Consoles Gaming

Epic Games Nets $1 Billion in Funding for Metaverse Growth

To say that Epic Games is a financial goldmine would be a massive understatement.

The game publisher/development studio powerhouse rose to prominence thanks to the Unreal Engine and Unreal Tournament, which paved the way for the company to become a money-making juggernaut due to Fortnite’s immense success. At the moment, Epic Games is valued at $28.7 billion. And judging by a recent round of funding, it looks like the established gaming operation will become even more profitable as time goes on. On April 13, Epic Games proudly announced via a blog post that it just got done completing a $1 billion round of funding. One of the largest investments came from Sony Group Corporation with $200 million – this latest batch of funding follows another investment from Sony that resulted in Epic netting $250 million in July of 2020, which was reported by PC Gamer.

“Epic continues to deliver revolutionary experiences through their array of cutting edge technologies that support creators in gaming and across the digital entertainment industry. We are excited to strengthen our collaboration to bring new entertainment experiences to people around the world. I strongly believe that this aligns with our purpose to fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology,” said Kenichiro Yoshida, Chairman, President and CEO, Sony Group Corporation. Some of the other companies that chose to invest in Epic Games’ further growth include BlackRock, Appaloosa, Baillie Gifford, Luxor Capital, etc.

Tim Sweeney, CEO and founder of Epic Games, noted that this latest round of funding will play a huge role in furthering its “Metaverse” growth efforts. “We are grateful to our new and existing investors who support our vision for Epic and the Metaverse. Their investment will help accelerate our work around building connected social experiences in Fortnite, Rocket League and Fall Guys, while empowering game developers and creators with Unreal Engine, Epic Online Services and the Epic Games Store,” Sweeny stated. Seeing as how Fortnite has morphed into the ultimate crossover gaming experience, it comes as no surprise that a ton of outside entities are hitching their financial wagons to Epic Games’ continued success.

When the term metaverse gets mentioned, visions of an interconnected virtual world that requires a single login for all of Epic Games’ thriving titles come to mind. Imagine a future where players hop into a game session that allows them to seamlessly move between Fortnite, Rocket League, Fall Guys, and any other future gaming IP’s the company chooses to develop next.

Epic Games is certainly going through a lot at the moment. The gaming entity is doing its best to keep pushing Epic Games Store as the go-to marketplace for PC games and smack dab in the middle of an antitrust lawsuit against Apple. Judging by the two tweets posted above, Tim Sweeny is quite unbothered by recent reports of his company bleeding money due to its decision to give free games to users of its digital gaming storefront. And with the stacks of cash coming in from Fortnite on the regular, it looks and sounds like Epic Games’ financial wins will far outweigh its mounting losses.

Sports Strength

The 20 Best Looking Wrestling Championship Belts of All Time

“To be the man, you gotta beat the man” – “Nature Boy” Ric Flair.

You’ve heard one of wrestling’s greatest personalities utter that indelible catchphrase and cement it for any and every wrestler that came after him. And to this very day, it still manages to ring true. In order to claim the top spot, one must overcome them in the squared circle and claim their much sought-after position. And nine times out of 10, beating the top dog in a wrestling federation comes with the biggest prize of all – a gorgeous championship belt that means that the man or woman that claimed it will now be regarded as the very best in their respective division. 

From the very early stages of professional wrestling, fans’ eyes have been graced by some of the grandest title belts of all time. Witnessing one of the GOATs come down the ramp with their championship prize around their waist or over their shoulder is a familiar sight that always elicits a reaction, whether good or bad. We took a good look at a nice variety of titles from a large assortment of wrestling companies and left the ring with 18 of the very best. These wrestling title belts embody the pomp and circumstance that comes with being a professional wrestler and the grandeur attached to being a champion.

20. TNA X Division Championship (Second Version)
The LeatherAble

TNA’s X Division Championship has gone through a number of changes since being introduced to the upstart wrestling brand back in 2002. The one that sticks out the most as the finest to us is the second iteration that saw its grand debut back in 2007. This version of the belt was increased in size over its predecessor, which made it look so much grander. The red color accents on the TNA and X portions of this title belt match up perfectly with the remainder of its gold coloring. TNA/Impact Wrestling has a history of crafting gorgeous championship belts and this is certainly one of the best examples of that.

19. NWA World Television Championship

Props to Billy Corgan and the rest of the backstage personnel that revived the National Wrestling Alliance. Thanks to the return of the old-school wrestling brand that once dominated the business, fans have been treated to the return of some of the finest title belts in wrestling history. One of those belts is the current version of the NWA World Television Championship. Back in the day, it elicited reactions of shock and awe while it was adorned in a red strap. And in its current state, it still maintains a high sense of beauty thanks to its black strap. This bad boy is certainly easy on the eyes and will hopefully hang around as the only title belt rendition for years to come.

18. WCWA World Heavyweight Championship (1986-1989)

The World Class Wrestling Association promotion was the talk of the wrestling world during its 80s heyday. Territory stars such as the Von Erich brothers, the Fabulous Freebirds, and “Gentleman” Chris Adams put the company on the map and kept it hot right up until its unfortunate end. WCCW’s top prize was the WCWA World Heavyweight Championship, which actually got its start back in 1966. The version of this belt that holds a special place in our hearts is the one that existed during the mid to late 80s. The middle emblem immediately captures your attention thanks to the big globe and magnificent lettering placed around it. Thankfully, the side plates manage to match the awe-inspiring scale of everything else this championship entails.

17. WWE World Tag Team Championship (80s-00s)

Has there ever been a better pair of tag team titles in WWE history? We think not. While the SmackDown exclusive belts that were introduced back in 2002 come close, WWE’s classic World Tag Team Championship still takes the cake as the best-looking renditions to date. There’s just something about that eagle towering over that massive center plate that makes this pair of belts exude excellence. When Edge & Christian, The Dudley Boyz, and The Hardy Boyz were running around with these belts, all three teams looked legit with them around their waists.

16. AWA World Heavyweight Championship (Third Version)

During its historic run, the American Wrestling Association housed a huge array of 80s legends and stars in the making. Names like Verne Gange, Mad Dog Vachon, Nick Bockwinkel, and Stan Hansen all reigned supreme during their championship reigns within the company. And they looked so amazing doing it while adorned in this grandiose championship belt. There are three versions of the AWA World Heavyweight Championship, but the one we love the most has to the last one. Its elegant design gets the job done simply by looking as shiny and gaudy as possible.

15. WWE United States Championship (First Version)

When Stephanie McMahon unveiled this beauty back in 2003 on SmackDown, our jaws dropped for two reasons – the shock of an old WCW championship staple making its return and the overall look of the belt itself were the reasoning for wild reaction. The original design of the WWE United States Championship is just so incredible and we miss it dearly – the center plate’s American flag graphic and the side plates inclusion of the Statue of Liberty presented this belt as the ultimate representation of the good ol’ US of A.

14. AEW World Championship
All Elite Wrestling

Wrestling fans know that Bret Hart can be one of the harshest critics out there. If he ends up liking something, then you just know it has to be worth a damn. When the “Hitman” hit the ring to unveil the AEW World Championship at Double or Nothing 2019, everyone instantly realized that it got the stamp of approval from the Canadian GOAT himself. And if you ask us, that approval is well warranted. The way that the AEW World Championship splits up into three plates is unique in this day and age of wrestling and makes it stand tall in a class of its own.

13. NXT North American Championship

There’s just something about a wrestling championship belt that has a globe on it that amazes us every time we see it. Shout out to Triple H for gifting the NXT faithful with this gorgeous midcard prize back in 2018. As soon as we saw it, we just knew that it’d look great on whoever was lucky enough to earn it. And so far, we’ve been proven right. Guys like Adam Cole, Damian Priest, and Keith Lee have looked so magnificent while this red-strapped beauty was strapped around their waists. The NXT North American Championship earns a place on this list thanks to its crisp design that makes it look like both a classic era and modern-day worthy title belt.

12. WWE Intercontinental Championship (80s-90s)

The Intercontinental Championship was once referred to as the “worker’s belt” during its hottest period. You just knew that whoever got their hands on that belt was seen as not only a top-tier in-ring competitor, but they were also recognized as a future world champion in the making. While there were a few IC titleholders that didn’t amount to much and weren’t all that amazing in the ring, the track record of this belt still stands strong. The classic version of this championship will stay in our memories forever due to its iconic design, the many-colored straps that it received over time, and the numerous Hall of Famers that held it. Whenever we think of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Mr. Perfect, and “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels, this glorious title belt also comes to mind.

11. NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship

The “10 Pounds of Gold” that the wrestling world instantly recognizes whenever it appears on screen has been around forever. You might be shocked to hear this, but the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship has maintained its original layout since 1948. A who’s who of wrestling legends have earned their legendary status due to being affiliated with the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship. And that’s exactly why that same belt solidifies whoever’s got their hands on it today. This belt may be small in stature, but its magnificent design makes it feel enormous. “Sweet Charlotte” looks great in black and red, which means it’s capable of maintaining its gorgeous status in any color.

10. TNA World Heavyweight Championship (Third Version)
TNA/Impact Wrestling

Once Total Nonstop Action ended its partnership with the NWA, it finally went ahead and introduced its own World Heavyweight Championship belt. We have a lot of love for the initial design (hated the “Immortal” version, though), but that second version just hits different. This version of the TNA World Heavyweight Championship is massive and definitely deserves a ton of love for looking as grand as it is. Bobby Roode looked like wrestling royalty when he held this version of the belt and Moose really stood out as nobody to mess with when he walked around with the white strap version. This belt is definitely worth its weight in gold.

9. ROH World Championship (Second Version)
Ring of Honor

Ring of Honor rose up to fill a major void in wrestling fans’ lives in 2002 and has been going strong ever since. Their top championship belt has gone through plenty of dope iterations, but the one that gets top honors here is the second one. The original rendition was cool since it was an obvious nod to the Universal Wrestling Federation Championship, but this version of the belt stepped things up big time thanks to the addition of a wide-winged eagle and a nice array of flags on its side plates. You could tell that ROH was hitting another plateau when it brought this beautiful new World Championship into the fray.

8. NWA United States Heavyweight Championship

The WWE US Championship is certainly a hit with us, for sure. But we also have a special place in our heart for the old school NWA United States Heavyweight Championship. Whoever concocted this sweet piece of hardware made sure to honor the red, white, and blue of the USA in the finest ways possible. The red coloring makes the lettering look incredibly bold, the blue coloring perfectly props up the side plates, and the white coloring looks great on certain sections of the flags placed on those same plates. Add in the massive gold center plate and you have yourself a title belt that embodies the strength of an all-American wrestling hero.

7. NXT Championship/NXT Women’s Championship (2017-Current)

We gotta keep it a stack with you guys – the NXT Championship renditions for the male/female divisions that came before these editions weren’t much of a hit with us. But once these versions of the black and yellow brand’s recognized title belts debuted in 2017, they quickly became our latest favorites. The placement of the X in the middle goes extra hard and makes the center plate incredibly remarkable. Both the men’s and women’s versions of this belt are similar in design, yet they offer signature color changes for the NXT lettering that makes them super distinguishable. We say all that to say this – we love the all-gold lettering on the men’s version and the silver lettering on the women’s version equally.

6. WWE Undisputed Championship
Paul Martin Championship Belts

We’ll always refer to this belt as the “Brock Lesnar Belt.” When he was running roughshod over everyone on SmackDown back in the day, Brock looked like the ultimate world-destroyer while he bounced on the ring apron with this title belt on. The WWE Undisputed Championship is goated because of its curved center plate and its incorporation of the unmistakable globe that popularized the belt that came before it. We’ll always look back fondly on the title reigns of Brock, Eddie Guerrerro, and John “Bradshaw” Layfield because of this classic WWE Championship design.

5. NXT United Kingdom/NXT United Kingdom Women’s Championship

More wrestling fans need to pay close attention to NXT UK. It’s an hour-long show that’s all about pure in-ring excellence with a specific focus on the United Kingdom’s best and brightest. And whenever that brand’s top male and female champions hit the stage to stake their claim as the best, you’ll quickly realize that sentiment rings true when you spot the hardware around their waists. The men’s and women’s versions of the NXT UK Championship belts are perfectly sized and may just be the best-looking belts in WWE at the moment. The roaring lions on the center plate push both belts to a level of high superiority, plus the women’s version earns extra points for its striking white strap. It’s always so inspiring to see someone as huge as WATLER hold the NXT UK Championship over his massive shoulder.

4. IWGP World Heavyweight Championship (Fourth Version)
New Japan Pro Wrestling

New Japan Pro Wrestling has done a great job of making its championship prizes sound super important due to the “International Wrestling Grand Prix” tagline associated with them. Since its inception in 1987, NJPW’s top heavyweight title has adopted some awesome designs. But the one that will always be #1 in our eyes is the fourth version that reigned from 2008 ‘till 2021. Gold and silver work seamlessly together – that simple color amalgamation is super easy on the eyes as far as this championship belt is concerned. The IWGP letters in the middle reflect the triumphant feel of the undisputed top prize in all of Japanese (“Puroresu”) wrestling.

3. WWE Championship (Winged Eagle)

Hulk Hogan. Randy Savage. The Ultimate Warrior. Bret Hart. Shawn Michaels. Those names and so many more all held this version of the WWE Championship at one or multiple points in their storied careers. It says a lot about this championship’s level of importance when you realize it managed to stick around during two classic eras (the Golden and New Generation Eras). The Winged Eagle WWE Championship had an amazing run while it was still active and we’ll always do our best to keep its memory alive by mentioning it on this list.

2. WWE Championship (Global)

If you lived through the Attitude Era, then this title belt will always hit you right in the nostalgia feels every time you see it. WWE loves its eagles with a crazy wide wingspan, which is probably why they brought those signature elements into play for this Attitude Era staple. Anyone that’s won this belt looked Herculean while holding it – “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock, and Triple H will always stick out in our mind as the most recognizable stars that wore it proudly. The Global rendition of the WWE Championship is the perfect embodiment of the hottest period in WWE and all of wrestling history.

1. WCW World Heavyweight Championship (Big Gold)
TheBigGoldBelt (Twitter)

When you think of the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, the image of him coming down the ramp in one of his flyest robes immediately enters your memory banks. And once he opened that expensive robe of his, the Big Gold belt that caught everyone’s attention could be seen. This version of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship defines several high points in the wrestling business as it cemented the greatness of stars such as Flair, Sting, Rick Rude, Goldberg, etc. Even when it got spray painted with those infamous nWo initials, the Big Gold belt still managed to look amazing. And once it made its grand return to WWE, guys like Triple H, Batista, and Edge exuded the top star spirit of their predecessors with this belt in tow.

Culture Gaming

The 20 Most Memorable Video Game Rap Lyrics

Your favorite MCs do a lot of things in their leisure time. They tend to roll up & smoke some trees, get into some passionate debates over random topics with the whole entourage, indulge in some sports-based activities, etc. 

Another hobby most rappers indulge in is most definitely video games – that’s pretty evident considering the abundance of lyrics from the best wordsmiths that just so happen to be about the best consoles, characters, games, etc. On the regular, a clever bar about gaming will come across your headphones and force you to push the rewind button to catch it once more. And there are even those cool instances where a rapper will dedicate an entire song to their game of choice. It’s safe to say that the rappers we bang out of our speakers on a daily basis love to hand out L’s in the very same games we play for hours on end.

We went into our memory banks and did our Google’s to find the most memorable rap lyrics that are all about showing love to gaming as a whole.

1. Bazooka Tooth, zoo-keep the paper route with janky funds and favors/Cradled by twelve empty Zelda heart containers

Aesop Rock, “Babies With Guns”

2. Crack mothers, crack babies, and AIDS patients/Youngbloods can’t spell but they could rock you in PlayStation

Mos Def, “Mathematics”

3. I’m PS4 in HD and the screen is plasma/You’re Atari 2600 with a weak adapter

Joell Ortiz, “Slaughterhouse”

4. Attention all haters, get off your boy’s d**k/Tell your b***h to come here, she can play with my joystick/Up up down down left right left right B, A, B, A, Start/Now tear it apart

Saigon, “Get Busy”

5. Rival Schools, Batsu, purchase you ought to/It came with one free CD, it’s like I bought two/I hope they make part two for Dreamcast/’Cause games I seen in mags, you won’t believe they have…./Yeah, I’ll admit that PlayStation improve/Come visit feudal Japan with me and Tenchu/Bushido Blade II with swordplay so accurate/Mega Man Legends, but I had to buy a map for it

Del The Funky Homosapien, “Proto Culture”

6. I’m sorry like Atari who’s the cousin to Coleco/Vision, caught a RICO, back on the streets like Chico

Andre 3000, “Skew It On The Bar-B”

7. Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis/When I was dead broke, man, I couldn’t picture this

Notorious B.I.G., “Juicy”

8. Battlin’ me is hazardous to health/So put a quarter in ya ass ’cause you played yourself

Big Daddy Kane, “The Symphony”

9. I can’t sleep like a child on Christmas Eve/Like a tender head girl in a shop gettin’ a weave/Like a woman in labor about to produce the seed/Or Method Man with PlayStation and an ounce of weed

RZA, “Insomnia”

10. Or better yet a Terminator, like Arnold Schwarzenegger/Try to play me out like as if my name was Sega

Everlast, “Jump Around”

11. I had dreams that I would blow like a Nintendo Cartridge

Anderson.Paak, “Without You”

12. I tell the cash get over here, it’s like I’m Scorpion on Mortal Kombat

A-Reece, “To The Top Please”

13. Pass me the pork roll, don’t really walk anymore/Ever since I invented a gun that shoots portals

Seth Sentry, “Reservoir Dogs”

14. All got expensive cars, won’t allow a jacker to see me/I ride with bananas and shells like Mario and Luigi

Chamillionaire, “The Game Gonna Cost a Fee”

15. Came a long way from extension cords in the window/Borrow neighbor’s power just to plug up the Nintendo

Danny Brown, “30”

16. I heard that she wanna go and party, she wanna go and party/N***a, don’t approach her with that Atari/N***a, that ain’t good game, homie, sorry

Kendrick Lamar, “Poetic Justice”

17. Hey look, my homies told me back when I was playing my Nintendo/To stay away from windows, cause bullets, they tend to hit those/My mama told when I got the PSone/To skip the BS and lead us or be as numb/As every other brother throwing up colors in my community/I knew better, but couldn’t do better but then I grew to be

Lecrae, “Daywalkers”

18. Ayo, I cop power pellets (and y’all call ’em bricks)/I make little dots (and y’all chop rocks to flip)/Before Junior, they had me out on a chas /Running from these ghost monsters y’all calling the jakes/All I do is stack loot, run around and eat fruit/And harass these lady cops named Pinky and Sue/My whole life been a maze in a chase/Can’t keep still without these monsters on my back invadin’ my space/I got two hitmen that’ll bury you brothers/They rule the underworld, you know ’em as the Mario brothers/Straight cannons, and won’t hesitate to shoot ya/And they stay goin’ to war with that Latin King Koopa/I got a worker named Frogger, when I say jump he leap/A highway boy who be runnin’ the streets/With that package, dodgin’ through traffic that’s narrow/And my n***a Donkey Kong bringin’ weed in by the barrels

Beanie Sigel, “Mac Man”

19. F**k your gun talk, play ‘No Doubt’, you ‘Gwen’ ‘don’t speak’/You ain’t shooting nothing but air, you Nintendo Wii

Rock (Boot Camp Clik), “BK All Day”

20. My new b***h, call her my PS3/You? Your b***h’s p***y, call it my Xbox

Royce da 5′9”, “Airplanes Freestyle”

Consoles Gaming

16 Games Like ‘Resident Evil’

The term “survival horror” entered the lexicon of gaming once Capcom’s Resident Evil franchise first scared the hell out of everyone back in 1996. Carefully exploring spooky locales, managing your precious resources, and dealing with a vicious array of bioweapons describes the horrifying experience that comes with playing a Resident Evil game.

Over the years, the series has split its focus between a third- and first-person camera viewpoint in an effort to present its brand of horrors in new ways. Thankfully, most of the series entries have worked to a satisfying degree in that regard. If you’ve found yourself yearning for games like Resident Evil that adopt either of those main character camera settings, then allow us to offer you some assistance. The 16 games we compiled for this list present the sort of survival horror goodness that exemplifies Resident Evil.

1. ‘Silent Hill’ (series)

Capcom graced the world with Resident Evil as the king of its signature sub-genre. Obviously taking note of that series’ success. Konami sought a piece of the survival horror pie by introducing the Silent Hill franchise. And ever since the first series entry arrived in 1999, survival horror fans have thrown plenty of praise upon the majority of its mind-bending adventures. The first four series entries are worth returning to if you can find them, plus you should give the remake of the first game (Silent Hill: Shattered Memories) a good look as well. If you have the mettle needed to navigate a small town full of nightmare fuel and a mysterious mist, then the Silent Hill series should definitely appeal to you.

Buy Now, $90
2. ‘Dead Space’ (series)

Does the thought of fending off multi-limbed Necromorphs and other types of hideous creatures within the lonely confines of spaces freak you out? Then be prepared to confront those fears when you step into the Dead Space series. You’ll step into the space boots of Issak Clarke, who’s forced to shoot down and dismember monstrous beings known as Necromorps. And while you’re doing so, you’ll be treated to Issac’s morbid visions and do everything in your power to survive in the darkest corners of space.

Buy Here for $17.44 on PC
3. ‘Dino Crisis’ (series)

Capcom realized it had a goldmine on its hands when it mastered the survival horror genre. That’s probably why it chose to switch out its zombie menace for reptilian baddies when it brought Dino Crisis into the fold. The first two games in the beloved series follow Regina as she dodges some daunting dinos. It’s hard enough shooting down some of the game’s faster reptiles, but it’s even tougher when you learn that they can knock your weapons loose. Be sure to check out the first two Dino Crisis games and do yourself a favor by avoiding the third one altogether.

Buy Now, $64.99
4. ‘The Evil Within’ (series)

Imagine how much scarier one’s inner demons can be when you’re forced to confront them head-on. The Evil Within series presents that harrowing prospect as you run through a distorted world and come up against the physical embodiments of psychological horrors. Both games adopt the revolutionary third-person gunplay introduced by Resident Evil 4 and add a collection of outlandish beasts to strengthen its winning formula. The Evil Within games will stick with you long after you’ve beaten them.

Buy Now, $84.95
5. ‘Shadows of the Damned’

If you have an Xbox Game Pass subscription, then you might want to go on ahead and give this super slept-on third-person shooter a try. Shadows of the Damned is a hilariously raunchy game that looks and sounds like the exploitation films of old. As demon hunter Garcia Hotspur (WHAT A NAME!), you’ll put your transforming (and talking) gun to good use against the Lord of Demon’s loyal servants. If you loved Resident Evil 4, then the gameplay feel of Shadows of the Damned will take hold of you and never let go.

Buy Now, $37.99
6. ‘Daymare: 1998’

Daymare: 1998 certainly wears its inspirations on its sleeve. As a clear nod to the survival horror games of the late 90s, this game pits you against an army of nasty creatures as you explore a small town stricken by a horrifying incident. There’s tons of blood and gore on deck in this one – blasting apart your mutated foes with a wide assortment of firearms means a whole lot of red plasma will regularly splash across your screen. Just know that the limited availability of everything you need to survive lies at the heart of this modern throwback.

Buy Now, $12.99
7. ‘Parasite Eve’ (series)

Shout out to the old creatives at Squaresoft that birthed this fun amalgamation of survival horror elements and RPG-inspired combat mechanics. As a New York City police officer named Aya Brea, you’ll need to brave the horrors concocted by a being that’s looking to destroy humanity through spontaneous combustion. The games that follow Aya’s initial adventure stick close to the theme of contending with hideous mutants via a mix of active movement and turn-based battles. Parasite Eve is pretty much Resident Evil meets Final Fantasy, which is a marriage that should excite you.

Buy Now, $119.99
8. ‘Deep Fear’

If you can get your hands on a Sega Saturn that’s compatible with Japanese exclusives, then you need to go out of your way to spend a few hours with Deep Fear. This survival horror escalade is all about taking control of an ex-Navy SEAL named John Mayor, who must endure all sorts of human and mutated dangers within an underwater research facility. Deep Fear features some innovative features that place it above older survival horror games, such as the ability to aim while moving and using items without having to select them from a menu.

Buy Now, $40.49
9. ‘Dying Light’

Never mind the Dead Island franchise – the Techland developed zombie-filled adventure you’ll want to busy yourself with is this one. Dying Light takes place entirely from a first-person perspective and incorporates parkour exploration as you swiftly move across a Middle Eastern quarantine zone. In the daytime, your usual array of the undead menace shambles toward you. But once evening falls, far more formidable versions of those same zombies make their presence felt. You’ll need to jump, dive, and assault the zombies that come your way if you choose to spend some time with Dying Light.

Buy Now, $30.09
10. ‘The Last of Us’ (series)

Once you’ve come to know what The Last of Us’ Joel and Ellie are all about, you’ll most likely add the game to your list of the greatest of all time. The first game offers the most rewarding and highly emotional escort mission of all time as you protect your young cargo from merciless humans and rabid creatures that have been stricken by a mutated fungus epidemic. Once you’ve completed the first game in the series, head into the second one and prepare for the gut punches it will inevitably deliver.

Buy Now, $17.99
11. ‘Days Gone’

If you enjoyed the overwhelming zombie hordes that ran you down in the fourth, fifth, and sixth Resident Evil games, then you’ll most definitely enjoy what Days Gone has to offer. This PlayStation exclusive puts you in the role of Deacon St. John, who hops on his trusty motorbike in an effort to find his missing wife. While venturing through a post-apocalyptic version of Oregon, you’ll run into cannibalistic creatures known as Freakers. And once they gather in droves, look out! Things definitely get a whole lot dicier from that point forward.

Buy Now, $19.99
12. ‘Alien Isolation’

Having to constantly hide and keep your distance from a super-intelligent Xenomorph is the epitome of terrifying. As Ellen Ripley (daughter of the Alien film’s leading heroine, Amanda Ripley), you’ll set out across a myriad of space stations in an effort to find out what happened to her mother. Unfortunately, that also means you’ll have to contend with killer Working Joes and an enormous alien that definitely has it out for you. Alien Isolation brings the horror of having to deal with an extraterrestrial threat right to your face in first-person.

Buy Now, $24.97
13. ‘Alan Wake’

There’s a good reason why a lot of fans are clamoring for a sequel to this memorable supernatural romp. Alan Wake follows a novelist who’s trying to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding his wife’s disappearance. This caper transports him to a small town that throws him headfirst into a series of events that are lifted directly from his latest novel. Taking down a slew of shadowy baddies known as “Taken” and exploring some creepy whereabouts are what you should expect from your time spent with Alan Wake.

Buy Here for $24.99 on PC
14. ‘Condemned’ (series)

The Condemned games still hold a special place in retro gamers’ hearts due to how slept on they still are to this day. With a smart mix of first-person exploration, crime scene investigations, and weighty hand-to-hand combat, this underrated series offers a satisfyingly creepy expedition through fittingly dark locations. There may not be any undead horrors to contend with in these games, but you’ll still get treated to some of the best (worst?) jump scares you’ll ever come across in a survival horror game.

Buy Here for $14.95 on PC
15. ‘Metro’ (series)

Based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s novel, the Metro series follows a man named Artyom, who ventures into a world that’s been devastated by nuclear war. All three games in the highly-rated FPS series set you on a journey through the Metro tunnels and outdoors locales – you’ll need to put all your survival skills to good use as you encounter dangerous regimes and vicious creatures known as the Dark Ones. The latest series entry (Metro Exodus) takes players on an even grander journey across a wide expanse that’s filled with even more hostile humans and bloodthirsty monsters.

Buy Here for $99.71 on PC
16. ‘Obscure’ (series)

The Obscure franchise certainly lives up to its name since they’re not the most well-known survival horror experiences out there. Both titles are worth spending some time with, especially if you have a friend in tow since they enable co-op playthroughs. You and a friend will have to band together and endure all sorts of infected horrors within the confines of a tortured school setting. If you decide to play either game on your own, you can switch between each of the playable characters and get familiar with all of their signature skills.

Buy Here for $14.99 on PC
Consoles Gaming

6 PlayStation Exclusives That Deserve a Remake

Imagine my shock when I woke up to a head-scratching report from Bloomberg via Jason Schreier.

According to him, a remake of The Last of Us is currently in development for PS5. And Naughty Dog is responsible for getting it done, of course. Jason’s report detailed how tumultuous the road to that project has been and the turmoil that arose when other PlayStation first-party studios were assigned game development tasks that they were none too pleased with. Learning that the powers that be at PlayStation are making the types of decisions that are causing unrest among its staff is troubling, to say the least.

To be quite honest, the move towards remaking The Last of Us doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. The game has already been remastered for PS4 and still looks/plays great in its most recently updated form. Naughty Dog’s revered post-apocalyptic title originally released in 2013, so it hasn’t even been long enough for anyone to truly miss it and clamor to revisit in a brand new way. This whole Last of Us remake story got me thinking about what other PlayStation first-party games would actually excite most gamers if a remake for any of them was announced.

I perused through all my warm memories spent with those types of games on previous PlayStation consoles and came away with six exclusives that are deserving of a PS5 remake.

1. ‘Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy’

Naughty Dog may be known by modern gamers for their work on the Uncharted and The Last of Us series. But old heads (including me) tend to reminisce about the development studio’s prior work on quality platformers. They’re responsible for blessing us with the first three releases in the Crash Bandicoot series back on the original PlayStation. And once they moved over to PS2, they injected open-world environments into their platforming formula to create the classic known as Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy.

I got a ton of mileage out of that game when it originally released – running around beautifully realized worlds, listening to Daxter’s hilarious quips, and punching/spin kicking everything that moves was and still is a blast. Remembering how amazing the 2016 remake of the original Ratchet & Clank turned out to be makes me wish Naughty Dog got to do the same for Jak & Daxter. I’d much rather see a portion of Naughty Dog’s development studio get handed the reigns to such a lofty project instead of working on a Last of Us remake. Sprucing up the visuals, adding a few quality of life changes, and retaining the same amazing collect-a-thon gameplay the original is known for would guarantee a Jak & Daxter remake’s success.

2. ‘Syphon Filter’

Sony’s Bend Studio tried something new with its debut PS4 release. That game was Days Gone, a solid foray into the world of open-world games that are focused on surviving the ills of a world stricken by a zombie apocalypse. While I commend the good people at Bend Studio for tackling a different type of game, I’m still yearning for them to return to the franchise that defined them – Syphon Filter.

My man Gabriel Logan has been dormant for far too long and is well-deserving of a remake that lets everyone cook terrorists with his trusty taser. This one’s a PSone OG, so I imagine most gamers my age (I’m 32, by the way) would lose their minds if footage of a completely redone and upgraded Syphon Filter hit the web. Get rid of that jank running animation, keep those stealth-action elements intact, and give those visuals the current-gen paint job the world wants to see. Bend Studio definitely has it in them to make everyone care about Syphon Filter once again.

3. ‘Twisted Metal 1 and 2’

I’m gonna keep it a stack with you guys – the 2021 reboot of Twisted Metal reboot really wasn’t hitting like that. The move to themed factions over a full roster of characters and signature vehicles didn’t sit well with me. The game certainly had its moments, but it was missing something from the series entries that came before it. At this point, it’d make sense to revisit the Twisted Metal series once again and tackle it with the sole mission of remaking the first two games.

Imagine the visual splendor that’s present in Destruction AllStars combined with the dark humor, chaotic action, and outlandish cast of characters Twisted Metal once thrived by. Mashing up the first two games in the series in the same manner that we saw with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 would be ideal. I sorely miss Sweet Tooth and the rest of the unhinged Twisted Metal gang, so it’s high time that we got a full-fledged remake of Sony’s well-revered demolition derby. The car combat genre is currently lying dormant – this remake proposition of mines could single-handedly revive it.

4. ‘Ape Escape’

For some reason, Sony has moved away from their more “colorful” array of first-party titles and transitioned to a line of games that are more cinematic & darker in nature. Back on the original PlayStation and PS2, I got so used to playing a wide variety of games from Sony’s dev studios that tried something new – Jumping Flash!, Tomba!, Dark Cloud, The Mark of Kri, and Rogue Legacy are proof of that sentiment. Another franchise that reflects Sony’s old way of doing things is Ape Escape, which is an incredibly fun line of platformers that solely focused on chasing around mischievous monkeys and capturing them.

Those games still hold a special place in my heart thanks to the catchy tunes, whimsical feel, and entertaining gameplay they produced. The time is right for the first entry in the platforming franchise to get a remake that makes it look even brighter and plays just as well as I remember it. It sucks that Sony’s Japan Studio is unfolding as we speak, which keeps the prospect of this remake from possibly becoming a reality. But I’d still hope for Sony to find another studio of theirs that has the talent needed to make an Ape Escape remake happen.

5. ‘War of the Monsters’

Do you know Sony actually published a few fighters of their own back in the day? Shocking, I know. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale isn’t the only brawler that Sony had a hand in – Battle Arena Toshinden, Bloody Roar, and Tobal No. 1 were among the few fighters Sony attached its old logo to. When it went out of its way to create one of its own, Sony allowed the now-defunct Incognito Entertainment to craft a kaiju-themed battle royale called War of the Monsters.

 I remember having the time of my life just going around smashing buildings and using cars as weapons to swing at giant apes, robots, and so much more. Imagine how hype it would be if Sony found it in themselves to kickstart a remake that incorporates online multiplayer, 4-player matches, and even larger arenas to do battle in. Seeing as how everyone went nuts over the Godzilla vs. Kong film let me know that kaiju fever is still a thing. Sony should capitalize on that fervent fan reaction and revive War of the Monsters in the form of a remake. I’m gonna let you know right now – if this game ever became a reality, y’all are not gonna beat my God-tier Kineticlops.

6. ‘Jet Moto 1 and 2’’

Sony sure loves their Gran Turismo series, don’t they? I certainly respect that franchise and applaud Polyphony Digital for creating the most realistic racing simulation games the world has ever seen. But I wish Sony would get back to producing the types of racers that adopt a more arcade racer-like feel. The MotorStorm games are still worth returning to, plus ModNation Racers had a lot of mileage to it. Before those PS3 racers came our way, there was another franchise Sony created in order to get a piece of the racing game market – Jet Moto

Speeding across fantastical tracks on top of super fast hoverbikes captured my young imagination back in the day and I’d love to revisit those days once again. I’d totally be down for a remake that polishes the first two entries in the Jet Moto series and delivers them to gamers thirsty for a worthwhile arcade racer. The thought of both of those remade games running on PS5 fills me with so much excitement!

Culture Music

The Best Kanye West Albums, Ranked

No matter which way you feel about him personally, you can’t help but agree with this unanimous statement – Kanye West is simply a beast behind the boards. 

When he steps into any studio, an amalgamation of incredible sounds will form under his watchful eyes and ears to create a soundscape like no other. The man is responsible for producing some of the greatest beats the world has ever laid witness to for the GOATs such as Jay-Z, Common, Brandy, and so much more. 

His beat-making mastery is legendary, but so is his lyrical deftness and strong ability to put together an unforgettable body of work on one album. Since 2004, Yeezy has dropped solo projects that have either stood the test of time or been relegated to a forgettable footnote in his storied career. This writer in particular has listened to all of Kanye’s LPs from front to back for an assignment that I’m sure will elicit some “passionate” responses. 

In my humble opinion, these are all of Kanye West’s albums ranked from worst to best.

9. ‘Jesus is King’

I commend Kanye for finding a newfound appreciation for non-secular music. He’s certainly been through a lot during his star-making run and has been stricken mentally by the ills that come with the price of fame. I was super excited to hear what he managed to cook up for this project that was focused on showing love to the heavens above.

Sadly, however, I came away largely unsatisfied with what this album has to offer. Jesus is King certainly puts forth a powerful and positive message, but the actual execution leaves a lot to be desired. “Every Hour” and “Follow God” are this album’s standout tracks, while everything else disappoints due to a mix of mediocre production and unimpressive wordplay. Even the cover for this album clues you into just how uninspired it ends up being. Let’s all hope Kanye comes correct the next time he decides to honor the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

8. ‘Ye’

Ye isn’t remembered too fondly and I can certainly understand why – at the time of this album’s release, Yeezy was given a lot of slack for its questionable lyrics. Plus the public perception of the man himself wasn’t exactly the most positive. Even with all that being said, I still enjoyed this shockingly short compilation of tracks. “Ghost Town,” “No Mistakes” and “Yikes” go extra hard, while “Wouldn’t Leave” and “Violent Crimes” both offer more soothing listens that impressed me way more than I originally thought they would.

“I Thought About Killing You” is a pretty dark verbal look into Kanye’s innermost struggles, but its overall message has a way of pulling me in for a full listen every time it comes on. Ye’s relatively short run time when compared to Kanye’s other full projects holds it back from being higher on this list, however.

7. ‘808s & Heartbreak’

808s & Heartbreak is one of those left-turn albums that completely caught me off guard when it dropped. Here I was expecting Good Ass Job and what I got instead was an R&B-centric compilation full of introspective cuts. And for the most part, I enjoy what’s on offer here. “Say You Will,” “Heartless,” “Amazing,” and “RoboCop” have and always will enrapture me every time I hear them.

This is one of those Kanye LPs that switched things up to a major degree and ended up succeeding in the end. I might not be the biggest fan of some of the other tracks on this album, but I’ll always commend Kanye for going in a completely different direction with 808s & Heartbreak. The fact that it influenced an entire generation of artists that came after him can’t be understated.

6. ‘Yeezus’

Yeezus is one of Kanye’s most braggadocious albums. And what makes that so is his choice of bars and the electronic music influences that can be heard over most of this project’s outlandish beats. When this album hits, it hits extra hard. “New Slaves,” “Blood on the Leaves, ” and “Black Skinhead” stands out as the most impactful tunes on this album.

That’s because the production backing those songs gives them that stadium status, which paints them as the types of tunes that would make a concert venue full of fans lose their collective minds. Yeezus certainly has a lot going for it thanks to the fact that it showcases a point in time where Kanye went all-in on hard-hitting electronic soundscapes. What keeps this one from being placed higher, you ask? “Hold My Liquor.” Yeah, never really enjoyed that track too much.

5. ‘The Life of Pablo’

I’ll never forget how convoluted the rollout for this album was. Kanye’s a perfectionist, so it wasn’t all that surprising to find out that he continued playing around with the mastering of its tracks even after release. When I finally got to listen to the final version of The Life of Pablo, I was thankful for Yeezy’s decision to make it sound as crisp as possible.

What’s so funny about this album to me is the fact that Kanye refers to it as a gospel album – it certainly comes off a lot better than Jesus is King, if you ask me (please don’t smite me for that comment, whoever’s up there.) This album’s high quality just can’t be denied – “Ultralight Beam, “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1,” ”Waves,” and “Real Friends” are the best confirmations of that statement. I find myself going back to this album on the regular just so I can hear “I Love Kanye” and reminisce over all the commendable traits he reflects on all over that short yet still effective track. The Life of Pablo may run a bit long, but I enjoy most of my time spent with it.

4. ‘The College Dropout’

I can remember being one of those kids in high school that blasted “Slow Jamz” at annoyingly high volume levels for all my friends to hear during rides back home on the train. That single took over my world and still holds a special place in my heart. The same can be said for The College Dropout as a whole. This is a hell of a debut for Kanye that captured my imagination due to its incredible production and college student struggle bars (which I came to experience later on in life).

The College Dropout stuck to a central concept and reflected the best/worst parts of that experience from front to back. “All Falls Down,” “Spaceship,” “Jesus Walks,” and “Get Em High” are my favorite joints off this LP. And I even got a kick out of all the skits littered throughout this super-strong debut album. This was a hell of a sendoff for Roc-A-Fella’s storied run on top.

3. ‘Late Registration’

It’s something about the cover for Late Registration that hits me right in the soul every time I see it. The instantly recognizable bear mascot that accompanied Kanye’s first three releases comes through those college doors and looks deathly afraid of whatever’s coming next. Thankfully, what follows is an album that shows Kanye leveling up on his production and lyrical dexterity.

Another aspect of this album that really sticks with me is its features – Kanye rubbed shoulders with legends such as Jay-Z, Nas, Cam’ron, Lupe Fiasco, and even Maroon 5’s Adam Levine for this amazing follow-up to The College Dropout. “Heard ‘Em Say,” “Touch the Sky,” “Gold Digger,” and “Drive Slow” are some of Kanye’s greatest songs. And thankfully, those and a whole bunch of his other top-tier tunes are strewn all over this album. Late Registration is well-deserving of its classic Kanye album classification.

2. ‘Graduation’

From the very first chords that kick off “Good Morning” right up until the heartfelt dedication to Jay-Z that is “Big Brother,” Graduation excels as a championship victory that solidifies Kanye’s placing among the GOATs. Every song on this album has a purpose that was greatly fulfilled – “Champion,” “Everything I Am,” ”Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” and “Flashing Lights” are the types of tracks that could get a deeply introspective thesis paper dedicated to them.

Kanye was definitely at the height of his career for this album and easily thrashed 50 Cent during their album release rivalry. Even “Drunk and Hot Girls” has a bit of merit to it (which I still recognize as one of Graduation’s weakest tracks). The great stuff that’s on tap here still slaps and the art that comes with this album’s cover is God-tier. Graduation is simply amazing.

1. ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’

“Dark Fantasy.” “Gorgeous.” “Power.” “So Appalled.” Those four tracks alone would already guarantee this album’s legendary status. But My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy has a collection of other tracks that push it to the top as Kanye’s greatest album of all time. The beats that are heard here are next level – Kanye, No I.D., and even RZA constructed the types of productions that hit you right in your soul.

Besides this album’s prodigious array of beats, it also features some of the best hip-hop/R&B posse cuts I’ve ever heard. “Monster,” “All of the Lights, and “See Me Now” brings together some of music’s biggest artists for audio celebrations. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy easily takes the top spot as Kanye’s magnum opus. Now lemme head off to watch those super dope visuals for “Runaway” real quick…

Sports Strength

Elton’s Most Anticipated WrestleMania 37 Matches

We’re just a few days away from WWE’s crème de la crème as far as PPV/streaming service spectaculars go. And if you’re not in the know, then allow me (one of ONE37pm’s unapologetic wrestling nerds) to bring you into the fold – every year, World Wrestling Entertainment goes bigger than big for its premier showcase, WrestleMania. 

Fans far and wide make their way to the designated city/state where that year’s ‘Mania is being held and indulge themselves in all things professional wrestling. Last year, the pandemic prevented ‘Mania madness from happening on an expected stadium scale. But for this year’s installment, WWE is looking to deliver the massive pirate-themed spectacle it was planning to produce in 2020. Actual fans will get to participate in the two-day extravaganza that is WrestleMania 37 as it emanates from the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. I’m super pumped to see WWE’s best and brightest compete in front of fans once again and perform at their highest level on the biggest stage of ‘em all. 

And of course, there are certain matches from that upcoming event that have raised my hype levels past their limit. So allow me to pass all that frantic energy onto you guys as I break down my most anticipated WrestleMania 37 matches. 

But before we do that, lemme throw on a little ditty that will most definitely set the mood. “Alexa, play the 90s WrestleMania theme.”

8. Riddle vs. Sheamus

I might not be the biggest fan of Riddle’s newfound appreciation for scooters and bro puns, but I will always be engaged whenever he steps into the ring. WWE’s resident barefoot MMA stylist has butted heads with Sheamus on multiple occasions in the past couple of months and they’ve all been pretty good. Now that they’re getting the chance to showcase their chemistry with each other at WrestleMania, I’m sure they’ll raise their match brutality factor to a higher tier of pain. I’m excited to see both men go as hard as possible in a bid to top their previous efforts. Give this one 15+ minutes, Vinny Mac!

7. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn

Turkish writer Mehmet Murat İldan dropped this fire gem – “In life, always choose a serious rival even if you know you have no chance to win, because a good rival is always a good teacher!” Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn have clearly taken that quotable to heart since they’ve been attached at the hip for God knows how long. They’ve tagged with each other and torn into each other every time they just so happened to be competing in the same wrestling fed. Their past NXT/WWE feuds have produced plenty of in-ring magic as well – the strongest example of that is their amazing Battleground 2016 bout. Now that Owens and Zayn are finally getting the opportunity to work their magic on the WrestleMania stage, I’m excited to see what they can do now that the stakes are being raised even higher.

6. Big E vs. Apollo Crews

Do I know what a Nigerian Drum Fight is? No. Am I hoping that it’s nothing more than a hardcore brawl where passionate drummers play their hearts out outside the ring? For sure! Big E and Apollo Crews have that exact match stipulation attached to their latest clash over the Intercontinental Championship, which has me super giddy. Both men gave us a sample size of their in-ring heat at Fastlane before it got cut short by an obvious botched ending. So now I’m thrilled to see them run that whole scenario back with an added stipulation and the pomp & circumstance that comes with WrestleMania.

5. Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley

Do you know what match ended up being my personal favorite from last year’s WrestleMania 36? Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair. Both ladies obviously came to show and prove – thankfully, they exceeded my expectations by delivering one of the best women’s WrestleMania bouts of all time. Asuka also produced a banger with Charlotte and that one graced everyone’s screens at WrestleMania 34. Simply put, Asuka and Rhea have it in them to bang out a good to great match on a regular basis. For this first time meeting between the two, I’m expecting a four-star classic that will notch high honors after everything is said and done. This one better be a war!

4. Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins

Cesaro’s latest mini-push is dope, yes. But I’m so used to WWE quickly losing interest in its latest flavor of the month superstar and leaving them to waddle away in catering. But for some reason, my gut is telling me that the powers that be at WWE will give Cesaro his time to shine for a lot longer than I’m used to seeing. With a strong dance partner in Seth Rollins, Cesaro can easily paint himself as SmackDown’s next WWE Championship contender just by putting on an impressive performance with him. Since Cesaro’s used to doing that most of the time, I’m sure he’ll emerge from this match as an even bigger star. Rollins can do no wrong whenever he’s in the ring and he’s proven to be someone worth watching when the WrestleMania lights are on. This one’s most certainly going to be an all-star clinic.

3. Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre

The rebuilding phase of Bobby Lashley worked like a charm. Ever since he abandoned his weird on-screen “relationship” with Lana and linked up with a kindred soul in MVP, Lashley has become a world-beater once again. That newfound sense of domination pushed him right into his first-ever WWE Championship win. And his very first defense will be against the man he has plenty of history with, Drew McIntyre. I loved their match from last year’s Backlash and I’m sure they can go beyond the level of quality from that bout in this main event caliber contest. I’m expecting a brutal barnburner from this one – Lashley and McIntyre definitely have it in them to produce a memorable WrestleMania matchup.

2. Roman Reigns vs. Edge vs. Daniel Bryan

I was already over the moon when it was announced that Edge would use his Royal Rumble victory to segue into a title match opportunity against SmackDown’s “Tribal Chief.” But now my excitement levels have reached another level now that Daniel Bryan has been added to the Universal Championship equation. All three individuals are experiencing their latest career highs, which means they’re more than ready to deliver an all-time classic. What makes this matchup even more interesting is the fact that I don’t even know who should win here – Roman Reigns, Edge, and Daniel Bryan could easily leave this bout as the new SmackDown champ and I’d totally be fine with either outcome. All I know is this – we might have another classic triple threat title match on our hands here.

1. Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair

I’m all aboard the whole “let this match main event Night 1 of WrestleMania 37!” bandwagon. Never mind the disappointing storyline that’s been put in place to build this championship encounter – I know that Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair can overcome it all and produce in-ring excellence. Banks just doesn’t miss when it comes to her most recent singles PPV bouts, plus Belair is a mega-popular member of the main roster that’s not too shabby herself. I know they both have it in them to get the highest of honors for their first-ever in-ring showdown and give us a shining example of “Black Girl Magic.” I’m hoping this title match gets all the time it needs to develop into one of the finest women’s WrestleMania matches of all time.

Gaming NFT

100 Thieves Has Officially Entered the World of NFTs

100 Thieves holds a lot of weight as a lifestyle brand and gaming organization. The group has built up multiple esports teams that fight for relevancy and championship glory across games such as League of Legends, Fortnite, Valorant, and Call of Duty. They also produce super stylish apparel lines that unsurprisingly sell out in minutes. And you have to give props to 100 Thieves for having its very own headquarters smack dab in the middle of Los Angeles. The moves that have already been made by one of gaming’s largest esports establishments are major. As for their latest campaign, 100 Thieves is hoping to leave an indelible mark on the world of NFTs.

The newly announced 100 Thieves Enter Infinity NFT Collection is currently live and four of its designs will be available for auction for 24-hours only. This special collection of NFTs features eight 1-1 digital art pieces – Gateway 001-004 can only be obtained via auction bids on Foundation, while Gateway 005-008 are set up as giveaway prizes for 48-hours. All eight NFT designs sport the 100 Thieves logo within a black-hole space that features a vortex of some kind protruding out of its center. As for the background art, all eight of those same NFT art pieces feature different designs. If this NFT sale is hugely successful (which it most likely will be), then we can probably look forward to some other premier gaming organizations hopping into the NFT space. Would anyone be interested in FaZe Clan, Team Liquid, or Cloud9 NFTs, perhaps?

NFTs aren’t the only products 100 Thieves is delving into for the month of April, by the way. They’re also getting ready to drop their next line of signature clothing with the Enter Infinity Collection, which is slated to go on sale at 12pm PST on April 10. Fans are most likely going to engage in a frenzy that day if they have any hopes of acquiring 100 Thieves’ latest collection of hoodies, hats, shirts, and sweats, and more. To say that 100 Thieves’ brand awareness is on a whole ‘nother level is an understatement – they’re constantly making headway as a force in the realm of esports, apparel, and now, NFTs.

Consoles Gaming

Our Ultimate ‘King of Fighters XV’ Roster Wishlist

SNK is back, baby!

The longtime Japanese gaming publisher/developer has gotten back into fighting form thanks to releases such as The King of Fighters XIV, Samurai Shodown (2019), and their continued mobile gaming efforts. Now that the company is back on a more solid footing these days, SNK is answering their passionate fans’ requests by presenting an entirely new entry in the KOF franchise. And based on the ending of the last game, all bets are off – it doesn’t matter if a character met their demise in the series’ past since Verse’s demise revived a good majority of them. KOF games tend to go big when it comes to their final roster count, so we know KOF XV is going to “shatter all expectations” by featuring a huge mixture of expected faces, shocking returns, and cool newbies.

Based on our previous experiences with past SNK fighters, we know which characters would be perfect for a welcome comeback. This is our ultimate KOF XV roster wishlist.

1. Rock Howard (‘Garou: Mark of the Wolves’)

Never mind all that chronological order business when it comes to who’s too old or too young to make it into a KOF game. KOF XIV added Garou: Mark of the Wolves’ poster boy to its roster and he looked/played as good as his 2D counterpart. We’re hoping that SNK took notice of how popular Rock ended up being thanks to his 3D reintroduction and makes the wise decision to upgrade him for inclusion in KOF XV. If there’s anyone we’d love to see play the part of leader for a returning Mark of the Wolves team, it’s the mega-powerful son of Geese Howard/rising apprentice of Terry Bogard.

2. B. Jenet (‘Garou: Mark of the Wolves’)

The second Garou roster member that should get an invitation to KOF XV is everyone’s favorite lady pirate, B., Jenet. She’s a major fan favorite among SNK fighting game devotees, so her addition to the game’s roster would be accepted by most. She already knows a thing or two about team synergy since she appeared in KOF XI alongside Tizoc and Gato. It’s about time she got to join all the three-on-three festivities and show off her skills for the world to see once again.

3. Hotaru Futaba (‘Garou: Mark of the Wolves’)

And for our final fantasy Mark of the Wolves team member, we went with the ever so peaceful yet still dangerous Hotaru Futaba. She might seem like the sweetest little girl you’ve ever seen, but she packs quite the punch. Her swift and graceful approach to combat mystified us during her debut in Garou and we’re sure her moveset would look even better with a 3D paint job. Hotaru’s stance-based Tai chi and Baguazhang arsenal need to be part of the Mark of the Wolves Team’s formidable arsenal.

4. Shen Woo (‘The King of Fighters 2003’)

Shen Woo likes to punch people…a lot. He’s a well-dressed brute that ended up being one of our favorite characters during his tenure in KOF 13. His street boxing tactics are overdue for a comeback at this point, which is why we think he’d be the perfect character for a KOF XV revival. There’s a simple joy we get from simply charging up Shen’s punches and unleashing them on our helpless opponents. And that’s something we’re dying to replicate in an all-new KOF game.

5. Ryuji Yamazaki (‘Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory’)

You can’t leave our guy Yamazaki out of the KOF XV equation. Especially since he popped up in the last game as one of its better DLC roster inclusions. Yamazaki’s a lovable thug that derives a ton of fun out of stabbing people with pocket knives, kicking up dust, and viciously slapping people in the nether regions as hard as possible. It’d be pretty awesome to see him aligned with a fellow hothead like Shen Woo, but we’d also be fine with him teaming up with a fellow Fatal Fury roster member.

6. Blue Mary (‘Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory’)

You can’t just leave out Miss Mary from this new batch of KOF goodness. She made quite the splash when she got the DLC nod for the last game in the series and we’re very open to seeing her join its latest installment as a launch roster member. Blue Mary and her wide assortment of sick grapples have always been super hype, so it’d make all the sense in the world for SNK to spruce them up for the latest generation of KOF.

7. Hon-Fu (‘Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory’)

Aren’t y’all tired of this man being forced to play the background role in most SNK fighters? We know we are. Hon-Fu has and always will be nasty with his trusty pair of nunchaku. And it’s about damn time that he got to hop back onto the battlefield to show everyone how it’s done. Hon-Fu’s Kung Fu skills could definitely get an upgrade of some kind that would pair him up nicely with his other Fatal Fury brethren in Yamazaki and Blue Mary.

8. Wolfgang Krauser (‘Fatal Fury 2’)

If there’s one trait about the KOF games that we’ve always appreciated, it’s the random sub-boss encounters that pop up based on your team’s performance. We surely hope that element returns for KOF XV. We’ve got three supremely powerful individuals that would be perfect for that “boss before the real boss” lineup. The first of those three threats is Fatal Fury 2’s valiant warrior, Wolfgang Krauser. The man is a towering beast that we’d love to test our skills against and add to our team once again. Krauser and Terry are destined to go head to head once more, wouldn’t you say?

9. Rugal Bernstein (‘The King of Fighters ’94’)

Verse’s death freed a lot of the deceased souls that gathered throughout KOF’s long lineage. And it’s pretty clear that the superhuman monster known as Rugal Bernstein is back in the world of the living thanks to the KOF 14 boss’ demise. We say Rugal should come back adorned in his swaggy red suit to deliver those vicious God Press’, Genocide Cutters, and Kaiser Waves we’ve missed so much. Just ease up on the CPU difficulty for this guy a bit, SNK…

10. Nameless (‘The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match’)

Thanks to the rollback netcode update for The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match, a lot of fighting game fans have gotten back into the game as a whole. And one of the more noteworthy characters from that game’s massive roster is the fire and ice powered K’ clone known as Nameless. The man just oozes cool factor and we’d totally be open to him getting a nice 3D touchup. Besides being a cool sub-boss option, Nameless would look right at home in a Boss Team setup alongside the last two characters we’ve mentioned.

11. Li Xiangfei (‘Real Bout Fatal Fury 2’)

SNK has to bring back the super cheerful Kung Fu mastermind known as Li Xiangfei. You can’t help but love her endearing personality every time she’s featured in a KOF game. Besides her love for Asian cuisine, Li also gets a kick out of brutalizing her opponents with some forceful strikes and a nice mix of Drunken Fist maneuvers. We’re more than ready to see her brought back into the KOF fold.

12. Tsugumi Sendo (‘Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition’)

We’re going to move into the often ignored 3D realm that SNK took most of its fighters into back in the day. Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition is one of those games and one of the characters that made their debut in that overlooked fighter was the high school wrestler known as Tsugumi Sendo. Her unnatural strength is at odds with her diminutive stature, which made her one of the more interesting fighters on the roster. Sendo’s nasty footwork and grapple expertise are top-notch and worth reviving for KOF 15.

13. May Lee Jinju (‘The King of Fighters 2001’)

WE NEED A HERO! And her name is May Lee Jinju. She fights in the name of justice and does it masterfully with the tried and true martial art of Taekwondo. Besides her basic fighting stance, May Lee also has the ability to switch into a Hero Mode that equips her with a whole new set of skills. Kim Kaphwan is practically a lock when it comes to being featured in KOF15. We say change up his team lineup once again and have him kick everyone to death alongside Miss May Lee. That would certainly shatter everyone’s expectations, right?

14. Jhun Hoon (‘The King of Fighters ’99’)

And here’s the third prospective member for our dream Kim Team. Jhun Hoon is tailor-made for a fruitful partnership with Kim and May Lee that could lead them to victory for the KOF XV tourney. We hope that intriguing possibility can become an exciting reality if SNK’s reading this. Jhun does nothing but land vicious kicks and looks good while he does it. Getting to see Jhun Hoon as a 3D model would be pretty hype now that we’re sitting here and fantasizing about it.

15. Najd (‘The King of Fighters XIV’)

Najd emerged as the winning character design for a KOF 14 contest promoted between SNK and Manga Productions. And after we spent some time labbing her mastery of darkness and the shadows that come with them in the lab, we grew to appreciate her unique combat stylings. Najd’s inclusion in a KOF game shouldn’t be left to a one-time appearance – she should definitely get a wardrobe update and get the chance to link up with two other lethal ladies as a team for KOF 15. Speaking of…

16. Luong (‘The King of Fighters XIV’)

Do you know who ended up being one of the most badass debuting females in KOF 14? “The Enchanting Beauty” known as Luong, who claimed lives by landing some of the quickest kicks we’ve ever seen. Luong made for a great team member when she ran around with Kim and Gang-il, but we think she’d fit in even better with two other equally lethal ladies. Linking her up with Najd works extremely well, in our opinion. And as for the third member of that new team, we think that should be filled by the next member on our list.

17. Mian (‘The King of Fighters XIV’)

The ever so graceful master of Sichuan Bunshinryu is another one of those debuting KOF 14 characters that deserve to get another shot in its upcoming sequel. Mian’s original costume is a bit much, which is why we’d love to see her make a comeback with her main duds from SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy. The powerful collective of Najd, Luong, and Mian would make for the perfect team alignment that could give Yuri, Mai, and King a run for their money.

18. Vanessa (‘The King of Fighters ’99 Evolution’)

Vanessa has vicious hands for days, months, years, etc. Out of all the boxers that have gotten caught up in all the madness that comes with a KOF tournament, she takes the honor of being our favorite. She got called up to the KOF 14 roster as a DLC character and got the opportunity to punch anyone and everyone into an unconscious state. Putting Vanessa back with Ramon sounds like the perfect package deal to us. And to make that duo even better, SNK should throw Angel into the fray.

19. Moe Habana (‘The King of Fighters EX: Neo Blood’)

We’re getting super obscure with the next three picks on this list, so bear with us here. SNK dropped two KOF games on the Game Boy Advance and one of them is The King of Fighters EX: Neo Blood. While that portable fighter and its sequel took place in an alternate timeline for the KOF series, we still think SNK should throw the exclusive characters from those games a bone. Moe Habana hails from the game we mentioned earlier and is readily deserving of a spot in KOF 15. Moe’s got some nasty rekka specials within her moveset, plus she’s got a pretty sick character design that would look so crispy in 3D.

20. Reiji Oogami (‘The King of Fighters EX2’)
SNK / Un Bit Pequeño (YouTube)

Reiji Oogami is pretty much the perfect combination between Kyo Kusanagi and Chizuru Kagura. The man is a heavy-handed brute that can attach flames to his many maneuvers and also has the ability to create mirror clones of himself to throw off his opponents. Now’s the perfect time to expose him to a larger audience via a welcome return to KOF 15. Reiji’s the perfect powerhouse member of a team that includes him, the character we mentioned beforehand, and the next combatant on our list.

21. Miu Kurosaki (‘The King of Fighters EX2’)
SNK / Un Bit Pequeño (YouTube)

Moe, Reiji, and Miu would make for the perfect trio. And we’d like to christen them EX Team. Miu stands out as the fastest member of the three – when she’s on the move, she dishes out damage with some dizzying energy attacks. With the ability to cut down her foes with her signature Feather Attack and Slashing Aura specials, Miu definitely presents herself as a daunting opponent for anyone that mistakenly underestimates her.

22. Zarina (‘The King of Fighters XIV’)

“The Dazzling Smile” was most definitely the standout member of the debuting South American Team back in KOF 14. She danced all over her opponent’s bodies with a wide array of slick  Capoeira-inspired attacks. Since she got a starring role in SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy, it’s clear that SNK sees her as someone that’s going to stick around for so much longer. This tells us that she has a high chance of coming back with her fellow teammates or different squad members altogether.

23. Kukri (‘The King of Fighters XIV’)

Kukri is that super cool, super mysterious sand dude from KOF 14 that captured everyone’s imaginations once they got ahold of him. We reckon that his trippy moveset would look far more impressive thanks to a well-deserved KOF 15 glow-up. If Ash ends up in the game as well, it’d be pretty cool to see Kukri link up with him and Elisabeth since she hired Kukri to locate him in the first place. Side note – KOF 14 sure had a bunch of likable new characters, didn’t it?

24. A Guest Characters Team

The last Japan Fighting Game Publisher Roundtable gave us high hopes of even more shocking crossovers in the near future. We’re hoping that a larger sense of camaraderie between those teams means non-SNK fighting game developers are willing to add a guest team from their associated franchise. Imagine the hype that would accompany an announcement of a World Warriors Team from Street Fighter that features Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li. Or a Tekken Team composed of Heihachi, Kazuya, and Jin. A KOF 15 team that features nothing but guest characters would make our heads explode!

Gaming NFT

Immutable X, Guild of Guardians, and All Things NFT Gaming

The world of blockchain gaming is quickly becoming a popular trend among casual/hardcore gamers and cryptocurrency investors that have dived into the realm of NFTs. One of the gaming producing companies that have been a major force within the blockchain gaming space is Immutable – besides offering up titles such as Gods Unchained, Immutable has also built the first Layer 2 for NFTs on Ethereum for blockchain game developers that want to utilize its platform.

Derek Lau, who represents Immutable as the company’s product lead on new games, is currently working on a brand new title called Guild of Guardians. During a recent conversation with ONE37pm, he detailed everything there is known about the upcoming action RPG and also passed along some worthwhile advice to those looking to get their first blockchain gaming project off the ground. If you still don’t have a clue about NFTs and everything that comes with it, then this interview should clear everything up for you.

ONE37pm: Give us a brief overview of Guild of Guardians and how the player response has been thus far.

Derek Lau: Guild Of Guardians is a mobile RPG that will allow players to turn their gaming passions into assets. It will be a multiplayer, fantasy, action RPG where players build their dream team of ‘Guardians’ and compete in a guild to earn epic rewards. We firmly believe that blockchain games should be both fun, and rewarding and that neither of those two realms should come at the expense of the other. Guild Of Guardians is built to tick both of those boxes, satisfying gamers and players of all different motivations and desires.

The Player Response Thus Far – In a single word? Awesome! We’re currently sitting at 116,000 pre-registrations for the game, and we’ve got a Discord community of more than 5,400 people (which is growing rapidly). We’ve got 34,000 Twitter followers, and thousands of people have filled out an ‘intent-to-buy’ survey for our pre-sale which goes live in Q2, 2021.

ONE37pm: How should a prospective blockchain game developer proceed if they’re looking to get their project off the ground?

Lau: There are many things that a developer can do, depending on where they are at and the size of the team.

First is getting the right talent and knowledge base. There are a lot of differences between blockchain games and normal games – the most obvious one being that ‘normal’ games are built to have closed economies while blockchain games by definition must have open-world economies. It’s critical to learn as much as possible from existing projects and also understand how the blockchain interacts with the various parts of the game – from UX to marketplace to in-game interactions.

Second, they should develop a strategy for the game – Who is the target player? What type of game? Why does blockchain make sense? How are they going to compete? This of course comes together with the usual design and pre-production phase.

Next, they will need funding – this may be straightforward for existing studios or may require some creativity for smaller teams. Luckily the NFT space is hot right now, and a lot of gaming projects will run a “presale” in order to help fund further development by selling exclusive NFTs in the game before it launches.

Finally, they’ll need to execute. The blockchain gaming space evolves quickly, so being able to iterate and experiment will be key to being successful.

ONE37pm: Why is Guild of Guardians building on Immutable X?

Lau: Our goal is to build a quality, mainstream mobile game. This means having the best technology that can scale to millions of players. The most obvious blockchain choice was Ethereum, as it’s the second biggest blockchain and has enormous network effects. Using a sidechain or a different blockchain would be taking a big gamble that ultimately Ethereum will fail – and we don’t want to bet against Ethereum!

Immutable X is an Ethereum layer 2 scaling solution, meaning it retains the decentralized security of Ethereum while allowing for instant transactions and no fees. We’re also excited by the plethora of other projects building on Immutable X – as it means the overall ecosystem and marketplace will be much more vibrant!


ONE37pm: What did GOG’s share-to-earn referral campaign entail?

Lau: The Guild of Guardians share-to-earn referral campaign was pretty simple. We created a simple landing page where players could pre-register via a clear call to action. Upon entering their email, that player would receive 10 ‘points’. They’d also receive a unique referral link that was shareable with one click. They were awarded points for every person who then subsequently pre-registered using their link. 

They could also gain points by liking and following the various Guild of Guardians social media pages. The more points they got, the higher rarity of NFT they earned. This spectrum started with a common summon and was reward-tiered all the way up to the rarest Legendary NFT summon. This created a viral loop that saw us blow up almost overnight, as we caught the attention of a swathe of Crypto Telegram and Discord groups – which then seeped out onto social media, and some news outlets.

ONE37pm: Are there any other blockchain games that have caught your attention besides the ones Immutable is associated with?

Lau: There are many interesting projects out there. Personally, I’m interested in other projects being built on Immutable X, such as the MCH+ games and Illuvium. Will be great to see how they use the platform. Outside of Immutable X, there is Axie Infinity, one of the ‘OG’ games who have done a great job at building their community, Ember Sword which has been in the works for ages, Sorare who just raised $50m, and Lost Relics, which I understand has mostly been built by one person! Apologies for the many games I missed – overall, it’s an exciting time for blockchain games and we’re excited to try to take it to the next level.

ONE37pm: What other projects have committed to building on the Immutable X platform?

Lau: Immutable X has had a bumper few weeks of partnership announcements. They are making some serious noise in the space, and we feel they have every chance to become the premier L2 NFT scaling solution globally. 

Other projects building on Immutable X, and using it as their primary trading platform include: 

God’s Unchained 

Brave Frontier Heroes 

My Crypto Heroes 

My Crypto Saga 

– RTFKT (sneakers) 


– Highrise’s Pocket Worlds 

War Riders 

They’ve also just announced a partnership with OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace, which will be supporting trading on Immutable X. That is enormous.


ONE37pm: What are some of the things that excite you about the future potential of blockchain gaming?

Lau: Where do we start? 

The primary one is probably the ability for our players to have full ownership of their in-game assets. For too long, greedy game developers have hamstrung their player bases. Every dollar you spend in games like Fortnite, Call of Duty, and other AAA titles are literally nothing but sunken costs. Those items are entirely trade-locked, and the player actually has zero ownership of the ‘things’ that they purchase. The in-game purchase ‘industry’ was valued at $88 billion in 2019. That’s more than the movie and music industries combined. We will flip this model on its head, employing an industry-altering ‘play-and-earn’ model, which allows players to exchange, trade, and sell their in-game items. 

We’re also immeasurably excited for the player-driven economies that Guild of Guardians, and the secondary marketplace that we are building on, will facilitate. There is a revolution in mobile gaming coming, and we’re excited to take things to the next level.