Thank Mario – the SNES Classic controller cables are longer than NES Classic’s

originally at: http://www.vg247.com/2017/06/27/thank-mario-the-snes-classic-controller-cables-are-longer-than-nes-classics/

What’s more, you’ll get two SNES Classic controllers with your purchase.

SNES Classic

Whatever your thoughts on the NES Classic (assuming you could find one), it had one major drawback – its default controller cables were only three feet long, forcing players to sit uncomfortably close to their modern TVs. Thankfully, Nintendo is correcting this problem with the SNES Classic by including five foot cables, not to mention two controllers per package.

Now five feet can still feel cumbersome after the wireless comfort most players are used to these days, but it should be a major improvement from the original. If that still bothers you, third-party controllers should make up the difference. Now it’s just a question of whether you’ll be able to purchase the system.

Happy hunting!

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All the SNES Classic Mini games rated from worst to best

originally at: http://www.vg247.com/2017/06/27/all-snes-classic-mini-games-rated-from-worst-to-best/

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All SNES Classic Mini games rated from worst to best

Nintendo dropped the A-bomb yesterday: The SNES Classic Mini arrives in September, crammed with 21 certified bangerz. Holy guacamole.

Pre-orders went live on places like Amazon and GAME, sites were battered with hits, social media flooded with anxiety; the fear of missing out coupled with the nervous joy of slapping cash down on a console that can never meet demand. Will you get one? For two hours yesterday productivity across the globe tanked, children went unfed, dates were stood-up in bars, time stopped.

So yes, as we sit toasting in the fallout, the SNES Classic Mini is an absolute beauty (if you’re in Europe) and comes with two little controllers that we’re understandably coveting. But what of the 21 included games? You’re in luck. We’ve managed to use our collective and unrivaled knowledge of video games that your dad used to play to put those classic games in some sort of credible order, from worst to best. Apart from Star Fox 2, because that hasn’t been released before.

So brace yourself. There’s no rose-tinted specs here. We’re going in.

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Kirby’s Dream Course

No one is buying the SNES Classic Mini for Kirby’s Dream Course. No one is buying the SNES Classic Mini for an isometric golf game starring a little pink spud. We’re pretty sure Kirby’s just here to increase the game count on this retro console up to 21 because it’s a more psychologically attractive figure to put on the box. Sorry, Kirbs.

Score: 8/10
Price on ebay: $51.99
Not as good as: Will Harvey’s Zany Golf (Sega Megadrive, 1990)

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Super Punch-Out!!

The perspective on Super Punch Out is uglier than its use of two exclamation marks in the title. Your boxer obscures your opponent, fading in and out as you land blows. It’s like you’re dancing with a ghost. It’s a fun game, but this is here to kill a few minutes, not the gripping hours you’ll lose to other games on this list.

Score: 8/10
Price on ebay: $31.57
Not as good as: George Foreman’s K.O. Boxing (Sega Megadrive, 1992)

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Donkey Kong Country

Rare is over-rated. There, I said it. I mean Donkey Kong Country looks neat, for sure. But Diddy Kong? C’mon, that little prick is the video game Godzooky. Or Scrappy-Doo. What I’m saying is, if Miyamoto thought this game sucked, I’ll trust his judgement.

Score: 9/10
Price on ebay: $27.59
Not as good as: Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind (Sega Megadrive, 1993)

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Kirby Super Star

Now we’re warming up. The pink spud is back, doing what he does best; floating around like a lingering fart, huffing blocks and puking them out. A collection of hit-and-miss mini games, Gourmet Race is standout here – running and scoffing cakes at the same time is surely an American national sport, like competitive hotdog eating.

Score: 9/10
Price on ebay: $116.99
Not as good as: Rolo to the Rescue (Sega Megadrive, 1992)

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Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

A little bit isometric Mario and a little bit of Final Fantasy. Super Mario RPG is odd but fun. Who knew turn-based battles could work with the little Italian plumber and friends? If you want to be really hipster, this is the game you’ll say you prefer when your mates start the conversation “actually, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a good game…”

Score: 10/10
Price on ebay: $159.99
Not as good as: Wonder Boy in Monster World (Sega Megadrive, 1991)

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Contra 3: The Alien Wars

I used to read a lot of American comics in the 90s and they were full of Contra adverts that looked rad as balls. Unfortunately I didn’t read any video game magazines – why would you? – so didn’t realise Contra was stupidly renamed Super Probotector in Europe. As a result I completely missed this. What the fuck is a Probotector?

Score: 9/10
Price on ebay: $42.49
Not as good as: Alien 3 (Sega Megadrive, 1992)

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Mega Man X

If you can get over the fact that Mega Man’s head is the same size as his torso I have no doubt you will enjoy Mega Man X. It’s considered one of the best “carts” by SNES “fans” and magazines like Game “Pro”. It’s too easy, too short and is not all that.

Score: 9/10
Price on ebay: $471.33
Not as good as: Strider (Sega Megadrive, 1990)

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Secret of Mana

Secret of Mana is one of the best role-playing games of all time – a fact that is impossible to argue with. It looks amazing, sounds incredible and the original supported three-way co-op, just like yo’ moms.

Score: 9/10
Price on ebay: $112.09
Not as good as: Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun (Sega Megadrive, 1992)

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F-ZERO

Holy shit, Mode-7 scrolling was the shit back in 1990. It was the second coming, and if you wanted to sound like you had your finger on the tech pulse you dropped it into game conversations like parallax scrolling five years earlier. Because in F-ZERO, your hovercar looked like it was blazing into the screen, and then you hit the Super Jet and weeeeeeeeeeee.

Score: 9/10
Price on ebay: $29.99
Not as good as: Road Rash (Sega Megadrive, 1991)

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Yoshi’s Island

Yoshi rules and this is the game that put him on the map. Little hand-drawn dino-dude shits eggs and flutters about the place, carrying baby Mario to freedom. Because he understood that even in 1995 being a full-time parent is a revolutionary act in the face of the corrupt and unfair wage labour economy.

Score: 10/10
Price on ebay: $69.99
Not as good as: The New Zealand Story (Sega Megadrive, 1990)

EarthBound-and-Color

EarthBound

Nintendo threw everything at this oddity; a westernised, real-world, simple RPG with cartoon graphics and satirical aspirations. Everyone says they love it now and praise it for being a classic, but on release and after five years of development it hit the shelves with all the grace of a Hall of Meat inductee.

Score: 10/10
Price on ebay: $879.99
Not as good as: Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday (Sega Megadrive, 1990)

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Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts

Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts is still better than any of those tedious Dark Souls games. Don’t @ me.

Score: 9/10
Price on ebay: $124.99
Not as good as: Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (Sega Megadrive, 1990)

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Super Castlevania IV

Simon and his whip are the stars of Super Castlevania IV, a side scroller packed tight with action. This is the kind of game I would play in the 90s rather than go to college, eventually hampering my education, long-term career and social life. It’s the reason I live in a shed in Wales, writing about video games. The pay’s good but I haven’t seen anyone in weeks and something smells around here.

Score: 9/10
Price on ebay: $289.99
Not as good as: X-Men 2: Clone Wars (Sega Megadrive, 1995)

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Star Fox

This was released as StarWing for us European idiots, which didn’t even make sense because foxes don’t have feathers. Anyway, it was a great on-rails shooter with a cool perspective and looked proper “next-gen” before that was even a thing. The kind of game you were jealous of if you had a Megadrive.

Score: 9/10
Price on ebay: $4.99
Not as good as: Thunder Force 4 (Sega Megadrive, 1992)

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Super Mario Kart

It’s no Crash Team Racing, but Super Mario Kart Is Quite Good And Popular Isn’t It? Probably named one of the best games of all time by people who read Edge magazine. All seven of them.

Score: 8/10
Price on ebay: $69.00
Not as good as: Street Racer (Sega Megadrive, 1995)

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Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting

If Donaldson had written this list he would have put this at number one and who would we be to argue? He’s right in that this is perhaps the best fighting game in all history. It spawned a million imitators, most of which are thankfully six feet under. Play the OG, it’s still got it.

Score: 8/10
Price on ebay: $35
Not as good as: Eternal Champions (Sega Megadrive, 1993)

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Final Fantasy 3

Apparently this should be correctly numbered as Final Fantasy 6 or something but life’s too short to read wikipedia as to why. I imagine some bore will tell you on a forum somewhere. To be honest I glaze over when someone mentions anything to do with Final Fantasy. It’s a classic apparently. You begin the game as an Onion Knight – imagine the indignity of putting that on your CV, though. That’s a career choice from which you can never turn back.

Score: 9/10
Price on ebay: $135.00
Not as good as: Shining Force 2 (Sega Megadrive, 1992)

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Super Metroid

More evidence that early 90s Nintendo banged out absolute smashers while other companies looked on weeping at their lame mascots. Samus moonwalks, curls up into a bomb-laying ball, fires in all directions, wall jumps, has x-ray vision and grapples the shit out of planet Zebes. Pure gold.

Score: 10/10
Price on ebay: $229.29
Not as good as: Gunstar Heroes (Sega Megadrive, 1993)

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Super Mario World

When I first got a SNES it came bundled with Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World and I didn’t buy any other games for about six months. The year was 1994, I was listening to Mass Appeal and Spoonman, wearing Phat Farm jeans and Starter caps. I felt on top of the world. I was a year away from meeting my wife and maybe this contented outlook on life helped me become the person she was attracted to. Oh yeah, baby.

Score: 10/10
Price on ebay: $33.11
Not as good as: Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Megadrive, 1991)

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

You don’t need me to tell you this is the best console action role-playing game of all time because you’ve played it and have nothing but feelings of happiness buzzing in your tum-tum. It’s the cherry on the top of the SNES Mini Classic. It’s the nibble on your ear and the whisper between lovers that makes you blush. A Link to the Past loves you back, forever.

Score: 10/10
Price on ebay: $17
Not as good as: Landstalker (Sega Megadrive, 1993)

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SNES Classic Supply to be 'Significantly' Higher Than NES Classic

originally at: http://www.shacknews.com/article/100444/snes-classic-supply-to-be-significantly-higher-than-nes-classic

Nintendo promises that it will have more Super NES Classic units on store shelves, but its production is still only planned for a limited run so far. 

In a statement to Polygon, Nintendo said, “We aren’t providing specific numbers, but we will produce significantly more units of Super NES Classic Edition than we did of NES Classic Edition.” The NES Classic Edition was notoriously difficult to find, which was only accented earlier this year when the company announced it would be discontinuing production.

Assuming demand for the SNES Classic is similar to the NES Classic, increased production should mean this new novelty mini-console is easier to find. However, you’ll still be racing against the clock. Nintendo is only planning to manufacture until the end of 2017.

Of course, there is the distinct possibility that demand for the SNES Classic will end up being significantly higher. Its library of games is strong, and even includes a few long-lasting RPGs like Secret of Mana and the Super Mario RPG. It also includes the previously unreleased Star Fox 2, which is sure to drive up interest. 

Plus, the NES Classic was notorious for fetching high prices in the secondary market. Even with a higher supply, it may be difficult to find a Super NES Classic in the wild since gray-market buyers will likely be snatching them up as quickly as they can. It’s already started.

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11 Games Missing from Nintendo's SNES Classic

originally at: http://www.shacknews.com/article/100445/11-games-missing-from-nintendos-snes-classic

I’m sitting at my computer today, writing about video games for a living, because of the NES. The formative experience of walking into a friend’s basement and hearing the peppy notes of Super Mario Bros.’ World 1-1 theme is forever burned into my brain. That particular nostalgia aside, the Super NES is my favorite console and hosts one of the finest libraries in the industry’s history. If you don’t believe me, take a gander at the list of titles baked into the Super NES Classic, announced by Nintendo earlier today for a September 28 release date.

Eighty dollars—and the luck of Tyche and Fortuna combined, unless Nintendo ships more units than it did for its now-discontinued NES Classic—will get you 21 first- and third-party classics from Super Mario World, Super Metroid, and Zelda: A Link to the Past to Mega Man X, Contra 3: The Alien Wars, and Secret of Mana. While stellar and arguably stronger pound for pound than its NES Classic brethren’s, the SNES Classic’s lineup falls shy of perfection.

The following 11 games failed to make Nintendo’s cut when assembling the Super NES Classic’s library. Some of them are inferior to ones chosen for inclusion, but have historical significance. Others are better in some way than those chosen for canonization. All 11 only scratch the surface of games I’d love to play on this latest mini console—a testament to the depth and quality of Super Nintendo’s panoply of titles and the console’s influence on the industry.

Chrono Trigger

Of all the games left behind, this one strikes me as the most surprising. Chrono Trigger is widely regarded as one of Square Enix’s (née Squaresoft) strongest RPGs and a shoo-in on virtually every best-games list written since the mid-1990s. The game’s time-traveling story as well as its charming graphics and soundtrack qualify it for a spot on the Super NES Classic.

Then again, perhaps Nintendo and Square omitted it due to the many ports—especially the 3DS edition—available on other platforms. Or maybe they’re fully aware that diehard fans will buy it again when the Virtual Console service comes to Switch, although that event doesn’t appear to be in the cards until early 2018 when Nintendo rolls out Nintendo Switch Online.


Street Fighter 2: The World Warrior

This is one of those instances where one chapter of history took a backseat to another, and deservedly so. Street Fighter 2 Turbo, the SNES port of coin-op classic Street Fighter 2 Hyper Fighting, is considered by many to be the best version of the game on 16-bit consoles. Even so, that doesn’t diminish the historical significance of SF2: The World Warriors.

During the heated “console” war between Super NES and Genesis, Sega gained ground by marketing edgier characters and games that spoke to teen and adult gamers who considered Nintendo’s more colorful mascots and software too juvenile for their tastes. Landing the premiere console port of Street Fighter 2, the game that single-handedly brought arcades back from the brink of obsolescence, was a major get for Nintendo and for SNES players. While the game is slower and less robust than SF2 Turbo, it holds a special place in my heart as an adult who held it up as a shining example of Nintendo’s superiority during many a heated playground argument.


Mortal Kombat 2

The absence of any of the four Mortal Kombat titles ported to Super NES—the first, second, third, and the latter’s Ultimate flavor—doesn’t surprise me. Nintendo’s loosened its kollar quite a bit since its moratorium on bloodshed in favor of sweat in the original Mortal Kombat on SNES, and the Klassic line of konsoles seems targeted at families who would blanch at all the head-slicing, arm-tearing, torso-exploding antics in Midway’s sequel, as much as collectors and old-school players.

Nevertheless, the SNES version of Mortal Kombat 2 warrants a mention. Not only does it remain a fan favorite among MK faithful, it marked a turning point for how Nintendo approached its draconian publishing restrictions. After the Genesis version of the original Mortal Kombat outsold the SNES port by an order of magnitude thanks to Sega’s and Acclaim’s under-the-radar addition of a blood “kode,” Nintendo let Midway and Acclaim off their short leash for the sequel. The outcome was a home konversion every bit as gory and vibrant as its arcade kounterpart.


Batman Returns

Super NES Classic’s roster abounds with platformers, racers, and RPGs. One conspicuously absent genre is the beat-em-up. In vogue before Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat uppercutted and Hadokened their way to dominance, beat-em-ups gobbled up countless quarters during the 1990s. Their ubiquity, combined with the relative sophistication of 16-bit hardware, opened the floodgates for a healthy selection of button mashers on the SNES, none of which will be represented on Nintendo’s miniature platform this September.

I’ll argue that Batman Returns was the cream of that crop. Danny Elfman’s soundtrack played overtop beautiful visuals, a utility belt’s worth of gadgets, combo attacks, and context-sensitive moves like grabbing two thugs and bashing their heads together, and throwing evil clowns through storefront windows and against park benches, which bent and shattered on impact. Rocksteady’s Arkham series nailed the feeling of being the Batman years later, but before the Joker held Arkham Island hostage, Batman Returns was the closest we got to stepping into the Caped Crusader’s steel-toed boots.


Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest

The inaugural Donkey Kong Country deserves its spot on the Super NES Classic. Before its release in late 1994, consumers and industry pundits had already eulogized 16-bit consoles, engulfed by the shadow of looming 32-bit machines such as Sony’s PlayStation and Sega’s Saturn. Nintendo’s partnership with Rare, forged after Nintendo got a look at the studio’s cutting-edge graphical tech, resulted in Donkey Kong Country. The graphical tour de force showed the world that the Super NES still had gas left in the tank. That being said, Donkey Kong Country was a by-the-numbers platformer. Not bad, just insipid.

And that’s fine. Visuals, not gameplay, was what Nintendo needed to keep players interested in the SNES until its successor, the N64, was ready to ship. Enter 1995’s Donkey Kong Country 2. Secrets were hidden more intuitively, and marked with “B” bonus barrels so you had a landmark to look for instead of throwing barrels at every wall in your path. Diddy’s and Dixie’s abilities complemented each other. Levels were more varied, and the animal friends were more useful.

The sequel’s graphics didn’t turn as many heads, mostly because the original had already raised the bar, but DKC 2’s gameplay was vastly improved, and could give any other 2D platformer a run for its golden coins.


Super Star Wars

Although the original Star Wars trilogy concluded eight years before the Super NES landed on shelves, the “Super” takes on each movie gave fans ample reason to spend more time in George Lucas’ long-ago galaxy. Kids ate up the Star Wars stories, vistas, and characters, while adults enjoyed all three games for the surprisingly high difficulty level they posed.

Any of the three Super Star Wars titles would fit this bill. If I had to pick one, I’d back Super Empire Strikes Back. Luke gets his light saber, and the mix of melee, ranged, and space battles is more versatile than that of the first Super Star Wars.


Final Fight

Capcom’s most notable beat-em-up was much simpler in terms of mechanics compared to Sega’s Streets of Rage or Golden Axe. On the subject of the Super NES Classic, Final Fight was likely excluded since it dropped two-player co-op from the arcade original. Still, the game’s simplicity doesn’t make it any less fun. In fact, sometimes simpler is better.

Final Fight’s straightforward approach to brawling—walk to the right, mash attack to beat up anyone that moves—made it a tonic after a long day of school or work, when you wanted to play a game but your brain felt too mushy to solve a dungeon in A Link to the Past or go toe-to-toe against Dr. Sigma’s final form in Mega Man X.


Super Mario All-Stars

The Super Mario Bros. trilogy got its due on the NES Classic, but Super Mario All-Stars would have been a slick way for Nintendo to add four games—including the Lost Levels, the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2—for the price of one. The bump up in graphics and audio quality benefitted every game in the collection, and frills like a save-game feature, while not strictly necessary on the Classic thanks to save states, elicited a sigh of relief from little kids the world around who were used to leaving their NES consoles on over multiple days and nights while they attempted to dethrone Bowser and Wart.


Mario Paint

Mario Paint was less a game and more a suite of tools that let you paint and compose music. The interface demanded a mouse; as a matter of fact, Nintendo packed in the mousey peripherals with every Mario Paint cartridge.

I bring it up only because it typified the breadth of creativity Nintendo made possible on the SNES. The game still has legs today: Industrious streamers have a knack for recreating contemporary game and TV-show theme music using Nintendo’s breakthrough imaginative title.

Thanks largely to Mario Paint, the SNES became one of the first consoles where users could create content instead of consuming it. It would have been fun to pay homage to that aspect of the console’s history by shipping Mario Paint on the Super SNES Classic.


ActRaiser

Speaking of experimental software, ActRaiser took two seemingly disparate genres and smooshed them together. You played a disciple of God charged with clearing away demons and other ne’er-do-wells so you could then turn your attention to overseeing the construction of villages and cities. The switch between platforming and city building was seamless, and each half of the game was as fun to play as the other.


Pilotwings

You’d be hard-pressed to place Pilotwings in a list of the 50 best games on the Super NES, let alone the top 21. What it lacks in captivating gameplay, it makes up for as a showpiece. Pilotwings was a launch game, a glorified tech demo engineered to show off the power of the SNES’ whizzbang effects such as Mode 7 graphics. Sure, you’d probably only play for a time or two, and for as many minutes, but Pilotwings shines as a historical curio. 

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Super Nintendo Classic Edition – Amazon page up, but not yet live

originally at: http://gonintendo.com/stories/283836-super-nintendo-classic-edition-amazon-page-up-but-not-yet-live

Oh boy, here we go. Get ready for a bloodbath, gang. Amazon’s page for the SNES Classic Edition is now up, but preorders/orders aren’t live yet. We don’t know if/when they’ll go live, so…just be ready 24 hours a day! Yeah, we know it sucks.

Page here (thanks to all who sent this in!)

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Keep track of Pokemon Go raids and gym ownership in your area with the newly updated GymHuntr site

originally at: http://www.vg247.com/2017/06/27/keep-track-of-pokemon-go-raids-and-gym-ownership-in-your-area-with-the-newly-updated-gymhuntr-site/

GymHuntr scans for raids and lets you know which team owns your local gyms.

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Pokemon Go has undergone some big changes with the latest update, and there’s even more to come with all manner of other changes that may make their way into the game being dug up through some determined datamining.

The easiest way to keep abreast of all things Pokemon Go is to check out our extensive coverage on the game where you’ll find everything you need to know.

There have been a number of third party apps and sites that players can use to get the most out of their Pokemon Go experience, and GymHuntr is one of them. It’s been updated to scan your area to let you know when and where raids are happening, and which team currently holds your local gyms.

You can perform a scan every 90 seconds. Pink timers indicate raids that are starting soon, and orange timers are active raids.

Click a Gym to see the raid boss. This will show on Gyms that have a raid currently active. pic.twitter.com/mlmsLmlwvd

— GymHuntr (@GymHuntr) June 25, 2017

Clicking on the gym shows the raid level and the raid boss, and the start and end times.

It’s a neat feature that will come in handy for Pokemon Go players.

Let us know if you’re still playing and which websites and apps you prefer to use to stay ahead of the game.

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Pre-Register for 'Elder Scrolls: Legends' on Android Phones and Get Free Legendary Card

originally at: http://toucharcade.com/2017/06/26/pre-register-for-elder-scrolls-legends-on-android-phones-and-get-free-legendary-card/

Elder Scrolls: Legends [Free (HD)], Bethesda’s CCG, continues to expand in terms of features, and now it’s getting ready to also come to Android phones (don’t worry, it’s also coming to iPhones soon). If you do your gaming on an Android phone, you should pre-register for the game on Google Play so you can get a free Legendary card at launch, a pretty good deal. Elder Scrolls: Legends has some cool mechanics that make it stand out from games like Hearthstone—including two lanes—and has been adding features quite regularly.

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More recently, the game announced that Skyrim content is coming to the game, along with plenty of dragons. So, if you’re an Android phone player looking for another CCG to dig your teeth into, go pre-register for Elder Scrolls: Legends.

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We Are Closer to Getting a Mobile Version of 'Neo Scavenger'

originally at: http://toucharcade.com/2017/06/26/we-are-closer-to-getting-a-mobile-version-of-neo-scavenger/

A mobile version of Neo Scavenger, the turn-based hex-grid survival game, is closer to being a reality according to the game’s developer. In a recent blog post, Daniel Fedor described the technical difficulties he had to face while trying to port Neo Scavenger on iOS and how he has (finally) overcome those and can now proceed to port it. That should be great news for anyone who enjoys turn-based games since Neo Scavenger is a great example of the genre.

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In Neo Scavenger, you’re trying to survive in post-apocalyptic Michigan, navigating the wilderness and finding resources to help keep you alive as you try to learn more about your identity. It features semi-randomized maps, permadeath, and some really cool features. The game was a great success on PC, so I can’t wait to see it on mobile.

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Pokemon Go raid battles, what level to raid, raid bosses, rewards, passes and raids at night

originally at: http://www.vg247.com/2017/06/27/pokemon-go-raid-battles-what-level-to-raid-raid-bosses-rewards-passes-raids-at-night/

Raids are up, but you’ll need to level up a bit in order to take part.

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Pokemon Go’s much-anticipated raid battles are now live as part of a sweeping set of updates to Pokemon Go including the addition of gym badges, TMs, rare candy, legendary Pokemon and other series staple features.

If you need more tips for Pokemon Go including more information on how to catch and evolve a variety of the beasts, be sure to check out the rest of our Pokemon Go guides.

Many of these features have been highly anticipated, but none so much as Raid Battles – multiplayer battles against AI Pokemon that will let you take on very high level Pokemon for special rewards including items that are all new to Pokemon Go and the chance to catch rare Pokemon or even legendary Pokemon for the first time.

This feature set is the largest ever update to Pokemon Go, and we’re really only just scratching the surface of what this feature will eventually involve. We’re here to help, however – so let’s do just that.

What is a Raid Battle in Pokemon Go?

The more seasoned video game fans among you might have heard the term ‘raid battle’ before outside of Pokemon Go – the term is typically used around other massive online games such as World of Warcraft to refer to a large-scale boss that multiple players will tackle together. It’s very challenging but also very rewarding content, and the type of thing that many players will do over and over again, completing the raid many times in order to grind for the raid’s special rewards.

In Pokemon Go, raid battles let you tackle super high-level Pokemon – Pokemon with a CP (Combat Power) into the five figure range or quite possibly even higher. This will take multiple players multiple Pokemon even for easier encounters, though raids come in a variety of formats.

Each Pokemon Go raid is rated between one and five – one are the easiest and will feature weaker Pokemon, albeit super powered-up versions of them, such as a mega-CP Magikarp. Most of the raids you’ll see will hover around the 2-4 range, which could range from everything from a beastly Pidgey to a Dragonite. We haven’t seen a five-star raid yet, but we strongly suspect this high rank will suggest legendary Pokemoun encounters.

The raid rating represents not just the Pokemon you’ll face but also the difficulty. The lower the raid ranking the more easily you should be able to tackle the encounter with less Pokemon and less players hitting it at once.

Pokemon Go raid battles each only last a limited time, and you have to spend a raid ticket to gain access to them – more on that below.

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How to join a Pokemon Go Raid Battle

Okay, so you want to raid. Here’s how the system works:

The first thing you’ll need to look out for is an in-game notification telling you that a raid battle is gearing up to begin nearby. The game is pretty good about using your location and only alerting you to raids that you’re within a short walk’s distance from – so be sure to keep an eye out for this notification. You can also see upcoming raids in the ‘nearby’ menu panel.
Once the notification pops, track down the gym where the raid is taking place. Regular gym battles will be suspended at this location, and you’ll know that’s the case because the usual Pokemon Gym leader atop the gym will be replaced with an enormous egg to represent the raid Pokemon.
Attached to the egg will be a countdown: this is the time until the egg hatches and you can begin your assault on the raid Pokemon inside.
Once the egg hatches the gym becomes a raid proper. Once this happens, you have only one hour to defeat the enormous raid boss Pokemon. If you fail to defeat it inside an hour, the raid will end and the Pokemon will disappear.
In order to join the raid you’ll need to spend a Raid Pass – more on Raid Passes can be found in detail below.
You can battle with up to 20 players in any given group, but you can go in with anything up to that, including solo if it’s a weaker-rank raid and you’re feeling confident. You can heal up and attack again as much as you like inside the 1 hour limit.

While Pokemon Go Gyms are of course allied by team, the raid battles that take place at Pokemon Gyms are suspended for raids. You can team up with players from any other Pokemon Team, even your rivals, to take down Raid Pokemon.

Don’t forget to prepare your Pokemon team for these fights: we have a list of the best moves and movesets, most powerful Pokemon plus details of Pokemon move and type strengths and weaknesses ready to assist.

Pokemon Go raid level requirement – what level to raid?

Alas, there is a catch to all this. Players that want to take part in raids will need to be a certain level to get raiding – and it’s a level that means you’ll have to be a fairly dedicated or longer-time Pokemon Go player to join.

Right now you’ll need to be at least Trainer Level 25 in order to take part in raids. This has been lowered from the intial required level of level 35, but still might be out of reach of some of the more casual Pokemon Go players.

If you’re below level 25 you’ll still be able to get to grips with a lot of Pokemon Go’s new features including the reworked gyms, gym badges and so on, and these will help you to level up quickly.

If you need some help getting yourself up to level 25 quickly, we’ve got a page full of Pokemon Go EXP grinding tips to help you out.

Pokemon Go Raids at Night: can you battle after sunset?

Right now, it looks like Niantic is trying to be a little family-friendly with the Pokemon Go raids system: as far as we can tell and based on the conversations we’re seeing on sites like reddit, Pokemon Go raid battles are not spawning or taking place once the sun sets. There are no Pokemon Go raids at night.

If you’re going out searching for raids at night or if you’re out of the house more frequently after sunset, don’t waste your time searching for raids – you’re only going to see them in the daytime, at least for now. Niantic is aggressive about patching and changing the game, however, so this might well change soon enough.

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Raid Passes – how they work, and how to get more

Raids are a free new feature to access, but actual access to raids is heavily gated, and in order to enter a raid you’ll need to spend what Pokemon Go refers to as a Raid Pass – a special new item that’s limited in the world of Pokemon Go.

Raid tickets / passes will give you access to raid battles and come in two key, different variants – plus a bonus variant that hasn’t yet shown up in the game properly:

Raid Pass (Free) – the free raid pass can drop once per day from spinning the Pokestop-style photo disc attached to gyms in the latest update. These will only drop if you’re the correct level to start raiding as detailed above, and you can only hold one at a time.
Premium Raid Pass – this raid pass is purchased from the in-game shop. They cost 100 PokeCoins each, and because you’re spending real money on them you can hold as many of them as you like.
Legandary Raid Pass – rewarded to players who participate heavily in the raid and gym system, this pass will let players into a special one-off legendary Pokemon battle raid – a boss fight against a legendary creature. Winning will have big rewards such as the chance to catch said Pokemon.

Raid passes are used up regardless of if you win the battle or not, so try not to spend them on losing raid battles.

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Pokemon Go raid battle rewards and items

A selection of all-new items are offered as raid battle rewards – and long-time Pokemon series fans will be glad to see many of these favorite items come to Pokemon Go for the first time.

Rare Candy in Pokemon Go

The classic Pokemon item used to level Pokemon up in traditional games returns with a new but similar purpose. Rare candy is one of a few possible raid battle rewards when a battle is won.

Rare candy will act as catch-all candy, working to help evolve any Pokemon you like. The ‘exchange rate’ is 1:1, so 1 Rare Candy could be used on a Pidgey and would count as 1 Pidgey Candy, ideal for leveling up those rare, powerful Pokemon.

Golden Razz Berries

The Golden Razz Berry is basically a powered-up version of the regular Pokemon berries. It’ll restore a gym defending Pokemon’s motivation bar to 100% regardless of how low it is. Used on a wild Pokemon, it’ll boost your chances of catching them by a massive 25%.

Technical Machines / TMs – Fast TM and Charged TM

These items function much as they do in the classic Pokemon games, acting as special items that can teach your Pokemon new moves – ideal for trying to get some of the best moves taught to combat-ready Pokemon.

Technical Machines come in two variants – Fast TMs and Charged TMs – and as we know, Pokemon Go’s moves are all either Fast or Charged in nature. These have a chance to drop as a reward for Raid Battles, but only for trainers over Level 15 for Fast TMs, and Level 25 for Charged TMs. Each Pokemon has a variety of moves they can learn, and the move you get from a TM looks like it will be random.

Premier Ball

A new type of Pokeball to go alongside the Poke, Great and Ultra balls. These are a staple of the main games. In Pokemon Go they have the same performance as regular Pokeballs, but have a cool red-and-white look. Premium indeed.

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