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blast-o-rama. Posts

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON Director to Take on MICRONAUTS

Deadline:

Deadline has confirmed that How to Train Your Dragon filmmaker Dean DeBlois is directing and writing Paramount/Hasbro’s live-action sci-fi pic Micronauts, based on the popular kids’ toys from the 1970s and 80s.

I’m a bit bummed to see DuBois’ first live-action film be for a toy franchise, but Micronauts holds promise as a unique property.

Besides, we just saw this work out well with Travis Knight and Bumblebee, so this may end A-OK!

Hasbro Has Made Its NERF Guns Better Than Ever, But…

Fire faster. Shoot further. Get hit by DRM.

Yep, really.

The Verge:

The next time you get pegged with a Nerf dart, it might be from an incredible 120 feet away — because Hasbro’s new Ultra One blaster, coming October 1st for $49.99, is boasting ranges we’ve never seen from an unmodified blaster thanks to a completely redesigned dart with new stabilizing fins.

It could be the single most important change to Nerf blasters in years, since range has always been a limiting factor in Nerf wars. When Nerf introduced the “Elite” dart with its 75-foot range in 2012, and its 90-foot Elite XD blasters in 2014, players scrambled to get an advantage over their foes whose darts didn’t shoot nearly as far.

But the new blasters come with a catch: DRM for darts, it sounds like! “If the blaster detects an incompatible dart in the drum, it won’t fire and will skip to the next chamber,” writes The Wall Street Journal. A Hasbro executive told the publication that existing darts were just too easy to copy, and it’s got patents pending on the new Ultra foam.

There goes buying thousands of darts for pennies a piece on Wish.com.

FROZEN II Gets Yet Another Trailer

Evidently, someone at Disney agreed with movie that the prior Frozen II trailers have played the cards a bit too close to their chest…so now we have a proper look, and this is definitely a more grown-up fantasy adventure for the kids who have grown since the 2013 original.

(Has it really been 6 years? Goodness.)

Finally, The World is Making the Bob Odenkirk Film I’ve Always Wanted

Deadline:

Universal had already reserved Aug. 14, 2020 on the calendar, and today they announced that the title opening on that date will be the Bob Odenkirk feature Nobody, which is described as John Wick meets Falling Down.

Odenkirk plays Hutch Mansell, the guy you don’t notice. A suburban dad, overlooked husband, nothing neighbor. A nobody. When two thieves break into his home one night, the incident ignites Hutch’s unknown long-simmering rage, propelling him on a brutal path that will uncover dark secrets he fought to leave behind.

I am there opening night.

Day One with Apple Arcade

Well folks, if you’re an Apple enthusiast, the week you were waiting for has arrived – iOS 13 arrived on iPhones yesterday, and the newest iPhones and Apple Watches (the 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max and Series 5, respectively) have hit shelves today.

Personally, I will be one of the masses picking up an iPhone 11 Pro and an Apple Watch Series 5 in the not-too-distant future, but the reason why I’m writing, and the key thing which made me update to iOS 13, even in it’s slightly buggy state1 was Apple Arcade.

For those unaware, Apple Arcade is Apple’s play to make mobile gaming, well, less scummy.

When the iOS ecosystem launched, we were in an uncharted era – developers were making things for this handheld computer for the first time. What was the right price? How would maintenance be handled? How do we make this “a job”?

Sadly, we entered a world, especially in the world of mobile gaming, of free apps met with scummy “pay-to-play” mechanics, all under the idea of developers finding a way to make money, or in some cases, developers looking to take advantage of a marketplace.

Never the less, Apple Arcade is Apple’s attempt to turn the tide.

For just $5 a month you gain access to a series of exclusive games (roughly 62 at the time of this writing), with new games released every month. These games are by known developers, and have been funded by Apple as exclusives, either in the world of mobile, or in general. (Some games do have non-mobile releases.)

All of the games can be downloaded and played to your iPhone, iPad (yes, I installed the iPadOS Beta for this), and eventually to macOS and tvOS.2

All of the games are unique, cool, interesting, stylish, and so far, extremely fun to play. Many even support controller usage, just in time for iOS and tvOS to support the use of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One controllers!

More than all of that – the first month is a free trial, so I had to give it a spin.

I’ve only played three games so far, and I’ve adored each, so I wanted to give you a quick peak at each of them.

Skate City

From publisher Snowman, they of the Alto’s franchise, Skate City is a fun, easy-to-pick up skateboarding game – sort of a hybrid of the Alto games and Tony Hawk: Pro Skater. I’m amazed both by the graphical design and how damned fun the controls are to use, even on the phone. They really thought this one through perfectly. It’s complemented by a stellar soundtrack by Peer Synth and DJ Granbar, which I can’t wait to add to my Apple Music collection – very chill, great music for focusing.

Mini Motorways

The team at Dinosaur Polo Club, who gave us the tense yet zen-like train-track planning game Mini Metro, is back…and this time, they’re focusing on highways and byways.

I was a massive fan of Mini Metro, and Mini Motorways takes the gameplay I loved and shakes it up for a different kind of planning process. I didn’t know I could be both enamored and shook by a puzzle/strategy game, but here I am. Love it.

What the Golf

I had never heard of What the Golf prior to the launch of Apple Arcade, but once I saw the trailer, I knew I’d have to give it a spin. This is one of the most unique, silly, and hilarious games I’ve ever played. Don’t look up any of the courses. Don’t look up anything beyond this trailer. If you have Apple Arcade, get this game and start playing immediately.

I’ve never laughed so hard at a video game. Goddamn.

This is just a small fraction of the games available, and I haven’t even gotten into some of the other titles I wish to play, like Simogo’s Sayonara Wild Hearts, UbiSoft’s Rayman Mini, Cornfox & Brothers Oceanhorn 2, or Capcom’s Shinsekai Into the Depths. But so far, everything has been fun, refreshing and interesting. $5/mo very well spent.

Have you picked up Apple Arcade yet? What games have you played? Fire off in the comments.

  1. Don’t worry, iOS 13.1 is due to hit on the 24th. Phew.
  2. When their system updates come out later in September and in October, respectively.