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Scalpers Are Selling Elden Ring Closed Network Test Codes For Hundreds of Dollars – IGN – IGN



The mainline Pokémon franchise is in an interesting place as it approaches its 25th anniversary. At its core, Pokémon is designed with children in mind as the target audience. But Pokemon is one of those exceptions that is seemingly immune to the consequences of aging and growing up.

With children discovering Pokémon for the very first time every year, and adult fans who have been with the franchise since the very beginning, The Pokémon Company is fighting an uphill battle to cater to everyone. And Pokémon fans don’t hesitate to let the developers know when they’re not pleased.

The Pokémon Company has faced a great deal of criticism throughout the last few Pokémon releases, and now the company is responding to the fan outrage. Speaking to Axios, Pokémon Company Director of Consumer Marketing, J.C. Smith, says the developers have heard fan complaints, and are forced to balance the wants and needs of fans of all ages.

“We have a group of creators and professionals working at the Pokémon Company that have been through a lot — seen, heard [a lot],” Smith said. “They have thicker skin than many people do because they’ve heard it.”

Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl – Screenshot Gallery

Much of the criticism levied at the new Pokémon game releases are for not having the content that longtime fans have come to expect. If you check out the discourse on Twitter or Reddit, it doesn’t take long to see what Smith is referring to.

Certain segments of the Pokémon fanbase are constantly complaining that the games aren’t what they used to be, that Game Freak is lazy, and that the games are cash grabs. As the franchise continues to grow, the problem turns into just how many different generations of Pokémon, and in turn, Pokémon fans, there have been.

Smith says the developers of Pokémon work to, “make sure that all the generations are getting some attention” when it comes to picking which Pokémon are represented on modern gaming platforms. This, of course, is a reference to Sword and Shield, which received an unprecedented amount of backlash over the decision to not include some legacy Pokémon from older games.

2018’s Sword & Shield marked the eighth generation of Pokémon. The humble 151 creatures the franchise started with have been dwarfed by the current roster, which is beginning to approach the 1,000 mark. In an era where crunch is on the forefront of developers’ minds, it seems Game Freak believes it makes logistical sense to trim the roster for future entries, as long as every type of Pokemon fan is getting at least some love.

Producer Junichi Masuda has said the Sword & Shield developers needed to trim the number for balance reasons, and because of the time it takes to create higher fidelity models for Nintendo Switch. Smith echoed these sentiments by saying it all comes down to balance.

“But there’s also a vision for what the creators want to provide, and it’s [a matter of] finding that delicate balance throughout,” Smith said. He also said that The Pokémon Company is well aware of fan requests to push Pokémon in a new direction, which we’re seeing with next January’s Pokémon Legends: Arceus, a bold new vision for the series that breaks many of Pokémon’s known conventions.

“We hear it. And I think the creators definitely understand that there’s a desire for maybe something,” Smith said. “But we try to focus on making the core accessible to everyone.”

And yet, as the franchise continues to age and reaches new audiences, it becomes impossible to please every type of Pokémon fan out there. And, it seems many Pokémon fans think the series is declining over time.

A Tweet that gained some traction over the weekend poked fun at this idea. The image says, “What your favorite Pokemon generation REALLY says about you”, and is followed by images of each generation, along with the ages next to them. The point is to say that fans think Pokémon was at its best when they were seven years old, and likely being introduced to the franchise.

Even the upcoming remakes, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, are facing heavy criticism online just a week ahead of release. After the remakes leaked, pictures and videos from the game started circulating, and it wasn’t long until some complaints started rolling in. Fans began calling the games lazy, ruined, and more before they’ve even come out. Of course, it’s not all negativity, as many fans are still excited even after seeing leaked details of the games.

Prerelease negativity is starting to feel familiar for the Pokémon franchise. The aforementioned Sword & Shield endured a similar firestorm of backlash and hate before launch after fans learned not all Pokémon were making it into the new games. This led to the “Dexit” outrage on social media, which was only worsened after leaks confirmed many of the creatures that had been cut.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus Screenshots

Like many internet controversies, it’s hard to know how much of the fanbase is outraged, and how much of it is the vocal minority. In Sword and Shield’s case, the games sold well over 20 million units, and are the best-selling Pokémon since Gold and Silver way back on the Game Boy Color. And as for next week’s remakes, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are already both in the top ten best-sellers on Amazon.

It remains to be seen how the fan and critical reception of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will shake out next week, but we were impressed with the remakes in our hands-on preview. It also may not be long until we go through this cycle again, as Pokémon Legends: Arceus is due out in January.

Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.

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New 'Halo' game debuts as Xbox turns 20 – Global Times



People play a video game. Photo: VCG

 Fans will this week get their hands on the latest Halo video game, as Microsoft marks 20 years of the franchise that turned its Xbox console into a hit.

Halo Infinite is out Wednesday – but to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the cult sci-fi series, Microsoft and developer 343 Industries have already released a free-to-play “beta” test version. 

Within an hour of its launch on November 15 some 100,000 people were logged on to play simultaneously via online platform Steam, in a taste of the excitement around the sixth installment’s return to a 26th-century space war. 

“The entire Halo community has been anxiously awaiting the arrival of this game,” said 28-year-old Jenn, a competitive Halo player who goes by the gaming alias Queen x3.

“The beta was a lot of fun and created a lot more excitement leading up to the official launch.”

As for the appeal of the game, seen through the eyes of a heavily armed cyber-soldier, she said it was in the thrill of the challenge.

“Halo is truly one of the most competitive first-person shooters out there – not many people can pick up a controller for the first time and be great.”

Set in a future where humans have colonized many planets, Halo: Combat Evolved arrived in November 2001 as the debut game for Microsoft’s brand-new Xbox console. 

The series quickly became what is known as a “killer app” – the product driving sales of the Xbox – as Microsoft sought to turn itself into a US rival to Japan’s Nintendo and Sony in the already-lucrative market for gaming consoles. 

Two decades later Xbox remains a key player in a video game industry now thought to be larger than the movie sector, with market research firm Mordor Intelligence valuing it at $173.7 billion in 2020.

Its Xbox Live platform was a pioneer in turning online gaming into a social phenomenon, with people logging on to play against friends or strangers. 

It now has more than 100 million monthly users. 

The Xbox console still lags far behind the Japanese behemoths, with an estimated 6.7 million sold by 2021 compared to nearly 90 million Nintendo Switches and 12.8 million PlayStation 5s, according to an analysis by Ampere.

But the latest versions of the Xbox, Series X and S, are the fastest-selling in the company’s history, according to Microsoft.

“It’s not as if the title is needed to move consoles off shelves, although it will certainly help increase demand,” NPD gaming analyst Mat Piscatella said of the new Halo release. 

The game series – which has sold 91 million copies – has spawned an entire media franchise, with films, books, comics and a forthcoming TV series starring The Wire actor Pablo Schreiber as protagonist Master Chief.

It has even given rise to the expression “Halo Killer,” meaning a game good enough to beat its success. 

Joshua “Mash” Mashlan, a professional coach for Halo e-sports tournaments, remembers its rise as a time when finally, “you weren’t a nerd for liking the game.”

“Everybody wanted to play,” the 28-year-old told AFP. 

He was so excited about the release of the beta version in November that he scheduled a day off work to play it, and has been enjoying it despite “a lot of little glitches.”

“It’s a fresh start to a game we’ve been playing for 20 years,” he said. 

It’s a pleasant surprise for a title whose release has been delayed by more than a year, due in part to complications linked to COVID-19 teleworking but also criticism from players of the early artwork, derided as basic. 

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‘Fortnite’ Spider-Man Web Swinging Is Better Than Avengers’ Spider-Man Web Swinging – Forbes



Fortnite has just debuted a new Chapter, and with it, they landed one of the most famous superheroes ever to lead their new season: Spider-Man.

Spider-Man rests at the end of the battle pass as a reward, but this is not the only place he’s shown up in the last week or so. He was also added to Marvel’s Avengers, the superhero looter, as a PlayStation exclusive character.

In many ways, it seems like Avengers got the short end of the stick when it comes to their deal with Sony to use Spider-Man in the game. The deal limits them to providing Spider-Man to only one portion of their playerbase, PlayStation players, splitting the game and annoying fans, while Fortnite Spider-Man is accessible through that season for all platforms, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC.

Past that, it’s clear that Sony limited what kinds of costumes Crystal Dynamics was allowed to make for Avengers Spider-Man. By far the most common request was for the black symbiote suit, which the game doesn’t have. But guess what’s the page 10 reward for the Spider-Man costume in Fortnite? The symbiote variant, with other recognizable costumes to follow.

Not all of this is on Sony, however. Some things are just flat out better in Fortnite, like the overall character design I’d say. But what’s most noticeable is the difference in web-swinging between the two games. You can compare them below.


And here’s Avengers:

I spoke with Crystal Dynamics who talked about why they decided to let Spider-Man latch on to thin air on their maps, in order to prevent him from running on the ground in many of the game’s wide open spaces. I can understand that, but it’s more than that, as swinging is just a lot choppier and more static than what players got used to in Insomniac’s game, and now, what we’re seeing here in Fortnite.

Fortnite makes use of grappling-hook like physics and momentum. But in Avengers, there’s no momentum or speed build up, it’s a much more simplified traversal tool.

To be fair, web-swinging was essentially all Fortnite had to focus on with Spider-Man, making the new gadget which can be used to swing by all players. Avengers had the task of creating a full combat kit for Spider-Man, and I do actually think they did a good job and he’s a lot of fun. But it’s hard to avoid the comparison about web-swinging entirely, and how weirdly good it is in Fortnite compared to Avengers.

Spider-Man will get more costumes in Avengers, possibly MCU variants and maybe even the symbiote suit someday. Fortnite Spider-Man will get more looks as well, and technically, his web gloves weren’t supposed to go live for another week or so, and we’ll see how they work once they’re not accidentally activated then.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.

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'The Matrix Awakens' is an Unreal Engine 5 demo you can preload today – Yahoo Movies Canada



On December 9th, Epic Games will release The Matrix Awakens, an interactive tie-in to The Matrix Resurrections. You can preload the demo to your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S console ahead of its debut at The Game Awards. Epic built the experience using Unreal Engine 5, and you can see what the next-generation engine is capable of in a teaser the company shared today. “How do we know what is real?” asks a life-like Keanu Reeves partway through the clip.

It’s a rare movie experience that’s any good, but that might not matter with The Matrix Awakens. For most people, this will be their first chance to see UE5 in action. Epic previewed the latest iteration of its popular game engine part way through last year with a stunning PS5 demo that showed off what it could do. In May, the company released an early access version of UE5 to PC, but the system requirements meant most people couldn’t experience the Valley of the Ancient demo with the hardware they had.

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