Spider-Man 2 Is Building On Familiar Ideas To Take Web-Slinging In Exciting New Directions

While playing Insomniac’s Spider-Man 2 and searching for a way to articulate my overall impressions, I kept returning to the phrase “more of the same” but in this instance it’s crucial to clarify that “more of the same” signifies more of one of the most accomplished, thrilling, and authentic superhero experiences of all time. It signifies more of a game that allows us to live out the fantasy of being a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man better than any other medium. For my money, Insomniac’s games are the only place where longtime web-heads can contemplate that iconic phrase “with great power must come great responsibility,” feel the full weight of what it signifies, and have personal involvement in ensuring Spider-Man lives up to Uncle Ben’s guiding principle.

The weight of that responsibility has never been more apparent or felt as heavy as it does in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, which presents a much larger neighborhood for Spidey to do his friendly adventuring in. With the addition of Queens and Brooklyn, the sequel’s open-world is double the size of the original and, by utilizing the power of the PlayStation 5, Insonmanic is able to guarantee that players are always acutely aware of just how much of New York is relying on them.

Standing atop the Avengers Tower as Miles Morales, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the city stretching out far into the horizon. Expansive video game worlds aren’t exactly new and exciting these days, but there’s something different about the world of Insomniac’s Spider-Man titles. There’s a realistic familiarity to it, even more so now that the PS5 is able to render buildings as far as the eye can see and introduce small but subtle details that, while undoubtedly mundane, also make the world feel more alive: a plane passing overhead, boats cruising across the Hudson river, flocks of birds weaving between buildings, and people shuffling around the streets, to name just a few.

But for as overwhelming as it is, it makes that moment where you step out into it all the more exciting. And when it comes to moving through open-worlds, very few games make it as exciting as Marvel’s Spider-Man did, and its sequel does. That much became apparent the moment I stepped off the Avenger’s tower as Miles, falling at breakneck speed, the iconic silhouette of Spider-Man cutting through a golden blanket of sunlight as the final minutes of daylight tick away.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but in this moment I was so glad to have “more of the same.” As Miles plummeted towards street level, the wind rushing past his ears, the anticipation of firing a web that would latch onto a nearby anchor point built up until I hit the button as the thumping base and bouncing snare of a trap beat shattered the silence and and I was instantaneously swung back up into the sky, spinning wildly but still with the kind of controlled grace that only Spider-Man can have. It immediately put a smile on my face and, within seconds, the muscle memory of being Spider-Man in Insomniac’s last two games kicked in with exhilarating familiarity. Before I knew it I was catapulting myself across rooftops; falling low enough to the ground before firing off a web that Miles’s feet would graze the pavement on the upswing; zipping around and across buildings, arms brushing windows as I sprinted along windows and through fire escapes.

Within moments

Nintendo Switch Pastel Joy-Con Controllers Get First Discount At Amazon

Experience gaming like never before with the mesmerizing Pastel Purple/Green Joy-Con controllers for the Nintendo Switch. These controllers, released in June, are the newest additions to the lineup and are now available at a discounted price of $73.49 on Amazon. While the discount may not be substantial, any reduction in price for the highly sought-after Joy-Con controllers is worth considering.

The Joy-Con controllers have remained unchanged since their debut in 2017, and for good reason. With their easy-to-use motion controls and advanced haptic feedback functions, such as HD rumble, they provide an immersive gaming experience. Whether you’re playing social games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or upcoming titles like WarioWare: Move It, the Joy-Con controllers deliver seamless performance.

For those looking for a more interactive gaming experience, the gyroscopic features of the Joy-Con controllers can be utilized in games like Ring Fit Adventure and Switch Sports. You can also opt to use a Joy-Con controller in each hand for enhanced motion-control immersion.

If you prefer a more traditional controller experience, there are other options available as well. Walmart is currently offering the ergonomically fantastic Hori Split Pad Pro for $41. This controller provides a full-size experience in handheld mode, ensuring comfort and precision during gameplay.

For those seeking a bargain, the 8BitDo Ultimate controller on Amazon is currently 15% off. This controller offers a range of impressive features, including built-in back buttons, customization options through its dedicated app, compatibility with PC and mobile devices, Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless support, and a long-lasting battery life. It even comes with a convenient charging dock.

Tons Of Great Mini PCs Are On Sale For Budget-Friendly Prices At Amazon

Looking for a new PC with a small price tag? Then consider adding a mini PC to your home office. Not only are they incredibly affordable–everything on this list is under $500, and a handful are $200 or less–but they offer a small footprint and should fit on even the most cluttered desk.

One of the best mini PC deals right now is for the Beelink SER5 Max Mini, which offers a fairly robust Rzyen 7 5800U and is just $329 (down from $429). If you want something with a bit more juice, you can step up to the Beelink SER6 Max Mini to get a Ryzen 7 processor, 32GB RAM, and 500GB SSD. Best of all, it’s just $489 (down from $609).

Beelink SER5 Max Mini

Some of the most affordable mini PCs include the Bmax B2 S Mini PC for $88 (down from $110), the Beelink with an Alder Lake N95 processor for $119, and the Lenovo ThinkCentre M92p Tiny Mini Business Desktop for $84 (down from $100). Neither pack enough of a punch for gaming, but they’re affordable companions for light productivity or school.

Plenty of other mini PCs are on sale today, and you’ll find our favorite deals below. Note: Some of these deals require you to click a coupon box on the listing to get the full discount.

Best mini PC deals

iPhone 15 Pro Supports RE4 Remake, AC Mirage, Death Stranding, And More

Introducing Apple’s Next Level of Mobile Gaming on the new iPhone 15 Pro models! Get ready to experience gaming like never before with the latest advancements in technology. With a shift to USB-C, higher-resolution photos, and an improved battery, these smartphones are designed to take your gaming experience to new heights.

Prepare yourself for the thrill of playing big-name games on your iPhone 15 Pro. Coming soon, Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil Village will be available, followed by Assassin’s Creed Mirage and The Division Resurgence in 2024. Apple’s iPhones have always had the capability to play current-gen games via cloud gaming, but now, with the powerful hardware inside these new models, you can enjoy modern games natively on your device.

Apple promises “next-level mobile gaming with fast, efficient performance and hardware-accelerated ray tracing” on the iPhone 15 Pro. While the sizzle reel showcased brief prerendered footage and snippets of gameplay, the true gaming experience will be revealed when these games are released.

Powering these incredible games is the A17 Pro chip, found in both the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max. Apple claims that this chipset provides the fastest performance in any smartphone, rivaling even high-end PCs. The iPhone 15 also features a sleek titanium shell and a customizable Action Button, giving you the ultimate gaming experience. Choose from a range of “natural” colors to make your iPhone 15 truly yours.

“This is the most pro lineup we have ever created,” says Apple VP of worldwide marketing Greg Joswiak. “With a state-of-the-art titanium design, the best iPhone camera system yet, and the A17 Pro chip, we are ushering in a new chapter of performance and games never before seen on iPhone.”

Haunted Mansion Scares Up An October Release On Disney Plus And Blu-Ray

Get ready for a hauntingly good time! Disney’s Haunted Mansion is coming to Disney+ on October 4, 2023, just in time for the spooky season. Inspired by the classic theme park ride at Disney World, this film is a separate and exciting adventure from the infamous 2003 box office flop. Join us as we embark on a family-friendly horror comedy filled with thrills and laughs.

Starring an incredible cast including Rosario Dawson, Owen Wilson, Jamie Lee Curtis, LaKeith Stanfield, Jared Leto, Danny DeVito, and Chase Dillon, Haunted Mansion follows the story of a woman and her son who enlist the help of a motley crew of spiritual experts to rid their home of supernatural squatters. Brace yourself for a thrilling and hilarious journey like no other.

While the film may not have been a box office sensation, it has received mixed to positive reviews from critics on GameSpot’s sister site, Metacritic. Audiences have described it as a spooky and fun film, although some have noted inconsistencies in tone and direction. Don’t miss out on this unique cinematic experience.

For more details, be sure to check out the 25 Haunted Mansion Easter eggs and GameSpot’s interview with Haunted Mansion director Justin Simien to learn how the film expertly balances grief, death, and humor.

New Blood Elf Customization Options in Patch 10.2


Blood Elves have just received a fantastic update in Patch 10.2! Four new hair colors have been added to their customization options, allowing players to further personalize their characters and make them stand out in the world of Azeroth.

Blizzard has once again shown their dedication to enhancing the gaming experience by expanding the available customization choices. With these new hair colors, Blood Elves can now express their individuality and style in even more ways. Whether you prefer a vibrant shade of blue, a fiery red, a mysterious purple, or a natural brown, there is a color that suits every taste and personality.


Grab Nintendo Switch Sports For One Of Its Lowest Prices Ever

Introducing the ultimate successor to the beloved Wii Sports, Nintendo Switch Sports! Get ready to experience a compilation of thrilling arcade sports and mini-games that will keep you entertained for hours. With both local and online multiplayer options, this game is perfect for gathering your friends and family for some friendly competition. And the best part? You can now grab the game and its unique leg strap accessory for an incredible price of just $37.50, down from $50!

This is an unbeatable deal, as the game is usually priced at $50. Plus, you’ll receive the leg strap accessory, which is essential for the soccer minigame. Nintendo Switch Sports offers a wide range of activities, including soccer, volleyball, bowling, tennis, badminton, chambara (swordplay), and golf.

  • Soccer
  • Volleyball
  • Bowling
  • Tennis
  • Badminton
  • Chambara (Swordplay)
  • Golf

Each sport takes full advantage of the Joy-Con’s motion controls, allowing you to immerse yourself in the gameplay by swinging your arms or kicking your leg in the case of soccer. While reminiscent of the iconic Wii Sports, Nintendo Switch Sports boasts enhanced graphics, seamless multiplayer experiences, and improved motion controls thanks to technological advancements.

In our Nintendo Switch Sports review, we found it to be an accessible game suitable for players of all ages.

“Nintendo Switch Sports is a phenomenal multiplayer game that invites everyone to pick up a controller and have a blast,” praised critic Kurt Indovina. “Despite its minor flaws, they become insignificant when you’re engaged in thrilling virtual sports battles with friends and family. Just like the original Wii Sports, Nintendo Switch Sports captures the essence of simplicity and fun. And let’s not forget how amazing the bowling experience is, even better than real-life bowling!”

If you’re searching for an enjoyable way to stay active as the weather cools down, look no further than Switch Sports. Another excellent option is Ring Fit Adventure, although it is currently priced at $80.

Preview of Fyr’alath, the Dream Render (Legendary Two-Hand Axe) in Patch 10.2


Prepare to be amazed by the awe-inspiring power of Fyr’alath, the Dream Render, the new Legendary Axe in Guardians of the Dream! This weapon, wielded by the mighty Fyrakk himself, is a force to be reckoned with. Its sheer might and unparalleled abilities will leave your enemies trembling in fear.

Unfortunately, we don’t have any additional information about this legendary weapon at the moment. But rest assured, it will be worth the wait. The anticipation is building, and soon you’ll have the chance to wield this incredible weapon and unleash its devastating power upon your foes.

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As a sneak peek, we’re giving you a glimpse of the concept art for this legendary two-handed axe. Feast your eyes on its intricate design and imagine the power it holds. This is just a taste of what’s to come, and we can’t wait to see you in action with Fyr’alath, the Dream Render.

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Path Of Exile 2 Is Aiming For Approachable Depth Over Complexity

The original Path of Exile is known for its massive skill tree, and its sequel, Path of Exile 2, stays true to that legacy. The game features the expansive systems that made its predecessor popular, such as equipable gems and multiple classes. However, the developers have taken steps to make the game more accessible to newcomers without sacrificing depth. Game director Jonathan Rogers explains that the goal is to strike a balance between complexity and approachability.

I had the opportunity to witness this balance in action during a gameplay demo for Path of Exile 2, which showcased the new Druid class. Similar to spellcasters in games like Diablo IV and Baldur’s Gate III, the Druid possesses the ability to shapeshift into animals. In Path of Exile 2, the Druid can transform into a bear, although some may argue that this leans more towards a werebear lycanthrope than a traditional druid. Nevertheless, the Druid’s arsenal includes lightning and volcanic fire abilities that complement their wild side.

During the demo, Rogers demonstrated how the Druid’s unique abilities can be combined. As a bear, the Druid can unleash powerful roars and claw at enemies, building up rage to unleash devastating rampages. In humanoid form, the Druid can summon storms of lightning, create small volcanoes that spew fireballs, and even summon a pack of wolves. To effectively tackle the hordes of enemies in Path of Exile 2, players will need to master the art of utilizing these abilities simultaneously.

However, managing all these abilities can be overwhelming. Remembering to unleash a volcano, summon wolves, transform into a bear, build rage, and go on a rampage requires a lot of mental effort. To address this, developer Grinding Gear Games has implemented shortcuts that allow players to program combos into the game. For example, players can set it so that a wolf is summoned every time the Druid casts a lightning storm or have the bear form automatically unleash a powerful area-of-effect roar upon transformation.

I witnessed some of these self-made combinations in action, and it made Path of Exile 2 feel much more approachable for someone like me, who had never played the original game and felt intimidated by the complexity of the gem and skill systems. After the demo, I had a chance to play for a few minutes, trying out both the magic-flinging Sorcerer and the hit-and-run specialist Huntress. I quickly found myself overwhelmed by the multitude of skills and the need to use them in the right order. However, the option to program certain combinations to work automatically alleviated some of the pressure of memorizing complex sequences.

Whether Path of Exile 2 manages to maintain this level of approachability across all its classes remains to be seen. We still have to wait for the closed beta, which is set to launch on June 7, 2024.

Joyous Journeys XP Buff Returns to Wrath Classic


Blizzard is bringing back the Joyous Journeys buff, granting players an extra 50% experience boost!

Blizzard LogoXP Buff (Source)

The treacherous roads of Northrend are filled with icy perils. To aid you on your epic journey, players will be blessed with the Joyous Journeys experience buff*, which will amplify experience gains by a whopping 50% for all adventurers up to level 80! This is the perfect opportunity to complete the leveling of your character, embark on a new adventure, or rally your comrades to join you in your heroic exploits.

For those who wish to control the flow of experience, simply pay a visit to any innkeeper in the capital cities or Dalaran to toggle the experience buff on or off. The Joyous Journey’s experience buff will be available throughout the Ice Crown Citadel content update and until further notice.

*Experience buff not available in modern World of Warcraft® or World of Warcraft® Classic Era.