Sports’ story mode sequels have a hard act to follow — their own

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Sports’ story mode sequels have a hard act to follow — their own

This is the sixth year of narrative story modes as an annual feature in a sports video game, the second with them prominent in three big titles, and it feels like we’ve hit a turning point. It wouldn’t surprise me to see it end up as a nice idea that has run its course, as opposed to a new expectation of the genre’s biggest names.

I say that after laboring through the third installment of The Journey, the story mode of EA Sports’ FIFA series since 2016. The soccer action is enjoyable enough, but even with three playable characters, none of them have much of an arc or a conflict beyond building up to that big win. The second of four acts in The Journey: Champions positively drags with incremental games and rote skills drills, especially if the user is following the mode’s recommended story path and exploring all three characters’ timelines concurrently.

A never-before-seen Pokémon appeared in Pokémon Go today

about X hours ago from
A never-before-seen Pokémon appeared in Pokémon Go today

Something very strange happened in Pokémon Go today at the conclusion of a scheduled community day event: A mysterious, never-before-seen Pokémon spawned in the game, leading to confusion and speculation about what it means for Niantic and The Pokémon Company’s mobile title.

In the Asia-Pacific region, at 3 p.m. in Japan, Pokémon Go’s community day event focused on the Pokémon Chikorita came to an end. Suddenly, the world of Pokémon Go was densely populated with a new type of Pokémon, one that looked like a white Ditto with a hexagonal nut for a head and a single eye at its center. When a player caught the new Pokémon — which appeared with the name “???” and a Combat Power (CP) rating of “???” — it would turn into a Ditto, typically an uncommon, harder-to-find Pokémon.

Watch 12-minutes of gameplay and a boss fight from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

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Watch 12-minutes of gameplay and a boss fight from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Activision hasn’t held back with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, presenting the game at E3, Gamescom and now Tokyo Game Show. The publisher seems to be targeting Dark Souls fans with gameplay videos that repeatedly and loudly hammer the same key message: this game will be just as challenging, if not more so, than From Software’s other series.

The new footage, published to PlayStation’s YouTube channel, gives an extended look at the Corrupted Monk boss fight, along with some adventuring through the game’s mountainous environment. For me, the highlight of the demo comes around the 7-minute mark, when our hero has to sneak past a snake that’s longer than the average skyscraper. The person controlling the demo seems to think they’ve reached safety in a cave. They have not.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy coming to PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy coming to PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

Capcom is bringing the first three games in the Ace Attorney series to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One next year. At Tokyo Game Show today, the publisher announced a new version of the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy for release in early 2019.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy will include Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Justice for All and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Trials and Tribulations. All three were originally released on Game Boy Advance, but have since been re-released on a variety of other platforms. The trilogy has been ported as a collection to Android, iOS and Nintendo 3DS.

Battlefield 5 developers outline changes coming after recent beta

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Battlefield 5 developers outline changes coming after recent beta

Battlefield 5’s open beta wrapped up 10 days ago, and developers from EA DICE today discussed how feedback from it will help them adjust the game’s multiplayer before the game’s launch in November.

For starters, attrition — this is where players have limited ammunition and cannot fully regenerate health — will need tweaks to what players start with on spawn, developers said. The attrition limitations generated a ton of feedback, some of it love/hate, but a lot of it saying it needed more of a nudge than a shove in the back. Developers are considering more ammunition and a medpack on spawn, and a higher maximum ammo capacity to help users last longer.

WWE 2K19’s trailer has me wondering what’s a work and what’s a shoot

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WWE 2K19’s trailer has me wondering what’s a work and what’s a shoot

WWE 2K19’s career mode will more resemble the career mode of its NBA 2K sibling, in that players will start out with a long preamble chapter telling the story of their wrestler’s rise before embarking on a more open-ended performance schedule.

The latest trailer from 2K Sports does a great job of setting expectations for this improved career approach, which includes fully voiced characters and meaningful drop-ins from WWE names. Players begin as a indie rassler performing in armories and living in a van down by the river. They then move up through higher level promotions, which everyone knows is not a meritocracy.

Our Final Fantasy 7 oral history book is out now

about X hours ago from
Our Final Fantasy 7 oral history book is out now

Late last year, Polygon teamed up with publisher Read-Only Memory to launch a Kickstarter campaign. We’d gotten a number of requests to turn our Final Fantasy 7 oral history feature into a book, and we thought it seemed like a fun experiment. So we gave it a shot. And thanks to 1,871 backers, the idea became a book.

Since then, we’ve been churning through the details, putting together what we’re calling 500 Years Later: An Oral History of Final Fantasy VII. And as of today, we’re happy to announce that the book is done, starting to arrive into backers’ hands and available for purchase.

Fortnite season 6 begins next week, huge XP bonus begins now

about X hours ago from
Fortnite season 6 begins next week, huge XP bonus begins now

So far, the lead-up to Fortnite’s sixth season feels a bit more sedate than the events that brought us season 5, but it’s also nice to have a big, bouncy lake in the game now. So maybe it all comes out even in the end? Either way, Epic Games has confirmed that season 6 will begin next Thursday, Sept. 27.

Players who are still trying to level up their Battle Pass to unlock this season’s items and skins before that happens will have some help: The game will give you 400 percent XP for playing from now until Sept. 24 at 8 a.m. EDT. That’s a nice incentive to play some matches over the weekend.

Twitch suddenly blocked in China

about X hours ago from
Twitch suddenly blocked in China

The livestream platform Twitch is no longer available in China. After a surge in popularity last month among esports fans, this week the Twitch app was abruptly removed from the iOS App Store in China, leaving fans in the lurch.

Twitch has confirmed to Polygon that it is aware of the situation. We’ve reached out for further comment, specifically with regard to what communications it has had with the Chinese government.