Author - Jerry Paxton

Muppets Now Trailer Released

June 25, 2020 – Today, Disney+ shared a first look trailer at its upcoming original series “Muppets Now,” premiering exclusively on the streaming service on Friday, July 31. In their first-ever unscripted series, the Muppets make their streaming debut in an all-new six-episode show starring Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and the entire gang.

In a true first for the studio, “Muppets Now” is an unscripted series filled with improv comedy, off-the-cuff gags, and the Muppets’ celebrity friends. In the six-episode season, Scooter rushes to make his delivery deadlines and upload the brand-new Muppet series for streaming. They are due now, and he’ll need to navigate whatever obstacles, distractions, and complications the rest of the Muppets throws at him.

Overflowing with spontaneous lunacy, surprising guest stars and more frogs, pigs, bears (and whatevers) than legally allowed, the Muppets cut loose in “Muppets Now” with the kind of startling silliness and chaotic fun that made them famous. From zany experiments with Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker to lifestyle tips from the fabulous Miss Piggy, each episode is packed with hilarious segments, hosted by the Muppets showcasing what the Muppets do best.

Produced by The Muppets Studio and Soapbox Films, “Muppets Now” premieres Friday, July 31, streaming only on Disney+. New episodes will be released every Friday.

Six Flags Great Adventure Reopening on July 3

JACKSON, N.J. ─ June 24, 2020 ─ Six Flags Great Adventure, the World’s Ultimate Thrill Park, today announced plans to open for the 2020 season. In accordance with Governor Phil Murphy’s opening guidelines for amusement parks, Six Flags Great Adventure will operate with reduced attendance levels and in preview mode beginning July 3. During this preview phase, the park will open to Members and Season Pass Holders exclusively July 3, and to the general public beginning July 4. The park will then gradually increase attendance levels throughout the month. The park is implementing extensive new safety measures and hygiene protocols, including several new advanced technology systems to protect guests and employees. These procedures will be adjusted on an as-needed basis to ensure compliance with state recommendations. A preview date for Six Flags Hurricane Harbor is forthcoming.

“Six Flags Great Adventure and Hurricane Harbor are beloved outdoor destinations for so many in the Northeast, and we look forward to welcoming families back to our parks. The safety of our guests and team members remains our number one priority, and the new safety guidelines we have put in place are designed to create a safe environment for everyone,” said Six Flags Great Adventure and Hurricane Harbor Park President John Winkler. “We greatly appreciate the support of Jackson Township Mayor Michael Reina, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, Deputy Chief of Staff Mike DeLamater, Senate President Steve Sweeney, the New Jersey Amusement Association, and Governor Phil Murphy throughout this reopening process.”

The parks will employ an online reservation system to manage attendance, schedule guests for entry by day, and to stagger arrival times to minimize proximity exposure. Other new technologies include:

  • State-of-the-art thermal imaging for temperature checks;
  • Advanced security screening technology for touchless bag checks; and
  • Mobile food ordering.

The parks’ reopening plan, which the company developed in consultation with epidemiologists, meets or exceeds federal, state, and local guidelines for sanitization, hygiene, and social distancing protocols.

“We have developed a comprehensive reopening safety plan that includes protocols designed by theme park and waterpark industry experts, along with best practices from top destination parks from around the world, which will allow guests to experience our parks in the safest way possible. This ’new normal’ will be different in some ways, but we believe these additional measures are appropriate in the current environment,” said Six Flags President and CEO Mike Spanos. Reopening procedures include:

Health Screenings for Guests and Team Members

  • Contactless IR thermal imaging will be used to screen temperatures of guests and employees prior to entry;
  • Individuals will be required to acknowledge and abide by the company’s health policies, which prohibit park entry if guests have recently been exposed to or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19;
  • Following CDC guidelines, all guests over the age of two and all team members will be required to wear face masks covering the nose and mouth throughout their visit/work day.
  • Masks will be available for sale at the front gate for any guest without one; and
  • Masks will not be required on waterslides, water attractions, or in pools.

Strictly Enforced Social Distancing

  • Easy to identify distance markers will be added in all park entry, ride, restroom, retail locations, and dining queue lines;
  • Dining areas will be adjusted to allow ample space between seated parties;
  • Guests will be separated by empty rows and/or seats on all roller coasters, rides, and attractions;
  • Six-foot viewing areas will be marked for guests to observe game play while adhering to social distancing requirements;
  • Advanced security screenings will enable touchless bag checks;
  • Guests viewing outdoor entertainment will be separated by at least six feet;
  • Capacity at indoor venues and on some attractions, including the Wave Pool and Lazy River, will be reduced to meet social distancing requirements;
  • Guests will be allowed to ride on a tube with family/group members, but will not be allowed to share a tube with those not in their immediate party; and
  • A limited number of complimentary lifejackets will be available upon request; however, families are encouraged to provide their own coast-guard approved lifejackets for children under 42 inches, or those who are not strong swimmers. All Hurricane Harbor lifejackets will be sanitized after every guest use.

Extensive Sanitization and Disinfecting Protocols

  • Trained and dedicated cleaning teams have been put in place;
  • Rides, restraints, and handrails will be cleaned throughout the day;
  • Team members will frequently sanitize and disinfect high-touch points, including the following:
      • Public Seating
      • Tabletops
      • Counters
      • Doors
      • Trash cans
      • Deck Chairs
      • Life Jackets
      • Tubes and Rafts
  • Restroom staff will be stationed to disinfect each stall, sink, and shower area on a frequent basis;
  • Multiple hand-washing and alcohol-based hand-sanitizer stations will be located throughout the parks; and
  • All team member work areas will be regularly sanitized and disinfected.

Sanitized Food Preparation and Service

  • Modified menus and implementation of mobile food ordering will help facilitate touchless transactions;
  • Self-service buffets and salad bars will be reconfigured to eliminate guest contact with food;
  • Condiments, self-serve cutlery, and napkins will be provided to guests with their meals as required; and
  • Beverages will be served by attendants; any drink bottle refills will be served in a paper cup each time guests refill.

Commercial-Grade Cleaning Equipment and Supplies

  • All employees will be issued Team Member Action Packs which will include the following items: a safety face mask, safety glasses, and disposable gloves;
  • Low pressure backpack sprayers will be utilized for disinfecting large areas;
  • Abundant supplies of sanitizers and disinfectants will be available;
  • Microfiber cloths will be used to sanitize surfaces; and
  • Queue line supplies, fencing, and tents will be in place to promote safe social distancing.

Multi-Layered Guest and Team Member Communication

  • Frontline team members will go through extensive COVID-19 training;
  • Safety messaging and reminders will be displayed on Six Flags’ website, and in newsletters;
  • Distance markers and physical distance indicators will be in place; and
  • Informational safety signage will be posted throughout the park.

Park Reservations System to Manage Attendance

Six Flags will establish attendance caps that will be well below the park’s theoretical capacity in order to allow for proper social distancing. All Members, Season Pass Holders and all guests with a single-day or group ticket will need to make a reservation at www.sixflags.com/reserve. Guests who need single day tickets will be able to reserve during the purchase process. The process will take 5-7 minutes, and guests will complete the following steps:

  • Enter their online order number, ticket number or Membership/Season Pass number;
  • Select the day and the approximate time they want to visit;
  • Acknowledge their understanding of the company’s health policy;
  • Order pre-paid parking, if they do not already have a parking pass; and
  • Watch a brief video describing new social distancing and sanitization procedures.

The park’s website and social media channels will announce the reservation system’s launch date. Guests will be contacted electronically (either by email, text or both) the day before their scheduled visit to confirm their intent to visit. All Members and Season Pass Holders will receive booking priority over single-day and group ticket buyers.

The Six Flags brand is synonymous with family fun and thrills for all ages. These significant new changes are designed to improve the overall park experience while keeping guests and employees safe. The park will also offer “mask break zones” in select locations to provide socially-distanced areas for guests who wish to temporarily remove their masks.

Some rides, retail and food locations may not be available upon opening. The park team will open additional attractions as they become available.

Six Flags’ Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure was reintroduced May 30, 2020 following a seven-year hiatus. Utilizing the new reservation system and contact-free protocol, thousands of cars have taken the five-mile journey each day to get up-close to 1,200 exotic animals from around the globe. Due to its popularity and the ability for guests to social distance in their own vehicles, the Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure will remain operational until further notice. The theme park aims to reintroduce its Safari Off Road Adventure guided truck tours soon.

Six Flags Season Passes and Memberships are currently on sale. Members can enjoy priority park entry and tremendous discounts of up to 50% on nearly all food and merchandise all season long. Gold Plus, Platinum, Diamond, and Diamond Elite levels are available featuring all the perks of a Season Pass plus other benefits including admission to all Six Flags branded theme and waterparks, preferred parking, and points that can be redeemed for free food, merchandise, and special experiences. Visit the Membership Sales Center or go online to sixflags.com for more information and to sign up today.

Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars Combat and Management Trailer

Ridgewood, NJ – (June 24, 2020) – Publisher Kalypso Media and developer Palindrome Interactive today shared the next developer featurette for Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars, diving deep into the game’s unique blend of turn-based vampiric combat and empire management.

The second in a four-part series, the next developer featurette filmed at Palindrome Interactive explores Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars’ unique gameplay fusion of empire management and strategic turn-based combat, detailing some of the structures and units available to each of the game’s three vampire clans. The featurette also discusses those abilities unique to each clan, and some of the tactics players can use to strengthen their chance of victory on the battlefield. Those who missed the first featurette can catch up on the Kalypso Media YouTube channel.

Arriving with the second featurette is a development roadmap, showing the updates and progress made to the game since its initial E3 announcement.

Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars will launch on August 28th for Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. The closed beta is available to those pre-purchasing at the Kalypso Store, and the Microsoft Store via Xbox Game Preview.

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Launch Trailer

Vienna, Austria, June 23, 2020 – THQ Nordic today announced that the highly anticipated SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated (Rehydrated) is now available on PlayStation®4, Xbox® One, Nintendo Switch™ and PC. Are you ready, kids?

The cult-classic has been faithfully remade in all of its spongetastic splendor! In addition to high-end visuals, modern resolutions and carefully polished gameplay, players can look forward to new content that didn’t make the original game release. With Rehydrated, you can experience coop multiplayer in SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom for the first time. After all, who would SpongeBob be without his best friends?

Just like the original game, Rehydrated features tons of characters and a lot of the irreverent humor from the TV series and upcoming feature film. Every iconic location in the game has multiple segments, a unique vibe, special puzzles and individual story plots, packing in something for every player! Players can play as SpongeBob, Patrick and Sandy, each with unique skills to traverse certain parts of each level – only SpongeBob can use his underpants to bungee jump and only Sandy has a lasso to swing and glide through the gameworld.

In multiplayer mode, two-players can team up in either local couch or online co-op mode to battle the evil Robo-Squidward and all robots from the main game, wave after wave, across more than twenty islands. Rehydrated’s multiplayer mode also features four additional playable characters: Mr. Krabs, Gary, Squidward and Robo-Plankton, each with their own sets of moves and attacks, straight from the TV series and upcoming movie!

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated is now available worldwide. For more information go to https://rehydrated.thqnordic.com/ or follow @thqnordic.

Do Not Open PSVR Teaser Trailer

Madrid, June 22nd. – Sony Interactive Entertainment Spain (SIE Spain) and Quasar Dynamics reveal today a new teaser trailer for Do Not Open, a PlayStation®VR exclusive title developed as part of the PlayStation®Talents initiative. Do Not Open is a survival horror that features escape room mechanics as well. Michael J. Goreng, the main character, is a well-known zoologist and epidemiologist trapped in his own house where his wife and daughter are held against their will. Goreng will have to solve different puzzles to escape from a mysterious threat while dealing with paranormal activity. The release date of Do Not Open will be confirmed soon.

Quasar Dynamics promises high replayability: in every new game players will have to solve different riddles and events won’t happen exactly as before. This feature will allow players to unlock different endings in order to discover the mystery that surrounds the house. The studio was founded as a spin-off of Quasar Dynamics, a company with years of expertise in VR, AR, and XR. In Do Not Open they are turning all their knowledge to video games in a title that will last in VR players’ minds for years.

KEY FEATURES

  • Experience an interactive escape room. Solve riddles and puzzles to escape from this nightmare and unravel its secrets.
  • Beware of an evil presence lurking in the shadows. Think fast and don’t take too long solving the puzzles and choose wisely. A dark entity is watching you…
  • Play a different game every time. There are no savepoints. The rooms of the house will change every time you play depicting Alan’s disturbed mind.

World of Warships: Legends Gets WH40K Ships and New 2.4 Update

AUSTIN, TX (June 22, 2020) – Grim darkness invades World of Warships: Legends. The 2.4 update is live today and filled with Warhammer 40,000 themed content, a new branch of American Light Cruisers in Early Access, the new “Lone Veteran” campaign, and an event project in the Bureau. Players will have plenty of ships and goals to shoot for in-game.

Wargaming brings the gothic splendor of Warhammer 40,000 to World of Warships: Legends. Players can choose between different bundles containing themed ship skins, commanders with unique voiceovers, camouflages and flags from two of the biggest factions in the Warhammer 40,000 universe – the Imperium of Man, a galaxy-spanning interstellar human empire; and Chaos, those devoted to serving the Chaos Gods.

Imperium of Man and Chaos will be represented through unique and dreadful ships helmed by their fearless commanders: Justinian Lyons XIII and Arthas Roqthar the Cold.

To coincide with the 4th of July celebrations coming up, a pair of American light cruisers are arriving in early access. These cruisers, Dallas at Tier V and Helena at Tier VI, are well armed with rapid-fire 6-inch guns capable of dishing out damage and setting fires at a startling rate. However, these ships will require skillful sailing in order to avoid taking hits from the enemy. The Helena is especially well armed with 15 main guns, a true expression of American firepower.

There’s also the new “Lone Veteran” campaign tying in with 4th of July celebrations. At the end of this campaign sits the unique American heavy cruiser Wichita. This battle-hardened ship was a sort of hybrid between a Brooklyn-class light cruiser and a New Orleans-class heavy cruiser. Wichita went on to serve all over in World War II, from start to finish. As a prototype for the Baltimore-class, her playstyle is very similar—delivering powerful AP shells onto enemy ships. Wichita also has access to Sonar and Radar, giving her many options in combat. There are 95 levels of the “Lone Veteran” campaign to complete, with the 5 weeks following the update to finish, but determined captains can complete more difficult, optional, tasks to finish the campaign one week earlier.

The most intrepid players will begin completing the first Bureau projects quickly, so a new one has been prepared—the “Red, White, and Blue” project. Players can unlock permanent Stars N’ Stripes camouflages for several US Cruisers and the Tier VII battleship Iowa on their way to unlock the final prize: the Tier V Premium Battleship California. This highly modernized battleship is heavily armed and armored, but is quite slow. California had an interesting career in World War II, she was severely damaged in the attack on Pearl Harbor and sank shortly afterwards, but that wasn’t the end. A few months later, a massive salvage and rebuilding effort began that put her back in service at the start of 1944. California then fought through the rest of the war including the last battleship engagement in history at the Battle of Surigao Strait. The “Red, White, and Blue” project is shorter than the other main bureau projects, so it will be less of a long-term goal than the Legendary Tier ships introduced in the last update.

There’s plenty of Independence Day related content, plus the Warhammer 40,000 collaboration on the way to the seas of World of Warships: Legends in this update. Get ready for a ton of events, and Turn the Tide!

Hamilton Official Trailer Released

June 21, 2020 – Tonight, as part of the 2020 ESPYs airing on ESPN and ESPN2, Disney+ debuted the trailer for “Hamilton,” the filmed version of the original Broadway production, ahead of its global premiere on the streaming service on July 3, 2020.

An unforgettable cinematic stage performance, the filmed version of the original Broadway production of “Hamilton” combines the best elements of live theater, film and streaming to bring the cultural phenomenon to homes around the world for a thrilling, once-in-a-lifetime experience. “Hamilton” is the story of America then, told by America now. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, “Hamilton” has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theatre—a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education.

Filmed at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in June of 2016, the film transports its audience into the world of the Broadway show in a uniquely intimate way. With book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and direction by Thomas Kail, “Hamilton” is inspired by the book “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow and produced by Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeffrey Seller, with Sander Jacobs and Jill Furman serving as executive producers. Filming was produced by RadicalMedia. The 11-time-Tony Award®-, GRAMMY Award®-, Olivier Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning stage musical stars: Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson; Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler; Jonathan Groff as King George; Christopher Jackson as George Washington; Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds; Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton; Leslie Odom, Jr. as Aaron Burr; Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison; Anthony Ramos as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton; and Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton.

Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden D&D Sourcebook Revealed

June 18, 2020 – Embark on a tale of dark terror in the forlorn civilization of Ten-Towers and the bone-chilling areas surrounding these frontier settlements in Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden. Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden contains fantastic secrets and treasures are entombed in the sunless heart of the glacier – what will their discovery mean for the denizens of Icewind Dale? You can even pre-order on D&D Beyond to immediately receive a few bonuses – icy character sheet backdrops and a set of glacial digital dice!

(Click to make BIG!)

The sourcebook is also one of horror… In fact, one of the influences for the game was John Carpenter’s The Thing (ed. note. One of the greatest horror films in the history of film).

In addition to Rime of the Frostmaiden, several new D&D products were announced to come out in 2020:

  • Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden takes adventurers to the beloved setting made famous by Drizzt Do’Urden and the Companions of the Hall in a way never seen before. The tale of dark terror revisits the forlorn, flickering candle lights of civilization known as Ten-Towns and sheds light on the many bone-chilly locations that surround these frontier settlements.  Developed by Chris Perkins, the adventure book takes players from level 1 to 12 and will release everywhere September 15 with a standard cover featuring a painting by Tyler Jacobson, with an alternate cover designed by Hydro74 available only in game stores. More info can be found here.
  • Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden Dice and Miscellany allows you to prepare for a cold reception by arming yourself with dice that bring the heat! Based on the successful form factors of the Descent into Avernus and Laeral Silverhand dice sets, “Icey Dicey” features 11 dice in a frosty metallic blue, and two d20s to roll disadvantage. The dice are packaged in a beautiful, durable box that doubles as a felted dice tray. The Miscellany contains a player-friendly foldout map of Icewind Dale and Ten-Towns and 20 double-sided cards with descriptions and illustrations of characters and creatures one might encounter in Icewind Dale. Available for pre-order here. [Sept. 15; $24.95]
  • Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden Platinum Edition from Beadle & Grimm’s will also release this Fall. This limited edition set from Matthew Lillard and company builds on the success of previously released boxes providing prop and visual aids for DMs. More info can be found here. [Date Oct, $499]
  • WizKids is again creating amazing licensed D&D miniatures for this adventure including: D&D Set 17 Configurations featuring a Premium set + 8ct Booster Brick; D&D Icons of the Realms: Adult White Dragon Premium Figure and D&D Icons of the Realms: Sapphire Dragon Premium Figure [Aug; $69.99/each]. Everything is available for preorder through game stores now and more info can be found here.
  • From the authors of Art & Arcana comes a D&D cookbook to add some spice to your game night, Heroes’ Feast. Michael Witwer, Jon Petersen and Kyle Newman crafted in-world food & drink recipes from the Forgotten Realms. Use Heroes Feast to serve dishes for your gaming group in that tavern session, or just to impress guests. Pre-order now at Penguin Random House. [Oct 27; $35].
  • Halloween will be even more fantastic this year as D&D has partnered with Spirit Halloween, the only authorized D&D Costume retailer, with the teams working hand-in-hand to create three amazing costumes. Cattie-Brie is the selection for the empowered action heroine including deluxe sculpted shoulder armor piece, and paired with the Heartseeker (Bow & Arrow accessory $29.99) makes for a badass Halloween costume. The Drizzt Do’Urden costume features faux leather straps, a silver wig, and you can kit yourself out with Twinkle ($29.99) and Icing Death ($29.99) sword accessories to complete the fantasy. The Dungeon Master is the classic from the 80s D&D cartoon and comes with the cool bald pate and wig. Each costume will retail for $49.99 and are available for preorder now at: https://www.spirithalloween.com/dnd.
  • Two comic book collaborations are also coming later this year. IDW will release At the Spine of the World  [Oct. 21] from amazing storytellers new to D&D, Aimee Garcia (Lucifer) and AJ Mendez (former WWE Superstar). On November 4, Dark Horse will release Stranger Things & Dungeons & Dragons from comic-writing veterans Jody Hauser & Jim Zub. More information can be found on the D&D product pages, online here and here.

CYBERPUNK 2077 Pushed to November 19

JUNE 18, 2020 – cd Projekt RED has announced that it is pushing back its highly-anticipated CYBERPUNK 2077 until November 19, 2020. This, from an official social media statement by the company’s leads. The game was previously set for release on September 17, 2020.

Click to Make BIG!

According to the statement, the game is already content and gameplay complete, so this time will be spent on tweaks, balancing, and polishing – always a good thing that not enough companies do in these times of “early access”. While this news is sure to frustrate some fans, just remember that this will ensure a more immersive and amazing experience upon launch.

Be sure to check out the “Night City Wire” stream on June 25th for more gameplay, details, and more to whet your appetites until November!

Othercide Release Date Trailer

PARIS — June 17, 2020 — Focus Home Interactive and Lightbulb Crew have announced that the tactical horror RPG Othercide will launch on PC via Steam, PlayStation®4 and Xbox One on July 28. The team has also revealed that the game is expected to arrive on Nintendo Switch later this summer. Othercide marries the dark art design and world-building of the horror genre with the deep systems and challenges of a strategy game for a truly gripping experience.

The Daughters, echoes of the greatest warrior to ever live, are all who stand before the Suffering — dread creatures made from humanity’s worst sins. Lead your army of Daughters in turn-based battles, shape their abilities and personalities, and if you must, sacrifice one to save another. Those who survive will become stronger, ready to fight again.

Othercide’s combat is a spectacular dance of actions and counters: plan ahead and set up intricate chains of abilities using the Dynamic Timeline System to vanquish your enemies. Fight, fail and rise again against nightmarish bosses in a stunningly ruthless gothic noir world.

Pre-orders for Othercide are now live on Steam and Xbox One. PlayStation®4 and Nintendo Switch pre-orders will be available soon.