Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

This is it. It's the biggest week of the year for video games, outside of maybe the seven-day stretch that saw The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Horizon Zero Dawn both drop on the same week. But while those two games were spaced out, this week will see three major AAA titles (and potential GOTY titles) all come out on the same day.

Are Bayek, Blazkowicz, and Mario not enough? You're demanding, aren't you? Fine then, you can also have Destiny 2 on PC this week. (You may need some pointers on preloading it.) Check out the full list of new releases below.

PC

  • Destiny 2
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
  • Assassin's Creed Origins
  • Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon
  • High Hell
  • Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization
  • Glo
  • Ballistic Mini Golf (Early Access)
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

PlayStation 4

  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
  • Assassin's Creed Origins
  • Just Dance 2018
  • The Inner World: The Last Wind Monk
  • Deer Hunter Reloaded
  • Rapala Fishing Pro Series
  • Singstar Celebration
  • That's You
  • Hidden Agenda
  • Rugby '18
  • Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon
  • Yomawari Midnight Shadows
  • Real Farm
  • Little Nightmares Complete Edition
  • Summon Night 6: Lost Borders
  • Knowledge is Power
Assassin's Creed Origins

Xbox One

  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
  • Assassin's Creed Origins
  • Just Dance 2018
  • The Inner World: The Last Wind Monk
  • Deer Hunter Reloaded
  • Rapala Fishing Pro Series
  • Rugby '18
  • Real Farm
  • Little Nightmares Complete Edition
Super Mario Odyssey

Nintendo Switch

  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Just Dance 2018
  • Poi: Explorer Edition
  • Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon
  • This is the Police
  • Knight Terrors
  • Violett
  • Zombie Gold Rush

Nintendo 3DS

  • None

PlayStation Vita

  • Yomawari Midnight Shadows
  • Summon Night 6: Lost Borders
Shacknews - Asif Khan

Welcome to the new Shackcast, the official Shacknews podcast of Shacknews. This week on our ninth episode we discuss the Oculus Connect 4, fast food, and Nintendo's new game review policy with your host Asif Khan, co-host David Craddock and special guest Lola the Pom. Tune in to hear us talk VR, Vampire Diaries on Netflix, fast food, and Nintendo. The conversation does get a bit heated when I explain why Shacknews does not have a review copy of Super Mario Odyssey. 

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Special thanks to Swensons Drive-In in Massilon, Ohio for their unofficial and unpaid sponsorship of this episode of the Shackcast.

Shacknews - Kevin Tucker

As yet another week draws to a close, the resurgence of the Modojo Rewind becomes inevitable. And though the name may change, the song remains the same. Thankfully, it's a fine tune, and one worthy of reiteration. This time around, entrancing melodies belay the latest efforts from Nintendo and the Switch, all while the refrain warbles softly, conjuring moving images of new mobile titles making their rise just beyond the glowing horizon.

As the horns blare and the drums thump their steady rhythm, free your mind and open your heart to Robomo's anthem — this evening's entertainment is the Modojo Rewind.

Switch Hitters

Modojo never manages to get far without feeling the indefatigable influence of Nintendo, and this past week was no exception. One of the bigger stories to come out of the Big N this week was the new Nintendo Switch firmware update version 4.0.0, which finally introduced the ability for players to capture video footage from their favorite games. It may not be as robust a feature as found on other consoles, and it only works on four specific titles so far, but it's surely a step in the right direction. Along with this new feature, Switch players are also likely to enjoy the system's new user icons as well as ability to transfer their data to other Switch consoles.

This week we've also discovered news of a new mobile projector that's coming to crowdfunding website Indiegogo. While several mobile projectors have entered the market in recent times, the new OJO projector specifically targets the Nintendo Switch userbase, giving players the chance to project their favorite Switch titles on a screen up to 120" in size. Even better, it has HDMI and USB-C connections, so the device works as a projector for other devices like smartphones and laptops as well, and its built-in battery is good for up to four hours' play time.

There's also plenty of Switch game releases both new and noteworthy: we've got an all-new review for Sine Mora EX on the Nintendo Switch, an odd sort of shoot-'em-up title that blends classically-styled action together with a perplexing and highly adult-oriented plot; fans may have heard that Nintendo is more open to the idea of bringing mature content to the Switch, and toward that front, id Software is releasing the 2016 reboot of Doom on the company's hybrid console later this year; lastly, we've got word straight from Square Enix producer Masaru Oyamada on why the Secret of Mana remake isn't coming to the Nintendo Switch.

And, just in case ever-growing game install sizes are becoming a problem for owners, we've got a fresh new guide detailing everything players need to know about using multiple microSD cards with the Nintendo Switch

A Mobile Effort

Thankfully, this week was no slouch when it came to interesting mobile news. Among one of the more unexpected headlines is a new Halloween-themed collaboration between Angry Birds Evolution and world-reknowned British metal group Iron Maiden. Called the Angry Birds Evolution Tribute to Iron Maiden, the new update sees a metal-fueled overhaul for the game as well as the addition of Iron Maiden mascot Eddie as a powerful new bird. Even better, Eddie has four evolved forms, each of which based on one of Iron Maiden's most popular albums.

PC players and mobile enthusiasts alike have reason to be excited over the third entry to The Banner Saga, the popular and remarkably-grim tactical RPG effort from developer Stoic. The studio has released a new trailer for The Banner Saga 3 that focuses on the game's art, and needless to say, things are looking as polished as ever. Also, Pokemon fans can rejoice in the knowledge that third-generation Hoenn-region creatures have arrived in Pokemon Go via the game's latest update, and players should be able to find them in-game as of today.

That's it for the Modojo Rewind, folks. Moving forward, be sure to keep your browser aimed right here at Shacknews for the latest news, reviews, and guides all across the gaming kindgom, be it mobile, portable, PC, home console, or anything in between.

Shacknews - Joe Stasio

We had an eventful week, there’s no doubt about it. And, while most of this week’s news was fun and games, some of it was disheartening. Visceral Games is officially no more, EA’s long-time in-house studio best known for the Dead Space franchise. Visceral, however, contributed more than just Dead Space to gaming’s history so the fam got together this week to try and remember some of their work in between our usual antics.

On Episode 010 (double digits!), we’ll go over some big headlines from the week including the latest game releases, Nintendo Switch’s latest firmware update, other stuff about Nintendo Switch, and then some more stuff about Nintendo Switch before we dive into some Visceral Games and Dead Space talk. Buffa helps us wrap things up by reading us the back of a classic duck-laden Genesis game. All that and more on today’s show.

Direct DownloadOn Today’s Show- Joe Stasio - Chris Buffa - John Benyamine - Vin Genova 

Shacknews - Asif Khan

TwitchCon 2017 has officially kicked off, but Shack has your back if you aren't in Long Beach this weekend to find out the latest and greatest news about everyone's favorite live streaming website. Twitch CEO Emmett Shear took the stage today to tell us all about new features coming to the Twitch platform as well as providing updates on key milestones in Twitch history, Take a look.

The keynote spotlighted the following community and commerce features and tools for tracking engagement: 

  • Stream summary: Creators want to know how their stream went after it ends and starting in November, Stream Summary makes that a reality. This summary will include the most relevant stats around viewers, follows, and chat activity, surface top clips, and show how their last stream impacted progress towards becoming an Affiliate or Partner. Timing: November, 2017
  • Achievements: Achievements help creators trace the path to Affiliate and Partner status by showing them their progress toward each requirement. Achievements also help creators learn Twitch streaming basics, improve their channel, connect with their community, and more! Timing: November, 2017
  • Raids: Raids--a way that creators help each other grow by sharing their community with another channel--are now easier than ever. A new /raid feature allows streamers to seamlessly let their viewers join a raid and then drive traffic to another streamer. This new feature also includes tracking to see who raided your channel and improved moderation features, such as the ability to choose who can raid your channel through new settings. Timing: November, 2017
  • Rituals: Rituals make it easier for creators to celebrate special moments that bring their community together. The initial Ritual enables creators to signal to their community in chat that a visitor is new to the channel and to welcome them. Timing: November, 2017.
  • Premieres: Premieres allow creators to maximize the excitement, anticipation, and viewership around new uploaded content by creating live first-viewing events. Similar to how people gather around the TV for the debut of a favorite show, fans can now do the same virtually for a creator’s new uploaded content. Creators can watch along with their community to provide insights, commentary, or just enjoy the show with their community. Timing: Q4 2017
  • Rooms: With Rooms, creators can develop smaller, parallel chat groups for users with shared interests, including moderators, subscribers, followers, and other community members. Timing: Q4 2017
  • Subscription gifting: Subscription Gifting allows anyone to gift 1-month subscriptions to any streamer’s channel to anyone on Twitch. Timing: Pre-holiday, Q4 2017
  • In-Extension purchases: Enables partners and affiliates to earn revenue from developer-created digital items that viewers buy within Extensions. Timing: Beta in November, 2017

 The following milestones were also also announced during the keynote:

  • Twitch’s commitment to building the most means of monetization for creators has resulted in a massive year-over-year increase in revenue. In 2017, more than double the amount of money was paid to individual Partners with 71% more money generated on average.
  • Twitch Prime, which was announced at TwitchCon 2016, has been a huge success, bringing in 50% more subscriptions for streamers. That works out to one new sub every four seconds.
  • Representing one of the most successful discovery features Twitch has launched is Clips, which are up to 60 second snippets of video. There have been more than 1 billion views of Clips on Twitch since launch, including over 2.4 million views for the most-watched Clip of all time by JurassicJunkie.
  • Earlier this year, Twitch expanded monetization support to tens of thousands of non-partnered streamers with the Twitch Affiliates ProgramWithin six months after its launch, over 110,000 creators have joined the program.
  • To ensure the best quality of service, video delay has been reduced an average of 60%.
  • AutoMod, the machine-based learning chatbot that ensures creators can effectively mitigate inappropriate behavior in chat, currently scans over 320 million chat messages a month.
  • Twitch Extensions are a new set of tools that allow developers to help creators customize their channel pages with interactive experiences. They’re flexible, dynamic, easy to build, and easy to use. In the six weeks since launch, streamers have shared their extensions with over 15 million viewers, and more than 1100 developers have registered to create an Extension.

Keep it locked on Shacknews this weekend for all the latest updates from TwitchCon 2017.

Shacknews - Asif Khan

Nintendo has created several products that were ahead of their time. Virtual Boy comes to mind as a product that was probably two decades too soon. There was another extremely quirky peripheral for the NES that falls into this same category: the Power Glove. Players could finally play their games with a way worse input device. It was clunky, the tracking barely worked, and my parents made me return it when I couldn't get Rad Racer to work with the thing. Nintendo was experimenting with hand presence back in the early 1990s, but Teague Labs may have finally figured out how to play with power with their recent mod of the Power Glove. Using HTC Vive trackers, the team has come up with some really cool ways to use the failed product.

In a post to Teague Labs blog, they detail how they added modern day hardware to the Power Glove to revive the hand presence device:

"We took a Power Glove apart, 3D scanned the interfacing plastic parts and built modified parts that hold the Vive Tracker and an Arduino Due on the glove. After some prototyping on a breadboard, we designed a shield for the Due and etched it using the laser-cutter transfer technique. We then soldered all components and spray-painted the whole shield to protect the bare copper. After mounting the tracker and tweaking the code by matzmann666, we had the glove work. If you are more curious or want to reproduce this, we uploaded all of our files on GitHub."

Now they are playing with power! Cheers to Teague Labs!

Shacknews - Chris Jarrard

The Nintendo Switch is a runaway success. Many months after it hit retail shelves, the portable console is still scarce on store shelves and is expected to be in short supply throughout the holiday season. All the fanfare hasn’t come without gripes, though. The Switch’s showcase launch title, Zelda: Breath of the Wind was marred at release by some very inconsistent framerates. Some of the high-profile third party releases had to receive graphical downgrades to operate on the Switch and still had problems running smoothly, NBA 2K18 in particular. Bethesda’s Doom port will run at only 720p and 30fps, a serious departure from the 1080p 60fps stunner it was on the PS4 and Xbox One. After months of hype, Nintendo is set to dispel any concerns about the Switch’s hardware prowess with the impending release of Super Mario Odyssey.

Super Mario Odyssey is bright, colorful and looks every bit as good as any game on any platform, PC included. At first glance, things appear to be simple, but spend any amount of time watching Odyssey in motion and you’ll see the monster Nintendo is about to unleash on gamers everywhere. Mario’s latest adventure ticks all the techincal boxes. It features stunning water shaders, high-resolution shadows, improved lighting over Mario Galaxy 2, clean textures, an abundance of alpha effects, and particle displacement.

The folks over at Digital Foundry posted a video detailing all the graphical effects and the differences you will encounter when running the game in portable mode versus docked mode. The biggest difference between the two modes is rendering resolution. Mario Odyssey will run at 720p in portable mode and 900p in docked. Because the game does not seem to offer any type of anti-aliasing, the 60% increase in pixels gives the docked presentation a huge advantage over the portable counterpart. This is the highest resolution that any core Mario game has run at and the results are incredible. The image offers a clean look that is similar to what PC users have seen from running the Super Mario Galaxy games at high resolutions using the Dolphin Emulator.

There are some other concessions made by Nintendo to get Odyssey running smoothly in portable mode. In-engine cutscenes drop the resolution down to 640x720p in order to maintain smoothness. The portable mode also uses a lower resolution for its lighting effects, which can lead to blurriness around the edges of characters. Draw distances for certain effects like bloom and level geometry are also reduced. Shadow resolution takes a sizeable hit when undocked for Mario and onscreen enemies.

The compromises are worth the hit in quality, though, as Mario Odyssey runs at a smooth 60fps in portable mode during gameplay and cutscenes. The game’s included photo mode drops the framerate down to 30fps to accommodate an increase in level of detail, improved texture filtering and the application of anti-aliasing. The smooth 60fps is a must for a serious Mario game, though, as the reduced input latency and more responsive controls will make navigating through the game much more enjoyable.

If I had a time machine, the first thing I would do is go to October 27 so I could being enjoying Mario Odyssey right away. Feel free to check out our recent preview while you wait!

Shacknews - Charles Singletary

The Fornite Battle Royale development team dropped a new video update today and discussed the latest patch, the future of the mode's weapons, and more. If you've already downloaded the latest patch on PC, voice chat has been enabled and console players will have access in the near future.

With the addition of Duos and Squads, voice chat is a major feature that the community has been looking forward to. The 1.74 patch includes voice chat for PC and the only hint in the video for Xbox One and PS4 players is that it is "coming soon". 

Weapons and consumables are a big focus for the team going forward. A new consumable that increases health and shield over time is being prototyped and weapon accuracy is being modified in different ways. The assault rifle is being worked on and the SMG, which is largely overlooked, may receive an overhaul in the future to make it more valuable for players. The developers also shared that account progression and character customization were next on the blueprint. 

Long-term prototypes include a potential shift to projectiles in the engine, which would likely make the experience feel a lot more similar to PUBG. Right now, sniper rifles use projectiles so, when you fire, you can see the bullet travel and drop. All other weapons use hit scan, which is simply a calculation of whether or not a target is hit.

This time around, there were no mentions of additional methods for addressing cheaters. We have no doubt that they're working hard to keep the community fun and competitive, though. 

Shacknews - Charles Singletary

Pokémon Go is at its best when the many mobile players can rally around a specific event and the latest one is upon us. The special Halloween event for Pokémon Go players is live and will serve as the first introduction to PokéOrmon from the Hoenn region, otherwise known as generation three from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. 

The Pokémon Go Halloween event is live as of 12:00 P.M. PDT today and will run until 1 P.M. PDT on November 2. In addition to the more spooky Pokémon like Sableye and Gastly setting the mood for this event, a special Pikachu will be out with its witch hat. You'll also be able to use that hat, called Mimikyu's Disguise Hate, on your avatar. 

During the special event, Candy rewards while out with your Buddy Pokémon will be doubled and there are special boxes in the in-game shop filled with things like Raid Passes and Super Incubators. Additional third generation Pokémon will start rolling out as early as December.

Shacknews - Charles Singletary

Pokémon Go is at its best when the many mobile players can rally around a specific event and the latest one is upon us. The special Halloween event for Pokémon Go players is live and will serve as the first introduction to PokéOrmon from the Hoenn region, otherwise known as generation three from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. 

The Pokémon Go Halloween event is live as of 12:00 P.M. PDT today and will run until 1 P.M. PDT on November 2. In addition to the more spooky Pokémon like Sableye and Gastly setting the mood for this event, a special Pikachu will be out with its witch hat. You'll also be able to use that hat, called Mimikyu's Disguise Hate, on your avatar. 

During the special event, Candy rewards while out with your Buddy Pokémon will be doubled and there are special boxes in the in-game shop filled with things like Raid Passes and Super Incubators. Additional third generation Pokémon will start rolling out as early as December.

...

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