Despite its incredible initial popularity, Pokémon Go has faced a number of issues since launch beyond just keeping its servers working. A Bloomberg report cites analyst numbers claiming the game’s active users have shrunk by more than 10 million from their mid-July peak, which makes keeping the remaining players happy even more important. An update that just arrived on Android and iOS is trying to address that, pulling in the recently-added Team Leader characters to give players advice on their Pokémon.
The only problem is that, as you can see in the screenshots, the advice is pretty vague and may not give casual players any useful info. Basically, by pressing the appraisal button while looking at a captured Pokémon, players can get feedback that indicates how that particular Pokémon’s stats compare to others of its species. That’s the kind of feedback you’ll need before deciding which ones to evolve, battle or trade to the professor — but only if you can understand what’s going on. The Pokémon Go Database fan site has a list of all the possible responses and what they mean in terms of numbers, acting as an explainer to the explanation feature.
As-is, it’s a small step towards helping players understand what’s going on without needing to search out help online, while the changelog indicates that Niantic is also working on “rebalancing” the training battle. So many areas of the game could use work to provide better rewards for time invested it’s hard to pick out just one, but that’s apparently what’s coming next. You can grab the new update on iTunes or Google Play right now — let us know if a few one-liners from Spark, Blanche and Candela are enough to keep you playing.
Source: Pokémon Go, iTunes, Google Play
It’s one of those bits of gaming trivia that punches a specific generation of players square in the gut: There was once an Xbox Live port of Goldeneye 007 in the works, but it was cancelled. It’s true — Activation was porting the Nintendo 64 classic to the Xbox 360 back in 2008, but the project was canned when Microsoft and Nintendo couldn’t reach a licensing agreement. The good news? Today we finally get a look at what the game would have been — known leaker Rare Thief has posted 30 minutes of gameplay footage.
For fans of the original game, the video is a bittersweet revelation. Here, we see everything fans wanted from the XBLA remake: the complete, classic single player campaign, new high resolution textures, a much improved framerate of 60 fps and the complete multiplayer experienced tailored to online play over Xbox Live. Better still are the new features players missed out on, including new multiplayer levels, an option that equals all character heights (Take that, Oddjob) and an option to instantly switch between classic and HD graphic modes.
It’s nice to see what almost was, if a bit sad to know we’ll never be able to play it. That’s something we’ll all have to come to terms with — but hey, at least we still have Goldeneye: Source.
Source: Rare Thief, YouTube
The NES Classic is equal parts neat and limited — after all, it has the correct look, but can’t be expanded beyond the 30 games built into it and won’t play nice with existing NES controllers. Cheap? Sure, though it’s maybe not the tiny retro machine fans have been hoping for. That’s where the makers of the custom-built Analogue Nt come in: they’ve built a smaller, less expensive version of the console called the Nt mini that’s set to ship in January 2017.
The Nt mini will set you back $479, which, yes, isn’t much cheaper than the $500 price tag the original Analogue Nt had stuck to it. You’ll get a little more bang for your buck, though: it comes with one of 8bitdo’s wireless NES30 controllers and can upscale your NES games’ video and output it through HDMI or RGB right out of the box. All told, the folks at Analogue Interactive say the Mini model is about $200 cheaper than a comparably kitted-out original (though good luck finding one for close to that on eBay right now). And as always, the Nt mini is meant to play your aging carts just as well as your toaster or top loader did back in the day — there’s no emulation here, like you’d see on machines like the Retron 5.
Throw all of that into an aluminum body that’s about 20 percent smaller than the original and we’ve got the makings of another sure-fire seller. It’s a little weird that Analogue is throwing shade at the NES Classic on its website since the mini’s price tag and reference-quality ambitions make it a discerning collectors’ item, but whatever — you can pre-order yours starting today.
In case you didn’t notice, the Olympics is wrapping up in Rio, and sports fans now have an endure a whole three years and 11 months until the next one, which happens to be in Tokyo. Japan’s Olympic committee decided to highlight that fact by transforming the country’s Prime Minister into Mario (naturally), showcasing its distinctive skyline (swoon!), showing some of its athletes you’ve probably never heard of (sorry!) and a bunch video game and anime characters. It’s all backed by a punchy jazz soundtrack, and is likely to give you goosebumps, although I wonder why the creative team wasn’t able to book Pikachu in time.
The teaser looks to focus on its cultural contributions — and that’s cleverly meant recruiting from its video-game heritage and manga history. (By the way, Doraemon is the blue robot cat thing — he’s big in Asia.) Hopefully, Tokyo 2020 will have the technological chops to bring half these characters to life for its own opening ceremony. Augmented reality might work by then, who knows.
Via: Twitter (@lmfaofa)
Niantic is trying to make Pokemon Go more fair for its millions of players across the globe, this week officially confirming that it will ban any account that appears to be cheating.
“After reviewing many reports of in-game cheating, we have started taking action against players taking unfair advantage of and abusing Pokemon Go. Moving forward, we will continue to terminate accounts that show clear signs of cheating,” Niantic said.
The company didn’t specify what the “clear signs of cheating” are, but it will most likely target accounts using bots to level up at inhuman speeds, those with skewed location data and other hacks that violate its user guidelines. Anyone who believes their account has been unfairly banned can submit an appeal right here.
Trainers, we’re working hard to provide a fair, fun and legitimate game experience for all: https://t.co/aaYfjvECq0
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) August 19, 2016
Niantic recently shut down many third-party Pokemon Go tools like PokeVision, which displayed all of the creatures available for capture in a live map. Closing these services allowed the company to expand into new territories, the company explained.
Niantic isn’t alone in the fight against cheaters — Twitch is also on the hunt for players that violate Pokemon Go’s guidelines. Anyone caught cheating in a live stream will receive a strike against his or her Twitch account.
Source: Pokemon Go
In what is either great technological misunderstanding or extreme territorialism, mayor Fabrice Beauvois wants every digital pocket monster out of his village. He mailed a decree to Niantic, creators of the mobile game Pokémon Go, demanding they pull their game from the 800-person settlement of Bressolles northeast of Lyon.
His umbrage: the company didn’t ask for permission before setting up shop. When a cafe or restaurant owner wants to open in a French town, they are obligated to ask the mayor first, Beauvois told the Associated Press. The same applies to Niantic even if they’re settling in to the village’s virtual space.
While Beauvois isn’t trying to ban the game in response to particular incidents in his village, he does want to ensure a sense of tranquility and peace. Of course, his further comments to the AP veered toward fear: that the game is spreading in a “contagious” way, that young people could become dangerously addicted and that it was his duty to ensure order in his town.
Niantic has begun heeding calls to remove functionality in particular areas, from the US Holocaust Museum to the entire nation of Iran. But Beauvois’ protective rhetoric feels fiercely French, a territorial control of what is and isn’t allowed that’s hot on the heels of Cannes’ ban on the Islamic burkini beach garb.
Source: The Associated Press
Veterans of the Nintendo 64 likely remember Goldeneye 007, a surprisingly great adaptation of the James Bond film released in 1997 that changed shooters forever. After the 2004 release of Half-Life 2, itself a milestone propelling the genre forward, fans started toying with remaking their favorite old game with the graphics engine powering their new one. While they’ve sporadically released versions of Goldeneye: Source since then, the team is finally unveiling its first update in three years, a full overhaul that’s free to download and play.
There have been other reimaginings of the N64 classic, but like this remake of the “Facility” level in the Unreal 4 engine, they’ve all been tech demos rather than wholly updated versions. (As purists, we refuse to consider the 2010 redux for the Wii or its subsequent Xbox 360 and PS3 ports, which merge the old story with Daniel Craig’s likeness and harder style of the current Bond films.) Goldeneye: Source has 25 multiplayer maps, 10 game modes and all 28 weapons from the original game: Fire it up and you can blast your friends just like you did almost two decades ago when it was first released.
Unfortunately, a complete nostalgia trip is impossible, as there’s no single player mode. According to the FAQ, the team just doesn’t have the resources or number of developers to create one — which makes sense, as nobody was paying the team to create this labor of love. But it is the most holistic version of the classic shooter, a great trip down memory lane… And a reminder of how far we’ve come in the 19 years since it first came out.
If that doesn’t make you feel old, scroll down to the bottom of the FAQ, where the team answers why crosshairs aren’t visible — because back in the day, games had auto-aim and you just sort of shot in front of where your character was facing… It was a different time, okay?
Source: The Verge
You probably know that it’s unwise to play Pokémon Go while you’re behind the wheel, but Niantic and The Pokémon Company aren’t taking any chances. They’re trotting out an update to the mobile game (on both Android and iOS) that tells you not to catch creatures while driving. You have to tap an “I’m a passenger” button if you want to keep playing while moving at high speed. The game can’t check to see that you’re being honest, of course, but this will at least serve as a reminder that irresponsible gameplay can have serious consequences.
That’s not the only noteworthy addition. This is the upgrade that restores the battery saver mode on iOS, helping you eke a little more exploration time out of your iPhone. It also fixes a key bug that prevented you from getting experience with good throws, adds graphics for the leaders of the three teams, and will let a handful of users test a new “nearby Pokémon” interface. Even if you’re a cautious player, then, it’s worth grabbing this new version in a timely fashion.
Source: Google Play, App Store, Pokemon Go (Facebook)
That’s all students, right? Right? While not everyone will be headed to toga parties on frat row (we applaud your decision there), all of you are going to need some gear to keep you amused when class isn’t in session. In addition to some of the more predictable stuff, like speakers and a Chromecast, we have some more off-kilter recommendations, including an electronic dartboard, a USB turntable, a “music festival survival kit” and even a vaporizer, if that’s your idea of a good time. Check out the gallery below for all our party gear picks, and make sure to peruse our full back-to-school guide right here.
Source: Engadget’s 2016 Back-to-School Guide
It was a top notch week in terms of longing for the simpler times of yesteryear. The action was capped off with a ringing endorsement from none other than Clint Eastwood himself. But while that angry old man busied himself with yelling at clouds, Sony put the Kibosh on its helpless superhero series. The US announced it will let a private company land on the moon. Archive.org posted a gaggle of old Nintendo Power issues. And Apple stayed insanely rich. Numbers, because how else are you going to know how long it’s been since you could get away with being openly racist?