Sharks have work cut out for them with three games before …

SAN JOSE – The Sharks were asked after snapping a seven-game losing streak Saturday if their win over the Vegas Golden Knights meant they were ready for the playoffs.

Sunday’s 5-3 loss to the Calgary Flames showed they still have plenty of work to do. 

That defeat was not the result of just one factor. As coach Peter DeBoer told reporters afterwards, it came down to a whole mix of things.

“You’re coming off an emotional game, back to back, and we’re banged up,” he summarized. 

Whatever the reasons, the game got away from the Sharks after a strong opening 12 minutes. The Flames scored three goals in 1:15, and took a 3-1 lead into the second period. 

Despite playing on the tail end of a back-to-back after an emotional win – and still missing key pieces of their lineup due to injury – the Sharks expected a better result in their fourth-to-last game of the regular season. They needed to put up more of a fight against Calgary, but instead fell short.

“You have to be better in those situations,” said Timo Meier, who scored his 30th goal of the season. “We’ve got to be ready to play this time of year, back-to-back against two good teams. We definitely weren’t ready tonight.”

The loss officially closed the door on the Sharks’ slim hopes of Pacific Division and Western Conference crowns. Home-ice advantage is secure in the first round, but San Jose is locked into a matchup with Vegas when the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin in just over two weeks. 

The Sharks had plenty to play for, but Logan Couture said the team didn’t rise to the occasion. 

“It’s a rivalry, this is a team we’re hoping to see down the line. We should’ve had more energy,” he said.

To the Sharks’ credit, they started brightly.

All four lines clicked in the first half of the first period. Up until Meier gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead, it appeared they were building off of Saturday’s win. 

Then, the Flames tied the game just under three minutes later. 4:12 after taking the lead, the Sharks trailed by two goals. 

“I thought we came out and played well for maybe seven, eight good minutes,” Couture said. “Kind of got a lucky bounce there to score a goal, we’re up 1-0. Then the next thing you know it’s 3-1. It’s in our game right now – we’re scoring goals and in the next shift we’re giving up a couple. We’ve got to figure out a way to fix that.”

It didn’t help that the Sharks had trouble getting out of their own zone once the Flames jumped ahead. In Saturday’s win, the Sharks turned the game around with a strong second period. On Sunday, however, they only generated three shots on goal in the entire second stanza, and the Flames scored another goal before the period expired.

“We’re having a tough time breaking out of our end right now,” Couture summarized. “We’re just having a tough time exiting. When we don’t exit, it ends up in our net.” 

[RELATED: Karlsson will join Sharks on last road trip before playoffs]

However they fix it, the Sharks have just three more regular season games to do it. San Jose hits the road to face the lottery-bound Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers, before wrapping up the regular season next Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche.

As defenseman Brenden Dillon pointed out, those are two chances for the Sharks to right the ship. 

“We’re going into buildings where teams are going to be playing a little bit loose and those are sometimes the hardest time to play,” he said. “I think these are going to be good tests for us to make sure we’re playing the right way.”

r/Games Is Closing For April Fool’s Day, And Here’s Why …

r/Games, one of the biggest gaming communities on the internet, is closing on April Fool’s Day. In a message posted on the popular subreddit today, mods explained that they’re taking things “a little more seriously” this year, and that means closing down /r/Games for the day.

“In recent times, it’s come to our attention that what has been intended to be a forum for the potential spread of knowledge and involvement in video games has instead become a battleground of conflicting ideas,” the mods explained. “Ordinarily, this isn’t an issue; discussion by its very nature is certain to bring argument, but when that argument descends into vitriolic attacks between individuals on a regular basis with no chance at deescalation, that’s when, put simply, something’s got to give.”

The mods went on to say that r/Games is becoming “increasingly responsible” for perpetuating the “combative and derogatory schools of thought” surrounding misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, and racism, among other things. “Now is the time to stymie the flow of regressive ideas and prevent them from ever becoming the norm,” the mods said.

“Though certain memes (such as ‘gamers rise up’) surrounding gaming are largely viewed as a humorous interpretation of a mindset, at the core of the humor is a set of very serious issues that affect all gaming enthusiasts,” they explained. “By showing disdain or outright rejecting minority and marginalized communities, we become more insular. In this, we lose out on the chance to not only show compassion to these people, but also the chance to grow our own community and diversify the demographics of those involved in it.”

While the mods do take action against perpetrators by removing comments and banning bad actors, a underlying fundamental issue persists: “the notion that it’s okay or acceptable to ridicule and demonize traditionally disenfranchised and marginalized members in the gaming community,” the mods said. “This is not just an issue in r/Games or on Reddit alone; this is an issue deeply embedded in the ranging depths of the internet, frequently in communities that center around the discussion of games.”

The mods went on to say that they continually see “condescending, dismissive, vindictive, and pessimistic attitudes” on r/Games, and they posted examples of some of the problematic comments and threads they witness regular. “We must closely examine our own communities, in an effort to encourage acceptance and inclusion, to foster a healthy community in which we value empathy and respect.”

While there are many deep issues, the mods said, there are also reasons to be optimistic.

“Though the industry as a whole has suffered a great deal of trials and tribulations, we also are fortunate enough to be at a point in time in which there seem to be a glut of fantastic games, from major AAA titles down to near-anonymous indie projects that come out of nowhere.

“So let’s revel in what’s available to us, and also appreciate the myriad of backgrounds that we as gamers come from. Our differences in experiences comprise the diversity in the content that we consume, and by allowing ourselves to appreciate those differences, we change our perspectives and interpretations; this applies not only in games, but life as a whole.”

This April Fool’s Day, the r/Games mods are asking people to consider contributing to charitable organisations that support LGBT+, women’s health, POC, and other groups. You can see a full list of the charities and find out how to support them in this Reddit post.

r/Games is expected to re-open on April 2, and on that day, the mods will hold a discussion regarding the decision to close the subreddit.

Third Time’s a Charm: Travis Mayer is Going Back to the …

Five hours to redo 19.5 for a third and final time.

Just five hours to recover, refuel, refocus. 300 minutes for your legs to feel fresh, for your ripped hands to heal. 18,000 seconds to summon all your strength, heart, nerve and sinew for one final push. Just five short hours to qualify for the 2019 CrossFit Games.

That was the prospect facing Travis Mayer at 11am on Monday, March 25th.

Mayer had opened his 2019 Open campaign with 5th, 19th and 61st place finishes solidifying a seemingly rock solid bid for a Games invitation. Then a 210th place finish in 19.4 and suddenly plans for the first week in August seemed a little premature. It would all come down to the final week.

Flash forward to Monday morning, 11am and Travis (sometimes known as Trevor) is looking to improve on his respectable, if not dazzling, opening 19.5 gambit of 9:10. A Monday redo would surely get that well under 9:00, no problem. But not this week. Not this workout. With 9 reps to go, Mayer saw he was way off his Friday pace and stopped.

So what now? Was 9:10 enough? Do it again? Is there enough time? Do I have enough energy?

A quick look at the leaderboard at this point provides interesting reading. In theory, as long as Mat Fraser, Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson and Willy Georges hold tight as National Champions for the U.S., Iceland and France respectively, Travis would technically secure an invitation from the Dubai CrossFit Championship after his fourth placed finish there back in December.

Equally, if Patrick Vellner could climb up into a top-20 position, Mayer’s second place finish at Wodapalooza could also give him the nod for Madison.

But that’s not how Travis wanted to secure his spot at the Games. Not through a backfill. He wanted to win it for himself.

30 minutes after his ill-fated second attempt, Mayer turns to his coach Max El Hag, “I’m doing it again.”

5 hours later, he approached the bar for one last attempt. One last shot to bank a spot at the Games fair and square. No backfill. This time, it would be different. No strategy. No game plan. No predetermined rep scheme. Just go. “If I need a break,” Travis recounts, “I’ll break.”

8 minutes 44 seconds! An improvement of 26 seconds, and 55 spots on the leaderboard. And with it, a guaranteed spot at the Games.

Last year Mayer fell tantalizingly short of qualifying for the Games, finishing sixth at Regionals. But that never stopped Mayer believing he could one day win it all, “Why not? Katrin did it” Travis reminded me. Back in 2014, Davidsdottir too finished sixth at Regionals and failed to make it to the Games, then went on to win it all two years running.

Mayer had sucked up his pride in 2018, not only devoting his time between Regionals and the Games to helping training partner Noah Ohlsen prepare, but also accepted a position as part of of the demo team, something which did not come without complications. “You seem to be taking this harder than the rest of us,” Travis recalls others on the demo team telling him, “Yeah, I should be out there!”

Now that he will be, Travis feels he’s ready to prove he belongs among the very best. In Dubai, Mayer went toe-to-toe with Fraser and in Miami, went the distance with Vellner. “You have to be flawless to beat Mat, but anything can happen,” Mayer continued “I stopped weaknesses during the Open, now it’s time to fix them.”

So, now he’s going to the Games, can he win it? Why not, Katrin did it. Twice.


CrossFit Open | CrossFit Games

Travis Mayer

No fooling: Reddit’s r/games goes silent for one day to …

An official Reddit "Snoo" mascot was used to advertise the site's gaming content in 2018. Today, it's got duct tape on its mouth for a reason.
Enlarge / An official Reddit “Snoo” mascot was used to advertise the site’s gaming content in 2018. Today, it’s got duct tape on its mouth for a reason.
Reddit / Sam Machkovech

The Internet may have already begun exploding due to April Fools’ Day pranks, but one site’s April 1st gesture is decidedly not a joke: the temporary closure of Reddit’s “r/games” channel.

An 8pm ET post on Sunday confirmed a united front by r/games’ moderation team to shed light on the “condescending, dismissive, vindictive and pessimistic attitudes we see in our day-to-day activity.” Instead of being able to create new topics or post comments, the community’s 1.6 million subscribers will be left reading a locked moderator post that describes an average day’s discourse on the site—along with the mod team’s hopes for change.

“By showing disdain or outright rejecting minority and marginalized communities, we become more insular,” the moderation team wrote after describing the community’s “vitriolic” state in general. “In this, we lose out on the chance to not only show compassion to these people, but also the chance to grow our own community and diversify the demographics of those involved in it.”

The mods came with plenty of evidence in hand: a NSFW gallery of 71 bigoted, transphobic, racist, misogynistic, pedophilic, and otherwise hateful comments that the r/games team has moderated over a span of roughly six months (if its timestamps are to be believed). “These kinds of comments occur on a daily basis,” the moderators wrote. “From bigotry to vitriol, this merely scratches the surface of the magnitude of the problem.”

This disturbing gallery is rounded out by the mod team’s thanks to existing members who have previously deescalated angry comment threads or added a positive spin, along with a reminder that r/games is far from alone in terms of questionable user comments. But the team also adds that these poisonous trends are found “frequently in communities that center around the discussion of games.”

“The issue still persists”

The r/games one-day shutdown comes with an apparent understanding that the usual game of moderator whack-a-mole isn’t cutting it: “We remove those comments, we ban the perpetrators, but the issue still persists at a fundamental level: the notion that it’s okay or acceptable to ridicule and demonize traditionally disenfranchised and marginalized members in the gaming community.” This is followed by a list of non-profits and resources for women’s health, people of color, and members of the LGBT+ community—and a call for r/games members to “revel in what’s available to us, and also appreciate the myriad of backgrounds that we as gamers come from.”

Reddit’s moderating teams are famously run by unpaid volunteers, and previous examinations of the state of Reddit moderation have focused more on abuse aimed directly at moderators themselves. Sunday’s r/games post focused squarely on hate and bigotry directed by users at marginalized communities, as opposed to the site’s moderators. It did not include any indication that the team had requested specific resources from Reddit at large.

While Reddit hosts a “resources” page for moderators, its “tips for having a welcoming and engaged community” page is pretty thin and offers no advice for managing existing or growing communities of users.

The r/games community was formed in 2008, roughly one year after the site’s significantly larger r/gaming subreddit (which boasts a subscriber base of over 21 million), as an alternative Reddit destination for “informative and interesting gaming content and discussions.” Its moderators loudly remind users to head to r/gaming for “lighter” content such as image-leading posts. As of press time, r/gaming had not posted anything that resembled an April Fools’ joke or post.

Reddit representatives did not immediately reply to Ars Technica’s questions.

Nassau Coliseum Is Back And Hosting Islanders Playoff …

UNIONDALE, NY – MARCH 30: Robin Lehner #40 of the New York Islanders celebrates after defeating the Buffalo Sabres 5-1 to clinch a play-off berth at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on March 30, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

Getty

When it comes to listing the great arenas in North America, Nassau Coliseum is not likely to be mentioned in the same breath as legendary venues such as Boston Garden, Chicago Stadium, Maple Leaf Gardens or Joe Louis Arena.

But then again, none of those other arenas have risen from the ashes to host playoff games.

What has been an easy assumption for six weeks finally became reality Saturday night, when the Islanders clinched a playoff berth by cruising past the Sabres, 5-1. 

While the Islanders’ playoff positioning is still up in the air heading into the final week of the season — they could win the Metropolitan Division or fall into a wild card spot — there’s no doubting that their first-round home games will be played at Nassau Coliseum, the arena that was built long before Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers and is harder to bury than either one of those iconic horror movie characters.

“This building is, I think, one of, if not the best buildings to play in in the league,” Islanders right winger Matt Martin said Saturday night. “It’s loud, the fans are on top of you, it’s got that intimidation factor. We want to continue to play well and get wins and keep playing.

“(If they) catch (the) Washington (Capitals for the division title), great. If not, then we just want to make sure we’re doing the right things to give ourselves a chance.”

As beloved as Nassau Coliseum is by Islanders fans, few people legitimately thought there was a chance the long-outdated arena would ever host another game once the Capitals eliminated the Islanders in a seven-game Eastern Conference quarterfinal series in 2015. The Islanders moved that fall to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, where they’d signed a 25-year lease.

Except players and fans alike quickly came to dislike Barclays Center, which wasn’t built with hockey players or fans in mind and was a treacherous commute for anyone traveling from Long Island. With the Islanders annually ranking last in the NHL in attendance, new owners Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky announced plans in December 2017 to build a new hockey-only arena at the Belmont race track on the Nassau/Queens border.

Shortly thereafter, the Islanders and the management which runs both Barclays and the renovated Nassau Coliseum reached an agreement to split the 2018-19 home schedule between the two arenas. In the end, the Islanders will play more regular season games at the Coliseum (21) than Barclays (20).

After missing the playoffs by 17 points last season and watching John Tavares leave for the Maple Leafs as a free agent, nobody expected the Islanders to have to figure out where to play home playoff games in the spring of 2019.

Except the new management tandem of Hall of Fame general manager Lou Lamoriello and Hall of Fame-bound head coach Barry Trotz immediately turned around the Islanders, who have spent much of the calendar year atop the Metropolitan Division and ended up clinching a playoff berth before Tavares and the Maple Leafs, who visit the Coliseum Monday night.

“It’s nice to get in there and in a situation where not a many people thought we would,” right winger Cal Clutterbuck said after the Islanders clinched a playoff berth at the Coliseum for the first time since 2002. “It’s nice to do it in front of these people and in this building. They’ve been there for us all year.”

Now the task for the Islanders is to…find a way to get back to Barclays Center. In a wonderfully weird moment that resonated with Long Islanders long accustomed to putting up with less-than-ideal digs in which to live, the Islanders announced Feb. 15 that if the team wins its first-round series, it will play all further home games “…at Barclays Center, reflecting that the Nassau Coliseum does not qualify as an NHL major league facility.”

As flawed as the Coliseum is, it is, against all odds, once again the Islanders’ home, the one they will occupy for at least a couple more weeks.

“I like the old-school buildings, I like the vibe,” said Trotz, who was the Capitals’ coach when Washington eliminated the Islanders in 2015. “I’m glad this building is back and running and back on the Island, where it should be.

“I’m glad we’re in the playoffs and going to play some games here. It’s good. To me, it just feels right.”

Platinum Games Wants All Your Money In This Hilariously …

Platinum Games Wants All Your Money In This Hilariously Self-Aware April Fool's Day Trailer

It’s almost April Fool’s Day, and Platinum Games is already leading with their hilariously self-aware new trailer for their new intellectual property; one that may never see the light of day.

Don’t worry folks, here we don’t usually make fake April Fool’s Day articles, but that doesn’t stop us from posting some of the most outrageously funny fake announcements some developers like to share in social media; and there are some pretty clever ones out there, too.

Platinum Games has just released a new trailer for their spoof new game titled Chief Executive Omni-Weapon Ken-Ichi, which they claim it’s going to give us a run for our life and money, as well as their very first self-published title; promising us a high stakes business simulation action game.

While they are obviously joking, the design for this new fake character looks actually pretty good; making us all wish they re-urse that design in whatever future project they have their sleeves. Perhaps a boss for their upcoming Astral Chain? We’ll keep our fingers crossed for Platinum Games to make it happen.

In the meantime, check out the hilarious spoof trailer for Chief Executive Omni-Weapon Ken-Ichi:



An exclusive look at the first of our new original IPs. We’re firing on all cylinders to bring you action that will change gaming forever, as well as the birth of an unlikely new hero…


Chief Executive Omni-Weapon Ken-Ichi is coming to consoles never.

DISCLAIMER: GameFragger.com is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and… [MORE]
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The Top 10 Mobile Games of March 2019 – mxdwn Games

The Top 10 Mobile Games of March 2019




Mobile Gaming is a strong house subculture in the gaming community and has brought in several large name and indie named companies to its door. But sometimes, there’s a lot of games that show up with too many to focus on and too many to go through. So here at Mxdwn, we’ve decided to help with that by creating a Top 10 of the Month Mobile Games List, to  narrow down the search list for you and give a range of games to check out. So for the first time ever, welcome to Mxdwn’s Top 10 Mobile Games of March 2019! First up:

10. Rush Rally 3

Rush Rally 3 is the long awaited continuation of the beautiful racing series Rush Rally by developers Brownmonster. This racing game is not only extremely high quality, but adds more and builds more upon what Rush Rally 2 had created. With an extensive new career mode in several different difficulties as well as multiplayer added in, Rush Rally 3 has created a new benchmark for racing games. Beautiful, great handling, and a whole lot of cars to collect, if you’re looking for a new racing game to fill the void this is the one.

Rush Rally 3 is available for both Android and iOS Systems for $3.99 USD.

9. Scorcher

Scorcher, developed by RadianGames, is a lot like the hit game Temple Run from a number of years back. Players use a small sand ship to navigate their way up a winding strip of sand and dunes. They have to hit things known as Sharks to gain extra points, and dodge the large Sandsnakes that can take their ship out in one or two hits. As they progress, the ship begins to move faster, so it gets a little harder to control the turns in the path. The farther the player gets, the more maps they can unlock, and the more upgrades they can get for their ships. Simple yet addictive, Scorcher is one to try out.

Scorcher is available for iOS Systems only for free.

8. New Rue Eur

New Rue Eur is the first of many puzzle games on this list. Developed by GamesGus, New Rue Eur has the puzzle in the name. Using license plates from Europe, the goal is to match  them to each other. For instance, if one says RUE, you can click on one that says EUR, so one and so forth. Though, as the levels get harder, so does the matchmaking. Certain difficulties will only allow the first letter to match with the first letter on the plates, and not in any other other position. So it takes a little bit of work and thinking to try and rack up the combos to move forward. New Rue Eur is simple at first, but it will only get harder from there. If you’re up for a challenge, this one is if for you.

New Rue Eur is available for both Android and iOS Systems for free.

7. Go Slice

Go Slice by Lucky Kat Studios became very familiar in a matter of seconds. It has a similar style to Cut the Rope, in how some of the mechanics work. Use your scissors to slice at a large piece of paper to fill in the gaps to help your little pixelated, blobby friend to the finish line.The goal is to solve the puzzle in as few moves possible, but you are given a set amount of slices to make. Help unlock new characters with their own unique design and keep moving forward. Levels get harder and harder requiring more moves to solve the puzzles. Familiar in all the best kinds of ways, Go Slice is worth trying out.

Go Slice is available for both Android and iOS for free.

6. Picadilly’s Puzzle Museum

This next one is for a fairly young audience, but there’s a bit of a story with this one. Picadilly’s Puzzle Museum is actually a game based off of the Lisa Anne Novelline children’s book series Piccadilly and her Magical World. This specific game is a jigsaw puzzle game that has different difficulties and shows the art from the book series done by Nicola Hwang. I had actually played this game as a small demo at PAX East, and spoke with the author herself about her books. Having completed one of the medium-difficulty puzzles as a “co-op” (each taking turns on putting a puzzle piece in place) with a friend, it was easy to fall in love with the charming aspect of the game. Charming, wonderful art, and inspiring, Picadilly’s Puzzle Museum is fun for all.

Picadilly’s Puzzle Museum is available for iOS Systems only for $4.99 USD. Check out Novelline’s books as well on her website here.

5. Dear Stefan

Developer Mariana Mota had a rather charming idea when working on Dear Stefan. The concept of the game is simple and, honestly, adorable. Players are the workers of a mail carrier service completely run by Stefan. The catch? They’re all hedgehogs. Dear Stefan is a timing puzzle. Tap to make the platforms disappear or reappear to get the little carrier hedgehog to the letter and then to the mailbox. Stefan congratulates you when you’ve completed the puzzle. The goal is to not have so many hedgehogs get off course, so the lowest number is the high score. With hand drawn graphics and backgrounds, this little game is sweetly frustrating in all the right ways and sweetly fun in the best ways.

Dear Stefan is available for both Android and iOS Systems for free.

4. Holy Potatoes! A Spy Story?!

Holy Potatoes! A Spy Story?! is actually the third installment of the Holy Potatoes! series by developers Daylight Studios. This time, twins Ren and Rexa are on a secret spy mission to uncover the mysterious disappearance of their parents. And how do they do that? Buy hiring all sorts of spies with pun-filled names to infiltrate the skeevy spy corporation that the twins believe is behind the disappearance. Embark on missions with the spies you hire to try and get more information while also not raising any suspicion. Fun, ridiculous, and filled with a lot of parody spy names who are all potatoes, this one is a fun time waiting to happen.

Holy Potatoes! A Spy Story?! is available for iOS Systems for $4.99 USD.

3. Delivery From The Pain (Full Release)

DigiPotato Studio had actually released a shorter and lighter version of Delivery From the Pain in February. However, the full release didn’t come out until early March which is what was looked at. In this game, players can choose one of two characters, one that has more strength, or one that has more book smarts. Then they are thrust into the world, fighting zombies and escaping while trying to remember how they got there.

Gaining a friend and mentor, an unnamed bandaged woman, players learn how to craft, fight zombies, and keep themselves alive. Then finding out that all the way up at the top of the map, there is a location where people will pick them up and bring them to safety. Though, the player loses their mentor early on, and they have to do this all themselves. Dramatic and intense, how will you spend your time to keep safe while also making your way to safety? Delivery From the Pain has the answers.

Delivery From the Pain (Full) is available for both Android and iOS Systems for $4.99 USD.

2. The Elder Scrolls: Blades

Back during E3 in 2018, Bethesda announced that they would be creating a mobile game known as The Elder Scrolls: Blades. And it wasn’t until this month that it came out. Well, in a Early Access at least. This new story isn’t a mimic or copy of Skyrim, but, in fact, focuses on doing smaller quests and managing a town. The combat is just tap, hold, and swipe to attack, block, etc. The graphics are absolutely amazing for a mobile game, and looks almost exactly like console graphics. So far, the game is a great Elder Scrolls experience, and well worth the wait.

The Elder Scrolls: Blades is currently in Early Access on iOS Systems only for free. To sign up to be a part of the Early Access period, go through the tutorial and keep your notifications on until you’re allowed in. It will be available for Android systems later this year.

1. Tick Tock: A Tale For Two

Tick Tock: A Tale For Two by OtherTales Interactive is somewhat of a spectacle. This game does require two people, and if a player attempts to go solo, they’ll get stuck and be unable to move forward. However, there is a catch to this game: it’s an offline two player. Meaning everything has to be done through communication between both players. If something happens on Player 2’s screen, Player 1 needs to manually input it to continue the story. But players can only advance with communicating what’s happening and solving the puzzles together.

Upon receiving a package in the mail by a close friend and being transported back to the 1930s, players will find out that there’s a mystery happening around a single clock shop and the family that runs it. Using information and storytelling through radios, journal entries, and news articles, they’ll soon find themselves solving and understand what had happened. But what are they willing to lose to find the answer? Atmospheric, dripping in gothic lore, hinting at a romance, Tick Tock: A Tale for Two lands the spot at the most recommended mobile game for March.

Tick Tock: A Tale For Two is available for PC, Android and iOS and is $2.99 on mobile and $5.99 on Steam. And if you’re wanting to play it, but don’t have a Player 2, OtherTales Interactive has a Discord Server where you can find a player two, or talk with some people who are into the game as well.


Heat Stretch Win Streak to Four Games With Shootout Win

ONTARIO, Calif. – Behind 36 saves from Tyler Parsons, two points from Matthew Phillips and a game-tying goal from Curtis Lazar with just 1:06 left in regulation, the Stockton Heat emerged victorious by a 4-3 final in a shootout over the Ontario Reign on Sunday. The Heat took the win in a game in which they never led, falling behind 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 before Tyler Graovac was the lone scorer in the shootout to lift Stockton to the win. The victory stretched Stockton’s win streak to four games, matching the team’s longest for the season, as the Heat finished off a two-win weekend in southern California against divisional opponents.

BOX SCORE

PHOTOS

SCORING AND PENALTY SUMMARY

 

GOALIES

W: Tyler Parsons (39 shots, 36 saves)
SOL: Peter Budaj (46 shots, 43 saves)

NOTABLE STATISTICS

Three Stars: First – Tyler Graovac (SOG), Second – Matthew Phillips (1g,1a), Third – Peter Budaj (43 svs)
Final Shots: STK – 46, ONT – 39
Power Plays: STK – 2-7, ONT – 1-7

– Tyler Parsons got his first starting nod in goal since February 13.
– Corey Shueneman made his AHL debut for Stockton after signing an ATO last week.
– Matthew Phillips’ goal in the first period and his assist on a tying goal in the third give him four points with two goals and two assists over Stockton’s last three games.
– Adam Ollas Mattsson’s goal was his sixth of the season and first since February 9.
– Curtis Lazar’s game-tying goal was his 19th of the season and his third goal in his last four games played.
– The game was Stockton’s first shootout since March 10.
– Stockton finishes March with a 7-3-0-1 record.

UP NEXT

The Heat return to action next weekend on the road against the Manitoba Moose and will return to Stockton Arena on Wednesday, April 10 for the annual Pacific Takeover game.




Games for Your Inner Historian – IGN

These games aren’t just great fun; they scratch an historical itch too.

I love history. I have historical books, movies and texts on every shelf at home and a big fat history degree on my wall that’s mostly useful for… well, articles like this.

Being a history nerd also means that when a game takes inspiration from a particular historical epoch, it makes me all the more interested. I know that history isn’t for everyone, and not every game needs a solid historical basis, but I’ve always seen games as a way to explore thoughts and ideas in a way that no other medium can – and not everyone wants to sit through a three-hour lecture on the Russian revolution.

Being a history nerd means that when a game takes inspiration from a particular historical epoch, it makes me all the more interested.

So let’s take a look at a handful of games and game series that have built an incredible experience on top of a solid historical underpinning. To be clear, these aren’t experiences that will give you a totally realistic depiction of a time period, but they do give you some of the flavour of the age; whether that’s culture, politics, warfare or any number of other elements. And yes, because I can’t resist I’ll also point you in the direction of further information to complement – or build upon – what you might get out of each game.

Assassin’s Creed

Assassin’s Creed has always been a series about history. Sure it takes some liberties with the main character, making sure your protagonist is present at a collection of momentous historical occasions (I’m looking at you Declaration of Independence), but it also takes a great deal of care with the accuracy of the time periods you explore and the characters you engage with.

I think Assassin’s Creed: Origins showcases this the best; the amount of focus and detail that clearly went into the creation of areas around the border of the Nile in Ancient Egypt is impressive. And the choice to place Assassin’s Creed: Origins in the tail end of the Ptolemaic period in Egypt is a bit of a sweet-spot for the Egyptologists in the audience, because it’s a time when many of the greatest constructions of the Egyptian period were already complete. So you can explore the pyramids, the sphinx, spend time in Alexandria and see how villagers on the banks of the Nile might have lived.

It also comes after Alexander the Great took control of Ancient Egypt, meaning that as well as the more traditional Egyptian culture, you have the added intricacies of the Greek and Roman influence that flourished in major cities like Alexandria. If you went further back to the Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom eras of Ancient Egypt when monuments like the pyramids were just being built, the Greco-Roman influence wouldn’t have come into the region yet, and you’d see a lot more of the local Egyptian culture that in the game is represented mostly in the towns and villages rather than major cities.

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Sure, as with everything on this list the realisation of the time period has to be taken with a grain of salt, but I love this interpretation of Ancient Egypt, because it shows a bustling metropolis with vastly different social hierarchies and individuals with roles, responsibilities and goals in their daily lives.

Where to next?

If you’ve played Origins, and like me were intrigued by the world and its inhabitants, then check out the Discovery Tour mode. It’s a free addition to the game that’s entirely focused on teaching you about the history and highlights of the Ptolemaic period. You can wander around as Ptolemy himself and hear about the markets and temples of Alexandria, or the Greek Pharaohs. This mode is pointed squarely at history students and teachers, with a standalone version available for anyone who doesn’t own the game.

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In a similar vein, you can also check out The Giza Project, it’s an online resource being developed by Harvard professors to provide an accurate 3D representation of the Giza area at the time of the Great Pyramids.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

When I was younger, I had an idea for a truly accurate “knight simulator.” I wanted to serve a lord, keep the townsfolk safe, get into duels and fight for my honour. Funnily enough, the feature I wanted most of all was realistic helmets in first-person. Now I know that seems like a weird thing to want, but I love the idea of choosing a helmet based on how much you can realistically see out of it, and of course the idea that the most protective helmets are as much a hindrance as a blessing, since they block out all but the part of the world just in front of you.

So when I saw that Kingdom Come: Deliverance was set to deliver on that dream, I was totally sold. Choosing a good helmet in Kingdom Come is exactly the agonising experience that I wanted it to be, and it makes you seriously consider your fighting style before you just go looking for the highest numbers.

Outside of writing the odd article about games, I train as a competition swordsman. I’ve been doing it for three years and covered it in one of my previous articles. Anyway, our school focuses on a German sword fighting manual penned by Joachim Meyer in the 15th century that outlines the rules of historical swordplay as it would have been done between nobles at the time. So from this perspective I was incredibly pleased with the technical detail and attention given to the swordplay in Kingdom Come. Just like in a real bout, you need to read your opponent’s stance, their choice of guard, and carefully measure their striking distance to control the flow of combat.

Not only that, but the attacks in Kingdom Come are correct to the time period, as much of the focus in texts from the period is on guard and striking positions, aiming to build logical flow into your movements so you can move from one strike and into a block or follow-up, because due to the weight of the weapons you could end up tiring yourself easily.

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Where to next?

TV shows like The Tudors and The Borgias take a similar historical inspiration and focus on the style and feel of the times. If you’re interested in the combat side of the era, you can look at historical texts like Joachim Meyer’s documentation on German sword fighting; the most common variant you’ll find today is The Art Of Sword Combat. An earlier text that is also used extensively in modern fencing was written by Johannes Lichtenauer, called The Zettel – you’ll find both of these used in modern Historical European Martial Arts schools.

Company of Heroes

When I was younger, my grandfather told me of his experience with the Australian armed forces in the second world war. He was deployed in Singapore in combat with the Japanese. His company fought and was eventually captured behind enemy lines and were forced to build the Burmese railway. The stories he told me, however, weren’t about combat or adventure, they were about the friends he made and how they supported each other while they were held prisoner; how they reminded each other of what was waiting for them back home and how they survived to make it back to their families.

Company of Heroes focuses on the experience of a small group; it tells a series of personal stories…

Similarly – and unlike a lot of other historical World War 2 titles – Company of Heroes focuses on the experience of a small group; it tells a series of personal stories and gives you their perspective on a much larger conflict. The campaign follows individual squads and the challenge of holding a position with limited troops, while keeping casualties to a minimum. It focuses on how smart tactics and positioning can win out over overwhelming numbers, and it puts a significant emphasis on the lives of individual soldiers, making each one valuable rather than expendable.

In a vast sea of games based in and around World War 2, I keep coming back to Company of Heroes.

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Where to next?

For the Australian perspective, there’s a book called The Line by Arch and Martin Flanagan. The story is built from Arch’s first hand accounts of the war and being a prisoner of the Japanese, and much like my own grandfather worked on the Burmese railway.

For films, you can’t go past Schindler’s List, or Saving Private Ryan, both classics that show vastly different sides of the war, but tell deeply personal stories. In more recent years, Fury and Dunkirk both told incredibly human tales across different sides of the war.

Total War

For the tacticians among you, the Total War series is the gold standard for historical accuracy amongst strategy games. Depending on your interest, you can grab a Total War title covering the Romans, the Age of Sail, Attila the Hun, the Viking invasions of Britain, or the end of the age of samurai in Japan. Each of these historical periods comes with its own challenges, tweaks, historical developments and unique components. Thrones of Britannia, for instance, puts more emphasis on the statecraft elements of managing your kingdom with factional alliances and nobles underneath you vying for control and looking to carve their own piece of the pie.

Depending on your interest, you can grab a Total War title covering the Romans, the Age of Sail, Attila the Hun, the Viking invasions of Britain, or the end of the age of samurai in Japan.

My favourite example of historically accurate units would be in Rome: Total War, where the Roman factions underwent the Marian Reforms as a part of the grand campaign. It’s a change that massively alters the way you lead your faction, what units you recruit and what tactics you’ll employ in battle.

For context, the Marian reforms were the brainchild of a Roman statesman named Gaius Marius around 107BC. The reforms included the overhauling of the military system that allowed ordinary Roman citizens who didn’t own land to enter the military as professional soldiers. He arranged for the government to pay for weapons and armour, and standardised training regimes. The new soldiers were able to collect spoils from battle as well as gaining status after the war.

The new standing army of the Roman empire was substantially more effective than the troops that came before, and it’s reflected in the Total War series as the evolution of the army and the addition of famous Roman formations like the Testudo that brought the army together and fighting as a unit.

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Where to next?

If you’re keen on the time periods depicted in Total War franchises, you have plenty of options for learning more. If you like historical arms and armour, try shows on the History Channel like Forged in Fire, where blacksmiths create historically accurate replicas of weapons and armour.

You can also check out historical texts like Edward Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, which is one of the more widely known historical texts theorising on the end of the Roman Empire. Due to more recent historical evidence and archaeological advances, Gibbon’s text isn’t considered truly accurate, but it provides a solid introduction to the period and base that other historians reference and challenge.

If you’re one for podcasts you can also look at Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast, which did an epic six part series on the fall of the Roman Republic, and covered the big picture in Carlin’s typically entertaining style.

Dynasty Warriors

This one will probably rub some people the wrong way, since Dynasty Warriors is probably the loosest interpretation of history on this list. But as a gateway into the study of a historical time period, you can’t really get a much more simple introduction.

The Dynasty Warriors franchise has been a guilty pleasure of mine since Dynasty Warriors 2 back in the late 90s. But what Western audiences often gloss over with this franchise is that it’s primarily based on one of the most widely read historical texts in the world. The Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a 14th century novel that covers events from the third and fourth century in mainland China. The Three Kingdoms era was almost a century of civil unrest that saw the entire nation collapse into in-fighting after the fall of the Han dynasty, and as parts of the countryside fell to chaos, leaders, generals and idealistic warriors set out to unify the country and restore peace, while others sought control.

Sure, Koei Tecmo takes more than a few liberties with the characters, making most of them into larger-than-life explosive versions of the heroes referenced in historical texts, but when you compare that to Western traditions of heroes like King Arthur, William Wallace or Robin Hood the embellishment makes a bit more sense.

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The important elements from my perspective are the attention to detail in historical events in the series. So even though the weapons change and the characters become more bombastic with each edition, the key events are maintained as they happen in the historical text.

Throughout the Dynasty Warriors series you’ll battle through the Yellow Turban rebellion, Cao Cao’s assassination attempt of Dong Zhuo, the battle of Hu Lao gate and the Chibi fire attack. Each game interprets these and more events in slightly different ways, and it’s always interesting to see the latest interpretation, particularly as each game puts the attention on a different hero and tells the story through their perspective.

Where to next?

If you’re after a more down-to-earth rendition of the Three Kingdoms era, check out the upcoming Total War: Three Kingdoms, which is set to offer a historical mode as well as romance mode, for those who want the historical or sensational versions of the story.

If you want to go to the source here you can find copies of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms in most languages around the world. It’s arguably one of the most widely read historical texts, and its influence in the East is often compared to Shakespeare’s in the West.

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So there you have just a few of my favourite historical video games. What are yours? Let me know in the comments.  

Nathanael Peacock is a freelance games journalist based in Sydney, Australia. Check out his thoughts on where God of War could go next. And why not say hey on Twitter?

Final Four 2019: Tipoff times, TV channels, live stream …

So much for chalk prevailing in the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

With the Elite Eight now completed, we head to Minneapolis for a Final Four that features only a single 1-seed in Tony Bennett’s Virginia team, two teams in 5-seed Auburn and 3-seed Texas Tech that are making their first such trips and 2-seed Michigan State, which upset 1-seed Duke in the East Region final to earn an eighth Final Four for Tom Izzo.

MORE: Watch March Madness games live & on-demand with fuboTV (7-day trial)

That said, the Final Four games of Virginia-Auburn and Michigan State-Texas Tech do represent a matchup of college basketball’s more traditional blue bloods against up-and-comers. But if we’ve learned anything through the first four rounds of March Madness, it’s this: Don’t just go with the name on the front of the jersey.

Sporting News is here to make sure you know how to tune in to the final two rounds of March Madness. Here’s everything you’ll need to know to watch the Final Four and national championship matchups both live on TV and streaming online.

SN’s MARCH MADNESS HQ
Live NCAA bracket | Live scoreboard | Full TV schedule

TV channels, live stream for Final Four games

The NCAA Tournament’s Final Four and national championship game will be broadcast by CBS on April 6 April 8, respectively.

The primary outlet for live-streaming 2019 NCAA Tournament games is March Madness Live, the NCAA’s digital platform available on desktop and by downloading the mobile app. You can also stream games live by signing up for fuboTV, which offers a free seven-day trial.

Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery and Tracy Wolfson are CBS’s lead broadcast team and will call the Final Four national semifinals and championship game.

MORE: Ranking every Sweet 16 team’s chances to win it all

NCAA Tournament schedule 2019

South Regional Louisville, Ky. March 28, 30 CBS, TBS
West Regional Anaheim, Calif. March 28, 30 CBS, TBS
East Regional Washington, D.C. March 29, 31 CBS, TBS
Midwest Regional Kansas City, Mo. March 29, 31 CBS
Final Four Minneapolis April 6 CBS
National championship Minneapolis April 8 CBS

MORE: How to watch, stream every NCAA Tournament game online

March Madness Final Four schedule

Saturday, April 6

Matchup Time TV
(1) Virginia vs. (5) Auburn 6:09 p.m. CBS
(2) Michigan State vs. (3) Texas Tech 8:49 p.m. CBS

NCAA Tournament national championship

Monday, April 8

Matchup Location TV
TBD vs. TBD 9 p.m. CBS

When does Match Madness 2019 end?

March Madness will conclude on April 8 with the national championship game in Minneapolis. From there, it will be roughly seven months before college basketball starts back up again.

March Madness features from Sporting News

“40 Minutes of Hell” to Hog Heaven: Nolan Richardson’s 1993-94 Arkansas team will go down as one of the most fun SEC title-winning teams of all time. It was something he built, one minute at a time.

A barrier-breaking title: The 1961-62 Cincinnati Bearcats made history when they started four black players in their NCAA title game win over Ohio State. We remember the importance of that groundbreaking win.

An Oral History of Steph Curry’s 2008 Breakout: In 2008, a little-known, baby-faced guard from Davidson completely took over the NCAA Tournament.

Upset City: Reliving the wildest opening venue in NCAA Tournament history.

The Fagan Jinx: They’re not just upset “alerts” when Sporting News’ Ryan Fagan is in attendance. Recapping the many improbable upsets Fagan has been on hand to witness. 

More than a timeout: The 1993 NCAA Tournament is more than Chris Webber’s ill-fated timeout in the national championship game against UNC. 

Danny and the Miracles: Recalling Kansas’ improbable 1988 title run.

Chalmers’ shot still resonates: Mario Chalmers never gets tired talking about his 3-pointer against Memphis in 2008.

DeCourcy’s best of 30 years: Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy ranks the best games he has witnessed from 30 years’ worth of NCAA Tournament coverage. 

The thrill of victory…: Sporting News staff recall their favorite memories of the NCAA Tournament. 

…And the agony of defeat: Sporting News staff recalls their most heartbreaking memories from the NCAA Tournament. Get your tissues ready.