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Halo Week 2019 – A Look at Halo’s Live Action Prequel Short Films July 23, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Halo Week 2019, Uncategorized.
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We’re kicking off the start of Halo Week 2019 with a Halo appetizer some of you may have missed out on the first time around. Since Halo 2, Microsoft’s sizable marketing division has created some incredibly unique methods to promote the launch of each new Halo game. We have profiled some of these methods in the past, but today we will focus on highlighting videos intended to be canonical live-action prequels to the games they were promoting.

There are a few rules to this list. First up is we will only highlight official videos that have been produced by Microsoft, so sadly we will not include any fan-films. Secondly, the Halo films like Halo 4: Forward Until Dawn, Halo: Legends, Halo: Fall of Reach, and Halo: Nightfall. Those films are currently available on disc or digital distribution at your local movie marketplace or through various video-on-demand services. We also aren’t including the Halo 3: ODST commercial as (even though it is phenomenal) it doesn’t tie directly into the events of the game’s story.

First up is Halo: Landfall, Directed by Neill Blomkamp. It was released in three parts with the first part released at E3 2007. Landfall tells the story of a squad of marines sent on a classified mission just before the events of Halo 3. Their objective is unknown to the viewer but over the course of the short we will learn their objective and how it ties into the events of the game. If you watch this and silently weep at how good it is or how well it matched up with your prediction of what a Halo movie should look like, it is probably due to the fact that if Microsoft had made a feature-length Halo film, it would have been made by this production team.

Next up is Deliver Hope, a live-action television commercial for Halo: Reach. Set before the events of Reach, this short details what happened to the SPARTAN who previously held the position of Noble 6, and why the Team was so hesitant to accept the player in that position at the start of the game. Its got great production values and despite its brief length, still tells a coherent, compelling story.

Finally, here’s Halo 4‘s E3 2012 trailer. This was originally shown at the Microsoft E3 2012 Press Event, but following that, it was broadcasted on television during (for some reason that eludes my logic) a basketball game. It details the launch of the UNSC Infinity, the most advanced spaceship in the fleet and teased this ship and its crew would play a big role in the game. Its not purely a live action short as it was followed up in its initial broadcast with gameplay footage, but the Infinity played such a big part in the final game it is great to see the ship’s beginnings.

Hope you are all enjoying Halo Week 2019, with more content (including original videos from Halo: Outpost Discovery) coming every day!

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Halo: Reach PC Preview – Halo Week 2019 July 22, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Halo Week 2019, Reviews, Site Videos.
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We’re kicking off Halo Week 2019 with a highly anticipated preview of the first FPS Halo game to be released on PC in over ten years, Halo: Reach.

We were lucky enough to get an early hands-on preview of Halo: Reach on PC while at Halo: Outpost Discovery. Here are our thoughts about what we got to play (along with a little off-screen gameplay) straight from the show floor.

Halo: Reach is out now on the Xbox 360 and is currently backwards compatible with Xbox One. It is coming to the PC when it is ready.

Halo Week 2019 Announcment July 22, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Halo Week 2019, Site News.
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Dear Humanity, we make it no secret that we are big fans of the Halo franchise and on occasion we have celebrated that fandom by devoting entire weeks to posting Halo content. Well, in honor of Halo: Outpost Discovery and the pleasant reveal of tons of upcoming Halo content including a PC release through Steam, this site is formally announcing Halo Week 2019!

What will you be able to expect throughout the week? A ton of exclusive Halo content, including new Halo videos, coverage from Halo: Outpost Discovery, a preview of Halo: Reach on PC, and maybe even a Let’s Play or two!

So stay tuned, relax and let’s all just say, “Welcome Home, John” because Halo Week 2019 kicks off today!

Midsummer Fantasy Renaissance Faire 2019 Review July 17, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Reviews, Site Videos.
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Every year, the Midsummer Fantasy Renaissance Faire is held at Warsaw Park in Ansonia, CT. The faire is not strictly meant to adhere to historical accuracy, but is heavily inspired by fantasy novels, movies and games. We’ve attended the faire nearly every year since we first heard about it in 2015, and this year was no different.

I already know the first question you have, “What did we think of the event?” In the nearly 45 minute review, we highlight every single thing about the show ranging from its story, the vendors, the stage acts, the food, and we even talk about the show’s grand finale! Check it out for yourselves below!

Special thanks to people at the Midsummer Fantasy Renaissance Faire including Daniel Greenwolf and Allie Notarile for providing us Press Passes this year. Hope to see you all at next year’s event!

PS4 System Software Update 6.72 Released July 17, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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A very minor system software update has just been released on the PS4. System Software Update 6.72 includes only non-specific bug fixes and optimizations. It weighs in at around 470MB if you previously had the most recent System Software installed on the PS4.

6.72 is not currently required to be installed for your PS4 to access the PlayStation Network but that can change at any time.

Nintendo Switch Lite Announced July 10, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Nintendo has just announced a new model of Nintendo Switch is coming this fall, called the Nintendo Switch Lite. Take a look!

As a current Nintendo Switch owner I will likely pass on this unit. While I appreciate the smaller form factor, Nintendo Switch Lite looks like it will be a smaller and cheaper options for players who don’t have a Switch or want a Switch they can take on the go. We will probably learn more about the handheld as we lead to release this fall.

I just want to put a little footnote here from my own personal knowledge. The video depicted can make it a little confusing to the layman that use of the Switch and Switch Lite are interchangeable. While it is certainly the case Switch and Switch Lite owners will be able to compete against each other either in local or Internet-connected matches, the Switch does not allow for the same user to use their personal Switch profile on multiple devices. That means, while you can currently transfer your Switch account if your Switch breaks (which is a feature that has only RECENTLY been added) you can’t change your Switch accounts back and forth between multiple Switch consoles.

New Coke – Stranger Things 3 Gift Pack Unboxing July 9, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos.
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Netflix customers have probably been glued to the most recent season of the hit show Stranger Things as it celebrates the release of its third season. To coincide with its release, many companies are switching back to their 80s designs and bringing back products that were only available at that time. One of those products is New Coke, the controversial updated beverage released by Coca-Cola in the mid-80s intended to be the replacement for their flagship classic beverage.

New Coke has since gone down in history as a complete failure and a lesson to be learned on what not to do when competing in an open consumer market. Having been a baby during the heyday of New Coke, I never tried the product myself, and that is something that I regret. It would occasionally get resold as Coke 2 during the 90s, but that rebranding kind of flew under the radar for me. Now, Coke is once again releasing New Coke (in its original can design), and we can finally try it for ourselves.

I know you’re wondering why we are talking about a television show called Stranger Things on a gaming focused website? Stranger Things follows the lives of four nerdy boys (and their families) living in a fictional Indiana town during the early-to-mid 1980s. It is not only a love letter to the sci-fi genre, it’s also a love letter to 80s nerd fandom. As the show’s first episode began, we witnessed four main characters playing a game of Dungeons & Dragons. In season 2, completing the game Dragon’s Lair became a point of pride at the town’s new arcade. I could go on with references for at least the next hour if I wanted to, but needless to say this is a show we’re long overdue to discuss.

We ordered ourselves a Stranger Things gift pack which included two cans of New Coke with the intention to review it for the website. That is currently the only way to get New Coke in the US, short of going to the World of Coca-Cola building in Atlanta, GA and asking for a can while they still have a supply.

Before we did our review, we felt that we needed to pay some attention to the special packaging Coke is shipping their New Coke cans in, so here’s an official unboxing!

New Coke will not be sold in stores, at least in the United States, so the only way to currently guarantee yourself a can of the stuff is to get it from the official Coca-Cola website, Coke Store.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Gigantamaxing Trailer July 8, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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The Pokémon Company has just dropped this trailer for the next Pokémon games on the Nintendo Switch. In this trailer we will get to look at some never before seen Pokémon, the new gym leaders, and the all-new Gigantamax ability that has to be seen.

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are coming November 15th, 2019 exclusively to the Nintendo Switch.

Five Ways to Improve Pokemon Go July 5, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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We’re coming into the third year of service for the tremendously successful game Pokémon Go. With people around the world still playing it, it is truly a wonder that takes full advantage of all the capabilities of today’s smartphones and tablets. GPS and step counters for in-game movement, Augmented Reality (AR) for capture, Bluetooth for transfer, trades and battles, and processing power to run the graphical interface.

The game had a rough start in its first several months, with constant crashes and login failures, but over the past two years it has seen incredible stability with just the odd bug every once in a while. That said, with the exception of the addition of Raids and Research Tasks the core game still functions almost exactly as it always has, for better or worse. This article is going to discuss new features we believe Niantic can bring to the game we believe will tremendously improve it. Most of these features would be very simple to implement, and require at most minor adjustments to how the game currently functions.

Due to the fact the game has been consistently stable, we will not be including any requests for stability or bug fixes in this list. These are just going to be a bunch of new feature requests or gameplay tweaks we believe, as long-time players, will improve the game and increase player safety. This list is in no particular order.

  • Niantic should have random Pokémon spawn EVERYWHERE, and not just at sparse locations miles away from each other. For a lengthy period of time, every tweet Niantic made would be followed by tons of responses by twitter users claiming Niantic hated rural players because they had no PokéStops and Pokémon wouldn’t spawn in their towns. While I don’t live in a rural area I can attest nothing spawns where I live unless I crack open some incense. This needs to change, if new players can’t find Pokémon, even low level ones, there’s no incentive for them to play the game.
  • Add more PokéStops and Gyms. This one’s a no-brainer. It is already a feature in most regions to submit requests for PokéStops, but as far as I can tell I haven’t seen a single new stop added since that feature came online. Most churches are already PokéStops but all Public Schools at a minimum should be made into PokéStops, otherwise what’s the point for childless adults to pay education Taxes to schools they’re never going to use?
  • While we are still talking about Gyms and PokéStops, why doesn’t Niantic provide a handy map on the Official Pokémon Go website that can take a person’s zip code and give the names and/or addresses of all the Gyms and PokéStops in their area? Niantic already knows the location of EVERY PokéStop and Gym in the world, why don’t they share that information with people who aren’t just 300 feet away from them? This would tremendously cut down on people wandering or driving aimlessly around trying to find them! If there are huge gaps on our maps without any stops, players will see them and it would give Niantic a greater incentive to create more stops in otherwise ignored regions.
  • Have Dedicated Raid and EX Raid sites. Why shut down Gyms for an hour at random intervals when there’s plenty of space in the world to have dedicated Raid locations? This would keep the action going at heavily contested Gyms and give players a better idea as to where and when Raids will take place.
  • Have a schedule on the official website for upcoming Raid times so people can schedule around them. The success of the past month’s Wednesday evening raids proves this feature is badly needed. Raids take place at random locations at random times. The only way a player can learn a raid is going to happen (unless it is a rare special event) is if they happen to be in the physical proximity of a Pokémon Gym an hour before the raid takes place. This is too limited and too short a notice, especially when high-level Pokémon Raids can require at least ten decently leveled players to win. By providing a day’s notice for raid times, it will help people gather their friends to take on large challenges. Worried that you’ll have too many people attend? That won’t happen, Raids support twenty simultaneous players in an instance, and simultaneous instances are supported.

The game will not break if you simply empower us on how to play it. These features will go a long way to improve Pokémon Go and bring players back that may have been dissatisfied with its limitations. What do you think? Did we miss anything? Post your ideas in the comments below!

Pokémon Go is out now for iOS and Android Smartphones and Tablets.

Halo: Outpost Discovery App Now on iOS and Android Devices July 5, 2019

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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The very first Halo: Outpost Discovery show starts today in Orlando, Florida and the developers behind the event have released a free application attendees can download to help them navigate the 3-Day event. If you’re going to any of the five events this year, you should download it right now.

The Halo: Outpost Discovery app is designed to provide a full schedule of events, a map of the venue, and a list of vendors attending the show’s marketplace. It can be downloaded free of charge right now on your device’s respective digital marketplace.