We normally don’t write much about that system updates on Gaming Reinvented. That’s because for the most part, they’re usually kind of uninteresting to all but the most pedantic fans and followers, with the average update being nothing more than a few bug fixes to increase stability.
But today we’ll make an exception to the rule. Why?
Because the recent update Nintendo released for the Switch is significantly more interesting than anyone expected. Indeed, why typical updates from them are the bug fix ones no one cares about, this one actually adds multiple new features to the system!
Like for example, an intriguing option to invert colours or convert them to greyscale. So hey, if you want to know what Breath of the Wild looks like in black and white… now you can. Without having to mess around with your TV or monitor configuration.
There’s also a few changes made to the news feed too. Namely, you can now respond to items rather than just reading them. It’s not the most complex setup (it just has two options for like/dislike), but it’s neat to see none the less.
As is the way you can now choose what news to receive. What do I mean by that?
Well, let’s say you just want information on Super Mario Odyssey. Before now, you were out of luck. Nintendo’s news included everything from Mario to ARMS, and there was no way to opt out of that.
Now though, that’s all changed. And so like you would with items in Smash Bros, you can now disable specific news feeds from the system. Or just make it so no news is shown at all.
Much more convenient now, don’t you agree?
As for other changes… well, there are quite a few of those too. These include:
- Being able to find paired controllers by making them vibrate from the system
- Changing the user icon order on the Home Menu
- Having 6 new Splatoon 2 characters to choose from for your user icon
- Having the ability to change the system volume from Quick Settings
- Compatibility with the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller’s wired mode, USB keyboards and controller updates
As well as resolving a few bugs. These include one that caused errors when updating games and another that let you use privilege escalation to hack the console.
So yeah, it’s a bit more of a meaty update than typical for Nintendo, and makes the Switch just that bit better than it used to be.
But still, what do you think? Is it worthwhile to update your Switch console for these new features? Or are you sticking to older firmware versions for potential homebrew reasons?
Nintendo Switch Updates Page (Nintendo of America official website)
Unfortunate news to anyone looking for a true sequel to the parappa the rapper video games as the kickstarer for Project Rap Rabbit failed to meet its funding goals.
If the game was a success, it would have been a a rhythm game made by the creators of Parappa and Gitaroo-Man. They did have this to say on their kickstarter page:
Though our Kickstarter campaign hasn’t gone the way we’d intended, our early stages of development have left us more determined than ever to bring Project Rap Rabbit to life. While you didn’t see Project Rap Rabbit at any conferences or booths during E3 week, we had a very, very busy E3 filled with meetings about our vision for the future of rhythm-action.
So for right now the game is in limbo unless a major game maker picks it up. Who would that be? Could be Microsoft or maybe even Nintendo but hopefully this isn’t the last we’ve heard of this title.
As many Pokémon GO fans likely know, gyms have always been one of the weakest aspects of the game. Lacking in features found in the key titles and mostly overtaken by bots in many parts of the world, the system is seen as a bit lacking compared to the rest of the game.
But now it seems Niantic have been listening to complaints here! Why?
Because as the title suggests, gyms are receiving a massive overhaul in the next Pokémon GO update!
Starting with a major change to the whole structure of the system. Prestige is gone. For good.
Instead, they now feature six permanent slots that can be filled by the controlling team. Each of these slots must be unique (so no two identical Pokémon can be in one gym), and challengers will now battle them in the order they were assigned to the system.
And that’s not the only change here either. Oh no, motivation has been added too. How does it work?
Well, basically, each Pokémon starts out with a maxed motivation bar. Then, as they get defeated in battle, this goes down. Once it does, the Pokémon then gets weaker and easier to defeat, until either its fed berries (restoring motivation) or the gym falls to the other team. It’s an interesting little system, and stops teams from getting too entrenched (since challengers will be able to eventually knock out unmaintained gyms very easily).
Gym badges are another addition here. These act like mementos from the gyms you defeat, and mark which ones you’ve completed in the game. So if you want your gym to act like those in the main RPG… now they do.
However, the badges aren’t just for show.
Nope. Instead, they kind of replace the prestige system. By spinning the gym disc, feeding Pokémon berries or training at the gym, the gym badge’s level is hence increased and the rewards trainers gain for beating it go up respectively.
It’s an interesting little setup if you ask me, and acts like a way to give gyms a series of progression while simultaneously keeping the metagame fresh by having them stay easy to take down.
And that reminds me. Do you notice anything weird about that last paragraph? Like, the whole ‘spinning the gym disc’ thing?
Yeah, I thought so. But that’s because the discs on top of gyms are not just decoration any more. Instead, they now act like Pokestops. In other words, you can spin the disc on a gym to receive items like eggs and Poke Balls.
That’s quite useful really. Doubles the amount of Pokestops while not needing to add find additional locations for them.
However, it’s not the most interesting addition. I mean sure, the gym overhaul is nice and all. But at the end of the day, it’s not a new feature. It’s a few much needed tweaks to existing ones.
What is a new feature however, is Raid Battles.
Yep, Pokémon now has raids like those in a MMORPG. And this is where things get a little more… intriguing.
Basically, how it works is like this. At random, a Raid Battle can begin at a gym. When this happens, all Pokémon in said gym are returned to their owners, and a large egg appears on top of their gym in this place. Said egg then has a countdown. And when it reaches zero? That’s when the raid boss is revealed.
So what’s a raid boss? Well in a nutshell, it’s a super powerful Pokémon you have to take down in a team. Think of it a bit like World of Warcraft’s major boss fights in its raid instances. Or a very large, even tougher version of the Totems from Pokémon Sun and Moon.
Either way, once it appears, you and 20 others have the chance to take it down with your teams. Succeed… and you apparently get the chance to catch an extra powerful Pokémon of your own. Like maybe a legendary or something.
However, you can’t just go to every raid you come across! Oh no, you now need Raid Passes to do so. These are special free items that let you take part in a raid, and can be gotten one of two ways:
- From a gym as a free item.
- Via the in game shop
Unfortunately, there is a catch here. That catch is that the free ones are limited to one in your inventory at a time, and the paid ones… well they’re implied not to be. So if you want to take on more than one raid at a time, you’ll have to pay out for premium raid passes.
So that’s the raid feature for you. But the new additions still don’t end there.
Nope. In addition to the gym overhaul and raid bosses, the game now has extra items too. There’s the Rare Candy, which turns into that Pokémon’s candy when used. There’s the Golden Razz Berries that greatly increase the chance of a wild Pokémon capture (or refill motivation if used on a gym Pokémon).
And then there are TMs. Yep, Technical Machines are now part of Pokémon GO too. These come in (surprise) two types, and can be used to teach your Pokémon a new fast or charged attack. So yeah, if you don’t like a good Pokémon’s moves… you’re not out of luck any more. You can now change it to something more of your liking.
It’s another pleasant set of additions to the game, and one that makes gym battles actually somewhat important for people wanting the best Pokémon.
However, because of technical work needing to be done, it won’t all go live straight away.
Instead, Niantic is disabling gym battles while they implement the changes, and will bring them back when it’s done. So if you’re a current Pokémon GO player… well, no gyms for you for a while.
Still, it’s worth it in the end. Better to have a bit of downtime and a massive overhaul at a later point that a stagnant, dying game. And hey, the chances are a positive for pretty much everyone involved with the title.
So thanks Niantic. Your changes to Pokémon GO look great to me!
But what about you? Are you interested in Pokémon GO now gyms are being so thoroughly reworked?
Or have you lost all interest in the title already? Post your thoughts on this (and more) in the comments or on the Gaming Latest forums today!
Raid Battles and New Gym Features are Coming (Pokémon GO official Blog)
As well as this TechCrunch Video on the update.
For the last few years, Blizzard has been mostly known for their multiplayer games. World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Starcraft II… Basically, eSports and MMORPGs have become the company’s bread and butter.
But it didn’t used to be like this. Oh no, before these games came out, Blizzard was well known for their strategy games and RPGS. Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo… their titles on the SNES and Mega Drive. Basically, Blizzard used to have a slightly more diverse game lineup then they did now.
And it seems Blizzard really hasn’t forgotten about that either. Why? Because according to a new job post on the company site, they’re planning to remaster games from the StarCraft, Warcraft and Diablo series! Here’s a picture showing the post in question:
Along with the link you can click to view the page itself.
As you can tell, it seems their plans go behind a mere port here. That’s because in the responsibilities list, it mentions such lines as:
Implement server infrastructure changes to support new gameplay features
In addition to others like:
Own implementation and curation of features new and old.
So it seems Blizzard’s plans for the remasters are a tad more ambitious than merely updating the graphics or other aesthetic elements. To the point that new features and online modes are being added. And that core elements of the titles are being overhauled.
But what do you think of this?
Are you happy that Blizzard still remembers its history, and is willing to revitalise its classic titles?
Or are you perhaps a tad worried here? Worried that say, Blizzard may not understand what made them so great to begin with?
Post your thoughts on the matter here or on social media today!
Senior Software Engineer Job List (official Blizzard website)
In recent years, there seems to be a sort of trend towards putting political messages in media nowadays. We’ve seen it seen it in sequels to classic movie franchises, like Ghostbusters 3. It’s been in cartoons like the recent Powerpuff Girls series.
And well, it’s been endemic in recent Marvel comic books. Where every character is now having their gender/race changed for shock value. Or thinly veiled comments on Trump added to the narrative.
Fortunately for Nintendo fans though, it turns out Nintendo is nothing like this.
Instead (as Reggie said in an interview), they’re trying to keep politics out of their games as much as possible.
Here’s the interview where he confirms it:
As well as his actual statement on the matter:
Making political statements are for other people to do. We want people to smile and have fun when they play our games.
As you can see, it’s a clear ‘put fun first’ message.
And in Nintendo’s case, that’s probably for the best. I mean, what good does trying to be political in your media actually do?
It doesn’t sell games, books or movie tickets. Message pushing movies like Ghostbusters 3 underperformed financially. So the market doesn’t support it.
Nor does it get people supporting you, since only a small minority of your userbase will likely agree with the political messages. We’ve all seen artists get crucified on social media for something they tried to preach in their work.
Really, it’s just a bad business move overall. People have had enough of being preached to in real life as it is.
It’s also not particularly logical when you consider Nintendo games either. I mean, they sometimes make realistic titles. Like… maybe some of the Metroid Prime games or something. Or that Disaster Day of Crisis title on Wii.
But for the most part, the majority of their works are set in fantasy worlds with no connection to reality. Nothing that happens in Mario’s Mushroom Kingdom or Zelda’s Hyrule is all that relevant to real life. Any attempt at a political statement here would just be jarring.
As well as annoying to the fans. After all, people don’t play these franchises for politics at all. No one goes into a Mario game wanting commentary on Trump or Brexit. Or feels like Zelda is the place to talk about religious tolerance or class differences.
It’s just not something they do. The games for escapism and nothing more.
And that’s all they should be. Mario, Zelda, Pokemon… they don’t need messages. They don’t need to make statements about politics, since people play them to escape that stuff.
So there’s no need for political statements here. No one wants them.
Which is something both Reggie and Nintendo as a whole know.
So thanks guys. Thanks for confirming that Nintendo games aren’t about political messages.
Thanks for proving they’re about fun. And fun is all we need here.
It’s a breath of fresh air in such a heavily politicised world.
Reggie on Politics in Game Making (Reddit)