Good News Gaming: Animal Crossing Is So Wholesome And Game Companies Doing Good Things

We’re living in strange times right now and the news is pretty heavy. A lot is going on in the world, so it’s super important to stay informed on the latest. But it’s also important to make sure that we try not to let it consume us and make an effort to remember that there’s still a lot of good things happening.

It might sound silly, but when times are trying it’s important to try and have a laugh once in a while. And that’s exactly what we’re here to do, both for ourselves and for you. Every week, here on Good News Gaming, we’re going to highlight uplifting news stories that may have passed you by in the midst of the hustle and bustle of online news. We’re going to chat about the good things that are happening, enjoy some weird memes, and just all try and smile.

Kicking things off, we take a look at the charming and inventive ways people are using Animal Crossing: New Horizons to connect with their loved ones–in a time of social distancing, Nintendo’s wholesome island life sim is strengthening our bonds with friends and family. We also highlight how gaming companies are helping COVID-19 charities, and finish up with a random assortment of some daft and fun things people are doing in games like Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord and Half-Life: Alyx.

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Birds Of Prey: Cathy Yan Discusses The Movie’s Most Gratuitous Scene

Birds Of Prey may not be the deepest movie in the DC cinematic universe, but it’s certainly one of the most fun. As a neon-splashed, ultraviolent romp through street-level Gotham City, it’s delightfully wacky and irreverent–but one moment sticks out from the rest both in tone and context. About midway through, the film’s big bad, Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor) has a complete meltdown in his nightclub, prompting him to viciously attack and sexually harass one of the female patrons while Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) watches on, horrified.

There’s no punchline or wink to the audience, no slap-stick fourth-wall breaking to lighten the mood, just a power-crazed paranoid villain and his victim. In our spoiler review, we denoted the scene was one of the only gratuitous moments in an otherwise gleefully fun movie. And apparently, that was the intent. Director Cathy Yan explained the context of the scene in an interview with THR, as well as the struggle to keep the moment in the film’s final cut.

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Rick & Morty Writer To Pen Ant-Man 3 Script – Report

The line between Rick & Morty and the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to blur. In November it was announced that Jessica Gao, who wrote the show’s “Pickle Rick” episode, was picked to develop the She-Hulk show on Disney+. Now, another alum from the series is reportedly joining the MCU. However, this one will write a film.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rick & Morty writer/co-producer Jeff Loveness has been tapped to pen the script for the currently unannounced Ant-Man 3, the followup to 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp. THR reports that director Peyton Reed has already signed on to return.

In addition to his creative role on the Adult Swim animated series, Loveness has credits that include writing for Jimmy Kimmel Live, Miracle Workers, and The Onion News Network. He is also no stranger to comics, having written for Marvel Comics, Boom! Studios, and DC.

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Xbox One X Bundles And Controllers Get Huge Discounts In Microsoft Spring Sale

Microsoft recently kicked off an Xbox One digital games sale, and now it’s discounting a number of its Xbox One X console bundles and controllers. If you’re looking to pass the time while you’re stuck at home, then the Xbox One X is an excellent console to help you do exactly that. It’s the most powerful console on the market right now, capable of greater performance and resolutions than the standard Xbox One. Each bundle comes with an awesome game, and if you need an extra controller, then there are plenty of deals on those as well.

The Xbox One X bundles are all currently $300 and include Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Forza Horizon 4 (with the Lego Speed Champions DLC), NBA 2K20, and Gears 5. There are two options for NBA 2K20: the standard black console and a gorgeous paint-splattered Hyperspace-edition Xbox One X. The Gears 5 bundles also let you choose between the standard console and a special edition with a unique design–both bundles also come with the entire mainline Gears of War series.

A number of Xbox One controllers are also discounted. Standard controllers, such as the White, Grey/Green, and Grey/Blue variations, are on sale as are some special edition controllers like the Midnight Forces II, Armed Forces II, and Night Ops Camo pads. And if you want to design your own, Xbox Design Lab controllers and NFL Design Lab controllers are $5 off.

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Rosetta Stone Has a Great Deal on Lifetime Unlimited Language Learning Right Now

There’s no time like the present to start learning something new, and while the absolute best time to learn a new language is when you’re a toddler, those carefree days of juice boxes and nap times are long gone. The second-best time to learn a new language, though, is right now.

Fortunately for you and your new-language-learning needs, Rosetta Stone is running a sale on lifetime subscriptions and offering free live coaching between now and June 30 on select languages. That means you can get an actual human to help you learn a new language. Pretty great in my opinion.

And yes, Japanese is one of the languages offered as part of the lifetime deal.

Rosetta Stone Deal

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The lifetime Rosetta Stone deal is normally $299, but right now you can get it for $199. That amount is due right now, but if you want to sign up for a plan on monthly payments, that’s totally fine. Rosetta Stone has 3-month plans for a single language starting at $11.99 per month with $35.97 due at purchase.

Twelve-months of unlimited languages is $95.88 down and $7.99 a month after that, and 2 years of unlimited language learning access is marked down from $249 due to $143.76 and then $5.99 a month after that.

Now is a great time to learn new skills, with some places offering free online courses, as well as discounts. If you’d rather spend your time relaxing, we put together a list of free trials for streaming movies, TV shows and even comics.

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Seth Macy is IGN’s tech and commerce editor and just wants to be your friend. Find him on Twitter @sethmacy.

Persona 5 Royal Review – Ideal And The Real

In the three years since Persona 5‘s original release, I’ve thought about it almost every day. Its lavish style gracefully captures its spirit of rebellion and breathes life into its dynamic combat system. The evocative, banging soundtrack perfectly encapsulates the emotion of each moment. The downtime spent in Tokyo with your friends brings you closer to each of them, invigorating your fight for what’s right. All those qualities feed into a bold story that unapologetically puts its foot down against the injustices that reflect our own society.

The extended version, Persona 5 Royal, brings the heat all over again. But beyond a plethora of superb gameplay refinements and features that improve an already-rich RPG comes a momentous new story arc seeded within the original narrative and paid off in full by the end. It delivers something genuinely surprising, leading to awe-inspiring moments and emotional conclusions that recontextualize what I thought the game was. Through its lengthy 120-hour runtime, Persona 5 Royal proves itself as the definitive version of a modern classic.

The minute you start P5R, you’re given the fantastic in media res introduction that brilliantly showcases the ride you’re in for–and provides a glimpse at the Royal-exclusive character Kasumi. After this teaser, you’re brought to the chronological start of the story that then walks you through the events that lit the fire inside our protagonist (aka Joker) and kicked off his journey as a virtuous trickster. The opening hours may take some time to pick the pace back up, but by easing you into the game’s systems, you’re set up for the rest of its flow.

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Persona 5 Royal Review

By refining what was already great and building on its best qualities with a brilliant new story arc, Persona 5 Royal asserts itself as an unforgettable and empowering RPG.

Star Wars: Mark Hamill Shares Heartfelt Letter to Fans

With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker capping off a saga more than 40 years in the making, Mark Hamill has penned a heartfelt letter to fans thanking them for their devotion to the Skywalker Saga.

Hamill tweeted out a photo of his letter, which is being included as part of The Complete Skywalker Saga Blu-ray set. You can read the full letter below:

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Hamill’s letter is all the more touching given that it pays tribute to the late, great Carrie Fisher and refers to the franchise as “George’s faraway galaxy.” He also reflects on how drastically Lucas’ early plans for the original film changed, referencing the mouthful of an original title “The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, as taken from the Journal of the Whills, Saga I: Star Wars.”

The letter is just one of many perks included in The Complete Skywalker Saga. The 4K Ultra HD version (which is exclusive to Best Buy) features a whopping 27 discs, covering all nine of the numbered Star Wars movies along with many hours of bonus features. Those discs are contained within a special art book featuring concept art spanning all three trilogies.

Even months after its release, we’re continuing to learn more behind-the-scenes details about The Rise of Skywalker. The newly released The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker sheds light on axed storylines and a tank-like version of BB-8, while Anthony Daniels told IGN C-3PO nearly had a bigger role in Episode IX.

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For even more on the final Skywalker Saga movie, find out why we think the documentary, The Skywalker Legacy, helps redeem Episode IX.

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Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.