Dragalia Lost event ends with a dragon living her dream as a J-pop idol

The summer event in Nintendo and CyGames’ mobile game Dragalia Lost has come to a close, and the companies dropped a performance video of the event’s main character, Siren, performing songs as an idol.

The two-part event told the story of Siren, a dragon whose voice was rumored to sink ships, and her desire to perform and sing to people. Throughout the stories, Siren conquers the stigmas against her and becomes an idol who can perform. To celebrate, an adorable video showed her singing, to the praise of the adventurers she met along her journey.

The three songs she sings, titled “Singing in the Rain,” “Polaris,” and “Across the World,” are original songs by producer Taku Inoue, who’s known for his work in the Tekken series, but also the Idolmaster franchise. The video released is reminiscent of the CG-style used in the Idolmaster games, which is no surprise, as CyGames also helps develop Idolmaster: Cinderella Girls Starlight Stage.

This isn’t Dragalia Lost’s first dip into music. Another character, Lucretia, had a song as well, though this is the first time a character had a pop song by a producer as prolific as Inoue. Japanese pop-star Daoko also has singles featured in the game as boss battle and menu music.

Source: Polygon.com

House of X, Powers of X, and X-Men comics reviews and spoilers

artwork of X-Men Cyclops, Jean Grey, Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine

Everything you need to know about the new comics from Jonathan Hickman

Contributors:

The world of the X-Men is changing forever with Jonathan Hickman’s twin miniseries’ House of X and Powers of X. House of X is kicking off Professor Xavier’s new plan for all mutantkind, and Powers of X writing a brand new “past, present and future of mutantkind.”

Nothing is set in stone for Marvel Comics’ most uncanny heroes, with a major new status quo and some enormous character reveals. For all latest news, reviews and spoilers from the House of X and Powers of X comics, follow our story stream below.

Source: Polygon.com

Joan Lee, daughter of Stan Lee, weighs in on Sony/Disney split

Joan C “JC” Lee, daughter of the late Stan Lee, says Marvel and Disney lack “genuine respect for Stan Lee and his legacy,” according to TMZ.

Lee’s comments arrive in reaction to the recently reported spat between Walt Disney Studios and Sony Pictures, over Marvel Studios’ right to use Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Sony’s right to produce Spider-Man films with Marvel Cinematic Universe characters.

“Marvel and Disney seeking total control of my father’s creations must be checked and balanced by others who, while still seeking to profit, have genuine respect for Stan Lee and his legacy,” she told TMZ.

“Whether it’s Sony or someone else’s, the continued evolution of Stan’s characters and his legacy deserves multiple points of view,” she continued.

Spider-Man is a co-creation of Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko.

Perhaps most shockingly, Lee also told TMZ that she did not receive condolences from Disney after her father’s death in 2018.

“When my father died, no one from Marvel or Disney reached out to me. From day one, they have commoditized my father’s work and never shown him or his legacy any respect or decency. […] In the end, no one could have treated my father worse than Marvel and Disney’s executives.”

Stan Lee made cameo appearances in 23 films in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, some during a period in which his affairs were managed by Keya Morgan, who now faces charges of elder abuse in the state of California for his treatment of Lee.

Following his death, many of the folks behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe spoke publicly about the debt they owe to Lee’s work, including Marvel Studios producer Kevin Feige and Disney CEO Bob Iger. The film studio has also made multiple visual and textual tributes to Lee following his death in MCU theatrical releases.

Source: Polygon.com

Sony, Disney, and the Spider-Man dispute

Despite having appeared in some of the most recent Marvel Cinematic Universe titles, Sony and Disney’s dispute over producer credits and character licenses is expected leave Spider-Man out of the upcoming Marvel Studios films. Despite Spider-Man: Far From Home and Avengers: Endgame being huge box-office champions for both parties, the future looks grim.

According to Deadline, the dispute is over money. A lot of money.

“Disney asked that future Spider-Man films be a 50/50 co-financing arrangement between the studios, and there were discussions that this might extend to other films in the Spider-Man universe. Sony turned that offer down flat […] Sony proposed keeping the arrangement going under the current terms where Marvel receives in the range of 5% of first dollar gross, sources said. Disney refused.”

For the latest information about the deal, the studio’s comments, Spider-Man’s future slate of films, and how all of this affects the Marvel Cinematic Universe, stay up to date with our story stream below.

Source: Polygon.com

NFL player with one hand can make a spectacular one-handed catch in Madden 20

Shaquem Griffin doesn’t have a left hand. He was born with a condition that prevented it from developing fully, and his parents later had it amputated. That hasn’t stopped him from playing in the NFL, where he is a second-year linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks. And it also doesn’t stop him from making one-handed catches. With his left arm. In Madden NFL 20.

As spied by Twitter user Black Adam Schefter (great handle, by the way), here is Griffin dropping back into pass coverage and spearing an Eli Manning lob with his left arm. Griffin’s player model is a fully accurate representation of his real-life arm, but it appears that — for physics purposes, anyway — no exceptions could be made for him in the video game.

I’m OK with this! Griffin’s story, after all, is that he performs at the highest level of linebackerdom regardless of his condition — enough so that I have him on my Ultimate Team and haven’t even noticed his left arm. Here’s what Griffin, a right outside linebacker who is third on Seattle’s depth chart, looks like in the roster menu.

screenshot of Seattle Seahawk Shaquem Griffin in the roster editing menu of Madden NFL 20
Shaquem Griffin in Madden NFL 20
Screenshot via EA Sports

But this does point out how bonkers, if not routine, one-handed catches have become in Madden since Odell Beckham Jr. graced the cover of Madden NFL 16 four years ago. You don’t even have to take control of a receiver or defender and hit triangle/Y (“aggressive catch”) to see them; AI players pull off one-handers with regularity, enough that the commentary team of Charles Davis and Brandon Gaudin will gently mock the trend.

It follows, though, that EA Sports didn’t or couldn’t develop special code for Griffin, beyond just adjusting his CTH rating. This isn’t like, for example, Pat Venditte in MLB The Show 16, where his switch pitching was an entirely new skill that the developers had to accommodate. EA Tiburon probably just masked an altered left arm over his model — because it’d be really disrespectful to give him two full arms — and then left his playing ability the same as that of any other 69-rated ROLB.

Madden NFL 20 is now available on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.

Source: Polygon.com

Delightfully obtuse puzzle-platformer Fez is free at the Epic Games Store

The latest free game at the Epic Games Store is Fez, the beloved puzzle-platformer. It will be available for free at the storefront from Aug. 22 through Aug. 29.

In Fez, a magical hat (a fez, of course) allows the main character Gomez to manipulate his 2D environment, revealing it to be one side of a 3D universe. To save his world, Gomez must twist and turn his very reality. Like the 8-bit games it’s inspired by, Fez neither holds your hand through the mechanics nor punishes you with excessive or unfair deaths. Rather, it’s full of those aha moments that make puzzle games so satisfying.

Six years after its release, Fez is still one of the best spiritual successors to the NES era, since, as we wrote in our initial review, “It doesn’t just love the games it borrows from — it understands them.”

Fez is available to download for free at the Epic Games Store now, on both Mac and Windows PC. It will be replaced on Aug. 29 by Inside, developer Playdead’s follow-up to previous free game Limbo, and my own favorite game of 2018, Celeste.

Source: Polygon.com

One Punch Man fighting game hilariously solves the problem of its overpowered star

One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is a new fighting game from Bandai Namco based on the popular anime and manga series One Punch Man. In the series, a bald-headed dummy named Saitama possesses a god-like power that allows him to defeat any enemy, regardless of their power, with one punch. It doesn’t matter how big the stakes seem, Saitama can effortlessly beat every single enemy. Hence the title: One Punch Man. The announcement of the game left fans of the show asking one important question: will Saitama still beat enemies with one punch in the game like he can in the show? The answer, is yes, and it is hilarious.

A game trailer released at Gamescom 2019 teases a brief montage showing Saitama killing a variety of enemies with one punch. Even when the opponent manages to pummel Saitama, he doesn’t take a single point of damage. He’s unbeatable.

At first it seems a little puzzling that game makers would add a playable character that is, quite literally, over powered — but they did find a way around it. Although the developers preserve Saitama’s god-like power in the game, players won’t always be able to play as him. In the game, Saitama is late to every fight. So the player will have to survive the fight as a weaker character until Saitama arrives on the scene and saves the day.

A video posted on Twitter shows Saitama’s power and members of the fighting game community have already started making jokes about it.

It didn’t take long for people to make fun of the Smash community, which has a particular tendency to categorize and sometimes ban characters competitive players consider to be unfair or overpowered.

A Hero meme references current concerns in the Smash community that the new Hero fighter is too strong.

We expect to see a lot of Saitama mains at EVO.

There is no current release date for One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows, but it is planned for release on PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One.

Source: Polygon.com

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s free DLC is the perfect excuse to return to an epic game

I’m 90 hours into Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and at some point a whole lot of new quests were added to my log. These quests are called the Lost Tales of Greece and, to be clear, I didn’t put them there.

The quests are free DLC that have been released over the course of Odyssey’s first year. I was vexed when I saw them. I take joy in checking things off my to-do list, and I was trying to mainline the narrative. But, instead, I could only scream as my quest log ballooned with a flood of new content.

And the Lost Tales don’t further the plot of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. They’re billed as self-contained stories; many of them involve revisiting well-trodden locations. Was this … fluff? In my hundred and sixty-five hour RPG? Who has time for that?

But I’m here to eat my words, gentle friends. I’m finally tapping into these extracurricular quests — did you know there’s a trophy for completing each one? — and they’re baller. They contain some of the best writing in the game, and they’re an effective showcase of many of the things that make Assassin’s Creed Odyssey so magical.

If you haven’t played these quests yet, for the love of everything, please fix that. Until then, let me explain what makes them so good.

Lost Tales expands on Odyssey’s themes

I started with “A Brother’s Seduction,” after being tempted by the saucy title. This story kicks off with Kassandra rescuing a man from bandits. Easy! I thought. I’ll take that trophy now!

Not so! After bringing Lykinos back home, I met his brother Timotheos (I probably should have seen this one coming). The standard “rescue an NPC” mission became an engrossing family drama — with a healthy side of romance. Lykinos and Timotheos’ father had recently died, and the brothers grappled with how to mourn him. Plus, why did these bandits keep causing trouble? The gentle poet Lykinos and the hard-edged Timotheos vied for my affection as I teased out the full, riveting story.

Family is what Assassin’s Creed has always done best. Each entry in the series is at least a little bit about family, simply because Assassin traits are inherited. But some games address the theme more directly. Assassin’s Creed 2 and its sequels see Ezio becoming the head of his family while grappling with his legacy. Twin siblings Jacob and Evie take out their sibling rivalry (and their fraught relationship with their dead father) on the entire city of London in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. (And we also keep getting some good music out of the family theme.)

Barnabas stands on the deck of his ship and asks for help Ubisoft via Polygon

Odyssey is no exception to this tradition: Kassandra or Alexios’ journey is all about fixing their broken family. The Lost Tales also deal with family matters, just on a smaller scale.

One of the absolute stand-out Tales is “A Friend Worth Dying For,” a quest from Kassandra’s devout captain Barnabas. He’s had a prophetic dream about his missing wife, long presumed dead. He sees her in several dangerous situations, and begs Kassandra to go after her.

“She’s alive!” he insists. “We just have to find her!”

If Kassandra accepts, she can either do so while indulging Barnabas’s beliefs (“Your wife was definitely drinking wine with a witch!”) or while scorning them. I chose not to burst the guy’s bubble. l’m fond of Barnabas, and I like to be liked. When he asks if the spices I find in a cave were used by his wife to help a cyclops grow a second eye (don’t ask), Kassandra can choose to agree: Of course they are magic spices!

“Most would have called me crazed, but not you! You truly are my best friend,” Barnabas told me. He knows how to make a gal feel good about her decisions.

This storyline fleshes out Barnabas’ relationship with Kassandra, as well as his own backstory. It also toys with one of my favorite elements of Odyssey: the porous border between myth and reality.

Barnabas is religious, and he fully believes in gods and monsters. Odyssey itself usually presents faith as a gray area. This world is certainly more magical than previous games in the series, but explanations are often offered for the miracles that Barnabas sees in the world.

Quests like “A Friend Worth Dying For” play both sides of this argument in a way that’s deeply pleasurable. The gods’ existence is explored, even if it’s not confirmed. In ancient Greece, when so much of the world is a great question mark, why shouldn’t the gods feel a little bit closer to reality?

Meaningful dialog

In “A Poet’s Legacy” I’m reunited with my old flame, Alcibiades. He’s the Athenian general whose every word drips with innuendo. Alcibiades is at a poetry festival which he swears gets real horny every year. He wants me to help his shy poet friend Orchimedes deliver flowers to the legendary poet Praxilla, and woo her on his behalf.

Two characters from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey look at each other through the corners of their eyes Ubisoft

Again, this simple premise gets twisted into an engrossing story of family and betrayal (and as always, bandits!). The most pleasant surprise for me was the friendship that developed between Kassandra and Praxilla — and the acidic back-and-forth between Praxilla and the woman who repairs her lyre, who may also be Praxilla’s lover. We may never know. (She’s totally her lover.)

Like much of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, “A Poet’s Legacy” is elevated by playing as Kassandra. It’s one of the few games I’ve played in which there are so many charged, thematically heavy conversations between women. Kassandra has devoted her life to fixing the family her father broke, while Praxilla left her husband and children to pursue poetry.

Both perspectives are treated with respect, and the lives of these two characters provide a rich vein of good conversation, about topics that are rare in this sort of blockbuster epic.

From one Eagle-Bearer to another…

I have to give a final shout-out “One Really, Really Bad Day.” This story brings Kassandra to a village in need of a misthios! Only… there’s already been a misthios here. And he really fucked everything up. He also claims to be the Eagle-Bearer, which is Kassandra’s title.

Kassandra vows to clean up the mess, and, true to the quest’s name, everything goes horribly wrong. The story is funny, unexpected, and totally bananas in the best way.

Although the Lost Tales of Greece are free post-game DLC, none of the missions feel like an afterthought. Each one offers a different perspective on Odyssey’s world or characters, and they showcase top-tier writing and design, without taking themselves too seriously.

If you haven’t popped into Odyssey in a while, or you ignored these quests in your log, it’s worth your time to go back and see what they have to offer. The game was already huge, but these smaller chunks of story and character only make the package more attractive and complete. I thought they were surprise homework, but they turned out to be an unexpected treat.

Source: Polygon.com

New Nintendo Switch technical analysis backs up better battery life claim

Nintendo’s revision of the Switch delivers “tremendous” power savings and even small performance gains, according to Digital Foundry’s analysis of the new hardware.

Though Nintendo is barely marketing it as a model revision, focusing more on the upcoming Nintendo Switch Lite, the improvements are big enough to make it preferable to the 2017 console’s original configurations, Digital Foundry says. Battery life is almost doubled, to five hours at 50 percent screen brightness and four hours, 18 minutes at full brightness, over the launch unit. That aligns with estimates Nintendo gave when it announced the Switch revision in July.

This, according to Digital Foundry’s analysis, is because the updated Tegra X1 processor consumes significantly less power. It’s more than adequate compared to the OG Switch, whose chip was manufactured with a “stepping stone” process used mainly by mobile devices and not consoles.

As for performance, though Nintendo is not promising any processing gains over the existing model, Digital Foundry still found some slight improvements which it attributes to a new memory configuration. Tests on Mortal Kombat 11 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild showed occasional framerate gains, even if Nintendo isn’t using the faster GPU clocks Nvidia advertises for the new Tegra X1.

Last week, Nintendo began offering exchanges for old Switch models purchased after July 17, 2019. Polygon confirmed these exchanges with Nintendo customer service representatives, though the offer only applies to the US and Canada. The new version is in stores now for $299.99. Buyers should be looking for models with the number HAC-001(-01). We drew up a guide to help you make sure you’re getting the newest one, whether shopping online or in a store.

Source: Polygon.com

Adam Driver continues his ascension to Acting Deity in The Report trailer

In the year 2019, Adam Driver stood atop the mountain and we bowed down.

In the months before what might be Kylo Ren’s final act in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the man behind the mask is set to have a hell of a year. He’s already appeared in the dead-panniest zombie movie of all time, Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die, and headlined Terry Gilliam’s long-awaited The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which approximately three people saw (including us).

Now he’s gearing up for Oscar season. Earlier this week we got a glimpse of Marriage Story, his latest collaboration with While We’re Young writer-director Noah Baumbach. Co-starring Scarlett Johansson, the Netflix original is a frank story of love and divorce that looks absolutely heartbreaking and — well, I’m not crying, you’re crying.

On Nov. 15, we get The Report, which should find Driver delivering the exact opposite of his tender Marriage Story performance. In the film, the renaissance man plays Daniel J. Jones, a Senate staffer tasked by Dianne Feinstein (Annette Bening) to lead an investigation of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, which was established in reaction to 9/11. Based on the trailer, you get a taste of what writer-director Scott Z. Burns (Contagion) delivers: a taut drama that gifts Driver a handful of rage-filled monologues.

Here’s what I wrote about The Report after being blown back in my chair at the Sundance Film Festival, where the film premiered.

Though the film’s early, bricklaying moments are dangerously dry, The Report reaches the stratosphere of All the President’s Men and Spotlight with Driver’s help. When facts roar out of the actor’s mouth, the investigation intensifies into damnation. It’s riveting, shocking, and downright cathartic.

(Hey, that’s pretty coherent for being written around 1 a.m. during a film festival!)

Amazon acquired The Report out of Sundance for a big chunk of money. Burns’ ripped-from-the-headlines thriller is the streaming giant’s play at Oscars this season, and there’s plenty of reason to think Driver could go the distance in the role. He’s the real deal, and whether he snags the Best Actor award or not isn’t our concern. Whatever happens, at least we get to watch him and bask in this vigorous performance.

The Report will hit theaters on Nov. 15th, then quickly follow on Amazon Prime Video on Nov. 29th so you can watch it in the wake of Thanksgiving. Political fun for the whole family!

Source: Polygon.com