How Reggie Fils-Aimé is keeping busy after retiring from Nintendo

After stepping down from his position as Nintendo of America’s president and chief operating officer in April, Reggie Fils-Aimé is pursuing a number of opportunities that let him give back, including joining the New York Videogame Critics Circle’s board of directors. Fils-Aimé left Nintendo in mid-April, succeeded by the aptly-named Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s former head of sales and marketing.

Fils-Aimé’s laid out a bunch of plans to fill his days: He’s also the managing partner at Brentwood Growth Partners and the “leader-in-residence” at Cornell University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1983. In March, he’ll head to Austin to give a keynote address at SXSW 2020; there, he’ll talk about “convergence.” With Critics Circle, he’ll add mentoring students and using his business skills to the list of plans.

It’s a fully packed schedule that’d be hard to manage while running a company like Nintendo. “It’s just impossible,” he told Polygon in a phone interview this week. “Now I’ve got the benefit of time. I’ve got the benefit of investing myself in these types of activities.”

The New York Videogame Critics Circle is a non-profit organization of journalists, critics, and writers in New York City that started as an advocacy group for media. It’s since expanded with programs that support community members in the city — the Critics Circle works on the DreamYard Project at the Bronx’s DreamYard Prep School, puts on panels at the New York Public Library and American Museum of Natural History, mentors at the Older Adult Technology Services in Manhattan, and holds the New York Game Awards each year. In his new position on the Critics Circle board of directors, Fils-Aimé will assist the organization in furthering these initiatives, using his business experience to continue generating grant money and mentoring kids in the city.

Fils-Aimé himself grew up in the Bronx, just miles from the DreamYard Prep high school, he told Polygon. He first visited the school in 2018 while he was still working at Nintendo; he gave a presentation to students for around 20 minutes he said, which led into a Q&A session.

“What was really meaningful for me is that the school is within about three miles from where I grew up in the Bronx,” Fils-Aimé said. “To go to school and spend time with students and to share with them some of my life story, with the hope of inspiring them to push and to challenge and to reach to do as much as they can as they continue to grow and learn, it really was a tremendously meaningful opportunity for me.”

Fils-Aimé said he wants to inspire the next generation of diverse leaders — and not just business leaders. Fils-Aimé said he’s looking at leadership “more broadly,” looking to encourage “leaders across a range of as many different disciplines as possible.” This mission is extending into his new role at Cornell University, where he’ll mentor students at the college level.

“Everyone has the capacity to be a leader,” Fils-Aimé said. “It takes practice. It takes skill development. But everyone has that opportunity. It’s all to really try and inspire this next generation of leaders to accomplish what they can.”

Fils-Aimé’s first lecture is scheduled for Oct. 21, called “Reggie’s Principles for Next-Generation Leaders.” He told Polygon he’ll make trips like this to the Cornell campus in Ithaca, New York over the upcoming academic year. He’ll do the larger lectures, but also meet with students one on one and in small group sessions.

“What’s going to be the most meaningful is those small group sessions, and helping to understand what their challenges are, helping to provide some perspective, and just doing my part to help grow the next generation of leaders,” Fils-Aimé added.

Fils-Aimé told Polygon that the specifics of his mentorship with the Critics Circle isn’t set just yet, as the “programs for this semester are just being finalized as we speak” as new grant money files in. When he’s not mentoring, Fils-Aimé said a key part of his position at the Critics Circle is helping the organization grow, so it can continue to do work that makes a difference in the communities it serves.


Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns is a match-three time capsule

The pitch for Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns might sound like an overdone concept by today’s standards: It’s a match-three puzzle game with RPG elements. You can find plenty of similar titles on console, PC, or even on your smartphone right now, and likely for much less money.

But The Legend Returns is actually a remake of one of the first successful games based on this idea, filled with new updates and some antiquated remnants from its past.

The Legend Returns is just as straightforward as the original. I play as one of several classic classes of RPG characters, like a knight or a mage, in a world being thrown into chaos by overpowered evildoers. I level up and earn gold that lets me learn new spells and buy better gear as I fight off enemies.

As I move from town to town, I meet various characters and take on several quests, eventually making my way to the final boss. While Puzzle Quest sounds like the standard RPG fare, even down to the turn-based combat, the difference is that I’m not swinging swords or slinging spells; I’m crushing foes using my skills in a match-three puzzle game.

My computer-controlled opponent and I take turns moving pieces on the shared game board in the hopes of matching up three or more of the colorful tiles. There are several pieces that each correspond to different mana we can use for special attacks, pieces of gold I can spend in shops for better gear, skulls that deal direct damage, and even scattered experience points I can use to level up my character. Each battle in Puzzle Quest is a tug of war over those resources, as my opponent and I both try to get the most powerful bonuses for our characters while denying the other side what it needs to win.

Skulls are a commodity worth prioritizing, since they deal direct damage and there’s always a limited amount on the play field. As in an RPG, my opponent and I have a certain amount of health; once it’s been whittled down to zero, the fight’s over.

Depending on which character I play, I’ll have a different experience in battle. Some classes will take the gathered mana to unleash heavy-hitting attacks, whereas rogues can transform the battlefield and turn mana into gold. As I level up, I can learn new talents — like in any other RPG — plus I can use skill points to improve how many resources I pull from my matched pieces.

A link to the past

The Legend Returns brings all of the familiar elements back from the 2007 original, with the addition of extra campaigns and five new classes made specifically for the remaster. While this decade’s version of the game plays as tightly as it did back then, it also feels like a time capsule from that era.

There are minor cracks in the armor that are hard to ignore in 2019, including low-resolution character art, which stands out even more so due to the rest of the interface getting a high-resolution update. Those small visual elements might feel like blemishes, but there’s also something wonderful about the game’s antiquated roots.

The game board filled with colorful shapes in Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns Infinite Interactive/D3 Go

Since Puzzle Quest’s release in 2007, I’ve become trained by similar match-three games to expect certain nuisances to crop up. Microtransactions, timers, or other attention-grabbing pings are unavoidable distractions that take away from the main experience in modern games, especially mobile ones.

But since The Legend Returns makes so few changes to the original design, it bypasses much of what is the “norm” for similar, modern titles. It was pleasant dipping back into the same game I enjoyed on my PlayStation Portable way back in 2007, without any of today’s headaches. Some games have become so busy, buzzing us with all sorts of time wasters and calls to action, that this sort of retro release can feel remarkably quiet and peaceful.

Being a relic of the past decade, Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns doesn’t offer a surprising or fresh experience. But that’s not a bad thing. Despite a few visual quirks, it’s just as enjoyable and rewarding as it ever was.

I may have expected a bit more polish from the remaster, but everything that’s important — namely, the simple and satisfying gameplay — remains intact.

Puzzle Quest: The Legend Returns releases on Nintendo Switch on Sept. 19. The game was reviewed using a final “retail” Switch download code provided by D3 Go. You can find additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.


New Knives Out trailer is chock full of clues, kooky characters, and Chris Evans

The latest trailer for Rian Johnson’s whodunnit is steeped in murder mystery hijinks, quippy one liners, and an incredibly colorful cast of characters.

The set-up harkens back to any good ol’ fashioned murder mystery. The esteemed patriarch of a wealthy family is found dead after the family gathered for his 85th birthday. While the death is initially thought to be a suicide, the detective involved begin to suspect something is amiss…

Johnson previously tweeted out character posters, with breakdowns in the style of Murder Mystery Queen Agatha Christie. We’ve got the “The Patriarch” (Christopher Plummer), “The Renowned Investigator” (Daniel Craig), “The Devoted Caretaker” (Ana De Armas), and so many more. The ensemble cast also includes LaKeith Stanfield as the Police Detective, Michael Shannon as the Publishing Heir, Jaden Martell as the Internet Troll, Toni Collette as the Lifestyle Guru, Katherine Langford as the Social Activist, Jamie Lee Curtis as the Real Estate Mogul, Don Johnson as the Desperate Son-in-Law, and Chris Evans as the Trust Fund Playboy.

Knives Out comes to theaters Nov. 27.


Spider-Man #1 is a J.J. Abrams comic book in every twist-filled way

There are no hard rules in comic book storytelling, but there is wisdom to live by, and legacies to consider.

But with Spider-Man #1, Hollywood maven J.J. Abrams reminds us that he doesn’t adhere to conventions. When it comes to genre entertainment, Abrams is more of a Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg than George Lucas or Steven Spielberg. He’s a disruptor, building user friendly product with hyper-intricate engineering. His first book from Marvel, co-written with his 21-year-old son Henry Abrams, is the epitome of his instincts. Nothing is sacred, and the brazen step forward for the five-issue limited series puts the onus on readers to decide if that matters.

The short of the kickoff, given a ferocious, sinewy quality by artist Sara Pichelli: Characters die, new villains take the stage, and the mantle of Spider-Man expands into a new generation. There is lots to discuss — the guarantee of every Abrams project.

[Ed. note: this post contains major spoilers for Spider-Man #1]

A torn Spider-Man costume, held in two hands, from Spider-Man #1, Marvel Comics (2019). J.J. Abrams, Henry Abrams, Sara Pichelli/Marvel Comics

Like Mission: Impossible III or the Lost pilot, the Abrams boys open Spider-Man in the smoldering heat of action. Dumbo is on fire, Brooklynites flee for their lives, and Spider-Man — who’s seen his fair share of brutality — emerges from a pile of rubble on the Brooklyn Bridge with a sliced-open right arm. It’s gruesome. Parker still manages a wisecrack, but Mary Jane scolds her husband as she lifts him back up. “The rules are different now.”

Don’t expect Just Another Spider-Man Arc, the script signals, before indulging in a trope that most writers collectively agreed to retire like, a decade ago. But with a swift stab to the heart, Cadaverous, the series new villain, fridges Mary Jane, leaving Peter Parker to grieve at her funeral, and wonder how he’ll be the father their son, Ben, needs in this world.

Twist! There’s a new Ben Parker in town, and he’s Peter and MJ’s kid. After a 12-year time jump, we meet the heir to the spandex throne. The setup is familiar: He’s in high school, he butts heads with bullies, he fumbles over flirting, and he’s adrift in this dizzying world of absent parents and super villains.

This is what J.J. Abrams does for a living. Just The Force Awakens was a soft reboot of the original Star Wars’ story, Spider-Man #1 terraforms Peter Parker’s legacy in order to essentially tell the hero’s tale for the first time in the present day. Steve Ditko and Stan Lee hadn’t created the friendly neighborhood hero over half a century ago, maybe Spider-Man would look something like this.

Ben Parker confronts a bully in Spider-Man #1, Marvel Comics (2019). J.J. Abrams, Henry Abrams, Sara Pichelli/Marvel Comics

Like much of Abrams’ franchise work, Spider-Man #1 resists the larger-than-life elements of Ditko and Lee’s creation to put relationships and kernels of human angst in front. There are eons of comics that prove the two aren’t mutually exclusive, but just as Ethan Hunt needed a wife under attack in Mission: Impossible III or Kirk’s formative enemy had ties to his father’s demise in Star Trek or the entire found-footage conceit of Cloverfield, Abrams strips down Spider-Man’s mythology and then rebuilds with a more complicated set of ideas.

He’s done this before in the comic world; his reboot script Superman: Flyby, which Warner Bros. passed on in the 2000s (but not before it took the internet by storm), would have undid the destruction of Krypton, turned Superman’s suit into a symbiotic entity, and revealed Luthor to be a covert alien agent. Plus Superman was angry. The movie was everything fans knew, but not.

The Abrams way turns this version of Peter Parker — older, bearded, obsessed with his job — into a shade similar to Luke Skywalker in the new Star Wars trilogy. Old Luke is a former hero who’s turned his back on the call to action, and his obvious successor’s emerging powers. Spider-Man #1’s Peter also abandoned his crime-fighting days long ago, and in the present, is unable to heal from MJ’s death or Cadaverous’ attack (literally, he lost his hand). Based on the prickly banter between Peter and Ben, father and son Abrams could be drawing from their own lives to breathe drama into this new scenario, but by the end of Spider-Man #1, it’s clear: This is not the Peter Parker readers know.

Ben Parker, son of Peter Parker, and Peter Parker argue over Ben getting detention for standing up to a bully, in Spider-Man #1, Marvel Comics (2019). J.J. Abrams, Henry Abrams, Sara Pichelli/Marvel Comics

After reading the book, and knowing what we know about Abrams, breaking Peter’s fundamental self is probably the entire point. The choices in this book recall his thoughts on the original Star Trek TV series, dropped during the press tour for his reboot movie.

Star Trek always felt like a silly, campy thing,” he told the Guardian in 2009. “I remember appreciating it, but feeling like I didn’t get it. I felt it didn’t give me a way in. There was a captain, there was this first officer, they were talking a lot about adventures and not having them as much as I would’ve liked.”

Unlike so many before him, a love for Spider-Man is not a prerequisite for Abrams to write a Spider-Man book; as editor Nick Lowe writes in the book’s final pages, Marvel hounded the writer-director-producer since the days of Superman: Flyby to write a book, and only a year ago did J.J. and Henry crack a story worth putting on paper. So what drew him in? Maybe Spider-Man was a campy character in need of deeper understanding. A threat only 2019 could provide.

Unlike Brian Michael Bendis’ introduction of Miles Morales in 2010 (which was also drawn by Pichelli), the Abrams invert the Spider-Man mythology within the Peter Parker saga. By the end of Spider-Man #1, Aunt May gifts Ben the suit that was destined to be his, perhaps knowing that Cadaverous is out there … eating hot dogs … plotting his next attack alongside a woman (MJ?) in a containment unit. A fight is brewing and a few mysteries linger. Knowing Abrams, we should expect a few twists before the “big idea” reveals itself.

The thing is, Spider-Man isn’t a dormant series in need of the patented J.J. Abrams kick to the butt, and offing a key female character in the first eight pages comes off like the decision of someone who isn’t keeping up. So as the book swings away from conventional wisdom, Spider-Man is in a position to vindicate itself. That doesn’t come easy in a post-Miles Morales world.

But, hey, if his last 20 years dominating Hollywood are any indication, Abrams is at up to the challenge. He has us talking, which is half the battle.


Pokémon Sword and Shield’s newest Pokémon revealed: meet Sirfetch’d

The Pokémon Company revealed a brand-new addition to Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shields Pokedex on Wednesday: Sirfetch’d, a Galar region variation of the “Wild Duck” Pokémon known as Farfetch’d.

Sirfetch’d will be exclusive to Pokémon Sword. The Pokémon will wield Farfetch’d’s signature leek melee weapon, which has been sharpened to look like a lance. It’s also sporting a shield, which calls into question the reasons behind Sirfetch’d’s game exclusivity.

Nintendo and The Pokémon Company teased the newest addition to Pokémon Sword last week with a glitched-out graphic on the franchise’s official website. According to an official description of the new Pokémon, “Farfetch’d that inhabit the Galar region can evolve into Sirfetch’d after experiencing many battles.”

Sirfetch’d’s reveal trailer shows off its new move, Meteor Assault. Here’s how the official Pokémon website describes that Sword and Shield-exclusive move:

Meteor Assault is a new move introduced in these games that only Sirfetch’d can learn! Sirfetch’d points its leek at the opponent and charges toward them at great speed. This move is devastatingly powerful! However, it appears that the move also puts great strain on Sirfetch’d. It will be unable to take action immediately after using this move.

Sirfetch’d joins a handful of Galar region variations of existing Pokémon, including Wheezing and Zigzagoon, both of which get sharp-looking Galarian forms.

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are coming to Nintendo Switch on Nov. 15. The new game will introduce eighth-gen Pokémon and the new Galar region. Sword and Shield will also add new mechanics like Dynamaxing and Gigantimaxing. The game is also getting its own limited edition Switch Lite hardware on Nov. 8, featuring the new legendary Pokémon Zacian and Zamazenta.


Making sense of Undone’s ending

The first half of Amazon’s animated drama Undone finds Alma (Rosa Salazar) grappling with a newfound relationship with time, slipping between the past and the present, able to relive moments over and over. The writers carefully tread between attributing Alma’s slipping sense of reality to super powers or as symptoms of her declining mental health.

Things change in the sixth episode. The point of view pivots from Alma to her boyfriend Sam, who doesn’t see her as a traveller of time and space but as a woman in recovery now transfixed on her dead father. She mutters to herself. She looks vacantly into space. The show’s first episode reveals that Alma’s grandmother had schizophrenia, a history that Sam, along with Alma’s mother Camila and her sister Becca are very aware of.

So is the time travel real or is it happening all in her head? The answer gets a little complicated. The ending at first softly suggests an outcome, without outright confirming it, then blurs it again. Ambiguity works for the story itself, but in the end, the message Undone was ultimately after is left obscured.

[Ed. note: This post contains major spoilers for the end of Undone]

alma, as played by rosa salazar, hides behind a halloween decoration as she watches her past self Amazon

Alma completes her mission in the final episode of Undone. In her last time slip into the past, she learns the truth about her father’s car accident — he was the one who purposefully swerved his own car off a cliff — and influences past events, so that instead of heading to his lab that night, her father continues to take her trick-or-treating. When she comes back to the present, Alma believes she needs to go to a specific place in Mexico, where her father will emerge alive and the timelines will merge.

From the way Sam, Camila, and Becca see it, the answer is obvious. Alma is showing symptoms of schizophrenia. Sam confronts her about this before she leaves for Mexico, but to no avail. Camila tries to help Alma look inward, revealing that Alma’s father had also started to exhibit symptoms in the year before he died.

But there is the fact that Alma knows things that she shouldn’t be able to by conventional means. She manages to pinpoint the exact tragic backstory of a woman she’s never met before. She knows about the fight her parents had the night her father died, knows that her mother decided to leave her father because he was doing experiments on Alma — something her mother has not disclosed to anyone. In the end, she learns that her father’s accident was by his own design, which no one alive knows.

Sam and Alma getting into an argument over Alma’s mental health Amazon

Undone doesn’t need the answer spelled out to be effective, even if the show softly suggests what is really going on. By suggesting the truth, instead of outright saying it, the show allows its final point — to face fear of the unknown, we need one another — to shine through, by closing in on Becca and Alma’s relationship.

While Sam and Camila have been the most involved in Alma’s struggle, Becca has more or less resigned herself to pretending everything is fine. But at this point, with Alma stealing her mother’s keys and driving to a pyramid in Mexico, it has become clear it is not.

Without prompting from her concerned mother, Becca travels to Mexico to be with Alma. Instead of forcing Alma to come home, Becca sits with her to wait for the sun to come up, listening tearfully as Alma talks about starting over and about not being broken when the timelines rearrange. She doesn’t talk down to Alma or tell her that it’s all in her head. She stays. She offers support. She listens.

When it looks like their father won’t show up, Alma claims that his astral self must’ve gotten stuck. It’s the only explanation, she insists.

Becca gently brushes Alma’s hair away, before she softly says, “There is another explanation.”

Alma is resistant at first. She still wants there to be more to the world. But Becca is gentle, pointing out that they’re here together. It’s a beautiful morning. She will be there for Alma, their mother will be there for Alma. No one thinks she is broken or messy.

Becca takes the time to understand Alma and in the end offers her help in a way that no one in the show has before. But Undone isn’t just about offering help; it is about receiving the help of others. And in this last vulnerable moment, Alma realizes that she does, in fact, need to open up and allow others in.

Alma and Becca watch the sun rise in mexico Amazon

The suggestion that all of the time travel has happened in Alma’s head, a mere side effect of her schizophrenia never discounts her experiences as fake or unimportant. The slips through time and her conversations with her dead father are a part of her reality and her journey that allowed her to process her trauma, reach this epiphany, and eventually accept the help that she needs.

But instead of ending there, the show lingers and distorts things once more. Alma wants to make sure that their father will not emerge. Becca leaves for the car and Alma gets one last moment alone. The sun comes up. The music quickens. Her jaw goes a little slack as she sees something in the distance, something that we as viewers do not get to see.

By walking that fine line super powers and mental fabrications, Undone was never going to be a clean way out. On a macro level, the scene seems to work thematically. Perhaps it’s just another slip back into Alma’s point of view. This vision of light and clarity is all in her head, but because she’s finally accepted help, it shows she’s on the correct timeline. Perhaps her father did come back from the dead and the unknown Alma now faces is what happens when the timelines rearrange.

The ending leaves viewers with unnerving implications. If this light is in Alma’s head, she still thinks it is real, potentially causing her to double down on her mission and turn away from the help she’s finally realized she’s needed. If the light is real, then schizophrenia was just a red herring to raise the stakes, instead of a very real mental illness handled with surprising poignancy two minutes prior.

The truth won’t be revealed, and in a way, it reflects Alma’s situation herself; without a tidy conclusion, we find ourselves facing the unknown.


How Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s cross-play will work

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is coming to consoles and PC on Oct. 25, with cross-play support across PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. Players will get a taste of cross-platform multiplayer starting Thursday, Sept. 19, with Modern Warfare’s cross-play open beta.

On the official Activision blog, the game’s creators explain how cross-play will work in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and how you’ll be able to hook up with your friends on other platforms.

Two important items to note: Players can opt in or out of cross-platform play, and if they want to play multiplayer, they’ll need a COD Account. Players can sign up for an account using their PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, Steam, or ID through the Call of Duty website.

According to the blog:

Using your COD Account, you are able to create cross-platform Friends lists and Parties from all three supported platforms. This unites the community by removing barriers, creating platform-agnostic friend groups. Are you a PS4 player with friends on Xbox One and PC, for example? Now you can organize parties and jump into matches with your friends, easily and quickly regardless of platform!

As for keeping the playing field level, matchmaking will be done by input type: controller, or mouse and keyboard. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will support keyboard and mouse on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, if you want to cross-play with PC players. Similarly, PC players can match with console players if all parties are using a controller.

Infinity Ward and Activision will also allow players to join multiplayer lobbies with no control scheme filters whatsoever. If you really want to get wrecked using a controller on PS4 against a player on PC using keyboard and mouse, you have that option.

To keep all platforms in parity, Activision and Infinity Ward say that “most” post-release game content — multiplayer maps, modes, and special ops missions — will be released simultaneously across all platforms. That means no more waiting for PS4 players to get first crack at DLC. That said, PS4 players will still enjoy “an exciting Day 1 advantage,” but developers did not specify what that would be.


New trademarks hint at the return of Mr. Driller, Klonoa, and Splatterhouse

New trademark filings in Japan could herald the return of Mr. Driller, Klonoa, Splatterhouse, and other classic Bandai Namco games for modern platforms. According to a report from Gematsu, the publisher filed for a quintet of new trademarks for titles like Mr. Driller Encore and Klonoa Encore, which could point to remakes or remasters of those dormant franchises.

Bandai Namco has used the Encore titling scheme in Japan for two titles already: Katamari Damacy Encore (released as Katamari Damacy Reroll in the West) and the forthcoming Kotoba no Puzzle: Moji Pittan Encore (a Nintendo Switch puzzle game based on a Wii release from 2008).

If Bandai Namco plans on remastering more of its games for the Encore line, it has two good Wii candidates in Mr. Driller W, a WiiWare exclusive, and Klonoa, the 2009 remake of the 1997 PlayStation original, Klonoa: Door to Phantomile. Those two games could serve as the basis for Mr. Driller Encore — Bandai Namco’s registration for that title also includes a logo — and Klonoa Encore, respectively.

As for Splatterhouse, it’s possible Bandai Namco could re-release the 2010 reboot, which debuted on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 to a chilly reception.

The other two titles that Bandai Namco filed for Encore trademarks were Wagyan Land and Genpei Touma Den, two Namco series from the 1980s that have less exposure in the West.


Pokémon Go: how to get Unova Stones

Pokémon Go finally has begun to add Pokémon from the Unova region. For some of the evolved forms of this region’s Pokémon, players will need Unova Stones, a rare evolution item, similar to the Sinnoh Stone that released before.

Unova Stones work like other evolution items. A handful of evolutions will require them, in addition to candy, to evolve specific ‘mons.

How do you get Unova Stones?

Currently, the only way to get Unova Stones are through completing weekly Field Research Breakthroughs. After turning in seven Field Research Tasks on different days, you can claim the stamps for a Research Breakthrough. In addition to the special Pokémon that will spawn, there is a chance to get an Unova Stone.

Note that it’s not a high chance to drop, so it might be awhile before you get an Unova Stone.

What uses Unova Stones to evolve?

Currently these are the only Pokémon that uses the Unova Stone:

  • Litwick → Lampent → Chandelure
  • Pansear → Simisear
  • Pansage → Simisage
  • Panpour → Simipour

The three monkeys, Pansear, Pansage, and Panpour, all need 50 candy, in addition to the Unova Stone, to evolve. Lampent needs 100 candy and Sinnoh Stone to evolve.

More Unova Pokémon will likely need this stone to evolve as they get released.

What should I use my Unova Stones on?

Out of the four options above, Chandelure is the strongest. The fire- and ghost-type Pokémon is quite a good ghost-type attacker, and some analysis noting that it’s the second best ghost-type attacker in the game, only falling to Origin Forme Giratina.


Link’s Awakening pre-order guide: Dreamer Edition, Link amiibo, free pins, and more

A hotly anticipated Nintendo Switch remake of the Game Boy classic The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening will be released on Friday, Sept. 20.

Unlike some other nostalgia-fueled remakes from recent years, Link’s Awakening (2019) hardly deviates from the original’s gameplay or story, though it looks a heck of a lot better on the Nintendo Switch than it did on a 2-inch black-and-white screen. There are plenty of extra goodies, Easter eggs, and quality-of-life improvements sprinkled in as well: The Switch version revives the Game Boy Color’s extra dungeon, and adds fairy bottles, a seashell sensor, and a dungeon builder.

While Nintendo is notoriously stingy with any sort of pre-order bonuses or discounts, a few retailers are offering some extra goodies when buying The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. Below, we break down where to pick up the game, cute collectibles being released alongside it, and strategies for picking up the Dreamer Edition (which has been sold out for months).

cover art for The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (2019) Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Standard Edition

Unfortunately, Amazon and Best Buy aren’t running their $10 promotional credit deal on pre-orders for Link’s Awakening, but both GameStop and Target are offering some collectible merch. (Though it’s technically available with all purchases of Link’s Awakening — not just pre-orders — supplies are limited, so it’s possible that they’ll run out before launch day.)

GameStop is giving away double-sided posters to anyone who buys the game from one of its stores. Those who order online can also bring their order confirmation into a local store to pick up a free poster, though GameStop recommends calling ahead to check that it’s in stock.

Target, meanwhile, is offering a free set of Link and Marin enamel pins with Link’s Awakening purchases. As with GameStop, customers will have to head to a Target store (specifically, the electronics counter inside one) in order to claim their free pins.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening’s standard edition costs $59.99.

Get it here: Amazon | Best Buy | Walmart | GameStop | Target

The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening game box and art book on a green background Nintendo EPD, Grezzo/Nintendo

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Dreamer Edition

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Dreamer Edition, which includes an exclusive art book and costs an extra $10, sold out quickly after it was announced in June. However, if you’re determined to get your hands on this beauty, all is not lost. Retailers have sporadically been getting Dreamer Editions back in stock, and we expect that to continue after the game is released. We recommend setting a price alert at your retailer of choice to be notified as soon as it restocks.

Get it here: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop | Target

Link amiibo in the style of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (2019) Nintendo

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening amiibo

The Link’s Awakening amiibo is just so freakin’ cute, right down to the incredibly memeable packaging. It will be released alongside the game on Sept. 20, and will cost $15.99. It’s currently sold out everywhere but GameStop and Best Buy, though you can also set a restock alert at Amazon and other retailers.

Get it here: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop | Target


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