Author - Jerry Paxton

Star Wars Battlefront 2: Official Starfighter Assault Gameplay Trailer

August 19, 2017 – Ready to jump into the cockpit of a speedy TIE Interceptor or nimble A-wing? In Star Wars Battlefront II’s new Starfighter Assault mode, players can live out their ultimate Star Wars fantasies by becoming an ace pilot in epic space battles set across authentic locations from all three cinematic Star Wars eras. Space combat has been vastly improved and expanded with superior controls, deeper customization and role-based team play featuring an all new class-based system.

Get a peek at the some of the iconic ships that players can pilot in intense, high stakes dogfights in the new Star Wars Battlefront II: Official Starfighter Assault Gameplay Trailer.

Also be sure to tune in to the EA Live Show at Gamescom streaming on EA.com on August 21 at 9:30am PDT/6:30pm CET to watch the Starfighter Assault live gameplay reveal. 24 players will face off in a swirling dogfight in the Fondor: Imperial Shipyard map, weaving around an Imperial Star Destroyer complete with speedy fighters, thundering bombers, distinct hero ships, and more.

For updates on Starfighter Assault and the new hero ships that will be revealed during Gamescom, head to the EA Star Wars blog.

SpellForce 3 Gets Cinematic Trailer and UK Collector’s Edition

Munich/Vienna, August 17th: Today THQ Nordic released an all-new CGI trailer for SpellForce 3, the real-time-strategy meets role-playing fantasy game launching this winter on PC. The trailer offers a recap of the events, narrated by voice actor Doug Cockle, leading up to the newest iteration in the franchise, while providing a glimpse of the battles to come. You can watch it here:

THQ Nordic also announced a limited collector’s edition for the game. Starting today, the SpellForce 3 Collector’s Edition can be pre-ordered for $129.99 in North America and €129,99 in Europe. The package will include the game, an exclusive artbook, the game’s official soundtrack, a Godstone amulet and an 8-inch figurine of Sentenza Noria, a seasoned commander and spymaster of the Royal Army that acts as the mentor for the player. The Collector’s Editon can be preordered now here.

SpellForce 3 returns to the roots of the SpellForce saga. Taking place before the acclaimed SpellForce: The Order of Dawn, players will unravel a deep and epic story in the SpellForce universe with over 30 hours of a single-player campaign, that is also playable in Coop. Additional multiplayer modes offer competitive battles for up to eight players. Create your own heroes, develop your skillset and build your own army to fight in legendary battles with gameplay that expertly blends the RTS and top-down RPG genres together.

SpellForce 3 is launching on December 7, 2017 on PC. For more information, please visit the official website, like the game on Facebook or follow THQ Nordic on Twitter.

Knott’s Berry Farm Announces First Dive Coaster on the West Coast

Buena Park, Calif. – Knott’s Berry Farm will welcome HangTime, a brand new steel rollercoaster – and the only dive coaster on the West Coast – to the theme park in the 2018 summer season. HangTime will tower 150 feet over the Boardwalk area, showcasing gravity-defying inversions, mid-air suspensions and twisting dive tracks.

HangTime will send riders up a vertical lift hill into a 15-story 96-degree drop – the steepest drop in California. The coaster’s train will come to a halt once the highest peak is reached, and will leave riders suspended at the crest for several seconds staring downward at a 60-degree angle, giving the illusion of a disappearing track. Then the train will suddenly descend in a beyond-vertical drop, through 2,198 feet of steel track and five gravity-defying inversions. HangTime will be only the second rollercoaster in the Western Hemisphere to feature a negative-g stall loop, which gives riders the sensation of floating.

“HangTime’s disappearing track creates a memorable illusion of the unknown as riders feel like they are hanging over a cliff, staring at the ground in nervous anticipation,” said Jon Storbeck, vice president and general manager, Knott’s Berry Farm. “People who crave that adrenaline rush will want to ride this coaster again and again. Introducing a coaster like HangTime firmly positions Knott’s Berry Farm as a must see attraction among Southern California theme parks, and we look forward to welcoming our guests to this new experience.”

HangTime’s ride structure itself will come to life and illuminate the Boardwalk area with colorful nighttime track chase lighting that will accompany the coaster train’s travels across the smooth steel track. The coaster continues Knott’s legacy in rollercoaster innovation and industry firsts; the park introduced the very first corkscrew inversion rollercoaster with Corkscrew, and the first flywheel launch coaster with Montezuma’s Revenge.

HangTime is manufactured by Gerstlauer Amusement Rides, GmbH, and is the company’s next-generation “infinity coaster” model.

Guests can experience an entire season of fun including the thrill of HangTime with a 2018 Knott’s Season Pass, on sale now at the best price of the year. A Regular Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2018 to Knott’s Berry Farm with no blackout dates, and a Gold Season Pass includes unlimited admission in 2018 to both Knott’s Berry Farm and the newly expanded Knott’s Soak City Waterpark with no blackout dates. Regular passes are just $92 or nine easy payments of $10.22 and Gold Season Passes are $110 or nine payments of just $12.22. These offers end October 29, 2017. Applicable taxes and fees apply online. Payment plans are only available at knotts.com.

For more information about HangTime, Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Season Passes, please visit knotts.com. Join the conversation about the newly announced dive coaster coming to Knott’s using #KnottsHangTime #KnottsBerryFarm.

Razer Thresher Ultimate for Xbox One Headset Review

During my visit to Razer’s E3 2017 suite, I got the chance to check out the new Thresher Ultimate wireless gaming surround sound headset. Playing the latest Capcom fighter on the PlayStation 4, I was very impressed with the clarity and rich sound the headphones provided. Flash forward to last week, and a box arrives at my door from Razer with the PC/Xbox One version of their Thresher Ultimate. So, I started the review process. I pulled everything out of the box and began inspecting it. The first thing I noticed about the Thresher Ultimate was that it is built rugged. Even though the headband and ear pads are made from super-soft material and designed for comfort, the structure and body of the Thresher Ultimate feels solid. Even the plastic parts on the Thresher Ultimate are dense and feel like they would withstand a fair amount of abuse.

The Razer Thresher Ultimate wireless surround gaming headset is capable of provided wireless sound either for your Xbox One game console or PC gaming rig. It accomplishes this via a sliding toggle switch that changes the inputs. But not so fast, on the back of the Thresher Ultimate base unit, you will find optical in and out ports, a mini-USB port, and a standard USB port. The audio inputs from your game console go through the optical in port on the base unit, but your PC connects to the base station by way of its mini-USB port. The extra full-sized USB port on the base unit is used for charging the Thresher Ultimate headphones. Razer has also included a nifty headphone stand which attaches to the Thresher Ultimate base unit, providing gamers with a sturdy and convenient place to rest their headphones when not in use. The front of the Thresher Ultimate base unit features a power button and that’s it. The design of the base unit is really attractive and it doesn’t cloud its surface with tons of buttons and controls.

The Razer Thresher Ultimate wireless surround gaming headset proper is also a sight to behold. Featuring some very well-designed lines and hefty build quality that, while not being so heavy as to weigh your head down, is strong enough to feel worth its price point. On the left ear cup of the Thresher Ultimate headset, you will find the retractable boom microphone, headset volume dial, mini-USB charging port, and power button. On the right ear cup, you’ll find the chat volume/mute dial (this doesn’t do much in PC mode, but is super helpful in Xbox One mode). The headphones feature a soft head band as well as an aluminum frame that hovers over the soft band and takes up a lot of the weight from the unit. I was able to wear the Thresher Ultimate for many hours of play without discomfort. Also helping this were the super-soft, memory foam ear pads that Razer has included on the Thresher Ultimate. These pads even have a “temple indent” which allows for more comfortable wear of glasses while playing.

I spent many hours of gaming while wearing the Razer Thresher Ultimate headphones, trying to split my time equally between Xbox One and PC game experiences. On the Xbox One, I delved into the post-apocalyptic universe of Fallout 4 as well as the zombie-killing, base-building opus known as Fortnite. Both of these yielded premium audio experiences, especially when I depressed the Dolby button on the top of the Thresher Ultimate base unit. This button enables the Dolby surround sound on the headphones, and ups the “Wow!” factor of the Thresher Ultimate even more. On my PC, I played some Total War: Warhammer, TES V: Skyrim, and Dead by Daylight. The Razer Thresher never disappointed me. I have even been using the headphones as a monitor and microphone for streaming game content on our YouTube channel, GamingShogunTV. The audio quality of the Razer Thresher Ultimate headphones is excellent, with some really crisp sound and a respectable amount of base thanks to the 50mm drivers built into the headphones.

Overall, the Razer Thresher Ultimate wireless surround gaming headset is a truly great way to enjoy the audio of your favorite Xbox One or PC games. It is well-built and puts out some seriously-crisp sound, all while being extremely comfortable to wear for hours on end. You can find the Razer Thresher Ultimate in two flavors: Xbox One/PC and PlayStation 4/PC, both of which are available starting on August 15, 2017 for $249.99.


Razer Thresher Ultimate Wireless Surround Gaming Headphones Review Score

(5 out of 5 stars)


 

ScareLA 2017 Post-Mortem

We got the chance to check out ScareLA 2017, a horror and Halloween convention, this past weekend. Unfortunately, our experience left much to be desired. This year, the event moved from it’s long-time home at the Pasadena Convention Center to the Los Angeles Convention Center. With the change in venues to Los Angeles, I had hoped they were experiencing a crunch of not having enough room for their exhibitors. More exhibitors means more stuff for attendees to see and purchase, which makes everyone happy. Unfortunately, exhibitors were purposefully spaced out from one another in an effort to fill the West Hall of the LA Convention Center, and this created an empty feeling throughout. There was a lot of unused space that could have been taken up by booths or shows or anything. Additionally, the West Hall of the LA Convention Center was very dimly-lit, and not in the spooky way. It is a very large space and the overhead lighting is not really bright enough to properly light it. This is why at E3 Expo, we usually see lighting elements on all the booths carpeting the hall (not to mention that it also makes their booth more eye-catching). Also, the West Hall food court was available to guests, but its food quality isn’t the best and LA Live is a bit of a hike from there, leaving people (especially those with mobility issues) fewer options for lunch.

The Scarywood Dark Zone was something of a mess, with a windy pathway that seemed to be severely lacking in mini-haunt experiences. The Decayed Brigade slider group was putting on a show when we walked through, and they were engaged in an audio war with the Rhythm Coffin Show band playing forty feet away. Someone should have timed that better so they didn’t blast guests with two entirely different audio tracks at the same time. I walked out of Scarywood with a quizzical look upon my face, unsure of what I just walked through.

There were several bright spots in the event, of course. Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights unveiled two brand-new attractions based on the “Titans of Terror”, the merging of iconic horror characters Freddy Kruger, Leatherface, and Jason Voorhees. The LA Convention Center is next to LA Live, but it is a bit of a walk as opposed to last year’s being right next to the marketplace with plenty of food options. There were some cool classes that people could attend (with the proper pass) including some on horror marketing, mask creation, and tips on succeeding in the haunted house business. They also had an array of celebrity appearances, like Dave Fennoy (Telltale Games The Walking Dead), Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story), and Jake Busey (Starship Troopers) to name just a few. They also had the local blood bank bring their truck into the hall to take blood donations, a noble and worthy cause.

Overall, this year’s Scare LA event was somewhat of a letdown, and I hope that the management team can regroup and create a better event for next year. If they rent out the entire West Hall of the LA Convention Center, they really need to fill it with everything they can. I would love to see them return to Pasadena, that city’s convention center has better lighting and is closer to an array of tasty restaurants.

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Midsummer Scream 2017 Post-Mortem

Midsummer Scream 2017 has come and, unfortunately, gone for another year. This year’s event completely blew away their 2016 offering, which was already an amazing horror/Halloween convention. This year, the event saw even more panels, exhibitors, and mini-haunt experiences for guests to enjoy. Additionally, the screening room featured a number of horror shorts to view over the course of the weekend.

Knott’s Scary Farm announced the last year for Elvira to perform in the park as well as a revised Trick or Treat maze. Universal Studios went into more detail on their upcoming maze based on The Shining and some of their street zone areas. The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor crew hosted a panel where they announced a new maze and featured “Chef” character. Also of note was the panel for Into the Black, an upcoming four-part haunted attraction experience from Larry Bones, owner of Boneyard Effects. The Hall of Shadows was back, bigger and better with way more haunted experiences to take in. Also of note was the sliding group known as the Decayed Brigade. Made up of former and current scare actors, the group performs cool acrobatic stunts by throwing their bodies against a smooth runway and sliding along the ground.

I also want to give a shout out to the Long Beach Convention Center which has, hands down, the best convention center food in Southern California. I have eaten at most of the big convention centers in this area and Long Beach sells custom sandwiches, gourmet coffee, and a lot more. We preferred to eat at their cafe instead of walking across the street to outside restaurants.

The biggest issue we experienced during our visit to Midsummer Scream was getting from the convention center to the main stage, which was located at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. The walk in between was a bit of a chore, having attendees cross a narrow pedestrian bridge in a construction zone. The upside, of course, was getting to utilize the large house space of the Performing Arts Center, so it’s a trade-off. However, it is a shame there isn’t an internal walkway connecting the buildings.

Overall, Midsummer Scream was even better than last year’s offering, and it now marks the official start of the Halloween journalism season. The next upcoming event is ScareLA and then we begin preview events for the big haunted attractions out there. Stay-tuned for more!

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Halloween Horror Nights Announces Titans of Terror Maze and Tram Experience

Universal City, CA, August 7, 2017 – Universal Studios Hollywood unites four slasher film legends—Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Leatherface and Chucky—in two all-new terrifying “Titans of Terror” experiences as part of this year’s “Halloween Horror Nights” event which kicks off Friday, September 15, 2017.

In the new “Titans of Terror” maze, guests will fall victim to the silver screen’s most deplorable killers whose affinity for bladed weapons redefined the horror movie genre as slasher films: Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) wielding his iconic chainsaw, Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th) brandishing his relentless machete, and Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street) swiping his trademark glove armed with razor blades. The new maze will be an assault on guests’ sensibilities as they descend into the forbidden realms of these horror icons.

Taking terror to an unspeakable level of bloodcurdling screams, the “Titans of Terror Tram Hosted by Chucky” will transport guests into a nightmare of carnage pitting guests against these four modern horror icons, this time led by infamous serial killer doll Chucky (Child’s Play franchise). With his faithful army of degenerate chainsaw-wielding Good Guy Dolls, Chucky will unleash havoc upon guests as they navigate a portion of the world-famous backlot.

Further “Terror Tram” encounters will include Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th) at the Crystal Lake Motel where he slaughters newly arrived camp counselors; an ominous confrontation with Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street) who takes his ultimate revenge on the town of Springwood; and a final foray through the barn from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, where Leatherface and the Sawyer family butcher victims for their cannibal cuisine.

Unique to Universal Studios Hollywood, the “Terror Tram” enables “Halloween Horror Nights” guests to walk along an area of the famed movie and television studio, where such sets as the Psycho House and the Bates Motel from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller, and Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, are located.

“Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios Hollywood brings together the sickest minds in horror to immerse guests in a living, breathing, three-dimensional world of terror. Featuring an all-new slate of unrivaled film production quality mazes and frightful scare zones, “Halloween Horror Nights” will taunt, terrorize and torment guests with spine-chilling haunted attractions as part of Southern California’s most extreme Halloween experience.

Updates on “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios Hollywood are available online at HalloweenHorrorNights.com/Hollywood and on Facebook at: “Halloween Horror Nights – Hollywood,” Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter at @HorrorNights as Creative Director John Murdy reveals a running chronicle of exclusive information. Watch videos on Halloween Horror Nights YouTube and join the conversation using #UniversalHHN.

Knott’s Scary Farm Midsummer Scream Panel Video

July 30, 2017 – Knott’s Scary Farm, the largest most haunting Halloween experience in Southern California, unveiled hair-raising news and details about its 45th season at the Midsummer Scream Halloween festival. Knott’s held an exclusive panel for fans featuring Scary Farm maze designer, Jon Cooke. Here’s what’s coming to Knott’s Scary Farm this season:

·         The lineup for this year will return with 13 haunted attractions and over 1,000 monsters lurking in the fog

·         For the first time in Scary Farm history, Fright Lane will also include Fast lane which will give guest priority access to all mazes and select rides

·         Elvira, the legendary Mistress of the Dark, returns for her final appearance at Knott’s Scary Farm in an all-new spellbinding nightly show

·         Returning darker and more twisted than ever step inside the Green Witch’s home by venturing through the blacked out building in Trick or Treat: Lights Out. Armed with only a faulty flashlight, face the terror of the Green Witch’s house completely in the dark. Featuring new state-of-the-art effects, unexpected scares and other eerie surprises, Trick-Or-Treat is back to terrorize like never before.

Knott’s Scary Farm will return from September 21 – October 31st. Tickets are now on sale at: https://www.knotts.com/tickets-passes/scary-farm

Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd. Buena Park, CA 90620

San Diego Comic-Con 2017 Photo Gallery

Here is our photo gallery from the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con – arguably the biggest comic book and pop culture convention in the world. Here are some of our images from in and around the San Diego Convention Center.

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