Sunday, January 31, 2021
In 2019, it was confirmed that MLB The Show would be making its way to other platforms as early as 2021, and it appears this just may be the year these great games will be playable by many more people. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2021/01/22/the-state-of-playstation-studios-2021-update"] [poilib element="accentDivider"] Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to email@example.com. Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.
Sponsored by @MLBTheShowThe cover athlete of the next MLB The Show gets unveiled & interviewed tomorrow on #HotOnes #MLBTheShow https://t.co/d8M5aTUovM pic.twitter.com/hTxpOflyFr — Complex (@Complex) January 31, 2021
Saturday, January 30, 2021
Friday, January 29, 2021
The greatest trick I repeatedly pull is convincing myself I’ll play the latest Pokémon title, but then never actually doing it. Like many kids of the ‘90s, I fell in love with Game Freak's lovable Pocket Monsters when they initially took the U.S. by storm. I lost countless hours playing Red, Blue, and Yellow multiple times, invested just as much time in the anime, and collected way too many cards. I was a certified Poké-maniac.
When Generation 2 rolled around, I was eager catch some new monsters, but a series of unfortunate events pushed me away from the series for good. First, my Game Boy Advance was stolen with my copy of Pokémon Gold inside (which I’ve never completed to this day). Then the anime let me down for the final time when Ash lost the Johto League finals even after defeating Gary, cementing Ash as a choke artist I could no longer get behind. My enthusiasm for the franchise simply vanished after that. Outside of a brief, random return with Pokémon Platinum and partaking in the beautiful phenomenon of Pokémon Go’s early days, I haven’t touched the series since. Still, I kept an ear to the ground for every subsequent release, secretly hoping for an irresistible new feature that would lure me back.
Over the years, I imagined what the series would need to do to draw me in again, but the goalposts moved every time they were met. I said I wanted an entry with full 3D graphics. Then X&Y happened, and I never touched it. I said I wanted a mainline console RPG. Then Let’s Go and Sword & Shield release – and I haven’t played them. I said an MMO would be cool. Then someone made TemTem and ... well, I’ll get back to you on that when it hits consoles. The point is: What does this series really have to do to get me interested again? With the Pokémon’s 25th anniversary in full swing, I took time to really consider what it would take for me to dust off the old Pokédex one more time.
A Story-Driven RPG Starring Team Rocket
Pokémon protagonists are about as interesting as catching a Pidgey. They’re all chipper-yet-bland avatars devoid of personality outside of a love of capturing helpless critters and forcing them to fight. Give me protagonists with pizzazz, charisma, and moxie. Give me Team Rocket!
By that, I mean Jessie, James, and Meowth, the bumbling goofs who are usually the highlight of most episodes of the anime. They’re hilarious personalities that I’d love to see get a full, dedicated game. Let me try to abduct Ash’s Pikachu or, better yet, have the trio embark on their own zany adventure away from the series’ typical heroes. Games that put bad guys front and center can be a novel experience, and few villains are as entertaining or endearing as these three knuckleheads.
Wacky, Absurd Side Quests
The Pokémon anime is bursting with strange side characters, and the games have apparently failed to fully capture that charm so far. While there are some colorful personalities, they’re typically the main or supporting cast. Many of the people you meet regularly are “cheerful lass looking to battle #3.” I’d love it if the side activities took a page from the Yakuza series and dialed the silliness all the way up.
The sub stories in Yakuza are ridiculous and endearing; they’re a delight I regularly go out of my way to seek out. If Pokémon took a similar approach (or ripped it off wholesale) by offering some truly far-out sidequests, I’d be inclined to not avoid the vision cone of every passerby I see. For example, one of my favorite quests in Yakuza: Like a Dragon involves preventing the last persimmon from falling out of a tree from a sumo wrestler, a wannabe sniper, and a high school occultist. And Yakuza is supposed to based on real-life! The humans in Pokémon share a planet with three-headed birds, sentient garbage piles, and a living mystical alphabet. The comedic gold is sitting there, waiting to be mined.
Eliminate Random Encounters Forever
For years, Pokémon has maintained a stubborn reliance on random encounters. Sword & Shield got halfway there by having some Pokémon appear in the overworld and Wild Area, but I’ve been playing a lot of Bugsnax recently, and that game nails what I’d like to see from Pokémon going forward: a world teeming with bizarre wildlife as far as the eye can see. I want to look up and admire Ho-Oh soaring across the horizon the way Ash did in the anime’s pilot episode or feel a stronger sense of disappointment when a Rattata approaches me. Random encounters are old hat in standard RPGs, but seeing them remain a near constant in Pokémon feels more and more like a disservice to the franchise in terms of what it could do for wonder and immersion.
Ditch The Turn-Based Combat
I grew up playing RPGs, so turn-based combat will always have a place in my heart, but I’m also ready to move on. One of the things I love most about Final Fantasy is its willingness to reinvent its battle system with each entry, and it ditched traditional turn-based combat long ago (frankly, for the better). I don’t know how you do that using the usual Pokémon template, but that’s what makes the possibilities exciting.
Maybe take a page from the Final Fantasy VII Remake playbook and blend pure action with RPG elements on the edges. Perhaps let players control Pokémon directly instead of just issuing commands to them? Having a party of six creatures with an array of unique abilities allows for some exciting ideas that feel constrained within the current, well-worn battle template. Give me something fundamentally different and you’ll not only have my curiosity, but my interest as well.
Release It As One Version
I’ve never really understood the appeal behind Pokémon’s two-version approach. Sure, it’s great for lining Game Freak and Nintendo’s pockets, but I’ve always felt a lingering anxiety with the idea of buying a game knowing some of the monsters are locked away in its counterpart. For players, what’s the actual good reason for doing this other than “Well, that’s just how it’s always been done”? Dropping another $60 for the opportunity to catch the other Legendary Pokémon stinks, as does having to do the work of trading to fill missing Pokédex entries.
It’s hard enough deciding whether or not to buy a new Pokémon game at all, so removing the added pressure of deciding which Legendary looks cooler/less silly would help me pull the trigger a lot faster.
Add Settlement Building
Whether it’s the Assassin’s Creed series, Spiritfarer, or even the recently released Olija, I’m becoming more and more of a sucker for building up home bases. The mechanic can often provide a compelling incentive for collecting money and resources during exploration, plus it feels rewarding to turn a patch of dirt into a sprawling headquarters. This could apply to the Pokémon template too.
Instead of just sending extra Pokémon to Professor “Some Dumb Tree Name” what if you could build and upgrade your own Pokémon ranch of sorts? Maybe I can construct an aquarium for my water-types to hang in or maintain a ranch of Tauros like Ash had for some reason. It’d be fun in a similar manner to filling Blather’s museum in Animal Crossing. Given the various biomes Pokémon can inhabit, this HQ could get real wacky real quick in terms of its diversity, and it’d add another fun element to raising Pokémon, namely the ones you have no intention of engaging with on the battlefield.
Make The Pokémon Say Their Names!
Look, I know this is minor but darn it, the fact that Pokémon don’t say their names in-game has always irrationally bugged me. I know some of the reason has to do with translation, but that’s not my problem. Plus, Pikachu gets to do it, apparently. Give me that cute Squirtle voice instead of his upsetting digital battle cry of “bla7m#fpowr7@*!!!” Be honest, wouldn’t you rather hear Charizard proudly proclaim...okay, he doesn’t actually say his name in the show (which is a whole other can of worms), but you get the idea. If not that, go all the way and just put subtitles on the Pokémon's speech, like that one really cool episode of the anime. You know the one.
I like to think that these idea would rope me back in, but I'm not sure I can trust myself anymore so who knows. I guess Game Freak will just have to implement all of my ideas to bring me back! Because that's what they're focused on, of course: winning me back specifically. Anyways, if you're a lapsed fan like me, what would it take for you to get back into the series? Let me know in the comments.
Yakuza 0 is an action-adventure video game, developed and published by Sega, that follows the story of Kazuma Kiryu, a young yakuza who is the suspect of a murder case. Yakuza 0 is the sixth main title in the series and serves as a prequel to Yakuza Kiwami, which was a remake of the original game.
If all of that sounds exciting to you, then be sure to watch and chat with the Game Informer crew in a live episode of Replay, wherein they explore all that 80s-style Kamurocho has to offer. We'll be going live at 2:10 P.M. CT over on our YouTube channel.
Preorder Biomutant Atomic Edition
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Other Preorder Guides[poilib element="commerceDeal" parameters="slug=other-preorder-guides&type=list"] [poilib element="accentDivider"] Chris Reed is IGN's shopping and commerce editor. You can follow him on Twitter @_chrislreed. [widget path="ign/modules/recirc" parameters="title=&type=articles%2Cvideos&tags=us-shopping&count=3&columnCount=3&theme=article"]
Turrican Flashback hits PlayStation 4 (also playable on PS5) and Switch today, and it’s a project well worth a look. The new collection includes four full games: Turrican, Turrican II, Mega Turrican, and Super Turrican. It includes updated visuals with numerous options to tweak things to a more nostalgic look, as well as save states and a rewind feature. It’s an ideal way to play these games, whether you’re excited about a return to an old favorite, or if you never got the chance to play these awesome games back in the day.
Developer Factor 5 would later be strongly identified with its work on Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, but the studio’s early work on Turrican (and its many sequels) is a big part of how it came to prominence.
As a side-scrolling action game, the Turrican series is lesser known than many of its contemporaries, but even a few minutes playing one of these games offers ample proof that quality was not the problem. These are stellar games that were (and are) a ton of fun.
Matt Miller: Jeff, I’m excited to chat with you about these games. We both spent some time looking at the new collection. I was surprised how much I’d forgotten about these games, and how smart they are. What was your initial impression?
Jeff Cork: It had been a long while since I last thought about Turrican, honestly, and I’d also forgotten a lot about them. The boxes were a familiar sight when I was pondering what to rent at the video store. They were very cool at the time, and the art definitely helped to fill in the gap between what the developers may have had in mind versus what was actually displayed on screen. I rented a few of them over the years, and replaying some of them definitely brought me back – for better and worse. I won’t spoil your enthusiasm quite yet. What’s your history with the franchise?
Matt: Oh, totally. I remember seeing these games at the video store back in the day. I owned Super Turrican on SNES, but I remember playing the original Amiga games on a friend’s system, and just wiling away the hours trying to find secret paths and get farther.
I hear you that they weren’t all perfect, but there were a lot of things these games did right. The music is some of the best from the period, with a ton of variation in melodies, long loops, and catchy beats. The action was smooth, and the scrolling from side to side was top-notch – something that was definitely not a guarantee in games from that period. And I also just really liked the mix of Contra-esque shooting action with all the constantly changing weapons, alongside a more exploratory vibe that recalled aspects of games like Metroid.
Jeff: Aha! The music is really great. I found myself just hanging out at the end of an area just listening to it loop a few times. I think you and I part ways when it comes to the exploratory vibe, though. Its level design is fairly open, with lots of backtracking and dead ends. It’s a style from that era of platformers that never really gelled with me. It’s one of the reasons why I never fully loved the Sonic games – which I’d cite as an example of a series that does those more open stages pretty well. The Turrican games make me feel lost and frustrated, not like an armored explorer who’s excited to see what’s across that next string of platforms. I will say that it’s really interesting to be able to jump between entries in the series and see how it changed over time.
Matt: Yeah, I get that frustration around the potential for aimlessness. Actually, it’s really interesting to me the way we see that aspect of things evolve over these four games. The early ones (especially Turrican II, my favorite) have a lot of branching paths, but you’re right that they sometimes dead end in weird ways. Some of the later games in this collection are more linear, but lose a bit of the sense of discovery. Regardless, there’s a quality that rewards repeat play, as you learn the different levels and their shapes, which I think really appealed to me as a kid.
What did you think of this Flashback collection, as a re-release and remaster?
Jeff: If you want to play these games, this is an easy way to do it. It’s a pretty bare-bones presentation; if you’re looking for additional historical context for the series, concept art, or developer insights, you’re better off poking around in Google. You can lean on save states if you find the games to be too tough, and you can also access popup menus with cheats, but that’s pretty much it.
Matt: Yeah, it’s a very matter-of-fact and utilitarian setup. They’ve made it very much about the games and playing the games in the way that you want. But in that regard, I feel like it really excels.
In addition to the save states you mentioned, I adore the rewind mechanic they’ve inserted, which lets you hold down a button and pull the action back as far as you want. That’s a fun feature in any game, but it’s especially useful in one of these old-school action/platformers, where there are a lot of frustrating dead drops and situations where you lose your whole health bar because of a bad leap. Not to mention the times that you fall off a ledge that doesn’t kill you, but demands that you re-platform the last 2-minute section. The rewind gets rid of all that nonsense (if you don’t want it), and let’s you get back to just exploring the levels and progressing.
Jeff: You’re right, that’s an extremely helpful feature. Maybe I would have had more positive memories of the series if that feature had been around back in the day. I don’t want to belabor the point, but it is disappointing that there isn’t much here besides the games. That kind of lackluster presentation isn’t quite as damning when you’re working with a better-known franchise (looking at you, Super Mario 3D All-Stars), but something like Turrican would have benefitted from supplemental materials. On the bright side, the focus on games keeps the file size astonishingly small by today’s standards: I had to double check when it said the download was 48 MBs. Talk about a blast from the past!
Matt: Yeah, in many ways, a release like this should do more to point out why these games should be better remembered than they are. The non-linear designs, the music, the backgrounds and monster designs -- many of these things were ahead of their time, even if they weren’t yet perfect by our now-modern standards. I would have loved to see some more of exactly what you’re talking about.
On the other hand, as an ideal way to play four of these games, it hits a lot of good notes.
Jeff Cork: Awesome chiptune notes, at that!
Turrican Flashback is out now on PS4 and Switch. Check out the trailer below for a look at what you can expect to find in the new collection.Click here to watch embedded media
Niantic wasn't messing around when it raised Pokémon Go's level cap from 40 to 50 late last year. When the game launched in 2016, trainers were able to ascend through the first 40 levels with determined playing, leaving many to wonder if Niantic would create additional endgame content for them, other than the steady drip of new Pokémon to catch.
I was one of the trainers that made "short" work of the old level cap. I believe I reached 40 in my third year of playing, which required 20 million total experience points to advance from 1 to 40. That took some playing and grinding. I didn't mind; I thoroughly enjoyed getting outside to raid and meet up with friends to hit up Pokémon Go hotspots on Community Days.
When news hit that Niantic was raising the level cap to 50, I was giddy. As someone who still plays the game daily, I liked the sound of having another thing to do. Niantic has done a tremendous job of supporting Pokémon Go in the last couple of years, and while there isn't a shortage of new content or events to participate in, more is always better. I didn't put much thought into the requirements needed to hit each of the new levels. I just thought it was cool that each of these new levels came with new tasks.
With the experience points I had netted after reaching level 40, I was able to reach level 42 with ease. I completed the required tasks, and cashed in the excess experience. To reach level 43, I need 9 million more XP. That one level is roughly half of the entire XP I needed to move from level 1 to 40. That's nuts. Right now, I'm sitting at just over 2 million XP, and I don't think I'll reach level 43 until sometime next year.
After that, to reach level 44, I'll need another 11 million XP, with level 45 asking for 13 million. The number keeps jumping in crazy ways with level 50 asking me to obtain another 30 million XP.
To move from level 42 to 50, I will need an additional 140.5 million XP. In over five years of playing, my grand total is 35,649,963 XP. If I keep up my current pace, which has hardly changed at all in those five years, I will likely hit level 50 in just over 20 years. In 2041, I will join the Pokémon GO elite. I will also likely be eyeing retirement, or perhaps be moving to a Mars colony.
Some trainers already reached level 50. One of the people I sometimes raid with is up to level 47, and he is ALWAYS on the game, even raiding on Saturday and Sunday from 6:00 A.M. to 8:00 A.M. I know I will never put that much time into this game.
Unless Niantic changes how XP is handed out, I doubt I will ever reach level 50. Yes, there's a chance I will still be playing 20 years from now, but the idea of living on Mars seems about as realistic as this game continuing that long with new content that keeps me engaged.
Knowing I have a nearly impossible task in front of me hasn't soured me on Pokémon Go at all. I still adore the game, and am mostly focused on filling out the Pokédex, and having fun playing with my friends. That's more than enough to keep me occupied and coming back for more. I can't wait for next month's Pokémon Go Tour: Kanto event, which will give me a great shot at expanding my count of shiny gen-one critters.
If you still play Pokémon Go, take a look at your XP totals, do some math, and let me know in the comments section below how long it will take you to reach level 50.
When Biomutant was announced in 2017, we were impressed by the wonderfully weird world Experiment 101, which was founded by ex-Avalanche Studios employees, was pitching. That game was originally set to release in 2018, but that year came and went with not much info from the Swedish development studio. Now that we're in 2021, Experiment 101 and publisher THQ Nordic have finally announced a release date for Biomutant: May 25. But what took so long, and why did the developer stay so quiet for much of that span?
In a recent interview with IGN, studio head Stefan Ljungqvist said that much of it had to do with the scope of the project contrasting with the size of the team. The game features a dense map full of NPCs, outposts, and bizarre creatures to encounter, as well as a mutating protagonist, so even if the world itself isn't massive when compared to the size of other open-world maps, it's an ambitious project. "It's a big game, a big bite for 20 people to chew off," Ljungqvist said.
While open-world games are often ambitious by definition, Ljungqvist said that the script kept growing, making it an increasingly more difficult component. "If you look at the script, by the end of 2019 I think it was about 80-85,000 words. Pretty much a novel," he said. "But in the final game, it's closer to 250,000 words. That was a big thing, to wrap that script."
On top of that, Ljungqvist said much of the effort has been centered on polishing and quality assurance. "It's been a huge amount of work for QA, because it's not easy in an open-world game to find them," he said. "And then once they've been found, we have to fix them, and that's put some additional challenge on us, being a small team."
Ljungqvist also touched on other topics within the interview, including why the team decided to release on last-gen platforms instead of the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. You can learn more about that and other topics by reading the full interview on IGN.
Biomutant comes to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on May 25. To read more about Biomutant, check out our impressions from Gamescom 2018.
The long-awaited “Snyder Cut” of 2017’s Justice League is arriving March 18 to HBO Max. Director Zack Snyder shared the news on Twitter today, giving fans of the fabled re-release a light at the end of the tunnel.
For those not in the know, Snyder was originally at the helm of Justice League before his daughter’s tragic suicide forced him to step down during post-production. Director Joss Whedon took over production of the troubled film, creating the final version that was largely panned by fans and critics alike when it released in November 2017.
Since then, fans petitioned for the release of the “Snyder Cut”, Zack Snyder’s version of the film containing scenes that had been cut/altered after Whedon took over. After spending years gaining traction online, Warner Bros. announced in May of last year that the Snyder Cut would indeed happen and release exclusively to HBO Max. Since this version features a fair amount of both cut and entirely new content, the film tops at a whopping four hours, which you can watch all at once or as a four-part miniseries. Justice League centers on Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and other heroes in DC's pantheon fighting to protect Earth from an invading Steppenwolf, as well as the newly included De Saad and Darkseid.
2021 is an important year for HBO Max given that Warner Bros. entire slate of films will debut simultaneously in theaters as well as on the streaming service. One of those film’s is April’s Mortal Kombat, and it'll be interesting to see how the experiment pays off and the effects it has on the already struggling theater industry. There are also rumors that a live-action Harry Potter TV series might be in the works as well.
Are you excited for Zack Snyder’s Justice League? Let us know in the comments!
Hitman 3 just released a little over a week ago, and it is an excellent game by most reports (including ours). Not only does it provide all-new scenarios for Agent 47, but it also allows access to legacy content from the previous installments of Io Interactive's World of Assassination trilogy. With that wealth of options at your fingertips, you might be satisfied – but even if you are, Io Interactive is going to give you more anyway in the form of DLC.
In a recent interview with The Gamer, Io Interactive clarified some of its plans for post-launch support of Hitman 3. And though it didn't reveal any specifics about what the DLC might be, the studio confirmed that it is in the works and discussed the overall approach.
"We are definitely going to be doing some DLC, but we haven’t defined what that is," executive producer Forest Swartout Large tells The Gamer. "I think for now we are not looking at new maps like the bank and the island. We’re more looking at using existing locations and reimagining them, twisting them."Click here to watch embedded media
We’d recommend you check out the full interview, because it also has tidbits about the future the Hitman franchise as a whole. The bottom line: Hitman 3 probably isn’t the last we’ll see of Agent 47. But for now, if you're a big fan of Hitman 3 and want to dive deep on the game and its development, check out our exclusive coverage, which includes interviews and insight from the team.
Of course, Hitman may be its signature series, but it isn’t the only thing in the works at Io Interactive. After a surprising announcement, we also learned that the studio is making a new James Bond game (featuring a unique version of the iconic super-spy that isn’t tied to any official likeness) which could be part of another trilogy.
At any rate, Io Interactive is a busy studio these days. We're excited to see how the talented team's plans take shape.
[Source: The Gamer]
The gods in Gods Will Fall are not benevolent ones. They're evil, malevolent entities that are bent on torturing the humans they rule over. Worship is demanded, with suffering rippling throughout the land. But that's all about to change, isn't it? You've had just about enough of their reign of misery, so it's time to go full barbarian and get in the mix in Clever Beans' new roguelike adventure, which is out today. What platforms is it on? You can beat down the wicked gods on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC.Click here to watch embedded media
As a roguelike, you have options when it comes to your deity assault. Skills, weapons, items, and more are all on deck as you battle through three deadly realms. The Celtic-inspired journey leans in heavy on brutality as you seek to enact vengeance on your less-than-benevolent dictators. Warriors of your tribe may even have specific fears against specific gods (there are 10 to take on), and if they can face down their specific scares you can glean boosted rewards. Enjoy using a diverse selection of weapons? Pick up weaponry from fallen
Gods Will Fall is a roguelike, so death is inevitable. However, as warriors from the clan fall, others will gain new strengths out of the thirst for revenge. It's a neat little quirk that might be slightly reminiscent of Rogue Legacy's lineage system, and adds an element of variance and some minor plot nuance to the typical "run, run, run, run, okay run again" formula that's so pervasive in the genre. There may be ways to bring back your fallen comrades as well, by advancing past the dangerous gods. On the flip side, if one of your crew is killed by a god they're doomed forever. High stakes roguelikes!
Have you played Gods Will Fall? What do you think? What's your favorite roguelike? Let us know in the comments below!
Here’s some good news on a Friday. Alba: A Wildlife Adventure, Ustwo’s wonderful game about conservation, has helped do some real-life good. Thanks to a campaign by the studio to plant one tree for every download of the game, the result has been over 450,000 new trees planted.
The campaign is a partnership between Ustwo and Ecologi, a website focused on tackling climate change by planting trees, which helps reduce greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Paid members sign up to have Ecologi plant a number of trees based on their subscription tier, thus having their own forest. Ustwo created Alba’s Forest, which currently has 465,060 trees planted in forests across Madagascar, Mozambique, and Nicaragua. Besides offering a nice barometer for how the game is performing sales wise, it’s always cool to see a purchase have a positive side effect.
If you haven’t played or heard of Alba: A Wildlife Adventure, the charming game stars a young girl named Alba who tries to prevent the construction of a resort on a scenic Mediterranean island. As I said in my review “ Alba: A Wildlife Adventure reminds players that happiness can be found in supporting worthy causes bigger than yourself. It feels nice to play a game about actively improving the world, and it does so with skill and charm instead of cringe. It’s the video game equivalent of sneaking vegetables into a tasty smoothie. This is one good deed that shouldn’t go unrewarded.” You can check out the game by watching this episode of New Gameplay Today.
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