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NEWS (LAST 200)
Trump blasts second Kavanaugh accuser: S...
Northland retains its reputation as cann...
Whakatane man suffers severe burns in ho...
Bill Cosby sentenced to 3 to 10 years in...
Rendall Jack and Graham Bell call for cr...
Hundreds of dead fish left behind as Flo...
Venezuela's Maduro accuses Chile, Co...
Wisconsin workplace shooter passed compa...
Bill Cosby is sentenced to three to 10 y...
Macron tells Trump oil prices would fall...
Charles Bronson dismisses frail old man ...
Chained up elephant sways in distress af...
Bill Cosby sentenced to three to 10 year...
Life expectancy falls in Scotland for fi...
Bill Cosby sentenced to state prison for...
Dallas Cop Charged With Killing Black Ne...
Trump To Migrants: Stay Home
Police charge man in California over mur...
Iranian president condemns "reckles...
Argentina national strike protests infla...
Judge Rules Bill Cosby A 'Sexually ...
Trumps isolationism a gift to his greate...
County Championship: Tykes lead after Ga...
County Championship: Northants beat Suss...
Flexible working challenge for parents...
Top tips for a good nights sleep
Post Moonves, CBS Should Put More Women ...
County Championship: Wagg helps put Glam...
Whats life like for Generation sensible?...
County Championship: Middlesex battle ba...
Rooms: The Adventure of Anne & George...
Fifa agrees to limit number of players c...
Jimmy Bennett gives first TV interview s...
Labour could scrap Universal Credit - Jo...
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County Championship: Westley & Harmer to...
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Hasselblad announces three XCD lenses, i...
Sigma unveils 56mm F1.4 DC DN lens for S...
ON1 Photo RAW 2019 due out in November w...
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Labour conference: Jeremy Corbyn asked a...
Bill Cosby sentenced to 3 to 10 years in...
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Apple partners with Salesforce to bring ...
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REVIEWS & PREVIEWS (LAST 60)
Fiction: A Novel of World War II Espiona...
Fujifilm GFX 50R First Impressions Revie...
Forza Horizon 4 Review - Vroom, Britanni...
Gas-tax repeal backers to launch new cam...
Jose Briceño blasts walk-off homer in 1...
MLB: Bobby Evans fired as Giants GM...
Dodgers lineup gets big lift from David ...
L.A. Sheriffs deputy wounded in City Ter...
John Gibson shines in 4-2 victory over C...
Kings top Canucks in exhibition win...
Jose Briceño hits walk-off homer to bea...
College football: Clemson changes QB for...
NFL: Ricardo Allen another blow to Atlan...
Dodgers activate JT Chargois, giving the...
Founders of Instagram say theyre leaving...
UCLA is crawling along in its search for...
NFL notes: Jimmy Garoppolo is out for th...
Hollywood shows solidarity with Kavanaug...
Review: Nightwalk in the Chinese Garden ...
Red Dead Redemption 2 PS4 Pro Bundle Pre...
From Castaic to Chico, small fires trigg...
Overwatchs Torbjorn Is Receiving A Major...
Does The New Predator Movie Have A Post-...
26 Things We Learned About Aquaman From ...
Once wildly popular, Philippine Presiden...
Galaxy keep playoff hopes alive with 3-0...
NFL: 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo’s season...
Taft continues to grind along despite la...
Is the year of the Democratic woman comi...
Indie Focus: Trying times in The Sisters...
Brush fire burns 1,200 acres in Castaic ...
College football: Purdue upends No. 23 B...
Six siblings of Arizona GOP congressman ...
Three up, three down: Old rotation has p...
Football: Fridays scores
USC vs. Washington State: Cougars 17, Tr...
Leader Cartoon: Revenge
Letter of support for CalPERS CEO Marcie...
Zlatan Ibrahimovic says return to Galaxy...
Telltale Confirms Studio Shutdown; Walki...
See a glimpse of Joaquin Phoenix in his ...
Fendi to release Mania capsule collectio...
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Yes, California has a full-on fall. And ...
Worried about Googles political bias? Do...
More than a dozen women and a man among ...
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TV listings: Here are the feature and TV...
A sexy Handmaids Tale costume is pulled ...
Nonfiction: Is America’s Most Popular ...
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Kids skip school in alarm-bell numbers. ...
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In Maniac, Cary Fukunaga goes on a journ...
Millionaires visas give the wealthy an u...
Alex Padilla is the clear choice for Cal...
Sam Farmers NFL Week 3 picks
Neighborhood disputes turn into little w...
Review: Maniac is a riot of conflicting ...
The burden of being the first black man ...


In Kate Atkinson’s “Transcription,” a naïve young secretary lands in the middle of a clandestine fifth-column operation run by MI5. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Tue, 25 Sep 2018 17:46:42 GMT )

The Ducks will probably go only as far as John Gibson takes them this season.

General manager Bob Murray showed just how valuable he believes his starting goaltender to be when he signed him to an eight-year extension this summer that’s worth an average of $6.4 million annually.

That’s elite goaltender...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 24 Sep 2018 23:50:00 PDT )

A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy was shot and wounded Monday night in City Terrace.

The shooting occurred after 11 p.m. off Rowan Avenue during some type of altercation in the hillside district. Sheriff’s deputies were swarming the scene. Capt. Darren Harris confirmed a shooting occurred but...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 24 Sep 2018 23:50:00 PDT )

A few weeks ago, David Freese thought he would end his season playing in meaningless games for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They were fading in the standings. The non-waiver trade deadline had passed. The waiver deadline was fast approaching. His place in Pittsburgh appeared cemented.

Then, on Aug....

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Mon, 24 Sep 2018 23:45:00 PDT )

Jonathan Quick made 28 saves as the Kings beat the Vancouver Canucks, 4-1, in an exhibition on Monday night in Salt Lake City.

Tyler Toffoli scored twice. Anze Kopitar and Dion Phaneuf had third-period goals.

Theodore signs

Defenseman Shea Theodore ended his holdout, agreeing to a seven-year contract...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 24 Sep 2018 23:40:00 PDT )

San Francisco fired Bobby Evans as its general manager. The Giants said Monday that Evans will be reassigned, with responsibilities to be determined.

The Giants began the final week of the season 72-84, their second straight losing record. The team will start a search for a new head of baseball...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Mon, 24 Sep 2018 23:05:00 PDT )

On a night when Shohei Ohtani enhanced the star quality of his rookie year in his first at-bat of the game, and Felix Pena hurled seven quality innings, it was pinch-hitter Jose Briceno’s leadoff heroics that snapped the Angels’ five-game losing streak and gave them their sixth walk-off win of...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Mon, 24 Sep 2018 22:35:00 PDT )

Backers of a November initiative to repeal the gas-tax increase said Monday they will also ask voters to approve a measure in 2020 that would provide funds to fix roads without charging Californians more at the pump, and would halt the state’s $77-billion high-speed rail project.

The ballot measure...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 25 Sep 2018 00:05:00 PDT )

Forza Horizon is a series that has always managed to deftly balance accessibility and complexity. It takes the realistic driving mechanics of Forza Motorsport but ditches the intimidating nature of professional racing and ruthless competition. Instead, it uses vibrant locations and positive vibes to amplify and celebrate the joys of driving--the giddiness of speed, the awe of vibrant scenery, and the spectacle of shiny cars. Forza Horizon 4 upholds this tradition. Meaningful changes add interesting gameplay considerations and improve progression flow, on top of its already accommodating difficulty options, a smorgasbord of vehicles, and a beautiful open world overflowing with activities. With Horizon 4, Playground Games continues to excel at making the act of virtual driving exciting, approachable, and entertaining without sacrificing complexity.

Horizon's fourth open-world locale is a version of Great Britain that amalgamates and condenses iconic regions of England, Scotland, and Wales, offering some fantastic terrain to explore. The rolling hills of the English countryside make cross-country driving more thrilling, the Scottish Highlands offer breathtaking highway routes, and the city of Edinburgh's windy, hilly streets serve as an interesting location for street races.

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But the biggest change to Horizon is the introduction of seasons. Horizon's Britain cycles between summer, autumn, winter, and spring--and the weather in each season affects the world in tangible ways. These range from the obvious, like bodies of water freezing over, to the near-imperceptible, like the change in temperature affecting your tires. But seasons truly require you to adapt both your technique and your vehicle, and this variety produces a unique dynamic--the same dirt course you drive in summer will be boggy after an autumn rain, and asphalt roads will get slicker during the winter snow. In the first few hours of Horizon 4, the seasons will change after you've completed a number of activities, and this quick cycle reveals how necessary it is to consider and adjust your driving. But once you complete a whole cycle, the implementation of seasons changes: They'll then be tied to an online server, synchronized for all players, and will rotate every seven days.

Online functionality has a larger emphasis in Horizon 4--when playing solo, the game will discreetly connect you into an online session with up to 72 other players. You can also form a convoy of up to 12 people, as well as compete in ranked or unranked team adventures for seasonal prizes. It's still easy to focus on playing solo at your own pace, and you can still go offline completely and drive against AI. But Horizon 4's expanded online functionality does offer worthwhile activities to encourage you to connect with other people. Head-to-head races are more interesting against actual human beings, and the weekly change in weather comes with a selection of limited-time, season-specific races and championships as well as challenge missions.

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Horizon also features recurring "#Forzathon Live" public events, which puts the call out to players in a session to gather together and cooperate to hit a combined score pool in a certain activity. You'll earn currency to spend in an exclusive Forzathon shop if you're successful, but these events become tedious quickly, as you'll be running the same activity--like a single drift zone or danger jump--repeatedly until the group hits the score target.

But the missed opportunity of Forzathon Live events is just a tiny scuff in Horizon's otherwise comprehensive and inviting gamut of activities. Irrespective of online seasonal events, there are a large number of vehicular disciplines to pursue, the majority of which allow you the great flexibility of shaping a race around your vehicle of choice--though you'll still need to use your best cars to perform well in things like speed and drift challenges. You're also now able to create your own custom courses, and the series' more creative pursuits return with story missions--which feature things like stunt driving and nice homages to other racing games--and the entertaining, if highly choreographed, showcase races against things like planes, trains, and Halo's Warthogs.

Progression has changed from Forza Horizon 3--you no longer expand multiple festival sites to uncover activities. Instead, each discipline has its own corresponding progression meter. Participating in a particular kind of activity enough times, win or lose, will eventually level up that discipline, reward you, and unlock more activities of that kind on the map. It's an exciting and friendly system that stretches you out to the furthest reaches of the world quickly, makes it feel like something new and interesting to do is always nearby, and rewards you no matter what you decide to participate in and how you perform. Even after hours and hours of play, Horizon 4 kept revealing surprises by introducing brand-new styles of activities, keeping the game's flow feeling fresh.

It always feels like there's a reward in reach, too. With both individual meters for disciplines and an overall progression meter, you're often just a couple more races away from earning a level-up prize. The slot machine-style wheelspins also return, now with a variant that lets you pull for three prizes, and thankfully they still remain siloed from any real-world monetary transactions. Horizon 4 has a larger variety of potential rewards, too. The bigger focus on online interactions means driver customization is a big deal, which throws hundreds of unisex clothing options, quick chat phrases, and dance emotes into the pool. This means you might occasionally get a boring prize like a pair of shoes, but the pace of compensation is steady enough to make this negligible and also makes the rare occasion of nabbing a free car all the more satisfying.

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Horizon 4 boasts 100 more vehicles over its predecessor, with a total of 450 in the base game. While Japanese car enthusiasts will definitely notice the absence of Mitsubishi and Toyota vehicles (no more Initial D Sprinter), Volkswagen has held over from Motorsport 7 (bringing classic Beetles, Kombis, and Golfs), as have a few new vehicles like racing trucks. Once again, Horizon features an array of tinkering options for enthusiasts, as well as auto-upgrade options and a number of accommodating driving assists for those who'd rather only think about accelerating and turning.

Regardless of how you drive, vehicles feel weighty, handle believably, and each one now has its own individual perk tree. Earning skill points while performing both reckless and prudent driving maneuvers will allow you to unlock nodes that add buffs to your skill point accumulation, or earn one-off rewards like wheelspins or influence (the game's experience measure). It's a great change from Horizons 3's global skill tree, because it encourages you to stick with a vehicle, get to know it intimately, and have the advantage of a higher rate of reward. Skill points come readily if you're driving at least somewhat competently, and you're free to use points you earn on any vehicle, which makes swapping your go-to car less of a blow to your progression if you've already banked some extra points.

Horizon's global perks have been transferred to another new feature, Properties, which replace festival sites as your garage and customization hubs. Finding and buying properties around the map is relatively expensive, but the perks some contain are useful, and properties all act as valuable fast travel points. Fast travel still costs you in-game currency, at least until you find and break all 50 fast-travel boards, but Horizon 4 does make other very welcome improvements in the interest of accessibility and quality of life, including the ability to change cars for free and at any time.

There's such a diverse range of activities stuffed into every corner of Horizon 4, and meaningful changes contribute to smart driving dynamics and a more consistent sense of achievement. Everything you do in Horizon feels valuable, no matter how big or small--from the basic thrills of speeding a fast car down a gorgeous mountain highway to spending time tinkering with your favorite ride to manage seasonal road conditions to just hanging out with friends and strangers online and goofing off in friendly games. The charm of the Horizon series is as palpable as ever, a winning, all-inclusive recipe that celebrates the joy of driving above all else.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Tue, 25 Sep 2018 00:01:00 -0700)

On a night in which Shohei Ohtani enhanced the legendary status of his debut year in his first at-bat of the game and starting pitcher Felix Peña hurled seven quality innings, it was pinch hitter Jose Briceño’s leadoff heroics that snapped the Angels’ five-game losing streak and gave the Angels...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( lun, 24 sep 2018 22:35:00 PDT )

Freshman Trevor Lawrence is the new starting quarterback for No. 3 Clemson, replacing senior Kelly Bryant — for now.

The move doesn’t mean Bryant is being benched, or won’t regain the starting spot. But coach Dabo Swinney wouldn’t say anything Monday following the announcement that Lawrence will...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 24 Sep 2018 21:40:00 PDT )

Atlanta starting safety Ricardo Allen will miss the remainder of the year with a torn left Achilles tendon, dealing another blow to the Falcons’ ravaged defense.

Allen, who had 17 tackles and an interception, is the third defensive starter to go on injured reserve. Atlanta also lost strong safety...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 24 Sep 2018 21:00:00 PDT )

The founders of Instagram announced in a surprise move Monday they were leaving Facebook Inc.

Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger said they were “ready for their next chapter” and said they were grateful for the six years they spent at Facebook, which acquired the photo sharing app for $1 billion.

“We’re...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 24 Sep 2018 20:50:00 PDT )

The Dodgers’ active roster reached maximum capacity Monday, when they reinstated right-hander J.T. Chargois from the 10-day disabled list. Chargois had been the only inactive member of the club’s 40-man roster.

Chargois returns after landing on the disabled list last month with a neck injury. The...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 24 Sep 2018 20:30:00 PDT )

Mike Bellotti watched parts of UCLA’s last two football games, noticing some things that vaguely reminded him of the offenses that Bruins coach Chip Kelly once ran at Oregon.

The team’s tempo was not among them.

“Well, I don’t know how to say this: It’s barely average,” said Bellotti, the retired...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 24 Sep 2018 15:05:00 PDT )

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will need season-ending surgery on his injured left knee.

The 49ers said Monday that an MRI confirmed the team's fears that Garoppolo tore his ACL while making a cut late in a loss at Kansas City. The injury deals a serious blow to the 49ers (1-2),...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 24 Sep 2018 12:40:00 PDT )
Time's Up stood up for survivors on Monday with a staged walkout in support of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and survivors of sexual assault, with many high-level Hollywood participants. Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 24 Sep 2018 12:40:00 PDT )

As crews continue to battle blazes across California, one firefighter was taken to a local hospital for heat-related injuries received in the Charlie fire, officials said Monday morning, and two other fires forced evacuations in the state.

While acreage stayed the same on the 3,400-acre Charlie...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 24 Sep 2018 10:40:00 PDT )

It would be hard to find a more enchanting setting for a play than the Huntington’s Chinese Garden in San Marino. This is the locale for playwright and director Stan Lai’s “Nightwalk in the Chinese Garden,” a site-specific performance piece weaving elements from the 16th-century Chinese classic...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 24 Sep 2018 10:35:00 PDT )

Overwatch is preparing to release another major patch with various balance changes, but the most serious reworking is coming to the engineer Torbjorn. In a video detailing the changes, game director Jeff Kaplan said the team is aiming to make his functionality less narrow and situational.

When the changes go live, Torb will no longer have armor packs or use the scrap system at all. Instead, his secondary ability will change to "Overload," which will look a lot like what you currently may recognize as his Ultimate ability. It will give him a speed bonus, damage resistance, and firing rate increase.

Meanwhile his Ultimate ability will change as well. It's still called Molten Core, but instead he will shoot out pools of liquid magma. Those pools of hot metal can do area-of-effect damage, and will do extra damage against armored opponents. Finally, his turrets will no longer have build levels. Instead, they'll be permanently set at the second level, with a short build time. Torbjorn will also be able to toss his turrets into hard-to-reach places.

"The goal of all of these changes is to make Torb a more acceptable pick on both attack and defense and less map or role-dependent than he was previously," Kaplan said.

If you haven't jumped aboard Overwatch yet, Humble Bundle is offering it as part of this month's subscription, through October 5. You could get the game as well as some other goodies for just $12.

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Mon, 24 Sep 2018 11:09:00 -0700)

It's safe to say Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the most-anticipated games of the year. If you're planning to buy it and you've been meaning to pick up a PS4 Pro, you can do both at once with the Red Dead Redemption 2 PS4 Pro Bundle. And if you do, you'll save $60, because the bundle effectively makes the game free. The Red Dead Redemption 2 PS4 Pro Bundle launches on October 26 and retails for $400. We have all the information that you need to pre-order it below.

The bundle comes with a 1 TB black PlayStation 4 console, a DualShock 4 controller, and a physical copy of Red Dead Redemption 2. If you play it hooked up to a 4K HDR television, the game will display with enhanced graphics and a wider range of color. The graphics will even look better on non-4K HD TV, as long as you turn on Supersampling Mode in the PS4 Pro's settings.

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Here's where you can pre-order the Red Dead Redemption 2 PS4 Pro Bundle right now.

Pre-Order Red Dead Redemption 2 PS4 Pro Bundle

The only potential drawback is that this bundle doesn't include any of the special editions of the game. For more information about pricing and what comes with the numerous editions, visit our Red Dead Redemption 2 pre-order guide.

Set in 1899, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel to the original Red Dead Redemption. Instead of focusing on John Marston, the previous game's protagonist, it follows Arthur Morgan, another member of the Van Der Linde gang as they go on a cross-country crime spree with the law nipping at their heels.

For more information about Red Dead Redemption 2, you can check out all of our recent coverage, including hand-on impressions, new features, and surprising details.

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Mon, 24 Sep 2018 11:10:00 -0700)

If you're wondering, we'll go ahead and say it: The Predator does not have a post-credits scene. So once the credits roll, feel free to leave the theater. Of course, you should also stay to see the hundreds of people who helped bring the movie to life. Still, there's plenty to talk about with regards to the end of the film and we're going to dig into it. If you've seen The Predator or simply don't care about being spoiled, carry on. Otherwise, turn away now.

The Predator spoilers below!

If you weren't expecting all kinds of death in The Predator, you've clearly never seen a movie in this franchise. In the end, practically everyone was viciously murdered by the massive Super Predator, including Will Traeger (Sterling K. Brown), along with Nebraska (Trevante Rhodes) and the rest of the self-proclaimed "loonies." In fact, the only three left standing were our hero Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook), his son Rory (Jacob Tremblay), and the exposition-dispensing biologist Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn).

As it turns out, that Super Predator was on Earth to kill the regular Predator who had come here to give us a weapon to stave off a Predator invasion. That shouldn't matter, since Traeger was convinced we'll all be dead from global warming in two generations anyway, but here we are. Meanwhile, the Super Predator just wanted to harvest the best human DNA it could find in an effort to integrate it into its own species. Naturally, that DNA could only be found in Rory, seemingly because he figured out how to make Predator technology work.

No Caption Provided

In the end, McKenna kills the Super Predator by shooting him in the head repeatedly--even though he's mostly bulletproof throughout the movie--and what's left of the heroes go home victorious. Of course, it doesn't end there.

Cut to some period of time later and Quinn finds himself back at the top secret lab where the regular Predator was being studied before the chaos began. Now, for some reason, his incredibly young child is working as a government scientist at the lab. His mother, Yvonne Strahovsky's underused character Emily, is nowhere in sight. It really gives the impression that this poor kid has terrible parents.

It's also revealed that said lab is in possession of a pod left behind by the regular Predator--the weapon it was bringing to help save the Earth. What could it be? A Xenomorph? A solution for global warming? Cake? No, it's none of those things. Instead, it's essentially an Iron Man suit that looks like a Predator. It's dubbed the Predator Killer and is clearly a means of telling the audience that director Shane Black really wants a sequel to this film.

Almost immediately, Quinn calls dibs on the tech and makes a joke about whether it comes in his size. That's the end of the movie, closing on something of a cliffhanger, but not really. Viewers aren't shown any kind of further invasion by the Predator species or any immediate danger they could pose. Instead, we get a shot of the suit that Quinn covets. Honestly, we hope his kid ends up wearing it should get a follow-up.

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Mon, 24 Sep 2018 09:10:00 -0700)

Aquaman spoilers ahead!


It was exciting enough to get a brief glimpse of Aquaman at Comic-Con this year, so you can imagine how it felt when we got an invitation to join director James Wan in the edit bay on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, California recently. During the post production process, Wan--most famous for horror movies like The Conjuring, Saw, and Insidious--worked hard to make Aquaman the best movie he possibly could, as puzzle pieces like visual effects, music, and more fell into place.

It was during that process that we got to sit down and chat with Wan--and view some of the more finished scenes in the movie. Those scenes included the movie's opening, an extended fight scene between Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and King Orm (Patrick Wilson), and more. If you don't want to know anything about Aquaman's plot, stop reading now!

Based on the footage we saw, it's safe to say Aquaman's first act will focus on Queen Atlanta (Nicole Kidman) and Thomas Curry (Temuera Morrison). Their romance will set the stage for the rest of the movie, from Aquaman and Mera's (Amber Heard) own relationship to the hero's deep seated feeling that he doesn't belong in either world, under the sea or on land. The movie won't skimp on action, either--there's an intense fight scene in which Nicole Kidman shows what Queen Atlanta is capable of as she defends Thomas and the young Arthur from Atlantean soldiers.

Later in the movie, Arthur will head down to Atlantis to claim what he sees as his birthright: the throne. That involves a ritualistic duel with King Orm (Patrick Wilson)--a battle to the death in a gigantic underwater arena with what seems like all of Atlanta looking on (we've caught glimpses of this scene in the trailer). The fight shows off some impressive underwater choreography, but it's not all serious--there's even an octopus drummer, which borders on Flintstones levels of camp, but somehow seems to work.

In between scenes, we got the opportunity to ask Wan whatever we wanted about the actors, the story, and the many challenges of adapting Aquaman to the big screen. Click ahead to read what he had to say on a variety of topics, from including Aquaman's classic orange and green costume to the movie's comparatively light tone.

Aquaman hits theaters December 14.


1. Adapting the classic Aquaman costume


"The key was to try and take that classic outfit and make sure it's not goofy, make sure it's not cheesy. We associate so much of the cheese of the character with the Super Friends cartoon that we're familiar with, and the look of it, but that's also what kind of makes him really cool. For us the key was kind of like taking that idea and making sure that that aesthetic fits with the look of what Atlantis is today and what Atlantis was back then. And you know, just trying to do it justice, but do it in a way that potentially wink at the classic old costume but kind of bringing a modern sensibility to it."


2. Giving Aquaman a sense of humor, rather than making him the butt of the joke


"I think it was important very early on when I met with Jason Momoa, and just seeing how likable the guy actually is in person, you know, how charismatic and how funny and goofy he is, and right off the start I just wanted to bring a lot of his own personality into this character. I didn't want to make a whole movie where he's heavy and moody and stuff like that. That's not the movie I wanted to make. So you know, just digging into Jason and getting that out of him was very important. And his personality plays really strongly throughout this whole film, you know. I really wanted to lean into who he is and make this character kind of synonymous to him."


3. Leaning into the kookiness of a guy who talks to fish


"A lot of the humor definitely comes from what [Jason Momoa] is like, and then also, literally the sort of fish out of water aspect of it--like when he is in the world of Atlantis, he's a fish out of water, but when Mera and he are on land, Mera's the one who's a fish out of water, and so from that you can find humorous things to play up. I said from day one when I joined this project that I wanted to make a fun movie, and I just feel like you've gotta lean into the kookiness of it all, right? A guy who talks to fish, that's his power--and just kind of embrace that. And just don't be embarrassed of it."


4. Establishing Atlantis


"I definitely got to create a massive world [with Atlantis]....the different kingdoms, the different worlds, the machines that drive the world, their [transportation], the animals that live in this world, and all that stuff. I've never made a movie that is so heavily designed to this extent, and it was really awesome just being able to come up with really interesting things and just run with it."


5. Mixing wonder and horror


"The great thing about adapting something like this is years and years and decades worth of amazing source material to pull from, but from that obviously I want to take what people think is funny, take what people think is special about the world, and bring it into this movie, and filter it through my own sensibility. So of course we're going to see creatures in there that are scary, and that's what I love about this movie, is it really allows me to kind of lean into how most people feel about the ocean, which is it's amazing and wondrous and magical on one hand, but on the other hand it's scary and frightening and so unknown and so undiscovered yet, right? And so I think those two elements--the magic and wonder, and the unknown sort of potentially scary aspect of it--really go hand in hand, and I really wanted to touch on those two worlds in my world creation."


6. Does Aquaman talk to fish?


"Spoiler, you guys!"

[According to some people, "it's complicated."]


7. The opening scenes


"It's the story of how mom and dad meet each other. It's Nicole Kidman and Temuera Morrison, and I think it's important because as much as the movie is a sort of romantic love story between Arthur and Mera, it's also very much a love story between mom and dad and how their love for each other created Arthur Curry. And I think that's important because the emotion of this opening prologue basically sets up the emotional backbone for the rest of the movie and how it informs Arthur's journey."


8. Nicole Kidman playing the queen of Atlantis


"Nicole and I have been wanting to work together for a while now, and so when this project came along, it just felt like I've gotta give Nicole a shot. There's no one more perfect to play the queen of Atlantis than Nicole Kidman. She literally was at the top of my list. And you know, luckily we were able to get her to come play with us. And she's fantastic, you know, she's such a great actress, and the gravitas and emotion she brings to the film is just so valuable."


9. Nicole Kidman kicking ass


"I've always wanted to see Nicole in a kick ass role as well, just beating everyone up. She really enjoyed all that stuff, and you know, that sequence with her [in the first act] was a really hard sequence to shoot because it's a one take shot, the character jumping, flipping, and all that, and the way we did it was we removed the ceiling of the set, and we had a spider cam on wires zip all over the set, from one character to another, and the character goes around beating up all the soldiers. It was very technically challenging to try to get all that done, but I just thought it was a great way to show how strong her character is, but without sort of cutting it up. And it was actually a really fun thing to shoot. It took two days to shoot that shot, many takes."


10. Shooting the action


"Generally most action movies are cut pretty quickly, you know, for pace and stuff like that, and for me it's always kind of nice to just let a really detailed action moment play out in one shot without editing, and letting the audience just sort of soak it all in, examine all the little details, all the nuances in the moment, and--just as important--just basically showing the lay of the land, literally the geography of the land, and giving the audience an understanding of where they are as the action plays out. And it's something that I've done in my horror films, and it's the same mentality that I have in this--you know, if you kind of lay it out for the audience, they have a good sense of where things are, and it helps with confusion; therefore I can do more interesting things with the camera work and all that, because they always know where they are."


11. How important Queen Atlanta is to Arthur's story


"She is super important, like I said, the love story between her and dad is the emotional backbone for the movie, and how it informs Arthur's character and his journey and sort of his bitter outlook on the world of Atlantis. He blames them for something that happens to her, and it shapes his point of view."


12. Introducing Atlanta to fans who aren't familiar with the character


"The most important thing--I've said this many times, and it's something that I truly believe in--it's not just a love story between Arthur and Mera, it's a love story of mom and dad, and how even though they have nothing in common, so to speak--she's the queen of Atlantis, and he's a lighthouse keeper, a surface dweller--but the love that they have for each other is what creates this boy that will grow up to become Aquaman. And I think that's super important, and I needed that, and yes, I took a lot of inspiration from the New 52, but the mother character was always super integral to the story I wanted to tell because like I said, she's who helped shape the father character and the story."


13. Focusing on the romance


"Atlanta tells Tom that 'One day I'll be back, and just wait for me here,' and every day dad, for the next 20, 30 years of his life, he gets up every morning and goes to the end of the dock just hoping she will come back. And I love that because it really plays into the bittersweet romantic nature of it, and this movie at the end of the day is a very classic action adventure, like a romance, it's a very classic romance adventure story. It's first and foremost that, I think, more than it is a superhero story."


14. Jason Momoa being a biracial actor and the relevance to the character


"I think we do touch on it pretty strongly, without necessarily being too on the nose, so to speak. I think it's very evident that it's almost like a forbidden love, so to speak, and it really is definitely very relevant to the times that we live in. It really is about two different races coming together, and through that creating this guy, and that's why Momoa's character starts off in the movie not quite feeling like he fits in. He doesn't feel like he fits in on the surface world, or in the underwater world, and that's something that Jason has always felt growing up, as a guy who's part Polynesian--part Hawaiian--and part white American as well, so he's always felt like he didn't quite belong when he was in Hawaii, and he didn't quite belong when he was in the Midwest growing up.

"I think that's super important. I think that is definitely something that I'm aware of, the importance of that, and I definitely felt like I lean into that and I think the movie touches on that. But at the end of the day the movie touches on the theme of family and love, and how it doesn't really matter where you're from, you are who you are, and what his character learns--he starts off going, 'I'm nothing, because I'm neither here nor there,' but what he ends up understanding through the help of Mera is he's the best of both worlds. That's not a detrimental thing. He's the best of both worlds, he's the bridge between two worlds, and because of that he is a better person and that is what makes him who he is."


15. Why Arthur goes to Atlantis


"As you guys have seen in the trailer, we know the brother [Orm] is trying to do something bad, and Arthur is there to try and stop his brother, and the only way he can stop his brother is in this--basically this ancient sort of ritualistic combat. It's an ancient practice, but the brother is basically saying, 'Yeah, you're the first born son to the throne, technically it's yours, but you have to prove to the people of Atlantis that you have what it takes, and so you have to take it from me if you want it.'"


16. Crafting the underwater scenes


"The first thing we actually did was just making sure the actors were physically up to shape, training them every day. We had a trainer on them that just worked with them physically, just because knowing how difficult those rigs and the wire work was going to be, I just wanted to make sure that they were able to put up with that. It's not very comfortable, especially when you're someone as big as Jason Momoa, right? Especially because he's a guy as well--all the weight that goes around the crotch region is not the most comfortable. And so we do that with the actors, get them trained early on, so that they understand what they're getting themselves into when we get around to shooting it.

"But then working closely with the stunt department, literally laying out the action first on dry land, laying out the choreography, dialing all that in. Once I felt like it had the right shape to it, then we now start thinking 'How do we now apply this to an underwater sort of environment where gravity obviously plays very differently?' So now we start introducing wire work into it, introducing rigging devices and stuff like that, and constantly challenging the stunt department, and I've got an amazing stunt crew that just come up with really awesome stuff, especially all the swimming stuff.

"And so we had the swimming rig--it was already designed--so now we had to apply the swimming rig into a fighting scenario, and so we would do that and of course the final stage is we would cut that together and then visual effects come in and help us take that to a whole completely different level, you know, and working with the stunt performers and the actors and doing a lot of motion capture as well, so that I can revisit a lot of the stunts. I can create it in a digital space, and I can put the camera anywhere I want and recreate the stunt again."


17. Was anything shot under actual water?


"No. It's all 'dry for wet.' It's very difficult trying to simulate the look of weightlessness that you would get underwater, but we did tons of R&D early on of how people would move underwater. We built props, we built sets, and we submerged everything underwater, and we did tons of study just to see what things would look like, and then ultimately what we realized is, what we can do underwater was still very much limited by what we're capable of doing, because we're normal human beings, we're not Altanteans, right? And these guys obviously move very differently in that space. To them they're basically like superheroes, but for us, we swim slowly. And so we had to apply a very different sort of thinking."


18. Atlantean water vomit


"Just from a practical standpoint, people have asked me, 'When they talk, do bubbles come out of their mouths?' And I'm like, 'No, because there's no air in your lungs, there wouldn't be any bubbles, right?' So then, in that sequence, where you saw Mera open up this air pocket to suck Orm away from Arthur to help him out, when he lands in it, the first thing he does is he pukes out all the water that's in his lungs. That's the first step. We were thinking about all these little details, and then when he's screaming, we want bubbles coming out of his mouth, because now there's actually air in his lungs."


19. Atlantean caste system


"In our story, Atlanteans, because they were surface dwellers at one point, they evolved slightly different, so we kind of used that to differentiate a sort of caste system. Like the highborns kind of evolved slightly different to the people that are lower than them."


20. The music


"The scoring is one of the things that you get, like the visual effects, you go all the way to the very end, you don't get it very early on, just because everything's still a work in progress. And constantly, you know, when we change our edits and tweak stuff, whatever the score is before, [the composer] has to keep changing it. So it's a bit of a process. But you know, it was very important for me to give him his hero score, which you kind of need, but finding the emotional score was very important as well--finding the emotional stuff that would be peppered throughout the film--and then of course the love theme between Arthur and Mera as well."


21. The movie's environmental message


"I just don't think you can make a movie about a water hero and not kind of touch upon all the pollution that we do as surface dwellers, and that plays a big part into why King Orm is so pissed off with the humans on the surface world, and it just felt like it's something that I think just give the movie a bit more relevance, as well. And I think even in the comic books they touch on a lot of those elements as well, and I just think it kind of grounds the film with a message that we can all kind of relate to...I think that's one of the cool things, is how Atlanteans actually have a lot of respect for the planet, and definitely we touch on it a little bit here, but we kind of want to be careful with it being too on the nose. But it definitely is something I was very mindful of, and I wanted to go there."


22. Making the villain relatable


"In a lot of ways you kind of sympathize with what the bad guy is doing, and how he is sick and tired with the crap and the disrespect we have for the planet...I think it's important [to make the villain relatable], someone that you can kind of understand why he's doing what he's doing, as opposed to like a James Bond villain I guess."


23. Creating the tribes of Atlantis


"Arthur and Mera's journey takes them to these different kingdoms and all that, so what it does for me is it allows me to create the world that I'm going for here, just create the different look of the different kingdoms, and the coolest thing about that is I get to create this sort of fantastical world--it's not in another dimension, it's not in outer space, it's right here on our planet. And that's what's so cool about it, is it's not in Middle Earth, it's here on our planet, and so I get to kind of play into the design aspect of it that I really love and wanted to embrace.

"And the other thing it allows me to do as well, is it allows my lead hero to see the different kingdoms, and seeing the different kingdoms and seeing how different people live kind of then informed what kind of king he should eventually be. So there's also a character arc purpose to it, besides us showing cool locations. And I think it kind of allows me to kill two birds with one stone and it allows us to go on this really fun adventure journey story, but all of it takes place here on earth."


24. A lighter tone than previous DCEU movies


"I don't think making an Aquaman movie can be any other tone than this, right? In pop culture, he's known as the lamest superhero. And so you've gotta lean into that. You've gotta play into that. You've gotta have fun with it, right? Like, yes, he rides seahorses, but in our movie, it's a different kind of--you wouldn't be laughing at a seahorse like that. And so I think I just wanted to embrace what people think is goofy and potentially campy about this world, and really make it fun and adventurous in a cool way. And definitely from day one I've always said that the inspiration for me in a really big way was Romancing the Stone, and it kind of has a bit of that flavor, and in a lot of ways I went into this film not necessarily wanting to make a superhero movie, but wanting to make an action adventure fantasy movie."


25. How much freedom do you have with a movie that has so much preceding it?


"It was very important for me early on to be allowed to make my own film and to have my own voice be in there. After Furious 7 and Conjuring 2, I didn't want to be a director for hire. After Furious 7 that's kind of who I was to some degree, but after that, I don't want to be that guy again. And so it was very important for me to be able to bring my own stamp, my own visual aesthetic, create the characters, so even though Jason has already somewhat been established in Justice League, I wanted to bring his character into this basically fresh in a lot of ways. And so it was important for me to kind of obviously pay respect to where he was left off in [Justice League], but then allow me the freedom to take him where I want to take him at the end of the movie. And so my hero goes on this hero's journey to become someone very different than where he started, and that was something that was very important for me, with the movie I wanted to make, that I was allowed that freedom to do that."


26. Aquaman flying solo


"The good thing about not necessarily involving the other characters [from Justice League] is I can kind of do whatever I want in this story, in this world, and not be beholden to what someone else is making--and vice versa, not have someone else being beholden to what I'm doing. What I'm doing is very circular to the world of Aquaman."


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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Mon, 24 Sep 2018 06:00:00 -0700)

Jerichson Gomez of the Philippines has spent 40% more on rice in September than in any other month in the last three years.

“Every week, rice is high, high, high,” said Gomez, 35, a Metro Manila security guard who earns $9.50 a day. “I think the government should make our salaries higher.”

Such...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 24 Sep 2018 03:30:00 PDT )

The San Francisco 49ers fear quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will miss the remainder of the season after sustaining an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee late in Sunday’s 38-27 loss to Kansas City.

Garoppolo will have an MRI exam to confirm the severity of the injury, but 49ers...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 23 Sep 2018 20:45:00 PDT )

The pulse on the Galaxy’s dying playoff hopes got a little stronger Sunday, the breathing a little less labored.

With a 3-0 win over the Seattle Sounders before a sun-splashed crowd of 25,503 at StubHub Center, the Galaxy climbed over Vancouver into seventh place in the Western Conference, three...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 23 Sep 2018 20:20:00 PDT )

Lights were dimmed as Woodland Hills Taft High football players sat in silence watching video from their latest defeat. Assistant head coach Aron Gideon, in a firm, explanatory voice, described why the play did not work.

“Instead of blocking 54, the tight end blocks four of his teammates,” he said.

... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (星期日, 23 九月 2018 09:45:00 PDT )

Predicting how well a candidate will fare in an election by the number of supporters she turns out at a debate with her opponent is probably a fool’s game.

But sometimes, you just get a feeling.

When I arrived at the Palmdale Chamber of Commerce-sponsored congressional debate on Thursday, the line...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (星期日, 23 九月 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

Hello! I’m Mark Olsen. Welcome to another edition of your regular field guide to a world of Only Good Movies.

The LA Film Festival is currently on until the 28th and there is still lots to see, including Melanie Laurent’s “Galveston,” Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi’s “Free Solo,” Hannah...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 23 Sep 2018 07:00:00 PDT )

A brush fire broke out in the Castaic area Saturday afternoon, tearing through 1,200 acres and threatening multiple structures, authorities said.

The Charlie fire was reported shortly before 3 p.m. in the 31000 block of Charlie Canyon Road, according to the Santa Clarita Valley sheriff's station....

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 22 Sep 2018 18:05:00 PDT )

Rondale Moore caught two touchdown passes and Purdue picked off four passes, beating No. 23 Boston College 30-13 on Saturday in West Lafayette, Ind.

David Blough passed for 296 yards and three touchdowns for the Boilermakers (1-3), who had opened what was expected to be a promising the season with...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 22 Sep 2018 16:05:00 PDT )

Six siblings of U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar have urged voters to cast their ballots against the Arizona Republican in November in an unusual political ad sponsored by the rival candidate.

The television ad from Democrat David Brill combines video interviews with Gosar family siblings who ask voters to...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 22 Sep 2018 16:00:00 PDT )

A look at who’s hot and who’s not in MLB this week:

THREE UP

Winning brew: In an era where teams are more than happy to ride a bullpen to October success, the Milwaukee Brewers could enjoy a long postseason ride. The Brewers might be obscured by the Chicago Cubs, but Milwaukee has the second-best...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 22 Sep 2018 10:45:00 PDT )

CalPERS leadership has expressed its support for CEO Marcie Frost in a letter.

Michael Hiltzik: CalPERS needs to come clean about its CEO's educational background »

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 17:50:00 PDT )

Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, frustrated by a seven-game winless streak that has the team’s playoff hopes on life support, won’t commit to returning next season.

“I don’t know. This I have to discuss,” he said after training on Friday. “This is not the moment to talk about that. It’s something...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 17:00:00 PDT )
The sneaker industry reacts to Adidas and Kanye West reportedly releasing 1 million pairs of the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 sneakers. Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 14:50:00 PDT )

Welcome to fall, California style, which officially starts with the equinox on Saturday, but has been dressing for the occasion for weeks.

In upper altitudes, near peak fall color has already been reported by the state’s grand marshal of leaf-peeping, John Poimiroo, and his crew of more than 100...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 14:30:00 PDT )

Picking up from a few looks teased in February on the fall runway, Fendi is rolling out a capsule collection based on the Fendi/Fila logo created by Instagram artist @hey_reilly. Called Fendi Mania, the capsule will hit stores on Oct. 16 with special events planned for New York, Beverly Hills,...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 14:40:00 PDT )

Update: Telltale has issued a statement in which it confirms fears that the studio will indeed shut down. It does not address the specific fate of its games, only saying more details will be shared in the coming weeks, but reaffirming that only 25 people remain with the studio for the time being. The full statement follows.

Today Telltale Games made the difficult decision to begin a majority studio closure following a year marked by insurmountable challenges. A majority of the company's employees were dismissed earlier this morning, with a small group of 25 employees staying on to fulfill the company's obligations to its board and partners. CEO Pete Hawley issued the following statement:

"It's been an incredibly difficult year for Telltale as we worked to set the company on a new course. Unfortunately, we ran out of time trying to get there. We released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales. With a heavy heart, we watch our friends leave today to spread our brand of storytelling across the games industry.

Telltale will issue further comments regarding its product portfolio in the coming weeks.

Original Story: Telltale Games, the studio behind several acclaimed episodic adventure games based on a range of popular licenses, including The Walking Dead and Batman, has been hit with another huge wave of layoffs. News of the layoffs emerged via social media as former developers announced they were no longer employed at the company.

It is currently unclear if Telltale has shut down completely or will remain operational with a reduced workforce, but it appears a significant number of developers have been let go from the company. Telltale itself has yet to publicly comment on the layoffs. GameSpot has reached out to the studio and will report back with a response.

According to a report by Gamasutra, Telltale has released all but 25 employees (out of about 250), who will remain at the company to finish the remaining episodes of The Walking Dead: The Final Season. The outlet also reports that all of the studio's other projects, such as the second season of The Wolf Among Us, have been canceled.

Kevin Bruner, a co-founder and former CEO of Telltale (who sued the company earlier this year after being forced out), has published a blog post commenting on the news. "Today, I'm mostly saddened for the people who are losing their jobs at a studio they love," he wrote. "And I'm also saddened at the loss of a studio that green-lit crazy ideas that no one else would consider. I'm comforted a bit knowing there are now so many new talented people and studios creating games in the evolving narrative genre. While I look forward to those games and new developments, and continuing to contribute, I will always find 'A Telltale Game' to have been a unique offering."

This isn't the first massive wave of layoffs to hit the company. In November 2017, Telltale laid off 25% of its workforce, which then amounted to 90 people. According to a press release the company released, this reduction was done in order to make the studio "more competitive as a developer and publisher of groundbreaking story-driven gaming experiences with an emphasis on high quality in the years ahead."

Telltale announced a number of projects in July 2017, including the aforementioned Wolf Among Us 2. That was originally planned for release in 2018 but was eventually delayed to 2019 following the November layoffs. The studio had also announced it was developing a game based on Stranger Things, but it appears those projects have now been shelved.

News of these layoffs comes shortly before the release of the second episode of The Walking Dead: The Final Season, which is scheduled to launch for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC on September 25. Two additional episodes are still planned for the series. We don't yet know what this news means for its previously announced release schedule; the same is true of the games it's responsible for publishing, such as Stranded Deep, which it just yesterday announced would launch for PS4 and Xbox One in October.

We'll report back as we learn more.

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 14:39:00 -0700)

More than a dozen women and one man have come forward to accuse a Newport Beach surgeon, who already had been charged with drugging and raping two women, of additional sexual assaults, with at least one dating back two decades. Several of the new accusers also alleged the surgeon’s girlfriend participated...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 12:35:00 PDT )
As Mark Leibovich demonstrates in “Big Game,” his book about the N.F.L., the Lords of the League can’t cope with minor embarrassments, much less serious scandals. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Thu, 06 Sep 2018 19:00:04 GMT )

There was a time when a job at the Amuay refinery — the crown jewel of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company — was a ticket to the good life.

Petroleos de Venezuela, at its height, was the fifth largest oil company in the world. Salaries at the plant were high, benefits generous, and workers basked...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 03:00:00 PDT )

While the Trump administration has been dramatically limiting the number of immigrant visas the U.S. will issue, it has been quietly accepting more applicants in one particular category than any other administration over the last decade: the EB-5 Regional Center program, reserved for those who...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:05:00 PDT )

No need for a big wind-up here: Democratic incumbent Alex Padilla has by and large done a solid job in his first four-year term as California’s secretary of state and he should be returned to Sacramento for a second term.

Padilla, a former Los Angeles City Council member and state senator, won...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:05:00 PDT )

At a cocktail party I attended, a guy railed about how “stupid” it is that the Israelis and the Palestinians can’t seem to resolve their differences. This was actually his second subject of the evening — the first being his ugly, decade-long battle with his neighbor over the leaves his tree drops...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:05:00 PDT )

Proposition 11 on the Nov. 6 ballot would make clear that emergency medical technicians and paramedics working for private ambulance services must remain reachable during paid work breaks so that they can respond immediately when needed. It’s a sensible proposal that would maintain the status quo...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:05:00 PDT )

Talented teachers keep students glued to their seats, and even kids who regard school as deadly dull make it a point of going to their classes. But while the quality of teaching can be improved, we won’t make every teacher a pedagogical wonder — someone like the character played by Robin Williams...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:05:00 PDT )

"Maniac," whose ten episodes begin streaming Friday on Netflix, is a big, weird, tightly controlled mess of a show. It swings for the bleachers and doesn't always connect — and when it does, it can seem to skip some bases or run them out of order. But it does keep swinging and running.

Starring...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

To the editor: The story of USC football great C.R. Roberts and his game against the University of Texas in 1956 reflects those of other men who had to endure being among the first to perform a job that had customarily been done by white males.

As the first black male promoted to expediter at a...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

Southern Californians might remember the summer of 2018 for its sweltering heat waves, record ocean temperatures and destructive wildfires. But it also claimed another distinction: the summer we went nearly three months without a day of clean air.

The region violated federal smog standards for...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

Police in New York say at least five people, including three infants, were stabbed at an overnight day care center in Queens.

NBC New York reports that authorities say the stabbings happened just before 4 a.m. Friday. One of the infants, a girl, is in serious condition, but none of the injuries...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

To the editor: If up to 25% of drivers in the carpool lanes are scofflaws, and a mere 8% are driving clean cars, then the only reason California is invalidating the decals of more than 200,000 clean-car motorists is that it is easier than targeting the drivers who should not be in the lanes.

The...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

The Times’ NFL writer, Sam Farmer, examines this week’s matchups. Lines according to Pregame.com (O/U = over/under). Last week’s record 8-7-1 (.533); season 16-14-2 (.533). Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread last week would have been 6-10 (.375);...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

On a morning last October, Jonah Hill and Emma Stone were having an intense conversation about globular clusters.

Neither a brand of granola nor an exciting new indie band, globular clusters are a crucial (if mysterious) element of “Maniac,” an inventive series directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, in...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )
Two lynchings in Mexico highlight how false rumors circulated on social media and messaging platforms contribute to vigilante justice. Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 04:00:00 PDT )

The Aug. 15, 1939, premiere of “The Wizard of Oz” in Los Angeles was complete with Munchkins at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

Actor Wallace Beery, kneeling, was joined by his daughter Carol Ann, center, “Wizard of Oz” producer Mervyn LeRoy, far right, and several actors dressed in Munchkin costumes...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Fri, 21 Sep 2018 01:00:00 PDT )

Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang has died. He was 61.

The official Vietnam News Agency says Quang died at the 108 Military Hospital in Hanoi on Friday due to a serious illness. It did not elaborate.

Quang hosted President Donald Trump during his first state visit to the communist country last...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 22:45:00 PDT )

When/where: 7 p.m. Friday at Garden Grove High

Key Lobos: Sr. QB Brandon Tinoco (40 of 74 passing for 648 yards, nine TDs and three INTs); Jr. RB/DB Brian Pacheco (65 carries for 506 yards and three TDs; 17 catches for 330 yards and two TDs); Jr. WR Adolfo Chavez (10 catches for 212 yards and six...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 20:45:00 PDT )

By no means were either Magic Johnson, president of basketball operations, or general manager Rob Pelinka afraid to be bold when they put together this collection of free-agent talent for the Lakers.

They claim to have been undaunted when adding the strong personalities and diverse characteristics...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 19:40:00 PDT )

Forrest Lamp was drafted by the Chargers in April of 2017.

He has yet to make his NFL debut, and there’s a good reason why.

“There are certain plays in practice where you feel really good,” Lamp said Thursday. “Like, ‘Oh, dang, this kind of felt like it used to.’ Then there are plays that are really...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 18:45:00 PDT )

Each week, the Los Angeles Times’ college football experts — it’s how they refer to themselves — will make choices on a variety of games. Warning: If they could accurately predict results, they wouldn’t be reporters or editors.

Ben Bolch

Washington State at USC: USC 31-24

Georgia at Missouri: Georgia...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 15:15:00 PDT )

Negotiations for a high-stakes public hearing about the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh gained steam Thursday when his accuser, California professor Christine Blasey Ford, sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee offering to testify next week.

... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 12:20:00 PDT )

In the documentary “Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco,” filmmaker James Crump shines a light on one of the lesser-known, but nonetheless influential figures from the wild fashion, art and media revolution of the late ’60s and early ’70s.

A flamboyant Nuyorican who collaborated with art director...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Movie Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 12:50:00 PDT )

For his debut show for Celine on Sept. 28, Hedi Slimane has chosen a powerful symbol of Paris: the Hôtel des Invalides, home to Napoleon’s tomb.

The designer posted an image on Instagram of a metallic structure being erected under the building’s gilded dome, which sits a stone’s throw from the...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 11:55:00 PDT )

Americans have long construed drugs of abuse as choices. Poor choices that can cost users their lives, to be sure, but choices nonetheless.

But what if drugs of abuse are more like predators atop a nationwide ecosystem of potential prey? Or like shape-shifting viruses that seek defenseless people...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 11:50:00 PDT )

Musician Quincy Jones has accomplished enough for three lifetimes … and he’s not done yet. An EGOT-winning arranger, producer and performer, Jones broke down showbiz doors previously closed to African Americans and along the way helped popularize and legitimize the sounds of jazz, R&B and hip-hop.

... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 11:40:00 PDT )

To the editor: As a physician I have devoted my entire career to helping patients achieve optimal health and wellness regardless of gender or celebrity. I was disappointed that the L.A. Times would pick up an article about me earlier published by People Magazine. This report contained unfair and...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 09:45:00 PDT )

At 11 p.m. on a Friday night last February, with his mother at his side and his father asleep, Tommy Beres clicked on his computer to find out what score he had attained on the ACT.

“I really didn’t think I did that well,” he said. “I thought I scored 32, 33.”

When he saw 36 — a perfect score —...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 09:45:00 PDT )

Remember when Colin Kaepernick’s lawyer predicted his client would have a job in the NFL “within the next 10 days?”

That was 327 days ago. And the one-time San Francisco 49ers quarterback still hasn’t landed with a team.

But that’s not stopping attorney Mark Geragos from peering into the future...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 09:50:00 PDT )

Editor's note: Almost five years after its PC debut, Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse has come to the Nintendo Switch, bringing its challenging variety of point-and-click adventure puzzles and complex but compelling narrative to the portable system. With it comes some elegant touch screen controls that make poking around the beautifully drawn and detailed environments feel more natural, though you can jump back to using the Joy-Con at any time, switching between the two methods without opening a menu.

As you progress through the familiar but still fascinating story you'll also unlock Switch-exclusive bonus movies from a making-of documentary about the game's development, including some great looking concept art. Even now, Broken Sword 5 still looks gorgeous, and although its murder-turned-conspiracy story feels somewhat rote these days, its characters and dialogue are still great fun to watch as the drama unfolds. The pick-up-and-put-down nature of a point-and-click adventure works especially well on Switch, and the excellent use of touch screen controls enhances the experience even more. -- James Swinbanks, 9/20/18 [We have updated the score to reflect our experience with the Nintendo Switch version. The original review follows below.]

You mainly play as George, but you switch between him and Nico while investigating.
You mainly play as George, but you switch between him and Nico while investigating.

A murdered art gallery owner, a helmeted assassin, and a missing painting. It's just another beautiful day in Paris, and for George Stobbart and Nico Collard, a brand-new case to be solved. After a seven-year hiatus and a successful Kickstarter campaign, the best-selling Broken Sword series has reemerged. Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse ushers the return of the franchise's protagonists, along with a host of favorites.

It has been quite a while since George and Nico have joined up to solve a case, and in that stretch of time, the two seem to have pursued their own ventures: George has become an agent for an insurance company, and Nico is continuing her career as a globetrotting journalist. But a tragedy strikes, leaving a man murdered for a painting that was worth considerably less than others in the gallery. Since it was George's company that insured the showcase, he feels obligated to uncover the reason behind the theft and find out what makes this painting important enough to kill for. The crime-solving duo are soon reunited and thrust into a murderous conspiracy, armed only with George's astute problem-solving skills and Nico's feminine charm and sharp wit.

The story weaves a smart, fascinating, and often humorous tale. George and Nico's latest adventure is fraught with murder, sabotage, and a seedy love affair, with just enough room for an ex-Russian mobster and an assassin or two to be thrown into the mix. You switch between the two characters as they follow a trail that has them trekking through France and London chasing down leads. As you progress, the plot begins to revolve around an age-old conflict between Gnostic and Dominican Christians, and at its epicenter is the painting: La Malediccio. The painting hides more secrets than what can be seen on the surface, and may be the key to an impending epidemic that threatens all life.

Broken Sword 5 follows the series' roots as a point-and-click adventure; you use the mouse cursor to control movement as well as to manipulate objects in an area, speak with people, or use items in your inventory to solve a puzzle. Like in many games in the genre, you pick up items and bits of evidence and store them. You use evidence to drag the truth out of people or suspects, while other items, even the most miniscule, such as a paper clip, 1970s cologne, or nail clippers, can be used or combined to solve puzzles down the line.

The two sleuths hop back and forth between Paris and London.
The two sleuths hop back and forth between Paris and London.

The order in which you procure these items is up to you. At times, you may only have a few clues, leaving you to scour the environment for more evidence necessary to drag information out of your target. Typically, all the evidence required to move the plot along is in your vicinity, if not already on hand. Any and all items in your inventory can be used in a conversation, sometimes to humorous results.

The puzzles in Broken Sword 5 are not too strenuous. Most of the time you already have everything in your inventory needed to complete a puzzle; otherwise, a quick hunt around the area yields what you need. The game plays a musical note when you're making progress in a puzzle or in your interrogation, cluing you in on when you're on the right path. The plot doesn't advance until you find every item or piece of evidence in the area, press the right series of switches, or receive an answer to all questions available. But if you do find yourself stumped, there's an optional hint system. The first hint or two gently nudge you in the right direction. If you still come up empty, the final hint presents the puzzle's full solution.

The various settings are designed with colorful, hand-painted graphics, and the cel-shaded characters blend effortlessly into the gorgeous scenic backdrops. Though Broken Sword 5 is aesthetically pleasing, it's hard not to notice the stiff and somewhat primitive animations, which are distracting compared to the game's overall beauty. Broken Sword 5's rich and vibrant world is complemented by characters who are interesting, entertaining, and often hilarious. The subtle nuances of their personalities shine through every conversation, and a great vocal cast makes each character believable and memorable.

George and Nico's latest adventure is fraught with murder, sabotage, and a seedy love affair.

Some of the standout characters include the returning Sergeant Moue, who plays lapdog to the bumbling Inspector Navet. There is also a stereotypically snooty Frenchman who stands guard at an empty cafe while quoting philosophical advice. Also starring are a lecherous art critic and a young man who needs presentation advice for his mobile shop of trinkets and collectibles. The many varied and unique characters reinforce the depth of the game's narrative, and the two protagonists demonstrate a particular chemistry that makes their longtime history feel convincing.

You are provided with an in-game map, but Broken Sword 5 keeps aimless wandering down to a minimum. There was never a moment when I stared at the map screen not knowing my next destination. Even when you choose the wrong direction, the game comes up with a reason for you to turn back and try the opposite route. Some adventure game fans may be turned off by the linear focus, but I felt the design allowed the narrative to move with a strong pace and clear direction.

George Stobbart is back with a new mystery to solve
George Stobbart is back with a new mystery to solve

Just how deep the rabbit hole goes is the one mystery Broken Sword 5 doesn't shed light on. After about six hours, the game abruptly ends just as things start heating up for our stalwart heroes, leaving more lingering questions and theories than hard answers. The game is the first episode of a two-part adventure, meaning we won't get to the bottom of the conspiracy until sometime early next year.

Smart, occasionally funny, and immediately charming, Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse is easy to recommend based on its strong narrative, memorable characters, and artistic merit. The game is a vibrant return to form for the series, and should easily please the series' and point-and-click adventure game fans alike. The answers to the most pivotal questions remain on the horizon, but it's still good to see George and Nico back in action--they have been missed.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 09:48:00 -0700)

Star Control II was released in 1992 and remains notable for its bold amalgam of seemingly disparate ideas. It combined space exploration, arcade combat, resource management, trading, questing and chatting with aliens in a way that suggested its creators were still eagerly discovering what a game could be. This reboot, from strategy game developer Stardock, is a mostly faithful adaptation. It delivers an expansive galaxy steeped in mystery, knowing sci-fi winks and modern interface convenience, but as a genre mashup it can at times feel shallow and the overall experience is uneven.

Star Control: Origins begins with the human race donning its crisp and immaculately tailored Star Control uniform and making first contact with alien life. Within moments you find yourself appointed captain of the only ship in the human fleet equipped with a hyperdrive and thus entrusted with representing your species in the fledgling field of galactic diplomacy. This is no lavish 3D space sim a la Elite Dangerous, it should be noted. Most of the time you'll be looking at a flat 2D starfield as your ship putters around the galaxy. In combat, it looks much the same, and all conversations are shown as cartoonishly animated 2D scenes with plenty of text. Elsewhere, there are sector maps to analyze and ship upgrade blueprints to pore over--even a hyperlinked captain's log that records all your discoveries. The presentation definitely leans heavily into the strategy portion of its genre mashup.

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It quickly transpires that there are a lot of aliens in the galaxy, many of whom are well aware of the existence of humans and, let's be honest, seem surprised we're capable of rubbing two sticks together, let alone piloting a vessel between stars. Some of the aliens you meet will be friendly and keen to support your endeavors with advice, extra ships, and fuel top-ups. Others will be less friendly, interested in either taking advantage of your interstellar naivety by sending you on errands in exchange for their favor or shooting you on sight.

Aliens are painted in broad strokes, each species distinguished by their physical appearance and one or two glaring personality traits. The Mu'Kay are squid who are good-natured but really hate (and eat) fish, for example, while the Tywom are hapless but well-meaning slugs who have resigned themselves to being the most boring species in the galaxy. There's little nuance to the way each alien species is portrayed--they're all glib sketches with one element exaggerated for comic effect. Despite this, the writing is consistently excellent, regardless of whether you're hearing from an important quest-giver or generic NPC. A nice line about quirky details, good comedic timing, and the odd genuinely good joke elevates each alien beyond mere caricature. Encounters, even those that end in violence, are always played for laughs, resulting in a lighthearted, almost jovial tone that belies the starcharts and spreadsheet-style presentation elsewhere.

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When you're not chinwagging with your new extraterrestrial friends, you're probably being pelted with laser fire by the Skryve or the Drenkend or one of the other new enemies you've offended by poking your helmet beyond the Milky Way. Combat plays out on a discrete 2D arena where you battle one-on-one with an enemy ship. There's some strategy here as you weigh up the odds of your weaker ships winning versus the likelihood you might need to save your better ships for the next fight. And there's some skill required to make effective use of each ship's weapon loadout and handling, as well as managing the power-ups scattered around the arena.

But for the most part, as a top-down shoot ‘em up duel where you only control one ship with two weapons, combat feels too slight, too simplistic, a deficiency exacerbated by the frustratingly erratic AI behavior that sees it veer between unerring accuracy and blundering idiocy for no discernible reason. It's as infuriating when a weaker enemy ship hits you with every single missile as it is hilarious when the next enemy ship blows itself up by repeatedly crashing into asteroids. You can't skip combat if it's not to your taste, though you can outfit your ship with an upgrade that leaves combat to the AI--and leaves you to suffer through watching it. I spent an hour or so saving up to buy the AI-controlled fleet upgrade, only to disable it immediately after despairing at how its idea of an effective combat maneuver was to follow the enemy ship in a circle and hurl itself at every proximity mine the enemy dropped.

Throughout, Star Control: Origins is at its weakest when trying its hand at arcade-style action. When you reach a new planet or moon, you can launch a lander to explore its surface, quite literally dropping you into a mini-game where you have to guide your vehicle through the atmosphere to the target landing zone. It's all over in a matter of seconds, and the only challenge is that sometimes a strong wind will blow you off course--a hazard that can be mitigated through lander upgrades.

Once on the surface, you drive across the dinky sphere, collecting resources and avoiding or shooting hostile droids and creatures. Much like the combat, it's a simple affair, but there's a certain fastidious pleasure to be had from strip-mining every last trace of neutronium from the earth. Yet it can also become tedious as the limited cargo capacities of your lander and your ship conspire to force frequent (and lengthy) trips back to the nearest spaceport to sell your loot in order to maintain the grind.

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Soon, however, you'll stumble upon a point of interest on one of these spherical excursions and find yourself triggering a new quest to investigate a crashed ship or a mysterious distress call or pick up a lead as to the whereabouts of a post-human sect known as the Lexites. Before you know it, you're charting a course to a new system, filled with optimism about what you'll find on the next planet, what ship upgrades you'll soon be able to afford, what adventures the next alien you meet will inspire.

At its best, Star Control: Origins urges you to poke and prod into every corner of its intimidatingly vast galaxy, searching out ancient secrets and pun-filled absurdities. At its worst, it drags you through mediocre arcade sequences and generic grind. Genre mashups are far more common today than they were in 1992, but striking the right balance between adventure, role-playing and arcade action remains as tricky as ever.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 10:00:00 -0700)

Red Dead Online, the new "online connected experience" for Red Dead Redemption 2 will not be available at launch. Players will have to wait until sometime in November to try it out.

But why? Design director Imran Sarwar said in a new interview that Rockstar sees the single-player and the multiplayer elements as "separate products." Each will "grow and evolve independently of each other," he told IGN.

Sarwar added that Rockstar learned from previous releases that launching big online games is a tricky task. "There are bound to be a few issues and we want to ensure that we have time to gradually roll out the game and make the experience as smooth as we possibly can for everyone," he explained. "We believe this way of rolling out will give people the best overall experiences with both single player and multiplayer."

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The launch of Red Dead Online comes in the form of a public beta, so players can expect the experience to be a work in progress. Rockstar is expecting some "turbulence" at launch, adding that the studio looks forward to working with the community to make Red Dead Online everything it can be.

Rockstar's last big release, Grand Theft Auto V, also saw its single-player and multiplayer modes released separately. GTA Online launched about a month after GTA V came out back in 2013. It had numerous serious and significant issues, for which Rockstar apologised. GTA Online went on to become a massive hit for Rockstar, bringing in mountains of money from its microtransactions. Rockstar will be looking to replicate that success with Red Dead Online, which will also get numerous and frequent updates.

In the wake of the news about Red Dead Online launching after Red Dead Redemption 2, Take-Two's stock dropped today, though only slightly.

Red Dead Redemption 2 launches on October 26 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Keep checking back with GameSpot for more on the ambitious open-world western.

Red Dead Redemption 2 News And Details

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 08:07:00 -0700)

Like Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar's next big open-world adventure, Red Dead Redemption 2, will feature a sprawling online component titled Red Dead Online. The mode will launch as a public beta this fall, and judging by the level of support GTA Online has enjoyed, it will likely receive a regular stream of updates for a long time to come. With a second open-world multiplayer game to support now, fans may wonder if GTA Online's updates will slow down, but Rockstar assures this won't be the case.

In an interview with IGN, Rockstar North director of design Imran Sarwar said the developer still intends to support GTA V's online mode after Red Dead Online arrives. "We still have big plans for Grand Theft Auto Online and we will continue to roll out updates for the foreseeable future," Sarwar said.

To avoid competition between its two big online games, Sarwar says Rockstar hopes to "stagger" updates for each one out so that players will be able to keep up with both, but there may be some overlap. "We vaguely plan to stagger the updates of both games so that players can switch between the two, but our development plans may not always allow this!" Sarwar said.

Rockstar still hasn't revealed many details about Red Dead Online. According to the studio, the mode is "an evolution of the classic multiplayer experience in the original Red Dead Redemption, blending narrative with competitive and cooperative gameplay in fun new ways." The public beta will go live sometime this November; those who own Red Dead Redemption 2 will be able to jump in for free, although the studio warns "there will inevitably be some turbulence at launch" given the scale of the endeavor.

Red Dead Redemption 2 launches for PS4 and Xbox One next month, on October 26. Rockstar recently shared some new screenshots of the game, as well as some new details about its sprawling world. You can read more about the title in our roundup of everything we know about Red Dead Redemption 2 so far.

Red Dead Redemption 2 News And Details

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 08:08:00 -0700)

Sure, Chris Pratt might be the highest-billed star in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and he finds himself in the middle of several big action scenes featuring dinosaurs, villains, rain, guns, and quite a few more wrinkles that make things difficult. As it turns out, though, he's not the true action star of that movie.

As you can see in a special video from the movie's Blu-ray release, which is debuting exclusively on GameSpot, it's actually young Isabella Sermon, who plays Maisie Lockwood, who's the real hero. In the clip, the young actress is preparing for what is likely her most impressive moment in the film. "I've rehearsed for the big stunt, which is Maisie sliding down a massive glass roof," she says. "This morning we practiced actually on the set, where Maisie's climbing along the roof and the Indoraptor smashes out of a window."

In the finished film, this particular moment is pretty thrilling as the stormy night creates complications. As shown in the video, though, things were much more controlled on set, as the mansion was actually built inside of a soundstage, with production creating the rain.

Still, this scene sees Maisie and Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) take quite a few tumbles, where a stunt person could have easily stepped in for the hard work. Sermon wasn't about to let that happen, though. "I'm just working with Izzy, who's earned the name 'the kid rock,' because she does all of her own stunts."

Who could blame her, though? Getting chased by dinosaurs, sliding down roofs, and saving the day is all anyone could ask for when starring in a Jurassic World movie, right? "It's quite fun," Sermon says with a smile.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is out on digital now and will be released on Blu-ray and 4K September 18. For more from the home release, take a look at this shocking revelation from Jeff Goldblum. Also make sure to check out our Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom pre-order guide.

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 06:08:00 -0700)


Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina won't bring its brand of scares until closer to Halloween. If you just can't wait, though, a big batch of photos from the new series has arrived, and they are positively spellbinding.

The images are the first introduction the world is being given to a majority of the main characters on Chilling Adventures. While Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) and her journey are obviously front-and-center on the series, the world of Greendale is populated with some very interesting--and peculiar--people that make up her family, friends, and foes. Whether it's her aunts Zelda (Miranda Otto) and Hilda (Lucy Davis), the trio of Weird Sisters that look down on Sabrina, or her boyfriend Harvey (Ross Lynch)--who is somehow completely oblivious to the teen witch's magical antics--there are a number of new faces fans will get to know when the series debuts.

Perhaps the most exciting and intriguing piece of the puzzle is Sabrina's cousin Ambrose (Chance Perdomo). After being placed under house arrest by the Witches Council at some point in his life, he's forbidden to leave their shared home. That won't stop him from getting into whatever trouble his cousin is causing, though.

Rounding out the cast are Michelle Gomez, Richard Coyle, Jaz Sinclair, and Bronson Pinchot. The first season of the series will consist of 10 episodes, with Netflix having already ordered a second season. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina debuts on the streaming service on October 26, just in time for a Halloween binge.

Don't forget to check out the first official teaser for the new series, as well as the 9 shows we think you need to be watching this fall.



Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka)



Harvey Kinkle (Ross Lynch)



The Weird Sisters (Adeline Rudolph, Tati Gabrielle, and Abigail Cowen)



Aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto)



Aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis)



Mary Wardell/Madam Satan (Michelle Gomez)



Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka)



Father Blackwood (Richard Coyle), Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka), Aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis), and Aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto)



Father Blackwood (Richard Coyle)



Ambrose Spellman (Chance Perdomo)



Susie Putnam (Lachlan Watson) and Rosalind Walker (Jaz SInclair)



Nicholas Scratch (Gavin Leatherwood)



Susie Putnam (Lachlan Watson), (Jaz Sinclair), Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka), and Harvey Kinkle (Ross Lynch)


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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 06:07:00 -0700)

Batman finally has a dad… again. After Alec Baldwin dropped out of the role of Thomas Wayne in the upcoming Joker standalone movie starring Joaquin Phoenix, director Todd Phillips had a tall order ahead of him. Who would they find that could play the patriarch of the Wayne family?

According to ComicBook.com, that person is none other than former Devious Maids and Person of Interest star Brett Cullen. Interestingly, this won't be the actor's first time in a Batman universe film. He previously played a congressman in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises. Additionally, he had the role of Barton Blaze--father to Nicolas Cage's Johnny--in Ghost Rider.

Baldwin cited scheduling issues when he announced he was no longer playing the role, days after it was reported that he had been cast. At the time, The Hollywood Reporter claimed that this movie's version of Thomas would somewhat resemble Donald Trump in the 1980s, casting the Wayne Enterprises head honcho as a "cheesy and tanned businessman."

The news of Cullen's casting comes on the heels of Phillips sharing the first look at Phoenix's titular character before he goes full-on psychotic clown. It's been rumored that the character's name is Arthur Fleck, with the movie telling the origin story of the clown prince of crime.

Joining Phoenix and Cullen in the film are Deadpool 2 breakout star Zazie Beetz, Robert De Niro, Marc Maron, and Frances Conroy. The standalone Joker movie currently has no release date, though production is underway.

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 06:09:00 -0700)

The first trailer for Captain Marvel has finally arrived after what seems like forever. At long last, Marvel Cinematic Universe fans have gotten a look at Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) in action as the superhero--along with a peek at the aliens she'll be fighting.

For who that don't follow the comics closely, though, you might be wondering what kind of powers Captain Marvel has. As can be seen in the opening seconds of the trailer, she is clearly impervious to most damage. Falling from space through a Blockbuster Video would kill any normal human.

In the comics, Carol has not only superhuman durability, but the strength and stamina to match--think Captain America, but even more powerful. As for weaponry, she has the ability to fire photon blasts from her hands, which can be seen in the trailer. She's also capable of absorbing massive amounts of energy.

One power from the comics not seen in the trailer is flight. Given that Carol Danvers was a highly-regarded pilot before becoming Captain Marvel, there's something wonderful about flight being one of her powers. Since the movie has given her a similar backstory, chances are that particular power will be on display in the film.

Whatever the case, it's clear that Captain Marvel is one of the most exciting additions to the MCU yet. It's no wonder she's who Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) paged at the end of Avengers: Infinity War.

Captain Marvel is in theaters on March 8, 2019. For more about the movie, check out our scene-by-scene breakdown of the first trailer and the fun Easter egg found in the poster.

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 06:10:00 -0700)


Sure, you can watch Stranger Things at home. Chances are you've done that countless times and loved it. What if you could visit the Upside Down in real-life, though? Yes, an actual Upside Down--some kind of dark dimension filled with slime and dead trees and monsters--might not be your idea of a good vacation. But what if you could take a stroll through a replica that probably won't kill you?

That's what Universal Studios has built with its Stranger Things attraction at Halloween Horror Nights in the Hollywood and Orlando parks. The haunted maze pulls visitors into the first season of the Netflix series, retracing the steps of Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) as she searches for her missing son.

GameSpot was one of a few outlets to visit Universal Studios Hollywood for a tour of its Stranger Things maze while under construction. During the tour, Universal Studios Hollywood creative director John Murdy spilled many secrets about the new maze and how his team managed to translate a show as spooky and otherworldly as Stranger Things into a live experience. We were also able to snap some photos of the maze--and get our hands on some others for your viewing pleasure.

Halloween Horror Nights opens at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Orlando on Friday, September 14 and runs through November 3. It runs on select nights through Halloween. Make sure to check out our coverage of the other TV and movie-based mazes the event is pulling off this year.


Why they needed a soundstage


Though mazes for the event are typically built in massive tents constructed around the park, Stranger Things required something more. When a soundstage on the lot became available, Murdy knew he had his solution. "Only about two months ago Family Feud was filmed in here," he said. "And now we're in."

As for why this particular maze demanded a different type of space, there were a couple of reasons. First and foremost, lighting was a concern. "There's a lot of the Upside Down where you needed to have complete control, even though we build mazes in tents and everything," Murdy explained. "Having complete control of the lighting was really important." The other chief reason was a soundstage offers a much higher ceiling than the tents, which leads to some of the biggest sets ever seen in a Horror Nights maze--including a massive scene set in the Hawkins National Laboratory.


Working with the Duffer brothers on the maze


When it comes to creating a maze based on a known property, it always starts with a pitch to the creative teams behind the movie or show. Luckily for Murdy, Stranger Things co-creators the Duffer brothers are fans of Halloween Horror Nights.

"I pitched it to Netflix initially," he said. "I didn't personally pitch it to Duffer brothers, [Netflix was] going to present it to them. And so I said, 'Well I'll send you my treatment.' And that's usually about a hundred pages. And they called me as soon as they had the meeting with the Duffer brothers and [were] like, 'You won't believe this, there's no notes.'"

While Murdy and his team have been doing this long enough that it's not often that he would get a long list of notes back, "it's rare that you get none."

"They agreed 100% with our approach," he said. "They couldn't have agreed more." That approach is to solely focus on Season 1 of the series, rather than a mix of both installments.


Integrating the kids without having them throughout the maze


While Horror Nights mazes are typically filled with actors in costume, Stranger Things presented an odd dilemma. "What to do with the kids was a big decision we had to make because obviously on the show they're all 12," Murdy explained. "We just quickly realized that's not going to work, we got to figure out how to deliver the kids in a different way."

The answer was to use audio from the first season--the voices of the kids. "There's 5.1 surround sound system throughout this sequence and multi-channel audio everywhere," he said. "So all throughout the maze, you're hearing the kids on the walkie-talkies calling to each other looking for their friend who's missing."

Keep your eyes open, though. You still might see a couple kids along the way.


Recreating the Byers home


When it came to the actual design of the maze, that's where the obsessive work of Murdy and his team began. They poured over the show countless times, studied photos, and tried to recreate everything as closely as possible to what was seen on the show. When it came to the Byers' home, that wasn't necessarily easy.

"It's set in the 1980s but really for the Byers that means the '70s because they're not a wealthy family," Murdy admitted. "Most everything they have in this house came from the '70s." That meant sourcing out furniture, recreating wallpaper patterns, and looking for appropriate touches to fill the house with, including rotary phones that the Horror Nights team had to have altered by a special effects company, in order for them to react to what's happening within the maze.


Building Castle Byers--twice


It also meant things outside of the house needed to be built, like Castle Byers--Will's fort that he uses to escape from the real world. To make sure it was accurate to what fans remember, the maze-building team received on-set photography to use as a reference. Murdy said he pulled around 30,000 pictures from the show for reference.

And when it comes to Castle Byers, that department has to do it all twice--once for our world and once for the Upside Down, which has its own fort.


How they created the Demogorgon suit


What's a Stranger Things maze without a Demogorgon scaring visitors? Or in the case of Horror Nights, several Demogorgons. If you're going to be stepping into the maze, don't freak out when the beast is suddenly standing in front of you. "This is a full-blown creature suit that our performers are going to be wearing," Murdy teased.

How does one create a Demogorgon in real life, though? While originally Murdy planned to use the same molds the show did, there was a problem. "Quickly, you realize how much is CGI," he admitted. "So like when they did the Demogorgon on set, they had a guy in a creature costume but his head inside the head petals was all a big green hood. So all of the teeth and the mouth and the movement was CGI."

Instead, the Universal team used an animated "hero" head--one used for certain shots in the series--and sculpted their own version of it for the costume. From the teeth to the head petals, the massive Demogorgon will be haunting the maze, thanks to the event's artists.


Bringing the Upside Down to life


Building the Upside Down created another challenge for the team, due to it being mostly CGI on the series. To recreate that, the Horror Nights team created a forest of trees that look rotten in a pitch-black room. From there, dozens of small fiber optic lights have been hung throughout the area, creating the creepy light orbs seen in the Upside Down. "And then we're projecting on top of all of it," Murdy said.

The process of creating this particular piece of the maze took multiple layers and steps, but should ultimately be one of the most impressive pieces of the maze.


And that includes a very dead Barb


Yes, we have all come to terms with the fact that Barb is dead. Still, you wouldn't expect a Stranger Things Season 1 maze to not shout out the untimely death of Nancy's best friend, right? Murdy and his team simply couldn't help themselves when they created this particular dead body to help decorate the Upside Down. Happy trails, Barb.


An Easter egg hunt


What's a fun haunted maze without Easter eggs to search for? Like most of the brand-based mazes that came before it, Stranger Things is filled with fun nods to the rest of the franchise. The only one we could get Murdy to point out takes place in the classroom scene of the maze, which comes near the end. In it, there's a Rube Goldberg device believed to be built by the boys in Season 1. It's the sort of thing where you won't see it if you're not looking too carefully, but noticing it helps to make the experience all the more exciting.


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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Thu, 20 Sep 2018 06:11:00 -0700)

Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu is stepping away from the industry for a period of time so he can focus on improving his mental and physical health. In a blog post, Uematsu said he is taking an "extended leave of absence" to recover from what has been a hectic production schedule following the formation of his studio Dog Ear Records.

"Since the establishment of Dog Ear Records, I have found myself blessed with countless opportunities. From composing new works to holding concerts around the world, my days have been hectic, yet fulfilling," he said. "The resulting fatigue, however, has finally caught up with me, and I find it mentally and physically difficult to go on at my current pace. After giving serious consideration to all options, I have decided to take an extended leave of absence and give my mind and body the time they need to properly mend."

Uematsu said if he ever comes to back, he wants to do so "in full health." While he used the word "if," later in the blog post he said he expects to make a full recovery.

"Do not worry. Once I've made a full recovery, I'll be back doing what I do best," he explained. "My current plan is to rest for the remainder of the year, and while I cannot commit to a method or time frame for my return, I'm very hopeful."

Uematsu said he apologies for the "burden" that he believes his leave of absence puts on his fans and clients, adding that he hopes people understand that he has to do what's best for his health and well being. "I thank you all for your continued support and only ask that you are patient until I'm on my feet once again," he said.

Uematsu, who was born in 1959, is considered by some to be the John Williams of video games. For lots more, check out GameSpot's interview and profile of Uematsu from 2009.

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 22:09:00 -0700)

Two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies were wounded by gunfire Wednesday night during a confrontation at an East L.A. park, authorities said.

The two deputies were shot shortly after 6:30 p.m. at Ruben F. Salazar Park, according to Nicole Nishida, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department.

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 19:40:00 PDT )

The surprise addition to the Rams offense got somewhat lost among Todd Gurley’s rushing touchdowns, Jared Goff’s long pass to Brandin Cooks, and a trio of two-point conversions in Sunday’s victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

But a team that is averaging nearly 34 points per game will go into Sunday’s...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 19:55:00 PDT )
SERIES

Jay Leno’s Garage Leno takes a ride with rally driver Ken Block in the season finale. 7 and 10 p.m. CNBC

Bite Club Tyler Florence brings together five of the best chefs in Indianapolis to compete using a unique style of grill for the first time. 9 p.m. Food Network

Beat Bobby Flay “Chopped”...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 20:00:00 PDT )

The Dodgers summoned Kenta Maeda in the eighth inning Tuesday night with an unenviable task. The heart of the Colorado Rockies’ lineup waited in a tie game. One mistake could have cost the Dodgers first place. First up was Nolan Arenado, an MVP candidate. Three pitches, three strikes. . Next came...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 18:40:00 PDT )
FX's new spinoff series Mayans M.C. has it's roots deeply set in Sons of Anarchy. Find out which connections we've seen so far as Chris breaks down the origins of the Mayans Motorcycle Club and its relationship to SAMCRO. Read More

Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 11:02:00 -0700)

A game that can be completed in a single sitting is an opportunity to experience an idea from start to finish without external factors getting in the way. It could be a boss rush that's just a gauntlet of the meanest brutes around, or it could be a touching tale that makes the most of its brief runtime by getting to the heart of the matter. A short-format game risks wrapping up before its time has come, but paced properly, it can be the perfect fit when the right idea comes along. In the case of The Gardens Between, the heartfelt interactions that play out on-screen between two friends on a sentimental adventure make the game the definition of short but sweet.

It begins one dark and stormy night, when as if by magic the two friends are pulled into a strange world while hiding from the rain in their cozy treehouse. They materialize on a planet dominated by water, and the islands they sail between using their treehouse-turned-boat are manifestations of their memories, recreated with real-world objects. Supersized couches and knick-knacks function as structures and obstacles in the imaginary dimension, and sometimes as mechanisms used to solve puzzles. Your goal on each island is to reach the end of a path and deliver an orb of light--a process that solidifies the friends' memories as constellations in the night sky.

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Though you can influence each character's actions, you don't directly control their movement. Rather than move them to and fro, you can shift time forward and backwards, and the two characters will walk along a path in kind. They each possess a distinct ability--one can carry a lamp to transport orbs of light, and the other can activate switches that reconfigure puzzle-related elements in the environment.

The environmental puzzles run the gamut from simple cause-and-effect scenarios to unorthodox headscratchers that require the use of dreamlogic. In practically every case the necessary hints are right before your eyes; shifting time to and fro and paying close attention to the way things change is often all you need to deduce a solution. The trick is usually the manipulation of objects that are free from time's grasp in conjunction with finding the right moment in time to let them loose.

Without these puzzles The Gardens Between would struggle to last an hour, yet despite being modestly challenging and inventive, they somehow feel unimportant in the grand scheme. There is no context for their existence as obstacles other than being opportunities for two friends to cooperate, but the tiny doses of narrative at the end of each island reflect the objects in the scene rather than the efforts used to pass through it. Puzzles are the "gameplay" that allows you to play a part in the two characters' journey and in a way make the realization of each memory feel earned, but they fall by the wayside when the spotlight is focused on the two teens.

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Though the world they venture through is full of creative touches and small magical moments, the two characters own every moment. From the way they subtly peep at one another while crossing paths, to the adorable gestures they use to point out helpful objects in the distance, their body language clues you in to their special bond. They say so much without ever uttering a word. Their cute and quirky selves are infectiously adorable, and before you know it, you've tumbled head over heels into their world and ultimately the formation of a new, unforgettable memory by the end of their journey.

It may only take two to three hours to see everything The Gardens Between has to offer, but the warm and fuzzy feelings from start to finish ensure that your memories of playing it will live on. The expressive faces of the two teens and the relatable memories they share will speak to anyone who's ever had a close childhood friend, and while the puzzles won't go down as the most ingenious or demanding, they nevertheless give you more time to spend frolicking in a nostalgic and heartwarming world where friendship is all that matters.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 08:00:00 -0700)

This Saturday , Angelenos who have long been waiting for pastry chef Christina Tosi to open her dessert shop Milk Bar will finally get their sugar fix. Milk Bar will open its doors to a retail store, dessert classroom, production kitchen and distribution center in Fairfax.

“It’s the whole wonderland,”...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 07:00:00 PDT )

A female Uber driver in Arizona is suing Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, accusing him of sexual assault.

Court documents say the woman filed the suit in Arizona on Tuesday and is seeking more than $75,000 in damages. She said Winston grabbed her crotch in the drive-thru of a Mexican...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 06:45:00 PDT )

Las Vegas became a passionate hockey town very quickly, thanks to the Golden Knights’ Stanley Cup run in their inaugural season. Although they fell to the Washington Capitals in the finals, their quick success seemed almost a magician’s trick and took the league by surprise.

After a short off-season,...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 05:30:00 PDT )

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Wednesday, Sept. 19, and here’s what’s happening across California:

TOP STORIES

In 2016, California became the first state in the nation to allow family members, roommates and police officers to ask a judge to block individuals...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 19 Sep 2018 05:30:00 PDT )


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