Tracer From Overwatch Is The Latest Nendoroid Figure

Though Overwatch is great in part thanks to its ensemble cast of personality-filled characters, Tracer has become one of the more recognizable faces. As the character featured on the box art, as well as an inventive take on speedy FPS characters, Tracer is viewed by many as the mascot of Overwatch.

Blizzard has revealed that Tracer is the latest character to join the popular Nendoroid figure line. Like all Nendoroids, the Tracer figure comes with different faces with unique expressions, as well as open and closed hands to swap out for different poses. The figure features several points of articulation to allow for high levels of customization when it comes to posing it on your shelf or desk. Tracer also includes her two pulse pistols, as well as her pulse bomb that she uses as her ultimate.

The Nendoroid line has seen hundreds of popular characters transformed into its highly posable “chibi” style. Characters ranging from Hatsune Miku and Yuri Katsuke to Pokémon Trainer Red and various versions of Link have been featured in the line. Tracer is the first character from Overwatch to get the Nendoroid treatment.

The Nendoroid Tracer figure is currently available for pre-order at Blizzard’s store for $49.99. The figure is set to ship near the end of 2017.

[Source: Blizzard Gear]

Beta Test Tracer From Overwatch Is The Latest Nendoroid Figure

Street Fighter's Ken Kicks His Way To His Own Pop Culture Shock Ultra Statue

The Street Fighter series is turning 30 this year, and to celebrate, Pop Culture Shock is giving one of the series’ mainstay characters his own high-end statue. Ken Masters, who often appears alongside face of the franchise Ryu, is depicted delivering a flaming kick in this new, vibrant statue.

The Ken Masters with Dragon Flame statue features his colors from Street Fighter IV, which is a more traditional take on the character than was seen in Street Fighter V. It stands at 25 inches tall and is a part of the 1:4 Ultra Statue line from Pop Culture Shock. The hand-crafted collectible is made of polystone and features a translucent fire effect. Those who purchase it also receive a certificate of authenticity.

The statue is available for pre-order now with a ship date sometime between January 2018 and March 2018. If you’re looking to add this to your shelf, it’ll set you back $499.99. It is currently available for pre-order at Sideshow Collectibles.

Beta Test Street Fighter’s Ken Kicks His Way To His Own Pop Culture Shock Ultra Statue

GoldenEye And Overwatch Collide In Fan-Made Video

Overwatch is currently one of the most popular shooters on the market, but for many, their love of the genre started with GoldenEye 007 on Nintendo 64. YouTube user Noilleber has brought the games, which are separated by nearly two decades, together in one creative video.

The video takes place entirely in Overwatch’s Dorado map and features Overwatch characters, but the screen is divided into four-player splitscreen like the classic GoldenEye matches. In addition, James Bond music plays over the whole video, and the death screen from GoldenEye carries over each time a player is killed. The YouTuber also inserts several references to the beloved N64 shooter, including a humorous nod to the much-maligned multiplayer character Oddjob.

You can see the full Overwatch 64 video below.

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[Source: Noilleber on YouTube]

Beta Test GoldenEye And Overwatch Collide In Fan-Made Video

Battlefield 1 Winter Update Adds Server Rentals And Higher Class Rank Caps

Battlefield 1’s first major expansion, They Shall Not Pass, doesn’t launch until March, but DICE is setting the stage today with their latest title update to the popular World War I shooter.

The Winter Update, as it is called, adds a number of refinements and adjustments to various aspects of the Battlefield 1 experience. Previously, each of the game’s classes had a level cap of 10; this update brings that number all the way up to 50, giving completionists a new XP mountain to climb. Another new addition to the game is ribbons, which aim to encourage more team-based play by rewarding support actions with XP bonuses.

In addition to these new bells and whistles, the update also introduces server rentals for hardcore multiplayer aficionados, and a slew of gameplay and UI adjustments. To check out the full patch notes, click here.

[Source: Battlefield]

Beta Test Battlefield 1 Winter Update Adds Server Rentals And Higher Class Rank Caps

The Strong Museum Of Play Launches Women In Games Initiative

As the home of the International Center for the History of Electronic Gaming (ICHEG) and the World Video Game Hall of Fame, The Strong is already known as a leader in documenting the history and evolution of electronic gaming. With their new Women in Games initiative, the museum intends to bring greater visibility to women who played an important role in the development and innovation of video games. 

“The Strong’s Women in Games initiative will chronicle the many ways women have shaped the development of games, from design and production, to manufacturing and marketing, to consumption and criticism,” explains Shannon Symonds, associate curator of the ICHEG. 

Currently expected to open in September 2018, the initiative will culminate in online and on-site exhibits that will build upon the museum’s collection of prototypes, archival records, and other resources with artifacts that highlight women’s importance to video games.

For more information about the initiative and to participate in the museum’s efforts, check out The Strong here.

 

Our Take
It is unfortunate but true that women’s contributions to the video game industry have often been overlooked. It’s great to see that this initiative is yet another in The Strong’s history to bring visibility to games and developers that have shaped the medium and reward them with recognition they may not have previously received. 

Beta Test The Strong Museum Of Play Launches Women In Games Initiative

Science-Fiction Weekly – Ghost In The Shell, Star Trek, Secret Empire, The Last Jedi

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 scored a perfect 100 in its first test screening – the highest of any Marvel movie to date. Both The Avengers and Iron Man 3 scored in the high 90s. Deadpool also pulled in a 96 for Fox. As the Hollywood Reporter notes, test screenings don’t always lineup with theatergoers’ interests, and Marvel is more selective in participants than other studios, leaning more on friends and family than random people who may leak spoilers.

Director James Gunn joked about the score on Twitter. “For the record, the 2nd highest scoring film I’ve worked on is Scooby-Doo
2: Monsters Unleashed
– so I take these things with a grain of salt,” he said. The first Guardians of the Galaxy film was fantastic – one of Marvel’s best – and latest TV spot (below) makes the gang’s return look like an absolute riot. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens in theaters on May 5.

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If you are concerned about Ghost in the Shell‘s trailers delivering more style than substance, you may like what you see from the latest teaser, which focuses intently on setting up the story. This trailer is long, and it is loaded with plot points and a surprising amount of spoilers. Watch at your own risk. We only have a couple of months to wait until Ghost in the Shell graces the silver screen on March 31, so don’t spoil it now if you want to go in somewhat blind.

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Adam Nimoy, the son of the late Leonard Nimoy, is returning to the Star Trek universe to film another documentary. His first doc, For the Love of Spock, was obviously about his father. His next foray focuses on Deep Space Nine, the third Star Trek television series that had a successful seven-season run from 1993-1999. The film is currently seeking funding via Indiegogo, but has already reached its goal, pulling in over $245,000 in just a few short days. Most of the actors and creatives are attached to the project, but Avery Brooks (Captain Benjamin Sisko) is noticeably absent from the list, but is prominently featured in the trailer (via con and show footage).

Marvel’s next big comic book event hits in April, and appears to pit Captain America against the entire Marvel universe. This war unfolds in a standalone series called Secret Empire. Marvel’s senior vice president Tom Brevoort compares this story to a “Michael Bay blockbuster” filled with “colossal struggles and battles.” All we know for certain is Captain America is an agent of Hydra, and we’re about to see his end game unfold. The cover art teases a heavy cosmic angle, which is surprising given the origin of the threat. Issue zero of Secret Empire hits in April, and the series begins its monthly run in May.

Over in the galaxy far, far away, the latest fan speculation over Rey’s parents is a bit wild, but Reddit user Darth Hodor provides plenty of ammo to back it up. We’ve heard speculation that she may be Luke’s daughter, or a Kenobi or Palpatine, but what if her roots link to the Rebels TV show instead? What if her father is Ezra Bridger, the young Jedi in training featured in Rebels? Hodor believes Benicio Del Toro is playing Bridger in The Last Jedi. “He’d be about the right age, and there have been theories that Rebels
will end with Ezra joining Luke’s new
Jedi Academy,” Hodor said in a post. “But then why was she left on Jakku? The theory I’ve come up with is that Ezra fall to the dark side. He
joins forces with Snoke and together they start manipulating the Jedi
starting with Ben Solo. Foreseeing this, Luke hides Rey from her father,
and in retaliation Ezra, through or with Kylo Ren, destroy the Jedi
Academy. Luke flees and Del Toro is left without knowing where his
daughter is hidden.”

As much as I would love to see Ezra featured on the big screen in a meaningful way, I doubt Lucasfilm would transform him into a villain. Take a chance like this would surprise a lot of people, but I doubt that happens with a show designed for kids. Speculate away, people. The more theories we see leading into the film’s launch in December, the better. My money is still on the easy route of her being a Skywalker. Yes, that’s a letdown, but who is mom? That question is just as huge, even if Luke is dear ol’ dad.

Concern over Pacific Rim: Uprising bringing back the same model of the Gypsy Danger Jaeger can be put on hold. Leaked marketing materials for the film show a redesigned version of the Gypsy, along with apparent redesigns for Jaegers Cherno Alpha and Crimson Typhoon. You can see the new models below. I like how sleek they look. Yes, they are starting to look more and more like Transformers, but hey, that’s okay. Thanks go out to Science-Fiction Weekly reader Sven for sending over the image.

I’m leaving you this week with a new look at Kong: Skull Island. I wish we had some games to talk about (Horizon: Zero Dawn is just two weeks away), but watching Kong battle dinosaurs is just as good. Enjoy the clip, and I’ll see you back here again for another Science-Fiction Weekly in seven short days.

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Beta Test Science-Fiction Weekly – Ghost In The Shell, Star Trek, Secret Empire, The Last Jedi

Latest Path of Exile Expansion Is the Biggest Yet

Since its original launch back in 2013, Path of Exile has continued to grow its community. Just this past year, the Diablo-inspired action/RPG increased its hours played by 44-percent year-over-year, with more than one million monthly players in December 2016 alone. Now, developer Grinding Gear Games is kicking off its biggest expansion yet. 

The Fall of Oriath expansion adds one major act to the Path of Exile experience and then remixes the pre-existing four to create a new game experience. Act 5 returns players to Oriath to seek retribution for their exile. After the events of this new section, you’re not expected to grind through the previous acts over and over again to reach the endgame. Instead, you play through five “new” acts that add new enemies and loot to familiar territories changed by the events that transpire.

Check out a teaser of the new content here:

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All of this new content will be a part of the Xbox One launch later this year. Both the PC add-on and Xbox One release are expected this summer. 

Beta Test Latest Path of Exile Expansion Is the Biggest Yet

A 2D Zelda On The Switch Is “Definitely A Possibility”

Nintendo’s new Switch console falls somewhere between a traditional console and a portable gaming device. While Nintendo hasn’t stated whether their handheld-focused teams will shift focus to the Switch, many have speculated that that is the case.

During an interview with The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma for our recent Breath of the Wild cover story, we had a chance to talk about this possible developmental shift at Nintendo.

Since The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a massive project, we asked Aonuma if Nintendo considered fusing the Breath of the Wild team with the team that worked on the 3DS Zelda titles like A Link Between Worlds and Tri Force Heroes. We wondered if the studio thought this would help speed up development of the upcoming console game.

“The dev pace is not really dependent on how many people are on a team, so combining them would not necessarily expedite the development pace,” says Aonuma. “The 3DS team and the Wii U team have different approaches to game development, so I don’t necessarily want to combine them and have them think together, but rather have each think about what they can bring to Nintendo Switch from their own perspective.”

Aonuma then offered additional clarification, saying “The handheld development team will not be phased out because of Nintendo Switch. Switch will allow the users to bring their home console on the go, but this doesn’t mean handheld game development like Nintendo 3DS will be discontinued.”

When we asked point-blank if there was a possibility that the 3DS Zelda teams were working on a new game for the Nintendo Switch, Aonuma said, “Yes, there is definitely a possibility.”

This is good news for classic fans of the series or anyone who worry Breath of the Wild has strayed too far from the original Zelda formula. While we’ve enjoyed everything we’ve seen in Breath of the Wild, we’re sure many fans would also be excited by the idea of seeing a follow up to 2013’s A Link Between Worlds on their television screens.

“There are definitely good things about the 2D world and the playstyles of the 2D world,” Aonuma says. “There are a lot of fans who enjoy that style. This Nintendo Switch style, which is the evolved style of gameplay is not necessarily… I want you to think of it more as an evolved style of 2D style. For the 3DS team, I am trying to make them think in a more evolved 2D-style approach.”

Hopefully, we’ll learn more about this “evolved 2D style” very soon. Since the 3DS team’s last game, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, released back in October of 2015, we wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo announced a new 2D Zelda not long after the release of Breath of the Wild.

For all of our The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild coverage this month, click the banner below.

Beta Test A 2D Zelda On The Switch Is “Definitely A Possibility”

Take A Look At Kidrobot's South Park: The Fractured But Whole Blind Box Figure Line

We’ve been anticipating South Park: The Fractured But Whole ever since its reveal, but the RPG from Ubisoft and the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, has received multiple delays. The most recent news is that it will launch sometime between April 2017 and March 2018.

While we wait for the sequel to The Stick of Truth, Kidrobot sent us over some blind box vinyl figures based on The Fractured But Whole. We opened them up and they’re pretty accurate to how the characters look in the game and the TV series. You can see the gallery of the figures below.

For more Kidrobot figures, check out our gallery of their Sonic the Hedgehog line. For more on South Park: The Fractured But Whole, check out our exclusive hub of content from our cover story.

Beta Test Take A Look At Kidrobot’s South Park: The Fractured But Whole Blind Box Figure Line

Overwatch Characters Spread The Love On Valentine's Day Through Cute Twitter Cards

Throughout the industry, developers are celebrating Valentine’s Day through in-game events. From Pokémon Go to GTA Online, players are able to take advantage of special bonuses and timed items centered on Valentine’s Day. Overwatch is just now exiting its most recent in-game event, Year of the Rooster, so it does not have a Valentine’s Day event currently running. Instead, the developers behind Game Informer‘s 2016 Game of the Year are taking to Twitter to share the love through cute Valentine’s Day greetings featuring the recognizable characters of the popular shooter.

To receive your own greeting, all you have to do is follow the instructions in the tweet below.

In the time since the Overwatch Twitter account started doing this, thousands of responses have been sent out. Each cute image has character-specific text accompaniment like “I’ll always give you the time of day” for McCree, “I’ve got you in my sights” for Soldier: 76, or “Be…Mine! Mine! Mine!” for Reaper. You can see some of the images being used for the cards below.

To see more, including the clever messages accompanying these images, head to Overwatch’s Twitter page and look at their “Tweets with replies” tab.

[Source: Overwatch on Twitter]

Beta Test Overwatch Characters Spread The Love On Valentine’s Day Through Cute Twitter Cards