This week we’re watching The Invisible Man and NOT Cats. Absolutely no Cats this week, sorry everybody. Also John dies in this one so look forward to that!
Did you spot these references to the Blue Bomber in the Resident Evil 3 Remake demo?
The latest anticipated remake in the Resident Evil series has a new demo available in PlayStation and Xbox stores now. But amidst all the zombies, flaming cars, and general Raccoon City mayhem, there’s a few fun Easter eggs for fans to find if they keep their eyes peeled.
The first is a poster for an upcoming science forum posted just outside the subway car Jill starts in at the beginning of the demo:
The forum presents the question “Will robots surpass humanity?”, a hint towards the robotic future seen in Capcom’s prolific series Mega Man. But closer inspection reveals the two scientists hosting the debate are listed as Dr. Light and Dr. Wily, Mega Man’s father figure and arch nemesis respectively. The date listed, October 24-25, 1998 hold no real significance to the Mega Man series itself, although 1998 was the year that Mega Man & Bass was released on the Super Famicom in Japan.
But that’s not all. Mega Man himself makes an appearance at the “Toy Uncle” store, but not in the way you might expect him…
A Mega Man action figure can be seen for sale sporting his infamous blue and yellow jumpsuit from the original NES release of Mega Man 1. He even comes complete with an equally embarrassing catchphrase “It’s time to get Mega, Man!”
While that’s all the Mega Man references we were able to find, that doesn’t mean that’s the only Easter eggs the developers sneaked into this demo. There’s no telling if these references make it into the full release, or if there’ll be even more nods to famous Capcom series to find when the game comes out in April.
Let us know if you were able to find more Easter eggs in the comments!
Sure he’s cute, but how good is he in a fight?
Baby Yoda stole our hearts and minds with his debut in Disney Plus’ The Mandalorian series. But while he no doubt makes for an adorable toy and memeable GIF, he’s severely lacking in combat ability. So much so that you have to wonder why anyone cares about catching this little green imp.
Here are just six Sith Lords that would beat Baby Yoda in a 1v1 fight proving cuteness doesn’t make up for the raw power of the dark side.
Let’s get this easy one out of the way. Baby Yoda’s most lethal attack option is his trademark Force Choke. Only thing is, Darth Vader popularized the technique himself. There’s no way this little baby could pull Vader’s own trick on him. Vader was choking fools when Baby Yoda was… well in diapers, because he’s a very old baby. There’s not a chance Darth Vader doesn’t walk away from this fight with a green smear underneath his boots.
Now this may actually be a close one. Darth Maul might look menacing, but he’s underestimated an opponent from below before and we all know how that turned out. Statistically, Baby Yoda might just win this… The only thing is, Darth Maul has a double-bladed lightsaber. You don’t beat a double-bladed lightsaber, especially when you’re a baby without a single lightsaber. So while this one could be close, I have to give it to Darth Maul in the end.
Darth Tyranus (Count Dooku)
Think youth beats age? Sorry Baby Yoda, not this time. Darth Tyranus (or Count Dooku as he’s affectionately called) has already had run-ins with Adult Yoda before and survived, so he definitely has experience handling Yodas. You think a stupid baby version of his old master will stand a chance? Baby Yoda can’t do a single flip, or jump off walls. This one goes to Dooku hands down. If Count Dooku and Baby Yoda walk into a room, Baby Yoda ain’t walking out.
Darth Sideous (Emperor Palpatine)
Another close match. Palpatine’s main special move is his Force Lightning, which has also been the thing that took him down every time. You’d think someone with lightning powers would be a little brighter, but this guy just doesn’t get it. Maybe Baby Yoda has a chance going up against a Sith Lord who literally continues to be his own demise? Nope, not even then. The trick to beating Palpatine has always been to gently hold out your lightsaber to reflect his Force Lightning back at him. And as stated, the little green Dobby doesn’t even have a baby lightsaber, rendering him completely useless. Looks like we’re having fried Baby Yoda tonight folks.
Darth Sideous (But a Clone?)
I know what you’re thinking. How could a feeble old man in a bathrobe possibly defeat a sleek, slippery Baby Yoda? They’re both virtually powerless, and at least Baby Yoda doesn’t need a giant arm to spin him around the room every time he wants to have a foreboding conversation. But Clone Palpatine has the one thing Baby Yoda doesn’t have – guile. Zombie Sideous is a smooth talker, and if Baby Yoda is known for anything, it’s that he’s a dumb idiot baby. I give it five minutes before Grandpa Palpy is talking Baby Yoda into giving him his soul or something.
This guy is literally wearing a suit made out of lightsabers. Do I even need to say it? This one goes to the Sith, no problem.
The Legendary Sync Pair Giovanni & Mewtwo strike back in the hit mobile game Pokemon Masters for a limited time!
One of the most powerful Sync Pairs returns this week with Giovanni & Mewtwo in the Legendary Event: Lurking Shadow. This isn’t the first time they’ve shown up, but if you missed your chance to nab the pair last time or are new to the game, now’s your chance to add the infamous psychic Pokemon to your team.
Adding Giovanni & Mewtwo to your team
Unlike most Sync Pairs, Giovanni & Mewtwo aren’t available in the Sync Pair Scout and can only be found by playing the Lurking Shadow Event. Lurking Shadow is available under the Events tab in Explore. By completing both single-player and co-op Lurking Shadow boss areas, you’ll gain Custom Vouchers for the Giovanni & Mewtwo Sync Pair. You’ll need 800 Custom Vouchers to get them, but once you reach that number, they’re totally free. No battle required!
However, getting 800 Custom Vouchers will require some farming. Strong dark and psychic type Sync Pairs are a necessity. While single-player areas are easier and faster, co-op areas will gain significantly more rewards including Custom Buff Blends and Training Machines (more on this later). We recommend sticking to whatever highest level co-op area you can handle for farming.
You’ll mostly require strong dark type Sync Pair Pokemon to help you complete these areas (and you’ll want to aim to complete all of them for their First Time Bonuses) as well as some psychic and electric types.
The two best suitable dark type Sync Pairs for the job are Karen & Houndoom and Grimsley & Liepard, both available now in the Spotlight Scout. Secondary to them, Nanu & Persian or Cheren & Stoutland can also be helpful. For psychic types, if you managed to get Professor Oak & Mew recently, now’s their time to shine. If not, Sync Pairs Caitlin & Reuniclus or Calem & Mewstic will also be a big help. For electric types, Sygna Suit Elesa & Rotom are also available in the Spotlight Scout, but the always reliable Hau & Raichu work as well.
Upgrading Giovanni & Mewtwo
Once you’ve finally obtained the Sync Pair, the grind isn’t over. The items required for teaching Giovanni & Mewtwo new moves and skills as well as unlocking their level cap are only available for a limited time during Lurking Shadow.
You’ll need hundreds of Custom Buff Blends and Training Machines to get these to their max before the time limit is up, and as mentioned the best way to go about this is grinding those co-op areas over and over. Having powerful dark type Sync Pairs is crucial to higher level areas, so make sure you focus on getting your team as strong as possible to make the grind faster. You’ll also get a x3 bonus for the first match of each co-op area you play everyday so make sure to come back daily.
As with every Legendary Event, a new series of Missions has been added to help the item grind. Completing these missions requires using the Giovanni & Mewtwo Sync Pair, as well as repeatedly completing areas and will reward you with both custom items as well as Gems. You’ll likely complete many of these along the way during your grind, but it doesn’t hurt to take a look and make sure you’re hitting those requirements.
With that done and your Giovanni & Mewtwo Sync Pair fully kitted out, there’s one last grind left. In the Shop tab Exchange Items, you can exchange thousands of Custom Vouchers and Super Custom Vouchers to further level up Giovanni & Mewtwo’s Sync Move, as well as obtain Custom Power-Ups to increase their stats and number of stars. Excess Vouchers and Training Machines can be exchanged for Elite Four Notes, generic Buff Blends, Level-Up Manuals, and Custom Buff Blends if you need more.
When does the Legendary Event Lurking Shadow end?
The Lurking Shadow event ends on March 16, 2020 at 12:59 a.m., so make sure you obtain and finish upgrading your Giovanni & Mewtwo Sync Pair before then! This now marks the second time the Legendary Sync Pair has made an appearance and in all likelihood they may return again in the future, perhaps with another reward adjustment.
Nevertheless, we have no idea if and when they’ll be back, so use this chance now to capture and upgrade the powerful Sync Pair before they’re gone again!
2020 already getting you down? Well let’s step back into the safety of 2019 one last time for Button Masher Media’s Very Official Top 10 Games of 2019 as Decided By Averaging Out its Crew’s Favourite Games of 2019! These aren’t just the best games of last year, they’re scientifically the best games of last year.
10. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
16 games deep in the series and Fire Emblem still manages to put out possibly its best entry yet on the Switch. Three Houses combines a Persona-like school system with newly revamped classic tactics gameplay to create an experience that’s both comfortable and fresh. Packed with charming characters and an intense branching story, Three Houses is a quality package that I can’t wait to continue exploring through each of its varying paths. – Nic
9. Kingdom Hearts 3
I fully expected Kingdom Hearts III to be a bad game that I ended up liking, but I was surprised to learn it was legitimately a good game that I ended up loving. The story of Kingdom Hearts and its absurdity is often at the heart of the criticisms directed towards it, but if anything I wished the game went even more absurd with its finale; things mostly played out as you imagined, characters’ mysterious identities either remained unknown or ended up being the most commonly guessed fan theories, and as has been documented many times over, the meat of the Kingdom Hearts bullsh*t doesn’t come until way too late.
Despite my every complaint, this is still the game that brought us the Donald Duck Zetta Flare and for that I must love it. – Corey
8. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Illusive Age – Definitive Edition
Dragon Quest XI is the book you cozy up with under a warm fire. To paraphrase Kotaku’s Tim Rogers, (the phrase that sold me on the game, I’ll have you know,) “Dragon Quest is a bedtime story” — it’s full of these wonderful, wholesome little fantasy vignettes (the 80-100 hour story is comprised of bite sized arcs that can be completed in an hour or two) that are perfect to get lost in. I don’t think I’ll finish this game any time soon and I’m fine with that. Every time I pop in I’m left completely satisfied by the charm, characters, colours, and combat of the little arc I just played through. – Corey
7. Baba is You
Puzzle solving in its most pure form. Almost every single level made me feel like a genius when I solved it. And clever use of nonlinear level select made it a lot harder to get stuck. – Evan
From Software has perfected the art of Souls-like combat with Sekiro. Blocking, dodging, parrying, and striking down tough opponents has never felt so immensely satisfying (and challenging), and its made all the more exciting in a fantasy rendition of 16th Century Japan that is both beautiful and terrifying. I’ve don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun cursing at a game before. -Nic
5. Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 2 perfectly brings old school horror to the current generation with a remake worthy of the original’s lofty reputation. REmake 2 captures the terrifying spirit of the PSOne classic while providing just enough updates for modern sensibilities and shake-ups for series veterans. With brilliant pacing, cheesy puzzles, and heart-racing action, it’s scary how good Resident Evil 2 is. – Nic
4. Death Stranding
Death Stranding is technically everything you’ve heard said about it by critics who didn’t love it. It’s slow, cumbersome, on the nose and other times obtuse. And still I adore this game. Despite the years of the internet exclaiming “what is this game?!” it’s a pretty simple answer: it’s the new Kojima video game. It isn’t quite a new genre, a world changing piece of art, or anything else you can’t wrap your head around. It’s a good game about getting from point A to point B. And it makes you feel good about helping people. What isn’t to like about that? – Corey
A world that pulled me in, combat that felt and looked satisfying, and so much mood. The base PS4 performance was a big bummer though. – Evan
2. Outer Wilds
Went into this game knowing very little and it blew me away. By far the most creative game I’ve played in years. The sense of exploration, all the wow moments, the clever puzzles, and the joy of piecing together the mysteries. Definitely best to go into this one blind. – Evan
1. Apex Legends
When it comes down to it, most of the time I spent thinking about playing video games this year was in relation to Apex Legends. How I could improve my Lifeline game. How I could create a better dynamic with my crew. How other players were able to destroy us with what seemed like such ease. I tried the Battle Royale genre a few times over before Apex dropped but nothing stuck. This game does it so elegantly with its masterful maneuvering, endearing characters, clever world design, and game changing ping system. Dear lord, the ping system. – Corey
First time I was able to get into a Battle Royal game, always wanting to play one more match. – Evan
Respawn Entertainment continues to prove they know how to make a pretty good shooting game. Apex Legends captured my attention far longer than any other BR game thanks to its tight controlling gameplay, fun character abilities, and by providing a fun outlet for my group of friends to discuss finer conversation topics such as: Were the siblings in Life with Derek into each other? Who does the best Tim Curry impression? Is juggling a worthwhile life skill?
Thank you Apex Legends. – Nic
We’re solving the mystery of just how good Knives Out really is! And oh my, it seems there’s been a terrible crime committed in the CineMasher crew as well… Continue reading “Knives Out Review”
Just in time for Halloween… Let’s ruin Halloween! We’re recounting our worst and most disappointing horror movies ever. Let’s end this Spooktober not with a bang, but with bad feelings.
Continue reading “The Worst (and Most Disappointing) Horror Movies Ever”
It’s da Jokah podcast baby! We talk about what we love and hate, sequel ideas, and if Batman is just a privileged boy with a heart of gold. They say all it takes is one bad podcast to go mad, so why not let it be this one!
Continue reading “Joker Review”
Layers of Fear 2 is a nightmarish experience, unlike any other. But is it also fun to play?
The first Layers of Fear, developed by Bloober Team, was a surprise horror hit, and one that I liked a lot. It was a simple walking-sim, but what It lacked in complex gameplay it more than made up for with insane visuals and set pieces, terrifying atmosphere, and a disturbing story. Layers of Fear 2 amps up all of this with multiple diverse environments, a more intriguing story, and some much-needed gameplay mechanics. While two of these enhancements make the sequel a worthy improvement, one of them, unfortunately, holds the game back.
Like the first, you’ll again take the role of a tortured artist, this time an actor taking directions from an unseen and very creepy director. In doing so, you’ll travel and explore the secrets of your past to build your new “character.” In gameplay terms, this means making decisions at critical moments of the story and choosing whether to obey or disobey the director, leading to different endings.
While the story starts very abstract, by picking up collectibles that fill in the gaps of your backstory, it slowly starts to come together. There’s a bit of meandering and obtuseness when it comes to unraveling it all, and you might end up guessing the twists before they happen, but it still ends satisfyingly. If nothing else, it’s a step up from the last game’s story, and the perfect framing for an exploration of the mind.
This time around though, Bloober Team have swapped out a mansion with a painting motif for a cruise ship steeped in old-timey film imagery. And like the first, exploring the world is the best part about it. From the moment I saw the first trailer for this game, I loved the idea of taking the idea of a cliched haunted mansion and instead putting it on a ship.
And while this new locale doesn’t quite live up to my expectations (there’s still a lot of running around empty hallways), the game managed to successfully subvert them by drastically changing the environments for every level. Not to get too much into spoiler territory, but Bloober Team does not let the initial cruise ship idea constrain them at all. Levels just keep getting more abstract and creatively frightening, and it’s exciting knowing you could literally go anywhere around the next corner.
My time with Layers of Fear 2 was like descending into madness as the world decayed to reflect the main character’s fractured mind. If you can, I recommend playing this game in one extended sitting for the best mind-trip experience. It will truly feel like you’ve traveled through a nightmare and back again.
The film motif is used to great effect too. Every chapter is precluded by a creepy old-timey movie and interspersed with loading screens ripped straight out of famous horror titles. You’ll solve puzzles that have you playing with the idea of cinema and find crazy (if a bit distracting) references to famous movies and the history of cinema. Long segments of gameplay will even revert to black and white to surprisingly beautiful and eerie effect. Enemies will stumble after you with a cool jittery stop motion effect.
Speaking of which, in contrast to the first, Layers of Fear 2 does introduce enemies and puzzles. We ain’t no walking sim anymore. But maybe it should have been?
As I’ve previously discussed, I’m not the biggest fan of chase scenes in horror games. Especially mandatory ones that don’t give you any offensive or stealth options, and result in instant game overs. Add to that an ear-splitting jump scare on every failure, and you’ve got a recipe for frustration.
Unfortunately, this is where Layers of Fear 2 starts to decline in my eyes. One or two chase scenes to mix up gameplay would have been exciting, especially in a game where the only thing you have to fear is fear itself. But then comes another scripted chase. Then another, and another. It did admittedly get less frustrating as I got a handle on first-person running through almost pitch-black areas, but it was nevertheless an annoying experience.
And this isn’t the only instance of being suddenly ripped right out of the game with a death, as you’ll have to dodge… beams of light and gusts of wind? All of this wouldn’t have been so bad if you’d been given a few more options – maybe a way to stealth around a monster or hide from it after being caught, but it instead just devolves into a game of trial and error.
I eventually had to take off my headphones because I was getting so sick of the overly loud jump scare noises at every game over. For a game as immersive as this, the choice to have such sudden and often game over opportunities is a strange one. And seriously, dodging a beam of light through a maze isn’t scary or fun.
Another added gameplay mechanic is the inclusion of light puzzles, but they’re not much to write home about. Most of them are either braindead easy (solve a security lock with the code literally written beside it) or simple scavenger hunts. I found myself getting stuck on a few of these puzzles, just thinking there was no way the solution was as easy as presented, only for that to really be the case.
For as wildly creative as the world gets, I just wish the mechanics imitated this as well. It may seem odd to complain about the actual addition of gameplay elements, but when they’re as aggravating as the enemy encounters or as simple as adding numbers together, I wonder if they were necessary at all.
Obviously, I have some mixed feelings on Layers of Fear 2. The highs are certainly higher than the first, with a cranked-up intensity to the world and a more intriguing story. But there are more than a few moments of frustration that I never had with the original either, while at the same time I do appreciate the improvement on player agency. Maybe others will enjoy these sections more than me, or maybe I’m just bad at video games .
Overall, I still enjoyed my time with Layers of Fear 2. Not all of it, but I play these games for their horrific imagery and atmosphere, and the game delivers that in spades. For a creatively terrifying experience like none other, one that relentlessly throws every kind of horror you didn’t even know was possible at you, Layers of Fear 2 is worth the nightmares.
Insta-death light beams notwithstanding.
But enough about 2019, let’s relive the glory days of 2018 again! We talk all our favourite video games from last year, and even some from 2017! … We’re bad at lists.