Twitch Removes PogChamp Emote After the Face of the Emote Comments on Capitol Hill Shooting

Today Twitch announced that they have removed the PogChamp global emote following statements from Gootecks, the face of the emote regarding the fatal shooting on Capitol Hill today.

Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez is known for being a professional Street Fighter player, and fighting game enthusiast. He is the founder of Cross Counter TV along with fellow fighting game enthusiast Mike Ross. Gooteks is most known for the excited open-mouthed expression that was taken from bloopers from an episode of Cross Counter TV in 2010. The expression became one of Twitch’s first global emotes “PogChamp” is used to express excitement and hype over extraordinary moments, the POG referring to “Play of the Game”. At over 2 million uses per day on Twitch.tv, The emote has become a staple on Twitch as well as a staple meme in internet culture at large.

Gooktecks has faced controversy in the past over his conservative politics. Today he made series of tweets questioning if there will be further civil unrest in response to the death of Ashli Babbit, a protester that was shot and killed by police during the protest on Capitol Hill.

In response to Gooteck’s comments the Twitch Twitter account posted that the PogChamp emote would be removed, stating Gooteck’s statements were encouraging further violence. As concerns poured in Twitch issued follow-up tweets stating that the company wants to preserve the meaning behind the emote and will be rolling out a replacement emote for PogChamp in the near future.

Some have noted this decision by Twitch is another example of inconsistency in the way the platform handles controversies. Twitch Partner and popular streamer Hasan “HasanAbi” Piker infamously stated in one of his streams that America deserved the 9/11 Attacks that killed over 3000 people, and received no punishment.

The remove of the PogChamp emote comes on the heels of Twitch’s new harassment policy that bans the term ‘Simp’ among others from being used on the platform.

Nintendo to Acquire Next Level Games

This week Nintendo announced on their investor relations page that the company will be acquiring the Next Level Games. The Canadian development studio has worked closely with Nintendo on several acclaimed titles including Super Mario Strikers (2005, GameCube), Punch-Out!! (2009, Wii), Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (2013, Nintendo 3DS), and Luigi’s Mansion 3 ( 2019, Nintendo Switch). The studio has been working exclusively with Nintendo since 2014, making their acquisition the final step in a long partnership.

As of yet it is unknown what projects are currently in development at Next Level Games, through with the success of titles like Luigi’s Mansion 3, and fans having been clamoring for a new Punch-Out!!, it is a possibility that those titles could show up somewhere down the line.

Indie Developer Top Hat Studios Releases Response to Calls to Censor ‘SENSE – 不祥的预感: A CYBERPUNK GHOST STORY’

Yesterday Top Hat Studios, developers of the indie game SENSE – 不祥的预感: A CYBERPUNK GHOST STORY posted a statement to their Twitter account responding to the recent calls for them to censor content in the game.

The 2.5D game is inspired by classic horror adventure titles like Clock Tower and Fatal Frame, with character designs and aesthetics paying homage to cyberpunk staples such as Shirow Masamune’s iconic Ghost in the Shell series. In 2018 the game was successfully crowdfunded, raising over $60,000. The setting for the game is a dystopian cyberpunk future where body modification is a standard especially, in the seedy red light districts where protagonist Mei-Lin Mak finds herself unraveling a deep mystery.

When the Nintendo Switch port of the title was announced a small contingent of Twitter users complained about the appearance of Mei-Lin Mak, and other characters in the game, and called for the game to be censored. The studio even received death threats and threats of ‘review bombing’, as the detractors raised even more outrageous claims against the game in an effort to force the developer to censor the game. Top Hat Studio’s response dismisses the wild claims, and defends the creative expression of the developer:

We categorically and absolutely refuse to restrict creative expression. Creators should be allowed freedom to express themselves, particularly when it is an expression of the subcultures they have been immersed in.

SENSE – 不祥的预感: A CYBERPUNK GHOST STORY is available on Steam, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Xbox One, with a Nintendo Switch release scheduled for January 7th through Nintendo Eshop. (Links provided are affiliate links)

Teruyuki Toriyama, Producer of Bloodborne and Demon’s Souls Remake, Is Leaving Sony Japan Studio

Earlier today Teruyuki Toriyama announced via his Twitter that he will be leaving Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios Japan at the end of the month. Toriyama has worked as producer on several high profile Playstation games including Astro Bot Rescue Mission, Bloodborne, Demon’s Souls Remake, and Soul Sacrifice.

Toriyama is not leaving the games industry however, in his announcement he states that he will continue to create new game IPs at his yet-unannounced new company.

This news comes as part of a loss of several high-profile employees at SIE WWS Japan following reports that Sony is shutting down their Japanese studios and shifting all game development focus to the western branch of SIE. Sony has denied these reports however, Teruyuki Toriyama is the latest in a trend of developers leaving the company this month. At the beginning of December Silent Hill and Gravity Rush creator Keiichiro Toyama, and his teammates Kazunobu Sato, Junya Okura, left SIE WWS Japan recently founded Bokeh Game Studio.

Sony has Removed Cyberpunk 2077 from PlayStation Store, and Vows to Offer Refunds to Customers

In light of the troubled launch of Cyberpunk 2077 on current-gen consoles. Sony has removed Cyberpunk 2077 from the PlayStation store and will be offering refunds to any customers that request them. The official PlayStation customer support Twitter account posted:

Since lancing last week, the game has been plagued with issues on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One platforms. Gamers found themselves with a game that was severely graphically downgraded compared to the all of the trailers and promotional footage, which was all running on the next-gen consoles, and on PC. The fervor prompted CD Project Red to issue a statement apologizing for not showing the game running on current-gen hardware at all in the promotion for the game, and vowing to issue several patches over the next few months to stabilize the game and fix the game crashing and glitches on the console version of the game. CD Project Red also promised refunds to players that wished to return the game. At this stage it is unknown if Sony will put the game back on the store once the promised patches from CD Project Red are added to the game.

How to Breed Perfect IV Pokémon in Pokémon Sword and Shield

This guide is designed to help you get started on the path to breeding those 5 IV, and perfect 6 IV Pokémon for use in competitive battling, and trading on Pokémon Sword Version and Pokémon Shield Version.

Prepare for Trouble (Preparation)

The key to successful Pokémon breeding is preparation. Over the generations several mechanics have been added to make the process of breeding for Pokémon with competitive IVs easier. By taking advantage of these mechanics we reduce the amount of eggs and time it takes to hatch competitive Pokémon significantly

Gather the hold items that Pokémon will use while breeding.

The two hold items that will be critical for breeding competitive Pokémon are the Everstone and the Destiny Knot.

The Everstone is a item that when held by a Pokémon that can evolve prevents it from doing so. This item also has a hidden breeding effect: When held by one of the Parent Pokémon the nature of that parent will be passed down to the baby. For example if you have a parent with a Timid nature and you have that parent hold an Everstone while breeding, the hatched Pokémon will have a Timid nature too.

The Everstone can be found in a few ways; The quickest way would be to visit the Digging Bros, who can be found just south of the Pokémon Nursery in Bridge Field in the Wild Area. For 500 Watts you can have one of the brothers dig up items for you, and one of the more common items is the Everstone.

Everstones can also be found on wild Roggenrola, Boldore, and Gigalith 50% of the time (click here for a list of locations where you can encounter them). If you wish to speed up this process you can take a Butterfree with the ability Compound Eyes and teach it the move Thief (TM23), Compound Eyes will raise the chances of wild Roggenrola/Boldore/Gigalith having an Everstone to 60% and by using Thief in battle Butterfree can steal the item, then you can run from the battle and take the item from Butterfree.

The Destiny Knot is hold item that activates when the Pokémon holding it becomes infatuated with the Pokémon, it makes the enemy Pokémon infatuated with the Pokémon holding the Destiny Knot. The Hidden breeding mechanic is that if a parent holds the Destiny Knot while breeding a total of 5 IVs randomly selected from among both parents will be passed down to the baby. For example it might pass down the HP, Attack IVs from the mother and the Sp. Defense, Defense, and Speed IVs from the father.

The Destiny Knot can be found at the BP (Battle Point) Shop inside the Pokémon Center in Hammerlock City, it costs ten Battle Points, which can be earned by winning battles in the Battle Tower which opens up after you become Champion of the Galar League. They are also sometimes distributed through Mystery Gift function so, be on the lookout for distribution codes.

Abilities and Pokémon that make breeding easier.

Synchronize is a very useful ability with an equally useful hidden mechanic. In battle Synchronize will mirror any status effects that the enemy Pokémon inflicts on your Pokémon. So if you Pokémon with Synchonize is paralyzed by an attack from the opponent the ability activates and the opposing Pokémon also becomes paralyzed. Outside of battle if you put a Pokémon with Synchonize in the lead spot in your party it makes it so that wild Pokémon you encounter will have the same nature as the Synchonize Pokémon. So if you put a Synchonize Gardevoir with bold nature at the front of your party then all of the wild Pokémon you find will also have a bold nature. *Note: Synchronize won’t work on raid battles or Pokémon that are received as gifts.

Ditto is the unofficial mascot of the Pokémon breeder. Because of Ditto’s ability to breed with most Pokémon it is a great time saver. Finding a Ditto with multiple perfect IVs will make breeding for perfect IVs much easier. Ditto can be found in the grass around Lake of Outrage, and in Max Raid Battles. The Ditto from Max Raid Battles tend to have multiple perfect IVs more often, so it’s a good idea to focus on that method for catching.

Magma Armor, Flame Body, or Steam Engine is another handy tool for trainers. In battle the Magma Armor ability prevents the Pokémon from being Frozen, and the Flame body ability makes it so that whenever the enemy Pokémon uses an attack that makes direct contact (Like a Kick, Punch, or Tackle for example) the opponent has a 30% change of getting burned from that contact. The Steam Engine ability activates when the Pokémon is hit by a Fire or Water-type attack and raises the Pokémon’s speed stat by six states (the maximum boost possible in battle). The hidden mechanic for these abilities is that if a Pokémon with one of these abilities is in your party it halves the amount of steps you have to take to hatch eggs. With this you can hatch your eggs much faster.

Lastly you will want to have access to the IV Judge feature on your Pokémon Storage PC. This feature will let your check the IVs of your Pokémon when you are looking through the boxes. This feature is unlocked by reaching Rank 4 in the Battle Tower and defeating Leon.

Tools for shiny breeding (Optional if you are just looking for competitive stats)

Shiny Charm is a key item that increases your odds of encountering or hatching shiny Pokémon from 1/4096 to around 1/1365. You obtain the Shiny Charm by completing your Galar Region Pokédex. The Shiny charm stacks with the Masuda Method.

The Masuda Method is a hidden mechanic that increases the odds of hatching shiny Pokémon when breeding. To do this trick you need to have two parents from different real-world regions breed. For Example, Breeding a Charmander from an English-language game with another Charmander traded over from a Korean-version of the game will increase the odds of the baby being shiny to roughly 1/683, and when combined with the Shiny Charm boost the odds become 1/512.

Items to skip over breeding for IVs and Natures all together

There are a few items that can be used to forgo the process of breeding for natures and IVs entirely. Using these items you can take any random Pokémon of the species you want and boost it so that it has the nature effects and the perfect IVs that it needs to be competitive. Those items are Bottle Caps and Mints.

Bottle Caps come in two varieties; Regular (Silver) Bottle Caps, and Gold Bottle Caps. To use these caps the Pokémon must be at level 100. Then you go to the Battle Tower and the desk on the right side will offer to Hyper-train one of your level 100 Pokémon. Regular Bottle Caps allow you to select one stat and increase its IVs to a perfect 31. Gold Bottle Caps let you make all of the stats perfect.

Bottle Caps can be purchased in the BP Shop in Wyndon for 25BP, they can also be prizes for winning Max Raid Battles after becoming the Champion, The Digging Bros. have a small chance of digging up Bottle Caps as well. Gold Bottle Caps are more rare and are mostly gotten from mystery gift distributions and very rare rewards from the Digging Bros.

Mints allow you to change the nature buffs and debuffs on your Pokémon to a different kind depending on the type of mint. For example if you have a Pokemon with a Lax Nature (+Defense and -Special Defense) and you give that Pokémon a Timid Mint the stat layout will change to be that of a Timid Pokémon (+Speed and -Attack) the nature will still read as “Lax” but the stats of the Pokémon will be of a Timid nature.

Mints can be purchased at the BP Shop in the Battle Tower for 50BP. They can also be earned by ranking up in the Battle Tower. If you have access to the Expansion Pass mints can be found randomly on the ground around the Isle of Armor.

Breeding Process

To get started with breeding once you have your Pokémon and items lined up fly to the Pokémon Nursery on route 5 or on Bridge Field in the Wild Area. Make sure that one of the parent Pokémon has the desired nature you are breeding for, and give that Pokémon the Everstone, have the other parent hold the Destiny Knot. If you are breeding for egg moves make sure that one of the parents knows the desired egg move. Once both parents are in the daycare you can hop on your bike and ride around until the attendant standing out front changes her position, when she does this it means an egg is ready to pick up, talk to her and get the egg and then continue to ride your bicycle to hatch the egg (make sure a Pokémon with Flame Body or Steam Engine is in your party for faster hatching).

Continue this process until you hatch a Pokémon with desired stats. If you hatch a Pokémon with better stats than one of the parent Pokémon currently in the daycare, you can take that parent out of the daycare and replace it with the hatched Pokémon this rotation increases the odds of the next Pokémon hatched having more perfect stats. If you are using the Masuda Method, must always keep the foreign parent in the daycare so you would do best to find one with multiple perfect IVs to begin with.

Using this process will speed up your breeding greatly, and help you get the most out of your time, so you can your perfect Pokémon fast and get to battling!

Pokemon Twitter Account Makes Faux Pas Confusing Jirachi for Celebi

Today the Official Pokémon Twitter Account made a post advertising their upcoming expansion for the Pokémon Trading Card Game: Vivid Voltage. In the post the text is referring to the Pokémon Celebi but the clip shown is of the Jirachi card from that same expansion. The tweet has since been deleted, no corrected version of this tweet has been posted yet.

New Twitch Harassment and Hate Speech Policy Faces Backlash over banning of the Term ‘Simp’

If you have spent any amount of time on the internet, especially in gaming circles, you have no doubt come across the term “simp”. The term refers to a person, typically a male, that worships another, typically a female, person unduly and to extremes in hopes of gaining their attention or favor. An example of a simp would be a viewer that donates his food money to a streamer because they hope that that will make the streamer appreciate them and see them as someone special. The term simp, as most terms that start out as insults do within the gaming community, has turned into a in-joke that people use in friendly jest and banter with each other just as much as people use it to be insulting.

Twitch has decided that the context of the use of terms doesn’t matter, and in their new hateful conduct and harassment policy has added simp to their list of banned words. This means that the use of the term simp in any context can be considered a violation of policy and the channels involved will be subject to punishments including being banned from the platform.

Today in a Twtch Town Hall stream Twitch COO Sara Clemens reiterated that any terms that “refer negatively to a person’s sexuality” are considered insults and not allowed on the platform under the new policy. Clemens also explained that this rule also retroactively extends to channel’s twitch emotes, and that any emotes containing terms such as simp will be deleted.

The community has generally responded that this new hateful conduct policy is overkill noting that simp has been used mostly in friendly joking contexts in many streams. They also note that with the platform’s long history of giving bigger streamers a pass on violating Twitch terms while at the same time punishing channels that are smaller or unpopular with the Twitch staff more harshly. It is very likely that this trend will continue with the new policy and smaller unpopular streamers will be punished disproportionately compared to the large streamers.

The creation of this new policy and its specific inclusion of the term simp is most likely a response to the controversy that hit Twitch Spokesperson Pokimane over the summer regarding the extremes that her fans go to to ‘support’ the popular streamer. Pokimane’s negative response to this criticism created a firestorm as she abused DMCA and rallied her fans to attack the sponsors of YouTuber that made the criticisms. Ironically proving the initial point of the criticism. Twitch likely put this policy into place to tamp down those criticisms that pop up regarding their biggest streaming personalities.

In the end this new policy provides another venue for Twitch staff to see to the removal of undesirable channels from the platform. Twitch will have no reason to respond to the community concerns because they hold a strong monopoly in streaming, with YouTube being the only somewhat viable competitor. The decisions on who gets banned over using the term simp and who doesn’t will come down to the same non-trasparent and personally-motivated methods that let popular and well-connected streamers get away with abusing animals, using racial slurs, and glorifying violent attacks that killed thousands.

Game & Watch Super Mario Bros. Review

The form factor of the hardware is very aesthetically neat. The device sports a gold face with red trim that invokes the look of the original Game & Watch hardware. The buttons are snappy and well-made, which makes for smooth and responsive game experience. The screen is a full-color 2.5 inch LCD that provides a bright and clean display for the games. The device runs on a rechargeable lithium ion battery that is charged via USB type C-to-A cable, which comes with the hardware. The device is light, but not flimsy, so gamers can easily carry it with them to play on the go. The small size of the device might take some getting used to for larger hands, but that doesn’t hurt the ergonomics much.

The device features three games, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, (known as Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels in the western markets), and Ball from the original Game & Watch. The Super Mario Bros. games are full ports of the original titles with a few easter eggs included such as the infinite lives trick. The version of Ball included is a remake of the classic featuring Mario (and Luigi) instead of Mr. Game & Watch. Rounding out the software is a digital clock application that displays the time as part of a living Super Mario Bros. stage, that changes over time. The digital clock app features many easter eggs including the “Drawing Mario” song from Flipnote Studio, which can be accessed by holding down the A button while on the clock screen. It’s a solid collection of software titles with a focus on Mario’s humble beginnings.

Nintendo have always been masters of creating portable hardware and this is a perfect example of that skill. Playing with this device will being back memories of playing with the Game Boy and DS hardware of days past. If Nintendo would delve into the realm of making a Game Boy classic edition, this gives us a good example of the quality to expect.

At $49.99 USD this nifty little device is a good value for Super Mario Bros. enthusiasts and collectors of Nintendo hardware in general. This is a limited edition that will no longer be restocked after March 15, 2021. Due to the limited nature of the device it has been out of stock since launch. So if you are interested you have a few month window to pick this little gem up if you can find it in stock.

Game & Watch Super Mario Bros. is currently available at GameStop and Amazon.

CD Project Red Releases Statement on Issues With Cyberpunk 2077 on Consoles

Today CD Project Red released a statement via the Cyberpunk 2077 social media accounts addressing the game’s under performance on consoles. Since release players on console have found the game to be riddled with issues from the vast difference in the graphics compared to the next-gen consoles and PC, to various glitches and errors that can cause the game to crash completely.

The statement opens by apologizing for not showing the game running on current-gen console hardware at all before release, leaving players with no idea of how the game would look and perform on Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

CD Project Red promises to release a series of patches that will address the game glitches and bugs that cause crashes and improve game performance. Starting this week with minor patches, and two large patches coming in January and February that should address the bulk of issues on last-gen consoles. The company also vows to offer refunds to customers that are unsatisfied with the game.