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Pokémon Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary!

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Pokémon, the worldwide phenomenon, turns 25 this year. Feeling old yet? For some, the thought of Pokémon conjures up some nostalgia as they think back to their childhood. For many others, the thought has them reaching for their phone to play the mobile game. To celebrate its birthday, the Pokémon company promises all kinds of fun for 2021. From the trading cards to Pokémon GO, let’s unpack the pocket monster craze and see what’s in store for the birthday celebration.

Pokémon Trading Cards

Pokémon hit America by storm in ’96 and kids everywhere couldn’t get enough. Forget about Pogs, no one cared about Beanie Babies anymore. Everyone wanted Pokémon cards. Like Magic the Gathering, Pokémon TCG is a turn-based game where you stacked your monsters up against the other players. For many, it was much more about collecting than actually playing. The crown jewel of the Pokémon TCG was the First Edition holographic Charizard. Stories of people selling their holo Charizard today for thousands of dollars have collectors calling their mom to dig through the attic.

TV Show

If you were a fan of Pokémon in the 90s, you are no doubt singing the theme song in your head. The anime followed young Ash Ketchum and his Pokémon, Pikachu as they travelled across the land, making friends, catching Pokémon, and battling trainers – trying to become the very best like no one ever was. The show introduced fans to Team Rocket, the regular villains of the series who wanted to use Pokémon for nefarious purposes.

Pokémon on Gameboy

How far games have come since the original Pokémon video games were released. Pokémon Red and Blue released in tandem for the Gameboy in 1996. A brilliant marketing ploy – Game freak released two nearly identical games to the public. The gameplay was the same, except that players needed to play both games to get all 150 original Pokémon. Sure, you could trade with your friends to complete your PokéDex, but most kids just begged mom for both. Remember Mew? Mew was the legendary 151st Pokémon. Game freak built-in code for this Pokémon, but never gave fans an official way to see or catch it. There were rumors that Mew was hidden under a truck by the SS. Anne, but that was bogus. Bust out your Gameshark and enter the cheat code if you wanted a full PokéDex.

Red and Blue have seen many sequels, and the franchise has evolved (no pun intended) with better graphics and more Pokémon. There are now over 800 unique Pokémon that you can catch in the latest games: Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Pokémon Go

In 2016, Pokémon got an adrenaline shot and thrusted back into the mainstream with Pokémon Go. The mobile game lets players use the real-world GPS on their phone to walk around and catch Pokémon using augmented reality technology. Just like the card game or Gameboy, the goal is of course to Catch ‘Em All. Players can team up to take down strong monsters or trade to get what they need. The game is regularly changing and adding new features. Various events like Community Days encourage players to meet up and play together. The game is made so that kids (and adults) can go outside and get some exercise – you have to walk around to find Pokémon, but with COVID-19, adjustments were made so that people can play safely from home.

What’s in Store for 2021

Katy Perry

Pokémon announced that they will be releasing Pokémon themed music throughout the year. Their first collaborator: Katy Perry! More artists are lined up to be announced throughout the year.

Merch

Pokémon promises a rollout of cool merchandise. They teamed up with Bear Walker to release Pokémon skateboards. McDonalds will have Pokémon toys in their Happy Meals. New Trading Cards will be available all year. Build-A-Bear will have your favorite Pokémon available to build and take home.

Games

Another favorite game, Pokémon Snap is getting an overhaul. The reboot displays shiny new graphics and will be released in April of this year.

Pokémon Go is celebrating the original 151 Pokémon with their Kanto Event. The mobile game will highlight the original characters from the red and blue Gameboy games.

Diamond and Pearl?

Rumors are flying around about an announcement that will be made later this month. Fans are speculating that it will be a reboot of the Diamond and Pearl installments of the Gameboy games. Nothing has been confirmed yet.

Pokémon promises all this and more for their 25th anniversary. Whether you haven’t played Pokémon since middle school, or you have kids that play – or you haven’t stopped playing all this time, 2021 is sure to be a nostalgia packed year for fans all over.

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Entertainment

The Ariana Grande Fortnite Concert: A Magical Musical Gaming Experience

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Many fans of Fortnite would agree that it’s no longer just a game; it’s an experience. The developer of the popular game, Epic Games is known to release new maps or experiments to keep players on it. Two of which are the mystery cube and a black hole that created a new map. But their latest release is the Ariana Grande Fortnite concert treating millions of fans to the Princess of Pop’s hits as they explore a magical pastel map.

Let’s take a look at how players enjoyed the Ariana Grande Fortnite concert in all of its pastel glory.

Rift Tour: Ariana Grande Fortnite Concert

The concert was live from August 6 to 8. Before players can witness the Ariana Grande Fortnite concert live, they can complete quests and win rewards, such as a Cosmic Cuddles loading screen, kitty emoticon, and spray. Those who played any of the five live games received an umbrella.

In the Rift Tour video, players wait in a lobby or space under an unknown flying object in the sky. There, they run towards a rectangular portal where they float towards an animated Fortnite-version of Ariana Grande, hand holding out, welcoming them on a new experience.

Before they get treated to the Ariana Grande musical journey, they can rack up points by sliding across a track and fighting a giant boss, Storm King. Players can hear music from Travis Scott and Marshmello before they meet the Princess of Pop and enjoy dancing and floating to her tunes.

Gaming and Music Come Together

Fortnite isn’t only famous for battle-royale and team battles. Players can bust out dance moves like The Dab. And anyone online for the live concert danced along to Grande’s catchy tunes.

Grande sings the following hits as players traverse through different courses in the game:

  • Raindrops
  • 7 Rings
  • Be Alright
  • R.E.M.
  • The Way
  • Positions

Players are treated to different experiences during the musical journey, giving fans an unforgettable audiovisual treat. Ariana Grande starts with a brief Raindrops performance, with players helping each other up. Then, an orb of light appears and lands on a circular stage where she finally emerges to sing 7 Rings. It transitions to a beach where players can dance along to one of her famous hits.

During her Be Alright number, players float inside a bubble while Grande flies through the air thanks to her winged glass shards costume. And for her R.E.M. performance, players ride on flying unicorns while the singer sits on a giant swing.

She then sings her next song, The Way, where players can move up the stairs where they teleport to another flight of stairs until they reach the top. Finally, Positions plays where players can jump and dance along to the beat.

The whole musical journey ends with the singer breaking the glassy exterior of the map with a hammer. Then, the players are sucked back into the portal they entered and to the lobby.

Post-Concert Quests, Rewards, and Items

Although the live concert is no longer available, Fortnite players can download the content for free on Fortnite’s site. As reported by Ginx.tv, there are four quests available to play. One of them is meant for solo players, and the three require a team. The rewards you’ll receive are experience points, and an XOXO emote.

The post-concert rewards include Skye Up High Loading Screen, an umbrella, and a Rift-Tour banner. Only those with a Fortnite Crew subscription are entitled to these awards. Also, die-hard Arianators and Fortnite fans can buy the Ariana Grande skin and play as the pop star.

However, the quests are only available until August 23, 10 AM EST.

For other gaming and entertainment news, read more stories here at Owner’s Mag!

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Gaming

17 Games Coming Out This Fall

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Fall is coming. You all know what that means. The leaves begin to turn. The air becomes crisp. The smell of cider lingers in the air. Idiots scramble for Pumpkin Spice Lattes. And, most importantly, new video games will be released. 

We demand the release of new games! They’re crucial to our health! Considering just how many games are being released. How do you know which to pay attention to? 

Here are 17 games coming out this fall that you simply must obtain. 

1. Life Is Strange – True Colors (September 10)

The third entry in the Life is Strange franchise is developed by Deck Nine and published by Square Enix. You play Alex Chen, a young woman who experiences the emotions of others as she tries to solve her brother’s mysterious death. This third-person graphic adventure will be available for Microsoft Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and XBox Series X/S. 

2. Deathloop (September 14)

You play Colt, an assassin stuck in a time loop in this new game developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. Colt, an assassin, is tasked with taking out eight targets before midnight. If he leaves any alive, or if he dies, Colt starts the loop from the beginning. You can find this action-adventure game for Windows and PS5.

3. Lost Judgment (September 21)

Time to solve another bloody crime. Once again, players will settle into the mind of private detective Takayuki Yagami as he investigates another crime in this sequel to 2018’s Judgment. The action-adventure game is for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. 

Far Cry 6 (October 7)

Developed and published by Ubisoft, the sixth entry in the first-person shooter franchise has Revolution in the air. Players become Dani Rojas, a former soldier turned freedom fighter against Giancarlo Esposito’s “El Presidente.” Dive into the action for Amazon Luna, PS4, PS5, XBox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Stadia. 

5. Metroid Dread (October 8)

Developed by MecurySteam and Nintendo EPD, the bounty hunter Samus Aran returns in this sequel to 2002’s Metroid Fusion. Set after the events in Fusion, Samus faces a nefarious robotic enemy on the planet ZDR. Only available on Nintendo Switch.

6. Back 4 Blood (October 12)

This is the spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead, developed by Turtle Rock Studios and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Players will jump into a post-apocalyptic world overrun by infected humans known as “the Ridden.” You play as a member of “the Cleaners,” soldiers teaming up to fight zombies in this multiplayer first-person shooter. 

7. Battlefield 2042 (October 22)

The seventeenth installment in the Battlefield series, developed by DICE and published by Electronic Arts, is the successor to 2018’s Battlefield V. The multiplayer-only first-person shooter has brand new features to make for more immersive gameplay. To be released for Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. 

8. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (October 26)

Developed by Eidos-Montreal and published by Square Enix, Guardians of the Galaxy is a third-person action-adventure game where you play as Peter Quill/Star-Lord. Filled with crazy fights, snarky dialogue, and motivational speeches that affect the other members in combat, Guardians of the Galaxy is available for Windows, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. 

Forza Horizon 5 (November 9)

Developed by Turn 10 Studios and published by Microsoft Studios, this racing game is set in an open world map based in Mexico. Players can explore this map freely by completing the campaign or competing in multiplayer races. This game will be available for Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

Shin Megami Tensei 5 (November 11)

This post-apocalyptic RPG by Atlus has players assume the role of a high school student in modern-day Tokyo. They are unexpectedly drawn into an alternate version of Tokyo that has been overrun by demons and must fight to restore order. Available for only Nintendo Switch. 

11. Dying Light 2 (December 7)

Set 20 years after the original game, this open-world first-person action RPG. Developed and produced by Techland, players assume the role of Aiden Caldwell, who can perform over 3000 parkour animations, giving the game a more fluid-free running experience. Available for Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. 

12. Horizon Forbidden West (TBA)

The breathy, distressed character that we know to be Aloy has quickly joined the ranks of other Playstation mascots like God of War’s Kratos. And now, she’s back to kick robot dinosaur ass in the sequel to the blockbuster hit Horizon Zero Dawn. Developed by Guerilla Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment, this open-world, post-apocalyptic game is set in a new region known as the Forbidden West. Available for PS4 and PS5. 

  1. Ghostwire – Tokyo (October) 

13. Ghostwire – Tokyo (October)

Described as “karate meets magic,” this first-person action-adventure game allows players to use various psychic and paranormal abilities to defeat the ghosts and spirits haunting Tokyo. Developed by Tango Gameworks and published by Bethesda Softworks, this game is available for PS5 and Windows. 

14. SABLE (September)

This stripped-down game developed by Shedworks and published by Raw Fury places the player in the role of a young girl named Sable. Featuring no combat or set storyline, SABLE emphasizes gameplay on simple puzzle-solving and discovery as Sable traverses sand dunes and ruins. Available for macOS, Windows, and Xbox Series X/S. 

15. FIFA ’22 (October 1)

Pretty straightforward release. Developed and released annually by Electronic Arts, the latest game features cover athlete Kylian Mbappe and is available for Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Stadia. 

16. Solar Ash (TBA)

An adventure platforming game with an emphasis on movement over combat, Solar Ash has players traversing through a bright-neon colored, three-dimensional landscape. Developed by Heart Machine and published by Annapurna Interactive, the game is available for Windows, PS4, and PS5. 

17. Halo Infinite (TBA)

Buckle up, buckaroos. Get ready for the next installation of the iconic Halo series. Developed by 343 Industries and published by Xbox Game Studios, the sixth entry in the series continues the story of the Master Chief. What more is there to say? 

Well, what are you waiting for? The air is getting chillier! Time to get inside and glue yourselves to the next big blockbuster game of the fall! 

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Xbox Launches New Games and A Mini-Fridge

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If you’re an Xbox fan, then you’re probably excited about the upcoming titles the gaming giant has recently announced. And what about the mini-fridge that it’s introducing to users? But we’ll get to that later.

Microsoft and Sony released three gaming consoles last year – Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, and PlayStation. And this year, fans can’t wait to get a load of new games. Not one to disappoint fans, Microsoft launched 30 never-before-played versions, including Halo Infinite. 

If you want to try most of the new games, you’ll be glad to know that 27 of them will be available for subscribers of Xbox Games Pass. But you already know that if you tuned in to the recent Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) held remotely on a livestream.

Leaked Trailer

Even before the event, some fans were already talking about Starfield – an all-new space RPG made by Bethesda. The Washington Post leaked the trailer accidentally, and gamers aren’t complaining. 

Starfield was made by the game studio that Microsoft acquired for $7.5 billion, along with ZeniMax Media. For fans waiting for the game, you’ll have to wait for a little longer – more than a year, to be exact. Starfield is due to be released on November 11, 2022.

According to Bethesda Game Studios, Starfield is a game they’ve always dreamed of playing. However, they had to wait until the hardware and tech were available. That said, they’re certainly happy that innovations have made it possible to come up with such a product today. And they’re surely hoping to earn fat revenues from the innovation.

Games to Watch Out For

Aside from Starfield, fans are also intrigued about Forza Horizon 5. After all, many are expecting it to take full advantage of the newest Xbox consoles’ next-generation tech.

As mentioned, most of the games discussed will be available in the Xbox Games Pass service. For those not familiar, the monthly fee is $15 in exchange for access to the games. Added to that, subscribers can also access Xbox game streaming service, allowing them to stream games online. Think of it as a service somehow akin to Netflix.

Meanwhile, Halo players will be happy to get their hands on Halo Infinite. The newest version will launch this fall, so fans will surely be looking forward to pumpkin spice season.

Forza Horizon 5, on the other hand, is another title to check out. Set in Mexico, the version uses real-world videos and photos of Mexican places. Stalker 2 is also part of the roster of new Xbox games. This is based in Chernobyl with zombie elements. So, perhaps, you may expect radioactive zombies? The game is due for release on April 28, 2022.

If you’re a Jack Sparrow fan, you might want to check out Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life. This online pirate game is launching a free update and with new characters to boot. With a storyline based on The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, you can never go wrong. 

For fans craving villain-focused games, Far Cry 6 is another one to watch out for. It’s due October 7, so only a few more months before gamers see the rollout of this new title.

Xbox Mini-Fridge

Now, let’s talk about the Xbox mini-fridge. It may have started as a meme, but the company turned it into reality. In fact, makers are planning to launch it later this year. Netflix and chill? Maybe Xbox and chill will be just as popular soon.

Microsoft already said the mini-fridge would be “the world’s most powerful mini-fridge.” The product will launch on holidays 2021.

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