Nintendo Switch Lite review

Let me preface this by saying: I realize that I’m not necessarily the target user for the original Nintendo Switch. First: I don’t own a TV, and haven’t since high school. Second: I travel all the time for this damn job. The combination of these things have made the device’s convertible form factor a bit of a nuisance. It’s big and heavy and the Joy-Cons semi-frequently slip off during game play. And while I’ve occasionally considered playing it in convertible mode, with the kickstand up, controllers detached as the console sits on, say, an airplane tray table, the capability ultimately isn’t worth the trade-offs. It seems odd that “built-in controllers” is listed as a feature on a gaming console, but, then, I suppose it kind of is. That’s all a lot of words to say that I was excited when the rumors around the Switch Lite first dropped. That enthusiasm Read the full article…

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is like a brand-new Zelda adventure on Switch

If you didn’t already know that Link’s Awakening first came out on the Game Boy way back in 1993, you’d be forgiven for thinking the latest Legend of Zelda game is brand-new. Virtually everything about the new version, which launches this week on the Nintendo Switch, feels modern — whether that’s the lushly detailed visuals and diorama-like presentation that make it feel like you’re in a living, miniature world; or its tightly connected map that forces you to think carefully about every tool in your arsenal in order to proceed. The new Link’s Awakening is an almost perfect example of a remake: it retains everything that made the original so memorable, while making it work for a modern audience. And if you really didn’t know about Link’s… Read the full article…

Mutazione and the Joy of Quiet Games

I had quite a few gaming options this past weekend. I could shoot my way through the cel-shaded landscapes of Pandora in Borderlands 3. I could dip in and see if Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s beta might bring me back to the franchise. I could start up a new, incredibly in-depth RPG experience with Greedfall. Instead, I decided to play Mutazione. Mutazione, from Danish developer Die Gute Fabrik and now out on PC, Mac, PS4, and Apple Arcade, is a much smaller-scale experience than any I mentioned above, focused on a 15-year-old girl named Kai venturing to an island inhabited by people mutated from a meteor that fell decades ago. There’s Tung, who looks like the Hulk but is as calm (usually) as Bruce Banner, and Yoke, the archivist with a penchant for piano playing who happens to look like a human-sized rat in a wheelchair. Powered Read the full article…

What to Expect From PlayStation’s Sept. 24 State of Play

After two relatively closely aired State of Plays (the second a massive improvement over the first), PlayStation has been curiously quiet about its next one…until now. The next State of Play is set for September 24, and armed with the knowledge of what Sony could show off, we’re expecting quite the show. So, here are our best guesses about what will, and what won’t, be part of the third State of Play. Will We Get PS5 News at State of Play? Read the full article…

Get Six Great Batman Games for Free on the Epic Games Store

Epic Games is giving away six Batman games for free right now on its Epic Games store. Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Collection and Traveller’s Tales’ Lego Batman Trilogy are both up for grabs and should make nice additions to your games library. Batman: Arkham Collection combines all three Rocksteady Batman Arkham games into a single package. Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, and Arkham Knight can all be picked up in this collection. Batman: Arkham Origins is not included in this collection, possibly because it was developed by Warner Bros. Montreal instead of Rocksteady. Check out our Batman: Arkham Knight below. Read the full article…

PlayVS picks up $50 million Series C to build out high school esports

PlayVS, the platform that allows high school students to compete on varsity esports teams through their school, has today announced the close of a $50 million Series C led by existing investor NEA. Battery Ventures, Dick Costolo and Adam Bain of 01 Advisors, Sapphire Sport, Michael Zeisser, Dennis Phelps of IVP and co-founder of CAA Michael Ovitz participated. This brings the startup’s total funding to $96 million, the vast majority of which was raised in the last 13 months. PlayVS launched in April of 2018 under founder and CEO Delane Parnell, who believes that the opportunity of esports is fundamentally broken without high school leagues. Through an exclusive partnership with the NFHS (the NCAA of high schools), PlayVS allows schools across the country to create esports teams and participate in leagues with their neighboring schools, just like any other varsity sport. PlayVS also partners with the game publishers, which allows Read the full article…

Here’s how cross-play will work in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

The next game in the massive Call of Duty franchise, a reboot of the Modern Warfare series, launches in just over a month, in line with Activision’s annual release model. Yet new to this Call of Duty entry is cross-play multiplayer, so you can squad up with your friends across systems. Now, the developers at studio Infinity Ward have detailed how exactly cross-play will work in advance of an open beta that will support the feature kicking off this weekend. Cross-play in Modern Warfare sounds a lot like how it works in Epic’s battle royale shooter Fortnite, which has become the industry gold standard. Infinity Ward says that Modern Warfare supports keyboard and mouse and controllers on all platforms, and you’ll be able to choose… Read the full article…

Borderlands 3’s boring, evil YouTubers are a huge missed opportunity

One of the optional missions in Borderlands 3, a cooperative sci-fi shooter that released last week, is to bring a minor character some coffee. The task seems easy enough: go to a cafe, fix a machine, and find a container to hold the brew. Choose to accept it, however, and you’ll meet resistance every step of the way. A dozen people will die in a pitched battle over a single coffee cup in a corporate office. And absolutely nobody will find this strange. It’s morbid, silly, and a good example of Borderlands’ over-the-top parody. Borderlands launched in 2009, and it’s known for its mashup of post-apocalyptic tropes, space opera, and dark humor. Borderlands 3 repeats a now-familiar formula with mixed success. If you like the games, it’s a… Read the full article…

New Pokémon leeks

Pokémon Sword is adding an exclusive evolution to the series’s original duck, Farfetch’d. Sirfetch’d, a fighting type, gallantly wields a leek lance and shield combo. I haven’t adored a knight so dearly since the last time I saw Sir Ian McKellen in a halfway decent X-Men movie, but The Pokémon Company really outdid itself. Farfetch’d evolves into Sirfetch’d “after experiencing many battles” (like… most… pokémon?), and the genteel duck uses its beloved leek as a lance. Sirfetch’d is a noble creature that makes a “point of always battling fairly.” I want it to step on my neck. It is too honorable to do so. Like every plant-loving man I’ve met in Brooklyn, Sirfetch’d is extremely into its leek. “It maintains this leek over the span of… Read the full article…

FIFA 20 Review

I’ve had to reassess the way I’ve played FIFA this year, which is something I haven’t had to do in many years through all the tweaks, changes and so called “game-changing mechanics”. FIFA 20 feels different to previous years; in some ways for the better, but in others not. Volta, a brand-new way to play FIFA that offers a breath of fresh air to the series – albeit not without its own faults – is here, but does it come at the expense of the game as a whole? Last year, many of FIFA 19’s gameplay innovations were based on the attacking game, from timed-finishes to the basics of how the ball could be nudged into space with a flick of the stick. FIFA 20 swings the pendulum back the other way and puts much more emphasis on the other side of the ball. The way you defend has been Read the full article…

Take a Comprehensive Look At Apple Arcade’s Launch Lineup

Apple Arcade is the tech company’s biggest step into the world of gaming since first introducing iPhone apps with the phone over a decade ago. While the Cupertino giant has historically been hesitant to grasp gaming with both hands, Apple Arcade represents a keen interest in cultivating their gaming ecosystem. What is Apple Arcade? In March 2019, Apple revealed their Arcade subscription service. While details were a little light, Apple clearly signaled their intentions to create a space for original mobile titles that often chose to go for single-purchase pricing models. The iPhone creators seemed to see that more one-and-done titles were suffering in the mobile market and created a service to boost those kind of titles with funding and marketing from Apple themselves. Read the full article…

Twitch acquires gaming database site IGDB to improve its search and discovery features

Amazon-owned Twitch has made a small but strategic acquisition designed to improve its search capabilities and better direct viewers to exactly the right content. The company is acquiring IGDB, the Internet Games Database (no relation to Amazon’s IMDb), a website dedicated to combining all the relevant information about games into a comprehensive resource for gamers everywhere. As a result of the acquisition, IGDB’s database will now feed into Twitch’s search and discovery feature set. However, the IGDB website itself will not be shut down. Founded in 2015 by Christian Frithiof and a small team based in Gothenburg, Sweden, IGDB sources its gaming content both through community contributions and automation. The site includes useful information for every game, like the genre, platforms supported, description, member and critic ratings and reviews, storyline, game modes, publisher, release dates, characters and more. You could also find less-common details, like how long it would take Read the full article…

Meet VENN, the company hoping to build MTV for the gaming generation

Maybe a network will be the thing that replaces the single streaming media star. VENN, a new company launching with $17 million in funding from some of the biggest names in gaming, is hoping to harness the power of streaming media’s online celebrities and funnel them into a channel that can command the kind of advertising revenues of the networks of old. The vision harkens back to the golden days of MTV, when shows like TRL ruled the media landscape and a New York-based network set the cultural agenda through the prism of pop music. For the creators of VENN — who include Ariel Horn, a four-time Emmy-winning producer who brought the commercial storytelling from his network days working on Olympics broadcasts for NBC (a division of Comcast) to the esports phenomenons of Riot Games and Blizzard Entertainment; and Ben Kusin, a former global director of new media at Vivendi Read the full article…