Collaborating Authors

Computer Games

Mortal Kombat review – schlock video game adaptation packs a small punch

The Guardian

Configuring one's expectations before settling down to watch the latest big (and small) screen adaptation of Mortal Kombat is something of a process. The largely wretched game-to-movie subgenre carries with it little-to-no hope at this stage, even the so-called "best" examples are seen as just about tolerable, and the last two attempts to translate Midway's long-running fighting game failed to justify why watching these characters battle it out would be preferable to playing as them instead. As popular as the game still is (the most recent iteration has sold over 8m copies worldwide), transporting it to film is still a rather dated prospect, almost 25 years after the last version, the result of a torturous period in development hell. So while the odds might seem stacked against it, the film also arrives at an opportune time, as cinemas are opening up again and audiences are craving bigger, gaudier events to lure them back. Just weeks after their record Godzilla vs Kong success (a hit proving that after a year of misery, appealing to our basest, silliest instincts is a surefire win right now), Warners is using the same hybrid release for Mortal Kombat, chucking it up on HBO Max and out in cinemas at the same time.

VR exercise app 'VZfit' overwhelms the senses in all the wrong ways

Washington Post - Technology News

During the winter months of the pandemic I'd been using my Quest 2 to help stay in shape. I've used a boxing app ("The Thrill of the Fight") and aerobic/boxing workout app ("Fit XR") and found both to be a better alternative to dragging myself out into the cold for a walk or run. Both provided engaging, gamified experiences that paid dividends in pounds shed. "VZfit," which also requires a monthly subscription of $9.99, will not be slotting into my VR workout regiment. Hopefully improved map data and some smoothing will provide more appeal with a future update, because the concept has tons of merit.

No joke: World of Warships just added Leroy Jenkins as a playable character


If there was a commander you could add to your naval video game ship, what better person would it be than the actual Leroy Jenkins? World of Warships said it will add US Navy veteran Leroy Jenkins as a playable character in its free to play game. While gamers may only know the legendary meme and battle cry of "Leeeeeroy Jenkins!" from World of Warcraft, the Leroy Jenkins being added to World of Warships is a sailor who served on Navy destroyer USS Kidd during the Korean War 78 years ago. Jenkins came to the attention of World of Warships officials during a visit to the actual USS Kidd museum in Baton Rouge, where Jenkins was a volunteer for 14 years. If you're wondering if the actual Leroy Jenkins had anything to do with the World of Warcraft viral meme scream of "Leeeeroy Jenkins!" it's unknown.

'Nier Replicant' is an experimental, heartbreaking pop album of a video game

Washington Post - Technology News

Fortunately "Replicant" comes with a very customizable "assist" mode, which will autoplay certain functions for the player. A player can make Nier automatically evade and attack everything, while you spin the camera around like an amateur anime director. If you want to stay more engaged, you can have Nier automatically evade, while you still attack. Or you can just focus on dodging and let everything else play for you. It makes subsequent playthroughs and the repetitive grind easier, and the assist mode will go down easier in an age where "watching a video game get played" has been accepted as mainstream entertainment.

IOC announces inaugural slate of Olympic-licensed esports events

Washington Post - Technology News

Auto racing is not an Olympic sport, but then again, neither are any esports. However, a "roadmap" produced by an IOC panel in February of recommendations for the next several years included sections on growing digital engagement and on encouraging the development of virtual sports. It appears the IOC is intent on doing just that, but it will start with something of a toe-dip into the virtual waters.

Here's why the new 'Mortal Kombat' movie stars a new, original lead character

Washington Post - Technology News

In the games and the original movies, Kano has always been portrayed as a thieving, conniving villain, and little else (besides a mortal rival for Kombatant Sonya Blade). In this film, he is the engine that keeps the story moving, as he steals every scene he's in and gets the biggest laughs. And like Cole, he is the audience's other surrogate in understanding "Mortal Kombat's" bizarre, violent, supernatural world, and the beings that live in it, including the thunder god Raiden.

'Call of Duty: Warzone' finally nukes Verdansk map

Washington Post - Technology News

Neither Raven Software, which currently manages the majority of work on "Warzone," nor Infinity Ward, which largely created the battle royale, has publicly said when "Part 2" may begin, nor what is next for the game and its main map. Internet speculation has posited for months that the next battle royale map will set Verdansk in the 1980s, mirroring the timeline of the latest main line installment of the Call of Duty franchise, "Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War." The latest update to "Cold War" seems to confirm that. An intro cutscene for that game, added Wednesday, culminates with a line of dialogue that "intel [on character Russell Adler's whereabouts] points to Verdansk."

The best Windows keyboard shortcuts for faster typing and browsing


When I was a kid, I'd absorb hints and cheat codes for the latest Nintendo games through a sort of osmosis. On playgrounds or at friends' houses, we'd trade these bits of wisdom as if they were arcane secrets--even though most of us had simply picked them up by reading Nintendo Power. Those days are long gone, of course, but if a grown-up version of this phenomenon existed, it might be the way we talk about keyboard shortcuts. Discovering a new way to save time in your work can feel like a superpower, even if it's a little less thrilling than learning about the Konami Code. I still remember, for instance, reading this Twitter post from indie game publisher Mike Rose last year and sitting back in astonishment.

Time Travel in Video Games Isn't Really Cheating


Animal Crossing, like other games of its Nintendo Switch ilk, is meant to be grazed upon. It's designed for short bursts rather than binge sessions. There's only so much you can do in one day of play--hit your rocks, pick your fruit, check in at the shops to see what's new--then it's done. It's a nice reprieve from Assassin's Creed marathons for sure, but it can also start to drag if you play for too long. Once you're no longer enamored with the game, it just feels like a chore, and no one has time for that.

em Monster Hunter Rise /em Is Infuriating, but I Love It


Both things can be true: I spent my first three hours playing Monster Hunter Rise screaming, "I hate this game!" at my Nintendo Switch screen. Since then, I have logged more hours in Rise than in any other game this year, and I've successfully convinced several friends to pick the game up as well. For some further context, I'd never played a Monster Hunter game before. I knew that the title did most of the explaining as to what the franchise is about--you hunt big monsters--but that was about it. Rise's debut marks the sixth main Monster Hunter game (the games have been popular enough to spawn several spinoffs, as well as a recent blockbuster adaptation starring Milla Jovovich), but that success has been a mixed blessing, as the series has become notorious for having a steep learning curve.