Category: Communications 436

My unpublished Comm 436 video game trend story

My unpublished Comm 436 video game trend story

One of my favorite classes this past semester was Communications 436: Entertainment Reporting, which was taught by OC Register reporter Paul Hodgins.

While his lectures were perhaps a little vaguely laid out for my tastes, that was readily made up for by the interesting auxiliary bits he included during each three-hour class period — namely the mock newsroom sessions where we were able to write-up pieces in short bursts of time and design fake newspapers/websites/etc.

It was just the kind of cool real-life skills practice I haven’t seen come out of too many classes that aren’t taught by the Daily Titan advisor, for example.

Bonnie loves using her classes to feed into the newspaper for content generation.

The other thing I really liked about Professor Hodgins’ class was the fact that it offered the opportunity to write about subjects I might not have gotten to otherwise — more Lifestyle reporting practice, for example.

One example of that was the weekly beat report based on video game news, something I’m still deciding whether or not I want to keep up in the long run.

Because video games were my beat for every facet of the class, I also got to write some genuine articles in a few different styles. Ironically, the news story I pulled together about violence in video games was the only one I got out in print. However, I am still working on a profile piece the class initiated that I’m hoping to put out next semester.

The only piece that I never had the intent to publish was a trend story regarding the rise of the ‘battle royale’ genre of gaming. My sources for the story were Kyle Bender and Jared Eprem, the Titan’s spring 2018 Editor-in-Chief and Sports Editor.

Yeah, not exactly sources to use for a story if I wanted it published as something unbiased and legit.

Despite that, I was proud of how this article as a whole shaped up considering its somewhat last-minute nature. Because of that, I didn’t want it to just rot away in my school desktop folder.

So I figure what better way to put it out there than using my personal blog! Just consider it a sample of how I can write about a different subject more than an actual professional piece.

This pre-write is a little long as is, so I’m going to cut the story itself under a read more. If you enjoy it, please let me know! I’m always open to any and all feedback I can get.

Continue reading “My unpublished Comm 436 video game trend story”

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Entertainment Beat Report – May 10, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – May 10, 2018

Welcome to what may just be my last Entertainment Beat Report.  Later today I’m heading back over to Cal State Fullerton so I can show this little experiment off to my professor for a grade, and I haven’t decided whether or not I want to keep it going after that.

On one hand, it’s been cool keeping up a little more with the video game industry where I can.

But on the other hand, I do just kind of feel like I’m latching onto things and rambling about them. Which is my aesthetic around here to be fair, but it’s a lot of effort on my end for just that.

I don’t know, I’ll have the internal dialogue with myself on the subject later.

For now, let’s talk video games.


Monster Hunter Generations Returns

Okay so… This one is pretty much exclusively for me.

MONSTER HUNTER GENERATIONS ULTIMATE IS COMING TO THE SWITCH?!

Like. Wow. Totally didn’t expect that announcement this morning and I’m already pretty hyped for it. Even if the game isn’t coming until the end of the summer… Curse you, late August release date.

Ever since Monster Hunter World came out, I’ve felt pretty left out just watching my friends get to play together on their PS4s.

But now. Now I will get to play with them once again on a console that I own. In a world I’ve already mastered with hundreds of hours of playtime. In a play style I’m still accustomed to.

On a system that will not only look more amazing than the 3DS, but will still allow me to go play locally with my friends as well as offering online play. Plus all sorts of new monsters will be available as per the ‘ultimate’ version tradition!

I’m just going to kick back and savor this one for a while as I wait impatiently.

At this point, it isn’t a question of ‘if’ I’ll get the game… But whether or not I’ll transfer my hundreds of hours of experience from the original game onto the Switch version. Could be fun to start over? But I’m not sure.

I’ve got a few months to figure it out at least.


Nintendo Switch will receive new charger accessory

Keeping on the Nintendo train, this may seem like not a big deal for people who don’t own a Nintendo Switch. But as someone who owns and plays one rather frequently, this new addition to the accessory line-up is actually pretty huge.

Starting on July 13, 2018, players will be able to buy a $20 charger that not only costs far less than the TV-docking port, but also has an adjustable stand allowing for a more convenient hands-off experience than the current kick-stand offers.

Just looking at the picture, this thing seems like a phenomenal idea… That should have been released at launch.

But hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

This just feels like a must-buy for Switch owners to me, and while I’m disappointed we’ve had to deal without it until now, I’m very excited to get one in the near future. Thank god it’s only $20.


Overwatch League grand finals to be held in Brooklyn

As the title to this section suggests, Blizzard announced Wednesday that the grand finals for their eSports tournament, the Overwatch League, will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York in July.

According to an article by Variety, the finals will be about a month-and-a-half after the regular season ends (on June 17), and following a postseason playoff at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank.

Finalists will be competing for $1.4 million… Which isn’t too bad for a video game competition, I’d say.

Hell, I’d love to get $1.4 million for playing some games.

Oh well. Maybe someday, if I keep working on my Pokémon competitive skills or something.


Bungie Developer apologizes to fans

So this is an interesting little thing my friend Mitchell pointed out specifically, as a big fan of Destiny.

A few weeks ago I talked about how Bungie was planning on hosting fans to talk about how they would improve the rocky follow-up to their popular shooter.

However, it seems like all the bad blood hasn’t quite fizzled out yet.

On May 7, a fan replied to developer Josh Hamrick’s tweet about being excited for an expansion to Destiny 2:

Then, Hamrick replied to that reply.

That’s a pretty serious statement for what could have just been blowing off a butthurt fan.

I don’t exactly have a lot to say about Destiny or the state of its future as a game series, but I just wanted to point this out because it’s an awesome little example of a developer being respectful to the feelings of his fanbase.


Walmart ruins E3 2018

That’s it, that’s the story.

Okay fine, hyperbole aside. Walmart Canada made waves in the gaming sphere this week by putting out retail listings for upcoming games that may have spoiled some games that might be announced at E3 later this year, according to Polygon.

Among the games that got shown off were Borderlands 3, Lego DC Villains, Gears of War 5 and more.

Obviously these are kind of like leaks, so I can’t necessarily confirm nor deny whether the games that were put out here are legitimately coming soon. That’s why I buried this one under the other stories I talked about here.

However, apparently game developers are having a good time poking back at Walmart for their mistake, as Polygon also points out with Bethesda’s A+ response to the Rage 2 leak.


That should sum up basically all the big stuff I’ve picked up over the last week. It’s honestly been rather quiet, which made this an easier week to wrap up this project on.

… If this is where I’m wrapping this project up. Again, I still haven’t decided.

Though considering I always do this sort of thing, I’ll broach the question to my audience. Do you enjoy these posts? If so, let me know. I’ll be happy to keep them going.

Also, as usual, let me know if there was any big gaming news I missed. I’m almost positive there is somewhere in this big, wide world of ours.

Entertainment Beat Report – May 4, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – May 4, 2018

My apologies for missing last week oh devoted(?) fanbase. Looking at terrible restaurants around CSUF took up a whole lot of my time.

But now that that’s out-of-the-way I have way more free time and a hell of a lot less stress. So let’s talk about some video game news, shall we?


Upcoming President of Nintendo wants to focus on Mobile

The eternal gaming juggernaut Nintendo recently announced that its current president, Tatsumi Kimishima, will be stepping down in June.

He will become an advisor to the company’s next president (assuming stockholders agree) Shuntaro Furukawa, according to Kotaku.

Since Kimishima took the helm of the video game world’s most recognizable company following the unfortunate death of Satoru Iwata, it was brought back into an upswing thanks to the transition from the unsuccessful Wii U into the quite well-received Nintendo Switch.

Interestingly enough, one thing I learned from Kotaku Features Editor Chris Kohler’s article here is the fact that the current executive is not only going to be the sixth president of Nintendo ever, but also the first to take over during a thriving period of the company’s history.

Furukawa is supposedly interested in not just keeping up the success of the mobile hybrid console currently printing money for Nintendo, but also looking to take more advantage of the iPhone and Android gaming market.

As someone who rather obsessively plays Fire Emblem Heroes, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links and has had stints with both Pokémon GO and Super Mario Run, I’m pretty interested in that choice.

Though I do hope a large chunk of their focus remains on the classic gaming model more than the free-to-start ‘gotcha’ games.


Nintendo Labo kits face mediocre sales

Sticking with the Nintendo side of the world, let’s talk about Nintendo Labo again.

It’s a subject I’ve discussed before because it’s an interesting experiment all things being equal. For those of you who are unaware, Nintendo Labo is a series of arts-and-crafts kits in which Nintendo Switch owners can build objects out of cardboard that will allow them to play mini-games.

As the video above shows, there are objects like fishing poles, motorcycles and even a backpack that lets you imitate the giant robot you always wished you could pilot.

That’s Iron Giant for me, I’d say.

I’ve spent a good amount of time thinking and talking about Labo around here because I’m honestly interested in the idea behind it. As a current fan of things like Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project (a podcast featuring the ex-Mythbusters star), I appreciate the benefits to encouraging kids with a creative making project.

On top of that, the early reception to Labo seemed rather positive. This article by Eurogamer writer Robert Purchase really sums things up rather well in my opinion.

In essence, he argues that Labo is expensive and somewhat cumbersome to pull together on top of being something that isn’t incredibly fun alone… But for kids, it’s rather magical.

However, despite the positivity surrounding these cardboard variety kits, they don’t appear to be selling well in Japan since launching on April 20.

Kotaku reports that of the two variety kits currently available, the cheaper variety kit has sold 40 to 60 percent of its stock while the more flashy robot kit has only sold 20 to 40 percent of its stock.

In my opinion, it would be a shame if Labo disappeared into the same failing obscurity of experiments like the Virtual Boy… But at the same time I don’t exactly have the $60 to throw at things that might be just below my age demographic and overall interest level.

So I guess I don’t exactly have any ground to stand on in terms of saying we should support it. I think we should, but I probably won’t own any cardboard anytime soon.


New Overwatch Hero already receiving adjustments for being overpowered

Brigitte, the Swedish mechanical engineer who acts as a mix of a healer/tank unit, recently took Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch by storm.

She’s already getting nerved for taking it a little TOO much by storm.

Just about a day after she got released into the game, Blizzard is already working on balancing the character who seems to be ruffling many feathers among tank-hero players especially, according to PC Gamer… And just about anyone else reporting on the subject.

Now I’m not exactly a regular player of Overwatch, so I can’t necessarily explain the importance and impact of making Brigitte’s ultimate skill only buff character armor by 100 rather than 150, or increasing the cooldown on her stun attack from five to six seconds.

What I can tell you is that my friends who still play Overwatch regularly have noticed her impact and have complained about her.

So good on Blizzard for staying so on top of keeping their game fair.


Harry Potter’s mobile game bows to player criticism

“‘Yer a mobile game, Harry.”

As I mentioned up above, I’ve become more of a fan of mobile games as of late. However… I actually wasn’t aware there was a game based on the Harry Potter novels that dropped toward the end of April.

Apparently that’s not such a bad thing, because the game apparently succumbed to the dreaded microtransaction plague. That’s to bad because I enjoy Harry Potter a lot and it’s a shame that the game is being held back by lousy money practices.

Or is it?

The game has gotten so much negative press over its microtransaction system that it has apparently cut them out down, according to this article by IGN. Or technically Eurogamer since that’s who they source. But I already used Eurogamer so… Diversity.

But wait, there’s more. Supposedly that discounted price has only been seen by some users. Not everyone.

Talk about drama!

I can’t exactly speak to the game’s quality since I haven’t played it, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if this controversy buries it or not.


Steam implements more controller use variety

Valve’s gaming platform Steam has added compatibility with the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.

That’s uhh… Really all there is to say on this subject, honestly.

It’s a cool idea, as Xbox controllers have become famous in part for being used on Steam, and this shows just another facet of the Nintendo Switch’s staying power overall.

But honestly what else can I add to that particular conversation? I don’t have a Pro Controller since I enjoy just using the Joy Cons. But if I did, I would appreciate being able to use it on my Steam games.

Probably.


That’s about all I have to say this week, and it may be almost everything I have to say altogether. If that makes sense?

I guess it wouldn’t unless you knew that next week is the last day of classes for the Spring 2018 semester. As a result, it will be the week that we get our beat reports examined by the professor.

I’m not sure if I’m going to keep up this experiment after the allotted time period. I do enjoy it, but I’m not sure it’s really my style right now.

If you’re interested in my keeping up this facet of my blog, feel free to let me know in the comments down below. I’d appreciate the input!

I would also appreciate knowing if there was any gaming news I missed, by the way. Because repeated ending phrase is repeated as always.

Entertainment Beat Report – April 19, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – April 19, 2018

Quippy opening time?

Nah, who needs one of those. We’ve got video games, baby! So how about we just jump right in, that way I’m not keeping everyone busy for the next three years.


‘Monster Hunter: World’ updates with a brand new monster to hunt

If the angry pickle that is the Deviljho wasn’t enough to keep Monster Hunter players satisfied, Capcom has them covered.

As of today, the well-acclaimed developers have added a totally new elder dragon into their open world title known as the Kulve Taroth. While DLC is not anything unique for the Monster Hunter series as a whole, the fact that the DLC in world features brand new additions to the line-up on top of bringing in fan favorite monsters shows that the game has a lot going for its longevity.

On top of the gold-plated elder dragon, Capcom has added a new locale into the game for it to reside in as well. The Kulve Taroth’s nesting place is known as the Caverns of El Dorado, which as the name suggests is essentially a large series of interconnected caverns.

I unfortunately still don’t have a means of playing Monster Hunter: World in my personal time, but I really do like seeing it get the love it deserves. Plus, I’ll likely enjoy beating this thing up when I hang out with my friends over the summer.


‘Dark Souls’ on Switch release date pushed back

This is a story I have somewhat mixed feelings about. The upcoming Dark Souls: Remastered seems to be having some growing pains, as the Nintendo Switch release date was pushed back to the summer (along with its corresponding Amiibo).

Now I say I have mixed feelings on this because on one hand I’m really looking forward to this game coming out so I can finally experience the series I’ve always heard so much about. But on the other hand, I had no idea that the game was set to come out on May 25th originally, and am glad to have some extra time to enjoy ‘Don’t Starve’ more before jumping into a new game.

According to the Nintendo Life article I’m pulling this from (the one I linked above, thanks to my editor’s feedback), the development issues seem to only be affecting the Switch version thus far. Every other console will still see a May 25th release.


Bungie to host community summit regarding ‘Destiny 2’

When Bungie originally decided to move on from their success producing games in the ‘Halo’ series, many fans were sad to see them go but also excited for their next project: Another futuristic space-themed first person shooter called ‘Destiny.’

Destiny was a huge hit upon release and built up a massive fanbase quickly that latched onto the game for years following its 2014 release. However… The sequel, Destiny 2, has not been so lucky.

Because fans continue to have problems with the overall game, Bungie will be holding a community-driven gathering in Washington to see what issues people still want addressed as a means of potentially keeping the game alive.

I’ve never been a huge Destiny fan myself despite a long history with Halo, so I can’t say I’m an expert in everything people complain about regarding the game. This Variety article does a pretty nice job of laying it out though, so give that a read if you’re interested in some more context.

Besides that, don’t have too much to say on this one. I think it’s cool that Bungie wants to bring its community of fans in for this kind of work, but I don’t necessarily have a stake in the game either way.


E3 press conference announcements have begun

With the annual E3 conference comes a heaping helping of new video game news that fans around the world are always eager to gobble up. Even though it won’t be until June, various companies have already begun to announce their line-up of titles and press conference times.

IGN has a nice list of everything that has been announced so far, so I’m going to leave that here. Nobody has leaked the specifics of what they’re doing just yet, but it’ll be interesting to watch this space over the next few weeks to see what we can see.


Nintendo’s Labo experiment to launch tomorrow

If it wasn’t obvious, I’m kind of scraping the barrel at this point. There wasn’t a whole lot of news this last week that was groundbreaking, so I’m just pulling together whatever I can.

Thus, here’s a reminder that tomorrow will bring the release of Nintendo Labo, a strange series of arts-and-crafts add-ons for the Nintendo Switch that will offer an interesting example for the console’s more intricate abilities.

Fittingly released on 4/20, I suppose.

The first Labo Variety Kit will cost $69.99, which is a little rich for my blood looking at what it comes with… But I can’t argue with the fact that the set is essentially four games in one with extra real life fun to be had by building cardboard objects. So the price probably balances out there somewhere.

Also on the release docket for tomorrow is the new God of War, which continues to get rather stellar reviews like I mentioned in my last beat report. Schools around the country should probably be prepared for a lot of absences given the crossover of ‘hype new game’ and ‘smoke weed day’ if I were to make a prediction.


So with this beat report, I tried taking a slightly different approach. A few more items of interest than usual with a shorter, more to-the-point word count on each. Let me know what you think of that in the comments below, since I’m personally hoping it doesn’t just feel like I phoned things in!

Also, as usually, let me know if there’s anything I missed because I’m sure there is.

Hope somebody out there learned something today, but until next time I’m out of here. Have to get to class in about an hour or so, which is why I’m a bit more in-and-out than usual.

Entertainment Beat Report – April 12, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – April 12, 2018

As it turns out, I must be using the momentum from my Daily Titan post earlier this week to my advantage. Sometimes I astound myself with the way I can just go dark for days on end when I know I’ll enjoy myself after I manage to get out multiple posts in a row.

It’s just a satisfying feeling, man.

But that’s neither here nor there. This is a place to talk about video games. Not any of that real life garbage.

There’s probably some news going back a few weeks that I missed, but honestly I’m going to focus this entertainment beat report on a couple of really big things that have happened just recently in the video game realms that I follow.

So, without further adieu.


Overwatch League player terminated over sexual misconduct allegations

That’s right, we’re starting off with the heavy stuff today folks.

Jonathan Sanchez, a player known as “DreamKazper” from the Boston Uprising team taking part in Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch League tournament, had his contract terminated on Sunday when allegations went around that the 21-year-old was sexually involved with a 14-year-old fan.

Both the League and his former team have released statements about the scandal that can be seen over in the Game Informer link I put above.

I’ll be honest, I don’t exactly have a lot to say about this subject specifically. I have been following the League a little bit for this class, but I wouldn’t call myself an expert. Certainly not enough to know whether or not losing this player will leave a huge dent in the team’s abilities for the rest of the tournament.

But the fact that this story came out and received the reaction it did is important. In an era where the “Me too” movement seems to be taking down celebrities and other popular figures left and right (with good cause), it’s nice to see that a niche industry like eSports is not immune.

Though the League as a whole does not seem to be having a fantastic first run in regards to its media pull, which overall is somewhat unfortunate. Game Informer also linked to coverage of another case where a player was suspended and fined for derogatory language, and I remember writing a beat report not too long ago about one female commentator receiving death threats.

As an obvious fan of all things video games, I’d like to see a mainstream popular League like this survive beyond these controversies.

I suppose only time will tell.


“Donkey Kong” high score disqualified

Everyone loves Donkey Kong, right?

Well yes, Rare’s Donkey Kong Country series is certainly what people know the hulking ape for nowadays, and those games are undoubtedly wonderful both as experiences in themselves and as developments in gaming history.

But I’m talking about old school arcade Donkey Kong. The game where proto-Mario jumped around on scaffolding to save future New Donk City mayor Pauline from the clutches of the red tie-wearing monkey’s grandfather.

Is Donkey Kong a money? I swear I took a primate class not too long ago but I’m still nowhere near enough of an expert…

Anyway, not the point.

The point is, OG Donkey Kong had a worldwide high score set by a player named Billy Mitchell. Mitchell’s scores was removed from rankings of the game following the discovery that many of them were achieved using an emulator, according to a report by Kotaku.

Heather Alexandra has a pretty in-depth story on the subject that’s fascinating in its level of detail, so I’m going to just recommend you read it off the link I posted above.

If you’re at all interested in the retro gaming scene, you’ll have a good time.


New “God of War” title received stellar reviews

There’s a little-known franchise making waves in the game review circuit right now.

Oh, who am I kidding, anyone who’s reading this likely knows what “God of War” is, as it’s far from ‘little-known.’ The highly acclaimed series will be breaking into the next generation of consoles soon with a new release on the PS4, and people have been hyped for the game since it was announced some time ago.

Like many other people, I will affectionately refer to the game as “Dad of War” because the main character, Kratos, is an older man with a son in this title.

The game’s reviews have begun to trickle out now that there’s about a week before its release, and at this point everything looks to be highly in favor of the new Dad of War. On Metacritic, a site that accumulates review scores from across the web, the game has positive acclaim across the board.

Hell, at least three sites have given everyone’s favorite god-slaying daddy a 100 percent. Even IGN, which is pretty famous for hilariously bad reviews (look at you, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire’s 7.8/10 score for ‘too much water’) gave the game a perfect 10 — literally describing the game as a masterpiece.

After initial reviews like that, the question remains: Will Dad of War truly be as impressive as everyone is letting on?

I won’t personally be able to say given the fact that I don’t own a PS4. But my friends might play it.

If they do, I suppose I’ll get my answer there.


There are also probably a few smaller things I could throw into this, but for the most part it would be items of personal interest like the release of Klei Entertainment’s “Don’t Starve” on the Nintendo Switch.

(Shout out to Klei for liking my tweet. I’ve been noticed by Senpai!)

I love the game to death and played hours on end over Steam, so I’m excited to get to dive into it on a more portable system.

That said, it really is more of a personal item, so I’m going to let you all off early on this post.

I hope you all learned something new here today, and if there’s any big news in the world of video games that I missed, feel free to let me know in the comments down below!

Entertainment Beat Report – March 23, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – March 23, 2018

I could have put out this Beat Report yesterday I suppose, just to keep it aligned with my actual Comm 436 class schedule… But honestly I’ve been fluctuating between Thursdays and Fridays so much with this mini-series that I really don’t think it matters.

So I’m just going to use the midterm for the class that happened yesterday and the fact that I published two blog posts and want to space things out a bit as excuses for my laziness.

That said, let’s see what was news in the world of video gaming this week.


Mario measurements marked via phallus pixels

Let’s be serious for a second.

This is undoubtedly one of the greatest pieces of journalism I have ever had the pleasure of consuming.

Kotaku staff writer Gita Jackson wins all of the awards this week for taking mathematical calculations done by a Twitter user based on the promotional art for Mario Tennis Aces that assesses how large Luigi’s junk is, and using that result to extrapolate on determining the official sizes of other characters in the Mario universe.

That’s real, people.

My inclusion of this story above the actual big news this week may be a joke, but I genuinely do think this is an amazingly funny story that’s worth a little bit of your time to read.

Never before have I seen the word ‘penis’ put into a story three times in such an unironic way, and it’s just wonderful.

But that said, on with the real headlining news this week.


The 2018 Game Developers Conference

As much as I’ve been checked out from the gaming scene this week, undoubtedly the biggest thing that happened was GDC 2018 in San Francisco.

The annual conference took place from March 19 to 23 in the Moscone Center and frankly has so many different things to talk about that I’m not entirely sure where to start.

At the Game Developers Choice Awards, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild won Game of the Year. It was joined in the pantheon of winners by Night in the Woods, winner of the Excellence in Narrative award and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, Cuphead, which got Best Visual Art and Best Debut Game, Horizon Zero Dawn, which won Best Technology, and more.

Atari showed off a prototype of its newest upcoming console, which is crazy considering they have not had one since the Atari Jaguar in 1993.

More game developers were kept out of the conference thanks to President Trump’s travel ban, according to a Polygon article.

Really all of this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of everything that happened over the conference’s four days. It’s worth going back and just looking over everything that happened as far as announcements and speakers and whatever else, but I don’t think I’m going to delve too deep right now.

There’s more news to discuss, after all.


‘Sea of Thieves’ launch faces server problems

Rare’s latest game, the much anticipated pirate swashbuckling simulator Sea of Thieves, has not had the smoothest sailing opening to the public.

There have apparently been so many server-related problems afflicting players that Rare is taking the game down tomorrow to perform maintenance. That’s not really a super good sign as far as first impressions go.

The game has also received middling reviews (here are a couple of them: 1 – 2), so whether or not this one is as big a staying power as people were anticipating it would be is in limbo at the moment.


‘A Way Out’ offers players opportunities to play together without spending a lot

This one was a suggestion straight from my buddy Mitchell.

A new prison break-themed co-operative game, A Way Out apparently allows players to join a friend’s session of the game so long as they have the demo. No need to buy two copies, according to an article on Kotaku by a familiar writer.

This is an interesting concept put into the game by the developers at Hazelight… Though I can’t help but cynically reflect on the fact that this feature existed on the Nintendo DS for years.

Though if it’s inclusion here implies the feature may make a feasible comeback in the near future, who am I to complain?


Sort of a shorter report this week, in part due to my aforementioned laziness and in part due to me not exactly coming across a lot of ‘big news’ to go over.

I mean sure I could talk about the Deviljho again now that he has been unleashed in Monster Hunter World, but you can just check out my last report for details on that.

In the meantime, it’s about time that I head home to start Spring Break. I’ll likely post a few things over the week with whatever extra time I scrounge up, but for the most part I think I’m going to just relax and enjoy it a bit.

If there’s any other gaming news you picked up on that I didn’t, let me know about it in the comments below!

Entertainment Beat Report – March 15, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – March 15, 2018

I know this is exactly what I said on my last post, but I don’t believe I have a quippy opening to put up before this beat report. It’s just a standard round-up of the video game news from this last week thanks to some help from my friends that have way more time to pay attention to it than I do.

So I won’t waste too much time. Let’s see what the news of the week is in the video game world so I can continue to appease my lord in Comm 436.


New “Tomb Raider” film adaptation prepares for release

Probably the biggest mainstream video game news is the upcoming release of Roar Uthaug’s new adaptation of the 1996 classic game Tomb Raider. Or I suppose this adaptation is more based in the world of the 2013 reboot, Tomb Raider: A Survivor is Born, but those are semantics we don’t necessarily need to go into here.

The new Tomb Raider will be out on Friday with Alicia Vikander (known most arguably for her work as Ava in Ex Machina) starring in the titular role.

As of this writing the movie has a 7.2 out of 10 on the Internet Movie Database and a 48 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. While not fantastic, these scores are better than the 2001 Tomb Raider adaptation with Angelina Jolie, which got a 5.8 out of 10 on IMDB and a 20 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

So who knows, there may be potential for this to at least be a fun movie.


Popular Twitch streamer plays Fortnight with rapper Drake

A Twitch streamer named Tyler “Ninja” Blevins broke the record for most concurrent viewers at one time on Wednesday when he played the first person shooter Fortnite alongside Drake, a rapper known (in my circle anyway) for his  ridiculous dance in the Hotline Bling music video from 2015.

Of course he’s far more popular than that, but just to give everyone an idea of where I stand on this whole thing.

Now, when I say he broke records, I mean for non-tournament gameplay. According to the Polygon article I’m looking at, there were over 1.1 million concurrent viewers during an Eleague event in Boston. But for non-tournament events, Ninja’s stream nearly doubled the previous record by amassing 635,000 concurrent viewers at one time.

Apparently, Twitter analytics say that the top four trends that night were all related to the Drake/Ninja stream:

That’s pretty nuts.


Upcoming Monster Hunter World update detailed further

One of gaming’s biggest titles thus far in 2018 has been Capcom’s Monster Hunter: World. As a return of the long-time action-adventure multiplayer title to the Playstation side of the console debate, it brought huge changes to the beloved series that seem to have made the game a bigger hit than ever.

On March 22, it will receive its first major update.

Though that update will primarily be a series of added customizable armor sets and weapon balances, it will also feature the arrival of one of Monster Hunter’s most popular beasts:

The Deviljho.

Affectionately called the angry pickle, Deviljho is a fan-favorite Brute Wyvern that comes from the series’ third generation. It’s known for being a difficult fight with a creature design as terrifying as it is hilarious.

The Deviljho is also known for its claws, which in previous Monster Hunter games have facilitated the creation of items that boost player’s offensive and defensive capabilities.

There isn’t all that much to this piece of news, Monster Hunter just happens to be one of my favorite game series of all time, so I figured I would give it a shout out in my continued attempt to not be jealous of all my friends that are able to play it without me.


British Academy Games Award nominees announced

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) released their nominations for their 2018 games awards.

BAFTA recognizes 16 different categories every year, including “Best Debut Game,” “Best Narrative Game,” “Best Game Beyond Entertainment” and “Best Game Innovation” on top of the obviously expected music, performance and game design categories.

In what’s arguably the biggest category, six games are in the running for “Best Game.”

  • Assassin’s Creed Origins
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • What Remains of Edith Finch

Out of the games I’ve personally played here, I’d want Mario to win, but would probably expect Zelda or Horizon to win.

Though I’ve also heard nothing but good things about Hellblade, so who knows.

Whatever the case may be, these awards will be presented on April 12 in Troxy, London. There are 45 games nominated in the 16 categories, so it’ll be interesting to see how everything plays out there.


Foundation asks Nintendo about putting Dragon Ball protagonist in Smash Bros.

Alright, this is a bit more of a ‘jokey’ news piece… But I’ve seen some other outlets pick it up, so I figure it’s at least worth bringing up as it fits into my interests.

Following the announcement of Super Smash Bros. coming to the Nintendo Switch at the Nintendo Direct last week (which I summed up in my last beat report), one of gaming’s oldest questions came back into the limelight with a much more serious twinge:

Will Nintendo put Goku from Dragon Ball in Super Smash Bros.?

See, as funny as this joke is when it’s just a joke, the fact that Funimation is poking at them about it makes everything that much funnier.

Plus Dragon Ball FighterZ is such a popular fighting game hit that perhaps the idea of Goku appearing in a party fighter like Smash is not so farfetched…

Okay it is farfetched. But interesting to consider all the same.


That’s all I’ve got this week, and it’s about time I wrap things up so I can make it to class.

As usual, let me know what sort of big gaming news you think I missed in the comments! Obviously I can’t be in five places at once, so I know there are some things out there I didn’t get to.

In fact the most obvious video game news I didn’t give a shout out to is the soon-to-be-released Kirby Star Allies. I’m really looking forward to that, and it’ll probably be the next piece of gaming news you see out of me personally.

Entertainment Beat Report – March 9, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – March 9, 2018

I’ve had a bit of a hectic week and not a lot of time to pay attention to the gaming scene, but I didn’t want to miss out on one of these beat reports after I already did last week thanks to the convention I attended.

So this is going to be a little more short and to the point, just to show that I’ve been paying some attention to my entertainment beat for class. Hope you all enjoy or learn something either way!


March 8, 2018 Nintendo Direct

Gaming’s biggest name (arguably, but I’d stand by that) made waves across the internet on Thursday when they put on a Nintendo Direct showcasing all of the new stuff coming to stores and e-shops in the near future.

As of me writing this at 5:15 p.m. or so on Friday, the video is still the #3 trending video on YouTube.

I could talk for hours dissecting each and every little announcement that was made… But frankly I still have not watched the whole thing. As I said, time has not exactly been on my side recently.

Despite this, Nintendo includes a summary of everything they announced in the description of the archived stream, so even if I would usually dedicate a whole expansive post to this topic I can run through my thoughts on everything in short form.

I’ll try to be quick and painless with it.

  • The 3DS will have a number of new titles in the near future: WarioWare Gold, Dillon’s Dead-Heat Breakers as a sequel to Dillon’s Rolling Western and a remake of Mario & Luigi Bowser’s Inside Story.
    • As a side note, I’m still confused as to why Bowser’s Inside Story is next on the docket here. Superstar Saga had a remake not too long ago, but theoretically the next game on the list should be Partners in Time if they’re going in order on the Mario RPG kick. Perhaps that’s a discussion for another day…
  • Detective Pikachu will be coming out soon, and Nintendo announced a remake of the GameCube classic Luigi’s Mansion on 3DS. Coming… Sometime soon. Definitely looking forward to that one.
  • Kirby Star Allies, coming out later this month, will allow players to travel with old Kirby staple characters and companions – most notably including the animal buddies from Kirby’s Dream Land 2 and Marx, the (Spoilers? I guess?) arch-villain in Kirby Super Star.
  • Okami HD will be coming to the Nintendo Switch, as will a game called Sushi Striker (a puzzle fighting game based on Sushi I believe?), Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, Undertale, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, the Crash N. Sane Trilogy and so, so much more. Seriously, so many games here that are worth your time it’s crazy.
  • Dark Souls Remastered will have its own special Amiibo based on Solaria of Astora and his famously meme-worthy “praise the sun” pose when launched. Still looking forward to trying this one.
  • Splatoon 2 will receive an expansion with Version 3.0 and $20 paid DLC that’s going to add a whole hell of a lot. More stages, outfits, competitive rankings and even new single player experiences. Who knows, maybe this is the kind of thing that could get me back into that game… If I’d be willing to pay the money, I suppose.
  • Finally, the one that truly broke the internet: Super Smash Brothers is coming to Nintendo Switch. Whether it will be a port of Smash 4 or a new game entirely is not yet known, but it appears like the Inklings from Splatoon are new fighters and Link has been updated to fit his appearance in Breath of the Wild. Though I’m still a huge fan of the Twilight Princess Link, it’ll be interesting to see how that change plays out.
    • Also if you haven’t watched the video yet, go see the Smash teaser where the Inkling has the fiery Smash logo in her eyes. It’s one of my favorite hilarious visuals in a long time.

Mario is coming to Google Maps

Focusing more specifically on Nintendo’s most famous mascot, Mario and Google Maps are apparently combining forces to celebrate March 10. Or, as the joke goes, “Mar10 day.” See what they did there?

Seriously how nice must it be when details like that line up? It’s almost serendipity that years after this character was created we can appreciate unintentionally meta humor like this.

Once Google Maps have been updated, anyone can hit the question block in the corner of the screen to have a 3D model of the plumber replace their car as it travels along the blue line toward a destination. It’s a small, kind of silly idea… But a cool one all the same.

Besides, considering the Pokémon April Fools joke from a couple of years ago helped lead to Pokémon GO, maybe this is just test driving a new Mario Kart mobile platform.

Pun only slightly intended.


Mario Kart-style go-kart track will open this Spring

Nintendo sure has been busy recently, haven’t they?

The Niagara Speedway will soon host a go-kart track inspired by one of our favorite red mustachioed spin-off games, Mario Kart.

Apparently this isn’t the first time, as another similarly inspired set of racetracks also exists in Missouri of all places.

It has been a long time since I’ve gone go karting, so I can’t exactly say I’m excited by the prospects of going again now that I’m way too big to do so probably, but it is pretty cool to imagine playing Mario Kart in real life.

Plus, you can totally have Mario guide your way to the Mario Kart tracks if you choose to drive there this week. Who can argue with that?


Overwatch League host harassed for comments made on International Women’s Day

On finally not Nintendo news, here’s something back with our local Orange County favorite Blizzard.

Unfortunately, this might not be as good a publicity pull as the company might want in the midst of their League’s second stage.

One of the League’s host and analyst, Soe Gschwind-Penski, has apparently been receiving death threats and hateful messages over Twitter after she thanked men for treating women as equals on International Women’s Day.

Really from what I’ve been able to find, that’s about as deep as this story gets. There’s a little more back-and-forth about what she did afterward in the story I have linked above, but I don’t have much to contribute to the conversation.

I just think it’s interesting that there was a vitriolic response to what seems like such a simple, encouraging message. Guess that’s just the nature of the world we live in today.


President Trump held meeting about violence in video games following Parkland shooting

The Parkland shooting in Florida on Feb. 14, 2018 left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

In the wake of that tragedy, U.S. President Donald Trump decided to gather together higher-ups in the video game industry to discuss the violence they showcase.

According to the Verge, his meeting started with a series of clips putting various games’ violence on display, a video which has since been uploaded to the White House YouTube page.

Personally I’m not sure that kind of thing needs to be there necessarily… But I guess it is.

That same article says the meeting was “unproductive and bizarre,” with little discussion on potentially being able to restrict companies in what they can produce. More of the discussion was focused on voluntary measures and more robust age restrictions.

Another point worth noting about this story is different groups pointing to it as a “distraction tactic” in leu of talking about gun control, which says a lot with the March for our Lives march planned by students to talk about guns and mass shootings later this month.


Like I said before, things have been busy for me so I haven’t exactly gotten the chance to appreciate a wider scope of news — as I’m sure is obvious by the amount of Nintendo dominating the charts here.

If there is any news I missed that you were interested in, please let me know about it in the comments below! I know I can’t hit everything, so it’d be great to know exactly what I wasn’t paying attention to.

Entertainment Beat Report – Feb. 23, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – Feb. 23, 2018

As I’ve mentioned across the last few posts on my blog, this week has been incredibly busy for me and kind of threw my whole schedule off-kilter. I also spent a lot of time working on the first major article for my Entertainment Reporting class — which I might add is currently being looked at for the Titan, so it may see more of the light of day soon.

In the meantime, as a result of all that I haven’t exactly paid a lot of attention to the overall video game world. This beat report is going to be relatively short as a result, but considering part of my grade is keeping it up… What can I say. Obligations are a powerful thing.

That said, I hope you still enjoy.


Kentucky Governor blames Florida shooting on video games, other violent media

This is actually the story I wrote my first major article about this week, so I won’t go too deep into it now.

A day after the mass shooting that left 17 dead in Parkland, Florida, Gov. Matt Bevin blamed violent video games and similar media on essentially creating a society trained to kill.

As someone who has always played video games, I’ve always taken the repeated accusations of their negative effects somewhat personally. That much hasn’t changed, but I was able to take it to more of a professional place by writing about the issue.

I talked to a professor at CSUF that’s an expert on violent media and aggressive behavior, did some research into American Psychological Association studies and more, eventually coming to the conclusion that video games and such do play a part in violent behaviors, but there are far more intersecting ideas to consider for it to be so black-and-white.

Like I said, I have a whole extended article on the subject now, so I’ll be able to share that later. Even if it doesn’t get published, I can always put it out independently here.

Because of that I’ll just move on for now and get into those weeds sometime in the near future.


2018 Game Developer Conference schedule released

Every year, game developers from across the world gather together to discuss the industry, projects they’re working and look at interesting repercussions of past projects.

That gathering is known simply as the Game Developer Conference, which will be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California this year. On Thursday, the session scheduler for the event was released.

Frankly… The schedule is huge. So huge that I haven’t really had the time to comb through it. But there’s a ton of names from a ton of well-regarded companies in attendance, so no matter where you go there are definitely going to be things to see.

The conference will be held between March 19 and 23, with entry prices ranging from $250 for basic passes to $2,350 for all access passes.

A little steep for my blood, admittedly… But I’m definitely looking forward to hearing any sort of announcements that are made throughout the event online while it’s going on.


Overwatch League Stage 2 begins

Here’s something that’s just kind of continuing off of my last Beat Report. Blizzard’s big eSports experiment has started its second leg, and we’re two days into the competition.

So far (as of this writing), six games have been played out. No teams have had repeat games at this point so there isn’t much to say about rankings and whatnot, but the already high flying New York Excelsior team won its first game against Florida.

That’s something.

Honestly I never thought I would care about the Overwatch League as much as I have since starting to follow it for this class, so I’ll probably keep checking back on it from time to time.

For now however, there isn’t too much more to say. So let’s move on to the next.


First major Mario Odyssey update hits Nintendo Switch

As someone who has played a ton of Mario Odyssey, this story is a little more personally attuned to my interests, I’d say.

Once again I discussed the update in a post some time ago when it was first announced, but in essence a new game mode was added to the famous plumber’s newest adventure.

With the free Luigi’s Balloon World, players are able to talk with their green-clad brother and start what is essentially a game of hide and seek. In each kingdom, you can hide a balloon anywhere you can platform your way to in a limited amount of time, then it’s up to another player to try and find your hiding place. Or vice versa for that matter!

It’s a fun twist on the game’s core mechanics that seems to have breathed a breath of fresh air into it, certainly on my end at least. Plus the update also added some new costumes, including a reference to Super Mario Sunshine.

Who can complain about that?


That’s about what I’ve got for this week.

If there’s any big news that I’ve missed, or any details in the stories I did discuss that you particularly enjoy and want to talk about, let me know.

Next week I might also be a little off in terms of the timing of my post, as a forewarning. There’s a journalism conference I’m attending with other members of the Daily Titan, so I might be distracted by that.

Even so, I will be back with more at some point next week. So look forward to that!

Entertainment Beat Report – Feb. 15, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – Feb. 15, 2018

From here on out, my Entertainment Reporting class assignments are primarily going to be weekly updates on some of the major things that are happening in the video game industry.

I got some of my friends who tend to pay more attention to gaming news aggregates to help out on compiling a small list of some of the big things that happened this week, so my first attempt at doing this is probably going to resemble a listicle more than anything else. Just a few headlines, links and some summary paragraphs. Might wind up changing things later depending on how much I like that, but for now I think it’ll work out pretty well as an easy way for me to approach these.

That said, let’s get on with the news.


Overwatch League Stage one concludes with New York on top

Blizzard’s widely popular first person shooter has been driving the eSports scene lately with a competition between the game’s top teams from all around the world.

Stage one of the tournament ended on Feb. 10 with matches between London’s team and both New York’s and Houston’s teams. London won both games.

However, in the overall standings, New York is on top with 9 wins and only 1 loss. This puts them over the next four teams, who are all tied in their 7 win to 3 loss records, but have different standings overall.

Stage 2 will begin with three matches on Feb. 21. This stage will feature five weeks of play in Blizzard’s Burbank arena.

I’ll admit, I’m not personally a huge Overwatch buff, but I know all of my friends adore it. They certainly aren’t the only ones either, as the game has been hugely popular since it’s release.

I actually wrote on this topic for our Mock Newsroom this week, which took me down a deep dive into the world of competative Overwatch. It’s definitely not a world I travel in often, so it was an interesting experience to say the least. If nothing else, I suppose I like seeing eSports get a lot of traction – which is something I’ll touch on in a bit.


New Nintendo Labo video shows complexity of games

This morning, Nintendo showed off their latest gaming innovation more with a video detailing the first Labo Variety Kit that’s going to come out on April 20.

Labo, for those of you who are unaware, are essentially special holsters for the Nintendo Switch that give players new control schemes to play specific games. The twist is that you create the holsters — called “Toy Cons” in a fun little allusion to the consoles main controllers, the “Joy Cons” — yourself with cardboard cutout sheets and auxiliary pieces like rubber bands in activities reminiscent of arts and crafts projects.

When they were first announced, I know I personally had some concerns regarding how in-depth of an experience these somewhat gimmicky additions to the Switch were going to be, but it seems like they have some promise to be more than just tech demos based on what the newest video shows.

The first Variety Pack will contain five Labo projects: An RC car, a fishing rod, a house, a motorbike and a piano.

The RC car seems well thought out, with the Switch’s portable touch screen being used as a controller while the detached Joy Cons control how the car you’ve created moves. Not only does it show how impressive the “HD rumble” tech can be, it also makes use of the Joy Con night vision capable camera to promote self-propelled movement toward certain stimuli.

The fishing rod uses the Switch’s screen to simulate an ocean environment that you drop a fishing line into using a fairly complex looking cardboard fishing rod. The rod has Joy Con holsters in two major areas that allow you to simulate the act of reeling in fish, with the aforementioned HD rumble simulating the feeling of fish tugging on the hook. The game itself looks to be a rather simple fishing simulator, but has a nice and pretty looking aesthetic that I think will make it worth trying at least once.

Personally, I just hope this kind of functionality comes back for games like Animal Crossing and the Legend of Zelda, which are fairly well-known for their fishing side-games.

The house Toy Con seems to be used for the 2018 equivalent of a Tamagotchi. You remember those, right? The little key chains that would grow a creature inside and was later somewhat co-opted by Nintendo for the Pokéwalker in HeartGold and SoulSilver? Hell you don’t have to look very far for the allusion, there’s basically an 8-bit guy similar to Tamagotchi in the background of the house.

There’s a cute amount of interactivity with the house itself, where doing things like shaking the screen will create an earthquake inside, and the Joy Cons can inhabit different plug-in additions for the house that do things like change the time of day or the environment inside.

Oh, also there’s a portal reference in there. Can’t argue with that.

The overall experience seems simple, but there appears to be a good amount of depth with mixing and matching the plug-ins, and I do enjoy the aesthetic. So… We’ll see how good it is in execution.

The motorbike reminds me of one of those arcade cabinet racing games where you sit down in what’s essentially a simulated car or motorcycle. The controls appear to be fairly realistic and more complex than one might expect for a children’s console arts and crafts project, but Mario Kart Wii didn’t exactly handle the “realistic steering” thing well, so I’m reserving judgement on this one. There’s also a sandbox mode where you can create your own open lot driving areas with a scanner using the Joy Con camera and a track by simulating how you’d want to drive in real life.

Those additions are pretty cool, honestly.

Though… Now that I’m thinking about it, why isn’t this a Mario Kart game? More than any other object creation here, I think this one feels the most like a tech demo just in the sense that it seems like exactly what Mario Kart 9 should be. Another thing I hope we’ll see functionality return for later, I suppose.

Finally, the piano looks like a simple version of an actual keyboard you could go out and buy. It even does that thing where you can make each note play a silly sound if you plug-in a Joy Con knob. Apparently you can also make sounds through the vibration of a Joy Con by placing it on different objects, which is interesting… But not necessarily interesting enough to save this from being a little too simple to look that appealing. For me anyway.

My sister will probably love it though. Plus, I did used to mess around on Garage Band a lot… So who knows.

I’ll admit, I’m personally more excited about this technology after watching what Nintendo has planned. Now we just have to wait and see how successful it is on the market.


Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer shows Sora will visit worlds of Toy Story, Monsters Inc.

Now here’s something that’s right up my alley. As much as Monster Hunter World and Dragon Ball FighterZ have given me that mad heartache for a PS4, they likely won’t be as big a system seller as something like Kingdom Hearts 3.

A new trailer for the game came out this week at the D23 Expo, and even if not very much was revealed as far as a release date goes, there was plenty of gameplay shown off to get excited for.

We see through the trailer that Sora, Donald and Goofy will be turned into toy-sized Warriors and into monstrous versions of themselves when the visit the classic Disney and Pixar properties of Toy Story and Monsters Inc.

I’ll be honest with you, I don’t necessarily have a lot to say about this trailer right now. Don’t get me wrong, the game looks just as beautiful and fun as it has in earlier trailers we’ve seen. Hell, I even have some great things to say about it regarding the return of the dream creatures from Dream Drop Distance and the incredibly transcendent experience of hearing Woody and Buzz talk like they’re in a Japanese anime.

But… This game has been pushed back so much, that not getting a more specific release date than “2018” is disheartening to say the least. Seriously, Kingdom Hearts 2 came out 13 years ago, and Dream Drop Distance came out six years ago.

The last time a major announcement for the game came out was at E3 in 2015. News isn’t exactly out around every corner.

Let’s just hope more comes out at E3 this year.


Twitch garners more viewer traffic in January than CNN, MSNBC

This is arguably the most esoteric thing on this list when compared to more specific game-driven news, but I found it really interesting.

According to Investor’s Business Daily, January 2018 had more people tuned into various gaming channels on the streaming service Twitch than were watching CNN and MSNBC.

It’s fascinating to me that something like this can happen with how enmeshed in our culture things like CNN are. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of watching people play video games, so I understand the appeal. But it’s still impressive to see that Twitch had 962,000 average concurrent viewers compared to CNN’s 783,000 and MSNBC’s 885,000.

The article stipulates that a good amount of this attention is coming from popular competitive games like League of Legends and, conveniently enough, the debut of Blizzard’s Overwatch League.

They say over 10 million unique viewers tuned into the League during its first week, which is honestly kind of hard to fathom.

I don’t have much personal insight to throw into this story, I just think the numbers are fascinating and I wanted to share them. If anything, I think this might make for a good entertainment news story, something I have to write soon.

So stay tuned for that.


These four things weren’t the only things that happened in gaming this week, of course.

A remake of Shadow of the Colossus has blown people away with how beautiful it turned out to be.

Leaks suggest that the Crash Bandicoot N-Sane trilogy may be coming to both PC and the Nintendo Switch in the near future.

Bungie’s Destiny 2 had an update called the Crimson Days and Blizzard’s Overwatch characters will be getting new outfits based on the Chinese New Year.

There’s plenty going on out there if you’re looking for it, so keep watching for the latest news. I’ll be back next week with more, so look forward to that!

If you enjoyed this kind of post format, let me know. After all, I’m still trying to work out exactly how I want to do this whole Entertainment Reporting beat notes thing, and there’s a bunch of weeks left in the semester to iron it out.