With Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection hitting Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S this week, one man is working behind the scenes to interact with fans, provide tips to takedown bosses like Doku and Alma, and help teach gamers the legacy behind one of Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja’s most legendary action franchises. Emmanuel Rodriguez, known as “Master” to the Team Ninja faithful, is not only the famed developer’s full-time community manager, he is one of their biggest fans. So big, in fact, that he was offered the job stemming his on-stage talent in the Dead or Alive fighting game scene.
“I started competing in Dead or Alive around 2004, but I had no idea about esports back then, I just started competing in these online events on Xbox,” Rodriguez says, breaking down the early days of the fighting game tournament scene. “I hopped online just to see how good I was compared to everyone else. That was the itch I needed to scratch.
“Right from the beginning, I was playing as Ryu Hayabusa because I always loved him from the Ninja Gaiden series. Online events then turned into offline tournaments, and I wanted to make the best of every event just to get my name out there, so I started trying to win my games in a flashy style or talk trash in between my matches. Pretty soon, the game was being featured in events like the World Cyber Games and EVO and people really started to pay attention to both me and the game. It was the perfect storm.”
In 2011, the Dallas native had the chance to visit Team Ninja headquarters alongside a contingent of the best DOA players from across the world, offering advice on everything from gameplay tweaks to additions he felt the franchise needed to remain elite. By 2012, Rodriguez heard rumors that the studio might hire a community manager and he was in the running for the new role. “When I first heard about it, I was like, cool, but I was never the kind of person to push it and bother them every day like, ‘When are you going to hire me?!’ I was more like, if it happens, it happens, and eventually, it happened.”
Today, Rodriguez works as the bridge between fans and developers across all Team Ninja titles, listening to fans while searching every social media site for the latest ideas or grievances.“ A community manager’s most important role is to be a very good listener,” he explains. “When you have a large group of people talking about certain bugs or wanting something changed or added to the game as DLC, that’s when you bridge that connection. I remember myself as a fan, I would’ve loved to have been able to talk to Team Ninja to ask about their games or tell them what I wanted to see, but back then, there wasn’t that connection. These days, I’m that connection between fans and the developers and I try to interact and clarify things as much as possible just so everyone is on the same page.”
And with Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection’s release this week, Rodriguez knows that the game’s difficulty level might bring added questions from overwhelmed community members who have never previously attempted to tackle a game in the Ninja Gaiden franchise.
“The developers anticipate gamers getting frustrated, but at the same time, Ninja Gaiden holds a special place in gaming history because it’s not only one of the most difficult games out there, it’s one of the most satisfying games to complete,” says Rodriguez. “You’ll be upset a lot, but you’ll be so happy when you finally complete it. You know you’ve accomplished something when you get to the end of a Ninja Gaiden game.”
In anticipation of the game’s release, Rodriguez has already been working on a series of tips and tricks to post on social media and is ready to heed the call of gamers looking for advice on how to bring out the best in Super Ninja, Ryu Hayabusa.
Adds Rodriguez: “To me, being a part of Team Ninja and interacting with our great fans never gets old, especially if I can help them get over that last hurdle and beat Ninja Gaiden. My whole journey just seems so unrealistic to me … I’m living my dream job. I went from loving video games and finding games like Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive that I really enjoy, to competing and becoming a professional at it, and now I work in the industry full-time, and I talk about my favorite franchises all day for a living.
“Something about it feels so unreal, but at the same time, I feel like I’m home.”
Enjoy 3 games from the NINJA GAIDEN series in this one title. Each title is still just as fun as you remember while providing the same high speed action of the original releases. Look forward to heated battles with fearsome opponents! In addition to Ryu Hayabusa, 4 other characters, Ayane, Rachel, Momiji, and Kasumi, are also playable. You can create a tag team with your favorite characters and freely swap out the playable character during battles. ※The heroines included in this title are the same as the original versions. In addition, the characters that are playable and scenes (modes) vary for each title. All of the previously released game modes and DLC costumes for each title are included in this one set. In addition to Ryu Hayabusa, each of the other characters also have many different costumes to choose from, allowing you to enjoy action packed battles in whichever outfit you prefer. ■Included Titles NINJA GAIDEN Σ NINJA GAIDEN Σ2 NINJA GAIDEN 3: Razor’s Edge ※Online multiplayer is not available for the “TAG MISSIONS” in NINJA GAIDEN Σ2. ※The “Shadow of the world” “Clan battle” for NINJA GAIDEN 3 Razer’s Edge is not included. Online multiplayer is not available for “ninja trials”. ※”NINJA GAIDEN Σ2″ and “NINJA GAIDEN 3: Razor’s Edge” are also available in Traditional Chinese. ※”NINJA GAIDEN: Master Collection Deluxe Edition” is also available for purchase. Be careful to avoid making a redundant purchase. ※Only Xbox One X, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S support 4K resolution. Xbox One S does not support 4K resolution. ※Please uninstall and then reinstall NINJA GAIDEN Σ and NINJA GAIDEN Σ2. This will allow the graphics to display properly.
Author: Jon Robinson, PR Manager, Koei Tecmo America
This post originally appeared on Xbox Wire
The 4,500-year-old pyramid is the oldest and largest of the three ancient monuments in the Giza Plateau and is believed to have been constructed for Pharaoh Khufu. The ScanPyramids project was launched to provide several non-invasive and non-destructive techniques to provide a better understanding of its structure and the construction processes and techniques. It made a breakthrough in 2016 when it uncovered a small, previously unknown cavity in the north face of the pyramid.
One year later, experts announced the discovery of the “Big Void”, a 30-metre previously unknown space located above the Grand Gallery.
Co-director of the project, Mehdi Tayoubi, said at the time: “We don’t know whether this big void is horizontal or inclined.
“We don’t know if this void is made by one structure or several successive structures.
“What we are sure about is that this Big Void is there, that it is impressive, and that it was not expected – as far as I know – by any sort of theory.”
That could be set to change as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted in Egypt.
What made this astonishing feat possible at the time was a revolutionary technique known as muon tomography, which allows scientists to explore locations that have previously been out of reach.
A muon is an elementary particle, like an electron but 200 times heavier.
Being so heavy and travelling so fast gives them a greater ability to penetrate dense material than other types of radiation, such as X-rays or gamma rays.
But unlike X-rays and gamma rays, cosmic-ray muons don’t damage the material they pass through.
The latest issue of the BBC Science Focus magazine detailed how, before the pandemic caused work to be suspended, continuing muon tomography at the Pyramid of Khufu had revealed more of the smaller cavity discovered in 2016.
It suggested it is “a corridor extending at least five metres into the pyramid, possibly angled upwards”.
It has also caused the size of the “Big Void” to be recalculated to “at least 40 metres long”.
The BBC added: “If the global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines goes according to plan, it’s possible work could resume on the ScanPyramids project, and the others, soon.
“And when it does, more of the secrets hidden inside some of the world’s oldest natural and human-made structures could begin to reveal themselves.”
The previous findings received huge media attention at the time, but some experts are sceptical.
Sky, Virgin and Freesat users were recently treated to four new channels and now Freeview is joining the party. The popular free-to-watch platform has just added a swathe of extra content from the newly launched GREAT! network which features blockbuster movies and classic TV shows. The new channels, that are available right now on Freeview, include GREAT! movies, GREAT! movies classic, GREAT! movies action, and GREAT! tv.
At launch, customers will be able to watch hits such as Blade Runner 2049, starring Ryan Gosling and Ridley Scott’s sci-fi epic Prometheus featuring Michael Fassbender.
There’s also classics available including the Oscar-winning musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale, Oliver!, the classic Hitchcock thriller Psycho, and Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.
Those who fancy an evening of nostalgia-packed entertainment can also tune into GREAT! tv, which features shows such as Murder, She Wrote, Charlie’s Angels, Starsky & Hutch, Hart to Hart, and classic Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.
The new channels, owned by Narrative Entertainment, will replace Sony Movies, Sony Movies Action, Sony Movies Classic and the Sony Channel.
“Sony has done a wonderful job of cultivating these channels and they’ve been a wonderful partner in this transition,” Narrative Entertainment chief exec Daniel Levin told Variety. “The programming will be uninterrupted. We’re particularly excited to welcome a brand like Pop into the Narrative family, which is without question a premier destination network for children across the UK, and to give an incredible new look and feel to the movies and entertainment channels.”
Here’s where you can find the new movies and TV shows.
GREAT! Movies on Freeview channel 33
GREAT! Movies Action on Freeview channel 41
GREAT! Movies on Freeview channel 51
GREAT! Tv on Freeview channel 49
There should be plenty more arriving on the GREAT! network with Variety also reporting that Narrative Entertainment plans to slowly increase the quality of content available on its newly acquired channels. Of course, GREAT! isn’t the only thing to view on Freeview with this service getting bigger and better in recent years.
In fact, Freeview Play, which comes pre-installed on most modern Smart TVs and is available to watch via Amazon’s hugely-popular Fire TV Stick devices, not only features 70 live channels but now boasts over 30,000 hours of on-demand telly gathered from streaming services such as iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My5, to name a few.
Freeview says it has boosted its live and streamed content by more than half within the last two years.
Another month, another deluge of software hitting our favourite handheld hybrid console’s eShop. The flow of new games coming to Switch has varied over the first months of 2021, but in general there are still far too many games arriving for us to be able to review them all, and unfortunately some of the smaller ones inevitably fall through the cracks.
Last year we asked the Nintendo Life community to nominate Switch games you believed were worth highlighting — games that we’d missed which you felt deserved some love and recognition on these webpages. We did the same six months later when you nominated a further 12 titles, and recently we’ve been posting summaries of intriguing games that caught our eye. Now we think’s it’s the perfect time to look at another round of Switch eShop hidden gem nominations.
Just as we did previously, we’re asking you dear readers to send us your brief musings (no more than 100 words) on Switch games that flew under the Nintendo Life radar. We’ll collate and read all the responses and pick our favourites for a feature showcasing those games with a trailer and your positive comments.
Below are the guidelines on how to send your recommendations — please read them carefully if you want to see your entries included in the feature:
100-word limit – Keep it brief! A history of the genre and deep-dive into every mechanic is unnecessary. Concentrate on what the game is about, what sets it apart from other games and why you enjoyed it.
One entry per game – Feel free to send your thoughts on multiple games, but there’s no need to duplicate.
Choose only games that we haven’t reviewed on the site – To check if a Nintendo Life review exists, simply type the name of the game into the search box at the very top of the page (look for the magnifying glass icon in the top left corner) and click on the game page that appears. If there’s no review, you’re good to go!
How to send a recommendation
Head to Nintendo Life’sContact pageand select the subject “Switch eShop Hidden Gems” from the drop down menu (it’s already done for you in the link above). Type your name, email and beautifully-crafted message into the appropriate box, hit send and Bob’s your uncle!
If you’ve got any questions on the format, feel free to ask in the comments section below. And if you don’t feel comfortable sending a full-blown recommendation, you can drop suggestions for games you’d like to see highlighted, too.
Remember, we won’t be reviewing these games, but we’re still eager to shine a light on some gems we’ve missed. We look forward to seeing what games you recommend.
Gold is often used as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement, as the precious metal is currently worth around $ 1,900 per ounce.
Gold and Bitcoin are often compared as both are considered scarce, have the potential to be held outside of conventional financial markets and have values that cannot be inflated away by money creation and currency debasement.
However, differences emerge as gold is a physical asset without a ceiling to supply, while there are only 21 million Bitcoins available to be mined.
As of writing, Bitcoin is worth £25,542.79, down £1,096.99 in the last day, according to Coinbase.
Gold is worth £1,343.52 per ounce, down £1.74 in the last day, according to BullionByPost.co.uk.
Hull’s Andrew Aspland sewed his last stitch in The Great British Bee last night after his festive party frock failed to find favour with the judges.
Bumpy seams and detachable bows, one of which fell off a sleeve while the dress was being modelled in the finale of the BBC One show, were the undoing of the popular maths teacher.
With judge Esme Young known as a fan of large, statement bows and fellow judge Patrick Grant declaring himself “less fond” of the colour purple, Andrew said while creating his made-to-measure velvet dress: “Small bows and purple, I am going for a real judges’ winner, aren’t I?”
Earlier in the show, Andrew, 54, had been placed third out of the remaining six stitchers in the challenging pattern round to create a flannel shirt in the style of the traditional North American lumberjack, even though his collar was “very untidy” and he had had problems matching the fabric at the front.
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And he did even better in the transformation round, when the stitchers were tasked with creating any garment from up to five scarves.
His “medieval” dress created in 90 minutes, which the judges agreed would be “a good disguise in Sherwood Forest”, earned him second place, being all the more impressive, they said, because of the lace-up back he had created with yarn unravelled from one of the scarves.
Andrew’s festive winter party dress, which he thought had an ecclesiastical vibe – “we live in a vicarage, so everything has an ecclesiastical look to it” – also gave him problems with darts at the back, which he struggled to make symmetrical.
After the bow fiasco mid-walk, Patrick also noted puckering around the dress zip but added that even though he didn’t love purple, Andrew’s creation had a regal feel to it.
“It wasn’t very good, was it?” said Andrew on hearing he was following another East Yorkshire contestant, Catherine Tosler-Waudby, in leaving the sewing room.
“I am a bit gutted, but it was my time this time,” he said. “It has been great getting to know these guys, they have got so much talent and knowledge between them.
“It is going to be a bit of a wrench to leave everyone, but I am proud of myself and it has been a really terrific experience, a chance of a lifetime.”
Patrick said: “We will miss your terrible dad jokes. I’m really sad to see Andrew leave, he has been such a joyous personality in the sewing room but today his usually impeccable sewing skills just deserted him.”
Another Humber region competitor, Rebecca, 23, a supermarket worker from Scunthorpe, goes through to the quarter final of the show next week.
The Great British Sewing Bee continues on Wednesdays at 9pm on BBC One.
Sony has announced that they will be offering new deals on PS Plus subscriptions during May and June 2021.
These will be going live around the same time as this week’s PS Plus June free games reveal, so the tech giant could have something special planned.
The new deals are set to be released on May 26, with Sony confirming that they will be part of the upcoming Days of Play event.
The Store event will provide leading discounts on top PS4 and PS5 games until June 9, meaning that these new deals will only be available for a short period.
A message from Sony confirms: “We’re pleased to announce that the Days of Play sale will start from May 26 lasting until June 9, with great deals on a selection of PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 games as well as other select products at participating retailers.
“Promotions are available while supplies last. Please also note that product offerings and availability will vary by location and retailer – make sure to check out the official Days of Play site, which will be updated with your local deals when the sale begins.
“What’s more, additional deals on PlayStation Store as well as PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now subscriptions will also be available during Days of Play. Stay tuned for more info here on the PlayStation Blog and over on the Days of Play site.”
As mentioned above, the Days of Play event has already begun but will kick off later this week with new discounts on games, and deals on PS Plus and PS Now subscriptions.
For now, we don’t know how much of a discount gamers are going to be offered to sign up to PS Plus in June, but based on last year, we would expect them to at least include 33 per cent off.
So there’s going to be a busy week ahead for gamers who are deciding whether to sign up to PlayStation Plus again.
First, there will be the PS Plus free games reveal on May 26, with news usually shared online at 4:30pm BST.
If any of the new titles tickle your fancy, it will be worth waiting to see what discounts are being offered on subscriptions.
And even if you don’t see anything you like the look of, there could be some cracking combos worth getting if you have a PS Plus discount during the Days of Play sales.
Here are the games we know will be getting discounts across PS4 and PS5 consoles:
PlayStation 4 games
Ghost of Tsushima
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Predator: Hunting Grounds
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
The Last of Us Part II
PlayStation 5 games
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales: Ultimate Edition
Sackboy: A Big Adventure
The Nioh Collection
The mention of PlayStation Hits means we can also expect God of War to see another drop in prices during the end of May and the start of June.
There have been no hints or teases from Sony to suggest what new games will be added to the PS Plus lineup for June.
What we do know is that they should be revealed on the last Wednesday of the month and then made available to download on the first Tuesday of the new month.
After a fantastic year of free PS5 and PS4 games, subscribers will be keen to find out if the trend will continue in June.
Fortunately, there’s not long to wait in order to find out, because the June 2021 PlayStation Plus reveal is just a few days away.
Assuming Sony sticks to the traditional schedule, the company will reveal the next batch of free PS5 and PS4 games on May 26 at 4.30pm BST UK time.
The next wave of PS Plus freebies will be available to download and play less than a week later on June 1.
Needless to say, the new PlayStation Plus games will replace the May 2021 line-up, which includes Wreckfest: Drive Hard. Die Last on PS5.
PS4 users, on the other hand, can download and play EA shooter Battlefield 5 and survival game Stranded Deep.
It’s another strong line-up in a year when PS Plus subscribers have been rewarded with the likes of Control: Ultimate Edition, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Destruction All-Stars.
That’s on top of Days Gone, Concrete Genie, and perhaps most impressive of all, Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
This month’s highest profile new game is Battlefield 5, which takes the action back to WW2 in both single-player and multiplayer.
“Enter mankind’s greatest conflict with Battlefield V as the series goes back to its roots in a never-before-seen portrayal of World War 2.
“Experience all-out multiplayer with your squad in the vast Grand Operations and the cooperative Combined Arms, or take on single player War Stories.
“As you fight in epic, unexpected locations across the globe, enjoy the richest, most immersive Battlefield yet. Now also includes Firestorm – Battle Royale, reimagined for Battlefield.”
Stranded Deep, meanwhile, is a survival game in which players scavenge for supplies and set up camp on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
“In the aftermath of a mysterious plane crash, you are stranded in the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. Alone, without any means to call for help, you must do what you can to survive.
“Explore underwater and on land as you hunt for supplies to craft the tools, weapons, and shelter you’ll need to stay alive. Stay sharp: hunger, thirst, and exposure conspire against you as you brave treacherous elements and the dangerous creatures of the Pacific.”
Finally, Wreckfest is a destruction derby-style game featuring a variety of different races and vehicles. One minute you’ll be smashing up lawnmowers at a local fair, while the next you’re racing motorised sofas around a race track.
“Break the rules and take full-contact racing to the limit with Wreckfest!
“Expect epic crashes, neck-to-neck fights over the finish line and brand-new ways for metal to bend – These are the once-in-a-lifetime moments that can only be achieved in Wreckfest, with its true-to-life physics simulation crafted by legendary developer Bugbear, who also brought you FlatOut 1 and 2.”
Jim McMahon, the shadow transport secretary, said: “With fare hikes, £1bn cuts to Network Rail and broken promises to communities across the country, it’s yet another example of ministers talking a good game, with very little substance underneath.”
Unions echoed the concerns. The TSSA general secretary, Manuel Cortes, said the plans were “papering over the cracks” of privatisation.
The RMT general secretary, Mick Lynch, said it was “a missed opportunity to make a clean break”.
He added: “The government talk about ending a generation of fragmentation but then leave the same private companies in place to extract fees that could be invested in building a truly integrated national rail network.”