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iOS and iPadOS 16.3 Released January 23, 2023

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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An incremental but important iOS update has been released for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch devices earlier today. The new update includes (on top of the usual bug fixes) the ability to add hardware keys to Apple ID.

The update weighs in at around 750MB. A similar update has been released for the Mac but there does not appear to be an Apple TV update at this time.

Mind of Maniac – Is This The End of Marvel’s Interconnected Gamerverse? January 23, 2023

Posted by Maniac in Mind of Maniac, Site Videos.
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The movie world has never seen anything like the enduring Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). With dozens of phenomenal films and television shows released since 2008, the MCU has become a gold standard for how to produce an interconnected feature. Following the release of Marvel’s Spider-Man on the PlayStation 4, Marvel hinted that their games MAY have been continuing that trend with the upcoming release of Marvel’s Avengers.

Marvel’s Avengers went on to be a well-documented disappointment, and since it’s release it appears that the games have since splintered into their own non-connected continuities. But was that always the plan?

As someone who has played these games I can say I found plenty of winks and nods throughout the games of events that took place in other ones. The evidence showed that Marvel was indeed planning to have these games exist in a shared continuity. However, following the disappointment of Avengers, that seems to have changed. So what made us think they were interconnected and why do we think that continuity has broken? Please enjoy the video below to find out!

Marvel’s Avengers is out now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.

Marvel’s Iron Man VR is out now for PSVR, Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro.

Marvel’s Spider-Man is out now for PS4, PS5 and PC.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is out now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.

Marvel’s Avengers Ending Support, All In-Game Paid Content to Become Free January 22, 2023

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Big announcement from Crystal Dynamics this weekend. Marvel’s Avengers will receive its final official patch in March 2023. They will be ending updates for the controversial game shortly afterwards. The game will continue to function after the patch, and the single-player and multiplayer games will continue to work. However, all in-game cosmetics that were previously locked to paid credits will automatically become unlocked at no cost to players. However, the playable character of Spider-Man will remain exclusive to PlayStation platforms (including PS4 and PS5) and will not be added to Xbox or PC copies of the game.

Crystal Dynamics did state that the game would become delisted from online stores in September 2023. However, physical copies of the game (as well as purchases made on digital platforms before that date) will still function. Sadly, the Stadia version of the game was dissolved with the fall of Stadia last week.

I have to admit…as someone who owns a copy of this game on the PlayStation since Day 1, beta tested the game, and played through the entire campaign…I think this is fantastic news. The original game had an incredible story, and while the gameplay did have the tendency to go a little stale in a few levels, they did not deter me from continuing to play. The biggest deterrent for me to continue playing wasn’t the fact that content would continue to be produced, but the fact that I would need to pay huge amounts of money to continue unlocking in-game skins or nameplates left an awful taste in my mouth. Now that the content is being unlocked for free, that concern is now over.

Marvel’s Avengers is out now for the PC, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S.

How to Convert Stadia Controllers to Bluetooth January 19, 2023

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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RIP Stadia, you were a good idea executed poorly. By the time you read this, the Stadia service is defunct. If you were an owner of the Stadia Premere Edition (which included a Google Chromecast Ultra and Stadia Controller) you will have some gaming hardware that doesn’t have to be boxed up and forgotten. People who purchased Stadia hardware (or got it for free) will still be able to use the other functions of their Chromecast Ultra, and the Stadia controller can be converted to a wireless gamepad.

Instructions for converting a Stadia controller to Bluetooth gamepad can be found here. You MUST visit this website using the Google Chrome browser on a computer with an open USB port. You’ll also need your controller’s charge cable. Other than that, there doesn’t seem to be any other requirements. We’ve tested this on a Chromebook and it worked just fine. Google says this is irreversible, but now that Stadia is dead there is literally no reason not to do it.

Stadia’s controller is fantastic and probably the best part of the entire Stadia experience. I will be using this as a controller for other platforms for quite some time. The website to convert your Stadia controller to support Bluetooth wireless connectivity will remain live until December 2023.

VR Games That Should Come to Meta Quest 2/Pro January 17, 2023

Posted by Maniac in Editorials.
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Since the beginning of the new year, we’ve been immersing ourselves in Virtual Reality, particularly using the Meta Quest Pro. This is a VR headset that can operate independently and has a full catalog of downloadable apps and games similar to a smartphone or tablet. This, coupled with its controllers ability to stay connected with a full range of motion makes it the VR headset I’ve always dreamed of using!

However, the Meta Quest line of headsets are not directly compatible with legacy VR Titles, including some of the first major VR titles of the platform that literally wrote the book on what is possible with modern-day VR.

Before we get started we will admit most of these games can be played on the Quest 2 or Pro with a cable link, but they would still require connecting the headset to a high-end gaming PC. After having played through Iron Man VR on Quest Pro, I will say that for VR to succeed to its ultimate possibilities, it should be able to function completely without wires.

Doctor Who: The Runaway – Starting light on this one. This free title is a real-time 360 movie which serves as a canonical episode of Doctor Who. Following the 13th Doctor (played by Jodie Whittaker) trying to figure out how YOU landed in the TARDIS.

Okay I’m a bit biased on this one since it can be played for free on YouTube, but I still think it’s a shame a native port hasn’t come to Quest yet. The Quesr 2/Pro should absolutely be able to replicate these graphics.

Half-Life: Alyx – Valve’s only Half-Life game of the past decade and a half, Half-Life Alyx told the backstory of the fan-favorite character Alyx and showed what life in City 17 was like before the return of the One Free Man.

Since it was released as a Steam VR exclusive I haven’t been able to play it myself (which as someone who is still waiting for Half-Life 2 Episode 3 is a shame). However, this trailer seriously has helped tide me over until it (hopefully) eventually gets announced.

Batman: Arkham VR – This time, YOU ARE BATMAN. Set in the Batman: Arkham universe, which have produced some of the best games ever made, Batman: Arkham VR let’s you explore what it’s like to wear the cowl and be the world’s greatest detective.

This game released on PSVR, Steam VR and Oculus Rift. How it hasn’t come to the Meta Quest is beyond my comprehension.

Psychonauts: In the Rhombus of Ruin – Tbis was a big deal when it was first announced as it was the first ever game that followed up on the plot thread from the original Psychonauts we had no idea there would be a full sequel to the fan favorite original game.

I will say this was the first VR game I played back when I plugged in my PSVR for the first time. It SOLD me on VR as an enduring concept. While it was first announced as a PSVR exclusive, the game has since been ported to Steam VR and Rift. The issue is since this game was released Double Fine was purchased by Microsoft, and it might make development of ports difficult.

Wilson’s Heart – This was developed by one of my (at the time) favorite independent studios, Twisted Pixel, who fell into my heart after producing Comic Jumper and LocoCycle. After being bought by Microsoft, the studio produced Wilson’s Heart, a send off of classic horror films. Oh and did I mention it included the voice work of Peter Weller?

As I mentioned earlier, I LOVE the work of Twisted Pixel and have wanted to play this game for years. It was a huge release for the Rift back in the day and cemented what could be possible with modern VR controllers. No idea why Meta hasn’t ported it to their newest systems yet.

So those are just a few of the games I’d like to see rereleased for the Quest 2/Quest Pro. Are there any I missed? Post a comment below with what you would like to see?

Reminder: Stadia Ends Tomorrow January 17, 2023

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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This is a heads up. The Google Stadia service will reach end of life tomorrow. After that, users will no longer be able to play their games or access their save information. The Google Chromecast Ultra that shipped with Stadia Premiere Editions will continue to function as a Chromecast, however it will no longer be able to interface with your Stadia controller to play Stadia games.

If you’re like me and still have a Stadia controller hanging around you’ll be happy to know Google will be releasing an update to turn the controller into a wireless one. The Stadia Controller itself is a fantastic one and I am happily anticipating using it with various games on PC. We’ll post a follow-up about that later on.

Dragon Quest Treasures Demo Released January 13, 2023

Posted by Maniac in Game News.
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Square Enix has released a demo for the recently released Dragon Quest Treasures which can be downloaded right now on the Nintendo eShop. Here’s the announcement trailer!

Progress from the demo will carry over to the full version of the game.

Dragon Quest Treasures is out now exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

Japan Travel Tips – New Years in Japan January 10, 2023

Posted by Maniac in Japan Travel Tips, Uncategorized.
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Happy New Years! It’s Tuesday! Hope you all have enjoyed some of the time for this holiday. Personally I’ve been spending a lot of my time exploring VR in whole new ways. Since we started posting Japan Travel Tips, we’ve highlighted some of the best independently produced content about the country in order to help people interested in visiting. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at how the people of Japan celebrate their holiday season.

This fantastic video, produced by Life Where I’m From, is a perfect display on how people in Japan celebrate the holiday season ranging from Christmas to New Years. Enjoy!

How to Transfer Data From Your Old iPad or iPhone to a New One Without Using iCloud January 3, 2023

Posted by Maniac in How To, Site Videos.
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The Holidays are ending and I’m sure many of you are sitting on brand new iPhone or iPad models. For those of you who already possess iPhones or iPads, this can be a concerning time, as your personal data is very important and (barring legacy software incompatibility with new hardware) you can carry your data, settings and applications over from one Apple device to another. The best part is, you don’t need to have iCloud involved in this at all.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Apple Watch owners will need to use iCloud during this process. Before performing this backup make sure to enable a sync of your Health application to iCloud, as due to privacy reasons, Watch data is not included in a standard iPhone backup.

To start, you’ll need the following:

  • A Mac or PC with iTunes installed that has enough free space to accommodate your device’s data.
  • Your new iPad or iPhone and your old iPad or iPhone. Both must be functional.
  • Charging cables that fit your new device, your old device, and can plug into your PC/Mac.

To start, open Finder on your Mac or iTunes on your PC, plug your old device into your computer, instruct the computer and device to trust each other, and perform a complete backup of your device onto your computer. You do not need to encrypt your backup, and if you do encrypt your backup there is no way to reset the backup encryption password if you forget it.

When the backup is finished, hit the eject button on iTunes or Finder next to your device’s name and unplug it. I recommend putting your old device into airplane mode and powering it off after this so it won’t accumulate new information after the backup.

Power on your new device and plug it into the same computer. iTunes on PC or Finder on Mac will notify you of the new device once trust is established between the two. Instead of setting up as a new device, tell the computer to load a backup with your old device’s name onto your new device.

Mac users may notice that Finder may ignore your prompt to load a backup onto your new device the first time your new iPad or iPhone is plugged into your Mac, even if your backup is good. If this does happen, the only way to fix it is to perform a RESTORE on your new device by pushing the RESTORE button in Finder. This will update your device to the latest system software version, and after it reboots you will have the chance to try again.

Once the restore completes, make sure to check your device to conclude any setup processes not usually backed up, such as Wi-Fi setup, iTunes password verification, as well as Face ID or TouchID setup.

Once you’ve made it to your new device’s Home Screen, your applications should start redownloading on their own automatically. Once they conclude, you can begin signing back into all of your applications. You may also need to reconnect third-party Bluetooth devices, but AirPods users will be happy to know that their pods will transfer in this process.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Apple Watch owners MUST transfer the use of their Watch to their new iPhone. After a new iPhone has all its data restored and the user is signed into their iTunes account, open the Watch app on your new iPhone and tell the app you wish to transfer an existing Watch to your phone. This process typically takes around five minutes. DO NOT WIPE OR TRADE IN YOUR OLD PHONE UNTIL THIS PROCESS FINISHES!

Mind of Maniac – What Movies Got Right About the Future December 23, 2022

Posted by Maniac in Mind of Maniac, Site Videos.
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We’re coming to the end of the year, and I know a lot of science-fiction fans have been hoping that some of the things shown in popular films like Back to the Future Part II would be ready to purchase at any random corner store. We didn’t get flying cars but there were a lot of things we DID get, or got close enough to count.

What did we get? What movies were the most accurate? Watch Maniac as he sits down for this end of the year discussion about the future…or is it the present?