Ralph Breaks The Internet Review

Wreck-It Ralph is a special film. Not only does it have the distinction of being the 50th feature from Walt Disney Animation Studios, but it also features all the qualities that have made the company’s legacy so strong in the last 80-plus years, from its wonderfully-drawn characters and dynamic animation, to its hilarious script and miles of heart. Because of this, it was always going to be tough for a follow-up to match or exceed its predecessor — and while Ralph Breaks The Internet doesn’t quite clear that bar, it’s absolutely spectacular to watch it try.

Expanding the world-building first movie by constructing a whole new universe of its own, the second chapter skillfully avoids all of the tropes and traps of typical sequels in magnificent fashion. It’s a story that serves as a fantastic extension of the original, constructing a narrative that is a natural evolution from where the last one left off, and is packed to the brim with surprises, meta references and immense creativity that will keep you smiling and laughing throughout.

Directed by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston, Ralph Breaks The Internet picks up a few years after its predecessor and finds heroes Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) in two very different places emotionally. Knowing that he has his diminutive friend by his side, Ralph has become immensely satisfied with his life and has no interest in it changing; however, Vanellope has grown bored of her racing game, Sugar Rush, and is desperate for a new challenge in her life.

This is a situation that becomes all the more serious when the steering wheel on Sugar Rush is broken, leading to the cabinet being unplugged — but fortunately a solution is also introduced in the form of a router being hooked up in the arcade.

Understanding that a new steering wheel can be purchased online, Ralph takes Vanellope on an adventure to the internet, but they quickly find themselves in trouble when they accidentally purchase the Sugar Rush part for a whopping $27,001 — leaving them only 24 hours to come up with the money. They begin a search for avenues towards profit, with Ralph becoming a massive viral video star thanks to the influence of an algorithm named Yesss (Taraji P. Henson), but the experience also sees Vanellope beginning an obsession with an online game called Slaughter Race, and the titular hero’s insecurities go haywire as he imagines the possibility of a life separated from his best friend.

The narrative doesn’t quite have the same tight structure/organization that the first film did, doing a lot more bouncing around from place to place, road movie-style, but it remains solid on the immense strength of its character development. And while there might be some objections to how it changes perceptions of its predecessor, it’s hard to argue with the truth. Ralph may have been content at the end of his first feature, but the reality is that your entire self-esteem should not balance on one individual’s opinion, no matter how important they may be. On the opposite side of things for Vanellope, there’s a growing understanding that it’s equally unhealthy to sacrifice your own happiness for someone else’s stability. These are deep, adult lessons that Ralph Breaks The Internet treats seriously and impressively while still being family-friendly, making a perfect foundation for the story.

The powerful protagonist progressions alone help the film avoid the worst sequel trap of them all, repetition, but that’s obviously further enforced by giving the characters a whole new playground to explore — and what a playground it is. Between his work on Wreck-It Ralph, Zootopia, and now this, co-director Rich Moore has quickly established himself as the world building master of Walt Disney Animation, and the vision of the internet here is breathtaking, intricate, and (if we’re being honest) far more delightful than the internet of reality. There is wonderful creativity at play used to explain the mechanics of the online experience in the context of a giant bustling city, and while not everything translates perfectly, you can’t help but appreciate both what does work and the level of detail. It’s a vivid, beautiful, and expansive world, and the film somehow manages to deeply explore while still leave you feeling like they only scratched the surface of possibilities.

Ralph Breaks The Internet is a rare treat. There is not a long legacy of theatrically-released Walt Disney Animation Studios sequels, with the list limited to Rescuers Down Under and Fantasia 2000, and so there was never any guarantee that the movie would come together. As such, the film exists as a gamble, potentially taking the company into a new era, and fortunately it’s one that has paid off. It’s not only an often-hilarious romp through a fantastical new world, but what feels like a beautiful and emotional reunion with old friends. If you found yourself struck by the end credits of Wreck-It Ralph and asking the same questions in the Owl City song “When Can I See You Again?” you should prepare for an immensely satisfying experience.

Rating:
movie reviewed rating
4.0/5

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Millie Bobby Brown’s Stranger Things Tears Are Ominous, But The Show Probably Isn’t Ending Yet

The entirety of 2018 will pass without any new Stranger Things episodes, which obviously isn’t wondrous for fans. Now that Season 3 is wrapping up production, though, we can at last anticipate trailers and important reveals coming from the cast and crew. For instance, some are already going berserk with speculation over Millie Bobby Brown’s emotionally fraught social media posts of late, fearing news of Stranger Things‘ ending. Alas, the show almost definitely isn’t ending soon, despite Brown’s Instagram tears.

TV stars will often get emotional whenever a season is finished filming, as they’re saying temporary farewells to people they spend the majority of their time around. That concept is presumably even more dramatic for younger stars such as Millie Bobby Brown, who has spent two seasons developing the enigmatic, waffle-loving Eleven. With that tear-filled Instagram post, and several others specifically tethered to co-stars Noah Schnapp and Sadie Sink, Brown perhaps unwittingly got some fans extremely worried that Stranger Things is done filming for good.

To be fair, that’s hardly a difficult presumption to land on, given Millie Bobby Brown’s posts were more overtly impassioned than others’ have been. She’d posted the crying pic on her Instagram page after stating on a previous video that she would be crying all day for the final day of shooting. She’d shared another image in her story of Noah Schnapp and Sadie Sink together, with the caption “Love of my life.” And then there are these “One More Time” images…

As fans are aware, Noah Schnapp’s Will and Millie Bobby Brown’s Eleven aren’t exactly besties. Eleven’s arrival coincided with Will’s disappearance, and the two characters haven’t shared screen time together. The image above, while likely not an episode still, looks like it was taken inside Season 3’s Starcourt Mall, so perhaps we’ll see them together at last in Season 3. If Stranger Things actually was ending soon, it’d make sense to have Will and Eleven paired together at least once.

It definitely appears as if Millie Bobby Brown won’t be doing anything with Noah Schnapp or Sadie Sink on Stranger Things again in the future. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the show is ending soon, especially since Matt and Ross Duffer have stated they aim to take this 1980s-geared storyline through four or five seasons before tying it off. And Netflix isn’t about to cancel Stranger Things out of the blue, since it’s one of the streaming service’s most popular original series.

In that case, everyone’s fears should probably hone in on a certain character or characters not surviving long enough to make it to Season 4. But will Eleven be the one to die? The character wasn’t even technically supposed to live throughout Season 1, so it’s not as if she’s destined to be around forever. The fact that Season 2 set her up with a “normal” life as Hopper’s daughter is probably just fuel for the emotional fire that will burn if and when she gets killed off (or however that would go).

On the flip side of that, Eleven is one of the show’s top-tier characters, so it would make more sense in this scenario if both Noah Schnapps’ Will and Sadie Sink’s Max were the ones to be exiting after Season 3. Will really only got character development in Season 2, and even though he has been key to the connection with the Upside Down, the show might use him as a bigger sacrifice to keep the peace in Hawkins for Season 3.

Similarly, Max made her presence known and appreciated in Season 2, both within the main friend group and as the determined stepsister of the psycho Billy. Entering Season 3, she is now important enough that her departure would be noteworthy. Although it would probably be a lot more interesting if she gets killed off in some way than if she has to move to another city to get away from Hawkins’ school system.

Until we hear renewal news for Season 4, it’s still feasibly possible that Stranger Things will end in 2019. But I think it’d be more likely for someone to actually discover the Upside Down in the real world.

Billie Lourd’s Star Wars Excitement Makes Episode IX Sound Worth The Wait

This December will change things up for the Star Wars franchise, as it marks the first holiday season to pass without a new entry into the galaxy far, far away. Instead, the fandom will have to wait an entire calendar year for J.J. Abrams’ currently untitled Episode IX to arrive in theaters, and conclude the Skywalker Saga forever. The pressure is on for Abrams to deliver, and the wait has already been excruciating for the hardcore fandom.

Luckily, it appears that Episode IX will deliver in a way that will hopefully make the two year gap between The Last Jedi and the threequel worth while. Carrie Fisher’s daughter, actress Billie Lourd will play Lieutenant Connix for the third time in Episode IX, and recently expressed just how great the upcoming blockbuster will be. As she tells it,

Well, this is certainly exciting. While Episode IX seems far from completed, Billie Lourd seems to be particularly impressed with the blockbuster’s script. Considering her own experience within the galaxy (as well as Carrie Fisher’s), this could be high praise for J.J. Abrams’ next Star Wars installment.

Billie Lourd’s comments come from her recent conversation with ET, where the rising actress discussed her various acting projects. While she’s perhaps best known for her TV roles in Ryan Murphy projects American Horror Story and Scream Queens, Lourd has also been apart of the current Star Wars trilogy since The Force Awakens. While her character usually only has a bit part, it’s one that has been rising during her time in the beloved space opera. Hopefully that’ll continue with Episode IX— especially since J.J Abrams created the character.

Lieutenant Connix has a quick one-liner in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, communicating some intel to General Leia during The Resistance’s strike on Starkiller Base. Billie Lourd got more time to shine during The Last Jedi, helping to evacuate the base on D’Qar during its opening moments.

She also facilitate Rose and Finn’s adventure to Canto Bight, and participated in Poe’s mutiny against Holdo. Connix survives the final conflict in Crait, and watches in wonder as Rey saves the resistance and inspires them to continue on. Her role in Episode IX will likely be around the same size, but anything could happen with J.J. Abrams back in the director’s chair.

Episode IX will likely be a very different experience for Billie Lourd than the previous two movies, as its the first main installment in the wake of Carrie Fisher’s death. Lourd got to be on set with her mother for those projects, and now she (along with the generations of fans) are flying solo without Fisher.

Star Wars Episode IX will fly into theaters on December 20th, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

Walt Disney World’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Ride Will Be A New Type Of Roller Coaster

Fans of the MCU and fans of Walt Disney World were equally excited when it was announced that Epcot would be receiving a brand new Guardians of the Galaxy themed roller coaster in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. However, this morning, Bob Chapek, The Walt Disney Company’s Chairman of Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products revealed that the new attraction will be a first of its kind experience, what Disney Parks is calling a “storytelling coaster.” According to Chapek…

On most coasters, the vehicles point straight ahead throughout the ride, but on this attraction, each individual cab will be programmed to direct your eye to the story happening around you. That means instead of whizzing by the action, you’ll be fully immersed in the story from the minute you launch.

Some test footage of the new attraction, which Bob Chopek showed at the IAAPA Attractions Expo (via Attractions Magazine), showed a chain of traditional rollercoaster vehicles, where one was moving left and right as it got pulled forward at high speed. While the test footage didn’t give any indication of what will be surrounding the ride vehicles on the actual Guardians of the Galaxy attraction, one assumes the car will be pointing at screens or animatronics that will tell the story that the ride has created.

Roller coaster cars that move aren’t entirely new, many coasters give riders the ability to spin around in some way independent of the forward motion, but this may be the first coaster that will move you around in a programmed way specifically to show you something.

Storytelling and immersion have always been a major part of what Disney tries to do in order to elevate the attractions beyond simple rides. Many of Disney’s competitors have followed suit over the years. We’re used to getting interesting and involved stories on exciting thrill rides like Star Tours or the Indiana Jones Adventure, but those rides don’t move at the speed of a rollercoaster.

Conversely, many roller coasters do have stories that are part of them, but traditionally all the storytelling is done in pre-show rooms and ride cues and the story part of the ride itself is negligible at best. Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Rock N’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith or the newly skinned Incredicoaster would be examples of that. They might have elements of the story or theme around you as your car goes flying by, but it’s little more than set dressing.

Of course, the reason that we don’t get a lot of deeply engaging stories on roller coasters is that it’s just difficult to explain a lot while traveling at 45 miles per hour for two minutes at a time. How do you get across the information that you want to get across when the guest can only see what you want to show them for a brief moment?

Clearly, the ride vehicles ability to direct the guests attention to where the information is happening is part of the way this will work, but it’s probably only part of the story. The rest of the answer may be found in the fact that the show building is one of the largest constructions of its kind that Walt Disney World has ever created. Bob Chopek revealed that the concrete foundation was the largest pour Walt Disney World had ever made. To explain the size of the show building itself, he revealed that four Spaceship Earths, the massive Epcot geodesic dome, could fit inside it.

This massive size could help the ride in a couple of different ways. First, if there’s a significant amount of distance between the track and the wall of the building, then projections being displayed there can be large, and take up the guests field of view in a broader way, meaning that there will simply be more time to look at whatever it is the ride wants to show you.

Secondly, the massive building could house a significant track length. If the ride is longer than your average roller coaster, then it will have more time to tell you its story. Either of these things, or some combination of the two, could be the way this will all work.

This is already done to some degree at Space Mountain at Disneyland. When the park wants to put an extra emphasis on Star Wars, the ride gets a reskin and a name change to Hyperspace Mountain. The ride vehicle becomes a fighter in an X-wing squadron that gets involved in a battle with a Star Destroyer. Projections of other ships are shown on the walls, lighting effects are added to create the appearance of laser blasts, and radio chatter is heard over the ride vehicle speakers. It’s pretty remarkable how immersive it is considering it’s just a reskin over an older ride. These new ride vehicles could take all that to another level.

What story the new ride will tell, and even its official name, are still under wraps. We don’t even have a real window for when the ride is expected to be completed, beyond the fact that it will be completed in time for Walt Disney World’s big 50th birthday party in 2021.

Some of these questions are actually kind of important because the state of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise itself is a big question mark right now. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was expected to be in theaters in 2020 but after Disney made the decision to fire James Gunn the movie is on indefinite hold. While the ride was expected to come after the third film, it now is very likely to arrive first. This could potentially require a change in the ride’s story.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout at Disney California Adventure uses the actors from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and while the ride’s story isn’t officially MCU canon, assuming the new ride was going to do the same, there may be a hiccup if the ride was going to use a character that the films had not yet introduced. There’s also the problem that the word on the street was that filming the segments for the ride was rumored to be happening alongside filming of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and if that can’t happen, it will be significantly more expensive and time consuming to complete this attraction.

Everything about the Guardians of the Galaxy attraction sounds pretty cool so far. I’ll certainly be looking forward to checking it out sometime in 2021.

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Sebastian Stan Says He Doesn’t Know If Bucky Is In Avengers 4

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a fascinating place right now, as the future beyond Avengers 4 is largely a mystery. No one could have predicted the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War, where Josh Brolin’s Thanos succeeded in collecting the Infinity Stones and wiping out half the galaxy with the snap of his finger. Tons of heroes turned to dust, including Sebastian Stan’s Bucky/ The White Wolf.

Sebastian Stan has been in the MCU since back in Captain America: The First Avenger, and he’ll continue his run via Disney’s streaming service with a planned series alongside Anthony Mackie’s Falcon. And while cinephiles are expecting the vanished heroes to be revived during the events of Avengers 4, Stan recently revealed he doesn’t know if he’ll pop up. As he tells it,

Well, that’s a plot twist. Sebastian Stan alleges all of this footage was filmed for Avengers: Infinity War, so he doesn’t know whether or not Bucky will pop back up for the Phase Three ending blockbuster Avengers 4. Since Bucky was the first Avenger to fade to dust (and considering his long tenure in the franchise), it would be surprising if the former Winter Soldier didn’t return in some capacity.

Sebastian Stan’s recent comments to Collider are definitely going to surprise the Marvel fandom out there, especially those expecting the dusted characters to rise from the dead before Avengers 4 concludes. It’s impossible to imagine the MCU continuing on with those characters staying dead, especially as they include fan favorites Spider-Man, Black Panther, and 3/4 of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Of course, part of the being in the MCU is keeping the shared universe’s secrets. As such, Sebastian Stan and the rest of the cast are expected to keep their mouths shut about each new development. And there has been no greater mystery than WTF happened after Thanos snapped his fingers. Sebastian Stan previously hinted at his role in Avengers 4, but now he’s changing his tune.

Confusing the fandom may be part of being a Marvel actor, but some stars handle this responsibility better than others. Sebastian Stan has mostly kept out of trouble, while his co-stars Mark Ruffalo and Tom Holland haven’t fared quite as well. Luckily Avengers 4 is still a mystery, although there are a number of months before it arrives this May.

All will be revealed when Avengers 4 arrives in theaters on May 3rd, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

Gotham Season 5 Trailer Brings Out Bane And More Crazy Villains

When 2019 arrives, there will be reason to celebrate, but also reason to fear for the residents of the eternally doomed Gotham City. The fifth and final season of Gotham will arrive in full force, with Batman legitimately making his way to the Fox drama at some point. But first, the entire criminal underworld will come out for one last hurrah, which includes the introductions of Bane and a more Harley-fied take on Jeremiah’s accomplice Ecco. Check it all out!

That may not be a proper Bat Signal shining into the clouds above Gotham City, but the light’s introduction last season was certainly a tip of the hat to Batman’s impending arrival. And it looks like Jim Gordon could use an extra pair of protective glove-wearing hands in reversing the “No Man’s Land” arc that Jeremiah set up by destroying all of Gotham’s bridges. Especially with a new chaotic force like Bane hitting the streets.

As portrayed by ER vet Shane West, Gotham‘s Bane may actually come across as a protagonist when he first enters the story. Though the comic’ Bane has no identified alter ego, Gotham‘s Eduardo Dorrance was a friend of Jim’s during their Army days. His arrival in Gotham City comes equipped with a squad of top-notch soldiers with the goal of bringing the city back to its former…glory?

In any case, unless Gotham flips the script and turns the villainous behemoth into a good guy, something will happen that makes Bane’s greater-good efforts turn sour. Which, of course, will be less than ideal for Jim and Bruce and the other two or three people who want to actually help.

As seen in the trailer, though, there are way more people that want to bring Gotham City to its knees for one reason or another. Let’s not forget just how dangerous and destructive Jeremiah has already been in his extremely short stint on Gotham already — to say nothing of Jerome’s own mayhem — and he’s got both helpers and hinderers popping up left and right.

Jeremiah’s pal Ecco, portrayed by Francesca Root-Dodson, is changing her look anew, and is looking a lot more like Harley Quinn these days. What with the smeared lipstick, the eye black strip on her face, and outerwear that matches up with her color patterns.

As far as the other fan-favorite villains go, Gotham viewers will be in for a good time. The trailer gives us brief glimpses of both Penguin and Riddler, hopefully marking limited new arcs for the two former partners (in crime). As well, it’s downright cheerworthy when Scarecrow pops up with his own army of mucky looking minions.

But beyond Bane, I believe this trailer has gotten me most excited to see what happens with Selina in Season 5. The young character has sharpened her claws in the criminal world, while also deepening her fractured relationship with Bruce, but there hasn’t been that much happening on the cat front since she got mostly resurrected following her big fall. Could these glowing cat eyes be a sign of something new on the purr-izon?

With all of that happening, it’s almost easy to forget that a Joker-esque Jeremiah also shows up, and that Bruce kicks some ass, and that Barbara is going to be a man-destroying force. We didn’t forget, though, and neither will you.

Gotham, now running with the Season 5 tag “Legend of the Dark Knight,” will debut on Fox on Thursday, January 3, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Before the 2019 midseason gets here, we still have lots of good shows left to premiere, so bookmark our fall TV premiere schedule to stay current.

The Gifted Paid Tribute To Stan Lee During Last Night’s Episode

Stan Lee’s impact is everywhere. The late Marvel Comics icon is being mourned by just about everyone, including the cast and crew of The Gifted. The Fox TV show is based on Marvel Comics characters in the X-Men universe. Season 2, Episode 7 aired November 13 — the day after Stan Lee’s passing — and the series paid tribute to Lee with this end shot:

Stan Lee always has a fun little cameo in Marvel projects, and The Gifted was no exception. His cameo came right away at the start of the series in 2017. Showrunner Matt Nix told The Hollywood Reporter it was not easy to get Lee in for that brief scene:

Here’s how the cameo scene in question turned out:

Short but sweet! The Gifted cast and crew also got to spend a little hang time with Stan Lee, and they are forever grateful. The official show account shared a larger version of the cast photo used at the end of last night’s episode:

The Gifted stars Stephen Moyer (True Blood) as Reed Strucker, and he shared his own photo with Stan Lee after the news of Lee’s death spread on November 12:

The Gifted co-star Sean Teale shared his own photo with Stan Lee:

It is amazing to think of how many films, TV series, comics and other media have a direct link to Stan Lee. The Gifted is connected to the X-Men film series — which also includes Deadpool and Logan — and they are all connected to the Marvel Comics characters co-created by Lee.

Marvel Studios tends to get the most attention, thanks to the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the Avengers stars clearly weren’t the only ones to reach out with tributes after Stan Lee’s death. Members of the Fox family like The Gifted, and Sony’s Marvel Universe including Venom, also thanked Lee for making all of this happen.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald Should Have A Bigger Opening Weekend Than We Thought

J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World has been a license to print money almost since day one and while we always expected the new movie, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, to have a solid box office opening, the projected numbers the movie is currently seeing are actually better than what the movie was tracking toward just a few weeks ago. The film is now expected to see an opening of at least $65 million but is more likely to do something closer to $75 million.

Early estimates for Grindelwald’s box office were in this same ballpark, but the lower range of the film’s expectations have jumped from $63 million to $65 million. $75 million was the upper limit expectation at the time, but it now seems like $75 million may not be the upper limit at all, as Variety reports that some industry analysts actually expect the movie to do that much business on opening weekend, which means exceeding it is far from impossible.

The first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them brought in just short of $75 million on its opening weekend, so it looks like the sequel is on track to match the original. Certainly, if The Crimes of Grindelwald comes up short compared to the first film there will be some disappointed studio executives. However, it does seem like if the ticket sales do add up to less than the first movie, it will be a negligible amount.

While the first Fantastic Beasts film did well at the box office, bringing in over $800 million around the world, domestically it’s actually the lowest performing film of the entire Wizarding World franchise, bringing in $234 million.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald does not look poised to change that. It will be interesting to see how the new movie compares to the previous one overall. It’s not that surprising that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them didn’t break the bank. While it was a story set in the same universe as Harry Potter, it didn’t include any of the characters that people had grown to love over the course of 10 years and eight movies. It would be expected that fans of those films wouldn’t be entirely sold on this new off-shoot story.

Now, however, people know what to expect and the question is, how many people are now on board with Newt Scamander and Grindelwald and the rest? Also, with the addition of at least one character that fans do know, a young Albus Dumbledore, old-school fans might be more willing to give the series a try.

The other thing that might draw people in is the fact that the new movie has been teasing some pretty big spoilers. There’s even a Twitter hashtag specifically for those who go to early screenings in order to ask them to keep the film’s secrets, which means that there must be secrets worth keeping. The rest of us will find out for sure this Friday.

10 Nintendo Switch Games Everybody Should Own

The Nintendo Switch has turned out to be a massive success, due in large part to its impressive lineup of games from a wide variety of genres; some of which really make the console shine.

One of the biggest criticisms leveled against Nintendo in recent console generations was the lack of a robust library. Nintendo has always brought some heavy hitters of its own to the table, but their consoles have struggled in the past to draw third-party developers or make indie teams feel at home. That’s no longer an issue with the Nintendo Switch, as the console’s ever-growing library is one of its strongest assets.

Not only has Nintendo released some top-tier offerings for its own portable/home console hybrid, but more and more third-party developers seem to be falling in love with the platform, too. Square Enix is all about the Switch these days, and Bethesda has done a solid job of bringing games new and old to Nintendo’s hardware. As for indies, not a week goes by without a collection of games from smaller developers hitting the Nintendo eShop, offering plenty of bang for your buck and yet another opportunity for those developers to get their games in front of a massive audience.

Nearly two years following the launch of the Switch, there’s a little something for everyone up for grabs. Whether you like platformers, sports games, racers, shooters, puzzlers or just about anything else, you should be able to find plenty of games to fit your interests. And if you’re looking to grab some of the best games the console has to offer, we’ve pulled together our top 10 picks.

*The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild *

Arguably the Switch’s best game launched the same date as the console itself, with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild taking everything fans love about the series and cranking it up to 11. Breath of the Wild felt like it was in development forever, but all of that waiting paid off when the game finally arrived. Set in an open Hyrule, players are able to explore the game’s various regions freely, visiting towns, fighting monsters, exploring dungeons, equipping new gear and tackling side quests along the way. An amazing adventure on par with the genre’s most beloved entries, Breath of the Wild is one of those games we know fans will be talking about for years and years to come.

Super Mario Odyssey

Nintendo knocked it out of the park with Super Mario Odyssey, offering up a rather hefty adventure through loads of bright and colorful worlds. The game’s real beauty is how it’s designed for all types of players, with a not-too-difficult quest supplemented by extremely challenging extra objectives peppered throughout its varied locales. There’s a lot of fun to be had while running, sliding and jumping through the magical realms of Odyssey, with Mario’s new “Cappy” ability introducing all sorts of new mechanics to the game. It’s fresh and inventive, which is a pretty surprising feat for a series that’s three decades old.

Splatoon 2

While the Switch might not have a boatload of shooters on offer, games like DOOM and Wolfenstein are a fine way to blast your enemies to smithereens. And then there’s Splatoon 2, which sets itself apart from the pack by being a shooter that is also family friendly, with commandos and guns exchanged for adorable Squid Kids and weapons that splatter ink all over the place. A recent expansion has given the game an even larger number of single-player challenges to blast through, while the cooperative Salmon Run mode is a great way to get in some blasting with your friends or online. And then there are the competitive modes, which are as full of energy and color as you would expect out of a Nintendo game.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

The quintessential fast and furious racing game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe brings the arcade antics of the time-tested series to the Switch in a big way. The game looks and runs super well on the Switch, with the biggest roster of drivers, kart combinations and tracks the series has ever seen. Whether you want to speed through the Mushroom Kingdom or challenge your friends in a number of competitive activities, a gathering of friends can be turned into an instant gaming party simply by booting up Mario Kart.

*Fortnite *

Fortnite is one of the biggest games on the planet right now and has even managed to gain popularity with folks who don’t even play video games. A battle royale extravaganza, Fortnite drops 100 players onto a big map and challenges everyone with being the last player standing. The developers have done an amazing job keeping a steady flow of fresh content flowing into Fortnite, with weekly events and oodles of unlockables giving everyone plenty of reasons to keep diving back in for more. And while most battle royale games are all about grit and realism, Fortnite has made a name for itself by being light, fun and way over-the-top. Also, it’s free to play, meaning anyone with a Switch should at least give it a shot.

Octopath Traveler

Even Square Enix didn’t expect Octopath Traveler to be such a big hit on the Switch, where the exclusive RPG carved out an immediate niche for itself by bringing back classic genre tropes and pairing them with some clever new concepts. The game features a sweeping story and eight protagonists, meaning dedicated fans can squeeze dozens upon dozens of hours out of this single adventure. Oh, and that newfangled take on retro graphics? Yes, please, and thank you.

Stardew Valley

The ultimate “chill” game, you shouldn’t be fooled by Stardew Valley‘s retro graphics. The game is an extremely deep simulation tasking the player with returning both a farm and a quaint little village to its former glory. You’ll need to build up your farm, raise livestock, take part in dozens of activities, adventure through mines and befriend your neighbors in a game that gives you an insane number of tasks to perform, but never really pushes you to rush through them. An extremely addictive throwback to games like classic Harvest Moon titles, Stardew Valley is even gearing up to introduce cooperative play for folks who want to farm with their friends.

Celeste

While most of the games on this list can be enjoyed by just about anybody, Celeste is a challenging platformer that requires dedication and constant practice in order to master. The game starts out easy enough, but pretty soon you’ll find yourself leaping, darting and sliding around levels that require pinpoint accuracy to work through, meaning that each victory feels that much more rewarding. It doesn’t hurt that there’s a rather lovely story stringing all of those tricky puzzles together, too, making Celeste a solid recommend for folks who want to push their skills to the limit.

Shovel Knight

We can’t say enough wonderful things about Shovel Knight, a game that wears its inspirations on its sleeve proudly and manages to pay homage to genre greats without falling back on parody. As the titular Shovel Knight, you’ll adventure through a series of inventive levels on a quest to topple the Order of No Quarter, a band of rival knights set on keeping you from rescuing your love, Shield Knight. If you love classic Mario, Mega Man or Castlevania games, Shovel Knight is a must-have that manages to complement time-tested systems with plenty of original ideas. On top of that, the game includes two additional campaigns to work through at no additional charge, with a fourth gratis quest set to launch sometime soon.

*Super Smash Bros. Ultimate *

Set to launch on Dec. 7, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is sure to be this holiday season’s must-have Switch game. A love letter to video game history, the roster of nearly 100 characters includes fan-favorites and oddballs alike, complete with levels and music ripped straight from 30 years’ worth of classics. Smash Bros. will be huge on the competitive scene, but it’s also a blast to play casually with friends. There’s also a whole bunch of extra content to dive into on your own, making this latest brawler in the beloved series an obvious inclusion for any Switch library.

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New Elseworlds Clip Shows The Flash With Green Arrow’s Fighting Skills

The CW’s upcoming “Elseworlds” crossover released its first clip recently, and the footage showed Stephen Amell’s “Barry Allen” very confused and shocked that his wife Iris is kissing him. Now, another clip has surfaced with Grant Gustin sparring against Diggle and utilizing the Green Arrow’s fighting skills.

Much like Stephen Amell’s Barry Allen, Grant Gustin’s Oliver Queen is confused by the fact he’s being referred to by his good friend’s name. Diggle, much like Iris, is oblivious that anything has changed, while Gustin’s Queen is clearly aware that something is amiss in this situation. Gustin’s Queen realizing he has Green Arrow’s fighting ability somewhat snaps him out of it, although by the end of the promo his mind is just as blown as Amell’s Barry seemed to be.

The new teaser presumably sheds some light on what was happening in the first one and sends some theories to the front of the line regarding what “Elseworlds” will follow. It now seems more likely that Earth 1’s Barry and Oliver Queen have traded lives. Strangely enough, both heroes appear to be aware they’re not who they’re supposed to be, despite other characters’ insistence otherwise. Is this the result of some Flashpoint level event, or does Monitor have a hand in this?

What’s even weirder is that while the two men are in disbelief of who they are, they seem to have each other’s gifts. The footage has only confirmed that with Gustin’s Oliver, although Stephen Amell’s various photos of himself in a Flash costume have us thinking he’ll have Barry’s speedster powers as well. So, provided that’s all accurate, what’s next?

Well, if the two men are on the same world, chances are they’re going to try and meet and make sense of everything that’s going on. If they aren’t, they’ll have to embrace their new lives and abilities as best they can until the reason behind why this happened becomes clear. Here’s hoping they’re on the same Earth, as we’d love to see the actual Barry’s reaction to the news that Oliver kissed his wife.

There are more questions to be pulled from this latest “Elseworlds” teaser, as well. Why is Grant Gustin’s Oliver sparring with Diggle, and not currently locked up in Slabside? Granted, Felicity and the gang felt they’ve figured out a way to free Oliver from prison, but we’re not sure it’ll happen before the crossover. Also, we’re wondering how Barry and Oliver’s Freaky Friday experience has anything to do with Supergirl and Batwoman. Does this mean they’ll swap identities too?

Hopefully, more details will come to light ahead of the “Elseworlds” crossover, which is set to begin on The CW Sunday, December 9 at 8:00 p.m. ET. For a look at what’s headed to television before and after that, be sure to visit our handy fall premiere guide.