‘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.

Marvel vs. Capcom Drops New Trailer

Fighting games are the way of the future because they are such an integral part of our video game loving past. From ‘Street Fighter’ and ‘Mortal Kombat’ to the vaunted ‘Marvel vs. Capcom’ series, we’ve seen great fighting games released every single generation. Recently the team behind the upcoming ‘Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite’ released a new trailer for the Marvel Games panel at this years San Diego Comic-Con. The new trailer, which has since leaked online, showcases an additional four characters for the series.

the new trailer showcased the special moves of four new characters, three for Capcom and a single player for Marvel. On the Capcom side we got to see the vile Nemesis (Resident Evil) as well as Frank West (Dead Rising) and Mike Haggar (Final Eight). In thrilling 3D we got to see the special moves for each fighter, including our favorite — Frank West’s jury-rigged zombie killing weapon. On the Marvel side of things the newest character was none other than Spider-Man himself and who didn’t see something like that coming? In the trailer Spider-Man and Frank West execute an awesome combo utilizing weapons as well as Spidey’s trademark web slinging. We also got to see Gamora (Guardians of the Galaxy) but she had already been announced prior to the trailer.

Right now excitement is heating up for ‘Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite’ and we are finally filling in the cracks of what should be a legendary roster. A total of 24 characters have been announced so far for the two rosters. The game will be released for the PS4, XB1, and the PC and it will come out on September 19th, 2017. Fans hoping for the ultimate fighting game featuring some of the top characters in pop-culture might finally have their perfect title to start playing.

Classic Sega Console Gets Price Point

Retro gamers who want to go back to the joys of their youth better start getting their wallet primed. Sega and Atari are releasing classic editions of their consoles that will be ‘plug and play’. These new consoles give gamers the chance to go back and experience the classic games of yesteryear in the way that they were supposed to be experienced. These consoles have been hyped up for the better part of the past six months and it looks like we’ve finally got some real, solid details on what they will offer.

Sega is releasing their Sega Genesis Flashback which is a re-packaging of the classic Sega Genesis. The console itself will only run you a cool $80 and you’ll be getting something that is jam packed with features. The system will come loaded up with 85 different games including classics like ‘Mortal Kombat’, ‘Phantasy Star’ and ‘Shining Force’. The system will have a port in it for you to insert your classic Genesis cartridges and you should be able to play almost any game that you own. The console will have an HDMI output that keeps the quality at 720p and it will come with a pair of wireless, classic Genesis stylized controllers. Every game will have a save/rewind functionality, as well.

Atari is releasing their ‘Atari Flashback 8 Gold’ for $80 as well. The re-released game system has 120 games including some of the most famous titles of all time — ‘Space Invaders’ and ‘Frogger’. The console comes with two Atari 2600 controllers, both wireless, and the same 720p HDMI output we listed above.

Pre-orders for both systems will begin on July 28th through the AtGames company behind the production of the models. This news comes on the heels of another huge Atari announcement: they are creating a brand new console for ‘classic’ and ‘current’ content.

Nintendo Releases Online App Just in Time for Splatoon 2

Earlier this year, Nintendo announced that it would release a mobile application that would assist players with their games. Well, the time has finally come. As of July 18th, 2017, the Nintendo Switch Online app has been released through the App Store and Google Play Store.

Based on the app, Splatoon 2 is currently the only game that will be supported. Once Splatoon 2 is released on Friday, players will be able to invite friends, use voice chat, view stage schedules, and view battle statistics. Battle statistics include win rate, total turf inked, and letter rank in ranked modes, just to name a few.

This is especially exciting for Splatoon veterans where statistics, such as win rate, was hidden in the first Splatoon game. Even statistics that were available before will now be readily available in the app. Hardcore players will be able to look at past battles and analyze their performance and see what they can do to improve. In addition, the new game mode in Splatoon 2, Salmon Run, will have its schedule posted as well.

The only feature that is not exhilarating in this app is most likely the voice chat feature. It might be useful, but the setup that Nintendo has suggested seems a bit too convoluted. Especially when calling someone instead would more or less complete the same task.

Other than that, though, it seems that this will be advantageous for any Splatoon fan. Search “Nintendo Switch Online” in the App Store or Google Play Store to download the app today.

The Nintendo Switch Scores an Online Application

The Nintendo Switch is the latest console venture by one of the most legendary gaming companies of all time, Nintendo. The Nintendo Switch, like many of the prior Nintendo console ventures, aimed to bring about something completely new while still offering that tinge of nostalgia to older gamers. This meant that they wanted to innovate without completely changing the soul of their system. Thus the Nintendo Switch is born. The Switch released to immediately amazing sales statistics and it seems like the console is only going to do better as time goes on. In fact, Nintendo recently released their newest addition to the Nintendo Switch — an online companion application for your phone.

In an effort to stick with the times and constantly innovate within the expectations of current technology, the Nintendo Switch team decided to release an online companion application. Nintendo Switch Online is coming to both the iOS as well as the Android mobile systems completely free ahead of the launch of the popular ‘Splatoon’ sequel, ‘Splatoon 2’. The Nintendo Switch Online application won’t be mandated in order to enjoy what the Nintendo Switch has to offer, but it will bring about a ton of new features that dramatically enhance your playing time.

What we know about the Nintendo Switch Online app is this: you will be able to view your stats, see what your friends are up to, and even buy digital items for your characters in games. You can also use the application to create groups of friends in order to play games together. One of the biggest benefits of using the Nintendo Switch Online app is that you can set up group voice chats through the interface, allowing you to game together while you talk. The Nintendo Switch online features are free right now but multiplayer and classic game downloads may go up to $20 per year starting in 2018.

https://techcrunch.com/2017/07/19/nintendo-launches-nintendo-switch-online-app-ahead-of-splatoon-2-release/

A New Batman Telltale Games Release Soon Arrives

Telltale Games continues its contribution to the red hot superhero genre. Batman: The Telltale series debuts its second season in August. Superhero fans definitely cannot get enough Batman. The iconic Dark Knight remains one of the most popular and well-known fantasy characters in pop culture history. Even with the current awful comic books sales slump, Batman consistently sells more than 100,000 copies per month.

The “point and click” game allows players to jump into the life of both Batman and Bruce Wayne to deal with the nefarious schemes of popular Caped Crusader villains. The Riddler may be the primary antagonist in the new series, but The Joker returns to add a little mayhem.

DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment team with Telltale Games to produce this unique series. The interactive component likely reflects the major selling point of this particular game. Fans love to experience the adventures of their favorite heroes. Standard video games are not truly interactive, which can somewhat limit the ability to become a hero or other fictional character. The arrival of interactive and virtual reality games changes all that.

The interactive nature of Telltale Games’ Batman series allows for more Batman-themed projects. The recent massively successful Arkham Asylum video game series was a massive smash hit. Developing an equally impressive follow-up takes time. The new Telltale Games interactive endeavor might not be as grandiose as the Arkham series, but it fills a nice niche of superhero game fans looking for something until the next major video game release.

Is Video Game Addiction a Hoax or a Real Psychological Issue?

Video games are a great form of recreation for millions of people. They are also a part of the modern world. Every year at least 1.2 billion people frequently play video games from every part of the globe. Actually, this number can be higher if casual (or intermittent) gamers are counted into this figure. Most people spend a limited amount of time gaming.

However, there a few gamers who play video games to the point where it can be classified as an addiction. Even though this is the case, there are some psychologists who disagree that excessive video game playing is a mental health issue at all.

The American Psychological Association published a paper by a group of highly respected psychologists from out of Texas. These mental health medical professionals all agreed that classifying excessive video game playing as an addiction is senseless. Their conclusion over this matter is based off of substantial proof that excessive video game play cannot be analyzed, evaluated and put into the same category as a drug addiction or any other type of compulsive habit.

If a gamer is constantly playing video games and this form of game play interferes with their responsibilities then it could be classified as an addiction. If gamers are not being productive members of society on some level due to video game play; that too, could possibly place a person into the realm of addiction. The fact is that most people who spend an extremely large amount of time on video games; are in fact interacting with society and taking care of their responsibilities on some level.

Video game addiction is a tough call. Yes, there are some people who are so obsessed with video game play that they could realistically have an addiction. For most people, this just might be a bad habit as opposed to a real problem. More information about the issue of video game addiction is available on the Polygon News website.

Video Games That Sold the Most in 2017

Video games have sold in very large amounts so far in 2017. Many developers have experienced very large profits because of the great response their games have received up until this point. It is very interesting to note that there are a wide variety of genres represented in the top selling video games. This shows that gamers have very different tastes in the games that they choose to play in their spare time. Shooting games dominated this list a few years ago. However, it seems the tastes of the public have changed during that time. Let’s take a look at the games that have racked up the highest sales figures so far in 2017.

 

The biggest selling game so far in 2017 is “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands.” The late author continues to have very popular games associated with his name. This particular game is considered to be one of the best of the Tom Clancy series. It is inventive and very engaging. It was designed by Ubisoft and it continues a very successful run of games for the company over the past several years. Players are able to play the game at the same time and work together to defeat it. This element has made the game very popular. There is also a wide variety of environments and weapons to choose from in the game.

 

“For Honor” is another Ubisoft creation that ranks number two on the list. This is a fighting game where the players can choose to be a knight, a samurai or a viking. There are several elements to this game that have not been present in many recent fighting games. For example, the combination of buttons required to make the characters move is more complex than other games in this genre. Players appreciated this because it was too easy to win fights with the simplistic button combos in other games. This is one of the things that sets Ubisoft apart from other game developers.

Studies Indicate Video Games Increase Child Intelligence

Many parents do not like it when their kids play video games for a long period of time. They feel that video games in large doses are not good for their children. However, a new study by the University of Glasgow might shoot holes in that theory. The study indicates that video game playing actually improves the hand and eye coordination of children. It also improves their performance in areas such as resourcefulness, ability to communicate with each other and their ability to adapt to stressful situations. There are more studies involving children and video games that are currently underway at the same university. It will be a while until all of the data has been released. However, the early data seems to prove that video games are not nearly as harmful to children as many parents thought they were.

 

There has been a great deal of debate about the toll that extended video game playing takes on a person’s brain. This debate has been raging ever since video games were introduced 40 years ago. Many parents believe that video games have no redeeming value whatsoever. However, many of these parents still allow video game consoles in their homes because they are a distraction and a way to keep their kids occupied for long periods of time. Many of these parents also realize that their kids would simply go to a friend’s house to play video games. Therefore, they prefer to be able to keep an eye on their kids so they can monitor what games they are playing.

 

The University of Glasgow has not commented on what any of their other studies involving video games are going to be about. They have also not released info regarding how long the studies will take or how many kids will be involved. However, they did say in a press release that some info on the study results will be available by the end of the year.

 

 

 

Power Fuels the Impending Arrival of the Xbox One X

The Xbox One X arrives and Microsoft soon debuts an incredibly powerful 4K console. Come November, the Xbox One X hits retail store shelves and fans of gaming are going to be thrilled at the arrival. The new console might not look as catchy as previous models, but the “backward compatibility and processing power” gives the new console the potential to really shake up the market.

 

The potential for success associated with the Xbox One X connects directly to the ability to give gamers something unique and interesting. A new console that has nothing going for it other than being new is a hit or miss proposition. If a mediocre new console is released roughly the same time a very well-crafted new console is released, the better new console ends up being the big hit.

 

Gamers spend a lot of money as billions of dollars in sales indicate. Since the sheer numbers of gamers is so huge, even a weak console can generate millions in sales. Even millions in revenue do not automatically indicate a success, though. All gaming companies maintain projections of what they look for in sales numbers. A new console that doesn’t live up to hype or delivers nothing special generally stalls with low sales numbers.

 

Microsoft’s new console really does need to deliver on promises of being super-powerful. The console requires a strong hook in order to stimulate interest among gamers. Ironically, the console is very bland looking. Did the designers at Microsoft opt for irony when crafting the look of the world’s most powerful gaming console?

 

Looks really do not matter here. What matters is the console delivers. The Xbox One X really must deliver or else the console will be relegated to the “swing and a miss” status that befell other systems.