The vampire game Redfall by Arkane Studios, which was bought by Microsoft after its acquisition of ZeniMax in March 2021. The director of the game, Harvey Smith, revealed that there was a “huge sea change” for Redfall after Microsoft bought the company, which included a decision to not bring the game to PlayStation 5.
While some are speculating that Arkane was working on a PS5 edition of Redfall and canceled it after the buyout, Microsoft has denied any such action and stated that it has not “pulled any games from PlayStation.” The company spokesperson also mentioned that Microsoft has expanded its footprint of games on Sony’s PlayStation since the acquisition of ZeniMax, and the first two games that were shipped after closing were PlayStation 5 exclusives.
However, some have criticized Microsoft for taking a formerly multiplatform game developer and assigning them to a single console platform, which in this case is Xbox. Nevertheless, Microsoft has always maintained that future decisions on whether to distribute ZeniMax games for other consoles will be made on a case-by-case basis.
In a separate interview, Smith reiterated that Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax allowed Arkane to focus on fewer platforms because PlayStation was no longer in the mix. He also mentioned that Redfall coming to Xbox Game Pass is a significant development because it expands the game’s potential audience considerably.
Redfall is set to launch on May 2 for Xbox Game Pass on console and PC. The game has an always-online requirement, even for its single-player mode, but Arkane may remove this requirement at some point.
Get ready for some humor and adventure with the upcoming release of Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. The film has already garnered positive reviews from special sneak screenings, with some comparing it to the first Guardians of the Galaxy. The final trailer dropped today, highlighting Chris Pine’s comedic timing and the fantastical creatures that inhabit the Forgotten Realms.
Directed and written by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, along with Michael Gilio, the film has been in development for almost a decade, drawing inspiration from a previous attempt by director Chris McKay and Gilio. The star-studded cast includes Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Justice Smith, Regé-Jean Page, Hugh Grant, and Sophia Lillis, each taking on a different class from the game.
Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves follows a charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers on an epic heist to retrieve a lost relic. However, their plans go awry when they cross paths with dangerous foes. With a playful spirit and action-packed adventure, the film brings the rich world of the legendary roleplaying game to the big screen. Don’t miss its nationwide release on March 31.
With millions of players registered on multiple platforms, PUBG: Battlegrounds has achieved incredible success since its launch. To celebrate its sixth anniversary, the battle royale shooter has released a list of impressive stats highlighting its milestones over the years. Available in 242 countries, the game has sold over 75 million units on consoles and PC, with a concurrent player peak of 3.25 million on Steam. It has also remained one of the platform’s most-played games and top-selling IPs for six consecutive years.
In total, PUBG: Battlegrounds boasts 150.7 million registered users who have played for a combined 16.3 billion hours. As part of its anniversary celebrations, the game has released its 22.2 update on consoles, featuring server fixes, map service, gameplay balancing, and a new Famas assault rifle. The update also includes map changes such as billboards, more hills on Deston, and a dirt racetrack on the peninsula south of Sancara.
Moreover, PUBG: Battlegrounds has introduced a new Progressive Weapon Skin for the AUG called Neon Dream, which will appear as a world spawn item. The game has also added a new BLACKPINK skin bundle featuring all four members of the K-pop group.
Launched as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in 2017, PUBG: Battlegrounds has become one of the leading battle royale games and has inspired numerous similar titles since its release.
A staple of every Mario game, the 1-Up mushroom is a lifesaver in fungal form that gives players an extra chance to complete a level. These green power-ups are synonymous with resurrection in the Mario Bros. universe, but what if there’s more to them than meets the eye?
According to a page from the Super Mario 64 manga, which dates back to 1996, Mario is caught in a cycle of eco-friendly life and death. The manga suggests that every time Mario dies in the Mushroom Kingdom, his body feeds the soil and produces 1-Up mushrooms that the next Mario can consume. This idea is intriguing but may seem like a joke or eccentric theory from the manga authors, as pointed out by the Twitter account Super Mario Broth. They clarify that it’s just an interesting thought experiment, and not something that would be endorsed by Nintendo.
As Mario prepares to make his big-screen debut in his first animated feature film, April is shaping up to be a significant month for the franchise. Super Mario Bros., set for release on April 5, is expected to gross between $85 million-$90 million at the US box office over the Easter weekend. The star-studded cast includes Chris Pratt as Mario, Charlie Day as Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, and Jack Black as Bowser.
Get ready for the only top-down roguelite shooter featuring AK-wielding axolotls – the cutest and deadliest creatures you’ll encounter. Take down hordes of animal kingdom enemies with a variety of kick-ass guns, powerful upgrades, and even raise an army of trigger-happy baby axolotls to assist you in battle.
Today, we have access to an enormous collection of manga with tens of thousands of titles and billions of volumes. The manga industry is highly competitive and diverse, with creators continuously striving to produce the next big hit like Demon Slayer or One Piece. Within this thrilling world, there are countless talented and skillful creators, some of whom become industry icons with legions of fans, while others remain in the underground manga scene. However, lesser-known manga is often just as exciting and incredible as their popular counterparts, and sometimes even more so. These hidden gems are some of the most unconventional, visually compelling, and enthralling works that a manga fan can discover.
Despite the abundance of great titles, many of them can be overshadowed by more mainstream options. Finding a high-quality but lesser-known manga can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. That’s why I’ve gathered a list of such titles here, with just two criteria: they must be truly excellent, and they must not be widely popular.
Illustrated by: Naoki Urasawa
Original Run: December 5, 1994 – December 20, 2001
Number of Volumes: 18
Total Chapters: 162
Storyline: In Monster, Kenzou Tenma, a highly respected Japanese neurosurgeon working in post-war Germany, must make a difficult choice between operating on Johan Liebert, a critically ill orphan boy, or the mayor of Düsseldorf. Against the wishes of his superiors, Tenma chooses to save Johan’s life, resulting in disastrous consequences for his career and personal life. Stripped of his position and abandoned by his fiancée, Tenma’s life takes a drastic turn when the hospital director is mysteriously killed, leading him to become entangled in a series of gruesome murders that have taken place throughout Germany. As the head of the surgical department, Tenma finds himself face-to-face with a monster—the very same one he saved years ago.
2. Vinland Saga
Illustrated by: Makoto Yukimura
Original Run: 2005 onwards
Number of Volumes: 26
Total Chapters: 198
Storyline: Vinland Saga is an epic manga set in 11th-century Europe, featuring Thorfinn, the son of a legendary Viking warrior. Thorfinn is a skilled fighter and a member of a group of mercenaries led by the cunning Askeladd. However, Thorfinn is not with the group for the riches they seek, but rather to seek revenge against Askeladd for a past tragedy that befell his family. As Thorfinn trains and fights alongside the mercenary crew, he finds himself caught in a world of violence and madness, where killing is just another part of life.When the group learns that a Danish prince has been taken hostage, Askeladd devises an ambitious plot that will determine the next King of England and have a profound impact on the lives of Thorfinn, the prince, and himself. With its vivid depiction of a brutal era, Vinland Saga offers a tale of bloody battles and gripping drama that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
3. Grand Blue (Grand Blue Dreaming)
Illustrated by: Kimitake Yoshioka
Original Run: 2014 – Present
Number of Volumes: 19
Total Chapters: 80
Storyline: Grand Blue is a comedic manga set in the seaside town of Izu, following the adventures of Iori Kitahara as he begins his freshman year at Izu University. After moving into his uncle’s scuba diving shop, Grand Blue, Iori eagerly looks forward to his dream college life, filled with beautiful girls and good friends. However, his plans are quickly derailed when he encounters a group of wild, naked upperclassmen who drag him into their boozy activities. Despite his initial reluctance, Iori soon becomes the life of the party, much to the dismay of his cousin Chisa Kotegawa, who catches him in the act. But Iori is undeterred and remains determined to have the time of his life at college, even if it means navigating through all kinds of hilariously absurd situations.
Illustrated by: Takehiko Inoue
Original Run: September 3, 1998 to May 21, 2015
Number of Volumes: 37
Total Chapters: 327
Storyline: Vagabond manga takes place in 16th-century Japan, following the story of Shinmen Takezou, a wild and aggressive young man who seeks a grander life beyond his provincial village with his friend, Matahachi Honiden. They join the Toyotomi army, but after a crushing defeat, Shinmen returns home to notify Matahachi’s family of his survival, only to be framed for his friend’s murder and left to die. Rescued by a monk, he takes on a new name, Musashi Miyamoto, and embarks on a journey to become the “Invincible Under the Heavens.” Vagabond is a retelling of Miyamoto’s life, from a swordsman focused only on his own glory to an enlightened warrior who learns the importance of friendship and self-reflection.
5. Oyasumi Punpun (Goodnight Punpun)
Illustrated by: Inio Asano
Original Run: March 15, 2007 to November 2, 2013
Number of Volumes: 13
Total Chapters: 147
Storyline: Oyasumi Punpun follows the life of Punpun Onodera, an ordinary 11-year-old boy living in Japan. He is idealistic and romantic, and his world is forever changed when he meets Aiko Tanaka, a new girl in his class. As he navigates the complexities of maintaining a relationship, Punpun also begins to confront the harsh realities of adulthood, particularly when he witnesses his father’s assault on his mother.
As Punpun’s problems mount, he withdraws from the world around him, becoming increasingly reclusive. However, this only intensifies his internal conflicts and sends him down a dark path towards maturity in this poignant coming-of-age tale.
6. GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka
Illustrated by: Tohru Fujisawa
Original Run: December 11, 1996 to January 30, 2002
Number of Volumes: 25
Total Chapters: 208
Storyline: The story follows the life of 22-year-old Eikichi Onizuka, a perverted former gang member who becomes a teacher at a high school. He faces numerous challenges, including a cunning Class 3-4 that is determined to have him removed from the school, the frustrated balding vice-principal, Hiroshi Uchiyamada, old enemies from his biker days, and his own unorthodox teaching methods. However, Eikichi remains determined to help his students, win over his love interest, fellow teacher Azusa Fuyutsuki, and earn his self-proclaimed title as the “Great Teacher Onizuka.” The series is known for its humor, social commentary, and heartwarming moments.
Illustrated by: Q Hayashida
Original Run: November 30, 2000, to September 12, 2018
Number of Volumes: 23
Total Chapters: 190
Storyline: The story takes place in Hole, a dark and chaotic district where the strong prey on the weak and death is an everyday occurrence. The area is a testing ground for the magic users who dominate it, and they see the powerless Hole dwellers as nothing more than insects. Murdered, mutilated, and experimented on without a second thought, the powerless residents of Hole are left to suffer. Despite the magic users’ indomitable authority, Caiman, a man with a reptilian appearance, hunts them down on a quest for answers with only a pair of bayonets and his immunity to magic. He is cursed by his appearance and tormented by nightmares, and magic users are his only clue to restoring his life to normal. His companion, Nikaidou, runs the restaurant Hungry Bug and is his greatest ally.
“Dorohedoro” is set in a gritty and hellish world, with a unique blend of comedy and lightheartedness that contrasts with the death and carnage that pervades the story. The plot takes many twists and turns while following the lives of Hole’s residents, weaving a world of unearthly origin and dreary appearance that is not for the faint of heart or easily disturbed.
8. Kokou no Hito (The Climber)
Illustrated by: Shinichi Sakamoto
Original Run: November 1, 2007 to October 27, 2011
Number of Volumes: 17
Total Chapters: 170
Storyline: The story follows Mori Buntarou, a lonesome and solitary high school student who discovers his passion for rock climbing after scaling his school building without a harness.
After reaching the top, Mori sees another peak in the distance, which inspires him to pursue rock climbing as a serious sport. He becomes dedicated to the arduous and demanding practice, enduring pain, and hardship as he climbs to the top of some of the world’s highest and most treacherous mountains. Through his journey, Mori faces numerous challenges and meets a cast of unique and compelling characters, including fellow climbers who become his friends, rivals, and mentors.
“Kokou no Hito” explores the themes of passion, determination, and the pursuit of greatness, as Mori strives to reach the top of the world and find his place in life.
9. Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End (Sousou no Frieren)
Illustrated by: Kanehito Yamada
Original Run: 2020 Onwards
Number of Volumes: 9
Total Chapters: 105
Storyline: After the defeat of the demon king, mage Frieren and her hero party members reminisce about their journey before parting ways. However, due to the elven lifespan, Frieren witnesses her companions pass away one by one. Before his death, priest Heiter leaves a young human apprentice, Fern, in Frieren’s care. Together, they embark on a journey to collect magic spells and revisit the places their former companions had been. As they travel, Frieren comes to terms with her regrets and missed opportunities to deepen her bonds with her now deceased comrades.
10. Witch Hat Atelier Mang (Tongari Boushi no Atelier)
Illustrated by: Kamome Shirahama
Original Run: 2017 Onwards
Number of Volumes: 10
Total Chapters: 58
Storyline: In the magical world of Witch Hat Atelier, Coco dreams of becoming a witch and learning the secrets of magic. When she accidentally discovers a magical book and starts experimenting with spells, she causes a disaster that puts her in danger. Fortunately, the skilled witch Qifrey saves her and takes her under his wing as his apprentice. Coco soon learns that there are strict rules governing the use of magic, and that not all witches are as kind as Qifrey. As she improves her skills, she must also navigate the treacherous politics of the magical world, including the dangerous Brimmed Caps, who seek to use forbidden magic to alter the human body.
Through it all, Coco remains determined to master magic and become a true witch. With the help of Qifrey and her fellow apprentices, she embarks on a journey of discovery and self-improvement, learning valuable lessons about friendship, courage, and the power of magic.
Verizon subscribers can now get their hands on an Xbox Series S for just $150, albeit for a limited time only. Though not the most powerful console, the Series S is perfect for playing most Game Pass bangers and Xbox exclusives. Even though the Series X is more powerful, the Series S is still a great console for a comfy couch setup in your living room, bedroom, or even bathroom. Simply login to your Verizon account, head over to the company’s store and you’ll be given an offer to buy the Xbox for $150. But keep in mind, this might not work for Fios-only members. If you decide to purchase the Series S, check out our list of the best Xbox Game Pass games for inspiration on what to play first.