As Sega gears up for the launch of Sonic Mania Plus this July, it is continuing its animated short series Sonic Mania Adventures. The first episode captured fans’ hearts with a charming animated style and amazing remixes of classic Sonic tunes, and the second and third episodes are no different.

The third episode, appropriately titled “& Knuckles,” features the series’ red echidna fulfilling his duties as the guardian of the Master Emerald. Come for the Knuckles-focused short, but stay for the awesome reworking of his theme song that’ll leave you wondering where you can find the soundtrack to this series.

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To watch the first two episodes of Sonic Mania Adventures, head here for Episode 1 and here for Episode 2.

I began chatting
with Jeff Marchiafava about doing Blog Herding back in 2013. I just really
wanted my life intertwined with Game Informer’s. As many of you know, I
interned here. I love everything about G.I. I wrote many stories, one for print,
went to parties where craft beer was had, and bad games were played. And editor
Matt Kato became one of my closest friends, and one I look forward to chatting
with every day – even if he supports Manchester City. According to email correspondence
with Jeff, it was in January 2015 that we began talking about what this
iteration of Blog Herding would look like, and what it would mean when I took
it over.

There have been
so many times where bloggers reminded me just how old I was getting when it
came to a past game I played. And now I have this reminder that I did Blog
Herding for over three years, beginning on March 26, 2015. It’s baffling, rewarding, but also
scary. I’m afraid I didn’t do enough for all of you. I definitely tried! I hope
I did. I absolutely loved playing Rocket League and Monster Hunter with all of
you. I loved reading your writing. I absolutely enjoyed becoming friends with
some of you and chatting with you about life, games, and what gaming means to
us in our lives.

And Game Informer
has given me a lot. Every single one of you has given me more than I can
express – whether it is a reason to check out a game or a conversation on what
this crazy life means (it would be remiss not to mention Rebekah Lang’s impact
on me as a friend). When there was a chance to do Blog Herding, I knew I had to
give back to the great community. And not to belabor the point, but you all rock,
and I hope I served you well. The new website won’t have the ability for blogs
to be written. Your blogs will be saved, but I do recommend you back them up if
you can. And I implore you to all try and freelance – the range and depth of
content on display in this community is astounding. Don’t be afraid to grow,
and then to shine.

Our final Blog
Herding has ninjas, foxes amongst the stars, a card game, and eulogies. It’s
not a regular week, but a good one. A bitter sweet one, but one I’m glad to
have been a part of. I just wish I had been here longer. You’re all amazing.

I actually kept a
bottle of a special beer, Alaskan Smoked Porter 2011, in the hopes that I would
get a job at Game Informer before its recommended aging length of five years
was up. I gave myself a five-year window. To some, I failed, but I made great
friends along the way, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Except maybe not having
an old beer to drink now! That’s life, and I hope with the loss of user blogs,
you all find a way to continue writing.

Looking back at
that first Blog Herding… I don’t even have the same last name anymore! What a
wild ride this has been. Thank you all.

See you all
later, space cowboys and cowgirls. No – you have dust in your eyes. Plus, I’m
allergic to my cat. Yes, the one I named after Shigeru Miyamoto.    

Community Blogs
For May 17 – May 30:

Zang
Recomends: Shadow Blade: Reload (PS4)

The Zangmaster writes about a fast-paced platformer starring a ninja. That’s
pretty much all I need to know. While I like to play ninja games more in the
style of Tenchu (such an underrated, amazing series), I’m down for just
about anything with a ninja in it.

Nintendo
64 – The Console With a Distorted Legacy

Widdowson91 argues that the Nintendo 64 isn’t all that great because it doesn’t have a lot of great games compared to other consoles. I
would argue that a handful of the 64’s best games are probably some of the best
games ever. It’s an interesting blog. What do you think?

Gwent
Beta: Rule Changes, Loot Boxes, and Trolls, oh my!

JillG breaks down the popular Gwent, a card game a good friend of mine won’t
stop talking about, and one I know nothing about. It’s a good read for those
interested in trying out the beta, which I finally deleted because I just can’t
find the time to play it. Plus, I’m more of a Pazaak guy myself.

Would A Star Fox Racing Game Really Be
That Bad?

In a world where gamers want proper Metroid and Star Fox games, Nintendo might
give us exactly what we want: a Star Fox Racing game. Err, wait a minute.
MightyMagikarp’s blog counters the people who don’t want to see an improper
Star Fox game, instead giving us reasons why this might be a good idea. At this
point I would rather see him on a planet filled with dinosaurs again.

My Recent Speedrun Obsession
Writergirl2394 is addicted to speedruns. She breaks down what makes them
appealing, like Skyrim’s broken world involving horses and flinging oneself.
This is definitely one interesting community, and one I would like to explore
more.

RIP User Blogs
It was hard to include these blogs, but this is what we got with the end of BH
near. Dominic Cichocki, who has been an up and coming writer in the blogosphere
as of late, reflects on what the platform was able to do for him. This is such
a nostalgic post it both makes me happy and hurt. Thank you for being a part of
G.I., Dominic.

A Farewell To The Blogs (Thanks, G.I.)
Bjdbuch first wrote a Game Informer blog nine years ago. I had just moved to
Alaska and was writng for a newspaper there and trying to freelance and break
into the industry. (I actually interviewed with Andrew Reiner and Jeff Cork, I
believe, for a job at Game Informer that summer). I ended up getting closer to
where Cork grew up than to G.I., but it was a fun adventure! Anyway, bjdbuch
wrote a blog back then. At 13. It was short and imperfect, but it was another
part of the Blog Herding legacy. “The community gave me a sense of
purpose and pride during a time in my life where I didn’t have much. Middle
school was hell, but I knew that I could always go to GameInformer.com and find
people who liked me for the nerd that I was. It was amazing.” You’re amazing,
bjdbuch.

Darkest
Dungeon: Give the Blogs Some Company in the Grave

JillG “celebrates” the demise of Blog Herding with Darkest Dungeon. It works.
Jill may have come to the blog game later on, but her impact was felt. Thank
you for sticking with us, Jill!  

Gaming’s Most Epic Moments: The New GoW
Was Amazing

Brendon Curzio beat God of War, and I did not. So, I can’t say what all he
writes about, but I can say the moments in God of War are *kisses fingers like
a chef* – amazing. I can’t read this because spoilers, but knowing Curzio, it’s
good. And knowing God of War, these moments are some of gaming’s best.

Community
Reviews:

Mario
& Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions Review – A Welcome Return

Insane_Buffoon
delievers a short and sweet review on why this Super Mario and Luigi RPG is so
much fun to play. “The biggest new addition is a new separate campaign
featuring a tenacious goomba trying to reunite with his beloved leader. The
gameplay plays out in a real-time strategic lite style.” I have wanted to
replay this game on the Gameboy Advance, but I really want to try out the new
content.

Community Writing Challenge:

This is it, ladies and gentlemen. The final challenge: What
did writing for Game Informer’s blogging platform mean to you? What did it do
for you? How did it change you?

I hope you enjoy
the blogs! Please contact me via my Game Informer page or on Twitter at @LouisGarcia12 with
any blog news or playdate suggestions.

10 Chambers Collective, an indie Swedish company led by Payday developers, made waves last year when it revealed the horror-focused co-op game GTFO. The trailer was brief but got the message across: you and your friends work together to complete objectives while fending off nasty monsters.

We haven’t heard much about the game, developed on the Unity engine, since that trailer. However, today 10 Chambers Collective revealed some goopy screenshots that give you a good idea of the level of violence you can expect from the game, as well as a glimpse of a jellyfish-lookin’ monster. Scroll down below to see all the screens.

GTFO is due out this year and 10 Chambers Collective says that the game will be playable at E3. For more on GTFO, you can watch the reveal trailer here.

Time to get your swashbuckle on. Maxi, The Dandy Of The South Seas, is heading to SoulCalibur VI.

The fan-favorite pirate has been a part of the series since the first entry. You can watch VI’s version of the nunchaku-wielding fighter in action right here in this recently released trailer:

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Soulcalibur VI is due out sometime this year. For more on the game check out The Witcher’s Geralt, an unlockable character,  in action here.

Elite Dangerous developer Frontier Developments has announced that the game’s second update – Chapter 2 – is coming out on June 28 in advance of a bigger fall update.

The update gives The Alliance the Challenger, which has stronger armor than the Chieftain, while the Thargoid counter with new scouts that can buff other scouts.

It also includes new Wing Mining missions, scanning and interacting with space installations (including the ability to hack turrets), tech brokers, and more.

Elite Dangerous is available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and you read Dan Tack’s review here.

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[Source: Frontier Developments

Last month’s update for Warhammer: Vermintide 2 eased the game’s difficulty, but this month’s free update is all about offering new challenges for players.

The PC update includes daily challenges (for some impressive gear) and new quests, as well as over 100 cosmetic items and mod support through the Steam Workshop. The cosmetic items can be found in chests (which now have a better drop rate for cosmetics) and after doing Okri’s Challenges. The update also include various bug fixes and tweaks, which you can read about by clicking the source link after the update’s trailer below.

In other Warhammer: Vermintide 2 news, the upcoming PS4/Xbox One versions are getting 

For more on the game check out Javy’s review.

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[Source: Fatshark] 

It feels like only yesterday that Blizzard was running an ARG to reveal Sombra for Overwatch for like four months, but she’s been out for a while and now even has her own Nendoroid.

The Nendo Sombra comes with two faces, a hacking screen, a translocator with wavy hacking lines, fingers for her boop motion, and, most importantly, a plastic skull sticker to stick on the faces of other Overwatch Nendos you might have. Hack the planet with adhesives. You can check out some more pictures of the new Nendo below or visit the GoodSmile page for way more.

Pre-orders for Sombra are up now, but the figure will come out early next year.

It was only yesterday that rumors were swirling about Paramount tapping Ant-Man star Paul Rudd to star in the first feature film about Sega’s blue hedgehog. Variety is now reporting, however, that the role has been secured by Westworld and X-Men star James Marsden instead.

Variety doesn’t have many other details, just that Marsden has been chosen as the star, possibly in the role of the buddy cop from the previous report. Theoretically, he could also simply be the voice of Sonic, but it’s impossible to say at this point. Paramount and Sega have long-pitched the movie as a blend of CG and live-action.

The Sonic the Hedgehog movie is scheduled for release in late 2019. It joins other in-production video game movies like the Detective Pikachu movie starring Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds and an Illumination-produced Super Mario movie.

[Source: Variety]

NISA has announced that the two Yomawari titles, Japanese ghost-horror games done in a somewhat cutesy artstyle, are coming to Switch as Yomawari: The Long Night Collection.

The collection is made up of two games, Night Alone and Midnight Shadows. Both games are ghost stories about girls in rural Japan that wander off the beaten path and end up finding much more than they expected or wanted. Both games are made for fairly quick play sessions, averaging about six to ten hours each, which makes bundling both of them together fairly ideal.

The first title, Night Alone, was released on Vita and PC, with Midnight Shadows also being on PS4 in addition. You can check out the Switch announcement trailer below.

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Yomawari: The Long Night Collection releases in Europe on October 26 and the U.S. just before Halloween on October 30.

 

Our Take
I played a bit of the second game before and was intrigued, but maybe it will help me play it on a system I can just hit a button to put to sleep.

Solo: A Star Wars Story didn’t light up the Memorial Day box office, pulling in just $103 million over the four-day period. Going into the weekend, Disney projected between $130-$150 million for this Star Wars prequel, but it didn’t come anywhere close to that. The lackluster performance brought about a chorus of friends and random online people declaring they have “Star Wars fatigue.” The words “Star Wars” and “fatigue” will never unite in my world. I’m a lost soul who still can’t get enough of this universe. After I left the theater, I wanted to know what was coming next, and I hoped it was soon.

I know there are other people out there who are just like me, but my unwavering fandom doesn’t matter. If people won’t go see Star Wars films like they used to, Disney’s grand plans for the future are going to fall apart. That future currently holds Rian Johnson’s new trilogy, another series of films written and produced by Game of Thrones‘ David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, a TV series by Jon Favreau, and potential standalone films for Obi-Wan and Boba Fett. I want all of this stuff. Up until this weekend, I assumed everything Star Wars was locked in stone, but now I’m not so certain.

Disney was clearly trying to give Star Wars the Marvel Cinematic Universe treatment, with AT LEAST one new film releasing each year. It works for Marvel and it probably should also work for Star Wars if handled correctly. Has it been handled correctly? I don’t think so. Marvel’s path for 18 films is creating one huge sprawling story, with each new chapter building upon the last. The brilliant touch: Almost all of these films work on their own as standalone stories. Star Wars’ trajectory is all over the place, bouncing theatergoers all over the timeline.

My first disturbance in the Force came when I discussed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story with my parents. They enjoy Star Wars quite a bit, but were confused when I told them Rogue One wasn’t the sequel to The Force Awakens, and was instead a prequel to A New Hope. My parents asked me why the story had to go back into the past, and I told them it was just a side story that was disconnected from the latest film they saw. They thought that was a terrible idea to divide up the story like that.

Solo does the same thing. It follows up The Last Jedi with another prequel story. Disney even gambled on releasing it closer to Last Jedi, just five to six months after. That gamble doesn’t appear to be paying off. The Last Jedi is one of the most polarizing Star Wars movies to date. People either seem to love it or hate it – few fall in between these extremes. I don’t doubt people said “I’m done with Star Wars” after watching Last Jedi. One of the comments I continue to hear is “that wasn’t my Luke.” Many people feel Lucasfilm dropped the ball with Luke Skywalker’s last chapter.

I can’t get enough of Star Wars, and never likely will, but I’m not a huge fan of what Lucasfilm and Disney are doing with property right now. I’d prefer we keep looking forward into the unknown rather than revisit the past with stories we don’t really need. I enjoyed Rogue One, but it’s a story that didn’t need to be told. I enjoyed Solo as well, but again, this is a tale that we pretty much knew from conversations in the classic trilogy. Both of these films just filled in the gaps and provided visuals for the feats of heroism we already knew about.

So where do you stand? Do you have Star Wars fatigue? Are you in my camp of always wanting more, but hope the focus veers away from the past? Or do you think Disney is doing exactly what it needs to and Solo is just an anomaly in an otherwise great run of films? Chime in the comments selection below, and let’s get this conversation started.