If you’re a child of the ’80s or ’90s, chances are you know about the video game console wars. Before the era of PlayStations and Xboxes, many of that era grew up as either Nintendo kids or Sega kids. Of course, the war between the two video game companies went far deeper than playground squabbles about whether Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis had the superior Aladdin game–t was Sega, by the way.
There was also a battle in the boardrooms of Nintendo and Sega, as the companies battled for video game console supremacy, which takes center stage in the new CBS All Access documentary Console Wars, from directors Blake J. Harris and Jonah Tulis. Harris also wrote a novel of the same name, which was released back in 2014. What many might now know, though, is that the documentary doesn’t exist because of the book. Instead, they were developed simultaneously, along with another medium they want to use to tell this story.
“Blake came to me and said, ‘I found this cool story. I don’t know what it is yet.’ He’s like, ‘I think it’s a book,'” Tulis told GameSpot. At the time, the two were screenwriting and film producing partners, which gave Tulis the idea that, given how visual a medium video games are, this could make for an interesting documentary.
It’s been a while since the gang of South Park has graced our screens–since Season 23 wrapped up in 2019. However, airing on September 30 is a brand-new hour-long special titled “The Pandemic Special,” which was recorded remotely. A new video gives fans a glimpse into how it was done.
Producing any type of TV show remotely is an incredible challenge, and a video released on South Park’s Twitter shows us just that. Aside from massive video conference calls, with a staggering amount of attendees, and completing animations and voice over, the South Park staff had to deal with issues at home. This ranged from getting ethernet cables run under houses to dealing with children being at home during the workday. Check out the video below.
Go behind the scenes to see how South Park Studios produced its first-ever supersized episode, “The Pandemic Special”, completely remotely. The all-new episode premieres tonight at 8/7c on Comedy Central! #SouthPark pic.twitter.com/Y0DywVzwMJ
— South Park (@SouthPark) September 30, 2020
The special episode airs Wednesday, September 30 on Comedy Central at 8 PM / 7 PM CT. In order to watch it, you need to have access to Comedy Central through a cable, satellite, or streaming service provider.
Speaking to IGN ahead of Crash 4’s launch, Toys for Bob studio head Paul Yan elaborated on the scope and ambitions of Crash 4 from the team behind the Spyro Reignited Trilogy.
“…We did set out from the very beginning to make this the biggest Crash game ever,” Yan said, noting that the recently released demo, which has already led to some impressive speedruns, was meant to give longtime fans a sense that scope didn’t literally just mean the longest levels ever, but something much more all-encompassing.
“That was part of the motivation for releasing the demo, to help more people get their hands on it and get a feel for just how much bigger and massive the levels are. When you think about how we compare to the previous games, it’s not just the length of the levels, but also just how densely packed the activities are. Some levels like Snow Way Out asks you to explore open areas in limited ways, and it’s not entirely linear in the same way that you could compare it to the original the trilogy.”
But Yan emphasized that, even as the scope of the game grew with new gameplay additions, additional modes like the N. Verted mirror mode, playable characters, and more, grounding it in the classic Crash platforming experience returning players know was a key aspect of the development process.
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“We developed the tool set of new abilities and we knew that the masks and their new powers were going to be a part of what we wanted to do to layer on top of the core Crash classic gameplay. And the balance of it is something we were really sensitive about all the way through,” he said. “There’s new masks. There’s new locomotion tricks. There’s new alternate heroes. But we want to make sure that you’re coming to this game presumably to play as Crash. And we don’t want this to be a string of disparate experiences where it felt like…all kinds of other things outside that may give variety, but might overpower what that core experience is.
“So when we looked at the original trilogy, many of us looked at Crash 2 [as] a really great example of hitting the right balance,” Yan explained, noting that the team doesn’t see Crash 4 as something to directly compare solely to Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, but merely that striking a balance was key to a great Crash experience.
“That was a lens which we applied and said, ‘Hey, everything that we’re putting into this and the way that we’re distributing it and pacing it out, does this compliment on-foot, core platforming gameplay?’ Because if it doesn’t, let’s get it out and make sure that we make Crash the center of this game.”
For more on Crash ahead of its launch this week on PS4 and Xbox One, check out the first details on Crash Bandicoot 4’s local co-op and competitive multiplayer, learn more about the fourth Quantum Mask, and stay tuned to IGN for more from Yan on Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time.
Jonathon Dornbush is IGN’s Senior News Editor, and host of Podcast Beyond!. Talk to him on twitter @jmdornbush.
With the Skywalker Saga coming to a close last year, it’s been a relatively quiet year for the beloved Star Wars franchise. New film projects–the number of which continues to grow–aren’t coming to theaters for a few more years, though Season 2 of The Mandalorian premieres on Disney+ October 30. And, of course, there’s still an onslaught of new Star Wars toys, collectibles, and other merch steadily arriving in stores. In that sense, Star Wars fever never really ends, even when a tentpole movie isn’t on the horizon. Chances are you have a Star Wars fan on your shopping list this holiday season, and we’re here to help you pick out the perfect Star Wars gift.
Our Star Wars gift guide, as you might expect, features a heavy dose of Baby Yoda, from plushies to figures to a brand-new Lego set. In addition to the galaxy’s favorite baby, there are plenty of cool Star Wars gifts to choose from, including Blu-ray box sets, action figures, board games, and more. We’ll add more Star Wars gift ideas to this list as we find more noteworthy products, but for now, here are the best Star Wars gifts for 2020.
While Hasbro is primarily known for action figures like the Marvel Legends or Power Rangers Lightning Collection line and for board games, the company has really been delivering on some great-looking replica collectibles. Star Wars: The Black Series Force FX line has seen releases of numerous Jedi and Sith lightsabers, with the most recent being Darth Revan. Now, Hasbro is dipping into the Ghostbuster franchise to create collectibles that recreate some of your favorite items from the films.
The Ghostbusters Plasma Series Spengler’s Neutrona Wand is a bit of a mouthful for a collectible, but the second you see it, you’ll get flashbacks to the first time you saw Ghostbusters. However, this is a replica from the upcoming movie Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which hits theaters on March 5, 2021. Hasbro sent us the replica, and you can check out a few images below.
Much like the Darth Revan Force FX lightsaber, the Neutrona Wand has an LED light tube incorporated into the collectible that flashes when activated. There are four different modes for the LED tube: Proton Stream, Slime Blower, Stasis Stream, and Meson Collider. Of course, it makes sounds from the movies as well, and it vibrates to give you the feeling of you actually busting ghosts.