Nintendo’s Cool New 2DS Models Celebrate Mario Kart, Minecraft, And Animal Crossing

Nintendo has announced a new trio of 2DS XL models themed after some of the platform’s most popular games: a Minecraft 2DS with a face plate that looks like a Creeper, a Mario Kart 7 2DS with red-and-black theme, and an Animal Crossing 2DS with the series’ iconic leaf symbol. The Animal Crossing edition includes a pre-installed copy of Animal Crossing: New Leaf – Welcome Amiibo, the updated version of New Leaf that includes Amiibo support.

All three were announced through the Nintendo’s Japanese site, and Nintendo of Europe promptly followed with a tweet advertising the Animal Crossing model. However, Europe hasn’t confirmed the Minecraft or Mario Kart versions, and none of them have been announced by Nintendo of America. So depending on your region, we may be seeing announcements soon, or you could have to import your version of choice.

The New Nintendo 2DS XL is essentially a 3DS body–including the clamshell design not found in standard 2DS models–but without the 3D functionality. The GameSpot review called it the best 3DS/2DS family design yet, even coming late as it was to the generation. Nintendo’s newly named president, Shuntaro Furukawa, recently said the company is considering a 3DS successor.

Nintendo has been keen on marketing the 2DS XL to collectors, with special editions themed after certain fan-favorite games and franchises. On top of the launch Black/Turquoise and White/Orange versions, it has Pikachu, Poke Ball, Dragon Quest, and Zelda themed version, along with these new additions.

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Nintendo and Microsoft’s friendship continues with Minecraft-style New 2DS

It didn’t take long for Nintendo and Microsoft to become the industry’s new power couple — a pair of best friends who hang out together, rubbing it in the face of spoilsport Sony. Not only does the updated Minecraft for Nintendo Switch allow for cross-platform play with Xbox One, an unprecedented partnership that transcends first-party lines, but Nintendo is also now paying even larger tribute to the Microsoft-owned franchise.

A trio of New Nintendo 2DS XL systems are heading to Japan this summer, and the star of the show is the Minecraft Creeper Edition. It’s a beautiful, blocky green handheld that’s the spitting image of Minecraft’s mascot. And based on its box art, it looks like the Microsoft-owned Mojang had a hand in the design.

While the Nintendo 3DS version of Minecraft doesn’t have the same Xbox connectivity afforded by the Switch release, the special edition handheld is still a show of support from Microsoft’s new pal Nintendo. Third-party companies have commissioned their own limited-edition 3DS handhelds before, but for one first-party company to collaborate on hardware for another? That’s pretty huge.

If you’re not so into Minecraft, there are two other sweet options to chose from. One is a red-and-black Nintendo 2DS XL that will come as part of a Japanese Mario Kart 7 bundle released in July, which looks lovely:

And there’s an Animal Crossing edition that has some embossed Animal Crossing details that I’m already drooling over. It also has a pre-installed copy of the amiibo-upgraded version of Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

No sign yet on if any of these are coming stateside, but we can only hope they make it here soon.

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The new version of Minecraft is out on Nintendo Switch which allows for cross-play with friends on Xbox One, Windows 10 or Mobile.

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Was Andrew Garfield Really Fired From Amazing Spider-Man? Here’s What He Says

Andrew Garfield’s career jolted on a completely different trajectory after it was announced that he would no longer be playing Spider-Man, and that the Amazing Spider-Man franchise had been dissolved. Suddenly Garfield had the free time to work on projects like Hacksaw Ridge and Silence, both of which have seen him touted for Oscar nominations. But that doesn’t mean that his departure from the Spider-Man franchise was all of his own volition. In fact, Andrew Garfield has now teased that it was a little messy, but refused to admit that he was fired in the process.

Andrew Garfield made this admission during an interview with the Guardian to mark the release of Silence, the spiritual Martin Scorsese drama that has received plenty of plaudits, a healthy portion of which have been directed towards the English actor. The conversation soon turned to his work on The Amazing Spider-Man as Peter Parker, and the way it suddenly came to an end. When quizzed about whether he was fired by Sony, Garfield responded,

No, I don’t think so. What I’ll proudly say is that I didn’t compromise who I was, I was only ever myself. And that might have been difficult for some people.

The speculation that Andrew Garfield was fired from The Amazing Spider-Man franchise previously emerged courtesy of the hacking of Sony’s emails in May 2015. These suggested that Andrew Garfield was “let go” because he didn’t turn up to an event in Brazil where The Amazing Spider-Man 3 was set to announced, with its release date planned for July 2017. What made it umpteen times worse was that Sony boss Kaz Hirai was the one all set to announce the film.

Andrew Garfield insists that he didn’t turn up because he had a sickness that was caused by jetlag, and the above quote was in response to whether he’d self-sabotaged himself. Following on from the disappointment of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and with Sony having planned a tremendous expansion of the franchise that would have included four spin-offs, the studio decided to cancel them all. 19-year-old Tom Holland has since been cast as Spider-Man, and he’s even been folded into the Marvel Cinematic Universe after a deal was worked out with Marvel and Sony.

The failure of The Amazing Spider-Man franchise shouldn’t reflect poorly on Andrew Garfield, though, who has always managed to bring a gentle charisma and subtle power to his performances that he can manifest across eclectic roles. Take Silence for example, where he dominates the screen for its entire running time, and is just as integral as director Martin Scorsese for making the audience lean further and further in as it progresses. You can check out a snippet of his performance inSilence below:

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We Finally Know Why The Olsen Twins Aren’t On Fuller House

One of the most exciting upcoming revivals is definitely the Netflix series Fuller House, which will bring most of the original cast of Full House back to the small screen for more family-friendly shenanigans. We’ve known for quite some time, however, that Michelle Tanner will be absent, given that the Olsen twins declined to take part in the revival. Now, thanks to Fuller House executive producer Bob Boyett, we finally have the real reason why Mary-Kate and Ashley won’t be sharing the role of Michelle one more time.

Ashley said, ‘I have not been in front of a camera since I was 17, and I don’t feel comfortable acting.’ Mary-Kate said, ‘It would have to be me because Ash doesn’t want to do it. But the timing is so bad for us.’

Disappointing as it is that Michelle won’t be around with sisters D.J. and Stephanie on Fuller House, the Olsen twins have solid reasons for not joining the cast. Twelve years working away from cameras on the fashion scene is a big departure from acting full-time as child stars, and we can’t blame Ashley for not wanting to jump back into such a famous role. Besides, timing can’t be helped. The stars may have aligned to bring the rest of the cast back to Los Angeles for Fuller House, but the New York City-based Olsen twins have full plates on the fashion and business front.

There’s also the point that the Olsen twins undoubtedly have different memories of their time on Full House than the rest of the cast. They were only nine months old when the show started, so the period that was so huge for some of the other actors must be mostly fuzzy for the actresses who brought Michelle to life. Dave Coulier — who reprises his role as Joey for Fuller House – sympathizes with them. Here’s what he told People:

They’re family members. But I think they have a different perspective. When we get together and we reminisce, they were babies [at the time]. So they don’t share those same memories. I can’t really speak for them but I would understand why they don’t have the same sentiments that we all do.

On the whole, it’s good to know the real story behind Michelle’s absence on Fuller House. Rumors have abounded ever since John Stamos first broke the news of the Netflix series, ranging from the twins saying that they hadn’t originally been contacted about appearing to Stamos making remarks about them skipping the family reunion to their younger sister Elizabeth Olsen being approached to take on Michelle in their stead. The truth behind the lack of Michelle is certainly more straightforward than salacious, but it’s nice to know nonetheless.

Fuller House premieres on Friday, February 26 at 12:01 a.m. PT on Netflix. Reviews have been mixed so far, but any fan of Full House is definitely going to want to check it out. Michelle may be off-screen managing her fashion empire, but the rest of the Tanners will be back.

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How Sea Of Thieves Takes Fan Feedback Into Account

When running a multiplayer-driven game like Sea of Thieves, it’s imperative to rely on the community for guidance on where to go next with the title. Sometimes it’s a mix of using the community feedback and creating your own direction for the game and seeing where it takes you, almost like what Blizzard does with games like Overwatch and World of Warcraft. In the case of Rare’s Sea of Thieves, the developers are looking to give the gaming community more of what they want and explained how they’re taking fan feedback into account for future content rollouts for the PC and Xbox One exclusive.

Speaking with Gamespot at this year’s E3, Sea of Thieves executive producer, Joe Neate, and the senior designer, Shelley Preston, along with design director Mike Chapman, explained what makes the game tick, where they’re going next with the title, and most importantly how fan feedback fuels the progress for the game. Chapman in particular explained:

It’s a mix of giving players what they want, putting that Sea of Thieves spin on it, but also surprising them. It’s the fact that a lot of players would ask, ‘I would really like an expanded world. I want more regions to explore.’ We haven’t just given them that, we’ve actually gone and made the visuals a core part of the gameplay and added in a whole region with volcanoes that’s geologically unstable. We want to surprise players, and there’s things we do in the game that won’t be expected and I think both of those aspects are at a healthy mix right now.

I think that’s the best way to go about it.

A lot of times it’s easy to get wrapped up entirely in the negative criticisms of a game and attempt to appease all the naysayers while forgoing the identity of the game and what its original vision was supposed to be. We’ve seen games like Firefall become a victim of design by committee, and it eventually had to shut down.

We’ve also seen other games that don’t take player feedback into account in a timely enough manner and lose a lot of players in result, similar to what happened with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which peaked at over 3.2 million players back in January of 2018, but has steadily lost half its audience according to Steam Charts. A lot of players cite their reasons for leaving being the lack of the developers fixing the latency issues, slow content rollout, and the constant performance issues.

It’s important to be able to balance out the complaints with being able to carve out a game’s own identity. Rare seems to want to run that fine line between the two ideologies of building a game.

One of the things the team really wanted to focus on was getting more emergent tools into the game to encourage positive player interactions, such as the Hungering Deep update that forced multiple teams to work together in order to take down the Megalodon.

On the positive side of things, the majority of the feedback from gamers has been that Sea of Thieves is fun to play, but it needs more content. And of course, Rare is happy to oblige. The team plans on fleshing out more things to do around the game world and give players more opportunities to have fun playing with and hunting down other players.

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How NCIS Will Handle That Big Cast Departure

Fans of NCIS got some big news earlier this week with the announcement that one of the longest-running members of the cast would be departing. Pauley Perrette has played forensic specialist Abby Sciuto on NCIS since the very beginning, and her reveal that she’d decided it was time to move on means that the show will look very different in the not-too-distant future. While many fans were shocked by the announcement, the NCIS showrunners were not. Executive producers George Schenck and Frank Cardea had this to say about Perrette’s upcoming departure:

We’ve known for some time this would be Pauley’s final season on NCIS and have been working toward a special send-off. From day one, she has brought incredible passion and specificity to the role. Abby is a character that inspires millions of fans around the world, and all of us at NCIS are appreciative of Pauley for portraying her.

The producers have been aware that Pauley Perrette intended to leave NCIS in Season 15, and they’re apparently planning on sending Abby off in a way that honors her many years of service to the NCIS unit. Hopefully that “special send-off” descriptions means that we don’t have to worry about Abby being killed off. Michael Weatherly got a pretty fitting farewell when he left; fans can almost certainly agree that Perrette deserves one as well, and not one that involves Abby in a body bag. Deadline reports that NCIS has already started setting the stage for Abby to bow out, although no details have been confirmed at this point. Abby’s stories in Season 15 are certainly going to be ones worth watching.

The “special send-off” should be reassuring to any who were afraid that Abby would be simply removed from the narrative. As unlikely as it is for such a major character to exit without a fuss, there’s precedent on television in the last couple of years. Hotch was written off of Criminal Minds after many years as lead due to the on-set behavior of the actor, and a Blue Bloods actress was written off the show over hiatus, and viewers learned in the season premiere that her character had been killed. Then, of course, there’s Erinn Hayes from Kevin Can Wait, although obviously starring in a single season of a sitcom doesn’t compare to Pauley Perrette’s decade and a half at NCIS.

Abby has been a pivotal part of NCIS, to the point that she has even become a role model for women interested in pursuing science and math. She will certainly be missed on the show. We’ll have to cross our fingers that NCIS won’t bid her too final of a farewell so we can at least hope that Pauley Perrette will one day reprise her role. Only time will tell.

CBS has not yet revealed when we’ll see Pauley Perrette make her exit from NCIS, so be sure to tune in on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET to see how the show sets the stage for her departure. For your other viewing options in the coming weeks, take a look at our fall TV guide.

And you can currently watch all seasons of NCIS streaming on CBS All Access.

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Fortnite Countdown Has Completed, Here’s What It Brought

While the whole Playground LTM didn’t quite go off without a hitch for Epic Games’ Battle Royale action game, there was a separate event that did manage to go off without a hitch, and it was the countdown event. The event took place across the Fortnite servers and finally revealed exactly what the countdown was all about. So now that the countdown is complete, a lot of gamers are probably wondering what exactly happened and what exactly did it bring to the Fortnite universe?

According to Gamespot, once the countdown finished a rocket blasted off into the sky from the Anarchy Acres lair. The missile was seemingly aimed at taking out the Titled Towers in the distance and — as pointed out in the article — it looked like the towers were about to bite the dust in the world of Fornite. However, the towers were spared a destructive fate when the rocket hit an invisible portal and then teleported into a different location, blasted into the sky, and then the explosion ended up creating a rip in the very fabric of reality.

The tearing of the sky created an electric rift within the world, spawning a series of electrical anomalies. Filmmaker Ryan O’Donnell actually captured the event across a series of images and shared it on Twitter, showing the smoke trail from the rocket as it jettisoned into the sky, the explosion, and the eventual electrical anomalies as a result.
So far, Fortnite gamers have no idea what’s up with the electrical anomalies. Fans of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. might be used to it, but the Battle Royale crowd probably isn’t sure what it’s looking at. The anomaly in the image actually looks like some kind of electrical charge redirecting energy from an invisible shield of sorts. Many gamers who witnessed it in real-time noted how cool it looked and how everyone stopped fighting to see the event taking place. So what does this mean for the future of the game? We don’t know… yet.

Obviously, Epic Games has some big plans for the event; the company just isn’t laying out all the details yet. Apparently, this also has nothing to do with the Playground LTM that ran into some server issues recently, requiring Epic to postpone its release for the general public.

According to the Gamespot article, this could tie into the Season 5 rollout for Fortnite, following up on the Season 4 events, which were themed around meteor strikes and superheroes. Thanos from Avengers: Infinity War proved to be a rather popular addition to the game, and so maybe we’ll see something similar in terms of crossover potential during Season 5?

So far the game has garnered massive amounts of popularity since the Battle Royale mode was introduced last summer. Epic has managed to amass more than one hundred million players and has even vowed to dedicate time and energy to the e-sports scene. In the meantime, gamers will have to try to figure out exactly what’s going on with the electrical anomalies.

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Xbox Game Pass Gets Fallout 3, Oblivion In July

Microsoft is running double duty when it comes to offering gamers content for its digital services. If you have an Xbox Live Gold subscription you can already look forward to a nice cache of games set to be made available throughout July, but if you’ve gone a step further with the Xbox Game Pass, you can gain access to even more games throughout July. To help entice gamers into picking up an Xbox Game Pass subscription, Microsoft announced that there are some brand new games coming to the pass in July, including Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

Over on the Xbox News site, there’s a quick rundown of the new games added to the Xbox Game Pass for July, things kick off with Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3. Both games are older titles from the Xbox 360 generation, but they’re also backwards compatible for the Xbox One.

Both games sold huge when they released, with Oblivion taking a lot of what Bethesda had accomplished with The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and then elevated it to the nth degree by adding more NPCs, a larger world to explore, better graphics, and improved cinematic qualities.

Fallout 3 was the first game in the series to deviate from the isometric, turn-based strategy design of the previous entries and instead focus on a third-person or first-person action-RPG setup.

But that’s just the start.

Microsoft also managed to secure Epic Games’ Shadow Complex Remastered for the Xbox One, giving gamers an opportunity to check out one of the most celebrated Unreal Engine side-scrollers from the seventh generation of gaming for the Xbox One. It also comes with all new master challenges, improved melee takedowns, and more than 10 hours worth of gameplay and exploration.

All three of the aforementioned titles will be joined by Human Fall Flat, which is a physics-based 3D platforming puzzle game, where players attempt to guide a character through a series of sandbox puzzles using ragdoll physics as a way to explore the environment, complete tasks and reach the finish line.

But wait, there’s more!

The zen-like underwater exploration game, Abzu, which first appeared on PS4 and Steam, will be available for the Xbox Game Pass this July. The game isn’t just about underwater exploration, it’s also a sci-fi supernatural tale that gamers might enjoy, especially if they liked thatgamecompany’s Journey for the PS3.

Bomber Crew is another game joining the list, along with Rebellion’s highly popular Zombie Army Trilogy, which features 15 different levels to complete across three different campaigns. Zombie Army Trilogy also features single-player and online multiplayer co-op play.

The last two games on the list are Warhammer: Verminitide 2 from Fatshark Games, and DiRT 4 from Codemasters. Vermintide 2 just recently came out earlier this year, while DiRT 4 originally released back in mid-2017. Both games have received critically positive feedback from gamers, and if you have the Xbox Game Pass you’ll be able to check out both of those titles, along with every other game listed above for the Xbox Game Pass offerings in July.

Incredibles 2 Fan Art Imagines A Dark Sequel for Pixar’s Superheroes

Incredibles 2 Fan Art Imagines A Dark Sequel for Pixar’s Superheroes

New fan art for The Incredibles 2 has surfaced online, depicting the characters in a much grittier tone than that of the animated Pixar films. Warrick Wong, an Australian concept artist, shared renderings of the film’s characters this past week via Instagram.

The Incredibles 2 released on June 15, already passing the $500 million mark at the worldwide box office in its second week. The long-awaited and much-anticipated sequel came fourteen years after its predecessor. Brad Bird’s follow-up to the 2004 hit was heavily delayed, before its release date was eventually shifted ahead of Toy Story 4, which itself was delayed to 2019. While the wait for The Incredibles 2 was agonizing for some fans, it seems the time spent in development was beneficial, given the film’s “Certified Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.


On his Instagram account, Wong posted his concept art for a version of the Parr family much darker than audiences are used to. Wong shared a different piece of art every few days, beginning with a version of Jack-Jack that is far older than his infant counterpart from the movie. Since then, Wong also shared photos of Dash, Violet and Mr. Incredible. All the characters appear worn from battle, their red and black spandex torn and tattered. Each piece also showcases the characters’ respective superpowers. Noticeably absent from the photo set is Elasti-Girl/Mrs. Incredible, the star of the new film. Wong explains that in the alternate reality this art is set in, Mrs. Parr is “presumed dead” and Violet has become the new matriarch of the family. However, “presumed dead” could mean that Wong will surprise us with a gritty portrayal of Mrs. Incredible after all.

As an illustrator, Wong has an impressive online portfolio that boasts renderings of characters from fandoms like Marvel and Star Wars. The Incredibles are also not his first gritty reimaginings, as he’s previously drawn up intimidating interpretations of normally cute Pokémon like Squirtle and Pikachu. While it’s likely that we’ll never see a dark, violent version of The Incredibles hit the big screen, it’s hard to deny that Wong’s fan art – and his extremely creative backstory behind it – is fun to behold and ponder.

Pixar’s newest release is yet another huge hit for the studio. Given the first film’s release date, many who saw The Incredibles as children were likely excited to see the sequel as adults, which no doubt helped fuel its mammoth box office. The next film on the slate for Pixar is Toy Story 4, an entry in another franchise that has seen the lucrative value of nostalgia. However, only time will tell if the demand for that sequel will be as high as that of The Incredibles 2. If it is though, it’ll be interesting to see if Wong draws similar gritty versions of Toy Story characters like Woody, Buzz, Rex, and Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear.

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