Thursday, 30 June 2016

Pokemon Sun & Moon New Trailer

After the leak of the new 7 new Pokemon over night, a new trailer has been shown confirming the types, abilities and new moves of all the Pokemon shown. Along with showing Zygarde's original form changing into Zygarde Complete at low HP.

Firstly it confirms that Charjabug evolves from Grubbin and is Bug/Electric type. It then shows the new evolution screen and confirms that Charjabug does indeed evolve into Vikavolt who is also Bug/Electric. Nothing about their ability has been confirmed but with Grubbin having Swarm they may keep it as well.

Bruxish is confirmed to be Water/Psychic and its ability is Dazzle. This stops priority moves from working.

Drampa is the first ever Normal/Dragon type Pokemon to be introduced into the series. It has the ability Frenzy. It is unconfirmed what this does, but in the trailer a Flygon hits it with a super effective Dragon Claw which then activates Frenzy and causes its Special Attack to rise. So the activation could be dependant on taking super effective damage.

Cutiefly is confirmed to be Bug/Fairy as predicted based on its appearance. No other information was given about it.

Togedemaru is Electric/Steel type with the ability Lightning Rod. It appears to be based on some form of Hedgehog.

The legendary Tapu Koko is confirmed to be Electric/Fairy type. It has the ability Elekimaker which causes Electric Terrain to activate whenever it is sent out. It also has the move 'Nature Fury' which is its Japanese name, it deals damage but no other details are given. It seems to have a link to the character Hala.

Pokemon Sun & Moon new leaked Pokemon

Over the course of the night seven Pokemon videos were leaked revealing 7 brand new Pokemon to the series. Most would have thought these were fake however due to there being videos along with them it shows that they are in fact real. There is an announcement coming on July 1st so these Pokemon could be part of that announcement. 

First up we have Togederamu, this pokemon is an electric type and is more than likely the Pikachu clone for this generation. In its video it uses an electric type attack that could be volt tackle or wild charge. Unsure what type of rodent its based on but it produces spines from its body during its idle animation.

Next up is Bruxish which is a new fish like Pokemon, it has a new ability called Dazzle or Dazzling which stops the use of priority moves like quick attack. This Pokemon will likely by a water type but it is shown using psywave in the video as well, so perhaps it will be water/psychic.

The next Pokemon leaked is Charjabug which is the evolution of Grubbin. Based on its name and move used it clearly gains the electric type as predicted, however whether it is in this middle evolution or its final evolution is yet to be seen. This form is similar to that of Metapod and Kakuna for the Grubbin line. 

The fourth Pokemon is Vikavolt, it is unconfirmed but this appears to be Grubbins final evolution having broken out of the shell that is Charjabug. It follows the theme of the Bug/Electric type. It uses an attack at the end, whether this is new or a returning move is currently unknown.

Fifth is the Pokemon Cutiefly, based on its appearance it looks like it could be a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth. It uses Fairy WInd in battle so a possible type could be Bug/Fairy or Fairy/Bug.

The sixth Pokemon shown is Drampa, it appears to be a mix of a Chinese Dragon and the Loch Ness monster. It will most likely be Dragon Type. It has an old appearance so maybe it is a combination of Dragon + Grandpa? It uses the move Dragon Breath.

The final Pokemon is one that is mentioned in the gameplay demo from the Nintendo Treehouse. This is the legendary Pokemon Tapu Koko, it is said to be the guardian of the first island 'Melemele'. It has a very Hawaiian Totem look to it to add to its Guardian status. Based on the video it appears electric terrain could be in play, so perhaps it is some form of electric type. There are three other guardians mentioned for the remaining islands, so this Pokemon will be joined by others eventually.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Network of Awesome: Artist Showcase

The Network of Awesome was created by Daniel Hill over a year ago. The goal was to create a group for creatives of all types. Artists, writers, musicians, anything in the creative world. It is a way for those involved to help each other, promote their work, make new contacts and opportunities in their chosen medium.

Daniel recently created the first of many Artist Showcase videos, showing some of the incredible members of the community he has created and where they can be contacted.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Final Fantasy III Retro Review

Falling from a great height after an earthquake, four Allium based munchkins find themselves in the cavern of the Wind Crystal. They are chosen as the four Warriors of Light to shift the tied of darkness back into balance. 

For the first time in the series players will receive numerous Classes by gathering the powers of the four crystals. The four heroes will receive classes old and new to defeat the dark forces. 

Together with my partner in crime Daniel, we have added this title in the Final Fantasy series to our retro reviews. Covering both the original Final Fantasy III and the DS version which brought in the four characters of Luneth, Arc, Refia and Ingus. 

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Pokemon Sun & Moon run down

Pokemon Sun and Moon were announced back on the 20th Anniversary of the Pokemon Franchise. Set in the Alola Region based on Hawaii, the games will bring a variety of new Pokemon along with some new features to the series. Over the course of the last week, various sources have revealed new information regarding these new titles in the Pokemon series.

First up there were two new Pokemon revealed in the magazine CoroCoro that comes out each month. The English names of these Pokemon have yet to be announced but based on the information given they are.

  • Iwanko - the Puppy Pokemon, Rock type with the abilities of either Keen Eye or Vital Spirit. It was original shown in a trailer in the corner of the screen for a brief second. It apparently holds a secret along with the starter Pokemon of the Region
  • Nekkoala - the Half Awake Pokemon, Normal type with the new ability Definite Sleep. Not much is known about this Koala other than that its ability prevents it from receiving any status condition other than sleep.  

Continuing on with new Pokemon revealed. On the Nintendo Treehouse at E3 they showed gameplay of the game around the first area. Two new pokemon were shown in this and a third in trailer after the event giving more information on the two in the gameplay as well.

First up is the Woodpecker Pokemon Pikipek. It is a Normal/Flying type like all of the early game bird pokemon. It was originally shown in the announcement trailer of Sun and Moon as a wireframe model and left many wondering what type of bird it could be. It carries the abilities Keen Eye or Skill Link. As shown by the Pokedex it will evolve twice like most of the early game bird Pokemon.

The official website states 'Pikipek can strike 16 times a second with its beak. These strikes are powerful enough to not only drill through hard wood but even shatter stone. The noises made by their blows can signal others. Some of these signals have been identified as warning signals and greetings among allies. Pikipek Trainers have grown to recognise them as well. These Pokemon drill holes in trees and store food in the holes. They also like small, glittering objects and will tuck them away in their food stores, too. It's often said, "something lost, something missed, check inside the Pikepek nest." Pikipek will attack distant opponents by zipping seeds at them. These shots have enough strength to embed the seeds in tree trunks.' 

Next is the Loitering Pokemon Yungoos. It is a Normal type and assumed to be the games early rodent style Pokemon like Rattata. It carries the abilities Strong Jaw or the new ability Stakeout which deals twice the normal damage if the opponent has just switched into battle. It was revealed that it will evolve once, again like the early normal type rodents of past generations.

The official website states 'Yungoos is a big eater that is never satisfied. The majority of of its long body is given over to its stomach, and its digestion is swift, so its always hungry. it has strong fangs, so it can crush and consume the hardest of objects. Each Yungoos chooses its own particular route for searching out prey. It stalks along this route searching for food until it's exhausted, at which point it drops and sleeps wherever it may be. It's thought that these Pokemon decide their routes based on safety, so that there's no risk in falling asleep at any time. Yungoos is not a Pokemon that is native to the Alola Region. It was brought to the region to help deal with the explosive population of a certain other Pokemon, and now Yungoos are commonly seen around the Alola Region.'

The final new Pokemon revealed was in the trailer after the Treehouse event, is the Larva Pokemon Grubbin. It is a pure Bug type with ability swarm. Not much is known about it other than it looks like a beetle grub. It is very different from the normal early bug Pokemon in a generation as they are usually based on some form of Caterpillar.

The official website states 'Grubbin relies on its sturdy jaw as a weapon in battle and as a tool for borrowing through the earth. Grubbin loves electricity, which is why it can be found near power plants and substations. By wrapping tree branches in the sticky threads that it spews from its mouth, Grubbin can swing around like an actor on suspension wires!' 

Within the last trailer for Sun and Moon they revealed a lot of details about the legendary Pokemon who appear on each box. Solgaleo the Sunne Pokemon and Lunala the Moone Pokemon. However more details have come to light regarding these two Pokemon. They have phases that change their appearance slightly to what they usually are. These forms are called 'Radiant Sun Phase' and 'Full Moon Phase'. The official website describes these.

'Solgaleo and Lunala are two Pokemon that hold an important key to the story. The forms that these two Pokemon take when they release their mighty power and now revealed as the Radiant Sun phase and the Full Moon phase. Both appear to be shining with a stronger light than in their previously released images. What will these two do when they release their full power?' 

It is unknown what the changes do, however it is confirmed that certain moves will cause both of these legendaries to change form. It is unknown however if this is just from their signature moves 'Moongeist beam' and 'Sunsteel Strike' or if other moves will change them as well.

Towards the end of last year in CoroCoro numerous forms with shown for the legendary Pokemon Zygarde. These forms made fans believe that the game 'Pokemon Z' was coming, however these Zygarde forms were just announced for the anime at the time. As the months went on fans were waiting in anticipation for them to announce Pokemon Z however they instead revealed Pokemon Sun and Moon. This left fans wondering what would happen to Zygarde's forms, if they were going to be just anime exclusive. However last Saturday it was confirmed that they would be in the game via a trailer. 

Introducing for the first time into the games, Zygarde 10% Forme and Zygarde Complete Forme. 

The dog looking 10% Forme has two new moves that were originally found in the coding for X and Y. The first is Thousand Arrows that is a Ground type move but it also has the ability to hit opponents in the air, this causes them to fall down to the ground. The second is Thousand Waves which is another Ground type move that crawls across the ground, any Pokemon hit with this cannot flee from battle. It has the ability 'Swarm Change' that causes it to change to Zygarde complete form at very low HP. 

The beastly looking Zygarde Complete changes its base HP after it changes forme from the 10% Forme, recovering it back to full HP. It is unknown what its ability is however it uses a unique move called 'Core Enforcer' it is unknown if it has any additional effects but it when it uses the move, it creates a giant Z across the ground. 

More information was revealed about the mythical Pokemon Magearna. Using the QR functionality revealed in the last trailer players will be able to obtain Magearna in Sun and Moon. On top of this a unique ability and move were announced for it. The ability 'Soul Heart' works similar to Moxie however instead of attack it increases special attack, and rather than it being when Magearna knocks out a Pokemon. It activates whenever a Pokemon is knocked out when this Pokemon is on the field. It also has the move 'Fleur Cannon', the effect is currently unknown however it is confirmed to be Fairy type as it was super effective against the Pangoro it was used against in the trailer.

During the Nintendo Treehouse event, various aspects of gameplay were shown. This was all early game around route 1 where the player was heading to a Festival on the Island. The player had a Popplio as their starter Pokemon and they were able to explore route 1 for items, pokemon and trainers finishing with the Festival and a battle against your rival Hau who has the weaker starter from yours and a Pichu. 

They gave a look at the new battle interface during the Treehouse event, laying it out differently from before. 

In the top left it shows a Pokeball and the Y button, this could be a quick select for the players most recent item. Pressing that will automatically use it rather than having to go into the bag. 

The usual buttons are more spaced out to make room for the feature in the centre of the bottom screen. It shows the players currently selected Pokemon and the opponent. By pressing on those pictures it will take the player into a new screen that shows if they have a stat up or stat drop on different stats. A down blue arrow for a stat drop was shown. There was a symbol next to either of the Pokemon that had a stat drop. 

After fighting a Pokemon for the first time it will tell the player on each of their Pokemon's moves if it is effective against the Pokemon or not. This will no doubt list if the move is not very effective, super effective or has no effect when it is applicable. 

A new feature in the Pokedex allows players to see if a Pokemon they have caught has an evolution or another Pokemon relating to it. In the clip it showed Ledyba with a white Pokeball symbol next to it due to it evolving into Ledian. It also did this for Pikipek showing two Pokeballs and Yungoos showing one Pokeball.

When the player walks in front a trainer the screen gets darker around the top and bottom which indicates that they are in the trainers line of sight. Not only that but both trainers will appear in the battle as shown with this Lass and her Caterpie. This will be amazing, especially to be able to see the Gym Leaders/Elite Four in battle as well!

A new battle format was shown to be in Sun and Moon. The new Battle Royal format brings in four players against each other rather than just one trainer against another or two trainers against two in doubles. Each trainer can use up to three Pokemon and they can attack any of the other three Pokemon on the field. The arena seems to be that of a boxing ring or similar to it. Depending on the amount of damage and Pokemon remaining the game will rank each player from 1 to 4 to see is the overall winner. It appears to be whoever knocks out the most Pokemon wins. 

An interesting thing of note from the Battle Royal, not only did they introduce this mode similar to the free for all battles that players made up using the doubles format. They confirmed that trainer customisation is back for the game as each of the four hero characters are wearing different outfits and colours. 

That covers the content received over the last week for Pokemon Sun and Moon. However based on some of the information, here are a couple of predictions for Pokemon. 
  • Yungoos's evolution will go a Purugly route with it getting bigger due to its appetite 
  • As mentioned in Yungoos's bio, it fights with a certain other Pokemon. This could be a Snake with Yungoos being a Mongoose. 
  • Grubbin could have split evolutions, one going Bug/Ground and the other Bug/Electric based on its bio.

Monday, 13 June 2016

E3 2016 - Electronic Arts Press Conference

E3 2016 is now in full swing as of Sunday 12th June, starting off with EA's press conference at 9pm BST last night. This show was a little different from what EA normally do as their conference was not within the main line up day of E3 with Microsoft, Sony and the other companies.

EA decided to split their conference over two locations, Los Angeles and London. Where both revealed new titles that would be coming out later this year as well as 2017 and 2018. To start off the viewers were given an idea of what would be shown throughout the hour long conference, giving a taste as to what would be coming.

Titanfall 2
Starting with the sequel to their mech and pilot based multiplayer game from 2014, EA showed the viewers what Titanfall 2 had to offer. They showed various new aspects of the combat system, new tech the pilots can use and confirmed the inclusion of 6 brand new titans that the player can use, all with unique abilities. They also stated that before its release the game will be having stress test multiplayer matches to make sure the game works completely as it should.

Sign ups will be available soon for the stress test on the Titanfall website which can be located here.

The biggest announcement for Titanfall 2 however was revealed yesterday before the conference but a trailer was shown within it. This was the announcement of a single player campaign for Titanfall 2, taking the elements and lore of the universe and expanding upon it to give players a better understanding of how the Titanfall world works.

Titanfall 2 will be coming to PS4, XBox One and PC on 28th October 2016.

Madden NFL 17
Next up was Madden NFL 17, coming to PS4 and XBox One. It showed how the game looked and was primarily talked about over on the London side of the show. However not much coverage was written up about this due to not really playing sports games.

Mass Effect Andromeda
Continuing on from after the events of Mass Effect 3, this new title in the Mass Effect series has picked up a lot of hype. Those who are working on Andromeda disclosed some information about the title.

The story starts with many ships leaving Earth to colonise within the Andromeda Galaxy. The players character travels in hyper sleep and awakens once they arrive. From there the player is greeted by a vast galaxy filled with new planets, new species and new technology for them to discover. Where in this game it takes the focus of you being the Alien.

It is a completely new adventure to the Mass Effect series and the developers specifically stated that it is giving the players more freedom than the series has ever given before. Whether this means that all the landscapes of each planet are traversable or more freedom within the story and how it progresses remains to be seen.

Mass Effect Andromeda is being created in the Frostbite engine to give it the best experience for players to enjoy. More information will be revealed in the Autumn/Fall.

Play to Give
An interesting announcement EA made was their 'Play to Give' initiative, they announced they would be donating $1 million to five different charities in order to celebrate the global gaming community and to give something back. The five charities are, Code2040, HeForShe, the National Centre for Women and Information technology, and lastly Special Effect.

To add to this EA is adding in game challenges that link to these charities, by completing them players can receive in game rewards. Games such as Battlefield 4, Star Wars Battlefront, Fifa and Madden will have these challenges for the player to complete.

Fifa 17
Moving on from the Play to Give initiative, EA announced their next Fifa title. They stated that premier league managers will be in the game as well as a "story mode" called the Journey, where the players will follow the career of Alex Hunter.

EA Originals
A fantastic scheme that EA has set up, following on from Unraveled that was present at E3 2015. EA has set up the EA Originals initiative to help small developers get their games out there for players to enjoy, they will be helping them with everything from development, to marketing, to publishing.

Continuing from the EA Originals, a developer from a small company named Zoink came on stage to discuss their title 'Fe'. A beautiful looking game where you play as a small creature in a forest called 'Fe'. This is a game about a personal narrative with nature, there is no speaking in the game as it is all sound based. Using Fe you can communicate with everything in the forest, everything has its own song for the player to learn and communicate with the world around them. The player must learn songs in order to progress, however the developers have set the stage for 'Fe' they will not be hand holding the player through as they want them to have their own experiences and learn for themselves.

The story is a metaphor for the destruction of nature, the enemies known as 'The Silent Ones' come in and want to make the forest silent forever. Not much else was stated about the game but it looks like a beautiful title, very artistic and stylised and hopefully more information will be revealed soon.

Star Wars
Not much was said about the Star Wars games, they showed how more and more players were getting involved with Battlefront and Galaxy of Heroes. They then went onto talk about two new Star Wars titles that will be coming, the first is a completely new narrative within the Star Wars universe as an action adventure title, which will be released in 2018 and this will be created by Visceral Games. The second is being created by Respawn Entertainment, which is going to be a third person game.

Battlefield 1
At the end of the conference EA finished with Battlefield 1. Set in World War I and made in the Frostbite Engine, Battlefield 1 looks like a great experience and an interesting setting for the game comparing it to other battlefield games.

With dynamic weather and completely destructible environments, it makes every battle unique and will make the player have to change their style to fit the changing weather. Horses, Planes and Zeppelins were shown to be in the game along with a wide variety of WWI style weaponry which looks fantastic.

There are maps that allow 64 players on them, 32 on each team. After the conference finished, there were stations for players to try out Battlefield 1 for themselves on these 64 player maps.

This covered the end of the EA press conference for 2016. They showed some interesting titles and gameplay of what they have coming up within the remainder of this year and the next couple of years.