Pokémon: Secrets of the Jungle finally offers a clue about what’s up with Ash’s dad

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Pokémon: Secrets of the Jungle finally offers a clue about what’s up with Ash’s dad

The new Pokémon movie, Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle, came Stateside via Netflix on Oct. 8. While it has plenty of the fixings for a cute family flick, like Pikachu making funny faces, and it fulfills longtime fans’ curiosity with some powerful legendary Pokémon, the movie deviates from the traditional Pokémon formula in one way. It sheds light on a long-running question in the Pokémon television show and movies: Whatever happened with Ash’s absent dad?

Secrets of the Jungle is a Tarzan-meets-Pokémon mashup. It introduces Koko, a young boy the same age as longtime Pokémon protagonist Ash. Koko was raised in the jungle by an ape Pokémon, Zarude. A lot of the movie centers on exploring themes around what it means to be a family. When Koko learns he’s human, and that his Pokémon dad is not his biological dad, he gets upset, but Ash comforts him by telling him that Koko and his adoptive father remind him of his own dad.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection’s latest update fixes Halo 2’s graphics

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection’s latest update fixes Halo 2’s graphics

Halo: The Master Chief Collection’s eighth and final season just hit the game on Wednesday, adding maps and cosmetics for players ahead of Halo Infinite’s launch on Dec. 8. But the update also includes some big changes to Halo 2, offering graphical improvements to the 17-year-old video game.

Halo 2 had some issues in the The Master Chief Collection. Specifically, it took some of the major graphical flaws from the Windows Vista version of the game and ported them into 343 Industries’ historical Halo package. Generalkidd, a Halo YouTuber, broke down some of the biggest changes in a new video.

Disgraced Raiders head coach getting kicked out of Madden, too

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Disgraced Raiders head coach getting kicked out of Madden, too

NFL players who get kicked off their teams for bad acts are taken out of the Madden NFL video game somewhat routinely. The game maintains an official roster for ranked competition, and it reflects who is active and who isn’t in the real world. But in what appears to be a first, EA Sports is yanking a coach off its virtual sideline.

That would be the disgraced Jon Gruden, ex-head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, who resigned on Monday after a lengthy history of racist, sexist, homophobic, and otherwise ugly emails came to light. The emails were part of a league investigation into the Washington Football Team’s own toxic workplace; some were included in court filings in an unrelated lawsuit.

Call of Duty: Vanguard’s Zombies mode gets a creepy reveal trailer

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Call of Duty: Vanguard’s Zombies mode gets a creepy reveal trailer

Zombies are back with this year’s Call of Duty: Vanguard. Activision, Sledgehammer Games, and Treyarch launched a trailer for the mode Thursday morning, offering players their first look at some old-school zombie-slaying action. While Sledgehammer is developing the majority of Call of Duty: Vanguard, the Zombies mode will be a Treyarch joint — the studio behind the original undead experience, dating all the way back to 2008’s Call of Duty: World at War.

With a return to the World War II setting, it looks like we’re going to get some more occult action in Vanguard’s Zombies. The trailer shows a Nazi captain using a special relic to gain new knowledge and the ability to raise the dead. We see players using WWII-era weapons, jumping into portals, activating crystal swords, placing rings of fire on the ground, and listening to Billie Eilish.

Battlefield 2042’s third big game mode, Hazard Zone, revealed

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Battlefield 2042’s third big game mode, Hazard Zone, revealed

Battlefield 2042’s third major gameplay mode, following the traditional All-Out Warfare and era-blending Battlefield Portal modes, will send players into tense, team-based missions against other teams, and hopefully they’ll make it out alive. The new mode is called Hazard Zone, and the objective here, developer DICE revealed on Thursday, is not to kill your enemies; it’s to grab data drives from downed satellites and exit the battlefield before someone else — or something else, like a tornado — kills you.

Hazard Zone, DICE has repeatedly stressed since Battlefield 2042’s original announcement, is not a battle royale. It features a smaller player count than Battlefield 2042’s core multiplayer mode, with just 32 players spread across eight teams on PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X. (Last-gen consoles will support a maximum of 24 players in Hazard Zone.) And the goal is not to be the last player or team standing; in fact, you can “win” a game of Hazard Zone before a match even finishes for most players.

Live-action System Shock series is in development

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Live-action System Shock series is in development

The games-centric entertainment streaming platform Binge has added a live-action System Shock series to its programming docket, according to Deadline.

Retro games publisher Nightdive Studios currently owns the rights to System Shock, and the live-action project will be executive produced by Nightdive executives Stephen Kick and Larry Kuperman. Binge’s Chief Content Officer, Allan Ungar, will be producer on the project.

Hot Wheels Unleashed’s studio dreams big with a tiny toy idea

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Hot Wheels Unleashed’s studio dreams big with a tiny toy idea

As a video games developer, Milestone is known for its motorsports simulations. Demanding motorsports sims, like the MotoGP and Ride series for racing bikes, and the WRC license back in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 days.

That doesn’t mean making an arcade racer like Hot Wheels Unleashed was a vacation, or a lighthearted team-building exercise. Michele Caletti, the studio’s executive producer, saw the game as a vital opportunity to grow the 27-year-old studio’s business, in ways that sticking to the ultra-sim motorsports format simply couldn’t satisfy.

F1 2021 free update adds Imola course, one more to go

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F1 2021 free update adds Imola course, one more to go

F1 2021 on Wednesday added the second of three free race courses coming post-launch to Codemasters’ motorsports sim. Imola — official name Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari — is now available in all modes of play.

Imola hosted the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on April 18, the second round of this year’s Formula 1 World Championship. It and Portugal’s Portimão Circuit were last-minute additions to F1’s COVID-altered 2020 and 2021 schedules, forcing Codemasters to hustle up efforts to build and add them to the game, along with Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Street Circuit, which will be added to the game in November.

Ubisoft delays new Ghost Recon battle royale game after community backlash

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Ubisoft delays new Ghost Recon battle royale game after community backlash

Ubisoft has delayed the first test of its latest Ghost Recon game. Just a few weeks after its reveal, the closed technical test for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Frontline has been delayed indefinitely, Ubisoft announced on Wednesday.

Ubisoft’s announcement of the delay was extremely vague, offering no reason other than that a delay was the best choice and that the “development team is dedicated to creating the best experience possible.”

Here’s how Cookie Run: Kingdom became the latest dessert sensation

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Here’s how Cookie Run: Kingdom became the latest dessert sensation

The first time I saw my tiny gingerbread cookie run for its life, with its even tinier legs, the image stuck in my brain. I couldn’t stop thinking about Cookie: Run Kingdom. Created by Devsisters, the mobile game has become a runaway hit — at the moment it is the number one game in the Apple App store’s RPG section, and it also has a thriving community of fan artists. A spin-off from the larger Cookie Run franchise, the latest iteration of the series combines classic town-building gameplay with a platformer that has real-time combat elements.

If it sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. There is actually a lot to do in this not-so-tiny, free-to-play gacha game for mobile. Players design and build a town and play through levels, gathering rewards that can be spent to roll and try a player’s luck at unlocking new characters. Released in January 2021, the game has built a massive audience, and even features classic Sega characters like Sonic and Tails in the game.