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How Console Wars Directors Are Turning The Nintendo Vs. Sega Battle Into A TV Show
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.
Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4 vs PS5 Comparison
Here’s How South Park Recorded Its Pandemic Special, And When You Can Watch It
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.
Crash Bandicoot 4 Dev on Making the Biggest Crash Game Ever
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.
The Best Star Wars Gifts For 2020
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.
Star Wars: Squadrons
Star Wars: Squadrons, which releases October 2, is the latest Star Wars video game for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. A starfighter game, Squadrons will place you inside X-wings and TIE fighters to take on the Empire following the events of Return of the Jedi. Squadrons also supports 5v5 multiplayer. Squadrons is a nice Star Wars gift idea for gamers.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Respawn’s action game takes place a few years after Revenge of the Sith. In Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, you play as Cal Kestis, a Jedi Padawan who wants to get as far away from the Galactic Empire as possible (can’t blame him). Fallen Order is available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC and earned an 8/10 in GameSpot’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order review. Fallen Order’s price fluctuates quite a bit, and we imagine you’ll be able to find it for around $30 this holiday when shopping for Star Wars gifts.
For the hardcore Star Wars fan, Disney+ is a must thanks to The Mandalorian, which is exclusive to Disney+ and available to stream now. You can give the gift of Disney+ in the form of a one-year subscription card for $70. In addition to The Mandalorian, every mainline Star Wars film is on Disney+. This is arguably the safest Stars Wars Christmas gift on this list, as even those already subscribed to Disney+ can add a year to their account.
Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
For the collector in your life, Best Buy’s exclusive box set contains every movie in the Skywalker Saga in one gorgeous package. Each of the nine movies has three discs: 4K UHD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and special features. Additionally, the foldout case features artwork from each of the nine mainline films. Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is easily the most impressive Star Wars box set we’ve seen and would be a worthy addition to any collection.
Animatronic Baby Yoda
For those who wish Baby Yoda was real (don’t we all?), this animatronic doll is the closest we can get to the real thing. Baby Yoda has 25 different sound and motion combinations, including cute giggles and the ability to move his eyes and ears. It also comes with a Mandalorian pendant necklace. Animatronic Baby Yoda doesn’t release until December 15, but you can preorder it now and get it before Christmas.
Baby Yoda 11-inch Plush
Mattel’s 11-inch Baby Yoda plush is absolutely adorable and pretty much replicates The Child’s look in The Mandalorian. His hands and head are made of a hard rubber, while his plush body is filled with beans so he can be propped up for display. It’s hard to find a cuter Stars Wars gift than Baby Yoda.
Baby Yoda 8-inch Plush
If you’re looking for a smaller Baby Yoda plush that could possibly fit in a large stocking, Mattel has an 8-inch plush that is probably the most cuddly of the bunch. Though it doesn’t look as realistic as the 11-inch plush or Animatronic Baby Yoda, the 8-inch plush is a full plush–even its head and arms are soft to the touch.
Baby Yoda Mini Figures
The perfect stocking stuffer for the Baby Yoda fan in your life, these 2.2-inch figure sets show the galaxy’s most perfect baby in different poses. Each set comes with two figures, most of which are based on popular Baby Yoda moments in Season 1 of The Mandalorian, including Baby Yoda sipping soup and eating a little froggy.
Lego Baby Yoda
Releasing October 30, this Baby Yoda Lego set is the perfect gift for fans of The Mandalorian and Lego. The 1,073-piece build stands at 7.5 inches tall and features a posable head, ears, and mouth. It also comes with a Baby Yoda minifigure and a small information sign. The Baby Yoda Lego set is one of the more inventive Star Wars gifts on this list.
The Razor Crest Lego Set
For the Lego fan in your life, this set is an excellent way to celebrate their love of The Mandalorian. This 1,023-piece build recreates Mando’s ship and includes a cockpit, cargo hold, spring-loaded shooters, and a detachable escape pod. It also comes with five Lego figures: Mando, Greef Karga, Baby Yoda, IG-11, and a Scout Trooper. The Razor Crest Lego set is one of the pricier gifts for Star Wars fans on this list, but it’s also one of the cooler Lego Star Wars sets in recent memory.
Empire Strikes Back Throw Blanket
This limited-edition Star Wars throw blanket from the Northwest Company features an illustration by Star Wars artist Jason Palmer. While you can find plenty of knockoff Star Wars blankets, this is the real deal. Made of 100% polyester with a soft silk feel, it features all of the major players in Empire Strikes Back. It’s also quite large for a throw blanket at 50 x 60 inches.
Lego Millennium Falcon Set
The Millennium Falcon has been a Lego Star Wars staple for years, with numerous iterations available to purchase. The latest set is based off of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The main difference between this Millennium Falcon and older ones is the figures you get. Seven figures are included here: Chewbacca, Finn, Lando, C-3PO, Boolio, D-O, and BB-8. The build itself is 1,351 pieces, which makes it one of the more in-depth Star Wars Lego sets around and an ideal Star Wars gift for those who love Lego.
Arcade 1Up Star Wars Home Arcade
Arcade1Up’s Star Wars Home Arcade Machine is one of the manufacturer’s most eye-catching cabinets yet. Featuring art that pays homage to the original Star Wars arcade cabinet, the machine comes with classic arcade versions of Star Wars, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. It includes a solid flight yoke and four buttons to mirror the original cabinet’s design and feel. This particular Arcade1Up cabinet includes the riser to make the three-quarter-scale machine come in at 5-feet tall.
Lego Brickheadz: The Mandalorian
Lego Brickheadz are both weird and cool. These chunky figures are meant for display and kind of feel like Lego’s answer to Funko Pops. Of course, the best Star Wars Lego Brickheadz set features Mando and Baby Yoda in his bassinet. While they are small, the builds are still engaging, with the combined number of pieces for the two-pack at 295. While the box may be too large to fit in a stocking, this Star Wars gift idea is sure to delight fans of the Disney+ show.
Star Wars Lego Art
Lego Art is one of the company’s most intriguing new products. Designed to be hung on walls, each Lego Art build features a staggering number of bricks that really help accentuate the finer details of the images. Star Wars Lego Art focuses on The Sith and includes three different builds that can be made with the same 3,395-brick set: Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, and Darth Maul. If you purchase three sets, you can combine them to make one giant display of Darth Vader. This is certainly one of the classier gifts for Star Wars fans on this list, one that will probably appeal more to older fans of the franchise.
Black Series – Darth Vader Action Figure
Hasbro’s The Black Series is arguably the best Star Wars action figure line around right now, and this Darth Vader figure shows why. The 6-inch-scale figure is modeled after Vader’s appearance in The Empire Strikes Back and features a stellar amount of detail for the price. It is fully articulated and has a stunning metallic finish.
Black Series – Luke Training with Yoda Action Figures
On the other side of the Force, you can pick up this wonderful set featuring Luke Skywalker and Yoda. Released in celebration of The Empire Strikes Back’s 40th anniversary, the “Jedi Training” set commemorates the famous teaching sessions in the movie where Master Yoda imparts some of his wisdom to the young Jedi. It’s also part of the Black Series, so you’re getting high-quality figures with fine details and full articulation.
Baby Yoda Backpack and Lunch Box Set
Even though the school year looks different this year, eventually the kiddos will need a new backpack and lunch box, right? This five-piece set features chibi Baby Yoda looking ridiculously cute. The officially licensed bundle comes with a backpack, lunch box, zippered case for school supplies, a water bottle, and an ice pack at a bargain price. It’s a great Star Wars gift idea for the young Mandalorian fan in your life.
Death Star Popcorn Maker
With everyone watching more movies at home this year instead of at the theater, it may be time to grab a popcorn maker. Designed by Uncanny Brands, this popcorn maker is shaped like the Death Star. The top pops off and can be used as a bowl. So essentially you’re destroying the Death Star and enjoying some delicious popcorn at the same time.
Baby Yoda Waffle Maker
Waffles are great already, but waffles with a Baby Yoda imprint? Even better. This Baby Yoda waffle maker imprints an image of his adorable face on a fluffy waffle while it cooks. You’ll need to get your own waffle batter and some non-stick spray to go along with the maker. You can also use the waffle maker to make other dishes like brownies, cakes, and sandwiches.
Star Wars: Rebellion Board Game
Star Wars: Rebellion is a fairly in-depth board game that makes use of more than 150 miniatures representing troops and ships in the Imperial and Rebel armies. Played with two to four players, one team commands the Imperial Army, while the other tries to thwart their attempts to take over the galaxy as the Rebel Alliance. It’s an interesting game with lots of strategic depth, and you’ll have to play differently depending on which side you’re on. Rounds last upward of four hours, so this is an excellent weekend game for the family to enjoy together.
The Empire Strikes Back – Hoth Ice Planet Adventure
A retro board game originally released by Kenner in 1980, Stars: The Empire Strikes Back – Hoth Ice Planet Adventure has a mouthful of a title, but it’s a pretty straightforward board game that can be enjoyed by youngsters and adults alike. Each turn, players spin to move about Hoth and collect Force Cards. Once a player acquires enough Force, they can battle Darth Vader to win the round. It’s a quick and breezy game that lasts no more than 30 minutes. While there’s not much strategy involved, it’s a fun, family-friendly game.
Star Wars: Legion – Core Set
Star Wars: Legion’s Core Set released in 2018 and has amassed numerous expansions since. The popular miniatures game puts you in control of an army of troopers, vehicles, and major characters in the franchise. Before even playing Legion, you’ll want to paint the miniatures. This makes Legion fun for both board game fans and those who like collecting and tinkering with models. The game itself is quite dynamic, which can lead to some thrilling battles that remain interesting and unique each time you play. The Core Set will get you started. From there, you can keep building your collection and expand the scope of the battles.
Star Wars Watercolor Prints
What do you get a Star Wars fan who has a ton of officially licensed art and decorations? These gorgeous watercolor prints may do the trick. The four-pack comes with prints featuring Darth Vader, Yoda, R2-D2, and C3PO. Each print is roughly 12 x 8 inches.
Star Wars: Secrets of the Galaxy Deluxe Box Set
The Star Wars: Secrets of the Galaxy series features some of the cooler companion books for the most dedicated of Star Wars fans. Each book serves as a handbook to a different topic in the Star Wars universe. Annotations from major characters in the Star Wars universe are scattered throughout–a fact that gives these books some extra charm. This box set includes The Jedi Path, Book of Sith, The Bounty Hunter Code, and Imperial Handbook. The hardcover set comes in an exclusive slipcase that will look great on any shelf.
Ultimate Star Wars
Ultimate Star Wars: The Definitive Guide to the Star Wars Universe contains useful background information on every major character in the series along with details on vehicle tech, lightsabers, planets, critical battles, and much more. It’s the one encyclopedia that every Star Wars fan should own.
Star Wars Comforter Set
As part of The Empire Strikes Back’s 40th anniversary, Disney released this charming comforter set for full-size beds. It comes with a soft comforter, two sheets, and two pillow cases. All of the stars of the film are featured, including Luke, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, and Yoda. The comforter can be reversed to reveal a more simplistic Star Wars logo, too.
Chewbacca Electronic Mask
Roar like Chewbacca with this awesome Wookiee mask. All you have to do to mimic Chewie’s sounds from the movie is open your mouth like you’re actually going to roar. Since the sound could annoy you, this is one of those things that’s perfect to buy for nieces, nephews, grandkids–kids that don’t live with you. It’s a small price to pay to complete your Wookie costume.
Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar
What’s better than chocolate in an Advent calendar? Lego figures, of course. This Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar comes with 311 Lego bricks, including six minifigures, six figures, and 12 mini builds such as the Millennium Falcon and X-wing. The calendar also comes with a code to unlock content in the Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, which launches next spring.
Millennium Falcon Wireless Charger
For the Star Wars fan that seemingly has everything, this Millennium Falcon wireless charger is a novel gift idea. You can place your phone atop the ship to charge wirelessly. Plus, it doubles as a pretty cool display piece.
Baby Yoda in a Bag Funko Pop
Releasing November 15, this adorable Baby Yoda Funko Pop places the little Force-wielder in a bag. This Pop figure would make for a wonderful–and rather meta–stocking stuffer. While some cute characters don’t make the Pop figure transition well, Baby Yoda still looks exceedingly adorable as a Funko Pop. It’s safe to say even those who don’t collect Funko Pops will appreciate it.
The Mandalorian Flying with Baby Yoda Funko Pop
Season 2 of The Mandalorian figures to bring ample use of the iconic jetpack that Mando received near the end of the Season 1. This Funko Pop celebrates Mando’s fully finished look, showing him taking off to the skies with an itty bitty Baby Yoda safely tucked beneath his arm. It releases just in time for the holidays on November 15 and is available to preorder now.
Star Wars “Lightsabers Appear” Mug
Heat-activated mugs are cool, and this one makes great use of Star Wars’ most iconic weapon, the lightsaber. As the mug heats up, 13 lightsabers come to life, casting their iconic lights across the mug. You’ll see the lightsabers wielded by iconic characters such as Yoda, Luke Skywalker, and Darth Vader. It’s available in 12-ounce and 20-ounce sizes.
This rather classy T-shirt shows off Tatooine, Luke’s home planet. It’s understated, but the mix of oranges and reds under the night sky gives it a really cool look.
Mandalorian “Chillin’ Friends” T-shirt
There’s no shortage of shirts based on The Mandalorian, but this one has a beautiful design that keeps things simple–no logos, no in-your-face characters–which can be really appealing to some. You can see the silhouettes of Mando and Baby Yoda walking beneath the setting sun. It’s available in more than a dozen colors, though it will probably look best against a dark background.
Highly-Detailed Ghostbusters Prop Replica Is Made To Look Poorly Constructed
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.