‘Jurassic Park Alive’ Brings Dinosaurs To The Real World

Augmented reality games are taking mobile app stores by storm this year as franchises like Harry Potter, Ghostbusters, Maguss, and now Jurassic Park.

Players will assume the role of a Dinosaur Protection Group (DPG) member tasked with saving dinosaurs from a second extinction.

Unlike other AR games that require the user to travel in the real world, ‘Alive’ will let players send out a drone to collect DNA samples.

The game will take on a realistic approach to collecting dinosaurs with players using location-based technology to track and observe dinosaurs habits in their natural habitats.

Users Collect rare and powerful breeds of dinosaur by flying a virtual drone in-game, and collecting DNA samples to maintain a full roster of dinosaurs in hand.

Battles will take place between dinosaur ‘strike teams’.

Collectible items will come in the form of supply drops which will contains in-game currency or things like battery life for the drone.

The game is set to release this spring according to a trailer released by Ludia, the developer of the game.

Interested dinosaur wranglers can pre-register here.

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Southwest Airlines To Partner With Nintendo To Launch Super Mario Odyssey Promotion

 

contest_southwest_odyssey_sweeps_img.jpgSouthwest Airlines is partnering with Nintendo to provide a sweepstakes awarding contest winners with Nintendo Switch Prize Packs and more to celebrate spring and summer travel.

From now until March 16, fans of Nintendo and Southwest Airlines alike will be able to enter for a chance to win several prizes, with a grand prize of a round trip for four, a $1,000 Starwood Preferred Guest gift card, and a Nintendo Switch prize pack.

“Super Mario Odyssey is all about travel, exploration, and that feeling you get when you discover something new and exciting,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We’re excited to partner with Southwest so our fans can have memorable journeys in-game and in real life.”

At the end of the sweepstakes, a total of 29 runner ups will receive a Nintendo Switch prize pack.

To enter and view official rules, visit Southwest.com/Nintendo.

Review: Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition

It is a true wonder when a mobile game impresses the gaming community, but that is exactly what happened when Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition was released on mobile devices just a week ago.

What began as a ‘do we really need this’ became a ‘this is truly a great portable edition of Final Fantasy XV’.

Honestly, who knew that the gaming community needed a 3DS-like ‘demake’ of an already great console (and now PC edition) game but it proves to be a great option for those who haven’t played Final Fantasy XV or those who just want to play through the game again portably.

GAMEPLAY

One thing players will notice about Pocket Edition is cutscenes are nearly perfectly recreated, though now in the ‘chibi’ graphic style.

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Players of the console edition of the game will feel right at home, with dialogue between characters copied word for word, complete with voice acting for nearly every text bubble.

Banter between characters is still funny and an important piece of the story and atmosphere.

Movement has been reduced to just tapping or holding onto a point on the screen but somehow it works, especially in battle.

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Though simplified, the battle system in Pocket Edition feels right. Attacks are automatic once you target an enemy with Noctis’ warp ability returning, and the having the camera facing down, you can see exactly what you are doing at all times, which is a breath of fresh air fom the hectic camera system in FF XV.

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Areas of the game are fairly large for a mobile game, though it certainly isn’t open-world.

Outside of battles players will explore areas looking for barrels to smash, or sand piles to grab items out of. Exploration is still fun, with features like camping returning.

Of course, Ignis’ cooking sessions have returned as well.

The first time I saw Ignis snap his finger and exclaim, “I’ve come up with a new recipe,” I smiled, knowing I was about to embark on another adventure with Noctis and gang.

GRAPHICS

The game is still beautiful, though everything has been shrunk down to ‘chibi’ size.

With graphic settings set to high, light blooms seep onto the scene, colors are deeper, but even with settings set to low, it feels like playing a 3DS game, which is an amazing feat for mobile.

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Battles are still action packed with effects and characters all working flawlessly.

I experienced almost no lag, though there were a few slowdowns in some areas when transitioning from one place to the next, though it isn’t always noticeable.

The game runs in 30fps by default but I found playing in 60fps was a more enjoyable experience personally.

SOUND

Everything is nearly identical to the console version in the sound department. Music, sound effects, dialogue, its nearly perfectly adapted to the mobile edition.

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Hearing ‘Somnus’ play on the main menu when opening up the game was a nice touch, and instantly made me want to play through the game again.

One noticeable difference is right in the beginning scene. When Noctis and the gang are pushing the car along the road, I expected ‘Stand by Me’ to start playing but instead another song began to play, with no lyrics.

It’s a small complaint but the only noticeable one during my playthrough of the game.

SUMMARY

Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is a great feat for mobile gaming. It is a true Final Fantay experience that feels just like a 3DS remake of FF XV, which isn’t a bad thing at all.

It doesn’t feel like mobile game. I never once thought, ‘I’m playing on my phone right now’. Most of the time I was too engrossed in the game to worry about what device I was playing on.

Essentially, they recreated the entire game for mobile devices. Everything is intact, including cutscenes.

It is certainly an enjoyable experience for the price and definitely worth the investment.

Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is available to try for free. The full game is $19.99 for all 10 chapters.

New Kingdom Hearts 3 Trailer Confirms Monsters, Inc. World

In a new trailer, developer Square Enix finally confirmed another Pixar world that will be in the upcoming release of Kingdom Hearts 3, Monsters, Inc.

Complete with monster forms for each of the main characters, Sora, Donald, and Goofy can be seen meeting Sully and Mike and their little human friend, Boo.

Also in the trailer are reveals and hints towards a renewed Organization 13 and a glimpse of Vanitas approaching Sora in a cutscene from the game.

The game is supposedly still on track for a 2018 release with rumors panning the game towards a Holiday 2018 release, in time for the 13th anniversary of the titular series.

Review: Final Fantasy Dissidia: Opera Omnia

Even with a title that makes little sense and proves to be a mouthful, Final Fantasy Dissidia: Opera Omnia proves to be a shining title on mobile app stores just a week after its release in the United States.

The game features over 25 notable Final Fantasy characters so far with updates seeming to come at a fairly quick pace.

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Like other mobile games of the same nature, it runs off of quests that allow for a 3 character party to bring into battle. Various spots on the world map open up at a time with more opening as the story progresses.

Each spot either contains a story progression spot, or just a random enemy battle, with bosses interspersed towards the end of each “island” on the world map.

The battle system is what really makes Opera Omnia shine, however, with a strategic and turn-based style with added flair.

Battles work like classic RPG systems, turn-based but Opera Omnia has added new twists.

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The player will now have to deplete the enemies Bravery (brv) before they can inflict damage on the opponent. Once the opponents bravery has been lowered or broken, the player can inflict HP attacks, allowing for damage to be dealt.

The upside, players also have bravery, meaning enemies must first deplete that before characters can sustain damage, sometimes giving players an extra layer of protection against strong attacks.

STORY

The story follows a meager moogle (that’s a mouthful) and it’s mission to band together the best warriors from multiple universes to fight back against Torsions that have been opening across the games various islands. These torsions threaten the entire world, including the universes that each of the characters originally belong too, giving each character a motive to fight alongside strangers against the darkness brewing in the games universe.It’s not the most intricate or deep story, but nobody asked for a mobile game to contain a AAA story, it just has to be fun, and Omnia definitely is.

GAMEPLAY

Gameplay is standard fair for games of its type on mobile, there’s no open-world to explore. Instead you tap around on nodes on the world map to navigate to different battles or dialogue sequences.

The game mostly centers around battles with dialogue in between. Chat sequences of course either reveal a character or further the story. The balance of the two is well done.

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The battle system is the main focus of the game. The refreshing new bravery system is nice and the strategy it adds makes the usual RPG fair exciting and fast.

SOUND

The usual Final Fantasy soundtrack can be heard in certain moments in the game. Gone is the prologue song usually played at the beginning of each entry, but an original soundtrack replaces it.

It does the job, its not as catchy or exciting as the soundtrack for Brave Exivus, but it does the job, and does it well.

GRAPHICS

The game isn’t beautiful by any means, but it’s nice to look at. The graphics are akin to 3DS graphics, with characters taking on chibi-like forms.

Light rays come from the top of the screen in grassy plains, and cutscenes are done well with characters taking on their respective traits, armor, and weapons.

OVERALL

Opera Omnia is a wonderful mobile experience, especially when waiting for Final Fantasy 15: Pocket Edition. It has all your favorite FF characters such as Cloud, Tifa, and Warrior of Light from FF1.

The gameplay is addictive, with co-op quests to participate in when you’re done playing alone for a while.

With planned updates and more characters added, Final Fantasy fans will enjoy the experience.

Overall, the game is a unique take on the typical RPG battle system with added features and graphics alike to a 3DS game.

Mario Kart Mobile Game Announced

In a short announcement on twitter, Nintendo of America revealed the next game in their line of mobile games planned for the next few years, Mario Kart Tour.

No details have been revealed other than the games release date, which Nintendo has touted for the fiscal year ending in March 2019.

With Nintendo slowly learning the ropes for the right amount of content in a mobile game, this could be great, or a disaster.

All hope is on Mario Kart Tour being a preview of what is to come to Nintendo Switch.

https://spark.adobe.com/video/k7PdhruO5GyLj/embed

New Game The Onus Helm Brings Classic Dungeon Crawling Gameplay to Steam

With a classic gameboy-like appearance and smooth and satisfying gameplay, The Onus Helm, a game by developer B-Cubed Labs is on its way for release in 2018.

The Onus Helm is a randomly-generated action adventure game with Rogue-like elements, combining the best elements of several genres and making them into a unique and interesting gaming experience.

“The Onus Helm started off with a much bigger scope,” said the developer behind the game. “I knew that I wanted to replicate my favorite experiences from the 2D Legend of Zelda games, but with the gameplay of a fast-paced dungeon crawler, and the general look and feel of the game developed into what I think is best for the scope of the project.”

It begins with the protagonist awakening to find the cursed helm upon his head. The player must then wander the rooms in the game to discover the truth behind the helm and overcome its burden.

Throughout the game players will find weapons, discover secret areas, and gain new abilities that will allow them to fight off the mysterious creatures making up the world of The Onus Helm.

The developer behind the game noted that his most influential inspiration was The Legend of Zelda, and those inspirations can be clearly seen.

Paying homage to the titular series from Nintendo, the menu, graphics, and gameplay style are all reminiscent of Nintendo’s famous game.

The game will come with a built-in speed run clock, perfect for live streamers and will support both keyboard and game pads.

Like most Rogue-like games, permadeath will be an important feature, making each playthrough an important affair. It will be important to stay alive, especially when encountering one of the many bosses scattered throughout the rooms.

Luckily, there are countless amounts of items and weapons at the players disposal as they explore the randomly generated dungeons of The Onus Helm.

“I am really hoping to make something fun and challenging that can get players coming back for more,” said the developer. “I’ve put a lot of time and effort into the character art and atmosphere too.”

The Onus Helm is touted for a 2018 release and is currently a little less than a month away from the end of its kickstarter.

New Pokémon GO Feature Makes the Game More Realistic

In what was an unexpected update, Niantic, the developer behind Pokémon Go, revealed the newest game update will bring more realistic augmented reality to the game, thanks to Apple’s ARkit development software.

That’s right, android users are getting left behind for now as Niantic works to develop a feature exclusive to Apple devices.

This new feature will begin to implement ARkit, apples new flagship development kit for developers to utilize AR more fluently.

For example, according to Niantic, Pokémon GO will use the new technology to make Pokémon occupy a fixed point in space, allowing players to walk up close to The Pokémon and observe it from all angles instead of The Pokémon just floating around in the air.

Beyond cosmetics, players will now be able to essentially sneak up on Pokémon and gain a greater amount of experience and chance to catch The Pokémon depending on their awareness level.

Awareness level is a new feature inside battles. It is represented by a bar at the bottom that raises if the player gets too close to The Pokémon during the battle, or makes too many quick moves.

Niantic said players will have to be careful trying to sneak up on Pokémon like Charizard but will find it easier to sneak up on Pokémon like Snorlax.

After testing the new update, I can personally say it is somewhat buggy. Pokémon appeared on top of objects as an overlay and didn’t quite look like they were sitting on the ground like I imagined.

“This is our first step toward making AR capabilities in Pokémon GO even more awesome, opening up the framework for greater AR experiences in the future.”

Overall, the new feature adds a layer of depth to the game, even if it is just cosmetic in nature.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Review

Outside the village players are used to playing in in Animal Crossing, mobile gamer’s are now going to get a taste of the camping life with the recent release of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.

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Pocket Camp has been out for two weeks now and having played for this long, this gamer can say that it is a true Animal Crossing title worthy of the series.

Despite its blatantly obvious in-app purchase model, the game can be enjoyed and experienced by everyone, regardless of premium currencies. As far as I can tell, all items in the game except for speed boosts are available with in-game currency.

Luckily, even the premium currency (leaf tickets) are easily obtained by completing quests.

The current holiday event gives out over 100 leaf tickets alone.

Gameplay

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp plays identically to previous titles in the series, with a few changes.

Players familiar with the world will feel at home while running around the new world shaking trees for fruit, fishing, or catching bugs, but old and new players will also love the new camp aspect.

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Whereas AC: New Leaf introduced the ability to customize the town with things like swings and lampposts, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is what probably inspired Pocket Camp the most.

The main idea is the game is to build an appealing campsite for visiting villagers to stay in while they’re on vacation at the various islands surrounding the camp.

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Players have the ability to craft furniture and amenities, new large-scale building projects that level-up villagers of that type (ex. Cute, Cool, Sporty, Natural). Furniture can be placed in the campsite, some of which is required to invite specific villagers to stay in the camp.

Players are also given an RV to customize and decorate. The inside can be decorated the same was as the camp, whereas the RV can be customized with paints and designs on the outside.

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Upgrades to the amount of space or adding rooms to the RV works the same way as previous iterations, with loans being taken out for the work. Players will then have to pay off the loans with the in-game currency, bells.

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One of the main features of the game is the requests system. When talking to villagers, whether they are visiting or permanently living in the campsite, they will present requests, which essentially are fetch quests for items around the various areas in the game.

Unfortunately, new players will likely run out of storage fairly fast as there are more items on the map then pocket space to put them in. Requests become a little mundane after a while when you realize you’re missing one Tiger Butterfly and there are none on the map.

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Luckily, the game still has familiar features such as the clothing shop and a very small version of Nook’s Cranny among other new features.

The game is sadly plagued with timers, some taking upwards of 48 hours to complete, but with several other activities to do, it never feels like you run out of things to do.

Graphics

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a good looking game, or at least as good looking as an Animal Crossing game can look on mobile devices. The graphics are on-par or even better than Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Pocket Camp’s predecessor.

All the assets are nearly identical to past renditions of the titular series, the fish look fishy, the tree’s look tree-y, the villagers retain their cuteness, and for some, weirdness.

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The game perfectly retains the cute art style that Animal Crossing is known for, and some items are probably straight out of previous iterations of the series.

Sound

Music in Animal Crossing is chill and relaxing, like a mini-zen garden but with sound.

Pocket Camp manages to maintain that relaxing musical quality with songs changing across the various areas of the game, as well as the time of day. (yes, there are day and night cycles).

Summary

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp was thought to be just a town-builder with Animal Crossing slapped on the label but it turned out to be much more.

Pocket Camp is a full-fledged Animal Crossing title, worth of bearing the name of the series, and not just as a mobile game.

With frequent updates being promised by Nintendo and DeNA, players will likely enjoy the game for years to come with more features likely to appear over time.

Overall, the game gets a perfect score from Consumer Friendly. Though it has flaws it is a genuinely enjoyable Animal Crossing title with a lot of fun packed into a small package.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is available for download on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

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