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Open Discussion: July 29, 2016

July is already coming to an end, but it’s certainly not going quietly into the night. From yet another surprise retro console release to cheating Pokemon GO trainers, the last full week of July wasn’t a let down in terms of entertainment. Longtime readers know that when Friday hits, it’s time for the Game Rant Open Discussion, and this week is no different!

The Game Rant Open Discussion is a place where gamers can go to discuss whatever happens to be on their mind at the end of the week, even if that subject doesn’t actually broach the topic of videogames. Here, any (appropriate) topic is fair game, and we welcome our readers to join the conversation via the comments section below.

While any topic is welcome in the Open Discussion, it’s fair to say that gaming still comes up a lot. We’ve taken the liberty of recapping some of this week’s highlights so that readers can catch up on any hot-button topic that might have missed.

Without further ado, here’s some of the popular topics of the last seven days:

Given how extraordinarily difficult it is to grind late-game levels in Pokemon Go, we weren’t expecting for someone to have already hit the level cap for Pokemon GO just yet. In a sense, that still hasn’t happened – the first player to reach level 40 did so by running an automated script, just to see what happens when someone truly becomes a Pokemon Master.

As it turns out, when a player’s character jumped to level 40, all players will get is more of the same (admittedly great) gear, ranging from Ultra Balls and Max Potions to Lure Modules. Many gamers had suspected that Niantic had a surprise in store for those who attain the illustrious rank (Mewtwo, anyone?), but it looks like this isn’t the case so far.

Wait, what? You read that correctly! ATGames and SEGA have officially confirmed that the duo are bringing a retro-inspired plug and play device to market, which comes bundled with 80 classic games. Since iconic SEGA character Sonic The Hedgehog is celebrating his 25th birthday this year, it’s clear the company wanted to celebrate with a much-needed high selling item, and playing on the nostalgia of gamers is probably a very smart way to do it. The SEGA Mega Drive is due to arrive in stores this October.

The surprise announcement comes just two weeks after Nintendo announced the official return of the NES, a console which also comes bundled with a pre-installed selection of classic videogames. The Big N also confirmed that the Mini NES wouldn’t be receiving additional content, though the absolutely affordable price point of $59.99 USD still makes the retro-inspired deal very eye-catching. With both the Nintendo NES and the SEGA Mega Drive set to duke it out, we foresee plenty of ‘what year is it?’ jokes going around.

Gamers who have spent the last number of years waiting for a gamertag to free up now have a new source of hope: this week, Microsoft announced that Xbox Live gamertags will expire if their owners don’t log in to the account for a period of 5 years.

Until now, Microsoft had been manually freeing up usernames in what seems to be 5 year incriments, so the change isn’t as dramatic as it may sound – there’s just a more official system in place to keep the process of creating a gamertag as pain-free as possible. Regardless of what console a player uses, coming up with a good name for your account is always a difficult process – and sometimes, even naming the account after your actual name still doesn’t work out.  Hopefully, expiring gamertags make creating an account an easier process for all.

Now if only Microsoft set up an automatic system to notify a user if a requested gamertag becomes available!

The sniper character Ana recently made her debut on consoles shortly after she appeared on the PC version of Overwatch, and it hasn’t taken long for fans to discover she has the innate ability to perform the ultimate kill move: getting enemies booted from the entire match.

To perform the stunt, a team needs to have at least three people playing as Ana on the team. All three snipers must pick the same target from the opposing team and continually light them up with sleep darts, which renders them unable to move. After a certain time, the unfortunate player’s server registers them as having idled for too long, and boots them from the game. Now that’s an embarrassing way to go!

Now that Niantic’s hit application has been downloaded over 75 million times, it’s safe to say that the competition is fierce between all three of the game’s teams. For the last several weeks, we’ve been compiling guides that help players get started, and we’ve cooked up a few new ones this week that focus on new specifics of the game.

Without further ado, here’s a few additional guides sure to help the Pokemon GO experience:

July may be coming to a close and gamers may be travelling outside more than ever before, but that doesn’t mean that the news coming out from studios has slowed down at all. There’s plenty left to talk about, so why not join the conversation?

Gamers interested in joining the Open Discussion can do so in the comments section below this post, where everyone is free to chat about whatever happens to be on their mind. As we previously mentioned, the topics of conversation don’t have to be about videogames – they just have to be appropriate. Please refrain from posting anything not safe for work! Without further ado, let’s get the conversation started!

See you in the Disqus-sphere!

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