first_imgStay on target Welcome to the 21st Century, McDonald’s.The fast-food restaurant is making good on its high-tech promises: 29 locations in California began accepting mobile orders and payments on Wednesday.The pilot will expand to an additional 51 joints in Spokane, Wash., next week.As reported by Reuters, McD’s held out on implementing the new technology until other companies ironed out the kinks in their digital debuts.Starbucks, for example, pissed off a lot of caffeine-deprived customers in January when an excess of mobile orders created backlogs that the staff couldn’t process fast enough.Learning from other firm’s mistakes, McDonald’s will continue to streamline the app before rolling out a finished product in nearly all 14,000 US restaurants—as well as  6,000 locales in Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, and China—before the end of the year.“It’s better to be right than to be first to market,” CEO Steve Easterbrook told Reuters.Chomping into a Big Mac Extra Value Meal has never been easier: Simply enter your request into the mobile app, then sit back and relax as your food is delivered directly to the table.“We are building a better McDonald’s, one that makes delicious feel-good moments easy for everyone,” Easterbrook said in a recent statement. “And I believe the moves we are making will reassert McDonald’s like the global leader in the informal eating out category.”Last year, the 61-year-old chain introduced self-serve kiosks: Instead of waiting in line to carefully convey your complicated order, folks can tap it into a giant touch screen. Mobile customers can place online orders for pickup, or wave the app in front of a kiosk to recognize their profile (which saves customized favorites and preferred payment methods).McDonald’s is also testing drive-thru smart menu boards, which change throughout the day to highlight the most timely and relevant deals and items. On-the-go users, meanwhile, can choose curbside delivery or read their placed order code to the drive-thru crew for instant gratification. KFC Tests Plant-Based Beyond Fried Chicken in AtlantaMinneapolis Bans Construction of New Drive-Thrus last_img read more

first_imgStay on target The Nintendo Entertainment System is the most important console Nintendo has ever made. It saved the industry after the 1982 Atari crash, and it delivered 8-bit foundational texts for the future of the medium. I argue that the original Super Mario Bros. is still the Citizen Kane of video games.However, when it comes to quality, the NES’s 1990s successor the Super Nintendo just can’t be beat. To me, it’s the greatest video game console of all time, 2D game design at the peak of its prowess before polygons sucked all the oxygen out of the room. And nostalgia has little to do with it.Need proof? Just compare last year’s smash hit NES Classic Edition with its follow-up the SNES Classic launching this week. There are some fantastic games on the NES Classic, but after playing the SNES Classic here in the office for a few days, it’s really no competition. Even with nine fewer games and a higher $80 price tag, the SNES Classic is a longer-lasting, exponentially more entertaining gaming product.The SNES Classic’s sprinkling of hardware upgrades make it a bit easier to use than its predecessor. The controller cords are the little longer. There are two included controllers this time with the adorable little mini recreation of the iconic purple-and-grey American SNES design. And you can rewind limited sections of games to give yourself second and third and fourth chances against retro difficulty.But really it’s the library that makes the SNES Classic better than the NES Classic, and frankly better than any hypothetical upcoming Nintendo 64 Classic or Game Boy Classic. Yeah there are some missing games I’d like to see here like NBA Jam or Chrono Trigger or ActRaiser or Mortal Kombat or Sin City. But when one machine comes packed in with absolute masterpieces like Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Street Fighter II, Final Fantasy VI, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Kirby Super Star, and more titles that undeniably still hold up as crowning gaming achievements, it’s really hard to complain. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past1/25A Link to the Past brought the Zelda series back to its roots while building upon the original title to create the template for all other games in the series (and action-adventure games) to follow. The two massive over-world maps were expertly crafted and contained some of the best level designs of all time. The highlights were the dungeons, which featured just the right amount of challenge without being too annoying. This game is every bit the classic many claim it to be.<><> 8Bitdo’s SN30 Wireless Gamepad is a Perfect Controller for the SNE…8Bitdo SNES Classic Edition Wireless Controller Now Available for Pre-Order Honestly, the biggest problem with the SNES Classic (beyond lingering availability concerns) is that its stellar group of games, and the perky interface presenting them, aren’t instead available on the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo has the chance to make its red-hot console/handheld hybrid the perfect one-stop Virtual Console shop for all of its incredible content but instead keeps spreading games out amongst other, more limited hardware. See also, the great games languishing on 3DS this year. But that’s a different discussion.The SNES Classic is an amazing compilation for anyone with even a passing interest in awesome, older games. But for hardcore fans who perhaps have… alternative methods of easily playing old games, the SNES Classic still has something of value: not a prototype ROM but the never-before-released finished version of Star Fox 2. Let’s review this brand-new 1995 video game.Why would Nintendo shelf a complete video game in a beloved franchise for over 20 years? The cruel march of time. While the SNES initially dazzled with its beautiful 16-bit pixel art, by the end of its life it was clear polygonal graphics were the way of the future. The SNES simply wasn’t built to push visuals like that, but Nintendo did try to buy itself time before producing a new console that could.Mode 7 visuals helped racing games like F-Zero and Super Mario Kart pop off the screen. Donkey Kong Country turned pre-rendered models into sprites for a innovative new look. But it was the original Star Fox in 1993 that took the SNES to its absolute graphical limit, using a SuperFX chip built into the cartridge to deliver 3D visuals stark and simplistic by today’s standard but absolutely cutting-edge at the time. (By the way you can play all those games mentioned on the SNES Classic).So naturally Nintendo and the technical wizard developers at Argonaut Software started working on a sequel. However, by the time the game was ready to be released, it was clear the SNES’s tech was just too outdated. The game couldn’t compete visually with what the new spurned Nintendo rival the PlayStation was pulling off, and Nintendo’s own truly 3D machine the Nintendo 64 was only a year away. So why risk taking the shine off Super Mario 64 with Fox and his incredibly named animal friends Falco Lombardi and Wolf Blitzer. Thus the game was scrapped, until now.It’s impossible to guess how Star Fox 2 would have been received at the time, but looking at it now with all this added context makes it a fascinating historical object.What first struck me about Star Fox 2 (unlocked after finishing the first level of Star Fox 1) was its ambition. The first Star Fox was content knowing its wild graphics would be more than enough to prop up its pretty linear rail-shooter gameplay. But even just two years later the team was already itching to expand the game’s scope. You still fly through different planets blasting lasers, dropping bombs, doing barrel rolls, boosting, and finding alternate paths to replay. But there are so many more things to consider.There’s a larger playable cast of talking furry characters to choose from including dog Fay and lynx Miyu. You select missions from a map that changes in real-time, so you have to make macro strategic choices between pushing deeper into enemy territory while making sure your home base Corneria isn’t taking too much damage. It’s like X-COM or Mass Effect’s Galactic Readiness meter only with a space ape as the big threat. There’s also a wider variety of gameplay ideas. Along with classic on-rails Star Fox levels, you’ll have first-person dogfights with Star Wolf, on-foot missions with your Arwing starship’s chicken walker form, and brief missions where you have to find and destroy incoming missiles.What’s crazy is that most of these new concepts were adopted by later Star Fox games that actually came out made by Nintendo and the former Argonaut devs at Q-Games. It’s like realizing the young games found a lost family journal and tried to pass off its teachings as their own original thoughts. It’s really cool to now be able to play that full lineage.What’s also cool is seeing the SNES hardware practically tear itself apart trying to render these improved 3D visuals the aging console just has no business trying to run. The designs are barely distinct enough to avoid blurring into a geometric mess. I could only separate friends from foes about half of the time. Meanwhile, the low frame-rate and D-pad-only SNES controller made lining up shots less than ideal.The game is almost more entertaining as a moving painting of abstract super lo-fi polygonal art, a vaporwave-type aesthetic. I can appreciate the look now, but I understand why Nintendo at the time would rather have Super Mario 64 as its flagship 3D game.Still, Star Fox 2 faithfully holds up the franchise’s tradition of 3D experimentation, even if those experiments don’t always work as we found out last year with Star Fox Zero. It’s awesome that everyone can now play it, along with 20 other incredible SNES games, on the Super Nintendo Classic. Here’s hoping you can find one this time.View as: One Page Slides1/81. Aside from some boring cables, here’s what comes in the box for the Super NES Classic.2. A SNES you can hold in the palm of your hand. What a world!3. Classic box art for a classic console.4. Remember when they used to put games on the boxes for game consoles? The Super NES Classic wants you to know what you can play on it.5. The recreated Super NES controller, in all its purple-and-gray glory. It feels pretty good.6. The controller cord is longer than the infamously short NES Classic cord.7. Plug in both included controllers for retro multiplayer delight.8. It may not look it, but I love the Super NES Classic.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more