setup I saw had these long oval shaped colored lights that'll come in a three or five pack for $149 and $299 respectively. Place one on each side of your TV, one behind the TV, and two behind you and get a sort of surround lighting effect.
You can use the app to customize how you want to lights to look from color to brightness and you can even have the lights examine what's on the TV and mimic the color for that side of it.
They also had a square overhead light design but it’s something they're just thinking about right now. Hanging lights on the ceiling is a lot more work than just doing it on the walls so iBuyPower will have to think about good ways to engineer the square one to allow for easy hanging and making sure it safely stays that way.
Overall, iBuyPower has some really good cases and lighting options coming for 2020.
Razer's annual appearance at CES provided some looks at some of their upcoming 2020 products and maybe beyond. They always seem to have something there that tries to wow folks and their E-racing Simulator seems to be the product this year.
Partnering with Vesaro, Simpit, Fanatec, and Synthesis VR, this beast of a setup looks to give racing enthusiasts everything they need to be fully immersed in the game. The main display is a 128", 202 degree projection system designed to make you feel like you are in the middle of the action. Short of wearing a VR helmet, this should give you plenty of viewing space around you when you race.
A high quality Fanatec racing wheel gives you accurate controls with plenty of buttons at your fingertips. The anodized aluminum and carbon fiber wheel exudes quality and the wheel is wrapped in leather for a comfortable grip. I've never used a Fanatec wheel, but I've heard many great things about them.
With hydraulics, you feel the action. The harness can tighten up, simulating G-forces as you turn. That's pretty awesome.
Of course, this is a concept and who knows if it'll ever come to market, but Razer looks like it has a pretty slick setup here if they ever decide to sell this.
Going over the more affordable tech, there's a new Razer Kishi controller for mobile gamers. Previous mobile controller releases in the Junglecat were made for certain phones. Now Razer has a universal one that will fit all phones.
Control wise, the layout is similar to an Xbox One controller with clickable thumbsticks on the upper left and lower right of the setup.
Instead of Bluetooth, the Kishi will use a USB or Lightning connector to ensure low latency response, which I enjoy. The setup reminds me of Gamevice, which we reviewed and who Razer is partnering with on this device. There's also a pass through for charging, which is great since gaming on a mobile device can drain a battery mighty quick. When I asked the Razer person at the display what the difference between this and the Gamevice device was, she wasn't able to tell me so we'll have to see when it's released if there is some differences. I liked the Gamevice except for the D-Pad. Let's hope Razer's Kishi fixes that. Expect the Razer Kishi in early 2020.
I'm a fan of small form factor computers and Razer's going in on an Intel build called the Razer Tomahawk Gaming Desktop.
The setup isn't as small as say a A4-SFX DAN case, but it's still pretty compact. It's got a vent opening at the top for hot air to escape and tempered glass on both sides to show off your internals. If you want to get inside and tinker around or exchange components, the rear unlocks and slides out giving you access to the system.
Inside houses an Intel Core-i9 processor, 64GB of ram, a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super, and an SSD. It was made for the Intel's Ghost Canyon NUC that was announced at the show as well.
The Razer Tomahawk Gaming Desktop should be out sometime in the first half of 2020.
Well this was a pleasant surprise. As reported by Hollywood Reporter, WB has announced that Mortal Kombat will be getting a brand new animated movie titled "Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge". No release date was announced but is planned to be released in the first half of this year.
The film will be directed by Ethan Spaulding (Batman: Assault on Arkham, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis) The script will by Jeremy Adams (Supernatural, Teen Titans Go! vs. Teen Titans)
Here is the announced cast so far
Doom Eternal is only a scant two months away and Bethesda and Id Software are finally pulling back the curtain to stoke the hype. Youtube documentary series Noclip previously did a fairly exhaustive look at Doom 2016's lengthy development history, and now they're back to discuss Eternal in a podcast with the game's director, Hugo Martin.
I know a lot of fans were salty about the game's delay from October 2019 to March 2020 (I certainly was) but now we have a clearer picture as to why: the game needed some serious balancing. Hugo Martin is candid about how the Doomslayer's new abilities like the flamethrower and meathook gauntlet let players breeze through enemies, which robbed the game of challenge and suspense at any difficulty level.
Hugo and his team had to take a hard look at the combat puzzle they created and make the demons much smarter and more ruthless, to keep players thinking on their toes. He goes into detail on some of the new abilities and counters the classic monsters have to really push players to strategize and use every weapon and ability at their disposal. It's well worth a listen, but be aware there's some salty language in there.
Doom Eternal arrives March 20th, come Hell or high water.
When Doom and Doom II came to consoles last year, it's fair to say it wasn't the cleanest of ports. Music and sound effects were too slow or off-pitch, the lighting system was broken, and the game obstinately asked you to sign into Bethesda.net just to play the single player. The biggest issues were quickly remedied with a hasty patch, but it still was far from an authentic retro experience.
The latest patch has made significant technical and quality of life improvements to Doom and Doom II, and Digital Foundry is here to break it down with their typical attention to detail. It turns out that performance has been dramatically improved up to 60fps across all platforms, the sound and music issues have been remedied, and players can now access official add-ons like Final Doom and John Romero's SIGIL free of charge.
I picked both games up for Switch--mostly because Switch still doesn't have a decent split-screen shooter--and so far I'm mostly satisfied. I honestly prefer to play classic Doom on PC with a fully-featured source port like GZDoom or Doomsday, but for a console port that costs $5 and change, this version is a really nice option.
If you aren't following Google Stadia's Twitter feed, you are missing out on one of the greatest "keeping calm in the face of chaos" moments in the history of gaming. Every time Stadia posts a little ad or promotion, the internet immediately explodes on them, asking ludicrous questions and endlessly demanding FIFA.
Stadia' response is to keep cool, making funny comments here and there and answering questions here where they can. One of the most common questions that gets asked is "Where are the games?". Google will never give this response, but the answer is clearly "There are no games because you people freaked the hell out at launch, so we delivered everything we had on deck all at once, and now you have it all".
Anyhow, in the face of constant criticism from the faceless masses (though the Stadia community themselves continue to be super cool and welcoming), Stadia released a nice calming post on their community site today, advising fans to be cool because good stuff is coming.
After a recap of their activities since launch, Stadia had this to say about the near future:
"We have a lot more planned and will continue to work hard toward delighting gamers with our vision for Stadia. Looking at our upcoming lineup, we are tracking more than 120 games coming to Stadia in 2020, and are targeting more than ten games in the first half of this year alone that will be only available on Stadia when they launch. We’re working with our partners to share more on those games soon.
Gamers can expect more features coming to Stadia in Q1 and beyond. A key benefit of our platform is that we can add these features without any updates or downloads, and we’re starting to roll out the following over the next three months:
- Support for 4k gaming on the Web
- Add further Assistant functionality when playing on the Web
- Support additional Android Phones
- Wireless gameplay on the Web through the Stadia controller
There is a lot more in store for this year. In the meantime, we hope gamers are gearing up for some great new games and experiences. Toward the end of this month, we will share more about the games coming to Stadia Pro in February."
I think the key point here are the 10 exclusives in the first half of the year, and the 120 games in 2020. Sounds good to me. But I was already calm.
Infinity Ward has announced a one-time extension for Season One of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which will now end on February 11. The extension was driven by a host of upcoming activity, such as new items, challenges, remixed game modes, playlists, etc. For the remainder of Season One, there will be 2XP, 2X Weapon XP, and 2X Tier Progression to help you finish up your Officer Ranks and Tiers.