After Two Years, the “Perfect” Super Mario Bros. Speedrun Has Been Dethroned

(Youtube/Niftski)

The original Super Mario Bros. is notoriously difficult, and I feel like anyone who can complete the game deserves some kind of medal.  You can imagine my shock then while watching Niftski’s new world record speedrun that clocks in at 4 minutes and 54 seconds.  This is some next-level Mario Bros. gameplay.

Before we get to that run though, we need to go back to September 25th, 2018.  This was the day streamer Kosmic achieved the (previously) “perfect” Super Mario Bros. speedrun world record with a time of 4:55.913, which had only ever been achieved during a tool-assisted run.  These tool-assisted runs are special programs that allow creators to play perfectly, giving them an idea of just how far they can potentially push a game to its limits.  As experts continued to tinker with different speedrun methods, there were tool-assisted runs that would end up clocking in at under 4:55, but what Kosmic had done was as perfect as humanly possible.  Could anyone achieve a better time than his?  How do you improve on perfection?

It wouldn’t be until April 7th, 2021 that streamer Niftski would blow everyone’s minds.  He pulled off a perfect run like no other, just barely sneaking in by milliseconds and setting a new world record of 4:54.948.  I don’t even want to know how many attempts it took to reach this point, but watching this will leave your palms sweaty.  Each jump over an enemy is so close to ending Niftski’s run, it physically pains me to watch.  As he inches closer towards the end, the chat starts to go absolutely berserk and once he knocks Bowser into the lava for the last time, the sheer joy from Niftski’s voice tells you all that hard work has paid off.

“IT HAS FINALLY BEEN DONE! THE 55 BARRIER IS NO LONGER. Huge thanks to everyone who has supported me on this journey. This was my 2nd run ever on this pace into 8-4, so I am blessed to say I finished it out. This is a time I can be proud of for the rest of my life. Also, I don’t plan on stopping here! ;)”

I have a hard enough time jumping on Goomba’s properly, so Niftski’s speedrun is a sight to behold, with each movement being executed with precision.  What’s also interesting is Niftski uses a keyboard to play.  The original NES controller is pretty uncomfortable by today’s standards, but I couldn’t imagine using anything other than that.  I guess if you are going to be playing Mario Bros. as much as these guys do though, comfort is key.

Now, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if anyone can beat this new record.  Will we be waiting weeks or years to find out?  I hope for Niftski’s sake it’s a very long time.

Boys Who Play Video Games Linked To Lower Risk of Depression

Video Games Lowers Depression Risk
(Getty/Westend61)

One of the craziest culture changes for Dads of a certain age has been the attitude towards gaming. Once the scourge of pearl-clutchers everywhere, video games were blamed for everything from falling grades to violent crimes. Now, we have professional gamers, Dad gamers, proof that playing together with your kids is good, and more.

The latest is a research study that found boys who regularly play video games at age 11 were less likely to develop depression years later. The study, published by Psychological Medicine, found that boys who played video games most days had 24 percent fewer depression symptoms three years later than boys who rarely played video games. This finding was most significant among boys with low activity levels, so it’s not suggesting you can’t make your kids run around all day in the backyard if that’s what they like to do.

What it IS saying, though, is that if you have a kid that’s not super active, playing video games is not a bad recreation. They’ve been proven to help problem-solving skills and have added social and cooperative benefits. Video games aren’t bad anymore, is the point.

Caveat; anything can be bad in excess, obviously if your kids are playing 18 hours of Fortnite a day, that *may* be something to look into. But if your kid likes some gaming time, well join the dang club.

“While we cannot confirm whether playing video games actually improves mental health, it didn’t appear harmful in our study and may have some benefits,” the lead author of the study said. “Particularly during the pandemic, video games have been an important social platform for young people.”

Video games can benefit the mental health of children is the takeaway. But let’s not think they are just for kids, as the many, many people of The Dad Gaming Group can tell you, those mental health benefits are out there for anyone who can get in some quality time on Rocket League, Call of Duty, Assassins Creed, FIFA, Red Dead Redemption II, or whatever your distraction of choice may be.

Encourage your kids to be active, sure, have screen time rules, of course. But also remember, no matter what people in their 60s say, it’s not the devil.

The Last Of Us Remake Reportedly in Development at Naughty Dog

(Sony/Naughty Dog)

It has been only 8 years since The Last of Us launched on PS3 to universal acclaim, 7 years if you count the launch of the remastered version on PS4.  You’d think that would be enough to please fans, but Sony would have you think otherwise.

According to a new report from Bloomberg, there’s a Last of Us remake currently in development at Naughty Dog.  Sources say that the remake, codenamed “T1X”, was started by Michael Mumbauer.  Mumbauer is the founder of Visual Arts Service Group, which is a Sony developer that assists with the development on some of PlayStation Studios’ major games.  Some of these projects are massive, so it makes sense they’d sometimes need to call in for extra help.

Originally, Mumbauer and his newly assembled team were going to work on an Uncharted remake.  They decided to opt-out of that and settled on The Last of Us remake instead.  Not too long after development began, the team ran into trouble when Sony refused to offer extra budget.  The project was “too expensive”, and Mumbauer’s team was moved to support development on The Last of Us 2.  After The Last of Us 2 was completed, Mumbauer and some of his team left the company, but development on the remake is continuing on without them.

This kind of friction between developers and Sony doesn’t stop there either.  Over at Eurogamer, their sources claim that developer Sony Bend pitched a sequel to their zombie game ‘Days Gone’ after its release in 2019.  Sony rejected the pitch and moved developers from Bend onto two Naughty Dog projects instead.  One would be an unspecified multiplayer game and the other was the Uncharted remake.  Ultimately, Bend would ask to be removed from the Uncharted remake over creative differences, and now they’re supposedly working on a new game.  Whether or not it’s Days Gone 2 remains to be seen.

Personally, The Last of Us is awesome and I’m all for playing a PS5 version of the first game.  I just think it’s crazy that Sony has so many different Naughty Dog projects going on.  It seems a bit overkill to be making so many remakes when we really could use some new stories, especially only 8 years after the original.  Especially when it has an effect on the people who are working on these games.  Who knows, maybe this all has to do with Tom Holland’s Uncharted movie as well as The Last of Us HBO series.  Could these remakes feature the new actors in place of the original designs?  We’ll just have to wait and see.

Xbox Says It’s Committed To Preserving Gaming Icons and Classics

Xbox preserving Classics
(Microsoft/Xbox)

I’m a sucker for the classics.  There, I said it.

Even with the next generation of gaming in full swing with PS5 & Xbox Series X/S, I’m still that guy that wants to be able to take a trip down memory lane and play my favorite PS1 games on my PS5.  I wouldn’t have to plug in my old consoles every time I wanted to play something, and honestly, it boggles my mind this isn’t already a thing.  Would it really be that hard to just bring all those classic games to current digital stores?  Well, the answer would depend on who you’re talking to.  Nintendo and Playstation would, unfortunately, say “yes”, but Microsoft would explain to you all the ways they’re committed to preserving video game history.

To put things into context, Nintendo just recently pulled the plug on Mario’s 35th-anniversary titles.  As of April 1st, 2021, you can no longer purchase Super Mario 3D All-Stars physically or digitally for Nintendo Switch.  The game contains Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, & Super Mario Galaxy.  Sure, it’s a smart business move, but it has left the fan base feeling pretty bitter.  This was literally the only way you can play these titles on Nintendo Switch, and now it’s gone (unless you want to pay double for it on eBay).

Over at PlayStation, Sony has officially confirmed the closure of the PS3, PS Vita and PSP storefronts.  What’s worse, Sony hasn’t mentioned any plans for making the games on these stores readily available to purchase ever again.  It’s this mindset of just erasing games that has people worried.  Outside of emulating or owning the console and game yourself, there really is no way to play any of these games on current consoles.

This now brings us to the shining beacon of hope, Xbox (which sounds weird coming from me because I’m a Playstation/Nintendo guy).  Not only is Xbox embracing backward compatibility, but in a recent Xbox Wire blog post, they announced backward compatible cloud gaming via Xbox Game Pass.

“There’s a magical moment when you open up Kameo, an original launch title for Xbox 360, and it shows you last played in 2008, and you’re able to jump right back into the game like you never left. There’s also a sense of reward when you’re able to go back and complete the whole Gears of War series before starting on Gears 5. Being able to take a trip down memory lane either to relive past memories or make new ones with a classic is delightful and critical to preserving gaming’s history. We’ve enabled this experience through our backward compatibility program, launched in 2015. Since then we’ve launched multiple consoles and are still committed to making games across generations available to you no matter the hardware.”

It’s like they wrote that for me.  It speaks to my soul and I really have to admire the dedication.  I’m not saying I want to play these old games on my phone, but the option to play them across various devices is nice.  Could you imagine being able to play something like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on your Switch, simply by having an online subscription?  I’m sure we’ll get that game at some point, but we’re gonna have to pay $50 for it and it’ll only be available for a limited time.

Moving forward, I think it’s important that these older games move with us.  As new systems release, backward compatibility should be something companies like Nintendo worry about.  Why doesn’t Nintendo Switch Online feature more games from each system?  We have access to NES & SNES games, but the library of titles could be so much bigger.  Imagine being able to play Game Boy or Game Boy Advance games on your Switch.  The PS2 is one of Sony’s best-selling consoles and we only have access to a handful of games from its rich history on PS5 via subscribing to PS Now.  I just think it’s crazy that they’re sitting on this goldmine of games and Microsoft is the only one doing their part.

Who knows, maybe Xbox will spur the others into action, but with the way things have been going, it doesn’t look like it will change.  Hopefully, I’m wrong.

Pac-Man 99 Battle Royale Launches Today for Nintendo Switch Online Subscribers

pacman 99 coming to nintendo online
(Youtube/Nintendo)

The Battle Royale genre has completely blown up in video games.  PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) was the one to kick the whole thing off, Fortnite made it mainstream, Call of Duty and Apex Legends became huge hits, and now Pac-Man 99 is out in the wild for us dads to show off our ancient arcade skills.  You could say we’ve been training our whole lives for this moment.

Pac-Man 99 was just announced last night and will be only available to Nintendo Switch Online members starting today at 6pm PST.  Much like Tetris 99 or (the now unplayable) Super Mario Bros. 35, Pac-Man 99 features the traditional Pac-Man gameplay with the added pressure of outlasting a ton of other opponents.

Ghosts are still present, as are Power Pellets, but there are new power-ups and strategies to watch out for.  Every ghost you eat will be sent to attack other players as a “Jammer Pac-Man”.  If you do bump into one of these Jammer Pac-Man, you’ll move much slower, and will be easier for an actual Ghost to catch up and sadly end your run.  The key to securing your own victory is to go after “Sleeping Ghosts”.  By chomping them, you will create a “Ghost Train” behind a colored ghost, and when you eat a Power Pellet, it’ll be an all-you-can-eat buffet, allowing you to satisfyingly overwhelm your opponents with Jammer Pac-Man.

You get all that?  No?  Me neither.  Also, I wouldn’t recommend reading that out loud as it will make you sound like a complete madman.

Pac-Man 99 does include additional paid content that is optional.  This content unlocks classic Pac-Man modes and NAMCO themes based on other arcade classics like Xevious, Galaga, Dig Dug, and more.

If you don’t have a  Nintendo Switch Online membership, one month will cost you $5, and you get access to 90+ NES and SNES games too.  Nintendo Switch Online definitely isn’t as extensive in features as PS Plus or Xbox Live, but it’s not a bad deal.  You can even have a family plan so everyone has access for the same price.  Might as well sign everyone up so you can show off your true gaming powers.

Man Builds World’s Largest Nintendo Switch & Donates It To Children’s Hospital

world's largest nintendo switch
(YouTube/Michael Pick)

There are those of us that think the Nintendo Switch is just perfect the way it is… and then there’s YouTuber/Engineer Michael Pick.

Pick aka “The Casual Engineer” has created the world’s largest, fully-functional Nintendo Switch.  In his video below, you can see the gargantuan process he had to go through to put it all together, as well as him struggling to reach all the buttons at once while playing Mario Kart and Fortnite.  Could you imagine playing Breath of the Wild on it?

This giant Nintendo Switch weighs in at 65-pounds and features a 650% larger screen than the standard Switch.  It even runs 4K, which sadly puts the specs on the newly rumored Nintendo Switch Pro console to shame.  We’ve seen some really cool Nintendo Switch TV frames in the past, but the Joy-Con’s are typically used for storage.  The controllers on this beast are fully playable.  Each button on the oversized Switch controllers toggles a servo that presses the same button via a real Joy-Con controller hidden within the project.  It’s also compatible with regular Joy-Cons and Switch Pro Controllers to make playing games slightly easier.

While creating the world’s largest Nintendo Switch is quite the feat, the whole endeavor is made that much sweeter because Pick donated it to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

(Youtube/Michael Pick)

In an interview with IGN, Pick explained why he took on such a noble and herculean task,

“I kept losing my switch…haha.  No, seriously I thought it would be a really cool project. And I knew that the kids at the children’s hospital would love it. So it was a win-win in my book.  The hospital told me they intend to install the Giant Switch in one of the play rooms for the kids to play games on. They’ll most likely be using Joy-Cons/pro controllers, so using the switch to play games on won’t be a full-body workout.”

Honestly, it’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen and it’s always nice to see people giving back to the community!

Star Wars: Republic Commando is now available for PS4 & Switch

Republic Commando Cover Art
(Nintendo)

Finally finally finally finally finally finally Star Wars: Republic Commando is available for PS4 and Switch!

After years of staring longing at used copies of the game running for like $150 on Amazon, you can download an affordable version of the classic squad-based shooter to your barely-last gen console. According to science, this is undeniably very good.

If you’re unfamiliar with the game, it came out in 2005 and was early proof that Star Wars fans had an appetite for stories revolving around the now iconic Clone Troopers. With Bad Batch coming soon, it’s no surprise LucasFilm is revising their early forays into clone stories. This isn’t a remake, it’s the original game ported to new consoles, meaning the graphics are a little outdated but they still look great. It’s honestly kind of charming.

Beyond the lore and storytelling, the gameplay was unique and fulfilling as well. From the official game description:

You are the leader of an elite squad of Republic Commandos, your mission is to infiltrate, dominate, and ultimately, annihilate the enemy. Your squad will follow your orders and your lead, working together as a team – instinctively, intelligently, instantly. You are their leader. They are your weapon.

Oh, and if you’re a collector junkie, those original X-Box discs on Amazon I mentioned have suddenly dropped down to about ten bucks.

Fulfill Your Very Own “Ever Given” Dreams in ‘Suez Canal Simulator’

suez canal sim
(Digital Light Foundation)

Simulator games are all the rage these days.  We’ve got the Farming Simulator series selling millions of copies.  Microsoft Flight Simulator wowed players with its realistic flight physics, allowing you to travel around the world from the comfort of your couch.  There’s even Lawn Mowing Simulator launching later this summer and dads everywhere are losing their minds.  You’d think simulator games couldn’t get any better than this, right?

Wrong!  Jason Dial’s ‘Suez Canal Simulator’ looks to shake things up and has me asking myself questions like: “Is it possible for simulator games to evolve to even greater heights?” and “Do I really need to drive a cargo ship through a canal for 24 hours straight?”

You can check out some of the gameplay in the video shown off on Gamespot.

Most of the world by now is familiar with the “Ever Given” cargo ship that unfortunately got stuck sideways in the Suez Canal for six days before it was set back on course.  It became a big meme and caused some seriously major shipping delays.  Well, now there’s a game that will allow you to re-enact a container ship’s journey through the canal, because why not.  The simulator game boasts “600 kilometers of continuous uninterrupted ship tracks for hundreds of hours of enjoyment,” and a full journey will actually take “over 24 hours.”  Could you imagine trying to explain that one to your family?  “Sorry guys, taking the day off, got a case of Red Bull, going to travel the Suez Canal LITERALLY ALL DAY.”

I think what’s really going to please the community though is the ability to mod the entire game.  On the official Steam page, it states that,

“Suez Canal Simulator is a modder’s dream – all aspects of the game world are at your fingertips. Featuring over 120,000 square kilometers of bitmapped terrain, water, and objects, you will be completely free to modify any aspect of Suez Canal Simulator in any way you choose! Use Blender or Sketchup to add new objects, make new ships and drive them in the simulator, recolor anything you want.. this platform is completely open to whatever your mind desires.”

Giving the entire internet the ability to make their very own version of ‘Suez Canal Simulator’ sounds like a recipe for disaster if you ask me.  It could also be absolutely hilarious.

‘Suez Canal Simulator’ plans to release on Steam on April 20th, 2021, and really not much else is known about the project.  I’m honestly just excited to see what the community does with it.  In the meantime while you’re waiting to drive your own cargo ship, if you’ve got Microsoft Flight Simulator and don’t mind modding it, there is a mod that puts the “Ever Given” into the Suez Canal sideways.  It may be unstuck in real life, but it’ll be forever stuck in our memories, and we now can visit it too.  You can watch Youtuber Bill4LE try to land on it around the 35-minute mark.

The Official Synopsis for Borderlands Film Has Been Revealed

Borderlands
(2K Games/Gearbox Software)

Every day it seems like we’re hearing something new about Eli Roth’s upcoming film adaptation of the hit video game Borderlands.  There has been tons of casting news with big names like Jack Black and Jamie Lee Curtis signing on, but they’ve definitely been holding back on releasing all the juicy story details… until now.

Thanks to a press release from Lionsgate, we have our first look at the official synopsis for the Borderlands movie.

“Two-time Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett teams up with Kevin Hart in director Eli Roth’s Borderlands. Lilith (Blanchett), an infamous outlaw with a mysterious past, reluctantly returns to her home planet of Pandora to find the missing daughter of the universe’s most powerful S.O.B., Atlas (Ramirez). Lilith forms an alliance with an unexpected team – Roland (Hart), a former elite mercenary, now desperate for redemption; Tiny Tina (Greenblatt), a feral pre-teen demolitionist; Krieg (Munteanu), Tina’s musclebound, rhetorically challenged protector; Tannis (Curtis), the scientist with a tenuous grip on sanity; and Claptrap (Black), a persistently wiseass robot.

These unlikely heroes must battle alien monsters and dangerous bandits to find and protect the missing girl, who may hold the key to unimaginable power. The fate of the universe could be in their hands – but they’ll be fighting for something more: each other. Based on the game from Gearbox and 2K, one of the bestselling videogame franchises of all time, welcome to Borderlands.”

Yeah, that sounds like a Borderlands story to me.  I just hope it’s able to capture the humor the franchise is known for.  I’m also stoked to see Krieg and Tiny Tina unleash all their craziness in live-action.

Along with those story details, the press release also mentions Edgar Ramirez (Point Break, Yes Day) will be joining the cast as arms manufacturer Atlas.  The Atlas Corporation was a big part of Borderlands 3, and its headquarters on the planet Promethea was a key location in the game.  There could be some overlap between the movie and the most recent Borderlands game there for fans to geek out over.

Point Break
(Warner Bros. Pictures)

I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but I love the series and Borderlands 2 is one of my all-time favorite video games.  With an all-star cast, the writer of the upcoming The Last of Us HBO series penning the script, and Eli Roth in the director’s chair, I just can’t help but be excited.  Please don’t screw this one up guys!

Rare Super Mario Bros. Game Sells for Record-Breaking $660,000

(Heritage Auctions)

If you thought paying $80 for next-gen games was astronomical, you might want to sit down for this one.

This past Friday, a rare version of Super Mario Bros. on NES was auctioned off for a record-breaking $660,000.  This price makes it the most expensive video game ever paid for.  There was a 1985 version that sold for $100,000 last July, and a sealed variant of Super Mario Bros. 3 broke that record in November, selling for $156,000.but even those prices now pale in comparison.

According to the Heritage Auctions press release, the unidentified seller says the game “stayed in the bottom of my office desk this whole time since the day I bought it, I never thought anything about it.”  Honestly, who does that?

If you’re wondering why this particular version of the game is so rare, it’s because Super Mario Bros. originally went on sale in 1986.  Nintendo changed the packaging though in early 1987, so only a relatively small number of these were sold.  Heritage Auction’s Video Games Director Valarie McLeckie says that,

“This particular copy was produced in late 1986, and it was one of the earliest copies produced that had plastic shrink wrap, rather than sticker seal.  By early 1987, Nintendo was producing a version that had another new variation to their original packaging (an additional “code”). Since the production window for this copy and others like it was so short, finding another copy from this same production run in similar condition would be akin to looking for single drop of water in an ocean. Never say never, but there’s a good chance it can’t be done.”

While paying six figures for a video game sounds insane, this isn’t the only time it has happened.  A 1987 Mega Man cartridge sold for $144,000 and a buyer paid $102,000 for a copy of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!.  I couldn’t imagine paying that.  Yeah, video games are awesome, but I’m not sure they’re “$660,000” awesome.

Now that I think of it, I’ve probably spent that much on Roblox and Fortnite for my kids.  Excuse me while I go cry in a corner.

A Brief and Most Excellent History of Keanu Reeves in Video Games

(SCi Games/CD Projekt Red/Epic Games)

Keanu Reeves is a national treasure.  He has been the star of countless hit movies, wrote his own comic book, and is known to the entire world as being generally most excellent.  You’d think he couldn’t possibly get any better.  Well, my friends, he has also starred in video games.  Some are good, most are bad, and our man Keanu probably didn’t even know any of them existed.

Let’s take a look at all of the video games Keanu Reeves has been in.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Video Game Adventure

(LJN)

Based on the popular film series, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure made its video game debut as a PC adventure back in 1989.  It was created by LJN, who was responsible for a ton of (pretty terrible) movie video games like Jaws, Ghostbusters, and Back to the Future.  We got our first glimpse of a digitized Keanu as Ted as he traveled with Bill through time on various adventures just like in the movies.  We’d even see it release on Game Boy and NES as well (yay?).

Bram Stoker’s Dracula

(Sony Imagesoft/Psygnosis)

Yep, that’s Keanu about to get into a fist fight with Dracula.  I definitely don’t remember that happening in the movie.

Official video game tie-ins based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula were released on nine different consoles between 1993 and 1995.  All of the versions starred Keanu’s character from the film, Jonathan Harker, though Keanu’s likeness varied wildly between titles.  I mean, how good could he look on Super Nintendo compared to Game Boy?  No contest there.  Also, I don’t know what it was about video games back in the day, but they were literally developed for every single console, no matter the quality.  I’m not really sure if there was a superior release of this, but the Sega CD version did feature actual footage from the film, which is kinda cool.

The Matrix: Path of Neo

(Atari, Inc.)

Not to be confused with ‘Enter the Matrix’, The Matrix: Path of Neo actually allowed players to take control of Neo instead of side characters from ‘Matrix: Reloaded’.  The Matrix: Path of Neo recreated all the slick slow-motion and badass kung fu action from all three films and was generally well-received.  With the Matrix 4 coming up, it would be nice to see a new game come out with all the new technological advancements we’ve seen over the years since this released on PS2, Xbox, & PC.

Constantine: The Video Game

(SCi Games)

Based on the film that was loosely based on the DC comic books,  Constantine was a pretty basic movie-based video game adaptation.  While it features Keanu’s likeness, he didn’t actually voice the character, which is kind of strange because Tilda Swinton reprised her role in the game.   Constantine: The Video Game follows the film pretty closely and even recreated scenes from the film, just with a lot more action gameplay to keep things interesting.

Pay Day 2

(505 Games)

John Wick is one of Keanu Reeves’ most beloved characters, so it only makes sense that Wick has made his way into video games.  The characters first appearance was in Pay Day 2, which featured a different take on the character.  Pay Day is all about pulling off grand heists, but for whatever reason, the in-game Wick has a personality that isn’t movie accurate.  Where as in the films he’s calm, quiet and focused for the most part, here he’s more vocal and impatient.  That’s not my John Wick!

Fortnite

(Epic Games/Summit Ent.)

Okay, the story behind this one is kinda funny.

Fortnite has become wildly popular and successful since it launched its free-to-play Battle Royale mode.  Crossovers with different franchises have been ludicrous recently with Terminator, Aliens, and even The Mandalorian joining in on the fun.  Before all that though, John Wick made his Fortnite debut… kind of.  During Season 3 of Fortnite, a John Wick lookalike skin was released as part of the Battle Pass.

(Epic Games)

As you can see, it does share a bit of a resemblance to Keanu, but it wasn’t an official skin.  I guess people kept pestering Reeves, calling him “The Fortnite Guy”, and Reeves had no idea what Fortnite was or what they were talking about.  Fed up with being labeled as “The Fortnite Guy”, Reeves would end up getting an official John Wick skin into the game, as well as Halle Berry’s character Sofia Al-Azwar.  I’m not sure this really solved anything though because kids still probably call him “The Fortnite Guy”.  I guess now he’s “The Official Fortnite Guy”?

John Wick: Hex

(Good Shepherd Entertainment)

John Wick: Hex is a different kind of video game based on the character, but it’s worth your time.  It’s a turn-based strategy game where you have to figure out ways to dispose of your enemies.  Everything has to be planned out, and while it might sound boring, it’s actually awesome to see it all play out once you’ve input your commands.  I wonder if this is how he thinks during the movies.

Cyberpunk 2077

(CD Projekt Red)

The role of ex-US military veteran/influential rocker Johnny Silverhand was tailor-made for Keanu.  It’s a shame that Cyberpunk 2077, while being a decent game (if you can actually get it to run properly on whatever system you’re playing it on), was absolutely full of bugs and glitches when it released.  Bad press involving developer CD Projekt Red didn’t help matters either.

While Cyberpunk 2077 might have had a rough launch, Keanu is really cool in it.  We also got to witness this gem when Keanu presented the game during E3 2019.

No Keanu, YOU’RE BREATHTAKING.

NFL Player Accidentally Leaks His New Contract During Wife’s Call of Duty Stream

Rashaad Coward Leaks Contract Details
(Getty/Icon Sportswire)

Over the years, Twitch has become a massive platform where you can watch some of your favorite streamers (like The Dad Gaming) play your favorite video games.  This past week though, it would seem that things have changed and it has now become a great platform for NFL contract leaks.

During a Call of Duty: Warzone match, Reddit user ‘ProbationOfficer2035‘ overheard an interesting conversation coming from one of their teammates.

“I was just playing warzone with randoms, ended up with a female teammate. She had her mic on and I could hear her husband talking in the background about a “deal”. The last thing I heard was that if no one else calls within the next 30 minutes he’s gonna sign a 3-year deal in order to facilitate the trade because he would love to be in Pittsburgh.”

Well, it turns out their teammate, who goes by the name ‘Oohtally‘ on Twitch, was Rashaad Coward’s wife.  Coward “was” offensive guard for the Chicago Bears, and that “deal” being discussed in the background was Coward’s now-confirmed move to the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Talk about being in the right place.

Apparently, Probation knew about Coward’s move to Pittsburgh a full two days before anyone else, but couldn’t figure out which player they had heard in the background. Now that the news is official, Oohtally addressed it during one of her Warzone streams, and Coward has been retweeting people making light of the leak.  Despite the mistake, it seems like they’re both being good sports about it.  Personally, I think the icing on the cake to this hilarious situation is that we now have breaking news being brought to us by people with usernames like “ProbationOfficer2035”.  What a time to be alive.

So, what did we all learn in the end?  Don’t talk about anything important, especially when your loved one is kicking butt while streaming Call of Duty.

While we’re on the subject, The Dad Gaming is hosting a Call of Duty: Warzone tournament on April 23rd.  If you’re interested in joining in on the fun and want to win some great prizes, sign up at The Dad Gaming.com!

It’s March 31st, Which According To the Internet Is “The Day Mario Dies”

(Nintendo)

Well folks, the day has finally arrived.

March 10th might be known as MAR10 Day, but according to the internet, March 31st, 2021 is the day our beloved Mushroom Kingdom plumber Mario finally dies.  He had a great run, didn’t he?  I grew up with his games and have a ton of wonderful memories playing Super Mario 64… okay, I’m completely overexaggerating.  It’s not that bad.

Today actually marks the final day of Mario’s 35th-anniversary extravaganza.  The celebration started last September, and Nintendo has been busy releasing all sorts of Mario products since then.  There was a special Mario-themed Nintendo Switch console released alongside a remaster of Super Mario 3D World.  There was a Battle Royale game called Super Mario Bros. 35 released.  We even got Super Mario 3D All-Stars, which is a collection of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, & Super Mario Galaxy on Nintendo Switch.

You’d think the anniversary coming to an end would be business as usual, but it has been dubbed by the internet as “The Day Mario Dies”.  Starting tomorrow, there will be absolutely no digital or physical sales of Super Mario 3D All-Stars available, ever again.  This means that if you own a copy, you’ve got a collector’s item on your hands.  Amazon has already ceased selling digital codes for Super Mario 3D All-Stars, and GamesIndustry reports that UK sales for the game rose by 276% in its final week on sale.  Yes, people are scrambling to find it.  What’s even worse is the Super Mario Bros. 35 Battle Royale game is being taken offline completely.

Since everyone will be unable to purchase either of these games, it obviously means it’s the day Mario dies at Nintendo’s hand.  The internet is handling it about as well as you’d expect…

There are others that have dubbed March 31st as the day Mario dies simply because it means we can finally stop celebrating his 35th anniversary.  Fans are hopeful now that Nintendo will focus on its other big franchises.  The Legend of Zelda celebrated its 35th anniversary on February 21st, 2021, and Nintendo did absolutely nothing for the occasion.  We all love Mario, but how cool would it have been to see a Legend of Zelda 3D All-Stars for Nintendo Switch?  I would love to play Ocarina of Time or Wind Waker on the go.

So yeah, you can breathe a sigh of relief.  Mario isn’t actually dying.  I do have to agree though that it definitely sucks that these games won’t be available to purchase anymore.  There really isn’t a way to properly play the 3D All-Stars games unless you own the original consoles (or emulate them yourself).  It’s kind of like when Disney would vault their classic films and you only had a limited time to grab them before they were gone.  Now we’ve got them on Disney+, but Nintendo is slow as molasses when it comes to releasing stuff.  We’ve got Super Nintendo games on Nintendo Switch as part of the online subscription, why not release N64 titles as well?  People would go nuts for it.

Anyways, if you are interested in picking up Super Mario 3D All-Stars, you have until midnight tonight to grab a copy before it’s gone for good!