Author - Jerry Paxton

Knott’s Berry Farm Announces Ghost Town Alive! and Two New Shows for 2018

May 24, 2018 – Sunny skies and warm weather have arrived at Knott’s Berry Farm and we’re welcoming summer by introducing an entertainment lineup with two brand new shows and the return of the award-winning story of the Wild West, Ghost Town Alive! This year’s summer entertainment will take you from a musical performance celebrating the sunny beach culture of the Boardwalk to experiencing life in the Old West.

This summer the western adventure continues as the award-winning experience of Ghost Town Alive! returns for another action-packed season. With Ghost Town Alive! guest are invited to visit the beloved town of Calico and experience an authentic western adventure by becoming a star in the day’s evolving storyline, each guest has the power to unlock adventures through interactions with the townsfolk or by joining in on the town’s activities and much more. Guests have the ability to influence how the story takes shape. This year, the town of Calico bursts to life with new adventures and guest interactions. Gold has been discovered in town and guests will get swept up in gold fever as the good citizens of Calico set their sights on seeking their fortunes. StartingSaturday, May 26 and runs select days through September 3.

Debuting in June at the Charles M. Schultz Theatre, Beach Blanket Beagle is a musical dance party set to the classic beach comber tunes of the 60’s and 70’s, and stars the coolest beagle around, Snoopy! Showing select days June 9 – August 19.

At the Calico Mine Stage, Knott’s is presenting another new show called Calico’s Mountain Jamboree! It’s a stunt-filled spectacle featuring the rivalry between the Timber Mountain Loggers and the Calico Miners set to an upbeat soundtrack and comedy galore. Showing select days June 9 – August 19.

WHEN:    Summer entertainment beginning Saturday, May 26 and Saturday, June 9th.

WHERE:   Knott’s Berry Farm – 8039 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park, CA 90620

For more information on Knott’s summer shows please visit knotts.com; or join the conversation by using #KnottsBerryFarm   #GhostTownAlive on FacebookTwitter or Instagram

Antigraviator Launch Trailer

Haarlem, the Netherlands – Publisher Iceberg Interactive and developer Cybernetic Walrus announce that their multi-award winning, anti-gravity racing game Antigraviator will release for PC on June 6 through Steam and major digital retailers, with the PlayStation® 4 and Xbox® One release following later in the year.

Antigraviator is a sleek new take on the anti-gravity racing genre. Use traps, power-ups, and boosts to overtake your opponents and dominate the track in single player or multiplayer mode. In a unique twist, the player has unlimited speed at their disposal, the only limit being their skill and ability to avoid walls and obstacles. A launch trailer showing these features can be seen here.

“We’re extremely proud of Antigraviator and how the development has gone. We had the opportunity to showcase the game at several events such as GDC and PAX East, and the audience response was very positive,” says Mike Coeck, CEO of Cybernetic Walrus. “We know that PC gamers have been looking forward to playing our game and its greatest asset: no speed limit. In addition, we’re working hard on the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game and thank console gamers for their patience.”

Aspiring ‘grav’ racers can wishlist the game on Steam now. For the console release, players can stay up-to-date by subscribing to the newsletter through the official Antigraviator website.

KEY FEATURES

  • No speed limit!
  • Play the single player campaign to unlock new parts, ships, and skins
  • Race your friends with local split-screen multiplayer for up to 4 players
  • Challenge anybody in online multiplayer mode with rankings and leaderboards
  • Use environmental traps to overtake your opponents
  • Power-ups and boosts allow you to become top of the leaderboard
  • Ship customization gives you an edge over the opposition
  • Four beautifully created sci-fi worlds, each with three dynamic courses
  • Stunning realistic 3D graphics powered by Unity
  • Soundtrack featuring 12 intense tracks that will enhance your racing experience

Age of Wonders: Planetfall Announced

STOCKHOLM – MAY 19, 2018 – Paradox Interactive today announced Age of Wonders: Planetfall, a new upcoming strategy game from Triumph Studios, creators of the critically acclaimed Age of Wonders and Overlord series. Slated for release for PC and console in 2019, Planetfall will bring all the exciting turn-based empire building and immersive tactical combat of its predecessors to an all-new sci-fi setting.

In Age of Wonders: Planetfall, players will emerge from the dark age of a fallen galactic empire to craft a new future for their people. Exploring the planetary ruins and encountering other surviving factions that have each evolved in their own way, players will unravel the history of a shattered civilization. Fight, build, negotiate and technologically advance the way to utopia, in a deep single player campaign, on random maps and against friends in multiplayer.

“We’re thrilled to finally announce our latest endeavor alongside Paradox,” said Lennart Sas, Triumph Studios CEO. “Age of Wonders: Planetfall is roughly three years into development, running on a new generation of our multi-platform Creator Engine. While the setting is new, we’re confident that Age of Wonders fans will feel right at home exploring the remnants of the Star Union. Our aim is to make a game that greatly expands upon its predecessors, and still employs the core principles that made Age of Wonders such a success.”

Key Features:

  • Strategic Turn-Based Sci-Fi Combat –  Perfect your combat strategy in intense turn-based battles that offer tactical challenges, a large cast of races, units with customizable weapons, and destructible environments.
  • Discover a Rich Science Fiction World – Uncover the history of the fallen galactic empire as you explore lush landscapes, and experience the emergent story. Encounter NPC factions and rival houses, and discover hidden technologies that can strengthen your society and give you advantage over enemies.
  • Planetary Empire Building  – Create your own unique House, and build prosperous colonies through economic specializations of planetary sectors and governing doctrines.
  • Multiple Paths to Victory – Achieve your end goals through conquest, diplomacy or doomsday technologies. Engrossing options with NPC factions and rival Houses won’t make the decisions easy!

Those eager to get more information about Age of Wonders: Planetfall can sign up for the newsletter, and help unlock special community rewards at www.aow-planetfall.com.

Imperator: Rome Announced

STOCKHOLM – 19 May 2018 – What we think of as “western civilization” was not guaranteed. Imagine Alexander’s empire centralized under one successor. Italy might never have been unified under Roman rule, strangling a juggernaut in its cradle. A world without Caesar. Now you can explore these alternate histories in Imperator: Rome.

The masters of historical strategy have returned to the days of legions and legends. Paradox Development Studio is happy to announce Imperator: Rome, an upcoming grand strategy game set in the classical world from the glory days of Athens to the establishment of the Roman Empire four centuries later. Rule any nation on the most detailed Paradox map ever stretching from the Pillars of Hercules to the far reaches of of India, allowing you to build an empire to dwarf that of Alexander. Govern republics or monarchies, balancing the factions, and keeping the loyalty of your most capable generals.

Imperator: Rome’s features include:

  • Character Management: A living world of characters with varying skills and traits that will change over time. They will lead your nation, govern your provinces and command your armies and fleets. We also introduce our new, more human-like character art.
  • Diverse Populations: Citizens, freemen, tribesmen and slaves – each population with its own culture and religion. Whether they fill your armies, fill your coffers or fill your colonies, keep an eye on their happiness – your success depends on their satisfaction.
  • Battle Tactics: Choose your approach before battle to counter the stratagems of your foes.
  • Military Traditions: Each culture has a unique way of waging war. Romans and Celts have different options available to them. Unlock unique bonuses, abilities and units.
  • Different Government Types: Manage the senate in a Republic, hold your court together in a monarchy, answer to the clans in a tribal system.
  • Barbarians and Rebellions: Migrating barbarians may sack or settle your best land, while disloyal governors or generals can turn against you – taking their armies with them!
  • Trade: Goods provide bonuses to their home province. Will you take advantage of stockpiles for local strength or trade excess goods to spread the wealth around?
  • Provincial Improvement: Invest in buildings, roads and defences to make your kingdom stronger and richer.

Imperator: Rome is scheduled for a 2019 release.

https://www.paradoxplaza.com/imperator-rome/IMIM01GSK0000001-MASTER.html

Trick ‘r Treat Coming to Halloween Horror Nights

Universal City, CA, Orlando, FL (May 16, 2018) – Beginning September 14Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort will bring Legendary Pictures’ cult Halloween classic Trick ‘r Treat to life in all-new Halloween Horror Nights mazes that dare guests to live by the rules or suffer the consequences.

Based on the critically-acclaimed and fan-favorite movie directed by Michael Dougherty, the “Trick ‘r Treat” maze will transport guests to Warren Valley, Ohio on Halloween night to celebrate the holiday’s dark traditions. Recreating some of the anthology’s most iconic scenes, the disturbing new maze invites brave thrill-seekers to become entwined within the secrets of this sleepy suburban town.

Guests will experience some of the film’s most grisly scenes and encounter hauntingly familiar characters. They will meander through Mr. Kreeg’s infamous house, watch as college students viciously transform into bloodthirsty werewolves and dismember the town, as well as come face-to-face with Sam – the spirit of Halloween – who readies to punish those who break the holiday’s tradition.

Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” is the ultimate Halloween event. For more than 25 years, guests from around the world have visited “Halloween Horror Nights” in Hollywood and Orlando to become victims inside their own horror film. Multiple movie-quality mazes based on iconic horror television shows, films and original stories come to life season after season. And, the streets of each coast’s event are transformed into highly-themed scare zones where menacing scare-actors lunge from every darkened corner.

Additional details about Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” will be revealed soon. Select tickets and vacation packages for Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights are on sale now. For more information about “Halloween Horror Nights” at either Universal Studios Hollywood or Universal Orlando Resort, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.

Creative Labs Sound Blaster K3+ Review

Having a good audio mixer unit can be an absolute asset to content creators out there interested in creating their own music, web shows, podcasts, etc. Unfortunately, good audio mixers can be costly and big, making them poor choices for home content creators without a big budget. Also, they can be complicated, which also adds a steep barrier to entry for most home content creators who might not have much experience with these kinds of devices. Enter: The Creative Labs Sound Blaster K3+ USB powered audio mixer. The Sound Blaster K3+ is very portable – in terms of both size and weight. It is easily carried by hand and the weight or transported in your bag. It features a black base unit with both shiny and matte surfaces as well as a small reverb and soundboard setting legend sticker on the unit’s top side. As far as looks alone go, the Sound Blaster K3+ is a very stylish device that will look terrific on your desk. The K3+ features 10 rotary knobs on the top of the unit as well as 7 buttons – each has their own functions but all of the physical controls feel solid and well-built. The knobs have a smooth, yet slow rotation resistance which will help you get the precise level or setting you are looking for.

Setting up the Sound Blaster K3+ is straightforward and easy however that process, as one would guess, changes slightly depending on your particular needs. If you’re a musician, you will probably be using the K3+ differently than if you are creating a two-person podcast or a single-person game stream. So what options do you have in using the K3+? On its user-facing side, the Sound Blaster K3+ has two XLR microphone input jacks as well as two 3.5mm headphone output jacks – each of those headphone outputs has their own volume control. It also features 1.4 inch jack input line on the front which could be used for a guitar, keyboard, etc. On the reverse-facing side, the Sound Blaster K3+ features a 3.5mm mobile i/o input which allows you take audio from, say, your mobile phone and put it into your mix! Next to the mobile i/o jack, you’ll also find stereo line in and line out jacks, as well as micro USB port!

There are a number of controls on the top of the K3+ which control all of its audio magic. The Sound Blaster K3+ features a button that, when pushed, sends 48 volts of Phantom Power through its XLR ports to your condenser microphones. A warning, this should not be used with dynamic microphones – it will damage them! Also on the top side of the K3+ is the Voice Over button. This suspends any line in audio to just focus on the audio from the XLR inputs. The Sound Blaster K3+ features six different sound effects which can be dropped into your mix at your command. These sound effects feature the sound of gunshots, a baby laughing, applause, a crow, and a couple others. Your mileage may vary with how much you use these. I was hoping that the K3+ would allow you to flash the device with custom sound effects via the USB cable but unfortunately, at least right now, do that. The Sound Blaster K3+ also features auto tune functionality, and it does work fairly well, if not being a bit heavy sounding. To expand your audio board even more, you can daisy chain up to four Sound Blaster K3+ units together, however, I only had the one to test with.

All of these are good features, but perhaps my favorite thing about the Sound Blaster K3+ is that it is a USB powered device. This is special because it means you can take your K3+ into the field for remote recording, whether it be a convention booth, coffee house, hotel room, the choice is yours. Being USB powered means that you do not need AC power – you can run the K3+ straight from a USB power bank! Plans are in the works for new GamingShogun streaming content options and the Sound Blaster K3+ is definitely going to be our go-to audio mixer in these endeavors.

Overall, the Sound Blaster K3+ USB powered audio mixer retails for $129.99 and is available now.

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Interview with Russ Bullock, Piranha Games President

Recently, we got the chance to ask the president of Piranha Games, Russ Bullock, some questions about their upcoming MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries. We’d like to thank Russ Bullock, Piranha Games, and Tinsley-PR for making this interview possible.

Q) MechWarrior is one of those franchises that has had turbulent licensing history going back to its initial years. Now that things have settled down and Piranha Games owns the rights to the MechWarrior game series, can you tell us about any unexpected challenges you’ve had to face while developing MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries?

 While it’s true that through its history there have been a number of legal issues around the IP in general, we have had a license to the IP since 2011 so that hasn’t really been one of the challenges I would say. The main challenges for MW5 have centered on making a great Single Player experience. With MechWarrior Online we have many years’ experience in PVP but not in PVE story telling aspects. Having said that we have inherited incredible advantages from the past 6 years in MWO development. We have access to nearly 100 unique mech chassis and a general know how on fun mech combat.

With these big advantages of working with MechWarrior for over 6 years were committed to making the MW5 everyone has been waiting so long for.

Q) How open-ended will the campaign be and how is time handled? Is it all set within 3015 or will the game span years? Will it be real-time or can the player advance its passage for brevity?

The game starts in the year 3015 but actually has an advancing timeline right up until the year 3049. That gives the players a 34 year career path and although there will be a main story for the players to enjoy the game is extremely open ended and you can take mission anywhere in the Inner Sphere you want.

As you progress through the timeline, you’ll take on new contracts, hire additional pilots, techs and increase your reputation.

Your goal will be to achieve elite mercenary status before the year 3049 when you will be needed!

Q) Setting the game in 3015 is a time ripe with interesting events and chaos for the Inner Sphere. Will the game take into account BattleTech/MechWarrior history like the Marik Civil War, etc?

Yes

Q) One of the things that always appealed to me while playing in the Virtual World BattleTech games, then the early PC titles was how damage modelling was handled. There was a great deal of strategy in where you hit an enemy mech and with what. How is mech damage being handled in MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries?

Great question, we recently released a trailer and a lot of details outlining how damage will work. In MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries damage is important – not just on you’re Mech itself but also it plays a role in the environment around you. The Mech’s themselves have 11 different components that each have 3 different model states to show armor, structure and destroyed. So pin pointing specific deadly weapons on opposing mechs or going straight for the Center Torso will be yours to decide.

MW5 will have the most advanced Mech and environment destruction yet in the MechWarrior IP.

Q) As an avid player of VR titles, I have always wanted to pilot a mech in a virtual reality space. Will MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries support any VR solutions out there (pleeeeease)?

We are definitely thinking very seriously about this and we have several strong champions on the development team. I want to say yes but I think we’re going to be watching the VR market very closely over the next few months before we make that decision. Our priority is to make the MW5 game people have been waiting more than 15 years for, everything else has to be secondary.

Q) Piranha Games has also developed the popular MechWarrior Online and some gamers we spoke with were curious: How much common code does MWO and MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries share?

When it comes to code it would not share any. These are completely different engines so it’s not really possible. But we have been working with MechWarrior for almost 7 years and all that coding experience on MWO definitely comes into play. That great MWO combat feel will be brought over intact with all the improvements that come with getting a second chance to rewrite aspect.

Q) Will MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries feature paid micro-transactions?

No – this is a stand-alone game and if we do any additional content we’ll probably feature it in a tradition DLC model or even expansion-level content.

Q) It has been announced that MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries will support mods through the Steam workshop, etc. Just how much can be modded in the game? Are Total Conversions possible or is it mainly modding mechs, levels, etc?

There should be very little in the way of limitations, looking at other Unreal 4 based projects will give you a fairly good starting point on what to expect. Expect a lot more information about this later in the year.

Q) Finally, is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries before we adjourn?

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. I think we want gamers to be as excited as we are for MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries. We all grew up with BattleTech and MechWarrior and are making the game that we as fans want to play. And we hope that even if someone has never played a MechWarrior game before we think they are still going to love MW5!

Laser League Launch Trailer

CALABASAS, Calif. – May 10, 2018 – Laser League, the arcade-style multiplayer action sport of the future from indie publisher 505 Games and BAFTA award-winning development studio Roll7, is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam on PC. Offering up intense online or local multiplayer matches with friends, Laser League’s frenetic yet intuitive gameplay is easy to play but difficult to master, in a throwback to the heyday of gaming’s more approachable arcade action. To celebrate the launch, 505 Games and Roll7 are offering a 40% discount on Steam from now through May 16. Additionally, Laser League is currently free to Microsoft Gamepass Members.

This exhilarating, high-speed contact sport of 2150 pits players against the opposition for control of nodes that bathe the arena in deadly lasers. Evading rival colored beams, teams attempt to eliminate their opponents with speed, skill and strategy. Special offensive and defensive abilities – as well as game-changing power-ups on the arena floor – provide an edge at crucial moments. Like all great sports, Laser League is immediately accessible and understandable, but rewards dedication with deceptively complex strategic possibilities. Catch a glimpse of the fast-paced action in a new trailer:

Laser League launches with a wealth of content refined in its Early Access program, including:

  • 6 unique classes; Blade, Smash, Thief, Ghost, Shock and Snipe
  • 16 maps with unique laser patterns
  • 15 power-ups with the possibility to drastically alter the match
  • 12 modifier effects to adjust each class to best suit your playstyle
  • 4 international stadiums packed with cheering fans
  • Over 250 unique character customizations

Laser League on Steam also launches with seven additional maps, two stadiums and two new power-ups included in the price of purchase, along with six unique new modifiers, providing a new way to play each of the game’s classes. On top of this, 505 Games and Roll7 are also launching the NewMotion Brand DLC, which includes two new player models, eight kits, exclusive laser patterns, emojis and character portraits for $1.99. The added content and DLC will be available on console later in May.

For more information on the game, please visit  www.laserleaguegame.com.

SIG Sauer P320 ASP CO2 Air Pistol Review

One of my favorite things about SIG Sauer is that they like support their products in not only “real steel” versions, but also in air pistol and air soft categories as well. We recently got the chance to take a look at their SIG Sauer P320 ASP CO2 air pistol and had an absolute blast while doing so. Externally, the SIG Sauer P320 ASP CO2 is a beautifully-made recreation of SIG Sauer’s P32o pistol – at least, at first glance. The metal slide and polymer frame have nice weight and the feel is incredible – but, of course, that is because the frame has been modeled after the real steel version of the P320. The ergonomics are incredible and have to be felt to be believed.

Unfortunately, in terms of realistic operation, the SIG Sauer P320 ASP CO2 air pistol does suffer. The ejection port is merely cosmetic, and is simply a depression in the metal slide. The takedown level does nothing, and there is no slide catch system. However, the slide does cycle while shooting, which is nice and offers a slight bit of recoil which helps with your muscle memory. There is a safety located on the left side of the slide, which acts a bit differently than I expected as you can still squeeze the trigger when enabled, however it does not shoot. These air pistols are a great way to practice shooting fundamentals like recoil control while not shooting through hundreds of dollars in real ammunition at a firing range. Plus, you can shoot these in the privacy of your own home or backyard! The SIG Sauer P320 ASP CO2 also features an under barrel rail system for flash lights, lasers, etc which is a nice option should you need them.

Will the real P320 please stand up? (Click to make big)

The SIG Sauer P320 ASP CO2 air pistol holds one magazine with a 30 round capacity and makes use of a rotary belt to cycle through all of the contained BBs or pellets. More to that, the SIG Sauer P320 ASP CO2 air pistol rums on 4.5mm steel BBs or, my personal preference, .177 caliber pellets. Loading the magazine takes a little bit of time but isn’t too bad once you get the hang of it. The GOOD thing about using 4.5mm BB’s instead of the .177 pellets is that they do load a lot easier into the magazine’s rotary belt, but I digress. During our shooting tests, the magazine cycled without issues using both types ammunition, however the pellets seemed to be slightly more accurate than the BBs.

Powering the operation of the SIG Sauer P320 ASP CO2 air pistol is one 12g CO2 cartridge which loads inside the pistol grip. The CO2 loading mechanism is really good in this air pistol. Once the back strap and faux magazine base plate are removed (they simply rotate out), you have access to the CO2 chamber. Built right into the frame of the pistol grip is a rotating bolt that will lock and pierce the CO2 cartridge in-place. I intentionally went through a handful of cartridges during my testing and none of them leaked whatsoever – and that was without any sort of gasket lubrication!

SIG Sauer has crafted a very good recreation of their P320 handgun in this air pistol. While it doesn’t feature some of the realistic features that some air pistol shooters desire, it is an excellent recreation of the P320 pistol with good weight and feel as well as accuracy. Plus, its magazine design works well with both BBs and pellets, so you have some options there. The SIG Sauer P320 ASP CO2 air pistol retails for about $120 dollars and is available now at several online retailers.

Photo Gallery

Razer Abyssus Essential Gaming Mouse Review

The Razer Abyssus Essential gaming mouse is meant to provided increased performance over the Razer Abyssus V2 while also including Chroma lighting, all while still maintaining a low-end price point. This is a lot of capability to put in such a reasonably-priced form factor – so how does it work out? Did Razer complete their objectives? Read on to find out!

In terms of design, one would assume that the Razer Abyssus Essential to be a copy of the Razer Abyssus V2 gaming mouse, just with additional features. You’d be wrong, as the Razer Abyssus Essential features an all-new body style. It still is unmistakably Razer in design, but is slightly smaller than the Abyssus V2 in every dimension, and it is also 2 grams lighter. Its ergonomics have changed and, although it is still an ambidextrous design, the Abyssus Essential is slightly flatter, featuring a less acute grip angle. The overall experience of using the Abyssus Essential is great. It may be a smaller mouse (I usually prefer beefier models I can wield around the mouse pad), but I didn’t have any control issues at all while using it. Its construction is also typically Razer, meaning good, except that it does feature a non-braided cord.

Under the hood, the Razer Abyssus Essential beefs up the 5,000 DPI sensor of the V2 to a 7,000 DPI version. The optical sensor is precise and I had no issues with it in any of the games I played. However, there is one big thing missing from the Abyssus Essential that I miss – that of a dedicated DPI adjustment button. Since the dawn of the brand, Razer products have had on-the-fly DPI adjustment and, usually, there is a button that seems to be designed for this task. Speaking of buttons, this gaming mouse only has three – the left, middle, and right. This might be a factor in your purchasing decision depending on the kind of games you play. Gamers requiring more programmable buttons might look elsewhere.

Tech Specs

  • True 7,200 DPI Optical Sensor
  • Ambidextrous Ergonomic Design
  • Powered by Razer Chroma™
  • Razer Synapse 3 (Beta) enabled
  • Cable length: 2.1 m / 6.89 ft
  • Approximate size: 114.7 mm / 4.51 in (Length) X 63 mm / 2.48 in (Width) X 37.3 mm / 1.46 in (Height)
  • Approximate weight (excluding cable): 78 g / 0.17 lbs

Of course, one of the Razer Abyssus Essential’s biggest selling points is its Chroma lighting system. In the Abyssus Essential, the Chroma lighting is enabled around the bottom perimeter of the mouse. It gives the mouse a snazzy underglow like you would see in a street racing car. It’s bright, crisp, and makes your dream of gaming in the world of TRON a reality. Using the Synapse software suite, you can adjust the lighting to any of 16.8 million colors – all which brilliantly shine and illuminate your mousing surface to some degree.

Overall, Razer has made a great “higher low-end” gaming mouse with the Abyssus Essential. Not only does the mouse feature a solid optical sensor and low cost, it also features that eye-catching Chroma underglow we have all come to know and love. However, you might look elsewhere if you need more programmable buttons. At $49.99, the Razer Abyssus Essential won’t break your bank account and is available now at various online retailers as well as the Razer website.