hatchathon

Hatch More Eggs in Pokémon GO Hatchathon

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Many New Year’s Resolutions involve getting more exercise and losing weight. What better motivation to get moving than hatching eggs in Pokémon GO? From now until Jan. 15, Pokémon GO trainers will receive bonuses for using Adventure Sync to track walking distance.

Adventure Sync is a recent addition to Pokémon GO that tracks your distance using your smartphone. Once you activate Adventure Sync in the Settings, Pokémon GO will automatically track your distance without having to keep the game open. Walking distance is useful for generating candy with your Buddy Pokémon, hatching Pokémon eggs, and earning weekly rewards.

During the Hatchathon event, any egg you hatch will result in double the candy and stardust. You’ll also have a greater chance of receiving the bigger 5 km and 10 km eggs from PokéStops and Gyms. Eggs are a good way to collect rarer Pokémon, especially the 10 km eggs. Time to get moving!

The Hatchaton event ends January 15 at 1 pm Pacific/4 pm Eastern. Recently Pokémon has also begun rolling out Trainer battles, which finally feature player vs player combat. Trainer Battles are limited to local multiplayer and online with friends, and can net rewards and bonuses.

Pokémon GO is free to download on iOS and Android mobile devices.

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Pixelkin’s 2018 Game of the Year

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This year had some truly remarkable games. Games like God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2, Celeste, and Dragon Quest 11 reflected a rich diversity of gameplay experiences. For Pixelkin’s 2018 Game of the Year, we focused on the best games that were particularly well-suited for families.

Nintendo once again houses some of the best family-friendly gaming we can find. One game lovingly remade a childhood classic from two decades ago, updating it for modern audiences while adding in several noteworthy new features to introduce a whole new audience to one of the best family-friendly franchises in gaming.

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! and Let’s Go, Pikachu! is Pixelkin’s 2018 Game of the Year.

The brilliance of the original Pokémon Red and Blue, released in the US in 1998, is on full display. The Kanto region is recreated in the more modern 3D style of Pokémon X/Y and Sun and Moon. The light-hearted hero’s journey is fast and easy to jump into, beginning with choosing a new starter Pokémon. The partner Pokémon is a powerful combatant and a cute tagalong friend who, like Pikachu in the series, rides with me rather than in a Pokéball.

Pikachu (or Eevee) can also learn Secret Techniques, which replace the previous Hidden Machines. These moves help explore previously unreachable places, like Sea Skim to traverse water. No longer do I have to worry about including a water Pokémon or a flying Pokémon to get around the latter half of the game.

Pokémon Let’s Go is full of these little improvements and changes that modernize the two-decade old Pokémon gameplay. Other very welcome improvements include the ability to finally swap Pokémon in and out of my active party without having to go through the endless boxes of the Pokémon Center, actually seeing Pokémon out in the world so I can pick and choose my wild encounters, and renaming my Pokémon anytime I wish. I also loved taking out an additional Pokémon to walk around with me, or in the case of larger Pokémon like Rapidash, riding on them! Few moments are as charmingly nostalgic as charging across grassy fields while riding on Arcanine.

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Catching wild Pokémon is the biggest change in gameplay, but it’s one I found satisfying and rewarding – not to mention kid-friendly. It works almost exactly like mobile AR game Pokémon GO. The Joy-Con motion controls work so well that I often used the kickstand when playing in handheld mode. Flicking the ball at a squirming Pokémon offers just enough interest to never get stale, while ‘battles’ never last more than 30 seconds.

For the first time in the series I actually want to run through dozens of wild Pokémon encounters, increasing my Catch Combo in the hopes for better stats and rare shiny Pokémon. And with Pokémon spawning directly on the world map, catching them has never been more fun or engaging. It makes the world come to life like never before and I hope all Pokémon games in the future utilize it.

The Pokémon series has always been kid-focused series (now enjoyed by countless 30-somethings) but what truly makes Pokémon: Let’s Go an excellent family game is the new co-op mode. Co-op is seamlessly integrated, allowing another local player to simply shake the other Joy-Con half and drop right in. The players have to stay within the same screen and the partner can’t interact with anything, but they do get to participate in combat and in catching wild Pokémon.

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Few gameplay moments have been as rich as playing alongside my young daughter as we synchronized our Pokéball throwing and tag-teamed against the villainous Team Rocket. The intuitive co-op is definitely a feature I want to see in all future Pokémon games for the Nintendo Switch.

As a longtime fan of the series, Pokémon: Let’s Go lacks some of the more deep and complex gameplay features that Pokémon has cultivated in the last two decades, such as breeding and abilities. But it is an excellent modern remake of the original games, and the Pokémon GO-style catching is surprisingly engaging. The many modern improvements make journeying through Kanto more enjoyable than ever. With the new co-op mode, it’s easily the most kid-friendly game of the entire series, and a wonderful way to introduce the magic of Pokémon to a younger generation.

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Pokémon GO Reveals Details on PvP Trainer Battles

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After teasing the upcoming PvP update earlier this week, Niantic has revealed a few more important details on how Trainer Battles will work in Pokémon GO.

Trainers will be able to battle each other via one trainer scanning a QR Code of another. Trainers can be complete strangers, but if you’ve reached a certain level of friendship via gifting (Ultra and Best), you can challenge each other from any distance.

Both trainers must compete within the same Battle League, which was previously announced as three separate leagues divided by max CP per Pokémon. Great League is 1,500, Ultra is 2,500, and Master has no upper limit.

Trainers will battle each other using a team of three Pokémon. Like the Gym and Raid battles, combat is in real time and plays out quickly. Trainers will be able to execute regular attacks and charged attacks. Trainers can also use a Protect Shield to avoid critical damage if they use it at the right time, though you’ll only have a limited number of shields to use. Stardust and Candy can be used before a fight to unlock another charged attack.

Although Trainer Battles are designed for PvP, you will be able to battle your respective team leader, Spark, Candela, or Blanche, once per day as a training exercise. You can earn rewards such as Stardust. Regular Trainer Battles will net rewards for both the winner and loser, including a chance at highly-coveted evolution stones.

Trainer Battles are coming later this month for Pokémon GO.

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Pokémon GO Teases PvP Trainer Battles, Coming Soon

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Over the last several days the official Pokémon GO twitter account has been teasing the next most requested feature for the game: Player versus Player. Trainer battles are still teased as “coming soon,” but we finally got some official screenshots and a few choice details on how they’ll work.

Three new Battle Leagues will be available for PvP Trainer battles: Great, Ultra, and Master, named after the PokéBalls. Each Battle League restricts which Pokémon you can use to a maximum CP amount. For the Great League the max CP per Pokémon is 1,500. Ultra League is 2,500 and Master really takes the wheels off with no max CP limit at all.

You’ll want to start organizing and preparing your team to get just under the values of those leagues. A Battle League team is made up of three Pokémon.

“When designing Trainer Battles, we wanted to create an experience that everyone can enjoy and ensure that different kinds of Pokémon can show their strengths,” states the official Pokémon GO twitter account. “With Leagues in Trainer Battles, we hope to create a system that’s accessible to many Trainers.”

That’s all the information we know so far on Battle Leagues. We don’t yet know how Trainers will be able to start these battles or what rewards will be offered.

Pokémon GO recently added the Adventure Sync. The Adventure Sync lets you sync the game’s walking speed with your smartphone, allowing you to hatch eggs and find Buddy candy without opening the app. Adventure Sync is enabled in the Settings menu.

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Nintendo Switch Becomes Best Selling Nintendo Console in History

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As we predicted in our Holiday Gift Guide, the Switch is the hottest gaming product this holiday season. Nintendo has officially confirmed that the Switch became the best selling console in Nintendo’s history over the five day Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales weekend (Nov. 22-26) in the U.S.

Thanks to online stat-tracker tool Adobe Analytics, Nintendo has announced that the Switch was the top-selling video game product, and one of the most purchased items online during the sale period, beating out even the Wii motion control craze from a decade ago.

In total sale-savvy shoppers spent over $250 million on Nintendo products, including consoles, games, and accessories.

This year’s sales for Nintendo were a huge increase compared to last year, to the tune of 115%. First party Nintendo games sold a million units, an increase of 78% over last year. The big new sellers included Super Mario Party, which surpassed one million units since its launch in October, becoming the fastest-selling Mario Party game and the fifth Switch game to reach the million-seller tier.

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! also sold very well, reaching over 1.5 million units sold combined. (read our review).

Nintendo’s mini classic consoles also sold well again this year. The Super NES Classic Edition reached 2.5 million units, with its older brother NES Classic Edition reaching 2 million units.

Nintendo helped lead the way on a record-setting Cyber Monday, which saw consumers spend $7.9 billion in online shopping, making it the single biggest shopping day in U.S. history.

Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime had previously told Yahoo Finance that the holiday sales season is critical, making up about 60% of the company’s yearly revenue.

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Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! Review

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Available On: Switch

Pokémon GO’s incredible popularity on mobile phones introduced a whole new audience to the already stalwart Pokémon franchise. The Pokémon Company has leveraged that popularity for Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!.

On the surface the Let’s Go games are glossy, 3D remakes of the first generation of Pokémon (Red/Blue/Yellow) with the much simpler Pokéball throwing mechanics borrowed from Pokémon GO. Despite its relative simplicity compared to recent mainline games like Sun and Moon, Let’s Go includes several brilliant new features that make journeying through Kanto again rewarding and memorable.

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