Netflix’s Making a Murderer Can’t Justify a Second Season

Note: this is a mostly spoiler-free review of Making a Murderer Season 2, which is now available to stream on Netflix.

It’s not often a true crime documentary becomes nationwide watercooler fodder, but that’s the power of Making a Murderer. This Netflix original series arrived in 2015 and exposed millions of viewers to the tragic story of Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey, both of whom are currently serving out life sentences for the rape and murder of Teresa Halbach. As with HBO’s The Jinx and the podcast Serial, it arrived at just the right time to tap into the public’s current fascination with true crime and controversial murder trials.

However, much of what fueled the popularity of Making a Murderer is that it shed light on a story many viewers were wholly unfamiliar with. Three years later, each new development in Avery and Dassey’s respective appeals process makes news headlines. The question is whether there’s enough uncovered ground remaining to justify a second full season of the documentary. Unfortunately, Season 2 suggests that Making a Murderer would have been better served following Serial’s example and focusing on a new case entirely.

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15 Western Films To Get You Ready For Red Dead Redemption 2

The western has had a long and strange history, which has seen it veer from being one of the most popular movie genres, for decades until the 1960s, to one of the least popular in the ’80s and ’90s. But while audience interest in the Old West has varied, it’s an era that has continued to fascinate filmmakers, from the earliest days of cinema to the present day, both in the US and in other countries. This is a genre that allows directors to experiment with conventions, address social and political issues, and introduce other genres into mix–from horror westerns to comedy westerns, via brutal bloodbaths, thrilling action, and haunting introspection. Some of the greatest actors and directors of all time became famous for their work in the western, and there are exceptional examples still made every year.

The influence of the western stretches beyond the theater, too–to TV, comic books, and video games. When Red Dead Redemption was released in 2010, it was met with rave reviews and massive sales. This was a game that threw the player into an incredibly immersive version of the old west and Mexico, one that drew heavy influence from western movies. Grizzled hero John Marston was clearly based on Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name, the violence was straight out of Tombstone or a Peckinpah movie, and the grand vistas of the west took their inspiration from the classic movies of John Ford and John Wayne.

Red Dead Redemption 2 will finally arrive on PlayStation 4 and Xbox later this month, and fans can expect an even more detailed, immersive world in which to work, kill, and explore. So to get you get ready for what is sure to be one of the games of the year, here are 15 must-see westerns that show the great breadth of the genre. Let’s saddle up and ride into town.

If you’re keen to learn more about the upcoming open-world western, read our roundup feature compiling all the latest news, gameplay, and trailers. Red Dead Redemption 2 is adding a bunch of exciting new mechanics that are incredibly exciting and intriguing, so be sure to check out our in-depth feature showcasing them all. Though, if you’re more intrigued about the game’s development and some of its major inspirations and influences, you should read our feature discussing how previous Rockstar games, like Bully, Max Payne 3, and L.A. Noire impacted its mechanics.

In the meantime, tell us which western films you love the most in the comments below!

Starlink Is The Key To Understanding Beyond Good & Evil 2

It’s easy to assume that because Starlink: Battle For Atlas is geared toward younger audiences, it isn’t for you. The toys-to-life component and the cast of Saturday morning cartoon characters are both major aspects of the game that might fly right over your head–it’s definitely where I sat for much of the game’s pre-release marketing.

But after only a few hours with the game, Starlink’s strengths quickly pushed through to me: It’s a satisfyingly accessible spaceship combat game, with seamless exploration that takes the best cues from games like No Man’s Sky and Elite: Dangerous, and comes with all the trimmings of Ubisoft’s brand of open worlds (for better and worse, according to our review.)

There’s one specific thing that’s really piqued my continued interest in Starlink, though: At E3 in 2018, I saw a behind-closed-doors demo of the then most recent technical demo of Beyond Good & Evil 2. And if you want to know what this mysterious sequel is going to feel like, playing Starlink is your best bet.

BG&E2 is a game that still has an air of mystery about it, especially if you haven’t been following the development blogs and livestreams very closely. There’s a lot to describe about what I saw (read the preview if you’re interested) but essentially, the game has an ambition to be a massive and multiplayer open-world space exploration game, and Starlink is just that.

The demo I saw at E3 showed a co-op duo exploring, sneaking, and fighting in an underground tomb, and over the course of 30 minutes, seamlessly transition into city, planet, space, and galaxy exploration and combat. They hoped onto vehicles and got into dogfights above the city, flew high in the sky to marvel at the enormous curvature of the planet, blasted off into the stratosphere to reach their mothership parked in space, and hit hyperspeed to start heading towards new planets.

At the time, my only points of reference were No Man’s Sky and Elite Dangerous—both games with impressive scope, and both games I thought of as outliers in terms of what to expect from massive, open-world games. But now, a few months later, Starlink has shown me a much closer example of what Beyond Good & Evil 2 looked and felt like to me, both technically and structurally. Starlink’s seamless and gradual transition between ground-based combat and questing, free-range dogfighting, and space travel has distinct parallels to what Beyond Good & Evil 2 is trying to achieve, though the BG&E2’s pace felt slower, making its scope–the world, the galaxy–feel much larger.

There’s other Ubisoft technology I could see in Beyond Good & Evil 2 pulling from, as well. The enormous, persistent map of The Crew 2 is an example of how they’re possibly going to systematically render their world, allowing multiple people to exist at opposite ends of a land mass. The sheer size of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s map makes me believe that populating the enormous planet I saw in the BG&E2 demo is a feasible feat–albeit one that could only be achieved with the enormous development manpower the company wields.

And if you’ve played Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, released only a couple of weeks before Starlink, you might have noticed that Ubisoft is attempting to ape, or at least try their hand at integrating a lot of the major ideas from other open world games into their own. There were arguably various levels of success there, a lot of these components get me excited about how they might be adapted to the Beyond Good & Evil 2 narrative. Branching quests from The Witcher 3, with their varied consequences, has the obvious benefits of enriching world building. The recruitment system from Metal Gear Solid V would make sense in building your crew of Space Rebels. The nemesis system from Shadow of Mordor could potentially be incredibly exciting if you had bounty hunters tracking you down across the galaxy. In the same way, Starlink is the latest, and most directly analogous experiment into exploring Ubisoft’s capabilities in adapting the No Man’s Sky and Elite Dangerous model of open-world galaxies for their grand space opera.

Ubisoft is pulling Beyond Good & Evil out of the cult-classic status, and it’s likely to become a major flagship release for them in the future. But in the meantime, their open-world releases suggest that they’re taking steps towards learning how to build the enormous open-world galaxy they need to tell their story. The lofty ambition for the game that I saw in that E3 demo is now a much more palpable idea in my head, with Starlink providing a tangible jumping-off point. So, if you have any interest in Beyond Good & Evil 2, that Ubisoft toys-to-life game might be more exciting to you than you think.

Breaking Down The $200 PS4 “Elite-Style” Controller: Scuf Vantage Review

PlayStation 4 owners have had a few options outside of the DualShock 4 courtesy of Scuf Gaming’s series of controllers. Both the Infinity 4PS and Impact offer programmable paddles, modular parts, among other features, but cost well over $100. The new Scuf Vantage doubles down on this design philosophy by incorporating even more features while making customization more user-friendly, but for an even higher asking price. Admittedly, this makes the Vantage a gamepad for a specific crowd; those who are dedicated to competitive play and want a distinct advantage at their fingertips, particularly in first- or third- person shooters.

We spent time using the wireless version of the Scuf Vantage playing Fortnite and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, two big games that can benefit greatly from the controller’s features. Controls to build structures and cycle through build options can be mapped to the paddles and side buttons (called sax buttons) so you can keep moving and aiming all the while. When it comes to Black Ops 4, looting items and managing inventory in Blackout becomes second-nature and a bit less cumbersome when mapping the proper actions to the extra inputs as well.

Additional buttons aren’t the only things that Scuf changes up from the original DualShock design, and we breakdown those features throughout this gallery. The Bluetooth wireless Scuf Vantage is available now for $200 USD and comes with some optional accessories–a wired-only version is also available for $170 USD. Both controllers are highly moddable as you can get different magnetic faceplates, analog sticks, rings around the sticks, though it’s at an extra cost.

We did a breakdown of Scuf’s previous controllers, the Infinity 4PS and Impact, so be sure to check that out in addition to this review. If you’re a PS4 user in European territories, take a look at our reviews of the the Razer Raiju and Nacon Revolution controllers, which are exclusive overseas.

How Let’s Go Pikachu / Eevee Update Pokemon Yellow For A New Generation

Barring a small handful of spin-offs, the Pokemon series is making its proper debut on Nintendo Switch next month with the release of Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee. Based largely on the classic Pokemon Yellow version, the Let’s Go games return the franchise to its roots in many ways. As in the original, the story is once again set in the Kanto region, and you’ll only encounter the first 151 Pokemon (plus the newly revealed Meltan) during your adventure.

The Let’s Go games also diverge from tradition in some dramatic ways, particularly in their connection with Pokemon Go. Not only are you able to transfer certain monsters you catch in the mobile game over to the Switch titles, they also employ Pokemon Go’s catching mechanics, meaning you’re no longer be able to battle wild Pokemon.

GameSpot recently had an opportunity to sit down with Pokemon: Let’s Go director Junichi Masuda and lead game environment designer Kensaku Nabana. Through an interpreter, we discussed what it was like reimagining the traditionally 8-bit world of Kanto in 3D, what changes the development team made in bringing the games to Switch, and how the new Mythical Pokemon Meltan came to be.

Despite being inspired by Pokemon Yellow, Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee seem to introduce a lot of new elements not found in previous Pokemon games. What new things should we expect?

Junichi Masuda: The main flow of the story plays out very much like Pokemon Yellow Version. One of the reasons we wanted to do this is that we imagined a lot of fans of the original game were going to be playing through it. There are different parts, but I think they’ll recognize the main beats of the story and feel some nostalgia there.

At the same time, we did add a decent amount of sub-events that weren’t in the originals. It kind of gives it a different feel because there’s a lot of trainers alongside their Pokemon in the actual world itself, so it would be a different impression than the original game, while also covering the same story.

Team Rocket seems to play a more prominent role in Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee. Does this mean we’ll see more of Jessie, James, and Meowth during the story?

Masuda: Yeah, they definitely appear more in the game than in the original Pokemon Yellow Version. With these two games, we really set out at the very beginning with a main target in mind, which was younger kids who maybe didn’t own their own smartphones and weren’t able to really participate in the Pokemon Go craze that happened. They weren’t able to go out and join in on that fun, so really providing them with a really fun experience that also had some of that Pokemon Go gameplay. But at the same time, we wanted to introduce these new players, for whom this might be their first Pokemon game, through the original story, kind of ease them into the Pokemon experience that way.

Also, I thought it would be fun if players who maybe enjoyed the original game–they’re now much older, probably in their 30s–they’d be able to interact with maybe their own kids or other kids that they know that are playing the game. They would actually know the general flow of the story, maybe able to give advice like where to go next and things like that. With Team Rocket, because the animated series is popular–it’s in like 85-plus countries–I imagine a lot of those younger kids will have seen the animated series, even if they haven’t played the game. So, we’re trying to add in the elements like that to make it easier for them to get into the world and recognize the setup.

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In the original games, your rival was a huge jerk, but the one in Let’s Go seems much friendlier. Why the change?

Masuda: I think the biggest reason that rivals were more of a jerk in the early days is that we were just limited with what we could express with the pixel graphics. There’s not much you can do with that kind of little sprite on the screen, so we worked harder to characterize them through dialogue and give them certain personalities. Also, because it’s just dialogue and there’s not a whole lot going on on the screen, it doesn’t give as harsh of an impression even if they’re jerks, I think. Now we have HD graphics and the visuals are much more impressive. If you also made him a jerk, the impression would be a lot stronger on players. Another thing, just my own personal take, is that it feels that people with those kinds of personalities these days are not as accepted by players, I think, as they were back then.

In the original games, there was text or some sort of setting where “Pidgey eat Caterpie,” for example. That was fine back then, I think everybody liked it. But, I think, as Pokemon has gone on, the fans kind of have their idea of what Pokemon should be. If we did that now, I think a lot of people wouldn’t really like it, it would give them a bad reaction.

What about the old man standing outside Celadon Gym who says he loves looking at the pretty girls? Did you have to tone that down as well?

Masuda: Yeah, we definitely re-evaluated all those kinds of things. But at the same time, the fact that you remember that means that it was something memorable. We had to be very careful about which things to change and which things to keep as they were. Definitely check it out for yourself and see if he’s still around.

What was it like having to reimagine the Kanto region in 3D? How hard was it to recreate the world for an HD console?

Kensaku Nabana: I was in elementary school when Pokemon Yellow Version came out, and I remember playing those games as well as a fan myself. So, when we were first starting out in the development of this game, we all went back and played Pokemon Yellow Version again, and I just tried to remember the world of Pokemon that was in my imagination when I was playing those games, because you had to fill in the gaps a lot back then. Really try and take what was in my imagination then and redesign the areas to look like that image I had in my head.

Also, keeping in mind that we put the focus on having a lot of Pokemon in the environment, walking around in the overall world this time around, so [we focused on] making the visuals look like something where that wouldn’t seem strange. We initially explored a more photorealistic direction, but we settled on this more anime style approach, these cuter visuals.

It definitely leaves a strong impression, seeing how different some very famous scenes from the old game are in Let’s Go, such as the first time you come to the S.S. Anne and see how much more majestic it looks. For some areas like Lavender Town, which was very creepy in the original games, how did you go about expressing that in Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee?

Nabana: Lavender Town is definitely one that I don’t want to talk too much about and have you discover for yourself, but I definitely have the same impression as you. It’s kind of this creepy, unsettling place. So, I initially approached it with that in mind and designed it to make it look like it would give that impression. But that wasn’t enough for Mr. Masuda. He was like, “You’ve got to make it feel even creepier.” He gave me a lot of specific directions to do that. So, I think it will be fun to see what it looks like.

It doesn’t seem like held items and abilities are in these games. What is the reason for that?

Masuda: Yeah, that was actually a conscious decision. We don’t have held items or abilities or eggs, or a lot of features that weren’t in the original generation that got added later on. We had to be very careful in selecting which things we would update from the original games and which ones we would keep the same. I did like the appeal of the simplicity of the original Generation 1 games, as this being an entry title for new players joining the franchise to really experience something very similar to what kids did 20 years ago, but [we also wanted people to] enjoy some of these new gameplay gimmicks, like the Poke Ball Plus and the connectivity with Pokemon Go.

But, of course, we did have to update some other things. For example, we added more types later on and Pokemon got re-typed, so those exist in the game. And, obviously, you weren’t able to run in the original game. We were only able to create four-way movement, so we decided that we probably couldn’t do that today and it made it much easier to move around, I think.

Even though held items aren’t in it, we’ve seen that Mega Evolutions are. Can you tell us how that’s going to work? Traditionally, your Pokemon has to hold the right item to Mega Evolve.

Masuda: No real details, but I can guarantee it’s very simple. We didn’t really think too much about it and just kept it very simple to trigger Mega Evolutions.

Please tell us more about the new Pokemon, Meltan. Was it always planned to debut first in Pokemon Go? And was it designed in collaboration with Niantic, or internally at Game Freak?

Masuda: We definitely planned to debut it in Pokemon Go from the very beginning. We had talked about in the early stages of even Go’s development that we want to debut a Pokemon, and we worked with Niantic to kind of figure out that functionality. I’ve been working on the development of Go since the beginning as well, so I’ve always had it in mind. But the design, that was done internally at Game Freak. I gave some specific setting directions to one of our designers who was also a fan of the original games and played them as a kid, so he had a really good idea of what I was looking for, based on this kind of very simple metal nut design. He definitely probably had the original Kanto Pokemon designs in his mind and tried to keep it as simple as possible. You know, they were more kind of basic back then compared to some of the more modern designs. He worked on that, and then once it was finished, we gave all the assets and everything to Niantic, we planned the event and had them execute on that, and it worked out.

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Following up on Meltan’s design, here in the States he’s been given a joking/affectionate nickname of “Nut Boy.” I’m curious how you feel about that nickname and if, perhaps, he has a similar nickname in Japan?

Nabana: I haven’t really seen a lot of nicknames in Japan yet, but for the design, we really tried to make it look like it was kind of a more realistic-looking object, like something that maybe you could see it in real life. It would look weird, but it wouldn’t stand out too much. Initially, I thought this would be a very divisive design, like some people might like it but some people won’t. It looks really strange, but if you look at it more closely, it’s kind of cute at the same time. But it seems like the reaction has been generally really positive, and that’s been a lot of fun. There’s been tons of fan art already and it was revealed just recently, so it’s been exciting for us.

In the DS and 3DS games, there were a lot of events at stores that gave out free Pokemon via download codes. Is anything similar planned for Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee?

Masuda: The functionality from the previous games is in there, it’s called Mystery Gift. It’s in the game and I’m sure there’ll probably be something, but I think with the limited selection of Pokemon, they’re all fairly easily catchable in other games. I’m not sure how often or how frequent it’s going to be with these particular games.

We’ve talked about transferring between Pokemon Go and Let’s Go. When the “core” Pokemon game planned for 2019 arrives, will there also be transfer possibilities between Let’s Go and that title?

Masuda: We’re definitely always thinking of that kind of forward-moving functionality, especially since we’ve introduced the Pokemon Bank. Now, up to Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, you’re able to store your Pokemon. We know they’re very important to everyone. I mean, obviously, people would be very sad if they couldn’t use their Pokemon in a future game. So, it does get complicated when you talk about the details and we’re still figuring it out, but we do have plans to find ways to let players use their Pokemon in the next game.

What are your favorite Pokemon games?

Masuda: Definitely Red and Green for me is the most memorable. It was a six year development with just nine of us, so we have a lot of memories from that time, both good and bad. One of the other things was that we didn’t have much expectation that the game would be played by millions of people at the time. We were just developing it. At any time the company could have gone under and it may not have been released. But yeah, a lot of memories from that time.

Nabana: Red and Green, that’s where I started as well. I played those games and I have great memories playing them, but over the 20 years as time went on, I think the memory got glamorized even more. It starts to just become this legend in my mind. Of course, we tried to make Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee, the re-imagining of that, to kind of live up to those. It gets more and more beautiful in your mind as time goes on, so that’s what we tried to do. So those are probably my favorite games, just in my memory.

But as a developer, I think being able to work on these games and try and update them for the modern time and work as a team lead on these games, that was probably my favorite experience so far.

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Going back to Red and Green and how arduous the development process was. Is there anything from back then that you wanted to specifically address or implement when updating the adventure for Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee?

Masuda: With Red and Green and even games after that, at Game Freak we always wanted to have Pokemon appear in the overworld, in the field itself. But, specifically with the original games, there was no way of doing that with the Game Boy hardware. It just couldn’t handle it. We really wanted to make them feel like living creatures that are in the world with you, so you’ll see on Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee they’ll all have their own little unique movement characteristics. Some of them will run up and stop. They’re kind of curious. It’ll be fun to just discover how they all react to you.

One final question: any chance we see Pikachu’s scrapped evolution, Gorochu, someday?

Masuda: You’re probably not going to see it. None of the Pokemon that we worked on, got to a point, and then discarded them have actually ever re-appeared yet, so I would say the chances are low. One of the reasons for that is that we always have this base criteria at Game Freak of being able to explain why a certain Pokemon is in the world or why it exists in that world, trying to make it feel believable within the fantasy. And usually the ones that get rejected are Pokemon that we weren’t able to justify, I think. Usually there’s a reason for why they weren’t implemented, and as long as that reason still exists, they probably won’t be put in the game.

We always say Pokemon isn’t a “character game.” It’s not a game where it’s just the characters, but it’s a game that shows this world where these living creatures are existing in a space. That’s kind of a slight nuance, but that’s what we always try to go for at Game Freak. It’s not good enough that they’re just cute. (Laughs) They have to have something more to it.

Nabana: I’ve worked on Pokemon designs myself and it really is a very arduous, time consuming process. You’ve got to talk to a lot of people, a lot of back-and-forth and really be able to justify it before we get to a final design.

Red Dead Redemption Story Recap: What You Need To Know Before Playing RDR2

It’s been eight long years, but we’re finally returning to the Old West in Red Dead Redemption 2. While the game may have a “2” in the title, it actually serves as both a prequel and companion piece to the original, so what better time to revisit the plot of 2010’s excellent Red Dead Redemption? After all, we know for sure that we’re going to be seeing a lot of familiar faces in Red Dead Redemption 2.

If you haven’t finished the original Red Dead Redemption, there are going to be major spoilers in the slides ahead. While it’s not required to enjoy Red Dead Redemption 2, knowing the plot of the first game could potentially enhance your enjoyment of the sequel. That said, we highly recommend that you play Red Dead Redemption anyway. Did we not mention that it’s excellent?

In this feature, we summarize all the major events, starting from protagonist John Marston’s first attempt to reason with former ally Bill Williamson, and rolling right into his journey to Mexico and eventually his confrontation against Dutch Van der Linde.

Once you’re finished reading up on the first game’s story, be sure check our our roundup feature compiling all the latest Red Dead Redemption 2 news, trailers, and gameplay footage. The game is adding a bunch of exciting new mechanics, so be sure to check out our in-depth feature showcasing them all. Though, if you’re more intrigued about the game’s development and some of its major inspirations and influences, you should read our feature discussing how previous Rockstar games, like Bully, Max Payne 3, and L.A. Noire, impacted its mechanics.

In the meantime, what’s your favorite moment from Red Dead Redemption? And what are you excited about most in the upcoming sequel? Let us know in the comments below.

Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu And Eevee Make Some Welcome Changes, But Also Some Concerning Ones

Even some 20 years after it debuted, the Pokemon series remains one of Nintendo’s most beloved and lucrative franchises, but developer Game Freak is making a concerted effort to broaden its appeal even further with Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee. Rather than continuing to build upon the mechanics that have been steadily accumulating with each successive generation, the upcoming Switch games deliberately simplify many of the series’ elements in order to draw in new and lapsed fans. From what we’ve seen of the games thus far, this results in some genuinely welcome quality-of-life changes, but for hardcore players, it also makes the titles feel a little rudimentary compared to other installments.

We recently had an opportunity to go hands-on with a new demo of Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee. Whereas the E3 build was set entirely within the Viridian Forest, this demo dropped us off at the foot of Mt. Moon. In past games, caves had always been some of the most frustrating areas to explore (particularly so in the original Red, Blue, and Yellow versions) due to how frequently you would be beset by random encounters. In the Let’s Go titles, however, wild Pokemon appear in the overworld, so you’re now free to choose whether you want to engage a Pokemon or continue exploring. There is still some randomness to where and when Pokemon will appear; occasionally a monster will spawn unavoidably, forcing you into an encounter anyway. But by and large, having Pokemon roaming the overworld makes traversing the Kanto region more enjoyable.

Since their unveiling, Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee have been billed as reimaginings of Pokemon Yellow rather than straight remakes, and that distinction was evident as we explored Mt. Moon. While the titles seem to follow the same general story beats as the classic Game Boy game, they also diverge in some unexpected ways, most notably in our encounter with Team Rocket. In the original Yellow version, Jessie and James first appear toward the end of the cave, after you’ve obtained one of the fossils. Here, you cross paths with them immediately upon entering Mt. Moon. Rather than battle you on the spot, however, the villains flee, leading you into the heart of the cave. Pokemon: Let’s Go director Junichi Masuda teased that there are many other new instances like this peppered throughout the game, and Team Rocket in particular will play a more prominent role, showing up more frequently throughout the course of the adventure than they did in the original.

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Another notable new feature in Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee is local co-op play. While previous Pokemon games allowed you to team up with a friend for Multi Battles, the Let’s Go titles are the first to give another player the ability to drop in and join the adventure at any time simply by waving a second Joy-Con. The second player is fairly limited in terms of what they can actually do; they’re not able to initiate battles nor pick up items, and the camera will not follow them if they happen to venture off-screen. Rather, their purpose is primarily to assist the main player. During battles, for instance, they’ll also send one of your Pokemon out onto the field, turning the contest into a two-on-one affair. They can help capture wild Pokemon as well by throwing their own Poke Ball during the catching phase, greatly increasing your chance of success. Older players likely won’t have much reason to use this feature, as it makes what is already a more leisurely take on the series even easier, but it’s particularly well-suited for parents who want to adventure alongside and guide their children through the game.

The biggest difference between Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee and past games is how you capture Pokemon. As previously revealed, the Let’s Go titles employ Pokemon Go‘s catching mechanics, meaning you won’t need to battle a wild Pokemon and whittle its health down in order to capture it. Despite this, your party will still earn experience points each time you catch a new Pokemon, just as they would if you had battled it, giving you an incentive to collect as many monsters as you can. This greater emphasis on catching Pokemon also means you now carry your Pokemon Box around in your item bag. This is a particularly handy change, as you can now swap Pokemon in and out of your party from the menu screen rather than having to visit a Pokemon Center each time you want to change them out. You’re also able to rename any Pokemon you capture directly from the party screen instead of through the Name Rater, another convenience brought over from Pokemon Go.

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Still, while you don’t fundamentally lose any of the benefits you’d typically receive from wild Pokemon battles, their absence will likely be the most divisive aspect of Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee. Wild battles have always been the perfect opportunity to raise and test out new Pokemon; without them, the only battles you’ll engage in are against other trainers, who traditionally could only be challenged once. The games also eschew held items and Pokemon abilities, two other staple elements of the series. While this brings them closer in line with the original Yellow version, since both of those mechanics were introduced in later games, it removes a layer of strategy from battles.

It remains to be seen if Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee will have enough depth to sustain hardcore fans’ interest, but they’re shaping up to be a good entry point for new and younger players. The games launch for Nintendo Switch on November 16. Alongside them, Nintendo is releasing a Poke Ball-shaped controller called the Poke Ball Plus, which retails for $50 and comes with the Mythical Pokemon Mew. You can read more about the titles in our roundup of everything we know about Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee.

How Call Of Duty Improved For The First Time In Years With Black Ops 4

Call of Duty remains one of the most pervasive series in modern video games. And with three separate studios working on a three-year rotation, the franchise has often grown stale. But with Black Ops 4, developer Treyarch finally improved the tired formula.

In the video above, Mike Mahardy (@mmahardy) examines the ways Black Ops 4 has taken the best aspects of other games and made them its own. Everything from its hero-based multiplayer to its Blackout battle royale mode have a distinct “Call of Duty” flavor that make it a joy to continually play.

For more on Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, head over to GameSpot to read our full review, or check out our YouTube channel, where we have coverage of Black Ops 4’s multiplayer, battle royale, and Zombies modes.

Netflix’s Luke Cage Series Canceled

Netflix has announced that Luke Cage will not be returning for a third season. The news comes just a few days after the announcement that Iron Fist has been canceled, leaving just Jessica Jones and Daredevil as the last Defenders standing on the streaming service.

“Unfortunately, Marvel’s Luke Cage will not return for a third season,” reads a joint statement from Netflix and Marvel. “Everyone at Marvel Television and Netflix is grateful to the dedicated showrunner, writers, cast and crew who brought Harlem’s Hero to life for the past two seasons, and to all the fans who have supported the series.”

Showing solidarity, Iron Fist star Finn Jones posted an image on Instagram in response to the news. It shows his character, Danny Rand, combining the power of the Iron Fist with Luke Cage’s own overwhelmingly destructive abilities.

While the Iron Fist series had a shaky start, general consensus is that its second season showed some improvement. Luke Cage, however, started much stronger. Like many of the Netflix and Marvel shows, it suffered from bloat, with more episodes than there perhaps needed to be. Despite this, Luke Cage had a distinct identity and a grit that many appreciated. Its first season was bolstered by strong performances from Mike Colter (Luke Cage), Simone Missick (Misty Knight), Rosario Dawson (Claire Temple), and Mahershala Ali (Cottonmouth).

The series also had a visual and musical flair that many of the other Marvel shows on Netflix don’t. It very much leaned into an aesthetic that could carry the feeling of living in Harlem and the culture that shaped it and represents it. In one memorable scene Mahershala Ali’s Cottonmouth watches on as rapper Jidenna delivers a performance of Long Live The Chief to an empty club. In another, an iconic image of rapper Biggie Smalls is used to perfectly encapsulate Cottonmouth as a character.

The two cancellations come at a time when Disney is working on its own streaming service. Thus far Disney has confirmed Season 7 for Star Wars: The Clone Wars and a new live-action Star Wars series are in production for the service. In terms of Marvel offerings, Disney has said it will have TV shows based on “beloved superheroes” that may not have had their own spotlight on the big screen. Reports have suggested that Tom Hiddleston is lined up to reprise his role as Loki and Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch for these.

Daredevil Season 3, meanwhile, is available now and returns to the struggle between Matt Murdock and Filson Fisk that made the first season so compelling. However, the third season also introduces another Marvel villain into the mix. Read our Daredevil Season 3 review to find out whether if it’s successful or not.