8 things to watch out for this week

Black Panther, Bayonetta, Fortnite Battle Royale

It promises to be a pretty fantastic week for lovers of starch-based cakes and, indeed, lovers, with Pancake Day and Valentine's Day all in one seven-day period. Oh, and there are some great new games, TV shows and movies to look forward to. The critically-acclaimed Black Panther is finally hitting movie theatres. Charming 1990s-style platformer Owlboy reaches PS4 and Switch, while EA's distinctive action adventure Fe threatens to tug at our heart strings. You can also catch up with the contentious The Cloverfield Paradox on Netflix, which we chatted to J.J Abrams about only a few days ago. Here's our pick of the eight things to watch out for this week.

Don’t dismiss Black Panther as just another superhero movie

If your first reaction to the thought of seeing Black Panther is ‘oh god, not another superhero movie’, stop. Black Panther is just so much more than that. Not only is Michael B. Jordan - of The Wire and Creed fame - playing the role of the main antagonist, but it’s a nearly all-black cast, with famous names including Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, and Forest Whitaker. It’s successfully combating the accusations of a white-washed Marvel universe single-handedly, and although it sadly shouldn’t be this ground-breaking to have an all-black superhero movie, it’s definitely a watershed moment for diversity in Hollywood. Go watch Black Panther, experience Wakanda and take a good look at that amazing suit. Spider-Man’s going to be *so* jealous. Sam Loveridge

What: Black Panther
Where: A cinema near you
When: February 13 (UK), February 16 (US)

Dragon Quest Builders on Switch gives you time, place, and reason to build

Dragon Quest Builders hit PS4 and PS Vita in 2016, and folks who played it quickly discovered that it was actually the secret Lego RPG that has long lain dormant in our childhood dreams. Forget about Minecraft and the licensed Lego games for a minute, I'm talking about the real experience of playing with Legos: following the instructions to build a kit, utterly disregarding the instructions to build whatever the hell you want, then playing heroes and villains in the little world you created piece by piece. Dragon Quest Builders does that, and with the flexibility of Switch, you can finally take your creation with you and play whenever you have time (all without the danger of losing bricks under your car seat). Connor Sheridan

What: Dragon Quest Builders
Where: Nintendo Switch
When: February 9

Owlboy is flying onto Switch and PS4 this week, and you need to play it if you love old school Disney-esque adventuring

Remember how awesome the old school Disney platformers used to be, like Aladdin and The Lion King from back in the early ‘90s? Well, that’s exactly the vibe you get from Owlboy. It was originally released back in 2016 on PC, it’s an indie game that received incredible praise across the board from critics and fans alike (just look at that Metacritic score) and now it’s coming to PS4 and Nintendo Switch. Owlboy is basically a platformer with an adventure tale worthy of stories told by Studio Ghibli and Disney, where you play as a young Owl-Human hybrid called Otus, who is forced to go on a dangerous quest when his clan's village is attacked by bandits. You’ll face boss battles and challenging puzzles along the way, and meet a cast of colourful characters that’ll either help or hinder you on that journey. If you watch the trailer above and don’t fall in love with Owlboy in the first minute, we’re disowning you. Sam Loveridge

What: Owlboy
Where: Digital download on PS4 Nintendo Switch
When: February 13 (Physical releases coming May 25)

Watch The Cloverfield Paradox, and then go back and watch Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane to get over it

OK, so it turns out that delivering a first look trailer at the Super Bowl and then releasing it on Netflix straight after the game is a massive marketing boon. The problem here however is that The Cloverfield Paradox, the sequel to monster found footage classic Cloverfield and last year’s ultra-tense 10 Cloverfield Lane, hasn’t exactly set the critical fires of the world alight. In fact, quite the opposite. Critics have quite rightfully torched the JJ Abrams produced sequel as boring, laughable nonsense. One thing The Cloverfield Paradox does do though is give you plenty of food for thought when it comes to the origins of the franchises’ impressive monsters and it’s all down to a particle accelerator as a last ditch attempt to supply earth with energy. It’s worth watching for the disbelief stretching exercises alone. At least you can always go back to the previous two films to make it all kind of ok. Louise Blain

What: The Cloverfield Paradox
Where: Netflix
When: Right now

Will Fe, EA’s latest indie venture, show the publisher is more than Sports and Star Wars?

It’s not the first time that EA’s taken a punt on a smaller studio. Back in 2016, the publisher released Unravel, a lovely little woollen adventure from a small Swedish developer known as Coldwood Interactive, and in terms of its reception it blew people away with its personal, emotional story and adorable knitted protagonist, Yarny. Well, now EA is doing it again with Fe, from the team over at Zoink - another small Swedish developer, which has already released a number of titles including the brilliant Stick It to the Man!. Fe’s focus on our relationship with nature, the land and all that lives upon it is a million miles away from the football pitches of FIFA 18 or Madden NFL 18 and the pew pew lasers of Star Wars Battlefront 2. It’s safe to say that 2017 ended a little, well, awkwardly for EA in terms of the boxes of the loot persuasion, so it’s interesting that the publisher is starting out 2018 with such a daring release. But if it’s anywhere near as beautiful as it looks, or as heartwarming as Unravel, EA could be onto an early winner. And hopefully change a few fans’ minds. Sam Loveridge

What: Fe
Where: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC
When: February 16

Wear your PlayStation affiliation on your feet with pride… and LIGHTS

Did you know that it was possible to be someone who’s addicted to both PlayStation gaming and buying new kicks all in one product? Well, thanks to a new Sony and Nike partnership, there’s a brand new pair of sneakers for you to buy, and boy are they flashy. Literally. These ultimate gaming kicks are PlayStation everything, and come complete with PSN code for exclusive digital swag, PS icons everywhere and even a freakin’ light up tongue that matches the PS4’s style. Basketball player and very good gamer, Paul George, has worked closely with both companies to make sure that they’re actually good sneaks and not just a fashion accessory too. 

There’s only a limited quantity and rumours have it they’ll be priced around $110/£100, but from what we can see there’s some real nice features stuffed inside. The public has had mixed feelings around this shoe, but between me and you… I secretly love them and hope to pick up a pair when they drop. Brandon Saltalamacchia

What: PG-2 PlayStation Colorway
Where: Nike SNKR App
When: Available globally from February 10, 2018

Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 come to the Switch, culminating two of the longest weirdest and ultimately happiest underdog stories in modern gaming history 

One of the most (and least) typically Nintendo moves pulled by the company over recent years was the announcement of Wii U exclusivity for the assumed never-happening Bayonetta 2. It was un-Nintendo because, hey, Bayonetta is a sexually-charged, angel-slaying combat-witch.

It's a game built on naught but the most rigorously honed battle complexity did not scream of a perfect fit for Nintendo’s somewhat confused family focus at the time. But at the same time, that’s exactly what made the funding and publishing deal such an in-character move. Nintendo is addicted to doing the least expected thing at any given time. Announcing itself as the new steward of a dead, under-loved, hardcore action game of not-insignificant kink - seemingly just for the hell of it - hit that criteria like a stiletto to the skull. And now, with Bayonetta 3 announced, the series is in a state of health once unimaginable. Similarly, no-one in 2009 would have ever entertained the idea of Bayonetta growing as a Nintendo-exclusive franchise. Nor would anyone in the Wii U era have believed in such a dominant return to Nintendo’s ‘good old days’ as we now see in the Switch. But all these things have happened. And they’ve happened in unison. And with Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 re-releasing on Switch this week, there’s now a real sense of consolidation to the whole affair. The Switch is thriving as a serious gaming platform, and Bayonetta is a bona fide franchise with a long-term home at a platform-holding superpower. Nothing in games is guaranteed. Fortunes can always flip in an instant. But often, if you wait long enough, everything just seems to work out. David Houghton

What: Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2
Where: Nintendo Switch
When: February 16

Help yourself feel all warm and snuggly by getting involved with all the Valentine's Day in-game events

In turns out it’s possible for love to be in the air regardless of whether bullets are flying and purple storms are closing in. Games like Destiny 2, and even Fortnite are hosting in-game events to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Destiny 2 is running its usual Crimson Days event and celebrating the international day of luuuurv with a Beyonce-inspired emote and a brutal 2v2 Clash Mode, because what screams V-Day better than a hectic double date or asking your favourite Guardian to put a ring on it? As for Fortnite's Battle Royale, it’s all about dressing up as creepy bright pink bears and shooting potential mates with a deadly golden crossbow. Expect to see similar such events cropping up in other games over the next coming days, especially the likes of GTA 5, Overwatch and Pokémon Go. Sam Loveridge

What: Fortnite: Battle Royale, Destiny 2 and a load of other titles too
Where: Multi-platform
When: February 14

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