Bandai VR Zone In Shinjuku Showcases Their HTC Vive-Powered Virtual Reality Games

Many cynics are of the opinion that virtual reality is just a fad; another gimmick like 3d television that ends up tucked away in the attic gathering dust.

Well Bandai is here to prove those naysayers wrong with their new VR Zone arcade in Shinjuku, Japan. According to Engadget, VR Zone has two floors which are a total of 37,600 square feet, and could potentially get 1,500 visitors a day.

The arcade contains 12 games total, with some non-virtual reality games near the in-store restaurant. Games featured in the VR arcade include classic Bandai titles such as Gundam, Evangelion, and Dragonball. Also included in the line-up is a virtual reality rendition of the ever popular game Mario Kart, a flying bicycle game, a fishing game, and more.

The most intriguing of these games is the Mario Kart VR because of its setup. Players utilize the traditional steering wheel and pedals, and sit in a force feedback chair. They wear the HTC Vive VR headset and have custom strap-on controllers which allow them to interact with their virtual environment to, say, throw a koopa shell.

Mario Kart VR is the first virtual reality game to be officially licensed by Nintendo, though it is developed by Bandai Namco. Fans of Mario Kart are hoping that the game will eventually make its way to the Nintendo Switch, but there is no evidence that it will as of yet.

If Mario Kart isn’t your taste, you can always learn how to Kamehameha in the Dragon Ball VR game. This game requires two players, and players must put on a total of five HTC Vive motion trackers. A cool feature is that the tracker gloves will rumble in response to actions performed in the game.

With a brief training session from the Dragonball character Goku, you are then sent out to battle the person you are hooked up to the game with.

While the Bandai VR Zone is only located in Japan, one can hope something like it eventually makes its way overseas.

Marvel Powers United VR Takes Hero Games To The Next Level

Marvel Powers United VR is more than just another upcoming superhero video game. Marvel has produced a ton of those over the years. Anyone remember way back in the 1980’s when Spider-Man debuted for the Atari 2600? The newest planned video game definitely is a lot more advanced than any previous release. Marvel Powers United VR will be the House of Idea’s first virtual reality game.

Actually, the VR game is being developed and produced by Oculus on a Marvel license agreement. Oculus deserves the bulk of the credit for the creation of the game. Both Marvel and Oculus should experience a major cash windfall when the game comes out. Stepping into the virtual reality shoes of The Incredible Hulk and other heroes positively does sound like a cool gaming experience. Okay, The Hulk is barefoot but the sentiment remains the same.

The Hulk won’t be the only character players can assume in the game. A dozen different heroes are available opening the door for a player to enjoy the game from 12 different perspectives. How one hero deals with a situation is not the same way another would. Marvel Powers United VR definitely won’t become a boring game for any consumer too quickly.

Superhero movies are still doing quite well at the box office. The popularity of heroes has not translated to comic book sales. However, video games and other ancillary merchandise seem to be doing extremely well. Marvel Powers United absolutely should be a hit. The concept is great and the market is perfectly hot for such a product.

Giant Pokemon Go Festival Happening In Chicago

Just over a year ago, masses of people suddenly descended on some of the most random and obscure locations, deliriously excited about something that onlookers were at a loss to understand. What they were witnessing was the release of a brand new type of video game – one that took players out from in front of their TV’s and got them interacting with the world around them. Since then, the numbers of players have declined, but millions of die hard fans still remain.

While there have been rumors of several similar games scheduled to be released in the last year, including one based on the wildly popular Harry Potter series, none has materialized or gained anywhere near the massive following of Pokémon Go. As a result, Niantic closes off it’s first year as the completely undisputed champion of interactive “real world” video games.

On July 22, they will celebrate this crowning acheivement with a massive POGO celebration to take place in Grant Park, located in Chicago, IL. During the festival, Niantic will coordinate challenges taking place in Chicago with challenges that players around the world can participate in, based on challenges chosen by the players in Chicago. A final challenge will take place in the evening on the 26th, with a special reward being offered for completing the challenge. Rumors abound that the much-awaited legendary Pokémon will finally be released to anxious players around the world.

Aside from the initial release of Pokémon Go, this may be the first time that video game players all around the globe are all participating in playing one video game at one time, making it a truly global event. Given the stunning success that Pokémon Go has experienced, it is unlike that they will maintain their stranglehold on the market for this type of video game for long, but for the moment, they are basking in their success. In August, Niantic will also be hosting special events throughout Europe, as well as being part of a week-long celebration in Japan in August.

Albion Online Sandbox MMO Launch Day Arrives

Albion Online is a new fantasy sandbox massively multiplayer online role-playing game with a flexible class system and lots of great player versus player (pvp) action.

Equipping items allows you to customize your character in both appearance and abilities, as your skills are tied to what gear you are wearing. You could wear, for instance, a full suit of plate mail and wield a staff for magic. On top of this, the game puts an emphasis on having all items being player made only, with a “black market” system in place that allows monster loot drops to be player driven and crafted.

Similar in style to EVE Online, the economy is driven by two types of currencies: gold and silver. These currencies already have their own markets, and their prices have fluctuated since the start of the game’s beta.

The game is filled with different environments that allow you to raise animals, grow crops, build homes, and explore dungeons. The game also allows for player guilds to acquire territory through pvp, and has game mechanics that would allow smaller guilds to successfully defend their territories against larger guilds. This was developed to combat what is known in EVE as “blobbing”, a pvp strategy in which massive fleets are used to overwhelm the enemy.

According to an interview with Albion Online developer Stefan Wiezorek, the Albion crew plan on releasing a roadmap post-launch which contains a schedule of new features to be added in the future. Wiezorek stated that there are no other game projects planned for the team, and that they will continue to develop Albion Online in full force.

Albion Online servers have launched on July 17th, 2017, with veteran founders and veteran starters (the lowest tier founders) being able to play on July 19th, 2017 at 13:00 UTC.

New “Kingdom Hearts 3” Trailer Confirms “Toy Story” World

A brand new trailer of the highly anticipated Kingdom Hearts 3 has got a lot of gamers talking. This trailer was first shown to an audience at the D23 Expo on July 15th, but it has since gone viral on YouTube.

At the start of the commercial we see Sora, the game’s spiky-headed protagonist, jumping, gliding, and fighting Heartless. Many believe this first scene takes place around Mount Olympus, a world that’s based on the Disney film Hercules.

The next scene shows Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy battling both Heartless and Nobodies. All gamers could instantly recognize this location as Twilight Town, a prominent setting in Kingdom Hearts 2.

After that, the commercial shows what appears to be a boss battle in Mount Olympus. This part of the ad shows off special combos gamers will be able to use during combat.

While gamers were extremely impressed with the scenes listed above, the main part of the ad showed cut scenes from a Toy Story-inspired world in the game. Gamers finally got confirmation that at least one Disney/Pixar movie will be featured in Kingdom Hearts 3.

Sora and the gang are mysteriously transformed into toys and placed in Andy’s bedroom. After battling a few Heartless, the three teammates meet all the major characters from Toy Story. It’s quite amusing for English speakers to watch Woody, Buzz, T-Rex, and Hamm speaking fluent Japanese.

The advertisement closes with gameplay in the Toy Story level. At the very end, Sora confronts the powerful Xemnas in a store that resembles Al’s Toy Barn in Toy Story 2.

Although the ad says Kingdom Hearts 3 will be released in 2018, some fans are skeptical. Square Enix, the game’s developer, has been pushing back the release date for awhile now, and many video game critics say they wouldn’t be surprised if the game was delayed till 2019.

Kingdom Hearts 3 was announced way back in 2013. The only other confirmed worlds in Kingdom Hearts 3 include Twilight Town, Mt. Olympus, the Kingdom of Corona (from the film Tangled), and San Fransokyo (from Disney’s Big Hero 6). While nothing has been confirmed, many fans are still hoping Kingdom Hearts 3 will feature worlds from Disney’s latest acquisitions: Star Wars and Marvel.

Destiny 2 Beta Begins Tomorrow

“Destiny” may have had it issues when it was first released for the PS4 and Xbox One in September 2014, but it still quickly become one of the most successful games on both consoles. The highly-anticipated sequel will be released by Bungie on September 6, 2017, but some gamers will get the chance to try out “Destiny 2” starting tomorrow afternoon.

The “Destiny 2” beta will open on the PS4 on July 18 at 1 PM ET. It will become available on the Xbox One console 24 hours later. Only people that pre-ordered “Destiny 2” will get early access to the beta. Everyone will get a chance to play the multiplayer shooter on July 21. The console beta will officially close on July 23. You will need a PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold account in order to play the online multiplayer modes offered in the “Destiny 2” beta.

While playing a video game before it is released is always exciting, only a small portion of “Destiny 2” will be available during the beta. Bungie has promised to deliver an epic story to the new game. You can get a glimpse of the “Destiny 2” story by playing the first campaign mission during the beta. Three multiplayer modes will also be available to play online with your friends. Strike is a new cooperative mode that can be played two other people. You can show off excellent shooting skills in the competitive multiplayer modes called Crucible and Control.

Bungie has announced that players will likely experience a few glitches and errors while playing, so take that into account when evaluating the game. The errors should be fixed before the full game is released in September. “Destiny 2” fans will also be disappointed to learn that their character progression in the beta will not carry over to the full game.

Atari Shares Photos of Upcoming Retro Gaming Console With Fans

When it comes to retro gaming, Atari is a name that many will immediately recognize. While the company and their iconic gaming console may have faded into obscurity by the end of the 90s, they’re now making a big comeback, all thanks to renewed interest in classic games among the gaming community.

Anyone who followed trends in the video game industry during the last few years will have noticed that retro games and their associated hardware have been generating a lot of discussion. Many gamers agree that a video game doesn’t need cutting edge graphics and AI to be enjoyable. Noticing this renewed interest in their classic titles, video game companies like Nintendo have made some of them available on various modern platforms, like current generation consoles or mobile devices.

But some retro gamers want a more authentic experience in terms of hardware as well. Once again, the household names in the gaming industry were quick to respond by modern versions of their retro hardware. One of the most famous examples of this is Nintendo bringing back its NES Classic console in a miniature format.

Atari fans knew that the company was working on a retro hardware project for quite a while, but little information has been released about it until now. The company has recently released pictures of its “Ataribox” console, together with a basic overview of its specifications. The Ataribox looks like a smaller, set-top box version of the classic console, without being an exact miniaturization.

The device will offer four USB ports, an SD card slot and HDMI output. No information about its expected availability date, pricing or technical specifications has been released yet, but Atari has confirmed that the Ataribox will be able to play both classic and modern games. This has led some tech publications to speculate that the console will be Atari’s version of an Android TV device, combining modern features like media streaming and social sharing together with a pre-loaded collection of retro Atari titles.

‘Splatoon 2’ Hits Shelves to Mostly Positive Reviews

‘Splatoon’ is a burgeoning franchise that is so fundamentally Nintendo, right to its core, that we almost have to laugh. This is a game about children running around arenas splattering everything on the map with their team’s color of ink. It’s messy, it’s fast, it’s fun and it is approachable to just about everyone. The first game released to a wave of shocked praise, applauding the game for making something so simple into a multiplayer online juggernaut. Now ‘Splatoon 2’ is here and fans are once again thrown back into the quirky, colorful and frenetic world again.

‘Splatoon 2’ is all about the squid-people hybrids known as Inklings. They are focused on making puns, inking everything in sight, and doing it with an almost drug induced energy that we find exhausting to think about. At face value ‘Splatoon 2’ is merely an updated version of the first game, with tightened controls and new items, but there is a little more going on here than you might think.

Gamers who are just joining the franchise should head straight to the single player mode in order to engage in a great introduction to the core mechanics. In ‘Splatoon’ the single player mode was an after thought but ‘Splatoon 2’ allows it to shine. The story mode teaches players how to use all of the items, how to incorporate important multiplayer techniques such as rail grinding, while also giving players a familiarity with the maps that will be so important.

Still, players are coming back to ‘Splatoon 2’ in order to give it a go on the competitive mode. There are ranked matches and non ranked matches available. Turf War is a fun exercise for non ranked multiplayer campaigns. In fact, the whole system is pretty wonderful. ‘Splatoon 2’ simply does better all of the already great things that ‘Splatoon’ managed to do a couple of years ago.

‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ Hits Snag — First Delay

‘Red Dead Redemption’ still stands up to the test of time as one of the best open world games that we have ever played. Being able to jump into Mr. Marsden’s boots and cavort all over the Wild West to either fight outlaws or embrace your outlaw side is as immersive today as it was when Ubisoft first released the title. Fans have been clamoring for a continuation to the franchise for years and it was announced just last year that we would be getting it. ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ was slated to release some time in 2017 but fans are already slated for disappointment — the title has already been delayed.

Ubisoft CF Alain Martinez jumped at the chance to get ahead of the story by putting out a few statements on record. Martinez called the delay a ‘clear fact’ that delaying the title was a good thing. Martinez went on to say during his phone call, “So the absence of that game is of course giving us a better window for the launch of some of our games.” While financially the delay of ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ may help out other titles in the Ubisoft library, it also runs the risk of infuriating a pretty sizable portion of their fanbase. Still, the delay will likely give bigger boosts to ‘Assassin’s Creed: Origins’ as well as ‘South Park: The Fractured But Whole’ — both titles releasing on Ubisoft’s 2017 late season schedule.

‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ figures to be an industry darling when it finally hits the market place. The CEO of Take-Two, Strauss Zelnick, believes that it doesn’t matter when the title actually goes to market — people are going to line up and buy it no matter what. So, until then we just have to sit idly by and wait.

‘Pokemon Go’ Continues to Update Gym interfaces

In the summer of 2016 ‘Pokemon Go’ released to almost hysteria inducing levels of popularity. The game skyrocketed up the iOS sales charts and soon everybody and their brother was outside trying to catch the rarest Pokemon. People realized early on that the gym system was struggling and ever since then the developers at Niantic have been trying to get it just right. Changes seem to be in full effect a year later and Niantic seems to be doing their best to make the new Gym Raid system part of their core gameplay mechanic. A recent update made it easier than ever to fight to hold on to gyms.

In just the past few months we saw an update to the gym system that introduced the concept of Raids. Rather than just stacking your strongest Pokemon into a gym and holding it forever, Niantic implemented a system where you could pool Pokemon together to fight in strategically timed group battles. When you station your Pokemon at a gym you can also stop by and feed the Pokemon at that gym from your berry pouch, strengthening and healing them to continue fighting for your team. This was a neat update but it meant that you had to constantly go check on your Pokemon while they were at a gym. If you had a lot of Pokemon out and about this became an obvious issue.

In order to address these obvious issues, the developers at Niantic made it possible to care for and nurture your Gym Pokemon without actually having to go see them in person. This patch, though small, makes a fundamental difference in the realm of holding gyms for prolonged periods of time. Hopefully these small updates lead to larger improvements in the future as Pokemon Go inches toward becoming the game we had hoped it would be.