Tag Archives: blast

Conway steers Somerset to Blast quarter-finals

James Vince hits century as Hampshire beat Sussex after defeating Essex in double-header; Surrey, Lancashire, Birmingham stay in hunt for quarter-finals, Middlesex fold to Kent, Notts Outlaws suffer defeat to Leicestershire

Last Updated: 16/07/21 10:56pm

New Zealand opener Devon Conway struck an unbeaten fifty as Somerset booked their spot in the last eight

New Zealand opener Devon Conway struck an unbeaten fifty as Somerset booked their spot in the last eight

Somerset sealed a place in the Vitality Blast quarter-finals as they hammered Glamorgan by 74 runs at Sophia Gardens.

Scorecard: Glamorgan vs Somerset

New Zealand run-machine Devon Conway batted Somerset’s full 20 overs for an unbeaten 70 from 52 balls out of a total of 181-5 as Glamorgan’s bowlers struggled at both ends of the innings.

In between, Roman Walker impressed with figures of 3-15 from his four overs but Glamorgan’s batsmen were nowhere near as good as they were bowled out for just 107 with First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford watching on.

Jamie Smith and Laurie Evans kept Surrey‘s campaign alive as they beat Gloucestershire by seven wickets on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival. Scorecard: Gloucestershire vs Surrey

Surrey faced a must-win game at the College, their final fixture, and knocked off a chase of 178 with 10 balls to spare.

Smith set things up with 60 from 47 balls and Evans took his side to the verge of victory with 58 from 36.

Gloucestershire will get another chance to seal a quarter-final spot in their final game against Somerset at Taunton on Sunday but they will need to raise themselves with defeat here coming two days after their Championship hopes were ended.

Lancashire vs Yorks

July 17, 2021, 4:45pm

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Middlesex posted their lowest Vitality Blast score of just 80 as an inexperienced Kent side recorded a thumping 77-run victory at Lord’s. Scorecard: Middlesex vs Kent

Kent named a team containing seven debutants following a coronavirus outbreak and one of them, Elliot Hooper, took his chance in style by taking 3-24.

Fellow new boys Matthew Quinn, Safyaan Sharif and Marcus O’Riordan were also among the wickets as Middlesex failed to reach their previous worst tally of 92 made against Surrey at Lord’s eight years ago.

Kent had posted 157-8 after Harry Finch top scored with 47 and Heino Kuhn made 42, while Blake Cullen took 4-33 in a losing effort for the hosts.

Hampshire kept alive their flickering hopes of reaching the Vitality Blast quarter-finals after beating Essex by 18 runs and Sussex by six wickets in back-to-back matches at the Ageas Bowl. Scorecard: Hampshire vs Essex | Scorecard: Hampshire vs Sussex

Essex looked on course to chase down their 172-run target after England batsman Dan Lawrence and Tom Westley put on 80 for the second wicket, only for Hampshire’s bowlers to claw back control as the Eagles lost their nine wickets for just 68 runs to be bowled out for 153.

James Vince then took centre stage with 102 off 59 balls as Hampshire racked up 184-4 to overhaul Sussex’s 183-6, which featured half-centuries for Luke Wright (54) and Ravi Bopara (62).

Vince, fresh off his maiden ODI hundred for England, struck 14 fours and three sixes before falling with victory in sight – dismissed hit wicket off the bowling of Ollie Robinson.

Finn Allen’s explosive 66 set Lancashire up for a thrilling six-run Vitality Blast win over Durham at Emirates Old Trafford which keeps them on track for the quarter-finals. Scorecard: Lancashire vs Durham

The New Zealand opener dominated as the Lightning raced to 75-0 in six overs. He reached 50 off 21 balls in 199-5, also including 56 for Alex Davies.

Durham, now out of contention with this defeat, raced to 78-0 after six overs in reply as David Bedingham made 50 off 24.

Later, Sean Dickson’s 53 off 33 took the target to 15 off the last over, which Danny Lamb defended as the visitors finished on 193-5. A Lancashire home win over Yorkshire in their final North Group fixture on Saturday will secure qualification.

Nottinghamshire Outlaws, already assured of a home quarter-final, suffered only a second defeat of the season in the Vitality Blast as bottom-of-the-table Leicestershire Foxes won by two wickets with two balls to spare. Scorecard: Leicestershire vs Nottinghamshire

Josh Inglis and Arron Lilley were joint top-scorers with 42 and though the Foxes suffered some jitters after needing 35 from 25 balls and six off the last over, Naveen-ul-Haq hit back-to-back fours off former Leicestershire fast bowler Zak Chappell to get them over line after Steven Mullaney had taken 3-33 and Calvin Harrison 2-21.

The Foxes had dismissed Nottinghamshire for 173 in 19.2 overs, Naveen picking up 3-33 and Colin Ackermann 3-35. Joe Clarke hit 57 in 27 balls and Ben Duckett 45 off 27 but the Outlaws lost their last six wickets for 22 runs, Lilley holding four outfield catches.

Birmingham Bears kept alive their hopes of Vitality Blast qualification with a 17-run victory over arch-rivals Worcestershire Rapids at Edgbaston. Scorecard: Birmingham Bears vs Worcestershire

Victory would have secured the Rapids a quarter-final place but they now have work still do to, against Leicestershire Foxes at Leicester on Sunday. The Bears, meanwhile, must beat Northamptonshire Steelbacks at home and hope that other results go their way.

After choosing to bat, the Bears made 169-5 thanks to Sam Hain’s classy unbeaten 83 from 53 balls which included eight fours and two sixes.

Bizarrely overlooked by England’s selectors recently, Hain batted beautifully in an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 106 in 67 balls with Carlos Brathwaite, who made a rapid 52 not out with two fours and three sixes.

The Rapids reply fell short at 152-6. Jake Libby top-scored with 36 from 34 balls, but the pursuit never properly escaped the shackles imposed by the spin of Danny Briggs (2-18).

Our live Vitality Blast coverage continues with the Roses clash between Lancashire and Yorkshire, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 4.45pm on Saturday.

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This post originally posted here SkySports | News

Chinese nationals among several killed in Pakistan blast: Report

Eight people, including four Chinese nationals, killed in a blast targeting a bus in northern Pakistan, Reuters reports.

Eight people, including four Chinese nationals, have been killed in a blast targeting a bus in northern Pakistan, multiple sources told Reuters news agency.

“There is a huge explosion in the bus carrying the Chinese engineers … in Upper Kohistan. Eight people lost their lives,” a senior administrative officer of the Hazara region told Reuters on Wednesday.

He said the bus was carrying over 30 Chinese engineers to the site of Dasu dam in Upper Kohistan.

Two paramilitary security men with the engineers also died, he said.

More details awaited.

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This post originally posted here Al Jazeera – Breaking News, World News and Video from Al Jazeera

China’s Nationalistic ‘Wolf Warriors’ Blast Foes on Twitter

Diplomats hurl insults and mock enemies in screeds that often appear aimed at a domestic audience, even though the social media service is blocked in China. 

On Monday, Li Yang, China’s consul general in Rio de Janeiro, took to Twitter to mock the rescue efforts following the Surfside, Florida, building collapse. “American-style rescue: very layman in saving people, but too expert in blasting!!!” Li wrote, including side-by-side pictures of the partially collapsed condominium and its demolition with explosives.

In other recent tweets, Li called Adrian Zenz, a researcher who has written extensively about internment camps in Xinjiang, a liar. Li also referred to Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau as “boy” and branded him “a running dog of the U.S.” Such outbursts have helped Li rack up nearly 27,000 followers on Twitter—even though the platform is blocked in China.

Li is one of dozens of Chinese diplomats who have found a home on Twitter in recent years, taking to the site with Trumpian bravado to raise their profiles at home and abroad. Spurred on by Chinese president Xi Jinping, who took power in 2013, this vocal cohort—nicknamed “wolf warriors” after the nationalistic movie franchise of the same name—fanned out across the globe, bashing enemies and bristling at even the mildest criticism.

Xi has brought China a renewed focus on ideology, as well as the return of Mao-era tools that include reeducation camps and collective study sessions. When Chinese diplomats see such domestic moves, “they are very good at calibrating their response to that in a way that safeguards their own individual interests,” says Peter Martin, whose new book, China’s Civilian Army: The Making of Wolf Warrior Diplomacy, traces the history of China’s diplomatic corps.

For today’s diplomats, safeguarding their interests often requires stridently defending China’s interests and image—both online and off. Last year, Chinese officials sparked a fistfight at a diplomatic event in Fiji, when they showed up uninvited to a celebration for Taiwan’s national day.

The aggressive, nationalistic style can seem highly undiplomatic, counterproductive even—but it plays well to patriotic audiences back home and can be a path to promotion. Combative messages on Western social media and theatrical outbursts often end up trickling back to Chinese social media, says Maria Repnikova, a professor at Georgia State University whose research focuses on journalism and public messaging in non-democratic regimes. The messaging also ends up reflected in state media and amplified by coordinated influence campaigns that have been traced to China.

As a diplomat posted to Pakistan in 2015, Zhao Lijian filled his feed both with tweetstorms attacking the US and posts extolling China-Pakistan economic collaboration. By 2019, soon after sparking a Twitter spat with former US national security adviser Susan Rice, Zhao returned to Beijing and was promoted to be a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry. From that perch, he tweeted on March 12, 2020, that the US Army might have brought Covid-19 to China.

In 2016, when a Canadian reporter asked China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, about a Canadian citizen accused of spying and detained in China, Wang responded, “Your question is full of arrogance and prejudice against China … This is totally unacceptable.” His remarks went viral, and an online fan club for Wang—who’d already been named a “silver fox” by the Chinese press—racked up more than 130,000 members. It’s a stark contrast to the mid-2000s, when nationalistic citizens mailed calcium pills to the Foreign Ministry to suggest that officials needed to grow backbones in the face of international criticism of China’s human rights record.

While the medium is new, the approach is not—although the volume can be turned up or down depending on the needs of the day. As Martin writes, in November 1950, general-turned-diplomat Wu Xiuquan gave a fiery 105-minute speech at the United Nations in which he labeled the US, then facing off against China in the Korean War, “the cunning aggressor in their relations with China” and called for sanctions against the US.

“At times, Chinese diplomats are very charming, impressive, and they use the discipline that has been cultivated in the Foreign Ministry to win over international opinion and win friends for China,” says Martin. At other times, though, such as during the Cultural Revolution and again more recently, “there’s been this very combative and even aggressive side to Chinese diplomacy.”

That contrast was on display in Anchorage, Alaska, in March, during the first US-China summit under the Biden administration. After critical remarks from US secretary of state Antony Blinken about China’s mistreatment of the largely Muslim Uyghur population, economic coercion, and breaches of international norms, Chinese vice minister of foreign affairs Yang Jiechi launched into an angry speech for the assembled cameras, referencing, among other things, Black Lives Matter protests in the US. Once the cameras were gone, the talks were said to be cordial and productive.

To write China’s Civilian Army, Martin, a reporter for Bloomberg, spent four years poring over about 100 memoirs of former diplomats and interviewing Chinese and international officials to unpack the historical roots of wolf warrior behavior.

The book’s title comes from remarks that Zhou Enlai, China’s first premier and foreign minister, made to the new members of his diplomatic corps in November 1949. “Armed struggle and diplomatic struggle are similar,” he said. “Diplomatic personnel are the People’s Liberation Army in civilian clothing.”

The founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 was meant to reassert China’s position in the world and mark its recovery from the “century of humiliation”—a cascade of offenses cited by nationalists to this day. At the time, the country was diplomatically isolated and subject to the whims of Mao’s personality and policy making.

Zhou’s early attempts to shape interactions with the outside world set a mold that continues. Diplomats generally work in pairs, keeping tabs on one another. According to non-Chinese diplomats Martin spoke to, their Chinese counterparts stick faithfully to talking points and never betray internal struggles. The strict discipline allows no room for negotiation, but there’s also no confusion about where China stands. (Another recent book, Josh Rogin’s hawkish Chaos Under Heaven, reveals the infighting and mixed messages that characterized the Trump administration’s response to China.)

Today some diplomats and other observers in China are questioning whether wolf warrior tactics have gone too far. In early June, Xi himself told senior officials China should communicate in a tone that is more “modest and humble” and project a “credible, lovable, and respectable image” abroad. Repnikova thinks Xi’s remarks might signal that, despite its economic prowess and attempts to win friends with masks and medical supplies during the pandemic, China hasn’t been effective at projecting soft power or earning the respect it craves on the global stage.

But Xi’s actions since then call into question his commitment to toning down the rhetoric. On July 1, he commemorated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party with a speech in which, according to the official translation, he said, “we will never allow any foreign force to bully, oppress, or subjugate us.” Chinese netizens, many of whom posted on social media to mark the party’s anniversary, approved.

Xi is also expected to name Qin Gang as the new ambassador to Washington. Qin was known to lash out in defense of China during his time as chief of protocol and when working on European affairs in Beijing. Qin’s predecessor, outgoing Ambassador Cui Tiankai, was a more traditional diplomat and often quelled fires in Washington, such as reaching out to Rice after Zhao’s outburst.

Even if Xi succeeds in making official Twitter feeds more “modest and humble,” it will do little to assuage Western concerns about China’s transparency over the origins of Covid-19, industrial policy, and attacks on Hong Kong’s democracy.

“I don’t see any way that you can repackage China’s policy on reeducation camps in a way that could possibly be persuasive to Western political elites,” says Martin. “Without some shift in policies, I don’t really see how a tweaking of wolf warrior tactics is going to help to improve China’s image very much. And I don’t really think that that shift in policy is in the cards.”


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Author: Jennifer Conrad
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Android and iPhone warning: A loud emergency sound could blast out of your phone today

If your iPhone or Android device suddenly starts belting out a loud sound this lunchtime then don’t be alarmed. It’s all part of a trial that’s testing out a nationwide emergency warning system that will alert Britons when there is an imminent threat to life. The first test of this new siren was pushed out to some devices last week with a second alert being trialled between 1pm and 2pm today.

If you are included in the test you’ll hear the sound and receive a text which reads, “This is a mobile network operator test of the Emergency Alerts service. You do not need to take any action.”

Users are also being told to expect their devices to vibrate for around 10 seconds and the noise will belt out even if the device is switched to silent mode. They won’t work if the device is off or aeroplane mode is enabled.

It’s thought that today’s event will take place in parts of Reading, Berkshire with emergency alerts being broadcast from mobile phone masts so every compatible mobile phone or tablet in range will receive it.

The system, dubbed Emergency Alerts by the UK Government, was inspired by countries like New Zealand, which have used text messages to alert citizens for some time.

It’s hoped the alerts could be used to send messages about public health emergencies as well as industrial incidents and terror attacks.

The Cabinet Office provided more details about the alert system, saying it would send out warnings that outlined affected areas, advice on what to do and a link to any extra information.

If the tests are successful, the UK Government hopes to be able to issue text alerts to millions by “summer 2021”.

The Cabinet Office added that the system does not use people’s telephone numbers, instead sending alerts out to anyone in a specific area. The Government also revealed the alerts “do not reveal your location and do not collect any personal data. Alerts can also only be sent by authorised governmental and emergency services users”.

However, if users want to they will be able to opt-out of certain alerts via the Android or iOS settings, but the most important ones will always come through.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Thousands of phones will blast a 'siren-like' alarm in the UK today, here's why

Android smartphones across the UK will be sent a text message that triggers a “loud siren-like sound,” the Government has warned. The alarm is the latest trial of an upcoming alert system that will allow the Government to send warnings to millions of smartphones when there is an imminent threat to life.

A number of mobile phone networks in the UK are testing emergency alerts between 1pm and 2pm. If your device is one of those selected as part of the trial, you’ll receive a text message that reads: “This is a mobile network operator test of the Emergency Alerts service. You do not need to take any action.”

The test that will take place today, June 22, will select devices across the country. Another trial next week, June 29, will target a specific location – Reading, Berkshire. The latter will work on both Android and iPhone, with both devices programmed to blast the siren sound.

When the system is up-and-running, text messages will be sent to everyone in the nearby area when there is a danger to life nearby. It should keep people informed about severe floods, fires, explosions, terrorist attacks, or public health emergencies close to where you’re currently located. If the tests are successful, the UK Government hopes to be able to issue text alerts to millions by “summer 2021”.

The system, dubbed Emergency Alerts by the UK Government, was inspired by countries like New Zealand, which have used text messages to alert citizens for some time.

The Cabinet Office provided more details about the alert system, saying it would send out warnings that outlined affected areas, advice on what to do and a link to any extra information. Penny Mordaunt, the Tory MP for Portsmouth North, said the text alert system would be a “vital tool in helping us to better respond to emergencies”.

The Cabinet Office minister added it will “allow us to more quickly and effectively get life-saving messages to people”.

The alert system could be used to send messages about public health emergencies as well as industrial incidents and terror attacks. Cell broadcasting technology will be used to create the alert system which makes sure alerts are “secure, free to receive, and one-way”.

The Cabinet Office added that the system does not use people’s telephone numbers, instead sending alerts out to anyone in a specific area. The Government also revealed the alerts “do not reveal your location and do not collect any personal data. Alerts can also only be sent by authorised governmental and emergency services users”.

If users want to they will be able to opt-out of certain alerts via the Android or iOS settings, but the most important ones will always come through.

The new alert system will be a first for the UK, with other countries such as the US having similar systems in place for some time. Famously, back in 2018 the alert system the US used accidentally sent out a ballistic missile alert over phones, radio stations and on TV. Residents were told “this is not a drill” and were warned of an “inbound” threat to Hawaii, with people told to seek shelter.

Thankfully, this was just a false alarm – with people informed around 38 minutes later that there was no reason for concern.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Mini Review: Super Soccer Blast: America VS Europe – Simple But Sloppy Soccer

The heavily delayed Euro 2020 tournament is just around the corner, and football fever is once again permeating the homes of countries worldwide. The Switch has several decent football games, but with EA launching frankly embarrassing yearly ‘legacy’ updates to its FIFA series on Switch, there are certainly gaps in the field for a midfield dynamo or a winning striker. Super Soccer Blast: America vs Europe is a straight-up arcade take on the sport; one that appeals with its overall simplicity, but stumbles when it comes to authenticity and engagement.

The game takes understandable liberties with its team and player roster, including team names like London replacing the more familiar Chelsea F.C, along with completely made up player names in an effort to evade the wrath of UEFA. The roster nevertheless feels fairly limited in scope, and there’s absolutely no option available here to alter your team’s formation, so what you see is what you get.

There are multiple tournaments available in the main menu, including Euro Nations, Copa Cup, the titular America vs Europe, and even the controversial Super League. None of them really offer up much in the way of unique features, and the only difference between them is the selection of teams on offer. Aside from this, you can set up a quick match with any team of your choice, or create your own tournament from scratch.

Of course, gameplay is the most important feature with football games, and sadly Super Soccer Blast falls down quite a lot in this area. Control layout is very similar to the likes of FIFA and PES: you’ve got pass/tackle mapped to ‘A’, cross/slide tackle mapped to ‘Y’, and so forth. That’s really all there is to it, so don’t expect to see any trick moves or strategic options; you get the absolute bare minimum. In a way, we could argue this makes the gameplay accessible to those who might not be ready for the more authentic, realistic sims on the market, but unfortunately, this isn’t where the glaring omissions end.

Most of the core features of your typical football game appear here: corner kicks, throw ins, free kicks. What’s puzzling, however, is the apparent lack of the offside rule. Not a problem, you might say, but what about a referee? You can quite easily foul another player by sliding into their feet, and while this generates a free kick, there’s absolutely no risk of being penalised in any permanent way; no yellow cards, no red cards — ever. It makes each game feel somewhat inconsequential, and after a while it just feels like you’re going through the motions.

Ultimately, the gameplay just feels a bit slapstick, with messy movement, erratic ball controls, and shoddy AI. Its simplicity is immediately appealing, with quick matches allowing for short sessions while you’re out and about, but even with its quirky visual style, the liberties taken with its gameplay makes Super Soccer Blast: America vs Europe a tough game to recommend.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Reviews

BAFTAs 2021 viewers blast 'woke' ceremony: 'It was stomach-churning nonsense'

The BAFTA TV Awards took place in London with the stars of the small screen gracing the red carpet at the paired-back ceremony amid the coronavirus pandemic. Richard Ayoade hosted the event which was later criticised by some on social media.

Viewers took to Twitter to slam the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for having a “woke” agenda.

They claimed the ceremony had been “totally politicised”.

This year the academy celebrated its most diverse list of winners.

However, some said the organisation should be renamed the “WAFTAS” or “Woke Academy”.

READ MORE: Jason Manford catches attention of police after train fare admission

“It was so great to see so much diversity in the #BAFTAS last night. Hopefully this is a sign of the future and not a one off,” another added.

Last night’s winners included Paul Mescal, who won the leading actor accolade for his role in Normal People, and Michaela Coel who scooped the leading actress award for I May Destroy You.

The show, which was written and produced by the 33-year-old star, also won best miniseries.

Also at the event, dance troupe Diversity won Virgin Media’s must-see moment for their Britain’s Got Talent routine, which was inspired by the BLM protests.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

Review: Super Bomberman R Online – A Battle Royale Blast

In terms of pure gameplay, anyone familiar with Super Bomberman R, or the series in general, will feel right at home with this free-to-play battle royale spin-off which debuted on Google’s Stadia last year. You play as one of several Bomberman characters (and a smattering of special characters that we’ll explore in more depth later) dropped into a 11×13 gridded arena filled with an assortment of blocks. Pitted against your opponents, you must strategically drop bombs within the arena’s grid to both take out your opponents and clear pathways for better mobility.

Super Bomberman R Online amps up the classic gameplay by incorporating 16 interconnected arenas enabling a total of 64 players to take part in the action. Each match starts off in familiar territory and feels very much like classic Bomberman titles; it’s just you against three opponents in a phase known as ‘Battle Mode’. After a certain amount of time, the game shifts into the ‘Movement Phase’; here, the game forces you to vacate to a safe arena as it gradually whittles the 16 arenas into just one, where the last remaining competitors battle for victory.

Aside from the main Battle 64 mode, you can also create matches with a variety of different rules, including the number of players, time limit, number of rounds, and more. So if you wish you, can strip the game back to basics and just have a good old fashioned game of Bomberman with up to 16 players. Of course, creating these matches means waiting for players to join, which at this point in the game’s life can take a fair amount of time.

Nevertheless, the main Battle 64 mode is a genuinely fun take on the battle royale genre that’s absolutely free to play, but is massively bolstered by a selection of excellent special characters if you’re willing to punt for the Premium Pack DLC. It contains several Konami icons from the likes of Castlevania’s Richter Belmont and Alucard to Metal Gear Solid’s Naked Snake and Raiden. Each character boasts a unique ability to aid in battle, with Alucard able to transform into mist, effectively becoming temporarily invulnerable to bombs, and Snake utilising his stealth abilities to turn invisible for a short period of time.

It’s undeniable that those who own the Premium Pack DLC automatically have somewhat of an advantage over those that don’t, but Super Bomberman R Online strikes a surprisingly fair balance during gameplay, with pick ups and power ups providing base characters with ample opportunity to gain ground over the objectively superior special characters. Even the mighty Alucard would quiver in fear at the sight of six bombs sectioning off an entire corner of the arena.

So the gameplay itself is sound, and reason enough to at least download Super Bomberman R Online and see what’s what, but let’s talk about all the superfluous jank surrounding it. For starters, the game has some major teething issues at this stage of its release, with multiple short freezes occurring during matches that can often completely derail your progress. It’s an incredibly frustrating occurrence that we hope gets resolved sooner rather than later before the console player base vacates to another game.

In addition to technical issues during gameplay, it also takes an unnecessary amount of time to simply start a match in the first place. In the interest of providing accurate, scientific findings, we actually timed it from start to finish: initially, you hit the ‘Quick Match’ option, and the game takes (on average) about 40 seconds to find other players; then you have about 25 seconds to pick your character before going into another loading screen for approximately 60 seconds — just over two minutes to get into a match, then. This is of course exacerbated if you happen to be unfortunate enough to perish early on, meaning you have to go right back to the start and begin the whole rigmarole all over again. Come on now.

Super Bomberman R Online also comes with a heap of optional microtransactions and a battle pass. The battle pass is fairly standard stuff, awarding new costumes, accessories, and poses whenever you increase your rank, but the game gives you the option of purchasing the ‘gold battle pass’ for 800 Bomber Coins giving you access to multiple items instantly. It’s worth mentioning that, as you might expect, you can only purchase Bomber Coins in packs of 100, 500, 1000, and 3000, so you need to purchase 1000 Coins for the gold battle pass, leaving 200 left to gather dust unless you spend it on an individual item.

For a game so simplistic in nature (and that, ultimately, is what makes the Bomberman series so enduring), the addition of battle passes and microtransactions feels completely at odds with the rest of the experience, and it’s not something we can honestly say we’ll be taking advantage of again anytime soon. This, along with the freezing and asinine loading times, makes Super Bomberman R Online a difficult game to recommend, even if its core gameplay remains as compelling as ever.

Conclusion

Super Bomberman R Online joins many of its peers as the latest classic franchise to receive a battle royale twist. It’s not entirely successful, with technical issues including freezing during gameplay and awfully long waits to get into matches alongside a battle pass and microtransaction system that just doesn’t fit in with the nature of the game. Underneath all the added padding, however, is the same classic Bomberman gameplay that’s tweaked to fit 64 players, making it an experience that you should, at the very least, download and try out. It’s free Bomberman, after all.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Reviews

Blast Some Heavy Metal in MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries with Xbox Game Pass

MechWarrior has returned to the Xbox platform better than ever and we’re so excited that fans and new players can check out the latest adventure in the BattleTech universe!

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries

Why better than ever? Well, we spent nearly one year of development time to implement over 30 major updates to the base game based directly on feedback from our passionate MechWarrior community. This huge (and free) update covers a bit of everything with quality-of-life improvements that make managing and customizing your mechs a breeze, adjustments to UI and game systems, and new gameplay changes that add new bases and garrisons to explore and destroy as well as more variety and challenge throughout the game. It’s difficult to show these off in a few in-game screenshots so here’s a quick look at what you can expect:

The life of a MechWarrior mercenary remains a dangerous and sometimes lonesome profession. That’s why we’re so excited that MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries will support cross play across the Xbox Series X|S and PC platforms. Now you can team up with friends while you destroy enemy forces while leveling entire cities (and loads of other things along the way)!

When you’re ready for more of the merc life, the Heroes of the Inner Sphere DLC awaits and we’ve taken a unique approach to content access — there’s no gated content on this addition to the MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries base game. So whether you’d like some company or a friend isn’t 100% sure if they want the DLC, a fellow merc can join a match hosted by a player who owns the DLC, and experience the entirety of the Heroes of the Inner Sphere campaign together.

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - Heroes of the Inner Sphere

As a special treat, MechWarrior 5 players on Xbox and Microsoft PC will receive an exclusive Kobold Hero Mech. This featured mech comes with a custom loadout and paint job plus Goblin AI pilot with new dialogue.

Kobold Mech Exclusive

Whether you’re a longtime MechWarrior veteran or new to the series, there’s really never been a better time to discover the ultimate power fantasy of stomping through war torn cities in a building-sized weapon of destruction with MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries and Heroes of the Inner Sphere DLC, out now for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows PC!

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries

Piranha Games Inc.

253
PC Game Pass
Xbox Game Pass
BE YOUR OWN WEAPON OF WAR Welcome to the year 3015! It’s a hell of a time to be alive. Humanity has colonized thousands of star systems spanning a vast region of space known as the Inner Sphere. The golden age of cooperation and advancement is now a distant memory, and humanity has once again splintered into disparate factions all vying for supremacy. In the midst of these Succession Wars, power hungry Mercenaries like yourself are in a privileged position to capitalize big time. It’s dangerous work but that’s why you’re here, right? If you’ve got an itch to blast, wreck, stomp and go all out ballistic, step inside and become your own weapon of war!

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries – Heroes of the Inner Sphere

Piranha Games Inc.

12
$ 19.99 $ 17.99
In Heroes of the Inner Sphere DLC, we’ve opened up the Mercenary experience with the new Career mode and packed the Inner Sphere with new content to discover. With the New Career mode, you can start a career from scratch or import your progress from MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries. Work to establish your Mercenary Company while exploring the rebalanced Inner Sphere with New Warzones and Hubs to discover. Find and Collect 7 New hero ‘Mechs and 7 New Chassis Types and 50 new ‘Mech variants for the base game. Customize all your ‘Mechs with new weapon systems and equipment! Experience the Beach Head Mode with Multiple objectives and incoming artillery fire to evade. Take the Fight to new planets on the Extra-Solar Moon Biome and Garrisons. EXCLUSIVE CONTENT! Heroes of the Inner Sphere also includes an exclusive ‘Mech and new AI Pilot. The Phoenix “Kobold” hero ‘Mech features a custom paint scheme and loadout. The AI Pilot “Goblin” features unique pilot stats, special character portrait, and new voice lines.

Author: Daeron Katz, Senior Marketing and Community Manager, Piranha Games
This post originally appeared on Xbox Wire

Britney Spears fans blast BBC for allowing critic Perez Hilton to contribute to new doc

Fans of Britney Spears have slammed BBC‘s latest documentary The Battle For Britney, after producers allowed Perez Hilton to contribute and talk about her conservatorship. The US blogger previously launched a number of savage attacks on the singer during her darkest days, and viewers felt it was “inappropriate” for him to have a platform to speak on her case now.
The BBC Two documentary is the latest attempt to shed light on the conservatorship she has been under since 2008, but there has been much criticism about the focus of the multiple films released this year, with Britney herself branding them all “hypocritical”.

But with the media fully hung-up on the ins and outs of the songstresses life, fans rushed to her defence after Perez admitted he believes Britney would “be dead” without the controversial conservatorship in place.

It should be noted he didn’t agree fully with the terms of the arrangement that sees her dad Jamie Spears have full control of her finances and personal affairs, and went on to explain how he regrets how he hounded and humiliated the pop icon.

But after the show aired on BBC iPlayer, viewers took to Twitter to complain and question its choice of interviewees.

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“Geez. 2021 is definitely way better than 2020 but I never knew it was gonna be like THIS!” she began alongside videos of her dancing.

“So many documentaries about me this year with other people’s takes on my life, what can I say, I’m deeply flattered!”

She went on to call the docs “so hypocritical”.

“They criticise the media and then do the same thing? Damn, I don’t know y’all but I’m thrilled to remind you all that although I’ve had some pretty tough times in my life,” she admitted honestly.

“I’ve had waaaayyyy more amazing times in my life and unfortunately my friends, I think the world is more interested in the negative!”

She continued: “Isn’t this supposed to be a business and society about THE FUTURE.

“Why highlight the most negative and traumatizing times in my life from forever ago? I mean DAMN.”

With millions of fans backing her right to freedom with the ‘Free Britney’ campaign in full swing, the singer set to take the stand in the court battle over her conservatorship case on June 23, 2021.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed