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Pokemon Go Community Day Starting Soon May 19, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Niantic has been hosting Pokémon Go Community Days at least once a month since the beginning of the year. Today, the special fire-type Charmander will be spawning between the hours of 2-5PM. If you can evolve it into a Charizard, you’ll get access to a special move, Blast Burn. During that time, Lures will increase in duration from 30 min to 3 hours.

You can read all the details on the event here. Pull out your smartphones and start playing trainers! The event starts in about fifteen minutes!

Pokémon Go is out now on Android and iOS Smartphones and tablets.

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Dot Hack DVD Deals May 19, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Site Videos.
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A few years ago, Maniac hosted a series where he shared some of the best deals he could find at the time while shopping for Final Fantasy and Silent Hill games. The idea was to report on where certain items with limited availability could be obtained for low prices. He hasn’t needed to bring it back in a while, but after getting into the .hack// series while playing .hack//G.U. on the PS4, he became interested in learning more about the franchise. Since the PS2 episodic games are long out of print and the PSP game .hack//Link was never released in the US, that meant Maniac would be checking out the animated series. Thankfully, Funimation re-released many of the original .hack animated series on DVD and Blu-Ray Discs, and with the re-released, each boxed set includes every episode of an individual series along with any O.V.A.s.

But what .hack// DVDs should you get and in what order do they go? Is there anything you should get on Blu-Ray Disc? What price should you expect for each boxed set? We’re back to sharing some of Maniac’s best deals on the web and where to find them. Watch, and find out.

Halo: Fireteam Raven Announced for Arcades May 17, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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We don’t talk about arcade news much on this channel, but today we are going to make an exception. 343 Industries has just revealed the next Halo game is coming to arcades, and it looks awesome.

Halo: Fireteam Raven is coming exclusively to arcades Summer 2018. I’m going to have to plan a trip to Dave & Busters in a few months.

Octopath Traveler May 2018 Preview May 15, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Octopath Traveler was one of the first games announced on the Nintendo Switch, and it grabbed our attention in a big way. Now, this month’s preview of the game has just been released by Nintendo and Square Enix. Take a look at the final two playable characters in the game:

Octopath Traveler is coming July 13th, 2018 exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. A demo is already available on the Nintendo eShop.

The Fall – Nintendo Switch Review May 15, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Reviews.
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In 2014, developer Over the Moon released The Fall for various console and computer platforms. I must admit, I regret missing out on playing it when it was initially released. A few months ago, Over the Moon released The Fall Part 2: Unbound on multiple platforms including the Nintendo Switch. The game’s trailer impressed me, but I was hesitant to give it a closer look without first looking into the original game. It seems the developers read my mind. Last week, Over the Moon and Nintendo have released The Fall on the Nintendo Switch and we are going to review it!

Editor’s Note: A digital copy of The Fall was provided to us by the publisher.

Art & Graphics

The first thing that grabs you about the game is just how it looks. The art style and the themes of the game are what really set it aside from other independent titles, because the game is beautifully dark. It’s art style harkens back to games like Limbo, but with a distinct sci-fi style. Fans of DOOM and Dead Space will just love it.

We did have one minor issue with the graphics which could be described as a problem with what was clearly an artist decision with how to present the game’s main menu. When you first launch the game, the menu appears distorted. This is to show the player that they’re playing from the perspective of a damaged machine. On the one hand it’s a great way to set an initial mood, on the other it can fool the player into thinking their Switch is broken! (Don’t worry, it’s not). We respect the artist’s decision to start the game this way, but it can be a little jarring on the Switch. When I booted up the game for the first time, I was legitimately concerned my screen was actually cracked. That is probably a testament to how good the artist’s ability to make a cracked screen is.

Gameplay & Controls

The Fall is a 2D adventure and exploration game. You move your character through the 2D environment, search for interactive points, and defend yourself with a sidearm when necessary. Players who loved Super Metroid will feel right at home with this kind of game, and I would not be surprised if the developers saw that game as an inspiration for The Fall. The player can move, jump, climb, and aim from the start of the game, and you’ll spend the majority of the first level getting used to the controls.

Once you get a working sidearm, a big portion of the game’s features unlock for the player, and the controls will adjust to accommodate your new abilities. You’ll need to get used to new features like firing your sidearm, taking cover, and cloaking quickly if you want to survive. When a new mechanic is added, the game will pause to give you a brief tutorial on the mechanic. The game will resume once you’ve mastered it.

The game also has a dialog system. Occasionally, you’ll find other characters in the game world you’ll be able to talk to. You’ll need to interact with these other characters using dialog boxes. This will help you learn more about the game’s world or give hints to solving puzzles.

Story

The story is heavily inspired by the work of Isaac Asimov and it explores concepts like duty and purpose for an artificial intelligence. Your directive is to save your pilot, and to do that you must seek medical attention for them on an unfamiliar world. However, the actions you will need to take to complete that directive will require you to bend the basic rules your creators programmed in you. It’s a simple premise that’s easy to empathize with.

Performance

The Fall can be played on the Nintendo Switch in either tablet or television mode. We spent the majority of review time playing the game in television mode. For the most part, the game runs well but we did notice a minor issue with it. When running in certain areas while the Switch is docked the game does not run completely smoothly. These dropped frames didn’t effect our enjoyment of the game. Heck, we had a similar issue when playing The Stick of Truth on the Xbox 360.

Conclusion

If you haven’t played The Fall the first time around, or you have already played the game and you absolutely love it, pick it up again on the Switch. It’s only $9.99 US, and well worth the cost. I never played the game when it originally came out, but I can tell you that playing it for the first time on the Switch made me very interested in checking out the sequel.

The Fall is out now for Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, PC, Linux, Mac, Nintendo Switch.

NES Classic Re-Release Date May 14, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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With the Wii U quietly being discontinued and Nintendo Switch not coming until March 2017, Nintendo had no major product to release for Christmas 2016. So they created the NES Classic, a miniature NES console with one controller and preloaded with 30 NES titles.

NES Classic games included:

  • Donkey Kong Jr
  • Dr. Mario
  • PAC-MAN
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Super Mario Bros
  • Super Mario Bros 3
  • Castlevania
  • Galaga
  • Gradius
  • Ghosts N’ Goblins
  • Mario Bros
  • Tecmo Bowl
  • Super C
  • Kid Icarus
  • Bubble Bobble
  • Ice Climbers
  • Balloon Fight
  • Startropics
  • Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
  • Excitebike
  • Zelda II: The Adventures of Link
  • Double Dragon II
  • Ninja Gaiden
  • Punch-Out featuring Mr Dream
  • Metroid
  • Final Fantasy
  • Kirby’s Adventure
  • Super Mario Bros 2
  • Mega Man 2
  • Donkey Kong

Nintendo expected it to be a minor product release to satisfy the Christmas retail period. The problem was, the NES Classic was the perfect product at the perfect time, and it sold out completely. Nintendo completely underestimated its demand. Every single retail resupply of the product (if stores even got them at all) sold out within minutes, and despite extending their manufacture period, many potential customers were turned away from buying it.

Good news, everyone! The NES Classic will be shipping back out starting June 29th. Shipments of the console will continue throughout the rest of the year. The cost will still be $60 US.

Gaming History You Should Know – Pokemon Event Cartridges May 14, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
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Welcome back to another episode of Gaming History You Should Know, where we feature some of the best fan created content focused on the history of gaming.

Since the first Pokémon games were released, The Pokémon Company has always included exclusive mythical Pokémon that players wouldn’t be able to capture through normal means.  In the first Pokémon games, Mew became the most sought after trade, and the only place to get one was at a Toys ‘R Us Store during a limited-time event. It was a huge success. In fact, Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajeri would say Mew was probably the reason the Pokémon franchise took off.

In the years before the wider adoption of internet access, keeping up with when and if your local store would host such an event came down to pure luck. When the second generation of Pokémon games were released on the Game Boy Color, the mythical Pokémon Celebi players who weren’t lucky enough to live in Japan with a cell phone sought out Celebi by going to a similar limited distribution event, but it has been difficult for me to recover information about its US distribution.

Over the years, there have been plenty more ways for The Pokémon Company to release special Mythical Pokémon. As technology improved, new methods were developed to get them in the hand of players. YouTube Channel Pikasprey Yellow produced a fantastic video where he showed how these Pokémon were distributed over the years. Give it a watch!

I want to give another shout out to Pikasprey Yellow, his series Lost Content was an incredible resource in my research into Pokémon’s past.

DETROIT: Become Human TV Commercials May 10, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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It’s always a big deal to see commercials for games on television. The highly anticipated Quantic Dream produced PS4 exclusive game DETROIT: Become Human is getting released towards the end of the month, and Sony has begun their promotional blitz for the game. Take a look at three television commercials Sony has released for the game. Maybe you’ll see them on TV soon.

DETROIT: Become Human is coming May 25th, 2018 exclusively for PS4. You can download a demo for the game right now.

ThinkGeek Light Up LED Dice Set Review May 8, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Reviews, Site Videos.
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Any geek worth their salt is familiar with the website ThinkGeek.com. They distribute geeky clothing, collectibles and more through their website. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at one of their exclusive products…in glorious 4K.

My Dungeons & Dragons playing readers know that good, fair dice are an important component to a fun gaming experience. Previously, ThinkGeek sold an exclusive D20 that lit up when the die landed on 20. Now, they’re selling an entire set of light-up dice, and we are going to take a closer look at them. To keep the dice fair their internal batteries cannot be replaced, but we knew that before buying them. Let’s take a closer look and see if they’re worth it.

Cloud Saving and NES Classics Coming to Nintendo Switch With Paid Online Service in September 2018 May 7, 2018

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Big news out of Nintendo today, gamers. The most anticipated feature for the Nintendo Switch since it launched over a year ago has been the ability to back up game saves in any way. Nintendo has just officially announced that feature is coming in September! You’ll be able to back up all of your important game save files online once Nintendo’s paid online service launches!

Cloud saves will not be the only feature Switch players will get with their paid service. Nintendo has confirmed players will get the following games will be available on day one of the service:

  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Donkey Kong
  • Mario Bros
  • Super Mario Bros
  • Balloon Fight
  • Ice Climber
  • Dr. Mario
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Super Mario Bros 3

More games will be announced as we get closer to launch. The service will cost $19.99 a year, but you can also pay $3.99 for 1 month and $7.99 for 3 months of service. Family memberships for up to seven accounts on a shared plan will cost $34.99 a year.

I’m really happy with the cost and features Nintendo has announced today. They’re aggressively attacking the high price of services like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold, and matching features Sony and Microsoft already offer through those services at a third of the price.

The only unanswered question left is what will happen to a user’s access to the classic NES titles if their accounts expire. However, at $19.99 a year, I would be fine with losing access to the games if my account expires, most of those games are already offered on the NES Classic.

We will keep you posted with more information about this service as soon as we know it!