The launch of Star Wars: Battlefront II has been marred by controversy over the game's loot system. While players can earn bonuses like new heroes, equipment and vehicles by playing, they could also buy them quickly with microtransactions. Predictably, the effect of this came off as allowing or encouraging players to pay to win, which has made gamers and even some regulators unhappy. Tonight, EA announced it's pulling the plug on crystal purchases, as DICE GM Oskar Gabrielson said the company will "spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning."
Nintendo seems keen to address Arms' overall thin initial offerings in terms of stages, characters and modes. Since launch the game has been updated a handful of times to add more, and today brings another. Arms 4.0 adds Misango, a man with robotic scorpions for fists. Yes, really. He also has a mask that can help guard against facial damage. There's also a new stage that Misango calls home, and you can see that in the trailer embedded below. Nintendo hasn't updated the fighter overview page online just yet -- or the patch notes -- so it isn't clear what else Misango will bring with him.
The Nintendo Switch is an excellent game console. If you don't want to quit collecting Power Moons in Super Mario Odyssey but need a change of scenery from your living room, that's entirely doable. Simply take the tablet out of its dock, slide your Joy-cons back on and you can pick up right where you left off, regardless of venue. But there's so much more to play on Switch. The problem is, aside from the games you can buy at retail, they can be hard to find, because Nintendo's digital storefront isn't very well organized. Which is what our list of the best Switch games is for. Simply search for these games by name in the eShop and you're guaranteed to have some fun.
Virtual reality has made a lot of progress lately toward looking and sounding better, but we're still in the early stages of making it feel better on a tactile level. Standalone headsets like the upcoming Oculus Go and the just-announced HTC Vive Focus will definitely improve the experience by eliminating that pesky umbilical cord that connects you to a computer. However, the realism of many of these simulated worlds is still hamstrung by the need to handle a controller in order to interact with anything. HTC's Vive Tracker, available for pre-order today, goes a long way toward making VR feel more true to the experience it's meant to be simulating, replacing the usual plastic wand with accessories that can emulate the weight and feel of real-world tools like sports equipment and projectile weapons.
Resourceful hackers have long been rejuvenating Nintendo's consoles past their sell-by dates. Armed with in-game exploits, the homebrew community persistently overcame updates to release unofficial emulators and apps for the Wii, Wii U, and 3DS. But, is Nintendo's latest console as hackable as its predecessors? A bunch of enthusiasts have been tinkering away for months to solve that riddle, and they've now made a significant breakthrough. As the Wololo homebrew community notes, an update to the Pegaswitch toolkit allows for the Switch to be prepped for homebrew on firmware 3.0.0. using a copy of Pokken Tournament DX.
EA isn't only getting a lot of flak over Battlefront II's loot crates, it's also under investigation from Belgium's gambling authority. According to VTM Nieuws, the country's gaming commission is in the midst of taking a closer look at both Battlefront II and Overwatch, since add-on boxes that have to be purchased before you can see what's inside might constitute gambling. As Commission chairman Peter Naessens points out, random loot boxes are a game of chance.
There are a whole host of apps and games that are aimed at teaching kids to code, but not all of them come with stellar IP partnerships. But that's just what Bloxels, Pixel Press's video game building system aimed at teaching kids how to be content creators, has. Today, Pixel Press and the toy company Mattel announced that the companies were partnering to release a Star Wars edition of Bloxels. You can buy it today for $50 at retailers nationwide.
On November 22nd, Pixar is set to release its latest animated masterpiece. It's called Coco, and one of its central themes is Dia De Los Muertos, a Mexican holiday that honors the dead. To help promote the film, Pixar partnered with Oculus to produce its first-ever VR experience. Aptly named Coco VR, it was announced back in October, but is now available starting today for all Rift headsets (A Gear VR version will be out next week). I tried an early preview of it a few days ago and I found the experience to be whimsical, educational and, surprisingly, fun.