Gaming

Free-to-play Mario Kart Tour is now available on Android and iOS

But, there’s a twist

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Fans have been waiting for Mario Kart Tour to land on mobile phones and Nintendo has finally released it for Android and iOS. We were supposed to get the game in March, but it was delayed to further polish and tweak the game.

The game includes racecourses that are inspired by real cities, which will rotate every two weeks and feature special in-game events. It’s a free game but there are in-app purchases too

The Kart characters will automatically drive forward, and turn when you drag your finger left and right on the screen. Some items are automatically used, while others require you to tap on the screen to activate them.

Nintendo is extremely protective of its brands and is trying to sell in-game subscriptions within free-to-play games. Mario Kart Tour’s Gold Pass comes for a US$ 4.99 monthly subscription that unlocks access to 200cc races, gives you golden badges, and unlocks various cosmetics when you finish races.

For the same price you can get a Google Play Pass or Apple Arcade subscription, offering tonnes of more games and options to choose from.

The success of this strategy has varied: “Super Mario Run” struggled to get users to spend US$ 10 on in-app purchases, while “Fire Emblem Heroes” performed moderately well, pulling in US$ 12 million in August.

The game already has microtransactions via loot boxes with random rewards that affect the game, from new drivers to hearts that refill your gas meter. After installing the game, you will need to link your Nintendo account to it, before you can proceed.

Though, it lacks online multiplayer with other users. For now, users will only be able to race against computer-controlled characters within the app.

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Gaming

PUBG Mobile is making a comeback as Battlegrounds Mobile India

Will be exclusive to India

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Battlegrounds Mobile

After an excruciating wait, it’s official — PUBG Mobile is coming back to India. But this time, it’ll have a new name: Battlegrounds Mobile India with some added features, and an India-centric focus.

Krafton, the game’s developer, has announced it’ll be launching the Battlegrounds Mobile India soon. The game will bring an AAA-rated multiplayer experience alongside exclusive in-game events, tournaments, and leagues. While a launch date isn’t available, Krafton did confirm that pre-registration will be opened up soon.

The game will be free-to-play and incorporate the same battle royale concept that made it popular. Although, little detail is available about maps, guns, vehicles, and the plot (if there is any) of the game.

Furthermore, the game’s developer said that it would comply with all local laws and compliances. This includes data localization — storage of data within Indian borders. The announcement has cheered millions of players in the country who’ve been waiting for an alternative ever since the primary game was barred.

Why PUBG had to go

In mid-2020, India and China were involved in a fatal border skirmish that left many casualties on both sides. Following the conflict, India took a stringent anti-China stance and banned a host of apps that were developed or backed by Chinese companies. TikTok, owned by ByteDance, was among the first to come under the hammer.

PUBG Mobile was also included in the ban because Chinese giant Tencent was a distribution partner of the game. Following the ban, Krafton quickly removed Tencent from the agreement and announced plans to launch a new game independent of any Chinese influence.

Indian developers rode the hype wave, and many TikTok clones were touted as the next big thing. On the same lines, nCore Studios tried to bridge the gap by launching FAU-G, but it was a colossal failure. In fact, it still doesn’t have a battle royale mode, so it’s safe to assume Call of Duty: Mobile is the only practical alternative left for users right now.

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Gaming

PG 5 sneakers gets the PlayStation 5 colorway

It just makes (dual) sense

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pG 5

Nike and PlayStation are collaborating once again for the signature sneakers of NBA star Paul George. For its fifth iteration called the PG 5, these basketball kicks are going to get the PlayStation 5 treatment.

On the PlayStation blog, Paul George notes that Nike and the PlayStation designers including Yujin Morisawa took inspirations from his game to bring this collaboration to life.

 

What to expect:

  • The tongues of the shoe have the PG and PlayStation logos
  • The colors of the shoe are heavily inspired by the industrial design of the PS5 with references on the sock liner and outsoles.
  • Iconic PlayStation shapes are integrated and can be seen along each shoe in the same pattern as on the DualSense wireless controller.

The P5 G PlayStation 5 colorway also comes with a special hangtag to celebrate the partnership.

The PG 5 PlayStation 5 colorway drops in select regions starting May 14, 2021. Specific pricing and availability details have yet to be announced.

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Entertainment

League of Legends’ animated Netflix show is coming soon!

Out by this fall!

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The new animated series is titled Arcane. And, it’s coming from the League of Legends (LoL) publishers themselves: Riot games. Despite releasing countless animated shorts, Arcane is a first for the League franchise. Riot Games partnered with Fortiche Productions to develop and produce this series; keeping character designs and art close to home.

Since the first hint of it in 2019, fans have been waiting patiently for this release. And if you want the series now, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer. It’ll be out on Netflix and on Tencent Video in China by fall this year.

We follow two iconic League champions, their origins, and the power that tears them apart. The backdrop to the story is the utopian region of Piltover and the oppressed underground of Zaun.

Riot Game’s Global President of Entertainment, Shauna Spenley said, “Arcane was created as a love letter to our players and fans, who have been asking us for more cinematic experiences that dive deeper into the worlds and champions in League of Legends.”

Netflix’s video game animated series

Arcane is just one of few new video game adaptation slates in Netflix’s lineup. Which, spells good news for fans and players of games. One recent release was Dota: Dragon’s Blood, an animated series inspired by Valve’s multiplayer online battle arena (moba) game DOTA 2. Other Netflix series based on the video game realm include Assassin’s Creed, Castlevania, Cuphead, Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, and Assassin’s Creed.

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