Monday, January 17, 2022

New Pokémon Legends: Arceus Gameplay Preview Offers Best Look Yet At What This Game Actually Is

Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have released a new gameplay preview trailer for Pokémon Legends: Arceus and it’s a 13-minute look at what we’ll actually be doing in the game when it launches on January 28.  It offers the best look yet at this new take on the Pokémon formula, which is especially exciting because as of late, Nintendo has been churning out trailer after trailer showcasing essentially the same content. Not to mention, no official public hands-on previews have happened for this game so we don’t even know what playing Arceus feels like. However, today’s gameplay preview video provides some answers to a lot of the questions we had.  Click here to watch embedded media Exploration The trailer doubles down on the open-hub nature of the Hisui region, citing that each biome has different Pokémon to catch, terrain to traverse, and raw materials to gather. These raw materials can be used to craft items such as healing items, lures, smoke bombs, Poké Balls, and more, and the narrator says your Pokémon can help you find these materials too.  Wild Pokémon Different Pokémon appear based on the time of the day and weather conditions. Plus, different species have different temperaments. Some are skittish and might run away. Others are aggressive. If a Pokémon detects you, it will be in an alert state and it will deflect all Poké Balls you throw at it. In order to catch an alert Pokémon, you’ll need to battle it with one of your own.  You can distract Pokémon with things like food, too. Also, if you encounter aggressive Pokémon, they might immediately attack you and if you take too much damage, you’ll blackout and lose some of the items you were carrying.  Pokédex  As part of the Survey Corps, your job is to fill out the Pokédex. This doesn’t just consist of catching Pokémon – that will only get some of the survey report filled out. You’ll need to witness them doing certain moves or observe them at different parts of the day to learn more about the species and ultimately, complete their Pokédex entry.  Traversing The Hisui Region Because of how large the Hisui region is, you’ll have access to special “blessed” Pokémon that you can ride on. For example, you can ride Wyrdeer to navigate land faster, but you can also immediately hop onto the back of a Hisuian Braviary to fly through the skies, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire-style. Basculegion lets you skim through the rivers and seas of the Hisui region, too.  Jubilife Village Jubilife Village is the center of operations for the Galaxy Expeditions Team, which is a group of people who have set up camp in the Hisui region to learn about it and the Pokémon within. They’re made up of the Survey Corps, Security Corps, and Medical Corps. Jubilife is your home base and it’s here you’ll collect tasks and turn in completed ones. You can also purchase crafted items and clothes here, and trade Pokémon with other players here, too.  Missions and Requests Part of the gameplay loop of Arceus is completing missions and requests. The latter are small tasks to help the people of Hisui while the former is how you progress through Arceus’ story. You can use your Arc Phone in a very Sheikah Slate-way to set waypoints, map out the region, and more as well.  Battle As expected, battling in Pokémon Legends: Arceus is turn-based, like the traditional Pokémon games. However, there’s a twist in the form of different move styles. If you use an Agile-Style move, it raises the user’s action speed, which means their next move might happen sooner but the move will be weaker. Strong-Style moves, on the other hand, cause your Pokémon to sit out for a move and in return, hit stronger the next time they attack.  Alpha Pokémon will be tough to battle but easily spotted thanks to their large size and glowing red eyes. Catching them will be tough, but it will be worth it.  Customization You can customize your character with a variety of clothing items at the Clothier in Jubilife Village. As you progress through the journey of Arceus, you’ll unlock more and more items including hairstyles, shirts, pants, and more.  Noble Pokémon Noble Pokémon are special frenzied creatures that rampage across the Hisui region. They’re easy to spot, too, as they glow gold. These are essentially boss battles. Depleting their health won’t end the fight. Instead, you’ll need to throw special balms at them made of their favorite food. In between throwing balms, you’ll need to dodge its attacks to survive. At some point during the fight, the Pokémon will reveal an opening and then you can attack. Now, you have to actually defeat it in battle before you can finally catch it. The narrator promises that these will be some of the toughest battles in the entire game.  And that’s where the video ends. Pokémon Legends: Arceus will hit the Switch on January 28. While waiting for its release, catch up on some of the recently-released trailers, starting with this Pokémon Legends: Arceus trailer that introduces the Diamond and Pearl clans to the game. Watch this trailer for a better look at the environments, NPCs, and Pokémon we’ll be catching after that, and then watch this one for a better look at the crafting in the game.  Are you excited for Pokémon Legends: Arceus? Let us know in the comments below!
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    The best outdoor gear for the fall

    The weather is starting to get cooler, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to head indoors for winter just yet. There’s ample time to enjoy the backyard, porch or balcony before the first snowfall. We’ve rounded up the best outdoor gear for cooking, relaxing and imbibing this fall, from a pizza oven, to a uniquely designed fire pit and a smart outlet for your outdoor lighting.Ooni Karu 16OoniIf you’ve opened Instagram in the last several months, chances are you’ve seen someone firing up an Ooni pizza oven in their backyard. The company has become even more popular during the pandemic, and rightfully so. Its line of wood- and gas-fired pizza ovens allow you to make restaurant-quality pies at home. The Karu 16 is the company’s latest offering, with a larger stone for bigger pizzas, an easier to access fuel chamber and a built-in thermometer. The door is also attached so it’s simpler to use and has a glass window so you can keep an eye on things without losing heat. Like commercial Neapolitan-style ovens, the Karu 16 can reach temperatures of up to 950 degrees Fahrenheit, and does so in just 15 minutes. This model runs on wood chunks out of the box, but the company offers an optional gas burner for $100.Buy Karu 16 at Ooni - $799Traeger Ironwood 650 and 885Billy Steele/Engadget Cooler weather is a perfect time to tune up your backyard pitmaster skills. Even if you’re a beginner, Traeger’s line of WiFi-connected pellet grills can guide you through the entire cooking process. The company’s app, which allows you to control and monitor its grills remotely, is also packed with recipes and step-by-step guidance.Personally, I like the Ironwood series, which comes in two sizes with 650 and 885 square inches of grilling space. They sit in the middle of Traeger’s lineup, and offer the best bang for your buck. Low and slow smoking? Yep. Hot and fast searing? They do that too. And with the company’s pellet sensor, you don’t have to worry about running out of fuel halfway through a 10-hour brisket sesh.Shop Ironwood series at Traeger starting at $1,400Weber Genesis II EX-315EngadgetWeber is best known for its charcoal kettle grills, but its gas models aren’t too far behind. Following up on the smart grilling tech it built into its SmokeFire pellet grills in 2020, the company brought the Weber Connect system to its gas lineup earlier this year. There are a number of options here, but the Genesis II EX-315 is a great mid-range choice. Thanks to the Connect tech, you get real-time food doneness updates, estimated completion times and fuel level monitoring.Weber Connect also offers step-by-step guidance based on the food you're cooking and the LED display on the grill shows both meat and ambient temperatures. Of course, the grill is WiFi-enabled, so all of this info can be sent to your phone. And if you get caught in the dark, a handle-mounted light and backlit control knobs are there to help.Buy Genesis II EX-315 at Weber - $1,030Thermoworks Thermapen OneThermoworksThe Thermapen is the grilling tool I use most often. It’s handy for making sure I’m not serving undercooked chicken or overcooking a pricey steak I’ve had in the sous vide for hours. It’s also great to have in the kitchen to instantly check temps of things like bread. Thermoworks unveiled the successor to its wildly popular Thermapen Mk4 earlier this year with the Thermapen One. The device is super fast, giving you a reading in one second. It’s also more accurate and has a brighter display than the previous model. The screen automatically rotates depending on how you hold it, plus an auto-wake and sleep feature and IP67 rating keep things running smoothly.Buy Thermapen One at Thermoworks - $105Meater Plus probe thermometerMeaterI’ll admit it: when I first saw Meater’s wireless food probes I was skeptical that they would work well. The Meater Plus has all of the convenience of the company’s original wireless probe, but with extended Bluetooth range. Each one has two sensors, so it can monitor both internal food temperature and the ambient temp of your grill. All of the info is sent to the company’s app where you can set target temperature, get estimated completion times and follow step-by-step directions if you need them. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about routing wires since the Meater Plus is completely wireless and stays out of your way. Not having to fight food probe cords is a grilling innovation I’m sure a lot of people can get behind.Buy Meater Plus at Amazon - $100Thermacell E-55ThermacellLast year, the Thermacell Patio Shield kept us mosquito-free for socially-distanced outdoor activities. For 2021, the company is back with the E-55 that offers a 20-foot coverage area and is fully rechargeable. This slightly larger unit runs on a Li-Ion battery instead of burning fuel to keep the biting bugs at bay for up to 12 hours. If you need more protection for you and the fam, you can buy refills for up to 40 hours of use. Also, like other Thermacell products, the E-55 doesn’t give off any odor, so you’ll barely notice it’s there.Buy Theramcell E-55 at Amazon - $40Solo StoveBilly Steele/Engadget As the temperatures drop, a fire pit is a cozy place to spend your time. However, most of the cheap options you’ll find at your local big box store aren’t really designed to channel smoke away from you or to maximize airflow. Solo Stove’s stainless steel fire pits do both, creating a roaring fire that won’t smoke you out. Each of the three models, ranging from $269 to $599, are portable(ish) and burn whatever variety of wood you happen to have. I’ve been testing the Ranger, the smallest and most portable option. While you can certainly set these right on the ground or concrete patio, I highly recommend splurging for a stand and a weather-proof cover which cost around $80 for the Ranger and Bonfire models.Buy Solo Stove starting at $269TP-Link Kasa outdoor smart plug and dimmerTP-LinkI tested the Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug for our first backyard guide and I was immediately hooked. TP-Link recently announced a new model of the smart plug in addition to a dimmable single-outlet version. Both are waterproof and plug into your existing outside outlet to give you one or two spots for lights and other gear. With the two-plug option, you can control each one independently. The Kasa app allows you to set a schedule, timer, runtime and more for each plug, so you can automate when those string lights over the deck turn on. Additionally, they work with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you don’t even need to pick up your phone most of the time. Plus, 300 feet of WiFi range means you shouldn’t have trouble connecting these to your home network for use.Buy Kasa outdoor smart plug at Amazon - $25Sony SRS-XB13SonyWhen you need tunes outside, whether that’s at home or on the go, Sony’s tiny XB13 speaker is a great option. Its small size makes it insanely portable, but it still manages big sound thanks to Sony's Extra Bass feature and Sound Diffusion Processor. It’s rated IP67 for dust- and water-proofing so taking it outside shouldn’t incite anxiety. What’s more, it has a UV coating for protection from the sun. You can use the XB13 for hands-free calls and employ two of them at once for a stereo pair. It lasts up to 16 hours on a charge and will only set you back $60.Buy SRS-XB13 at Amazon - $58Brumate Toddy and Toddy XLBrumateI’ve been a big fan of Brumate’s beverageware since I bought myself a Hopsulator Trio for a beach vacation a few years ago. I still use it all the time, during both warm and cool months. However, when the temperatures begin to dip, I tend to reach for hot beverages more often, so Brumate’s Toddy insulated mug is a better option. The cup works well to keep drinks hot or cold and the trademark feature is the spill-proof lid. That thing has saved me from massive cleanup more times than I can count. The regular Toddy can hold 16 ounces while the Toddy XL doubles the capacity to 32 ounces.Buy Brumate Toddy starting at $30

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