Friday, January 31, 2020

FF7 Trailer: 45 Secrets, Reveals, and Details

SPOILER WARNING! We're talking full-on spoilers for the original Final Fantasy 7, which means you'll also see plot points likely in the remake. You've been warned!

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Final Fantasy 7 Remake got an awesome new trailer jam-packed with new and old scenes alike, so we went through frame-by-frame to pick out all the hidden details. There’s a ton here, so be sure to watch our video showing them off at the top of the page, or watch the original trailer below and follow along with the timecodes of the text version. Let's dive in!

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0:00 - Things start out straightforward enough with an extended look at the flashback scene of Tifa and Cloud talking as kids in Nibelheim, but it only gets crazier from here.

0:17 - We quickly get a shot of Jenova in a tank, before Cloud gets a headache and we see a single frame of Sephiroth’s Mako-affected eye.

0:22 - Septhiroth himself appears, and it’s immediately clear that this scene is a major change from the original, as he never actually appeared outside of memories or flashbacks during the Midgar portion of the game. We think we have a pretty good idea as to where this scene takes place, but more on that once the trailer itself comes back to it later.

0:31 - For now, we get shot outside of Shinra HQ, before we see a recreation of a scene from the original where Shinra head of Urban Development Director Tuesti is making an appeal to President Shinra not to destroy Sector 7, with Head of Public Safety Heidegger calling him a coward.

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0:45 - A new scene quickly shows what appears to be Shinra creating Materia. Materia is explained in the original to be crystallized Mako, and a scientist can be heard saying “Mako super-saturation confirmed,” before another one replies “Engaging Materia cooling to reduce temperature.”

0:48 - It would make sense, then, that Head of Weapons Development Scarlet is watching this play out. While we do briefly see Scarlet in the original game’s board room scene, she previously didn’t have a role beyond that until much later in the game.

0:58 - Same with this guy, Palmer, the head of Shinra’s Space program. It could be that we’ll only see these characters briefly, or that their roles have been expanded in the Remake. In the original, he’s known for requesting lots of lard in his tea. This time it’s butter, which I guess is better?

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1:04 - Now we get our first glimpse of the revamped Honey Bee Inn, as well as Cloud’s crossdressing scene. This section has been significantly redone, with the Honey Bee Inn now looking more like a night club instead of a brothel, and Cloud changing clothes here instead of at the dress store – at least he’s still got those adorable braids.

1:21 - As he leaves the Honey Bee Inn we can see how much the exterior has changed too, with couples even happily walking by, and get a glimpse of Aerith’s iconic red dress.

1:23 - The Wall Market has clearly changed a lot too, but it still leads up to Don Corneo’s imposing mansion at the top of the street.

1:27 - We see Don Corneo’s extremely gross bride-picking scene play out, as well as Tifa in her purple dress, who Cloud and Aerith have come to save from the Don in the first place.

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1:35 - Next, we get a better look at a brand new character to Remake, Roche. Originally shown off in the TGS trailer, Roche (also known as Speed Demon) is a former 3-C Soldier who rebelled, but it’s still unclear what his relationship to Cloud is and why he’s looking for a fight.

1:40 - Given Roche mentions Cloud kicking the hornet’s nest and Avalanche members Biggs and Wedge are here, we can assume this scene takes place in either the first or second Mako Reactor near the start of the game.

1:46 - Now we finally have a look at Remake’s Red XIII, as well as some dialogue that mirrors the first conversation they have with him just after freeing him from Shinra HQ in the original.

1:55 - But shortly after, we finally jump back to Cloud’s unexpected confrontation with Sephiroth. Cloud attacks, but is easily outmatched as Sephiroth says “A touching reunion,” indicating this is the first time they’ll cross paths in the Remake. And we have a theory as to why they are meeting at all!

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2:08 - After Cloud falls, we see that Shinra’s maniacal Professor Hojo has been watching them. This is entirely speculation, but we’re willing to bet this encounter happens within Shinra HQ. In the original, Shinra HQ holds a much smaller tank containing Jenova, only to have Cloud later see that Sephiroth has opened it and taken Jenova before killing Shinra’s president. Again, this is just a theory, but from your party being present and Hojo having security cameras in the room, it seems possible that the remake will instead have Cloud and friends cross paths with Sephiroth inside of Shinra HQ right before he frees Jenova.

2:22 - Cut to Tifa, Cloud, and Barret running away from a boss enemy called the Heli Gunner. This fight originally takes place on the elevator as you are leaving Shinra HQ, but now it looks like it’ll happen on the way there instead. You can even see the massive expanse of debris behind them that is likely the destruction of Sector 7, with the rest of the plate still above. The party is then running up the rubble instead of climbing and swinging on those annoying ropes near Wall Market.

2:23 - Also, blink and you’ll miss it, but Cloud isn’t using the Buster Sword here, instead wielding what looks like the Mythril Saber. That’s a weapon you could previously only get once you left Midgar!

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2:26 - He also has what seems to be some kind of gun, but we are guessing it may actually be a sort of grappling hook to help melee fighters reach flying enemies, as the same device can be seen on Tifa’s back too. Barret and Tifa also seem to have new weapons equipped here, but not ones that directly resemble anything from the original game as far as we could tell.

2:33 - Speaking of things Cloud shouldn’t have in Midgar, we immediately see the Leviathan summon being used, which you don’t get in the original all the way until Wutai Village.

2:38 - A curved staircase indicates we’re back in the Shinra HQ lobby, while the stairs after are definitely the long, arduous climb up its dozens upon dozens of floors. You can even see in the bottom right that Tifa, Cloud, and Barret are on different floors as they climb. Only 33 more floors to go, Cloud!

2:41 - Wait, Shinra HQ has escalators now? That’s cheating!

2:43 - Another recognizable scene, here we see the party in a Shinra HQ bathroom as Cloud climbs up into a vent to spy on the board meeting we mentioned earlier. This is straight out of the original.

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2:45 - Cut to a different scene entirely, here Cloud is fighting enemies called Sweepers on his own. Sweepers are fought in the very first Mako reactor, so this shot seems to be much earlier – except he’s also got the Choco/Mog summon, which has a Moogle riding a Chocobo fighting alongside him with a timer on the right showing how much longer they’ll be around. We also get a look at its signature Chocobo stampede animation, but Choco/Mog isn’t a Materia you get until leaving Midgar either. So, once again, either it’s been moved much earlier, the Remake will leave Midgar in some way, or Square Enix is messing with what abilities characters have here to make the trailer look cool.

2:55 - After Cloud’s combat, we see Tifa beating down some Shinra soldiers, and judging by the light and rubble, it’s probably on the way to Shinra HQ again.

2:59 - Next, Barrett brings some pain to a couple of enemies called Vargid Police. These strange-looking baddies are fought in Shinra HQ after Jenova is released.

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3:01 - And finally, we come to what’s likely the biggest surprise so far, but we think we might have figured out what’s going on here. Sephiroth seems to disappear into a cloud smoke and light, which then fills up the room as Jenova appears for a boss fight. This is massive because you normally wouldn’t fight Jenova until much later, but we’re pretty sure this confrontation actually takes place in the Shinra President’s office sometime after the previous Sephiroth scene. As we zoom out from Sephiroth to Aerith and Red XIII at the very start, you can see the same red, gold, and black carpet on the floor here that's behind Tuesti in the scene earlier, indicating it's the same office. You can also see what appears to be the President’s wide desk where Sephiroth was standing, so we’re willing to bet this is a brand new boss fight that occurs just after he kills Shinra. That said, the Jenova fight then takes place in a very different looking room, so either Jenova has transformed it significantly or the trailer is cleverly cutting two scenes together to throw us off.

3:12 - Following that bombshell is, well, a literal bomb as we see a Mako reactor explode.

3:15 - ...followed by Barrett firing his Big Shot Limit Break at a boss called Hundred Gunner, which is also usually fought on the Shinra HQ elevator. We can’t quite tell where it’s placed now, but likely still in Shinra HQ.

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3:16 - This scene of Tifa calling out to Cloud as he falls is likely just after you destroy the Sector 5 Mako Reactor, just before he lands in Aerith’s church.

3:19 - Moving on quickly, we get our first look at Midgar’s final car chase, with the party’s little blue car and Cloud’s motorcycle looking very familiar.

3:20 - As Barrett and Cloud run through an unfamiliar pipe, they are chased by a snake-like enemy called a Sword Dance, also fought in Shinra HQ, before Aerith hits it with a fire spell.

3:24 - Jumping back in time to another recognizable moment, Cloud, Barrett, and Tifa escape the destruction of Sector 7 by swinging (or, possibly changed in this case, sliding) out of danger on a cable as President Shinra looks down on the chaos.

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3:31 - The trailer then closes by raising even more questions. The party stops on the highway after their Shinra escape only to see black smoke-like figures flying upward toward the HQ. These smoke creatures appearing here is obviously entirely new to the remake, but a similar moment was shown in the TGS trailer. Right now it’s hard to guess what they are, but from their hooded appearance, it may be that they’re failed clones of Sephiroth that have taken on a very different nature compared to the original game?

We’ll have to wait to find out for sure, but that’s everything we dug up right now. What do you think of our theories, and have any of your own? Let us know in the comments below!

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Tom Marks is IGN's Deputy Reviews Editor and resident pie maker. You can follow him on Twitter.


Coronavirus Outbreak Forces Taipei Game Show Delay

The Taipei Game Show in Taiwan has been postponed due to the outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus. The event organizers have not announced when the replacement dates for the event. According to a report by VG247, the organizers for the Taipei Game Show sent over a list of precautions to attendees for the show including temperature checks and mandatory mask requirements. [ignvideo url=""] Following the warnings, the organizers decided to cancel the event altogether. The show was originally scheduled to run from February 6 to February 9 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center in Taiwan. “We are deeply sorry to announce the difference decision from our committee,” said the organizers in a statement. “However, due to the serious outbreak of Wuhan coronavirus, we have decided to postpone the event to this summer.” The coronavirus has infected over 9,000 people and killed 213. The World Health Organization has declared the virus a global health emergency. [ignvideo url=""] The Taipei Game Show has been held since 2003, and there were some exciting developments including how Sony would host a PlayStation booth at the event and how Bandai Namco was set to drop some potential Elden Ring information. There’s no word yet on how the delay would affect any potential announcements. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Matt Kim is a reporter for IGN. You can reach him on Twitter.


DOOM Eternal Doesn't Waste Your Time

Is there still a place in gaming for big dumb awesome adrenaline-fueled blood-frenzied action in a world full of open world games with thousands of activities peppered all over the map? The developers of DOOM Eternal seem to think so, and from what we've seen, we tend to agree. DOOM Eternal is a game that knows what it is and doesn't waste your time. Is that something we've been missing in recent years? Why is that? Your pals Ryan and Jeremy are here to talk about exactly that, about the ever-evolving relationship between action games and RPGs, about tonal consistency in media and about the cathartic joy of masterful execution of first-person action. Meanwhile, our month of exclusive DOOM Eternal IGN First coverage kicks off on Monday at 9am PT/12pm ET, where we'll show you the first 10 minutes of the game. Stay tuned! [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=doom-eternal-january-2019-screenshots&captions=true"] DOOM Eternal will be released on March 20 for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Google Stadia. A Nintendo Switch version will be released later in 2020. Learn more about the various editions available for pre-order. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s Executive Editor of Previews and has read all four DOOM novels, which are more fun than you might expect. Follow him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan, catch him on Unlocked, and drop-ship him Taylor Ham sandwiches from New Jersey whenever possible.


How to Transfer Your Nintendo Switch Data to a New Switch

Bookmark this for when you get that gorgeous Animal Crossing: New Horizons Nintendo Switch.


Wasteland Remastered Coming to Xbox and PC

A remastered version of 1988's Wasteland is coming to Xbox One and PC later this month, publisher inXile Entertainment confirmed via a YouTube launch trailer on Thursday. According to developers inXile Entertainment and Krome Studios, the remastered version retains the heart of the original 1988 Wasteland while bringing overhauled graphics, bug fixes, updated sound, and an expanded score to the game. The original Wasteland is commonly considered to be an influential RPG, with some even calling it a spiritual predecessor to the Fallout series. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=screens-wasteland-remastered&captions=true"] Wasteland Remastered will put the player in the capable shoes of a Desert Ranger: The lawmen tasked with protecting humanity after a nuclear war has devastated the world in the year 2087. Wasteland Remastered is coming February 25 and is available now for pre-order. It will be available via Xbox Game Pass. Developer inXile Entertainment is currently working on Wasteland 3, anticipated for release in the spring of this year. [poilib element="accentDivider"]


Persona 3 Remake Is Trending on Twitter, But It's Not a Real Game

There’s currently a social media campaign to get Persona 3 Remake trending on Twitter. Unfortunately, just because it’s big on Twitter doesn’t mean a Persona 3 Remake is real. Today, fans of Atlus’ 2006 PlayStation 2 RPG Persona 3 are tweeting their wishes for a modern remake using the hashtag #Persona3Remake. One of the most popular viral tweets from this movement is from a fan account called Official AtIus West, which includes an intentional misspelling of the Official Atlus West Twitter account which could fool the quick onlooker. The social media campaign looks to be a deliberate attempt by Persona 3 fans to raise awareness for their desire for a remake, perhaps hoping to grab Atlus’ attention in the process. The campaign may have begun today because of the date, January 31, which is an important date in Persona 3. [ignvideo url=""] Persona 3 did receive an enhanced port in 2009 for the PSP. Since it was on a handheld, Persona 3 Portable (or P3P) wasn’t so much of a graphical upgrade as it was a feature upgrade. P3P added new gameplay mechanics from Persona 4, added new storylines, difficulty levels, character designs, and even the option to play as a female protagonist. Persona 3 also received several spinoffs, including a dungeon-crawler RPG called Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth and Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight, a rhythm game. There have also been several anime film adaptations of Persona 3. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=2020-platform-exclusives&captions=true"] While Atlus hasn’t announced plans for a Persona 3 Remake, IGN reached out to Atlus for a comment on the social media campaign. Atlus’ Persona team is currently working on Persona 5: The Royal an expanded version of the 2016 (2017 in North America) RPG. Like P3P, Persona 5: The Royal will include new gameplay mechanics, storylines, and characters. Read IGN’s Persona 5 review here and check out our Persona 5 wiki for walkthroughs, tips and more. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Matt Kim is a reporter for IGN. You can reach him on Twitter.


Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Dozens of New Screenshots From the Trailer

Following the release of the newest trailer for Final Fantasy 7 Remake – which is technically a theme song trailer – numerous teases have been revealed for the upcoming game. Below are 75+ new screenshots from the latest trailer, including everything from Cloud at the Honey Bee Inn to Moogles and Chocobos. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=final-fantasy-7-remake-over-100-screenshots&captions=true"] In our FF7 Remake trailer breakdown, we noted the new shots have confirmed several returning factors from the original game, along with fresh, contemporary story elements that seem to have been added. Cloud is seen cross-dressing for the first time, along with shots of Red XIII, Scarlet, Professor Hojo, Reeve Tuesti, and more familiar characters. The newest trailer can be watched in all it's glory, below!  [ignvideo url=""] In terms of differences from the original, IGN's Joe Skrebels said, "One of these moments seems to be taking place in Nibelheim, which doesn't fit Remake's supposed timeline. It could be that the Remake extends further into the story than previously expected, or includes a flashback (not unlike the opening to Final Fantasy 15), but the presence of Barret in the same shots could mean these are hallucinations or dream sequences of some kind." [poilib element="accentDivider"]  


IGN UK Podcast #523: Final Fantasy 7 Remake Hype

This week on the IGN UK Podcast, Dale and Matt get very hype about all their nostalgic memories being made anew thanks to a brand new Final Fantasy 7 Remake trailer. We talk how to pronounce Jenova, Red XIII's voice, the gloom of the Shinra building... everything you could think of, aside from Cloud's cross dressing, which we somehow overlooked. That's why he's in the thumbnail for this episode: the dress may not get a mention, but it's certainly not forgotten. Jesse's on the show too, and has been playing the Disintegration beta with some of the other IGN guys. There's mixed thoughts a-plenty on that one, but with a sprinkling of hope. There's also some discussion about Warcraft 3 Reforged, the remaster of the classic 2002 Blizzard RTS that's both a fantastic visit to the past and a failure to meet a lofty promise. As ever, there's also a cool listener-submitted game and our responses to your feedback. Remember, if you want to get in touch with the podcast, please do: IGN UK Podcast #523: Final Fantasy 7 Remake Hype [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=ign-uk-podcast-episode-500-photos&captions=true"] [poilib element="accentDivider"]


Monster Energy Supercross -- The Official Videogame 3 Review

Monster Energy Supercross -- The Official Videogame 3 definitely isn’t an elegant name; it’s a blunderbuss burst of buzzwords and branding that sounds like it was put together by a disinterested legal department via email. It is, however, a decent game, albeit one that isn’t exactly dazzlingly different to the equally decent pair of Supercross games Milestone already released in 2019 and 2018. It’s very much another lap on the same rutted course. [ignvideo width=610 height=374 url=] Following in the wake of its four-wheeled peers carving out yearly cadences that deliver authentic, licensed motorsport experiences – like F1 and WRC – Supercross 3 is an earnest and competent crack at capturing the atmosphere of the motorbikes, ’Murica, n’ Monster Energy-fuelled tone of the AMA Supercross Championship. Hey: if travelling back and forth across the United States trying not to fall over sounds appealing to you, but you don’t have the patience for Death Stranding, maybe this is more your speed. Somewhere, somehow, Norman Reedus’ trousers are tingling, either way. [poilib element="articleSubHeader" parameters="label=Back%20in%20the%20Saddle"] The fast pace and sense of speed is actually one of Supercross 3’s best assets, and I admire its ability to make even modest velocities seem blistering and dangerous in the cramped, stadium-style circuits – shoulder to shoulder with up to two dozen other riders. There’s something about how the ground whips by and riders’ clothing furiously flaps on their backs as the competitors slice through the air that really sells this. Of course, returning fans will know this minor graphical flourish has been a feature of developer Milestone’s Supercross series since the franchise debuted in 2018, and it’s one of many that go all the way down from the track editor to what seems to be the same range of butt patches. [poilib element="quoteBox" parameters="excerpt=While%20it%E2%80%99s%20straightforward%20to%20pick%20up%20the%20learning%20curve%20is%20steep."]That said, there are some differences here that distinguish Supercross 3 from Supercross 2 beyond the token changes to the HUD. First and foremost is the tweaked bike handling. Bikes feel more connected to the ground than in previous editions, which had a bit of a floaty feel to the back wheel, but the difference doesn’t seem hugely staggering. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="legacyId=20102325&captions=true"] Racing remains fairly accessible because there are still two handling settings – standard and realistic. Standard dulls the sense of side-to-side inertia a bit and realistic challenges you to take full control of weight shifting, but there isn’t really a massive gulf between the two. However, while it’s straightforward to pick up the learning curve is steep and, like the past two games, regardless of the handling mode it’s hard to ever quite know what will cause a bail. It’s pretty forgiving if you mess up a rhythm section and case a jump (or three, or four; botch one landing and it tends to doom you to several more ugly jumps and spine-rattling landings) but the barest brush of a trackside tuff block is still regularly enough to send you cartwheeling into oblivion. Try to scrub a jump too late and you may also find yourself pitching into weird mid-air twists that seem to unleash a ferocious fart in the face of physics. There are rewards for not using rewinds during races, but I don’t earn them much. [poilib element="articleSubHeader" parameters="label=Whoops%2C%20I%20Did%20It%20Again"] It doesn’t help that the tutorial can barely be classified as such. It tells players how to start and then just… lists the buttons on screen while a race unfolds, without any further instructions on how to do anything else. A basic history with motorcycle games is probably enough to be able to pick up Supercross 3, keep yourself pointed in the right direction, and accidentally teach yourself how to seat bounce, but it seems odd it doesn’t really make much of an effort to teach players the real nuances of its bike handling dynamics. A deeper dive into the necessary techniques to tackle tracks is buried beneath a bunch of menu shuffling in Challenge Mode, but I found free riding around the open-world compound area allows for experimentation and practice with far less rigid constraints. I’ve wrung plenty of fun out of Supercross 3 since coming to grips with the handling, however. Nailing a perfect holeshot in the frantic blitz to the first corner or skipping over a series of whoops without losing momentum is very satisfying; you’ve just got to work for it. The 450s are my highlight, and easily the most fun to ride. The increased power allows you to step out the rear, turn harder, and jump further. The other notable new features are that you can now join official teams in career mode and, for the first time in the series, you can play as female riders. They don’t look any better than the blokes, who aren’t exactly up to 2020 standards themselves, but it’s good to finally recognise that women can, in fact, ride bikes.


Preorder Final Fantasy VII Remake: What You Get

After a slight delay, Final Fantasy VII Remake is set to release on April 10, 2020 as a PS4 exclusive. While it only encompasses the Midgar portion of the story, it's still a massive enough game that it will be split over two Blu-ray discs. Along with the graphics, the combat has gotten a major overhaul, letting you play in a mixture of turn-based and real-time combat. If you're ready to lock down a copy for yourself right now, you can. We have all the information you need below.

Preorder Final Fantasy VII Remake

[poilib element="commerceCta" json=""] The standard edition only comes with the game itself, but that's all you really need isn't it?

Final Fantasy VII Remake Deluxe Edition

final-fantasy-vii-remake-deluxe-edition The deluxe edition comes with the game itself, as well as the following items:
  • Artbook
  • Mini-Soundtrack
  • Steelbook
  • Cactuar Summon Materia DLC
  • Carbuncle Summon Materia DLC
This from-the-ground-up remake brings the beloved 1997 RPG into the modern era, with all-new graphics and a new battle system combining turn-based strategy and real-time combat. But if you prefer, you can map special abilities to buttons and play it all in real time. The first chapter of Final Fantasy VII Remake only encompasses the Midgar portion of the original PS One game. The developers say this part has become an entire game in its own right, and so they're going to ship it. Presumably at least one more installment will come out in the future to finish out the story of the game.

Final Fantasy VII Remake 1st Class Edition

final-fantasy-vii-remake-1st-class-edition The Square Enix Store-exclusive collector's edition comes with the game and the following items, according to the listing:
  • Play Arts Kai Cloud Strife & Hardy Daytona
  • Artbook
  • Mini-Soundtrack
  • Steelbook
  • Cactuar Summon Materia DLC
  • Carbuncle Summon Materia DLC

Preorder Bonuses

No universal preorder bonuses are available for Final Fantasy VII Remake at the moment, but My Best Buy members will receive a $10 reward certificate for preordering at Best Buy.

Other Preorder Guides

[poilib element="accentDivider"] Chris Reed is IGN's shopping and commerce editor. You can follow him on Twitter @_chrislreed.


Final Fantasy 7 Remake: New Trailer Confirms Returning and New Elements

If you've never played the original Final Fantasy 7, this article reveals elements of the plot that will be included in what could be the latter sections of the Remake. [poilib element="accentDivider"] [ignvideo url=""] The latest trailer for Final Fantasy 7 Remake is billed as a theme song reveal, but it includes a lot, lot more besides that - some shots confirm we'll be seeing faithful remakes of elements from the original, and other choices seem to indicate that the story's being remixed a little. We already knew Cloud's crossdressing sequence would be included in the Remake, but this is the first time we've been shown Cloud in all his finery, and his trip to the Honey Bee Inn. We're also shown party member Red XIII, not to mention getting looks at the likes of Professor Hojo, Reeve Tuesti, and Scarlet (complete with a human footstool). There's a lot more besides - we see flashes of the bike chase battle sequence, running up the hilariously long Shinra HQ staircase, and the Leviathan Summon. Social media has already lit up with positive responses to how much familiar content is making it into the remake. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=final-fantasy-7-remake-over-100-screenshots&captions=true"] However, the original game's Midgar section is around 5 hours long, and we know Final Fantasy 7 Remake will be the length of a traditional game, which means perhaps more interesting are the shots that seem to confirm changes to the original. Primarily, we see meetings and battles with antagonist Jenova that don't fit in the original Midgar section, while a scene with Sephiroth – who is all but absent from FF7's opening sections - also looks out of place. We also see Cloud wielding what looks like the Mythril Saber rather than his Buster Sword, which he doesn't acquire until after the Midgard section in the original. Similarly, Leviathan only becomes available in Disc 2 of the original game. One of these moments seems to be taking place in Nibelheim, which doesn't fit Remake's supposed timeline. It could be that the Remake extends further into the story than previously expected, or includes a flashback (not unlike the opening to Final Fantasy 15), but the presence of Barret in the same shots could mean these are hallucinations or dream sequences of some kind. [ignvideo url=""] It's a puzzle fans are already trying to piece together, and social media will be a more fascinating place for the next few weeks as people get to grips with what they're being shown. Final Fantasy 7 Remake will be released on April 10 after receiving a short delay. If you've had a pre-order, make sure it's still coming, as Square Enix may cancel it. [poilib element="accentDivider"]


Thursday, January 30, 2020

Nintendo Has 'No Plans' to Launch a New Nintendo Switch Model in 2020

Nintendo's president Shuntaro Furukawa has stated that Nintendo has "no plans to launch a new Nintendo Switch model during 2020." These comments are from Nintendo's Nine Months Financial Results Briefing for Fiscal Year Ending March 2020, in which Nintendo also said "we believe it is important to continue to communicate the appeal of both Nintendo Switch systems and expand the installed base." While we may not get new models, Nintendo will still be releasing special editions, including the recently announced Nintendo Switch with an Animal Crossing: New Horizons design, dock, and Joy-Con that will launch on March 13, 2020, for $299.99 USD. [ignvideo url=""] There have been many reports and rumors of Nintendo working on a Nintendo Switch Pro, with many assuming it could launch alongside the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The original BOTW was a launch title for the Switch back on March 3, 2017. Nintendo doesn't appear to be in a hurry to rush out a more powerful Nintendo Switch, as sales for its newest console have recently passed 52 million units worldwide. Nintendo also released a Nintendo Switch Lite last year that accounted for 5.19 million units of the 52 million. Nintendo's 2020 is very much unknown at this point, with only such titles as Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition, and Bravely Default II, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, No More Heroes 3, and Sports Story confirmed to be arriving in 2020. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=15-big-nintendo-switch-games-coming-in-2020-and-4-guesses&captions=true"] Fans around the world are still waiting and hoping for more news on Breath of the Wild 2, Metroid Prime 4, and Bayonetta 3, which Nintendo currently has TBA as a release date for all three. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN who was very sad writing this as all he wants in his life is a Switch Pro and Breath of the Wild 2. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.


Apex Legends Season 4 Trailer: All the Hidden Lore You May Have Missed

Apex Legends dropped their new Season 4 Assimilation trailer today and there is a lot to go over. We finally get a look into Revenant’s backstory, though it’s a very brief look, and we really get to dig deeper into the lore of Titanfall and Apex to uncover why Revenant is causing so much chaos and what he is.

I’m going to be breaking down the trailer bit by bit, so bear with me while I piece things together. At the beginning of the trailer, we see human Revenant scrolling past several images on a screen and we can catch glimpses of the other robots that Hammond has been working on, like the Spectres. What comes up next is a picture of a Titanfall 2 pilot named Ash who is a Simulacrum pilot. Simulacra are digital copies of a person’s memories, knowledge, and personality. Back in the Titanfall games, it wasn’t really revealed how these Simulacra were made, but the reason for their invention was to preserve a pilot whose physical body had been destroyed. These copies were then downloaded into robotic bodies, to continue using them to live on and fight. Ash was an elite pilot hired by Kuban Blisk, who led the mercenary group Apex Predators. [ignvideo url=""] This connection is relevant to Revenant as he gets an alert for his next target, which lets us assume that he’s working as a mercenary as well. His target, Marcos Andrade, is a Portuguese con-man and thief for hire. This doesn’t seem super important but Marcos and his wife give their daughter a gift of a silver wolf. We’ll come back to that in a minute. As soon as Revenant crashes the scene of the family dinner, we see his incredible abilities including one that allows him to shift into a “shadow form”, similar to the one we were able to experience in Apex’s   Fight or Fright event. If Revenant is the next Legend to drop for Season 4, we might have seen a few his abilities from playing in the Fight or Fright event. Players who were killed during this mode came back as “shadows” who had the ability to run faster, climb walls without boundaries, and had a melee ability that dealt increased damage. Reddit user DaVionRainesApex put together a poster of what appears to be leaked abilities for Revenant. Two different sets of tactical, passive, and ultimate abilities are shown because data-miners found he could have two “Stances” for when he’s in his normal form and when he transforms into his shadow form. This is all speculation, of course,  and we’ll find out more about his abilities when Season 4 drops, but it’s an interesting thing to keep an eye on. Back to the trailer, where we see Revenant take out Marcos and walk by a mirrored wall, seeing his reflection as his prior human self and where a glass shard has embedded itself in his neck. As he pulls it out, something trips in his programming and appears to trigger a malfunction, because  his vision of himself now shows him his true self: a Simulacrum soldier. He starts to panic and lose control of his emotions: betrayal, anger, despair. He was clearly not aware that he was a copy,and maybe had even been copied without his permission. The logo branding on his hand reveals Hammond Robotics, the company responsible for what he’s become. It’s time for revenge. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=where-to-find-forges-steel-cut-commemorative-charm-in-apex-legends&captions=true"] So, why would  Hammond replicate Revenant as a Simulacrum without his permission? The Apex Twitter account said that  “Revenant was once the greatest hitman the Syndicate ever had” which implies that maybe the Syndicate commissioned to have Revenant revived if he ever fell, since he was too good at his job. The trailer ends on a powerful close-up shot of Marcos’ daughter looking angrily over her father’s body. And this is where we return to that scene where she was handed that silver wolf. Wolf in Portuguese translates to “Lobo” but the female version of the word is “Loba.” If this name sounds familiar to you, Loba is the name of a legend who was data-mined back when Apex had launched. This trailer  backs up the theory that Marcos’ daughter will be a future Legend to come to Apex to seek revenge, years after losing her family. So this story trailer could actually take place in the past when Revenant first discovered who he really was and when Loba was just a child.

Assuming Revenant is the next Legend coming to the game, it would make sense for Loba to debut in the next half of the season. Respawn announced there would be a mid-season split between the World’s Edge map and King’s Canyon, but players originally suspected Forge would be coming back somehow. It would, however, make more sense in the story if Loba heard of Revenant’s appearance and decided to take matters into her own hands and drop into the Games herself to take him out. This is all just a theory I’m working on, but it would make for a killer Season 4.

How do you feel about this new story trailer? Do you think Loba will be the next Legend to come into the Apex Games halfway through the season? What are your theories? Let us know in the comments. [ignvideo width=610 height=374 url=] [poilib element="accentDivider"]


Animal Crossing Nintendo Switch Special Edition Console Revealed

Nintendo has announced an Animal Crossing: New Horizons-themed Nintendo Switch special edition to go alongside your copy of the newest Animal Crossing game for the Switch. The themed Switch will be available on March 13, a few weeks before Animal Crossing: New Horizons is released. The Animal Crossing: New Horizons-themed Switch comes with a variety of Animal Crossing-themed visual elements. The two Joy-Cons are sky blue and mint green, but adds a nice cream color accent underneath and on the grip accessories. They both also have matching color wrist straps. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=animal-crossing-new-horizons-limited-edition-nintendo-switch&captions=true"] Also, while the Switch’s body is still black, the back of the console features an Animal Crossing-themed back design. Even the dock features a lovely Animal Crossing-themed design that has the three members of the Nook clan. You can pre-order the Animal Crossing Switch at Best Buy. Nintendo has released special editions of the Nintendo Switch before, including ones for Pokemon Let’s Go and Diablo 3. But this Animal Crossing: New Horizons edition just might take the cake. Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be released on March 20, 2020. It is the latest Animal Crossing game from Nintendo following Animal Crossing: New Life on the Nintendo Switch. It is also the first Animal Crossing game to be released on the Switch. [ignvideo url=""] New Horizon features a vacation theme where players will travel to an island and set up their dream vacation home. Of course, Tom Nook will be there to put the players in a bit of debt that they’ll have to pay off. For more check out our Animal Crossing: New Horizons wiki for our full coverage, or our list of biggest game releases in 2020. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Matt Kim is a reporter for IGN and he wants this Switch very badly.


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Byleth DLC Review

After the impressive and surprising list of DLC characters Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s first Fighter’s Pass has brought so far, the most recent and final addition, Byleth from Fire Emblem: Three Houses, feels like an incredibly safe pick – in more ways than one. They’re not as mechanically complex as the likes of Hero or Terry Bogard, and not as fan-servingly exciting as Joker or Banjo & Kazooie. And yet, a bit of vanilla to round out this already vibrant pack of extra fighters doesn’t stop Byleth from proudly standing out among their Fire Emblem peers and the rest of Ultimate’s extensive roster.

As an anime-looking sword-wielder, Byleth certainly has their work cut out for them in trying to convince people to pick them up over any of the other similar options –  and thankfully, they’ve got plenty to work with in that regard. Out of the five other Fire Emblem reps (seven if you count Echo Fighters), Byleth manages to be the only one to showcase the strategic weapon variety that’s core to the series. Using special weapons from Three Houses known as Heroes’ Relics, Byleth can seamlessly swap out their whip-sword for a hefty axe, lengthy spear, or powerful bow, and each has their own unique strengths that make them a ton of fun to smash your opponents with.

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Rather than have them haphazardly attached to various moves, Byleth’s different weapons are smartly mapped to your directional inputs. While their neutral special incorporates the bow, side attacks utilize their spear, down attacks summon the axe, and lighter swipes and overhead moves uses the whip-sword. Beyond each one looking awesome when summoned in a fight, the directional based context gives Byleth a feeling of smart cohesion that’s incredibly easy to pick up and understand.

Byleth’s moveset is also one of the big reasons why this DLC fighter seems  fairly simple compared to the others that have arrived post-launch – for better and for worse. Where Terry’s button inputs could be too technical for some, Hero’s random moves and magic meter could feel too chaotic, and the meters and consumables of Joker and Banjo too much to keep track of, Byleth forgoes all of it. Their “gimmick” essentially lies in the simplicity of a man/woman-at-arms, with a weapon for every situation, providing a different type of challenge in knowing when to use the right one rather than learning how to wield them at all.

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If Byleth does have a gaping flaw, it’s commitment. While each weapon type can deal a staggering amount of damage when they connect, they’ll often leave Byleth wide open to counters from a skilled or perceptive opponent. The bow, known as Failnaught, can be charged up to deal devastating precision damage at long range, but once you’ve charged past a certain threshold, you can’t get out of the move early. Similarly, aiming your attacks downward with the axe Amyr can demolish anyone standing nearby, but the lengthy startup and finish (and the time you’re left vulnerable after landing with a downward aerial strike) means you’ll either have to be very good at predicting an opponent, or drop in on a group of distracted fighters. The slow nature of these kinds of “unsafe” moves might not turn a lot of heads in the competitive scene, but it may entice newer players who aren’t afraid of making mistakes with an easy-to-grasp moveset and tons of strong attacks.

Even without the additional weaponry, Byleth’s Sword of the Creator (which is generally linked to up-attacks, but can also act as a sort of default for many others) holds some very interesting and fun properties. Able to be used like a whip, it gives Byleth’s quicker moves and upward attacks more options, thanks in part to their unique recovery move. While other characters like Zero Suit Samus and Joker can use similar tools to grab or hook onto ledges and pull themselves up, Byleth’s up-B can also latch onto opponents and use them as a stepping stone to launch high up while sending their target screaming downwards once they’ve hit a certain damage threshold – which makes it deliciously evil to use off the stage, yanking poor souls down to their doom before they can react. I was even pleased to find some clever applications when used above platforms, giving me different options to follow up with other moves depending on how damaged my opponent was, or how far my opponent bounced back off the ground below me. That said, smaller ledges have sometimes been my downfall, as the Sword of the Creator has either been unwilling or unable to hook onto tiny platforms to save me from plummeting and the move itself gives no recovery if nothing connects.

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As part of Byleth’s character pack, there’s also the addition of a host of new themed Spirit Battles. These are as ingeniously crafted as ever, and Three Houses fans will appreciate all the fun details – like Dimitri’s Spirit Battle including a tough Ganondorf in place of Dimitri’s stalwart bodyguard, Dedue. That being said, those who haven’t already played through the Three Houses story may wish to hold off on some of the tougher Spirit Battles, which inadvertently spoil some plot points by way of the battle’s surprise mechanics.

As for the stage, Garreg Mach Monastery feels surprisingly bland. While stages that tour around a large location usually offer up an array of different battlefields to fight in and adapt to, each of the monastery’s four areas are flat, walk-off arenas with the bare minimum inclusion of a few small temporary platforms. Even the guest appearances by students and house leaders of each of the three houses seem a bit dull - especially when spotted standing in an otherwise deserted grand hall. Garreg Mach Monastery isn’t exactly a disappointing place for a fight, but when you look at the variety of architecture in other Fire Emblem levels like Castle Siege and the Coliseum, the monastery just feels stale in comparison. Luckily, the inclusion of some of the best music that Three Houses has to offer won't go unnoticed. The upbeat tempo of F√≥dlan Winds and The Edge of Dawn mesh perfectly with frantic large battles, while songs like The Apex of the World and Between Heaven and Earth give 1v1s a legendary feel.


Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Expected to Sell 10 Million Units

Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is already a hit, but EA now says the single-player Star Wars adventure is on track to hit 10 million unit sales. During EA’s Q3 2020 financial call with investors, EA revealed that “Sales of Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order significantly beat our expectations.” CFO Blake Jorgensen says that EA originally predicted Jedi: Fallen Order to sell between 6-8 million units for the fiscal year, but Star Wars already “hit the high end of that in the third quarter.” [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="legacyId=20096150&captions=true"] EA now says that it anticipates Jedi: Fallen Order to sell “around 10 million units in the fiscal year, a very strong result for a single-player action game.” Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a single-player game developed by Respawn Entertainment. The game follows Jedi-in-hiding Cal Kestis as he battles the Empire while rediscovering his Jedi training following their extermination from Order 66. Not only is Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order critically-acclaimed, but according to EA, the game is selling well above sales expectations. According to the NPD Group, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was December 2019’s best-selling game and the sixth best-selling game of 2019 after only just two months. [ignvideo url=""] Elsewhere in the call, EA shared a few details about next-gen consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X. According to EA, the next-gen consoles will be ‘substantially greater’ than current-gen hardware which will lead to innovations in both games and genres. Read IGN’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order wiki here for walkthroughs, tips, and more. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Matt Kim is a reporter for IGN. You can reach him on Twitter.


Original Xbox Hit Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders Coming to PC This Year

The real-time strategy action hybrid original Xbox game Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders is coming to PC soon. According to an official press release from developer Blueside, the classic will launch on Steam sometime during Q1 of 2020. The announcement follows the launch of Kingdom Under Fire 2, which was released on Steam late last year after coming out on PlayStation 4 in 2013. Coming to PC in early 2020 will put this version of Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders just shy of 16 years behind the original release on Xbox, which came out on October 12, 2004. [ignvideo url=""] This new version boasts the same real-time strategy elements as the first entry in the series, and will allow players to craft their troops to specific roles as well as level them up and upgrade the equipment and weaponry. Players will also still be able to use heroes during specifically controlled moments and make use of the four different nations to explore the full plot of the game. While the action is said to be unchanged and authentic in this port, keyboard and mouse support has been added to the gamepad controls of the original as well as HD graphics. In news of other titles coming to PC, reports are strongly suggesting we'll see PS4 exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn get a PC port at some point. [poilib element="accentDivider"]Hope Corrigan is an Australian freelance writer for IGN. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


PS5, Xbox Series X Power 'Substantially Greater' Than Existing Consoles, EA Says

EA has shared its thoughts on the next-gen consoles like PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, and the company said that what it’s capable of on those platforms will “blow people’s minds.” During an investor call for EA’s Fiscal 2020 Q3, EA’s leadership team was asked about their plans for next-gen consoles. While EA declined to share any specific details like game titles or announcements, EA appears bullish on the generational leap that will come with the next wave of hardware. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=ps5-games-we-think-might-already-be-in-development&captions=true"] “The power of the new consoles is gonna be substantially greater than existing consoles,” said EA CFO Blake Jorgensen during the call. “We can do a lot more [with PS5 and Xbox Series X]. Things we’re doing will blow people’s minds.” Jorgensen also said there’s going to be so much “innovation” not just from EA but from the whole industry. Not only with more sophisticated games but even the creation of new genres. While EA declined to share what kinds of games or experiences it’s developing for next-gen consoles, the quote seems to indicate that the technology leap between current-gen consoles like PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to next-gen is greater than previously anticipated. There are already some rumors about what kind of tech will be in the PS5 and Xbox Series X, but neither Sony nor Microsoft have confirmed specs. During a recent GDC survey, over 10 percent of developers said that their next projects are slated for next-gen consoles. [ignvideo url=""] In other EA news from today’s investor call, EA announced that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has greatly exceeded sales expectations. The company raised forecasts and now expects Jedi: Fallen Order to sell 10 million units, 2 million more than its previous expectation of 8 million. Check out our Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order guide for walkthroughs, tips, and more.


The Best Console Launch Games, Ranked

If everything goes as planned, 2020 will conclude with two brand new next generation video game consoles launching all over the world alongside a slew of brand new launch games to hopefully make their steep price tags worth it. The games available the first day a new console arrives usually run the gamut from slightly upgraded cross-generation ports to gorgeous but hollow racing game eye candy. But occasionally, a launch game comes along that is so exceptional and essential that it defines that console’s lifecycle and revolutionizes the video game medium as we know it. Here are the top 10 best console launch games of all time. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=the-top-10-console-launch-games&captions=true"] Click through the gallery above or scroll down for the full list!

10. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (Game Boy Advance)

[ignvideo url=""] Amidst colorful racing games and ancient platformer ports, Castlevania: Circle of the Moon was by far the deepest and most feature-rich Game Boy Advance launch game. Circle of the Moon took everything that made the franchise special up until that point and built upon it - that is, assuming you could actually see it. The GBA launched without a backlit screen, making Castlevania’s dark and moody graphics a bit hard to make out unless you were sitting directly under a lamp. But once you got cozy under the spotlight, it’s sprawling castle, giant boss fights and dual set-up system made it an epic title to launch an epic handheld console.

- Daniel Ervin, Producer

9. Soulcalibur (Dreamcast)

Soulcalibur was a fantastic game all on its own, but it was especially significant as a Dreamcast launch game because it was one of the first examples of a popular arcade game actually being better on a home console. The Dreamcast version of Soulcalibur looked dramatically better than its arcade counterpart, and also came with a host of modes and features that simply weren’t in the arcade version. [ignvideo url=""] Beyond all of that though, Soulcalibur gifted the Dreamcast with one of the best fighting games of its time at launch, and its success paved the way for other amazing arcade fighting game ports like Marvel vs Capcom 2, Capcom vs SNK, and many more

 - Mitchell Saltzman, Editorial Producer

8. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Nintendo Wii)

[ignvideo url=""] Following bright, colorful games like The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and its many spinoffs, fans were wondering when Nintendo would go dark again for its marquis adventure series. T he company responded with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, a Zelda game that begins with a literal royal coup. While Twilight Princess’ waggle controls on Wii occasionally frustrated, the game will be remembered as an achievement full of dark atmosphere, beautiful visuals, and ambitious storytelling that dared to imagine a Hyrule that was as grand as it was terrifying.

- Matt Kim, Reporter

7. Wii Sports (Nintendo Wii)

[ignvideo url=""] On launch day, every single Nintendo Wii was bundled with a copy of Wii Sports, meaning even if you didn’t care about real sports, it was a no-brainer to at least give Wii Sports and your brand new Wiimote a spin, a shake, a waggle, and potentially even an accidental toss through your television. Video games are usually designed for hardcore gamers to conquer in isolation but Wii Sports was designed to play at parties with friends and family members, causing millions of people - even those who had never played a game before - to join the fun and celebrate the game’s eccentric take on motion controlled sports. Making the experience even better was the addition of Nintendo Mii’s, allowing players to recreate themselves or famous pop culture figures and then sending them off to dominate the tennis court and bowling alleys.

- Brian Altano, Host & Producer

6. Tetris (Game Boy)

Tetris had been around since before the Game Boy launched, but it was the pairing of Nintendo’s handheld wonder with the Soviet-made block puzzle game that catapulted both into mainstream popular culture. The game’s simple graphics and easy-to-learn-hard-to-master game mechanics were perfect for the Game Boy, its limited hardware, and its washed-out green dot-matrix screen. [ignvideo url=""]   Nintendo wisely bundled Tetris with their handheld during the U.S. launch, and before they knew it, they had sold 40,000 Game Boy units in the first day alone, with that version of Tetris going on to sell 35 million copies. The world was and in many ways still is addicted to Tetris and the Game Boy let them take that addiction with them everywhere.

- Jobert Atienza, Producer

5. Super Mario World (Super Nintendo)

[ignvideo url=""] Super Mario World was a revelation when it launched alongside Super Nintendo in the early '90s. It was bigger, more colorful, and packed with more secrets and branching paths than any Super Mario game that came before it. Super Mario World’s dozens and dozens of levels were spacious and often incorporated verticality - a necessity to find the games numerous hidden exits and secret stages. And thanks to the Super Nintendo’s Mode 7 capability, Bowser could spin, scale, and appear like he was flying right toward the screen. Super Mario World helped pave the way for the complex, larger-scale games that would start to become commonplace that console generation and set off the 16-bit era with one of the greatest games ever made.

- Chris Reed, Commerce Editor

4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo Switch)

[widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=every-ign-zelda-review-score&captions=true"] The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an interesting launch game because it also doubled as the swan song to Nintendo's previous console, the Wii U. Nonetheless, when Breath of the Wild launched on Switch it instantly became one of the deepest and engrossing launch games ever made, giving players a massive, sprawling open world to explore and conquer in a seemingly infinite number of ways. Even more impressive is that it doubled as a portable game, meaning day one Switch owners could sink hundreds of hours of adventuring into this gigantic open-world game anywhere they traveled. Oh, and it also managed to successfully overhaul and evolve a franchise that had been going since the 1980's which is no small feat despite the small screen.

- Brian Altano, Host & Producer

3. Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64)

[ignvideo url=""] For a long time, Super Mario 64 was the benchmark to which every 3D platformer was compared to. Mario’s venture into the third dimension was well met, and proved that the fun and aesthetic of classic 2D game franchises could not only be recaptured in 3D, but in Super Mario 64’s case, set the standard for how 3D platforming games would be like for decades. Many people still remember where every single one of its 120 stars are located and sometimes it feels like the entire N64 controller was designed around this game. Super Mario 64 was the reason to own a Nintendo 64 on day one.

- Mark Medina, Features Producer

2. Halo: Combat Evolved (Xbox)

[ignvideo url=""] How important – and how good – was Halo 1 as the original Xbox’s premier launch title? For starters, there’s a strong argument to be made that the Xbox would not have survived without it. The rest of the Xbox launch lineup wasn’t anything to write home about, and in fact the console’s entire first year until Fall of 2002 - when Xbox Live launched and games like Splinter Cell began rolling in - was pretty barren. As to its quality, it defined “killer app” in that people bought the console specifically for it. Oh, and it also perfected and normalized first-person shooters on consoles in a way that Goldeneye and Perfect Dark never quite could.

- Ryan McCaffrey, Executive Editor

1. Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo Entertainment System)

[ignvideo url=""] Outside of being vibrant, challenging, and just plain fun, Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System can be defined in one word: iconic. Not only did Super Mario Bros. set the stage for the NES as a console, resurrecting console gaming after the tragic video game crash of 1983 - it also instantly established Super Mario as one of the most recognizable characters in all of pop culture. Super Mario Bros. embodied what became part of Nintendo’s core philosophy as a game company - to create products that are fun to play for novices as well as difficult to master for pros. From children to aging casual gamers to hardcore speedrunners, Super Mario Bros. is still celebrated and played today, and thanks to tight platforming physics, great level design, and instantly recognizable music, the game will forever be synonymous as the medium of video games as we know it.

- Brian Altano, Host & Producer

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So there you have it! As you can see, Nintendo dominates this list quite a bit, but it doesn’t hurt that they’ve launched more video game consoles and handhelds than their two closest competitors combined. Meanwhile it looks like Sony tends to save their biggest first-party guns for a bit later in their respective console’s life. But hey, this is just our list! What is your favorite video game console launch game of all time? What’s the game you couldn’t stop playing on day one and beyond? Let us know in the comments below!


Overwatch's Hero Pools Will Shake Up the Meta

Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan hosted a new developer update from the Blizzard team today that addressed many of the balance and meta grievances within the competitive Overwatch community. Blizzard says it will commit to more regular balance updates and will implement a Hero Pool system, not a hero ban. Talks of introducing a hero ban in Overwatch have been happening within the competitive community for some time. The idea originates from MOBAs where before a match, each team can choose a hero to “ban” from the match. While there have been arguments from both sides about whether or not Overwatch should also have a hero ban system, Kaplan has gone ahead and introduced a new solution: Hero Pools. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=overwatch-winter-wonderland-2019-skins-and-screenshots&captions=true"] Each week during Season 21, Blizzard will implement a new Hero Pools system where a few heroes will be disabled from Competitive Play for a given week. Each week a new pool of heroes will be temporarily disabled. Kaplan said that the Hero Pools system is a test for Season 21 and “may not persist” past the season. The cadence of hero pools rotation could also change during the experiment. Furthermore, the disabled heroes aren’t going to be chosen by an algorithm and instead by the design team. The goal is to shake up the meta every week and promote hero diversity. The system will only be available in Competitive Play and not Arcade or Quick Play. Blizzard said the Overwatch League will implement a version of the Hero Pool as well. The Hero Pool isn’t the only system Blizzard is testing to shake up the meta. Kaplan said that aside from the weekly Hero Pool rotation and more rapid balance updates, Overwatch will start up an Experimental Card. This is a new Card on the Play screen that will allow Blizzard to test major changes before Blizzard devs decide (or not) to implement them in the standard game modes. The Experimental Card is different from the PTR and is not meant to test bugs. Instead, it’s to experiment with balance updates, game modes, and rule changes that Blizzard wants to test. The Experimental Card is a live version of Overwatch and will be available to PC and console players, and players can progress and unlock loot boxes from playing. [ignvideo url=""] Kaplan is clear that Blizzard wants to shake up the meta and create big changes to how players compete. But these changes are also experimental, and some of the changes may or may not stick. Either way, Overwatch competitive fans should expect a lot more changes coming to the game soon, and it will hopefully keep the meta fresh. Overwatch previously tried to vitalize the meta by introducing a 2-2-2 role lock, though it’s not enough to keep the meta from stagnating. Meanwhile, Blizzard is also working on Overwatch 2, read IGN's Overwatch 2 preview from Blizzcon. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Matt Kim is a reporter for IGN. You can reach him on Twitter.


Proof Cuphead Is Also Gorgeous in 3D

There's nothing quite like the feeling of finally triumphing over the Devil Himself at the end of a long game of Cuphead. And forgive us if we'd like to revel in that feeling for a little longer. Now, thanks to Cuphead fan David Garcia, we can, in stop-motion animation form! David's awesome fan video hit the web this week, although he's been making stop-motion tributes to some of his favorite games for a while now. We encourage you to check out the video, and follow David's work if you like what you see. Cuphead and Mugman recall their harrowing adventures, then give the Devil what-for and send him packing (or packed, to be more accurate). It's a good day for a swell battle!


Nintendo Mobile Games Reportedly Gross Over $1 Billion

Nintendo's lineup of smartphone games has reportedly reached a new milestone. Sensor Tower reports that Nintendo's mobile titles have generated more than $1 billion in revenue on Apple and Android devices. Fire Emblem Heroes accounts for over half of the revenue, coming in with $656 million in player spending. Here are the numbers:
  • Fire Emblem Heroes: $656 million
  • Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp: $131 million
  • Dragalia Lost: $123 million
  • Mario Kart Tour: $86 million
  • Super Mario Run: $76 million
  • Dr. Mario World: $4.8 million
Sensor Tower's data does not include numbers from the social app Miitomo, even though it included microtransactions. [ignvideo url=""] Nintendo's Mario smartphone games have not grossed nearly as much as the company's other releases, despite Super Mario Run becoming the fastest app to reach 50 million downloads on the App Store. Unlike standard mobile games, Super Mario Run let players try the first few levels for free, and then blocks the rest of the game behind a one-time payment. On the other end of the spectrum, Mario Kart Tour is filled with microtransactions, including a subscription service that's more expensive than Nintendo Switch Online. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="legacyId=20100633&captions=true"] The data also shows that Super Mario Run is still the most downloaded Nintendo mobile game. Interestingly, Fire Emblem Heroes is both the highest grossing title, and the least downloaded. Nintendo has grossed $581 million from its mobile titles in Japan alone, while $316 million has come from the United States. For more, read why some people are disappointed with Nintendo's mobile efforts. Or, learn how Nintendo is reportedly "not interested" in making a large amount of revenue from one smartphone title. [ignvideo url=""] [poilib element="accentDivider"] Logan Plant is a news writer for IGN, and the Production Assistant for Nintendo Voice Chat, IGN's weekly Nintendo show. You can find him on Twitter at @LoganJPlant.


GTA Online Is Giving Away $2 Million In-Game: Here's How to Get It

GTA Online is giving away $2 million of in-game currency to each player who logs in during a set period of time. From Thursday, January 30 to Wednesday, February 5, players simply need to log in to receive the first $1 million. Another $1 million will be handed out for all players logging in between Thursday, February 6 and Wednesday, February 12. A list of all weekly GTA Online updates can be found here, including information on new vehicles, discounts, and Diamond Casino rewards. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=every-ign-rockstar-game-review-ever&captions=true"] The announcement was made in a blog post on the Rockstar Games website celebrating December 2019 as the most popular month GTA Online has seen yet. More players logged on in December 2019 than ever before, topping daily, weekly and monthly records broken when the Diamond Casino & Resort opened in the game during summer 2019. 2019 was also the number one year for Grand Theft Auto V in YouTube video views, and an unnamed record was set for "engagement via likes and comments," according to Rockstar Games citing Tubular Labs. A similar promotion is currently in play for Red Dead Online as well. Players who log on to Red Dead Online will receive free weapons and hundreds of bullets of ammo for logging in the first week and a free license, bolas, and arrows for logging in the second week. Grand Theft Auto V was recently announced as the best-selling game of the decade in the USA and was added to Microsoft's Game Pass for Xbox users. While PC users don't have GTA V on Game Pass, they have this nice Vice City mod. [ignvideo url=""] [poilib element="accentDivider"] Petey Oneto is a freelance writer for IGN.


The Outer Worlds Will Arrive for Switch in March

Obsidian Entertainment, Virtuos Games, and Private Division have announced that The Outer Worlds will officially arrive on the Nintendo Switch on March 6, 2020. The sci-fi single-player RPG that takes many cues from the Fallout franchise will retail for $59.99 USD. It will be available digitally on the Nintendo eShop and as a boxed version with a code to download the game. [ignvideo url=""] The Outer Worlds was released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 25, 2019. It is also currently available on Xbox Game Pass for Xbox One and PC. In our review of The Outer Worlds, we said "Obsidian has found its own path in the space between Bethesda and BioWare, and it’s a great one." The Outer Worlds was nominated for many awards at IGN, including Game of the Year, and it won the Best Video Game Performance of 2019 for Ashley Burch's portrayal of Parvati. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=the-best-video-game-characters-of-2019&captions=true"] While you wait just a little bit longer for The Outer Worlds to release on Nintendo Switch, be sure to check out our 13 Tips and Tricks for surviving this RPG, the news on The Outer Worlds DLC, and see what other games joined it on our list of Unannounced Xbox Sequels we Want to Play on Xbox Series X. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.


GTA Online: Get Double Bonuses in Adversary Modes, Double Payouts in VIP and CEO Work This Week

This week in Grand Theft Auto Online, lay claim to the Albany V-STR sports car, and get extra rewards in Adversary Modes and VIP/CEO work and challenges.


Where to Find No Fishing Signs in Fortnite

For the Fortnite Cameo vs Chic challenge, you'll need to visit some no fishing sign locations. Here's where you can find them.


Here's Where You Can Catch Fish For that Fortnite Weekly Challenge

Tackling the weekly Fortnite challenges? Here are all the locations where you can catch fish at Lake Canoe, Lazy Lake, and Flapper Pond.


Overwatch League Chinese Teams Relocate to Korea Due to Coronavirus

Two of the four Chinese Overwatch League teams have relocated to South Korea in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, with at least one more still yet to announce its plans. The League as a whole has cancelled matches due to be held in China in the next two months. Shanghai Dragons and Guangzhou Charge have both issued statements on Twitter regarding the relocation of their teams: “After taking into consideration our match and practice schedule, we will be temporarily relocating all our players and coaching staff to Korea effective immediately,” said a Shanghai Dragons spokesperson. In a similar statement, Guangzhou Charge said: “Our top priority is the health and safety of our players above all else. To that end, we have decided to move our pre-season training base to South Korea.” They added: “Earlier today, we moved our non-Chinese players to South Korea, while we expedite visas for our Chinese players to join them as soon as possible.” Meanwhile, Chengdu Hunters have opted not to relocate, but are taking precautions. “Once [team members] arrive at our training facility, we will check both player and staff members' body temperature and fully sanitize them,” a Twitter statement from the team explained. Hangzhou Spark, the last of China's four teams, has yet to make a public statement on its plans. Overwatch League organisers have since cancelled all matches due to be held in China in February and March, saying that updates on when and where those matches will take place will come at a later date. IGN has reached out to Blizzard to enquire about those moved matches, and Hangzhou Spark's plans. Coronavirus, which has infected over 7,000 people and killed over 170, is causing a raft of follow-on effects. China's biggest League of Legends tournament has been delayed, 70,000 movie theaters have been closed and, more curiously, mobile game Plague Inc. has topped the charts in the country, leading to the developer to tell people to go to the World Health Organisation for advice, not its game. [poilib element="accentDivider"]