Culture
7 Comments

The International is almost over, don't forget to buy some silly Dota 2 shirts

The International Dota 2 tournament ends today, so before everyone else beats you to it, you might want to snap up some of these cool themed t-shirts from designer We Love Fine's Dota 2 collection. The collection features user-created designs based on developer Valve's internationally popular MOBA. These designs were hand-picked by Valve for inclusion in the Secret Shop goods store set up for attendees at The International. Once the tournament concludes, with one skilled team taking home the Aegis of Champions, these t-shirts will be up for grabs for everyone through We Love Fine's website. Each t-shirt costs $25 and users can snag art prints and mouse pads of select designs for between $25-$45 and $24-26, respectively. Designs selected from the Workshop collection — created by Steam...
Culture
31 Comments

How do Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire remakes look next to the originals?

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire have almost 12 years of updated tech to back up the remakes of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, and a recent image from Reddit user YouDontKnowThisUser shows just how much of a difference that time makes. The photo cobbles together screenshots from both the old and new games. While Ruby and Sapphire hit Japan in 2002 (and everywhere else in 2003) on Game Boy Advance, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will be playable on the Nintendo 3DS. You can check out the difference in the image below, while the enlarged version is available on Imgur. Like its most recent releases, Pokémon X and Y, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will feature 3D visuals and more dynamic battles. Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire launch Nov. 21.
Culture
17 Comments

Street Fighter 2's Ryu turns 50 today

Today is a major milestone for one street fighter: Ryu, the Street Fighter series' forever-wandering world warrior, turns 50 years old today. The character has only been around since 1987, when he debuted in the original Street Fighter, but according to Ryu's bio, as detailed in the Super NES port of Street Fighter 2, he was born on July 21, 1964. Ryu's longtime friend and rival, Ken, will turn 50 next February. Ryu is certainly not the oldest of Street Fighter 2's warriors. E. Honda, Zangief and Guile are all his elders, and Dhalsim is the oldest of the original eight. Dhalsim, born in 1952, according to the SNES game, will turn 62 later this year. Ryu also shares a birthdate with T. Hawk, who was introduced in Super Street Fighter 2. T. Hawk was born on July 21, 1959, according to...
Culture
10 Comments

Banjo-Kazooie's musical magic recreated by one man band

Banjo-Kazooie was one of the Nintendo 64 era's best games; a colorful world crammed with great characters and tons of stuff to explore. And that soundtrack! Developer Rare married a wacky set of tunes with goofy sound effects to bring zany cartoon magic to 3D roaming and puzzle-solving. Here's YouTuber SquidPhysics recreating the game's theme-tune intro using a marvelous variety of instruments, including trombone, percussion, fife, violin, trumpet as well as, of course, banjo and kazoo. SquidPhysics has released a number of recreated soundtracks, including Crash Bandicoot 3 and Lord of the Rings: Concerning Hobbits. "This was definitely the hardest cover I've done so far," he said.
Opinion
69 Comments

Quit Twitter before you're hard, quit Instagram before you're soft

It took New York a decade to turn me. Friends in the city said it would make me a bit tougher, a bit gruffer and a bit harder, but I didn't believe them. But it has, and I should leave. I'm a Midwest boy. We had a good run, but this is probably for the better.There's a saying that you should leave New York before it makes you too hard and leave Northern California before it makes you too soft. I believe the notion originates from Mary Schmich's "Wear Sunscreen," a commencement speech that became the unlikely spoken-word jam of the summer of 1999. I appreciate the advice, and I'd argue it applies to more than just the geography of where we live. This week, I can't help but feel these clear rules whenever I sign into social media. Quit Twitter before you're too hard, I think. And quit...
Culture
60 Comments

New Star Wars: Episode VII teaser shows the updated X-Wing

J.J. Abrams has become a master of slowly doling out teasers for the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII film while benefiting from the exposure the news will bring to the movie's production. Today he's released a brief video showcasing the ability to win a walk-on role or a private, advanced screening of the film in your home town by donating to Force for Change, an initiative that supports UNICEF. That's all well and good, but the latest video for this effort features a shot that slowly pulls back to reveal ... holy shit is that the new design for an X-Wing? It doesn't look like the S-foils are able to pull apart, but it's interesting that it's a physical model on the set, and not a piece of computer graphics. This approach is shown in the other Force for Change videos, which shows a...
Culture
25 Comments

The Last of Us recreated as a PS1 game

The Last of Us will be available remastered on the PS4 by the end of the month, its graphics retouched to take advantage of the more powerful hardware. Now the experience of firing a shotgun into an infected human's skull from point-blank range will look even more realistic. Some will feast upon every gory giblet.Maybe you pine for the days when video games were blocky and rigid, when you struggled to suspend your disbelief. This isn't just a series of cubes covered in muddy textures, you'd think. This is a fungus-covered hallway in an abandoned apartment complex, barely standing after the fall of man. If that's you, perhaps you'll find comfort in The Last of Us reimagined as a PlayStation 1 game. The users at NeoGAF, never ones to back down from a Photoshop challenge, were inspired...
Culture
5 Comments

The original Star Wars, recreated shot-for-shot in Minecraft, is almost fully operational

The project to re-create Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, shot-for-shot, within Minecraft is nearing completion. Its creator says the flick will be ready in 2015, and released this teaser trailer to show his work. Grahame Skeavington, aka "Paradise Decay" on Youtube, says he has been working three years on this project, and that all of the structures and spacecraft were made in Minecraft. No mods. That's a lot of heavy breathing over the action, of course. Skeavington, who is creating this film as a tribute to his father, says that a DVD of "the original 1977 version of the film," synchronized to the Minecraft flick, will be needed for audio. This, presumably, is to avoid any ... copyright entanglements. Skeavington says the final version will be 100 percent free to view. "NO money...
Culture
24 Comments

Man, is Peter Dinklage packing a hellacious mullet for 2015's 'Pixels'

Peter Dinklage is having a good month. First his eyebrow-raising voice acting in Destiny's alpha got a nice modulated polish for the beta currently underway. And now he's rocking a mullet as one of the saviors of humankind in the action comedy Pixels, currently shooting. Pixels, inspired by a wildly popular 2010 short that saw New York under attack by classic video game characters, will star Dinklage, Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Josh Gad (most recently of Frozen). Entertainment Weekly has the first look at the heroes in uniform. Sandler, Gad and Dinklage (with Michelle Monaghan, above) are the "Arcaders," basically, slacker buddies of the President (James), recruited to repel an alien invasion based on the absurd misunderstanding that our 1980s video games were threats broadcast to...
Culture
48 Comments

GTA 5's Lamar voice actor stars in live-action Adult Swim comedy 'Black Jesus'

The voice actor behind Grand Theft Auto 5's Lamar Davis is starring in a new live-action comedy series, Black Jesus, on Adult Swim, the network announced today. Gerald "Slink" Johnson plays the role of the eponymous prophet in Black Jesus. The show is set in present-day Compton, California, with Black Jesus looking to "spread love and kindness throughout the neighborhood with the help of his small but loyal group of downtrodden followers," according to a press release. Black Jesus, which is executive-produced by The Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder, also features Charlie Murphy (The Chappelle Show), John Witherspoon (Friday) and Kali Hawk (New Girl). In Grand Theft Auto 5, Johnson voiced Lamar Davis, the gullible and incorrigible but ultimately lovable best friend of Franklin Clinton,...
Culture
51 Comments

Kim Kardashian's game is making millions of dollars because … it's not terrible

Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, the mobile role-playing game featuring the socialite herself, is forecast to make $200 million this year, which is significantly more than what most video games make in their lifetime. While it may be easy to attribute most of those earnings to her rabid fan base, which has been known to throw money at anything the Kardashian Klan puts its name on, there might be more to its success than just a pretty face. "There are a couple of things," said the co-founder of Drexel University's game design program, Frank Lee. "If the gameplay itself was really horrible, it probably wouldn't sell as well. Certainly having her name attached to it and given the amount of media interest she's able to generate is a great help, but the underlying gameplay is pretty...
Culture
47 Comments

Another news channel mistakes a video game screenshot for reality (update)

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is the latest video game to be misappropriated by a TV station for a report: news channel Russia Today used a screenshot from Konami's upcoming action-adventure to introduce a segment on child soldiers. The screenshot above — one of the official screenshots displayed on Konami's website — appears in a segment in which hip-hop artist and activist Emmanuel Jal discusses his childhood war experiences and the ongoing conflict in South Sudan. Metal Gear Solid 5 takes place in the 1980s and features segments in Africa, but Russia Today's use of the screenshot is totally off the mark. Not to mention it's a screenshot of, you know, a video game being used to illustrate a real-world crisis. But there is precedence for this! News stations borrowing the...
Culture
15 Comments

This is 'Futurama' in 3D

The bustling New New York City of adult sitcom-cartoon Futurama is already pretty impressive, but artist Alexey Zakharov's re-imagining of the city in full 3D is just plain unfair. Who wouldn't want to watch this? Zakharov's creation — lovingly built with a suite of computer graphics programs including Photoshop, After Effects, Nuke and 3ds Max — shows a broad sweep of the city, which includes the tiniest details from the Futurama opening, down to the air traffic and billboards in the background. The frame zooms in on the Planet Express delivery spaceship, giving us a brief glimpse of how this world would look in full 3D — but unfortunately, no characters make an appearance. Zakharov's Behance page includes a handful of additional renders of the spaceship, both in the city and in...
Culture
89 Comments

Steve Rogers passes the shield: Falcon will become the first black Captain America

Polygon's Culture section deals with the intersection of gaming, its audience and pop culture as a whole. This is where we'll put non-gaming stories we think are worth talking about.Captain America is weak, and this fall Steve Rogers will tap his buddy Sam Wilson — better known as Falcon — to become the first black Captain America, Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada revealed yesterday on The Colbert Report. According to a post by Marvel's Paul Montgomery this week, the new Cap's adventures will begin in All-New Captain America #1, from Rick Remender and Stuart Immonen. Must Read Why Disney Infinity 2.0's Thor isn't a woman ... yet "This is it," said Remender. "This is the fireworks factory we're arriving at, and now everything's going to blow up and be very...
Culture
5 Comments

She should have never come home: the startup founder supporting Superhot

One of the reasons that the game Superhot will be made is because Martyna Borkowska came home.Borkowska should have stayed in the Netherlands where she was studying abroad. She should have found a high-paying programming job there or somewhere else in Europe. At the very least she should have gone to graduate school. Instead she came back to Lodz, the third largest city in Poland. A city so crippled by urban blight that it’s called Poland’s Detroit. "It has a stigma of being the ugliest city in Poland," she says. "You can see the difference if you go to other cities. They are all nicer." Instead she came back to Lodz to take a chance at founding her own company, called BlueBrick. It's a technology consulting firm that also doubles as an incubator. She came home to become part of a...
Video
7 Comments

Ghost cars, virtual driving lines and motion control are coming to the cars of the future

The tools we use to perform better in racing games may be coming to Jaguar's future cars. Racing lines with braking guidance and ghost cars — the kind of displays you'd expect to see in Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport — are two components of Jaguar Land Rover's new "virtual windscreen" technology. The uses of Jaguar's heads-up display range from the practical to the performance-oriented. The company proposes projecting road hazard and navigation icons on its virtual windshield, as well as data aimed at serious drivers: lap times, ghost data uploaded by other drivers and more. "We are working on research projects that will give the driver better information to enhance the driving experience," said Dr. Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology for Jaguar Land Rover, in a...
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