Pokemon Go: Shiny Spinda And More Legendaries Coming In July’s Field Research

A new month is upon us, which means Pokemon Go players will soon have a new batch of Field Research tasks to complete in the game. Niantic will be rolling out a new set of quests around the world beginning at 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET on July 1, and they’ll give you a chance to encounter more Legendaries, as well as another Shiny Pokemon.

From July through the beginning of September, each Research Breakthrough you achieve will lead to a chance to catch one of the following Legendaries: Latios, Latias, Kyogre (which has briefly returned to Raid Battles), or Groudon. Additionally, Spinda featuring a new spot pattern will be available through new Field Research tasks, and those lucky enough will be able to encounter a Shiny version.

As usual, you can acquire Field Research tasks by spinning the Photo Disc at Poke Stops. The first one you complete each day will reward you with a stamp; if you manage to collect seven stamps, you’ll achieve a Research Breakthrough, which will then lead to an encounter with one of the aforementioned Legendaries. You can read more details on the official Pokemon Go website.

Before the new Field Research tasks arrive, Niantic is bringing a new Pokemon to EX Raids. Beginning June 23, players will be able to encounter the Speed Forme of the Mythical Pokemon Deoxys in EX Raids for the first time. Unlike standard Raid Battles, EX Raids are invite-only; you can only participate in one if you’ve receive an EX Raid Pass, and the only way to do that is if you’ve recently won a Raid at a qualifying Gym.

As previously mentioned, you don’t need to wait for July’s Field Research to find Kyogre. The Legendary Water Pokemon is available in standard Raid Battles again until June 27, when it’ll be replaced by Groudon. Niantic is also bringing the Legendary dog Raikou back to Raids for a limited time. To reward players for completing enough Global Challenges during the recent Pokemon Go Fest event, Niantic is holding a Raikou Raid Day on Saturday, June 29, from 4-7 PM local time.

In other news, Niantic’s Harry Potter mobile game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, is now live in the US and UK. The title was slated to launch on June 21, but has arrived in both regions a day early. While its premise is very similar to Pokemon Go’s, Wizards Unite also differs in a few notable ways. You can read more about the game in our hands-on impressions of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, as well as some Wizards Unite features we think Pokemon Go should take.

Halo Infinite Beta Coming First To Xbox; Split-Screen Already Up And Running

Halo Infinite had a big showing at E3 2019 last week, but Microsoft isn’t done dropping news about the long-awaited Xbox and PC game. Developer 343 Industries to shared some new details on the game, and it’s a lot to take in.

Starting off, 343 confirmed in a blog post that Halo Infinite will support LAN and that the already announced split-screen feature is “up and running” already. That’s a big deal because Halo 5 dropped split-screen in a move that upset a number of series fans.

343 also announced that the beta tests for Halo Infinite, known as “flights,” will take place first on Xbox and then PC. The testing periods will “start small” and then “slowly expand” up until the game’s release in Holiday 2020. “Flighting may come a little bit later for PC players, but we’re treating it as a first-class citizen,” 343 said.

The studio also confirmed that the characters in Halo Infinite will have black undersuits. That sounds like a small detail, but in Halo 4 and Halo 5 players had different colored undersuits, which garnered a mix reaction from fans.

Additionally, 343 teased Halo Infinite’s armor customization options, saying, “if you liked the level of armor customziation in Halo: Reach, you will be pleased [with Halo infinite].” On top of that, 343 confirmed that those who reach the highest level in Halo 5, SR 152, will receive a “token of appreciation” in Halo Infinite.

Finally, 343 stated that it has an internal team of professional gamers testing Halo Infinite’s multiplayer. And on the story side, 343 re-affirmed that Halo Infinite’s story begins “some time after” the end of Halo 5.

Halo Infinite releases in Holiday 2020 as a launch title for Project Scarlett. The game plays on the entire family of Xbox One consoles, as well as PC.

NHL 20 First Details: Battle Royale, New Commentary Team, Signature Shots, And More

During the NHL Awards tonight in Las Vegas, EA Sports officially announced NHL 20, and the developer is promising some big changes for this year’s instalment across gameplay, presentation, modes, and more. It appears to be one of the biggest and most substantial changes to the NHL series in years. EA released a lot of details about NHL 20, and to help make sense of it all we’ve broken it down by section into the key categories of things you need to know.

Auston Matthews is NHL 20's cover star
Auston Matthews is NHL 20’s cover star

NHL 20 Cover Star

Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs–a three-time All-Star and 2016 No. 1 overall draft pick–graces the cover of 2019’s game. He had a monster debut season, scoring 40 goals and taking home the Calder Memorial Trophy for best rookie. In February 2019, the Leafs invested heavily in Matthews’ future on the team when they signed him to a five-year, $58 million deal.

RPM Changes And Improvements

Moving to new gameplay features, EA Sports updated its Real Player Motion (RPM) technology with new “Signature Shots.” This brings the unique shots of NHL superstars into the game, including Matthews’ toe-drag wrist shot and PK Subban’s heavy and powerful slapshot. Alexander Ovechkin’s smooth-as-butter one-timer has also been brought into the game for NHL 20. Overall, EA Sports is promising “hundreds” of new shot animations.

What could be a bigger update are changes to passing and puck pick-ups. In the past, players had to slow down to execute passes or perform skill moves. But now, these happen faster and more fluidly, according to EA Sports. Creative director Will Ho tells GameSpot that EA’s playtests show that the speed of play feels faster, even if it actually isn’t in practice. The overall aim is to replicate the speed of the real NHL, Ho says. Additionally, goalie AI has been changed with a “full offensive threat analysis” so players won’t get as many cheap or scrappy goals.

Doc And Eddie Are Out

On the presentation side, EA is changing things up substantially. Famed NBC commentators Eddie Olczyk and Doc Emerick are out, and the entire NBC licensing package is gone. The new commentators are Ray Ferraro (who appeared in previous NHL games as a rink-side analyst) and hockey broadcaster James Cybulski. Ho, the game’s creative director, tells GameSpot that EA went with new commentators because they better represent the kind of youth and energy that fans want to see. Not only that, but they were able to record 300 hours’ worth of commentary compared to 30 hours for Doc and Eddie due to their relatively busier schedules. Doc and Eddie are based in Chicago, and this was not very convenient for EA. Not only that, but Doc and Eddie were likely expensive, given their history in the league.

Doc and Eddie are two of the biggest and best-known commentators in hockey, so some fans will surely miss them, but this is not uncharted territory for EA Sports. EA’s Madden NFL series dropped Jim Nantz and Phil Simms from the franchise’s broadcast booth in favor of lesser-known, more youthful commentators in recent years. With NHL 20, Ho says Cybulski and Ferraro have a more playful and lighthearted banter that comes across as more natural-sounding.

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Celebrity Commentators And New Graphics

Another interesting element of NHL 20’s broadcast package is that EA plans to bring in celebrity guests. Hockey fans will no doubt recall Snoop Dogg and Will Ferrell as his Anchorman character Ron Burgundy doing commentary for L.A. Kings games. It helped bring more attention to the sport of hockey, and EA appears to be attempting to do something similar with NHL 20.

The developer isn’t confirming any celebrity guest appearances yet, but a slide shown to GameSpot included people like Snoop Dogg, Will Ferrell, Drake, and Wayne Gretzky.

Also in terms of presentation, NHL 20’s graphics and scoreboards will look different this year. You’ll immediately notice that the scoreboard is now on the bottom of the screen, while there are brand-new overlays and motion graphics, too. Additionally, there are new sequences that aim to showcase the flashiest and most exciting moments in NHL 20. This includes “play of the period” and “play of the game” highlights that showcase those moments, as well as new celebration animations.

NHL 20 Adds Battle Royale

Moving to game modes, NHL 20 is adding battle royale–yes, really. Called “Eliminator” in NHL 20, this competitive mode is a “winner-take-all competition inspired by battle royale,” EA says. It comes in two versions: Ones and Threes Eliminator.

In Ones, 81 players compete against each other–though not at the same time–in what EA calls a “survival tournament” that plays out until one player wins. The Ones mode was introduced in NHL 19, and it features groups of three players duking it out solo. These matches will continue until one player is crowned grand champion. In the Threes variation of Eliminator, which is basically Squads from battle royale, teams of three will compete until one team remains.

NHL 20 is not EA’s first sports title with a battle royale mode, as FIFA 19 introduced its own version of battle royale.

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Pond Hockey Gets An Offline Mode And New Venues

One of the biggest criticisms of NHL 19 was that its pond hockey mode, Ones, was only playable through online multiplayer. NHL 20 adds an offline, local multiplayer mode for Ones where players can compete against other humans or the computer. Also new for Ones this year is even more outdoor ponds to skate on, including one set on a glacier and another based on the Rideau Canal in Canada.

Hockey Ultimate Team Adds Squad Battles

The Hockey Ultimate Team mode, meanwhile, adds a feature called Squad Battles. Similar to Squad battles from FIFA Ultimate Team, this has players competing with their fantasy team against squads made by famous people like singers, athletes from other sports, and hockey influencers. Additionally, more Icon players are being added to Hockey Ultimate Team mode, bringing the total number of them up to more than 400.

New Stuff For World Of Chel

Finally, the online hub, World of Chel, is updated in NHL 20 with new weekly in-game events, called Chel Challenges, that players can complete to earn customization items and character XP. Some of the newly added items include ski goggles and various caps. In total, NHL 20 will offer more than 2,000 customization items for players to create a unique character.

Hockey Is A Bruising Sport

One element of ice hockey that is synonymous with the game is hitting and general physicality. It makes the sport exciting to watch in real life, and in the game the physics and collision engine adds to this as well. At the same time, there is a human cost to hockey’s physical nature, as demonstrated recently and on a longer timeline with regards to head injuries and concussions.

We asked Ho for his thoughts on EA’s responsibility as a developer to making NHL 20 fun to play but also a game that respects and demonstrates how dangerous the game can be.

“As developers, we want to the game to mirror the real-world sport as closely as possible, while still being fun first,” Ho said. “Physicality is definitely an element that adds to fun gameplay and so it’s an important part of our game, just as it’s an important part of hockey. That said, we do have a responsibility not to encourage or celebrate the negative side effects of physicality, like injuries; which is why we take great care to make sure our game enforces rules, the same way the NHL does, and doesn’t celebrate those negative consequences.

“We think the NHL has done a great job of prioritizing player safety in the real world and we want to do the same. We’re proud to be able to provide players with a really fun, physical experience that doesn’t come with any risk of injury in the real world.”

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Franchise Mode Updates

There are a number of granular changes coming to NHL 20 in regards to the Franchise mode. Scouting was introduced in NHL 19, and in the new game you can hire–and fire–coaches. Additionally, there is a new “line chemistry” feature that allows players to select players who match the right chemistry for a particular line to have the most success. NHL 20 also adds a new Trade Finder feature that should make the trading process easier. It was a laborious process in NHL 19 to make a trade, but now the CPU will auto-propose trades and then you can choose to accept or reject. Alternatively, players can also propose their own specific trades.

No Nintendo Switch Or PC Versions

NHL 20 is confirmed to launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Fans have been clamoring for years for EA to bring the game to PC, but it’s not happening–at least not this year. Additionally, there is no Nintendo Switch version, though Ho tells GameSpot that EA is constantly thinking about which platforms are the right fit for the NHL series.

NHL 20 Release Date

NHL 20 launches on September 13 for PS4 and Xbox One. The NHL 20 Deluxe and Ultimate Editions, which come with various digital extras, unlock three days early on September 10. Additionally, EA Access subscribers can play a trial of NHL 20 starting on September 5.

Breath Of The Wild Sequel Exists Because Nintendo Had “Too Many Ideas” For DLC

One of Nintendo’s biggest surprises at E3 2019 was the reveal of a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Now, series producer Eiji Aonuma has revealed some new insight into why Nintendo is making a Breath of the Wild sequel instead of something entirely new.

Speaking to Kotaku, Aonuma said the development team had “too many ideas” for new DLC for the original Breath of the Wild, so the studio elected to make a sequel.

“When we released the DLC for Breath of the Wild, we realized that this is a great way to add more elements to the same world. But when it comes down to technical things, DLC is pretty much data–you’re adding data to a preexisting title,” Aonuma added. “And so when we wanted to add bigger changes, DLC is not enough, and that’s why we thought maybe a sequel would be a good fit.

“Initially we were thinking of just DLC ideas, but then we had a lot of ideas and we said, ‘This is too many ideas, let’s just make one new game and start from scratch.'”

The full interview touches on a number of other interesting subjects, including how overtime and crunch is handled on the Zelda development team. Read the full interview at Kotaku.

Earlier, Aonuma spoke to Game Informer about why the team wanted to make Breath of the Wild 2.

“One of the reasons we wanted to create a continuation was because I wanted to revisit that Hyrule again and use that world again, while incorporating new gameplay and new story,” Aonuma said.

In addition to Aonuma, Breath of the Wild game director Hidemaro Fujibayashi will serve as the director on the Breath of the Wild sequel.

A lot of the details on the Breath of the Wild sequel are being kept under wraps for now, but the first teaser trailer gave us a lot to think about. Check out GameSpot’s breakdown of the Breath of the Wild sequel trailer breakdown here to learn more.

New Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston Movie Murder Mystery Is A Massive Success

People have a lot of things to say about Adam Sandler and his movies, but they are consistently very popular. His latest film, Murder Mystery on Netflix, was also a runaway success.

Netflix has announced that Murder Mystery, which also stars Jennifer Aniston, enjoyed the “biggest opening weekend ever” for a Netflix movie. According to Netflix, 30.87 million accounts watched the film in its first three days. This includes 13.4 million Netflix accounts in the US/Canada and 17.5 million Netflix accounts from other parts of the world. If a viewer watches at least 70 percent of a movie, that counts as a view, according to Netflix.

In March 2017, Netflix announced that it extended its deal with Sandler for four more movies, bringing his total output for the streaming service to eight films. Netflix content boss Ted Sarandos says Sander is “one of the leading comedians in the film world.”

Sandler’s first Netflix movie was 2015’s The Ridiculous 6, which was followed up by The Do-Over, Sandy Wexler, the Meyerowitz Stories, and The Week Of. His next movie for Netflix is Uncut Gems. His deal with Netflix spans at least eight movies, so even more are coming.

Murder Mystery stars Sander and his wife (Aniston) solving a murder on-board a billionaire’s yacht. Luke Evans, Gemma Arterton, and Terrence Stamp also star in the film that was directed by Kyle Newacheck.