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DID YOU READ

Play as Robin in “Batman: Arkham City”

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One of the most annoying trends in video game marketing has to be the pre-order bonus. To gin up interest and stave off digital distributors like Steam, special content available only through certain retailers has been dangled in front of gamers for years now. This hucksterism usually takes the appearance of “Pre-order ‘Shooter X’ from ‘Game Retailer Y’ and get ‘Awesome Gun Z!’ Customers who plunk down $5 on a pre-order are more likely to commit to getting the game, and they’ll get an extra piece of in-game flair for their early loyalty. Apparently, publishers have either been offering exclusive pre-order content to retailers or the stores have been demanding it as an implicit guarantee for shelf space. It’s generally a practice lots of gamers view skeptically, especially since the exclusive content tends to show up in future editions of said games.

Robin_FullBodyRender_copy.jpgBut the appearance of the Boy Wonder in “Batman: Arkham City” will be the one instance where my pre-order-phobic self caves and reserves the game. Consumers will only be able to get the Robin pack by pre-ordering at electronics retailer Best Buy. From the Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment press release:

Robin will come complete with his own unique gadgets and special moves, and will be playable in all challenge maps in the game, as well as two additional challenge maps that are included with the pack – Black Mask Hideout and Freight Train Escape. The pack will also contain a bonus Red Robin character skin.

The above seems to mean that Robin won’t be playable in the main campaign portion of the game, unlike Catwoman who’ll be helping out Batman in his quest to shut down Arkham City. This version of Robin will be the modern-day iteration, a young man named Tim Drake who’s the third guy to wear the red vest. In recent years, he’s become Red Robin, a slightly older, tougher superhero and Bruce Wayne’s long-lost son Damien has since become Robin.

Rumors have been flying that Dick Grayson would be showing up in the game, too. Grayson, of course, was the original Robin until he left the shadow of the Bat and assumed the new heroic identity of Nightwing. For all we know, he’ll be available as part of another pre-order boondoggle.

So, Bat-fans, is the ability to play as Robin enough to get you to pre-order “Batman: Arkham City”? What other Gotham City characters do you want to see in the game? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

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IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

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IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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