Monthly Archives: December 2016
NASA would like to see SpaceX pull off a successful landing on Mars before it lends its equipment to the company, it recently announced.
Speaking at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (via Space.com), Jim Green, the head of NASA's Planetary Science Division, said, "I want to wait this one out," in reference to SpaceX's planned 2018 unmanned "Red Dragon" mission to Mars. "Landing on Mars is hard," he said.
But, as he tells it, once SpaceX is successful, it'll be all systems go for a full NASA collaboration. "I can't wait for it to be successful, because it opens up our opportunities to deliver important science instruments into the Mars environment," Green continued.
This new year has the potential to be a great one at the movies. There are long-awaited sequels (xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, Blade Runner 2049, T2: Trainspotting) and new installments in long-running franchises (Transformers: The Last Knight, Star Wars: Episode VIII, The Fate of the Furious) peppered throughout.
Not only will 2017 bring us the superhero team-up many thought would never happen (Justice League), but it also offers a goodbye to an old friend (Logan) and maybe an entire franchise (Resident Evil: The Final Chapter).
Fans of Stephen King will find themselves over the moon as not one, but two, high-profile adaptations arrive in the second half of 2017 (The Dark Tower, It) and several other classic monsters (The Mummy, Kong: Skull Island) will be resurrected during the year.
So you made it through 2016. Your stomach should now be so full of turkey that you are pinned to the sofa, with nothing but your TV and the feeling you should be buying cut-price oak furniture somewhere.
What better time to listen to our preview podcast for 2017, where Alex, Rory and Alysia look forward to the best games, TV shows and films coming in the next 12 months.
In other news, thank you so much for listening to the podcast this year - the whole UK team super appreciates all your support! From all of us, happy holidays, and have a great New Year!
You don’t have to look too far online to find a subjective list of the best shooter maps ever made. Because regurgitating another one of those lists would be too easy, and apparently I love making life difficult, I’ve gone the other way. What follows is a breakdown of my pick of the 10 most underrated shooter maps of all time. To further complicate (or, perhaps, refine) the selection process, I’ve enforced a rule of only one game per series which, believe you me, makes things a whole lot trickier.
In no particular order, here we go!
Look online and you’ll find a lot of hate for Outskirts which – coupled with the reality that Treyarch had the unenviable task of following up on the mega-success of Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare – makes for the perfect first entry in this list. The more popular maps in World at War had a greater emphasis on close-quarters combat and tight corners. Outskirts, on the other hand, bucked the trend, with long lines of sight and plenty of open space between ruined houses, which made it a sniper’s delight. It also forced run-and-gun SMG players (like me) to shift to longer-range firearms, or trick opponents into intense corner battles. Also, it had tanks.
Pokemon Prism, the fan-made ROM hack for Pokemon Crystal, has been make available online.
Pokemon Prism creator Koolboyman shut down his website and the project after receiving a cease and desist from Nintendo last week. Shortly thereafter, however, the files for the hack circulated on 4chan by fans allegedly unaffiliated with the project who, in an accompanying text file (via Kotaku), referred to themselves as "a group of people interested in seeing ROM hacks succeed."
Kotaku reached out to group of anonymous distributors to find out why they took it upon themselves to make the ROM hack available to the public. "Regardless of Nintendo's legal rights, we do believe that they are destroying their fans' hard work for no reason and at no gain," they said. "Nintendo could have used this (and any other good ROM hack) as an opportunity to promote the Pokémon series in general. They don’t even have to do anything other than let the games live."
Carrie Fisher, who recently passed away at age 60, had a minor role in Dishonored.
According to Glixel, Fisher recorded several lines for developer Arkane Studios' stealth game and her work is well hidden. You have to kill a certain propaganda officer during the "Return to the Tower" mission.
Afterwards, late in the game, you have to pay close attention to spot her voice coming over the public address system in Dunwall, Dishonored's main setting.
Fisher tells people not to "interfere with the regular transfer of deceased persons to disposal centers in the Flooded District" or that "any disturbance in the region of Dunwall Tower this evening has been the result of a previously scheduled training exercise."
If you've ever set a Tweet into the wild with a glaring typo, the only way to fix it is to delete the whole thing and try again. However, we may soon have the ability to simply edit the offending typo in our 140-character micro-blogs.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey asked what users would like to see from Twitter in the new year and personally responded to a few of the replies asking for an edit function.
— jack (@jack) December 29, 2016
Scarlett Johansson narrowly topped her Marvel co-stars Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. to become 2016's top-grossing actor.
According to Forbes, which calculated the global ticket sales of actors’ movies released this year, Johansson brought in $1.2 billion at the box office thanks largely to her role as Black Widow in Captain America: Civil War, which made over $1.1 billion worldwide. Johansson also had a minor part in the Coen brothers’ latest film Hail Caesar!, where she played 1950s Hollywood actor DeeAnna Moran.
Johansson starred in The Jungle Book, which grossed over $950 million worldwide, and the recently-released Sing as well this year, but Forbes did not count animated films where only actors’ voices were used. Johansson's Civil War co-stars Evans and Downey each grossed $1.15 billion in 2016 and tie for second place.
Amazon Prime welcomes us to the new year with their new shows Sneaky Pete -- from executive producer Bryan Cranston -- and Z: The Beginning of Everything, starring Christina Ricci. You'll also be able stream Swiss Army Man, Hellboy, The Infiltrator, She's All That, Dirty Grandpa, and more.
For purchase, you'll find The Accountant, Inferno, Deepwater Horizon, and The Girl on the Train. Here's the full list for January!
13 Hours: Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Across the Universe
American History X
Norm of the North
Are We There Yet?