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Upcoming Nintendo 2DS Bundle Comes with New Super Mario Bros. 2

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Nintendo has announced a new bundle that includes a white and red Nintendo 2DS. It comes with New Super Mario Bros. 2 pre-installed and will retail for $79.99. It should arrive in stores August 25.

“Nintendo 2DS is the ideal system for parents that want to introduce their kids to the creative world of Nintendo that they grew up with,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Its budget-friendly price and huge library of games will provide hours of entertainment for the whole family – whether after school, on the weekends or even while traveling.”

Earlier this year Nintendo announced the New Nintendo 2DS XL, and it launched last week. It’s functionally and aesthetically designed to look and play like the New Nintendo 3DS XL, with the obvious difference that the 3D feature has been eliminated. It’s being sold for a suggested price of $149.99. That’s $50 less than the New Nintendo 3DS XL, which still doesn’t come with a charging cord – and the New Nintendo 2DS XL does. The 2DS systems play all 3DS games.

Most of Nintendo’s gaming focus is on the Nintendo Switch, which launched earlier this year. But there are also several high-profile 3DS games slated for release this fall.

3dsBoth Hey Pikmin and Miitopia just launched along with the New Nintendo 2DS XL. Hey Pikmin is a side-scrolling spinoff of the Pikmin series. Miitopia stars you and your friends’ Miis in an RPG adventure.

Monster Hunter Stories looks like a mash-up of Pokémon and Monster Hunter. It’s coming September 8 with a demo on August 10.

Metroid: Samus Returns is a full remake of the 1991 Game Boy sequel Metroid II. It’s arriving September 15 along with some spiffy new amiibo figures.

Yo-Kai Watch 2: Psychic Specters is the third version of last year’s Yo-Kai Watch 2, with expanded features and more Yo-Kai. Grab it on September 29.

Nintendo has been coy with details regarding Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon but they will probably add new features and Pokémon to Sun and Moon. It hits stores on November 17.

The Nintendo 2DS Bundle with Mario arrives August 25. The New Nintendo 2DS XL is available now.

 

pokemon go

Disastrous Pokémon GO Fest Results in Mass Refunds

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When Pokémon GO first launched in July 2016, it instantly became a cultural phenomenon. Its unprecedented mainstream popularity lead to widespread network issues that lasted for weeks.

Unfortunately all reports from last Saturday’s Pokémon GO Fest on July 22 tell a similar story. While it was meant to be a fun one-year celebration gathering, it instead brought back the same network issues that plagued the game at launch.

Connection issues hampered excited players throughout the day, with most event-goers unable to do the one thing they bought a ticket for. Amenities and organization were also subpar, with few charging stations and very long lines to get in (and out of) Grant Park.

Pokémon GO Fest ended up being such a disaster that Niantic announced mass refunds for everyone who attended ($20 ticket price). They’re also offering $100 worth of PokeCoins. Of course many people paid much more than that with airfare, hotel stay, and the typical overpriced event food.

There’s a video now circulating on YouTube from the event that features very disgruntled event-goers, and Niantic CEO John Hanke being booed on stage.

Niantic released an official statement:

Today at Pokémon GO Fest in Chicago, technical issues created problems for a large number of players attending the event. From everyone at Niantic, we apologize to all of the Trainers who came out to Pokémon GO Fest today. Although we were able to solve many of the technical issues, we were not able to offer every attendee a great experience. We appreciate the patience of all the Trainers who joined us in Chicago this weekend. We will strive to make sure our experiences are of the highest quality going forward.

In addition to the refund and PokeCoins, all attendees will have the Legendary Pokémon Lugia added to their account. Lugia was meant to be the big reward for completing the challenges, but connectivity problems lead to Niantic simply releasing it. Apparently Team Mystic came out ahead on the few Pokémon captures that could be earned, unlocking Articuno as the other Legendary Pokémon.

Given how well Niantic has supported Pokémon GO and stabilized the servers following its rough launch, it’s exceedingly disappointing to see a large-scale event like this crash and burn. Niantic has had a year to iron out the kinks. You would think they’d be able to better prepare for an actual scheduled, ticketed event.

 

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Marshadow is a New Fighting/Ghost Type Coming to Pokémon

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The Pokémon Company have revealed the newest addition to the 700+ Pokémon roster. Marshadow is known as the Gloomdweller Pokémon, and is the very first with the unique dual typing of Fighting and Ghost. Marshadow’s moves and abilities have been teased out, but there are no details on when or how Marshadow will be added yet.

Known as the Gloomdweller Pokémon, the Mythical Pokémon Marshadow conceals itself in the shadows. It never appears before humans, so its very existence is the stuff of myth. Marshadow sinks into the shadows of others, and is able to copy their movements and power. Marshadow is a very cautious Pokémon. It sinks into shadows and observes what is going on around it in such a way that no one else will notice it. This may be the reason why is so rarely seen.

Marshadow has the Technician Ability, which powers up any moves of 60 or less a solid 50%.

pokemonMarshadow has several unique qualities, including an exclusive move, a unique Z-Move, and a special visual effect that turns its body partially green when attacking with full power.

The exclusive move is Spectral Thief. It allows Marshadow to steal any stat boosts from its opponent and then attack.

Marshadow’s signature Z-Move is Soul-Stealing 7-Star Strike. The special Z-Move has a unique animation where Marshadow attacks from its trainer’s shadow with a barrage of ghostly punches.

To unleash the Z-Move Marshadow must have Spectral Thief learned and hold the Marshadium Z-Crystal. As a post-launch addition that Z-Crystal cannot be obtained in-game. It will most likely be attached to Marshadow similar to how Munchlax came with Snorlium Z when Pokémon Sun and Moon launched.

Details on how and when to obtain Marshadow have not yet been announced. Based on previous post-launch Pokémon it will most likely be a limited time download code obtained either online or through GameStop.

 

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Massive Pokémon GO Update Revamping Gyms, Adding Co-op Raids

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The single biggest update is coming soon to Pokémon GO. The upcoming patch will revamp how Gyms and Gym battles work as well as adding a new cooperative Raid Battle feature.

Gyms will soon feature six permanent slots that can be filled with its controlling team’s Pokémon. Each Pokémon must be unique – no more stacking Dragonites and Snorlaxes! Opposing teams will have to battle them in the order in which they were assigned.

A new motivation system will be integrated with Gyms. Pokémon will lose motivation over time while in a Gym, especially if they lose a battle. As they lose motivation their Combat Power will decrease, making it easier to assault bulky Gyms after awhile. Gym owners can raise their Pokémon’s motivation by giving them berries, giving berries a much more important use. If a Pokémon’s motivation bar is completely drained, it will leave the Gym and return to its Trainer after its next loss.

Gyms will also provide items the same way PokéStops do. New Gym Badges can be leveled up by gathering Gym items every day as well as giving Gym Pokémon berries.

Raid Battles are an entirely new feature. A Raid Boss will take over a Gym, kicking out the current Pokémon. The Raid Boss initially appears as a giant egg with a countdown timer, signaling that a powerful boss will soon appear. Up to 20 trainers will work together to defeat the Raid Boss within a five-minute time limit, and the chance to catch a powerful Pokémon.

You’ll need a Raid Pass to join the fight. You can earn one free Raid Pass per day by visiting a Gym, but you can only hold one at a time. More will be available for purchase in the in-game shop.

New items are being added as rewards for winning Raid Battles. Rare Candy works like a wild candy, letting you use it on any Pokémon. Golden Razz Berries increase the chance of catching a wild Pokémon as well as fully replenishing a Gym-assigned Pokémon’s motivation bar. Two new Technical Machine items let you teach Pokémon new moves.

The Gym portion of the update is being rolled out soon, which will temporarily disable all Gyms during the transition. Then the Raid Battle feature will be added over the next few weeks, beginning with a beta for select players.

 

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Pokémon GO Fest and Solstice Event Celebrate One Year Anniversary

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We’re coming up to the one year anniversary of Pokémon GO, which has hit 750 million global downloads. Niantic will be celebrating with two events – one in-game and one in the real world.

The Solstice Event starts June 13. The in-game event will feature more Fire and Ice-type Pokémon as well as bigger XP bonuses for accurately thrown Poké Balls. The XP boosting Lucky Eggs will also be discounted in the in-game shop.

In preparation for an upcoming update that includes “collaborative group gameplay features,” Gyms will be temporarily disabled for a short period of time.

The real-world event is the Pokémon GO Fest, which will take place in Chicago, Illinois on July 22. Tickets will go on sale on June 19 at 10:00 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern. Actual details of the event should be announced before that time as well.

Japan is getting a “Pikachu Outbreak” event in August. European trainers are getting a Pokémon GO Event across the continent from June to September in partnership with a shopping center. Details and schedules for these events are still forthcoming.

Pokémon GO initially launched on July 6, 2016. It had a rocky launch full of server issues and bugs. Despite its near constant problems, Pokémon GO enjoyed a level of widespread mainstream success far beyond most video games. The combination of capturing Pokémon and an AR camera resonated with millions of people around the world.

In the year since Pokémon GO has provided updates and seasonal events. Earlier this year it finally added Gen 2 Pokémon. Some core features, such as trading, still aren’t available, however.