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Best of Nintendo from the past decade (2010-2019): From revolutionizing the handheld to more great Pokémon – iMore

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Nintendo decade retrospective

Pokemon Go image

Pokemon Go imageSource: Niantic

Hundreds of new Pokémon have been brought to the games in the last 10 years supplying us with over 800 Pokémon total. As the various online polls brought on by the news of “Dexit” showed, every Pokémon out there is someone’s favorite. Since Pokémon holds such a special significance to each person, we decided we’d list some of our favorites and then explain why we like them so much. Here are some of our favorite Pokémon listed in alphabetical order:

Appletun

Appletun Poke

Appletun PokeSource: The Pokémon Company

The last decade of Pokémon has seen Game Freak forced to lean ever more deeply into weirder, unobvious ideas for monster designs as their total roster crept up to 1,000. I welcome this newfound chaos with open arms and would like to submit what I think to be the pinnacle of design nonsense as also one of the best ever: Appletun.

Appletun evolves from Applin, an aptly-named apple-looking thing that is in actuality just a small worm that has burrowed into an apple to hide from birds. It’s an uncommon, but otherwise unaccomplished creature until exposed to checks notes a…second apple…whose flavor determines what kind of dragon it grows up into. If the apple is sweet, the worm merges with the apple and transforms into what amounts to a cross between a dragon and apple pie. Its Pokédex entry suggests that children eat its flesh.

This thing has no business existing in a game where, over a decade ago, all worms logically evolved into obvious bigger bug things. It is also one of my favorite Pokémon in the whole world and I am overjoyed Pokémon has existed long enough for this mishmash of ideas to exist. Long live Appletun. -Reb Valentine

Charizard

Charizard Pokemon

Charizard PokemonSource: The Pokémon Company

Ever since Pokémon Red and Blue released, we had the pleasure of knowing this awe-inspiring dual fire-type and flying-type Pokémon. Whether you fell in love with it playing Pokémon Red or Blue, or it tugged on your heartstrings in the anime, Charizard earns its place on this list. I mean, especially if the holographic Pokémon card has anything to say about it. Strong, intimidating, and a force to be reckoned with, Charizard has always been a favorite among fans. Even its iconic showdown with Pikachu made it into the Detective Pikachu movie. You can’t deny the popularity of this powerhouse; Charizard definitely deserves a spot on your roster. It’s a bummer that it takes so long to get one in Pokémon Sword and Shield. -Sara Gitkos

Eevee

Eevee Pokemon

Eevee PokemonSource: The Pokémon Company

Eevee is one of the best Pokémon ever created, and it’s far better than the franchise mascot, Pikachu. Eevee is like an adorable little puppy or kitty, and it looks like something that you can have in real life as a pet. I mean, honestly, who can resist the adorableness of Eevee when it gives you love in the games? Plus, the coolest and best part about Eevee are all of the possible evolutions that it can take. To me, it’s like watching a person grow and become their own, depending on their circumstances. With eight possible evolutions, you have most of your bases covered. I mean, you have Fire, Water, Electric, Dark, Psychic, Grass, Ice, and Fairy — you can have a solid team of Eeveelutions and be covered for most situations! The versatility of Eevee is ridiculously good. And with so many different possibilities, I’m sure there’s at least one Eeveelution that everyone loves above the rest. For me, I adore Jolteon, Vaporeon, Umbreon, and Sylveon. -Christine Romero-Chan

My favorite Pokémon is Eevee: Eevee is the pinnacle of what Pokémon is all about. With the potential to evolve into eight different types or just continue to be its own, Normal-type awesome self, Eevee has it all. You can have an entire team of Eevee and Eeveelutions and still not have them all. While Gen VIII didn’t give us a new type, it did give us a Gigantimax Eevee, finally proving that even without evolving Eevee is amazing. On top of all that, with its dog-like appearance and so much fluff, it’s also one of the cutest Pokémon out there. -Casian Holly

Gengar

Gengar

GengarSource: The Pokémon Company

Gengar has been my best boi for a couple of decades. On the original Pokémon Red/Blue, your first encounter with Gengar’s evolutionary line is in Lavender Town, which houses a graveyard tower filled to the brim with ghostly Pokémon. Lavender Town made a lasting impression on me as a kid, with Gengar’s Hypnosis/Dream Eater combo carrying me to victory against tons of friends at school.

Gengar is a popular Pokémon in general, making its way across various titles, complete with a huge array of merchandise and alternative Mega and Gigantamax forms. As the games progress, Gengar’s Pokédex description gets darker. G-Max Gengar transforms into a gaping portal, which, according to the Pokédex, is a literal gateway to the afterlife. Standing in front of Gengar’s mouth will allow you to hear the cries of your deceased loved ones. Few Pokémon are as creepy as they are cute.

I have to give an honorable mention to Sword/Shield’s Polteageist, which combines the best of my love of Ghost Pokémon and my love of tea. -Jez Corden

Gyarados

Gyarados Pokemon

Gyarados PokemonSource: The Pokémon Company

I think we can all relate to Gyarados. There are times we feel that we’re powerless and weak, just a floundering fish at the mercy of others. But then we evolve: we can burst out of our shell and grow, becoming more powerful than anybody could’ve imagined. We start off as Magikarps and turn into Gyarados. It may be cheesy, but I think this is why Gyarados resonates with so many. It’s such a huge departure from its previous form that it’s surprising. It’s also satisfying, especially because Gyarados is so powerful. -Carli Velocci

Ninetales

Ninetales

NinetalesSource: The Pokémon Company

Ninetales is a truly beautiful Pokémon to look at. She is the picture of grace paired with power, and I can’t help but love beautiful yet dangerous creatures. The variety in types of moves she can learn offers a good mix you can build up for a well-rounded Pokémon, from fire, to psychic, to ghost, and fire. She even has grass, ground, and dark moves you can teach her with the right TM. I love that you can tell that she is an intelligent creature, very true to her fox nature. If you’re good to her, she is good to you. Plus, who wouldn’t love this awesome Pokédex entry in Pokémon Sword?: “It is said to live 1,000 years, and each of its tails is loaded with supernatural powers.” -Alex Huebner

Noivern

Noivern Pokemon

Noivern PokemonSource: The Pokémon Company

It’s really hard for me to choose a favorite Pokémon because I like several of them for very different reasons. However, one of my absolute favorites is Noivern. I’ve always loved bats and dragons and this awesome guy is a mix of the two. On top of that, I love his coloring with the purple, green, and black getting broken up by the white fur. Whenever possible I always put him in my party. If Pokémon were real and I got to travel around with this guy, that’d be freaking awesome! I also love that his shiny variant is one of the ones that looks very different from his original coloring. It makes it far more exciting to find one and show it off. -Rebecca Spear

Pikachu

Pikachu Pokemon

Pikachu PokemonSource: The Pokémon Company

Adorable, sweet, and electric power, Pikachu is a Pokémon icon. This little mouse Pokémon’s popularity exploded thanks to a fun anime and Pokémon Yellow. Tiny, agile, and cute, Pikachu is a huge fan favorite. In fact, this electric-type critter has a few games where it’s featured as the main protagonist, like Detective Pikachu and PokéPark Wii: Pikachu’s Adventure. Detective Pikachu was even made into a movie (where he was voiced by Ryan Reynolds, no less). Pikachu is synonymous with Pokémon! Plus, just look at it! It’s not the strongest Pokémon, by any means, but he is the most recognizable. I can’t make a party without one. Who doesn’t need a quick, hyper-charged rodent on their squad? -Sara Gitkos

Sobble

Sobble

SobbleSource: The Pokémon Company

I’ve never played a Pokémon game before for any meaningful amount of time. So when I picked up Pokémon Sword, there were no pre-conceived biases of type or ability. I picked because the idea of water is calming, so I went with the water-type starter: Sobble. Sobble then proved himself worthy of being picked, as his water cannon ability was ridiculously overpowered. Pokémon several levels ahead, several in a row all fell, one by one. Different trainers, the braggadocios and calculating experts alike, all fell to the power of the water cannon. Sobble earned his place, and even after his evolution into Drizzile and later Intelleon, I will remember the little Sobster with fire in his heart and water at the ready. -Samuel Tolbert

Trubbish

Trubbish

TrubbishSource: The Pokémon Company

Leave it to the Pokémon Company to make a small sack of garbage with arms adorable. Trubbish is hands down one of the greatest Pokémon of all time from a design standpoint, but also a subtle political perspective as well. As an embodiment of our wasteful tendencies as a society, this cute little creature is a constant reminder that just because something is thrown away, doesn’t mean its gone. Our waste has consequences and just like our little pet Trubbish, we need to do a better job taking care of it. -Miles Dompier

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Pandemic simulation game 'Plague Inc' pulled from China's App Store – Mashable

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The coronavirus gave Plague Inc. a surge of popularity in China.
Image: plague inc: evolved

Pandemic simulator Plague Inc. became China’s top paid iOS download in January, as players flocked to the game in the wake of coronavirus concerns. Now the game has been taken down from China’s App Store, with the Cyberspace Administration of China citing “illegal content.”

Plague Inc. developer Ndemic Creations announced the sudden removal in a Feb 27. blog post. “We’ve just been informed that Plague Inc. ‘includes content that is illegal in China as determined by the Cyberspace Administration of China’ and has been removed from the China App Store,” Ndemic Creations wrote. “This situation is completely out of our control.”

Exactly what illegal content Plague Inc. contains is unclear. Though it was only removed from the App Store this week, the game had been available in China since its worldwide release eight years ago. However, Plague Inc. had recently gained significant attention due to its thematic relevance to the current coronavirus epidemic.

In Plague Inc., players take on the role of an infectious disease and attempt to wipe out all human life. Gameplay involves choosing how to evolve, becoming more deadly and spreading across the globe. 

It feels very pertinent considering recent events.

“It’s not clear to us if this removal is linked to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak that China is facing,” wrote Ndemic Creations. “However, Plague Inc.’s educational importance has been repeatedly recognised by organisations like the CDC and we are currently working with major global health organisations to determine how we can best support their efforts to contain and control COVID-19.”

Ndemic Creations is attempting to contact the Cyberspace Administration of China to find out more information and work to return Plague Inc. to the Chinese App Store.

Last month, Ndemic Creations acknowledged Plague Inc. had seen a significant spike in players due to the coronavirus. “However, please remember that Plague Inc. is a game, not a scientific model and that the current coronavirus outbreak is a very real situation which is impacting a huge number of people.”

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Coronavirus Concerns Lead to the Cancellation of One of Tech's Biggest Developer Conferences – Gizmodo

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Photo: Getty Images

The spread of coronavirus is prompting companies to cancel nonessential travel. That includes trade shows like the smartphone-centric Mobile World Congress, which was scheduled to be held in Barcelona this week but was called off. Now Facebook has canceled its own annual event, the F8 developer’s conference, citing “growing concerns around COVID-19.”

The move is clearly out of an abundance of caution: F8 was scheduled to take place in San Jose, California, May 5 and 6. Now all eyes are on Facebook’s rival companies, Google, Microsoft, and Apple, who also have developer conferences in the works for early summer. Google I/O is slated for May 12 through 14 in Mountain View, Microsoft’s Build is scheduled for the following week in Seattle, and Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is typically held in the first half of June in San Jose.

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Facebook’s Konstantinos Papamiltiadis, director of developer platforms, wrote in a Thursday blog post that the company is still planning local events and live-streamed sessions for developers to learn about changes and new features.

“This was a tough call to make—F8 is an incredibly important event for Facebook and it’s one of our favorite ways to celebrate all of you from around the world—but we need to prioritize the health and safety of our developer partners, employees and everyone who helps put F8 on,” Papamiltiadis wrote. “We explored other ways to keep the in-person part of F8, but it’s important to us to host an inclusive event and it didn’t feel right to have F8 without our international developers in attendance.”

Microsoft also announced Thursday that it will no longer attend the annual Game Developers Conference, slated for March 16 through 20 in San Francisco. The company joins Epic, Unity, and Sony in withdrawing from the event due to the coronavirus outbreak. Microsoft plans to host an online event that will coincide with GDC for developer sessions and announcements March 16 through 18. It’s unclear if GDC will be canceled or proceed without some of gaming’s biggest players.

It makes sense that voluntary conferences and trade shows be called off to stem the spread of COVID-19. Facebook and Microsoft don’t want to be the reason for a severe outbreak, nor do they want to be in the news for encouraging people to travel when they don’t need to. Developers will miss out on networking opportunities, but they’ll still be able to learn about the latest developments despite the lack of in-person sessions. At this point, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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It "Made Sense" For Baldur's Gate 3's Combat To Be Turn-Based, Says Dev – GameSpot

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Although combat in previous Baldur’s Gate titles has traditionally focused around the use of real-time mechanics, Baldur’s Gate III uses a turn-based system. For developer Larian Studios, it’s always been a no-brainer to make Baldur’s Gate III a turn-based game.

“It was never really a question,” Baldur’s Gate III design producer David Walgrave said, according to USG. “We’ve been doing turn-based for a while now. We’re pretty good at it. Dungeons & Dragons is turn-based in itself, so it makes a lot of sense.

“Even after we implemented the Dungeons & Dragons ruleset, the result was so different from what we concocted with Divinity: Original Sin that we saw that the combat designers would have to do it completely different, so that was a challenge,” Walgrave continued. “And we’re doing things that we haven’t done before, so, for us, it was the best choice.”

Though the implementation of a dice roll is definitely Dungeons & Dragons, the turn-based gameplay of Baldur’s Gate III is very reminiscent of Larian Studios’ Divinity Original Sin series–it makes sense for the developer to return to what it knows. “Part of the decision is that we know turn-based, and secondly, it’s that Fifth Edition [D&D] is played in rounds, so it kind of made sense,” Baldur’s Gate senior writer Adam Smith told VG247.

“It lets you do things like separating the party and having one person on high ground and one person on low ground,” Smith added. “It means when the combat starts, there’s a better sense of, ‘I’m going to get a sense of the tactical situation. I’m going to send this person over here, I’m going to do that, I’m going to send this person behind and shove an enemy.'”

In our own coverage of Baldur’s Gate III, creative director Swen Wincke spoke about how he hopes for Larian Studios to transcend the legacy of the game, and also discussed the challenges of creating the game and working with Wizards of the Coast.

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