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The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Switch Impressions And Equine Details

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has a lot to do with the potential success of the Nintendo Switch, which makes it no surprise that it was featured prominently on Nintendo's Switch showcase floor.

There were two ways to play: One was a 20 minute hands-on demo using the new hardware. The other was a hands-off demo from a Nintendo representative showcasing some later-game content.

Hands-On
If you've been following Breath of the Wild, then you're likely familiar with this demo as it was the same one playable at E3. You can actually see my full playthrough here. It opens with Link mysteriously waking from a 100-year slumber before being let loose on the open world. Nintendo had Joy-Con Grip controllers on hands, but you could also attach the Joy-Con controller to the Switch screens and play as though you were playing mobile. I tried all the variations and landed on leaving the screen on the base, while using the two Joy-Con controllers one in each hand without the aid of the Grip. I always enjoyed that Wii games allowed you to play with your hands separated, and I was eager to see how it felt with the Switch.

My overall impressions are positive. The controllers are responsive and feel good. I was quickly fast-swapping weapons to beat up bad guys, sprinting, climbing, and collecting food without having to think about the controller. I didn't get far in my 20 minutes as I spent a lot of time picking fights and exploring.

Re-attaching the Joy-Con controllers to the screen and pulling it out of the base had barely any pause at all. Reverse, however, sticking the screen back in the dock to play on the TV, did feature a few moments of black as the TV had to acknowledge a new HDMI device had been plugged in.

Overall, however, the game feels great with the new controller and Zelda works as initially promised in the Switch's early commercials.

Hands-Off
For the hands-off demo, I was given three choices of what Nintendo's representative would like to me. We could see some general combat, explore a puzzle Shrine, or tame a horse. I went with the latter.

Nintendo's representative started by ambushing a Bokoblin camp and clearing them out so they could use their grill to cook up a Sneaky Elixer so that it would be easier to sneak up on a wild horse.

After finding a group of them, I watched Link climb a rock and leap off with his glider to land on the wild horses back. He soothed the horse to calm it down and wrote it to the nearby Riverside Stable, where he registered the horse and learned about its stats. Per my request, the horse was named Buttz.

Using this method, Link can have a handful of horses on call at assorted stables. You will not have a single horse you ride through the whole game, but you can name every single one of your horses Epona if you want.

Finally, I learned Link can call his horse to come closer to him by whistling. This is not a get a horse anywhere, anytime call, however. Your horse needs to be somewhat close in order to respond to your call.

Visually, Breath of the Wild does not look dramatically different from the Wii U version of the game, but the two were not side-by-side making direct comparison difficult. Wii U still seems like a perfectly acceptable way to play Breath of the Wild, and my time with game today makes it seems like it will serve as a perfectly good excuse to get a Switch on day one.

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Destiny Details Next Iron Banner, Incoming Hotfix

The Dawning event provided some fun content for Guardians to dig their teeth into, including a refined and expanded Sparrow Racing League, along with the addition of Strike Scoring. Now that the holiday event has wrapped up, Destiny players can expect a return to the more regularly scheduled event roll-out; specifically, Bungie has used today’s weekly update to detail the next Iron Banner competitive tournament. 

Crucible players can take to the battlefield next week on Tuesday, January 17, and engage in a full week of ranking up with the Iron Banner vendor, Efrideet. If you’re still looking for an excellent sidearm or rocket launcher, the event should definitely be on your radar, as both weapons will be available for acquisition. In addition, if your armor set still needs either the Iron Banner arms or chest piece, it’s time to equip your favorite gun and get out there to win some matches. 

A new hotfix (2.5.0.1) isn’t is robust as some players might have been hoping for, but it does address a couple of notable dilemmas, including the unreliability of Plaguelands enemies to drop necessary patrol rewards, as well as weapon stability issues with both the Nova Mortis and Abaddon, the two newest exotic machine guns in the game. A few other issues are unfortunately not yet being addressed until a later update, including what sounds like a frustrating bug where skeleton keys can disappear from your inventory. Another issue is also not being addressed quite yet, which has caused some big problems for Trials of Osiris players, in which rounds of an Elimination game don’t end when they’re supposed to, allowing a round-winning team to rebuild supers without penalty as the enemy team sits dead. 

Finally, while there’s not much detail, the update does suggest that the Live team (who most recently rolled out The Dawning) is already back at work on a subsequent update. Without any concrete details, a betting man might suggest that’s an early hint of an impending spring update for the game, but we’ll have to wait and see.

You can read the full weekly update on the Bungie site

 

Our Take
Anecdotal evidence from a glance at my PS4 friends list suggests that the Destiny player population is at a particularly low point right now, following the conclusion of the holiday event. Without a doubt, a large percentage of Bungie’s development efforts must be getting poured into the inevitable sequel to Destiny. As such, current players may need to get used to the idea that the game simply isn’t going to see dramatic updates, patches, or new content drops on a frequent basis in the next few months. 

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Nintendo Details Switch Battery Life

During tonight's Nintendo Switch Presentation, Nintendo answered one of the most pressing questions for its upcoming home console/handheld gaming device hybrid, Nintendo Switch: How long does the battery last when the Switch is not docked and connected to the television?

While the battery life varies depending on game, Nintendo claims that while in portable mode, the Switch's battery will last anywhere between two-and-a-half and six-and-a-half hours.

Nintendo Switch launches on March 3 and retails for $ 299.99.

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Nintendo Reveals First Details For Switch Online Services

At its breakout press event for Switch, Nintendo has just offered us the first details about how the console services on the Switch will work. It's not much, but it's a start.

The most interesting detail is that after the system launches, players will be able to try out the system's online services for free for a few months. Once that period expires (in fall 2017, according to Nintendo), users will have to begin paying to use online services. Nintendo did not reveal what the pricing structure for those services will be, if services such as online chat, team chat, or any other potential online features will be behind the pay wall.

Speaking of chatting online, users will be able to not only chat online, but also set "play appointments" (possibly Nintendo's terminology for party invites) from a smartphone app, similar to how Sony's PlayStation app lets players manage their friends list through their phone.

Nintendo did not reveal what the app will look like, or how the online infrastructure will work. The company plans to offer more details about the system's online capabilities later this year.

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Twitch Reveals Details For TwitchCon 2017

This morning Twitch announced details for this year's TwitchCon 2017, which will mark the third TwitchCon. This year the event will take place at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment center from October 20-22.

Event Director Krystal Herring says “Our goal this year is to continue
celebrating all things Twitch, including the newer broader scope of content on
our platform. With our IRL category for vlogging and our upcoming mobile
streaming app, even people who can’t attend will be able to connect with their favorite
broadcasters and friends who can.”

 

Twitch hasn't revealed the specifics of what will be at the conference but has said that more will be revealed in the months to come. In the meantime, you can check out the official homepage for TwitchCon for more details.

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Capcom Details Tomorrow’s Street Fighter V Second Season Patch

Tomorrow, Street Fighter V is getting a big patch. Much of its changes and content, however, have been a mystery until now.

First up, the things we did know. The patch comes with a DLC pack which will offer holiday costumes and stages for aprice. You can read more about the pack here. Tomorrow will also see the addition of Akuma and his story, Premium Battle, and Nostalgia costumes. Five additional characters will also be added to the roster throughout 2017, and they can be purchased in advance as part of the season two season pass, if you're so inclined.

Here are some of the upcoming additions/changes that were previously unknown, it bullet-point list form:

  • Direct Input controller support
  • Background Music Select
  • Fighter Profile Radar Charts
  • Updated Rage Quit System

Details of the new rage quit system circulated a few days ago. You can read about that here.

There are lots more balance tweaks and changes coming to specific characters, and rather than detail every single change on its blog, Capcom has created a PDF (which can be downloaded here) showing off the assorted character balancing tweaks.

For our initial review of Street Fighter V, head here.

[Source: Capcom Unity]

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[Update] Valve Details Major ’7.00′ Patch For Dota 2, Live Now In Test Client

Update 12/11/2016: The full notes for the 7.00 patch, titled "The New Journey" are live now, and there are indeed some massive changes to the game. You can read the full list here, but some of the most important things to make note of are:

  • As Valve announced earlier this year at The International, The Monkey King has been added to the game. You can view his abilities and ultimate on their own page Included also included with his arrival is a new terrain skin for the game, an "Arcana" grade item, which can change his look depending on various elements.
  • Dota 2's user interface has been reworked, freeing up space onscreen so players can see more of the action. Here's what it looks like.

  • The pre-match process has also received an overhaul, with several UI and other changes. You can now choose your starting item before the match begins. You can read more about it here.
  • Several big gameplay changes have been made, including reworks of old heroes, a branching talent system (like the one in Heroes of the Storm), and small fountains strewn around the map that allow characters to heal and swap inventory while away from their base. The map has also been altered. There are tons of small changes you can read up on here.
  • A new backpack system lets players complete multi-part items without having to return to base, but does not act as a way to expand the game's current six-item inventory.
  • Three heroes (Slardar, Viper, and Enigma) have received model updates, and the game seems to have gotten an overall visual pass (though nothing too drastic).
  • Users can now script computer-controlled characters when creating custom game modes, which should allow for a wider range of new modes to be created.

The page is currently unstable, but should be readable once more people hope into the game's test client, which updated today. The changes will be on live servers tomorrow.

Update: Valve has posted a short blog entry stating that the patch will indeed be hitting live servers this Monday. They have also added the trailer to their Youtube channel, which you can find below.

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Original Story: At the end of an intense week of Dota 2 matches at The Boston Major, we got to see something we haven't gotten from Valve in a while: a teaser.

After the closing ceremonies, the event rolled a trailer cataloging many of Dota 2's patch numbers. The game is currently on version 6.88f, and many were expecting the reveal of the patch notes for 6.89, which would be the first major patch for the game in several months. The counter eventually rolled right past 6.88, then 6.89, then ended at 7.00, with a countdown timer that expires at 11am CST tomorrow.

IceFrog, Dota 2's mysterious caretaker, used his second-ever Tweet (the first congratulated the winner of the Boston Major on their victory) to reveal that the countdown timer is for when the patch will hit the game's test server for some initial tire-kicking before hitting the main server.

When the patch will go live on the main client remains to be seen: It can be a day or a week, depending on how stable the patch is. 

When the official notes do hit, we'll update this post highlighting some of the major changes.

[Source: Dota 2]


Our Take
This is going to sound like the silliest thing, but the leap from 6.88 to 7.00 suggests major changes unlike those of even previous patches, which do tend to make substantial alterations to the game's map, heroes, and structure. Who knows if titling the counter to "7.00" is just a way to hype up this current patch, or if it will indeed make changes that will redefine the game for years to come. We'll find out tomorrow! 

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Developers explain why they love the small details of Final Fantasy XV

All the small things about Final Fantasy XV are important, from the selfies to Florence and the Machine’s cover of Stand By Me. Three developers explain why. …


Gamasutra News

Details Of More Pokémon For Pokémon Go Are Coming Next Week

Niantic announced this morning that details about new Pokémon for Pokémon Go are coming next week, as well as a partnership with Sprint that creates more PokéStops for everyone.

Details about new Pokémon will release on Monday, December 12. Exactly when and how many Pokémon will be added is unclear. If it's generation 2 in full, it could add 100 new Pokémon to the game. Niantic also says it has more events planned for before the end of the year, as well.

Niantic also announced a partnership with Sprint which will turn 10,500 Sprint, Boost Mobile ,and Sprint at Radioshack stores into PokéStops and Gyms. Those stores will also feature charging stations with Pokémon Go in mind.

[Source: Niantic]

 

Our Take
I was worried Niantic's plans with Sprint would create exclusive content for the game for Sprint customers. I'm glad to hear that's not the case. I am still playing the game regularly so I am excited for new new Pokémon! Even though Game Informer is based in Minnesota. And It's December. Hopefully it's Gen 2 in its entirety.

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Story Details For Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Emerge At PSX Panel

Shortly following the unveiling of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy at Sony's PlayStation Experience Showcase, Naughty Dog writer Josh Sherr, animator Shaun Escayg, and lead gameplay designer Kurt Margenau took to the stage to reveal new details about the upcoming side story, which follows Chloe Frazier and Nadine Ross.

The game started development as a DLC add-on for Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, but the team quickly realized it was a much bigger game than that, and changed their focus. The Lost Legacy is now being created as a standalone story experience that will be longer than The Last of Us: Left Behind, but shorter than Uncharted 4.

Actress Claudia Black (Chloe), also took the stage to discuss the game along with fellow actress Laura Bailey (Nadine). Black said the two hunters uniting is an interesting dynamic for Chloe, who is a lone gun that doesn't like to play with others. The game is set largely in India, a place Naughty Dog views as a rich geographical playground with hidden temples and iconic architecture. Escayg also points out that Chloe is half Indian, and her connection to this region is a big part of this story, which takes place after the events of Uncharted 4.

In terms of gameplay, Sherr says that the team is expanding on what they made in Uncharted 4 and are pushing it as far as they can. This means we'll see a mix of linear and open environments. Chloe and Nadine are searching for an ancient tusk that is believed to be in India. That search reaches to fantastical underground areas and tombs.

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