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Stadia Connect 7-14-20 July 14, 2020

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Google has just released a Stadia Connect, which is kind of like their version of Nintendo Direct. In it, they make some major announcements for upcoming Stadia game releases. If you’re interested in learning more about Stadia, and what games might be coming to the platform, take a look!

Nintendo Switch System Update 10.1.0 Released July 14, 2020

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I came into today knowing I would spend most of the day updating software on my Xbox One, but apparently Nintendo also had the same idea to use today to update their software. The Nintendo Switch has quietly started offering a brand new system software. The new update offers non-descript system improvements and important firmware updates for Joy-Con controllers! Speculation currently exists online that this update may be for the controllers more than the system itself.

As far as I can tell, it is not currently required to install updates or play your games online, but my guess is it is only a matter of time before it is. Make sure to update your controllers after installing this update.

Niantic Releases Free Pokemon Go Fest 2020 Activities July 14, 2020

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We’ll be playing Pokémon Go Fest 2020 from the comforts of our homes this year, but that doesn’t mean Niantic can’t help us provide ourselves a great home play experience. Fire up your printers and load in your decent card stock because Niantic has just brought this website, full of all sorts of cool activities, online.

The official Pokémon Go Fest 2020 site includes coloring books, decoration ideas, and papercraft items that can be downloaded and printed by whoever wants them. You do not need to have a Go Fest 2020 Ticket to download any of the content, just a working printer. Go ahead and have fun!

Halo 3 PC Released July 14, 2020

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Never thought I would write that headline. Yes it’s true, Halo 3, the game which propelled sales of the Xbox 360 console over ten years ago, has been released on PC today. Take a look at the official launch trailer.

I am curious if this means we can expect an enormous patch for the Xbox One version today. UPDATE: Yes, a new patch is currently out for the Xbox One version.

Halo 3 is out now for PC. It is available as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection for the Xbox One.

Gears 5 Operation 4 Update Trailer July 14, 2020

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Later today, Microsoft will be releasing a highly anticipated update for Gears 5. New content is coming to the game as well as balance fixes and adjustments. Take a look at what’s in store for us!

Users may experience some game downtime as we wait for the patch to launch. Operation 4’s content is completely free.

Gears 5 is out now for Xbox One and PC.

Gaming History You Should Know: MoCap LLC July 12, 2020

Posted by Maniac in Editorials, Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
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I know I usually spend my Gaming History You Should Know articles highlighting some of the best fan produced content from across the web. Forgive me as I decided to give the history lesson personally today.

There once existed a basic cable channel called Spike TV. Billed as the “Channel For Men” it succeeded in being what networks like G4TV (after the TechTV merger) failed to copy, an exciting network with a decent mix of original and classic programming. Spike TV knew its audience, and knew that the people who watched their channel likely played video games, and while the station was not dedicated to games, the station broadcasted several gaming specials over the years including The Ultimate Gamer and Countdown to Launch. These were, as their name implies, occasional one-off specials that typically aired during the midnight launch of games like Halo or God of War, but I remembered enjoying them. By 2009, Spike TV moved into producing regular gaming-focused content. As gaming hit the mainstream, Spike TV offered a weekly gaming show called GameTrailers TV.

Hosted by Geoff Keighley, GameTrailers TV previewed upcoming games, showed behind-the-scenes content from game developers and highlighted major gaming events. To help the show’s pace, a series of live-action shorts were integrated into each episode focusing around the lives of people who “worked” in the gaming history, Mocap LLC. Starring Chris DeLuca, Kara Klenk, and Jon Gabrus, MoCap LLC was a comedy show about the business of gaming motion capture.

You know what, words fail me here, you’ll just have to see some of the original MoCap LLC shorts for yourself. They are thankfully still online but just be aware there will be some dirty words.

That was (of course) just the earliest examples of the show. More shorts followed, many of which were posted on the GameTrailers website (which is sadly now defunct). If you’d like to see all of them, check out their YouTube Channel.

Somehow, through what I can only describe as some kind of divine intervention, Spike TV announced they would be turning Mocap LLC into a limited series of six episodes, with actress Lauren Turek joining the group. Oh and we knew there would only be six episodes, because all of the network’s promotional advertisements for the show focused on that fact. The six 22-minute episodes aired during the mid-spring of 2009. The show aired its first episode in April and I loved it, but there was no consistency in the Spike TV schedule for some of the later episodes. Sometimes the episodes aired at midnight, sometimes they aired (I think) as late as 3:30am. This could’ve been because the episodes aired unbleeped, so maybe they had to air on super late night due to some arbitrary Spike TV standards, but that didn’t really excuse why the show moved around on the schedule so much. I know for a fact I missed watching at least one episode because of scheduling inconsistency. There’s only so late someone can stay awake to watch a show.

Rewatching the show today I can say I still love it but I honestly couldn’t tell you why I liked it as much as I do. Maybe it was the fact that it’s unabashed content was a breath of fresh air, or it could’ve been my appreciation a gaming-focused comedy series aired on a major cable channel at a time that simply didn’t happen. Even G4TV was moving away from gaming-focused content at that time and they were supposed to be a station that was entirely about games. So to see Spike TV air something like Mocap LLC gave me the feeling the network was sincere about its interest in gaming at that time, something G4 had (at that time) lost.

Okay, so now you’re probably asking yourselves, where can I watch the show? As far as I know, MoCap LLC never recieved a DVD or Blu-Ray Disc release back in the day. In fact I even remembered emailing Kara Klenk if she knew anything about a home video release back in the day but I never heard back. Episodes were sold digitally (unbleeped) on Xbox Live marketplace back in the day but the episodes were in a very poor-quality standard definition. While most of the episodes went up on the service quickly, I had to wait several months for them to post the final episode. Thankfully, Chris has reposted all six episodes (unbleeped) on his website. While the episodes are in matted SD quality, the picture quality is a billion times better than the versions Xbox Live offered.

If you liked the shorts and have the free time, give the show a watch. I’d like to think that while it was VERY brief, Mocap LLC served as a precursor to shows like Mythic Quest (on Apple TV+). Huge props to everyone involved with it, and to Chris for making the show available on his site. I hope you’re all doing well!

Ubisoft Forward 2020 Stream Begins in Less Than An Hour July 12, 2020

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Ubisoft has activated the official feed for their highly anticipated Ubisoft Forward event. We can expect reveals from Watch Dogs: Legion and the next Assassin’s Creed game. If you’re having trouble finding the show, you can watch the event below!

UPDATE: Ubisoft’s login service broke during yesterday’s Ubisoft Forward stream, making it impossible to earn the free content for people who watched the stream. If you were trying to log in yesterday and couldn’t, and would still like that content, make sure to check out the Ubisoft Website right now for details on how to get it!

Devolver Digital Direct 2020 Event July 11, 2020

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Devolver Digital has proven themselves to be a fantastic representative of the coolest independent titles year after year. Their E3 Direct streams up the ante every single year. Now, the 2020 event is streaming right now. There are going to be cameos by some major console producers, developers and journalists. And since it’s Devolver, you can be sure there’s going to be a crazy storyline with some production values to tie it all together. Enjoy!

ConnectiCon 2020 Streaming Today July 11, 2020

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I would be remiss to neglect to talk about my home state’s staple fandom convention, ConnectiCon. We’ve attended that event many times over the past decade and had a tremendously fun and unique experience each and every time we’ve attended. Sadly, ConnectiCon 2020 had to be cancelled due to the ongoing risks of the current health crisis and this year’s event has gone entirely online.

From 3:30PM to Midnight Eastern time, ConnectiCon’s organizers will be streaming the event on their official Twitch Channel. There will be fan panels, special guests (including Jon St. John) and a lot more! The event is free to stream so grab yourself a beverage and set your browser. Hope to see you there!

UPDATE: The original time we received was incorrect. Start time is expected to be 3:30PM Eastern.

Team Rocket Now Invading Pokemon Go From Balloons July 10, 2020

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Prepare for trouble, make it double! Niantic has implemented the new feature they’ve been promoting this past week for Pokémon Go. When we last talked about the game, Team Rocket members had invaded various real-world PokéStops, offering the chance to challenge them to a Pokémon Battle for prizes and Shadow Pokémon. Locations of Team Rocket’s stops were random and changed constantly, but if you didn’t have PokéStops in your area (as many areas do), you would not be able to participate. That has changed this week.

It was only a matter of time before Team Rocket took to the sky. You might notice hot air balloons with big R symbols appearing in Pokémon Go’s play space. Tapping on them will offer you the option for a battle! The battle rules are identical to the rules of a regular battle. In fact, rumors abound that Jessie and James are also appearing in a special Meowth balloon! If you can find it, make sure to send them blasting off again!

With the possibility of our pandemic getting much worse and people being forced to go back into their homes looking more and more likely, this is a badly needed new feature for people who want to participate in this game.

Pokémon Go is out now for Android and iOS smart devices.