The Joker Joins Mortal Kombat, Has Some Tricks up His Sleeve

The Joker Joins Mortal Kombat
(Twitter/MortalKombat)

Over the weekend, Joaquin Phoenix won the Best Actor Oscar for portraying the Joker in Todd Phillips’ superhero-adjacent drama about the mentally-deranged supervillain’s origin story. Phoenix joins the late Heath Ledger in winning the industry’s highest award for playing Batman’s greatest foe, and the Joker character joins Vito Corleone as the only movie characters to yield Oscars for two different actors (Marlon Brando and Robert DeNiro).

If you, like moviegoers and Academy voters, can’t get enough of the psychotic clown, I have some good news for you. Especially if you’re a gamer.

The Joker is now a playable character in Mortal Kombat 11, and you can buy it now.

This version of the Joker comes complete with his creepy laugh, a variety of different outfits – including one with the beret Jack Nicholson wore in Tim Burton’s Batman – combining looks from his various incarnations.

He even has some lame jokes, and a gag gun.

Collider did a deep dive into the Mortal Kombat incarnation of the character, discussing his look, his accessories, and even the unique gameplay characteristics he brings to your console. Apparently this Joker has a few tricks up his sleeve!

From their breakdown: His moveset revolves around a jack-in-the-box that he can launch high or low, a handgun hidden in a Batman puppet, a bound-and-gagged hostage who hops across the battlefield until you choose to detonate them, a gasoline can that can set the ground on fire, and the aforementioned cane.

To get a closer look at him, including all of his character intros and brutal finishing moves (keep an eye out for Batman-related easter eggs) take a look at the video Collider put together to highlight the character here.

Dad Builds Nintendo Switch TV Frame For His Son

Todd and Son
(Todd Peterson)

Gone are the days of boring old wooden TV cabinets, or hanging your TV on a bare wall. The custom route seems like the new way to go, and the results are actually pretty awesome! First seen late 2019 by a Nintendo fan who goes by Suprman9 in his aptly named “Nerdvana“, this Nintendo Switch TV frame quickly went viral, and for good reason…

Suprman9 Switch TV
(Suprman9)

Since then, many others have built their own iterations of the frame, including one of our very own dads over at The Dad Gaming. Todd Peterson wrote in his post “My son loves his Switch. I love my son. This is the result.”

TP Switch Frame
(Todd Peterson)

Todd actually took it a step further from any of the versions I saw, including Suprman9’s original, and added shelving inside hinged Joy-Cons for storing games!

TP Switch 2
(Todd Peterson)

We reached out to Todd to find out a bit more about how his project came together. The nuts and bolts of it are basically 2x6s, plywood, and wood circles from a hobby store. “Basically I just measured my switch, meticulously, and used a factor of 6.75 to ‘expand’ everything so the switch screen became a 42″ TV,” he told us.

Well done, Todd! It looks like yet another project I’ll have to convince my wife I need should do for our kid…

There’s a detailed write-up about the process of building one of these badboys here.

Gamer Dad Creates Custom Controller so His Daughter With a Disability Can Play

Rory Steel Builds Adaptive Controller
(Twtitter/JerseyITGuy)

Few things can truly bring together a dad and his kids like video games. Playing video games with your daughter can even be healthy for her. And one gamer dad recently went viral for the extra effort he took to make sure his daughter could experience the joys gaming has brought to many.

Rory Steel’s 9-year-old daughter has hereditary spastic paraplegia, which affects her motor function and speech. That makes it pretty hard to manipulate a video game controller. So her dad tracked down some parts to create a custom controller for her Nintendo Switch, so she could play Zelda just like all of her friends.

Steel’s controller has the vintage Nintendo look and can hook up to an adaptive Xbox controller. Featuring dual joysticks and easy to punch buttons, the entire concoction was completed for less than $200.

Her reaction is more than worth it:

Her joy at being able to play has racked up more than a million views and has earned Rory plenty of admirers in the process, including Microsoft’s inclusive devices lead.

Rory isn’t going to hoard his design, either. He’s continued to improve on it and share the DIY instructions so other parents of disabled kids can help their kids get in the game.

To get more of your gaming fix, join The Dad Gaming group on Facebook. It’s one of the most robust, and supportive, gaming groups online, so come play with us.

New Mario Kart Game Rumored to Be Revving Up for a 2020 Release

New Mario Kart Game in Development
(Nintendo)

Mario Kart 8 remains the most recent, non-mobile Mario racer to date, which is surprising considering its 2014 release date. Yes, there have been updated versions of the game and additional DLC but it’s pretty surprising that Nintendo hasn’t teased any upcoming installments. That doesn’t mean there isn’t one on the way, though.

According to a historically reliable source who goes by “Sabi,” there is currently a game in development scheduled to release for the Nintendo Switch that might very well be the newest Mario Kart game in the beloved franchise.

While definitely still only considered a rumor, Sabi claims that there is a Nintendo game scheduled to be released later this year that prominently features tires. This may seem like a minor detail, but it has led many to speculate about a possible Mario Kart sequel. Considering the generally poor reception of Mario Kart Tour with its microtransactions and somewhat dumbed-down gameplay, it would make sense if Nintendo was developing something new and in the same vein as past games.

Sabi stated on Twitter that Breath of the Wild 2 is experiencing delays, which has opened up a slot for a big title release around the holidays.

Only time will tell if these rumors are true but if you’re craving some high octane kart-racing action in the meantime, you can always join our Mario Kart Group on The Dad Gaming. We’ll be competing in Mario Kart 8 until Nintendo gives us a reason not to.

Patrick Mahomes Broke the Fabled EA Sports “Madden Curse”

Mahomes Breaks "Madden Curse"
(Twitter/EAMaddenNFL)

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback did something no other player in football has successfully achieved: he killed the Madden curse.

Mahomes put the Chiefs on his back throughout the playoffs, engineering three significant come-from-behind wins. His 4th quarter performance in the Super Bowl is a huge reason why the Chiefs were able to rally and stun San Francisco 31-20 and was the reason Mahomes captured the Super Bowl MVP. But there’s a Super Bowl MVP every year, but so far, no one has completely broken the curse.

For the longest time, football fans have generally understood that the cover athlete for EA Sports Madden franchise was, well, pretty much doomed. It’s a curse with few exceptions and more than a handful of major examples. There was Daunte Culpepper in 2002, Michael Vick in 2004, Shaun Alexander in 2007, and the list goes on. Troy Polamalu, Rob Gronkowski and Peyton Hillis are also victims of the curse.

The lone exception could be Tom Brady two years ago, but even that team, which was a heavy Super Bowl favorite, came up short. But then there was Patrick Mahomes…

 

Patrick Mahomes put the talk of the Madden Curse to bed, forever, with his Super Bowl performance, capping an outstanding playoff run. And he looked pretty happy to be the curse slayer.

And even though he didn’t mention it by name, we can assume the reason Paul Rudd, Chiefs superfan, is so happy here, is because the video game voodoo is over.

And maybe Mahomes has created a new Madden trend, where every cover athlete leads their franchise to a crazy Super Bowl run.

Fortnite Player Livestreams Call to Mom to Say He Paid Her Student Loans

Aydan Conrad Calling Mom
(Twitch/Aydan)

College is expensive, it’s undeniable. According to a 2019 Forbes article, the average borrower from the Class of 2017 owes over $28,000! What would you say, then, if your kid called you and let you know you’re all paid up?

Pro Fortnite streamer Aydan Conrad’s mom doesn’t have to imagine anymore. While streaming on January 23rd, 20-year-old Aydan calls her up live with his followers (numbering over 1.4 million) watching. He tells her he wants to give her the Christmas gift he wasn’t able to give her before, but she says “I don’t need anything, Aydan. You’ve done enough for me.” Aydan just pushes forward, though, and proceeds to let her know she has no more student debt. After the initial shock and disbelief wears off (especially after Aydan dropped the name of, we’re assuming, her contact for loan payments), everyone gets a chance to witness a truly heartfelt moment between mother and son as the two share some happy tears over the phone.

Aydan humbly credits all his viewers for making it possible, saying “It’s not me, it’s all the people that are watching my stream right now”, to which she responds “Aw, I love them… everyone click ‘exclamation point sub’ and ‘exclamation point prime’!” (for those that don’t use Twitch, those are two chat commands viewers can use to support streamers with a paid subscription). Talk about a loving family that supports each other in their life goals!

NotCryingYou'reCrying
(Giphy)

Texas Gamer Saves Teammate’s Life From 5000 Miles Away

Texas Gamer Saves Teammate
(YouTube/Sky News)

Few situations in a game are more intense than when your teammate goes down and it’s up to you to pull off that long shot, last-second revive while under fire from all sides. What would you do, though, if you were suddenly the only one able to help your real-life teammate on the other side of that screen… and they were halfway around the world?

spongebob freakout
(Giphy)

Texas gamer Dia Lathora ran into this exact situation while playing online with her UK based friend, 17-year-old Aidan Jackson. Aidan told Dia he wasn’t feeling well mid-game and, shortly after taking off his headset, Dia told BBC News she began to “hear him seizing and breathing really hard, and sounds like he was choking and crying.”

Dia Lathora calls Widnes Public Safety
(YouTube/Sky News)

Unfortunately, he was upstairs with his bedroom door closed, so his parents couldn’t hear that anything was wrong. Where others may have panicked, Dia quickly began looking up emergency numbers in the UK she could try, eventually getting through to a live person via the public safety number for Widnes (where Aidan and his family live). As Dia had the address for her friend, she was able to direct emergency services to his home and get him the medical attention he needed.

“Next thing I knew I was waking up with police and my parents in my room saying that I had just had a seizure. I had no idea what was going on,” Aidan said during an interview with Sky News.

Talk about a clutch save for your team!

Needless to say, Aidan’s parents now ask him to game with the door open. In the end, this just goes to prove: Good gamer friends will have your back, both in and out of game!

“I thanked her at least 5, maybe 10 times for it. So yeah, I mean, I thank her every time I see her,” Aiden said.

Halo squad high fives
(Giphy)

Super Nintendo World Theme Park Will Bring Video Game Mechanics to Life

Super Nintendo World
(Universal Parks & Resorts)

Universal Studios in Japan is remarkably close to opening Super Nintendo World to the masses and it’s shaping up to be a huge attraction for video game fanatics and casuals alike. The park is expected to open Spring 2020, just ahead of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Nintendo released a promotional music video trailer for the park at a press event in Japan, which provided a sneak peek of the unique park features and appearance.

While obviously not a literal overview of the park (considering everyone is basically avoiding instant death the entire time), the video provides us with a good look at the Mario-themed smart wristbands and accompanying phone app which make the park truly special.

Tokyo-based Bloomberg reporter Kurumi Mori was in attendance at the live press event, during which she tweeted about the ‘Power Up Bands’, which will ‘make you feel like you’re part of the game world’.

The bands are the primary method for “gamifying” the park, allowing visitors to collect digital coins and compete against other park-goers for high scores.

Chief creative officer of Universal Creative, Thierry Coup, described Super Nintendo World as a ‘life-size, living video game’. Hopefully, that doesn’t include risking our lives at every possible moment like our favorite overalled plumber.

Construction on the park began in Fall 2018 but it wasn’t until late 2019 that people began to see signs of life in the upcoming area.

As previously stated by Universal Parks & Resorts CEO Tom Williams, the park will include two rides at launch: a Mario Kart ride and a Yoshi’s Adventure ride. These will accompany the castle areas belonging to Bowser and Peach respectively as part of the ‘first phase of the park.’

“It’s the best, and we’ve tested them all, and they’re killers. It’s a great lineup,” Williams commented, excitedly. “It takes it to the whole next level. It’s gonna redefine what a park experience is like. It really is special.”

“You will be able to go up and keep score and play with the various games and that also translates to a score-keeping capability, if you choose to do so within the rides and it actually interfaces back with your game console.”

Super Nintendo World is clearly going to be unlike other theme park attractions, and while there are no definitive plans for expanding to other Universal parks yet, its success will most likely lead to some Super additions elsewhere.

Heavy Metal Cover of ‘Toss a Coin To Your Witcher’ Is Headbangingly Good

Toss a Coin to Your Witcher Metal Version
(YouTube/Dan Vasc)

Netflix has been churning out tons of original content for nearly a decade now – not all of it great – but when a show or movie hits, it hits.

One of the latest successes has been their adaptation of the wildly popular book and video game series, The Witcher. And while it touts a world-class cast and solid writing, one of the surprising standouts from the series has been the incredibly catchy “Toss A Coin To Your Witcher” song which debuted in the second episode.

It’s gotten so popular, in fact, that fans have begun performing their own covers of the song. One specific rendition has started gaining acclaim for ditching the lute in favor of distortion pedals for a heavy metal version of the song and it’s, frankly, too good.

The cover is by YouTube Brazilian rock and metal singer Dan Vasc and the gruff, metal vibe works surprisingly well.

Vasc has been covering songs on YouTube for nearly a decade, most of them being other rock and metal titles with his added personal flair, and his impressive range and vocals are enough to garner respect from any self-respecting metalhead.

“My favorite music styles are rock, metal and its sub-genres, especially power metal,” Vasc wrote on his YouTube channel. “But you will occasionally see here also other styles like Broadway musicals and classical opera, which I enjoy to sing as well.”

With the undeniable success of this cover though (which has already been viewed an astounding 3.5 million times – by far his most popular), he’s likely considering more video game covers in the future.

Hell, I could listen to this guy sing the melody to Tetris on a loop.

Guy Builds Mario Bros. Guitar out of 10,000 Popsicle Sticks

Guy Builds Mario Bros. Guitar out of 10,000 Popsicle Sticks
(YouTube / Cranmer Guitars)

Being able to play an instrument is impressive. Building your own instrument is incredible. Building one out of thousands of dyed popsicle sticks to make a scene from Super Mario World is just absurd.

Isaac, of Cranmer Guitars in Glasgow, was inspired by a trend going around on YouTube and spent several months cutting, sanding, coloring, and gluing tiny individual pieces of wood together to create a stunning electric guitar that’s an honest-to-God work of art.

“The project took around 7 months – or roughly 800 hours – to complete,” Isaac told Newsflare regarding the project. “I decided on popsicle sticks as it could be manipulated in various ways to give very different results. Each stick would be able to give me 4 pixels, which could be used for the body.”

An astounding 29,000 pixels were required for the entire instrument.

“They were then dyed in a custom vacuum chamber, glued into blocks of 100 and finally the whole body could be glued together. The neck, fingerboard, and headstock were also made up of popsicle sticks,” Isaac stated.

(Reddit / u/CranmerGuitars)

In the end, the guitar depicts both Mario and Luigi facing Bowser’s baddies above ground and underwater. The neck features King Koopa himself and the headstock prominently displays Princess Peach – truly a “Super Guitario.”

Data Expert Beautifully Charts Top Selling Video Games of Last 30 Years

Top Selling Video Game Data
(YouTube / Data Is Beautiful)

Video games hold a special place in our hearts. The virtual worlds and competitions we’ve explored on consoles and computers have shaped who we are and occupied tons of our headspace over the decades. Hell, dads love video games so much, we created a whole group just for them.

But just because a certain game means a lot to you doesn’t mean it necessarily does to everyone else.

YouTuber and first-year PhD student Data Is Beautiful dove into the history of video games to do what he does best: take us on “a fun trip down memory lane together so we can relive the colorful events we all experienced.”

Specifically, he charts video game sales worldwide over the last 30 years. These are measured by cumulative units on both PC and game consoles excludes both mobile app sales and free-to-play games (e.g., Fortnite).

Talk about some serious twists and turns! The video perfectly illustrates the radical changes that swept through the industry over the decades – some you surely expected and others you probably didn’t.

Frogger held the top spot for 3 years before finally being toppled in 1992 by everyone’s favorite Italian plumber in Super Mario Land. Soon after, though, Tetris saw an impressive rise to the top of the charts where it remained for two decades, despite several popular franchises like Pokemon and The Sims experiencing cult-like popularity in the ’90s and 2000s.

 

Tetris and its iconic falling blocks remained king of video game sales for what felt like an eternity until another block-centric title came seemingly out of nowhere to take the title spot in 2013: Minecraft. The sandbox video game saw a meteoric explosion of popularity, essentially leaving all the other titles and franchises in its dust.

So, for all of those who dream of designing a video game of their own one day, learn from history: Make a game with some damn blocks.

Someone Added Tesla’s Cybertruck to GoldenEye 007 and We Want to Play

Elon Musk Cybertruck in GoldenEye
(YouTube/Graslu00)

Whether you’re on board for Tesla’s new futuristic Cybertruck or think it’s just laughably weird, people can’t seem to stop talking about it. It’s been the subject of jokes, memes, and thousands of internet searches, and now it’s even somewhere you probably didn’t expect: Goldeneye 007 for the Nintendo 64.

YouTuber Graslu00 shared gameplay of the classic N64 shooter and thanks to a little modding magic, Bond stumbles across both the Cybertruck and Tesla CEO Elon Musk (we still aren’t quite sure what Elon was doing on the streets of St. Petersburg at this time of night but he seems to be holding his own).

Booting up the ‘Streets’ level, the player casually strolls over to where the tank usually sits and instead finds Elon accompanied by the Cybertruck in all her low-polygonal glory. The best part is that it all kind of works. Sure, the Tesla CEO’s face is all sorts of distorted (like all faces in the game) but the Cybertruck looks pretty spot-on for what we thought a high-tech car from the future would look like back in the ‘90s.

Hell, Bond even takes damage through the car just like he would if he drove the actual “bulletproof” stage model from Tesla’s unveiling event. Realistic!

But who needs bulletproof windows when you can launch tank shells during a leisurely drive through the city, right? Maybe Tesla should take a page out of this modder’s handbook and add some MI6-level firepower to their electro-truck.

New Law Could Mean a Return for EA Sports NCAA Football

NCAA EA Sports Could Return
(EA Sports)

Thanks to a recently passed California law and the changing landscape of college sports, a beloved video game franchise might be coming back from the dead. EA Sports classic franchise NCAA Football was popular among gamers for the duration of its run, consistently one of the highest-selling titles for EA Sports (while not quite the household name Madden was). One college football coach even called it the greatest video game of all time.

The game was discontinued after a lawsuit by NCAA athletes in 2013, but the series is showing the faintest signs of a possible return.

A recently passed law in California allows college athletes to be make money for their likeness, which could possibly open the door to EA Sports finding a way to make NCAA Football using current players. EA Sports had long offered this solution, but until very recently, it would’ve been a violation of NCAA rules. As the current landscape continues to evolve, that’s not quite as clear as it used to be.

While it remains to be seen if California’s law will be adopted nation-wide, the NCAA is already planning for that possibility. And on their side, EA Sports is open to bringing the franchise back.

“Our position is we would love to build a game. If there’s a world where the folks who govern these things are able to solve for how to pay players for the use of their name and likeness and stats and data, we would jump at the opportunity to build a game in a heartbeat,” Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson told the Wall Street Journal.

If the move happens, you better believe there will be a corresponding group on The Dad’s Gaming group on Facebook (only one of the most thriving gamer communities of Dads in existence and a great place to connect with other gamer dads).

There’s still a long way to go and a lot needs to happen for NCAA Football to make its return to shelves, but the possibility is a lot closer to reality than it was a month ago.