Paper Mario launches N64 era on Switch Online but doesn’t nail the landing

Earlier this year, Nintendo announced the Switch Online Expansion Pack. While the Expansion Pack doesn’t offer any improvements to the online service at the center of the subscription, it does offer various extra perks for those willing to shoulder the additional cost. Those perks include access to libraries of Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games, along with ongoing access to the Happy Home Paradise DLC for Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Nintendo has now confirmed that the first post-launch addition to the N64 library will be Paper Mario.

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A classic Nintendo 64 game comes to Switch this month

As far as Nintendo 64 games are concerned, Paper Mario is right up there as one of the classics. A spiritual successor to Super Mario RPG on the Super NES, Paper Mario blazed a new trail for Mario role-playing games when it was originally released. Paper Mario is a fantastic game, and if you’re subscribed to Nintendo Switch Online with the Expansion Pack, it’s well worth checking out when it arrives on the service later this month.

When will it arrive? Nintendo has announced a December 10th release date for Paper Mario, so release is right around the corner. Sadly, Paper Mario is the sole addition to Nintendo Switch Online for the 10th. There are no new NES, SNES, or Sega Genesis games heading to Switch Online alongside it, so hopefully, it won’t be long before we see more additions to some or all of those libraries.

Does Paper Mario make NSO’s Expansion Pack worth it?

It’s no secret that the price of Nintendo Switch Online’s Expansion Pack is a tough pill to swallow. A standard Nintendo Switch Online subscription costs $20 a year and allows you to play online multiplayer games, allows access to libraries of NES and SNES games, and includes a few freebies like Tetris 99 and Pac-Man 99. Nintendo’s online service is not great – something we’ve mentioned in reviews for games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Mario Maker 2 – but $20 is still a reasonable price considering what a subscription includes.

The Expansion Pack, on the other hand, adds collections of Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games along with access to the Happy Home Paradise DLC for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a DLC that costs $25 to buy outright. The Expansion Pack adds another $30 per year to the Nintendo Switch Online subscription cost, bringing the total to $50 a year. Is the Expansion Pack worth subscribing to?

Simply put: probably not for most. If you’re only interested in playing Nintendo 64 or Sega Genesis games, the Expansion Pack definitely isn’t worth it. It is, admittedly, impossible to play most of the N64 games included in the Switch Online Expansion Pack on modern platforms, but there are plenty of options for revisiting the many of the Sega Genesis games that are included because Sega loves its compilations.

The sole addition of Paper Mario doesn’t really improve the Expansion Pack’s value proposition. Perhaps there will be a point in the future where there are enough Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games to warrant the extra cost. Still, for now, the Expansion Pack should only really be a consideration for Animal Crossing fans who want the Happy Home Paradise expansion in addition to the N64 and Genesis titles.

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How to Unlock the Nail Gun in Call of Duty: Warzone

Each season, Call of Duty: Warzone gets a set of new weapons, most of which are typically worth using. One weapon that was added as part of the Season 4 update was the Nail Gun, an SMG/Special Weapon hybrid that deals tremendous damage. It’s definitely suited for players who like to run and gun while getting up close and personal. The only problem is that its unlock requirements are tough and arguably not very descriptive.

Of course, you can always shell out your hard-earned COD Points to just buy it from the in-game store, but if you’re short on funds, you’ll want to take a different approach. In this guide, we’ll show you how to unlock the Nail Gun in Call of Duty: Warzone.

Recommended reading:

Nail Gun overview

The reason so many players have gravitated toward the Nail Gun is due to its high-damage profile up close. This weapon won’t get you far at range, but when used at up to 10 meters, it deals devastating damage. According to TrueGameData, the Nail Gun does 64 damage to the chest, 50 to the stomach and extremities, and 81 to the head. This means you can get a four- to five-shot kill on a fully plated enemy at up to 10 meters. With stats like that, it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular choice.

For comparison’s sake, the MP5 (CW) can eliminate a fully plated enemy in six to nine shots up close. Now, it’s worth noting that the Nail Gun has a slower fire rate of 515 rpm (rate per minute) compared to the MP5 (CW), which fires at 854 rpm. But even still, the Nail Gun has the potential to eliminate a player much faster than the MP5 (CW), even with a slower rate of fire. The other unique thing about the Nail Gun is that it doesn’t allow for any attachments. But that’s okay since it’s excellent as-is. Just make sure you get used to its small magazine size of 20.

Methods of unlocking the Nail Gun in Warzone

Challenge for unlocking Nail Gun in Warzone.

The biggest issue with the Nail Gun is actually unlocking it. There are four methods to getting your hands on it, which we’ll go over in detail below:

Unlocking the Nail Gun through Warzone

The least expensive but most time-consuming method of unlocking the Nail Gun is to earn it through Warzone itself. In order to do so, you need to get five kills with Special Weapons in 15 different matches. The Special Weapons are:

  • M79 Grenade Launcher
  • Ballistic Knife
  • R1 Shadowhunter

Warzone doesn’t actually have a Special Weapons section, but rest assured, those are the weapons that fall into that category.

If you’ll be using this method, we advise jumping into a Plunder match, heading over to Storage Town on the west side of the map, and using whichever Special Weapon you feel comfortable with. Unfortunately, all of them are pretty terrible, but we had the most luck with the M79 Grenade Launcher. The strategy is to float above Storage Town and then drop down right above an enemy before shooting them with the grenade. Then pull your chute just before you hit the ground.

If you get close enough before hitting the ground, you’ll have a higher chance of eliminating them in one shot. Keep repeating this process until you’ve got five kills, then finish the match like normal. Repeat this 14 more times to complete the challenge and unlock the Nail Gun.

Based on our testing, it doesn’t seem like you’re able to quit the match before it’s over to still gain credit toward the challenge. Some players reported challenge tracking even after quitting early, but it seems like this has been patched. Also note that if you want to use the Ballistic Knife to complete the challenge, you must use the projectile as opposed to melee.

Plunder matches can take upwards of 20 minutes to complete, so it’ll take you several hours to unlock the weapon using this method. But it’s a free option!

Unlocking the Nail Gun through Black Ops Cold War multiplayer

Next up, you can unlock the Nail Gun in Cold War multiplayer. Since Warzone shares progression with Cold War, you can unlock the weapon in one game and use it in the other. For this one, the requirements are actually the same as in Warzone: Get five kills with Special Weapons in 15 different matches. The thing is, Cold War matches are a lot faster than Plunder matches in Warzone, so this method is actually the quickest, provided you have a copy of the game. For the quickest results, we advise playing on Nuketown ’84, as those matches only take around 10-ish minutes — sometimes less.

Unlocking the Nail Gun through Black Ops Cold War Zombies

The other way to unlock the Nail Gun through Cold War is by playing Zombies. To do so, you need to get 25 eliminations with Special Weapons in 12 completed regions in Outbreak. Let’s explain what that means because it’s confusing. Again, the Special Weapons are listed above, so use one of those in your loadout and boot up a match of Outbreak. A completed region is one that you’ve finished the main objective for.

The game will give you an objective at each of the regions, and once you’ve finished it and moved on to the next region via a teleportation device, this will count as a completed region. So, in essence, get your 25 kills, complete the region, and then check the in-game counter to make sure it’s giving you credit. Keep in mind that you don’t need to complete all 12 regions in a single match to unlock the weapon. Your progress carries over from match to match.

Unlocking the Nail Gun by purchasing it

The final and easiest way to get the Nail Gun is to buy it. The Puncture Wound blueprint gives you immediate access to the Nail Gun for 1,000 COD Points, which can be earned by leveling up the battle pass or purchased with real money. It will cost you around $10 to buy this blueprint with real cash.

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Tech News

The final nail may have been driven into BlackBerry’s coffin

Yes, you can still walk into a store and buy a BlackBerry in 2020, but those days may soon be over given a recent announcement from BlackBerry phone maker TCL.

TCL says that as of August 31, 2020, it “will no longer be selling BlackBerry-branded mobile devices … (and) has no further rights to design, manufacture or sell any new BlackBerry mobile devices.” That’s pretty much a death blow to the company’s slim hopes of mounting a revival.

If you own a BlackBerry KeyOne or Key2, TCL says it will continue to provide support for phones through August 2022, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for an Android 10 update anytime soon.

Granted, TCL’s investment in BlackBerry was always an uphill struggle. When it announced it was licensing the brand back in December 2016, it was met with an equal mix of quizzical stares and snickers, as BlackBerry’s heyday was long in the rearview mirror. The launch of the iPhone and the proliferation of Android handsets made the hardware keyboard seem quaint and antiquated, and the mere thought of trying to use one again made our thumbs hurt.

But nonetheless, TCL persisted, and to be honest, we didn’t hate the BlackBerry Key2. But in a world of six-inch screens and powerful cameras, BlackBerry’s vision was a tough sell to anyone but a hopeless nostalgic. Even the once-popular BlackBerry Messenger service called it quits in May.

So it’s not at all surprising that TCL has opted not to renew its BlackBerry license. Any BlackBerry phone is destined to be a niche product, and as Android phones pick up more cameras and pixels, that niche seems to be ever-shrinking. So pour one out for BlackBerry and the physical keyboard, both of which will likely never be seen again.

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