However, there has been no official confirmation that a Naomi series will take place in the Arrowverse continuity.
Naomi was created by writers Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker and artist Jamal Campbell in 2019. The comic series follows Naomi McDuffie as she explores DC’s multiverse and comes to terms with her powers. The character has gone on to play a role in both Young Justice and the Justice League.
The CW series will follow Naomi as she moves from humble beginnings in a small northwestern town after she sets out to discover the origin of a supernatural event.
Naomi is being executive produced and written by Jill Blankenship and Ava DuVernay. Blankenship served as writer and co-executive producer on Arrow. DuVernay was set to helm a New Gods film for Warner Bros., though the studio recently cancelled the project.
J. Kim Murphy is a freelance entertainment writer.
To kick things off this month, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet will make its streaming debut on HBO Max on May 1. And if you missed the initial release of Wonder Woman 1984, you’ll be able to catch Diana Prince in action on May 13.
HBO Max will also be home to a new film from director Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone, Sicario) on May 14, titled Those Who Wish Me Dead. This new thriller starring Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie centers on “a smokejumper reeling from the loss of three lives she failed to save from a fire, who comes across a traumatized 12‐year‐old boy with nowhere else to turn,” according to a logline from Warner Bros.
You can watch the action-packed trailer for Those Who Wish Me Dead in the video below:
On the TV front, HBO Max is debuting the series premiere of its new dramedy, Hacks, on May 13, and the reimagining of the HBO series In Treatment on May 23. Check out the slideshow gallery below for the highlights of HBO Max’s May offerings, followed by the full list:
It’s Friday, which means it’s another week gone by with no news of Mother 3 coming to the West. It’s been 15 years and 10 days since the game launched in Japan, and ideas of a localization have long felt like a pipe dream. Well, Terry Crews is trying to change that. On Twitter, Crews left a simple and clear message for Nintendo, saying nothing besides, “LOCALIZE MOTHER 3!”
Mother 3 is the Japan-only sequel to the SNES cult-classic EarthBound, which was titled Mother 2 in Japan. Mother 3 was originally released for the Game Boy Advance in 2006. Fans have been asking for its localization basically ever since.
While an official localization has not yet come to fruition, Nintendo occasionally comes back to the Mother franchise. Mother 3 protagonist Lucas has been a member of the Super Smash Bros. roster for the last four entries of the series, beginning with 2008’s Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Additionally, Nintendo localized the original Mother as ‘EarthBound Beginnings’ back on the Wii U Virtual Console in 2015.
A lot of the pre-release discussion about Returnal has focused on how tough it is. Here’s the thing, though: You’re supposed to die in Returnal. You should probably die more.
Developer Housemarque is known for its difficult, intense bullet-hell arcade games, and it brings those sensibilities to a third-person shooter that can definitely ratchet up the difficulty at times. That combines with the game’s roguelike nature, where every time you start playing, you’ll face a different, randomized map of rooms and start with the bare minimum of equipment. Some upgrades you’ll earn are permanent, but many are lost whenever you die, forcing you to build up the power to survive on the alien world of Atropos anew.
That’s caused some critics and players to complain that Returnal is too punishing–some of the popular consensus is that you’ll have to really step up your shooter skills to hang with it.
At the same time, much has been made about another aspect of Returnal: the inability to save mid-run. Returnal opens with a message telling you that if you quit the game at any point, your current run will end, and you’ll be returned to Helios, protagonist Selene’s crashed spaceship. If you want to stop playing, you’ll have to give up everything you’ve earned on a run–and as some have said, runs can last hours.
Roguelike fans have been mentally primed to try to go as far as possible in a single run, but that actually flies in the face of how Returnal is made and should be played. Your runs aren’t meant to be hours long, but divided into manageable bits with clear goals. If your run is lasting hours, you should, uh…die.
Like some other roguelikes, Returnal is the story of a time loop. Every time she’s killed, Selene awakens again at Helios, fully cognizant of everything that she experienced up until her last death. Figuring out why you’re in this eternal loop of returns–Returnal, get it–is part of the story.
And indeed, every new run rearranges the world before you, causing you to stumble on new information. Returnal is littered with audio logs left by past Selenes during other attempts to reach her goal, a strange broadcast on Atropos called White Shadow, and clues to the alien civilization on Atropos that seems to have been wiped out. If you don’t die, you can miss those items because they’re tied to the game’s procedurally generated map. You need the map to rearrange itself to find them.
So Returnal’s story is built expecting you to die and replay portions of the same biomes over and over. There are also logs in the Helios computer that illuminate what’s going on (somewhat–it’s all a bit vague and trippy in a New Weird fiction sort of way) and some specific story moments that only become available as you defeat bosses and enter new biomes. Returnal expects you to die and return to your starting point and, in fact, provides more story and context when you do.
That’s why I think both the lack of saving and the difficulty discussion are overblown, taking focus away from the things that make Returnal interesting and centering instead on mechanical aspects of the game that were purposely, thoughtfully designed. Returnal is made with death as an expectation and is supposed to be difficult to match. If you don’t die, things get…wonky. I can tell you that from experience.
Through some combination of luck and skill, I ripped through a huge chunk of Returnal on what was essentially my first run. (There’s a monster you fight early in the game that I believe is meant to kill you once to demonstrate the time loop, so this was the run after that one). I found an artifact that healed me when I was close to death, which helped keep me from ever getting down to one hit from death. Another artifact gave me what was essentially an extra life at a key moment. I uncovered powerful guns and avoided “malignant” pickups that have a chance of giving you serious, painful debuffs. I made use of the Recombinator, a machine you can find somewhere in each biome that will revive you if you die on that map. And I cleared the first three biomes and the first three bosses of Returnal in one big four-to-five-hour stretch, leaving my PlayStation 5 in Rest mode when I needed to quit.
Not long after, I completely regretted my deathless, overpowered, boss-smashing run.
Without spoiling too much, there are twists and turns in Returnal’s story that recontextualize the narrative at key moments as you play. The trouble is, as mentioned, you need to return to Helios and re-play the game’s biomes in order to see a few big parts of that narrative. I never died–so I never saw those things. And when Returnal started throwing twists at me, I had no idea what was going on. Eventually, I just decided to restart the game and throw away five-plus hours of progress so I could die more.
So when it comes to difficulty, well, that’s kind of the point. Selene’s many deaths are mirrored in her struggle to uncover the truth of what’s happening to her, and Returnal is built so that you experience that frustration along with her. The audio logs, in particular, start to paint a picture of what it’s like to go through cycle after cycle on Atropos, something you’re supposed to start to feel as well. If you don’t die, you don’t get that, and Returnal is weaker for it.
That’s not to say you have to get punched in the face by the game over and over to really “get” it. In fact, I think Returnal is extremely forgiving about a great many elements of how you make progress. This isn’t a roguelike in the same vein as something like Hades or Dead Cells; Returnal is aware of the fact that biomes are big and can take a long time to cross, and it puts a bunch of elements in your path that help you cut that time down.
For instance, most biomes have a boss, and to reach that boss, you have to unlock a door by finding one or more keys. That means you have to scour the biome for the keys, often fighting some tough battles along the way. But keys are persistent–once you find them, you’ve got them, even if you die. And once you’ve unlocked the boss door, it stays unlocked on subsequent runs. What’s more, even though biome maps are procedurally generated, they tend to flow in a predictable way; you’ll usually reach a central area that’s near the boss room pretty early on, and once you have the keys, you can blow off searching the sections of the map that would normally house them. All doors on your map are also clearly marked as either part of the critical path or as optional side rooms, further allowing you to prioritize. With the keys found, you can go straight to your fight with the boss–it might be a good idea to spend some time gearing up for the battle, but you definitely don’t need to spend an hour or more in the biome getting ready.
Unlocking a boss is persistent, getting to a boss is relatively easy, and once a boss is defeated, you never have to fight it again if you don’t want to. Defeating each boss gives you a key or a traversal item that lets you then access the next biome, and that item is persistent as well. So once you have the ability to travel to the second biome, the Crimson Wastes, for instance, you can just run through the first biome until you hit the teleporter that lets you move on. When you arrive in the Crimson Wastes, a weapon upgrade will be waiting for you to guarantee that any gear you find will be up to snuff against local enemies. You can effectively skip to the next section of the game while spending minimal time replaying areas you’ve already seen–unlike in a roguelike such as Hades, where you have to fight through every biome and every boss on every single run.
Returnal continually provides you with ways of cutting down on how much you have to replay, and you should be using those shortcuts. If you’re clearing every biome over and over in order to gear yourself up to be as strong as possible, yeah, your runs will last hours, but they aren’t supposed to. You’re supposed to run through a small portion of a biome you’ve already seen, maybe pick up some new story elements, and move along to somewhere new. You’re supposed to die a few times so that you get kicked back to Helios to read a new ship log and to stop by a key location for another story cutscene before you return to your destination. You’re supposed to focus on finding the next key, killing the next boss, or opening the next path.
Really, it’s too easy not to die in Returnal, and the usual roguelike mentality that incentivizes getting as strong as you can to go as far as you can is antithetical to the way the game is actually made. In truth, you want to die and return to Helios at least one time after you enter a new biome. A lot of the time, it’s better to give up a run and restart a cycle than go for hours and hours, either in one sitting or by using your PS5’s Rest mode. That’s the way Returnal is built; that’s why it doesn’t let you save mid-run.
Still, some are already clamoring for Housemarque to add a save feature to Returnal. And if there’s a good argument for the feature, it’s that even short runs are too long for busy people, folks with children and other commitments, and the like. The developer responded to a Reddit thread about the issue, saying that it was listening to the community but had no plans for updates.
As mentioned, though, Returnal is built to encourage you to quit, die, and restart. It doesn’t want you to get too committed to a build or to slam through several biomes at once. The solution here isn’t a save feature–it’s quitting a run and being okay with it. I think that’s what Housemarque is trying to get across through the design of the game, and why it isn’t committing to making a change.
All that to say, when you’re considering Returnal, struggling with its difficulty, or wishing you could log out of the game without losing all your sick upgrades, consider how the game was designed. Death is part of the experience. It’s actually essential. Everything about Returnal is made with that in mind–and lots of parts of the game exist to make dying a part of the experience without being punishing.
It’s okay to die in Returnal and to give up a run and start a new cycle sometimes. You’ll have a better experience if you let it happen. Trust me on this one.
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Your overarching goal in New Pokemon Snap is to help Professor Mirror research the Illumina phenomenon, a mysterious occurrence causing certain Pokemon and plant life around the Lental region to inexplicably glow. As part of this research, you’ll need to travel about the region’s different islands and photograph the elusive Illumina Pokemon, which are the key to unraveling the mystery behind the phenomenon.
While most of the six Illumina Pokemon you need to photograph are fairly easy to find, the one located in the Lental Seafloor area, in particular, may give you some trouble, as it’s tied to a very specific interaction that you need to trigger using Illumina Orbs. This is the only instance in which you need to use these orbs to open a new pathway, but the game offers no clear indication of this, so you may find yourself at a loss for how to progress. If you get stuck, here’s how to find the Seafloor Illumina Pokemon.
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Before we get into the specifics, it’s important to note that your quest to find Illumina Pokemon is primarily tied to Research Levels, one of the new features that New Pokemon Snap boasts over the original game. Each locale you visit has its own Research Level, which you can increase by taking photos of its endemic Pokemon and having them evaluated by Professor Mirror. The more photos you take, the more Expedition Points you’ll earn, especially for photos that the professor scored higher–this is the quickest way to boost your Research Level. As a locale’s Research Level increases, you’ll open up more photo opportunities; new kinds of Pokemon and interactions will appear around that area, and you’ll even gain access to alternate pathways that will help lead to Illumina Pokemon.
Keep in mind that in order to boost the Research Level of a course, which is required to progress in the story (and uncover the Seafloor Illumina Spot), you only need to keep playing the course until you’ve earned enough Expedition Points to level up. Partway through the story, you’ll start to receive requests from the other research team members. While these are a great way to snap up some four-star photos, they have no bearing on story progression–so if you’re simply looking to progress in the story and find all the Illumina Pokemon, you don’t need to spend any time completing these requests. You can always come back to them later.
Before you can find the Seafloor Illumina Pokemon, you’ll need to raise the area to Research Level 2. Shortly after you set off on the Level 2 route, you’ll spot a Clawitzer attempting to destroy a pile of rocks blocking an underwater cave to your left. However, the Pokemon won’t be able to destroy the rocks on its own; you’ll need to throw an Illumina Orb at it to power it up, giving it the strength it needs to smash through the rubble.
Once the rocks have been destroyed, quickly scan the opening that Clawitzer created to discover a new route, which, upon returning to the research camp, will give you access to the fourth Illumina Spot.
As previously mentioned, this is the only time in New Pokemon Snap that you need to use an Illumina Orb to power up a Pokemon and open up a new route. Whereas the paths to the other Illumina Spots are primarily found by scanning a new route (with the game even prompting you to do so), this particular Spot requires you to trigger a specific Pokemon reaction beforehand, and the game doesn’t really give you any clear hints as to what you need to do. With this guide, however, you should be able to find the Seafloor Illumina Spot without any difficulty.
New Pokemon Snap is out now on Nintendo Switch. While the game sticks very close to the original’s formula, developer Bandai Namco has made some pretty notable tweaks to the gameplay. Be sure to check out our guide on the biggest changes in New Pokemon Snap before you set off on your adventure.
Sony Pictures has announced that the upcoming Spider-Man spinoff Morbius has once again been delayed. Thankfully, this time it’s only been pushed a week from January 21, 2022 to January 28, 2022. News of the release calendar update issued by Sony also clarifies that Morbius will screen in both IMAX and premium large formats.
The movie is based on the Marvel comic book Morbius: The Living Vampire, and stars Jared Leto as a biologist with a rare blood disease, who gains the powers of a vampire when he performs an experiment involving vampire bat DNA. The official synopsis continues: “Dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder, and determined to save others suffering his same fate, Dr. Morbius attempts a desperate gamble. What at first appears to be a radical success, a darkness inside him is unleashed and transforms this healer into a hunter.”
Morbius also stars Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Adria Arjona (Good Omens), Jared Harris (The Terror), and Tyrese Gibson (the Fast & Furious series). The film is directed by Daniel Espinosa (Life, Safe House).
Morbius is one of several movies based on Spider-Man characters that Sony is planning. The Venom sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, is currently scheduled for a June release, although, of course, that could be delayed as well–Morbius was previously delayed a few times. Last year, it was reported that Jessica Jones director S.J. Clarkson had been hired to work on a female-focused project–possibly Madame Webb–while Supergirl and Arrow writer Marc Guggenheim is writing a Jackpot movie. In addition, films focusing on Black Cat, Silver Sable, Silk, and Kraven the Hunter have all been rumored over the past couple of years.
With the heyday of Nintendo’s goofy avatar creation system long past, Miis have been enjoying a quiet retirement, the Miis have recently been enjoying a quiet retirement as a buried, unused feature on the Nintendo Switch. Until recently, when their goofy creative antics to light again by a demo of a port of a four-year-old 3DS game: Miitopia.
In its prior incarnation, Miitopia was an RPG where all the characters were Miis, and not just any Miis. In the 3DS version players were able to assign their friend’s Miis as party members or critical NPCs, while smaller roles were cast automatically from a pool of random Miis, meaning you got weird combinations like a romance between Princess Birdo and Nigel Thornberry, or Dr. Mario guarding the royal King Dr. Zoidberg. These assignments were played out to hilarious effect as the characters had both scripted and random interactions throughout your journey.
Now, it’s being ported to the Nintendo Switch, but without the same robust Mii sharing features that the 3DS had, it’s taking a different approach by introducing more robust Mii creation tools. This has inspired the Nintendo community, who are using the surprisingly detailed wig and makeup tools in the demo to get real wild with their creations.
The make-up tool in particular is allowing creators to get real, real silly with the Miis they make, as when used correctly it’s essentially a palette for anyone to make, well, almost anything, and stick it on the face of a Mii. Members of the community are sharing everything from weirdly detailed Mario characters to Five Nights at Freddy’s animatronics to Tingle. Someone made a $19 Fortnite V-Bucks card and slapped that on a face, for some reason. And some are going a step further and inserting these characters into Miitopia, using their goofy juxtapositions to create some very, very strange stories.
We’ve collected a handful of our favorite Miis from the community below for your perusal. My personal favorite is Hot Squidward, who I desperately want to add to my Miitopia game despite not actually liking the game very much when I played it years ago on the 3DS.
Miitopia has a free demo out now on the Nintendo Switch if you want to make your own silly Mii characters and you can share them with your friends to put in their games via in-game access codes. You can transfer your demo save data to the full game once it launches on May 21.
Housemarque’s ambitious PS5-exclusive roguelike shooter Returnal is out today, and while it’s received plenty of praise (including from us) for its haunting atmosphere, clever story, and shooter action, it’s also sparking discussion about its considerable difficulty. And now, the game’s director has weighed in too.
On Next-Gen Console Watch, game director Harry Krueger and marketing and business development director Mikael Haveri both affirmed that Returnal’s challenge stems from Housemarque’s “arcade roots.” Housemarque has historically incorporated arcade systems and styles in its games since its origins in the 90s, and while it declared years ago after Nex Machina that “arcade is dead,” Housemarque clearly isn’t abandoning that spirit in its newer titles.
“We started development four years ago, and I don’t think the vision has changed that much. Housemarque games are known for their, let’s say… challenge… there’s usually a difficulty to them,” Haveri said. “Nex Machina for example, you can go through the game on Easy, but you’ll never get to the last level, and then there’s other unlockables, and so on. So there’s an ‘easy to learn, but hard to master’ mentality at work there.”
Krueger agreed. “Without a challenge we don’t feel like you can have that strong sense of accomplishment, you know? The closer to the verge of frustration you get, the bigger the feeling of triumph when you do eventually prevail.”
He added that while Returnal does have more traditional difficulty options, Housemarque wanted players to feel that every new run was completely unique. Hence the roguelike formula, which allowed for “a lot of unpredictable swings” in how a session might play out even with difficulty options in place.
“So as we were saying before […] if you take one too many gambles, you get a little bit overconfident, you might end up digging your own grave, so to speak,” Krueger concluded. “But if you play a little bit more conservatively, try to play it safe, you can kind of “tune” the difficulty of that particular session to your desired skill level. So we’re hoping that can act as a bit of a pressure valve for the times that you hit an impassable obstacle. Next time you try them, there will always be something a little bit different, something that gives you a little bit more of an edge so you can overcome that next time.”
Returnal follows the story of space explorer Selene Vassos, who crash lands on an alien planet and begins searching for the source of a strange signal. However, when she inevitably dies on her first expedition, she’s returned to her ship as if nothing had ever happened. As she continues to explore the planet, Selene discovers that each failed expedition results in her being looped back to the beginning as the world shifts around her.
Difficulty aside, Returnal has come under some criticism due to the length of its runs (at times 2-3 hours) and the inability to save, turn off the game, and resume play from where you leave off in the middle of a run, making it doubly challenging for those who cannot commit to play for that long a session. Housemarque has responded to this concern saying there was “nothing to announce now” but that the studio was listening to the community.
We also found the length of each run to be a barrier in our review, but aside from that, we found Returnal’s challenging gunplay and intriguing story compelling, calling it one of Housemarque’s best games to date. If you’re playing too and struggling to figure out where to start, check out our guide to the 20 Things to Do First in Returnal, as well as our tips guide on all the things Returnal doesn’t tell you.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.
Netflix has released a trailer heralding the beginning of the end for its fantasy series Lucifer. The second half of Season 5 is expected to, as recently announced, hit the streaming service on May 28.
Season 5 Part 2 is only described in a release as an arc of eight episodes in which “God himself comes to Earth. Secrets will be revealed, heroic sacrifices will be made, and the world will never be the same.” Despite all that heaviness that might imply, the trailer hints a tongue-in-cheek wind-down with stakes being ever-heightened. Check it out below.
Showrunners Joe Henderson and Ildy Modovich also teased at DC FanDome last year that one of the episodes ahead this season will be a highly anticipated musical episode, which will be very “funny, but there’s also a lot of emotion… there’s a great range of feelings that are expressed.”
Henderson recently discussed Season 6 of the show, which will be the final one for the series. That season will be the final one, for real, and will be “sweet and personal.”
Lucifer stars Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro, D.B. Woodside, and many more. It was developed for TV by Tom Kapinos, perhaps best known for his Showtime series Californication.
Earthbound fans have been clamoring for Mother 3, the final entry in the series, to officially make its way stateside since its initial launch in 2006. Hopes for a localized version of the game are still alive a decade and a half later, and the conversation has sparked again, thanks in part to actor and professional muscle man Terry Crews.
Crews took to Twitter to request one thing to his 1.6 million followers: “LOCALIZE MOTHER 3!” The tweet has blown up, receiving some 50 thousands likes and 18 thousand retweets at the time of writing.
Since launch, Mother 3 has been exclusive to Japan. The game also landed on the WII U Virtual Console in 2016 as a Japan-only re-release. Despite all the praise Mother 3 received at the time from both critics and fans alike, the only English translated version came from the Starmen.net online community in 2008. It can still be downloaded, but there may be some hiccups since it’s an unofficial translation.
Crews’ Mother 3 callout comes a few weeks after former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé tweeted about the game. In response to Twitch asking what games its followers own that are still unplayed, Fils-Aimé said he’s sitting on a “Mother 3 English version” but can’t play it because he gets “trolled and decides to put it off” every time he thinks to play it. This is a common tactic of Fils-Aimé’s, calling out Mother 3 in some tweet that ultimately ends in nothing happening.
Crews’ tweet seems unlikely to lead to Mother 3 getting an official localized release and may just be another cry in the infinite Mother 3 void. In any event, it’s the latest Earthbound happening for fans to rally around.