Today in the Rundown, we get the details on the new platformer Yooka-Laylee coming to the Nintendo Switch! We also hatch the latest on Pokémon Go, take a look at a surprise new Netflix series, find out what the makers of Westworld are creating next, dive into the latest on the big screen Aquaman movie, and finally, get wet with a cool new Star Wars gadget.
Another big upcoming game is jumping over to the Nintendo Switch. Playtonic Games has announced that their 3D platformer Yooka-Laylee will launch on April 11, 2017. As promised, it will be available on the PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and Linux, but as we mentioned, the Nintendo version is getting a bit of a switch. The developers have decided to cancel the planned Wii U version, and instead release it on Nintendo’s upcoming system. Many other studios, including Nintendo themselves, have already moved on from the Wii U, but there might be bit of a problem this time around. Yooka-Laylee was crowdfunded through Kickstarter, and many of the backers were expecting to be able to play the game on the Wii U. Playtonic says that backers will be able to transfer their Wii U pledge to the Switch or another platform, or get a refund altogether, with more details coming soon. It seems like a lot of big Kickstarter games have failed to meet expectations lately, so we’ve got our fingers crossed that Yooka-Laylee will deliver on the Switch and all its other platforms. The Switch itself will hit stores in March.
Aspiring Pokémon Trainers finally have new pocket monsters to discover, but not in the way you might be expecting. After months of rumours, Pokémon Go developer Niantic Labs has begun adding Generation 2 Pokémon characters to the game. Generation 2 Pokémon are the ones that were first introduced in the Game Boy Color titles Pokémon Gold and Silver in 1999. There were more than 100 of them in the original games, but unfortunately for Pokémon Go players, they’re not all available at once. Players will only be able to get Togepi, Pichu, and a few others for now, with the rest of the Gen 2 characters coming over the next few months. Something else that might disappoint you is the fact that you won’t actually be able to catch the Gen 2 Pokémon; Niantic says that the only way to get them is by hatching them from eggs, which is often an annoying and time consuming process. Hopefully that will change. If you need something to cheer you up, Niantic is launching a special holiday-themed event in the game. Starting today and lasting until the end of the month, limited edition Pikachus with festive Santa hats will appear all over the world, and Niantic says they’re easy to find. I guess this means I’ll finally be able to catch my first Pikachu.
Netflix wants you to trust the unknown with a surprise new show. Take a look at The OA, the latest original series produced by the streaming giant. They only just officially announced it yesterday and are going to release it this Friday, a very quick turnaround that’s already turning some heads. The show stars indie movie darling Brit Marling as a blind woman who mysteriously regains her vision, leading to all kinds of weird happenings. All eight episodes are directed by Marling’s frequent collaborator Zal Batmanglij, who’s directed her in several other trippy projects. The producers say that every episode of The OA will “upend notions about what long-format stories can be,” whatever that means, and the good news is that we won’t have to wait long to find out.
It’s not all good news for Netflix. They’ve cancelled another original series, Marco Polo, after just two seasons. Netflix doesn’t release ratings data, but there are unconfirmed reports that they canned the show after the second season failed to meet viewership expectations. That’s on top of the fact that the show would have been very costly to produce, requiring a lot of period-specific costumes, sets, and other pricey things like horses. Horses ain’t cheap.
Speaking of expensive horses, the makers of Westworld want to take audiences on another trip. Following the success of the first season of Westworld, HBO is joining forces once again with JJ Abrams and his Bad Robot Productions to create another show. According to The Hollywood Reporter, their new collaboration is called Glare, and will be an hour-long drama about the colonization of another planet. Abrams is obviously no stranger to the concept, and given that the show is called Glare, don’t be surprised if there are a few lens flares. There’s no word yet on when the show might premiere, but since we’re just hearing about it now, it will probably take at least a few years. Back on Earth, the second season of Westworld is currently in the works, but they’re taking their time, so it won’t arrive until 2018.
Aquaman won’t be the only master of the ocean in his new movie. Director James Wan has announced that actor Patrick Wilson, who’s worked with Wan on the Insidious and Conjuring films, has joined the cast of the live-action Aquaman movie. He’ll play the film’s main villain, the classic DC Comics evil-doer Ocean Master, who’s actually Aquaman’s half-brother. The character has been used many times as an antagonist in the Aquaman stories, although it’s unclear if the more famous Aqua-adversary, Black Manta, will appear in the film as well. Maybe they’ll save him for the sequel. The Aquaman movie will begin shooting soon, and is slated to splash audiences in 2018.
And before we go, Aquaman or anyone else might be interested in these cool Star Wars-themed water bikes. No, they don’t actually fly on land. They’re hydroflight bikes, meaning that they shoot water down out of a tube in order to propel themselves across a lake or river. The bikes are made by California-based company Jetavation Inc, which makes the Jetovator water bikes, and the Star Wars ones are called, what else, the Jedivators. Before you add them to your Christmas list, they’re not actually for sale, but they’re still pretty cool. May the force of water be with you.