Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel PM faces corruption charges
Pokemon Go Adds New Legendary, Dialga, Tomorrow
Palkia may no longer be available in Pokemon Go, but a new Legendary Pokemon is set to take its place soon. Starting March 1, the Pokemon Diamond mascot Dialga will begin appearing in Raid Battles around the world–but as usual, it’ll only be around for a limited time.
As with most other Legendaries, to catch Dialga you’ll first need to team up with other players at a Gym where a Dialga Raid is taking place and battle the Pokemon. If you manage to defeat Dialga, each player who participated in the Raid will receive a handful of Premier Balls and an opportunity to catch it.
Dialga is the only Steel/Dragon Pokemon in the series, which gives it numerous resistances to other types. Your best bet for battling it is to bring along Fighting and Ground Pokemon such as Machamp, Hariyama, and Groudon. Dialga will only appear in Raid Battles until March 28, giving you until the end of the month to catch one.
In other Pokemon Go news, Niantic recently introduced the Team Medallion to the app’s in-game store. This item allows players to change their team allegiance once every 365 days. The developer has also rolled out a new AR photo mode, which is the only way to encounter the elusive Pokemon Smeargle.
Pokemon Go’s next Community Day event is scheduled for March 23. This time, the featured Pokemon will be Treecko, one of the three starters from Ruby and Sapphire. Players will also be able to hatch Pokemon Eggs at a quarter of the distance they typically require during the event.
Opinion: Anthem May Have Its Problems, but Its NPCs Are Fantastic
Coming away from Anthem, I constantly hear people talking about how it makes them feel like Iron Man; you get to zoom around in a powerful suit and blast away enemies. I also hear about how it’s not quite living up to expectations, at least not at launch, but you can read more about that in IGN’s review. But when I step away from Anthem, what I’m excited to write home about are the great characters hanging around in Fort Tarsis and all of the world-building collectibles scattered about. Did you know that the actors behind Fix-It Felix, Louise Belcher, and Charles Boyle all lent their talents to characters in Anthem? Did you know they also have their own short storylines?
Pokemon Sword and Shield Trailer Breakdown
Pokemon has sent out a call to arms with the reveal of the new Gen 8 games on the Nintendo Switch, Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. We’re going to point out all of the new and returning mechanics, what the trailer tells us about the new region, and piece together some clues about the two new Legendaries.
But we’re going to start with the most sacred of rituals that marks the start of every new Pokemon Generation…
The Judging of the Starters!
The most effective horror can seep its way into the mundanity of our everyday lives, ruminating beneath the surface before wrapping its malevolent tendrils around our sense of comfort and familiarity. Years after it was removed from sale, the bite-sized slice of P.T. we were privy to still manages to evoke those trembling feelings of unease more potently than almost any other horror game since–making each trip around that unremarkable L-shaped corridor an intimidating test of nerves. Devotion, a new psychological horror game from Taiwanese developer Red Candle Games, evokes P.T.’s terrifying spirit to paint an inventive, thought-provoking, and insidious portrait of family life within the claustrophobic confines of a small Taiwanese apartment.
Set throughout the 1980s, Devotion focuses on a strained family of three: struggling screenwriter Du Feng Yu, retired singer and movie star Li Fang, and their sickly young daughter Mei Shin, who aspires to be like her mother. The game predominantly takes place within the five rooms of their modest apartment, with a narrative that takes you on a distressing tour through the years and various configurations of this intimate space. The attention to detail in each facet of the apartment is striking, as every nook and cranny is thoughtfully assembled to replicate an authentic, lived-in home. There are old newspapers being used as makeshift tablecloths, pencils and discarded scripts messily strewn across desks, a corridor that’s extravagantly decorated with the haphazard art of Meh Shin and her litany of crayons, and a calendar hung above the CRT TV that notates significant dates in the family’s lives. Each detail, no matter how meaningful or insignificant, establishes and effectively reinforces Devotion’s disconcerting sense of familiarity. This nuanced sense of place ensures that whenever your eyes are averted elsewhere and the apartment begins to shift and transcend its limitations–sometimes dramatically, other times subtly–it’s all the more unnerving when you turn around and come face-to-face with a surreal distortion.
All of these details, from the apartment’s transforming arrangement of rooms, its varying lighting, the tempestuous weather rattling away at the windows outside, and the way the building mutates around you, are all in service of Red Candle’s profound storytelling. The central tale is intimately focused on the family of three, but Devotion manages to weave a tangled web that deftly examines the impact that mental illness, societal pressure and expectations, and religious fanaticism can have on a beleaguered family. For as much as Devotion is about its characters and the fantastic way their development coalesces with that of the ever-changing apartment–with the increasingly dishevelled rooms acting as a poignant metaphor for the family–it’s also about a specific time and place; delving into the role of women in 1980’s Taiwan, feminine beauty standards, the infancy of mental health research and the stigmas attached to it, and the sometimes dangerous faith desperate people will place in religion. Explorations of Taoism and Buddhism might not completely resonate with a Western audience, but the story is told in such a way that it’s relatively easy to read through the lines and understand the awful, heartbreaking extremes people are willing to go to for those they love.
Taiwanese developer Red Candle Games, evokes P.T.’s terrifying spirit to paint an inventive, thought-provoking, and insidious portrait of family life
Impassioned voice acting brings Devotion’s limited number of cutscenes to life, but most of the story is told through the myriad items you gather, read, and manipulate as you traverse through different variations of the family home during 1980, 1985, and 1986. Puzzle solving is relatively straightforward, with any items you find inevitably being used to solve a particular conundrum. All of your interactions are geared towards unravelling the mystery of exactly what happened within the unassuming walls of this family home. A note you found earlier might inform a scene later on, while coming to understand the family’s relationship with one another will gradually evolve the context and meaning of certain trinkets aside from the revelations discovered in its most gut-punching moments. Devotion might be mechanically simple–knowing to put a camera on a tripod isn’t going to wrack your brain, for example–but its strengths come from simply immersing you in a place with an engaging story you’ll want to see through to its conclusion. There are a couple of jump scares, but they feel earned within the oppressive atmosphere achieved through ominous music, sounds, and unsettling imagery, with striking motifs tracing everything back to the family’s shattered lives.
Unlike a lot of contemporary horror games, Devotion also resists the temptation to dabble in frustrating trial-and-error stealth sections or monotonous conflicts with monsters in an attempt to heighten any perceived sense of excitement. There is one regrettable chase scene late in the game, which is undeniably Devotion’s lowest point, but it’s also brief and easy enough that it doesn’t overstay its welcome. At three hours in length it’s feasible to reach the end credits in one sitting, and that might be the ideal way to experience it. The pacing is almost immaculate aside from a plodding stroll towards the game’s final act, but even this is easy to push to the back of your mind once you’ve reached its stunning conclusion.
Devotion doesn’t quite match the anxiety-inducing frights that permeate each cautious step forward in games like P.T. and Amnesia: The Dark Descent, but its domestic terror burrows deep inside your psyche long after the final credits have rolled. The sorrowful story it tells meshes malice with tenderness, metaphor with stark truths, and achieves it all with the nuanced kind of environmental storytelling other games can only strive for. There are moments when it jumps out of the genre completely, surprising you with a sudden tonal shift, and others where the oftentimes clichéd presence of a children’s doll is used to signal a character’s poignant detachment. Everything Devotion does is in service of this story and its character development; you learn about these people’s lives, empathize with their plight, and come to understand their actions, even if you don’t agree with them. Home is where the heart is, and Devotion is a shining example of what the horror genre is capable of.
[Editor’s note: At the time of publishing Devotion is not available to purchase on Steam. The game was pulled by Red Candle Games, which stated this was due to “technical issues that cause unexpected crashes and among other reasons.” The game was also caught up in a controversy surrounding art in the game which looked to be based on a meme of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Addressing this, Red Candle Games said “our team would also review our game material once again making sure no other unintended materials was inserted.” The game is expected to be made available again in the future.]
The 22 Absolute Worst Funko Pops You’ll Probably Want To Avoid
Everything has a Funko Pop toy! Okay, not everything. There’s actually some seriously glaring film omissions we’re not okay with. That said, far too many things have a Pop Funko toy and, while a lot of them are really cool collectibles, some of them are just plain bad.
Whether it’s a poor design choice, super creepy eyes, or simply a Pop that makes you wonder who decides which franchise get immortalized in vinyl, not everything Funko does is a home run. Still, there’s some fun to be had with the worst Funko has to offer. At least, I hope there is. Otherwise, why did I spend my time tracking down what I consider to be the 22 worst Funko Pops toys ever released?
Take a look at the bad, the worse, and the ugly to see just what kinds of choices Funko makes sometimes. After all, for every Chris Jericho holding the List of Jericho, there’s a dead-eyed Goofy from the Disney collection. Sound off in the comments with your favorite bad Pops, and let’s all enjoy the ridiculousness.
1. Bicycle Girl (The Walking Dead)
They say this is Bicycle Girl, but I disagree. Sure, they both have long hair and are zombies, but that’s about where the similarities stop. Honestly, this Pop is just difficult to look at and doesn’t really have any connection to The Walking Dead other than “hey look, zombies.”
2. Carol Danvers on motorcycle (Captain Marvel)
Brie Larson as Carol Danvers is inspired casting, as far as I’m concerned. However, I’m not convinced this isn’t an unused Charlie Hunnam Sons of Anarchy Pop in a reprinted box.
3. Butters (South Park)
Poor Butters can never catch a break on South Park. Is it any wonder that he has the most depressing Pop imaginable? Seriously, why would you want to own something that looks this sad?
4. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)
If the pitch for this Pop was “We should set Jennifer Lawrence on fire,” mission accomplished.
5. Hatsune Miku
Hatsune Miku is a virtual pop star from the Vocaloid voice synthesizer program in Japan. That’s all well and good, but this particular Pop looks like it’s made out of Aquafresh toothpaste.
6. Mrs. Potts & Chip (Beauty and the Beast)
The live-action Beauty and the Beast is a fun movie, for sure. However, so many of the items in Beast’s mansion that came to life looked so much creepier than their animated counterparts. Mrs. Potts was at the top of the list and she’s been immortalized in an equally odd Pop figurine.
7. Dumbo with clown makeup (Dumbo)
If you thought the Butters Pop was depressing, avert your eyes now. GameSpot came across this particular Pop at San Diego Comic-Con, which is Dumbo the elephant in his clown makeup. I can already hear the sad trombone playing.
8. “False God” Superman (Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice)
Finally, the most cinematic moment in DC Comics history has been immortalized. Who would we be, as a society, without a silver Superman Pop that has “False God” scribbled on his chest? Take that, Henry Cavill.
9. Doghan Daguis (Valerian)
Another example of a movie Funko thought was going to be huge, only for it to die quickly. What’s so crazy about this particular line of toys is that there were actually three different Doghan Daguis Pops, each holding something different in its hand. And they are all ugly.
10. Donkey (Shrek)
Donkey looks downright unhinged. Between his very tooth smile and those Funko eyes, he looks prepared to eat you. Stay away from me, Donkey.
11. The cast of The Mummy
Never forget the Dark Universe in all of its glory. Clearly, someone at Funko–and Universal–thought this movie was going to be a massive hit. So much so that it needed its own line of Pops. It was not. Instead, it was actually terrible enough to sink a proposed franchise. Now all we’re left with of the Dark Universe is these three things and the best tweet of all time.
12. Roger Rabbit (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?)
The eyes of Pop figures always look a little strange. However, the Roger Rabbit figure might take the cake in that regard. The huge black dots look so out of place on Roger and, quite honestly, scare me.
13. Buzz Lightyear (Toy Story)
Where is his face? Look, I get it. Some Pops don’t have mouths, and that’s okay. However, with a head that big, Buzz needs something before the eyes. Instead, it looks like Neo in The Matrix, after Agent Smith has his mouth taken away.
Dory (Finding Nemo)
Why is Dory a weird blue rectangle? Maybe fish should be turned into Pops if this is going to be the end result.
15. Uncle Si (Duck Dynasty)
Honestly, I just can’t believe Duck Dynasty Pops exist. Was there really ever a market for that?
16. Gene (The Emoji Movie)
Gene is the “meh” emoji, which is incredibly fitting. This is the most “meh” Pop ever.
17. Mrs. Featherstone (Pride & Prejudice & Zombies)
Remember the massive global phenomenon known as the Pride & Prejudice & Zombies movie? No? Of course you don’t. The movie got a whole line of Pops, none of which are stranger than the zombified version of a very minor character. Weirdly, this particular Pop was given to me when I covered the film’s junket. I immediately got rid of it.
What makes this one so bad is simply the fact that it exists. Does every meme need a Pop? Probably.
Editor’s note: Psy has had more hits than “Gangam Style.” I highly recommend checking out the videos for “Daddy” or “New Face.” Also, stop being a K-Pop hater, Chris.
19. Goofy (Disney)
This Goofy Pop is just deeply unsettling. The way his eyes are designed makes it look like he’s in some sort of a murderous trance that leaves me fearing for my own safety. Keep those dead eyes to yourself, dog.
20. Thestral (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald)
The Crimes of Grindelwald isn’t exactly remembered as the best entry in the Wizarding World franchise, but this ugly Pop is an insult even to it. Instead of looking like a cool dragon, Thestral looks like some kind of skeletal bird/cat hybrid.
Ursula (The Little Mermaid)
It’s not that the design of Ursula is bad in Pop form. There are some standard models that look great. This “Diamond Collection” version, though, is covered in glitter and just looks… bad.
Bad Ape (War for the Planet of the Apes)
The apes in the Plant of the Apes films weren’t pretty, by any means. Bad Ape, though, is just horrific to look at. Why would someone want this on a bookshelf?
MLB The Show 19 Full Cover Revealed After Bryce Harper Signs $330 Million Contract
In one of the biggest contracts in sports history, slugger Bryce Harper today signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the MLB’s Philadelphia Phillies. Harper was previously announced as the cover star of Sony’s MLB The Show 19, but because he was a free agent then, the cover was only a placeholder that showed Harper in a nondescript hoodie. Now that he’s signed his record-breaking deal, Sony has released the official cover art showing Harper in his Phillies garb.
Breaking News: Harper, Phillies reach agreement:https://t.co/fCHLTdfb4J pic.twitter.com/PCYVTx5j2u
— MLB The Show (@MLBTheShow) February 28, 2019
Harper’s deal, which has yet to be officially confirmed by the Phillies and is pending a physical, also includes a no-trade clause and no opt-out clause, so we could continue to see Harper playing for the Phillies until 2031. In the deal, Harper makes an average of $24.4 million per season. While massive, it doesn’t even crack the top ten of the MLB’s highest annual salary list.
Under his new contract, Harper will make more than $150,000 per game and almost $45,000 every time he steps to the plate, according to numbers crunched by Darren Rovell.
The Bryce Breakdown… pic.twitter.com/jfrjpDW4Kh
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 28, 2019
Harper spent his entire professional career as the right fielder for the Washington Nationals before signing with the Phillies today. The new cover for MLB The Show 19 with Harper in a Phillies uniform is just fine, but his beard looks weird.
An #MLBTheShow exclusive! @BHarper3407 chose his colors with the @Phillies, now choose yours: https://t.co/c1vYWCZuaW pic.twitter.com/H5DxWMy7Cc
— MLB The Show (@MLBTheShow) February 28, 2019
MLB The Show 19, which launches on March 26, will be available in a Standard Edition ($60 USD) and a Gone Yard Edition ($100) that is exclusive to GameStop and EB Games. It comes with a New Era baseball snap back cap, a copy of the game, in-game extras, and more. A $100 Digital Deluxe edition will also be available; some of its extras include an allotment of Stubs, custom avatars, and more. An MVP Edition ($70), meanwhile, includes a series of digital extras and a steelbook case if you’re picking up the physical edition. Everyone who pre-orders any edition of MLB The Show 19 gets extra in-game digital content.
Marines Under Investigation After Making ‘Blackface’ Video
Our Biggest Look Yet at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Disney has revealed a ton of new information for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, including attractions, food, drinks, and even a shop where fans can create a one-of-a-kind Lightsaber.
Last week, a special preview event was held at Disneyland Resort that revealed more of the magic of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and it’s our biggest look yet at the land that aims to transport fans into the universe of Star Wars and make dreams come true.
We’ve heard a little bit about the two main attractions at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – and more details have been revealed on what to expect.