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For kids of today, it is hard to imagine a time when you couldn’t sign-in online via your gaming system to drop into a virtual world to compete against online friends in various mini games, ie. Fortnite.  It was, however, a reality during the 90’s, as video games made their march toward what they have become, that you needed to have your friends over the house to compete. Oh the horror! Joking aside, the 90’s boasted some of the best video games ever.  We take a look at our top 5 timeless classics:

Super Smash Bros

This Nintendo 64 classic was a childhood favorite for any 90’s gamer. It’s one of the few games on this list that’s still played today. There was nothing like having three other friends over to compete, 2v2 or in a battle royale, with some of your favorite Nintendo characters like Zelda, Mario and Kirby. The title expanded over the years with new levels and new characters, most notably the Pokemon era. Was there anything better than being Super Smash Bros champ of the house?

Roller Coaster Tycoon

Who wasn’t an expert at running a theme park in the 90’s? This PC simulation game allowed users to construct and manage their very own theme park. From building the wildest roller coasters, managing prices at the park and concessions, overseeing park staff to ensuring the safety of guests, Roller Coaster Tycoon was the first business experience for many children growing up in that generation.

Mortal Kombat Series

Here is a classic title that has expanded through the years into something far bigger than developers ever could have imagined when the first version was released in arcades. Yes, you used to have to go to an Arcade to play this video game. As the game evolved through the years into versions with better graphics and response times, the classic characters remained. Choosing your destiny with the likes of Liu Kang, Scorpion, Sub Zero and Jax was a staple throughout the series. There was nothing better than “finishing him” at the end of a flawless round.  Mortal Kombat even had a movie made in honor of it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as good as the game.

Mario Kart 64

Yet another Nintendo classic, Mario Kart 64, was the first racing game for thousands of kids throughout the 90’s. Users selected their favorite Super Mario franchise characters, raced through tracks such as Rainbow Road and Bowser’s Castle, all the while dodging shell missiles and banana peels in the process. The power-ups made the races the most fun and there was nothing better than picking up a star when in second place on the last lap.

007 Golden Eye

One needs to look back at the graphics from Nintendo’s 007 Golden Eye to really understand how far gaming has come. At the time, it was the best and coolest shoot’em up game out there. Based on the James Bond movie, Golden Eye had an interactive story mode that built around the movie as well as a super competitive multiplayer mode for up to four players.

Other notables:

  • Legend of Zelda Series
  • The Sims Series
  • Sonic The Hedgehog Serie
  • Super Mario World
  • Doom
Thus far, it can be argued that 2019 has been the year of Lil Nas X, if only based on the record setting success of “Old Town Road.” When you add that he voluntarily revealed his sexuality at the top of the arch, the 21 year old has propelled himself to pop culture stardom in a matter of months. Jump to his appearance on HBO’s talk show The Shop: Interrupted, where he was quizzed about his decision to come out as a homosexual. Despite the question being rather insensitive, especially from host Paul Rivera, X did a great job of staying classy and making his responses both assertive and respectful. Commenting on why he came out X said, “It’s not like being forced (to come out), it’s just that growing up (I’m meant to) hate this stuff (homosexuality). Kevin Hart who was one of the guests on the show, and one who may be overly sensitive because he’s had his own trouble with the subject in his past, questioned what he was referring to.  Lil Nas countered with by saying, “Homosexuality, gay people. Come on now, if you’re really from the hood, you know.” There’s a lot of tension around this subject for some folks and it came to the surface a couple days ago on HBO.  The entire interview has been released and can be found on HBO.

September is big video game release month – sports games, especially, release in time to take advantage of the beginning of the football, basketball and hockey seasons.  But there are many video games for every interest.  Here’s a quick list of what’s coming out this month.

September 3rd

  • Catherine: Full Body (PS4)
  • Children of Morta (PC)
  • Final Fantasy VIII Remastered (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)
  • Last Oasis (PC)
  • Spyro Reignited Trilogy (PC, Switch)
  • Torchlight II (PS4, Switch, Xbox One

September 6th

  • Monster Hunter World: Iceborne (PS4, Xbox One)
  • NBA 2K20 (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC, Stadia)

September 10th

  • Caravan Stories (PS4)
  • eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  • Gears 5 (Xbox One, PC) Note: Early release for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers.
  • Greedfall
  • Utawarerumonou Zan (PS4)

September 13th

  • Borderlands 3 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  • Daemon X Machnina (Switch)
  • NHL 20 (PS4, Xbox One)

September 17th

  • AI: The Somnium Files (PS4, Switch, PC)
  • Lego Jurassic World (Switch)

September 20th

  • The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Switch)
  • Untitled Goose Game (Switch, PC)
  • Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (Switch)
  • Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered (PS4, PC)

September 24th

  • Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition (PS4, Switch, Xbox One)
  • Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear (PS4, Switch, Xbox One
  • Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition (PS4, Switch, Xbox One)
  • Contra: Rogue Corps (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)
  • Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition (PS4, Switch, Xbox One)
  • Planescape Torment: Enhanced Edition (PS4, Switch, Xbox One)
  • The Surge 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

September 25th

  • Mario Kart Tour (iOS, Android)

September 26th

  • Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition (Switch)
  • Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX (PS4, Switch, PC)
  • Ys IX: Monstrum Nox (PS4 – Japan only)

September 27th

  • Code Vein (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  • Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age (Switch)
  • FIFA 20 (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)
  • Memorrha (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC, Mac)
  • Ori and the Blind Forest (Switch)
  • Tropico 6 (PS4, Xbox One)
Nick Jonas and the Jonas Brothers had a big weekend at the MTV VMAs. The event had Jonas Brothers’ footprints all over it. They performed at the event, they won an award for Best Pop Song and were able to celebrate the evening with their significant others. That is, all of them except for Nick. Nick’s wife, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, was not able to attend the VMAs due to prior engagements. As a result, Nick was left as the fifth wheel among brothers Joe and Kevin and their counterparts, Sophie Turner and Daniel Jonas. When the Jonas Brothers were announced for winning Best Pop Song (‘Sucker’), Kevin and Joe turned to kiss their ladies while Nick just stood there awkwardly laughing. Even though Priyanka couldn’t be there, she wasn’t going leave her man hanging. She posted a picture to her Instagram account (which has over 40 million followers) that captured the moment the Jonas Brothers win was announced. But this time, she was in the photo, via Photoshop, shown in a red dress, gently resting in the arms of Nick while he held her with his hand on her booty. It was a perfect, humorous ending to an amazing weekend for the New Jersey native.

When talking about video game streaming, we aren’t discussing sites like Twitch that allow gamers to broadcast their game play online for others to watch. Video game streaming is a new way games can be delivered and played – it’s la carte. Think Netflix for video games, where the games are stored in the cloud and can be accessed on a device to be played without the disc and without the console.

Play devices could be your TV, phone, PC, laptop or iPad … all the above. Currently, Sony’s Playstation Now is the only full version available, but it’s accessibility is limited to PS4’s or PC’s for a subscription of around $100 dollars a year. For that users get access to a library of nearly 1,000 old and new games.

Competition is on the way from GeForce Now and Google Stadia, both of which are in test stages. Google Stadia is set to release a version of its service in November.  It will work on pretty much any device that has access to Google Chrome. You will be able use your mouse and keyboard on a PC/Laptop or buy a controller for TV gameplay. If you already have a controller that has Bluetooth capabilities, you can use that or buy Google’s own controller product that will surely have a faster response time since it is specific for this service.

It is important to remember that you will need a very stable internet connection to enjoy these services the way they were meant to be enjoyed.  After all, you’re playing a game that is stored in the cloud and is played over an online server.

Is this the future of gaming or will a console and disc services always have their place? Time will tell, but we will have a good idea of how popular these services are within the next year as the betas become full products.

We have been learning more and more about Disney+ weekly as the company continues to release new information ahead of its November 12th release date. We reported a ton of announcements regarding content last week and now we have some information on their streaming limits.

One Disney+ account will be given permission to stream on up to 10 devices – sounds like a generous offer next to Netflix, which allows permission for only 1, 2, or 4 devices.  Example: If you have a Disney+ account on your TV, your iPhone, and iPad, you’re at three right off the bat. Let’s assume a family of four has Disney+ on each of their phones and on a TV in each of their bedrooms, that’s 7. Throw the family room into the mix and it’s up to 8.

Disney’s Special Labor Day Weekend Offer:

Disney Club members can sign up for a 3-year package of Disney+ over Labor Day Weekend for a cost of $141, a package that will cost regular folks $70 a year or $210 for 3-years.  

The following is a list of every winner from the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards:

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down”

ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Ariana Grande

SONG OF THE YEAR

Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)”

BEST NEW ARTIST

Billie Eilish

BEST COLLABORATION

Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita”

PUSH ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Billie Eilish

BEST POP

Jonas Brothers – “Sucker”

BEST HIP HOP

Cardi B – “Money”

BEST R&B

Normani ft. 6lack – “Waves”

BEST K-POP

BTS ft. Halsey – “Boy With Luv”

BEST LATIN

ROSALÍA & J Balvin ft. El Guincho – “Con Altura”

BEST DANCE

WINNERS: The Chainsmokers ft. Bebe Rexha – “Call You Mine”

BEST ROCK

Panic! At The Disco – “High Hopes”

VIDEO FOR GOOD

Taylor Swift – “You Need to Calm Down”

SONG OF SUMMER

Ariana Grande & Social House – “Boyfriend”

BEST GROUP NOMINEES:

BTS

BEST POWER ANTHEMS:

Megan Thee Stallion ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign “Hot Girl Summer”

BEST DIRECTION

Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road (Remix)” – Directed by Calmatic​

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Taylor Swift ft. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco – “ME!” – Visual Effects by Loris Paillier & Lucas Salton for BUF VFX​

BEST EDITING

Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy” – Editing by Billie Eilish

BEST ART DIRECTION

Ariana Grande – “7 Rings” – Art Direction by John Richoux​

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

ROSALÍA & J Balvin ft. El Guincho – “Con Altura” – Choreography by Charm La’Donna​

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY​

Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello – “Señorita” – Cinematography by Scott Cunningham

After much speculation from the fan base, Disney finally unveiled something at the D23 Expo 2019: a self-promoting documentary series titled “One Day at Disney.”  This series will take viewers behind the scenes with the Walt Disney Company performers who bring the magic to life in Disney Parks, Disney Theaters and Walt Disney Imagining. Those featured in the Disney documentary are:

● Eric Baker – a Walt Disney Imagineer who has overseen the creation of detailed props within Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the newest land at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts.

● Ashley Girdich – a Research and Development Project Manager who helps teams execute innovative robotics technology projects at Disney parks.

● Eric Goldberg – an animator known for creating the Genie in Aladdin, Phil in Hercules, and animating Mickey Mouse in the short film Get a Horse! directing “Pocahontas”

● Mark Gonzales – a worker on the world-famous Disneyland Railroad.

● Grace Lee – a Senior Illustration Manager at Disney Worldwide Publishing.

● Zamavus “Zama” Magudulela – a South African actor currently playing Rafiki in The Lion King.

● Ryan Meinerding – Marvel Studio’s Head of Visual Development.

● Dr. Natalie Mylniczenko – a Veterinarian who cares for creatures large and small at Walt Disney World Resort.

● Jerome Ranft – a Pixar artist who created detailed sculptures for animators to use in films including Finding Nemo, Toy Story 3 and Ratatouille.

● Robin Roberts – a former ESPN sportscaster who has been co-anchoring on Good Morning America since 2005.

Facebook is set to launch a new service this fall codenamed ‘Catalina’, which will serve as a larger version of their current Facebook Portal. Portal is like an iPad that primarily serves for making video calls and listening to music. Catalina will essentially be a bigger version of Portal. It will connect with your television, enabling video calls on a massive scale. The device will come with a remote and will steam to other boxes within the household much like Apple TV. Facebook has approached some of the big names in tech and entertainment – Disney, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and HBO – to discuss the prospect of having their services streamed across Catalina. Imagine video chatting with your friends while you are all watching the same movie.  FB is apparently not looking to create content, they seem happy to leave it to others in hopes that major streaming services sign on.  One notable exception is Google’s YouTube, which has apparently not been asked to join the party.  More specifics are expected as we approach this fall’s release date

According to an Elon Musk tweet a few days ago, Tesla’s high tech sport cars is about to get the “ability to stream YouTube and Netflix when car is stopped coming to your Tesla soon!” The car already has a massive LCD display screen and top-of-the-line audio. Sounds like a perfect way to watch a movie!

Tesla owners can already play select games while the car is stopped and now they’ll be the first with Netflix, YouTube and possibly Hulu among other streaming services.  They’ll never need to leave the car. What’s next? Perhaps a built in popcorn machine or espresso maker are on the horizon! Jokes aside, the whole drive in movie feeling can be taken to a new level with these additions. Imagine driving your Tesla (assuming you can afford one) to a quiet remote location, maybe with a view overlooking a city or mountains or beaches, and watching one of your favorite movies with a loved one. Pretty cool stuff. Musk hopes to one day have streaming available while the car’s in motion, but that’s in the future.