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Test Chamber – Zen Studios’ Star Wars Rebels Table

Zen Studios is releasing a new table based on the popular Star Wars Rebels TV series. Join Jeff Marchiafava, Reiner, and me as we play a few rounds and talk Star Wars.

As JeffM points out, Zen looked to the series' younger audience when designing this table. Players have adequate time to read through each mode's goals before diving in, and most shots don't require surgical precision. That's not to say it's a gimme, though, as you can see in our games. If you like tables such as Ms. Splosion Man, which have a nice sense of flow, you might want to check this one out – even if you're not necessarily into Star Wars.

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JeffM and I haven't seen Rebels yet, so we enlisted Reiner's help to walk us through the cast of characters and explain what the heck is going on. It's not like you need to be a loremaster to appreciate something like a pinball table, but knowing a bit of background does help. He also did a great job refreshing my memory for things that happened in the series' original trilogy. How embarrassing!

The table is coming out sometime this year, but I'd put my money on sooner rather than later. Also, as a side note, I nearly doubled JeffM's score the instant we stopped recording. Oh well.

 

For more episodes of Test Chamber, visit our hub.

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Artist Imagines The Star Fox Team As Drawn By Hanna-Barbera

An artist going by simply "Jonas" online has crafted the Star Fox team as though they exist in same universe as The Jetsons.

The Jetsons are of course just one of the many shows and characters created by Hanna-Barbera, but it seems to be the universe the Star Fox team would most likely exist when looking at Hanna-Barbera's large library.

You can see more of Jonas' work on their DeviantArt page, or their website. You actually won't find a lot of video game stuff (though there is this very cool one with Samus and a Metroid), but it's still definitely worth checking out.

[Source: jonasdrawsstuff.tumblr.com, JonasDrawsStuff on DeviantArt, via Reddit]

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New Star Wars Rebels Game Launches On Mobile Devices

The first season of Disney's popular Star Wars Rebels television show recently wrapped up. Fans were given plenty to cheer about, including classic ship designs, and an attitude-driven droid named Chopper. We'll get our first look at season two at this year's Star Wars Celebration (starting on April 16), and we can embark on a new mission as Ezra Bridger in the newly released Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone and Windows 8.1.

The first four levels of the game are free. Another 30-plus stages can be unlocked through in-app purchases. The game gives you control of Ezra and Kanan in sidescrolling action stages, and also lets you build your own Rebel base with unlockable goods. Check out the trailer below for a brief look at the action.

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Our Take
It's great to see the show getting a game and it's even better than fans can try it for free to see if it's something they want to devote their time and money to.

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Star Fox’s Barrel Roll Is Scientifically Accurate

People have been telling us to do a barrel roll for years; it turns out that even in space, you'll still be able to pull one off. Watch the following video to learn about the science behind Star Fox's barrel roll; it's actually more interesting than it sounds.

Most games show a complete disrespect for physics, but not the barrel roll. The guys at PBS Space Time explain the ins-and-outs of Star Fox's ship and how he pulls off those sweet moves.

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New Star Wars Timeline Shows When Battlefront Takes Place

With the Expanded Universe jettisoned into space, Disney is moving forward with a streamlined canonical timeline for Star Wars. The paperback version of the novel Star Wars: A New Dawn gives us a look at how this timeline is shaping up. Included on the list is an ambiguous listing for "Battlefront." SW Books posted an image of the book's timeline on Twitter.

 

Our Take
As of now, Battlefront is slated between Heir to the Jedi and and The Empire Strikes Back. We know that there are over 20 new stories on the way leading up to the release of The Force Awakens, so it may not be the last story leading into Empire. Given how the timeline is formatted with the movies in black and the TV shows getting their own tag, the Battlefront listing may not necessarily be just for the game, and could indicate a novelization is on the way.

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Animated Star Wars Fan Film Represents The Culmination Of Four Years Of Work

Inspired by classic '80s anime and Heavy Metal, artist Paul Johnson sacrificed "four years' worth of weekends" to craft one of the most impressive Star Wars fan films ever created.

You can check out the seven-minute animated short film below which pits an assortment of Rebel spaceships against the Empire. It's hard to look away once you hit play.

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You can check out a mock poster for the short below also crafted by Johnson. You can find the full image here, which many will want to see as it will surely become the background of smartphones all over the world soon.

With all the planned spinoffs and new creators, artists, and directors jumping into the Star Wars universe, it makes me hope something like this could become a fully-animated feature. If it does, I hope Johnson is involved.

[Source: OtaKing77077 on YouTube, MightyOtaking on DeviantArt]

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Star Wars Battlefront To Be Shown At Celebration Convention

EA and DICE's highly anticipated Star Wars Battlefront will be shown to the public at the annual LucasArts' fan gathering.

EA broke the news in a post on the game's official site today. This will be the game's public debut, and EA promises that more information on Battlefront will be coming between now and the start of Celebration.

Star Wars Celebration takes place April 16-19 at the Anaheim Convention Center. For more information, go to the convention's official site.

 

Our Take
This is exciting news, and it's cool that EA is sharing Battlefront with the most hardcore Star Wars fans first. However, this is one big reveal that could have made a splash at the company's annual E3 conference.

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Star Wars: Rogue One And Episode VIII Films Announced And Dated

Disney has announced the next two Star Wars films, including the first stand-alone movie that will go beyond the core trilogy. Additionally, we have release dates for it and Episode VIII.

Felicity Jones is the first actor cast for the stand-alone movie, Rogue One. It will be released on December 16, 2016. 

Episode VIII, which will follow this December’s Episode VII: The Force Awakens, is scheduled to be out on May 26, 2017. J.J. Abrams will not be directing the second film in the new trilogy.

Writing and directing responsibilities belong to Rian Johnson (Looper). Kathleen Kennedy (Band of Brothers) and Ram Bergman (Looper, Don Jon) will be producing.

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens will be in theaters on December 18.

[Source: StarWars.com]

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Star Trek Timelines Is Free-To-Play Fan Service

If you aren’t the least bit interested in Star Trek, turn back. There is absolutely nothing for you here if you aren’t invested in Kirk, Picard, Spock, Worf, and the rest of the colorful characters from the long-running franchise.

For those that are enamored of Gene Roddenberry’s vision for humanity’s future, here’s what Disruptor Beam has planned for its upcoming title. Spoiler: it’s 100 percent fan service.

Star Trek Timelines is Disruptor Beam’s second title, following Game of Thrones Ascent. It’s a social title and, yes, it’s free-to-play. 

You’ll build your crew from among the crews of the various Star Trek vessels, including the multiple iterations of the USS Enterprise. You’ll progress through the story, exploring familiar (and strange new) worlds as you meet and recruit multiple versions of characters due to a tear in the space-time continuum.

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The missions I played sent us after Worf from a dimension in which Klingons are allied with Cardassians against humanity. Each segment of the mission requires that you assign a number of crew members, each of which has a set of attributes.

You’ll encounter different types of challenges, including military, diplomacy, and navigation. These play out in sequence, with the most capable crew member assigned to the task. A random roll adds to your base score, the total of which is compared against the victory threshold. 

Each victory progresses you along the path to the end of the chapter, but it also depletes the stamina of the engaged party member. Thankfully, there is a meter on the preparation screen that shows how likely you are to complete the task. Assigning crew members to specific areas of your ship also has the potential to grant bonuses to different challenge types.

Star Trek Timelines is absolutely a casual experience, and there will be opportunities for social connectivity. Don’t go in expecting anything deep or excessively strategic. 

The monetization methods aren’t yet ironed out, and some crew members might be up for sale. How that ends up working and whether  that becomes pay-to-win is something we’re interested to find out. For now, Star Trek fans should keep an eye on it and fingers crossed. 

At the very least, it’s an interesting use of the property. Whether the free-to-play monetization ends up diminishing that enthusiasm is in Disruptor Beam’s hands. Star Trek Timelines will be out on iOS, Android, and browsers this year.

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Replay – Star Wars: Dark Forces

Today is the 20th anniversary of Star Wars: Dark Forces! This episode of Replay is a celebration of this groundbreaking release. We discuss its place in history, our thoughts on the series today, and give you the one thing you've always wanted: the back story of assassin droid IG-88 A. Tim Turi plays the game like champ, making a fair amount of progress on his own before we resort to cheats to show off a number of this game's levels, weapons, and story sequences.

For a comprehensive look back at this Dark Forces, be sure to read Tim Turi's excellent Classic GI article in the April 2015 issue, or you can find it online here.

Our second segment is a journey into the unknown in game that sounds so bad that we're betting it's pretty damn great. As always, leave your thoughts in the comments section below, and let us know what games you would like to see in future episodes of Replay!

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For more episodes of Replay, visit our hub below.

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