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Take on all Pokemon

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A Pokken Tournament kicks off on 18 March for Wii U players. It gives them the chance to go head-to head, playing as their favourite Pokemon character. Players will also have the option to battle it out in the newly developed Ferrum region and their winnings can be used for character upgrades.

Pokémon players wanting to be the very best will need to conquer the new region of Ferrum, take on all-comers in a variety of game modes including single-player and multiplayer battles, and defeat  powerful Pokémon such as Shadow Mewtwo when Pokkén Tournament launches for Wii U on 18 March.

Developed with Tekken franchise developers BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Pokkén Tournament brings versus fighting action to the world of Pokémon for the very first time, along with a roster of fan-favourite Pokémon to play as. For the first time ever prepare to do battle in the region of Ferrum, a new region introduced in Pokkén Tournament that is the stage for a battle style unique to this region, where Pokémon and their Battle Trainers compete to see who is the strongest in the Ferrum League.

The Ferrum League is the new single-player game mode exclusive to the Wii U version of Pokkén Tournament. As players win their way through the league, new Pokémon will be unlocked to be used as Support Pokémon and the number of selectable stages will also increase. Players can also go head to head as two players can take on each other in local or online multiplayer. In Local Battles, one player will use the Wii U GamePad while the other uses a Pokkén Tournament-compatible controller.

Online Battles consist of Rank or Friendly Matches. In Rank Matches, players will take on the world and rise through the global rankings based on the points collected from their wins. Friendly Matches allow quick battles with others, even friends who have exchanged VS codes or Nintendo Network IDs. Pokkén Tournament also features a LAN Battle mode that allows players to connect two Wii U consoles together to experience local head-to-head action at a full 60 frames per second on separate TVs. In this mode each player can use any compatible controller.

For the first time players will be able to play with the powerful Shadow Mewtwo, a Pokémon shrouded in mystery and possessing overwhelming strength. As players win their way through the Ferrum League, Shadow Mewtwo will suddenly appear, and only successful players will finally bring the secrets of this mysterious Pokémon to light. Fans who purchase a first-run version of the game at retail will receive a limited edition Shadow Mewtwo amiibo card that immediately unlocks the character in the game after tapping it to the Wii U GamePad.

By winning through the Ferrum League players will earn Poké Gold (PG), which can be spent on customising their Battle Trainer. By going to the My Town section of the game, players can use their hard-earned PG to purchase and equip new customisation items such as hair styles, outfits and accessories. Pokkén Tournament is also compatible with all amiibo accessories to unlock in-game items.

Pokkén Tournament also features a deep Practice Mode that will allow players to practice battling as much as they like without worrying about time limits or HP. In addition to the open practice of Free Training, the Combo Dojo will introduce powerful combos for each Pokémon and let players try them out. With a playable cast of Pokémon and dozens of additional support Pokémon to unlock, there are hundreds of combos to learn and take into battle.

With the new Ferrum League, a variety of multiplayer options, new battle and support Pokémon, and the mysteries of Shadow Mewtwo finally revealed, there is plenty to excite Pokémon and versus fighting game fans alike on 18th March when  Pokkén Tournament launches for Wii U.

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Android Go puts reliable smartphones in budget pockets

Nokia, Vodacom and Huawei have all launched entry-level smartphones running the Android Go edition, and all deliver a smooth experience, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Three new and notable Android Go smartphones have recently hit the market, namely the Nokia 1, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 and the Huawei Y3 (2018). These phones run one of the most basic versions of Android while still delivering a fairly smooth user experience.

Historically, consumers purchasing smartphones in the budget bracket would have a hit-and-miss experience with processing speed, smoothness of user interface, and app stability. The Google-supported Android Go edition operating system optimises the user experience by stripping out non-important visual effects to speed up the phone. Thish allows for more memory to be used by apps. 

Google also ensures that all smartphones running Android Go will receive feature and security updates as they are released by Google. This is a major selling point for these smartphones, as users of this smartphone will always be running the latest software, with virtually no manufacturer bloatware.

Vodafone Smart Kicka 4

At the lowest entry-level, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performs well as a communicator for emails and WhatsApp messages. The 4” screen represents a step up for entry-level Android phones, which were previously standardised at 3.5”.

The display is bright and very responsive, while the limited screen real estate leaves the navigation keys off the screen as touch buttons. It uses 3G connectivity, which might seem like an outdated technology, but is good enough to stream SD videos and music. Vodacom has also thrown in some data gifts if the smartphone is activated before the end of September 2018. 

Its camera functionalities might be a slight let down for the aspirant Instagrammer, with a 2MP rear flash camera and a 0.3MP selfie snapper. Speed wise, the keyboard pops up quickly, which is a huge improvement from the Smart Kicka 3. However, this phone will not play well with graphics-intensive games. 

Nokia 1

Next up is the Nokia 1, which adds a much better 5MP camera, improved battery life and a bigger 4.5” screen. It supports LTE, which allows this smartphone to download and upload at the speed of flagships. It also sports the Nokia brand name, which many consumers trust.

Although the front camera is 2MP, the quality is extremely grainy, even with good lighting. This disqualifies this smartphone for the social media selfie snapper, but the 5MP rear camera will work for the landscape and portrait photographer. 

The screen also redeems this smartphone, providing a display which represents colours truly and has great viewing angles. Xpress-on back covers allows the use of interchangeable, multi-coloured back covers, which has proven to be a successful sales point for mid-range smartphones in the past. 

Huawei Y3 (2018)

The most capable of the Android Go edition competitors, the Huawei Y3 (2018) packs an even bigger screen at 5”, as well as an improved 8MP rear camera and HD video recording. The screen is the brightest and most vibrant of the three smartphones, but seems to be calibrated to show colours a little more saturated than they actually are. 

Nevertheless, the camera outperforms the other smartphones with good colour replication and great selfie capabilities via the 2MP front camera – far superior to the Nokia 1 despite the same spec. LTE also comes standard with this smartphone and Vodacom throws in 4G/LTE data goodies until the end of September 2018. The battery, however, is not removable and may only be replaced by a warranty technician.

Comparing the 3

All three smartphones have removable back covers, which provide access to the battery, SIM card and SD card slots. The smartphones have Micro USB ports on the bottom with headphone jacks on the top. The built-in speakers all performed well, with the Y3 (2018) housing an exceptionally loud built-in speaker. 

Although all at different price points, all three phones remain similar in performance and speed. The differentiators are apparent in the components, like camera quality and screen quality. It would be fair to rank the quality of the camera and battery life by respective market prices. The Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performed well, for its R399 retail price. The Nokia 1, on the other hand, lags quite a bit in features when compared to the Huawei Y3 (2018), bwith oth retailing at R999.

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SA gets digital archive

As the world entered the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth on Mandela Day, 18 July 2018, South Africa celebrated the launch of a digital living archive. 

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The southafrica.co.za  site carries content about the country’s collective heritage in South Africa’s eleven official languages.

Designed as a nation building,  educational and brand promotion web based tool, the free-to-view platform features award-winning photographic and written content by leading South African photographers, authors, academics and photojournalists.

The emphasis is on quality, credible, factual content that celebrates a collective heritage in terms of the following: Cultural Heritage; Natural Heritage; Education; History; Agriculture; Industry; Mining; and Travel.

At the same time as reflecting on the nation’s history, southafrica.co.za celebrates South Africa’s natural, cultural and economic assets so that the youth can learn about their nation in their home language.

Southafrica.co.za Founder and CEO Hans Gerrizen conceptualised southafrica.co.za as a means for youth and communities from outlying areas to benefit from the digital age in terms of the web tool’s empowering educational component.

“We can only stand to deepen our collective experience of democracy and become a more forward planning nation if we know facts about our nation’s past and present in everyone’s home language,” he says.

Southafrica.co.za, with sister company Siyabona Africa, is the organiser and sponsor of the Mandela: 100 Moments photographic exhibition that runs until 30 September at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront-based Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.  The 3-month exhibition, which runs daily from 08h00 until 15h00, is showcasing one hundred iconic Nelson Mandela images taken by veteran South African photojournalist and self-taught lensman Peter Magubane.

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