Another POKEMON Core Game Is Heading To The Switch on 2019

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The Pokemon Company just announced a release window for the next installment in the core franchise of the Pokemon series, which will be heading to the Nintendo Switch in late 2019. Players should know that this game is different from the recently announced Switch titles, Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee, which releases this November. 

The upcoming game was previously teased during last year’s E3 when the company’s Tsunekazu Ishihara announced the project in a video. After the initial reveal, not much has been said about the upcoming title. However, Pokemon’s longtime director Junichi Masuda said in the announcement that:

“Now today I can only tell you of it’s existence, but it’s another game we’re pouring all of our creativity into. I hope you look forward to it while also enjoying Pokémon Quest and Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee.”

Lastly, Masuda commented that the new games will also “follow in the tradition of Pokemon X and Y and Pokemon Sun and Moon.” However, he did not disclose any more information regarding the upcoming core game, which is slated for a late 2019 release on the Nintendo Switch. 

For now, you can check out the details on the recently released Pokémon Quest on the Nintendo Switch, and the upcoming Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee, which will be released this November on the same platform. 

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DEAD BY DAYLIGHT Two Year Anniversary Content Comes With A Promise From The Game Director

May has already had quite a bit of free content for a few games celebrating their anniversary, including Tekken and Friday the 13th. With the month nearing the end, another team has launched a bunch of free content for their player base to enjoy.

Behaviour Digital has announced that for the two year anniversary of Dead by Daylight, they have added a few things. The main addition is a new chapter named Curtain Call, which will introduce players to a new killer, The Clown, and a new survivor, Kate Denson. The new chapter will take place in Campbell's Chapel.

There is also a new in-game store, which is considered to be in a Public Test Build (PTB) state, to purchase cosmetic items as well as some of the game characters. The team even worked on an overhaul the economy to include two main changes:

  • Iridescent Shards will be gained with playtime through a new player level system.
  • Auric Cells will be available for purchase.

Despite the fact that they launched a road map back in March, there was talk among the Dead by Daylight fans that they were concerned that Behaviour Digital's latest game to go into closed Alpha, DeathGarden, was going to be the end of the game. I feel this update shows that they have no intention of letting that happen, but it's even better to hear it straight from the Dead by Daylight Game Director, Mathieu Côté.

“We can’t believe it’s already been two years. What’s even more incredible is that this was just the beginning. We are committed to making Dead by Daylight bigger and more fun (or terrifying) in the long run. In March, we introduced our new roadmap. We will continue developing new chapters, features and perks for as long as players demand it and will now introduce mid-chapter patches to ensure balancing and proper bug fixing.” 

That's confirmation enough to say that Dead by Daylight won't be going anywhere until the player fan base decides they are ready to move on. With the new chapter and the in-game store now available, what are you looking forward to trying out most; The Clown, the store, or the new survivor?

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Everything We Know So Far About The Newly Announced POKEMON Game For The Switch

Last night, Nintendo finally announced the existence of two new upcoming Pokémon titles for the Nitnedo Switch and released a trailer, which is posted below. The next games, dubbed Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee will be set in the Kanto region and will feature the original 151 Pokémon. These games will be different than any other previous installments in the franchise with the notable inclusion of a multiplayer mode. The upcoming games will draw inspiration from Pokémon Yellow, which was a GameBoy title that banked on Pikachu’s popularity as the official mascot of the series. For the upcoming games, players will have either Pikachu or Eevee, depending on which version you purchase, sitting on the player’s shoulders or head. 

Besides the announcement that these games are in development and will be available to the Nintendo Switch in November, Nintendo also shared a few unique mechanics that will be introduced for the first time in a core game. 

First, Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee for the Nintendo Switch will take advantage of the console’s Joy-Cons during gameplay. Inspired by Pokémon Go, players will be able to use one Joy-Con, and during battles, players can catch a Pokémon similar to the way it is done in Pokémon Go by flicking the controller to simulate the action of tossing a pokéball to capture targets. Furthermore, Pokémon will also be visible on the player’s map so they can choose which creatures to battle instead of randomly encountering them as it was with previous games. To add to that, players will have the ability to transfer any of the original 151 Pokémon from their collection in Pokémon GO to the new upcoming games via a Bluetooth transfer. 

Another impressive feature in these new titles is that both Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee will have a co-operative mode, which is a first for the series. “When you’re playing the game, you’ll see that there’s a kind of a mark indicating when a second player can join,” Junichi Masuda said director at Game Freak. “It’s pretty much anytime you’re in the fields or on the routes or in battles for example. All you do is take a second Joy Con and shake it and the second player will drop in, and you’ll be playing alongside your friends.” 

Currently, these games will serve as the first proper Pokémon title for the Nintendo Switch aside from Pokémon Quest, which launched to the console today. Nintendo also announced that they will release a Poké Ball-shaped controller dubbed as the Poké Ball Plus for Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee. This controller will allow players to “bring one of their Pokémon with them as they explore the real world,” the company said in a press release. 

Lastly, Masuda, who has been involved with Pokémon games ever since the beginning, shared that they wanted to experiment with different play styles to bring a more unique experience than traditional games in the past. 

“With these games specifically, we’re trying to introduce these all-new play styles. It’s really a much-simplified experience compared to the traditional series. …At the same time, I think there’s going to be a lot for players who enjoyed the original games.”

Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee will be available on November 16 to the Switch. Don’t forget to check out the trailer for the game, which is posted below. 

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AGONY Celebrates Launch Day With A 5 Minute Gameplay Video

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Making horror games requires a balance of a few different aspects. Lighting, sounds, location, story, and confusion are some of the main aspects that keep gamers on the edge of their seats, or perhaps hiding as far from the screen as possible. Especially in an age of graphical importance, the art design plays a role as well.

Madmind Studios has been creating Agony, the horror game so gruesome that it was nearly banned by ESRB, but was saved by some censorship. As the game launches today for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, they provided an intriguing 5 minute gameplay video for those still on the fence about getting it. Check it out:

With the game looking as horrifically beautiful as it does in the trailers and cinematics while the player is in control, Agony has already set their mark to be a game with interesting visuals, to say the least. They have also guaranteed that there will be 7 different endings and new content only available after the game has been beaten at least once.

Bringing a mixture of defenseless and survival horror style gameplay, we really don't know what all to expect as we make our way out of hell. After watching the initial trailer and now this fractal gameplay video, I'm really excited to get a copy of the game myself. What platform will you get it on?

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Filipino Actor Received Sexually Disturbing Comments During A Twitch Livestream

 Image from the film "Kasal" starring Paulo Avelino by Star Cinema

Image from the film "Kasal" starring Paulo Avelino by Star Cinema

Paulo Avelino, a well-renowned movie and TV actor in the Philippines, is known for his award-winning films and stellar performance as an actor. However, not many know that Avelino is also an avid gamer himself and enjoys popular online first-person shooters such as PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds, Fortnite and Escape from Tarkov among others. 

Last week, Avelino ventured into live streaming his play session on the popular streaming site, Twitch.tv. Given his extreme popularity in the Philippines, people went into a frenzy and immediately tuned in to his live stream of Escape from Tarkov. However, things quickly got out of hand as the comments in the stream started from innocent admiration of his good looks to downright sexual harassment. 

The online platform of the Philippine Inquirer, a leading newspaper in the country, reported that majority of Avelino’s audience were women. Now, several fans in the live stream took it too far and bombarded the actor with crude sexual remarks that were obviously offensive, dirty, and sexually inappropriate. You can check out some screenshots of the comments below, with their corresponding rough English translation since the comments were made in Tag-Lish (Tagalog-English). 

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Translation: "It’s one thing to be horny, it’s another thing when the streamer is hot."

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Translation: "Landi (direct translation is to flirt) is real"
                    "Rape Paulo"

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Translation: "You can shoot your c** on me daddy Pau, anytime you want." 

Translation: "You can shoot your c** on me daddy Pau, anytime you want." 

Translating these sexual remarks already made me uncomfortable but imagine what Avelino felt like being objectified in that manner. The situation got so bad that an admin was forced to intervene saying, “Guys, favor. Please show some respect for our poging (handsome) streamer, can we do that? Just try to avoid saying inappropriate words or things in his channel. Thank you so much!” Currently, Avelino has 3,604 followers and has 49 videos on his Twitch channel. He did not make any comments regarding the sexual harassment, but any person, whether a man or a woman, whether famous or not, does not deserve to be treated that way. 

This incident begs to question how Twitch views sexual harassment and what safety precautions they employ to protect streamers and their audience. Browsing through Twitch’s community guidelines, the streaming service explicitly states that “Harassment is any content or activity that attempts to intimidate, degrade, abuse, or bully others, or creates a hostile environment for others, and is prohibited. Harassment is prohibited.” The guideline continues by saying that Twitch considers numerous factors to determine whether a case of harassment is present. In the case of Avelino’s audience who made the sexually explicit remarks, Twitch does not tolerate any “Unwanted sexual advances, sexual harassment, and sexual bullying.” 

Concerning what the streaming service does to protect its streamers and their audience, it is stated that violating the policy against harassment will lead to the perpetrator’s account to be suspended. Even though Twitch has guidelines in place to protect its patrons, we can’t help but wonder whether these are enough. 

Sexual harassment in gaming has been a long-occurring problem in the industry. Women are objectified, degraded, and are met with sexist remarks whenever male players discovered their gender. An article written by the BBC documented some of the unfortunate cyberbullying female players go through when playing video games online. Now, Avelino’s experience revealed that some men experience sexual harassment online too, and in his case, in the hands of women. The question now is how do we put an end to this on-going problem that men and women face in the world of online gaming? In the end, cyberbullying and sexual harassment is never okay whether online or in the real world, regardless of the person's gender, race, social status, and beliefs. All we want to do is to play games, why can’t we just focus on that? 

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Texas Official Blames Violent Video Games For School Shooting, Is He Right?

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About two weeks ago, a mass shooting occurred at Santa Fe High School in Texas. Authorities revealed that around ten people were killed in the shootout which lasted for 25 minutes. The gunman is identified as Dimitrios Pagourtzis a 17-year-old student at the school. 

As families and friends mourn over the lives that were lost in this horrible incident, Texas’ Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick spoke out regarding the apparent causes of these mass shootings. In a video by SBS news, which is currently going viral on Facebook, the public official was shown pointing blame to the removal of God in schools and abortion. However, he is most insistent that video games play an active role in the creation of these shooters who have been terrorizing schools, churches, and public spaces for several years now. 

In the video, Patrick is seen appealing to the nation about the role video games play in mass shootings in the United States. He said that “Look, the video games issue we have got to address this country. Based on all the research we have done, 97 percent, according to psychologists and psychiatrists, 97 percent of teenagers view video games, and 85 percent of those video games are violent.” He also commented that teenagers are spending a lot of time playing these video games that are showing these kids how to kill people. 

The debate on whether violent video games lead to violent behavior has been going on for a long time. On the one hand, you have the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics insisting that there is a link between violent video games leading to violent behavior. The psychological group claims that 90% of children in the US play video games, the majority of which are between the ages of 12 and 17. Furthermore, the APA said in an August 2015 policy statement that, “Researchers have also continued to find that violent video game use is associated with decreases in socially desirable behavior such as prosocial behavior, empathy, and moral engagement.”

On the flip side, several studies from sociologists, psychologists, and other behavioral experts have debunked the claim that violent video games increase aggression and decrease empathy, which eventually leads to violent behavior. A study by Whitney DeCamp, an associate professor of sociology at Western Michigan University, revealed that kids who like to play brutally violent video games may already have a predisposition toward aggression, DeCamp claims.

In his research, DeCamp examined data from a 2008 Delaware School Survey that collected responses from 6,567 eight-graders. In this survey, the students were asked whether they had played any violent video games in the past year. DeCamp separated the respondents who had an inclination to aggressive behavior due to a natural attraction to violence and other factors such as gender and family relations. When he studied the data of the respondents who did not have an inclination towards aggression, DeCamp concluded that playing video games, no matter how brutal or violent, does not predict violent behavior. 

A video by Psych2Go shared another interesting perspective on the issue. The video said that majority of the studies that claim a link between violent video games and aggressive behavior were not entirely accurate and reliable as they focus on short-term effects. In previous studies, participants will be asked to play violent video games for an amount time, and right after the game, researchers will test the participant’s empathy and aggression levels. Of course, the results showed that right after playing a brutal video game, the level of aggression increased while the level of empathy decreased. However, the video claimed that the same result can also be obtained after a participant undergoes a competitive or challenging task such as failing to answer a complicated math problem.

Due to the unreliable results of short-term testing of aggression and empathy levels, researchers from Germany decided to conduct a study of their own. In their study, participants were not required to play video games. Instead, they talked to gamers who are already playing violent video games on a consistent basis and non-gamers who have never played a video game in their life to participate in the research. They then showed the participants an image that, according to previous studies, would not invoke the same emotional response from people who play violent video games as opposed to those who do not. Researchers discovered that neural responses -which were measured via a fMRI- showed that both groups displayed the same level of empathy regardless of their gaming background, which weakened the claims from previous research. 

Furthermore, Henry Jenkins, a professor at the University of Southern California shared in an essay published in 2005 that despite the high consumption of video games by young people at the time, juvenile crime was at a 30-year low. Jenkins also detailed in his essay that people who are serving time for violent crimes were usually the same ones who consume fewer media than the average person. Lastly, he said that “the overwhelming majority of kids who play do not commit antisocial acts.”

Another way to determine whether video games play a role in violent acts such as mass shootings is to look at other countries with high consumption of video games. Japan, which is basically the hub for anything related to video games is a great example. According to NewZoo, a gaming market research company, about 60 percent of Japan’s entire population has played video games in 2016 one way or another. The interesting factor here is that despite the vast community of gamers in the country, there were almost no incidents of people being killed by a gun. In 2014 GunPolicy.org reported that Japan had only six gun deaths while the United States had 33,000 in the same year. The most significant difference between the two countries with high video game consumption is that Japan bans the possession, selling, or buying of handguns and rifles. Other countries such as Germany, the UK, Canada, France, and Australia all have high populations of gamers as well and all of these countries have lower incidents of death by guns compared to the US. Now there are, of course, many factors to consider when looking at gun violence statistics. However, the data does beg a major question: If all the above countries have a high consumption rate of video games similar to the U.S., then why is there a significantly lower instance of violence caused by guns in these countries? 

Going back to Dan Patrick’s statement that video games cause mass shootings, it is clear that studies prove the opposite. It is apparent that while video games may have an effect on aggression and empathy levels in the short-term, they rarely lead to aggressive and violent behavior in the long term. To put it simply, video games do not cause mass shootings. Of course, once tragedy such as the recent shooting occurs, it is easy to point blame on violent video games. However, given the vast amount of research that debunks this claim, maybe it's time we move forward from this false narrative and start looking for real-world solutions instead of blaming the virtual worlds gamers enjoy. 

Let’s be real, a lot of countries in the world play violent video games. However, why do these countries have lower instances of mass shootings? If video games are not to blame, then what is/are the real cause(s)? Let’s all think about that. 

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RESIDENT EVIL 2 REMAKE Is Rumored To Run RE7’s Engine

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Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 Remake had been announced back in 2015, and it’s 2018 already, but the developer still hasn’t released concrete information on the project except for a few pieces of clues here and there. In fact, due to Capcom’s silence on the game, some fans, including myself, have wondered whether the project is still on-going or if the developer plans to reveal something this coming E3. 

However, the guys at Rely on Horror may have a few details on the project. A trusted source claims that RE2 Remake is running an improved version of the RE Engine, which is the same engine used to make the latest main entry in the series, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. Apparently, Capcom’s goal for the remake is to have the game running resolutions of 1080p at 30fps on a standard PSR and native 4K at 60fps on the PS4 Pro. If these rumors were true, then the upcoming remake will feature the best-looking Raccoon City, including classic zombies and monsters such as lickers to date.

Furthermore, it is claimed by the sources that RE2 Remake will sport a modern over-the-shoulder camera, featured in Resident Evil 4, 5 and 6. This is a vast departure from the original game’s fixed camera angle that became iconic since the introduction of the original Resident Evil in 1996. Also, characters in the game will remain faithful to their classic look. Expect Leon and Claire to sport their traditional outfits and appearances, and hey, maybe we also get to see Jill Valentine in this game, but that’s just from me. 

Of course, these pieces of information are still just rumors and speculation. Capcom is yet to comment on whether any of the details mentioned above are correct, but hopefully, the developer will reveal information on the project soon. I mean, its been three years now, a short update is long overdue. Hopefully, this year’s E3 will bring more light to Resident Evil 2 Remake. 

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THE WOLF AMONG US 2 Is Delayed Until 2019

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Telltale Games announced yesterday that the upcoming game, The Wolf Among Us 2 is being delayed until 2019. The sequel to the 2013-2014 story driven game was initially scheduled for a release this year. The postponement of The Wolf Among Us 2 comes after several changes that occurred inside Telltale Studios. 

“The delay comes as the result of a few fundamental changes here at Telltale since we first announced the game last summer,” Telltale shared in a post. “Taking this extra time will allow us not only to focus on quality but also to experiment and iterate in order to craft something truly special.”

By the end of 2017, Telltale Games laid off 90 of their employees, which accounts for about 25% of their total workforce. Initially announced in July last year, The Wolf Among Us 2 will be the follow up to the original game based on the Fable comic book series by DC Comics’ Vertigo subsidiary. The original game was nominated for a D.I.C.E. Award for an outstanding story by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. 

The Wolf Among Us 2 is currently scheduled to release sometime in 2019. The original game is available on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and smartphones. It is expected that the upcoming game will also be available on those platforms except for the last-gen consoles from that list. 

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KILLER7 PC REMASTER Gets A 2018 Release Window

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The cult action title, Killer7, from Goichi ‘Suda51’ Suda and Resident Evil’s creator Shinji Mikami, is now being remastered for a release to the PC this year. The new version was announced during MomoCon, which featured a 20th-anniversary stream hosted by Suda’s studio, Grasshopper Manufacture. 

Check out the official description of the game from the studio:

“Dive into a dark world of underground assassins in a tale of revenge as Harman Smith, a man who manifests 7 deadly personalities into the real world, known as the killer7. Take control of this distinct murderers’ row as they hunt down the sinister Kun Lan, to stop his plan of world dominance, and end his organization of deadly suicide bombers known as ‘Heaven Smile.’"

Killer7 will be optimized for PC, according to the Steam page of the game. Furthermore, Game Informer reported that Killer7 will feature a keyboard-and-mouse control option. NIS America will serve the role as the publisher of the new version, rather than Capcom who published the original version of the game. 

Killer7 will be released on Steam sometime this fall, thirteen years after its original launch on the GameCube and PlayStation 2. Currently, pricing has not been announced yet. You can check out the Steam trailer of the game, which is posted below. 

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Teb Dabney Co-Founder Of Atari Dies At Age 81

 Ted Dabney (left), Nolan Bushnell (right) Image: Computer History Museum

Ted Dabney (left), Nolan Bushnell (right)
Image: Computer History Museum

The video game industry just lost one of the most influential figures during gaming’s early days. Atari’s co-founder, Ted Dabney has died after he refused to undergo treatment for esophageal cancer. The news of Dabney’s death was revealed in a Facebook post by historian Leonard Herman, who wrote the Phoenix series of video game history books. 

Dabney was notable for working with Nolan Bushnell and together, they founded and created the company Syzygy in 1971 and developed Computer Space, which became the first commercially launched arcade game. The experience of developing Computer Space became the first step to the founding of Atari, which released one of the most iconic games of all time, Pong in 1972. After the success of Pong, Atari was well-renowned for being a pioneer in the video game industry. 

In 1973, management conflicts rose up with Bushnell, Dabney broke-up the duo and left Atari in 1973. In an oral history interview with the Computer History Museum back in 2012, Dabney revealed his side of the story on his departure from Atari. He explained that Bushnell practically pushed him out of the company:

“There’s stories that came around after that. But that was the end of me with it, with Atari. ‘Cause it was just—well, actually Nolan had told me that if I didn’t sell out, he would transfer all the assets to another corporation and leave me with nothing anyway. So, you know, might as well sell out.”

After his brief time at Atari, Dabney did a few computer engineering jobs at several companies including Raytheon and Teledyne before purchasing and running a grocery store together with his wife for years up until his death. Ted Dabney’s contributions to the early era of the gaming industry paved the way to the success of Atari, which helped mold gaming as we know today. 

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