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  1. Today
  2. We've all seen incredible overhead shots, whether in an online video or in a movie, that leave us scratching our heads as to how exactly it can be possible to get such high-quality footage from so far in the air. It might seem impossibly unaffordable to purchase the tech that would allow for getting super clean aerial footage. For a while, this was true: Big movie studios basically had a monopoly on expensive drones with high-quality cameras attached. But as time goes on, technology becomes more efficient, and now there is a way to get one at home. The AIR PIX: Pocket-Sized Flying Camera is a miniature drone that can capture video that was impossible with the handheld technology of the past. Typically listed for $159, it's on sale now for just $139. This camera has been featured in Wired, The Huffington Post, Forbes, and more for its innovative design and relatively low price. The AIR PIX has a 1080p resolution, 8GB of onboard memory, and a 12-megapixel camera. It also has an auto-fly mode so that you don't need to manually control it while you focus on posing for the picture or simply enjoying whatever activity it is that you're filming. You can even move it with just the gestures of your hand or treat it like a game and control it with your phone. The AIR PIX: Pocket-Sized Flying Camera is just $139 (reg.$159), making it an awesome tool for capturing moments while staying present in your life. If you're trying to produce high-quality videos, or if you just want to take incredibly vivid, high-quality selfies of yourself and your friends, this is the perfect product for you. Just make sure you watch where you're flying it! Price subject to change This content is from our partner StackCommerce. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site. View the full article
  3. Yesterday
  4. After going through the tutorials and figuring out the basics of Pokemon Unite, you're given a choice of five Pokemon to unlock and get you started in Unite Battles. This first choice will directly impact how well you'll perform in your first battles, and if you're like us, you're going to want a primer on all five of these "starter" Pokemon. Here's our look at each one, as well as our choice for the best one to choose if you're new to the MOBA scene. If you check out our Pokemon Unite beginner's tips and tricks guide, you'll see that the playable characters in Pokemon Unite are broken down into five types: Attacker, All-Rounder, Speedster, Defender, and Supporter. Each of the five starter Pokemon you can choose from represents one of these five types, with each having its own role in battle. Below you can find a breakdown of each one, including statistics, moves, and basic strategies. Also, a quick note before we get started: Yes, Zeraora is technically also available in the beginning as a free download, but its availability is temporary and must be redeemed via in-game message. These Pokemon are strictly the five presented to you after completion of the tutorial. Pikachu (Attacker) Being the most popular Pokemon in the world, it makes sense that Pikachu is a quick and easy Pokemon to learn as most people will pick it up first. Pikachu thrives on the front lines, dealing damage and scoring points for its team, but it will need backup for prolonged fights. Be careful not to jump headfirst into battle, especially alone, or else you'll be seeing the respawn screen more often than you should. Role Attacker Style Ranged Difficulty Novice Evolution levels None Stats: Offense - 9 Endurance - 3 Mobility - 3 Scoring - 4 Support - 3 Special Moves: Thunder Shock - Area of effect attack that damages and slows anyone in contact. Cooldown is 5 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 4 to one of the following: Electro Ball - Area of effect attack that damages and slows anyone in contact. 5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the move's damage is boosted. Thunder - Multiple thunderbolts strike and damage any Pokemon they contact. 8 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 more thunderbolts are summoned. Electro Web - Attack that damages and "roots" (immobilizes) Pokemon it contacts. Cooldown is 9 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 6 to one of the following: Volt Tackle - Charges into enemies, damaging them and sending them into the air temporarily. 10 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 cooldown is reduced. Thunderbolt - Strong electric blast that damages and stuns enemies it contacts. 9 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 damage output is increased. Passive Skill: Static - When damaged, all enemy Pokemon around Pikachu are slowed for a short time. Unite Move: Thunderstorm - Multiple powerful lightning bolts strike all around Pikachu. [Back to top] Charizard (All-Rounder) Charizard is the definition of a well-rounded Pokemon, holding its own on offense, defense, and in scoring. However, being an All-Rounder means the fiery Pokemon can only fly so high before getting burned, making him a liability in the later stages of a match. Our strategic recommendation would be to stay on the offensive early, gaining experience and charging up moves before falling back and defending for the rest of the match. Role All-Rounder Style Melee Difficulty Novice Evolution Levels Charmander Start | Charmeleon at Lvl. 5 | Charizard at Lvl. 9 Stats: Offense - 7 Endurance - 6 Mobility - 5 Scoring - 6 Support - 1 Special Moves: Flame Burst - Fire attack that leaves the opponent burned for a short time. Cooldown is 6 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 5 to one of the following: Flamethrower - Fiery breath that damages and burns any Pokemon in its path. 6 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the move's damage and burn damage is boosted. Fire Punch - A blazing punch that does additional damage to enemies already burned. 6 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 Charizard's basic attack reduces Fire Punch's cooldown when it connects. Fire Spin - Circle of fire traps Pokemon inside, damaging and slowing them down. Cooldown is 10 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 7 to one of the following: Fire Blast - Blast of fire that deals initial damage, then leaves a circle of fire that damages Pokemon inside it over time and slows them down. 10 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the damage dealt is increased. Flare Blitz - Charizard charges forward encased in fire, gaining a shield and throwing opponents on contact. 10 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the move also slows down Pokemon it damages. Passive Skill: Blaze - Critical Hit damage is increased when Charizard is at half health Unite Move: Seismic Slam - Charizard flies into the air, aims at a target, picks it up, and slams it into the ground. [Back to top] Talonflame (Speedster) Talonflame's Speedster nature means it's going to move around the arena with ease, making it perfect for attacking wild Pokemon and racking up the energy for goals. Once it's time to score a goal make sure a Defender or Supporter is with you, because trying to score alone when even one of your opponents is in your path could be disastrous. The term "glass cannon" describes the Speedster type well, and Talonflame is no exception. Role Speedster Style Melee Difficulty Novice Evolution Levels Fletchling Start | Fletchinder at Lvl. 5 | Talonflame at Lvl. 9 Stats: Offense - 5 Endurance - 3 Mobility - 10 Scoring - 7 Support - 1 Special Moves: Peck - A quick charge forward followed by three quick peck attacks. Cooldown is 5 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 5 to one of the following: Flame Charge - Flies forward surrounded by flames, attacking and increasing its speed. 6.5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the move also decreases the opponent's speed. Aerial Ace - Charges toward an enemy causing damage and increasing damage of next basic move. 6 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the damage dealt is increased. Acrobatics - Attacks an area from multiple directions and allows the player to choose the direction of escape when the move is finished. Cooldown is 7 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 7 to one of the following: Fly - Flies straight into the sky, and a second use brings it back down for big damage. 11 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the move throws enemies in the area when Talonflame comes back down. Brave Bird - Engulfs itself in flames and flies to a specified area for damage. The move causes recoil damage to Talonflame and reduces cooldown in basic attacks.11 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 recoil damage is reduced. Passive Skill: Gale Wings - Talonflame moves faster when it's at high HP. Unite Move: Flame Sweep - A long-distance charge while covered in flames, shoving enemies aside after contact. [Back to top] Snorlax (Defender) Snorlax is the Pokemon for defensive-minded players, with moves like Heavy Slam able to break up enemy skirmishes and Block giving teammates a breather when needed, although it can also be used offensively to prevent enemy players' retreat. Placing Snorlax in front of a goal and playing defense is the best way to be successful with the giant Pokemon, but it can't be left alone for too long. Despite its maximum endurance, Snorlax can get overwhelmed before too long, and he'll end up sleeping off the damage he receives while waiting to respawn. Role Defender Style Melee Difficulty Novice Evolution Levels None Stats: Offense - 3 Endurance - 10 Mobility - 4 Scoring - 3 Support - 5 Special Moves: Tackle - Charges forward with its belly for an area-of-effect attack, slowing damaged Pokemon's movement speed for a short time. Cooldown is 6 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 6 to one of the following: Heavy Slam - Slams its body down, damaging and throwing opponents around it. 7 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the move's damage is boosted. Flail - Flails its body around, hitting all Pokemon around it. The move also increases basic attack damage depending on current HP; the lower the HP, the higher the damage boost. 6.5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 the move's damage is boosted. Rest - Falls asleep where it stands and heals HP while blocking the path of all Pokemon not on its team. Cooldown is 10 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 8 to one of the following: Block - Spreads its arms out, creating a wall and giving it a shield. Opposing Pokemon are knocked back when contacting the wall. 11 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 damage received while this move is active is reduced. Yawn - A huge yawn that lulls opposing Pokemon around it to sleep, stunning them. 12 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 it also decreases the movement speed of any Pokemon it hits. Passive Skill: Gluttony - Increased effects from used Berry items. Unite Move: Power Nap - Falls asleep and rolls around, damaging any Pokemon it contacts. [Back to top] Eldegoss (Supporter) Supporter classes take time to get used to, but Eldegoss is a terrific beginner's support. Its Synthesis and Pollen Puff moves are fantastic for healing, while the Cotton Spore makes for a great disruption move later in the game. Supporters are never meant to charge headlong into battle, preferring to stay behind while healing and waiting for the right time to drop that one disruptive move. If you're an offensive-minded player, Eldegoss can wait. Role Supporter Style Ranged Difficulty Novice Evolution Levels Gossifluer Start | Eldegoss at Lvl. 4 Stats: Offense - 3 Endurance - 4 Mobility - 5 Scoring - 5 Support - 8 Special Moves: Leafage - Throws leaves at opponents, damaging them and slowing them down temporarily. Cooldown is 6 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 4 to one of the following: Pollen Puff - Puff of pollen sticks to a Pokemon. If stuck to a teammate, it heals the teammate, and if stuck to an opponent it damages the opponent. 5 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 allies take less damage when stuck while opponents take damage over time instead of once. Leaf Tornado - A cyclone of leaves attacks enemies and leaves a small vortex behind, increasing movement speed of allies who walk through it. 9 second cooldown. At Lvl. 11 it also decreases the accuracy of enemy Pokemon it hits. Synthesis - Restores HP of both itself and nearly allies. Cooldown is 8 seconds. Upgrades at Lvl. 6 to one of the following: Cotton Guard - Cotton appears and absorbs damage, restoring some HP when the move completes. 7 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 movement speed increases while using the move. Cotton Spore - Spores gather around Eldegoss reducing damage received. Spores will burst after a short time dealing damage to nearby enemies and slowing their movement speed. 10 second cooldown. At Lvl. 13 the bursting spores also throw Pokemon into the air. Passive Skill: Cotton Down - Damaging it over a certain amount will cause cotton to burst around it, increasing its HP and movement speed. Unite Move: Cotton Cloud Crash - Eldegoss lifts into the air then crashes back down, healing ally Pokemon and damaging opponents when it lands. [Back to top] Which Pokemon is the best pick for newcomers? Out of those five Pokemon, there is a clear choice in our minds which one should be the first Pokemon chosen out of the game for Pokemon fans who aren't familiar with the MOBA genre, and it's this one: We know it's a cliche pick, but honestly Pikachu's attack-heavy moveset makes it the perfect candidate to break the ice for non-MOBA players. You'll use it throughout the arena, fighting both wild Pokemon and opposing team members and getting the flow of battle while learning the lay of the land. You'll be able to see how Defenders and Supporters back you up, giving you an idea of how to use them should you decide to give those types a change. Most of all you'll be in the thick of the action for the majority of the match, getting an idea of the flow of a MOBA match from early game preparation to the final stand. The Speedster Talonflame is another good choice, but its dependence on constant mobility has a slightly higher learning curve. [Back to top] For more on Pokemon Unite, check out our guide to how microtransactions work in this new MOBA game, as well as the difference between ranked, standard, and quick matches. View the full article
  5. 343 Industries has shared more details on the upcoming Halo Infinite beta, or test flight, in its latest Inside Infinite post, including more details on the weapons you'll be able to try out in the beta's Weapon Drills mode. Those chosen for the Halo Infinite beta will have access to the Academy experience, which prepares them for competitive play in a less-punishing setting. This includes Weapon Drills, which put you into a firing range where you'll strafe and run while using a variety of weapons. Some of them are older Halo mainstays, while others are brand-new: MA40 AR BR75 MK50 Sidekick (new) CQS48 Bulldog (new) Needler VK78 Commando (new) S7 Sniper Plasma Pistol Pulse Carbine (new) Ravager (new) Heatwave (new) Skewer (new) If you've ever played Halo before, you surely know how the assault rifle and Needler perform, but the Heatwave and new CQS48 Bulldog shotgun may take some getting used to. The development team is soliciting feedback on this content, as well, to determine if it's doing a good job of teaching players how the weapons operate. Additionally, 343 shared more insight on the bots that will be your competition in Bot Arena. This mode is also designed to help you learn the game, but in more of a match-like setting, and head of creative--and former Halo lead writer--Joseph Staten explained that there will be Recruit, Marine, ODST, and Spartan bots, each more skilled than the previous one. Which one you face can be determined by the difficulty selection, but you won't see them take any more damage or deal more of it. Instead, they'll just perform better, dodging your grenades and making better decisions. On higher difficulties, they'll even make use of the Grappleshot ability to kill you with a melee strike. "In the early Halo games, [bots] were a feature that we always wanted to land but that consistently got cut due to limited time and resources," Staten said. "So, I'm very happy we've been able to make them happen this time around." After a year-long delay, Halo Infinite launches this Holiday for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. Thus far, more than 100,000 people have registered for the beta test. View the full article
  6. It seems the global semiconductor shortage may continue until 2022 or 2023, according to Intel During a Q2 earnings call earlier this week, CEO Pat Gelsinger said that because computing and AI are proliferating, especially in the wake of the ongoing pandemic, the semiconductor supply chain will take a couple years to catch up with demand now that things are being digitized. "While I expect the shortage to bottom out in the second half, it will take another one to two years before the industry is able to completely catch up with demand," Gelsinger said. "With major fab construction projects underway in Oregon, Arizona, Ireland, and Israel, we are investing for the future, but we are also taking action today to find innovative ways to help mitigate industry constraints." Gelsinger acknowledges that there's more work to do to address the semiconductor shortage. Despite that, he expects the PC market to expand since people turn to computing to complete their everyday tasks (as a result of the continued pandemic) while remaining confident in Intel's direction. "While we have work to do, we are making strides to renew our execution machine: 7nm is progression very well," Gelsinger said. "We've launched new innovative products, established Intel Foundry Services, and made operation and organization changes to lay the foundation needed to win in the next phase of our company's great history." The semiconductor shortage has affected numerous industries, including game console manufacturing. It's partly why there's been difficulty buying a Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S in store or online. Furthermore, Nvidia said the situation will slow GPU production until the end of the year. The supply chain constraints are even causing in-game problems. Final Fantasy XIV has experienced server congestion issues as a result of its recent popularity. Producer Naoki Yoshida said the semiconductor shortage is preventing the team from adding more data centers to produce additional servers. In response, the MMORPG will get an auto-logout feature soon. Back in March, media and tech analyst Neil Campling told The Guardian that the semiconductor shortage had reached "crisis" levels. The Senate passed legislation in June aimed at alleviating the constraints to ensure the chips were more widely available. The bipartisan bill now goes to the House. View the full article
  7. If the heroes of League of Legends aren't your cup of tea, you can now get your MOBA fix with a Pokemon twist. Pokémon Unite, the first Pokemon MOBA title, is now available on the Nintendo Switch. The game, a free-to-play title, lets players pick a Pokemon to play as before a match begins. Throughout a game, players can temporarily evolve their Pokemon, select the moves they know, and which items they hold. Different moves have different effects and deal varying amounts of damage while items grant boosts to base stats, like attack damage or movement speed. To win a game of Pokemon Unite, players have to collect a resource called Aeos energy. Dropped by defeating wild or player-controlled Pokemon, Aeos energy can be deposited at opponents' goal zones (with a sick basketball dunk) to earn points. Naturally, the team with the most points at the end of a game wins. Players that download Pokemon by August 31 will also get an extra bonus. Early players will earn themselves a free Zeraora Unite license, letting them play as the mythical Pokemon (who is considered quite overpowered). A majority of the roster in Pokemon Unite is unlocked by grinding for or purchasing Unite licenses. While Pokemon Unite is currently only available on the Switch, the game is also planned to launch on mobile devices this coming September, along with cross-play for the two platforms. Players can switch between each platform seamlessly by logging in on mobile with their Nintendo account or Pokemon Trainer Club account. For more, check out our Pokemon Unite guide and overview of how its microtransactions and tickets work. Pokemon Unite is a far cry from the typical Pokémon games we usually see, and it's not the end of the franchise experimenting with different formats. Pokemon Legends: Arceus, set to release on January 28, 2022, will be a 3D open-world RPG, seemingly influenced by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While little is known about the upcoming title, we've put together a page on everything we know about Pokemon Legends: Arceus. View the full article
  8. Movie director and writer James Gunn has shared his thoughts on the future of comic book and superhero films, calling them "really dumb" and "mostly boring for me right now." Speaking to the Irish Times, Gunn said comic book and superhero films run the risk of fading in popularity if they don't mix things up and try out new approaches. "We know about the way cowboy films went, and the way war films went," he said. "I don't know, I think you don't have to be a genius to put two and two together and see that there's a cycle to those sorts of films, you know, and that the only hope for the future of the comic book and superhero films is to change them up. They're really dumb. And they're mostly boring for me right now." Gunn went on to say that he was a big fan of comic book and superhero movies at the beginning. He said he was blown away by the visual effects when he saw Superman as a kid. Later on, he was a big fan of Iron Man from Marvel, again, for the visual effects that showed Tony Stark flying around in his supersuit. "And that was a beautiful thing to be able to do. But if the movies don't change, it's gonna get really, really boring," he said. Gunn tempered his comments by acknowledging that some superhero and comic book movies these days are innovating, but in general, he hasn't been blown away by what he's seen of late. "There are people trying to do some different things with superheroes. So it's not it's not 100% a rule that everybody isn't, but a lot of superhero films are boring. And so for me, I think it's just about bringing in other elements," he said. Gunn directed Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel, and he's lined up to direct 2023's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 as well. He also directed The Suicide Squad, which releases on August 6, and he's writing and directing the spin-off TV show Peacemaker. Outside of that, Gunn is attached to write and direct the Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special. Exactly what new elements Gunn will bring to the table with these films remains to be seen. But the director has said Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will tell a "heavier" story, which could speak to what he's trying to achieve in the space that will help set the movie apart. "It's pretty heavy actually. It's a heavier story, so it's an emotional process to go through," Gunn told Entertainment Weekly of the script. Before Gunn started working with Marvel and DC, he made the wacky and wonderful superhero movie Super starring Rainn Wilson, a film about a person with no superhuman abilities. View the full article
  9. Recently I found the coolest game development company Argentics on the Internet, because I needed something similar and something good in this area. I need a new modern game for work that will attract many new users for my channel and these guys they helped me with this.
  10. World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic is getting in on the summer sport festivities by bringing back an event not seen in-game since the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games. Called the Spirit of Competition (via WoWhead), the event sees players across the Horde and Alliance competing in the game's PvP Battlegrounds to earn special rewards in the form of a unique tabard that mimics the Olympic Rings symbol as well as a unique dragon pet. Conceived to coincide with the 2008 Summer Olympic games in the original version of the Burning Crusade expansion, it seemed Blizzard thought it would be fitting to bring it back for this year's delayed 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. It's currently unclear how long the Spirit of Competition event will run. The Spirit of Competition event coincides with this year's annual Midsummer Fire Festival in-game event, which adds new quests, cosmetic rewards, and dungeon bosses. Horde players will likely want to take advantage of this week's ongoing same-faction Battleground test in order to score the exclusive Olympic-themed cosmetic items. Prior to Blizzard enabling same-faction Battleground matchmaking, Horde players found themselves waiting up to an hour to participate in matches thanks to the faction's much larger population, which would make earning the exclusive rewards far more difficult. The game's most recent same-faction matchmaking test offers extra rewards for Alliance players who choose to participate in Battlegrounds. The launch of the event comes just as Activision Blizzard is dealing with the fallout from a new California lawsuit against the company, stating it fosters a "frat boy" culture rife with sexual harassment. Many players are calling for the removal of NPCs in both WoW Classic and the current Shadowlands version of the game that are named after an ex-Blizzard veteran and former WoW creative director mentioned in the lawsuit. View the full article
  11. Best Buy has kicked off one of its biggest sales of the year, Black Friday in July, and it's brought a great wave of deals across tech, gaming, toys, and more. On the gaming side, there are some particularly solid offers on PS4 and PS5 games, including The Last of Us Part II for its lowest price ever, $20. A ton of great game deals from earlier this week are still available as well. The Best Buy Black Friday in July sale also brings back some of the best deals from Prime Day, including a Nintendo Switch Lite bundle that gets you a free 128GB memory card, the 4th Gen Echo Dot bundle that comes with a free multicolor smart bulb, and Jabra's Elite 85t true wireless earbuds. You'll find some nice PC gaming deals as well, like MSI's 15.6-inch Sword gaming laptop for $1,000 and a Dell 32-inch 1440p, 165Hz curved gaming monitor for $350. You can check out more of the best gaming and tech deals during Best Buy's Black Friday in July sale below. The sale ends this Sunday, July 25, so there's not much time to take advantage of the offers. And Best Buy's sale isn't the only big one happening this week--you can check out big summer sales on PSN and the Microsoft Store right now as well. Best Buy Black Friday in July Sale: Best Deals Assassin's Creed Valhalla (PS5, PS4, Xbox) -- $30 ($60) Bravely Default II (Switch) -- $43 ($60) Demon's Souls (PS5) -- $50 ($70) The Falconeer (Xbox) -- $10 ($40) Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (Switch) -- $20 ($40) Ghost of Tsushima (PS4) -- $30 ($40) Judgment (PS5) -- $25 ($40) Kingdom Hearts All-in-One Package (PS4) -- $20 ($40) The Last of Us Part II (PS4) -- $20 ($40) Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle (Switch) -- $15 ($60) Mass Effect: Legendary Edition (PS4) -- $45 ($60) Mortal Kombat 11 - Ultimate Edition (PS5) -- $25 ($50) The Nioh Collection (PS5) -- $50 ($70) Persona 5 Royal (PS4) -- $25 ($60) Persona 5 Strikers (Switch, PS4) -- $35 ($60) Rainbow Six Siege - Deluxe Edition (PS5, Xbox) -- $15 ($40) Sackboy: A Big Adventure (PS5) -- $40 ($60) Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster (Switch, PS4) -- $35 ($50) Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PS4, Xbox) -- $15 ($40) Star Wars Squadrons (PS4, Xbox) -- $15 ($40) Yakuza: Like a Dragon (PS4, Xbox) -- $25 ($60) Yakuza Remastered Collection (PS4) -- $25 ($60) View the full article
  12. Genshin Impact's world of Teyvat will continue to expand, with developer miHoYo hoping to add four more continents to the game over the next four years. The news comes from Genshin Impact developer miHoYo's GDC 2021 talk (via Famitsu), where miHoYo producer and CEO Haoyu Cai went in-depth on its process of creating the world and characters found in the popular free-to-play game. miHoYo says the seven regions of the world have been planned from the start. Three out of the game's seven planned continents are currently available, with the newest area of the game, Inazuma, having only been added recently with Genshin Impact's massive 2.0 update. As discussed in the GDC talk, each region of Teyvat and the characters hailing from that particular region are inspired by real-world cultures. Mondstadt, the game's first region, is inspired by Germany, while the game's second area, Liyue, draws inspiration from Chinese culture. The new Inazuma region and characters are inspired by Japan. The developer's GDC presentation mainly focused on the technical aspects of crafting a beautiful world for players to explore, outlining how miHoYo uses various rendering effects, lighting, and art stylization to create the game's anime and cel-shaded look. In addition to adding the new Inazuma zone, Genshin Impact's 2.0 update also added new characters, changes to in-game housing, and added support for cross-progression across PC, mobile, and PlayStation platforms. Going hand-in-hand with the game's new console cross-progression is the inclusion of Aloy from the Horizon series. The new 5-star character can be summoned for free for all players, though PlayStation users above Adventure Rank 20 will be able to use Aloy starting with the game's 2.1 update, while players on other platforms will get the chance when the game's 2.2 update arrives. Players who have reached Adventure Rank 20 or above can also obtain a special bow that can be used by the character. View the full article
  13. Although many people have been hunting for the PlayStation 5 since launch last holiday, there's a somewhat surprising demand for the PlayStation 4, too. Yes, we're talking about the console that originally launched in 2013. Perhaps the PS5 fever (and extreme stock shortages) has led some people to dive back a generation into the PS4 instead, or maybe an immediate nostalgia effect is already kicking in for other gamers. Regardless of the exact reason, the fact is that the PS4 is hard to find in stock at major retailers, especially for reasonable prices. Listings on eBay for the PS4 are extremely active, with prices sometimes reaching pretty darn close to the PS5 list price. We've put together a guide covering where to buy the PS4 in 2021, including both new and preowned consoles. If you wind up picking up a PS4, we have multiple roundups that should be of interest, including the best PS4 games, best PS4 headsets, and best PS4 controllers. Where to buy a brand-new PS4 Sony hasn't officially stopped production of all PS4 models. The 1TB Slim model and PS4 Pro are discontinued, but the 500GB Slim model is still considered an active console as of early this year. That said, we haven't seen an in-stock listing for the 500GB at any major retailer for months. So, where does that leave you if you have your heart set on a brand-new PS4? Combing through major retailer websites for new PS4 consoles can be bleak and pretty shocking. It's not uncommon to find listings for $500 or more, and some bundles sold by third-party sellers top out around $1,000. That's quite absurd. We found exactly one reasonably priced new PS4 at a major retailer. GameStop has the discontinued 1TB Slim console bundled with Spider-Man: Miles Morales for $350. While we've certainly seen new PS4 Slim consoles for much less before--especially during the holiday season--recent PS4 price history makes this bundle a solid deal. This bundle likely won't be available for long, as GameStop's PS4 console stock has seriously dwindled lately. After digging through eBay listings, it's pretty clear that GameStop's current bundle is the best deal you're likely to find. Most brand-new PS4s cost north of $400 on eBay and recent auctions have eclipsed the $350 price, too. You can save yourself some headache by getting the PS4 from GameStop with free two- to five-day shipping. Read more: Where to buy an Xbox Series X in 2021 To be perfectly honest, if you're interested in a new PS4 Pro, you're going to wind up spending at least as much as you would on a PS5. There aren't a ton of brand-new PS4 Pro listings on eBay, but we've seen auctions end above $500. And if you want a special-edition console like The Last of Us Part II or the 500 Million Limited Edition? Many of those creep up toward $1,000. Where to buy a preowned PS4 While one would think finding a preowned PS4 would be much easier than grabbing a brand-new one, that's only somewhat the case. In less than 24 hours, GameStop sold out of four different preowned PS4 bundles. If you're on the hunt for a PS4, we recommend checking GameStop's stock frequently. It seems like the retailer cycles through availability for certain bundles, so options may change over the course of a week or so. You should also call your local store for availability, as many of GameStop's PS4 listings are marked as in-store only now. GameStop's preowned PS4 prices are decent, but keep in mind that you can almost always get a better deal by shopping at auction sites like eBay and StockX. As mentioned, listings are pretty active nowadays, but it's not incredibly challenging to find a preowned PS4 (original and Slim) for $200 to $300 if you're diligent. The PS4 Pro tends to sell for $300 to $400, but it can go for more. View the full article
  14. Valve said in a new interview discussing the Steam Deck that the handheld PC can run just every game in the platform's catalog without a hitch. A quartet of Valve developers sat down with IGN talk about the Steam Deck's capabilities at length, from the custom APU designed in collaboration with AMD to the portability of Steam games via the SD card slot. During the conversation, hardware engineer Yazan Aldehayyat said the team ensured that "every game we wanted to be playable" was playable on Steam Deck. "The whole thing is powered with a custom APU that we basically worked with AMD on to deliver the best performance and best battery life possible in this envelop," Aldehayyat said. "I think it's very, very difficult to make direct comparisons to anything, but we think that we were to achieve a point where all the games we wanted to be playable [had] a really good experience." Developer Pierre-Loup Griffais followed up on Aldehayyat's comment, saying that while previous prototypes had issues running last year's games, the upcoming Steam Deck can handle just about any title with no problems. "This is the first time that we've achieved the level of performance that is required to really run the latest generation of games without problems," Griffais said. "All the games that we wanted to be playable is really the entire Steam library [and] we haven't really found something that we could throw at this device that it couldn't handle--at least not yet." This news contradicts earlier reports of the Steam Deck's incapability of running games like Apex Legends. Game Informer wrote up a list of incompatible titles, explaining that the issue is with how games are developed for consoles and the hardware's Linux-based underpinnings. Furthermore, Ubisoft said in an earnings call earlier this week that the company would bring its games to Steam Deck if the demand is there. It's worth nothing that because the Steam Deck is basically a portable PC capable of running other storefronts, Ubisoft's catalog is already available. It's this flexibility in OS compatibility that makes the Steam Deck essentially a universal PC machine. The Steam Deck launches this December, though order availability is not expected to open until Q2 2022. Of the three available models, we suggest either of the more expensive 256 GB or 512 GB ones as the cheaper Steam Deck uses 64 GB eMMC storage that's much slower than you might expect. View the full article
  15. Following the announcement of the Dead Space remake during EA Play Live, EA has shared more details on the leadership team working on the game and more about what to expect. The developers also spoke about staying true to the vision of the original game, but also cutting some elements that needed to go. The game's senior producer is Philippe Ducharme, who spent nearly seven years with EA from 2003-2010 before moving to Ubisoft where he was a producer on Watch Dogs Legion. He re-joined EA in August 2020. Roman Campos-Oriola is Dead Space's creative director. He worked at Ubisoft from 2005-2020, and was the game director on For Honor. The art director on the new Dead Space remake is Mike Yazijian, who held that same title on Dead Space 2. He left EA in 2011 to join Warner Bros. where he worked on Batman: Arkham Origins before coming back to EA in 2018 where he was the art director on Star Wars: Squadrons. (Left to right) Mike Yazijian, Art Director; Roman Campos-Oriola, Creative Director; Philippe Ducharme, Senior ProducerYazijian said he was able to find his old notebooks from Dead Space 2, and that "comes in handy, seeing all the notes," he said in an interview on EA's website. "We've got concept art, visual guidelines, source materials, notes on the conversations we had with them, the knowledge that they gained--it's all here. It's all going into this game," he said. Also in the interview, EA made it very clear that the new Dead Space is not a reboot or a remaster. It is a remake where "everything" has been re-built from the ground up, running on a new engine, Frostbite. EA says the new remake will be "respectful" of the original. "It's being fully rebuilt in Frostbite," Campos-Oriola said. "With all new assets, new character models, new environments--even though we're basing those on the original designs. There are new parts, new props, new collision models, and so on. We're rebuilding everything from scratch, but we're keeping the same story and the same structure." Ducharme added that the new Dead Space--which won't be available on PS4 and Xbox One--will have better volumetric effects. "So instead of just having sprites, you're really able to feel the depth of a room, the thickness of the air," he said. "We're playing with shadows, with dynamic lighting, so not only does it create the mood and atmosphere, but it also has an effect on gameplay, because the player has the ability to control the lighting in certain areas of the ship." In regards to audio, Ducharme said the team is "working on enhancing the experience and providing believable audio that focus[es] on objects' positioning and 3D sounds propagation." Campos-Oriola went on to mention that the new SSDs in the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles allow the game to "load and unload really fast." There won't be any loading screens, it seems. "Our intention is to offer a fully unbroken experience, it will be an uninterrupted sequence shot, from the start screen to the end credit, without interruption," the developer said. Ducharme added: "The objective we gave to the whole team was to have players pick up the controller and completely lose track of time. Like, they play through the entire experience without putting the controller down. That's how immersive we want our game to be, that people just dive in and don't come out until the credits roll." In regards to how the Dead Space remake will differ from the original, Yazijian said the studio will "do away with some things that don't work," though no specifics were mentioned. But overall, the goal is to follow the story, art direction, and "everything" else "out of respect for the original game." To help make sure the new Dead Space doesn't stray from what fans want, Campos-Oriola said EA invited some members of the community to provide feedback on the game after just two months of development. "We want to treat the franchise with great care and respect, so we want to make sure the things we're doing are hitting home with our community," Campos-Oriola said. The new Dead Space remake is likely still a long time off from release. In the meantime, you can play Dead Space 1-3, along with the spin-off Ignition, right now on Xbox Game Pass and EA Play. The new Dead Space game won't have any microtransactions. If you missed EA Play 2021 Live, then go ahead and check out our recap of the show. Along with the reveal of the Dead Space remake, we also saw the announcement of Battlefield 2042's newBattlefield Portal mode, which brings different armies from across time together in large-scale battles, along with a showcase ofLost in Random's take on turn-based RPG combat. View the full article
  16. EA made big headlines recently with the announcement of a Dead Space remake from EA Motive. All we saw was a brief teaser trailer, and the game is presumably still some time off from release. In the meantime, if you're an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or EA Play subscriber, you can catch up on the series easier than ever since all three mainline games are currently in the subscription catalog. The spin-off puzzle game Dead Space Ignition is also available on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and EA Play, bringing the total number of series titles to four. As mentioned, you'll need to be an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriber (which includes EA Play) to get all these Dead Space games on Xbox. Alternatively, EA Play members can sign up for that service alone to play the entire Dead Space catalog and every other title available on the service across console and PC. The original Dead Space was released in 2008, with a Wii-exclusive spin-off called Dead Space Extraction launching in 2009 before coming to PS3 in 2011. The second spin-off, Ignition, released in 2010, while the mainline sequels debuted in 2011 and 2013, respectively. Extraction and the 2011 mobile game Dead Space from Australian studio FireMonkeys are not available on Game Pass or EA Play. The new Dead Space is a remake of the first game, built on the Frostbite engine, and set for release on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. The game promises "stunning visuals, audio, and controls," while fans can look forward to "an improved story, characters, and gameplay mechanics." You can check out a teaser trailer for the new Dead Space above. In other news, we also learned that the new Dead Space remake won't have microtransactions. For more games to play on Xbox, check out our guides to the best Xbox One games of all time and the best Xbox Series X games available so far. Plus, Game Pass subscribers should check out the best games available with Xbox Game Pass right now. The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site. View the full article
  17. This Week At Bungie is a bit lighter than usual, but it introduced minor changes coming to Destiny 2 in the next few weeks. In the current Season of the Splicer, Bungie created an Armor Synthesis system, a new transmog system for armor customization. Players earn a unique, passive currency called Synthstrand to purchase Armor Synthesis bounties from Ada-1 at the Tower. Since it's passively-earned, there is no way to get it other than simply defeating enemies until they collect enough to grab bounties. It can be time-consuming since not every kill guarantees a Synthstrand drop. In Season 15, Bungie will remove the Synthstrand from the game, and players will need to use 10,000 Glimmer in its place. As the TWAB notes, this will reduce the time players need to earn 10 Synthweave tokens per class every season. Bungie intends to simplify the Armor Synthesis system with these changes. Also starting next season, Nightfall's weapon rotation will change. In Season 15, the rotation will have eight weapons in pairs with one older and one newer weapon. Additionally, Nightfalls next week will offer double rewards. Popular Nightfall rewards such as the Palindrome, The Swarm, and Shadow Price are all on the table. As a reminder, the Solstice of Heroes event ends on August 3. Next week is the last week of the summer event and your last chance to earn the Solstice of Heroes armor! In case you're wondering, Season 14 ends on August 24. View the full article
  18. Fresh off of releasing the Titan Evo 2022 Series, Secretlab has announced its first collaboration for the new gaming chair line. Secretlab is celebrating the Ruination in the League of Legends universe by releasing three themed chairs based on League characters. Secretlab's previous League of Legends-themed gaming chairs featured some of the manufacturer's best designs, and the new trio of chairs also look pretty darn cool. Titan Evo 2022 League of Legends Gaming ChairsThe new gaming chairs feature designs revolving around Viego, Miss Fortune, and Pyke. They are available in Secretlab's new NEO Hybrid Leatherette material. All three chairs come in small, regular, and extra large sizes, and each chair comes with a magnetic head pillow. Viego's chair features his signature blade on the front and a decorative design on the back. Though most of the chair is black, it's accented with blue and gold to give it a striking look. Miss Fortune's design includes her pistols on the front and smoke pluming from the barrels on the back. It mixes red, black, gold, and white--the design definitely stands out. Meanwhile, Pyke's chair features his dagger on the front and his formidable armor on the back. The shoulder wings have a scale-like texture and look inspired by jaull-fish. Secretlab's new Titan Evo gaming chair is a marked improvement on the 2020 Series. With a more ergonomic design, better lumbar support, and a premium feel, the Titan Evo is the best gaming chair in its price range. For more on Secretlab's 2022 Series, check out our full Titan Evo review. View the full article
  19. A new leveling scaling feature is coming to Assassin's Creed Valhalla on Tuesday, July 27, that lets you adjust enemy power for a "more balanced or challenging experience," according to the attribute's in-game description. The game's Twitter account revealed the news, posting a screenshot of the level scaling feature found buried in Assassin's Creed Valhalla's settings. Under the gameplay tab, you will be able to adjust level scaling with five settings, from off all the way to Nightmarish. This feature, once turned on, will alter how quickly enemies scale in the game in relation to your own level. Fan reception to the level scaling announcement is largely positive. Most are grateful developer Ubisoft Montreal is adding the feature, but a few desire other fixes. Particularly, people are asking Ubisoft to address the "Saint Faith" mission, which has apparently had progression issues since March. Still, fans are excited about the prospect of playing on a harder difficulty, with enemies that scale to match that challenge. However, some players are asking Ubisoft for off-base requests. It's unclear if level scaling will be part of an update when it arrives on July 27. Assassin's Creed Valhalla did receive a hotfix on July 12 that addressed other problems, such as reducing a master mission's difficulty. View the full article
  20. Pokemon Unite players are starting to coalesce around something resembling a tier list, as they put the Pokemon through their paces in various match-ups and team compositions. Fans seem to have a handful of top picks so far, but one Pokemon is clearly dominating the memes: the Mythical electric wildcat, Zeraora. Part of that is unlike other Pokemon, Zeraora doesn't evolve as a match goes on. Picking Charizard starts you as a Charmander, for example, and you evolve as you level up through a match. Zeraora, as a Mythical Pokemon, starts in its fully adult state and seems more powerful as a baseline. It's also a melee speedster-type, which means it's quick and ferocious. But Zeraora also learns stronger moves throughout the match just like other Pokemon, including Volt Switch to close gaps or the powerful Wild Charge. If you've gone head to head against a level 8 Zeraora, you've probably seen it suddenly slash at you from multiple angles over the course of about 1.5 seconds and thought to yourself: wait what the hell? So it's no surprise that the Pokemon Unite subreddit has become populated with memes celebrating/cursing the legendary Pokemon, whether shocked at its power level or lamenting the inevitable nerf. Zeraora isn't the only Pokemon being hailed as a great pick or terribly OP, depending on if you find yourself on the giving or receiving end of their attacks. Machamp has gotten some attention for its powerful Suplex ability and Cramorant is surprisingly strong for a goofy-looking bird. One nice thing about Zeraora's standout status is that it's available for free until August 31, neatly sidestepping any concerns about the most OP Pokemon requiring a hefty investment. This way you can put your hard-earned Coins or real-money Gems toward some of the other top-tier Pokemon. For more, read up on how the currencies and microtransactions work in Pokemon Unite. And if you're just getting started, check out some essential Pokemon Unite tips. View the full article
  21. The PC gamers who lost their high-end graphics cards while playing Amazon Games' MMO New Worlds will be receiving a replacement. That is, as long as they had an EVGA model. Speaking to PC Gamer, a spokesman for EVGA has confirmed that all EVGA RTX 3090 cards that have been broken or damaged "are being replaced." The cards all broke while playing a closed beta for New World with an uncapped frame rate, which Amazon is blaming for the issue. In a statement given yesterday, Amazon said, "The New World Closed Beta is safe to play. In order to further reassure players, we will implement a patch today that caps frames per second on our menu screen." It's worth noting though that while the patch caps New World's frame rate while in the main menu, it does not implement any change in any other segments of the game. "This does not affect settings in game world available via the Settings/Video menu," reads a post from a New World community manager on the game's forums. It doesn't seem like EVGA is taking its sweet time sending gamers their replacement 3090 cards either. In a video posted by JayzTwoCents, host Jason Langevin confirmed with his own contacts at the hardware manufacturer that replacements are currently being sent out. "I straight-up asked them 'What are you going to do for the customers that have EVGA cards that have failed while playing this game?' And I was kind of surprised, actually, he said 'oh, they're already getting replacement cards.'" Despite the challenges players with EVGA RTX 3090 graphics cards have been facing, New World has seen a significant amount of success pre-release. The game, set to release on August 31, has already been the most-viewed game on Twitch and is currently a best-selling game on Steam. View the full article
  22. World of Warcraft players are calling for two NPCs named after former WoW creative director Alex Afrasiabi to be removed from the game, following explicit mention of Afrasiabi's alleged pattern of harassment against female employees in a recent lawsuit filed by California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing against Activision Blizzard. Afrasiabi, who unceremoniously left Blizzard in the summer of 2020, is the only person named directly in the State of California's lawsuit in reference to sexual harassment allegations. The lawsuit claims he would frequently hit on female employees by attempting to kiss them and put his arms around them. One portion of the lawsuit that is particularly telling is the claim that Afrasiabi's suite was nicknamed the "Crosby Suite," an apparent mispelled reference to alleged rapist Bill Cosby, who in 2018 was sentenced to 10 years in jail for sexual assault charges, charges which were recently overturned by the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court. The lawsuit states Afrasiabi's alleged pattern of harassment was known to Blizzard executives, but that no corrective measures were taken due to his seniority, with Blizzard president J. Allen Brack allegedly only giving Afrasiabi a metaphorical slap on the wrist in response to his behavior. Afrasiabi joined Blizzard in 2004 as a quest designer on vanilla WoW. He would go on to serve as creative director for the game's Warlords of Draenor and Legion expansions. Now, players on the game's forums and Reddit are calling for two human NPCs named after Afrasiabi to be removed from the game. The two NPCs in question are Field Marshal Afrasiabi, found in the Alliance capital city of Stormwind, and Lord Afrasastrasz, found in Wrymwrest Temple in Northrend. As of writing, both NPCs are still present in-game, with Field Marshal Afrasiabi able to be found in both WoW Classic and the game's most recent expansion, Shadowlands. Field Marshal Afrasiabi appears to be phasing in and out of existence in the Shadowlands version of the game, though the reason for this is currently unclear. Players are currently using an in-game toy to post warning signs around the Stormwind NPC, with some Horde players even taking matters into their own hands, invading the Alliance city to dispose of Field Marshal Afrasiabi personally. Other players are calling for even more drastic measures, requesting that quests created by Afrasiabi be reworked or removed entirely. Numerous in-game items are named in reference to Afrasiabi as well, and his influence on the game as a whole is a big one. As a quest designer in the game's early days, he designed some of WoW's most iconic quest lines and areas, including the quest chain for the legendary weapon Thunderfury and the Death Knight starting zone in Wrath of the Lich King. There is precedent for Blizzard removing NPCs from the game. Two NPCs named after popular WoW streamer Swifty were quietly removed last summer. Blizzard gave no official reason for the change, but the removal of the NPCs came after allegations of sexual misconduct. Voice actor Quinton Flynn, who voiced the character Kael'thas Sunstrider in Warcraft 3 and WoW's Burning Crusade expansion, saw his voice removed from the game earlier this year. Once again, no explicit reason was given for the change, but it is assumed to be due to sexual misconduct allegations brought against Flynn around the same time. But even if Afrasiabi's NPCs are removed and his quests reworked, fans are wondering if any action on Blizzard's part would be symbolic enough, given allegations that Afrasiabi's actions were said to be well-known to management, including Brack himself. Players have begun to stage in-game protests in response to the lawsuit's allegations, with many saying they've canceled their game subscriptions and are using the game-time remaining on their accounts to encourage others to do the same. Blizzard has yet comment on the matter publicly, but an Activision Blizzard spokesperson's response to California's lawsuit claims that the picture painted by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing is "not the Blizzard workplace of today," and that the company has made "significant changes to address company culture" over the past several years, despite Afrasiabi continuing to be employed by the company in a senior role as recently as last year. An internal Blizzard email from Brack obtained by Bloomberg's Jason Schreier call the lawsuit allegations "extremely troubling" and the behavior outlined within it "completely unacceptable." Blizzard has recently seen an exodus of talent away from the studio in favor of going independent. Many ex-Blizzard developers are forming their own studios, looking to make new games in genres, like RTS, that Blizzard hasn't recently shown an interest in creating. A new Bloomberg report also recently documented the struggles behind the making of Warcraft 3: Reforged, the remake of Blizzard's classic RTS that released in 2020 to lackluster reviews and fan reception, with internal Blizzard documents stating developers on the project suffered from depression, exhaustion, and anxiety over the course of development. View the full article
  23. Pokemon Unite is a MOBA, which means a lot of the aspects of its map and mechanics are set to facilitate the esport aspect of the genre. But there are some notable differences between the three main play modes including match time, arena size, and how rewards work. Here's a breakdown of Standard, Quick, and Ranked matches. Standard Battle The Standard battle is the one you'll encounter first, and it's meant to get your feet wet as you learn the mechanics and how to manage your Pokemon. In Standard there is currently only one map, Remoat Stadium. Matches are only 5v5, and they last 10 minutes. You can also select between Random Match, in which all of your teammates and opponents are found via matchmaking; CPU Match, in which all of your teammates and opponents are AI bots; and Friendly Match, in which you can fill both teammate and opponent slots with friends and fill any gaps with AI bots. Standard is how you'll earn most of your beginning trainer XP and Coins. While Standard matches essentially serve to prepare you for the other two modes, Ranked and Quick, it remains available after those open. You may still want to jump into Standard matches when you want a longer game than the Quick option, but you also want a more casual experience without worrying about playing your hardest for Ranked. Quick Battle The Quick battle opens once you've reached trainer level 8, and it features a wider variety of maps than Standard. These matches only last five minutes, and the arenas are smaller: a 4v4 Shivre City, 4v4 Mer Stadium, and 3v3 Auroma Park. Like Standard battles, they let you choose between random, CPU, and friendly opponents. But since the matches are so much shorter, they do give significantly less trainer XP. Ranked Battle There are three requirements to participate in Ranked battles. Reach trainer level 6. Ranked play is gated behind a trainer level to give you an opportunity to play in Standard battles and get a feel for the flow of matches before you jump into the higher-stakes world of Ranked. Own five Pokemon licenses. This assures that during the Pokemon select screen, you'll always have access to a Pokemon even if you pick yours last and your other four teammates have taken yours. Maintain an 80 or above Fair Play score. The Fair Play score, located in your profile, is essentially a way to encourage good behavior in online matches. Fair Play points can be deducted for abandoning a match or idling, and you can regain up to five Fair Play points per day by simply playing matches normally. 60-79 is the threshold for a Ranked match ban, while anything lower than 59 will get you banned from Standard random battles as well. Once you can participate in Ranked battles, you'll start climbing your way up the six ranks. Those are, in ascending order, Beginner, Great, Expert, Veteran, Ultra, and Master. Inside each rank are several classes--essentially pips on a point scale to rise through those ranks. Winning adds a point and advances you toward the next class, while losing subtracts a point. Each class has three points. Once you've reached the top class of a particular rank, you'll advance to the next one. The higher ranks also have more classes to rise through, so you'll need to win more matches to advance. For example, the Beginner rank has three classes, which means you need a total of nine wins to rank up. (Any losses will need to be counteracted with another win). The Great rank has four classes, so you'll need 12 wins. Expert, Great, and Veteran each have five classes, so you'll need 15 wins. If you reach the Master class, you no longer advance along classes at all and simply rank up to be the very best. Ranked Rewards Unlike Standard and Quick battles, Ranked gives you extra rewards at the end of a season, on top of any you earned while gaining trainer XP and achievements through the course of play. Those are based on your highest rank received during a season. You need to have played at least 20 Ranked matches in a season to claim any ranked rewards. The current rewards listed for this season are: Beginner: 2,000 Aeos tickets Great: 4,000 Aeos tickets Expert: 6,000 Aeos tickets Veteran: 10,000 Aeos tickets Ultra: 15,000 Aeos tickets Master: 20,000 Aeos tickets Aeos tickets are primarily used to power up Held Items and to purchase cosmetics in shops. For more, read about how Pokemon Unite currencies and microtransactions work, and check out our essential beginner tips. And of course, make sure you claim your free Zeraora during the launch giveaway period. View the full article
  24. Pokemon Unite is a match made in heaven: the most successful franchise in the entire world coupled with the gold standard format for competitive gaming. This new MOBA from The Pokemon Company and Tencent brings the tenured series to a whole new world of competition, playing unlike anything with the Pokemon name on it. As such, those fans might have some questions about the fundamentals of Pokemon Unite, specifically ones like, "What the heck is this game?" and, "How does it work?" Fear not, loyal Pokemon trainer, as this is a handy guide that will give you the foundation you need to succeed on Aeos Island, whether it's your first or 100th Unite match. MOBA? What's a MOBA? First and foremost, let's address the Phanpy in the room for longtime Pokemon fans: What is this "MOBA" you keep hearing about? MOBA stands for "multiplayer online battle arena," a highly competitive multiplayer format featuring two teams of (typically) five in a giant arena. Battlefields usually include paths along the top, bottom, or middle called "lanes," with areas between the lanes populated by monsters or, in this case, Wild Pokemon. League of Legends--the most popular MOBA game in the world--refers to these areas between the paths as "jungles," but for Pokemon fans, an easy way to think of them is "wild areas" a la Sword and Shield. A standard MOBA match's objective is for one team to make its way across the map to the other team's starting point, destroying checkpoints (or "towers") in the lanes along the way to gain more access to the map. Eventually, the winning team will force its way into the opposing starting area, destroying a final tower (the "Nexus" in League of Legends terms) to claim victory. The PokeMOBA Approach So how does Pokemon Unite approach this MOBA format? While there is an arena with lanes and wild areas in between, the Pokemon Unite arenas are slightly different. First, there are only two lanes, top and bottom, with the entire section between the lanes a wild area populated by AI Pokemon. Second, instead of towers to be destroyed, lanes are dotted with goals in which Pokemon score points with Aeos Energy they've collected. Goals can be destroyed through scoring points--more on the scoring format later--but unlike other MOBAs, victory is achieved by total points scored instead of objective destruction, so matches can technically be won without destroying a single goal. However, there is a good reason to destroy goals, as the area between two opposing goals is called a "Speed Flux Zone." Any opponents caught in that zone will see their speed slowed until they make their way out of it, making them a prime target for attack while they're in there. There are some MOBA tropes that aren't included in Pokemon Unite, such as the lack of AI-controlled minions or "creep" and the removal of buying items mid-match. There are still items, but they are designated to be held by Pokemon before a match begins. Understanding Pokemon Unite'sTypes Let's make one thing clear: This is a MOBA that features Pokemon; this is not a Pokemon game that's also a MOBA. As such, there are a few conventions that Pokemon fans typically expect that don't fully translate over. The most notable difference is Pokemon types. When a longtime trainer thinks about types, they typically think Fire, Grass, Water, etc. None of that applies in Pokemon Unite. Instead, Pokemon are split into one of five categories: All-Rounder (Charizard, Garchomp, Lucario, Machamp): Pokemon that are evenly skilled in attack and defense. Attacker (Alolan Ninetales, Cinderace, Cramorant, Gardevoir, Greninja, Pikachu, Venusaur): These Pokemon excel on offense, bringing the fight to the opposite team. Defender (Blastoise, Crustle, Slowbro, Snorlax): These Pokemon sport high defense stats and movesets focused on keeping enemies away from your goal. Speedster (Absol, Gengar, Talonflame, Zeraora): Speedsters play like assassins, quickly moving around the arena and strategically attacking. Support (Eldegoss, Mr. Mime, Wigglytuff): Supporters are focused on buffing and healing teammates to keep everyone alive and fighting. Knowing the classes and how each Pokemon fits into that class makes a world of difference when first getting into Pokemon Unite. Knowing how they fit your personal style is paramount to victory, too; those familiar with Assassin classes in other MOBAs probably won't fare well with Defenders here, for example. Scoring Goals Is The Key To Victory Victory in Pokemon Unite goes to the team that scores the most points in ten minutes, and thankfully scoring points is a simple, straightforward process. Players must use their Pokemon to collect energy from wild Pokemon in the arena, with each monster worth a certain amount of energy. Once the player has energy stored--up to a max of 50 energy points--they must head over to one of the opposing team's goals and hold X to dispense them. The more energy the Pokemon is currently storing, the longer the player must hold X. When the meter fills, the Pokemon will throw the energy through the hoop, and points equal to the amount of energy held will be scored. Some goals limit how many points can be scored on them--80 to 100 are the usual limits--before they are disabled for the rest of the match. There are ways to manipulate the goal in order to score points faster. If multiple Pokemon on the same team are standing in the same goal zone, the meter will fill faster while holding X. Defeating certain special wild Pokemon in the arena can render the goals "defenseless," dramatically decreasing the amount of time needed to hold X in order to score. Conversely, there are ways the opposing team can hinder point-scoring, like interrupting the meter by attacking while the enemy is holding X and forcing the player to start again. Furthermore, goals will restore the HP of the Pokemon from that side of the arena, so if you're approaching a goal and an opponent is standing in it, do not approach until it's gone. The best approach on how and when to score points depends on the type of Pokemon you're using. Speedster Pokemon should focus on fast and frequent scoring, as their mobility gives them the ability to get in and out of opposing goal zones quickly. Defender and Supporter Pokemon, on the other hand, should only score when the opportunity presents itself. If the other team is crowding the top of the map, for example, a Defender or Supporter on the bottom has a chance to score with little resistance. These types will want to try and score eventually, though; getting knocked out with 50 energy could swing the momentum of a match to the enemy team. Attacker and All-Rounder strategies fall somewhere between Speedster and Defender, depending on the flow of the game. These two types thrive when focused on wild Pokemon, but when the energy is filled, you'll want to be close to a goal. However, if the team needs extra help defending a goal zone, both can step in and clean house. As long as you don't get caught in a skirmish with low health and max energy, you'll be golden. Going Wild With Wild Pokemon As mentioned above, multiple wild Pokemon appear throughout the arena, each holding energy that can be turned into points. Aipom, Combee, Vespiquen, Corphish, and Audino are a few examples of the familiar faces you'll see when walking around the map. Attacking and defeating each Pokemon nets you energy, which eventually becomes points on the board once sent through the goal. A great strategy for defeating these Pokemon is the idea of "kiting" or luring the wild Pokemon to the edge of the area it defends, then attacking it as it walks back to its starting point. A few wild Pokemon also hold special perks that are passed along when defeated, which could make a huge difference in the heat of battle. Let's look at Remoat Island, the first arena you'll play in Pokemon Unite and the arena with the standard 5v5 gameplay. Unique Pokemon on this map include: Bouffalant gives the Pokemon that defeats it an orange aura, which grants it the ability to slow down opposing Pokemon with every successful attack. Ludicolo gives the Pokemon that defeats it a purple aura, which powers up the Pokemon's attacks when used against opponents with low health. Drednaw gives a temporary shield to the entire team of the Pokemon that takes it down. Rotom gives 20 points automatically to the team that defeats it. It then travels to the nearest goal of the opposing team. If Rotom makes it to a goal, it renders it defenseless for a short time. The prime wild Pokemon targets are the Legendary Pokemon that appear in the Legendary Pit at the very center of the map. Remoat Island's Legendary Pokemon is Zapdos, appearing only in the last two minutes of a match, and defeating it renders all opposing goals defenseless for 30 seconds. This advantage can turn the tide of battle in the late game, letting a team come from behind or increase its lead to unreachable lengths. However, do not try to take on a Zapdos alone; no matter what level you're at, you're going to have a bad time. This leads to a very important tip before we move on: whether battling wild Pokemon or the opposing team, be mindful of your team's goals and depend on them to restore health in a pinch. Retreating from a skirmish to heal and fight another day is far more advantageous than overdoing it, getting killed, and then having to wait the lengthy respawn time to get back into the fray. Your absence will leave your team in a huge disadvantage. Gaining Experience And Leveling Up You might have noticed that while you selected Charizard on the Pokemon select screen, when the match begins, you're controlling Charmander. No, that's not a mistake; along with energy, each Wild Pokemon on the field also gives experience when defeated. As a Pokemon gains experience, it gains access to more powerful moves--which we'll get into shortly in the battle section--and access to more powerful forms. If a Pokemon evolves in the main Pokemon franchise, it can also evolve here. Using the Charmander example, the fire dino will evolve into Charmeleon at level five and then to the big bad Charizard at level 9, gaining strength, defense, and HP accordingly. Pokemon with evolutions include: Alolan Ninetales (Alolan Vulpix, Alolan Ninetales at Lvl. 4) Blastoise (Squirtle, Wartortle at Lvl. 5, Blastoise at Lvl. 9) Charizard (Charmander, Charmeleon at Lvl. 5, Charizard at Lvl. 9) Cinderace (Scorbunny, Raboot at Lvl. 5, Cinderace at Lvl. 9) Crustle (Dwebble, Crustle at Lvl. 4) Eldegoss (Gossifleur, Eldegoss at Lvl. 4) Garchomp (Gible, Gabite at Lvl. 6, Garchomp at Lvl. 10) Gardevoir (Ralts, Kirlia at Lvl. 6, Gardevoir at Lvl. 10) Gengar (Gastly, Haunter at Lvl. 5, Gengar at Lvl. 9) Greninja (Froakie, Frogadier at Lvl. 5, Greninja at Lvl. 7) Machamp (Machop, Machoke at Lvl. 5, Machamp at Lvl. 9) Slowbro (Slowpoke, Slowbro at Lvl. 4) Talonflame (Fletchling, Fletchinder at Lvl. 5, Talonflame at Lvl. 9) Venusaur (Bulbasaur, Ivysaur at Lvl. 5, Venusaur at Lvl. 9) Wigglytuff (Jigglypuff, Wigglytuff at Lvl. 4) Knowing when your chosen Pokemon evolves is just as important to your success as knowing its moveset. Speaking of which… Learning Attack Strategies Everything we've talked about so far centers around the battles your Pokemon will wage in Pokemon Unite, so let's take a look at how you're going to fight. Each Pokemon starts a match with a basic attack on the A button and two special moves on R and ZR. As the Pokemon gains experience and levels up, the special moves can be upgraded, first to a more powerful move and then to enhanced versions of that particular move. Special moves can be aimed by holding the attack button and using the right stick to aim, or they can attack the closest enemy just by pressing the button. Finally, there's also the Unite Move at ZL, which unlocks at later experience levels and acts as the Pokemon's "ultimate move." For an example of how a moveset shakes out, let's take Slowbro: Slowbro's basic move is a ranged water attack, with every third consecutive attack being a "boosted" version.. The boosted version damages the target and any Pokemon in the general vicinity, while also decreasing their Special Defense. Its R special move is Water Gun, which can be charged for more damage by holding down the button and slows down any enemy it hits. Cooldown is 5 seconds after use. At level 4, you can choose between two more powerful moves to replace Water Gun: Scald lays scorching hot water onto the ground for area-of-effect damage, while also lowering the speed and attack power of any enemies hit. Cooldown is also 5 seconds, and at level 11, the area of effect increases. Surf sends Slowbro charging forward on a giant wave that can throw an opponent backward. Two more waves follow Slowbro, dealing additional damage, but at level 11, those waves do more damage and can knock opponents into the air. Cooldown on this move is 9 seconds. Slowbro's ZR special move is Slack Off, where it lays down and recovers HP. The longer Slowbro can stay motionless, the more health is recovered. Cooldown is 11 seconds after use. At level 6, you can choose to replace Slack Off just like Water Gun, only this time with two different moves: Amnesia restores some of Slowbro's health, increases its defense, and makes it immune to status effects. It also powers up the next use of Scald or Surf, depending on which you chose. Cooldown is 12 seconds after use, and at level 13, the move also increases Special Attack. Telekinesis makes a Pokemon float in mid-air temporarily, rendering them unable to attack. It also has a 12-second cooldown, and at level 13, the move's speed and range are increased. Slowbro's Unite move (ZL) is Slowbeam, which targets a single Pokemon and locks them in place, siphoning health over a few seconds. Unite moves are only available when the Unite meter reaches 100% Finally, every Pokemon has a Passive Ability that is constantly active during a match. Slowbro's is Oblivious, which makes damage it sustains gradual instead of instant. Also, any successful attack from Slowbro restores some gradual damage and lowers the opponent's Special Defense. Every Pokemon in the game has a moveset that works this way, with more powerful moves at later levels and players choosing which moves to learn. Once you've chosen your main Pokemon, take time to understand its moves and the effects they yield. Sticking with the Slowbro example, you could find yourself depending on recovering health with Slack Off, only to lose the health gain by selecting Telekinesis instead of Amnesia. The more knowledgeable you are, the more intentional you can be in the heat of battle, instead of wildly flailing your special attacks around. Gone shopping! Not all Pokemon are unlocked when the game begins, as you'll need to obtain Unite Licenses in order to use them. You'll receive a few from the jump, but eventually, you'll need to visit the in-game shops to build not only your Pokemon collection but also items for battle and new outfits for your trainer. The game offers a robust shop menu with multiple currency options, some are earned in-game and one is a premium currency for purchase. The Unite Battle Committee is our first stop, and this is where you purchase new Unite Licenses in order to use new Pokemon. Two types of currency can be used to purchase Unite Licenses: Aeos Coins which are earned after every battle, and Aeos Gems, a premium currency sold separately. The Aeos Emporium is the place where trainer cosmetics can be purchased. Hats, clothes, shoes, you name it and you can purchase them for your trainer here. There are sets themed after Pokemon--the Snorlax set is particularly cool--or more original pieces if you prefer. The premium currency Aeos Gems can again be used here, but so too can a different in-game currency called Aeos Tickets. Zirco Trading is where you purchase cosmetics for your Pokémon, special skins that can be worn into battle. Examples include Cinderace in a pirate captain's outfit and Talonflame in battle fatigues, among others. Once again, the premium Aeos Gems are accepted here, but another in-game currency called Holowear Tickets can also be found and used with no purchase necessary. There are microtransactions in Pokemon Unite, focused on the purchase of Aeos Gems, as well as a Battle Pass with 90 levels of content to earn as you play. The Battle Pass can be bought with Aeos Gems and is not sold by itself for real-world money. Make sure to be careful on how you spend those earned Coins and Tickets, though, as the currency flow slows significantly if you progress through the game without spending real money. View the full article
  25. Google is celebrating the start of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan in grand retro-themed fashion, unveiling a full 8-bit RPG that's free to play on its homepage. The game is called Doodle Champion Island Games and follows Lucky--described on the game's official webpage as a "calico (c)athlete"--as she explore the titular Champion Island. The island is lorded over by seven Sports Champions, each one excelling at a particular Olympic sport, and Lucky must defeat them in quick minigames in order to complete the adventure. Champion Island is described as "a world filled with seven sport mini-games, legendary opponents, dozens of daring side quests, and a few new (and old) friends" on the official page, with the ultimate goal of the game being to "defeat each sport Champion to collect all seven sacred scrolls—and complete extra hidden challenges across Champion Island in the purrr-ocess." The game plays out in a classic Legend of Zelda style, with Lucky traveling to different locations in order to challenge the seven Sport Champions. Olympic-themed minigames included among the seven challenges include skateboarding, artistic swimming, and archery. Anime cutscenes celebrate each of Lucky's accomplishments, all in the style of the intro video above. Thankfully you won't have to play the game in one sitting, as the game automatically saves your progress whenever you close the tab. Doodle Champion Island Games is available for free right now on Google's homepage, just press play on the logo to begin. For more on the Tokyo Olympics, check out how video game music served as entrance music for the Opening Ceremonies. View the full article
  26. Max Payne is officially 20 years old this month, marking a major milestone for the Remedy Entertainment-developed game. To celebrate the occasion, Remedy's creative director--as well as the co-writer and face of the game--Sam Lake teamed up with Payne's original voice actor James McCaffrey and a very familiar leather jacket to bring the troubled detective back for a brief monologue. The first game in the Max Payne trilogy was a groundbreaking experience at the time, as it combined a neo-noir narrative with action that had been inspired by The Matrix and Hong Kong action cinema, particularly the films directed by John Woo. Take-Two purchased the Max Payne IP for $34 million in 2002, and a Remedy-developed sequel to the first game, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, would arrive in 2003. Fans would have to wait until 2012 for Max Payne 3, but there was a poorly-received feature film adaptation starring Mark Wahlberg that was released in 2008 that nobody wants to remember. Developed by Rockstar Games with Remedy serving as consultants, Max Payne 3 also introduced a multiplayer mode to the series that managed to incorporate the trademark bullet-time feature of the game into its competitive online offerings. Since then, the franchise has been dormant as Rockstar Games focused on Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2, while Remedy worked on other projects such as Alan Wake, Quantum Break, and Control, which also starred McCaffrey. The studio is busy right now on multiple projects, such as a single-player mode for the online shooter Crossfire, new games that will be connected to both Control and Alan Wake, and a multiplayer Control spin-off. View the full article
  27. Grand Theft Auto Online's big new Los Santos Tuners update was a huge success for the multiplayer game. Rockstar Games said more players joined GTA Online for the launch of the update than any previous update in the game's history. Rockstar did not share a specific player figure, which is no surprise given that Rockstar and parent company Take-Two rarely if ever share exact numbers for the game. Whatever the case, Rockstar said it plans to celebrate the milestone by giving all GTA Online players $250,000 in GTA Online cash. Everyone who signs in to GTA Online and plays the game between today, July 23, and Sunday, August 1, will get the cash deposited into their Maze Bank account within 72 hours. The money will start going out on Monday, July 26. The Los Santos Tuners update launched on July 20. Focused on cars and car culture, the update introduces new missions and races, along with a new social space called the LS Car Meet. This is just the tip of the iceberg for what's new in the update--check out the full Los Santos Tuners update details for more. It's not just GTA Online that continues to get big updates, as Rockstar also just released the major Blood Money update for Red Dead Online that invites players to be their bad selves. In other news, GTA V and GTA Online are coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S in November. GTA Online will get a standalone release, too, and it's free on PS5 at the start. View the full article
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