Pikachu Car Spotted, PUBG Mobile Gets Banned

TODAY: It’s-a me, motion-captured low-poly Mario — Look out Tesla, there’s a new zero-emission vehicle on the way and it’s way cooler than Cybertruck — Cult anti-RPG Moon has finally reached Western shores

This issue is supported by Piffle

India bans more Chinese mobile apps

The Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has responded to complaints about apps harvesting data by banning a slew of Chinese apps.

 

The ministry specified that they had received complaints about apps “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.”

Many Chinese apps collect huge amounts of user data, especially if they need to comply with the strict controls imposed on adolescent players.

Deadly clashes: The ministry doesn’t specifically mention China, but many of the apps have ties to Chinese technology companies. Tensions have been rising between Delhi and Beijing, after a recent border skirmish cost at least 20 soldiers their lives.

More banning: PUBG Mobile, operated by Chinese technology giant Tencent, is one of the banned apps. TikTok was banned in India earlier this summer, and two apps that provided a VPN workaround to the TikTok ban have also been banned. India was one of the largest markets for the video-sharing app.

Which Mario Party game led to around 90 complaints filed with New York’s Attorney General office?

  1. Mario Party 1
  2. Mario Party 2
  3. Mario Party 3
  4. Mario Party 4

The answer will be revealed at the bottom of today’s issue. Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss what the answer could be.

Imagine a motion-captured Mario

Nintendo’s seminal 3D platformer Super Mario 64 was entirely hand-animated, but according to producer and director Shigeru Miyamoto the team actually tried to use motion capture instead. It didn’t work out very well, so the team decided to go for a more traditional technique.

There are also lots of unused animations in the game, such as Mario putting his hat on faster, an alternate Mario riding a Koopa Troopa shell, Mario changing from freefall to a forward flip, Mario either crying or reaching into his pockets, a running animation, Mario motionless while sliding, and a forward sideflip.

Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today’s fact.

Niantic drops support for older mobiles

Niantic is dropping support for older iOS and Android devices, and Pokémon GO will no longer support iOS 10, iOS 11 and Android 5 from October.

“Even if you’re able to install and run Pokémon GO on such devices after the release of version 0.189, we’ll no longer be able to provide support if you run into any technical issues,” Niantic warns.

But cheer up, there’s good news too: An automotive Pokémon trademark was just filed for the Pi!car! – a Pikachu themed vehicle!

The Pi!car! is described as a compact, emission-free vehicle, and is trademarked in conjunction with Toyota. All filings mention the terms education, entertainment and vehicle. Maybe they’re tour vehicles for a Jurassic Park-style Pokémon zoo?

Pokémon Café Mix

  • Several new stages and Pokemon added
  • Offerings, Gimmicks and Regular Orders updated

Pokémon GO

  • Mega Raid Challenge lasts until September 7th
    • Increased spawn rates for certain Pokémon
    • Mega Pidgeot will appear if 2 million raids are completed

Pokémon Sword & Shield

  • Wild Area Event has changed
    • Water and Ground-types leave boosted raids
    • Grass and Electric-types added to boosted raids
    • Gigantamax Toxtricity, Flapple and Appletun included

Pokémon Masters EX

  • DeNA running poll until September 7th to determine next 6 Star EX Sync Pair

No next-gen Xbox news at TGS 2020

If you were hoping for some fresh next-gen news from Microsoft at the upcoming digital Tokyo Game Show event, you are in for disappointment.

Microsoft’s 50-minute showcase will focus on Japanese games, developers and players. Microsoft Flight Simulator and Minecraft will have spots, but there won’t be any new announcements about the next-generation Xbox.

Big in Japan: “Our presence at Tokyo Game Show will celebrate the visionary creators and vibrant players in the region,” according to Xbox.com. “Tune in to see the latest on games, content from our Japanese partners and players, and further details on Xbox services.”

Late September: Tokyo Game Show 2020 Online starts on September 24th and features “major publishers” making announcements and showing off their games. Microsoft has historically struggled in Japan, and their approach to this year’s Tokyo Game Show seems to be an attempt to change that. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said that Xbox Game Studios is looking to add Japanese studios for their first-party line-up.

Moon

Version Tested: Nintendo Switch

Developer: Onion Games (formally Love-de-Lic)

Playing Moon on Switch is a rather pleasant surprise. An anti-RPG for PlayStation that never made it out of Japan, it’s not the most likely candidate for localization and porting, even though it has grown into a definite cult classic in the 22 years since it was released. Yet here we are, and the obvious question is whether Moon is still relevant. Short answer: Hell yes!

Moon is the story about a boy pulled into a videogame where the hero is busy killing monsters and grinding experience. Your job is to bring the monsters back to life and spread love through the game world. It’s a playful take on RPG tropes, but it’s more than just parody: It features a thrillingly surreal presentation that mixes sprites with pre-rendered 3D backgrounds and even a spot of claymation. It’s hard not to get pulled in.

True to its central theme, Moon eschews combat in favour of collecting monster spirits and helping the game world’s inhabitants. The game features a day/night cycle, and you need to explore areas at different times to discover characters’ schedules. But beware: If you run out of energy, the game is instantly over. That means you need to go to bed regularly, which is also the only time you can save your game. That might sound a bit dull, but it gives the game a bit of edge and turns exploration into a light resource management exercise.

Although the game system is pretty light by today’s standards, it’s still a rich experience. There’s plenty of weird characters and situations, constantly defying your expectations. The game starts out like straight fantasy, but you soon run into talking birds, multiplying zealots and even a stereotypical American family. It’s pretty easy to see how Moon inspired Undertale, and if you like Toby Fox’s lo-fi RPG you will most likely enjoy Moon.

Bear in mind that this is an old game, though: It’s an unembellished game from 1997, and doesn’t go out of its way to explain itself. There’s no tutorial, and you need to go online to find the manual. Fortunately, the game is well worth the trouble and the old-fashioned design sensibilities actually feels fresh today. It certainly is a reminder of what it was like to play games as a child in the 90s, for better or worse.

It might be a bit cryptic and archaic, but Moon is an outstanding and unusual game that’s strangely timely in the weird hell year 2020. Moon offers a charming world, oddball characters, delightful art and a heartfelt approach to play. It was well worth the wait!

9/10

Thumbs Up

  • Unique gameplay
  • Fascinating art
  • Kooky characters
  • Surprisingly heartfelt

Thumbs Down

  • Old-fashioned game design

Wreck Some Blocks with Cute Pups

“Stay back! I got Piffles, and I know how to use them!’

If there’s one year that needs an injection of adorable doggies and kitties, it’s 2020. Luckily, the Aussies from Hipster Whale and Mighty Game are bringing the sugary sweet Piffle to the Nintendo Switch.

If you’ve never heard of the puzzler from Mighty Games and Hipster Whale, it’s a mobile game that brought some fun changes to welltread genres, all with a focus on relaxing gameplay with a colorful aesthetic. Your dog, in his very silly onesie, has been taken by the evil Doc Block! Thus, it’s up to you to save the day and get him back through laidback puzzles (and maybe a few explosions along the way).

You might know the general gist: each block as a counter, and you will need to hit a block a certain amount of times to remove it from the playfield. Piffle takes a classic genre of breakout-esque puzzling and brings two additional mechanics to spice up the fun: powerups and crafting. Powerups are incredibly varied, giving you the option to know where your Piffles will bounce to bombs to blow stuff up. There’s plenty of ways to combo, and Piffle is really good at making each level bright and engaging.

Alongside the powerups is the ability to craft a bit later in the game, making cute outfits for your Piffles. Whilst they don’t have any gameplay value to the puzzles, that extra bit of customization adds to the positive vibes that Pliffle revels in. Besides, who doesn’t like making cute puppies cuter?

Piffle’s port will be available on September 2nd for $19.95. So if cute kitties chucking Piffles to save the day sounds up your alley, it might be a good time to give Piffle a shot on your Switch.

What It’s Got:

  • Overwhelming Cuteness
  • Chill Puzzling
  • Plenty of Powerups
  • Hundreds of Levels

The previous article was a sponsored post from Mighty Games and Hipster Whale for their title Piffle: A Cat Puzzle Adventure.

Which Mario Party game led to around 90 complaints filed with New York’s Attorney General office?

Answer: Mario Party 1!

There’s a lot to criticize about the Mario Party series, but the most egregious and surprising complaint was really a problem with the Nintendo 64 controller.

The three minigames Party Pedal, Tug o’ War, and Paddle Battle asked players to rotate the analog stick as fast as they could – and it turned out that the best solution was to rotate use your palm instead of your thumb. This inevitably led to lacerations, blisters and friction burns.

Astonishingly, this almost landed Nintendo in the courts but the Kyoto company adroitly solved the problem by giving players padded gloves that protected eager twiddlers’ palms. Future Mario Party games avoided excessive analogue input, reducing your risk of bodily harm to popping a blood vessel thanks to a bad roll.

Today’s issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Erlend Grefsrud, Simon Priest, and Jamie Davey.