e3 2018

E3 2018 Press Conference Schedules

Posted by | Mobile, News, PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One | No Comments

The 2018 Electronic Entertainment Expo officially kicks off June 12-14. Much of the news, trailers, and announcements will come from the various press conferences held by the biggest companies in gaming leading up to the show. Stay tuned for Pixelkin for the biggest headlines, and see below for the schedule of conferences throughout the week and weekend, beginning June 9.

Saturday, June 9

EA Play 2018 – 11 am Pacific/3 pm Eastern

We’re expecting many more details and trailers surrounding BioWare’s Anthem. Other than that expect the usual slew of sports games like Madden and FIFA, and perhaps some new EA Originals indie announcements.

Sunday, June 10

Microsoft – 1 pm Pacific/4 pm Eastern

Watch live video from Xbox on www.twitch.tv

Microsoft has been exceedingly quiet in the weeks leading up to E3, which could be a bad thing or a good thing. The Xbox has lagged behind this generation, due in large part to a dearth of console exclusives. Might we see a price cut to the Xbox One X? Expect Microsoft to push Mixer as the next big Twitch platform.

Bethesda – 6:30 pm Pacific/9:30 pm Eastern

Watch live video from Bethesda on www.twitch.tv

Bethesda’s press conference in the past has been late at night, but thankfully they’re bumping it up a bit this year. Bethesda has already announced sequels Rage 2 and Fallout 76, with the latter spurring lots of speculation on what kind of game it is. Expect to get some answers Sunday night.

Devolver Digital – 8 pm Pacific/11 pm Eastern

Watch live video from Devolver Digital on www.twitch.tv

With Bethesda vacating the late night spot, indie publisher Devolver Digital slides right in. Last year’s inaugural press conference was highly irreverent and very goofy. Yet they still managed to show off lots of neat trailers for upcoming games. Best of all, the whole thing only runs about 15 minutes.

Monday, June 11

Square Enix – 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern

Watch live video from Square Enix on www.twitch.tv

Despite Square Enix publishing several high profile games each year, including Final Fantasy, Tomb Raider, Dragon Quest, and Deux Ex, the publisher hasn’t held an official E3 press conference in two years. We can expect updates on Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Dragon Quest XI, and especially the highly anticipated Kingdom Hearts III.

Ubisoft – 1 pm Pacific/4 pm Eastern

Watch live video from Ubisoft on www.twitch.tv

Last year’s Assassin’s Creed Origins was hugely successful. Ubisoft has already announced Assassin’s Creed Odyssey as the next game, so expect their marquee franchise to be the highlight of the show. Will it actually come out this year? And will we see actual gameplay of the mysterious Beyond Good and Evil 2?

PC Gaming Show – 3 pm Pacific/6 pm Eastern

Watch live video from PCGamer on www.twitch.tv

Since the PC doesn’t have a single big publisher press conference, media outlet PC Gamer has taken on the reigns in the last few years. It features a more late night talk-show format, with less fancy trailers and more deep dives with developers.

Sony – 6 pm Pacific/9 pm Eastern

Watch live video from PlayStation on www.twitch.tv

Sony may have the least surprising press conferences of the bunch, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We expect major updates on Spider-Man, The Last of Us Part II, Days Gone, and maybe a little more Death Stranding, one of the most mysterious and talked about games from last year’s E3.

Tuesday, June 12

Nintendo – 9 am Pacific/12 pm Eastern

Watch live video from Nintendo on www.twitch.tv

Last but certainly never least is the pre-recorded Nintendo Direct. The Switch remains in full swing and Nintendo has many exciting franchises to announce, tease, and detail. We fully expect the upcoming Super Smash Bros. for Switch to be the main focus, but perhaps we’ll get teases for Metroid Prime 4 and the new Pokémon games.

jurassic world alive

Jurassic World Alive is a Better AR Game than Pokémon GO

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I love Pokémon GO. I fell in love with the brilliant concept of hunting Pokémon in the real world and forgave the horrendous networking issues along with everyone else when it launched two years ago.

Jurassic World Alive borrows much of the basic gameplay and mechanics of Pokémon GO, using dinosaurs in place of Pokémon. Even if you’re not a big dino-fan, Jurassic World Alive improves upon Pokémon GO in several key areas, making it the AR game I’m more likely to play when I’m out.

Bingo, Dino DNA

Inn Jurassic World Alive you are a member of the Dinosaur Protection Group. Your mission is to save dinosaurs by, uh, shooting them with tranquilizer darts, creating genetic hybrids, and battling other dinosaurs. Who knew prehistoric conservation could be so much fun?

jurassic world aliveJust as in Pokémon GO, your primary job is to collect creatures on an augmented reality map, localized to your current location. Dinosaurs and Pit Stops are scattered around the world, the latter giving you darts to capture dinosaurs and gold for upgrading them.

When you find a dinosaur you enter a timed mini-game. The dinosaur runs around as your flying drone attempts to fire tranq darts from above. A crosshair reappears in different places on your target as you hit the marks, upping the challenge. It makes capturing the dinosaurs far more engaging and less frustrating than flinging a bunch of poké balls.

The other key difference is that you never capture a single dinosaur. Instead you collect a number of DNA points, depending on how well you hit the crosshairs. A direct bullseye will net over 10 DNA per shot, while a grazing shot gives half of that. If you miss the crosshair you’ll receive none at all.

Since each capture session is timed, you can only get a limited amount of DNA from each dinosaur. This provides a welcome incentive to capture duplicates dinos.

Gather a certain amount of DNA and you can create that dinosaur. Rarer, stronger dinosaurs like the Tyrannosaurs Rex require much more DNA. Each dinosaur can also be leveled up by collecting additional DNA, with upgrades granting more health and stronger attacks. You’ll definitely want stronger dinos because the turn-based combat is legitimately fun.

We Need More Teeth

Combat in Jurassic World Alive isn’t limited to Gyms as in Pokémon GO. You simply select the Battle button from the menu and match up with a similar rank opponent. You can bring up to four dinosaurs on your battle team, with the goal of defeating three of your opponent’s dinosaurs before they do the same to you.

Battles are intuitive and fun. Unlike the constant clicking chaos of Pokémon GO, combat in Alive is entirely turn-based. Each dinosaur has two to three moves you can choose from. Most include secondary effects like slowing down an opponent, or adding a protective shield for your next turn. Passive abilities include armor that reduces damage, or automatically counter-attacking after receiving damage.

jurassic world aliveThere’s enough variety in the starting common dinosaurs that I’ve already been adjusting my team several times over as I find the right mix. The Velociraptor, one of the easiest dinosaurs to level up in the beginning, hits extremely hard with an ability that does an additional x2 damage. It has very little health, however, making it good for a strong opening attack that I immediately switch out with something beefier, like the Euoplocephalus.

While many of the abilities are outlandish and very video gamey (like the aforementioned shield, which literally looks like a sci-fi hologram in front of the dinosaur) I appreciate that most of the dinosaurs are drawn from real world creatures. Each stat sheet includes a nice little About This Creature section, featuring a few sentences of science facts. Euoplocephalus, for example, means ‘well-armed head.’ It’s not exactly National Geographic but it’s nice to see some effort made to create some educational content in a game about collecting and battling dinosaurs.

In another improvement, the Supply Drops, Jurassic World Alive’s equivalent of Poké Stops, are much more frequent and accessible. This makes a huge difference to folks living in more rural areas, where the dearth of Poké Stops makes Pokémon GO almost unplayable. A free incubator is also given every six hours, which always includes a pack of 20 darts, no matter where you are.

You can purchase additional incubators (essentially loot boxes), gold, and darts with cash, and cash can be acquired with real money purchases. But it never pushes them on you, and I haven’t felt the need to spend any real money despite devoting quite a few hours into my new dino collecting hobby.

If I have one complaint, it takes a long time to level. Like Pokémon GO, your character also levels up. Reaching higher levels spawns better and rarer dinosaurs in the wild. The leveling feels painfully slow, even early on, limiting you to seeing the same few dinosaurs everywhere.

As it cross its two year anniversary Pokémon GO’s star-studded status has faded from the public view. Pokémon remains a stellar franchise and finding Pokémon in an AR game is still very enjoyable. I have no doubt that the upcoming Switch tie-ins, Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee, will spark a wave of new interest.

I love Pokémon and Pokémon GO, but Jurassic World Alive does a better job of everything Pokémon GO does. At this point I have fully switched over from Gotta Catch ‘Em all into humming that classic John Williams theme.

playerunknown's battlegrounds

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile Celebrates 10 Million Daily Players

Posted by | Mobile, News | One Comment

One of the most popular games to play online is celebrating a big milestone. Tencent and PUBG Corp are officially confirming that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile has reached over 10 million daily active users around the world.

The mobile version, also known as PUBG Mobile, was released on iOS and Android on March 19. In less than a week it reached the top downloaded spot in more than 100 countries. It’s available to download for free with in-app purchases.

Recently PUBG Mobile added the new second map, Miramar. Miramar features a desert setting with several large cities. The mobile game has been nominated for Best Breakthrough Hit and Best Community Building Game at the 2018 Google Play Awards.

PUBG Mobile is the successful mobile version of the incredibly popular Battle Royale survival-shooter, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. PUBG drops 100 players on an island in a massive free-for-all deathmatch. Everyone has only a single life, and must scrounge the area for supplies, weapons, and vehicles.

A fun selection of stats has been released. Apparently the average survival time is only about 14 minutes.

playerunknown's battlegrounds

PUBG originally released via Steam Early Access last year. It’s also available via Xbox Games Preview on Xbox One.

Despite stiff competition from Fortnite’s equally popular Battle Royale mode, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds remains the most played game on Steam, with around 1-1.5 million players at any given time.

PUBG Mobile is available on iOS and Android. It’s rated T for Teen with Violence and Blood.