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Happy Halloween! (2020) [UPDATED]

(Above you can see the spooky edits I made to both my profile picture/blog favicon and my personal Discord server's icon for this year!) UPDATED: I wrote this in the morning, but now, in the evening, I updated it at the bottom :)  Hello, everyone! I know I haven't posted in a long, long time. A lot has happened since mid-July. For one, school has continued (in-person, kind of) through hybrid school for many people where I live. I was hybrid for a short amount of time but am now back to remote. Many, many exciting things have also happened. The article I wrote with the fantastic team at Curious Science Writers got published! It's about using wearable smartwatches to fight smoking addiction, a problem that likely affects at least someone you know in your life, like a family member or loved one:  https://curioussciencewriters.org/2020/10/26/going-from-ismoke-to-no-smoking-with-wearables/ .  I know I've talked about technology constantly on my blog, but this article is more

Today's Nintendo Treehouse Unfairly Disappoints + Xbox Reveals Their July 2020 Series X Event

Hello, everyone. This is Arca. I was planning on completing a month-overdue post on my thoughts on that amazing PlayStation 5 reveal event that I watched live with millions of others on June 11th. Instead, I decided to talk about two more recent events. It'll also be shorter than usual. Here we go! Paper Mario Gameplay Shown in Treehouse Presentation Today, and Bakugan Announcement Causes Fan Toxicity Image Credit: Nintendo Nintendo hosted a Treehouse Live presentation, and beforehand explicitly stated that it would only be about the upcoming game (it releases in just a week, in fact) Paper Mario: The Origami King  and also a brand-new game from Shantae independent developers WayForward not-yet-announced at the time for a third party franchise. Then it aired at 1 PM Eastern time and the video dislikes started rolling in. The chat was also very toxic, but it seemed mostly to be from arrogant fans expecting it to be a Direct (Treehouse presentations have literally never been like Dir

BREAKING NEWS: Ready Player One Sequel Book Coming November + PS5 Game Box Design Revealed + Are $70 Next-Gen Games the Norm?

Image collage done by me, but individual screenshots from Amazon and PlayStation Blog . Image credit for game box to Sony, Marvel, and Insomniac.  Hello, everyone. This is Arca, and today I will be doing a news roundup of sorts. This post was originally, as I hinted at in yesterday's post (which you should totally read here ), going to focus on next-gen AAA games potentially all costing $70 rather than $60. Then, two pieces of breaking news occurred. First, yesterday at noon, the book sequel to Ernest Cline's 2011 movie-sparking phenomenon Ready Player One was given a confirmed title, cover, and release date. Then, just 3 hours ago as of the time I started typing up this post, Sony via the official PlayStation Blog showed off for the first time what PlayStation 5 games will have as their cover art design through Spider-Man: Miles Morales . Let's tackle all of those subjects, as well as my thoughts on them, in precisely that order, starting with... Ready Player Two book is

Is "Star Wars: Squadrons" (formerly Project Maverick) Going to be a Step in the Right Direction for EA?

Image Credit: EA Motive via Engadget Hey, everyone. This is Arca, and today I will be discussing the announcement, as well as the gameplay reveal, for the new EA Star Wars game coming October 2 of this year, titled Star Wars: Squadrons . It will have both multiplayer modes, a singleplayer campaign, and VR-support on PS4's PSVR (which is great, especially for PSVR owners like me who'd like to be able to fulfill the dream of jumping into an X-Wing's pilot cockpit), as well as PC VR, and will launch on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. It will be a starship combat game with crossplay multiplayer across all platforms, which is great. The game was leaked on the PlayStation store, as I talked about all the way back in March ( http://www.arcabaran.com/2020/03/star-wars-project-maverick-ea-leaked.html ), as "Project Maverick". I watched the initial reveal trailer premiere live on YouTube, and didn't see the gameplay reveal live but watched it a few hours after it premiered (al

My Thoughts on the "Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time" Announcement

Image Credit: Activision, source , cropping done by Bandipedia Hello, everyone. This is Arca. This post is my reaction to the first new Crash Bandicoot game in over a decade that was announced via livestream a few weeks ago, titled "It's About Time". It will release on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 2, 2020 (the same exact day that a new Star Wars game, Squadrons , will be released). I'm assuming that, even though PC and Nintendo Switch releases haven't been confirmed yet, they'll likely be revealed eventually. This is since there's no reason not to put a multiplatform game on PC, and also since the past few Crash remasters were also released by Activision on the Switch with a bit of a delay (or none at all, in the case of the Switch version of Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled ). Despite the next-generation of consoles, the PlayStation 5 from Sony and the Xbox Series X from Microsoft, literally releasing a month or two after this game releases, b

Happy (Belated) Fourth of July! + President Arjay Finale

Image Source Hello, everyone. Saturday was the Fourth of July, AKA Independence Day. Happy (late) Fourth of July to all! As you probably know, this is celebrated all across America for it is the day that the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress. This, of course, led to the birth of the United States, independent from England. Normally, it would be celebrated with fireworks and barbecue parties. It still is... without any precautions by those who aren't practicing keeping themselves and others safe. But with precautions by those who are. Or, just not at all in the places where public fireworks got canceled and no one invited you to a barbecue party so you just have to barbecue some chicken yourself. Or eat a veggie burger if you're vegetarian, I suppose.  On Saturday, I started out on the Fourth of July by going to a half-capacity beach for the second day in a row. Some people clearly, blatantly didn't care about social distancing and this conc

I made my profile picture get Thanos snapped... and you can do it too!

This post was born when I remembered that I, once upon a time, intended to make a series of photo editing "tutorials". The only one I ever made used Google Drawings and may have been semi-impressive considering that at that age we were learning how to use spreadsheets in Computers class, but nowadays seeing as I can be outclassed in literally anything by someone my age out there, that's not very "big brain", if you catch my drift. And what I'm going to be showing you how to do today, seeing as I made it entirely with free browser-based tools available on the web, intentionally isn't. I don't currently have the tools or skills (beyond Adobe Photoshop Elements, which I have already used for this ) to really do it in a more complicated manner, or without a small barely-noticeable watermark on the bottom right corner if you want to make it a transparent-background GIF, so you'll have to bear with me.  Anyone can easily do this! This is especially gr

President of Nintendo Apologizes for Defective Drifting Joy-Cons- But is that enough?

Photo Credit: Arca Baran for This and That, Here and There The president of Nintendo, Shuntaro Furukawa, apologized for the Joy-Con drift issue in a recent meeting with investors. This is what he had to say during a Q&A session, translated from Japanese by Kotaku ( https://kotaku.com/nintendo-president-apologizes-for-joy-con-trouble-1844216184 ) from this source:  https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/pdf/2020/qa2006.pdf   "Regarding the Joy-Con, we apologize for any trouble caused to our customers... We are continuing to aim to improve our products, but as the Joy-Con is the subject of a class-action lawsuit in the United States and this is still a pending issue, we would like to refrain from responding about any specific actions." So basically, this starts out with basically what Nintendo would reply with when asked for comment about the issue by various publications last July when a major sudden public outrage occurred over the topic, which has been prevalent since near the la

My Summer 2020 Blogging Plan (or lack thereof)

Image Credit: Collage done by me. Background image credit goes to Nintendo, but the various "thonk" emojis are just stuff that I found from a Google Image search and the sources are too many to list here. They're scattered across Deviantart, Reddit, and elsewhere.  Hello, all. This is obviously a strange summer with quarantine and whatnot. I have no travel guaranteed, nor any in-person summer camp. I have lots of time on my hands, and an innate urge to be productive. So, yes, this is literally a godsend and practically the perfect summer for a blogging renaissance that I've been waiting for all these years. Go figure. So, any grand plan? Schedule? Detailed agenda? Nope. I will be able to do daily posts all throughout this month, but they will be sort of a Super Mario question mark mystery box. No standard length, nor a topic. I will simply write whatever I feel like writing on a current day. A current event in gaming or another thing that catches my attention, a revie