Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle for Nintendo Switch Gameplay and Modes Revealed

Ubisoft let slip some details on what to expect from Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle for the Nintendo Switch when it hits on August 29. From playable characters, strategies, and story mode, this is what you need to know.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle gameplay is similar to Final Fantasy Tactics 
Yes, you read that right. Here there is a team to balance, techniques to master, and a Skill Tree to develop for each hero. The enemies you face at the very beginning are tougher than you’d expect. However it seems to be a whole lot more cerebral. Encounters in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle are puzzles with the visual reward being the opportunity to see your favourite Nintendo characters like Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Yoshi pull off their trademark moves in a new genre. This is compounded by the Rabbids companions that enliven the proceedings with dollops of humour.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle combat, skills, and weapons 
The gamut of available weapons and tools in Mario + Rabbids is wide, and each hero can bring Primary and Secondary techniques to the battlefield that can be combined, such as using Luigi’s Magnetic Dance to set up a Grenade Duck ambush for Princess Peach.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle for Nintendo Switch Gameplay and Modes RevealedIn one turn, a hero can slide into and trip over an enemy, before Team Jumping off an ally’s shoulders to land behind cover from which to launch another attack. This can set up a chain of attacks that could be anything from a rocket launched Spike, to ink damage from a Bwahntasaurus Wrecks sentry.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle story mode, co-op mode, environments and enemies
The game’s story mode takes you from a host of varied locales such as the sun-drenched Ancient Garden close to Prince Peach’s castle to spooky moonlit graveyards. Enemies are equally aplenty ranging from shield-bearing Rabbids that require sneaking up from behind, and Boos that teleport team members to dangerous parts of the map. Plus, there’s a co-op mode that supports every Nintendo Switch controller ensuring that the Joy-Con included with the console get a fair work out.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle for the Nintendo Switch is out on August 29. It costs Rs. 3,499 ($60 in the US).

Overwatch Summer Games 2017 Start and End Time Revealed

Earlier Gadgets 360 reported that popular hero shooter Overwatch would see the return of the Summer Games event. This was its first event last year and it’s back again.

Blizzard has announced that the Overwatch Summer Games 2017 event will take place from August 8 to August 29. Expect it to begin from 11:30pm IST on August 8 and end on 12:30pm IST on August 29.

Along with it comes the obligatory game modes, loot, and of course a new map. Lucioball – the football inspired mode that made its debut with last year’s Summer Games makes a come back. In addition to the Rio map of 2016 is Sydney.

Although Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan did not explain why the team had selected the locale, it perhaps could pertain to lore regarding Junkrat – an Australian character in the game.

Moreover, Lucioball sees some interesting modifications. For one, there’s Capa Lucioball – a competitive playlist with a placement and ranking. Also, Lucio’s ultimate ability doesn’t pull the ball to the player, instead it increases his movement speed and reduces the cool down time on his alternate ability. Lucio’s ultimate won’t let you ‘boop’ opponents either. What this means is, you can’t use Lucio’s ultimate to push goalies away and pull the ball inside.

In a welcome move, the Overwatch Summer Games 2017 brings a stack of event loot crates featuring all new cosmetics as well as returning favourites from the 2016 event. What’s more is, last year’s gear will be cheaper than the new ones.

Overwatch Summer Games 2017 Start and End Time RevealedNew Overwatch Summer Games 2017 cosmetic items price:

  • Legendary Skins: 3,000 credits
  • Epic Skins: 750 credits
  • Rare tier: 225 credits
  • Common tier: 75 credits

Overwatch Summer Games 2016 cosmetics price:

  • Legendary Skins: 1,000 credits
  • Epic Skins: 250 credits
  • Rare tier: 75 credits
  • Common tier: 25 credits

With the Summer Games making a return, it’s safe to say Blizzard will have Halloween, Christmas, and Anniversary events as regular, annual fixtures.

Take-Two Won’t Commit to Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC; Says PC Gamers Are ‘Very Important’

During GTA publisher Take-Two‘s latest earnings call, the company maintained that the PC market is lucrative for its titles.

When asked if the PC is on the radar for its major releases, Take-Two President Karl Slatoff stated it depends on game to game. “Some titles are actually heavily weighted to PC, for example, Civilizationand XCOM,” he said, further stressing that the computer side of the business is of great importance.

“The great news is that the PC market is vibrant for us. It’s a great market for us. It’s a big market. It’s a core market in consumers that are highly engaged. It’s a predominantly digital market, which also removes friction in terms of ongoing engagement with a consumer. So, for us, the PC market as a company is very important and very exciting and something we focus on.”

Take-Two Won't Commit to Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC; Says PC Gamers Are 'Very Important'During the same call, an investor asked if Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick is able to share updates on the PC version of Red Dead Redemption 2. Sadly, Zelnick gave the typical “any updates about any of our titles will come from our labels” answer.

Though we speculate a PC version of this Wild West open-world adventure is the works, Take-Two has only announced it for the PS4 and Xbox One and is due next year. Previously Take-Two implied that Red Dead Redemption 2 could have a bigger online component than expected. “Obviously we know what Rockstar tends to do. And Rockstar’s activities have been transformed by Grand Theft Auto Online,” Strauss Zelnick said.

Call of Duty: World War 2 Private Beta Bonuses Announced

The Call of Duty: World War 2 private beta for PS4 starts from August 25 and ends on August 28.

In the run up to this, Activision has announced what bonus items will be given to those who partake in it. Dubbed as the Call of Duty: World War 2 Private Beta Combat Pack, this is what it has.

Call of Duty: World War 2 Private Beta Combat Pack contents

  • Custom helmet
  • Beta calling card
  • Call of Duty: World War 2 emblem

Call of Duty: World War 2 Private Beta Bonuses AnnouncedThese will be available to those who play the Call of Duty: World War 2 private beta in the full game when it hits in November. Keep in mind that access to the private beta is only for those who pre-order the game. Xbox One players can try it out from September 1 to September 4 along with PS4 users again. No beta date has been given for PC gamers just yet.

Earlier, Call of Duty: World War 2’s India price was revised. According to several retailers speaking to Gadgets 360, the game will cost Rs. 4,499 on the PS4 and Xbox One. The PC version of Call of Duty: World War 2 is now Rs. 3,799. Previously it was announced that the game will cost Rs. 4,299 on the PS4 and Xbox One and Rs. 3,499 on PC.

Nintendo SNES Classic Mini Pre-Orders From ‘Late This Month’

Nintendo has announced that the SNES Classic Mini console will be available for pre-order later this August. The news comes via the company’s Facebook page.

“We appreciate the incredible anticipation that exists for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition system, and can confirm that it will be made available for pre-order by various retailers late this month,” the company said in a post.

Furthermore, it claims to have increased the number of units that will be made present at stores in order to avoid a scenario akin to the NES Classic, that was hard to find at launch and even tougher to find soon after.

“A significant amount of additional systems will be shipped to stores for launch day, and throughout the balance of the calendar year,” the post reads.

Nintendo SNES Classic Mini Pre-Orders From 'Late This Month'Earlier, Nintendo confirmed that the SNES Classic will be available for this year only. The complete quote is as follows:

“We aren’t providing specific numbers, but we will produce significantly more units of Super NES Classic Edition than we did of NES Classic Edition. Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition is currently planned to ship from Sept. 29 until the end of calendar year 2017. At this time, we have nothing to announce regarding any possible shipments beyond this year.

Our long-term efforts are focused on delivering great games for the Nintendo Switch system and continuing to build momentum for that platform, as well as serving the more than 63 million owners of Nintendo 3DS family systems. We are offering Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition in special recognition of the fans who show tremendous interest our classic content.”

FIFA 18 Nintendo Switch Price in India Announced

The Nintendo Switch may not have an official Indian presence, but that hasn’t stopped game companies from making their titles available. FIFA 18 for the Nintendo Switch will be coming to India. EA’s popular football franchise joins Ubisoft’s Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle and Warner Bros’ Cars 3: Driven to Win as an official release for the console that’s not had a proper launch in the country.

Amazon India is FIFA publisher EA’s exclusive retail partner in the country. It has listed FIFA 18 for the Nintendo Switch priced at Rs. 3,999. The release date is inline with the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game of September 29.

And while EA supporting Nintendo’s new console can only be a good thing for gamers, keep in mind that FIFA 18 on the Switch doesn’t have all of the features of the PS4, Xbox One, or PC versions.

FIFA 18 The Journey: Hunter Returns – a follow up to FIFA 17’s The Journey single-player campaign, will be missing the Nintendo Switch. A press release from EA rattles off the modes it has and The Journey is not one of them. Instead fans get Ultimate Team, Career Mode, Kick Off, Women’s International Cup, Skill Games, Online and Local Seasons.

FIFA 18 Nintendo Switch Price in India AnnouncedIn addition to this, EA has previously stated that the FIFA 18 on the Nintendo Switch will run at 1080p when docked and 720p when in handheld mode.

As you can tell, this isn’t the first time a game has been made officially available in India for a console that hasn’t had a release through its manufacturer. We’ve seen this with the Nintendo DS and 3DS getting Pokemon games via Sunder Electronics and Nintendo Wii titles from E-xpress and the now defunct Milestone Interactive in the past.

As for the Nintendo Switch itself? Gadgets 360 understands that the console is selling steadily online and offline sourced via parallel imports. Nintendo’s absence has been far from a detriment. Hopefully, Indian distributors and game publishers bring more of their games to the platform in the future.

Overwatch Summer Games 2017: Every Skin, Highlight Intro, and Emote Listed

The Overwatch Summer Games 2017 is now live. Like every event in the popular hero shooter, Summer Games 2017 brings to Overwatch a host of new cosmetic items. Although skins for characters like Mercy, Widowmaker, and Soldier 76 were leaked prior, there are a few surprises. Here’s every skin, emote, and highlight intro for the Overwatch Summer Games 2017.

Overwatch Summer Games 2017 skins

  • Reaper – Biker
  • Widowmaker – Cote D’Azur
  • Junkrat – Cricket
  • Soldier 76 – Grillmaster 76
  • McCree – Lifeguard
  • Sombra – Tulum
  • Mercy – Winged Victory

Overwatch Summer Games 2017 highlight intros

  • Pharah – Slam Dunk
  • Hanzo – Target Practice

Overwatch Summer Games 2017 emotes

  • Ana – Beach Ball

While this may seem lean compared to the Overwatch Anniversary Event, keep in mind that 2016’s cosmetic items make a comeback as well and are as follows:

Overwatch Summer Games 2017: Every Skin, Highlight Intro, and Emote ListedOverwatch Summer Games 2016 skins

  • McCree – American
  • Zarya – Champion
  • Mercy – Eidgenossin
  • Genji – Nihon
  • Lucio – Selecao
  • Tracer – Sprinter
  • Lucio – Striker
  • D.Va – Taegeukgi
  • Tracer – Track and Field
  • Torbjorn – Tre Kronor
  • Widowmaker – Tricolore
  • Zarya – Weightlifter

Overwatch Summer Games 2017 highlight intros

  • Lucio – Bicycle Kick
  • Tracer – Hurdle
  • Junkrat – Shot Put

Overwatch Summer Games 2016 emotes

  • Bastion – Boxing
  • Lucio – Juggle
  • Symmetra – Ribbon

Valve Teases Dota Card Game Called Artifact, Set for 2018 Release

While Valve’s annual Dota 2 championship, The International 2017, is still going on, the company has now given its fans a huge reason to be excited about. Valve has released the teaser trailer for a card game called ‘Artifact’ that will be based on its Dota gaming series. Considering that Dota is a highly-popular gaming series that has fans from all over the world, this card game is likely to be welcomed with open arms.

For those who are unaware, Dota 2 is a free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena video game that was developed by Valve. While the teaser trailer has mentioned the release timeline for the Artifact card game as 2018, it doesn’t share any other piece of information about the upcoming video game.

Valve Teases Dota Card Game Called Artifact, Set for 2018 ReleaseBrad Muir, gameplay developer at Valve, said in a tweet on Tuesday that he has been working on the game for a while now and can’t wait for others to play it too. As expected, Muir didn’t share any particular information about the game as well but we can at least deduce from the tweet that the work on the game has been going on for a while now.

Recently, Valve shared that the transparency in Dota 2’s matchmaking system, which helped players understand the algorithm better, has inspired the company to improve the discoverability on its Steamplatform. As with Dota 2 matchmaking, users will be provided the access to reasons behind the recommendations and thereby improve the suggestions accordingly.

Dota 2’s The International 2017 to Be Broadcast in India on Dsport

The International is Valve’s annual Dota 2 tournament. It’s widely regarded as the most prestigious event of the year with its latest event, The International 2017 (TI7) having a prize pool of around $24 million.

And while it’s streamed live on the Internet via Twitch and YouTube, the company has realised that there’s a larger audience to target. In an attempt to do so, TI7 will be broadcast on television in India on Discovery’s new sports channel Dsport. This is a first for Dota 2 in India.

Although TI7’s grand finals are live from 2:30am IST on Sunday, August 13, Dsport will be broadcasting it from 11am IST on the same day. The reason for this move is to keep the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) accessible to newcomers.

“The core audience for Dota 2 is like the test match cricket watching crowd in India and they’ll watch it as it happens live. Our aim is to get the IPL audience to watch it,” says Nodwin’s Akshat Rathee to Gadgets 360. Nodwin is Valve’s partner in India and is working with Dsport to make this possible.

Dota 2's The International 2017 to Be Broadcast in India on DsportDoubling down on accessibility seems to be of importance with Dsport’s broadcast of TI7 will feature Valve’s Newcomer Stream to aid understanding of the intricacies of Dota 2.

“95 percent of TI7 is as you’d see it globally,” Rathee tells us. Which means that fans new and old can breathe easy. As for the five percent? There will be some local additions such as views from local pub stomps and a predictions segment as well.

With Dsports successfully showing local ESL Counter-Strike: Global Offensive matches, Dota 2 seems like a logical step forward. More so with TI7 and attention the event garners.

DeepMind, Blizzard Make StarCraft II an AI Research Environment

StarCraft II is a complex video game that requires much strategic skill, and as it turns out, it can even help developers in training artificial intelligence to learn the skills used by humans while playing the game. After announcing the collaboration last year, Google’s subsidiary DeepMind, which is known for its work in the field of AI, has now released a set of tools along with Blizzard Entertainment that are expected accelerate AI research with help from the real-time strategy game.

The set of tools released by DeepMind include several elements from the game that can help in development of artificial intelligence. This includes a large dataset of replays from StarCraft II that has been taken from professional matches and a set of mini-games that can help in development of AI in one particular aspect among the numerous elements within the game, as pointed out in a report by The Verge.

Among the released tools, there is an API that allows AI agents to play the game with same contraints as humans and the data collected is then passed on to the researchers. This means that the AI is not able to see the entire map or move within the map with as much swiftness as an agent can actually do.

“This API also exposes a sandbox for the community to experiment with, using both learning based AI and scripted AI to build new tools that can benefit the StarCraft II and AI communities,” Blizzard Entertainment said in its post regarding the release.

DeepMind, Blizzard Make StarCraft II an AI Research EnvironmentIn its own blog post, DeepMind explains the reasons behind choosing StarCraft II as an AI research environment, “StarCraft and StarCraft II are among the biggest and most successful games of all time, with players competing in tournaments for more than 20 years. The original game is also already used by AI and ML researchers, who compete annually in the AIIDE bot competition. Part of StarCraft’s longevity is down to the rich, multi-layered gameplay, which also makes it an ideal environment for AI research.”

DeepMind says that one of the best learning policies for the AI agents is imitation learning. It says that the anonymised replays gathered from the StarCraft II will not only allow researchers to train supervised agents to play the game, but also open up other interesting areas of research such as sequence prediction and long-term memory.

“Our initial investigations show that our agents perform well on these mini-games. But when it comes to the full game, even strong baseline agents, such as A3C, cannot win a single game against even the easiest built-in AI,” DeepMind said in its blog post. It will be interesting to see how this collaboration will eventually help in the development of AI but it is bound be exciting and interesting.