Author - Jerry Paxton

Halo Wars 2 Gets Windows 10 Distribution Thanks to THQ Nordic

Vienna, Austria – January 10, 2017: THQ Nordic is partnering with Microsoft Studios and 343 Industries to bring Halo Wars 2 for Windows 10 to retail stores worldwide via physical packaging release. In addition, purchases of the physical retail release of Halo Wars 2 on Windows 10 PC will grant digital access to the Xbox One version via Xbox Play Anywhere.

Both the Standard and Ultimate Edition of Halo Wars 2 will be available at retail stores with high-quality packaging. The physical retail release of Halo Wars 2 Ultimate Edition is stunning and provides fans with four-day early access to the core game, a Season Pass and Halo Wars: Definitive Edition, an enhanced version of the original Halo Wars that is playable on both Windows 10 and Xbox One as an Xbox Play Anywhere title.

Learn more about Xbox Play Anywhere:

“After working on so many titles together with Microsoft in 2016, we are stoked to start the year with another partnership. Being able to deliver such a big franchise to RTS and Halo fans alike, the opportunity to buy and own this game in a beautiful physical shape is something we appreciate a lot.” – Lars Wingefors, founder & Group CEO of THQ Nordic

“For fans who love to own the box, we’re excited to partner with THQ Nordic and bring Halo Wars 2 to physical release on Windows 10,” stated 343 Industries Studio Head of Strategy Games Development Dan Ayoub. “THQ Nordic has been great to work with and we look forward to the game’s release on Feb. 21, 2017.”

Halo Wars 2 Ultimate Edition includes four-day early access, releasing on February 17, 2017, retailing at 79,99 EUR/USD, and the Standard Edition will release on February 21, 2017, retailing at 59,99 EUR/USD.

Halo Wars 2 Standard Edition
Release: February 21, 2017
RRP: 59,99 EUR/USD

You will get:

  • Halo Wars 2 for Windows 10 and Xbox One via Xbox Play Anywhere*

Halo Wars 2 Ultimate Edition
Release: February 17, 2017
RRP: 79,99 EUR/USD

You will get:

  • Halo Wars 2 for Windows 10 and Xbox One via Xbox Play Anywhere four days before the official release*
  • Halo Wars Definitive Edition**, an enhanced version of the original Halo Wars that runs natively on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, featuring improved graphics, additional Achievements and includes all of the DLC created for the classic real-time strategy game.
  • This physical version of Halo Wars 2 for Windows 10 requires a one-time, non-transferrable online activation at install with digital token
  • The exclusive Season Pass***

*This physical version of Halo Wars 2 for Windows 10 requires a one-time, non-transferrable online activation at install with digital token

**Halo Wars Definitive Edition:

  • Optimized to run natively on Xbox One and Windows 10
  • Improved visual effects, graphics and audio
  • Up to 4K resolution on Windows 10 PC
  • All of the DLC created for the original game
  • New achievements
  • Bonus content

***The Season Pass delivers regular updates that span more than six months, including:

  • New Leaders with abilities that change the course of multiplayer matches,
  • New Units that add to your multiplayer arsenal,
  • New Blitz cards to collect and take into battle, and
  • New campaign missions that expand the Halo Wars 2 story

About THQ Nordic
Founded in 2008, THQ Nordic is a global video game publisher and developer. Based in Vienna, Austria and Karlstad, Sweden with subsidiaries in Germany and the USA,THQ Nordic brands include Darksiders, MX vs. ATV, Red Faction and Titan Quest. THQ Nordic is meant to represent a core approach of doing much more than “owning” a highly competitive portfolio of IPs. It revolves around cherishing them, and aligning them with the very best development resources to expand upon them with the level of experience that communities and established fan bases expect and deserve.

The company’s internal development studios are Grimlore Games based in Munich, Germany and Rainbow Studios based in Phoenix, Arizona.

THQ Nordic Website

First Annual Steam Awards Winners List Revealed

Dec 31, 2016 – The winners of the first ever Steam Awards have been revealed The winning titles were selected by community vote during the Steam Winter Sale, which runs thru January 2nd at 10am Pacific.

The winners are:

  • “Villain Most In Need Of A Hug” Won by Portal 2
  • “I Thought This Game Was Cool Before It Won An Award” Won by Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • “Test of Time” Won by The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • “Just 5 More Minutes” Won by Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • “Whoooaaaaaaa, dude!” Won by Grand Theft Auto V
  • “Game Within A Game” Won by Grand Theft Auto V
  • “I’m Not Crying, There’s Something In My Eye” Won by The Walking Dead
  • “Best Use Of A Farm Animal” Won by Goat Simulator
  • “Boom Boom” Won by DOOM
  • “Love/Hate Relationship” Won by DARK SOULST III
  • “Sit Back and Relax” Won by Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • “Better With Friends” Won by Left 4 Dead 2

For more info, please visit

Six Flags Great Adventure Celebrates New Year’s Eve

Jackson, NJ — December 29, 2016 Amid the dazzling lights of Six Flags Great Adventure’s Holiday in the Park®, families can ring in 2017 with a spin on some of their favorite rides followed by a holiday fireworks spectacular at 9 pm.

Fireworks are free with park admission, Season Pass and active Membership. Guests will have the best view from the Main Street Christmas section, where they will feel immersed in the festive music and eye-popping pyrotechnics lighting up the sky around them.

Holiday in the Park operates daily from 1 to 9 pm through January 2, 2017. More than a million glittering lights, lively holiday entertainment and delicious seasonal treats provide an escape from the hustle and bustle, and a way for guests to create their own magical, memorable holiday moments.

Holiday in the Park also features more than 30 thrilling rides such as the Sky Way, SkyScreamer, Carousel, Big Wheel and Tea Cups. Children can enjoy 11 pint-sized thrills in Whimsical Wonderland. Coaster fans can challenge world-class rides like Nitro, BATMAN™: The Ride, THE GREEN LANTERN, SUPERMAN – Ultimate Flight, THE DARK KNIGHT Coaster, Skull Mountain and THE JOKER. All rides and entertainment are weather permitting. Frontier Adventures including Safari Off Road Adventure, Bugs Bunny National Park, Golden Kingdom and Plaza del Carnaval do not operate during the festival.

More information about Holiday in the Park is available at

Universal Studios Hollywood Grinchmas 2016 Review

Grinchmas has once again returned to Universal Studios Hollywood and I, while not quite sure what to expect when driving to the famed movie studio/theme park, had a wonderful time that made my heart grow three sizes that day. When we first walked up to the front gates of Universal Studios, the park decorations were striking. They are a blend of whimsy and class, with elegant ornaments and swooshing lines all throughout – especially in the Grinchmas themed area. It’s a delicate mix of Hollywood and Seuss that they balance extremely well. The security checkpoint was on top of their game, using metal detectors and going through belongings to look for any dangerous items (they have such an important job in keeping the guests safe – please give them some patience), and into the park we went!

The area of the dedicated to Grinchmas is a kid’s dream come true. There is a gigantic, Seuss-inspired christmas tree with some seriously cool lighting effects, as well as numerous activity stations where people can do festive things. Things like decorate a Grinchmas tree, buy holiday themed food and drinks, take a their pictures with the Grinch himself, and even scout out a good spot to watch the tree lighting ceremony which takes place every half hour. This fast turnaround time is excellent for guests as, unlike some other Southern California theme parks where people have to line up for hours on end to watch one show, if they miss one show another one is just around the corner.

Hogsmeade and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter are in full form, although not really decorated for the season. We ate at the Three Broomsticks and had a great lunch – the establishment offers a wide variety of food – from beef stews to full English breakfasts! This is where I discovered the unsung hero of Grinchmas, hot ButterBeer. I love frozen ButterBeer – way moreso than the regular ButterBeer. However, this hot butterscotch-y beverage with full head of sweet foam warmed me up nicely on the cold Winter’s day we attended the park. The biggest thing that I would like to see in Hogsmeade is decorations to coincide with the season at hand. Christmas and Halloween are both displayed in the Harry Potter film and book series, it would be nice if story-themed decor graced the land for these holidays.

We ended up hitting the Universal Studios Tour a bit later in the day – I would say around 7:00 PM which, right now, is already in basically darkness. The tour was a lot of fun and, although some stuff was a bit too dark to enjoy comfortably, we saw some really cool movie locations. I finally came to the conclusion, however, that 3D film and glasses are being used way too much by the Studio these days. Peter Jackson’s King Kong 3D and the Fast and the Furious 3D drive-through areas are fun, but don’t feel real at all.

Back in the “good old days”, the back-lot tour attractions were created with physical effects. The best case for this is still in use at the tour – the Earthquake building. That stop is riveting, with actual objects coming loose, fire effects, scary lights, and a lot more. When things are physically right there in front of your eyes, they carry a lot more weight than 3D movies projected onto large film screens – but I digress…

Overall, the 2016 holiday celebration known as Grinchmas is a wonderful, fun attraction where families can come for some fun and joy. Plus, you get to enjoy all of the other attractions that Universal Studios Hollywood has to offer – attractions like HOT BUTTERBEER! You must try it – it is delicious and warms you up from the inside. Grinchmas runs until January 1st, so check it out before it’s too late!

Official Website

Photo Gallery

Alien: Covenant Official Trailer Released

December 25, 2016 – 20th Century Fox has released the first trailer for ALIEN: COVENANT! Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created, with ALIEN: COVENANT, a new chapter in his groundbreaking ALIEN franchise. The crew of the colony ship Covenant discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world.

ALIEN: COVENANT Official Channels





Das Keyboard X40 Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard Review

Das Keyboard is a company that has been making mechanical keyboards for a very long time, and were doing so well before most of the other gaming keyboard makers did. They are known for sturdy, well-built keyboards with a clicky, responsive user experience. So when they entered into the gaming keyboard market, many wondered what would be the result – and now we know, and it is good. Enter: The Das Keyboard X40 Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard.

The Das Keyboard X40 Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard features everything we love about Das Keyboard designs. It has a rugged frame that feels just fine along side its not-so gaming-specific brothers and sisters. Das Keyboard also has a number of interesting aluminum frames which can screw onto the top of the keyboard. This allows gamers to customize the look of the keyboard as they prefer. However, it should be known that these frames do cost extra and are sold separately.

Installing the Das Keyboard X40 Pro Gaming Mechanical keyboard is extremely simple. You can literally just plug it in for regular keyboard features or go further and install the Das Keyboard software. The software will allow you to program macro keys and save them in various profiles. This is very helpful so that you don’t have to reprogram all your keys for every game you play.

The Good

  • Terrific build quality
  • Great key response
  • USB pass-through port
  • Gaming mode key
The Bad

  • Somewhat no-frills in comparison to other brands

You can also disable the Windows key by simply pressing a gaming mode key on the keyboard. I have always thought that this should be a standard on every keyboard – gaming or otherwise. I hate accidentally pressing that key…. <nerd rage!/>

Typing documents with the Das Keyboard X40 Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard was great, and I love the Das Keyboard feel when the keys are clicking away as you type. It really provides a terrific, satisfying user experience.

There are some things that the Das Keyboard X40 Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard could improved upon. The first thing would be to enhance the back-lighting of the keyboard. The X40 is only capable of showing red back-lighting and, while it works fine, it is not as customizable as other brands’ offerings – some of which have millions of possible lighting colors as well as multiple color zones. That being said, the experience of using the Das Keyboard X40 in an actual game is very good! I tested the keyboard out in a variety of titles, from Star Wars: Battlefront to Fallout 4 to games with much less “twitch” factor like Civilization VI and Master of Orion. In every case, the Das Keyboard X40 was a solid and reliable keyboard.

The Das Keyboard X40 Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard retails for $129.00 at both Amazon and Das Keyboard’s online store. It is a great choice if you are a gamer looking for premium performance at a not-so premium price point. However, just know that you are paying for the keyboard experience – not for extra bells and whistles like 16 million color backlighting.

Das Keyboard X40 Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Score:

(4 out of 5 stars)

Das Keyboard Product Page

Disneyland Holiday Season 2016 Review

Disneyland has once again transformed its two Anaheim parks for the holiday season. Throughout the two parks, you will find holiday decorations galore as well as some additional surprises to delight and enjoy. At Disneyland, there is the new Christmas Fantasy parade which is sure to entertain the younger guests in your group. In Fantasyland, the park has decked out It’s A Small World for the season, with an extremely-impressive makeover worth taking plenty of photos. Of course, the Haunted Mansion Holiday attraction makeover is still in effect, and has truly become a tradition for many families each Christmas season. The venerable Jungle Cruise attraction over in Disneyland’s Adventureland has also been made over for the season. “Jingle Cruise” features tons of holiday surprises, with lots of the attraction’s animatronics getting into the act.

At Disney  California Adventure, they have a new holiday themed World of Color light show for guests as well as a completely made-over Cars Land area, with Christmas trees made from all manner of materials – from road cones to tires. Guests can also take their picture with the “big man” himself, Santa Clause, as well as enjoy a number of musical guests from all manner of genres singing holiday songs and a lot more. Check out park maps and the DCA website for times and dates.

Towards the end of your day at the two parks, I highly recommend you making your way over to Disneyland so you can watch the “Believe… In Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular. No one does fireworks shows quite like Disneyland and this show is no different – it is amazing and wondrous as its explosions are timed to music. A lot of people will tell you that the best areas to watch are in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle, and they are probably right. However, I have also had some great fireworks viewing from inside Fantasyland, behind the castle. You miss some of the fireworks that launch over the castle itself, but the bigger ones are in prime view – you are actually so close you can get little particles of ash falling on you!

Overall, both Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure are both great stops for your family’s holiday plans this year. I recommend just investing in the 1-day park hopper pass which allows access to both parks.

Disney’s California Adventure Gallery

Disneyland Gallery

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Announced with Pre-Alpha Footage

VANCOUVER – December 3, 2016 – Piranha Games announced MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries to a packed house of MechWarrior fans tonight via a live stage demo at Mech_Con 2016.

The first standalone single-player MechWarrior title in development for PC in nearly 15 years, MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries will feature intense PvE ‘Mech combat in an immersive, career-based Mercenary campaign driven by player choice. Featuring an advancing timeline starting in the year 3015, players will adopt the role of a green MechWarrior mercenary thrust into combat as the Third Succession War continues to fracture the Inner Sphere; the vast region of colonized space surrounding Earth. Victory, prestige, and profit will not only require skill on the battlefield, but in the maintenance and enhancement of your BattleMechs.

Set for release in 2018, MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is under development by a dedicated and separate development team at Piranha Games using Unreal Engine 4. MechWarrior Online, Piranha’s existing F2P multiplayer-focused tactical ‘Mech combat game (built with CryEngine) will continue its ongoing live development by the MWO team at Piranha.

“Our main goal with MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is to provide fans with a standalone, story-driven single-player experience that allows for a great amount of flexibility in terms of player choice, built on a foundation of the intense, tactical ‘Mech combat the franchise is known for,” said Russ Bullock, president of Piranha Games. “Along with the release of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries in 2018 we’re going to continue supporting our existing MechWarrior Online game and its fanbase with new updates and regular content releases. MWO is now in its fifth year of development and operation, and there’s still a lot of really cool stuff planned for it. For fans who have been waiting for the return of a true single-player MechWarrior game though, we are really happy to announce MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries.”

The game was revealed in a live playthrough during Russ Bullock’s keynote presentation before a packed crowd in attendance at Mech_Con 2016, and was livestreamed to the global online audience via That live demo from the event will be archived here:

Hosted by Piranha Games and featuring a variety of partners – each with a deep history of involvement in the beloved franchise – Mech_Con is a special one-day event dedicated to the celebration of BattleTech and MechWarrior. Mech_Con 2016 was the first of its kind, but Piranha aims to make this an annual celebration of these long-lived and much-loved franchises. Attended by fans from around the world the evening was capped off by an exciting conclusion to the first ever MechWarrior Online World Championship Finals, where two teams of eight duked it out on the battlefield for their shot at the World Championship title and a share of the $143,000+ prize pool.

For more information about MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, and to keep up to date with Piranha Games and MechWarrior Online, make sure to visit the MechWarrior Online website, or follow Piranha Games on Twitter through @PiranhaGames and @MechWarriorF2P.

California Missions Models Return to Knott’s Berry Farm

BUENA PARK, Calif., November 2016 – Knott’s Berry farm announced today that the beloved scale models of California’s historic Missions have returned to the park on Wednesday, November 30. This project reflects Knott’s continued appreciation and preservation of California’s rich history.

Scaled models of the original California Missions boarder the same midway between Silver Bullet and the south entrance of Fiesta Village, as it did previously for many years. Twenty-year veteran of Knott’s Berry Farm’s woodshop and current Knott’s craftsman, Bob Weir, has been meticulously restoring the missions for over three years, for a new generation of guests to appreciate.

“Knott’s Berry Farm prides itself in celebrating California’s rich, living history, and the California Mission models hold as much educational value as they do sentimental value for many of our guests,” said Knott’s general manager, Jon Storbeck. “We know that grade school curriculums in California include lessons on the California Missions, so we’re pleased that Knott’s Adventures in Education programs will allow students a unique and authentic learning experience that can only be found at Knott’s.”

In addition to the return of the historic missions, Knott’s is hosting its Early California History Day on March 15, 2017, in which students will have the opportunity to visit and tour the displayed models within the park, as well as have the opportunity to display a mission of their own. One homemade mission model will be selected to represent an individual school and enter into the California Missions competition. The winning models will be awarded special Knott’s Berry Farm prizes.


In the 1950’s as Knott’s Berry Farm grew in popularity, Walter Knott needed a way to keep park guests off of the stagecoach trail between the train depot and the northern end of the park for safety reasons. In keeping with the spirit of Knott’s – attractions both entertain and educate – Walter commissioned Leon Bayard de Volo to create scale models of all 21 California Missions. The missions were displayed in lit cases along the midway running between the Calico Railroad and what is now the south entrance to Fiesta Village.

The area was named El Camino Real (“The King’s Highway”), in honor of the actual California highway that connects all 21 missions.  On the North and South ends of El Camino Real stood two full-size double-arch “ruins,” which were built and installed at Knott’s in 1955 and 1956, respectively.  Today, the double-arch ruin that originally marked the entrance to Mission row near the train station can be found near the Ghost Town General Store and the Indian Trails Stage.  The northern most double-arch is still standing in its original location, behind Wave Swinger in Fiesta Village.

Observe replicas of the historic California Missions such as:

  • Mission Santa Barbara
  • Mission San Gabriel
  • Mission Santa Cruz
  • Mission San Diego
  • Mission San Buenaventura
  • Mission San Carlos Borromėo
  • Mission San Luis Obispo
  • Mission San Antonio
  • Mission Santa Clara
  • Mission La Purisima Concepción
  • Mission San Miguel Arcángel
  • Mission San Luis Rey
  • Mission Santa Ines
  • And more

A 2017 Knott’s Season Pass is the best way to experience the historic scale models with the family.  New 2017 Season Passes include one free admission during the 2016 season to Knott’s Berry Farm and unlimited visits in 2017 with no blackout dates, discounts on select food and merchandise, and access to exciting year-round seasonal events.  2017 Season Passes are now available at the best price of the year for a limited time on

The park will install all 21 mission models within the coming months.  For more information about the missions and Early California History Day, visit, and join the conversation on social media using #Knotts