Greetings NAGeejas and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This time around a Pokemon Go player distinguishes himself as the master of smartphone animal-wrangling, No Man’s Sky gets into potential legal problems over their “Superformula” (that isn’t theirs), The Witcher 3 gets a sweet, sweet mod, Overwatch gets an insanely big e-sports tournament that launches it into legitimacy, Square Enix makes the worst RPG ever, Nvidia unveils their 1080 killer and Microsoft talks about the handheld that wasn’t. All that, videos, highlights from the week and a bag of potato chips, after the jump.
Pokemon Go player catches ‘em all
Right, pack it in, folks. It’s all over. Some dude in America with greater walking endurance than any Pokemon nerd has the right to have has officially caught every available US Pokemon. I don’t know much about this new-fangled Pokemon business the kids are into these days, but apparently this excludes region-specific creatures, the legendaries, and Ditto.
Now before you start crying foul, this dude has caught 4,269 critters, hatched 303 eggs and walked 153 kilometers. The last time I walked 153 kilometers was never, not cumulatively in my whole goddam life.
The man of the hour, Nick Johnson, describes himself as “busy” but then goes on to describe eight hour Pokemon hunting walks. So vampire confirmed I suppose. It’s probably better than that dude from New Zealand who quit his job to play “full-time”, which is weird phrasing for a mobile game with zero value.
No Man’s Sky runs into legal trouble over its “Superformula”
We knew it was too good to be true. No Man’s Sky was all hype this and hype that, the game went gold and we all thought holy shit, it’s actually coming.
Aaaaand now the whole point of the game, the part of it that allows for near-infinite worlds to explore, is using a formula ripped off from someone else. Oops.
Apparently University of Antwerp professor Johan Gielis developed it back in the early 2000s, and patented it in the EU in 2002 and the US in 2009. This is kind of a big deal, since the technology provides a way to easily generate terrain using limited computer resources.
The developers actually acknowledge the use of the formula, but now Gielis and his corporation Genicap are objecting to it being used without their input. While they can’t really patent a formula, they can patent application of it – and they do specify “graphics programs” in the patent.
It doesn’t sound like this is a litigious moneygrab though, and it doesn’t look like it will impact the game’s release too much. This is the rather reasonable statement put out by the Genicap company:
“If Hello Games used our technology, at some stage we will have to get to the table. We have reached out to them but understand they have been busy. We trust that we will be able to discuss this in a normal way.”
Hey guys, you used a patented formula for the basis of your entire game without permission. Maybe answer the phone.
The Witcher gets an FPS mod
Mods are truly one of the greatest gifts to RPGs, extending their life far beyond what is normal. Skyrim is probably the best modern-day example of this, but with people starting to finish up The Witcher 3 for good the mod crews have been getting busy.
One very cool mod is the in-progress first-person view, which doesn’t work for combat (the camera reverts to third-person when it’s fight time) but looks pretty gorgeous when exploring.
Here’s two videos showing it off:
Overwatch gets a $300,000 tournament
Overwatch is on the serious up and up, and with the major money and success of hit e-sports titles like League of Legends, DotA 2 and CS:GO, nobody wants to miss out on the Next Big Thing.
Big names in the CS:GO scene, E-league and FaceitTV, are running a new tournament called Overwatch Open that will have online rounds starting this weekend, with playoffs in late August and Regional Finals in late September.
The Grand Final will take place on September 30 at the E-League arena in Atlanta, Georgia, with the winning team taking home a rather impressive $100,000. The rest of the $300,000 prize pool goes all the way down to people who make it as far as the Regional Finals.
The cool thing about E-League’s involvement is that this means the game will be getting genuine TV time, specifically the Finals which will get a live broadcast on TBS in the States. People can clearly feel the Overwatch e-sport hype building already, and I’m excited to see where it goes from here with this much legitimacy injected into it early on.
Square Enix develops an RPG for the Apple Watch
I’m still not entirely sure I quite “get” the Apple Watch. It looks alright, but most of the applications are things I’d rather be doing on my cellphone than awkwardly tapping at my wrist for, and to me it ends up feeling like a glorified pedometer.
Which is exactly what Cosmos Rings seems to be, the new “game” in development from Square Enix. We don’t know much, except that the game sends you messages according to your daily step counts. But for a little less clarity, here’s the psychotic gibberish masquerading as an official blurb:
“The time that has stopped has once again continued to move, and in order to bring back the Goddess of Time, you need to face the many human emotions from the Interval of Time. Exactly what awaits remains unknown…”
Cocaine is a helluva drug, kids.
Nvidia unleashes the beast
Nvidia’s Geforce GTX 1080 is already the most powerful thing you can put in your desktop, but now Big Green has just revealed the new Titan X – and it’s a big mofo.
Rocking 50 percent more memory bandwidth and 33 percent more ROP throughput, this thing walks onto the playground and kicks the biggest bully in the teeth. It sports 3584 CUDA cores to the GTX 1080’s 2560, and almost doubled the number of transistors with 12bn vs 7.2bn. It uses the same GDDR5X memory, but it comes with 12GB instead of the 1080’s 8GB.
Coming in at $1200 it’ll likely cost more than everything else in your rig put together, but at least you’ll be able to play Minecraft in multi-monitor 4K.
With all those stats in mind, here’s a video of the GTX 1080 managing 60fps in Overwatch on 4K resolution.
Microsoft talks the not-meant-to-be “Xboy”
With the Xbox 360’s domination during the last console cycle, the question often comes up of whether Microsoft ever considered making a handheld.
According to former Chief Xbox Officer Robbie Bach, it was almost a thing. While the console never got as far as a prototype, there were “drawings”.
According to Bach, the notion of the “Xboy” came up multiple times, but never became a reality due to a lack of “bandwidth”, saying “we just couldn’t focus”. With the foray into gaming still being a smaller part of Microsoft’s operations, it seems most of the resources were put into the 360.
Bach believes that it turned out for the best as he believes smartphones now dominate that market sector. While I think he’s partially correct, I don’t think the concept of a handheld is completely dead – as we’ve seen from the success of Nintendo’s handheld systems.
Speedrunners are impressive. But then you get the type of speedrunner who finishes Super Mario World blindfolded in less time than it takes me to eat lunch.
Hey, remember Star Wars Battlefront? In an attempt to reel you back in, they’ve releases this offline multiplayer mode – check it out.
This brief review of This is the Police sparked controversy this week, as many accused it of pandering to political correctness rather than appreciating it for what it is. Where does something like this fit in with the highly-praised likes of GTA V? Personally, I wasn’t offended by the “dark humour”, but I’m not sure it’s more offensive than a whole host of other games. Have a look and see where you stand.
For something a little lighter, let’s end on this remake of the Battlefield 1 trailer – using Lego.
Best of NAG
The NAG Podcast hits its milestone sixth episode! Alright not exactly a milestone, but listen anyway.
My column for the week is about five things you all should be doing, but aren’t.
How does Pokemon Go‘s internet interest stack up against, say, porn? Cats? BREXIT? Matt Fick answers all these questions here.
Finally, check out this R100,000 DotA 2 tournament. May be time to dust off my Dagon Clinkz.
P.S. There are no potato chips. I lied. I’m not sorry.