Arts & CultureVideo Games

Gaming Week in Review: ‘Pokemon Go’ Johto update is here, Valve to replace Steam Greenlight

“Pokemon Go” rolls out a new update featuring more than 80 new Pokemon from the Johto region

We all remember “Pokemon Go,” Niantic’s phone-based game about catching Pokemon in the real world that exploded in popularity last summer. Whether you only hopped on the worldwide bandwagon for a month or still boot it up for your daily walk, the newest update might be just what the game needs to grab your attention once again.

“Pokemon Go” has received fairly regular updates in the months after its moderately disastrous launch. The biggest one yet just dropped on Thursday, Feb. 16. This new update includes several new features and is just the first of what’s to come, according to Niantic.

The first major addition is the inclusion of over 80 new Pokemon from “Pokemon Gold” and “Pokemon Silver,” the second generation of games from the classic franchise. Some of these new Pokemon have appeared for special events in the past, but most will now be available to find in the world. There are also gender-specific variations of certain Pokemon that you can collect.

There have also been several major tweaks to the game’s encounter mechanics. Certain Pokemon now have special moves and tactics to avoid capture, but trainers also have two new types of berries to use, one which slows a Pokemon’s movements and another that doubles Candie rewards on capture. The Pokeball and berry selection menus have also been reworked into a carousel format, making it easier to switch items during an encounter.

There are also several new customization options for your in-game avatar, as well as a new nighttime encounter screen and music theme.

Niantic has claimed that the next major additions will likely be the long-awaited trading and breeding systems for Pokemon, as well as a revamped player-versus-player mode.

If you’re now considering coming back to the game, take note that Niantic has previously added a “Pokemon Buddy” system that lets you walk Pokemon for candies and has revamped the Pokefinder system to show what Pokemon might appear at nearby Pokestops.

Watch the trailer for the new Pokemon Go patch below:

Valve announces plans to replace or remove Steam Greenlight from its platform

Video game developer and distributor Valve has announced on the official Steam blog that it will be taking steps to make publishing games on the platform more direct for developers. One of the first steps to do this is to remove the Steam Greenlight program and replace it with a more direct system.

This new “Steam Direct” system is scheduled for release in spring 2017 and will fully replace the existing Steam Greenlight system. It will involve a verification system that requires developers to fill out a range of “digital paperwork” in order to get their game into the Steam Store and help decongest the publication pipeline.

This will be a fairly stark contrast to the Steam Greenlight system, which is basically a popularity-based voting platform that allows Steam users to show their interest in prospective games. The most popular games would be “green lit” and given a chance to be sold on the platform.

Valve admits that there are many details to be finalized and that although it has learned much from the Greenlight program, it’s no longer practical for the direction the platform is moving.

Steam Greenlight has been responsible for some of the most popular games on Steam to end up for sale on the platform, including titles like “Super Hot” and “One Finger Death Punch.”

You can read more about this upcoming change here.

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Mathew Brock

Mathew Brock