Featured Gaming & Tech

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Under Fire For Bad Graphics

The new Pokémon Scarlet and Violet Games can make a case study for a truly critic-proof game.

Both Pokémon Scarlet and Violet have sold ten million units in three days. And, despite being almost universally panned due to its abysmal performance for an AAA Nintendo Switch Game in 2022, the game has even broken records for Nintendo. 

The games have some of the best storylines from any Pokémon game, are more open-world than Pokémon Legends: Arceus (the de-facto open world Pokémon game), and have some interesting additions to the ever-growing Pokédex. They also had incredible marketing, which we covered in previous articles. The starters were almost universally loved, and the Iberian Peninsula-inspired Paldea seemed gorgeous, at least in the trailers. And, if the games didn’t run like a PowerPoint slideshow at some points and had a full Pokédex, they would probably be hands-down the best Pokémon games ever.

The game’s graphical flaws are glaring, and it’s almost impossible to play Pokémon Scarlet and Violet without feeling affected by its low quality at some point. Even gamers who don’t care about the graphics feel like Game Freak is trying to get away with far too much. Their predecessor, Pokémon Sword and Shield, was also met with similar criticism due to cutting out Pokémon, barebones story, and excessive hand-holding. 

Pokemon scarlet and violet
@ Nintendo

Fans of the games have shared funny clips of the game’s bugs and glitches, including one where the player becomes a giant Slenderman-like creature while riding the game’s mount or minor graphical bugs where NPCs phase in and out of existence spontaneously. This is also the first time that many gamers who pre-ordered the game actually went to request refunds from Nintendo. Those who pre-ordered either copy of the game already had it downloaded on launch day and paid for it once it finished.

Many of these gamers took to Reddit, Twitter and Instagram to vent their experiences with the game. Gaming YouTubers also praised the game. Not only that, but the game had a mix of new features that increased quality of life while also removing other features that were a mainstay from past games. Pokémon breeding is much easier and faster, while the games removed status effect animations on Pokémon battles, a feature that’s been in the game since Gen 5. Now, Pokémon also go to sleep and have their eyes wide open.

But, overall, while Gen 9 made several steps in the right direction, every other video game company is walking for miles.

Pokémon is the highest-grossing media franchise in the world, worth $118.5 billion. It doesn’t seem like Nintendo, The Pokémon Company, and Game Freak are paying attention to the gamer’s concerns and might be more focused on milking their cash cow. But, that doesn’t mean many gamers have enjoyed the game. You can identify a game’s flaws while still having fun out of the many new things added.

And, of course, more children and young teenagers only care about the Pokémon, so it’s not like the game’s target audience will care if a couple of fictional birds look pixelated in the distance.

Featured Gaming & Tech

Splatoon 3 Becomes Best-Selling Game in Japan

Step aside, Elden Ring, Splatoon 3 is taking over

Splatoon 3 became the best-selling title in Japan in 2022, with around 4 million copies sold in Japan, combining retail and digital sales. Of these 4 million, at least 3 million copies are physical. The game also became the fastest-selling game ever in Japan, a record previously held by Animal Crossing New horizons. The game also made a strong debut in the UK.

A hyped-up marketing campaign plus an anticipated release were big factors in making the game a success, especially as fans believe the game has lived up to the hype, reflected in the impressive sales numbers.

Surprisingly, Splatoon 3’s main competitor for the title isn’t Elden Ring, rather, it’s Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, set to be released on November 12. 

Splatoon has always been a popular game in Japan, with its predecessor, Splatoon 2, selling around a million copies in 2017. Some of the new features of Splatoon 3 include the return of fan-favorite weapons, like the Octobrush and Clash Blaster. Reviewers and casual players stated the game weapons feel more balanced, and the maps feel tighter and more open.

The single-player aspect of the game was usually left in the dust, given the higher relevance to the multiplayer in a first-person shooter. It was present, but not exactly important.

splatoon 3
© Splatoon 3

Most of the previous Splatoon entries’ missions were simple “get to the goal” quests. This time, some missions have you dodging shockwaves until you survived the timer. You receive a weapon, with the quirkier weapons getting you a higher reward.

Splatoon 3 also features Return of the Mammalians, with more cutscenes, more variety in its mission structure, and a more fleshed-out plot. Return of the Mammalians has been praised for enhancing the Salmon Run mode.

In Salmon Run, players team up to defeat waves of Salmonids and boss Salmonid varieties, similar to the zombie modes in may popular first-person shooters.

There’s also a frequent number of Splatfest events giving players all the reasons to keep playing the game, including a Pokémon Scarlet and Violet-themed Splatfest to keep players hyped for the next big entry in the Pokémon mainline family.

The two major new weapons are the Splatana, an ink Katana with a wide horizontal attack mode and a vertical strike mode, and the Tri-Stringer, a bow that shoots smaller ink balls in sets of three.

It can fire three smaller explosives that can surprise enemies at a distance after charging.

The Crab Tank is a new special weapon, which turns players into a crab-like vehicle that can snipe enemies from medium to long distances.

There are new maps, new hubs, and a tricolor turf war that starts with one traditional team of four and two separate teams of two.

The game is available for $59.95 digitally and on retail.

Featured Gaming & Tech

5 Video Games Coming this November

Here’s our list of five video games coming this November, including The Entropy Center and Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

The Entropy Centre – November 3

entrophy centre
© Stubby Games

The Entropy Center is a Steam game that rewards players for thinking backwards. This mind-bending first-person adventure involves solving complex puzzles by rewinding them through time.

In their world, an extinction-level event has set the world ablaze, and you’re possibly the last remaining person alive. The only hope for mankind lies at the core of the Entropy Centre.

The game gives some serious Portal vibes, so if you’re a fan of these types of puzzles. The Entropy Center might be for you.

The Entropy Centre is set to come to the PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, PS5, and Xbox One.

God of War Ragnarok – November 9 

video games coming this November
© Sony

You know a game’s expected when it has won awards before even being released. God of War: Ragnarök experienced a couple of delays due to Kratos’ voice actor having health issues and the COVID-19 pandemic, but that hasn’t quelled fan excitement for the ninth instalment in the God of War series. 

Ragnarök will be based in ancient Scandinavia and feature Kratos and his teenage son Atreus.

Expect Norse gods, the apocalypse, and over sixty accessibility options. The game will add more customization options for combat and interaction systems.

God of War Ragnarok is set to come for the PS5 & PS5.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet – November 12

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet
© Nintendo

The newest entry in the mainline Pokémon games is probably the most expected game of November. While Sword & Shield’s Gen 8 was nothing but controversial, and last year’s Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl more so, Pokémon fans are more excited than ever to see what Game Freak comes up with in the Paldea region.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will be released on the Nintendo Switch.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil In Me – November 18

video games coming this November
© BNE Entertainment

Known simply as the Devil in Me, this is an interactive drama and survival horror game where a cast of five playable protagonists can make choices to create their own story.

Depending on which choices you make, you’ll alter the trajectory of the plot and change the relationships of the main characters, all of which can die permanently.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me is set to come to the PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, PS5, and Xbox One.

The Knight Witch – November 29

video games coming this November
© Team17 Software

The Knight Witch is a Metroidvania adventure game with shoot-em-up combat in a hand-drawn world. In this game, you can cast card-based spells, forge close bonds and make moral choices to save your home and find out the mystery behind the War Golem invasion.

The Knight Witch is set to come to the PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, PS5, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Featured Gaming & Tech

GTA 6 Gameplay Video Leaks, Rockstar Devastated

GTA 6 Developers have expressed disappointment upon discovering massive leak of early gameplay footage

The gameplay from GTA 6, which some fans had previously believed to be false, was confirmed to be authentic and triggered a response from Rockstar Games. In their statement, the developers expressed it had suffered a network intrusion, where a hacker breached its systems and downloaded confidential information, including the infamously leaked footage. The game has been in production since 2014.

The alleged hacker dropped 90 videos of unreleased gameplay footage to an online forum and has threatened to leak more gameplay footage and even the game’s source code. Some of the leaked videos are over 20 minutes in length, are apparently set in Vice City and show multiple playable characters, including a woman. Rockstar Games employees were left shocked by the leak.

The hacker goes by the name ‘teapotuberhacker’ on GTAForums. It seems ‘teapotuberhacker’ wants to blackmail Rockstar as they stated, “I am looking to negotiate a deal.” This deal is assumed to prevent the release of more sensitive data. The hacker also claimed to be behind a data breach in Uber’s internal systems, though the statement remains unverified so far. 

Rockstar did all it could to take down the leaked videos. Still, as happens with leaked footage on the Internet, people are already making video theories, TikToks and memes throughout all digital venues.

© Rockstar Games

“We are extremely disappointed to have any details of our next game shared with you all in this way.” Expressed the studio following the leak. Rockstar games continued, “Our work on the next Grand theft Auto game will continue as planned, and we remain as committed as ever to delivering an experience to you, our players, that truly exceeds your expectations.” Fans reacted with support and love for the company.

While the studio didn’t share extensive details on the depths of the data breach, they were confident that this would not disrupt the service for its network or games and won’t have a long-term effect on the development of their next projects.

Rockstar Games owns Grand Theft Auto, (GTA), one of the most successful video game franchises in the modern history of games. For comparison, GTA 5 was released nearly ten years ago and remains popular today, selling nearly 170 million copies as of August 2022, becoming the best-selling game of the last 10 years. Simply announcing Grand Theft Auto 6 (GTA 6)  being in development was enough to cause Take-Two Interactive’s stock to rise.

Take-Two Interactive is Rockstar Games’ parent company and owns 2K, their Private Division label to support publishing from independent developers, and another new studio known as Intercept Games.

Featured Gaming & Tech

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom To Launch in 2023

The long-awaited sequel for 2014’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was announced on September 13th

Most of the game’s details remain a mystery, with the cryptic trailer focused mostly on ancient paintings depicting various races, Zelda and Link. As this is a sequel, Breath of the Wild’s open-world will return, along with a new flight mechanic and possibly new runes.

Much of the new content has been allegedly inspired by leftover ideas from the DLC and the prior game’s brainstorming sessions. This is why the trailer incorporates the skies above Hyrule as a new feature to be explored. The first teaser trailer was released in the E3 2019 Nintendo Direct, though most fans of the series will have forgotten about the initial preview since the pandemic. During that time, the sequel was untitled. 

At E3 2021, Nintendo revealed some story elements and gameplay, on top of a planned 2022 release date. As this is a big Zelda game, everyone knew it would most likely have delays, as confirmed by producer Eiji Aonuma in 2022.

Hidemaro Fujibayashi will return as director for the game. 

the legend of Zelda breath of the wild
© Nintendo

Of course, the new trailer, along with all previous ones, has given fans enough content to begin speculating the game’s plot and gameplay. The 2019 trailer’s most notable feature was a decrepit corpse who was in an even worse state than the Sheikah monks found in the first game. Most users theorized that it could be Ganondorf, due to the mummy’s long red hair and corresponding Gerudo jewellery. 

The 2021 trailer showed a new magical effect that seems to turn everything grayscale and freeze it in place before reversing its movements. The trailer also showed a massive new weapon: a gauntlet-flamethrower hybrid. 

There are some theories that Zelda might be a playable character, due to her new short haircut. However, the latest trailer has all but confirmed the contrary.

Finally, there’s a belief that the Zonai will play an important part in the story. The Zonai are an ancient precursor race of warriors presumed extinct, whose existence is known by ruins and the Barbarian Armor set available in Breath of the Wild.

One of their recurring motifs is a red spiral pattern that can be seen in much of their architecture, present in the ruins. 

What’s certain is that players will get to explore the skies of Hyrule, an element only explored in full during Skyward Sword.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is set to release on May 12th, 2023. Watch the trailer here.

Featured Gaming & Tech

Video Games Coming this October

October is a promising month for video games on all consoles. Here’s a list of titles to watch out for, and their release dates

Overwatch 2 October 4th

Video Games in October: Overwatch 2
Overwatch 2 © Blizzard

Overwatch 2 is the sequel to one of Blizzard Entertainment’s most famous first-person-shooter video games, Overwatch. It’ll feature new PvE and PvP modes, such as Story Experience for the former and Push for the latter. Each game mode will also feature new maps and heroes, a new HUD, and a much-needed engine upgrade.

Overwatch 2 will be available for the PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.

No Man’s Sky (Switch) October 7th

video games in October: No Man's Sky
No Man’s Sky © Hello Games

No Man’s Sky is coming to the Nintendo Switch after being released for most other consoles in the past years. This action-adventure survival game is built around five pillars: exploration, survival, combat, trading, and base building.

The game is an open world with over 18 quintillion planets created through procedural generation. Kind of like Minecraft, but in space.

While the game had mixed reviews on release, many of its features have been improved for the Nintendo Switch in later years.

Dragon Ball: The Breakers – October 14th

Drangonball The Breakers
Drangon Ball The Breakers © Dimps Games

Dragon Ball: The Breakers places Dragon-ball-themed survivors running for their lives from DBZ big baddies, such as Frieza or Cell. It’s a new take on the Dragon Ball games, focusing on survival rather than fighting.

Dragon Ball: The Breakers will be available for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.

Bayonetta 3 (Switch) – October 28th

Bayonetta 3: October Video Games
Bayonetta 3 © Platinum Games

The long-awaited third edition of our favorite Umbra Witch, developed by PlatinumGames, is finally coming out. The action-adventure hack and slash game was announced in 2017.

In Bayonetta 3, players will control Bayonetta as she fights enemies using melee attacks and gunplay. She’ll have unique mechanics known as “Demon Slave,” “Demon Masquerade,” and even a display mode, “Naive Angel Mode”. She’ll be able to take control of an Infernal Demon or even fuse with a summoned demon to gain new magical abilities.

This last display mode conceals nudity during cinematics and gameplay.

Bayonetta 3 will be available for the Nintendo Switch.

Resident Evil Village: Winter’s Expansion – October 28th

Resident Evil Village: Winter’s Expansion
Resident Evil Village: Winter’s Expansion © Capcom

Resident Evil Village is the latest installment in the survival horror series, featuring an action-oriented game system. Fans have requested an additional DLC and finally announced it to the public.

Winter’s Expansion is coming on October 28, and they’ll be including a Third-person Mode. It’ll also have a Shadows of Rose mode, where players will see baby Rose’s story of survival 16 years after the original campaign.

Resident Evil Village: Winter’s Expansion will be available for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, and PC.


Featured Gaming & Tech

Why is the PS5 so Hard to Get in 2022?

When the PS5 came out people went crazy for it, but not because of the games available on release

Due to the relative scarcity of the gaming console, people were more interested in buying a PS5 to sell it at a markup and earn a profit, and even to this day, it’s hard to get your hands on a PS5 without paying extra.

The console was launched in November 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it sold out instantly. However, part of this was due to the very limited stock and the wide demand. The consol’s retail price was set at £449.99, which isn’t cheap in itself. However, if you want to get your hands on a PS5 nowadays, you’re likely to spend upwards of £749.99.

The pandemic caused an increased demand for entertainment tech for those stuck at home. So, when PS5 came back into stock, it sold out instantly, further increasing its value.

And, due to the newfound popularity of electronics during the pandemic, including consoles like the PS5, the UK faced a chip shortage. The chip shortage was caused when consumers locked in due to quarantine began purchasing more electronic devices than ever: laptops, headsets, gaming displays, consoles, and more.

PS5 © Shutterstock

During the pandemic, the automotive industry cut off chips orders, believing people wouldn’t buy many cars. But, this caused knock-on delays throughout the global supply chain, which caused Sony to cut PS5 shipments by approximately 3.3 million units in the fiscal year 2022. This shortage is still affecting the electronic industry today,

As for when the chip shortage will end, Deloitte Consulting predicted that it might last through 2023. The chip industry has increased capital spending, and many factories are coming in line after years of slowed production. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also been identified as one of the causes of the parts inventory shortage.

Since the shortage began, Sony has been taking measures to mitigate its effects, such as sourcing more suppliers for a greater speed of delivery in the current unstable market.

Currently, there aren’t many reasons to buy a PS5, as no jaw-dropping classic titles are coming out until December 2022. So, you might be better off saving yourself the money. However, many gamers mention how Ghost of Tsushima and Last of Us 2 are enjoyable, like Elden Ring, but other titles are lacking.

Featured Gaming & Tech

Axie Infinity: Can you actually earn money?

Axie Infinity sounds great, but is it realistic?

Axie Infinity is the most famous NFT video game. It’s so famous that in some countries, Axie gamers have literally quit their jobs to become full-time Axie Infinity players and replaced their fiat currency income with crypto.

It boils down to a game that admittedly took inspiration from Pokémon and the cool FaceBook games that saw players collect dragons to fight against each other. They call them Axies and there are nine different types of Axies, each costing an amount of ETH (Ethereum). Ethereum is a cryptocurrency that also has value in fiat currency. This means each Axie you buy or sell is worth real money. To start playing Axie Infinity, you need to obtain three Axies.

And, with some Axies reaching several hundred or even thousand dollars in pricing, it used to be a high entry bar. That was until Sky Mavis developed a scholarship program for those who didn’t have the crypto required to start playing. But, once you’re set up on Axie Infinity, can you actually make a substantial amount of money?

Recently, on Reddit’s AxieInfinity subreddit, a poll was held for people to comment if they had made any substantial income playing Axie Infinity. Out of the 1300 respondents, 586 said yes, and 727 said no. One of the most notable answers was a player who mentioned investing 1.2 ETH to obtain over 70 Axies and 15 Scholars. Another user mentions how it’s possible to earn roughly $10 a day by winning most of your arena matches and finishing your daily quests. This could take four to eight hours, depending on the player’s skill.

So, considering how Axie Infinity is a game and not a job, the money you could earn playing Axie as a side hustle could be some good extra income. But, it’s not necessarily a livable income in many developed countries. Having said that, it’s still better than nothing for just playing two to three hours a day you’d otherwise be using for other games.

Axie Infinity Game
Axie Infinity © Sky Mavis

Unfortunately, several players don’t describe Axie Infinity as a fun game if you don’t have many Axies. Players seem to be more motivated to play for the income and not the experience, seeing the experience as a shock absorber for the monotony usually present in office jobs.

For comparison, freelance bidding sites sell freelance gigs for two-digit prices that’d otherwise be in the mid-hundreds of dollars in more developed countries. Usually, workers from third-world countries with lower wages populate these platforms as these lower prices could easily add up to a month’s rent where they live.

The best way to earn money on Axie Infinity is by earning Ethereum tokens known as Small Love Potions (SLP). You obtain these by completing your daily quests or winning battles in the Arena Mode, which is also considered the most challenging method for obtaining SLP as you have to fight other players. When you earn them, you can trade them for ETH. As ETH is a cryptocurrency, SLP could translate into fiat currency. If you have higher-level Axies, you can earn more SLP.

Axie Infinity is the poster-child game for play-to-earn decentralized models. Should other games innovate on the concept, it might herald a new age of creator economy in Web3, where people work by playing instead of working at the office 9-to-5s.