Minecraft’s next big update Caves & Cliffs launches summer 2021

This year brought a big update to Minecraft’s Nether regions. Next year, it’s the turn of its Caves & Cliffs.

Announced today during Minecraft Live for release in the summer of 2021, Microsoft acknowledged the update would take a little longer than usual, and there would be no update to Minecraft this Christmas as has become the norm.

“This is a massive update with a large variety of features to truly have something for all players, and we’re excited to release it for all supported platforms next summer,” Mojang said. “Due to the massive size of the update, the team needs more time to work on it than usual, which is why there will not be a traditional game update this holiday.”

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Here’s the first teaser trailer for the Monster Hunter movie

Oh yeah, the Monster Hunter movie! It’s “only in theatres” in December, apparently. We’ll see about that! And we’ll also see about this teaser trailer – the first for the film.

In the teaser Milla Jovovich and her unit go up against Diablos in a desert-like area. Jovovich and her unit seem in trouble – their army weapons are useless against the monstrous beast. We see a glimpse of the soldiers played by TI Harris, Meagan Good and Diego Boneta, but there’s no sign of the Hunter, who’s played by Ong-Bak star Tony Jaa.

This is just a teaser, but I’m getting Michael Bay Transformers vibes right now. Something about the soldiers and their guns in the desert fighting a giant thing that’s hard to make out reminds me of the first act of the first Transformers movie.

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Here’s a look inside a Mario Kart Live prototype

A very different kind of Mario Kart is set to launch in just two weeks. Today, Nintendo and developer Velan Studios has shown off a little more about what to expect.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit uses augmented-reality technology packed into tiny remote control cars. In a behind-the-scenes video, Velan Studios showed off an early prototype, from before Nintendo got to work refining the idea.

Mario Kart Live is the work of Velan Studios, the outfit set up by Vicarious Visions co-founders Guha and Karthik Bala after they departed their Activision-owned studio.

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Minecraft Smash Bros. talks began “at least five” years ago

Yesterday’s news Minecraft characters will join Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. was an announcement more than five years in the making.

Talks to get Minecraft’s Steve and Alex in Smash began “at least five” years ago, according to Mojang’s former production designer Daniel Kaplan.

“Guess when these discussions started?” Kaplan, now at Goat Simulator developer Coffee Stain Studios, wrote on Twitter last night. “Any taker?”

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Flick Solitaire showcases indie artists and movements that matter

I admire what Flick Solitaire is doing. It isn’t doing anything radical like reinventing solitaire, because why would you? But it is trying to shine a light on some interesting people and things.

Flick Solitaire does this by using decks of cards created by different artists. There are pixelated decks, there’s a cool comicky deck from Media Molecule artist Rex Crowle, and there’s my favourite, an Ugly Medieval Cats deck, which I think is inspired.

More importantly, there’s a brightly coloured Drag Deck, and this October, in honour of UK Black History Month, there will be a new deck each week created by a different black artist.

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Valve just updated Team Fortress 2

13 years after its release, Team Fortress 2 has received a brand new update.

Four new community maps designed to celebrated Halloween – sorry, “Scream Fortress XII” – have been added to the game. These are: Megalo, Bloodwater, Hassle Castle and Moldergrove.

22 new community cosmetics have also been added, plus 19 new community effects and 15 new community war paints.

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Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time review – a flawed gem

There are moments in Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time where you will come to a crossroads. Not the literal kind, of which there are actually many, the levels forking and pickling your brain on more than one occasion, but the spiritual. The kind that defines you, that reveals your exhausted, thousand-death weathered heart and shows you who you really are. Crash 4 is a game that forces you to look deep, deep down into your soul and ask yourself: just how bad do I want that one extra crate?

Crash 4 is hard, basically. Bastard hard. Toys For Bob, the former Skylanders studio that’s since turned its hand to the recent Crash and Spyro trilogy remakes, and leads the way here, clearly sees that original trilogy’s infamous difficulty as the template. Crash 4 is a direct sequel to Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, Naughty Dog’s last proper entry. All the Crash platformers since then – including another one directed by Mark Cerny! – seem to have been quietly redacted, as Activision goes big on the jortsy, VHS-fuzzed nostalgia of the mid-’90s PlayStation.

Whether or not you think outrageous difficulty, of the window-smashing, gripping-a-controller-until-its-plastic-audibly-creaks variety is what makes or breaks a Crash game will likely define your experience with Crash 4. Playing through it with artificial speed certainly exacerbates things, but there are moments where it moves from being challenging to simply awkward, the challenge derived from intentional clumsiness baked into one of the game’s many new mechanics. At times the frustration can drown out everything the game offers, but it is only at times, and what it offers is really an awful lot.

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Silent Hill 4: The Room latest Konami classic to get GOG re-release

Aging survival horror Silent Hill 4: The Room has been re-released today on GOG, priced £7.19.

Originally released in 2004 for PC, PS2 and Xbox, Silent Hill 4 left behind the familiar town of the same name and spent a lot of its time elsewhere.

It was another mostly fun, creepy entry in the series, but one remembered more for ditching its original setting than anything else.

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NexusMods bans all US political mods until after election

One of the internet’s biggest sites for gaming mods has banned all submissions with political themes until after the US election.

NexusMods’ ban covers all “mods relating to sociopolitical issues in the United States” and will last until “sometime after the next President of the United States has been inaugurated” – so not until the end of January 2021, at the earliest.

NexusMods’ decision was announced today in a weary-sounding update from the site’s staff. “To be blunt, we do not care how this looks,” read the statement posted to the site.

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