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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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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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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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Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Expands With Evolved Update

Sierra Games is offering a free expansion to Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions titled Evolved, and this iteration will become the de facto version of the title going forward.

Evolved features 40 new stages, new boss battles, a sweeper drone, a detonator super ability, a hardcore mode, expanded classic mode, and more. It also features a new level gating system that makes it easier to progress (which may alleviate the frustrations encountered by this gentleman in particular).

The Evolved update will be free to existing players on March 31 (on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, Mac, and Linux), and will replace Dimensions for the same price – $ 14.99.

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[Source: Activision]

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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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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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Everything You Do In Mortal Kombat X Will Be Part Of Weekly Faction Wars

Way back at E3 2014, we sat down with NetherRealm’s Ed Boon to talk about Mortal Kombat X. During that conversation, he told us that for the first time in the series, the studio is including a persistent online mode. Today, we finally have the details on what’s known as Faction Wars.

In a new trailer, members of the studio discuss how we’ll interact with every other player in Mortal Kombat X. When we begin, we’ll be asked to choose one of five factions (White Lotus, Black Dragon, Brotherhood of Shadow, Special Forces, and Lin Kuei). 

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From there, every match we play (in story mode, single-player, and online) will contribute faction points. At the end of each week, a winner will be declared, with rewards going to the victors.

Players will be able to rank up within their factions, as well. Taking down members of other factions, accomplishing tasks, and climbing the new and changing living towers will all increase your status.

During a random 24-hour period in each week, a special event will take place with an invasion from one of Mortal Kombat’s realms. For more, check out the trailer above to hear from the team about this new feature in the long-running series.

Mortal Kombat X will be out on April 14 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC.

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Off the Grid: The Witcher Adventure Game and Star Wars Imperial Assault

Like most sci-fi shows on Fox, Off the Grid is getting canceled (we’re all saying goodbye, actually).

In this series finale of the board and card game series I had hoped to evolve over time, we’re keeping our spirits high with a look at two recent, …
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