Author - Jerry Paxton

Square Enix Unveils PAX West 2018 Lineup

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 23, 2018) – From August 31 – September 3, SQUARE ENIX® will host gameplay demos, giveaways, panels and a variety of interactive events at PAX West 2018, held at the Washington State Convention Center. At Booth #2141 attendees will be able to play DRAGON QUEST® XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age™, KINGDOM HEARTS III, LIFE IS STRANGE® 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider™, andTHE QUIET MAN™. Advance tickets to play the KINGDOM HEARTS III demo will be distributed at the booth at 10:00 a.m. Pacific each day.

SQUARE ENIX will also host a series of developer panels and events at PAX West, providing fans with an in-depth look at the latest game developments and upcoming updates.

EXPANDING THE LIFE IS STRANGE UNIVERSE
Friday, August 31, 12:00 PM, Wyvern Theater
Join writer Christian Divine and key figures from the LIFE IS STRANGE 2 development team as they take you behind the scenes of their most ambitious game in the series to date. Discover how they apply the core concepts of the LIFE IS STRANGE franchise to bring the relatable characters and realistic environments in the LIFE IS STRANGE Universe to life. Learn how they tackle the challenges of telling a branching story of education and brotherhood within an evolving episodic narrative adventure.

LIFE IS STRANGE 2 FAN MEET UP PARTY with What’s Good Games
Friday, August 31 from 6:00 – 9:00 PM at  Unicorn 1118 E. Pike Street
Relax at PAX with the team from What’s Good Games and developers from DONTNOD Entertainment to celebrate the upcoming launch of the first episode of LIFE IS STRANGE 2. Share your favorite moments from the series, enjoy refreshments and a chance to win games, SQUARE ENIX prizes and custom What’s Good Games items.  For additional information about the event visit: https://www.facebook.com/WhatsGoodGames/.

JUST CAUSE 4 SHOWCASE
Saturday, September 1, 11:30 AM, Hydra Theater
Join key members of the JUST CAUSE 4™ development team – Avalanche Studios – as they talk exclusively about the next game in the hugely popular, multi-million selling JUST CAUSE series. Set in the fictional South American world of Solis, JUST CAUSE 4 takes the incredible destruction and unique physics the series is known for to a whole new level with the introduction of fully simulated tornadoes and other Extreme Weather events. Rico Rodriguez returns in JUST CAUSE 4 with his trademark parachute, wingsuit and, of course his grappling hook, now enhanced with new functionality and fully customisable, making it the most powerful and creative tool the player has ever had.

SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER – Uncovering the Hidden City of Paititi
Saturday, September 1, 4;30 PM, Wyvern Theater
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is filled with many surprises and secrets. Perhaps the biggest discovery Lara Croft® will make is the hidden city of Paititi, a civilization untouched by modern culture and the largest hub ever created in a Tomb Raider® game. Moderated by Andrea Rene, join the team behind Lara Croft’s defining moment as she becomes the Tomb Raider. The panel will feature Dan Chayer-Bisson (Game Director), Mario Chabtini (Senior Producer), and Rich Briggs (Senior Brand Director).

Creator of the legendary DRAGON QUEST series, Yuji Horii, will also be attending and participating in photo sessions at the SQUARE ENIX booth on Saturday, September 1, at the following times:

  • Session #1: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Session #2: 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Session #3: 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

A limited number of tickets will be distributed at the DRAGON QUEST area of the booth starting at 10:00 a.m. the day before each session and the day of each session. Lucky attendees who receive a ticket will have the chance to meet the famed creator and receive one photograph together.

Other activities at the SQUARE ENIX booth include:

  • Win a Shadow of the Tomb Raider inspired custom Xbox One X console by participating in an Instagram Relic Hunt
  • Have a chance to win early copies of DRAGON QUEST XI for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system by participating in a photo contest on site
  • Check out members of the talented FINAL FANTASY® XV modding community as they create mods for FINAL FANTASY XV WINDOWS EDITION live on the show floor
  • Participate in a photo booth featuring backgrounds from KINGDOM HEARTS IIIDISSIDIA®FINAL FANTASY OPERA OMNIA™ and STAR OCEAN®: ANAMNESIS™
  • View the KINGDOM HEARTS III Toy Story Keyblade and Shooting Star Keyblade on display

Daily giveaways at the booth, while supplies last, include:

  • JUST CAUSE 4 merchandise
  • DRAGON QUEST XI t-shirts and double-sided posters
  • KINGDOM HEARTS III PopSockets, each day at 11:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
  • MOBIUS FINAL FANTASY™ hand fans
  • FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS® bags
  • DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY OPERA OMNIA and STAR OCEAN: ANAMNESIS buttons featuring the characters of the game
  • THE QUIET MAN posters

Fans can compete in the FINAL FANTASY Trading Card Game (“FFTCG”) Crystal Cup tournament, held at the Westin Seattle Hotel’s Pine Ballroom on September 1st & 2nd. Players who pre-register for the tournament will compete for a seat at this year’s FFTCG North American Championship. New players are invited to visit the SQUARE ENIX booth for lessons, while experienced players can participate in Gunslinger Challenges to earn Premium Foil FFTCG Cards! Chocobo™’s Crystal Hunt card game demos and tournaments will also be available at the booth’s merchandise section. More information, including how to pre-register for the FINAL FANTASY Trading Card Game Crystal Cup tournament, is available at:fftradingcardgame.com.

The full lineup of SQUARE ENIX games includes:

DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY OPERA OMNIA 
Platform: iOS® and Android®
Developer: Square Enix, Koei Tecmo
Available: Now Available
DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY OPERA OMNIA continues the DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY adventure on mobile devices, where players can form parties from dozens of their favorite FINAL FANTASY heroes and villains and equip them with a variety of weapons from the series. The mobile game features an extensive story and strategic turn-based combat that the FINAL FANTASY series is known for.

DRAGON QUEST XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
Platform: PlayStation®4 system, STEAM®
Developer: Square Enix
ESRB: T (Teen)
Available: September 4, 2018
DRAGON QUEST XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age tells a captivating tale of a hunted hero and is the long-awaited role-playing game from series creator Yuji Horii, character designer Akira Toriyama, and composer Koichi Sugiyama. While it is the eleventh mainline entry in the critically acclaimed series,DRAGON QUEST XI is a completely standalone experience that features entirely new characters, a beautifully detailed world, finely tuned strategic combat, and an immersive story that will appeal to longtime fans and franchise newcomers alike.

FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS 
Platform: iOS, Android, Amazon
Developer: Square Enix, gumi Inc.
Available: Available Now
Reaching its second anniversary earlier this year and recently surpassing 30 million downloads worldwide, FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS is a full-scale FINAL FANTASY adventure made for mobile devices. Fusing together the epic features of all FINAL FANTASY titles, including a captivating story and a classic turn-based battle system with a simplified mobile interface and pixel art style, FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS is an adventure appealing to both newcomers and long-term fans alike.

FINAL FANTASY XV WINDOWS EDITION 
Platform: STEAM, Origin, Windows 10
Developer: Square Enix
ESRB: T (Teen)
Available: Now
FINAL FANTASY XV WINDOWS EDITION brings ultimate 4K quality to the acclaimed RPG along with add-on content and new features. Join Prince Noctis and his closest friends as they fight against the empire in an effort to reclaim their fallen kingdom. Players can now enjoy the FINAL FANTASY XV base game, all season pass content, all-new side quests and enemies, and more.

KINGDOM HEARTS III
Platform: Xbox One and PlayStation®4 system
Developer: Square Enix
ESRB: Rating Pending
Available: January 29, 2019
In the upcoming action RPG, KINGDOM HEARTS III, players can join forces with Donald Duck and Goofy for the adventure of a lifetime traveling across worlds based on beloved films like Disney•Pixar’sToy Story, and Monsters, Inc., and Walt Disney Studios’ Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Hero 6, Tangled, Frozen and more. Attendees will be able to experience a boss battle against the Rock Titan from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Hercules and uncover the Toy Box world from Toy Story alongside Woody and Buzz.

LIFE IS STRANGE 2
Platform: Xbox One, PlayStation®4 system, Windows PC
Developer: DONTNOD Entertainment
ESRB: Rating Pending
Available: September 27, 2018
The award winning LIFE IS STRANGE series continues with an incredible new 5-episode story from original developers, DONTNOD Entertainment. Experience an all-new journey into the LIFE IS STRANGE universe, a diverse world of storytelling that will solidify the franchise as a source of immersive narrative adventures for years to come.

MOBIUS FINAL FANTASY 
Platform: iOS, Android and STEAM
Developer: Square Enix
ESRB: T (Teen)
Available: Now Available
MOBIUS FINAL FANTASY is an all-original FINAL FANTASY RPG game custom-tailored for mobile platforms, featuring in-depth character customization, ongoing live events, and HD graphics that push the boundaries of the mobile platform. The story centers around a man who wakes up in a world called Palamecia with no memories of his past, tasked with bringing hope to the world by unraveling a mysterious prophecy around the legendary warrior of light. Played by well over 10 million players worldwide, the game was created by an all-star development team including producer Yoshinori Kitase and writer Kazushige Nojima.

SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER
Platform: Xbox One, PlayStation®4 system, Windows PC
Developer: Eidos-Montréal™
ESRB: Rating Pending
Available: September 14, 2018
Experience Lara Croft’s defining moment as she becomes the Tomb Raider. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara must master a deadly jungle, overcome terrifying tombs, and persevere through her darkest hour. As she races to save the world from a Maya apocalypse, Lara will ultimately be forged into the Tomb Raider she is destined to be.

STAR OCEAN: ANAMNESIS 
Platform: iOS, Android
Developer: tri-Ace
ESRB: M (Mature)
Available: Now Available
A brand new journey in the popular sci-fi STAR OCEAN series, STAR OCEAN: ANAMNESIS, the mobile action RPG, puts players in the captain’s chair as they lead a squad of heroes across the galaxy. With fast-paced real-time combat, gorgeous 3D graphics, and a brand new co-op multiplayer mode, players have the freedom to build endless strategic and iconic teams with returning all-star characters from the beloved series.

THE QUIET MAN
Platform: PlayStation®4 system, STEAM
Developer: Human Head Studios
ESRB: M (Mature)
Available: TBD
THE QUIET MAN takes players beyond sound and words to deliver an immersive story-driven cinematic action experience, which players can complete in one sitting, seamlessly blending high-production live action, realistic CG and pulse-pounding action gameplay. The story unravels across a single night with the player taking the role of deaf protagonist, Dane. He fights through a “soundless” world to discover the reason behind the kidnapping of songstress Lala.

About Square Enix, Inc.
Square Enix, Inc. develops, publishes, distributes and licenses SQUARE ENIX®, EIDOS® and TAITO® branded entertainment content throughout the Americas as part of the Square Enix group of companies. Square Enix, Inc. is affiliated with a global network of leading development studios such as Crystal Dynamics® and Eidos Montréal™. The Square Enix group of companies boasts a valuable portfolio of intellectual property including: FINAL FANTASY, which has sold over 141 million units worldwide; DRAGON QUEST, which has sold over 76 million units worldwide; TOMB RAIDER, which has sold over 66 million units worldwide; and the legendary SPACE INVADERS®. Square Enix, Inc. is a U.S.-based, wholly-owned subsidiary of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd.

More information on Square Enix, Inc. can be found at http://na.square-enix.com/.

Krytac Unveils KRISS Vector Limited Edition Airsoft Rifle

August 24, 2018 – Brea, California, USA – Today KRYTAC®, KRISS USA’s brand of premium performance airsoft and training products, announce a new version of their officially licensed KRISS® Vector AEG. The KRISS® Vector AEG Limited Edition boasts a completely unique configuration that is akin to the current KRISS® Vector GEN II 2017 firearm paired with never before seen accessories. Only 3000 units of the KRYTAC® KRISS® Vector AEG Limited Edition will be produced. Worldwide availability begins in October 2018.

The KRYTAC® KRISS® Vector AEG Limited Edition differs from its standard production counterpart by utilizing the KRISS® Vector GEN II 2017 one piece upper receiver. To the rear of the receiver is the new KRISS® Vector Ambidextrous Folding Stock, which can be configured to fold to either the left or right side, and is telescopic, adjustable to three positions. The stock also features two quick detach sling swivel points as well as a sling loop to accommodate a variety of sling attachments. Beneath the pistol grip is a new extended battery cover, which adds 14 cm3 to the battery compartment. To front of the KRYTAC® KRISS® Vector AEG Limited Edition is an extended barrel, allowing for a 280mm inner barrel. The longer barrel is surrounded by an all new M-lok modular hand guard. Internally, the AEG is powered by the same vertically oriented mechbox as the standard KRISS® Vector AEG.

Worldwide production of the KRYTAC® KRISS® Vector AEG Limited Edition is restricted to 3000 units. Limited Edition AEGs will feature a unique serial number identifier and will be accompanied with a certificate of authenticity. Availability begins in September 2018 with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $595.00; final prices may vary by region.

For more information about the KRISS® Vector AEG Limited Edition visit the KRYTAC® website at www.krytac.com.

Life is Strange 2 Release Date Trailer

LONDON (August 20, 2018) – SQUARE ENIX® is excited to reveal LIFE IS STRANGE™ 2, the next entry in the highly successful, critically-acclaimed and award-winning franchise from DONTNOD Entertainment, the creators of the original LIFE IS STRANGE. The first entry in the all-new five-episode story of LIFE IS STRANGE 2, will release on September 27, 2018 on XBOX ONE®, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Windows PC.

Watch the LIFE IS STRANGE 2 reveal trailer here:

Discover a story of two brothers, 16-year old Sean and 9-year old Daniel Diaz, who have to flee their home in suburban Seattle after a tragic event that changes their lives forever. On the run from the police, Sean makes a difficult decision; to take his brother and go to Puerto Lobos, Mexico. Life on the road is dangerous and the brothers will be faced with tough decisions as they bravely undertake a journey that will test the bonds of brotherhood.

Everything is new in LIFE IS STRANGE 2 – a new cast of characters, multiple new settings, new gameplay features and a brand new power for players to discover, making Life is Strange 2 the most ambitious project in series history.

“The release of Captain Spirit was a great moment for the team and we can’t wait to introduce the players to the new story and characters of Life is Strange 2” said Raoul Barbet Co-Creative Director of LIFE IS STRANGE 2 at DONTNOD Entertainment. “We have worked hard with the original team to keep what I personally loved to craft in the first game: the mood, the cinematographic work and of course, the music.”

“After the exciting adventures of Max and Chloe, we are extremely happy that you will all soon meet Sean and Daniel Diaz, our new protagonists, and follow them on their journey.” said Michel Koch, Co-Creative Director of LIFE IS STRANGE 2 at DONTNOD Entertainment. “We love diving back into the Life is Strange universe along with our lead writer, Jean-Luc Cano, to create our new story and characters”.

DONTNOD Entertainment are back with an all-new story to tell, and have been hard at work on LIFE IS STRANGE 2 since completing work on LIFE IS STRANGE. DONTNOD are set to continue their tradition of telling compelling stories with believable characters in a grounded setting, with a new tale that tackles relatable real-world themes like brotherhood, education and coming of age.

“We’re very excited to present Life is Strange 2, one of our most important releases of the year. After the overwhelming success of the original, we knew that crafting a sequel that is every bit as compelling and powerful as the first game would be a real challenge”, said Jon Brooke, VP of Brand and European Marketing at Square Enix External Studios. “We are confident that the talented team at DONTNOD, who have been working closely with the Square Enix External Studios team, have truly outdone themselves.”

A new blog with additional details can be found here.

Visit the LIFE IS STRANGE official website: https://lifeisstrange.square-enix-games.com
LIFE IS STRANGE official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LifeIsStrangeGame/
Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LifeIsStrange

ExFog Antifog System Review

Airsofters in humid climates are all too familiar with their goggles fogging up in the middle of gameplay. Even with innovations like thermal lenses, double-lens assemblies, and more this problem continues to be an annoyance. In the “real world”, you could just take your goggles off and wipe them down but, in an airsoft game, you can’t remove your eye protection as it is a serious safety issue – a projectile traveling at 400 feet per second will shred your eye. The ExFog Antifog fan system is meant to combat the issue of fogging by blowing cooler, not-so-humid air into your goggles or mask and prevent that condensation from building up. A big promise, to be sure, but can it keep it?

The ExFog Antifog system features a main fan assembly, two different manifold styles, a headband, and a long section of clear tubing. The main fan assembly body is made of a black plastic material with decent durability. It can easily stand up to BB hits without cracking. On one end, the main fan body features a power/speed button as well as a battery indicator light. On another side of the fan body, you’ll find the charging port as well as a connector that the manifold attaches to. One of the manifolds features two output nozzles that face left and right of the wearer’s head, and the other has two output nozzles facing straight down. Swapping these manifolds out is very quick and easy and, using either one depends mainly on your particular setup.

Again, setting up the ExFog Antifog System is dependent on what kind of eye protection/head gear setup you will use. For those of you looking to use the ExFog with a full airsoft mask or goggle with one of those one inch thick bands, then you’ll want to order the ExFog with the “T-Band”. If you are using the ExFog on a Velcro section of your helmet, a cap, or boonie then it doesn’t matter what ExFog variant you purchase as they both come with a piece of Velcro to attach to the back of the fan housing. Finally, you could choose to go with the “headband” ExFog variant, which comes with a standalone headband, similar to one of those headband GoPro mounts, to mount the fan body to. One of the things this system is, is versatile. You will be able to use the ExFog with just about any setup. You may need to find interesting ways to route the clear tubing or mount the fan assembly body, but it can be done.

The ExFog Antifog System charges via micro USB cable and the battery seems to last forever. In my testing, I could easily get a day’s use out of the unit so long as I monitored how much I used the system. I would turn it off or to low power mode until it started getting more humid in my mask, then up to full power until the fog cleared. One of the things you’ll notice when using the ExFog unit is that, even on the highest setting, it doesn’t push a huge volume of air out its tubes – and that is by design. The ExFog is more about temperature control rather than drying out your eyes with lots of output. Don’t let this lower output fool you, however, as the ExFog is very adept at removing fog from your goggles or mask. There are other fan solutions out there that seem to work with the “hare approach”. That’s fine until the batteries run out. The ExFog takes the “tortoise approach” and works all day!

Now, if I had my druthers with the ExFog, I’d like to have seen the low output be the “normal” setting with the high setting pump up the power when needed and just let the user regulate which output they want. One of the negatives about the overall low air volume is that you will probably not be routing one of the tubes into your helmet or hat as the low output volume won’t cool your head down much – but, for its intended use of dealing with goggle fog it is more than up for the challenge. One of the benefits of the ExFog system is that it isn’t very loud, which is nice when stalking through dark corridors and trying to remain stealthy.

Overall, the ExFog Antifog is an excellent solution for preventing and removing fog buildup from your goggles or airsoft mask – even construction goggles! The ExFog retails for about $80 dollars and is available now on their official website.

Knott’s Berry Farm Celebrates Snoopy’s Birthday this Friday

August 9, 2018 – Everyone’s favorite Beagle, Snoopy, is celebrating his birthday on Friday, August 10th! In honor of his special day, Knott’s Berry Farm will be celebrating all day long with special activities and social media giveaways. Charlie Brown’s best friend and pet beagle, Snoopy, was first introduced to the world by Mr. Charles M. Schulz as part of his PEANUTS comic strip back in the 1950’s. Snoopy’s legacy has left his paw print in history and everyone’s hearts throughout the years. He continues to bring smiles to all who meet him by helping families create sweet and fond memories when they stop by for a big Snoopy hug at Knott’s. To show the world’s most famous beagle some birthday love, here are a few ways guests can join in on the fun for his birthday celebration:

·        Take a photo with Snoopy – Snoopy loves snapping photos with his friends especially on his Birthday. A special Snapchat Filter will be available exclusively for Snoopy’s birthday for guests when visiting the park on August 10th.

·        Sport your favorite Snoopy Gear – One of the best ways for guests to show their excitement for Snoopy’s birthday is by sporting their favorite Snoopy gear. The Camp Snoopy store at Knott’s is filled with the best PEANUTS gear around including birthday Snoopy ears designed especially for the occasion.

·        Watch Snoopy in the new summer show, Beach Blanket Beagle – Guests are invited to stop by and cheer on Snoopy, the world’s greatest surfing beagle, as he takes part in the best beach day ever. Beach Blanket Beagle performs on select dates at the Charles M. Schulz Theatre now through August 19th.

·        Grab a Snoopy Treat – Birthday treats are Snoopy’s favorite, so it’s only right to indulge in at least one or more to celebrate the occasion. The park offers several PEANUTS-themed treats throughout the park, including at the Mrs. Knott’s Bakery Express located in the Knott’s Market Place.

·        Take part in special park giveaways – Guests will have the opportunity to win some neat birthday giveaways in the park by following along on the Knott’s Berry Farm social media accounts. Throughout the day Knott’s will be posting clues about secret locations in the park.  The first few guests to solve the clue and arrive at the location to meet the Snoopy Team will win a special prize.

Poltergeist Announced for Halloween Horror Nights

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug 9, 2018) – They’re Here. Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort will bring guests “into the light” as part of this year’s Halloween Horror Nights events featuring terrifying new mazes inspired by Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures’ (MGM) iconic supernatural horror film, Poltergeist, beginning September 14.

Directed by Tobe Hooper and produced by Steven Spielberg, Poltergeist garnered critical and consumer success when it first premiered in 1982. Characterized as one of the scariest films of all time, this groundbreaking movie paved the way for a new era of supernatural ghost stories that will come to life for the first time ever at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights. This living representation of the film will take guests into some of its most iconic scenes and encounter memorable characters that spawned their first true nightmares.

The mazes will lure guests to the Freeling family house built atop a cemetery where malicious ghosts threaten the lives within.  From the underground graveyard to ghostly apparitions, guests will come face to face with infamous scenes from the film, including the iconic flickering TV screen, menacing Beast from beyond and pool filled with floating corpses. As guests cross into the ‘light,’ they will find themselves surrounded by a surreal landscape of vanishing walls, floating furniture and a creepy clown with a menacing smile.  In a rush against time, guests will be forced to make it back to the world of the living or forever be trapped…

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. All tickets and vacation packages are on sale now. For more information about Halloween Horror Nights at either Universal Studios Hollywood or Universal Orlando Resort, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.

2018 San Diego Comic-Con Photo Gallery

Another San Diego Comic-Con is in the books and, albeit somewhat later than we would have liked, here is our photo gallery from this year’s festivities in San Diego, CA!

2018 Midsummer Scream Post Mortem and Photo Gallery

Bring on the Halloween season: Midsummer Scream 2018 is officially in the history books! Midsummer Scream ran from July 28th to July 29th at the Long Beach Convention Center and got us all in the spirit of the scary season despite the 85 degree/85 percent humidity weather. We arrived on Saturday morning and fought for parking, then got into the convention center. We were once again impressed with the Long Beach Convention Center. It had ample AC – especially when considering the sheer number of people walking around, as well as a tasty little cafe area. Other Southern California convention centers could learn a thing or two from them.

Once we walked onto the exhibit floor, it was like being hit with a wave of Halloween joy. People walked up and down the aisles, browsing and shopping, and we saw vendors selling FX equipment, toys, handmade crafts, and more. The folks from the Mystic Museum even had a recreation of their highly-received “Slashback Video” video store on the show floor. Knott’s Scary Farm had a cool photo op available for attendees as well as a limited edition event pin, while Six Flags Fright Fest had a makeup demo setup. Monsters being made up from here were later seen in the Hall of Shadows, but more on that later. The exhibit floor also saw some celebrity signings, such as Cassandra Peterson (“Elvira”) and Kimberly J. Brown (“Marni” from Halloweentown) – each looking like they were having a blast talking with fans.

The Hall of Shadows, Midsummer Scream’s dark zone of mini-haunted experiences, has been greatly expanded. Not only were there a lot more mini-haunts in the area, but there were also specialized vendors (some selling glow in the dark props, masks, etc) and exhibitors. With all the haunters displaying their work in the Hall of the Shadows, it is hard to select our favorite, but we think that honor would go to Murder House Productions Trick ‘r Treat maze. Their attention to detail in recreating scenes of the movie was incredible. Also showing off their skills in the Hall of Shadows was the “Decayed Brigade”, a pro-sliding group made up of former and current scare actors. Six Flags Fright Fest brought a small haunted walk-through activation to the Hall of Shadows, complete with monsters and more all ready to scare attendees.

Midsummer Scream saw a number of panels and presentations, including those from the big haunted attractions in Southern California. Knott’s Scary Farm announced a new scare zone called the “Forsaken Lake”, while Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights unveiled a Trick ‘r Treat scare zone. Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor unveiled a revamped attraction this year with maze designs from Jon Cooke of Plague Productions. The Warner Bros. Studio Tour also unveiled a number of new mazes for its upcoming “Horror Made Here” event, including some based on “The Exorcist” and “IT”. In a wonderfully surprising turn, Midsummer Scream hosted a Hocus Pocus anniversary panel which saw actress Thora Birch talking about her experiences making the movie. The panel even had a trio of Sanderson sisters-look alikes performing, quite well, “I Put A Spell on You”.

This brings us to the only real problem facing Midsummer Scream: Parking. Unfortunately, the event parking was completely overloaded this year and it took quite a while to find a spot. Even then, we ended up parking a good distance away and having to leg it back to the convention center. I don’t know what can be done to solve this situation, but I hope it is something that can be addressed for next year.

Midsummer Scream has already announced its dates for next year and you can find it at the Long Beach Convention Center on August 3rd and August 4th, 2019. And, with that, we wish you a happy beginning to the scary season as we will start seeing more updates released from your favorite upcoming haunted attractions, preview events to report on, and a lot more. Happy Halloween! 🎃

Photo Gallery

Knott’s Scary Farm Unveils New Scare Zone for 2018

July 28, 2018 – Knott’s Scary Farm, the first and largest Halloween event in Southern California has revealed exclusive and frightening new details for the return of its 46th season during a special appearance at the fan-favorite event Midsummer Scream in Long Beach. The Knott’s entertainment team held an exclusive panel for fans featuring a few of the Scary Farm masterminds including maze and set designers, producers along with costuming and makeup to share insight on what’s lurking in the fog for 2018. The team shared an in-depth look at the collaboration it takes to transform the entire theme park into the eerie world of Knott’s Scary Farm complete with interactive haunted elements and original scares. Here’s what’s coming to Knott’s Scary Farm for this season:

·         The 46th season Knott’s Scary Farm will return with 14 mazes and haunted attractions and over 1,000 monsters lurking in the fog for 25 terrifying nights

·         This year, a new and unearthly scare zone is making its sinister arrival to the park, for the first time the lake underneath Silver Bullet reveals the horrors and creatures it’s kept hidden, until now. Forsaken Lake will unleash gothic creatures, which have been ravaged by the dark and murky waters, as they wander their crypts preying on unsuspecting visitors, looking for victims to drag back to their watery graves.

·         At Knott’s Scary Farm, the park is the attraction and this year it will feature several new upgrades like, freshly new themed landscaping, enhanced ride lighting – HangTime will debut it’s never-before-seen Halloween inspired lighting scheme – plus, there will be a select rollercoasters in the dark and newly enhanced park décor.

·         Ghost Town Streets, Carnevil and The Hollow scare zones will return to terrorize guests every night of Knott’s Scary Farm. The monsters that live within these streets will cover every inch of the park midways, leaving nowhere to hide.

·         There will be a new dance party at Fiesta Village which will feature rhythmic music, performances by a live DJ throughout the night, dancing and sugar skull go-go dancers with Awaken the Dead.

·         The full 2018 Knott’s Scary Farm lineup will be revealed on August 30th at the Knott’s Scary Farm Announcement event, this event is open to Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Scary Farm Season Pass holders.

WHEN:     Knott’s Scary Farm will return from September 20th – October 31st. Tickets are now on sale at: https://www.knotts.com/tickets-passes/scary-farm

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

Sony Pictures Accepting Pitches at Wizard World Chicago

LOS ANGELES, July 26, 2018—Do you have an original idea for a movie? And do you plan on attending Wizard World Comic Con Chicago? This could be your day.

Wizard World, Inc. and Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., an affiliate of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., today began accepting content ideas online, with potential pitch sessions to be scheduled during Wizard World Comic Con Chicago at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center (event held August 23-26, 2018). This marks the fourth activation of the collaboration between the pop culture convention producer and leading studio, announced earlier this year.

Whether a paid attendee, artist or exhibitor, anyone who plans on attending Wizard World Comic Con Chicago and can be available during the convention, may submit an idea now through August 15th 5pm CST via Wizard World’s dedicated Website at https://wizardworld.com/2018-chicago-pitchfest. Any submissions which are selected in Columbia Pictures’ sole discretion will participate in a pitch session to take place at designated dates/times during the event.

One idea submission is permitted per person; In order to be considered, submissions must be a fully-owned original idea and must not infringe on any copyrighted material. Anyone participating in the pitch must be a registered Wizard World Comic Con Chicago attendee, artist or exhibitor, and must be 18 years of age or older and a legal U.S. resident.

“After such positive feedback in our sessions at Wizard World Comic Con Portland, Philadelphia and Columbus, we are excited to team up with Columbia Pictures on identifying outstanding original ideas from our creative attendees, artists and exhibitors at our largest and longest-running show in Chicago,” said John D. Maatta, CEO of Wizard World. “We look forward to seeing a variety of submissions and see this as an important step in a broad-based relationship with Columbia Pictures as Wizard World furthers its lead role in the pop culture industry.”

Full information, including Wizard World’s and Sony Pictures’ respective Privacy Policies, submission guidelines and terms and conditions are available on the submission form at https://wizardworld.com/2018-chicago-pitchfest.

Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop culture: movies, television, gaming, live entertainment, comics, sci-fi, graphic novels, toys, original art, collectibles, contests and more. The 10th event scheduled on the 2018 Wizard World calendar, Chicago show hours are Thursday, August 23, 4-9 p.m.Friday, August 24, noon-7 p.m.Saturday, August 25, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.Sunday, August 26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Kids 10 and under are admitted free with paid adult.

Wizard World Comic Con Chicago is also the place for cosplay, with fans young and old showing off their best costumes throughout the event. Fans dressed as every imaginable character – and some never before dreamed – will roam the convention floor and participate in the famed Wizard World Costume Contest on Saturday evening.

For more on the 2018 Wizard World Chicago, visit http://wizd.me/ChicagoPR.