Danger Zone Has Vehicular Destruction From The Burnout Developers

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Three Fields Entertainment have announced Danger Zone, coming this May for PC and PlayStation 4. Danger Zone provides a “virtual Crash Testing Facility” where the goal is to create massive vehicular destruction. Sound familiar?

The developers include the original Criterion team of Alex Ward and Fiona Sperry. At Criterion Ward and Sperry created the popular Burnout racing series. The Burnout games were particularly note-worthy for high-speed, slow-motion crashes. The crashes became so popular that later games offered a separate Crash Mode. Danger Zone is a new game based entirely on that explosive mode.

“We are going back to our roots by creating a game in a genre we are truly passionate about,” said Sperry, founder and CEO. “Danger Zone takes what made the Crash Mode featured in 2004’s Burnout 3: Takedown so popular and transforms it into an all-new car-crashing, arcade-style puzzle game.”

As an indie title, Danger Zone will have a smaller focus (and price – $12.99). Twenty scenarios will be available, each with its own set of challenges, as well as online Leaderboards. The game is powered by Unreal Engine and promises real physical crashes.

Three Fields Entertainment previously released Dangerous Golf, which featured a hilariously violent take on the sport.

When forming their indie studio, Sperry and Ward mentioned they were working on a spiritual successor to the Burnout series. Danger Zone could be the first initial test. The last Burnout game was 2008’s Burnout Paradise, and it’s one of the best racing games ever made.

Danger Zone is coming in May for PC and PlayStation 4.

NES Classic Edition

NES Classic Edition Discontinued After Less Than Six Months

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In less than stellar Nintendo news, the company has announced that they are officially discontinuing the NES Classic Edition.

The retro console launched last November. Since then it has been notoriously sold out and extremely difficult to find due to high demand. Additional units have been supplied sporadically in the following months, but no where near enough to meet demand, leading the console’s price to skyrocket from resellers.. But this week’s news of cancellation is a jarring shock to many who were still holding out hope.

Here is Nintendo of America’s official statement:

Throughout April, NOA territories will receive the last shipments of Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition systems for this year. We encourage anyone interested in obtaining this system to check with retail outlets regarding availability. We understand that it has been difficult for many consumers to find a system, and for that we apologize. We have paid close attention to consumer feedback, and we greatly appreciate the incredible level of consumer interest and support for this product.

A Nintendo representative told IGN that the “NES Classic Edition wasn’t intended to be an ongoing, long-term product.” This is absolutely baffling given the obvious popularity of a nostalgic console at a prime price point ($60) packed with 30 games.

The NES Classic Edition was a tiny re-production of the original Nintendo Entertainment System that helped save gaming in the mid-80s. The NES is one of the most important consoles ever made, with an impressive library of classic games. The NES Classic Edition included all the best games, from Mario to Zelda and Metroid. Nintendo grossly miscalculated the number of nostalgic fans who wanted to relive the classics in a neat little package.

Nintendo claims they have listened to consumer feedback. An optimist may hope that this means we’ll see a new version of the retro console soon, as there’s clearly still a high demand for it. We can only hope that Nintendo, a company that’s well over a century old, learns a lot of lessons about market prediction and supply and demand.

Star Wars Forces of Destiny Is an Animated YouTube Series

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Disney and Lucasfilm have announced Star Wars Forces of Destiny, a new YouTube series that focuses on the iconic women of Star Wars.

Characters Rey, Jyn, Leia, Amadala, Sabine, and more take center stage in 2-3 minute mini-adventures. Actresses such as Daisy Ridley, Felicity Jones and Lupita Nyong’o will reprise their roles for the animated series, which tells small stories that remain true to Disney’s Star Wars canon. The series debuts this July on Disney YouTube.

“Star Wars Forces of Destiny is for anyone who has been inspired by Leia’s heroism, Rey’s courage, or Ashoka’s tenacity,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “We’re thrilled that so many of the original actors are reprising their roles in these shorts which capture the small moments and everyday decisions that shape who these characters are. It is a fun new way for people to experience Star Wars.”

Star Wars Forces of Destiny won’t end at YouTube. A two-part special featuring eight additional episodes will air on Disney channel this Fall.

An entire product line has also been announced, including books, figures, and role-playing items.

“From Princess Leia to Sabine Wren, Star Wars heroines are unique, and we wanted to represent that in the product line for Star Wars Forces of Destiny,” said Jimmy Pitaro, chairmen for Disney Consumer Products. “The result is the creation of our new Adventure Figures that celebrate the power and stories of these incredible characters and allow kids to recreate their most heroic moments at home.”

Star Wars Forces of Destiny adventure figures

The Adventure Figures are impressive 11-inch action figures with multiple points of articulation. Hasbro president John Frascotti admits that “the Star Wars fan base has broadened over the last 40 years,” referring to the very obvious untapped market of young girls who love Star Wars. Not to mention that boys love awesome female characters as well. As the father of an impressionable young girl who loves watching Star Wars Rebels, I’m ecstatic for Star Wars Forces of Destiny.

A special preview of Star Wars Forces of Destiny will be shown during the “Heroines of Star Wars” panel at the Star Wars Celebration Orlando event tomorrow, April 14. The series launches in July.