Amazon is acquiring a podcast hosting and monetization platform


The Verge 24 June, 2021 - 03:59pm 33 views

What time does Mario Golf Release?

What time does Mario Golf Super Rush come out? Mario Golf Super Rush is expected to be released 9:00pm PT on 24th June in the US and 12:00am ET and importantly, 12:00am BST on 25th June in the UK. These are the usual times Nintendo releases their first-party titles, but they could vary on the day. Radio TimesWhat time is Mario Golf Super Rush released? Plus download size, trailer, pre-order and latest news

This is a major step for Amazon as it looks to take on a bigger role in the podcasting world. Amazon Music only started offering podcasts in September last year, as did Audible in October. But in the time since, Amazon Music has acquired Wondery, one of the last major independent podcast networks. Today’s acquisition gives it a fuller role in the industry. Not only will it make content through Wondery and distribute shows through its app, but now, Amazon can host those podcasts, as well as third parties’, and sell ads against them. This gives Amazon even more data about what’s happening both inside and outside its app. (Amazon Music already sells audio ads, so Art19’s business might complement that work.)

We’ve seen this same scenario already play out with Spotify. The company started out making content-based acquisitions, like that of Gimlet Media and Parcast, but then acquired Megaphone, an Art19 competitor. In that case, Spotify has focused on bringing a proprietary ad-serving technology to the platform, called Streaming Ad Insertion, in order to encourage podcasters to move over to the hosting service and take advantage of its ad marketplace. Other companies in the space have also taken a similar position. iHeartMedia acquired Triton Digital, and SXM Media acquired Midroll, an ad-serving marketplace and platform, in July. As we said in February, the podcasting business isn’t only about the flashy exclusive content deals, but who can sell and monetize shows.

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To Celebrate The Nintendo 64's Big Anniversary, Here Are Its Top Games

UPROXX 24 June, 2021 - 09:16pm

While Rare made a lot of incredible games for the Nintendo 64 and I will die on the hill that Diddy Kong Racing is the best kart-racing game ever made, out of all its titles Banjo-Kazooie is the one that deserves a spot on this list (sorry, Perfect Dark). The late 90s and early 2000s were a golden age for the mascot platformer. We got Spyro, Crash, Ratchet and Clank, Sly Cooper, Jak and Daxter, Rayman, and countless others. However, as the one that seemingly started the wave, Banjo-Kazooie holds a special place in many a’ 90s kids’ hearts. With fun puzzles, a non-linear game design, and gameplay that quite simply a blast, the game deserves all the praise and accolades it gets.

While Goldeneye 007 isn’t the greatest selling Nintendo 64 game of all time or the first first-person shooter, it is the greatest selling 64 game in the United States and indisputably had a massive impact on the shooter genre. For those playing on console, Goldeneye was the definitive FPS in the late 90s, boasting a fun single-player campaign, up to four player co-op, and an incorporation of stealth into the genre that helped popularize it as a whole. In addition, it added precision aiming, making the gunplay — at the time — cutting-edge.

There’s a lot of argument over what the definitive fighting game series is, but when it comes to which one is packed with the most fun and wild crossovers, Super Smash Bros. takes the cake easily. Super Smash Bros. on Nintendo 64 is the first entry in the series, and kicked off the popular saga that is still going strong even today and for good reason. I mean, how many series let you take on Solid Snake as Pikachu, or fight Sephiroth as Link? Just one. Much like Goldeneye, this game changed couch co-op gaming forever and became a go-to game for family game nights, social gatherings, and after-school hangs.

Of course, we can’t properly celebrate the Nintendo 64’s anniversary without also celebrating its big launch title: Super Mario 64. The first 3D Mario game, Super Mario 64 elevated not only the series, but platformers as a whole. Despite being the first game on the console, it’s remained the best-selling Nintendo 64 game of all time, with more than 11 million copies sold by 2003. While the game’s at times shoddy camera kept it from attaining the coveted “Greatest Game of All Time Award” and the top place on this list, it paved the way for the next game we’re going to talk about, which holds both.

So what do you think? Did you miss out on playing any of these classics or think something else deserved to be up here? Be sure to share your thoughts below!

Mario Golf: Super Rush Review - Leisurely Chaos

GameSpot 24 June, 2021 - 09:16pm

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Super Rush tries to add to its variety even in its pair of control schemes: the familiar three-click swing system and motion controls. The three-click swing is as good as ever, with only minor presentation differences from previous installments. Instead of the swing meter filling up then back down, it goes up twice--once for power, once for accuracy. This change is a bit jarring at first, but I quickly got used to it. Next to the meter are marks that funnel outward. Off the tee and in the fairway, the marks are confined to the top, but when you have a bad lie, they start much lower. These marks signal how difficult it will be to achieve the “nice shot” accuracy you’re looking for. Hitting a long iron out of the rough is obviously harder than playing it safe with a wedge, and this is reflected by warning you that it won’t be easy to hit a shot on target if you try to get too much distance out of it. Impeccable timing can be achieved regardless; it’s just not nearly as simple.

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Like Mario Golf: World Tour for 3DS, you can also add sidespin and alter trajectory by moving the joystick left, right, up, or down during the follow through. Besides a new flop shot mechanic--which requires you to tap A when the on-screen circle turns blue--Super Rush’s accurate three-click swing system will be familiar to anyone who has played a Mario Golf title.

Super Rush’s motion controls are the polar opposite of the three-click system in terms of depth and precision. You hold the SL button on the Joy-Con and take your swing. The simplicity harks back to Wii Sports. Unfortunately, this doesn’t really work when playing Super Rush’s tricky courses. Full swings are manageable and are fairly easy to hit on target, but any shot that requires a delicate swing, such as chipping or putting, is too much of a guessing game.

After playing all six courses Super Rush has to offer, it was clear that motion controls were simply incompatible with the elaborate designs Camelot created to highlight the game's signature new Speed Golf mode. That said, mastering the three-click swing system, including shaping the golf ball, adding backspin, and tinkering with trajectories is more important than ever because the courses are littered with obstacles, which also make you think more about the type of shot you want to hit.

Speed Golf is exactly as it sounds. While a form of Speed Golf has existed in previous entries, you never actively ran across the course to your ball like you do in Super Rush. Here, you’re racing to finish each hole as fast as you can. Each shot adds 30 seconds to your time, though, so you still need to try to play well while maintaining a brisk pace. Coins are scattered across the fairways along with hearts, which replenish stamina burned from running. Terrain changes affect stamina as well, so you have to consider the route you take and even where you choose to hit your shot to set yourself up for your next one. Speed Golf injects a new layer of strategy and chaos in Mario Golf, since everyone is playing simultaneously. An unfortunate downside to Speed Golf is that you can never admire your good shots. I’ve made two hole-in-ones so far and saw neither of them go into the cup because I was busy jumping and running toward the green. There’s also a points system variant of Speed Golf, which is essentially match play and can lead to some tighter contests.

Battle Golf uses the mechanics of Speed Golf and cranks up the mayhem. It pits up to four players against each other in a stadium course with nine flags to aim at. The first player to secure three flags wins. The twist here is that once a flag is claimed, it’s gone from the game. Going for the nearest flag first seems like a good idea, but what if two other players are aiming at it, too? Battle Golf emphasizes both skill and strategy. There are two layouts available: one that’s fairly straightforward and another that’s littered with enemies, obstacles, and hazards. Due to its design, Battle Golf conjures up even more random chaos than Speed Golf, making it an optimal party game with lightning-quick rounds that never have a dull moment.

Each of the 16 playable characters are equipped with a pair of moves that can be deployed strategically in these fast-paced modes: special shot and super dash. For instance, Wario’s special shot creates lightning strikes that toy with your shots, Boo “haunts” your golf ball, sending it off course, and King Bob-omb literally drops bombs that can get in your way. Yoshi rolls around on a giant egg when dashing, while Chargin’ Chuck looks like a fullback trying to mow down the competition (he thinks he’s playing football, poor guy). Slower golfers have better stamina, so I didn’t find that any one character was better suited for Speed Golf than another. Each golfer’s unique super dash can help them get to their ball faster, but it also can be a deterrent for competitors’ progress, since you can knock opponents down while running. Meanwhile, a well-timed and placed special shot can knock other golfers’ balls from a good position to a not ideal spot. These two central mechanics often look cool in motion and are incredibly useful in Speed Golf.

It’s clear why Speed Golf rules Mario Golf: Super Rush when you step onto the links. With the exception of two traditional courses that look like golf courses you’d find in real life, Super Rush’s courses teeter between absurd and diabolical, and I say this as a compliment.

Ridgerock Lake is set along cliffs surrounded by water and features Broiders rolling across fairways, Ty-foos guarding greens with strong gusts, and vertical wind tunnels that can send you and your ball up to another level. There’s a lot of fun strategy involved here thanks to elevation changes and the scattered layout. Balmy Dunes, a desert-themed course with towering Pokeys, giant Sandmaarghs surrounding the fairways, quicksand, and elevation changes galore, is a sprawling track that works wonderfully for speed golf. Do you use your super dash to cut across the barren sand and potentially save time or take the scenic route along the fairway where you can pick up coins and heart pieces to recover stamina? Because of the enemy placement, Balmy Dunes often forces you to get creative with shots, hitting fades around Pokeys and high-launching shots over those pesky Sandmaarghs.

Another course, Wildweather Woods, uses its unpredictable conditions to mess with your game. Randomized dark spots on the course are prone to lightning strikes if you swing your club too far back, costing you a stroke and time in the process. Meanwhile, Biddybuds waddle across the fairway and Piranha Creepers poke their chompy heads out, requiring you to zigzag to your ball. The heavy rain slows down the fairways and greens, so you have to adapt your strategy for both rollout on full shots and putting. The final course, Bowser Highlands, is a molten-themed track with Lava Bubbles emerging from the fiery depths, Magmaarghs creeping over the edge of danger, Bob-ombs, Whomps, and Chain Chomps scattered across the fairways, and Fire Bars circling platforms that you have to run across to get to your ball. It’s the most perilous course of the bunch due to the sheer number of hazards and obstacles, making for a fitting swan song.

Even though Super Rush features some of the best courses in series history, I can’t help but think it’s a tad underwhelming to only have six at release, especially since two of them--though great for traditional golf purists--feel like standard Mario Golf fare. Though Nintendo has vowed to release free post-launch content for Super Rush, World Tour for 3DS had 10 courses at launch.

To unlock all of the clever and playful courses, you have to work your way through Golf Adventure as your Mii. As the tentpole game mode in Super Rush, Golf Adventure isn’t the full-fledged role-playing golf journey I expected. It serves as a means to unlocking every course but offers very little besides a six-hour primer to what Super Rush is all about. Despite the semi-open world layout with hubs for each course and NPCs scattered throughout, Super Rush’s world feels shallow, with nothing to do besides the next mainline event. It should be noted that Golf Adventure doesn’t even allow you to use motion controls--probably because you’d have a hard time reaching the credits.

In Golf Adventure, you’re a rookie working toward becoming a golf superstar by earning badges that unlock new tournaments and courses. Earning badges is a multi-step process, including a short course training before competing against AI-controlled players. What’s particularly strange about Golf Adventure’s challenges is that you only ever play a full 18-hole round one time. It’s often segmented into three, six, or nine hole challenges where you have to shoot better than a certain score or under time restraints. And almost the entire campaign centers on Speed Golf. You only play short spurts of traditional golf and never in a “tournament” round. Like Mario Tennis Aces, there are a few boss battles, each of which utilize the mechanics in fun ways--even if they are short-lived duels.

The disjointed progression of Golf Adventure sometimes hurts the overall experience and takes away from the genuinely compelling golf. But, at the very least, it sometimes throws in unique events. Ridgerock Lake was the site of my favorite challenge dubbed Cross Country Golf. You have to complete nine holes under 40 strokes, but you get to choose which order to complete the holes in. It was one of the few campaign challenges that took me off of autopilot--largely because it was just me versus the course. Bowser Highlands is also markedly different in Golf Adventure, as it mixes fire and ice holes. The snowy holes feature Ice Bros, sliding Freezies, and other Super Mario staples. The mix between fire and ice makes Bowser Highlands feel like two courses sandwiched into one, which winds up making a really interesting course that I wish you could play outside of Golf Adventure.

Sadly, AI-controlled golfers are absolutely horrendous in Golf Adventure, not just in the beginning but all throughout the campaign. This presents an issue since Speed Golf requires you to wait for your opponents to finish the hole before moving onto the next. Watching Pink Yoshi turn away from the flagstick and chunk yet another shot into the rough after I’ve already finished grows tiresome, and watching [insert any character name] actively aim away from the hole on a perfectly straight putt can become infuriating.

The biggest blunder of Golf Adventure is that once the credits roll, there’s nothing really left to do. You can go back and level up your character and round out your set of clubs, but it’s not even possible to replay certain sections of the game. Golf Adventure doesn’t even track any of your best scores, so there isn’t any real reason to do so anyway. And besides, by the time you complete the campaign, your leveled-up Mii is already the best golfer in the game. I’ve already banned myself from playing as him during couch multiplayer with my wife. There is a separate Solo Challenge mode that keeps track of your best scores, but it seems like a weird decision to not roll this into an endgame for Golf Adventure.

Like many sports games, Mario Golf: Super Rush’s legs come from multiplayer against real humans, whether that be online or locally. When playing locally, up to four golfers can jump into standard golf, but only two can play at a time in Battle Golf and Speed Golf. The restriction is likely because of splitting the screen since you’re hitting at the same time (standard golf while playing simultaneously is also limited to two golfers), but it’s nonetheless disappointing. I haven’t had a chance to play Super Rush online, but you’ll be able to create rooms to play with friends or search for open rooms hosting the type of match you’re looking for. I will update this review with my impressions once the servers are more active. If Nintendo hosts regular tournaments like it did for Mario Golf: World Tour, I’ll be playing Super Rush for a long time. I should also note that I found the AI to play markedly better outside of Golf Adventure. While I still won every match against CPU-controlled characters, they at least play competently so that it’s possible to lose.

With three radically different styles of play and some seriously inventive courses, Mario Golf: Super Rush is a compellingly original sports game. Speed Golf and Battle Golf actively make you adapt to wildly different conditions while balancing technique and speediness. The three-click swing system still feels great, though if you desire an accurate motion-controlled golf game, this isn’t it. Golf Adventure curiously lacks a conventional tournament structure or record keeping, which actively dissuaded me from ever wanting to revisit it. Super Rush isn’t the best entry in the series, but it’s a worthy addition.

Make summer super with Nintendo’s new Super Mario outdoor goods lineup【Photos】

SoraNews24 23 June, 2021 - 11:00pm

Bringing you yesterday's news from Japan and Asia, today.

Super Mario really doesn’t get enough credit for what an active lifestyle he leads. Sure, his rotund physique might make you think he’s a couch potato, but the guy actually spends the majority of his time running, jumping, and doing other intense physical exercise, much of it in or on the forests, mountains, and beaches of the Mushroom Kingdom and other adventurous locales.

So if you’re taking a page from Mario’s playbook and planning to spend the summer outdoors, Nintendo wants to make sure you’re adequately outfitted with its new line of Super Mario outdoor leisure goods.

Starting things off is the Question Block Cooler Bag, designed to keep your beverages and other real-world power-ups properly insulated. You don’t have to punch it to open it, as there’s a zipper running around the top, and it’s large enough to hold nine 500-mililiter (16.9-ounce) drink bottles, but can also fold flat once you’ve emptied it.

If you’re carrying your cooler to the park for a picnic, you’ll want to take this mysterious-looking item with you…

…since it unfolds into a padded cushion to sit on!

Alternatively, if you want to be up off the ground, there’s a Question Block Folding Stool too, which is compact enough to fit into a handy carrying bag when not in use.

Of course, being out in the summer sun is no fun without a way to keep yourself cool. To that end, Nintendo has two Cool Towels that you moisten for a comforting chill showcasing an 8-bit-style stages (and guest-starring Luigi).

Or, if you want to go the old-school Japanese route, you can pick between two folding fan patterns.

The water level fan looks especially soothing with some late afternoon sunlight filtering through the fabric…

…while the Koopa Castle one gives you a fire chain strap to make Mario’s jump even more death-defying.

The three-section neck pouch is useful for holding your passes and spending money for any music festivals, sporting events, or anime conventions you might be planning to attend.

▼ The clever three-section design unfolds to simulate Mario punching the block and a mushroom rising from it.

And rounding out the lineup is this stainless steel drink bottle with a Lakitu strap.

The whole collection is available through the Nintendo online store here, with prices ranging from 1,110 yen (US$10.60) for the cool towels up to 3,520 yen for the Question Block Cooler Bag. And if you’re looking for some special apparel to wear on your excursions, don’t forget about those new Super Mario-themed summer kimono.

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