New Mario Game Gets Beta Demo

In a rare showing, GameSpot has just announced that Nintendo will be offering an exclusive demo of the newest entry into the Mario franchise, letting Switch owners test out the beta for themselves for a limited time.

The game, Mario Tennis Aces, will be the first entry into the franchise’s spinoff series since the 2015 release of Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash for the Wii U. According to Nintendo’s announcement, the demo will come in the form of a Pre-Launch Online Tournament held from June 1st to June 3rd.

So far, start and end times have only been announced for North America and Europe, showing two separate time frames for each region. North American activities will begin on June 1st at 6:00 PM PT and will run until June 3 at 11:59 PM PT (June 1st 9:00 PM ET to June 4th 2:59 AM ET). For the European side of things, the tournament will run from June 1st at 3:00 PM BST to June 3rd at 11:59 PM BST (June 1st 4:00 PM CEST to June 4th 12:59 AM CEST).

Only four characters have been announced as available for play in the demo, those being Mario, Peach, Bowser, and Yoshi, with the possibility of unlocking up to five more characters based on performance. Trailers and various announcements confirm that Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, Rosalina, Daisy, Boo, Toad, Toadette, Donkey Kong, Chain Chomp, and Bowser Jr. will all be playable in the final game, but none have so far been confirmed as any of the five additional demo characters at this time.

Game modes announced will include online multiplayer against other opponents plus a single player mode against the computer. The demo must always be connected to the internet in order to function regardless of the mode chosen, but whether this will be the case for the full game when it’s released on June 22 is not yet known. Additionally, those who play the beta will have the chance to earn an alternate costume for Mario consisting of his traditional overalls when the full game comes out, though the process of earning this costume is not yet revealed.

SNES Classic to be available on Nintendo Switch, thanks to a hacker

Despite all of the recent innovations in the video game world, some gamers still long to play games on the game systems of previous generations. Among those systems is the SNES Classic which many people were hoping Nintendo might find a way to make available on the newer Switch device. Unfortunately, they haven’t and seem to have no plans to do so. However, there was at least one ambitious hacker out there who decided to make the classic platform virtually available on the newer one.

As Forbes reported, a hacker named Sam Breadman was able to use LovePotion in order to port the SNES Classic library onto a Switch. LovePotion was a tool first made for the Nintendo 3DS system. However, it was ported to the Nintendo Switch to help bring dreams to reality, or to a virtual gaming reality, sort of.

Breadman released a sort of teaser video on YouTube that shows off his skills. In the video which was originally discovered by Nintendo Life, the SNES Classic interface is shown on a Nintendo Switch. It also presents a few menus with Mega Man X, Donkey Kong Country, and Final Fantasy III among the playable games. Unfortunately, no gameplay is shown in the video. That’s because Breadman says it’s still in the early stages of being developed and isn’t giving the best gameplay performance. So, some fine tuning will be necessary.

The reason that a hacker could even do such a thing is due to a boot exploit within the Nintendo Switch devices. That exploit allows anyone with a 3D Printer and the right experience to hack the device. Some have even made a working Linux tablet out of the Switch using the boot exploit.

It’s said that Nintendo can fix the problem, but that will involve releasing new versions of the console with Nvidia Tegra chips that are free of the issue. So far there haven’t been any reports floating around that Nintendo plans to do this and that could be good for those people who wanted a virtual SNES Classic on their newer device.

So will this concept be available for other people? The comments on the YouTube video are already numerous with people asking if it’s available yet and wanting their own virtual SNES Classic for the Switch. If enough people get behind it with a good bit of funding, the “Classic” dream could eventually become a reality and make it to the Switch.

Microtransactions and The Future Mobile of Gaming

Multiple new mobile games come out every day, even every hour, in 2018. All of them are trying to get a few minutes of your precious time, and trying to get you hooked so that you’ll part with your hard-earned money on in-game purchases, called microtransactions. These purchases are what keep mobile gaming developers in the business and help to keep the business model behind mobile gaming lucrative.

Two recent game releases show the current divide in styles for microtransactions and represent the old and new ways of getting money from your end users. The newest Harry Potter game represents the old style of charging, one where you gradually run out of resources or “power” in the game as you play and then must wait a period of time before being able to do any more to advance the game. This is the style we’ve known for years. Stopping the ability for a customer to play the game unless they wait or pay. This old model is slowly going away because consumers do not want interrupted gameplay in their games, no matter where they are located.

Fortnite, the internet’s newest gaming phenomenon, has gone another direction with microtransactions. Basically, there aren’t any of the old-style play-blocking schemes. In Fortnite there is an in-game store where you can purchase characters, pick axes (used in-game) and other item skins and dances. These are completely optional and do not stop or hinder your play without them. As you can see in the chart here, this style of purchase availability is much more appreciated by users, to the tune of $50 million. This model gives customers unlimited, uninterrupted playtime while also providing a solid revenue stream to the developer. Everyone is happy!

As we move forward with mobile gaming getting bigger and bigger we will start to see developers shy away from the Harry Potter-style of microtransactions that hinder or stop gameplay and move towards what Fortnite does, with mobile cosmetic stores and more. This should excite gamers in general, as it will mean more and more free games that don’t hinder you from playing simply because you cannot afford to spend money at the current time.

The NES Classic Returns This Year

If you are still angry about missing your shot to get the pint-sized NES Classic Edition from Nintendo back in the Fall of 2016, fear not! Nintendo has just announced that they will be bringing the NES Classic back to production this year, and also bringing the SNES Classic back as well. For those who don’t remember, the NES Classic is a mini version of Nintendo’s Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), that hooks up to your TV via HDMI input and lets you play a handful of classic games alone or with a friend.

As seen here, the game list is quite extensive and covers a lot of the old fan-favorites from the NES days.

Balloon Fight
Bubble Bobble
Castlevania
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong Jr.
Double Dragon II: The Revenge
Dr. Mario
Excitebike
Final Fantasy
Galaga
Ghosts’N Goblins
Gradius
Ice Climber
Kid Icarus
Kirby’s Adventure
Mario Bros.
Mega Man 2
Metroid
Ninja Gaiden
Pac-Man
Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
StarTropics
Super C
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 3
Tecmo Bowl
The Legend of Zelda
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

If you missed the original NES back when it debuted twenty-some years ago, and/or missed the NES Classic release a year and a half ago this will be your time to shine. The SNES Classic will be back as well, bringing with it a big list of classic Super Nintendo games for all to enjoy. Currently, Nintendo lists the re-releases to hit store shelves this September, but as was before, demand will likely be high. With more units being produced (on top of 5 Million sold) the likelihood is high that anyone who missed out before should finally be able to get one. You may want to check your local electronics or gaming store a few weeks early for news on pricing and pre-order availability, but you should have no problem securing one or both of these new releases this year, just in time for the family holiday season! Be on the lookout for more news on the units in the coming months.

The Crew 2 – Open World Racer Coming to Stores on June 29th

The Crew 2 is an open-world racing video game that is coming to the Play Station 4, Xbox One, and PC’s on June 29th, 2018. The game is expected to feature some of the communities favorite locations from the original game, as well as provide the opportunity to enjoy a three dimensional world with cars, boats, and planes. Ubisoft has already delayed this upcoming title once to ensure it did not make the same mistakes at their first installment, and while fans were disappointed with the announcement, they were happy with the fact that the developers are taking their time to ensure the experience is as polished and flawless as possible on launch day.

Ubisoft has plans for a free open-beta at some time before the release to allow fans to test out some of the games premier features. Fans of the upcoming open world racer have the opportunity to sign up for the upcoming beta on Ubisoft’s website, located here.

There are some great pre-order bonuses for players who are interested in securing their copy of the game early. With a bonus vehicle for each style allowed in the game, the pre-order bonus is a tempting decision that racers will have to make soon.

Hype is already building towards the upcoming release of this game, as it could be in the running for one of the best racing games of the year. With an absolutely massive map with tons of detail from coast to coast, players will get to discover events and explore the entire map with whichever types of vehicles that they want, whether they want to do it on roads, water, or in the skies. The entire world of MotorNation is waiting to provide players with a great racing experience. The map is expected to be filled with fun events, competitive races, and hidden secrets to discover from coast to coast.

Are You Ready To Go Underground in Fortnite?

At this point in time, you’ve likely heard just about every crazed theory about the Season 4 update to Fortnite. The developers at Epic Games did a great job protecting what the update would unveil and even now, days after it has been released, fans are still finding crazy new additions to the title. While we’ve already seen people talk at length about dinosaur footprints and comets destroying Dusty Depot, we’ve seen very little fanfare regarding the secret underground bases that are now littering the massive island that players battle to the death on. Are you ready to take the fight underground?

As it turns out, the destruction of Dusty Depot was far from the only map change that we ended up getting. Of course, we already talked about the dinosaur footprint, but that is surprisingly one of the least surprising new additions. We’re talking more specifically about the underground layers that are now scattered throughout the map. If you can pull yourself away from Dusty Divor or the new Risky Reels, you might find something truly special.

During your next game, head southeast of the Lonely Lodge. You’ll find a house where you can get up onto the roof. You’ll find a letter in here but more importantly, you’ll find a path to the underground. Dig your way through the bottom level of the floor and you’ll drop into an underground base. Inside of the base, you’ll find all manner of weird things including security systems, lockers, logos of some mysterious new group, and even a hidden hole tucked away behind a staircase (where all gamers know to look).

Once you’re done in the underground base near the Lonely Lodge, you can make your way to Snobby Shores. Head to the house on the mountaintop and you’ll end up finding a new missile silo. Inside of the silo, well, you’ll just have to see it to believe it. There are clues and references to an entirely new subplot to the Fortnite universe and we suggest seeing it for yourself before allowing text to ruin the surprise.

Fortnite Releases Season 4, Gamers Everywhere Applaud

Epic Games has been on a tear that few other video game production companies can claim to replicate. Not only has the company been behind the most successful ‘free’ Xbox Live title of all time, they’ve also become one of the most profitable mobile games in the world as well, thanks to a full release onto iOS devices. In order to keep pushing the limit, however, Epic Games knew that they couldn’t get comfortable. This led the production team to unveil the newest Season of Fortnite, Season 4.

For the past several weeks fans of Fortnite have been watching and speculating as to what the future holds in relation to the mysterious comet that had been hovering in the sky over the Battle Royale multiplayer matches. YouTube was rife with speculation and many people thought that this meant that Epic Games was going to seriously wreck the map in a new and exciting way. Fans thought that Tilted Towers, one of the least favorite spots on the map, was due for destruction. However, the comet ended up wiping out Dusty Depot — now known as Dusty Divot. Not only was the map shuffled, but a new secret base appeared as well with glowing rocks littered around different craters.

The comet was definitely the highlight of the new Season update but that wasn’t all there was to it. Epic Games reworked the map and also added in a completely new location known as Risky Reels. While the re-worked map is going to take a bunch of attention, fans are also tuned into the new superhero-themed cosmetic items that have been hitting the shop as well. There are hints littered throughout the map relating to a potential superhero subplot but we won’t spoil them for you. Instead, take some time to really dig in and look through the map through your next playthrough, you’ll be glad that you did.

Epic Games continues to prove that you can release an ostensibly free game while still maintaining quality and profitability. We’re excited to see how Season 4 plays out and we’re more excited to see what comes next.

‘Fortnite’ Cementing New Landscape of Video Games and Entertainment

There are two things that are simultaneously true about the current state of video games: people are playing them and people are really enjoying other people play them. ‘Fortnite’ is the epic ‘freemium’ game that has been bridging the gap between the two forms of entertainment thanks to its strong following on places like Twitch and YouTube. Now, with Season 4 released by developer Epic Games, Fortnite is looking to help push that paradigm shift into a more permanent. While this all sounds exciting for Fortnite, what does it really mean for the future of gaming?

In 2017, movie theaters hit a strange low that showed people were staying home rather than going out to the cinema with their money. While this was happening, entertainers like Drake were able to pull in millions of viewers into online video-chatrooms in order to watch him play the game Fortnite. Fortnite established a stronghold on Twitch, the predominant gaming-streaming platform, and it soon spread to the rest of the internet. Now, professional athletes, entertainers, and gamers alike are spending their hours on the internet playing Fortnite for thousands upon thousands of glowing fans. The gaming industry is changing in a real and weird way, and game developers couldn’t be happier.

In fact, we are at the point where professional gaming is moving into the mainstream at such an epic rate that now universities, businesses and even the Olympics are considering adding the event to their slate. E-Gaming clans like FaZe have shown that there is a crowd for professional competitive gaming and that people are willing to spend money and time taking it all in. Fortnite is just the latest link in the chain between gamers and the new medium that is professional gaming. The developers at Epic Games are going to wisely embrace this new turn of events.

While pop-culture is always changing, there has never been a change quite like that being supplied by Fortnite and e-sports. E-sports will likely define a new generation of kids and that only bodes well for the continued innovative future that we are presently living in. Who is ready to play some games?

Major Map Update Coming to Fortnite

To commemorate the Season 4 update to the hit online battle royale game Fortnite, Epic Games has just announced they’ll be doing things a bit differently from before.

Leading up to this patch, players have been able to find small meteors crashing to the ground during play for the last few days. Now, however, word has come in that these were merely a precursor to a major astronomical event. With the roll out of Season 4’s update, a massive meteor will land in the area of the game known as Dusty Depot.

Taking the place of one of the three warehouses that previously identified the area of the map, the meteor and its resulting crater will now be a permanent fixture in the map. Additionally, this location will be renamed Dusty Divot in recognition of the event, with military barricades surrounding the meteor seemingly to study it.

Changes to the map aren’t all this event has to offer, though. Fragments of the meteor itself, called Hop Rocks in the game, will be strewn about the play area. When picked up and crushed by a player, they temporarily give them the power to defy gravity, letting them jump higher than before at a slower pace (essentially, as if they were on the moon).

Another new area of the map has opened up in Season 4, as well. First seen in the new season trailer, a drive-in movie theater called Risky Reels has been made available for players. Other existing parts of the map have been given small updates, too, with small meteors and Hop Rocks scattered throughout.

For a full list of changes, check out the Fortnite 4.0 patch notes found on the Epic Games’ website. Bug fixes, gameplay tweaks, and Vaulting the crossbow are some of the major changes, as are the 100 new tiers of rewards players can now work on earning. Needless to say, the next few months of Fortnite will be quite exciting, with tons of new things to experience on all platforms.

Fortnite season 4 brings meteor & map changes to hit game

The Fortnite season 4 revelations were what many of the game’s biggest fans had been expecting. Epic Games unveiled the newest season on May 1st to give Fortnite some new challenges. The mysterious meteor finally crashed down and with it came a major impact on the game’s map. In addition, there seems to be a new quest for players to get involved in for the latest season, as well as special skins that are available.

A recent report from The Verge noted that popular fan theories and questions about what Fortnite location would change on the game map were finally answered. It was not Titled Towers that was hit by the Fortnite meteor crash, but instead Dusty Depot. That area is now known as the Dusty Divot on the map with a huge crater now there. It’s said that with the crater are also special rocks that give low gravity when consumed. In addition, more surprises may be coming as the new season unfolds.

Epic Games has been teasing some sort of theme that may be superhero related. There were superhero faces shown in a comet graphic suggesting that maybe Fortnite Season 4 will be tied into Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War” movie. It’s mentioned by Verge that there are superhero-themed skins available for Epic Battle Pass subscribers. There is also a new “Save the World” five-part storyline which has gamers assembling their own superhero team to carry out a new quest. A popular theory also suggests that the meteor that hit Dusty Depot was actually launched by aliens as part of an attack and now superheroes may need to fight them off.

Fortnite has now been around since July of 2017 when it first debuted for various platforms including the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, macOS, and Microsoft Windows. It was nominated for multiple awards at various gaming awards events since then and won the “People’s Voice Award for Best Multiplayer/Competitive Game” at the 2018 Webby Awards.

The release of new seasons will only continue to bolster the popularity of this co-op survival game with new challenges and map changes ahead. Epic Games clearly had a hit on their hands even before the meteor hit the map for season 4. The game has surpassed over a million players and ranked within the best games of the year in 2017. It seems destined to continue that trend based on creative changes that are continually unveiled to the gameplay.