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Two weeks ago, Niantic released the gym update for Pokemon GO. The update was supposed to fix and balance gyms and make gamers feel as though they were battling a gym leader in the main Pokemon games. I would like to say Niantic succeeded, but I can’t, because thanks to server problems, the gyms are completely borked. Please note that this article is based on my personal experience, so maybe (or, I hope) it does not apply to everyone playing Pokemon GO. Still, there is a huge problem.

On the surface, the gyms work as intended. Trainers can only leave six unique Pokemon at gyms (i.e., no more than one Blissey, no more than one Dragonite, etc.); the photo disc that gives players free items works well, and the new motivation system is fully functional. Catching and leveling up Pokemon also work well, but once you get into gym battles, the game self-destructs faster than a Voltorb/Electrode.

When I played, at first everything seemed to be ok; Pokemon GO displayed the defending Pokemon I was going to battle and what Pokemon I would use. However, the game constantly thought I wandered away from the gyms while I customized my team. Sure, I could simply exit out of the gym screen and reenter it to fix the problem, but then I would have to customize the lineup again. And then the game thought I wandered away again, which forced me to exit the gym screen again and start all over. Again. I usually had to repeat this process four to five times, but that’s still four to five times too many. And then there were the battles. Oh, the battles, the laggy, unresponsive battles. When the patch first landed, health bars fluctuated wildly, which made it impossible to know which Pokemon would faint first, but then the lag got worse; way worse. Usually, the defending Pokemon didn’t faint for a good twenty seconds until after its health was depleted, but for the past several days, almost all of my matches ended with the time running out after I won the match, which counted as a loss. Each time, the game took half a minute before it told me I lost (despite my obvious win). Oh, and the game stopped responding to my commands in the middle of the battle at least twice. While the timer still counted down. Sure, sometimes I got lucky and the game said I won a match that I clearly won, but usually the servers cheated me out of my hard-earned victories. And raid battles weren’t much better; they suffered from the same lag issues as normal gym battles. In fact, raid battles might be even have been worse, as the last raid battle I participated in didn’t end until two to three minutes after the timer reached zero.

Niantic, buddy, you really have to fix these server problems. Gym battles are a major draw for many people in the game, but right now battling in gyms is next to impossible. Sure, sometimes I got lucky if the planets aligned during a blue moon and the gym battles functioned as intended, but usually gyms were beyond broken. Or maybe the game has become sentient and decided to target me and only me. I don’t know. Is it wrong for me to hope that I’m not alone in this, because otherwise I come off as shallow complaining about a problem nobody else has.

All you have to do to get my attention is talk about video games, technology, anime, and/or Dungeons & Dragons - also people in spandex fighting rubber suited monsters.

Gaming

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 Sets Dates for the Next Multiplayer Beta

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 is getting closer and closer, and Activision has announced when players will be able to get their hands on the next game. This means that there will be several chances to try it out before it comes out. If you paid a lot, you might be able to play for more than a week at the end of August and beginning of September.

Call of Duty Early Access will run from Friday, August 30th, to Wednesday, September 4th, as announced on its blog. This is two days after the Call of Duty Next showcase, which is set for August 28th. To play, you must have already bought Black Ops 6.

The open beta is the following weekend, and anyone who wants to can join. The fun will start on Friday, September 6th, and end on Monday, September 9th. The full release is set for October 25th of next month on PS5 and PS4.

How excited are you for the next Call of Duty game? Are you going to play Black Ops 6 in either the Early Access or Open Beta versions? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Ten million people play The First Descendant in its first week

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The free-to-play shooter The First Descendant has gotten a lot of attention in its first week. The game’s publisher, Nexon, says that 10 million people have already tried it out.

Insider Gaming pointed out that since there is no cost up front, it’s still too early to tell how many of those players will stick around, but it’s still a big number for a new IP. On Steam alone, it peaked at 264,860 concurrents right after launch and has still managed to break 200,000 in the last 24 hours, so it looks like a lot of people are still really into the game.

It was a “mindless and repetitive grind,” and we gave The First Descendant a 3/10 in our review. Of course, that’s just one opinion; other experts have had different ones. Most people, though, say that the game’s annoying free-to-play model is the worst thing about it.

Are you one of the millions of people who played The First Descendant last week? Are you going to come back for more? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Raiden, the famous shmup series, will come back as a twin-stick shooter on PS5, PS4, and PC

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Raiden has a long and interesting history as a vertical shooter in arcades. However, the series is going to get a Super Stardust HD makeover, which means it will switch to a twin-stick format. It comes out in Japan on October 31. There’s no word yet on when it will come out in the West, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

A Gematsu translation of the game’s website says that the full version will have an arcade mode with up to six stages. There will also be an “Unlimited” option for people who want to be at the top of the rankings. It sounds like a pretty straightforward package in terms of what’s inside, but we think the action will be what makes it worth it.

There’s a trailer up top that should help you figure out what to expect. There are, however, different versions of Raiden 3, Raiden 4, and Raiden 5 that you can play right now on the PS5 and PS4, if you can’t wait for this game to come out in the West.

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