Tag Archives: game news

Resident Evil 2 is everything a video game remake should be

Capcom hasn’t always understood what makes Resident Evil great. Maybe it has never consistently, fully grasped the thing that it has on its hands.

That’s been evident since the original Resident Evil 2, which was famously scrapped and restarted well into its development, ultimately becoming a beloved follow-up to a genre-defining game. After that 1998 PlayStation game, however, Capcom’s zombie series has wavered. Resident Evil 4 was a revelation. Its immediate successors, not so much. But the outstanding Resident Evil 7 showed that Capcom had the thoughtfulness to reflect on what made the franchise so beloved in the first place.

Capcom took Resident Evil 7’s design decisions to heart in its remake of Resident Evil 2, which has not been simply polished with slick graphics for modern consoles and computers, but has been completely remade inside and out. It’s no mean feat; the developers of the new Resident Evil 2 have carefully threaded a needle with their new version of a very old thing. Capcom has woven modern mechanics into its groundbreaking sequel, never abandoning what is truly great about the first Resident Evil 2. The result is a fresh, expensive-looking game that evokes the best memories of the PlayStation original, while also being something altogether new.

The new Resident Evil 2 begins just like its now-primitive ancestor: Rookie cop Leon Kennedy and college student Claire Redfield trek to the town of Raccoon City in search of answers. The two are united by a chance encounter but quickly separated by a terrible accident. What follows is a fight for survival as both Claire and Leon try to escape the city alive, then find themselves caught up in something much bigger.

Leon S. Kennedy fires a shotgun blast at a zombie’s head in a screenshot from the Resident Evil 2 remake. Capcom

Resident Evil 2’s main setting, a police station, should be a safe haven for its heroes. It should be stockpiled with weapons, ammunition, and survival gear, the perfect place to wait out a zombie apocalypse. But Claire and Leon arrive weeks into Raccoon City’s ordeal. The entirety of the city’s police force is either dead, zombified, or on the brink of death. Supplies have been expended. The halls run slick with blood. Corpses — it’s unclear if they’re truly dead or reanimated — lay piled around every corner. It is immediately terrifying.

The walking dead stalk me through the station — during my first playthrough as Leon — from room to room. They break through windows and doors, upending my expectations about how Resident Evil’s zombies are supposed to behave. I shoot them in the head, missing every third shot because of their unpredictable bobbleheaded movements, but they don’t stay down for long. I’m wasting ammo, constantly. I curse the zombies. I curse my aim. Leon curses too, annoyed or frightened that headshots aren’t working. Rooms I think are clear of threats are somehow inhabited by new zombies when I return to search for something I missed.

Resident Evil 2 quickly forces me to get back to behaviors I learned in 1998. Conserve ammo. Run away when I can. Hack at a zombie with a knife until I’m 100 percent sure that thing isn’t getting back up again.

Claire Redfield aims her revolver and flashlight at a pair of zombies in a screenshot from the Resident Evil 2 remake. Capcom

The game’s bizarre puzzles likewise take me back to that time. I sprint from room to room in search of a diamond-shaped key for a diamond-shaped lock. I develop rolls of film that reveal a single picture of a padlock combination. A half-eaten police officer dies with a notebook in his hand. The book contains the solution to an elaborate, station-spanning puzzle that requires three medallions culled from three marble statues — and, ludicrously, it’s my only hope of getting out of this place.

How does Resident Evil 2 justify all this? Raccoon City’s police department is actually a renovated art museum, and its architect — either a certified genius or an authentic wacko — has devised this series of convoluted puzzles that stand between me and survival. Resident Evil’s puzzles have felt natural in games where the settings were dark-and-stormy-night haunted houses, but set against the background of a municipal police station, they are absurd. I enjoy completing them immensely.

While the game’s many puzzles root Resident Evil 2 to its past, virtually everything else is gloriously modernized. Claire and Leon no longer move like tanks, but like modern video game action heroes in third-person view. The police station is beautifully, gruesomely realized. Some rooms are dark as night, lit only by the blaze of Claire’s or Leon’s flashlight. Emergency lighting reflects off the water in flooded hallways. There is trash and rot in the attics, piled-up office furniture blocking pathways, and it’s all very realistic-looking.

A wounded, dirt-caked Leon Kennedy stands in an underground facility in a screenshot from the Resident Evil 2 remake. Capcom

Claire and Leon themselves look like real human beings, slickly rendered. They become sweaty, dirty, and bloody. They shoot like regular human beings, though, with imperfect aim. On Resident Evil 2’s standard difficulty, there is no aim assistance, a very modern video game convenience that I miss terribly every time I waste precious ammo shooting wildly at zombies. In my second playthrough, as Claire, I play on “assisted” mode, which adds generous aim assistance and automatically regenerating health. Resident Evil 2 is almost too easy, but very enjoyable, on this lower difficulty setting. A “hardcore” mode is available too. It brings with it the requirement that you save the game using ink ribbons — a finite resource — at typewriters, and other punishments I can’t bring myself to endure yet. To play Resident Evil 2 requires a throbbing, constant stress, and to return to ink ribbons at this stage, without having memorized the placement of every item scattered throughout the game, is too much.

But Resident Evil 2 begs to be played multiple times over. As with the original version of the game, Capcom has created distinct scenarios for both Claire and Leon. They meet different people on their journey, battle monsters unique to them, and see the story play out in very different ways. I was pleasantly surprised at just how much had changed, and how fresh each side of Resident Evil 2’s story felt from their different perspectives. They each get a “second run” scenario too, so if you complete the game with Leon, you’ll be able to see what Claire was busying herself with during his adventure, and vice versa. Those second runs play out as more condensed horror stories, and each contains its own surprises. Each scenario was worth the time I spent with it.

Where Resident Evil 2 falters is when the game gives you control of people that aren’t Claire or Leon. A pair of interludes starring supporting characters Ada Wong and Sherry Birkin offer ostensibly new perspectives, but both are bogged down by dull, trial-and-error tasks. While both characters are essential to the plot, their playable scenarios are unfortunate speed bumps on an otherwise thrumming horror story.

Ada Wong confronts Annette in an underground facility in a screenshot from the Resident Evil 2 remake. Capcom

Outside of those interruptions, Resident Evil 2 is everything a video game remake should be. It’s faithful in tone and story to its source material, while updating a classic in meaningful ways. It’s exciting in the ways that Resident Evil used to be, when the games were driven not by explosive set-pieces, but a constant sensation of high tension.

Umbrella, the sinister corporation at the heart of the horrors in the Resident Evil games, has never exhibited total control over its creations. That’s a lesson at the heart of Resident Evil 2, in which a virus runs amok, culminating in the destruction of Umbrella’s own underground lair — where those zombie-making viruses were conceived.

Capcom, on a far less dangerous scale, has not always known how to handle its own creation. After mutating from quaint horror to buffoonish action to back again, the Resident Evil series has been wildly inconsistent. But back-to-back Resident Evil games that showcase the very best of survival horror is evidence that Capcom may have its monster under control.

Resident Evil 2 is available Jan. 25 for PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. The game was reviewed using a final “retail” Xbox One download code provided by Capcom. You can find additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.

Source: Polygon.com

All three seasons of The Expanse will be available on Amazon Prime starting Feb. 8

Season three of The Expanse will begin streaming free for Amazon Prime members starting Feb. 8, Variety reports. The announcement has been confirmed on Twitter by the program’s writers. Fans can expect season four to premiere later this year, also on Amazon Prime.

The Expanse began its life on SyFy in 2015, but was canceled in May of last year, mid-way through the run of its third season. That’s when Jeff Bezos swooped in to pick it up, transporting the entire production over to Amazon Prime.

Polygon caught up with the creators of The Expanse, Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham, who both write under the pen name S. A. Corey, at last year’s Gen Con tabletop gaming convention. They were on hand to promote the series’ new role-playing game from Green Ronin Publishing, which raised more than $400,000 on Kickstarter last August.

The pair had nothing but good things to say about working with Amazon. They claim the company has given more freedom than ever before. In fact, fans should expect some episodes to run slightly longer than they normally would have on cable.

“Some of the rules change when you go from a network to a streaming service,” Abraham told Polygon. “We’re not locked into an exact time the way that they were. If an episode runs a couple of minutes long, that’s not a deal breaker.”

Left to right: founder and president of Green Ronin Publishing Chris Pramas, authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, and lead designer Steve Kenson.
Left to right: founder and president of Green Ronin Publishing Chris Pramas, authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, and lead designer Steve Kenson.
Charlie Hall/Polygon

“We had to deliver a 42-and-a-half minute episode every week irrespective of what the story was,” Franck said. “Whereas like you’re saying with Amazon, if we deliver a 50 minute episode, Amazon’s like ‘Great!’ […] And we don’t have to bleep out Avasarala, which is really nice.”

Fans of The Expanse are partial to Avasarala, played by actor Shohreh Aghdashloo, whose smokey epithets are a highlight of every episode. Fans of Destiny 2 might also recognize her as the voice of Lakshmi-2.

“It is a beautiful thing, when she unleashed on somebody,” Franck said. “It makes me happy every time.”

Source: Polygon.com

The mega-sized Steven Universe finale was full of references and payoffs

“Change Your Mind” is, to put it lightly, a big episode of Steven Universe, to the point where talking about it any detail at all feels like a spoiler. So if you haven’t caught the four-part conclusion to Battle of Heart and Mind…

[Ed. note: the rest of this story contains spoilers for Steven Universe, through the most recent episodes.]

In the fifth season finale, Steven wins over Yellow and Blue Diamond, then, after a grueling battle, convinces White Diamond to come over to his side, suggesting the potential for a lasting peace after thousands of years of warfare.

Also, Steven has seemingly taken a huge step toward resolving his identity crisis with Pink Diamond — which only happens after White rips the Gem out of his body.

Beyond those, “Change Your Mind” is full of the best kind of fan service, delivering conclusions to long-running arcs, careful twists, and answers to questions that had been part of Steven Universe since the beginning. Here are a few of the biggest payoffs:

sunstone, the fusion of steven and garnet, in steven universe Cartoon Network

Fusions galore

One of Chekhov’s many unfired guns in Steven Universe has been the identities of the various fusion permutations of the Crystal Gems. We’d seen Pearl and Amethyst (Opal), Pearl and Garnet (Sardonyx), Amethyst and Garnet (Sugilite), Pearl, Amethyst, and Garnet (Alexandrite), and Steven and Amethyst (Smoky Quartz).

In just this one hour, Steven fuses with Pearl to create a new form of Rainbow Quartz, the Pearl-Rose Quartz fusion briefly glimpsed back in the flashback episode “We Need To Talk;” Garnet, to create the fast-talking, meta-fictionally-aware Sunstone; and Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl, to create Obsidian, an enormous titan who still only comes to the foot of White Diamond’s robot. Obsidian, fans may note, is the enormous Gem whose form makes up the backbone of the Gem Temple back on Earth.

“Change Your Mind,” Steven Universe season 5 Cartoon Network

Robot fight

The Gems deal in advanced technology, much of which is devoted to enhancing limbs or adding limbs or making bigger versions of limbs. In “Back To The Barn,” Pearl and Peridot each built robots and forced them to compete in a decathlon of sorts. And the introduction of the arm-shaped ships used by Yellow and Blue Diamond, as well as the leg-shaped ship used by Pink Diamond, suggested the existence of a sort of Gem Voltron.

Lo and behold, White Diamond’s massive robot head, which turns out to be its own ship, takes control of Steven’s legs in order to take on the Crystal Gems and the other two Diamonds. Eventually, Yellow and Blue’s ships arrive from Earth as reinforcements, leading to a classic “Why are you hitting yourself?” moment.

white diamond removing steven’s gem in steven universe Cartoon Network

Steven loses his gem

Since the beginning of Steven Universe, fans have asked: What would happen if someone tore Steven’s Gem out of his body? (Steven has even wondered aloud about this at one point.) The answer, it turns out, is that he would need to reform: Once White Diamond pulls out his Gem in an effort to revive Pink Diamond, Steven is left deadly ill, while the Gem goes through the stages of its own evolution from Pink to Rose Quartz to Steven.

The Gem form is and isn’t Steven, sort of in the way that Sapphire both is and isn’t Garnet. Though it’s highly unlikely Steven will ever unfuse this way again — or at least, let’s hope not — it’s still interesting to know that he is, in fact, a kind of fusion.

lars and sadie reunited in steven universe Cartoon Network

Lars and Sadie

Finally! An entire season after Lars was kidnapped by Homeworld Gems and killed, then revived as a sort of human Lion all the way back in “Lars’ Head,” he’s reunited with Sadie —perhaps the most anticipated moment of the series in the non-Steven category. Steven and the Diamonds land on Earth as Sadie Killer and The Suspects play their second big show at Beach City, and Lars lands the Sun Incinerator just a few moments later. Both Lars and Sadie have evolved into their final forms, so to speak, as a space pirate and killer rock star, and though they’re both pretty awkward, it seems like they’re going to get along just fine. (Also, the Off Colors meet the Diamonds.)

the diamonds sit in the healing poor to help the corrupted gems in steven universe Cartoon Network

The corrupted Gems

Steven gathers the Diamonds around his mother’s healing pool and tosses in all of the corrupted, bubbled Gems, who are then healed back to their normal selves. Centipeetle becomes Nephrite again, the Crystal Gems are reunited with previously lost team members like Biggs, and even Jasper makes a brief appearance; ready to go to war before realizing what’s happened. It’s a classic “everybody lives” ending.

white pearl in steven universe Cartoon Network

White’s Pearl

In “Legs From Here To Homeworld,” Steven Universe introduced White Diamond’s unsettling Pearl, who happened to speak with Christine Ebersole’s voice. Once White let go of her hold on the other Gems, it becomes clear that the Pearl was under her control as well — and, in fact, had originally been a Pink Pearl. (Presumably, the wound to her eye came either at the hands of White Diamond or at some point during the Gem War.) We don’t know if that was Pink Diamond’s original Pearl before the Pearl we’ve come to know and love, but that might be a topic for a future episode.

lapis lazuli and peridot in steven universe Cartoon Network

Peridot and Lapis are back

The “Diamond Days” arc has been a little disappointing for anyone who wanted more of Peridot and Lapis in the mix — the two additions to the Crystal Gems were poofed by the Diamonds during the fight at Garnet’s wedding, and remained in hibernation when Steven, Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl, and Connie took off to Homeworld. Bismuth, meanwhile, remained behind, preferring not to engage in Diamond politics. But after Steven’s comical distress cry from “Escapism,” she shows up with Lapis and Peridot in Yellow and Blue Diamond’s ships, leading to a stimulating, visual sequence in which Peridot whizzes around on her garbage can lid platform while carrying Connie.

connie receives her new sword in steven universe Cartoon Network

Oh, Bismuth made Connie a new sword

Rose’s sword was one of the many casualties of “Reunited,” and it was almost easy to forget that Connie wouldn’t have a sword going into the big battle this episode. But when Bismuth arrives with Peridot and Lapis, she comes bearing a new sword, forged especially for Connie. No longer will the young girl need to fight using leftover weapons from Steven’s family — she has her own tools now.

garnet, amethyst, pearl and steven in the last moments of steven universe Cartoon Network

Everyone gets new outfits

The poofing of the other Gems at the ball in “Together Alone” gave the Steven Universe team an opportunity to give everyone cool new outfits. Pearl now has a jacket with shoulder pads, Amethyst has something of a wrestling uniform, Garnet has a flashy new visor. Peridot and Lapis also have new looks after being poofed back at Garnet’s wedding, which means a new angular visor for Peridot and an almost athleisure-like look for Lapis, who is presumably going to become a yoga instructor. (OK, aqua aerobics.)

Now that everyone has fresh new looks, that might mean a change in title sequence for the upcoming Steven Universe movie


Eric Thurm is the founder, host, and overall doofus behind Drunk Education, which started as a party at his house that several people had to be tricked into attending. He is also a writer whose work has appeared in GQ, Esquire, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club, and other publications, and the author of a book on board games forthcoming from NYU Press in 2019.

Source: Polygon.com

Far Cry New Dawn brings a ‘light RPG approach’ to the Far Cry series

Far Cry New Dawn takes place 17 years after the events of Far Cry 5, and Ubisoft is updating the game’s core mechanics by adding a few “light RPG elements.”

“We pushed what we call the light RPG approach in the game to create more depth, so you’ll be able to craft guns that have ranks, and these ranks they will be useful to fight against enemies that also have ranks,” creative director Jean-Sebastien Decant explained in a recent promotional tweet.

The team also added a new system for your home base, allowing you to invest resources and rally your characters to earn more upgrades for yourself.

Outposts have also been given a sort of leveling system, allowing you to increase the difficulty, and reward, of capturing and re-capturing outposts.

“We have what we call the escalation system for the outposts,” Decant said. “Now, with an outpost, you can take it and take the resources that are in it, but you can also decide to squeeze it, and if you squeeze it you’re going to abandon it. And now that it’s vacant, the enemy is going to come back, put more resources in it, and also more defense, and create a new challenge.”

It almost sounds like Far Cry New Dawn will be more of a treadmill than previous Far Cry games, with outposts that can be taken and retaken and ranked enemies that need to be tackled with guns of an appropriate power.

Far Cry New Dawn will launch on Feb. 15, 2019

Source: Polygon.com

Fortnite’s new patch adds decoy snowmen to the game

Fortnite’s newest patch offers players a few balance changes but, more importantly, asks if they wanna build a snowman. Yep, patch v7.20’s content update is bringing snowmen to Fortnite as both decoys and disguises.

The snowmen will show up in the game as an item that players can pick up off the ground, from chests or out of llamas. The item will allow players to shoot out decoy snowmen, or dress up as one themselves. When a player is disguised as a snowman they won’t be able to use any other items or even build, but they can run and jump just like normal.

As for other changes coming this most recent content update, Epic is attempting to fix some of the FPS issues that have been plaguing players for the last several weeks. The Sniper Shootout limited time mode is also returning along with a new creation heading to The Block that appears to be a giant pyramid full of mysteries.

For a full look at everything that’s coming in Fortnite’s patch v7.20 content update you can find the full change list below.

Epic Games

Weapons and Items

Sneaky Snowman

  • Use Primary Fire to throw a projectile that creates a destructible snowman.
  • Use Secondary Fire to wear the Sneaky Snowman.
  • Sneaky Snowman has 100 Health and acts as a shield when worn by a player.
  • Sneaky Snowman is destroyed when its Health reaches zero or when the player wearing the snowman swaps to a different item or building mode.
  • This means that a player wearing a Sneaky Snowman cannot build or use other items. Movement of all types is allowed.
  • Available in Common variant.
  • Can be found from Floor Loot, Chests, and Supply Llamas.
  • Drops in stacks of 5.
  • Max stack size of 10.

Swapped the drop chance of Shield Potions and Small Shield Potions

Shield Potion

  • Reduced drop chance from Floor Loot from 16.53% to 13.22%.
  • Reduced drop chance from Chests from 14.26% to 9.51%.

Small Shield Potion

  • Increased drop chance from Floor Loot from 13.22% to 16.53%.
  • Increased drop chance from Chests from 9.51% to 14.26%.

Vaulted the following items

  • Quad Rocket Launcher
  • Port-a-fortress
  • Grappler

Reduced the Drop chance of Gliders

  • Reduced drop chance from Chests from 11.89% to 4.43%.

Reduced the drop chance of Balloons.​​​​​​​

  • Reduced drop chance from Chests from 7.58% to 3.24%.

Reduced the spawn chance of Quad Crashers from 100% to 50%.

Reduced the spawn chance of X-4 Stormwings from 80% to 50%.


Limited Time Mode: Sniper Shootout

What’s New?

  • Suppressed Sniper Rifles have been added.
  • Legendary Scoped Pistols have been added to Supply Drops.

Mode Details

  • Floor Loot spawners reduced by 50%
  • Reviving “Down But Not Out” teammates in Duos & Squads is deactivated – be careful peeking!
  • Profile Stats (K/D & Wins) are tracked in this mode

Performance

Fixed an issue where building would cause a major drop in FPS.


Events

Added addition dates for the Explorer Pop-Up Cup.

Updated additional materials gained on elimination to now drop with the eliminated player, rather than being granted immediately.

Source: Polygon.com

The Concourse Don’t Doubt What You Saw With Your Own Eyes | The A.V.

The Concourse Don’t Doubt What You Saw With Your Own Eyes | The A.V. Club Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez tells rich guy Stephen Colbert why her 70 percent tax isn’t scary | Splinter AOC: A Society With Billionaires Cannot Be Moral | The Muse Here Are Your 2019 Oscar Nominees | The Grapevine In the Clapback Heard Around the World, Cardi B Tells Tomi Lahren: ‘Leave Me Alone I Will Dog Walk You’ |

Source: Kotaku.com

How to Partition Your Hard Drive and Why You Would Want To

Photo: David Nield (Gizmodo)

Partitioning your hard drive sounds like a technically involved task that most people don’t need to bother with—but it’s actually relatively simple to do, doesn’t have to cost you any money, and can make your computing life easier and more productive. Here are the advantages of a partitioned hard drive, and why you might want to do it.

Partitioning splits your hard drive into multiple drives: You don’t actually take a saw to your internal disk, but you do split it up into chunks at the lowest level of the operating system. The end result is that as far as Windows or macOS is concerned, you’ve got two drives installed rather than one.

If you’re using a desktop computer you can, of course, physically install a second hard drive instead. It’s a tidier option than partitioning, though it means opening up your computer case and spending more on an additional drive. As long as you’ve got the storage space to spare, partitioning makes the most sense for most people.

The benefits of partitioning

Screenshot: Gizmodo

Partitioning is usually done with a specific purpose in mind, rather than on a whim. One of those purposes that we’ve written about before is dual-booting operating systems—with two partitions available, you can, for example, run macOS on one of them and Windows on another (Apple has an official tool for this, as we’ll explain).

As long as both partitions are visible to your computer as it boots up, you can choose which OS you want to make use of. All of your applications and files are typically kept separate from one another, though in some situations you can set up a dual-boot system so that files on one drive can be seen and accessed from the other.

Even if you’ve got no interest in setting up a dual-boot configuration on your computer, you can still benefit from a separate partition for your key files and folders—all those photos, videos, documents, music, and other crucial files that you rely on day to day.

Screenshot: Gizmodo

Why have them on a separate partition? Quite simply because it isolates them from whatever operating system you’re running—you can reset and refresh Windows without worrying what’s happening to your data, or even switch to a different operating system altogether without affecting the files stored on the data partition. It also makes data recovery easier if your OS partition is damaged or corrupted in some way.

In fact many computers now come with an emergency partition all set up instead of the old recovery disc that used to be supplied—if you can’t boot up your laptop or desktop normally, you can boot from this recovery partition instead and get back your data.

Having a separate data partition also makes sense from a backup or encryption point of view: You can focus on this one particular drive without having OS files and applications get in the way. It’s easier to point a backup program to a whole (partitioned) drive than picking out files and folders individually.

How to partition a hard drive

Screenshot: Gizmodo

Both macOS and Windows have built-in partitioning tools that do the basics, and third-party alternatives are available for both OSes if you need something that’s more advanced or professional.

In the case of macOS, the tool you want is Disk Utility (find it in Applications or search for it in Spotlight). You’ll see your main internal drive appear, then your options are to either click the Partition button or the Plus button above the Volume label.

Modern-day Macs make use of a new file storage system called APFS (Apple File System), and it has its own alternative to partitions in the form of volumes (the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, which can get confusing). You still get the choice of either creating a new partition or a new volume in Disk Utility, but Apple is pushing users towards volumes as the faster and simpler option.

Screenshot: Gizmodo

A lot of the differences are behind the scenes: Volumes can change size dynamically, for instance, while partitions have a fixed size. For most purposes you can go ahead and use a volume, though partitions are still useful for maintaining compatibility with non-APFS systems (if you want to install Windows, for instance).

Creating a volume or partition only takes a couple of clicks in Disk Utility. You’ll need to name the new disk space, and specify its size if it’s a partition (you can set a minimum and maximum size for a volume too, but it’s easier just to let macOS manage everything itself).

If you want to create a partition specifically to install Windows alongside macOS, use Apple’s Boot Camp utility—launched from Utilities inside Applications, or the Spotlight search. The setup wizard takes you through the process of creating a new partition and installing Windows on it.

Screenshot: Gizmodo

Over on Windows systems, the built-in tool you need is Disk Management—just search for it from the search box on the taskbar (it may well appear as Create and format hard disk partitions, which gives away its primary purpose).

This integrated Windows tool isn’t quite as slick or intuitive as its macOS counterpart. First you need to reduce the size of your existing hard drive partition by whatever size you want the new partition to be: Right-click on it and choose Shrink Volume to do this. Once some space has been cleared, you can right-click on that and pick New Simple Volume to get the new partition formatted and ready to access.

If you’re installing a different operating system on the newly created partition, you can usually skip that last step: The OS installer will do the job for you and get everything set up so the partition is accessible.

Screenshot: Gizmodo

When it comes to choosing how much space to leave for your new partition, it’s not an exact science. Obviously it depends on how much room you have available in total, and what you want to do with your newly partitioned space: A whole separate operating system is going to take up more room than a few documents.

In the case of Apple’s Boot Camp, 64GB is the minimum you need to run a copy of Windows alongside macOS, and 128GB is recommended for the best experience (you wouldn’t really want to buy a Windows PC with 64GB of storage). You can use that as a guide to how big your new partitions should be.

Third-party partitioning programs offer a few advanced features on top of that, like easier partition management, partition merging and resizing, and built-in data recovery tools. They can be worth the outlay, if you’re going to be doing a lot of partitioning and need something more user-friendly.

Screenshot: Gizmodo

EaseUS Partition Manager is one of the best options for Windows: There’s a free edition that’s easier to use than Windows’ own Disk Management, and the Pro version (with cloning, converting, migrating and other advanced features) will set you back $40 (a free trial is available).

Also high up on our list is MiniTool Partition Wizard—as with the EaseUS application, you’ve got a basic free edition and a more advanced Pro version ($40 with a free trial). It’s got perhaps the friendliest interface of all the programs we’ve mentioned here, and includes just about everything you’ll need.

Paragon Hard Disk Manager is a good bet for Mac and Windows and also costs $40 (and also offers a free trial). While the macOS Disk Utility and the Windows Disk Management tool will do the job well enough, Paragon Hard Disk Manager throws in extras like partition recovery, easy disk copying, and easier partition resizing.

Also worth a look is Stellar Partition Manager, $40 for macOS, again with a free trial available—it can work with Boot Camp partitions too, if you’ve created them with Apple’s official tool. It offers a very similar feature set to the Paragon software for macOS, so you might want to check for specific functionality if you know you’re going to be needing it.

Source: Kotaku.com

Man Arrested For Allegedly Selling A Customized Anime Figure In Japan 

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A 39-year-old man has been arrested in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan for allegedly customizing and selling an unauthorized customized anime figure.

According to The Sankei Shimbun and Mainichi (via ANN), the man allegedly took the head from a Love Live figure of character Nico Yazawa and put it on the body of a Darjeeling figure from Girls und Panzer Darjeeling (see photo), violating the characters’ copyrights. Why? In Japan, holders of said copyrights license official figures and those who sell customized versions thereby violate that.

The unauthorized figure was reportedly sold at an online auction for 3,000 yen ($27) last fall and discovered during a “cyber patrol.”

Authorities recovered around 1,000 figures from the man’s house and are investigating questionable deposits totaling around $77,000.

The suspect has confessed to the charges, admitting to selling the figure to help make ends meet.

Source: Kotaku.com

Pokémon Cosplay Has Gotten Easier For Cats

Now there are officially licensed Pokémon hats for your cats. Cute, right? The only trick is getting your cat to wear one!

Each Pocket Monster hat is priced at 400 yen ($3.66). They are very, very cute.

Here and here are the different cat hats for Pocket Monster cosplay. They are sold via capsule toy machine, so you probably don’t know which your cat will get!

Source: Kotaku.com

Steven Universe’s climactic showdown delivered a complicated lesson on childhood

Steven Universe can be a very annoying boy.

The protagonist of Cartoon Network’s series Steven Universe is a special kid: The offspring of an alien Gem and a human being, he’s uniquely positioned to see both civilizations clearly. His Gem heritage allows him to conjure an enormous shield, which he can throw as a weapon or use to protect his friends and family. He can even fly — or float, at least. And over the course of the series, whose hourlong fifth-season finale aired last night, he’s become a remarkably mature, emotionally intelligent person.

In this week’s episode, “Change Your Mind,” which marks the conclusion of creator Rebecca Sugar’s originally planned five-season arc for the series (but is not the series finale), Steven prevails over the entire Gem empire by flexing his sentimental muscles. The bulk of the hour (also dubbed the Battle of Heart and Mind) is devoted to Steven opening the eyes of the three other Diamond rulers of the Gem civilization to his, and his mother Pink’s, view of humanity. It’s an impressive feat of compassion, and the narrative endpoint of 156 episodes of television.

Steven Universe, season 1
“Coach Season,” season 1
Cartoon Network

Back in the show’s first season, Steven was far more irritating. He was myopic, focusing on what was right in front of him to the detriment of more important priorities — especially when what was right in front of him was the prospect of getting ridiculously buff. He was a huge goofball incapable of taking anything seriously. And he had a child’s instinct for deception when it seemed like he might be in trouble, whether that meant forming a “Secret Team” to hide a mistake or asking the Gems to pretend to be his human mother. But the story of Steven Universe isn’t about Steven discarding the things that made, and still make, him childish — it’s about figuring out how to use them in more specific, salutary ways.

Steven’s intense focus allows him to ensure that he doesn’t lose sight of the bigger picture over the course of his adventures: It’s what gives him the perspective to, say, make sure his friend doesn’t sacrifice herself for his protection. His goofiness is a tool for lightening the mood during potentially serious, emotionally overpowering moments. And eventually, he’s able to engage in productive, carefully targeted deception, tricking his dad into hanging out with Pearl so the two can talk about their unresolved issues.

Perhaps the central childish quality of Steven’s, which Steven Universe celebrates even while recognizing its implausibility, is his trusting nature and willingness to engage with potential enemies. At the beginning of the series, episodes are largely simple conflicts between the Crystal Gems and monsters, but, as the show goes on, we learn that those monsters are largely corrupted Gems, infected by a weapon of mass destruction and now in need of help. And the ostensibly villainous Gems, from Peridot to Lapis Lazuli to the Diamonds themselves, are just misguided people who could use a friend. Even someone who has hurt Steven and his friends is a potential ally, rather than a real foe.

This slow, deliberate change in perspective is telegraphed in the show’s theme song: In the first line, Steven sings, “If you’re evil and you’re on the rise, you can count on the four of us taking you down.” Within a season or two, though, the way Steven originally sees the world, and the way the world saw Steven Universe at first — a simple, good-versus-evil battle out of a Saturday morning cartoon — becomes far more complex.

white diamond change your mind steven universe season finale
“Change Your Mind,” season 5
Cartoon Network

The older Crystal Gems are incapable of reaching Steven’s peaceful solutions to their problems. Pearl is far too uptight to consider being open to new experiences and ways of being, and too cautious to trust new people. Amethyst is too chaotic to just spend time getting to know someone, the way Steven does with the newly homeless Peridot. And Garnet, justifiably, is too angry at Homeworld’s bigoted stance on fusion to seriously sit down with the Diamonds. But for Steven, even the most malicious Gems are just people who have been misled, or given in to some of their worse impulses — to the point where, at the climax of the show’s ongoing arc, he defeats the leader of Gem civilization, not by talking, but by embarrassing her.

White Diamond insists on “perfection” and a single path forward for Gems; her Gem ability is literally possessing other Gems and turning them into extensions of herself. This tendency, we learn, pushed away Steven’s mother Pink Diamond, left Yellow and Blue Diamond with serious issues, and fueled the rise of a civilization that destroyed countless worlds. White Diamond’s pathology is the cause of the repression and eradication of individuality that made it impossible for Pearl to form her own identity, for Amethyst to be treated well as a smaller-than-usual Quartz or for Garnet to exist as a fusion.

The word “gaslighting” is, in our insane political moment, heavily overused for situations that are often better described as “lying.” But gaslighting is exactly what White tries to do to Steven, insisting that he, Pink Diamond, hid in the body of a human as a way of avoiding Homeworld, and that he (Pink) surrounds himself (herself) with flawed Gems as a way of feeling superior. It’s textbook emotional abuse, and it plays into a growing sense of self-doubt Steven has been feeling about his growing connection to Pink’s memories. But instead of punching White Diamond in retaliation or giving in to her manipulation, Steven remains insistently himself — even as White Diamond does the unthinkable and removes Steven’s Gem from his body.

From the series’ beginning, Steven Universe has remained adamantly within Steven’s head and shown events from his point of view. Steven’s friends Lars and Sadie might share a tender, quiet, romantic moment, but we won’t see it unless Steven is observing or accidentally inhabiting Lars’ body. The Diamonds might be plotting how best to deal with the rebellious Steven in a scene that would give more insight into their history and motives, but we have to follow him as he leaps back to Earth to ask Bismuth for help.

This formal choice pays off spectacularly in Steven’s encounter with White Diamond, as Steven Universe proves definitively to be his own person. The frame is split, as we see through the eyes of both organic and Gem Steven. The Gem’s light-based form evolves like an Animorph, from Pink Diamond to Rose Quartz, and finally to a pink version of Steven himself, culminating in a striking, beautiful sequence in which Steven fuses with his own body. Pink Diamond is gone. Of course, Steven was a fusion all along.

“Change Your Mind,” Steven Universe season 5
“Change Your Mind,” season 5
Cartoon Network

Though he’s still confronted with an alien overlord, Steven’s once-again whole self has a decidedly silly response to reforming: laughter. And when White tells the giggling Steven he’s acting like a child, he responds: “I am a child. What’s your excuse?” White starts blushing, allowing an off-color pink into her hue; she has, essentially, been infected with Steven’s feelings, and with her own. He’s won. This is the ultimate victory for Steven’s childishness: a set-in-their-ways, overbearing adult who easily defeats the powerful Gem warriors, bested by uncontrollable mirth.

But Steven’s retort, the fulcrum on which the entire climax turns, also comes from knowing when to put childish things away. It acknowledges that, for all that Steven Universe celebrates some elements of childishness, there are certain things children do that adults shouldn’t; that’s the whole reason White Diamond should be embarrassed. Children force their own issues on others. Children demand that everything be just so. Children are incapable of seeing how their actions hurt other people. Children keep secrets from people they love. That realization — that she is the one acting like a child — is what causes White Diamond to become rightfully embarrassed, and it’s what makes her open to changing her mind, loosening her grip on the Gem empire.

Steven Universe is commonly lauded as a children’s show that works for adults, but its primary audience is still — and should be — children. And, like many children’s shows, it’s full of often-didactic messaging, whether that’s supporting your friends, not being afraid to be yourself or standing up to bullies. (Though a cheeky to-the-camera aside in “Change Your Mind” insists that kids watching the episode go tell a grownup when they encounter a bully, a tactic that might not work for all bullies.) But too often, the message of kids’ shows is either some variation on “grow up” or “stay a child as long as possible.”

The idea that there are childish qualities worth cultivating, alongside others that can and should be avoided or shed, is a refreshingly nuanced (and accurate) take on how to be a person, even if being that kind of person requires fusing with your own body, especially for kids. Being able to gain emotional maturity, insight, and wisdom while still retaining the best parts of being new to the world — that’s the disposition Steven Universe asks of us as we, whether 14 or 34 or 34,000, continue to grow.


Eric Thurm is the founder, host, and overall doofus behind Drunk Education, which started as a party at his house that several people had to be tricked into attending. He is also a writer whose work has appeared in GQ, Esquire, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club, and other publications, and the author of a book on board games forthcoming from NYU Press in 2019.

Source: Polygon.com