08 July 2015
08 July 2015
08 July 2015
08 July 2015
08 July 2015
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"Shearer has signed the same contract as did the other five primary voice actors--Dan Castellaneta, Yeardley Smith, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, and Hank Azaria—keeping the show’s original cast fully intact, EW has learned."
The original story is below.
Just a week after Fox renewed The Simpsons for two more seasons, it's been confirmed that veteran voice actor Harry Shearer--the voice of Mr. Burns and Ned Flanders--is leaving the show.
"As The Simpsons continues its 27th and 28th seasons, Harry Shearer will not be within the show," showrunner Al Jean told CNN Money today.
In addition to Burns and Flanders, Shearer voices Principal Skinner, Reverend Lovejoy, Kent Brockman, Waylon Smithers, Dr. Hibbert, Lenny Leonard, Otto Mann, Rainier Wolfcastle, and Dr. Marvin Monroe.
Basically, he's a Simpsons legend, and the show going on without him is devastating news for fans.
Jean explained that Fox has no plans to "kill off" Shearer's characters. However, the team will "replace them with the most talented members of the voice over community."
As for why Shearer is leaving the show, CNN Money cites issues involving his freedom to do work outside of The Simpsons, something he says he's been afforded since the show started in 1989.
Jean said Shearer was "offered the same deal as the rest of the cast, but turned it down."
In leaving Springfield behind, Shearer is passing over a reported $14 million deal for the upcoming two seasons. This deal, according to a CNN Money source, included terms that would allow Shearer to do outside work.
The Simpsons' latest two-season renewal will bring the total number of episodes to 625. The show is already the longest-running scripted program in TV history.
The franchise lives on in gaming through EA's free-to-play mobile game The Simpsons: Tapped Out. What's more The Simpsons playsets are rumored for upcoming toys-to-life game LEGO Dimensions.
As pointed out by EW, a Season 10 episode of The Simpsons sort of predicted Shearer's departure. Watch the clip below.
Fox has kicked off a marketing campaign encouraging people to watch one episode per day up until the premiere of the new series, which is 201 days away. The short video below about this is capped off with a brief glimpse of the new series at about the 32-second mark. It lasts all of two or three seconds, but when you're a fanatic of a franchise that hasn't been seen for 13 years (save for one mediocre movie), you'll take what you can get.
What we see is pretty standard fare for The X-Files: Mulder and Scully enter a dark, creepy-looking room with guns and flashlights drawn as they scan the room. It's perhaps not a coincidence that it resembles a scene from the early episode "Squeeze," which would go on to be included in the show's opening title sequence for eight of its nine-year run.
The new six-episode season of the show--being referred to as an event series--is set to premiere on January 24, 2016. It will feature returning stars David Duchovny (Mulder) and Gillian Anderson (Scully), as well as series regulars like Mitch Pileggi (Walter Skinner) and William B. Davis (The Smoking Man).
In a PlayStation Blog post today, Rocket League developer Psyonix revealed that the first paid DLC pack is nearly complete and is due out before the end of the month. It will consist of two new cars "and several more surprises," the specifics of which weren't hinted at.
Also coming before the end of July is the first DLC map, which is said to be inspired by the Utopia map from Rocket League's predecessor, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars. Whereas the new cars are expected to be a mostly cosmetic change, a new map has the potential to fragment the online community if only some players have access to it. Fortunately, it will be released for free, as will all future maps.
There's no other word on what else we'll be seeing, but it sounds as if the company will be talking more about new maps before long. But Psyonix did tease that there is a lot more to come.
"We have BIG plans for Rocket League and our players, which is why you can expect to see plenty more from us over the next several weeks, months, and hopefully, even years," community and marketing director Jeremy Dunham wrote.
Rocket League offers cross-platform multiplayer between the PC and PS4 versions. The two games are identical, though the PS4 version features an exclusive car in Twisted Metal's Sweet Tooth. It's available today for $20 or, as noted above, is among the lineup of free games for PlayStation Plus subscribers in July.
Coming in 2018, this movie centers around the younger years of legendary smuggler Han Solo. According to the Star Wars website, "The story focuses on how young Han Solo became the smuggler, thief, and scoundrel whom Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi first encountered in the cantina at Mos Eisley."
Miller and Lord are aiming to stay faithful to the essence of Solo's character and the greater Star Wars universe. However, they are also attempting to make something new and interesting within that universe. In a statement posted on the website, the duo wrote, "We promise to take risks, to give the audience a fresh experience, and we pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters who mean so much to us. This is a dream come true for us."
The movie is slated for May 25, 2018. Its script is being co-written by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan. Lawrence Kasdan is known for writing The Empire Strikes Back, The Return of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens.
The Han Solo anthology film is untitled at the moment. Since it tells the Han Solo origin story, it'll probably have a different actor than Harrison Ford, who is already confirmed to be in The Force Awakens. This film is the second of four standalone Star Wars films coming in the next few years; the first, Rogue One, comes out on December 16, 2016. In addition, the next film in the main series, Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, will be out on December 18 this year.
Unfortunately for fans hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the new Star Wars films soon, parent company Disney will not be showing anything of The Force Awakens at Comic-Con this week. But keep an eye on GameSpot for more news about Star Wars as it becomes available.
Included in the bundle is software like RPG Maker VX and Spriter Pro (the full list follows below). There are also some actual games in various tiers of the bundle, but the focus is clearly on helping you to become a game-maker. Like in the recent Borderlands bundle, part of what you get here are coupons for discounts on certain software and expansions.
As with all Humble Bundles, you can get some of this bundle's contents by paying anything you want. Beating the average sale price (currently $9.45) gets you more, while paying at least $12 gets you everything on offer. Humble Bundle says that the total value of the included software is an astounding $1,985.
You're free to split your money between the developers, Humble itself, charity groups, and--in a new move--a fund that will be awarded to the winner of an upcoming game-making contest that anyone can enter.
The Humble Game Making Bundle runs for the next two weeks. Halfway through, on July 14, additional titles will be added to the bundle; those who buy the bundle before then will be entitled to all of these, provided they beat the average sale price at the time of purchase.
The full list of everything included as of this writing:
Pay any price:
Pay more than the average:
Pay $12 or more:
You read that right. Streamer LobosJR is utilizing a simple mod to flip the screen, which effectively flips controls, as well. He's gotten through a significant portion of the game, beating several bosses who give most players a lot of trouble when the screen is normal.
It's impressive to get through Dark Souls at all, and LobosJR seems well on his way to beating the game with this modification. At least for me, it's hard enough just to watch the upside-down gameplay, as my mind struggles to make sense of what I'm seeing.
Of course, this is just LobosJR's next step in a series of novel ways of playing Dark Souls. He gained popularity when he played through the game blindfolded.
What's the most interesting way you've played through a game? Let us know in the comments.
Just like in its mobile predecessor, the notoriously difficult Impossible Road, Super Impossible Road has you racing down descending, twisting paths that are extremely narrow. In order to win, you need to do what might be considered cheating in other games by skipping sections of the track.
As detailed in a PlayStation Blog post, though, there are rules to how this works; you can't simply drop down to the end of a track. After leaving the ground, you have five seconds to touch down again. As this time elapses, the screen begins to go white, and you'll respawn if you don't make contact with the track again before time is up. Also of note is the absence of rubber-banding--the system seen in certain racing games (often Mario Kart) where players trailing behind are given an invisible boost.
The trailer above gives a taste of how the game works and shows off the game's four-player split-screen mode. Details regarding online multiplayer are not confirmed at this point, but there is a single-player component if you aren't able to gather friends around the same TV to play. Levels are procedurally generated, and developer Wonderful Lasers says it features a 1080p resolution and 60 frames-per-second framerate.
A release date and price were not announced; the official website only says it's "coming soon" to PS4.
The 2009 PopCap game can now be downloaded free of charge through Origin. It's the 2009 follow-up to the original Zuma, one of PopCap's earliest successes. This is the full version of the game and is yours to keep forever, as with past On the House games
Being a casual game from six years ago, its system requirements are not especially high--odds are if you have a computer from this century, you'll be able to play.
Zuma's Revenge takes the place of Ultima VIII: Pagan, which itself followed games like Syndicate (the original) and Dragon Age: Origins. You can download it here.
Guitar Hero fans may be happy to learn that a new version of Star Power is coming to Guitar Hero Live, Activision's music game due out this fall for consoles. The new modifiers are called "Hero Powers," and it appears they work in very much the same way as Star Power from past games in the franchise.
Hero Powers, which will only be available in Guitar Hero Live's new, online-focused Guitar Hero TV mode, can be activated when you're playing alone or in multiplayer. To activate them, all you need to do is tilt the guitar or hit the "Hero Power" button on the new guitar controller.
This should feel familiar to veterans, as it worked in much the same way for past games.
Throughout the course of gameplay, you'll earn in-game currency that you can spend to purchase Hero Powers. Before you load up a new song in GHTV, you can choose which special modifier you want to use. You can then activate the special power at any time during the song, though it only lasts for a certain period of time.
Activision did not say if it will also allow users to buy Guitar Hero Live's in-game currency for real-world money. We've followed up with the company to find out.
There are seven Hero Powers in Guitar Hero Live; you can see them below, with descriptions courtesy of Activision. For a closer look at the Hero Powers, take a look at the gallery at the bottom of this post.
Guitar Hero Live launches October 20 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Wii U. That's two weeks after Harmonix's Rock Band 4 comes to consoles on October 6.
The new RPG was announced early last month, but was accompanied only by a CG trailer and a small screenshot that resembled a Diablo-style action game. Based on today's new gameplay video, that appears to be a somewhat fair comparison. While the details are still sparse, it does look to be an isometric action game where you'll be able to outfit your character with a variety of weapons (including blasters and melee weapons) and items.
Despite being an iOS and Android game, Uprising offers real-time cooperative play for what appears to be up to at least three players.
Uprising "introduce[s] a new chapter of the Star Wars universe that will illuminate dramatic events in the Anoat Sector, inclusive of Hoth and Cloud City, following the Battle of Endor and the death of the Emperor." It's in the works at Kabam, a mobile studio also responsible for games based on franchises like The Hobbit and The Godfather.
A specific release date for Uprising has still not been announced; we only know it's coming in September. You can pre-register to play on the official website, which will entitle you to in-game rewards like a Stormtrooper helmet upon release.
Meanwhile, other new Star Wars games are also on the way, including a 1313-esque project from Visceral and DICE's Star Wars Battlefront.
Protagonist Elena Elkhorn isn't above admiring the opulence of the Willows Estate, the game's setting. She is not a classic heroine, pre-destined for great things or exuding a profound sense of self. She simply wants to find her missing father, who is employed as a caretaker on the estate. Clearly an adolescent with a good heart, Elena's amiable interactions with many of the local spirits please her immensely, especially since they're helpful companions on this dark and grim journey. Like some of the ghosts in The Sixth Sense, Elena's spectral aides are in desperate need of closure. And yes, some of them don't know that they're dead. Every soul Elena successfully assists gives her immense solace. Yet as each ghost departs its state of purgatory, she suffers the loss of each brief friendship. As a teenager with metaphysical powers and few friends, Elena is relatable to Maxine Caulfield from Life is Strange.It wouldn’t be a proper horror game without catacombs.
Elena alters herself into an apparition with the aid of a spiritually loaded tear-shaped amulet. The practicality of this transformation is akin to Dracula turning into a rat who can travel through ventilation ducts in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. A vent in Whispering Willows almost always leads to a key item or a switch that only the ghostly version of Elena can access. As she is a protagonist of Native American descent, this ability adds mild depth to the narrative and gameplay. It's her means of speaking to the estate's ghosts who remain in limbo and an opportunity for her to learn about the nation who first settled on the land, the Kwantako tribe.
Whispering Willows' adherence to the basic adventure game blueprint is so faithful that it lacks any sense of ingenuity. Tasks almost always involve finding a proverbial or literal key to open a proverbial or literal door. In Whispering Willows, it's a knife to cut vines or a love letter to appease a ghost. The estate boasts a greenhouse, an observatory, a garden maze, and a mansion, but many of these locales are initially inaccessible. There are almost always multiple paths to choose from, but figuring out the mainline route takes little to no time. Anyone who's explored a dungeon understands the deduction game of first picking the path that will lead to a dead end. In classic mansion game design, bathrooms are almost always dead ends and corridors with stairs and ladders are often the mainline path. Puzzles are seldom cryptic and clues to solve those riddles are often just a few paces away. There's never any ambiguity and you're never in a situation where you have to think obtusely like in so many similar adventure games. Whispering Willows serves as a reminder that not all adventures need to tease the brain.Lethal spiders are easier to avoid when you’re a ghost.
This makes for a predictable and predominantly linear playthrough, but it's seldom boring in Whispering Willows. Between the artifacts and notes that litter the estate, Elena learns about the land of her Native American ancestors and the settlers from the east who spilled blood in order to take over the territory. These documents are filled with pangs of regret from the carelessness of ambition, the trauma from killing under orders, and the varied emotions of maintaining a secret affair. These notes are no different from the optional collectibles found in other games, but given the limited exposition in Whispering Willows, they become all the more poignant. It's also probably that you will find all the notes on your first playthrough, making a return adventure all the less likely.
Whispering Willows makes a positive case for the sparseness of scares. There are very few hostiles in and around the mansion, which heightens the impact of their sudden appearances. The mere sight of a demon head relief sculpture can raise the suspicion that a real demon is nearby. It's a nod to The Exorcist in the same way that a scene in a well echoes The Ring. Terrors can come from the ceiling or the walls; they're not approaching you continuously like Medusa heads from Castlevania. These few scares effectively break up the sense of routine as you item hunt and explore the Willows estate. Last, there's a handful of disturbing images that can only be seen when Elena turns into a ghost. One haunting example is a portrait where the unsuspecting subject is surrounded by demonic hands. It stands out because none of the other paintings in the estate changes when switching to the spectral plane.
Like some of the ghosts in The Sixth Sense, Elena's spectral aides are in desperate need of closure.
It is a minor miracle that Whispering Willows can induce the occasional bout of goosebumps. The crudely drawn cutscenes that frame the story leave a disconcerting first impression. At least this low-budget introduction is brief, transitioning to gameplay where the hand-drawn animation of Elena is well-conceived. The background art is even more effective, capturing the weathered nature of the wallpaper and antique furniture, which are accentuated by the dim lighting. This makes for a persistently spooky playthrough.
Whispering Willows' reliance on the classic "Don't go in the barn" horror trope--the same premise of Alien: Isolation--speaks to the game's pervasive simplicity. For a game with few challenges, appreciating Whispering Willows means embracing the role of a tourist exploring this storied manor. While there are shades of Gone Home, the items in Whispering Willows aren't as loaded with meaning. Objects primarily serve as keys, figurative or otherwise, to the game's many barriers. Its history is more literal, found in the revealing notes left by the ghosts and Elena's own heartfelt diary. If you were to treat this as part of a weekend meal of horror games in old houses, Whispering Willows would be the amuse-bouche, White Night would be the appetizer, and Fatal Frame the entrée. That would make Luigi's Mansion the dessert.