Team Go Rocket And Shadow Pokemon Invade Pokemon Go!

Pokemon has been one of my favorite fandoms for well over two-thirds of my life. I was only ten when the original Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue were released and it was unlike anything I had ever played before. I was instantly hooked to the adventure, the mechanics, and the phenomenon that came from it. I vividly remember facing off against the horrible Team Rocket for the very first time at Mt. Moon. Eventually, I took them on at the Silph Co. building and their own hideout, then one last epic battle against their boss to take away the Earth Badge and head toward Victory Road. That’s why Team GO Rocket in the smash-hit mobile game, Pokemon Go, is such a fantastic entry for longtime fans of the franchise. 

 

Prepare For Trouble, Make It Double!

For the uninitiated, Team Rocket, in the mainline games, is an evil organization hellbent on stealing Pokemon and causing havoc. Led by the devious gangster Giovanni, they cause trouble all in the name of more power and money. Giovanni, himself, is (during the events of the original games) the leader of the Viridian City Gym, making him the final Gym Leader before hitting up the Elite Four. It’s even alluded to that they had something to do with the creation of the genetic powerhouse, Mewtwo, which was confirmed in the anime and other media. Team Rocket became an iconic part of the Pokemon franchise and even my mom knows who they are, partially due to ten-year-old me playing the games all those years ago.

team go rocket jessie james

Pictured: Not Twerps, clearly.
(Source: Pokemon Let’s Go! Pikachu and Eevee trailer, TPCi)

Unlike some of the evil organizations across Pokemon games, Rocket shows their ugly face more than once in the series. In the direct sequel games to the first generation, Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver featured them as the primary threat. There, they caused mass evolution of Magikarp, cut off Slowpoke tails to sell as a delicacy, and generally caused trouble on their path to find their missing leader. By the 7th Generation, Giovanni had figured out how to travel through the multiverse, where he collected alternate versions of other “Team” leaders that had defeated the protagonist in each of their respective dimensions. At that point, Team Rainbow Rocket was the post-game threat, which ended in Giovanni threatening to return yet again. 

That’s where it left off and may have hinted at what came next, with Giovanni’s final words in Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon, “Now…what new world shall I unleash my evil schemes upon…?”

 

Team Rocket Comes To Pokemon Go!

Let’s cut to the real world and the incredibly successful Pokemon Go mobile game. Catching Pokemon while traveling around the real world, battling, trading, and completing research quests is just usual fare. After three years of constant events, the very loose lore of the game sometimes throws the players a bone. This time, it all started at the “Pokemon GO Fest” in Dortmund, Germany. An ominous familiar black hot air balloon sporting a giant red “R” was seen during the event. Players and fans knew something bigger was coming.

Sure enough, they did. Lasting for a day initially, some Pokestops were discolored. Upon approaching them, they’d turn black instead of the usual blue and have that classic red “R” up top. Spinning it would do something new, however. Instead of just gaining a few new items and moving on, a Rocket Grunt would attack you, starting an actual battle. After the tough battle, the first Pokemon they’d have used was available to catch using premier balls, not unlike catching a raid Pokemon. But, something was off about these Pokemon. They emit a dark aura around them because they’re Shadow Pokemon!

 

Old School Fans Would Know Shadow Pokemon

Delving back a bit into the history of old Pokemon games, you’ll find Pokemon Colosseum and Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness. During those games, the evil Team Cipher created a process that removes emotion from Pokemon to harness their fighting spirit. Players can catch Shadow Pokemon and “purify” them. Aside from a Shadow Mewtwo appearing in the Nintendo Wii U and Switch game, Pokken Tournament, this type of mechanic hasn’t really appeared outside the third generation era. 

dratini-pokemon-go-shadow-purify

From the shadows, Dratini!
(Source: Pokemon GO)

Of note, the Japanese version of Shadow Pokemon in prior entries is referred to as “Dark Pokemon.” Meanwhile, the Japanese version for Pokemon Go still refers to them as “Shadow” in the prefix. Anyone old enough to remember the original Team Rocket expansion of the Pokemon Trading Card Game will remember cards like “Dark Gyarados” and “Dark Raichu,” which can back up the thought process that “Dark” and “Shadow” are considered one in the same.

 

Team GO Rocket Blasts Off!

So, that event lasted all of a single day, going away in a flash. Within a few days, the dastardly Team Rocket was showing up in New York City for a big take over of Pokestops. After several hours, they were “defeated,” only to drop more hints at a more widespread take over set for two days later. They’re relentless! All of Pokemon Go’s Twitter and social media went into black out and Team Rocket took “control.” Giovanni stepped forward with a new team name: Team GO Rocket! He even alluded to his final line in Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon. They took control of all Pokestops for an hour on a set day. As quickly as they came, they were defeated yet again, with threats of a potential return. But, are they gone for good? Unlikely.

pokemon-go-team-go-rocket-pokestop-grunt

Pokestop right there!
(Source: Pokemon Go)

Where Will This Lead?

Team GO Rocket Pokestops now have the in-game “Hero” medal tied to defeating them. It’s clear that Pokemon Go players now have a force to take head on. With the ability to purchase both Team Rocket and Team Rainbow Rocket’s attire for your avatar to wear, I wonder if we’ll have the ability to join them one day. 

I recall the end of Nugget Bridge during the original Pokemon games, where the final opponent turned out to be a Rocket Grunt. He asks if you want to JOIN them! Maybe this is our chance! Probably not. But, in this world, who knows? Could we see the infamous Jessie and James hop to Pokemon Go? Will we get Slowpoke without tails as an event? Could we see Team GO Rainbow Rocket emerge eventually and have us face off against other notorious Team leaders? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what Team GO Rocket and the Pokemon Go team has up their sleeves next. 

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Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Best Heroes For Your Squad

Now that Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order has been out for a little while, players have had time to become accustomed to the 30+ characters that are available within the Nintendo Switch game. Although that’s nowhere near the final count that will eventually be available, it gives you a good idea of who you might want to start with. DLC characters and some of the freebies are set to be added at the end of August (namely Colossus and Cyclops from the X-Men).

In the game you get to choose from a team of four, so balance is key. You can choose to just have heavy hitters, but adding a shooter to the squad would be smart. A team with a mixture of skills can do great as well, like the combination of Rocket and Groot.

Let’s say you don’t have time to explore all 32 characters and just want to jump right in. What’s the best way to start? Well, fortunately, we decided to do a little bit of digging and came up with a few recommendations for your team. Of course, personal tastes vary but we feel that some of our choices have an advantage over others. Now, let’s jump into battle!

Deadpool

First up is Deadpool, the Merc With a Mouth. If you pre-ordered the game, you earned access to a special chef’s outfit for him. You’ll also automatically bump up to level 21, unless Nintendo patched the game to even him up a bit. This makes Deadpool incredibly useful when battling against enemies up close as well as from a distance. These features automatically makes him a great asset to the team.

Since Deadpool has the ability to shoot enemies from a distance and perform up-close combos, it makes him a “best of both worlds” type of character. For instance, his Eat Lead technique lets him fire multiple bullets. This is great when you want to do damage to a boss or tough opponent especially when combined with his quick strikes, like the Slice & Dice and the Katanarama. Just make sure you don’t wear down and use all of them at once. Improvise and time your attacks properly.

Between his high energy level and unpredictability both up close and afar, Deadpool is an ideal character to start with. Bang bang!

Wolverine

If you’re a brawler sort of player, you’re not someone who prefers to stand on the sideline and attack from a distance. You want to get up close with your adamantium claws and do some damage, right? Well, Wolverine is just the character for you. Like in the previous Marvel: Ultimate Alliancegames, The Black Order lets you dish out all sorts of chaos with Wolverine. His strength meter allows him to stay in the fight a little longer than most, though he’s not completely invulnerable, despite that the comics tell you otherwise. Make sure you stay slightly on the defensive and dodge some attacks, while saving his special slash techniques for when they count the most.

His quick combos are ideal for hitting enemies fast and conveniently, and can also take down weaker opponents with utmost efficiency. However, try to save his special attacks for tougher foes, as they can deliver a greater deal of damage. You’ll feel better in the long run. Get your slash on with this guy, bub!

Magneto

It takes a while for you to unlock Magneto, but you eventually come face to face with him. It takes a while to get him after you finish up the second Infinity Trial rift, but he’s worth it, as he can utilize his magnetic techniques in imaginative ways. This makes him one of the most creative, and useful, combatants within this Marvel Universe.

Magneto can mush enemies together pretty nicely, which is helpful when you’ve got groups that need to be wiped away. What’s more, he can also drop a pretty nice AOE bomb, which at the very least, causes most enemies to stagger. This will allow the rest of your team to bring them down, and then he can call upon the Master of Magnetism to put together two debris balls to smash them and finish them off.

A bit on the heavy side, sure, Magneto knows how to deliver.

Spider-Gwen and Miles Morales

The original Spider-Man is no slouch. You’ll get him early on in the game, and he delivers versatility and speed that can’t be matched. Well, that is, until you unlock both the Miles Morales version of Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen which come a little later in the game. Both characters bring the same level to your team, along with special abilities that are unique to each one. In fact, combining them together with Spider-Man wouldn’t be a bad choice.

Miles and Gwen have web-slinging abilities that deliver a great deal of damage, along with synergy attacks that dish out a heavy amount of pain to even the toughest of bosses. We’re especially fans of Miles’ Surprise Strike, which is great in groups. Try them both out and see if a favorite, ahem, sticks out for you. Now, we just need to know when Spider-Ham will join the group.

Scarlet Witch

This version of Scarlet Witch looks completely different from the Marvel Cinematic Universe edition and closer to the comics, but that doesn’t mean you should be thrown off by her appearance. She is by far one of the best support characters you’ll come across in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. You can call on her to heal your team whenever she’s charged up, and summon electrical fields that can slow or weaken enemies, depending where they are.

Not to mention she possesses great strength overall, making her ideal for quick combo attacks. She’s well rounded in both offense and defense, and is well worth a try.

Elsa Bloodstone

Elsa Bloodstone isn’t your typical run-and-gun type of character. In fact, she’s pretty fantastic with her array of weapons, as she utilizes pistols, shotguns and rifles to her advantage, making her a force to be reckoned with. Even in the face of Iron Man’s blasts and Captain America’s shield flinging she holds her ground.

The pistols are terrific for close range, and the Double Barrel is terrific for dishing out a whopping amount of damage. Her Fully Stocked technique dishes out incredible melee hurt, especially on bosses. She’s also superb when it comes to ground attacks, so you can combine all these together for both close and far range techniques. Overall, that makes her far more balanced than you might expect, even for a “run and gun chick.” So lock and load with Elsa, you won’t dare be sorry.

The Hulk

Hey, Hulk…smash. Until the Thing eventually comes along in the game’s recently announced Fantastic Four pack (he’s pretty much a given, we have to guess, along with Mister Fantastic, Sue Storm and the Human Torch), we have to turn to the big green guy for the utmost strength within the game. We’re perfectly fine with that, as the Hulk delivers all the smashing success we’ve come to expect in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order.

While you can expect most of Hulk’s skills to be demonstrated with his up-close attacks, he’s also amazing with combo strikes, and he can of course take a heaping amount of damage before he goes down. On top of that, his Hulk Smash creates a wallop of pain on bosses and tougher foes.

He can also use a Gamma Slam to pick up a foe, fling them around and then hurl them to the ground which creates a shockwave that hurts others in the process. Talk about lighting up someone’s life!

If creating all kinds of controlled chaos (or simply having fun with the big green guy) is what you like, Hulk is simply a no-brainer.

Venom

Know how we recommended either Miles Morales or Spider-Gwen earlier? Well, what Spider-Man team would be complete without Venom? It might seem like a weird choice but the game’s Story Mode introduces how the symbiote-based villain turned hero joined the team and sets out to make right, by his own terms. Surprisingly, he’s an able part of the team. Though he plays quite differently from the other members of the Spider squad, it’s a good thing.

Like the Hulk, Venom relies on a heavy amount of brute strength. His combo attacks make him good for melee strikes, and he can join up with the likes of the Hulk or the Spider squad, to dish out pain to groups of enemies with ease. He can also cause staggers to bosses much more quickly than the typical superhero, which will come in handy with later battles in the story mode. Once charged, his special techniques deliver an utmost amount of damage, provided you deliver the most impact with them. Make sure you time them just right. Talk about covering your team when they need it the most.

He may not be everyone’s favorite, but Venom will find a way to grow on you. Hey, just ask Eddie Brock!

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3

Black Panther

Let’s say you want to, ahem, cut and run with certain opponents, but you aren’t necessarily feeling the impact of Wolverine’s claws. No matter, T’Challa, aka Black Panther, will get the job done for you! This character has speed and agility wrapped up in a neat little body suit, along with claws that deliver a significant damage with some great combos. Plus, his aerial attacks are absolutely superb.

As far as abilities go, make sure you go with the Panther Claw when you’re taking on bosses. With this, you can slice into someone multiple times, possibly to the point of making them stagger very quickly. For that matter, you can also activate the Bast’s Fury, which absorbs energy and let’s you throw it back at opponents which creates a mini-shockwave. Remember the movie? Yeah, sort of like that, but way cooler!

Pay respect to your royalty and give Black Panther his due!

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3

Thanos

Finally that brings us to Thanos. The only way, and we mean the only way, you’re going to unlock him in playable form is after you unlock pretty much all the other characters first. We guarantee that once you get him, you’re going to have an absolute blast, mainly because you get access to all his Infinity Gauntlet techniques, which are amazing, to say the least.

That’s on top of his pretty much unstoppable strength, and his pretty good level of speed. This makes him incredible for battles against bosses (even the likes of Electro, Venom and others of those type), as well as skirmishes in which he can wipe the floor with lesser types. Again, it’ll take quite a bit of effort in order to get him, but once you do, it’s like a whole new level of excitement awaits.

Side note: along with unlocking everything, you will need to reach level 80 with your team. Keep that in mind!

The choices are yours, and you can go with who you believe are the best characters for the job, but this should give you a proper way to get started. From there you can unlock everyone, or at the very least add some more favorites via DLC and free add-ons in the months ahead. Now bring on the Marvel Knights!

 

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is available now for Nintendo Switch.

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Interview: Challenges In Bringing DC Universe Online To Nintendo Switch

Back in 2011, Sony Online Entertainment mounted a huge task with bringing a comic book universe to an MMO structure. That project, DC Universe Online, would become a huge hit with fans of both gaming and comic books alike, attaining an audience of millions across PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Years later, now owned by Daybreak Games, it would continue to grow on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 front, as servers shut down on older platforms.

DC Universe Online Interview

Now, that audience is set to grow again. The game is set to make its debut on August 6 on Nintendo Switch, becoming the first full-on massive multiplayer online game to launch on the platform. Granted, it does come with its challenges – it’s huge in size, clocking in at 24GB at initial download, and it also has to keep up with Nintendo Switch Online’s limitations. However, the team at Daybreak is more than ready for what’s coming this week, with a brand new server dedicated to all its players.

We recently had a chance to chat with the game’s executive producer, Leah Bowers, about the challenges that came with bringing DC Universe Online to the platform, as well as what players can expect from it. And judging by early impressions, there’s a lot to look forward to.

First off, Bowers dove into the general excitement of creating the experience for a new platform in general, something that hasn’t been done since the game debuted on Xbox One back in 2016.

“It really is a special opportunity for us to be the first to bring a true MMO experience to the Nintendo Switch,” she explained. “Players will love the action combat play style that DC Universe Online brings to the console — it’s a natural fit!”

Of course, there’s the Nintendo Switch Online infrastructure to go around, since it isn’t your typical online gaming network like Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. But Bowers says her team was more than up to the task.

DC Universe Online Interview

“We’ve been working on this as a team since October of last year. This was a huge challenge for us to take on, and the team really met it head on. The most important thing was handheld performance. That first time we were able to walk around the office playing DCUO handheld on the Switch was awesome.”

So, yes, you can take the system with you to San Diego Comic-Con and enjoy playing it while you’re waiting for the next panel – provided you can find a strong enough Wi-Fi point to connect to, obviously. Bowers said there’s a big plus in taking the game on the go.

“As a Nintendo Switch user, having a game of this magnitude with so much to do is extremely exciting to me! I think it’s going to really blow players’ minds when they can use a mobile hotspot to run a raid with their league mates. When I was traveling for Comic-Con I definitely fantasized about doing my DCUO dailies at the airport,” Bowers noted.

For those concerned about whether or not you need a Nintendo Switch Online membership, good news – you don’t. “DC Universe Online is free-to-play and does not require a Nintendo Switch Online membership to play,” Bowers explained. “Just download and start making your very own customized Super Hero or Super Villain right away!”

Some players, however, may feel the need to have to get “caught up” with everything that DC Universe Online has had to offer over the years. But Bowers reassured that isn’t the case, as all the content that has been released thus far will be there, with more to come – which we’ll cover below.

“Players will get to experience all the episodes!” she explained. “Everything is available from day one and mirrors what is currently available for our PlayStation, Xbox and PC communities. It’s very important to us that we welcome Switch into the DCUO fold and give them the best heroic experience we can.”

That will come in the form of Dark Nights: Metal, a new expansion based on the comic book series of the same name. Fans may recall that this was the introduction of a league of new Batmen, including The One Who Laughs. While Bowers didn’t go into too much detail about what this will bring, fans have a lot to look forward to, she explained.

“The next episode, out in September, is inspired by the Dark Nights: Metal storyline from the comic. That arc was a TOTAL TRIP and when I read it, all I could do was imagine it as a video game. I’m so excited to get to bring that deep, dark, meaningful storyline to life in our game,” she said.

And the team is working very closely with DC Comics to assure that the vibe behind the comics continues to flow smoothly into DC Universe Online, so it isn’t lost in its events.

DC Universe Online Interview

“We work very closely with our partners at DC on all updates to the game,” she said. “It’s a wonderful and collaborative relationship. They are very open to ideas from our end, and we love it when they share what they are excited about over at DC. Metal has been a big deal for them the last couple years, so they are absolutely thrilled that we’re making it a part of the DCUO universe too.”

As for what the future will hold outside of Metal in the months ahead, Bowers didn’t have a detailed schedule available. But she did note one key word: “Updates!” she said.

“We are constantly updating the game with weekend events, seasonal events, episodes, or just crazy ideas we want to try out and get feedback from our extremely passionate community. Our biggest updates coming soon are Metal Pt. 1 in September and Metal Pt. 2 in December. And, of course, the Halloween and Winter events are coming too, and for Switch players, it’ll be their first time tackling those.

DCUO is a living, breathing game and we look forward to growing it for years to come.”

Fans will be able to discover what DC Universe Online has in store when the game goes live on Nintendo Switch starting on August 6. Again, it’s going to require a lot of space, so make sure you get a big enough memory card to hold it all, and get yourself a strong Wi-Fi connection before you do anything else. Also make sure that you’ve got a good hero picked out, and have a few friends in tow to help you save the day, just in case.

DC Universe Online Interview

We’ll have a review of this game around the time of the game’s release, so be sure to check back!

DC Universe Online is also available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

(Thanks to Joy and Daybreak Games for the interview!)

 

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MMO Money: A Week of Lawsuits and Nintendo Being Awesome

Lawsuits abound this week in the online gaming world with both Activision Blizzard and Epic Games the focus of new lawsuits. Meanwhile, Nintendo gives us a much-needed breath of fresh air with how they treat gamers and their employees. Bidding for Nexon is set to begin in April with the list of bidders reduced to just 5. Find all of this and more in this week’s MMO Money.

 

Nexon Shortlists Five Bidders for the Company

There has been quite a lot of interest in Nexon recently from major companies around the world including Disney, EA, Comcast, Tencent, and many others. But, Nexon has now lowered that list to just 5 bidders. Those five include Tencent and Kakao Corp. along with three private equity firms, Bain Capital, MBK Partners, and an unidentified firm. Quite significantly Netmarble isn’t included in this list. Netmarble had been putting together a consortium of Korean firms to bid together, believing that selling to an overseas company will damage the local games industry. In fact, this may be why we don’t see any Western-based interests in the shortlist. Bidding for the 98.64% share of Nexon that is expected to be worth as much as $13.3 billion is expected to begin in early April.

 

Source: Games Industry

 

Nintendo Asks Mobile Partners to Stop Players From Spending So Much

In a time when it seems like all game companies are after is your money Nintendo comes out and gives you a little bit of faith in the industry once more. The company is concerned with its self-image and has asked some of its mobile game development partners to adjust the microtransactions in their games so players are less likely to overspend. A source at CyberAgent, who owns the developers of Dragalia Lost told the Wall Street Journal, “Nintendo is not interested in making a large amount of revenue from a single smartphone game. If we managed the game alone, we would have made a lot more.”

This also comes less than a week after a recruitment page for Nintendo shed some light on what it’s like working for the company. The average salary is ¥9.03 million, that’s $80,000, employees can potentially get bonuses in June and December plus a pay increase every April. The average workday at Nintendo is seven hours and forty-five minutes long. As if all of that doesn’t already sound amazing full-time employees stay at the company for an average of 13.5 years. Anyone familiar with the games industry in the West will know that developers tend not to stay in one company for very long. If you’re interested in knowing more about that check out this article from Polygon.

From a personal point of view both of these pieces of news make me more likely to look at Nintendo games and support what they’re doing. Their views and the way they treat their employees is a breath of fresh air in the games industry today.

 

Source: Wall Street Journal, Games Industry

 

 

Vivendi Sells Remaining Ubisoft Shares

Ubisoft Joins Forces With Horror Movie Studio

Its been almost a year since Vivendi announced it was going to stop trying to acquire Ubisoft and finally the remaining shares it had in the company have been sold. The remaining shares it had was about 5% of the company, €429 million.

At one point in time, Vivendi owned a 27.3% stake in the company and though its attempts to own the company completely failed they did bring in about €2 billion, a capital gain of €1.2 billion. Though they failed to achieve their original goal you can hardly call the entire thing a failure. I’d love to fail my way to €2 billion, that’s about $2.2 billion USD. Vivendi has stated that they will honor their agreement and not buy shares in Ubisoft for at least 5 years.

Vivendi had previously owned Activision Blizzard but it sold the company to an investment group led by Bobby Kotick and Brian Kelly for $8.2 billion. That deal pushed Vivendi out of the games industry for 3 years until it bought its way back in with a hostile takeover of Gameloft.

 

Source: Games Industry

 

A New Law firm is Encouraging Shareholders to Sue Activision Blizzard Over Bungie Split

Another law firm is inviting shareholders to join in a class action lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, accusing the company of misleading shareholders over the end of its partnership with Bungie. The firm’s loss submission form makes the following claims:

Activision failed to disclose that “the termination of Activision Blizzard and Bungie’s partnership… was imminent”

That this termination “would foreseeably have a significant negative impact on Activision Blizzard’s revenues.”

And as a result “Activision Blizzard’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all times.”

Activision Blizzard previously said that the split from Bungie was because Destiny 2 failed to meet financial expectations. But in a recent SEC filing, the company recognized $164 million in revenue from Destiny for 2018 as a result of the split.

This comes at a time when shareholders for Activision Blizzard aren’t too happy with the company. They’ve had to warn investors that cutting hundreds of jobs (800 in total) may damage the company. They even went so far as to say there can be “no assurance that our business will be more efficient or effective” than it was before this new strategy.

Why can’t you be more like Nintendo?

 

Source: Games Industry

 

Man Sues Epic Games Over Predatory Loot Boxes

While we’re on the topic of lawsuits we should mention that Epic Games is being sued, yet again. This time though it isn’t because they used a dance in their game, instead it’s over allegations that Epic Games has engaged in predatory schemes with loot boxes in Fortnite. They allege that Epic intentionally designed Save the World to hinder player’s progress if they didn’t spend real money. They also say that Epic has “made a fortune on in-game purchases, preying in large part on minors who are especially susceptible to such predatory tactics.” The lawsuit accuses Epic of violating California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, False Advertising Law, and Unfair Competition Law.

What the lawsuit doesn’t mention though is that since January Epic Games now shows the contents of loot llamas in Save the World before they’re purchased with V-Bucks. So it is possible that the lawsuit won’t go anywhere since they’ve already made changes to the areas that the lawsuit covers.

 

Source: Games Industry

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Despite Certain Omissions, Here’s Why the EVO 2019 Lineup is Rad

Every year, the Evolution Championship Series- or EVO, as it’s known to some- enthralls the fighting community with its tremendous match-ups straight out of Las Vegas. And this year is no exception with EVO 2019, as the team behind the event revealed the games that we can expect this time around.

EVO 2019

And while there are some omissions that are a bit on the painful side (is Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite really that much of a letdown?), the inclusion of some favorites is a welcome sight. Although there is the question as to why a couple of fighting games that are debuting this year are being left out.

First, let’s take a close look at the games that will be included this time around, including a couple of big surprises that should be worth watching.

BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle: One of last year’s most engaging 2D fighting games, BlazBlue stirred up all kinds of attention when it released on multiple consoles, including the Nintendo Switch. So it no doubt will be a welcome addition to the EVO roster this year, with many fans picking favorites from a number of characters from various universes, coming together for one great superbrawl. We can’t wait to see how these fights go down.

Dragon Ball FighterZ: After being painfully left out of EVO Japan earlier this year (reportedly due to rights issues), it appears that one of last year’s strongest titles, FighterZ, will be making a welcome comeback. Now the real question is if the game will be getting more attention than the usual headliner Street Fighter V, which easily got overshadowed, despite the build-up to the finale back in 2018. We’ll have to see where the placement order is, but don’t be shocked if Fighter steals the show once more, especially with its second season of content in tow.

Mortal Kombat 11: Another newcomer that is set to take the stage in a big way, the newest Mortal Kombat will be a heavy-hitter at the fighting event, replacing previous fan favorite Injustice 2. That’s fine with us, as we get to see a number of ‘Kombatants’ mix it up across a number of arenas, spilling all kinds of blood and creating chaos from fatalities and brutalities. It may not be for the squeamish, but Mortal Kombat 11 will get its fair share of fans when it makes its debut this August. Fatality!

EVO 2019 samurai showdown

Samurai Shodown: Perhaps the biggest surprise that was announced with the line-up this year is SNK’s revival of its weapon-based fighting series, which will debut on the PlayStation 4 in early summer. Featuring a number of returning favorites (Haohmaru!), along with some new faces, and 2D gameplay along the lines of the King of Fighters series, Shodown should get a great deal of attention. Now give it to us already, SNK!

SoulCalibur VI: We won’t lie, we’re thrilled to see the newest SoulCalibur get the nod for the tournament scene this year. EVO fans will love what this weapons-based brawler has to offer, with favorites like 2B from NieR: Automata and Geralt from The Witcher included, along with a number of great characters we’ve become accustomed to over the years. Expect lots of great tactics and fierce battles when this game takes the Evolution Championship Series with a vengeance.

Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition: We’re not too surprised to see this game make its return to EVO, if only because it’s become one of its biggest staples over the years. Part of that is due to the undying support of Capcom, which actually makes custom skins and arena stages just for the EVO community. Now the real question is what it’ll be debuting with this year’s event. A new season of content, with more fighters joining the fray or perhaps new tournament options to keep the popularity of the game thriving? It could be anything, really but we can’t wait to see what they bring.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: We remember the days when Nintendo frowned upon the idea of including its Smash series in EVO events, and we’re perplexed as to why. However, it’s changed its tune, as the tournament will officially see the debut of Ultimate and, with it, some of the best match-ups we’ve seen on the competitive side. This should be a lot of fun, especially given the number of characters that are available. Plus, Nintendo could totally use the showcase as an opportunity to debut a potential new downloadable character as part of its season pass. Give us Banjo Kazooie already!

Tekken 7: The popularity of the latest Tekken game continues to be sky-high, mainly due to the two new characters, including The Walking Dead’s Negan, that will be debuting later this week. So we’re happy to see that it’s coming back to EVO alongside Dragon Ball FighterZ and SoulCalibur VI, solidifying Bandai Namco’s presence at the event. As for what we’ll see from the game, there’s a chance that even more characters could be introduced, along with potential modes that might keep things interesting. Or, hey, maybe we’ll finally get a glimpse at the oft-delayed Tekken vs. Street Fighter game that the team has been working on. Please?

Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st]: Some of you fans may not have heard of this game, and, hey, a few of us are right there with you. But to ignore what Aksys Games has created with this sleeper would be criminal, even with BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle taking the spotlight first. Under Night has a favorable fighting community standing behind it and its many fighters, along with balance and tactics that many have come to embrace over the past few months. Plus, its arrival at a major tournament such as this is sure to boost its popularity, which wouldn’t hurt the publisher in the least.

So What’s Missing? Even though the line-up that’s coming to EVO 2019 is star-studded, there are a few games that are missing, although we have a pretty good reason why. Let’s take a look at some of the obvious titles that aren’t making the cut once August rolls around.

First off, no Super Smash Bros. Melee. A lot of fans have been wondering about this one, since it’s a staple fighting game. Well, with Ultimate on the scene, some feel that having two Smash Bros. games on the roster is a bit much, despite them being somewhat different. Indeed, its time has probably come, and Nintendo probably gave the go-ahead with the idea that Ultimate would be getting attention. So, sorry, fans, we know this one hurts, but there’s reasoning behind it.

Then we come to Dead or Alive 6. The fighting game, which is set to debut this Friday, is sure to be a big hit with its fans, but as far as EVO goes, it doesn’t fit into its “core values”. That’s an interesting decision, particularly after what went down when the game stream from EVO Japan was stopped, but it looks like it was made to keep focus on the more traditional fighting games. Don’t worry too much, though,as Koei Tecmo already has tournaments planned for the forthcoming sequel, and they’ll be freshly packed with competition.

There’s also Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, and…sigh. Capcom has given this crossover fighter the cold shoulder, and it looks like Marvel has as well, despite the fact that its characters will be featured in upcoming films like Captain Marvel and Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame. So what’s the deal? Well, actually, there’s a slight chance that Capcom could bring this game back as Marvel vs. Capcom 4, adding new characters from the X-Men universe (favorites like Magneto, Wolverine and, of course, that Mango Sentinel) and a few other favorites. EVO would be a great relaunching ground for the series, if it doesn’t happen at E3.

Then there’s Jump Force. While this game has some engaging 3D fights going for it, there’s also a lot working against it, as you can see from our recent review. There’s just way too much loading time to go around, which could easily throw off the momentum of the tournament as we know it. On top of that, there are some folks that prefer to watch traditional fighting compared to, say, arena-style 3D tactics. That would explain why we haven’t seen games like the Naruto titles in the tournament in the past.

As for why Injustice 2 wasn’t included, the case could simply be the same as it was for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 a few years back. As engaging and fun a game as it is, it’s time has simply come when it comes to the fighting tournament scene. Even though it’s bound to have some hardcore appeal with fan-held battles, its place on the main stage passed once NetherRealm was finished with its DLC plan. Besides, now Mortal Kombat 11 can get the focus, and that works best considering its popularity.

EVO 2019

Finally, where is Killer Instinct? Alas, probably waiting for a new season at this point. I do hope we get it, because this is a fun game to watch.

There are other titles we could mention here, such as Fantasy Strike, EX Fighting Layer and even SNK Heroines, but the fact of the matter is there’s only so much room for competition, and the EVO team did a good job with its selections this year. We’ll see how the event goes down when EVO 2019 takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada from August 2-4. See you in the fighting ring!

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Hands on at EGLX!

The Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo opened its doors once more in Toronto, Canada last weekend and with it Nintendo of Canada booted up its consoles for eager players looking to get hands on with their upcoming major releases. Ahead of its launch on December 7th I got to go hands-on with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the latest installment in Nintendo’s hit character brawlers. Drawing from its wide slew of franchises and guesting famous characters from across the industry, Ultimate is set to be the capstone game in the series combining every character and every map from across the franchise into one final installment.

Getting into demoing Ultimate was incredibly difficult at EGLX; even on the first day the lines were wrapping around the entirety of the Nintendo booth where they were also demoing Fortnite, Pokemon Let’s Go, and other several recent releases. However, I was lucky enough to jump in early and link up with a few groups of 3 for some quick versus games. Sadly, we were only able to demo the standard point-style Versus matchups.

While Ultimate will reportedly support up to 32 players, our games were restricted to 4 players and two games each. I decided to play the same two characters for all my sessions to examine the control schemes and response times throughout. Despite the wide announcements of upcoming characters for Ultimate our selection list was incredibly small between both characters and arenas. Unlike previous iterations in the series, players will be selecting their maps prior to their characters.

In my play sessions, I engaged across four different maps, with two of them being brand new. The two returning maps, Green Hill Zone and Battlefield are both graphically wonderful, the latter maintaining its Brawl design. Both have improved resolution and minimally adjusted for play on the Switch. Playing on both of them felt much more like returning home to familiar ground than simply turning a console back on.

The first new map, Moray Towers, is designed based around Nintendo’s Splatoon franchise, and very much feels reminiscent of Super Smash Bros. Brawl’s New Pork City, distilled down to a more claustrophobic size. Featuring six vertical ramps that players can jump and fall through, map dominance relies on knowing when to retreat and re-enter combat against different opponents. It was here that I first noticed how well each pixel in Ultimate jumps off the screen, making each character stand out from the background no matter how similar the color. In previous entries in the series I often found my vision unfocused, easily losing sight of my character as the match went on. On the Switch I had no such issues, homing in on my characters quickly even in the heat of the moment on large maps.

The second newer map my team played on was the Great Plateau Tower, a Battlefield-style map plucked right from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. For fighters first spawning into the space, it simply appears as a flat battleground for the brave fighter to duel. After delivering enough damage across the landscape the tower will collapse on itself, the domed roof collapsing to reveal an additional platform. Mastering dodging early in my Smash career, that was the key to taking command of the Tower. Much akin to Brawl’s Pirate Ship room to fight is hard to find, and relies on a player that can think outside of the box until the walls come tumbling down.

I first played as Ridley, the infamous Space Pirate Commander from the Metroid series. Like every other character in Ultimate Ridley does have a swappable color palette, though Prime fans will be disappointed by the lack of a Metal Ridley variant. Instead his shaders are far more reminiscent of his various states of damage across the 2D entries in the series, particularly from Metroid Fusion’s X-Enhanced Ridley. He is one of the largest characters seen to date in the franchise, standing almost 4 meters in combat, double the length of Mario.

Being one of the larger characters on screen the nefarious space-dragon walks along at speeds more reminiscent of Bowser; slow and menacing like a great monster but not so slow as to feel left out of the action. This does not mean Ridley is a slower character by any stretch of the imagination, while his melee abilities are indeed slower and more devastating, several include a distinct sweet spot which multiplies his damage when unleashing attacks at the appropriate time. He can also rapidly fly across the arena, grabbing opponents for unique aerial combat and unleashing devastating combos while grinding his opponents into walls and floors. While he does feature a handful of ranged abilities these are not his bread and butter but are instead when he’s at his most vulnerable.

In charging his ranged attacks Ridley cannot hold a leveled charge like fighters such as Samus can. Instead his abilities must be charged and unleashed at the same time, filling areas of the screen to devastating effect. Much like smaller character such as Jigglypuff, Ridley can also take flight for several moments, flapping his wings repeatedly to gain altitude. His recovery move is incredibly reminiscent of the Star Fox fighters, hurling himself in any direction with a burst of dark energy. His Final Smash, however, is one of the coolest animations I’ve seen in the series.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate EGLX
Pulling any opponent in melee range, Ridley hurls them against Samus’ ship in an Injustice: Gods Among Us style cutscene. With a roar he unleashes a devastating Omega Beam, potentially blasting all of them off of the screen in a blaze of glory. While the entire animation only takes perhaps five seconds, each moment it plays out is utterly breathtaking and, for the players lucky enough to escape my wrath, incredibly awe-inspiring. Every Final Smash feels that way, even those without pre-rendered cinematics (such as Samus’ Hyper Beam) leave a distinct impression of power on the screen, and make effective usage not only devastating to opponents but jaw-dropping to watch.

Stepping into Kirby’s colorful shoes, I decided to take up the pink fluffball of terror to best test the game’s updated physics and tools. Kirby still feels fun to use and abuse, from swift dodges and devastating speed-punches to just sucking up opponents and ejecting them off of the sides of the arena. On a basic level the physics and controls for Smash Ultimate feel incredibly good, even the ability tuning is perfectly reasonable, such as Kirby’s A-Button combo now limited in its hits. Past the basics, however, thing begin to slip in quality.

Each station was restricted to using a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller which most players will find more than appropriate for Ultimate’s control scheme. In using a multitude of these controllers (on one occasion requesting a swap-out for a fresh one), controls in combat feel intrinsically stiff and restricted in comparison to other entries in the Smash franchise. Changing directional attacks mid-air, like Kirby’s Recovery attack, cannot be done within so many frames of animation of the attack. Such is the same with advanced moves like wavedashing from a stand-still being nearly impossible. Some of these difficulties are due to the increased latency in animation gaps, points in time where there is a gap between certain animations and their actions where players can influence character movement.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate EGLX

It is during these moments that advanced and pro players execute some of the game’s more difficult and previously unintended techniques, rapidly crossing the arena through minimalistic air-dashes or avoiding attacks with split-second dodges that players first taking up the game would gauge as impossible. Despite these frame gaps being larger than in Smash 4 and Brawl, these techniques are still noticeably more difficult to pull off in play with characters built for it. In discussing this with other members of my group (several of which were experienced Smash tournament veterans) they also expressed a stark disappointment at the sheer difficulty in managing these extra abilities. With Game Director Masahiro Sakurai’s previously negative comments about Smash Tournament play to The Guardian, these massive adjusts do feel as if they are intentionally purposed to an extent, which may see tournament play firmly remain with Melee as its strongest showing.

The rest of my time with Ultimate was enormously fun in experimenting with combat and items. The default spawning rate of items in this iteration feels fantastic, with new additions appearing every ten to fifteen seconds and in wide variety. Over the course of one match we had several Poke Balls and weapon items drop in, and none felt obtuse or distracting during match play unlike previous Smash installments. Each item was also incredibly fine-tuned, and we didn’t feel the need to start scrabbling for anything at the cost of our own fights. Everything felt fair to use and be hit by; there was no real moment where I was angry about a cheap Pokemon spawn or an overpowered weapon hit.

All in all, I feel remarkably confident about the home market for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. While I am incredibly concerned about its potential future for tournament play, this is certainly the ultimate addition to a Smash fan’s collection. With a current confirmed roster of almost 80 characters and zones this will indeed be one of the greatest additions to your Nintendo library for sheer value alone. You too can add it to your collection on December 7th.

 

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Half of All Nintendo Switch Owners Have Downloaded Fortnite

Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa informed investors yesterday that about half of all Nintendo Switch owners have downloaded Fortnite. The Switch has now sold 22 million units which suggests that Fortnite has been downloaded somewhere around 10-11 million times just for the Switch. All of this happening since it was released in June 2018.

“Many people continue to play the game, boosting the overall utilization ratio of Nintendo Switch,” Furukawa said. “Nintendo Switch is unique in that people can bring their consoles with them so they can communicate while playing at a friend’s house or elsewhere.”

Nintendo Switch Online’s service, which Fortnite is a driving force for, has shown higher than expected numbers of subscribers going for the 12-month long subscription option. In fact, more than half of customers have opted for it rather than one of the shorter options.

Revenue from digital sales for Nintendo has been growing ever since the launch of the Switch. It reached a record high in the first half of the current fiscal year. 42.1 Million units of software were sold in the first half of the fiscal year. That brings the Switch’s total lifetime software sales up to 111 million units.

Nintendo also sold another million units of the 3DS which is a 65.1% drop from last year. On the other hand, the 3DS came out in 2011 and is still making them money. So that seems like a win overall. NES and SNES Classic both outperformed the 3DS selling a combined 3.69 million units in 6 months.

In the Smartphone department though, Nintendo isn’t performing amazingly well. Nintendo’s smartphone and IP-related income totaled only ¥18.7 billion, that’s $165.4 million USD. Not too shabby, but compared to the rest of the business barely a drop in the bucket. That is up 4.7% from last year though.

 

Source: Games Industry, Games Industry

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Pokemon Let’s Go: Hands On At EGLX!

The Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo opened its doors once more in Toronto, Canada last weekend and with it Nintendo of Canada booted up its consoles for eager players looking to get hands on with their upcoming major releases. Ahead of its launch on November 16th, I got an opportunity at EGLX to get hands on with Pokemon Let’s Go: Pikachu, one of two versions of the upcoming Nintendo Switch game. While it’s sister-game, Let’s Go Eevee, features the titular evolutionary fox, Let’s Go Pikachu prominently features the series defacto mascot as the player’s companion in their journey through familiar fields.

Returning to the Kanto region, Pokemon Let’s Go will feature a similar journey to the one found in the original duology of games, Red and Blue. In my hands-on time with the demo, players were restricted to the Viridian Forest, one of the game’s first gauntlets prior to the major Gym circuit. While the layout and skeleton did feel the same, Viridian has long since seen not just a graphical face lift, but a smoother transition into a wide field of Pokemon diversity. In my brief playtime I encountered not only the familiar Caterpie and Weedle enemies, but also found Rattata, Nidoran and Jigglypuff sprinkled throughout the area.

These Pokemon practically leap off of the screen with the Swtich’s small yet powerful hardware. As with most games I’ve played before on the system, no matter how bright the background or powerful the color palette, each Pokemon I encountered took center stage as they darted through the wild underbrush. That’s right, wild Pokemon are now present on the overworld in lieu of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest’s visible enemy encounters, allowing you to target specific pocket monsters or avoid ones you’d rather not face. That’s not to say that they’re simply passive creatures; if necessary they will engage and charge you if you’re not careful. Fighting the wilderness and trainers simply doesn’t feel as exhausting as it has in past entries.

Pokemon Let's Go

Here I found is where the direction that Nintendo has taken the franchise has met seamlessly with the traditional pacing of what Game Freak has laid before. The Battle System will be instantly familiar to veterans of the franchise, featuring the same 4-move turn-based combat the series is known for. New moves have been injected, however, as alongside Thunder Shock, Tail Whip and Growl my Pika-partner took flight with balloons and dive-bombed its enemy with gusto. It’s impossibly difficult to utterly revamp such a celebrated and fundamental game mechanic, so instead Let’s Go has taken a distinctly different route in invigorating the series.

Unlike past iterations, PLG has taken queues from Niantic’s hit mobile release, Pokemon Go, and has dynamically changed encountering and capturing Wild Pokemon. Whereas installments have repeated the Trainer Battle System players are familiar with, Pokemon Let’s Go instead pits you against Wild Pokemon alone with nothing but a Poke Ball and your sharp reflexes. Capturing Pokemon now requires you to track their movement across the screen and time your movements to avoid their deflecting techniques. Timing your throws with the shrinking targeting reticle will also increase the efficacy of your capture; the smaller the circle, the greater chance your wild target will stay in that little ball.

Capturing Pokemon has also been gamified to a greater extent than it has in the past. Much like Pokemon Go, capturing repeated species of the same creature rewards a multi-capture bonus. Wild Pokemon now also come in a variety of sizes, visually alerting you if one is smaller or much larger than average. Noticing these at the booth, I inquired with the Nintendo staff if these had any particular importance, but I was told that these were purely cosmetic and did not directly affect statistics or gameplay. To quote the attendant at the Nintendo Booth, “Some people just like to have a large Rattata!”

Pokemon Let’s Go

The biggest addition to the Let’s Go line is of course your companion Pokemon. Displaying and promoting the bond between critter and Trainer is the focus of these games, making their intent known every step of the way. Returning from it’s celebrated inclusion in HeartGold and SoulSilver, Pokemon will now follow you in the overworld. While the titular duo will ride on your avatar’s shoulders, other Poke-members of your party can follow behind your character as you adventure throughout the world. While only the basic Kanto starter Pokemon were available to demo in such a regard, the present Nintendo Employees did confirm that every Pocket Monster will be available to follow your character on your journey.

Customization and interaction has also been reinforced with distinct importance. You can, at any time, play with your Pikachu! During my demo time I got up close and personal with my shocking murine in the interaction system originally released with Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. Picking up Razz Berries and other items found throughout the world, Pikachu and Eevee can be fed and played with, responding to player interactions and feedback intelligently. In scratching Pikachu I discovered he loved head pats and ear-scritches, but nose boops were enough to threaten me with an electric shock.

In my demo my little partner was wearing a costume very similar to my trainer avatar, sporting a smart baseball cap and jacket. Across from me a young couple playing their game remarked and gushed over a similar outfit that their Eevee was dolled up in and the group of us appreciated these light touches. In talking to my Nintendo Rep she eagerly confirmed that this was a feature of the game, and that more costumes could be unlocked as players delved deeper and deeper into Kanto. Part of the charm, she remarked, was that Nintendo wanted characters to develop a special bond with their chosen partner as the game progressed. Costuming is intended to be wide and dynamic, letting players dress up their partner however they wish, whenever they wish.

Pokemon Let’s Go

As a long time player of the franchise, there was one question on my mind throughout. My first venture in the series was Pokemon Yellow, a special expanded edition of the original releases that saw Pikachu as your starter Pokemon whom followed you in a manner similar to that of Pokemon Let’s Go. However, much to my chagrin even in my adult years, Pikachu could never be evolved meaning that you either had a constantly underpowered member of your team or your companion was banished to Bill’s PC forever. I did ask if Pikachu and Eevee could evolve in Pokemon Let’s Go, but my representative simply didn’t have an answer for me. At the first opportunity we both jumped on the Booth Manager who deflected the question initially, but later admitted it was an answer he didn’t have either.

Controlling the game admittedly felt incredibly satisfying. While demoing Pokemon Let’s Go, the Nintendo booth was equipped with the Poke Ball Plus controllers, a three buttoned motion controller included with the deluxe edition of the games. Movement and menu selection was controlled with the central depressable control stick, while a button was located on the top red section of the ball to act as a cancel button. Controlling the game in this manner felt like a leap from the anime into reality, even with the twitchy weightlessness the control stick possessed. Motion controls felt just as responsive, either slinging Poke Balls with a flick of the wrist or hurling them with a hat-backwards-Ash-Ketchum-toss. Both were exceptionally responsive in the capturing segments, and the Plus controller possesses just enough to work for Trainer Combat.

Let’s Go plays just as well with a standard Switch Joy-Con, fully capable of the same motion controls and still feeling as solid in your hand as the Plus. I did ask about portability during my time, wondering how players were expected to go about this when the Switch was undocked. My representative confirmed for me that motion controls were indeed optional, even when docked, allowing players to be as interactive with the game as they want.

I also asked what the depth of the game was: would the Kanto region be the only realm to explore with our new partners? While my representative did confirm that Kanto was the main focus, I received multiple contradictory answers on if it was the only limit to the game. Despite being told that Kanto was all that was intended to be included, she later recanted and said that future expansions were possible depending on sales figures for the sister games.

Pokemon Let’s Go

With time under my belt, I’m fully confident that Pokemon Let’s Go will be a wonderful addition to an already incredibly strong franchise. Everything completely flows together to fulfill the ideal Trainer fantasy, from the bond of your partner to the feeling of encountering Pokemon in the wild. It injects just enough life to make the slog that is the Viridian Forest a welcome place to return to and re-experience on brand new hardware. I for one am deeply anticipating the rest of the game, to live in the Pokemon World with a better appreciated player fantasy. For now, I wait with bated breath for its release on November 16th.

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Complete List of Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon Go

There are currently more than 100 shiny Pokemon in Pokemon Go with more being added all the time. Shiny Pokemon are rare variations of regular Pokemon who have different colors on them. Their stats can sometimes be terrible, but no matter what their stats are their rarity makes them valuable and beloved by collectors. If you are lucky enough to find a shiny Pokemon keep them for yourself or find a local Pokemon Go group where you might be able to trade them for something you’re missing from your Pokedex.

This list will be updated regularly as new Pokemon are added. Niantic typically announces which shines are being added at the end of every month.

 

List of Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon Go Last Updated: October 14, 2018

 

The newest shiny Pokemon in Pokemon go are:

Shiny Krabby
Shiny Kingler

Shiny Nidoran (Female)
Shiny Nidorina
Shiny Nidoqueen

October’s Community Event is being held on October 21st and focus on Beldum. Even though it hasn’t yet been confirmed that there will be a shiny variation of Beldum, Metang, and Metagross, most community events do include a shiny variation of each stage of the Pokemon’s evolution. If that does in fact happen, that will bring us up to 8 new shiny Pokemon in October and the list will be updated accordingly.

Find the full list below in alphabetical order with the Pokedex number next to it. The newest added in the current month will have a new flag next to the name.

Absol (Raid Only) 359
Aerodactyl 142
Aggron 306
Altaria 334
Ampharos 181
Arcanine 59
Aron 304
Articuno 144
Banette 354
Bayleaf 153
Blastoise (Without Sunglasses) 9
Bulbasaur 1
Charizard 6
Charmander 4
Charmeleon 5
Chikorita 152
Cloyster 91
Dragonair 148
Dragonite 149
Dratini 147
Drowzee 96
Dusklops 356
Duskull 355
Eevee 133
Espeon 196
Flaaffy 180
Flareon 136
Forretress 205
Geodude 74
Glalie 362
Golem 76
Granbull 219
Graveler 75
Grimer 88
Growlithe 58
Gyarados 130
Hariyama 297
Ho-Oh 250
Houndoom 229
Houndour 228
Hypno 97
Ivysaur 2
Jolteon 135
Kabuto 140
Kabutops 141
Kingler 99
Krabby 98
Kyogre 380
Lairon 305
Larvitar 246
Lugia (Raid Only) 249
Luvdisc 370
Magby (Egg Only) 240
Magikarp 129
Magmar 126
Makuhita 296
Mareep 179
Mawile (Raid Only) 303
Medicham 308
Meditite 307
Meganium 154
Mightyena 262
Minun 312
Moltres 146
Muk 89
Murkrow 198
Natu 177
Nidoqueen 31
Nidoran (Female) 29
Nidorina 30
Omanyte 138
Omastar 139
Pelipper 279
Pichu 172
Pikachu 25
Pineco 204
Plusle 311
Poochyena 261
Pupitar 247
Raichu 26
Roselia 315
Sableye 302
Shellder 90
Shuppet 353
Snorunt 361
Snubbull 209
Squirtle (Without Sunglasses) 7
Sunflora 192
Sunkern 191
Swablu 333
Togepi (Egg Only) 175
Togetic 176
Tyranitar 248
Umbreon 197
Vaporeon 134
Venusaur 3
Wailmer 320
Wailord 321
Wartortle (Without Sunglasses) 8
Wingull 278
Wobbuffet 202
Wynaut (Egg Only) 360
Xatu 178
Zapdos 145

Shiny Tips and Tricks


Finding a shiny Pokemon is nothing more than random luck. Any of these Pokemon seen in the wild could be shiny. So even if you’ve finished evolving a certain Pokemon it never hurts to tap on them in the wild and see. You never know when you’ll see a shiny Pokemon. The best time to get shinies is during Community Day events, which are held every month. With the vastly increased spawn rate for the particular Pokemon in the spotlight that day you have a greater chance of catching one, or several, shiny Pokemon.

Tips:

  • Lures and Incense can be used to find them because any Pokemon encountered in the wild that is on the list above can turn into a shiny.
  • They can also be found in eggs and it appears that shiny babies have a higher rate of appearance than others: one in 50 vs 1 in 450.
  • There is no guarantee that a Pokemon found in the wild will be shiny for anyone else. Pokemon appear shiny on a player by player basis.
  • If you evolve a shiny the Pokemon will remain shiny just like with the special event Pokemon wearing hats and sunglasses.
  • You will never run into an issue with a shiny Pokemon turning into a Ditto. When Shiny Magikarp was introduced Niantic removed Magikarp from the list of Pokemon who will turn into Ditto.
  • Before you transfer your shiny Pokemon to the Professor you will get a warning. That makes it more difficult to transfer it by mistake. Considering how rare shiny Pokemon are you will almost certainly never want to transfer any to the Professor.

 

Keep Track of What You’ve Got

There are a number of ways to keep track of which shiny Pokemon you already have. The first, and easiest, is to copy the list above into a spreadsheet and add to the spreadsheet manually over time. While this is the most straightforward way to do it there are other methods that some prefer.

You may prefer a physical printout to take with you while you’re out playing Pokemon Go. Leekduck.com has your back here. After every new shiny Pokemon is introduced they put out a new checklist with an image for every shiny in the game. The downsides to this are that new shinies are being added frequently, which means having to print out and transfer one list to the next often. At the moment we’re talking about 2-3 times a month.

List of Shiny Pokemon in Pokemon Go

Finally, there is the Go Ranger App, which is highly recommended for all Pokemon Go players. The app itself is third party, meaning that it isn’t made by Nintendo or Niantic. However, it is a valuable tool that allows you to track which shiny Pokemon you have, when upcoming in-game events will be taking place, what Pokemon to use in raids, and much more. Even if you aren’t on the hunt for shiny Pokemon in Pokemon Go this is a valuable tool to carry around with you.

Between these three popular tracking options, you should have no problem following which shiny Pokemon in Pokemon Go you’ve caught and which ones you’re still on the hunt for. There are of course other ways to keep track of them, but these are the easiest and most effective that the Pokemon Go community has embraced.

 

The hunt for shiny Pokemon is an exciting one that will keep you tapping on Pokemon long after you’ve evolved them to their highest form. Even if you don’t feel compelled to catch them all they can make quite valuable trade items. So, next time you’re out playing Pokemon Go tap on that Krabby, it might just be your lucky day.

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E3 2018: Hands-on Overcooked 2

While sadly not an MMO, Overcooked was one of those games I knew many MMO players who aren’t exclusively into combat enjoyed. Limited to local multiplayer, the game was like small-scale raiding on steroids. Not communicating was not an option. Fires literally needed to be put out. Collision detection and narrow pathways forced you to play out proper routes. Customer orders forced to you pay attention to specific recipes rather than mass produce a basic one. Ingredients strewn about the level with inaccessible crafting stages added to the hectic frenzy because, buddy, your customers will only wait so long for their food, and failure to meet their expectations will cost you. To be blunt, this game tests friendships and relationships. And now we no longer have to limit ourselves to local multiplayer.

My demo occurred at the Nintendo booth with three Nintendo booth guides, one of which was a hardcore vet used to giving orders in the kitchen. Like a good raid leader, she’d call out what we needed to do and ask for people to take up assignments. While I’m no hardcore vet, I know my way around the kitchen, even with new recipes such as cucumber sushi rolls. Our newbie did her best, occasionally remembering to volunteer for tasks and communicate with us. Our opening night went spectacularly, earning one of the highest scores the booth attendants had seen, and towards the end of Day 3 of E3 to boot.

Our next level was a bit more hectic. Conveyor belts scattered the floor, forcing us to occasionally run so as to avoid letting the food burn or orders from expiring. Normally in Overcooked, running felt like a huge gamble that rarely paid off except on straightaways. Levels are filled with hazards, from simple gaps caused by your kitchen being built on top of two trucks in motion to moving platforms in a volcanic kitchen. Cooking Mama this is not.

While it’s nice that the developers addressed the niche feeling of dashing, the official addition of throwing adds significant depth and strategy to a game that’s already much harder than its adorable graphics and cute sounding gameplay conceal. In the original game, you could kind of throw items by releasing them while moving, causing the item to move a short distance. Throwing in Overcooked 2, however, allows you to toss ingredients over objects, including the counter, a hurdle that occasionally required Overcooked 1 players to run around the entire level to deal with. In addition to the ability to throw is to catch; It may sound small, but catching allows players to remove yet another step in the Hell’s Kitchen madness.

Rather than needing to pick raw chicken off the ground after it’s been hurled across the kitchen (the fact that animals are cooking without gloves further shows that the world of Overcooked has no food safety laws), tossed food can be caught, saving a button press and speeding up the cooking process. It can also be thrown directly into dishes. If your friend is on the other side of the chasm with some uncooked rice, you can simply catch it in the cooking pot, saving even more time. I play the game mostly for completion rather than high scores, but these small changes give players lots of new potential strategies, before considering the levels.

My demo ended in a sort of fantasty/sci-fi kitchen with three sections separated by two chasms. A magical bridge would connect the middle platform to one of the side platforms, but only one at a time. Ingredients and work stations, however, were spread among all three. In order to get from one side platform to the other, one had to use a portal. While that may sound simple enough, burning food and impatient customers caused panic, and we saw several food items (and chefs) plummet into the abyss. Luckily, Overcooked 2 is a family game with no permadeath, and fallen players simply sit out of the kitchen for a few seconds, robbing your co-workers of an extra set of hands/paws.

 

All of this can be enjoyed in local multiplayer, though Online multiplayer, especially if it lacks voice chat on the Switch, could make things difficult. I’ve played the original game on the PlayStation 4 using the Share Play feature, which allowed us to do voice chat, but only allowed us to play the game with two people and not the usual maximum of four. However, at least for the Nintendo Switch, the game has added emote systems based on your objectives. For example, if you’re making hamburgers, which require cut cheese, chopped beef, sliced tomatoes, cut lettuce, a cooked patty, and/or buns on a clean plate, you’re able to emote things like, “Cutting tomatoes” or “Washing dishes” so your fellow players at least know your role. Unless the game allows you to also draw pathways or call out sections of the map you’ll “patrol,’ I’m not sure it’ll be enough to make up for the lack of voice chat. I reached out to Nintendo post E3 to inquire more about online details, but we’ve sadly received no response yet.

Just the same, I thoroughly enjoyed my local-multiplayer demo. Like raiding, I feel like you learn a lot about someone from playing this game with them, which is one of the things I’ve always enjoyed about MMOs: finding a shared activity that allows people to show their thought process. I’m not sure how well Overcooked 2‘s emote system will fair in four player multiplayer without voice chat, but MMO players are no strangers to finding third party options to get over issues. The game is coming out on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One on August 7th, and preorders grant access to a bunch of new chefs, which are just for looks.

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