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22 Scary Movies True Horror Fans Need To Watch Download Games PC Mac Android all Device

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Every decade has its share of great horror movies, and the very best have become true cinematic classics that are every bit as important as more “prestigious” films. From Bride of Frankenstein, Psycho, and Night of the Living Dead to Halloween, The Exorcist, and The Shining, these are movies which even the most casual horror fan knows, and they continue to influence the genre today. But what are the other films that true horror fans need to have seen? Everyone has their favorites, but we’ve gathered 22 movies that all lovers of zombies, ghosts, killers, and demons need to check out. How many have you seen?

Black Sunday (1960)

Mario Bava is the godfather of Italian horror, and one of the most influential filmmakers ever to work in the genre. Black Sunday is perhaps his finest film; a striking, dreamlike slice of gothic madness that feels very different to the movies that were being served up by better known horror flick production houses such as Hammer at that time. Black Sunday is best known for the opening scene in which Barbara Steele has a metal mask hammered onto her face, but the whole movie is a macabre must-see.

Society (1990)

There’s no other horror movie quite like Society. A satire of 1980s class and privilege, it plays out like a weird, gloopy soap opera, as ex-Baywatch star Billy Warlock discovers that his privileged, status-obsessed friends and parents are in fact shape-shifting, power-mad sex mutants. Directed by Re-Animator producer Brian Yuzna, Society is funny, cheesy, disturbing, and a deeply subversive one-off.

The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920)

The silent era threw up many great horror movies, but few have the power of Robert Wiene’s masterpiece of German Expressionism. Wiene adopted a surreal, dreamlike tone for this story of an insane hypnotist who uses his power to make others commit terrible crimes. The weird set design, crazy camera angles, and shocking final twist made the film feel way of ahead of its time, and they still impress today.

Martin (1977)

In the years between his undead masterpieces Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, George Romero tried his hand at a few non-zombie movies, the best of which was this vampire classic. A disturbing tale of addiction and urban alienation, Martin took familiar vampire myths and placed them in the real world, as a lonely young man attempts to fit in with regular society while fighting an uncontrollable lust for blood.

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

Part of the 3D craze of the 1950s, Creature from the Black Lagoon might play out like a more typical ’50s monster movie when watched today, but it still holds an eerie power. The creature is one of all the all-time great movie monsters, and the underwater sequences are still hugely impressive, as the iconic Gill-Man glides and dives through the water, stalking scientist Julie Adams, with whom he is besotted.

Re-Animator (1985)

The 1980s was the decade of comedy horror, and there are few better than Re-Animator. Stuart Gordon’s adaptation of HP Lovecraft’s short story features a hilariously unhinged performance from Jeffrey Combs as maverick doctor Herbert West, who is obsessed with bringing the dead back to life. Re-Animator has it all–great characters, a hilariously sharp script, wonderfully meaty make-up effects, and tons of madcap energy.

Freaks (1932)

While most infamous horror films have been endlessly copied, remade, and recycled, there is no other movie like Tod Browning’s Freaks. After the success of the Bela Lugosi-starring Dracula, Browning used the leeway he had with the studio to make this tragic story of life among a family of circus freaks. At heart this is a moving family drama about outsiders, but the movie’s nightmarish tone and disturbing imagery led to over 20 minutes of cuts. Sadly, the full version is lost forever, but even in its truncated form, Freaks remains one of the most notorious movies of all time.

Pulse (2001)

Part of the wave of Japanese horror that followed the success of The Ring in the early 2000s, Pulse stands apart from the rest. It’s weird, ambitious, funny, and very, very scary. While many of the individual elements might be familiar to fans of Japanese horror–long-haired ghosts, freaky children, young people being menaced by an unseen terror–director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s treatment of this material is anything but traditional. The film is a strange, surreal experience that strains the boundaries of logic and combines a persistent sense of impending doom with some truly terrifying scenes.

The Innocents (1961)

No horror list would be complete without a creepy kid movie, and there are few creepier that The Innocents. Adapted from the classic ghost story The Turn of the Screw, it’s a restrained slice of gothic terror, about a governess who is employed to look after a pair of kids who she comes to believe have been possessed by ghosts. As well as the potent atmosphere, eerie sound design, and striking monochrome photography, the movie also boasts a groundbreaking electronic score.

The Beyond (1981)

He might not be as critically revered as Dario Argento or Mario Bava, but for many fans of Italian horror, Lucio Fulci is every bit as vital. The Beyond is a potent blend of zombie shocker and gothic mystery; at times it’s stilted, clunky, and silly, but it also possesses an oppressive atmosphere of otherworldly strangeness and some outrageously over-the-top gore effects.

Cat People (1942)

This 1942 classic marked the first collaboration between producer Val Lewton and pioneering director Jaques Tourneur. The studio expected a horror quickie with a snappy title, but alongside the melodrama and sometimes dated acting, Lewton and Tourneur brought a level of artistry unusual for this sort of low-budget fare. The idea of cat women becoming deadly through arousal was radical for the age, and Tourneur’s directorial style differed substantially from his horror contemporaries, with the use of shadows and sound creating some truly memorable sequences.

Suspiria (1977)

Legendary Italian director Dario Argento’s supernatural chiller is one of the most distinctive horror movies of the 1970s. The mix of intriguing mystery, gory violence, eye-popping visuals, and an ear-splitting score made the director a favorite among horror aficionados across the world. Much of this crazy tale of ballerinas and witches might not make logical sense, but man, it looks and sounds incredible.

It Follows (2014)

Perhaps the best indie horror of the past decade, It Follows avoids many of the cliches of modern teen horror and places a group of believable kids into a terrifyingly surreal situation, evoking a constant feeling of dread without relying on lavish effects. The film has an almost fairytale-like tone, with gliding camerawork and terror that results almost entirely from scenes of people walking quickly in the direction of the main characters.

Dracula (1958)

While Bela Lugosi was the first actor to officially portray Bram Stoker’s legendary vampire, for many horror fans, Christopher Lee is the definitive Drac. Hammer’s first Dracula movie (retitled Horror of Dracula the US) remains one of the very best. Lee is a suave and charismatic Count, while Peter Cushing is every bit his equal as Van Helsing. It’s a stylish, bloody, exciting gothic treat.

Audition (1999)

Japanese maverick Takashi Miike might be one of the most prolific directors working, and Audition is one of his very best. What starts as a quirky romantic drama about a lonely businessman looking for love ultimately turns into a terrifying, disturbing vortex of physical and psychological torment. The film takes its time to reach the horror, but when it does, it delivers one of the genre’s most shattering final sequences.

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

One of the most controversial horror movies of the 1980s, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is a raw, unflinching look at the day-to-day life of its titular killer, as he moves from town to town, victim to victim. Anchored by a terrifying debut performance from future Guardians of the Galaxy star Michael Rooker, Henry‘s power comes from its stark, non-judgmental tone and matter-of-fact depiction of violence. It’s still a tough watch, but it’s up there with the decade’s finest movies.

Black Christmas (1974)

While Halloween was the movie that started the slasher craze of the late ’70s and ’80s, it was predated by this seasonal Canadian shocker. A group of students are menaced at Christmas by a campus killer who torments them over a phone line. It’s tense and scary, and features one of the earliest uses of the now-clichéd killer’s POV shot. Director Bob Clark later made another Christmas classic, the perennial family favorite A Christmas Story, which features a lot less hacking and slashing.

Inside (2007)

The late-2000s saw a wave of bloody French horror movies, including Switchblade Romance, Martyrs, and Frontier(s). Inside is argubaly the most gruesome of the lot, and while it lacks Martyrs‘ fearsome intelligence, the breathtaking level of inventive splatter and super-stylized gore makes it a must-see for gorehounds. Given the entire plot revolves around Beatrice Dalle trying to get an unborn baby out of her victim’s belly, it’s certainly not for the squeamish. But for those with a strong enough stomach, it delivers the meaty goods.

Eyes Without A Face (1960)

One of the very best horror movies to emerge from France, Eyes Without a Face was a controversial take on the mad scientist genre. Directed by former documentary-maker Georges Franju, it focuses on a scientist who kidnaps young women at night and transplants their faces onto the disfigured features of his daughter. While many critics and viewers were impressed by the movie’s style and haunting atmosphere, just as many were were appalled by its dark themes and graphic scenes of surgery.

Phantasm (1979)

Don Coscarelli’s mind-bending debut is a true independent effort, with few concessions made to the rules of conventional filmmaking. This small-town tale of brothers who become involved with a sinister corpse-harvesting operation was shot on weekends over the space of many months, with the script written and rewritten as it went along. And it shows, in the best possible way, in everything from the flying blood-draining metal spheres and killer grave-robbing space midgets to the iconic villainous Tall Man. This no-budget gem inspired four sequels and is also one of JJ Abrams’ favourite movies; he produced the recent 4K restoration, and used the killer spheres as his inspiration for The Force Awakens‘ Captain Phasma.

Onibaba (1964)

Long grass has never been scarier than in this masterpiece of Japanese horror. It’s a period folktale about an impoverished mother and daughter-in-law who survive by murdering soldiers and selling their possessions. That is, until the day they encounter a samurai with a cursed mask. It’s the incredible atmosphere generated by film’s setting–desolate swampland populated by grass tall enough to entirely disappear into–that helps build the movie’s unique, terrifying power, as the women descend into madness.

The Changeling (1980)

George C. Scott stars as a grieving father who moves into a haunted house in this super creepy chiller. The Changeling is old-fashioned in the best sense of the term, taking its time to set up the story and ensuring that the audience is fully invested in the characters before delivering the horror goods. Director Peter Medak is a master at evoking maximum chills from minimal props; who would’ve thought that a bouncing rubber ball or a wheelchair could be so scary? The movie also features one of the most frightening seances in horror–an unnerving scene that was a clear influence on latter-day horror hits like The Conjuring and Insidious.

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The Evolution Of Grand Theft Auto: Milestones From Every Game Download Games PC Mac Android all Device

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Life of Crime

Although the Grand Theft Auto series truly rose to prominence when it transitioned to 3D with Grand Theft Auto III, it had already been around for years at that point. From its early days to GTA V’s release and subsequent four years of success, GTA has become one of gaming’s most influential franchises ever over its 20-year history, helping to redefine open-world design and gameplay.

To commemorate the anniversary of developer Rockstar’s much-beloved series, we’re detailing the advancements and innovations that each of its entries introduced. From its humble beginnings on PS1 and PC to the staggeringly persistent sales of Grand Theft Auto V, here’s a look at the evolution of GTA and how it transformed into the household name it is today.

For a visual look at what we discuss here, check out the video version of the evolution of Grand Theft Auto.

Following in the huge success of the series, its latest entry Grand Theft Auto V’s online mode continues to do well. For the latest news and updates on GTA V’s online mode on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, follow our full coverage here, including details on this week’s new GTA content.

If you’re curious about the history and evolution of other big gaming franchises, watch our in-depth video features on the history of games and series like Uncharted, Assassin’s Creed, and even games based on the Lord of the Rings.

Grand Theft Auto

Platforms: PC, PS1

Release Date: October 1997

The first Grand Theft Auto must look archaic to fans of the more modern entries of the series. Its top-down perspective and jagged polygonal graphics are a far cry from the expansive, detailed city spaces we’ve come to expect. However, the game is still as crime-focused, mature, and violent as the series’ subsequent entries.

At the time, Grand Theft Auto was a pioneering game that helped introduce the concept of open-world design to action games with its free-form, objective-based missions. The freedom it gave you to pursue missions and explore laid the groundwork for many of the series’ hallmarks. It also introduced the three major fictional cities the series has often used as settings: Liberty City, San Andreas, and Vice City.

Grand Theft Auto: London 1969

Platforms: PC, PS1

Release Date: April 1999

Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 is an expansion for the first game. It introduced a new city to explore and expanded the number of cars to drive and activities to take part in, though it didn’t change the formula of the original. Notably, London 1969 was the first standalone expansion pack to ever release on PS1.

Grand Theft Auto 2

Platforms: PC, PS1, Dreamcast, Game Boy Color

Release Date:

  • PC: September 1999
  • PS1: October 1999
  • Dreamcast: May 2000
  • Game Boy Color: December 2000

While not the genre-redefining step that its successor would become, Grand Theft Auto 2 was a solid step forward that expanded on the groundwork established by the first game.

Its major evolutionary shift came from its mission design. Instead of being forced through a linear sequence of missions, you now had the choice to freely accept missions from different–often opposing–gangs at any time. (Zaibatsu for life.) This created a chain of events that influenced how gangs perceived you.

Also new were side missions, which have since become a staple of the series. When not playing through the story content, you could earn money by being a taxi, bus, or delivery truck driver. In addition, the game saw advancements in pedestrian behavior; people would walk on the street or enter public transportation vehicles, and if they were criminals, steal cars or engage in random fights with the police.

Interestingly enough, Grand Theft Auto 2 released on four different platforms–even receiving a port on the Game Boy Color. The game would be the final core entry in the series to strictly utilize a top-down view–although an optional camera mode resembling it was included in Grand Theft Auto III and served as the inspiration for a GTA Online racing mode.

Grand Theft Auto III

Platforms: PS2, PC, Xbox

Release Date:

  • PS2: October 2001
  • PC: May 2002
  • Xbox: October 31, 2003

While Grand Theft Auto 1 and 2 were both proofs of concept for what an open-world action game could be, it was Grand Theft Auto III that took that idea to the next level. Unlike in its predecessors, you were free to walk from a third-person perspective through a living, breathing 3D city.

This simple shift in perspective increased your immersion within its world. With the open-world structure of its predecessors once again at play, the ability to freely take on missions or simply cause chaos was a satisfying and innovative gameplay loop. Storytelling was also more greatly emphasized this time around, with celebrity voice acting (Michael Madsen, Kyle MacLachlan, and Robert Loggia all played roles) and dramatic cutscenes. The protagonist, however, had little personality or backstory and wouldn’t even get a name until a minor moment in San Andreas.

GTA III let you take to the sky for the first time, albeit in inelegant fashion. The Dodo was a biplane that could be found in the airport as a secret of sorts, but flying it took extreme precision and patience. Additionally, this was the first game in the series to add Hidden Packages as a secret collectible for players to hunt down.

While the game first released on PS2 in 2001, it later launched on PC in 2002 and Xbox in 2003. It was the first in a trilogy of Grand Theft Auto games that would come out within the next few years and influenced countless games to come.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Platforms: PS2, PC, Xbox

Release Date:

  • PS2: October 27, 2002
  • PC: May 12, 2003
  • Xbox: October 31, 2003

Released a year after GTA III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was an iterative sequel that expanded on III’s framework. It offered an even more detailed city that was packed with new missions and vehicle types, like motorcycles and helicopters. Amid subtle quality-of-life improvements, one of the game’s major additions was the ability to purchase businesses and properties, allowing you to increase your revenue stream and feel like you were making a mark on the game world.

The game’s narrative presentation also received an upgrade, featuring a protagonist who actually talked (unlike GTA III’s Claude) and felt like a proper character. Its story centered on Tommy Vercetti (voiced by actor Ray Liotta), a former member of the mob who was set up and had to take over the city before its violent gangs killed him.

Inspired heavily by Scarface, Vice City is most remembered for its 1980s time period, which it used predominantly in its satire of American pop culture. The game’s soundtrack in particular is often considered one of the most iconic licensed video game soundtracks ever and helped the game to nail its ’80s atmosphere.

While Vice City was first released as PS2-exclusive in 2002, it would later launch on PC and Xbox in 2003.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Platforms: PS2, PC, Xbox

Release Date:

  • PS2: October 26, 2004
  • PC & Xbox: June 7, 2005

The third and final entry in what became known as the GTA series’ “3D universe,” Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas again built on the previous two games while taking players to another radically different setting. The titular San Andreas was absolutely massive; while III and Vice City allowed players to explore different portions of a single city, San Andreas dramatically expanded on that with full-fledged takes on Los Angeles (Los Santos), San Francisco (San Fierro), and Las Vegas (Las Venturas).

At the time, San Andreas’s world was staggeringly large–which is just as well, as it needed that space to facilitate the newly introduced trains and planes. The latter finally provided a more rapid form of air transport, as previous games limited players to helicopters, the hard-to-fly Dodo, and, in Vice City, a single seaplane.

San Andreas’s story centered around Carl Johnson, who was a more dynamic protagonist than previous characters. The game introduced a new RPG-style character progression system that allowed Carl to grow in a number of ways–both figuratively and literally. Heading to the gym and taking part in mini-games provided the opportunity to increase his stamina and strength, but he also had to eat. Indulge in too many cheeseburgers and he would gain a substantial amount of weight, which could impact gameplay. As a whole, the game featured a marked shift toward focusing West Coast street gangs and was heavy influenced by 90’s hip-hop culture.

As with the two previous games, San Andreas debuted on PS2 before later being ported to both PC and Xbox.

Grand Theft Auto Advance

Platforms: Game Boy Advance

Release Date: October 26, 2004

Grand Theft Auto Advance, which was officially marketed under the name Grand Theft Auto, was the first entry in the series released exclusively on handheld devices. It released alongside San Andreas, but despite the move to 3D in the console games, Advance used the top-down perspective and Liberty City setting of earlier entries.

Advance did mix in some elements of more recent games, adding side missions from GTA III and the ability for cars to flip over. Despite the ambition of bringing GTA to a handheld, the game was maligned for its mediocre story and technical limitations. It marked the only game in the series developed outside of Rockstar, having been created by Digital Eclipse.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

Platforms: PSP, PS2

Release Date:

  • PSP: October 24, 2005
  • PS2: June 6, 2006

Although it’s been forgotten by many, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories was a significant game for the series. It marked the first 3D GTA game released on a handheld, bringing a comparable version of Liberty City from GTA III to PlayStation Portable. It also introduced a six-player local multiplayer mode, marking the franchise’s first foray outside of single-player.

Liberty City Stories was a prequel game starring one of the characters you met in the game on which it’s based–in this case, GTA III’s Toni Cipriani.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Platforms: PSP, PS2

Release Date:

  • PSP: October 24, 2006
  • PS2: March 5, 2007

Like the console games, the Liberty City entry on PSP was followed up not long after by a game set in Vice City. Titled Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, the game was less novel than the previous one, as it couldn’t pass itself off as the first handheld 3D GTA, nor did it introduce any major features that would become mainstays.

However, it did improve on Liberty City Stories, providing a larger overall experience with longer missions and more memorable characters. There was also a new empire system where you could take over properties, install illegal businesses, embark on missions to upgrade them, and then reap the rewards. Multiplayer also evolved with new competitive modes, but it remained a local-multiplayer-only affair.

Grand Theft Auto IV

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC

Release Date:

  • PS3 & Xbox 360: April 29, 2008
  • PC: December 2, 2008

As the first numbered entry in the series in more than six years and the beginning of what’s known as the “HD universe,” Grand Theft Auto IV set out to provide some major new innovations–with mixed results. With a shift toward a slightly more mature, darker narrative, it provided players with moral choices–such as whether or not to let a character live–that could impact the story. These didn’t radically alter things and were limited in number, but they marked an attempt by the series to try something new.

Similarly, GTA IV emphasized relationships with other characters. Despite being new to the country, protagonist Niko Bellic was able to quickly make friends–but those friends expected not to be ignored. Thanks to the mobile phone in Niko’s pocket, you could expect to be contacted for a date with women you were seeing or a round of bowling with dear cousin Roman.

Perhaps the game’s biggest new feature was online multiplayer. It allowed up to 32 players to join together online for competitive and cooperative modes or to freely roam the city, albeit with no real objectives.

GTA IV evolved unlike any previous game in the series thanks to downloadable content. Its two DLC expansions, The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony, introduced new stories and characters set within the same city, as well as new mechanics. The motorcycle-centric Lost and Damned finally added checkpoints to missions, mercifully allowing you to pick up your progress after a failure without starting from the beginning. Gay Tony later added the BASE jumping activity and mission scoring.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Platforms: Nintendo DS, PSP, iOS

Release Date:

  • DS: March 17, 2009
  • PSP: October 20, 2009
  • iOS: December 18, 2014

Years after GTA had moved on from the classic top-down perspective, Rockstar came out with Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, a throwback to the early days of the series. It featured the same sort of open-world gameplay the series was known for but packaged it in a way that we hadn’t seen in almost a decade.

The camera angle wasn’t the only way Chinatown Wars differentiated itself from past entries. It featured a more stylized, comic book-esque art style (likely to accommodate the hardware constraints of the DS), the series’ first asian protagonist, an “online” ordering system for ammo and weapons, and new types of interactions, such as breaking out the glass in a car to escape or turning a screwdriver to start a car. Police, an omnipresent threat to players in GTA, were no longer something to hide from; instead, you were encouraged to smash into police cars to disable them, which led to a reduction in your wanted level.

The game would later be released for PSP, which featured improvements to visuals. An iOS port would also release several years later.

Grand Theft Auto V

Platforms: PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC

Release Date:

  • PS3 & Xbox 360: September 17, 2013
  • PC: April 14, 2015
  • PS4 & Xbox One: November 14, 2015

Grand Theft Auto V is in many ways a culmination of everything the series has been building toward since its inception. The game grew both its single-player and multiplayer portions in significant ways, resulting in an experience that’s far more multi-faceted than its predecessors.

In terms of single-player, GTA V took its missions–which had long been unrelated, standalone activities–and tied them together for heists. These multi-part missions feature an escalating story and allow you to build toward something, as you yourself are tasked with putting the pieces in place to pull off a bigger crime. GTA V also adjusted the series’ formula by having you play as not one but three different protagonists you can freely switch between, sometimes even during the course of a mission.

GTA V’s multiplayer component, GTA Online, continues to evolve to this day and has made the game a long-term moneymaker for Rockstar. It took GTA IV’s concept of putting a bunch of players in an online version of a GTA city and ran with it. Up to 30 players can go about their business in a single instance of the city or take part in cooperative and competitive activities. Following a post-launch update, Rockstar introduced online heists, allowing players to collaboratively complete multi-part missions. While load times and matchmaking hurdles can mar the experience, the interlocking parts of four people working together in unison–some in the air, others scattered around on the ground–can be a beautiful thing.

It’s through all of the GTA V’s advancements to the formula and consistent updates to its online mode that the game remains a massive success and the pinnacle of the franchise’s evolution as a whole.

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All The Nintendo Switch Game Demos Out Now Download Games PC Mac Android all Device

Game Downloads October 21, 2017

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Nintendo Switch is a wonderful system with more quality games than you might realize. But there are numerous ways in which Switch could improve, and that’s especially true of the Eshop. A recent update finally introduced a way to see what’s on sale–on the rare occasion that something is discounted–but the Switch’s online store still needs work.

Among other things, it could use a way to look at all of the demos that are available for download. Nintendo has relied on its News channel to convey certain Eshop information, but that’s just not ideal; if you’re picking up a system late or haven’t checked in recently, there’s no easy way to jump on the store and start downloading demos. There aren’t a ton yet, but unless you know exactly which games have a demo and head directly to their Eshop page, you’ll have to blindly look for them.

In lieu of an official solution, we’ve rounded up every game with a demo on the Switch Eshop. We’ll continue to update this as more are released, but hopefully Nintendo has a fix on the way–particularly as the store continues to get crowded with more and more game releases. For a look at what Nintendo has improved about the system, check out the details of the latest big Switch system update.

Blaster Master Zero

A remake of the classic game Blaster Master, the demo of Blaster Master Zero allows you to jump into two different stages from the full game.

Disgaea 5 Complete

Disgaea 5’s demo on Switch allows you to get a good taste of the full game’s early portion, even allowing you to save your progress and return to it later. However, it’s important to be aware that you can’t transfer that save data to the full game–you’ll be starting over from scratch if you decide to purchase it.

Just Dance 2017

Just Dance 2017 features a demo that supports play with the Joy-Cons or mobile devices. If you opt for the latter option, you’ll also need to download the Just Dance Controller app (which you can easily grab by scanning a QR code the demo presents) and connect your phone and Switch to the same Wi-Fi network.

Just Dance 2018

Ahead of Just Dance 2018’s release, a demo is available… but you can’t currently get it on the Eshop. That will likely be resolved once the game is out and it’s given an Eshop page, but in the meantime, you’ll have to head to Amazon, “buy” the demo, and redeem a code on the Eshop.

Monster Hunter XX

Monster Hunter XX is the enhanced Switch version of 3DS game Monster Hunter Generations. With Monster Hunter World on the way to the West, Capcom hasn’t announced official plans to bring XX out of Japan–and that means its Eshop demo is Japan-only. Fortunately, with the Switch not being region locked, the process of creating a Japanese Eshop account and grabbing the demo is quite straightforward. Just be prepared for a lot of Japanese text.


The Zelda-like Oceanhorn’s Switch demo allows you to play through the game’s first full chapter and get a taste of combat and its world.

Pokken Tournament DX

Like Nintendo demos in the past, there are some restrictions on how much you’re able to play the demo of Pokken Tournament DX. You’re limited to a total of 15 matches, which can be played against the computer or a second player locally. The demo also features a tutorial to help you make the most of those matches.

Project Octopath Traveler

Despite being early enough that it doesn’t even have a final title, a demo is out for Square Enix RPG Project Octopath Traveler. You can check out the first chapter of two different characters’ stories.

Puyo Puyo Tetris

Puyo Puyo Tetris includes a fairly generous demo, with a tutorial, single-player, and multiplayer components, as well as a manual. Just be aware that the single-player mode is incredibly challenging.

Rayman Legends

The demo for Rayman Legends provides a selection of levels from the very beginning of the game. You can play it on your own or with a co-op companion locally using a pair of Joy-Cons.

Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together

Perhaps the single best co-op game on the platform, Snipperclips features a small demo with a few levels from the full game. As it’s critical to the experience, you can play multiplayer locally, with each player using a single Joy-Con.

Spelunker Party

Spelunker Party’s demo provides limited access to the full game’s features, allowing you to dive into a cave with up to four players locally. There are some restrictions on local multiplayer, however, such as only the first player’s gear accumulating experience. This is another game where you’re able to play with another Joy-Con, making two-player co-op very easy.


Voez is a rhythm game where you play using the Switch’s touchscreen. This makes it the rare title that can only be played in handheld mode, a limitation that extends to the demo. When first starting out, you’ll be presented with a tutorial that helps to explain the controls.

Limited-Time Demos

You may have heard references to ways to try Arms and Splatoon 2 previously, but neither of these games offers a traditional demo. Instead, they have Global Testpunch and Testfire versions, respectively, which allow you to play a limited amount of each game online during very specific periods of time. There’s been no word from Nintendo on when or if we will see either of these trial versions made playable again.

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Overwatch Halloween Terror 2017: Here's All The New Skins And Weapons Download Games PC Mac Android all Device

Game Downloads October 21, 2017

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It’s October, and with Halloween drawing near, Blizzard is marking the occasion with a new Overwatch seasonal event. Halloween Terror 2017 is officially underway after some leaks, and what that means is there are new skins to get your hands on–but they’ll only be distributed for a limited time.

As it did in 2016, Halloween Terror replaces the standard Loot Box with a special themed one. This allows you to get the exclusive Halloween Terror 2016 cosmetics in addition to more than 50 new ones. Among them are a variety of skins, including Legendary ones for Ana, McCree, Zenyatta, and Symmetra. You can check out all of the new skins currently up for grabs in the gallery above. You can obtain Loot Boxes by leveling up or purchasing them, as usual. Any items you get can be used year-round, though they’re only obtainable during the event itself.

In addition to simply offering new cosmetics, there’s also a new way to play. 2016’s Junkenstein’s Revenge event has made a return; this co-op, Horde-style mode has players facing off against waves of AI-controlled enemies. A new endless option this year allows you to see just how many waves your team of four can make it through. Leaderboards will track your progress and allow players to compete for the top spot.

Halloween Terror 2017 is now underway on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. It runs until November 2 on all platforms. For a look at other celebrations, check out our roundup of all the in-game Halloween events and updates.

Corsair Ana

Corsair Ana

Corsair Ana

Van Helsing McCree

Van Helsing McCree

Jiangshi Mei

Jiangshi Mei

Dracula Reaper

Dracula Reaper

Dragon Symmetra

Dragon Symmetra

Dragon Symmetra

Dragon Symmetra

Viking Torbjorn

Viking Torbjorn

Viking Torbjorn

Viking Torbjorn

Viking Torbjorn

Totally ’80s Zarya

Totally ’80s Zarya

Cultist Zenyatta

Cultist Zenyatta

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WWE TLC 2017: Match Card & Predictions Download Games PC Mac Android all Device

Game Downloads October 20, 2017

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This Sunday, October 22, the team of Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose reunites once again as The Shield to take on The Miz and his four stars in a TLC handicap match. That’s not the only big match happening at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Raw brand-exclusive PPV, TLC, has six other matches, including the debut of former NXT women’s champion Asuka.

It all kicks off at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT on the WWE Network, with the Kickoff Show happening one hour earlier. Here’s the entire match card and our predictions.

[UPDATE] The Finn Balor match and the main event have been changed due to medical issues.

Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox (Kickoff Match)

Alicia Fox recently attacked Sasha Banks backstage and now the two are involved in a heated rivalry. Banks and Fox will have the chance to take their aggression out on each other during the Kickoff show, which airs one our prior to the main card. I don’t see Banks losing this one. She feels buried, and she’s way too talented to keep losing matches like this.

Our prediction: Sasha Banks wins

Asuka vs. Emma

Asuka is making her debut at TLC. If you’re not familiar with the Empress of Tomorrow, she held the NXT women’s championship for over 500 days and currently has a win-streak longer than Goldberg’s during the ’90s. Sorry Emma, but there’s no chance Asuka is losing during her debut.

Our prediction: Asuka wins

Secondary prediction: The match is no longer than 1 minute

Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Mickie James

(For the Raw Women’s Championship)

Alexa Bliss and Mickie James have been locked in the feud revolving around James’ age–which we break down in better detail here. Now, Bliss will defend the Women’s Championship at TLC, and while she’s been a great champion, James will get the win. It will add more to her legacy at WWE and knock Bliss down a peg or two.

Our prediction: Mickie James wins

Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann vs. Gentleman Jack Gallagher & The Brian Kendrick

The first of two 205 Live matches–yes, two matches–has Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander taking on the team of Jack Gallagher and The Brian Kendrick. This match could go either way as it’s not really compelling, and it’s a bit of a bummer to see this taking a spot on the main card, with so much other talent on the Monday night show not in the spotlight. Anyway, I’m giving the win to Alexander and Swann, with the hopes of seeing Swann dance.

Our prediction: Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann win

Kalisto (c) vs. Enzo Amore

(For the Cruiserweight Championship)

Enzo Amore has waged war against the cruiserweight division, and while he beat Neville for the title, he quickly lost it to Kalisto. Enzo is getting his rematch at TLC in order to prove he’s more than a one-trick-pony. I can see Enzo winning the title here, but every fiber in my being doesn’t want that to happen. Sure, Enzo winning would be better for moving the storyline forward, but I’m giving the win to Kalisto because he’s so much more talented in the ring.

Our prediction: Kalisto wins… please let Kalisto win

The Demon vs. AJ Styles

[UPDATE] Due to medical issues, Bray Wyatt AKA Sister Abigail will not appear at TLC. He has been replaced with Smackdown star AJ Styles. There is no story between these two stars, which is a bit of a bummer; however, Styles vs. Balor is a dream match, especially if you followed the exploits of the two in New Japan. It’s a battle between two men who at one time led the Bullet Club in New Japan.

Our prediction: This could go either way; however, I’m giving the win to AJ Styles in hopes that this will be a new storyline, leading into Survivor Series.

Secondary prediction: It will be match of the night.

[Original story] Everyone has a dark side, Finn Balor’s is The Demon, a madman with an immense amount of willpower that will not go down. Bray Wyatt–an already dark character–has Sister Abigail, which we known nothing about–thankfully Abigail is Wyatt and WWE didn’t introduce another character as her. This is going to be a weird battle, but I’m thinking this will swing in Balor’s favor, in the hopes that Wyatt becomes lost in this new Sister Abigail persona.

Our prediction: Finn Balor wins

Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, & Kurt Angle vs. Braun Strowman, The Miz, Kane, Cesaro & Sheamus (TLC Handicap Match)

[UPDATE] If this image looks poorly photoshopped, it’s because WWE hasn’t put an image together for the match. Roman Reigns is out of the main event, even though the whole match revolves around The Shield reuniting in one big nostalgiafest. However, in a pretty spectacular surprise, Kurt Angle will join Ambrose and Rollins to battle The Miz and his team. Angle hasn’t wrestled for WWE in over 10 years, so there’s a bit of a worry about his inclusion in this match, especially since it’s a TLC match. He’ll more than likely be able to keep up–and better than many returning stars we’ve seen at big PPVs the past few years–but Angle’s inclusion changes the whole dynamic of the match.

Our prediction: The Miz and company win

Secondary prediction: Kane pins Angle and a feud begins between them for Survivor Series

[Original story] Finally, nostalgia plays a major factor into the main event, as Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns have joined forced to reform their team The Shield in order to take on The Miz, Braun Strowman, Kane, and The Bar in a handicap match. The odds are stacked against the good guys, and because of that, I’m giving the win to The Shield. They should be able to overcome said odds and triumph over Miz’s ridiculously overpowered team.

Our prediction: The Shield wins

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Check Out Cool New Batman And Harley Quinn Black-And-White Statues Download Games PC Mac Android all Device

Game Downloads October 20, 2017

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The Batman: Black & White series takes your favorite versions of Batman from DC Comics and turns them into statues worthy to display in your house. Each one is designed after an artist’s take on the Caped Crusader. In the past, we’ve seen Batman statues based on the artwork of Mike Mignola (Batman), Dawyn Cooke (DC New Frontier), Frank Miller (The Dark Knight Returns), and many others.

DC Collectibles have released two new statues for its Batman Black & White series, both based on the artwork of Harley Quinn artist Amanda Conner and sculpted by Jonathan Matthews. Both the Batman and Harley Quinn statues are newly available on the DC Collectibles website, cost $80 each, and are 1:10 scale, coming in at around 7 inches each. Let’s take a closer look at these statues to check out the detail.

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The 10 Greatest WWE Moves Passed Down Through Families Like A Brutal Inheritance Download Games PC Mac Android all Device

Game Downloads October 20, 2017

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Here’s how wrestlers celebrate their lineage.

If you watch professional wrestling long enough, you’ll notice little allusions to prior events and prior wrestlers. And one of the coolest ways to call back to wrestling’s illustrious history is to perform an older wrestler’s signature move.

Here are 10 WWE wrestling moves with historical, familial weight. They’ve been passed down through families, from father to son, father to daughter, and uncle to nephew. They show love to the prior generation. They communicate the influence older wrestlers have on the young guns. And they elevate younger wrestlers, positioning them as inheritors of legacies bigger than themselves.

Which ones are your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

The Samoan Drop

When watching WWE, you’ll notice a disportionate number of Samoan performers. For that, you can thank the massive Anoa’i family, who have been a key part of WWE history for close to 40 years. Among the most famous Anoa’i family members are the late Yokozuna, Rikishi, the late Umaga, and The Rock (through blood brother status). Current members of the family in WWE include Roman Reigns, Jimmy and Jey Uso, and Nia Jax, who is The Rock’s cousin.

The Anoa’is’ signature move is the aptly nicknamed Samoan drop. The Rock’s grandfather, “High Chief” Peter Maivia, used it. Roman Reigns’ father Sika (who formed the Wild Samoans with his brother Afa) used it. And everyone from the current generation uses it as a signature move. Jax even uses it as a finisher.

The best Samoan drop is Umaga’s, hands down. He does more than just drop his opponent. He slams him, with ill intent, using every bit of force that he can muster.

The Iron Claw

Back in the old days, before Vince McMahon drove all the territories out of business, the Von Erichs were the golden boys of Texas, with gleaming hair, chiseled physiques, and freshly scrubbed appeal. The patriarch of the family, Fritz Von Erich, had six sons; five of them became wrestlers. And their calling card was their father’s innovative Iron Claw. They reached out, grabbed their opponents’ foreheads with their massive hands, and squeezed as hard as they could.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Kerry Von Erich wrestled in WWE as the Texas Tornado. And at SummerSlam 1990, he applied his father’s Iron Claw to win the Intercontinental Championship from Mr. Perfect.

The years have not been kind to the Von Erichs. Five out of the six sons are dead—three from suicide, the others from illness. But surviving son Kevin Von Erich still performs the Iron Claw at special appearances. And Kerry’s daughter Lacey Von Erich, who wrestled in TNA, also used the move before retiring in 2010.

The Million Dollar Dream

Before Vince McMahon became an on-screen character, he channeled his “evil billionaire” persona through Ted DiBiase, the Million Dollar Man. Ted tipped with hundred dollar bills. He challenged a young child to dribble a basketball and kicked it away before the last bounce. He tried to buy his way to the WWE Championship.

His finisher was the cobra clutch, which he called the Million Dollar Dream hold. It was lights out once he locked this on, and he would finish the humiliation by stuffing a hundred dollar bill into his unconscious opponent’s mouth

When his son, Ted DiBiase Jr., made his WWE debut in 2008, he picked up his father’s gimmick and also adopted his father’s finishing move. But after a while, he started putting his own twist on the move. He first debuted the Dream Crusher, which incorporated a Russian leg sweep into the cobra clutch. But the best iteration of the move was Dream Street, which transitioned from the cobra clutch into a slam that resembled the Rock Bottom. Rather than copying his father directly, young Ted asserted, through his moveset, that he wanted to be his own man.

The Gory Special

The Guerrero family, like the Anoaʻi family, is wrestling royalty. Eddie Guerrero is the most known to current fans, but his father, Gory Guerrero, was a true innovator of his craft. He’s given credit for innovating two moves: the camel clutch and the self-named Gory special, which stretches and submits an opponent, back-to-back.

When Gory’s grandson, Chavo Guerrero Jr., arrived in WWE, he used a modified version of the Gory special as his finisher. He incorporated a painful-looking facebuster at the very end and called it the Gory bomb. Again, it was a nod to his famous wrestling heritage and an assertion of his individual identity.

The Sharpshooter

The Calgary-based Hart family is best known for their technically proficient, snug style—a product of training in patriarch Stu Hart’s basement, also known in wrestling circles as The Dungeon. Graduates of The Dungeon include Chris Jericho, Edge, Lance Storm, Chris Benoit, and Mark Henry. And of course, prodigal sons Bret Hart and the late Owen Hart were two of Stu’s most famous pupils.

Stu was a big proponent of stretching—of putting his pupils in submission holds, for real, in order to teach them respect and endurance. But the one thing he did not teach his sons was their most famous move, the Sharpshooter submission hold.

It was actually taught to Bret by Cuban wrestler Konnan. But on WWE television, it was incorrectly attributed to Stu, perhaps because WWE Creative wanted to build up the family’s mystique. To this day, however, the move is still synonymous with the Hart family. Bret and Owen’s niece Natalya, the current SmackDown women’s champion, uses it as her finisher.

The Power Slam

A member of the Hart family by marriage, the late British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith was a graduate of the Hart family’s Dungeon and a powerhouse in the ring. His finisher was the power slam. He would take a running start from the turnbuckle in order to get maximum impact.

In 2007, Davey’s son, DH Smith, debuted in WWE. Like his father, he was massive, and like his father, he also used a running power slam. Unfortunately, however, his mic skills didn’t hold up to his ringwork. After his Hart Dynasty stable (with Tyson Kidd and Natalya) broke up, Smith left WWE. He still wrestles, most recently with New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he won the IWGP tag team championship this September.

The Perfect-Plex

Mr. Perfect was aptly named. He never got further than the mid-card, but the man was a technical wizard in the ring. And his finisher, the Perfect-plex, was a thing of beauty. It was a bridging cradle suplex, and it was a perfect heel finisher; it had the kind of showmanship that fit Perfect’s cocky persona.

His son, Curtis Axel, also used the Perfect-plex for some time. But it didn’t have the same impact as his father’s. Back in the old days, almost no one would kick out of the move (Bret Hart at SummerSlam 1991 was a notable exception). Nowadays, the bridging cradle suplex, like the once-devastating DDT, has become a regular move in many wrestlers’ arsenals.

Axel still performs for WWE, where he’s currently a member of the Miztourage stable. Hopefully, he’s got one more Intercontinental title run in him before he hangs up his boots.

The Three Amigos

When Eddie Guerrero died suddenly in 2005, there was an outpouring of grief and tributes. He was one of WWE’s most beloved superstars, both by fans and in the locker room. And all the wrestlers had their own way of paying tribute. They wore T-shirts that said “I’m your papi!” They did his signature chest pound. They shared stories about his life.

But the best tribute was by Eddie’s nephew, Chavo Guerrero, years after Eddie’s death. It was during the 2011 Royal Rumble, and after entering the ring, Chavo performed Eddie’s Three Amigos suplexes on everyone within reach. He finished his tribute by pointing to the sky and performing Eddie’s trademark shoulder shake. The crowd gave him a standing ovation, and rightly so.

The Superfly Splash

Towards the end of his life, Jimmy Snuka was submerged in a cloud of suspicion, stemming from a murder accusation. But in his heyday—the early- to mid-80’s—he was a high-flying superstar. His Superfly Splash, a caution-to-the-wind, open-armed dive off the top-rope, was iconic, particularly when he dove onto Don Muraco from the top of a steel cage in 1983.

His daughter Tamina, currently on the SmackDown brand, performs a version of her father’s finisher. But instead of diving with her arms up, palms out, she dives with her arms back and fingers splayed behind her to emphasize her forward movement.

The Figure-Four Leglock

What more can be said about Ric Flair? He’s the Nature Boy. Space Mountain. The Dirtiest Player in the Game. A limousine riding, jet flying, wheeling and dealing, kiss stealing, son of a gun. And he’s quite possibly the greatest sports entertainer to ever live.

When his daughter, Charlotte Flair, came up through NXT, she staked a claim on the women’s division, both as the daughter of a Hall of Famer and as one of the most athletic women on the roster.

There’s a difference between an average figure-four leglock and a Ric Flair figure-four leglock, which comes complete with theatricals, hip swivels, and “WOOO”s. Charlotte must have known that she couldn’t top that show. So instead, she modified her father’s finisher to suit her. Charlotte refers to her figure-four leglock as a figure-eight leglock. She performs a bridge stretch after locking in the hold—a nod to her competitive gymnastics background.

It’s nothing if not effective; Charlotte is now is a six-time champion, which means she’s only ten more title reigns away from her legendary dad.

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Overwatch Halloween Terror 2017: Here's Every New Skins And Weapons Download Games PC Mac Android all Device

Game Downloads October 20, 2017

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It’s October, and with Halloween drawing near, Blizzard is marking the occasion with a new Overwatch seasonal event. Halloween Terror 2017 is officially underway after some leaks, and what that means is there are new skins to get your hands on–but they’ll only be distributed for a limited time.

As it did in 2016, Halloween Terror replaces the standard Loot Box with a special themed one. This allows you to get the exclusive Halloween Terror 2016 cosmetics in addition to more than 50 new ones. Among them are a variety of skins, including Legendary ones for Ana, McCree, Zenyatta, and Symmetra. You can check out all of the new skins currently up for grabs in the gallery above. You can obtain Loot Boxes by leveling up or purchasing them, as usual. Any items you get can be used year-round, though they’re only obtainable during the event itself.

In addition to simply offering new cosmetics, there’s also a new way to play. 2016’s Junkenstein’s Revenge event has made a return; this co-op, Horde-style mode has players facing off against waves of AI-controlled enemies. A new endless option this year allows you to see just how many waves your team of four can make it through. Leaderboards will track your progress and allow players to compete for the top spot.

Halloween Terror 2017 is now underway on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. It runs until November 2 on all platforms. For a look at other celebrations, check out our roundup of all the in-game Halloween events and updates.

Corsair Ana

Corsair Ana

Corsair Ana

Van Helsing McCree

Van Helsing McCree

Jiangshi Mei

Jiangshi Mei

Dracula Reaper

Dracula Reaper

Dragon Symmetra

Dragon Symmetra

Dragon Symmetra

Dragon Symmetra

Viking Torbjorn

Viking Torbjorn

Viking Torbjorn

Viking Torbjorn

Viking Torbjorn

Totally ’80s Zarya

Totally ’80s Zarya

Cultist Zenyatta

Cultist Zenyatta

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The 10 Worst Anime And Manga Adaptations Hollywood's Ever Ruined Download Games PC Mac Android all Device

Game Downloads October 19, 2017

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Which one do you hate the most?

Hollywood keeps trying and failing with anime and manga adaptations. They’ve explored every genre possible, but it’sAmerican audiences still don’t care. It’s difficult to trust the quality of these films when end result is so often a disappointment.

So what’s the best way to know what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s worst? With a list of course! These are the worst anime and manga adaptations Hollywood’s ever insulted our intelligence with.

What are your least favorite anime adaptations ever? Let us know in the comments.

Speed Racer (2008)

Speed Racer is another financial disaster, but at least it’s entertaining, and captures some of the spirit of the anime. It’s bright, colorful, and plays out like a long acid trip. Then again, that’s very Wachowskis. It’s not the absolute worst, which you’ll see in the following slides.

Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Casting controversy aside, this film is terrible no matter who was cast. It’s offensive, dry, and all around ineffective as an adaptation. It would have been even worse if it weren’t for WETA and their stunning CGI work. Along with gorgeous costumes and alluring imagery, it saves the film from being a complete catastrophe.

Blood: The Last Vampire (2009)

The story is altered so much that it’s unrecognizable. To be fair, the main protagonist’s characteristics remain intact and the movie has a few enjoyable moments. It isn’t a great watch but underneath it all, there is potential there for something that could have been better.

Dragon Ball Evolution (2009)

Miscast, misdirected, and a complete mistake–critics have thrown the book at this one. Yet it’s managed a 14% score on Rotten Tomatoes when it should be at zero. The film is such a cinematic eyesore that many of those involved have gone on record to say they regret participating. Can you blame them?

The Guyver (1991)

One of the first anime adaptations to be made in Hollywood on the low budget circuit, this 1991 cheese-fest is based on the manga Bio Booster Armor Guyver by Yoshiki Takaya. Starring Jack Armstrong and Mark Hamill, the story centers around Sean, who discovers a military warfare suit of alien origin. The suit bonds with Sean’s body turning him into the corniest looking superhero alive.

Fist of the North Star (1995)

Starring Gary Daniels and bunch of other actors you don’t know, it’s no wonder people don’t know this film exist. This is a good thing. With some of the worst dialogue, fight choreography, and acting ever, the fewer people know about this the better.

Crying Freeman (1995)

It’s a story that works better as an anime than a live-action movie. There’s plenty of Japanese cultural references that the adaptation leaves out. The film tries to work with the basic premise, but Crying Freeman ends up being a poorly acted snoozefest.

Kite (2014)

It’s great that Hollywood decided to take a more obscure title and turn it into a movie. However, Kite isn’t a good anime to begin with, so this was destined to fail. Lucky for fans, it went straight to DVD, so the production studio didn’t seem to lose much. But fans sure wasted time watching this. The only thing it has going for its is an appearance by Samuel L. Jackson.

Death Note (2017)

Wilhem Defoe as Ryuk is surprisingly charming, and the soundtrack is killer, but that’s where compliments stop. This film takes everything that makes the Death Note anime series great and tosses it in the trash. A suspenseful noir thriller is turned into a goofy, teen angst spoof that isn’t taken seriously within the anime fandom.

Oldboy (2013)

This was never an anime. The plot was taken straight off the manga page and turned into live action–twice. The 2007 Korean version is a cult classic. It’s a dynamic film that took risk. The Hollywood version from 2013 starring Josh Brolin is a scene for scene remake that flopped at the box office. And of course it did. Why watch a scene for scene remake when you have the original?

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10 Things To Do Immediately After Building Or Buying A PC Download Games PC Mac Android all Device

Game Downloads October 19, 2017

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We still get an adrenaline rush whenever we complete a new build or unbox a fancy new system. All we want to do at that point is plug it in, punch the power switch, and make a beeline for our Steam library where plenty of gaming goodness awaits. But here’s the thing—if you want to get the most out of your shiny new PC, there are some things you should do at the outset.

Sure, you could ignore our advice and ride off into the sunset, but your PC might not perform at its peak. Worse yet, if there is a hardware issue, it could fly under the radar undetected until the most inopportune time. That’s a headache you can do without. By going through our new PC checklist, you can greatly reduce the chance of that happening, as well as make sure you are getting the most out of your system.

Check The BIOS

This one can be a little scary if you’re brand new to PCs, and if that’s the case, you might want to enlist the help of a more experienced friend or family member. Whether you go at it alone or with someone else, it might be a good idea to check for any BIOS updates from your motherboard manufacturer’s website (navigate to the support section). You don’t necessarily have to install a newer BIOS version, depending on the release notes. However, BIOS updates can sometimes improve compatibility with certain hardware, such as your CPU and memory. If there is a newer version available that adds features applicable to your setup, go ahead and install it. Otherwise, you may want to leave it alone.

Update Windows

Grabbing Windows updates is sort of like filing taxes—nobody really enjoys the experience, but it has to be done or else it could come back to bite you in the backside. An unpatched PC is susceptible to any number of threats on the web. Beyond the added security, Windows updates can also improve functionality of certain devices and services, as well as add new features and functionality.

Unfortunately, sometimes this can be a long process. If you bought a new PC, it depends on how long ago it was actually built. And if there is major update available, like the recently released Fall Creators Update for Windows 10, it could even take upward of an hour or more, depending on your Internet connection.

Microsoft likes to force automatic updates, but to initiate the process manually, head to Settings > Update & security and click on the Check for updates button. A reboot (or several) might be necessary, so plan accordingly.

Clear Out The Clutter

In the old days, new PCs often came loaded with performance robbing bloatware. This annoying practice is not as popular as it used to be, but it hasn’t fallen completely by the wayside, either. That is one of the many perks to building your own system—no third-party bloat.

If you decided to buy instead of build, head to the Control Panel and start uninstalling programs and utilities that you don’t want. Not everything in there is junk, though, so pay attention to what you’re removing. You might also find that some pre-installed utilities are actually useful, such as software to control your PC’s onboard audio.

Another option is to use PC Decrapifier, which allows you to choose multiple programs at once to uninstall rather than removing them one at a time.

Install The Latest Drivers

Windows does a good job of recognizing many different types of hardware, but specialized drivers by the hardware manufacturer can boost performance and unlock features that might otherwise lay dormant. Take a gaming keyboard, for example. If it has dedicated macro keys and fancy multi-colored backlighting, you might need a driver and even a software utility from the manufacturer to use those features.

This also applies to your motherboard, and especially your graphics card. Grab the latest chipset drivers for your motherboard manufacturer’s website, and be sure to install the latest GPU drivers from AMD or Nvidia if rolling with a discrete graphics card, or AMD or Intel if using integrated graphics. Repeat the process for your GPU whenever a new game comes out that you are interested in playing. Both AMD and Nvidia are good about releasing new drivers that are optimized for the latest titles.

Go Over The Edge And Get A New Browser

Not all browsers are created equal. Sure, they will all get you from point A to point B on the web, but if you’re not digging Edge, the default option in Windows 10, there are several alternatives available. The most popular ones are Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.

If you are concerned about privacy, you might want to try Brave. It’s a newer browser option that purportedly blocks website trackers and, by default, replaces ads on websites with ones that don’t negatively impact page loads. Check out this blog post for more info.

Grab Your Favorite Utilities With Ninite

Do you use a lot of different programs on your PC, such as TeamViewer, 7-Zip, and VLC, to name a few favorites? If so, head to Ninite and start checking boxes. Unlike PC Decrapifier, which works its mojo by removing programs in one fell swoop, Ninite works in the opposite direction by streamlining the process of adding multiple applications to your PC. It’s incredibly convenient, and also well configured—it knows to install 64-bit versions of programs on 64-bit machines, it grabs the latest stable version of an app, and it doesn’t install any toolbars or other junk that app makers sometimes like to bundle with their installers. Basically, Ninite does what you do, only faster and with less clicks.

Benchmark Your Hardware

Benchmarks are not just for bragging rights, they can also root out faulty hardware and let you know if your parts are all performing the way they should. This is sort of like pressing the pedal to the metal in a new car—if it spits and sputters, then the dealer has some explaining to do, and might even have to replace some parts (if not the whole thing). The same is true of a new PC—burn it in and see where the dust settles.

The best way to do this is by benchmarking individual components. For gaming, the GPU is the most important piece of hardware. 3DMark is great for testing your graphics card. There are two things you want to look for here. One is artifacting, which can be indicative of a bad GPU or graphics memory, and the second is the benchmark score. You will want to compare this with other similar setups. A lower than expected score can be caused by using outdated drivers, insufficient cooling, or even not enough wattage being supplied to your graphics card.

You should also test your CPU, storage, and Internet connection. Check out our “How To Benchmark Your New PC for Free” guide for plenty of free benchmark recommendations.

Shields Up!

Your best bet against malware is to use safe computing habits. You know, things like never opening unexpected email attachments, typing URLs directly into your browser instead of clicking on links, and using secure passwords. However, safe computing is like safe driving—you can’t account for every possible scenario, and you’re susceptible to other people’s mistakes. Take a legitimate website that’s been hacked. Just visiting a compromised website can infect your PC.

One option at your disposal is to trust the built-in security tools that Microsoft provides with Windows (if you’re using Windows). Windows Defender is not a fleshed out security solution, but it does an adequate job of batting away malware.

If you want something more robust, there are plenty of third-party alternatives, including both free and fee-based options. It’s really not necessary to pay for protection, but if you want additional bells and whistles, Internet security suites are the way to go. Otherwise, some popular free options include Avast, Avira, AVG, BitDefender, and Comodo.

Add Another Layer Of Protection

Antivirus programs are good at providing a first line of defense, but they sometimes let things through. That is where Malwarebytes comes in. Malwarebytes performs a deep dive on your system to root out stubborn malware, including what are called “potentially unwanted programs” (PUPs) that might have piggybacked on an installer for some other program. Install Malwarebytes and then scan your PC with it every few months, or anytime you have cause to believe your PC is infected despite a clean bill of health by your AV software.

You should also scan for rootkits on occasion. Rootkits are especially nasty because they hide deep in your system and are often difficult to remove using standard AV programs. Malwarebytes offers a rootkit scanner (here) that is in beta. You can also find rootkit scanners from Sophos and Kaspersky (TDSSKiller).

Formulate A Backup Plan

The excitement of a new PC should not overshadow the need for a backup solution. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention will prevent you from smashing your keyboard in frustration from losing all of your data, or something like that. Don’t wait until it’s too late to think about backups.

There are plenty of ways you can go about this. One is to periodically backup your data to an external hard drive or NAS box. Another is to take advantage of cloud-storage sites like Google Drive or Dropbox. You don’t need to go nuts here, but at the very least, make sure your most precious files—work documents, family photos, and so forth—reside somewhere other than your PC.

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