WRUP: Jurassic Park is a pretty bad movie edition

It's time for us to just admit this as a species: Jurassic Park is not a good movie. I know, you have fond memories of it; I do too, aside from the fact that I remember being disappointed with it even as a child because it was more interested in "rawr scary dinosaurs" than actually showing off these magnificent, enormous animals. But the movie is about five minutes of cool, memorable moments mixed in with a bland, overlong plot that's mostly just people running around scared as everything gets ruined.

The science doesn't hold up, the characters are thin pastiches (including Jeff Goldblum being slimy enough to leave a residual bad taste in my mouth), and what made the movie work in the first place was how enormously compelling those dinosaurs look. That part still can impress viewers; not much else does. So "Chris Pratt and a team of raptors vs. invisible T-Rex" is really more of a lateral move for the franchise.

That's all, folks. Oh, right, What Are You Playing is here. Let us know in the comments!

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Betawatch: The Repopulation changes hands (January 20, 2017)

The good news for fans of The Repopulation is that the game is coming back online. The bad news is... well, it's completely changed hands, with Idea Fabrik (owners of the Hero Engine) taking the game and making it their own. Will it be as good as it could have been? Will it release and be stable? We just don't know right now. But it's coming back. The owners are also starting just by bringing the alpha back online, lest you expect a whole new game out of the gate.

And there's more beta news! Oh, boy, is there ever more beta news.

And yes, there's a list, and it's just below. Did we miss something in there? Let us know down in the comments. Do you want to share your opinions on this week's beta news? Do so in the comments. Sharing feelings about betas? That's what the comment section is for, folks, don't let us stop you.

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World of Warcraft posts initial patch notes for patch 7.2 testing

The initial build of World of Warcraft patch 7.2 is up for testing now, but be fairly warned: It's not all of the patch. It's not even necessarily a majority of the patch; as confirmed by community manager Lore, the main focus right now is stability and testing the new Demon Invasions, which means that players can expect to see many further iterations before the patch goes live. There's an entire chunk of stuff coming with the Broken Shore, after all.

You can peruse the patch notes for this first build now just the same; they include some nice additions like a "Sets" tab for transmog collections, higher item scaling for World Quests, and more options for gaining reputation from Emissaries past Exalted. You can also take a look at some of the new models already in the patch, including new class mounts of various hues and a long-overdue new model for Trade Prince Gallywix.


Revelation Online offers players bonus currency for buying currency now

The third closed beta for Revelation Online is running, and you can test out the game's cash shop right now if you're in the testing. But maybe you'd like to spend some money on the game while it's testing? Aside from buying a Founder's Pack, or possibly in addition to it. Because the game wants you to spend a bit more money, and it's enticing you to do so by... giving you money.

It's a very simple promotion at the core. Spend money for cash shop currency now while the game is in beta, and you can spend it freely within the cash shop in this test phase. Since the servers will be wiped, all of that money will be refunded to you after this test, but 15% extra on top of what you would normally get. So you get the money back and more besides, which is a pretty good deal if there's stuff you already know you want to buy when the game goes live.


South Korea is airing a World of Warcraft cooking show

Remember that World of Warcraft cookbook? It's heading to the next level. South Korean television will soon feature an entire cooking show based on World of Warcraft, which we may presume means that it's inspired in part by the game rather than the idea that people cook food and then attack one another with swords.

It also presumably means that you're basing it off of the cooking done by players rather than Nomi, unless the show is all about winding up with a great deal of charred, inedible food.

Choi Hyun-seok, a well-known chef and fan of WoW, will be hosting the show. Participants will cook dishes inspired by and based upon the show as well as talking about experiences within the game, providing a combination of influences that will hopefully prove entertaining to Korean viewers. We can only hope that the show will provide us with an edible real-life version of Delicious Cave Mold at some point.

Source: Kotaku



Check out the technology behind Ark Park

If you're old enough to remember the first Jurassic Park film, you probably remember the lengthy and involved explanation it gave about the technology that fueled the park's dinosaur recreation. Ark Park has plenty of technology fueling its creation as well, but unlike the aforementioned movie, it's all real technology that can actually work. Seriously, you can see it all in action in a video just past the break.

Obviously, the down side here is that this experience will not bring actual dinosaurs around to stomp about in front of you. The up side, however, is that even if all of this technology fails to work you will not be eaten by any dinosaurs. (You may be eaten by dinosaurs in Ark: Survival Evolved, but that's the name of the game.) Plus, it's not Jurassic World, so that's another mark in its favor. Check the video out just below.

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Choose My Adventure: The most depressing road trip in Lord of the Rings Online

You know, if my first exposure to Elves had been in Lord of the Rings Online, I would probably think that they were the most depressing species in existence because they're basically prepping for the most depressing road trip ever. Maybe for all of the right reasons, but still.

For those of you who are even less aware of Middle-Earth as a setting than I, the gist of things is that the time of the Elves is nearly done, and they are soon to journey to the West. This is kind of a natural side-effect of the whole to-do about the eponymous Rings, where the Elves can't stick around without them; I'm not entirely clear on the details, there, but the short version is that this is the close of a cycle for the entirety of the race.

So most of your early stuff is based around the fact that the Elves are not, in fact, going out to party and enjoy themselves while Sauron is on the march. Instead, it's all about preparing for the most depressing road trip of all time.

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Perfect Ten: The MMOs with the most unclear futures in 2017

A little while back, I took a look at the healthiest games in the MMO space at this time. That was a nice, uplifting list, wasn't it? And all of those titles continue to do just fine, even if one or two might have had a few bits of shocking news along the way.

Unfortunately, this is not an industry in which health is assured. Games can be high-quality and beloved, but they can still be shut down by outside forces. And that's not counting games that just come out in the wrong time period or launch in an unrecoverable state.

That may sound grim, but we're already staring at the first two shutdowns of 2017 in the near future, and both of the titles being killed are surprises. One of them might have wound up on this list if it weren't being shut down, but at this point, it is. So let's look at the MMOs with the most unclear futures and start hoping for the best.

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Palmer Luckey took the stand in the ZeniMax/Oculus lawsuit

The lawsuit between Oculus and ZeniMax Studios is a complex one, but you knew that the person behind the genesis of Oculus and the Oculus Rift wouldn't be able to avoid the stand during this trial. Co-founder Palmer Luckey took the stand on Wednesday to argue that none of the information from ZeniMax was used in developing the Oculus Rift, while the prosecution tried to point out Luckey's own technical inexperience and the shady circumstances involving skirted NDAs.

Essentially, the question comes down to whether or not former id Software CTO John Carmack brought proprietary information from ZeniMax over to Oculus; if he decisively didn't, then ZeniMax's suit has no merit, but if he decisively did, then Oculus' defense is dead in the water. We'd say it's up to the reader to decide who's telling the truth, but at this point it's really up to the courts following Luckey's confused and somewhat flustered testimony.

Source: Polygon


Elder Scrolls Online launches Homestead housing on February 6th

Ready to move into a swanky new house or just a barely furnished hovel in The Elder Scrolls Online? You won't have to wait too much longer. The game's Homestead patch is launching on Monday, February 6th for PC players and Tuesday, February 21st for console players. Yes, you'll have to wait a little bit longer to move in if you're not playing on your desktop. Don't worry, the houses will still be there. Houses are generally not known to be the most mobile things.

Players can purchase as many of the game's 39 homes as they wish, whether you want to just have one or two or the full set. There are also 2000 different decorative pieces to adorn your home, new furniture crafting options, and a few other crafting additions to go along with it. Start saving up that money and get ready for the patch to drop; you've only got a couple more weeks until it goes live.

Don't forget to check out our ESO columnist's hands-on preview of the entire housing system on the test server!


The Daily Grind: Which MMO is doing the worst job of pretending it's in beta?

I respect the fact that Revelation Online is in beta right now. It's closed testing and there's going to be a character wipe. I respect that a lot. That's a pretty significant difference from, say, H1Z1, which has been asking for money for quite some time now if you want to play the game and functions as a live game, but still technically squeaks into the "Early Access" wheelhouse.

Of course, it's not always cut-and-dried. Shroud of the Avatar is a game that many people point to as being functionally launched, but it's also a title that has been visibly in development and hasn't pretended otherwise at any point. It's been a little while since the game's final wipe, though, so you could argue that it really should have pushed that big red "Launch" button then rather than several months later.

And let's not get into the many, many free-to-play games which are in open testing for a year or more while claiming to be in beta, despite the lack of any sort of wipe. So what do you think, dear readers? Which MMO is doing the worst job of pretending it's in beta?

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Check out Ragnarok Online's mobile port in action

If you were first getting into online games at the right time, it is eminently possible that you have a variety of warm and fuzzy memories about Ragnarok Online. The game's mobile version is currently in testing, and Steparu took a look at it to see whether it delivers nostalgia in a pocket-sized package or just bitter disappointment.

Good news! It's the former, and it's also pretty playable even if you have no idea how to read Chinese. You can check out videos detailing character creation and the early gameplay experience if you want nostalgia in a form that doesn't require you actually trying to play a game that's not in your language, or if you just want to see how it looks in action.

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Star Trek Online details the rewards for the Lukari Restoration Initiative

Why is the Federation fighting the Tzenkethi in Star Trek Online? To defend a sentient race, obviously. (You don't need as much justification for the KDF, as Klingons will fight someone if they have an hour to kill until dinner.) But why will players fight the Tzenkethi? Why, to earn reputation with the Lukari Restoration Initiative in the hopes of getting powerful traits, weapons, and kit components. It's a good thing that altruism rewards you with powerful artifacts, otherwise it would be much harder to motivate.

Players can unlock new kit pieces specialized to each class option (special drones for Engineering, disabling webs for Science, and electrical grenades for Tactical) and new traits disabling weapons and shielding your allies. You can also get a new ground set, a new space set, and all of the according benefits of both. In summary, there's a whole mess of new toys to play around with once you've defended the Lukari, which should help give you a good idea of why you're defending them beyond story reasons..


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