Tag Archives: Smartphone

Pokémon GO 5th Anniversary Weekend In Review & What’s Next?

18 Jul

Pokémon GO's Fifth-Anniversary Event Features Shiny Darumaka and More |  Pokemon.comBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Let’s be realistic, Pokémon GO fever continues because the player base wants those mega candies. The offer of a new pocket monster, namely Meloetta, a new mythical creature, got the music aficionado in me excited and who doesn’t want a Rock Star Pikachu? I prefer to have a punk rock version, but what I really want to see is a stuffed doll to add to my collection. I’ll be keeping my eyes in the official Pokemon Center website.

The weekend’s anniversary event was about offering hordes of pocket monsters–a quarter of them great to use (and grind to power up) in battle league–and a smorgasbord of Legendaries. Players can also finish their Pokedex by seeking out the latter. The day offered a fair balance of paid and unpaid chances to catch those demigods. Those who bought the event ticket also have 18 Raid Pass chances to grab ’em all. That’s a terrific value in price for those gamers who regularly invest in raid passes to battle in them all.

The difference maker is in whether players are staying indoors (dodging the heat or pandemic) or venturing far to find them. I did a bit of both on the two days, and only went home when the sun was really overheating my smartphone. 

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“No Hope” for a Franchise. Transformers: Heavy Metal AR

16 Jun

Pokémon Go creator Niantic announces Transformers: Heavy Metal AR game -  PolygonBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The battle for which faction will occupy Earth is not likely at the core of the upcoming mobile AR game, Transformers: Heavy Metal. The media’s abuzz about bringing this Hasbro property to the videogame world again, and honestly, I’m not excited. I’m more curious in when the reboot will be brought back to the screen again (recent Netflix program notwithstanding).

Niantic Inc is involved in the development cycle, and early images suggest this product may well be another Pokemon GO clone. Seattle-based software house, Very Very Spaceship (known for Truck Stars) is leading the development. This four-year-old business doesn’t have a lot of recognition to get some fans excited.

This company is a self-described, “motley crew of space faring designers, engineers, artists and storytellers from the Pacific Northwest and beyond. For the past three years, under the leadership of BAFTA winning founder Sean Vesce (Never Alone, Tomb Raider Series, Mechwarrior Series), we have been solving the problems of the unknown for incredible partners like Google, Microsoft and others. We are a tight-knit group of makers thriving in our undiscovered future, making shared game experiences in AR, VR, Geolocation, Live Streaming and more. In addition to our client work, we develop and release original indie experiments like the recent Knife 2 Meat U, available at our itch.io page.”

Considering how huge Transformers fandom is, Hasbro’s quality control division ought to squash any bumblebees.

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How Pokémon GO Can Be Improved & Community Day Afterthoughts

17 Jan

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Updated: Jan 28th, 2021

Pokémon GO is off to a good start this new year. I’m playing a lot more because the first Community Day with Machop and triple stardust for every critter caught is exactly what I wanted. Toss on a Star Piece, and I was swimming in powder after playing for the full five hours. Hopefully, these types of triple offerings will pop up a touch more often.

But as for the augmented reality part of this game, I still keep the camera off. The feature still struggles with knowing the difference between three-dimensional objects, a wall and the floor. It’d be cool to see a Pikachu around the corner, and the player has to slightly chase after it in order to catch, but the various surface detection algorithms don’t work that way. This feature was supposed to roll out late last year, according to engadget, but it seems very little progress has been made. I’ve tested the option on an iPad Mini 5 and Samsung S20 FE. On both, the critter thought the curtain was a flat horizon surface–whoops!

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