Review: Georifters – An Ultimately Unremarkable 2D Platformer

Puzzlingly dull.

There’s been no end to 2D platformers on Switch, but only a select few featured that heavier focus on puzzle mechanics. Whether it’s enjoyable first-party efforts like BOXBOY! + BOXGIRL! to indie affairs such as Evergate, we’ve seen a great line-up so far, and Georifters is next to the plate. Developed by Busy Toaster, Georifters is more of a kid-friendly experience, featuring a strong focus on local multiplayer that allows up to 4 players. It holds some good ideas but sadly, the execution just isn’t that fun.

Our main campaign takes place within adventure mode, letting you play alone or in 2-player co-op. Starting in the land of Sweet Spot, a world where everyone is obsessed with sugary treats, our local hero Candy notices that strange rifts have appeared within their atmosphere. Aided by Chief in her investigation, she discovers those rifts are spatially unstable, bringing in waves of foul Buttflys. Resolving to find the cause, this story spreads across 6 different worlds, meeting new playable characters along the way and spans over 30 levels.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

Review: Giraffe And Annika – A Laid-Back Adventure That Might Be Too Chill For Some

Challenge Annika.

We were pretty thrilled by this one before booting it up – I mean, how many games have giraffes in them?! Certainly not enough. The Adventure Pals repped the ruminant but nothing else really springs to mind. Imagine our disappointment, then, when we booted up the game and found nary an actual giraffe in sight, just a sort of weird cat-boy thing. It’s a good thing the game is charming and fun, or we might have had to send a stern letter to the publishers.

The whole thing is just so chill. Taking control of the titular Annika, you find yourself exploring the mysterious island of Spica, with the goal of locating fallen stars which will grant you new abilities, allowing you to investigate more and more of this pastoral peninsula. In that respect, it’s a simple adventure game; you can’t even jump until you clear the first “dungeon”. There’s little in the way of hostility or combat, besides a rock-clearing mine-cart ride and the boss battles. It all gets a little more intense towards the end, but none of this is going to trouble the Pure Platinum crowd. And it’s not supposed to.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

DOOM Eternal Switch Release Still Happening, id Software Says It’s “Very Close”

Hell, it’s about time.

DOOM Eternal was released in March on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC – so what’s going on with the Switch release?

In a recent interview with Digital Foundry’s John Linneman during PAX x EGX, id Software’s Marty Stratton provided gave Nintendo fans with a long-awaited update. Here’s exactly what he had to say:

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

PS5 vs Xbox: Analyzing the Tech in Each Next-Gen Console

We’ve been getting glimpses of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X for months, but at long last the new consoles are starting to feel real, with price, pre-order, and release dates officially set, hardware shown off, and launch game trailers plastered over YouTube to drool over. But now that consumers finally have enough intel to make an informed decision, both companies have announced lower-priced, digital-only alternatives to their high-end machines, which can make a decision much more challenging.

The High-End: Xbox Series X vs PS5 Specs

In order to compare the disc-less PS5 Digital Edition and Xbox Series S, we need to start with the high-end models: the $499 PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. We haven’t had a chance to put any of these consoles through their paces, so when it comes to practical performance, we can only go off what the manufacturers have told us – while maybe gleaning a bit from past consoles.

Both machines boast 8-core AMD Ryzen CPUs, with 16GB of RAM and custom AMD Radeon integrated graphics. However, the PS5’s CPU runs at 3.5GHz (with variable clock speeds) and its GPU at 2.23GHz, with 10.28 teraflops of graphical horsepower. The Xbox Series X’s CPU is marginally faster at 3.8GHz (3.6GHz with multi-threading is used) and the GPU slower at 1.825GHz – though its higher number of compute units put its total computing power at about 12 teraflops, a bit higher than the PS5.

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Clock speeds and teraflops aren’t the end-all-be-all of performance, but it’s the only hint we have right now at how the consoles will compare. Both are aiming to output graphics in 4K, and can handle up to 120 frames per second for super-smooth motion – though many games will probably require you to step down the resolution to hit that frame rate. Most games will likely aim for 30 to 60 frames per second at 4K.

The consoles aren’t running identical hardware, so it’s likely one will have slightly stronger capabilities (if we’re speculating, it’s probably the Xbox Series X), but the two are going to be more similar than they are different, playing many of the same games with comparable graphical fidelity. I’d be surprised if the average gamer could tell the difference between graphics without pixel-peeping.

That said, peepers gonna peep, so we’re sure to see these differences soon enough. The Xbox One X, for example, was able to run games at slightly higher resolutions than the PlayStation 4 Pro, or with fewer framerate dips – that ultimately meant slightly sharper graphics with smoother motion. If a console, like the PS5, has to upscale a lower resolution to 4K, it can also introduce small “artifacts,” or graphical glitches, to the image. You can see some examples in this video from Digital Foundry, which compares checkerboarded 4K on the PS4 with native 4K on a PC. We won’t know how wide that gap is with the next generation of consoles, and how the slower model’s disadvantages manifest, until we see some more games in motion.

Xbox Series S vs PS5 Digital

Sony and Microsoft probably knew $500 was a tough pill to swallow, so they’re both providing lower-cost alternatives to their top-of-the-line models: Sony offers the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition for $399, and Microsoft offers the Xbox Series S for $299. It may be tempting to directly compare these two – after all, you’ll probably see them sitting side-by-side on some shelves – but they’re different enough that such a comparison doesn’t make much sense.

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The PS5 Digital Edition has the same exact specs as its disc-friendly big brother, meaning games should look and play identically on each. The only difference is the 4K Blu-ray drive, which is not present on the Digital Edition. That’s pretty self-explanatory: if you plan on buying games digitally and streaming instead of watching Blu-rays, the Digital Edition is well worth the $100 savings.

The Xbox Series S, on the other hand, uses different hardware than the Series X in order to hit that budget-friendly $299 price point. Its graphics chip can only hit 4 teraflops, with 10GB of RAM and a 512GB storage drive that’s half the size of the terabyte drive inside the Series X. Microsoft says it’s aiming for a 1440p resolution, which lies somewhere between the 1080p of the original Xbox One and 4K of the Xbox Series X. It’ll upscale to 4K, and it’s capable of playing games at a super-smooth 120 frames per second, but again, it’s likely to be closer to 30 or 60 frames per second unless you drop the graphics down on games that support such options.

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Perhaps most revealing is the fact that the lower-cost Series S, while backwards compatible with last-gen games, will not play the Xbox One X-enhanced version of those games – instead, it’ll play the “Xbox One S version” – the “default” backwards-compatible version – albeit with some improvements like smoother frame rates, faster load times, and HDR. In other words, it may fall somewhere between the One S and One X in terms of graphical fidelity. So, while the PS5 Digital Edition is a next-gen console through and through (with a small discount for the lack of disc drive), the Series S seems more similar to a last-gen console in terms of its graphical output, while still being able to play the latest games.

Microsoft hasn’t said exactly what this will look like beyond resolution and frame rate, but it could also mean certain graphical settings are downgraded – maybe shadows will be a bit more wobbly, or perhaps certain textures have a bit more blur on the Series S. Ray tracing could be scaled back as well, for slightly less realistic lighting, according to Microsoft. Last-gen comparisons might give us a clue what the differences could be – in Shadow of War, for instance, faraway objects like trees are noticeably less detailed on the Xbox One S than they were on the Xbox One X. And if you remember its predecessor, Shadow of Mordor, was seriously hamstrung on the Xbox 360 and PS3 compared to the PS4.

I’d be surprised to see a difference between the Xbox Series S and Series X as brutal as something like Shadow of Mordor’s cross-generational stumbles, but it depends on how far developers push the limits of the hardware. Most of what we’ll see is probably slightly scaled back graphics, with lower resolution and/or framerate. Even with those minor sacrifices, the Series S sounds like a screaming good deal at $299.

So Which Do You Buy?

If you’re biting your nails trying to decide which of the four new consoles to buy, here are a few considerations:

  • Games: Picking between Camp Xbox and Camp PlayStation is probably easy: the games are likely to make all the difference. If you’re a fan of God of War, Horizon, and Spider-Man, those games will all have exclusive representation on the PS5 (and PS4). If you’re addicted to Halo, Fable, and Forza, those’ll all be getting their own installments on the latest Xboxes.

  • Resolution: Between the Xbox Series X and Series S, the Series X is going to provide the best experience in terms of detailed graphics and smooth motion – albeit at a higher price. If you don’t have a 4K TV, you’re just a casual gamer, or if you just want to get some better bang for your buck, the Series S is going to be a great budget option with minor sacrifices.

  • Performance: Pixel count aside, both versions of the PS5 and the Xbox Series S/X will be able to hit framerates of up to 120FPS – though it’s likely we’ll still see plenty of 30-60FPS games as well. Given the lower-tech gear powering the Xbox Series S, it’s likely that you may see some reduced visuals as well – like running a game on “normal” vs “high” settings on PC.

  • Digial vs Physical: On the PlayStation end of things, the Digital Edition is hard to say no to: for $100 less, you get a system with the exact same specs as its bigger brother, just without a disc drive. If you already plan on buying games digitally, it’s a no-brainer. That said, don’t discount the value of discs. Buying physical PS5 games could provide enough savings to offset that $100 in the long run, since you can buy and sell discs used. Plus, 4K Blu-rays are amazing – better than 4K streaming – making both disc-based consoles enticing for movie buffs.

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And don’t feel like you have to make this decision right now. If you’re on the fence, holding off could help you avoid a case of buyer’s remorse, letting you see how these consoles perform in the flesh before you fork over your hard-earned cash. That is, if you can stand the wait.

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Whitson Gordon is a writer, gamer, and tech nerd who has been building PCs for ten years. He eats potato chips with chopsticks so he doesn’t get grease on his mechanical keyboard.

Xbox Lets You Plan Where to Put Xbox Series X and Series S in Your Home With a Paper Version

If you’re still not sure where your Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S are going to fit in your entertainment center, don’t worry, Microsoft has you covered.

Announced via Twitter, you can now print and assemble your own replica console.

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Available as a free download from the Xbox website, Microsoft is allowing eager players to print out full-scale or 1/3-scale versions of either Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S to “plan how they are going to fit in your lifestyle.” Basically, is it going on top of or inside your entertainment center?

The paper cutouts are surprisingly detailed, though. Both contain every labeled port for each upcoming console as well as small details such as the fan on top of the Series X and the color-matched Xbox logos on each box. Microsoft included simple instructions for each, indicating all you need is a pair of scissors and some glue to assemble your new (paper) box!

Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S preorders begin Tuesday, September 22nd at 11:00 AM ET/8:00 AM PT. You can follow our guide on where to secure your Xbox preorder. Also, be sure to check out 8 new details we learned about the smaller, discless Xbox Series S.

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Matthew Adler is a Features, News, Previews, and Reviews writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @MatthewAdler and watch him stream on Twitch.

Xbox Insider Release Notes – Omega (2008.200917-0845)

Hey Xbox Insiders! We have a new Xbox One update preview coming to the Omega ring. It’s important we note that some updates made in these preview OS builds include background improvements that ensure a quality and stable build for Xbox One.

We continue to post these release notes, even when the noticeable changes to the UI are minimal, so you’re aware when updates are coming to your device. Details can be found below!

Xbox Insider Release Notes

System Update Details:

  • OS version released: RS_XBOX_RELEASE_200819041.4171.200917-0845
  • Available: 6 p.m. PT – September 18, 2020
  • Mandatory: 3 a.m. PT – September 19, 2020

Fixes Implemented

Thanks to the hard work of Xbox engineers, we are happy to announce the following fixes have been implemented for this build:

New Store Experience

  • Fixed an issue where the Store would not launch and repeatedly prompted to install an update.

Known Issues

We understand some issues have been listed in previous Xbox Insider Release Notes. These items aren’t being ignored, but it will take Xbox engineers more time to find a solution.

We’re still tracking these known issues:

Audio

  • Users who have Dolby Atmos enabled and console display settings set to 120hz with 36 bits per pixel (12-bit) are experiencing loss of Dolby Atmos audio in some situations.
    • Workaround: Disable 120hz or set Video Fidelity to 30 bits per pixel (10-bit) or lower.
  • Some users have reported that Dolby Atmos for Headphones audio setting changes when the console is rebooted/updated.
    • Note: If you attempt to set the audio to Dolby Atmos for Headphones and see a message advising you to launch the Dolby Access App, please file feedback before launching the app.

Guide

  • Some users have reported that the audio mixer cannot be used to adjust chat/game audio levels.

My Games & Apps

  • Users have reported seeing black tiles instead of game artwork when browsing their collection.
    • Note: We are still investigating the issue, please report the issue again from the console if you have done so with a prior update and are still seeing this behavior.
  • Some titles in collection may appear with a “trial” tag incorrectly in collection.

New Store Experience

  • Some titles may display a “Not currently available” message on the product page and will be unavailable to purchase
    • Note: Users can use the Microsoft Store on the web or Windows to complete purchases for these items.
  • Users will not be able to use the “gifting” option for both Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles at this time.
  • Users will not be able to use the “Build a bundle” functionality at this time
    • Workaround: Create the bundle via the Microsoft Store on the web or Windows.
  • Xbox Design Lab customization is not currently supported.
    • Workaround: Use the Microsoft Store on the web or Windows to purchase.

Profile Color

  • Sometimes users may encounter the incorrect Profile color when powering on the console.

Make sure to use Report a problem to keep us informed of your issue. We may not be able to respond to everyone, but the data we’ll gather is crucial to finding a resolution.

What Happens to Your Feedback

How to Get Xbox Insider Support

If you’re an Xbox Insider looking for support, please reach out to the community subreddit. Official Xbox staff, moderators, and fellow Xbox Insiders are there to help with your concerns.

When posting to the subreddit, please look through most recent posts to see if your issue has already been posted or addressed. We always recommend adding to threads with the same issue before posting a brand new one. This helps us support you the best we can! Don’t forget to use “Report a problem” before posting—the information shared in both places helps us understand your issue better.

Thank you to every Xbox Insider in the subreddit today. We love that it has become such a friendly and community-driven hub of conversation and support.

For more information regarding the Xbox Insider Program follow us on Twitter. Keep an eye on future Xbox Insider Release Notes for more information regarding your Xbox One Update Preview ring!

Related:
Xbox Insider Release Notes – Alpha (2010.200917-0000)
Xbox Insider Release Notes – Alpha Skip-Ahead (2011.200917-0000)
Xbox Insider Release Notes – Beta and Delta (2010.200915-0000)

Fortnite: Save The World being pulled from Macs while Epic and Apple grapple

The newest casualty in Apple and Epic Games’ legal squabble is Fortnite: Save The World. Nah, not the battle royale everyone plays, just the co-op horde game. If you’re just catching up, Epic kicked off a big stink with Apple last month with a weird, 1984-inspired propaganda video as they circumvented Apple’s cut of App Store sales. It’s been all drama since then. Has this really only been going on for four weeks? This is going to be a long, tiresome ride.

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Spider-Man: Miles Morales’ Story, Villains and More Explained

With Spider-Man: Miles Morales coming to both PS5 and PS4 this year, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about the upcoming video game.

Whether it’s the story, villain, release date or how Miles Morales’ powers set him apart from Peter Parker, we’ve got you covered.

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Spider-Man: Miles Morales Origin

Let’s start with a recap of how Miles Morales (voiced by Nadji Jeter) got his spider-powers in the 2018 game Marvel’s Spider-Man. It’s not unlike how he got his powers in the comics and the film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse but of course the game put a new spin on how it all went down.

We meet Miles as a 15 year-old living in New York City who idolizes Spider-Man and just happens to be friends with one Peter Parker. After the death of Miles’s father, police officer Jefferson Davis, at the hands of Mister Negative’s gang members known as the Inner Demons, Peter takes care of Miles by inviting him to volunteer at the F.E.A.S.T. shelter with Aunt May and checking in on him during his adventures as Spider-Man.

Despite struggling with the loss of his father, Miles is inspired to find ways to do good and ends up helping Spider-Man by evading a rampaging Rhino to deliver important information, tending to the sick infected with the Devil’s Breath, and even saving Spidey’s life alongside Mary Jane Watson.

All this proves he has the stuff of being a hero, and then the final ingredient arrives in the form of a genetically modified spider that escaped from Norman Osborn’s secret lab, which bites him and gives him a unique set of spider-powers. Miles chooses to reveal these powers to Peter, and Peter decides to trust Miles with his secret identity, thus paving the way for a new Spider-Man.

In the post-game DLC expansion adventure called The City That Never Sleeps, we get a few more snippets of Miles exploring his new powers. Even though Peter tries to teach Miles to be responsible and exercise caution, Miles “accidentally” uses his powers to show off in basketball and tests the limits of his abilities by jumping off a bridge, resulting in a broken toe. Peter eventually decides it’s time for some proper teaching and the story ends with Miles getting his first lesson in web-swinging.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales Story

The story of Spider-Man: Miles Morales takes place one year after the events of the original Spider-Man PS4 game. Miles has progressed quite a bit, outfitting himself with his own red-and-black version of the Spider-Man costume to patrol the streets of New York City.

Kicking off just before Christmas, the story starts in Miles’ home of Harlem and features the fledgling hero dealing with a street war between the Roxxon Energy Corporation and the high-tech criminal army known as the Underground, led by a villain known as the Tinkerer (more on her in a moment). As Miles’ mother Rio Morales holds an election rally for City Council, the Underground crashes the party, leading to the two gangs clashing on the Braithwaite Bridge and leaving it up to Miles to intervene and save those in danger.

The Underground attack a Roxxon armored van carrying a shipment of Newform, an experimental energy source created by Roxxon. Tinkerer manages to get away with one canister, but not before it gets infused with some of Miles’ bio-electricity. It wouldn’t surprise us if the combination of those two energies creates something extremely powerful and dangerous that the Tinkerer is able to use for nefarious purposes.

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How Long Is Spider-Man: Miles Morales Going to Be?

Whereas Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4 was a full-length game, Spider-Man: Miles Morales will be a shorter adventure. Developer Insomniac said it will be similar to other “expandalones” like Uncharted: The Lost Legacy; that game offered roughly seven to 10 hours of gameplay, so expect something similar for Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales Trailers and Gameplay

So far there have been two trailers showing off Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

There’s the initial launch trailer:

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And the second trailer features a look at Miles’ life as a civilian before launching into a combat gameplay demonstration.

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Spider-Man: Miles Morales Villains

Spider-Man: Miles Morales features two villainous factions, Roxxon Corporation and the Underground, the latter of which is led by the Marvel villain known as the Tinkerer.

Roxxon Energy Corporation

Roxxon Energy Corporation is a massive, evil corporation in the Marvel Universe, although they mask it by operating as a lucrative, public-facing company. They embody corporate greed, environmental pollution, and every other bad thing corporations are known to do, all upped to the worst degree. Often run by a vicious executive, they only care about increasing profits and pleasing their shareholders, and they’re willing to engage in all sorts of illegal activity to do it.

The Roxxon enforcers in Spider-Man: Miles Morales appear as armored, heavily-armed guards in red and dark gray colors.

There’s no word yet on who leads Roxxon in the game. It could be any number of the various suits who have taken on the role over the years in the comics. Although, it would certainly be interesting if it were a known supervillain, like Dario Agger, the current head of Roxxon in the comics who just happens to be a bloodthirsty Minotaur. Roxxon has used everyone from the Serpent Squad, the Squadron Supreme and the Dogs of War as hired guns over the years, so the possibilities are numerous.

The Underground and the Tinkerer

While the Underground is a new criminal organization with a cyberpunk aesthetic that leaves us without much to go on, the Tinkerer has a long history in the Marvel Universe (follow that link for an in-depth history of the character). That said, this is obviously a new version of the Tinkerer that’s far from what we’re used to seeing.

In the comics, the Tinkerer is an old man named Phineas Mason who makes a living using his skills as an inventor to create all sorts of weaponized tech for supervillains. He has invented various weapons for Mysterio, Kingpin, and Vulture, just to name a few. He’s normally depicted as a frail, elderly man who prefers to work in the shadows of his lab rather than face Spider-Man head-on.

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That’s quite different from the new Tinkerer, who doesn’t have any problem suiting up in her high-tech battle suit with glowing purple accents to pull off heist jobs with her goons (who appear to be outfitted with mechanical gauntlets that pack an energized punch). She seems to know a thing or two about hand-to-hand combat, as she has no problem landing an energized kick right in Miles’ face. We also see a few of her gizmos at work, as she lifts her arm to form a mechanized shield and extends her robotic hands to yank off the door of an armored vehicle with enhanced strength.

Is it just us or do those robo-tentacle arms have a certain Doc Ock quality to them? Perhaps a connection between the two will be unveiled, which would call for a reason to bring Peter into the story for a cameo.

We do have one theory about the Tinkerer’s identity. Perhaps the Tinkerer is indeed old man Phineas Mason, but he’s operating a robotic avatar from the safety of his secret lair in order to obscure his true identity.

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Spider-Man: Miles Morales Powers and Abilities

Miles Morales has the same powers as Peter Parker — super strength, agility, stamina, endurance and reflexes along with the ability to stick to and climb surfaces, web-swing with the aide of web-shooters, and pre-cognitively perceive danger with his Spider-sense — as well as some new tricks.

Miles can channel his bio-electricity into a powerful Venom Blast that shocks enemies. We see him making use of this ability to astonishing effect in the gameplay footage as he uses it to stun, zap and blast opponents in a dizzying display of electrifying combat.

Miles also has the ability to turn invisible. This allows him to move about in stealth to sneak around and take enemies unaware.

And while not a “super power” like his other abilities, Miles has a gifted mind and a knack for science, as proven when he adjusted Peter’s web-shooter to account for the difference in their weight like it was nothing.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales Skins

Miles starts in his signature red-and-black Spider-Man costume but we can of course expect for him to have multiple skins, just like Peter had in Marvel’s Spider-Man. Currently, only one alternate skin has been revealed called the T.R.A.C.K. Suit. It’s an original design created for the game and features a sleek white costume, which certainly brings to mind Peter’s Advanced Suit. This costume comes as part of a pre-order bonus when purchasing the Launch Edition or the Ultimate Launch Edition of the game. Another mystery costume, along with three extra skill points and a Gravity Well Gadget, will be included with a pre-order.

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Spider-Man: Miles Morales Release Date

Spider-Man: Miles Morales releases on November 12, 2020.

The game is a PlayStation exclusive. It will be a PS5 launch title and will also be available to play on PS4.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales Pre-Order

Spider-Man: Miles Morales is now available for pre-order from various outlets.

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Joshua is a Senior and Producer of Features at IGN. If Pokemon, Green Lantern, or Star Wars are frequently used words in your vocabulary, you’ll want to follow him on Twitter @JoshuaYehl and IGN.