Author - Jennifer Paxton

Knott’s Berry Farm Peanuts Celebration 2018 Review

The first annual Knott’s Peanuts Celebration is underway at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA. Bridging the gap between the “Merry Farm” and the “Boysenberry Festival”, the Peanuts Celebration celebrates exactly that: The Peanuts Gang and their contribution to the park’s identity over the years.

Walking into Knott’s Berry Farm on a cool Southern California Winter’s day, I was pleasantly surprised to see multiple photo booth/opportunities setup for guests to enjoy. The placement, being so close to the entrance, did make the area somewhat crowded, but it passed quickly as I waled into Ghost Town. While park makeovers like the Merry Farm and Scary Farm are pretty invasive, the Peanuts Celebration decor is much more minimal, but still a lot of fun. You will see kites stuck in trees, several photo opportunity booths, new Peanuts Celebration signage, and more.  The livery stable in Ghost Town has been transformed into “PigPen’s Pigpen” where you can see some livestock as well as take photos with Pig-Pen – who was never featured as a character in the park until now!

The Calico Mine Stage features two different shows – one in the daytime called “Music Goes Round and Round” with Sally and Schroeder, and one in the evening called “Woodstock’s Musical Festival” which has the whole gang joining in the fun. One really cool offering in Ghost Town was over att the Bird Cage Theatre, where you could learn to draw your favorite Peanuts characters and watch Peanuts specials during downtime. What used to the be the fan-favorite Halloween Haunt Museum has been transformed into “Inside Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz” and is a sort of Peanuts museum, going into their creation and evolution over the decades.

Making my way into the Boardwalk, I happened upon several members of the Peanuts gang riding on a small trolley, waving at the kids as they passed by. I am not sure where they were going, but the trolley was cool. I also got the chance to check out some of the new Peanuts Celebration-themed snacks and deserts that Knott’s has made for the event…. Man they are tasty treats – my favorite being the Charlie Brownies. You can check out some of the offerings in the photo gallery below but, rest assured, if you like sweets you won’t be disappointed! Fiesta Plaza, a sometimes underused area of the park, is now home to the “Lucy and Sally’s Fiesta Fantasy” musical show. Camp Snoopy, as one would guess, has had a huge amount of extra stuff added for the kids. From new area decor to the kid-sized Grand Sierra Railroad makeover, and even a big stage show at the Camp Snoopy Theatre called “Lucy and Charlie Brown’s Balancing Act”, it’s a lot of fun.

Of course, along with all this, you still can enjoy the normal stuff that Knott’s Berry Farm has to offer. The park’s upcoming roller coaster, Hang Time, is track-finished and looks pretty has a very impressive silhouette in the Boardwalk skyline. Also, the weather is playing rather nicely right now in Southern California – warmer than you’d expect for Winter but also with plenty of cooler days, making it a great time to visit the park.

Overall, the Knott’s Peanuts Celebration is a terrific time – especially for the kids, and runs on weekends from January 27 through February 25, 2018, plus Presidents’ Day. The best part is that there is no extra fee to attend the celebration – all those extras are included with your regular park ticket. Knott’s Berry Farm is open most every day and you can find hours of operation, ticket purchasing info, and more over at their official website.

Photo Gallery

Ubisoft Unveils Sam Personal Gaming Assistant

SAN FRANCISCO — January 24, 2018 — Today, Ubisoft® announced Sam, the company’s first personal gaming assistant to enhance players’ gaming experience. Sam leverages players’ profile information, game library, friends, community and Ubisoft services to deliver tailored tips and information. Sam is in open beta and can be accessed now through the free Ubisoft Club mobile app. Currently, Sam is available in English only in Canada, with plans to extend the open beta to more markets in the coming months.

Sam is part of Ubisoft’s efforts to continue innovating the Ubisoft Club and delivering new benefits to members. When gamers want to know about a release date, see a trailer, discover Easter Eggs in a game or chat with Sam about the best Assassin in the series, Sam will direct them to the appropriate page on the Ubisoft website or elsewhere on the web. By chatting through voice or text input, players can ask Sam anything about Ubisoft games and services through Sam’s chatbot Q&A feature. Sam is directly linked to a player’s Ubisoft account, which allows it to analyze their latest matches and provide tailored hints and tips through the Daily Login feature which is introduced with Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six® Siege. Sam will analyze why a player is struggling during matches and will proactively send a video tip from the community. As Sam is in beta, additional features are planned in the coming months to enrich the service offered to the Ubisoft players.

Sam leverages Google Cloud’s Dialogflow Enterprise Edition, an end-to-end development suite that uses natural language processing to build conversational interfaces. This technology will continue to help the dev team interpret and answer questions from users, as well as highlight the frequently asked questions for faster addition to Sam’s database.

“With Sam, our ambition is to create an innovative and helpful service for players, one that knows them and helps push them get more out of their gaming experience. Sam provides a more personalized experience for our fans and delivers them what they need faster, so they can spend less time searching and more time playing,” said Stephanie Perotti, vice president of online services at Ubisoft. “Incorporating Google Cloud’s Dialogflow Enterprise Edition has helped us work dynamically and iterate faster so we can better service our fans.”

For more information on the Ubisoft Club, please visit https://club.ubisoft.com.

The Ubisoft Club mobile app can be downloaded on Google Play and App Store.

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 Reveal Trailer

January 24, 2018 – Focus Home Interactive and Tindalos Interactive are pleased to officially announce the development for PC of the sequel to Battlefleet Gothic: Armada, the real-time strategy game that portrays the epic space battles from the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Get a first sneak peek at the game in the official Reveal Trailer!

Largely expanding on the groundwork laid out by the first game, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 is a full-blown sequel – bigger, richer, more impressive and more ambitious than the original game. It will include, at launch, all 12 factions from the original tabletop game and its expansion Armada it is based on: the Imperial Navy, Space Marines, Adeptus Mechanicus, Necrons, Chaos, Aeldari Corsairs, Aeldari Craftworld, Drukhari, the T’au Merchant and Protector Fleets, Orks, and finally, the Tyranids.

The latest dramatic story development in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, the Gathering Storm and the 13th Black Crusade, will serve as the canvas for several, extensive and dynamic campaigns.

With bigger battles, refined gameplay, improved multiplayer modes and features for a better and more balanced online experience, improvements across the board and even more customisation options for fleets and ships, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 promises to be the ultimate Warhammer 40,000 space battle experience.

The game is planned for release on PC in 2018, and will be first presented to the press during Focus’s yearly event in Paris, le What’s Next de Focus, on February 7-8.

SYMMETRY – Bring Them Home Trailer

January 19, 2018 – SYMMETRY is a survival management game set in a retro-futuristic, sci-fi universe launching February 20, 2018 on Steam (PC and MAC) for $11.99USD/9.99 EUR/8.99GBP and on consoles (PlayStation®4 and Xbox One) for $17.99 USD/14.99 EUR/12.99 GBP. Developed by Sleepless Clinic and published by IMGN.PRO, SYMMETRY combines an ominous sci-fi storyline with life or death consequences, with an atmospheric score that sustains the harsh realities, with hand drawn pastel Vector graphics to give the game a feeling of mystery and highlight the severity of the deserted world.

“As a survival management game, SYMMETRY’s storyline will propel you forward toward big payoffs depending upon the strategies employed across the survivors,” said Dariusz Leczycki, co-owner of Sleepless Clinic, creators of SYMMETRY. “At first look, SYMMETRY is basic, old school looking game, but don’t be fooled, it is complex, compelling, and most of all, fun, and possesses a story line that you don’t see coming.”

In SYMMETRY, the main goal is to manage a team of survivors whose spaceship has crashed on an abandoned planet, light years from help. Players must help the crew withstand the desolate, freezing cold environment and unpredictable weather that is unsuitable for human life while safely and quickly fix their spaceship and escape. Time is of the essence. Everyone’s safety is essential. Life functions are critical. Overseeing resources is vital. One wrong choice, someone dies. Run out of time, someone dies. And when one of the survivors die, you must make the ultimate decision, dispose of the body, or cannibalize it.

SYMMETRY Game Features

  • Gameplay:

o    Race against time while gathering all parts required to repair the spaceship.

o    Survival-management in extremely hostile conditions.

o    Avoid extreme weather conditions and life-threatening supernatural activities.

o    Different needs to satisfy: nutrition, physical condition, and mental health

o    Additional ‘Survival’ endless gameplay mode unlocked once the main mission is accomplished.

  • Replayability:

o    Randomly assigned crew members possess different skills and stories in each gameplay.

o    Implement various strategies to beat the game.

o    Develop new skills like botanics or power plant operations.

  • Plot:

o    Sci-fi setting with a non-obvious storyline.

o    Moral choices: collectivism vs individualism.

  • Art:

o    Unique vector graphics and ambient sound setting.

  • Ominous presence of the Symmetrical World.

Steam Page

Flight Sim World Out of Early Access

CHATHAM, Kent  Jan. 18, 2018  Flight Sim World®, developed by simulation specialists Dovetail Games, has entered its second phase of development. This phase sees the sim released from Steam Early Access as the development team moves towards making bigger, less frequent updates.

“We have some really exciting updates planned,” said executive producer Stephen Hood. “We are working on weather and world improvements, IFR, and the introduction of sleeker, faster aircraft, from business jets right through to the all-important airliners, all delivered with the key features that support them. The feedback our community has given during early access has absolutely steered the program for what we bring to Flight Sim World next.”

The Phase 2 content schedule includes:

  • A variety of aircraft, including airliners
  • IFR and ATC upgrades
  • World improvements
  • Dynamic and live weather

“We are confident that our players will feel the benefit of us focusing on their feature requests now that Flight Sim World’s foundations are in place,” said Rob O’Farrell, SVP of Development. “Larger updates will really allow us to deliver high-priority community features and aircraft this year.”

Since its initial launch in May 2017, 15 updates have been released for Flight Sim World, including the addition of Steam workshop functionality, passenger models, the ability to start all aircraft from a cold and dark state, advanced weather featuring trueSKY technology, lighting and rendering updates, and countless fixes and performance improvements.

The first major Phase 2 update will release on Thursday, Feb. 1, and will feature dynamic weather.

Flight Sim World is available to purchase from Steam or the Dovetail Store for $39.99.

Underworld Ascendant PAX South Trailer

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Jan. 17, 2018 – In a behind-closed-doors presentation at PAX South, game industry legend Paul Neurath (Ultima Underworld, Thief) discussed the inspiration and history behind the upcoming highly-anticipated Underworld Ascendant from OtherSide Entertainment. A new video produced for PAX South featuring exclusive gameplay footage also takes a deep dive into the heritage of the studio and the deeply experienced team creating Underworld Ascendant.

Published by 505 Games, Underworld Ascendant will return players to the Stygian Abyss, a breathtaking fantasy realm rife with danger and full of intrigue. The world boasts an environment that will react dynamically to player choices, as seen in newly revealed gameplay footage.

In Underworld Ascendant, OtherSide Entertainment is innovating upon the player-authored gameplay of the original series in bold new ways to bring the ‘immersive sim’ genre forward in this action-RPG designed to reward creativity.

Underworld Ascendant, made with Unity, will be published on Steam for PC in the second half of 2018. Players can Wishlist the game now at: http://store.steampowered.com/app/692840.

To learn more about Underworld Ascendant, please visit: www.underworldascendant.com.

HBO Announces Hogwarts House Challenges Tour

NEW YORK, NY (January 12, 2018) — In celebration of the Harry Potter film series streaming on the network, unedited and commercial-free for the first time, HBO will host Hogwarts House Challenges in three cities across the country to crown the most dedicated Harry Potter fans. With all eight Harry Potter films joining HBO’s line-up, the network continues its reign as the best destination for the biggest blockbuster films Hollywood has to offer.

Harry Potter fans in ATLANTA, BOSTON and DENVER are invited to put their knowledge of the Wizarding World to the test as they face off in a series of Harry Potter trivia and challenges. At each event, prizes will be awarded for Best Costume, Best Team Photo and more.

Plus, guests will have a chance to see some of the  original props from the Harry Potter films:

  • Tom Riddle’s diary with Basilisk fang
  • Lucius Malfoy’s “Caught” poster
  • Horace Slughorn’s hourglass
  • Bellatrix Lestrange’s dagger
  • “Magical Drafts and Potions” textbook

HBO audiences have a lot to look forward to with more first run, $100M+ films coming to HBO platforms in 2018 than any other premium channel. Viewers continue to subscribe to HBO for the best and most theatrical movies and now they can catch everyone’s favorite wizard whenever and wherever they want.

Hogwarts House Challenges, powered by Wink Back, Inc., will kick off in Atlanta on January 18th, followed by Boston on January 25th and Denver on January 31st. A limited number of tickets will be available on HBO’s Facebook page in the coming days.

Participants will have the chance to warm up their Harry Potter knowledge beforehand by watching all eight movies as well as the latest film from the Wizarding World,Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which are available now to watch on HBO GO, HBO NOW, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.

Black Panther Warriors of Wakanda Featurette

January 12, 2018 – Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.

“Black Panther” stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, with Angela Bassett, with Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis.

The film is directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Nate Moore, Jeffrey Chernov and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole wrote the screenplay.

Dark Souls Remastered Announced

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (January 11, 2018) – BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. invites players back to the treacherous land of Lordran with DARK SOULS™: REMASTERED, available May 25, 2018 for the Nintendo Switch™, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, and STEAM® for PC. Re-experience the genre-defining title that kicked off a worldwide gaming phenomena in stunning high-definition detail. DARK SOULS: REMASTERED marks the DARK SOULS series debut on a Nintendo platform and for the first time ever, can be played on the go with the unique capabilities of the Nintendo Switch console.

Developed by FromSoftware Inc., DARK SOULS: REMASTERED enables players to explore the twisted ancient land of Lordran in the first title of the critically acclaimed action role-playing series like never before. Experience the rich world of DARK SOULS in Dynamic 4K resolution when playing on a PlayStation 4 Pro system, Xbox One X, and STEAM. From their first timid steps to absolute mastery, players will build their characters by strategically adapting to daunting foes, exploring haunting locations, and amassing a large collection of weapons, armor, and magic spells to wield for a truly unique playstyle.

Hidden in the world of DARK SOULS: REMASTERED are nine online covenants to uncover that will motivate your online interactions. Collaboration or confrontation, support or betrayal – which allegiance will you choose? Up to six players can join together online to help, or hurt, each other throughout their quest.

“DARK SOULS: REMASTERED delivers the same great gameplay, online mechanics, and environmental storytelling that has inspired countless game players and developers,” said Kasumi Yogi, Associate Brand Manager for BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. “We are excited to watch the thriving DARK SOULS community grow and support new players experiencing the title for the first time.”

DARK SOULS: REMASTERED will be available May 25, 2018 for the Nintendo Switch console, PlayStation 4 system, Xbox One and STEAM for PC. DARK SOULS: REMASTERED is currently pending a final rating with the ESRB and will carry a MSRP of $39.99 on consoles. Please stay tuned for more information regarding the final MSRP for the PC version. For more information regarding DARK SOULS: REMASTERED and other titles from BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc. please visit https://www.bandainamcoent.com, https://www.facebook.com/BandaiNamcoUS, or join the conversation at https://www.twitter.com/BandaiNamcoUS.

Corsair Unveils New Gaming Peripherals at CES2018

CES 2018, Las Vegas NV, January 8, 2018 — CORSAIR®, a world leader in enthusiast memory, PC components, and high-performance gaming hardware, today announced a complete range of new performance wireless gaming peripherals. Powered by CORSAIR UNPLUG and PLAY wireless technology, the K63 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard, K63 Wireless Gaming Lapboard, DARK CORE RGB Wireless Gaming Mouse, and MM1000 Qi Wireless Charging Mouse Pad allow PC enthusiasts and gamers to experience wire-free gaming without compromise. It’s time to UNPLUG and PLAY.

The new K63 Wireless mechanical gaming keyboard, a CES 2018 Innovation Award Honoree, brings the quality, performance and reliability of CHERRY MX Red mechanical keyswitches to the wireless desktop. Connecting via a choice of ultra-fast 1ms 2.4GHz gaming-optimized wireless, low latency Bluetooth® wireless, or a wired USB connection, the K63 Wireless instantly registers keystrokes and commands however you connect. With up to 75 hours of rechargeable battery life, K63 Wireless has the stamina to outlast the longest gaming session. Per-key, customizable blue LED backlighting, controlled using CORSAIR Utility Engine (CUE) software delivers vibrant lighting and dynamic, reactive visuals, alongside per-key macros and programmable keys.

When you’re wireless, being fast isn’t enough – you need to be secure too. K63 Wireless features strong 128-bit AES encryption, protecting your keystrokes from wireless eavesdropping. The K63 Wireless’ tenkeyless layout is perfect for a clean and minimalist desktop, and combines with the K63 Wireless Gaming Lapboard to create a cutting-edge wireless living room solution. A lightweight surround and memory foam cushion comfortably and securely holds the K63 Wireless keyboard in place, while a full-size replaceable mouse pad provides ample room and pixel-precise tracking. Whether it’s on a wire-free desktop, on the couch, or on the go, the K63 Wireless combines uncompromised wireless with mechanical performance.

The new CORSAIR DARK CORE RGB wireless gaming mouse offers the same flexible three-mode connectivity as K63 Wireless, bringing its 16,000 DPI optical sensor precision to your PC via ultra-fast 1ms 2.4GHz, low-latency Bluetooth® wireless or wired USB connection. A contoured shape that’s supremely comfortable makes DARK CORE RGB instantly at home in your hand, and can be customized using two interchangeable magnetic side grips to provide a tailored fit for almost any gamer. Vibrant three-zone RGB lighting, fully customizable in CUE, lets gamers set their own style with nearly unlimited illumination options, patterns, and effects, from simple colors to full synchronization with other CORSAIR RGB peripherals. DARK CORE RGB ensures you’ll rarely need to reach for the charging cable, with up to 24 hours of battery life. When you do, DARK CORE RGB’s wired mode lets you keep playing, with its nine programmable buttons always within easy reach however you connect.

For those who want to go wireless forever, DARK CORE RGB SE adds Qi wireless charging support, pairing perfectly with the all-new CORSAIR MM1000 Qi wireless charging mousepad for a truly wireless gaming mouse that never needs to be plugged in to charge. Combining a micro-textured hard surface mouse pad with a dedicated Qi wireless charging spot, the MM1000 ensures wireless power is always on hand, charging almost any Qi compatible device, from the DARK CORE RGB SE to the latest smartphones. Even if your devices don’t have Qi charging built-in, MM1000 includes USB Micro-B, Type-C, and Lightning Qi charging adapters, letting you easily add Qi wireless charging. With a large 260mm x 350mm surface area, non-slip rubber base, USB 3.0 pass-through, and LED charging indicator completing the package, the MM1000 brings Qi wireless charging to your desktop – what you charge, is up to you.

Together, the K63 Wireless, K63 Wireless Gaming Lapboard, DARK CORE RGB and MM1000 create the ultimate wireless gaming setups for desktop or living room. Tired of your gaming being tied down by cables? It’s time to UNPLUG and PLAY.