A Cancelled PS1 Game Was Finished by Its Developer More Than 20 Years Later

Magic Castle Completed PS1 Game
(YouTube/PIROWO)

Usually, when a video game is canceled, that’s the end of it.  Kaput.  Finito.  With the rise of homebrew consoles and games though, the idea of something being “canceled” doesn’t really exist anymore.  Most recently, we saw footage of an unfinished Simpsons game for the Sega Dreamcast that was discovered on a broken developers kit, and an unreleased WorkBoy Game Boy add-on that was thought to be a mere myth was discovered and play tested.

Magic Castle PS1 Game
(Kaiga)

Now, we can add a canceled Playstation game called ‘Magic Castle’ to that growing list of long, lost gaming history that continues to pop up.  The cool thing is, you can go and play it right now if you want.

Developed by Keiichi Matsunami & PIROWO using a Sony approved homebrew development kit called Net Yaroze, they were finally able to complete the game they started back in 1997.  Magic Castle is described as being a fantasy action-RPG with the main objective to “grow your character and ultimately get the illusionary treasure.”  It features four different character types (Knight, Magician, Archer, & Fighter) to choose from and a four-player co-op.  If this game had released back in the PS1 era, you would have had to have bought that Playstation Multitap add-on (which I never did own as a kid) to be able to play with four players.  There’s even the option while you’re playing to drop unused equipment and items on the ground Diablo-style, so you can give them to your teammates.

According to the developer interview on NetYaroze-Europe, production on Magic Castle began back in 1997, with development lasting around eight months.  Incomplete, but with the “concept of the game fully expressed” it was unsuccessfully pitched to several publishers in 1998. However, PIROWO was able to track down the source code for Magic Castle and finish what they started.

While this type of game is pretty common nowadays, if you’re curious to play something that was never released, Magic Castle is available to download here and recommended for use on a Playstation emulator.  I’m gonna try and see if I can get it to work on my PlayStation Classic.

The Puma and Thundercats Collab Is the Purrfect Match

Thundercats Puma Sneakers
(Puma)

I’m not much of a sneakerhead, but I do love Thundercats! It might seem strange to lump these two things together, but it wasn’t strange to Puma.

Puma created a line of footwear inspired by the classic 80s cartoon, and they look incredible.

The Puma website describes the Puma X Thundercats collection:

“It’s time to rewind in the first-ever PUMA x THUNDERCATS collaboration. We dusted off the VHS tapes and pulled this one straight out of the archive, fusing futuristic PUMA silhouettes with vintage inspiration from some of the most cult-classic characters of all time. Collection silhouettes feature signature graphics and color references from fan favorites Lion-O, Cheetara, and the Cat’s Lair.”

Puma also released trailers for the new shoes, displaying them inside a ship clearly modeled on the one from the show:

Lion-O’s sneakers are blue and orange, just like the young leader, Cheetara’s include her signature spots, and the Cat’s Lair sneakers are black and white. They are available for adults, juniors, and little kids/toddlers, in case you want to indoctrinate your children into the majesty of the Thundercats.

Get them here and buy them up! If these sell well maybe we’ll get some Panthro, Mumm-Ra, and Snarf editions next!

Ewan Mcgregor Might Play Obi-Wan Kenobi in a Second Star Wars Show

Kenobi in Andor
(Lucasfilm/Disney)

Obi-wan Kenobi is a beloved Star Wars character, some people even worship him. But no one loves him more than the man who played him in the prequels, Ewan McGregor. McGregor has been vocal about wanting to play Kenobi again and his wish was granted during Disney+’s explosion of Star Wars shows, as he got his own miniseries (more on that in a second). But, that may not be all, as ANOTHER Star Wars show is reportedly adding McGregor to the mix as a recurring character. We may be getting more Kenobi than we bargained for.

According to several reports, McGregor will be bringing his Jedi master to “Andor”, the Star Wars spin-off featuring Diego Luna’s Rebel Alliance pilot/intelligence officer, first introduced in the smash hit “Rogue One.” With Kenobi in the mix, it gives rise to the theory that Andor will be exploring the early days of the Rebel Alliance, giving the standout spy a ton of territory to explore, especially if he crosses paths (or teams up) with one of the most notorious Jedi Knights still standing.

Another possibility is a timeline much closer to Rogue One, and therefore much closer to A New Hope, but that would require a much different Kenobi (he was an ancient Alec Guinness by the time R2D2 returned to Tattoine). So let’s hope we get more of the younger Kenobi, with a lot more room for the story to grow. The reports also indicate that Rosario Dawson could be bringing her force-sensitive, former Jedi to the mix as Ahsoka Tano (after a kickass debut in The Mandalorian). She too has her own miniseries, so this could be Disney+s way to connect a few of them.

As for his own miniseries, Kenobi is picking up steam. McGregor said in a recent interview that production on the show is officially kicking off this spring, and will debut on the streamer in 2022. We also know Hayden Christensen is coming back as Vader, which is truly incredible. We also know the show has cast Game of Thrones star Indira Varma, who played Ellaria Sand. Her role in Kenobi is unknown.

As for McGregor, he’s excited to pick up the lightsaber again.

“I’m thrilled to get the chance to play him again,” he said. “I’ve always felt there was a story between my ones and Alec Guinness’ ones and that’s what we’re gonna do. It should be really interesting.”

Fortunately for us, there may be more than just one story.

These Mint M&M Ice Cream Sandwiches Will Sweeten up Your St. Patrick’s Day

M&M's St. Patrick's Day ice cream sandwich
(Mars Wrigley)

Even during years when our celebrations aren’t rudely interrupted by a raging pandemic, arguably the best part of many holidays are the novelty foods that they inspire. There are a few guidelines, however, that must be in place in order for a holiday-themed food item to be successful. They don’t need to taste good, they don’t even need to make logical sense – they just need to be overwhelmingly reflective of the holiday. What’s the easiest way to make a seasonal food item painfully obvious? That’s right, dye ‘em.

M&M’s is on-point with their colorful branding, dying their exact same candy-coated chocolate various colors for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween – honestly, it’s a genius move and they should be proud. This year for St. Patrick’s Day, the folks over at Mars Wrigley (M&M’s parent company) are kicking things up a notch. Not only are they going green, but they’re also going full Shamrock.

Conveniently timed to line up with the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, Mars Wrigley is releasing two new flavors of their unparalleled M&M’s cookie ice cream sandwiches. One new flavor features rich vanilla ice cream between two chocolate cookies, while the other features mint ice cream between two chocolate cookies. Both, of course, are sprinkled with mini M&M’s candies.

Though the green mint cookie sandwich comes out just in time for St. Patrick’s day, it isn’t branded as such. This is amazing news for mint-lovers everywhere, because it means that these drool-worthy cookie sandwiches won’t be disappearing from freezers as soon as the holiday season passes. These new additions to the Mars Wrigley ice cream line will be available in major stores nationwide, starting in early March.

Jayesh Shah, Ice Cream Marketing Director at Mars, said in a press release, “We’re excited to expand the joy of M&M’S colorworks to the Mars Wrigley ice cream line, starting with a minty green treat for St. Patrick’s Day. These new flavors add even more options alongside our fan-favorite M&M’S Vanilla and Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches – offering a fun and enjoyable treat for any occasion.”

Woman Gets Second Job as Nursing Home Custodian So She Can Be With Her Dad

Nursing Home Custodian
(YouTube/KARE11)

As spring settles in, the horror show from the last year is starting to give way to a more optimistic chance at a return to normalcy. For some, the vaccine brings a chance to reunite with family members they haven’t seen in a year, due to restrictions. And others during that time went to new heights just to stay close with loved ones. One woman in Minnesota wasn’t able to see her dad in a nursing home, so she decided to take a second job as the nursing home’s custodian. It wasn’t the extra income she was after, it was being able to see her dad.

When Lisa Racine’s 87-year-old father saw her walk into the nursing home, he was shocked. “I was kind of dumbfounded, how did you get in here?” he told a local news station. He called seeing her walk through the doors one of the happiest days of his life.

Lisa is a project manager by day, but by filling in as a custodian at the nursing home, she filled a big void as they said it’s been very difficult to find people that are willing to work there during a pandemic. Nursing homes were among the communities hardest hit by the virus and its effects.

“I could take a yoga class or go to happy hour, but I’d rather come and mop the floor and clean dishes so I can see my dad… He’s cleaned up plenty of messes after me in the past.”

That right there is a sign you were a great dad. When you get towards the end of the line, and you have a kid who thinks like that and is willing to mop floors in a medical community during a global pandemic, just so you aren’t alone…yep, you were a great Dad. And to a great dad goes the greatest reward…spending what time he has left with his children.

Father Figures: Attaboy

“This isn’t about my husband or my boyfriend, but one of my best friends, Ryan.

I’ve known Ryan for a couple years now, and one of the things that drew me to him as a person was his amazing love and skill at fatherhood. He’s a single, part-time dad, and sees the kids as often as he can. Sometimes for days at a time, sometimes for a spontaneous afternoon for sledding, and of course, the every-other-weekend.

It’s not just what he does, it’s the grace, competency, skill and felicity with which he performs those tasks and fills their days with joy and structure.

He teaches these two little girls budgeting with chores, indulges (quite a few) of their whims reasonably, Facetimes with them at every opportunity, while carrying the weight of a household on his back; the dogs, the laundry, the cooking, the adventures, the bills, time management, a full time job – all the blessed burdens we all hope we accrue some day.

There is always some debate raging about how we praise fathers. For every ‘attaboy’ or pat on the back, inevitably there is a backlash surrounding that; that men just doing their jobs as dads shouldn’t require the praise, that if a mom was doing it, nobody would be praising her for just performing her duties as a parent.

And yes, those arguments are valid. But a parent, any parent regardless of gender or biological sex or the complexity of their family systems, deserves a big, fat ATTTABOY for not just completing tasks and keeping the kids alive and entertained and in warm clothes but attending to them with such joy.

Hats off to parents who have rediscovered themselves through their children, that were made whole by parenthood and the day-to-day minutiae that comprises it.

The unplugging of Legos from nostrils, the joy of an afterschool pick-up, the midnight bad dreams, the perfectly-toasted grilled cheese, the early morning kisses and the overflowing diapers.

You all deserve an extra scoop of praise, and I’m leading the pack by presenting the best example of a parent I’ve ever known or known of, Ryan.”

– Bo Johnson

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Patrick Star Getting His Own SpongeBob Spin-off Show

The Patrick Star Show
(Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection)

SpongeBob Squarepants is a weird show.

I didn’t grow up with it, and my kids have barely seen it – though they do like one of the movies – so for a long time, I didn’t have a ton of experience with it. In fact, for a while, the only thing I knew is that Tom Kenny, the third-funniest guy on Mr. Show, was the voice of the titular sponge. But over the past year, I’ve seen a bunch of it, and it’s funny and smart and weird. And Patrick is the best.

Patrick is SpongeBob’s starfish best friend, and today it’s more clear than ever that I’m not the only one who is partial to the guy, because it was just announced that he’s getting his own show!

ComicBook.com announced that the Patrick Star Show has been greenlit by Nickelodeon, to be produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studio, and land this summer. It will be thirteen episodes and will feature the voice cast that fans of SpongeBob are used to, including Bill Fagerbakke as Patrick, Tom Kenny as SpongeBob, and the rest of the characters you know and love.

The official description of the show:

“The Patrick Star Show follows a younger Patrick Star living at home with his family, where he hosts his own show for the neighborhood from his television-turned-bedroom. His little sister, Squidina, works behind the scenes to make sure Patrick’s show is always running smoothly, while his parents, Bunny and Cecil and his grandpa, GrandPat, each support Patrick in their own hilariously absurd ways. The Star family’s unpredictable adventures often inform, integrate, and sometimes even interfere with Patrick’s TV show, but one thing is for sure: his bizarre life always makes for great television!”

Apparently, it’s both a family sitcom and a prequel, focusing on Patrick’s younger life at home with his family. It’s actually the second SpongeBob spin-off, with Kamp Koral: The Under Years, sets to debut on Paramount+, and that is also a prequel, focusing on a 10-year-old SpongeBob’s visit to sleepaway camp.

The SpongeBob expanded universe is expanding right before our eyes, and no one is more deserving than Patrick!

Multi-Million Dollar Toronto eSports Arena in Development, Set for 2025 Opening

(OverActive Media/Populous)

The world of competitive eSsports is a fast-growing industry that’s worth billions.  Streaming services like Twitch have turned casual gamers into major celebrities who can rake in big money and brand endorsements.  Competitive gaming isn’t going to slow down any time soon, and OverActive Media is about to do something that could change the face of Canadian Esports forever.

OverActive Media, owners of the Canadian Esports teams Toronto Defiant (Overwatch) and Toronto Ultra (Call of Duty), recently announced their plans for a new $500 million entertainment venue that will seat up to 7,000.  It’s currently being designed by Populous, who is responsible for work on events like the London Olympics, the Super Bowl, and Yankee Stadium.  It will include a theatre-style entertainment venue and hotel complex and promises to be an unparalleled experience for fans and performance artists alike.

You can check out the arena’s concept art down below, which shows off how it will look from both the inside and outside.  Everyone keeps saying it looks like a PS5, and I’d have to agree.

Toronto eSports Stadium Exterior
(OverActive Media/Populous)
Toronto eSports Stadium Interior
(OverActive Media/Populous)
The venue is planned for a 2025 opening and will be located on a four-acre plot north of Lakeshore Blvd in Toronto’s 192-acre Exhibition Place grounds.  It will be the first new sports or entertainment venue built in Toronto since BMO Field in 2007.
In a statement from Overactive Media, they explained that it won’t just strictly be used for Esports though.

“Our vision on this project from day one has been to combine a premium concert and live events program with world leading technology and best in class hospitality. We will create an unparalleled experience for our fans while being a low net cost producer to our entertainment partners and artists. A landmark experience and venue for a world class city that defines a new future.”

It’s all still pretty early in the development phase, so don’t expect to see anything concrete yet.  Speaking with the Toronto Star, OverActive Media says “We are in the final stages of putting our business terms together with city officials and we are optimistic that we can soon wrap up our discussions to everyone’s satisfaction.”

I think this is exciting news for Canadian Esports fans.  Toronto holds yearly gaming conventions like EGLX that my family and I have been going to for years now, but the competitions they’ve held there have always just kind of been set up on the fly. This new location could give these Esports events the proper and professional treatment they deserve.  We’ll also hopefully see this have an effect internationally, bringing in players from all over the world to compete.  It’s a win for everyone.

Galaxy Quest 2 May Finally Be In The Works

Galaxy Quest 2 In The Works
(Amazon/DreamWorks)

Star Trek used to be a thing.

It was big in the 60s, the movies were a bit of a deal in the 80s (KHAN!!!) and The Next Generation brought Patrick Stewart into our lives in the 90s. Since then, there have been more movies, more shows, a movie reboot, and even more shows. But somewhere along the way, it lost traction. Which maybe makes it a strange time to release a spoof.

Back in 1999, when Galaxy Quest hit theaters, the time was right for a comedic parody of the Star Trek franchise. It didn’t hurt that the movie was fun, and funny, with stars Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver leading a cast of hilarious supporting actors like Alan Rickman and Sam Rockwell. They played the cast of a Star Trek-style show that gets drafted into a real-life space war by actual alien Tony Shalhoub and hijinks ensue.

Galaxy Quest has a lot of fans, and those fans are no doubt excited at the news that a second GQ movie is on the way, even if there aren’t as many people around who are going to know what they’re spoofing!

In their defense, the sequel has been in the works for a while, according to Sigourney.

“They were in the middle of reviving it. First of all, there was another script. There was a sequel written by our writer, Bob Gordon. The movie was so witty, and when they released it, DreamWorks cut a lot of the wittiest scenes because they wanted to put it out as a children’s movie at Christmas. I think that was disappointing for everybody, so he decided not to let them have the second one,” she explained to Collider. And now they are giving it another shot. “However, it was about four years ago, Bob and (producer) Mark Johnson and the whole group, started to develop a series. We lost the wonderful Alan [Rickman] unexpectedly, so that was put in mothballs, but I think they are finally now reviving it.”

During her interview, Weaver also let slip that the plot involves a younger cast of an updated Galaxy Quest series joining the classic line-up, which sounds like an attempt to freshen things up for people who are fans of the JJ Abrams Star Trek reboot. Unfortunately, having passed a few years back, Rickman won’t return as fan-favorite Dr. Lazarus.

“It will be the story of the old ancient Galaxy Questers being brought into this series with another young cast. I haven’t read them, so I don’t know the details, but I think that everyone in Galaxy Quest would love to participate because it was such a wonderful experience for us,” Weaver said. “How they will find someone to play Alan’s part, don’t know, but I think that they have a very good idea of who to do it. He’s irreplaceable, eternally. I think there may be good news on that front, but I haven’t heard about it in these six months, so when it’s gonna happen, I’m not sure.”

We’ll keep you posted as details emerge!

Crowdfunded Robocop Statue Finally Complete, Just Needs A Home

(Kickstarter)

You know you’ve done good when someone makes a statue out of you. David defeated Goliath. Ted Williams defeated baseball. Rocky ended the cold war on Christmas. They all have statues commemorating their triumphs.

But Robocop restored law and order to Detroit and he has yet to be honored. UNTIL NOW!

Thanks to a crowdfunding campaign that kicked off 10 years, the half-man/half-machine/all incredibly violent robot cop from Paul Verhoeven’s classic movie is finally getting his due. And he looks great.

Inspired by a social media post back in 2011, Detroit artists Brandon Walley and Jerry Paffendorf of the Imagination Station public art group launched the Kickstarter campaign, which eventually got the attention of original Robocop himself, Peter Weller, and reached their goal of $67,000.

But issues over materials and rights, health issues, and more delayed the completion of the statue (read the whole saga in the Detroit Metro Times), and it wasn’t until 2021 that it was finally finished.

And it is HUGE. And awesome!

Robocop Statue
(Kickstarter)

 

(Kickstarter)

The statue is 11 feet tall and the metal base alone weighs half a ton. The entire thing weighs two tons! Where do you possibly put something like that? That’s the problem. They don’t know yet.

If it were up to me, he would stand at the edge of town, greeting – and warning – visitors to Detroit that their city ain’t to be messed with. But wherever he ends up, he’s going to look great, and be a source of pride for locals.

I’d buy that for a dollar!