We often fawn over the intricate design elements of Funko’s vinyl figurines and really can’t fathom the journey one of these collectibles takes from initial drawing to their final home on our shelves. Yet, every so often we’re floored by how awesome some of the simpler designs end up looking. Case in point, these MinecraftPops!Funko’s done low-res figures before but there’s something about these Minecraft characters that works so perfectly. Their blocky design transfers perfectly into the tangible third dimension that it’s like they jumped right out of the screen.As with most Funko lines, they’ve planned a bit of an “exclusive” hunt in order to get your hands on all these beauties. Once they hit stores in February of 2018, a glow version of Creeper can be found at FYE, a Charged Creeper at Gamestop, Walmart will have Steve in Gold Armor and Alex in Enchanted Armor, and you’ll have to head to Target to find the Skeleton with Fire.A real-life quest for these to adorn our shelves seems perfect for any Minecraft fan and is substantially easier than some of the accomplishments in the game. When players are so dedicated to a game they can create functional clocks, calculators, and accurate recreations of Westerosi locations from Game of Thrones—headed to a few different stores seems like a breeze.
What do you think of these new Pop! figures? Which Minecraft elements would you like to see them produce in the future? Let’s discuss in the comments below!
Ender Dragon is Minecraft’s final boss, a serpentine collection of dark blocks that launches fireballs at the player. Minecraft speedrunners have long struggled with it, but this week speedrunners finally discovered how to bypass the Dragon altogether. It’s already led to a world record.
Part of what makes the fight against the Ender Dragon time consuming is a series of End Crystals that sit atop pillars and heal the Dragon when it flies near. However, players can also craft their own End Crystals and bring them into the final level to wreak havoc. Originally players were trying to place extra End Crystals in specific places to influence the Dragon’s path during the fight and also deal some extra damage (they can be exploded like land mines).
Recently, experimenting with this strategy yielded an even better discovery. Placing an End Crystal as soon as the player enters the Dragon’s level causes it to glitch and never spawn while still yielding the portal to the end credits that marks the completion of a run.
Placing Crystals after the Dragon has already been defeated summons a new Dragon. If this happens, the game checks to see if the end portal that spawns after the battle is already there, in which case it doesn’t create one. However, timing things right can confuse the game. By placing the crystal before the battle starts, the player is able to trick the game into skipping the fight entirely. “Because we place the crystal before the Dragon fight is fully loaded, it fails to find evidence of another portal, and so it creates one,” explained the MineCraft glitch hunter Matthew Bolan.
A player by the name of Geosquare discovered the glitch by accident while researching a tool-assisted speedrun for the fight. His findings in turn helped one of the game’s most prolific speedrunners, Illumina, to break the world record of 4:07:400, held by Joshgaming4 and which had previously stood for over two years, with a 3:20.9 run.
“It was from mid 2015,” Illumina said in an email. “It was a very daunting time to beat and that’s why it stood for so long.” Illumina thinks the run still has room for improvement.
There’s a lot of randomness in a Minecraft speedrun, and speedrunners try to find the ideal parameters for spawning a new world. In Minecraft these parameters are known as seeds. Players select a seed at the beginning of a run, and they determine what flavor of map will be generated by the game. In Illumina’s case, using the new Ender Dragon glitch meant finding a seed that would give him a world conducive to crafting the necessary End Crystal. In addition to discovering the glitch, Geosquare also helped find the best seed for executing it.
“The seed was found by Geosquare by writing a program using variables that would make the seed optimal,” Illumina said. “He ran the program for about 5 minutes and they spent a couple hours looking through the seeds that came up. There is probably a better seed than the current one as it only took a couple hours to find, but when there are 2^64 seeds, it is not easy to go through all of them.”
Illumina’s world record was specifically in Minecraft’s “seeded” category. There are other categories that prohibit both glitches and seed optimization, but Illumina thinks that misses half the fun. “A benefit from [seeds] is that it keeps the category more interesting as you never know when a new seed would be found,” he said. “Some runners said that we should just stick to one seed to make one route consistent but I disagree in doing that.”
“Every category of this game is too RNG and takes a lot of grinding to get a great run,” said Illumina who’s been running the game since 2011. “But it’s always fun to see if you will get lucky in a run, kind of like gambling. It’s definitely much different of a game to run from any other I’ve seen. Things like the Dragon skip and seed optimization programs help marry the chaos of the game to the practiced skill expert players want to bring to it.”
The Xbox One X has been on shelves for just under a week (well, shelves that aren’t here), and it’s a little difficult to gauge its success without hard sales figures. Microsoft haven’t come out of the gates with glorious tales of how their new console has been selling like hotcakes, and some data in from the UK might make you curious as to why. Because the Xbox One X is selling pretty damn well there. Better than Sony’s PS4 Pro did during its own launch window.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, the Xbox One X has seen over 80,000 sales (adjusted by 20% from raw data) in the United Kingdom alone, which is a pretty significant figure for the singular region. The sales figures eclipse that of the PS4 Pro, which only hit 50,000 in the same time and took a full month to reach 80,000 in total. The lack of exclusives at the launch seem to have been a moot point too, with third-party titles such as Call of Duty: WWII and Assassin’s Creed Origins proving to be solid sales companions with the Xbox One X during the last week.
This bodes well for Microsoft, who have been facing an uphill battle ever since this generation started. Out of the gates the Xbox One was the weaker of the two core consoles, and over the years that battle has changed the rules of combat. Sony and its extensive exclusives library now outweighs many arguments over the Xbox One X’s superior power, but it seems evident that in the UK that’s still a large factor in purchasing decisions.
It’s still early says for the console though, and Microsoft’s toughest days are still ahead. As Sony continues peppering their future with great looking exclusives, Microsoft is hunting for new developers to bring under their wing. A process that might only see fruit in many years to come.
Marvel Heroes and its Omega upgrade, were a grand effort. When developer Gazillion Entertainment first launched it as a PC-exclusive several years ago, it was a diamond in the rough. It wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it still had a solid foundation that could be used for further enhancements.
Said enhancements were slotted in aplenty, with Marvel Heroes growing with new gameplay additions on a monthly basis at one point. Free to play, offering a taste of everything that it had before it asked for some cash in return, Marvel Heroes was a great game to spend a few idle hours on. Marvel Heroes omega was meant to be the start of a new chapter for the game, one that brought its action to consoles with some handy dandy control schemes that simplified the action.
All of the staff has been dismissed, and the servers have been switched off, as Gazillion made the closure official:
A damn shame, that’s what it is. The fact that this was done to the staff before they could celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday properly is bad enough, but when you factor in that the crew got zero severance payments as well? If there’s any anger to be directed at Marvel Heroes Omega, it needs to be channelled at the people in charge who were responsible for mismanaging the title and letting their crew of hard-working developers take the brunt of this monumental stuff-up.
ReadXbox One X gets off to a strong sales start in the UK
Gambit, arguably one of the most popular X-Men characters, is one who has still not appeared in an X-Men movie to date. We are of course completely erasing that X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie from our minds. It didn’t happen, I tell you.
So, I guess it’s surprising that it has taken this long for 20th Century Fox to finally start moving forward on the troubled production of this iconic hero’s solo movie, but with Channing Tatum firmly set for the lead role and Gore Verbinski on board to direct the film, it is finally scheduled to get made. It even has a release date for Valentine’s Day, 2019, which will serve as a personal love letter for all of those fans desperate to finally see Gambit come to life.
Such is the despair and frustration around the stop-start nature of the troubled production though that some fans don’t want to get their hopes too high until they actually see pictures of the film actually getting started before they will believe that it will actually get made. And while I do not have such evidence to bring you today, a new report from Omega Underground reveals that casting work on a film titled ‘Forevermore’ is due to start soon for a film to be shot in New Orleans.
ReadMarvel Heroes Omega is officially dead
Now ‘Forevermore’ might not sound like much, but the article goes on to reveal that it is the new working title for the Gambit film, which was formerly called ‘Chess’ by the studio in previous plans. Those unfamiliar with working titles, it’s usually named that studios use in development to try and keep actual details of films secret – though as you can see, it doesn’t help with today’s modern world where the slightest of changes can be easily picked up by fans and journalists anyway.
Along with the title change, there are also reports of a role being cast for a character called Mariya, which they believe refers to Bella Donna and another casting for a role titled Lewis which is believed to be for the film’s villain. If these rumours are true, we should be hearing some new casting announcements for the film soon.
We still don’t know much about the Gambit film, but at least it looks like production should start soon. With next year bringing a total of three big X-Men movies with New Mutants, Deadpool 2 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Gambit will also hopefully bring something different with it to set it itself apart from those films and potentially usher yet another exciting character in the otherwise mostly disappointing X-Men film franchise.
ReadDisney has reportedly been in talks with Fox about acquiring the rights to the remaining Marvel properties