Games

1 2 Switch

The Switch’s Paltry Launch Lineup Doesn’t Justify a Day-One Purchase

Let’s be honest, with the exception of the Dreamcast; most console launch lineups are rather pathetic. A system doesn’t start getting the juicy stuff until months (or years) after it has been released. With that said, the launch lineup for the Switch may take the record for having one of the most anemic in recent history. I wish I could say I’m being hyperbolic here, but I’m dead serious. Nintendo has confirmed that the Nintendo Switch will launch with only five games. Five. Games. They are: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 1-2 Switch Super Bomberman R Skylanders Imaginators Just Dance 2017 Most people are purchasing the Switch for Breath of the Wild. That’s fine since that is a game worthy of buying the console for. On top of that, this title will no doubt be robust and contain countless hours of gameplay. However, the rest of the lineup is somewhat questionable. It’s hard to see 1-2 Switch being a game that warrants its $60 price tag. Skylanders Imaginators and Just Dance 2017 will no doubt be good titles. However, they can be purchased on competing systems. Super Bomberman R is READ FULL STORY AT GEEK!

Games

Zelda Breath of the Wild gets Special and Master editions

The most anticipated game of 2017, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, will get two special editions: one Special Edition, and one Master Edition. They both include a ton of cool goodies, and they’re both quite expensive (starting at $100).The Special Edition will retail for $99 and will include the game, a soundtrack on CD, a carrying case, a Sheikah Eye Collectible Coin, a Relic of Hyrule: Calamity Ganon Tapestry, and a printed map of the game world.The Master Edition will include everything from the Special Edition, plus a Master Sword statue.Zelda: Breath of the Wild (standard and special editions) will launch on March 3rd alongside the Switch console. READ FULL STORY AT NINTENDOTODAY!

ANDROID

King Is Bringing Us More Bubble Witch with a Third Game Out Now

King’s bubble-popping extravaganza Bubble Witch Saga rides again with its third release that’s out now: Bubble Witch 3 Saga. It’s available via the Apple App Store, Google Play, Amazon App Store, and Facebook for you to snatch up right now for all your bubble-bursting pleasure. If you’ve ever played Bust-A-Move, you’ll be right at home here. The original Bubble Witch Saga and its sequel were puzzlers where you’re given one colored bubble after another to aim at even more bubbles suspended at the top of the screen. You need to match three or more of a kind to burst the bubbles and clear them from the play area. This is accomplished via precise aiming with the touch screen, and strategic bouncing of colored bubbles against the “walls” of the play area. If you play your cards right, you can collapse an entire cache of bubbles with a well-placed shot. They’ll rain down in a shower of color, and at the end of each level, they’ll randomly bounce into pots that collect them for points totally onto your score. Bubble Witch 3 Saga includes an older main character (Stella) who’s been possessed by READ FULL STORY AT GEEK!

Games

Goodbye, Nintendo’s Dual Screens

The Nintendo Switch represents a lot of important things for the gaming juggernaut. Can the company move past the failure of the Wii U? Can it survive with a single system instead of a console and handheld duo? Can it keep making hardware while also releasing games on mobile phones? But it also represents something else. It marks the end of Nintendo’s idea that when it comes to gaming, two screens are better than one. In 2003, before we learned about its touchscreen and polygonal graphics and online features, the only thing we knew about Nintendo’s next-generation DS handheld was that the “DS” stood for “Dual Screen.” And we were pretty confused. Why on earth would this portable system need two screens? Granted, some members of the Game and Watch line, Nintendo’s earlier handheld gaming machines, featured two screens. But why return to the idea now? I’m a big fan of the Nintendo DS. I think it has one of the greatest libraries in gaming history. But I maintain that the fact it has two screens is actually least necessary thing about the device. Some games used the two displays in clever ways, like morphing the bottom screen READ FULL…

Half-Life 3 Will Never Be Released According to Valve Insider

If you were holding out hope of ever playing Half-Life 3, we’ve got some bad news for you. According to a Valve insider, both Half-Life 3 and Half-Life 2: Episode Three will never see the light of day. This information comes to us from a recent Gamer Informer interview with the alleged insider. According to them, “There is no such thing as Half-Life 3. Valve has never announced a Half-Life 3.” Various teams within Valve have worked on projects that could have become the next Half-Life but never did. The insider pointed out how there were three different versions of Half-Life 2 ready before the final version was produced. “Over the years,” the source states, “you’ve probably had many dozens of people within the studio as early as probably 2005 working on things that they would imagine for themselves as Half-Life 3 or Half-Life 2: Episode 3.” “I’ve heard that some teams have had two to three people working on it,” said the source when asked how close Half-Life 3 and Half-Life 2: Episode Three came to being released. “They eventually ran into a wall, and some teams may have gotten up to 30 or 40 people before it was…

artificial intelligence

Grand Theft Auto V is Being Used to Teach AI Agents How to Drive

Those who are building self-driving cars will now have the option to test their AI agents inside of Grand Theft Auto V thanks to OpenAI’s, Universe program. Universe connects game controls and video displays to machine-learning agents that can be trained by video games. Universe has actually been tested using a wide range of video games. Researchers use games to test out their AI agents because they learn the way humans do: through trial and error. This open-sourced MIT-licensed code is maintained by Craig Quiter, who works for the Uber-owned start up, Otto. They were responsible for delivering 51,744 cans of Budweiser over 120 miles by using a self-driving truck. This AI software comes programmed with a trained driving agent, so developers only need a copy of GTAV to get started. [embedded content] Grand Theft Auto V is based on Los Angeles. The game isn’t an exact replica of the city, but its streets are very similar and are perfect for teaching an AI car how to drive. In addition to that, the game’s wide variety of vehicles and weather patterns also provide researchers with a good deal of data to test out READ FULL STORY AT GEEK!

Feature

9 Ways Nintendo Can Make the Switch a Success

I’ll be completely upfront with all of you wonderful readers: I’m not a fan of Nintendo. Sure, I loved the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Super Nintendo, but after that, the company lost me. While my fondness for what Nintendo released in the late 80’s and early 90’s remains intact, everything that has come out after that golden era has failed to interest me. I guess you can say I grew up as a gamer and Nintendo didn’t keep up with me. With that said, I have been following what Nintendo is doing with its upcoming console/mobile hybrid, the Nintendo Switch, with keen interest (and not just because it’s my job to cover gaming news). Despite my admitted indifference towards the company, I have been waiting for a reason to buy one of its systems for a long time. The Switch seems like the perfect device to get a disillusioned former fan like myself back in the fold. There are numerous ways Nintendo can botch the Switch the way it did the Wii U. Instead of focusing on that; I want to talk about how Nintendo can make the Switch a huge hit and once again become relevant to hardcore…

Games

10 Ways Nintendo Could Still F*ck Up The Switch

You know it could happen. Nintendo has gone, over the last console generation and change, from the dominant force in console gaming to a doddering old uncle, releasing endless DS updates and redesigns while the Wii U flops. We’re excited about the Switch – we’re not monsters, after all – but it’s important to temper that enthusiasm with a healthy degree of skepticism. We’ve gone through everything we know about the Switch and identified the ten pain points we can see where Nintendo can doom this console to a Wii U-shaped grave. It’s probably too late for them to do anything about any of them, but you can read this article and then say “I told you so” if they come to pass. Bad Performance We already see hints of this in the released specs for the system. Nintendo has always been able to work magic with underpowered hardware – remember that the Sega Master System was a beefier console than the original NES – but over the last few generations their budget chipsets have started to show some serious strain. While multi-platform games have never been the biggest draw on a Nintendo system, we’re worried that the machine’s unique…

Game boy advance

The Nintendo Switch: Why a Portable System Still Matters in 2017

We finally get to see the Nintendo Switch this week. All (or at least most) of our questions will be answered. Most importantly, we’ll come away with some idea of how this thing will fit into our lives. For some, the Switch will be like any other console. I’ve already heard a few say their Switch will stay connected to their TV, and never leave its dock. That’s perfectly reasonable, but for me, it’s most exciting as a new portable console. That’s kind of the beauty of what Nintendo is claiming to offer here. Assuming it’s everything we imagine it is (which is a big assumption, I realize), it can be exactly what everyone needs it to be. And right now, I need it to be a portable system. I bet I’m not alone in that either. Despite everyone having a much more powerful computer in their pocket already, there’s still a need for dedicated portable gaming consoles. (Screenshot via Youtube/Nintendo Mobile) Playing Games on a Smartphone Still Sucks Yes, there are some great smartphone games out there. Games that are designed around touchscreen control that doesn’t just draw an analog stick and buttons on the screen. But after READ…

Games

Nintendo Switch, Please Save These Wii U Games

Back before we had any idea what the Nintendo Switch even was, back when it was still an NX codename Nintendo announced to assure us it wasn’t abandoning dedicated hardware for mobile, there were some rumors about the device’s features. One idea floating around was that Nintendo wanted to make it easy to port Wii U games to whatever this new device would be, even though actual backward compatibility was unlikely. From a financial standpoint, that made sense. At that point in early 2015 it was clear that even with some promising games on the horizon, the Wii U probably wasn’t going to start suddenly burning up the sales charts. Creating those HD games costs time and money, so a double-dip on a new console could recoup some of the cost while simultaneously padding out the new console’s early software lineup. A win-win. But screw financials. There are Wii U games Nintendo should absolutely port to the Switch because they are fantastic games that nobody got a chance to play since they didn’t buy a Wii U. We already know this is happening. The debut trailer for the Switch showed off updated versions of Wii U classics Splatoon and Mario…

Game of the Year

Game of the Year: Nintendo On

For too long the definition of “Game of the Year” has been unfairly narrow. How boring is it to see every website shower the same stale AAA games with praise at the end of each holiday season? So at Geek.com we’re doing what we can to put a stop to this in Game of the Year, a new column celebrating worthy alternative picks for the year’s greatest game regardless of genre, platform, year of release, or even quality. Here, any game can be Game of the Year! The time right before a new video game console is unveiled is arguably more exciting than the reality of the new console itself, especially when it comes to Nintendo. As the company has become more committed to introducing fresh ideas with its hardware, predicting what those innovations might be has become a hobby for gaming analysts. Before the Wii took the world by storm with motion controls, we were all wondering what Nintendo’s “Revolution” was going to look like. One of these predictions, the Nintendo On, was so compelling that it earns this week’s Game of the Year award. [embedded content] Released before E3 2005 as a purported “leak” of Nintendo’s next console,…

game roms

Nintendo Hides Secret Message for Hackers Inside NES Classic

It should come as no surprise that the Nintendo Classic Mini has already been hacked. The system comes with 30 games pre-installed but determined hackers have managed to figure out a way to get more games onto the system. It appears that Nintendo knew that it would only be a matter of time before this happened, and hid a secret message for any would-be hackers inside of their diminutive console. This message was left by a programmer who goes by the handle of “The Hanafuda Captain.” The Hanafuda name is an homage to the hanafuda cards that Nintendo used to sell before becoming a video game company. Here is what the message says: “This is the Hanafuda Captain speaking. Launching emulation in 3…2…1. Many efforts, tears and countless hours have been put into this jewel. So, please keep this place tidied up and don’t break everything! Cheers, the Hanafuda Captain.” The code was posted on Twitter by user bakueikozo: 大変!ファミコンミニの内蔵エミュレータの中身をのぞいていたらメッセージを発見したよ … ごめんキャプテン!!ズタボロに壊し始めちゃったwwwwww #ニンテンドークラシックミニ #開発者からのメッセージ #削るとなぜか動かない系とはちょっと違う pic.twitter.com/C2dvIQlEuU — ひろみつ(85.1kg) (@bakueikozo) January 6, 2017 Getting more games onto the NES Classic involves uploading one’s console memory to their PC, adding in extra ROM READ FULL STORY AT GEEK!

china

China Says Pokemon Go is Dangerous

Pokemon Go is not a “dangerous” game in and of itself, but we did hear all kinds of crazy stories last summer when Pokemon Go fever swept the nation. While most people were able to enjoy Niantic’s addictive mobile game without incident, you would always run across reports of people finding dead bodies, walking off cliffs, crashing their cars, or even accidentally entering into a neighboring country while playing the game. Because of incidents like these, China will not allow the game within its borders. The Chinese state censor has deemed that Pokemon Go and similar augmented reality games will not be licensed until they have been thoroughly evaluated for potential security risks. According to Reuters, China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television cites “a high level of responsibility to national security and the safety of people’s lives and property,” as their main concern surrounding Pokemon Go. As stated by the games panel of the China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association, these risks include a “threat to geographical information security and the threat to transport and the personal safety of consumers.” There is also the fact that Pokemon Go (and READ FULL STORY AT GEEK!

Games

Gadgets to Scratch Your Nintendo Switch Itch

After an eternity of waiting to find out just what the Nintendo Switch even was, waiting two more months for Nintendo’s next system to arrive this March doesn’t feel so bad. Still, some of us are more patient than others. And if the console/handheld hybrid proves popular, you might be waiting longer than expected to snag one. So what can you do to keep yourself from losing your mind? The Nintendo Switch’s main gimmick, switching from console to handheld, is certainly unique. However, other tech and gaming products have used ideas similar to the Switch. So if you’re really craving Nintendo’s upcoming device, these gizmos may tide you over for now. Wii U Yes, the Switch will soon render Nintendo’s previous, underrated console completely obsolete. But right now it’s the closest you can get to having the Switch experience. The GamePad lets you play console-quality games in a handheld tablet form factor, as long as you stay close enough to the box. Plus, a lot of the best early Switch games will probably be ports of games that debuted on the Wii U. So get a head start by playing the originals. Check it out. PlayStation Vita Until READ FULL…