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‘Leaked’ Steven Universe episodes weren’t leaked at all, Cartoon Network says

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A new set of Steven Universe episodes were set to premiere at 7 p.m. ET on Jan. 30 on Cartoon Network, but the entire so-called “Steven Bomb” has instead made its way to various unofficial channels online, more than three weeks before its official airdate. While many of the beloved fantasy-comedy cartoon’s fans — and some folks behind-the-scenes — are convinced that the episodes went up by way of an accidental leak, a rep for Cartoon Network confirmed to Polygon that the early uploads were, in fact, intentional. Around 9 p.m. on Jan. 2, Steven Universe fans discovered that all five upcoming episodes were available on Cartoon Network’s mobile app for iOS and Android. This took many by surprise, as viewers were convinced that the installments were viewable by mistake. HOLY SHIT THE NEW...

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More than four years into development Star Citizen changes game engine

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Star Citizen, the spiritual successor to the Wing Commander franchise and the single largest crowdfunding effort of any kind, has announced it will be using a new game engine going forward. In a press release issued today, the team at Roberts Space Industries announced they would be moving on from Crytek’s CryEngine in favor of Amazon’s Lumberyard. That means they’ve spent a significant amount of time effectively gutting their game, which is not yet finished, in order to make that transition possible. “We’ve been working with Amazon for more than a year, as we have been looking for a technology leader to partner with for the long term future of Star Citizen and Squadron 42,” said the game’s creative lead and studio head Chris Roberts. “Lumberyard provides groundbreaking technology...

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Why are Nintendo 3DS systems so hard to find right now?

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Even with the Nintendo Switch on its way, there are plenty of reasons to pick up a Nintendo 3DS this holiday season. Trouble is, many shoppers are having a rough time finding the handheld at retailers, with severely limited stock reported nationwide. Browsing through the websites of big-name stores like Amazon, Target, Best Buy and GameStop shoppers will notice that they have one thing in common: They have zero Nintendo 3DS units available. This has been the case since at least after Black Friday, when members of Polygon went looking for Nintendo 3DS systems to make up for the quick sellout of Nintendo’s limited-edition, $99 holiday handheld deal. While it was no surprise that the $99 special New Nintendo 3DS systems sold out fast, it was perplexing that none of the other models of...

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Super Smash Bros. Melee on Switch could be a huge boon for esports

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Super Smash Bros. Melee remains one of the biggest games in the competitive scene, and recent rumors about its potential high-definition, Virtual Console debut on Nintendo Switch has gotten many pro players excited about its next-generation prospects. While there are still reasons to be hesitant about Melee’s viability as an esports favorite on the upcoming hybrid console, we spoke to one of the community’s most visible members, who seemed optimistic about the Switch’s potential to shake up competitive Smash. To D’Ron “D1” Maingrette, who works at Twitch as the Smash Bros. strategic partnerships specialist, a Virtual Console re-release of Melee would make the game far more accessible. “If you were to visit a local game store and ask for a copy of [Melee], you would either not find it,...

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How Dead Rising 4’s Frank West is the new George Bailey

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If good ol' George Bailey ever wielded a chainsaw, you can be certain he'd read the manual, understood the safety procedures and took care to avoid the kickback zone. Dead Rising 4’s Frank West, on the other hand, only ever uses a chainsaw to cleave zombies in two, generally prefers the one-handed, swinging approach and has even been known to dual wield while whirling. If George's forte is carving the Christmas loin of beef, Frank is happiest carving up undead hordes. So how can It's A Wonderful Life's mild-mannered banker be compared to daring slayer Frank, whose current kill-count dwarfs the entire population of Bedford Falls? It's all about warm-hearted Christmas messages, at least according to Dead Rising 4's executive producer Bryce Cochrane. "What is Christmas...

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With Final Fantasy 15 finally out, fans shift desires toward Kingdom Hearts 3

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Square Enix finally released Final Fantasy 15 today, which means role-playing game fans can check off one of their most elusive and anticipated titles from the list. With that game finally out into the world after 10 very, very long years, there are a handful of other titles that players are keeping their fingers crossed for — and none have players more anxious than Kingdom Hearts 3. The wait for Kingdom Hearts 3 has in fact lasted just as long as the one for Final Fantasy 15, its Square Enix-developed cousin. Kingdom Hearts 2 launched stateside in March 2006, just two months before the reveal of Final Fantasy Versus 13. The end of that wildly popular PlayStation 2 game teased a third entry in the series, which set diehards off in search of Kingdom Hearts 3 news. Since then, there have...

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Buying condoms is awkward — in games and in real life

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There are few games like Well This is Awkward, which tackles the discomfort of buying condoms from a teen’s perspective. Yet, as lead designer and University of Baltimore senior Emma Kidwell told Polygon, this free-to-play comedy about contraceptives is actually quite mundane. “It’s relatable, which is the goal,” she said via Skype earlier this week. “I wanted to make something really weird and relatable.” Well This is Awkward definitely fits into the latter camp. Kidwell — who writes for Kill Screen and has written for Polygon before — designed it in Twine, a format popular with narrative designers. It tells the story of one uncomfortable night when a couple just wants to get it on ... except they’re missing just one important thing. It sounds like it could border on preachy — Don’t...

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Why Germany lifted its ban on Red Faction after 15 years

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Sci-fi shooter Red Faction launched 15 years ago, and for the first time ever many German gamers are getting a chance to play it. Publisher THQ Nordic, which bought the rights to the THQ trademark and some of its properties in 2014, recently announced that Germany will soon remove Red Faction from its list of media considered harmful to young people, also known as "the Index." The Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Minors, known by its German initials as the BPjM, manages the Index. According to its website, the government agency seeks to protect minors from content it feels could "endanger their process of developing a socially responsible and self-reliant personality." This includes media that contains extreme violence, discrimination, anti-Semitism or racism, as well as the...

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Pokémon Sun and Moon is bringing players together, old and new

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It’s been 16 years since I got my first video game: Pokémon Red, a present from my parents when I was six years old. Nearly two decades later, I’m still as wildly excited about the new set of Pokémon games every time they arrive. Sun and Moon mark the seventh generation pair, and there’s a ton of reasons for me to get excited, as I outlined in my largely positive review. But just as I’m still in love with Pokémon to this day, there are others who are falling for the series now. It’s an experience I’m finding more common, with some thanks to Pokémon Go, but it’s also one I have trouble relating to. To help me out, I talked to a recent and serious Pokémon convert, entertainment editor Susana Polo, about her much later awakening to the series, and what it’s like to come into something that...

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Why do people keep making fake Nintendo consoles?

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No one outside of Nintendo has their hands on a Nintendo Switch console quite yet, despite recent attempts by a popular YouTuber to convince people otherwise. Etika, star of the Nintendo-focused Etika World Network channel, came under scrutiny after uploading two separate videos featuring what he said is his very own Nintendo Switch. The first video, a livestream where Etika whips out a device resembling Nintendo’s hybrid handheld, has been taken offline since its weekend airing. But an archive made the rounds on social media, creating mass confusion and, eventually, frustration. ??????????????????????????????????????? WHAT pic.twitter.com/iYCc8flEkg— Alexander Pale (@AlexanderPale) November 14, 2016 Nintendo fans were furious not out of jealousy, but because they’ve seen this...

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