We all knew it was coming, but now it's - sort of - official. Nintendo has registered a domain for PokemonGray.com. We'll ignore the horrific American spelling and focus on the positives. A new Pokemon game is on the way! Well, not quite new. In the vein of Yellow, Crystal and Emerald before it, Gray will bring about a host of changes to Black and White, combining the two into one special package with a few key incentives.
We've not much else to go on, but it can't be long before Nintendo make a more official announcement and reveal Gray to the masses. It pains me to admit it, but at the grand old age of 23 I somehow still find myself excited by Pokemon games. I've contacted the local health authorities and they assure me this isn't worth their time. [Nintendo Buzz]
Nintendo has opted to delay the reveal of a new Pokemon game until after E3, which was to be included in the latest edition of Japanese mag, CoroCoro, which has since pushed the expose back to the next edition due June 15th. Rumours are rife with talk on what exactly this next Pokemon game is. With Black and White out in the wild, some have theorized it could be the usual third entry in the dual-release, ala Diamond, but considering Black is still going strong in the UK Charts, I doubt we'll see Pokemon Grey any time soon.
So what, then? Iwata has long-promised a new Pokemon game is due for Wii and 3DS, so it's likely to be announced for either platform. But why did Nintendo delay the reveal then? Most likely it's due to Project Cafe's imminent announcement, which is sure to drown out whatever other declarations Nintendo might have already made, even if it is a new Pokemon game. We'll have more for you on this mysterious title as it develops. [Serebii]
Another year, another round of Pokemon games. Those craft little elemental critters just can't be beat, with Black and White yet again topping the charts and claiming another generation to pad Nintendo's pockets with their parent's cash. Matt's already cast a nostalgic eye over Pokemon 15 years of dominance, and back in May of last year I ruminated on just why the Pokemon formula has endured for so long.
So I thought it'd be the perfect time for yet another trip down memory lane, remembering some of our favorite critters who started each of our adventures over the past fifteen years. From Red to Blue, Black to White, let's take a look back at The Top Ten Starter Pokemon!
It's a baby monkey, and it's rear end is ablaze! You'd be forgiven for expecting Chimchar to have a surly disposition - what with his ass being on fire - but he's a loyal little chimp who eventually evolves into the formidable Infernape, with the fire spreading from his gluteus maximus to his cranium. Pokemon are a sturdy bunch.
I'm adamant Nintendo have stolen my imaginary Pokemon art-book I pored over in the late 90s. In it, I imagined a fire-type starter who was a pig with a fiery, Charmander-esque tail. And now, twelve years on, it pops up in Pokemon Black and White. Coincidence? I think not. But I'll forgive Ninty, as Tepig is a great little critter. Still, not quite as good as my original design.
He's a lovable little lizard, munching on a twig and adopting his best bad ass pose, but Treecko is a decidedly tough critter, especially for a grass-type, which usually prefer to deal in life-sapping damage rather than all-out brawn. And what with the rest of most Pokemon titles' grass-types being on the flimsy side, having a critter like Treecko - who packs quite a punch in his latter stages - can turn the tide of many a battle.Click here to see what eight other elemental critters made our list!
Even at the grand old age of 22, I still love Pokemon. I just can't resist it's 'Gotta Catch 'Em All!' mantra and perfectly refined combat. And it only took ten days, but Pokemon Black and White has continued the franchise's all-conquering tradition and sold over ten million copies in Europe alone. It proves the series shows no signs of slowing despite its aging formula and the 3DS' imminent arrival.More inside
As we speak, thousands of men, women and children of all ages are forcing elemental critters to do gladiatorial battle, with Pokemon Black and White releasing last Friday and taking first and second place in the UK All-Formats Top 40. This leaves EA's eagerly anticipated Fight Night Champion licking its wounds in third, reeling from Nintendo's stunning one-two punch. Just below, Bulletstorm slips two places to fourth, it's 46% drop in sales edging it just above last week's chart topper, Killzone 3, which sinks to fifth with a 58% drop. The rest of the top ten is as follows; 6. Black Ops (3rd last week), 7. Just Dance 2 (5th), 8. Fifa 11 (4th), 9. Dead Space 2 (6th), 10. Wii Party (9th).The rest of the top 40 and juicy statistics inside!
While we don't condone exploiting generous reward schemes here at Dealspwn, sometimes stuff just slips out. Say, for instance, if you headed on over to Reward Your Thirst, set up an account and recommend the service to just three friends, you'll be reward with three points you can exchange for a 15% off voucher at Zavvi. Then, maybe you hop on over to said site and choose between Pokemon Black or Pokemon White, depending on your aesthetic preference. Choosing one, and inputting the voucher code at checkout, you might see the price reduced to £23.67. Just saying.
Carl recently covered a cheap deal for Black and White over at ShopTo, but if you're looking to be as frugal as possible you can slash the The Hut's price for the latest dual Pokemon offering to just £25.14, by inputting the code 10OFFDS at checkout. With Black and White, Nintendo looks set to make a radical overhaul to the tried and tested formula we're all familiar with. For one, the presentation has - finally - been improved, with animated elemental critters and attacks, not to mention 3D cities to explore. The online offerings have been upgraded to encourage more co-operation and competition, and of course there's a healthy, hundreds strong roster of new Pokemon to catch, train and eventually conquer the land with. Black and White drops in March.
Pokemon Black & White has finally received an English language trailer ahead of its March US release date... and it's actually a very interesting precedent. Previous videos suggest that the gameplay formula has remained unchanged, but this recent video seems to hint at a "new adventure" and storyline this time around. We've been clamouring for a more interesting premise and context for the poaching/inhumane bloodsports for years- and it seems that this latest iteration may be set to deliver.
On the other hand, all this coronation business is probably just going to release a legendary Pokemon that we'll have to catch before hitting Victory Road. With 150 new critters to catch, we probably wouldn't have time for the extra exposition anyway...
One of 2010's biggest controversies stemmed from Ubisoft's 'evil' DRM. Sick of rampant PC piracy, the active Digital Rights Management system forced Assassin's Creed 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction players (amongst others) to remain constantly connected to the internet... on pain of instant quitting and loss of progress. Despite adding cloud saving functionality and a few other upgrades, this state of affairs was a massive pain in the ass.
Thankfully, Ubi has announced that the DRM no longer requires a constant internet connection to function- just a valid connection during installation. It looks like not ragging on the disenfranchised PC crowd is one of their New Years resolutions... [PC Gamer]
Again with these rumours. Wedbush Morgan is still banging on about the possibility that Activision's set to monetize its Call of Duty multiplayer. This time, they suggest that a premium "second tier" will be imminently added to Call of Duty: Black Ops (adding new features for a higher price) while leaving regular multiplayer free. This would be a sneaky way of getting around their promises to never charge for online multiplayer; akin to EA's Gun Club or BFBC2's VIP membership.
Activision remains a top pick, primarily due to the company’s potential to create and monetize a second tier of multiplayer online gaming for its Call of Duty franchise. - Wedbush Morgan January Newsletter
We'll keep you posted. [Kotaku]
Microsoft is set to deliver its Consumer Electronics Show keynote speech on Wednesday night... and a number of rumours are floating around regarding a new Kinect service. Entitled Avatar Kinect, this new software update will reportedly allow avatars to interact on Xbox Live as well as share social experiences such as ESPN. A few leaked presentation slides suggest that these rumours are probably right on the money, but it remains to be seen whether Avatar Kinect will be a single standalone download or part of a sweeping Kinect update.
Microsoft will be streaming their keynote speech live on their Facebook page- and we'll be keeping a close eye on what transpires. [Glimpsedog]
As Matt mused in the 2010 retrospective, the iPad has become a legitimate gaming platform with one major weakness: the hateful virtual thumbstick. This has been a barrier to entry since the earliest days of iPhone gaming, but the new iFling suction cup peripheral is set to change the way we play forever.
You know, by sticking a thumbstick onto your iPad. We still can't quite work out whether it's complete genius or completely pointless, but I can't believe no-one thought of it sooner!
Sega's Q1 financials are in... and they're doing surprisingly well. Unlike fellow Japanese publishers Nintendo and Capcom, Sega have vastly increased their operating income compared to last year. The figures are available at GI.However, they're still making a loss thanks to diminished US and UK sales, partly due to the fact that Iron Man 2 and Alpha Protocol received less than impressive reviews. In fact, Iron Man 2 sucked beyond all reason.
In an interesting move (that we sorta predicted a while back), Sega plan to fully recoup their losses by moving into Social Gaming and mobile applications.
"In the home video game software industry, the demand was generally weak in the U.S. and European markets due to the headwind like sluggish personal consumption,"
"The Group needs to adapt to changing business environment in which the market demand for new content geared to social networking service and smartphone is expanding."- Sega Investors Briefing
So, Sonic Facebook games then? Sega have joined the growing list of publishers that are taking an interest in social gaming- and it'll be interesting to see whether the social scene can support the increased number of microtransaction-driven minigames.
As a longtime fan of the Marvel vs Capcom series (as well as self-confessed power gekk) I've been keeping you all up to date the sporadic trickle of official character reveals for Marvel vs Capcom 3. Thing is, it may all have been a waste of tine. This may just be a puerile plea for attention, but Playfront.de has claimed to have laid hands on the entire MCV3 lineup.
Spider-Man, Hulk, Wolverine, Mr. Fantastic, Captain America, Iron Man, War Machine, Elektra, Thor, X-23, Magneto, Dr. Doom, Shuma-Gorath, Emma Frost, Deadpool, Super Skrull, Taskmaster, Juggernaut, She Hulk
Ryu, Mike Haggar, Frank West, Nathan Spencer,, Dante, Chris Redfield, Morrigan, Arthur, Amaterasu, Albert Wesker, Zero, Chun-li, Viewtiful Joe, Trish, Tron Bonne, Hsien-Ko, Akuma, Felicia.
This list is still unverified, but I wouldn't be surprised if this turns out to be kosher. Not only are several characters right on the money, but similar sites also outed the Street Fighter 4 roster well before the official confirmation. Tron Bonne is a surprise, though, as Capcom stated that they'd be focusing on same-sized opponents this time around (and is a possible weak link in the chain). Here's hoping. [via Destructoid]
Psyched for Marvel vs Capcom 3? Which characters are going to make your dream team? Drop us a line in the comments!
A new Japanese trailer has brought us six crazy minutes of Pokemon Black & White. Revealing more footage than anything else thus far, this new video details dressing up your Pokemon for cabaret shows, new three-on-three battles, berry gardening and random tiny tots floating around in hexagons (thus making us adults think very very seriously about whether we're finally getting too old for this sort of thing). The graphical style is yet another attempt at isometric 3D, but the new battle artwork and move animations are set to be a welcome step forwards for the series.
You'll want to turn the volume down to avoid the typically-boisterous Japanese voiceover from bursting your eardrums, but this is well worth a watch for Pokemon fans.
Whilst many of us still haven't quite caught every last legendary in HeartGold and SoulSilver, we'll have to wait until next year for our next fix. Pokemon Black & White have been officially dated Spring 2011 for the UK and US. The Japanese will be able to get their hands on it in September, so expect import previews to kick off in a few months.
Still undecided about those starters, though. Are Game Freak finally running out of ideas and just throwing paint at wildlife for pokemon inspiration?
Time Magazine has recently published a list of the worst, most evil and most pointless inventions ever devised my mankind. Agent Orange, CFCs, DDT pesticides and the Hindenburg all made the list... but one gaming contribution stands out above the others: the Virtual Boy.
Billed as a major foray into 3D gaming, Nintendo's Virtual Boy console teetered precariously between a pointless novelty and a downright trip hazard. Wrapping the user's face in its cheap plastic womb, the device completely cut off all peripheral vision and provided only a handful of weak vector graphics games. The system only sold for six months before being pulled from the market, resulting in the high-profile dismissal of Gunpei Yokoi (who helped develop the original Game Boy and went on to pioneer the Wonderswan, a classic competing handheld that was technologically very impressive for its time).
Not to be outdone, the diabolical thief of time known only as Farmville also made an appearance. Though I'm not sure that "worst invention ever" should really apply to Zynga's fantastically successful time sink. [Time Magazine]
Does the Virtual Boy deserve to be billed as one of the Worst Inventions Ever? Can you think of any other gaming monstrosities that deserve a place in the list? Have your say in the comments!
The Call of Duty: Black Ops picture and preview embargo has now been lifted, and plenty of new info from their London press event has hit the internet harder than a rapelling badass. It's roundup time!
So, there you have it. Recent trailers indicate that Treyarch's got the action movie-style dynamic down pat, but we've yet to see if the rest of the game is as impressive as its trailer.
Ubisoft's DRM protocol that requires a constant internet connection to play AC2, Silent Hunter 5 and Settlers 7 has been causing gamers no end of aggravation (and created a massive public backlash), but it's unfortunately here to stay. According to a recent statement, Ubisoft have rebranded their nasty little program as an "Online Services Platform" and will be doing their best to ensure that it actually works.
"Most forthcoming Ubisoft PC titles will use our online services platform. As with any online technology, we are constantly working to evolve and improve it."
That's little comfort to the thousands of gamers that have been left unable to play their legally-purchased games. [Eurogamer]
In case you forgot, Microsoft will stop supporting Original Xbox games on Xbox Live this Thursday. That leaves us three clear days to enjoy the likes of Halo 2, Conker: Live and Reloaded and Star Wars Battlefront 2 before we have to make do with splitscreen and singleplayer.
If you're a Halo 2 fan, I'd suggest that you start planning your "sick day" right now...
The diehard superfans at Serebii.net have uncovered the first pics of the recently-announced Pokemon Black and White editions. Released in CoroCoro magazine, these images illustrate that Game Freak are sticking with their isometric graphical style but have upgraded to 2.5D. The battle system appears to be largely unchanged, but at least there are some sweet new sprites brighten things up. This incremental upgrade is unsurprising considering the franchise's determination to not fix what ain't broken, but I'm sure that many gamers will be demanding a slightly richer storyline and context this time around.
Actual details are still thin on the ground (as you might expect), but we can expect to learn more over the coming few weeks. We'll be keeping our eyes to the East! [CoroCoro via Serebii.net... via Joystiq]