Netflix’s Kiss Me First Is Ready Player One Without the Fun

The following is an advance review for the debut episode of Kiss Me First, which premieres its first season on Netflix U.S. this Friday, June 29th.

Season 1 already aired in its entirety in the U.K. this past spring.

In a modestly maudlin mix of genres, Kiss Me First – from Skins co-creator Bryan Elsley, and from the book by Lottie Moggach – offers up a very moody low-key slice of cyberspace. Part Black Mirror, Part Ready Player One, Part…well, you get the idea (the list of ingredients is long), Kiss Me First properly and subtly blends aspects of various sources and influences and aptly sets its own tone and atmosphere.

That being said, it’s also quite stagnant at times, offering up little more than silence and the aforementioned “mood” for us to absorb and process. Kiss Me First is definitely one of those shows that you learn more and more about as it goes on, as it starts with a barrel full of secrets and purposeful deception in order to give you that blankest entry point possible. The viewer is basically tasked with discovering what the story is, what “all of this is really about,” and the grinding aspect here is – well – time. It takes a while for the series to reveal itself, though those astute enough can certainly spot the twists coming.

Continue reading…

As Nintendo’s New CEO Takes Over, Europe Gets New Leadership

Nintendo has been changing up its management structure across the board, and now Nintendo of Europe has announced a big shift at the top of its corporate structure. Satoru Shibata, who has been Nintendo’s chief representative in Germany for 18 years, is heading back to the company’s headquarters in Japan to run marketing and licensing.

In Shibata’s place, Nintendo has appointed a new CEO and president in Europe. Koji Miyake is the former general manager of Nintendo’s HR in Japan and will now take up the role of CEO/Chairman, while Stephan Bole, who used to run Nintendo France, will be the company’s new European president.

Nintendo is going through a major shift in leadership right now; today is the last day for Nintendo’s president in Japan, Tatsumi Kimishima. Kimishima has retired, and Shuntaro Furukawa has now taken over as representative director and president. He’s held a series of high-level management positions (including outside director for The Pokemon Company).

All of this news comes amid Nintendo’s huge continued success with Nintendo Switch. In its latest earnings report back in April, the company announced it had sold nearly 18 million Switch systems, and was on track to sell 20 million more by the end of the year. Nintendo also said it expects to sell 100 million more games this year, which sounds ambitious but is bolstered by its strong showing at E3 2018, which included the official reveal of Super Smash Bros Ultimate, due to release right before Christmas.

Fortnite’s Playground Mode Is Down But Set To Come Back Today

Update 2: Epic has provided another update on the status of Fortnite: Battle Royale’s new Playground mode. In another Reddit post, it stated, “Yesterday we launched the Playground LTM. So many of you rushed in to create and play that our matchmaking service fell over. We’ve since separated the Playground matchmaker from the one that affects the default modes and made large improvements to assist with the number of players. We plan to push these changes and improvements live later today to bring the Playground LTM back online. We’ll give you more updates and a timeline as soon as we have one.”

We’ll report back as more details are shared, but that means we can expect to get into Playground mode today, June 28, presumably during US time. For now, you can check out the new Week 9 challenges that are now live.

Update: Following its launch, Playground mode remains unavailable in Fortnite. The launch of the 4.5 update saw some serious technical issues plague Battle Royale, preventing matchmaking from working across all modes for a period of time. Those have since been resolved, but Epic quickly removed Playground from the rotation and has yet to say exactly when it will be back.

The company’s latest statement came on Wednesday evening US time. In a post on the Fortnite Reddit, it said, “We know you want to get back out to the Playground LTM. We’ve got multiple teams working to get this mode back into your hands so you can let your imaginations run wild. We want to inform you that the Playground LTM will remain closed for repairs for the night. We’ll have more information available [Thursday].” We’ll report back with any details about when Playground will come back. The original story follows.

Fortnite’s latest update, v4.5, is now available on all platforms. On top of introducing a new weapon and other features to both Battle Royale and Save the World, it marks the start of the game’s latest limited-time mode, Playground–although as of this writing, the mode has been temporarily taken offline.

Unlike previous limited-time modes, Playground is intended to be a “low-pressure environment” that acts much like a private server. It allows players to explore the map, devise strategies, and play around freely with up to three friends without the risk of being eliminated by other players.

Each round in Playground lasts for one hour, and the storm circle won’t begin closing in on the map until 55 minutes into the match. Friendly fire is enabled, although players will respawn immediately unless eliminated by the storm. There’s also considerably more loot to find. 100 Llamas will spawn across the map, and players will receive 10 times the normal amount of any resources gathered during the match.

Playground isn’t the only limited-time mode available in Fortnite this week. Final Fight Teams of 12 is also now underway in Battle Royale. This mode unfolds like a standard game of Battle Royale; however, the storm circles stop closing partway through a match. Once the circles have finished closing, a Final Countdown timer will begin, with the remaining teams competing to have the most surviving players when the time expires.

Epic hasn’t announced an end date for either Playground or Final Fight Teams of 12. Fortnite’s limited-time modes are typically only available for about a week, although it remains to be seen if Playground will remain in the rotation a little longer than usual to make up for its downtime. You can read more details about each mode–courtesy of the patch notes on the official Fortnite website–below.

Epic still hasn’t provided a time table for when Playground mode will be enabled again. The mode was taken offline due to a matchmaking issue that cropped up following the rollout of update 4.5. That issue has since been resolved, but Epic says it is “continuing work” to bring Playground back online. The developer will provide further updates on Fortnite’s status website.

Fortnite Update 4.5 Patch Notes

Playground

Summary

Playground is a low-pressure environment where friends can let their creativity run wild. Build massive structures. Practice with the weapons and items. Fight against your friends. Have fun!

Mode Details

  • You’ll have one hour to create, play and train as you wish. Hop in and try out version 1 of Playground!
  • Drop into the Battle Royale map with a squad of friends for an hour
  • Friendly Fire is on
  • Players respawn on elimination unless downed by the storm
  • The storm doesn’t start closing in for 55m, and takes 5 minutes to close in
  • Resources gathered grant 10x the normal rate.
  • 100 Llamas will be spawned on the map
  • Chests & Ammo Boxes spawn 100% of the time

Final Fight Teams of 12

Summary

Make it to the final circle and then fight for the Victory Royale!

Mode Details

  • Final Fight plays similar to standard Battle Royale, but instead of the storm circles closing all the way in, they stop part way through the match.
  • When the circles have finished closing in, the Final Countdown timer will begin.
  • The remaining teams will battle it out until the timer expires.
  • The team with the most players remaining at the end of the timer wins!
  • In the event of a tie, the two (or more) teams tied for the lead win the match.

Overwatch’s Sombra Updates Could Be Huge, If They Happen

As part of ongoing changes to Overwatch, Blizzard is currently in the midst of reworking Sombra, the Damage class hero that specializes in infiltration and hacking. Although Blizzard hasn’t finalized how they’re changing the character, lead designer Geoff Goodman has revealed the direction they’re taking her.

Posting on the Overwatch forums, Goodman said that Blizzard was currently “seeing how far we could push the duration of her Stealth and Translocator abilities.” The former ability allows her to become invisible for a brief period and quickens her movement, making it useful for slipping behind enemy lines. The latter enables Sombra to throw out an item which she can teleport back to, which facilitates quick retreats to safety.

No Caption Provided
Gallery image 1Gallery image 2Gallery image 3Gallery image 4Gallery image 5Gallery image 6Gallery image 7Gallery image 8

According to Goodman, the version of Sombra Blizzard is currently working on has no limit on the duration she can remain concealed using Stealth. However, the bonus her movement speed receives while in this mode has been reduced from a 75% increase to a 50% increase. Additionally, she cannot contest objectives while invisible. Currently, Sombra reveals her location if she fires her guns or is hit by an enemy, and this doesn’t seem to have changed.

Your Translocator device, meanwhile, can now be destroyed from a distance. Previously, once you had thrown out there was no way to move or destroy it. With this ability, Sombra players can effectively keep her Translocator in an ideal spot to ensure it is always useful for her.

“These changes are really interesting for her as now she is in complete control over when she reveals herself, [allowing] her to time her hacks better for her team or go for a back line ambush during a critical moment in a team fight,” Goodman explained.

These changes are currently only being explored internally at Blizzard, and are yet to go onto the public test realm, where they are tested further before being introduced to the live version of the game. It could be that, following the various testing phases, these changes are tweaked or abandoned entirely.

Blizzard recently added new functionality to Overwatch that encourages players to give others accolades and endorse them. Alongside this, it also added Looking For Group, which helps teams fill roles quicker. Blizzard has also revealed a new hero for Overwatch. However, thus far all we have is a suspicious-looking boulder to speculate over.

Free Legendary Pokemon For July 2018 Revealed

The Year of Legendary Pokemon rolls on with another pair of free Legendaries for Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Next month, The Pokemon Company is giving away two powerful monsters that originally appeared in Pokemon Black and White versions: Tornadus and Thundurus.

Continuing the trend of previous distributions, the Legendaries will be given out in different ways depending upon your region. US residents can pick up a free download code for the Pokemon at the electronics section of Target from July 13-28; those in Europe can download the Legendaries over the Nintendo Network via Mystery Gift from July 6-22; and players in Canada will receive a code in the Pokemon Trainer Club newsletter.

As before, the Legendaries can be redeemed in any seventh-generation Pokemon game, although the one you receive will differ depending on which version you have. In Sun and Ultra Sun, players will get the Electric-type Thundurus, while those with Moon and Ultra Moon will receive the Flying-type Tornadus. The Pokemon will also come at different levels and know different moves depending upon the game. You can see the moveset for each Legendary below.

Pokemon Ultra Sun

  • Thundurus — Level 100 (w/Gold Bottle Cap)
    • Thunderbolt
    • Focus Blast
    • Grass Knot
    • Nasty Plot

Pokemon Sun

  • Thundurus — Level 60
    • Discharge
    • Crunch
    • Charge
    • Nasty Plot

Pokemon Ultra Moon

  • Tornadus — Level 100 (w/Gold Bottle Cap)
    • Hurricane
    • Heat Wave
    • Grass Knot
    • Tailwind

Pokemon Moon

  • Tornadus — Level 60
    • Air Slash
    • Crunch
    • Tailwind
    • Rain Dance

The code you receive can be redeemed via the Mystery Gift feature from the games’ main menu. After selecting it, choose the option to receive your gift with a code/password, input the code, and the Pokemon will be downloaded to your game. (Players in Europe must choose the option to receive their gift via the internet to download their Legendaries.) You’ll then be able to pick your Pokemon up from the deliveryman waiting inside any Pokemon Center.

Since February, The Pokemon Company has been giving away free Legendaries for the seventh-gen Pokemon games. Following the Tornadus and Thundurus distribution, players will be able to get the Hoenn Legendaries Groudon and Kyogre in August. In the meantime, you can see all of the free Pokemon available for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon right now.

Fortnite’s Playground Mode Planned to Return Today

Epic Games is aiming to re-release the Playground limited time mode in Fortnite later today.

Over on Reddit, the Fortnite developer gave a brief overview of why Playground was pulled yesterday and the new release plans for the mode. “So many of you rushed in

to create and play that our matchmaking service fell over,” Epic stated. “We’ve since separated the Playground matchmaker from the one that affects the default modes and made large improvements to assist with the number of players.

“We plan to push these changes and improvements live later today to bring the Playground LTM back online.”

Continue reading…

New Overwatch Hero Isn’t What You Expect

After much teasing and speculation, Blizzard has revealed the next character–Hero 28–for Overwatch. The brief teaser shows off a mechanized rolling ball of death, before out pops an adorable little hamster. He’s so cute! And deadly!

This reveal confirms the speculation that the next character would be another sentient animal, similar to Winston. Previous teases have seen his little apparent hamster ball rolling around in the background of other shots. It also seems to confirm that a Reddit user’s speculation was right on the money, having suggested that the next character would be Hammond the Hamster.

Blizzard hasn’t released details on Hammond, so we’re waiting to hear more about his exact power set, Ultimate, and class. A recent patch unified the Offense and Defense classes into one, called Damage, and sorted Symmetra into that role. Hammond may be a Damage class member too.

Meanwhile, we could be getting big changes to Sombra soon. Lead designer Geoff Goodman recently revealed some internal test changes to the character that could make a massive difference to her power level, if implemented throughout the full game.

Fortnite: Where To Find The Haunted Hills Treasure Map (Week 9 Challenges)

The end of Fortnite: Battle Royale‘s Season 4 is in sight, but there’s still time to take on the current batch of challenges. Week 9’s have been introduced, providing a slate of seven more objectives for you to complete if you own the Season 4 Battle Pass. That includes yet another treasure map to hunt down and follow–here’s where to find it and how to get your hands on the treasure, as well as the other challenges.

Week 9’s trickiest challenge tasks you to follow the treasure map found in Haunted Hills. Provided you want to do things by the book, you’ll first head to Haunted Hills to get a look at the map, which is pictured below. The map can be found in one of two locations: in a small building just south of the church, or underneath the larger building on the western side. Either way, here’s what you’ll see:

No Caption Provided

If you know the island’s map well, you may recognize this as showing the silhouettes of Junk Junction’s… junk. Fortunately, that area is located just north of Haunted Hills. Either make your way there next or drop in at the start of the match, and head toward a stack of cars near the northern wall, as directed by the X on the treasure map. Get to the top of the pile and you’ll see the treasure waiting to be picked up. Grab it just as you would open a chest and the challenge is complete.

No Caption Provided

Epic considers this to be a Hard-tier challenge, which is good news for you–doing it will net you a total of 10 Battle Stars. That helps to rank up your Battle Pass and get your hands on Fortnite’s Season 4 skins and rewards. With Season 5 set to begin in early July, you’ll want to squeeze what you can get out of the current Battle Pass.

You can check out a complete list of Week 9 challenges below. These are, for the most part, quite straightforward, tasking you with eliminating opponents with shotguns, elimination opponents in Anarchy Acres, using a shopping cart (luckily, these have been re-enabled), searching chest in Moisty Mire, and dealing explosive weapon damage. One that might give you some difficulty is visiting the center of named locations in a single match. These are marked by large blue beacons, and you’ll know you’ve reached the center when you see a new flag in the center of the area change to your banner. Your best bet to complete this may be to simply stay outside the storm circle and avoid other players as much as possible.

Fortnite Week 9 Challenges

  • Deal damage with Explosive Weapons to opponents (500) — 5 Battle Stars
  • Search Chests in Moisty Mire (7) — 5 Battle Stars
  • Use a Shopping Cart — 5 Battle Stars
  • Visit the center of Named Locations in a Single Match (4) — 5 Battle Stars
  • Hard: Follow the treasure map found in Haunted Hills — 10 Battle Stars
  • Hard: Shotgun Eliminations (4) — 10 Battle Stars
  • Hard: Eliminate opponents in Anarchy Acres (3) — 10 Battle Stars