Two Of January’s Xbox One Games With Gold Are Now Available

Xbox Live Gold subscribers can now get their first free games of 2019. That’s because two of January’s Games with Gold are now available on Xbox Live. Better yet, the games in question were well-received–which isn’t always the case for these freebies–so you’ll probably want to give them a shot if you haven’t tried them yet.

The Xbox One game is Celeste, a side-scrolling platformer about a young woman trying to make her way to the top of a mountain. The many obstacles in your way are challenging to overcome, but thanks to a forgiving checkpoint system, you never lose too much progress when you die. In our Celeste review, Oscar Dayus wrote, “Parts of Celeste are challenging to play–in both its gameplay difficulty and its subject matter–but it is a memorable experience worth seeing through.” Celeste is free throughout the whole month of January.

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The new year’s first free Xbox 360 game (also playable on Xbox One via backwards compatibility) is Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. This isometric action game from 2010 has you and an optional co-op partner solve environmental puzzles and defeat enemies in the Mayan jungle. It’s free to download until January 15.

One of December’s Games with Gold, the Xbox One puzzle/platformer Never Alone, is also still available for free until January 15. Then, starting January 16, you’ll be able to grab the Xbox One racing game WRC 6 FIA World Rally Championship and the Xbox 360 open-world shooter Far Cry 2.

Games With Gold January 2019

Xbox One

Xbox 360

The Best Xbox One Games of 2018 By Score

16 Biggest Box Office Flops of 2018

With 2018 winding down, it’s time to start reflecting on the year that was, including the winners… and today’s focus, the losers at the box office. First, though, let’s set a few ground rules.

First off, the movies on this list have all opened in wide release, at least over 1,000 theaters nationwide, so while Gotti ($4.3 million worldwide, $10 million budget) would certainly be considered a bomb, it also only opened in 503 theaters. While it’s numbers are dismal, a movie like Gotti doesn’t have a wide enough release to have the potential to make blockbuster numbers anyway, so it doesn’t really make much sense to include a movie like Gotti here, as far as I’m concerned.

I’m also not including movies that technically ‘made money,’ even though I’m fully aware that movie math isn’t quite the same as traditional math. In the eyes of many, Solo: A Star Wars Story ($213.8 million domestic, $392.9 million worldwide, rumored $300 million budget) could be considered a “bomb,” especially since it’s the lowest-grossing movie in Star Wars history…even though it’s still the ninth highest-grossing movie domestically this year. The “budget” doesn’t include publicity and advertising, which Variety reported last year can cost anywhere between $20 million and $150 million for each movie, but isn’t a commonly reported figure. The production budget also doesn’t include first-dollar gross points paid out to actors, directors, producers and writers and a myriad of other costs, and the most common metric is that a movie needs to at least double its production budget to truly break even.

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Netflix’s New True Crime Series Will Haunt You

Note: this is a spoiler-free review of The Innocent Man, which debuts on Netflix on Friday, December 14.

True crime fanatics who happen to have a Netflix subscription are never starved for options. Making a Murderer Season 1 really opened the floodgates and established Netflix as a force to be reckoned with in the true crime area. But for those hoping to scratch that very specific Making a Murderer itch, even Season 2 was found wanting in some respects. There just haven’t been enough new developments with that particular case to warrant a whole new season. With that in mind, The Innocent Man may be the more satisfying follow-up to Making a Murderer. Just don’t expect a series that breaks any new ground with the genre.

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Persona 5 R Announced, But What It Is Remains A Mystery

Atlus has announced Persona 5 R, a new version of its acclaimed RPG. A teaser video has been released and a website for the the game has also gone live. However, neither reveal what this new version of Persona 5 will include.

Instead, both the website and the teaser point to more information being revealed in March, 2019. The video begins with a PlayStation logo sting, indicating that, whatever it is, it’ll be on PS4 at the very least. The teaser is also littered with the phrase “New Projects”, suggesting there could be multiple things revealed in March.

Atlus has a history of releasing second, enhanced versions of previous entries in the series, with both Persona 3 FES and Persona 4 Golden making tweaks to the original experience and adding in new content. It could be that Persona 5 R follows along the same lines.

Of course, many are hoping that the game will make its way to other platforms, specifically the Nintendo Switch. Again, Atlus has released portable versions of previous Persona titles, with Persona 4 Golden coming to PlayStation Vita. Given that a PlayStation 3 version of Persona 5 exists, this could serve as a good version for the developer to adapt to the Switch.

Lending some fuel to the speculation that a Switch version could be on the way is the recent announcement that Joker, the protagonist of Persona 5, will be added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a DLC fighter. This means the two companies have a working relationship, and Joker may appear on Switch in his own game too.

Nintendo has said five DLC characters for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be released by February 2020. Each of them will be newcomers to the series and characters “who you wouldn’t anticipate” being included in Smash.

Persona 5 originally launched in March, 2017. In her review, Lucy James awarded it a 9/10. “Within Persona 5 is a complex set of interconnected gameplay mechanics, and in almost every aspect Atlus has executed on its vision exceptionally, barring the pacing issues towards the end,“ she said.

“At every turn, it presents something to marvel at, whether it’s the fluid combat, vibrant world, or the many memorable characters. It’s a game I could talk about for hours; I haven’t mentioned the ability to connect to the Thieves Guild, which lets you see how other players spent their day or ask them for help answering questions at school. Or the thumping acid-jazz-infused soundtrack that I’ve not been able to get out of my head. Or even just the joy of seeing how it stylishly transitions between menus. But that encapsulates why Persona 5 is a game that shouldn’t be missed. It’s stuffed to bursting point with gameplay ideas and presentation flourishes–there’s an overwhelming level of artistry in every part of Persona 5, making it a truly standout entry in the series. It’s a refined, effortlessly stylish RPG that will be talked about for years to come.”

Batman’s Penis and Beyond: The Biggest WTF Moments of 2018 in Comics, Movies and TV

2018 was a pretty strange year for pop culture. Batman couldn’t keep his clothes on. Sonic the Hedgehog insisted on showing off his gross-looking legs. Everyone in the Marvel Cinematic Universe either got wiped out of existence or had their Netflix series canceled.

As the year winds down, here’s a look back at the five strange developments in movies, TV and comics that had us all saying, “WTF?”.

Batman Shows His Penis

DC Comics debuted a new imprint this year called DC Black Label, one geared toward older readers hungry for dark, standalone stories in the vein of The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen. That imprint kicked off with the release of Batman: Damned in October, and it immediately became clear just how un-kid-friendly Black Label truly is.

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