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Pokémon Developer Game Freak Working On New Entry In “Globally Popular” RPG Series

Game Freak, developers of the Pokémon series since its inception in the 1990s, are hard at work on a new secret project for "console." Nothing has been officially announced, but the buzz is that it could be a new Pokémon game for Nintendo Switch, or possibly a port of Pokémon: Sun and Moon or another legacy title for Nintendo's portable/home console hybrid.

A new job listing on Indeed Japan is adding fuel to the speculative fire; the company is looking to hire people who can create character models on machines comparable to Wii U and PlayStation Vita for a new entry in an RPG series which is "popular on a global scale." No Pokémon title has been announced for Nintendo Switch, but if this job listing pans out the way we think it could, then perhaps an announcement is just around the corner.

The most recent mainline Pokémon title, Sun and Moon, released in 2016 to critical acclaim and record-setting sales figures.

[Source: Gamespot]

 

Our Take:
A new Pokémon game for Nintendo Switch is not a guarantee, but it seems like the logical next step; traditionally, the core entries in the monster-collecting series have only ever released on Nintendo's handheld systems, and Switch's key selling point is that it's a half-handheld, half-console hybrid. A new Pokémon game would be a natural fit on the new hardware, and Nintendo needs as many ringers in their corner as they can get. Time will tell if this secret project is, indeed, a new Pokémon game or something else, but all signs are telling us that it won't be long before we set out to "catch 'em all" on Switch.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

YouTube Series Man At Arms Forges League Of Legends’ Nameless Blade

The modern-day blacksmiths of the Man At Arms: Reforged team have released a video of their latest video game-inspired project: deadly assassin Yasuo's iconic sword from League of Legends.

The Nameless Blade is a katana with motifs reflecting Yasuo's ability to control wind. With their signature attention to detail, the smiths of Baltimore Knife and Sword faithfully recreate the unusually large katana while adding nods to the game and character along the way, such as a visual effect on the blade (known as a hamon) that looks like blood splatter in reference to Yasuo's past.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For more medieval fun, check out more Man At Arms videos of weapons from For Honor and Dark Souls.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Pokémon Developer Game Freak Working On New Entry In “Globally Popular” RPG Series

Game Freak, developers of the Pokémon series since its inception in the 1990s, are hard at work on a new secret project for "console." Nothing has been officially announced, but the buzz is that it could be a new Pokémon game for Nintendo Switch, or possibly a port of Pokémon: Sun and Moon or another legacy title for Nintendo's portable/home console hybrid.

A new job listing on Indeed Japan is adding fuel to the speculative fire; the company is looking to hire people who can create character models on machines comparable to Wii U and PlayStation Vita for a new entry in an RPG series which is "popular on a global scale." No Pokémon title has been announced for Nintendo Switch, but if this job listing pans out the way we think it could, then perhaps an announcement is just around the corner.

The most recent mainline Pokémon title, Sun and Moon, released in 2016 to critical acclaim and record-setting sales figures.

[Source: Gamespot]

 

Our Take:
A new Pokémon game for Nintendo Switch is not a guarantee, but it seems like the logical next step; traditionally, the core entries in the monster-collecting series have only ever released on Nintendo's handheld systems, and Switch's key selling point is that it's a half-handheld, half-console hybrid. A new Pokémon game would be a natural fit on the new hardware, and Nintendo needs as many ringers in their corner as they can get. Time will tell if this secret project is, indeed, a new Pokémon game or something else, but all signs are telling us that it won't be long before we set out to "catch 'em all" on Switch.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

YouTube Series Man At Arms Forges League Of Legends’ Nameless Blade

The modern-day blacksmiths of the Man At Arms: Reforged team have released a video of their latest video game-inspired project: deadly assassin Yasuo's iconic sword from League of Legends.

The Nameless Blade is a katana with motifs reflecting Yasuo's ability to control wind. With their signature attention to detail, the smiths of Baltimore Knife and Sword faithfully recreate the unusually large katana while adding nods to the game and character along the way, such as a visual effect on the blade (known as a hamon) that looks like blood splatter in reference to Yasuo's past.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For more medieval fun, check out more Man At Arms videos of weapons from For Honor and Dark Souls.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Six Ways Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Changes Things Up For The Series

Although Nathan Drake's story was wrapped up in Uncharted 4, Naughty Dog revealed at last year's PSX that it wasn't entirely done with the series' universe. Chloe Frazer, a fan-favorite treasure hunter that we last saw in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, now takes center stage with mercenary Nadine Ross by her side. Taking place six months to a year after the previous Uncharted, Chloe and Nadine team up in search of an ancient treasure in India. Much is different this time around, with a grittier and more grounded narrative, but many elements you've come to love in Uncharted will still be present. 

Here are several ways Uncharted: The Lost Legacy changes things up with a new setting, more grounded storyline, bigger environments, and more.

A New Duo of Thieves
The series moves away from Nathan Drake for the first time, and the team saw room to explore this universe further with a pair of familiar faces: Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross. Chloe is the playable protagonist, and the two must overcome their differences in order to achieve their goal. Chloe leads the way, and has moved up in the treasure hunting business, coming into her own and returning to India in search of a treasure called the Tusk of Ganesh. She enlists mercenary Nadine, who we met in Uncharted 4, because of her particular skill set. The conflict between the two, and how that relationship unfolds, is a big part of what The Lost Legacy is about.

A Personal Setting
Chloe is half Australian and half Indian, and we learn about her Indian roots in this stand-alone entry. "The setting of the game has a personal connection with [Chloe]'s background, and it adds like a certain depth to everything you’re doing in that environment. It has more meaning for her," Uncharted writer Josh Scherr says. In a short demo we saw during our trip to Naughty Dog, Chloe and Nadine approach a large waterfall sided with two grandiose elephant statues. It's clear that these monuments hold meaning to Chloe as Nadine makes a quip about how Chloe should take a photo for her father. The treasure the two search for is also significant to Chloe, and their journey ties into mystical stories relating to Hindu gods that were told to her as bedtime stories when she was young.

Bigger Environments
Uncharted 4's Madagascar was one of the larger locales in Uncharted 4, giving players more freedom. The Lost Legacy further expands these open environments, all the while telling a linear story. In The Lost Legacy, Chloe and Nadine travel to the Western Ghats, a rural mountain range in India they traverse by jeep. It's reminiscent of Madagascar in the way that there are different terrains of mud, water, and rocks, along with a stunning vista. A key difference is the Western Ghats is geographically larger than Madagascar, and the biggest environment the series has seen yet. "We have this really great location of these rural Western Ghats, that allows us to get a real, true sense of exploration kind of unlike anything we’ve done before where the level design isn’t directing you exactly where to go, and you’re free to explore, find things, and discover things," game director Kurt Margenau says.

Meet Antagonist Asav
A new Uncharted entry also means a new central enemy. In The Lost Legacy you'll meet Asav, a barrel-chested insurgent rebel leader who formally worked for the government. He's unearthing treasures, artifacts, and murals that are culturally significant to the region, and has several reasons behind his actions. "He has history with the government, he feels left out in solving the conflicts the government solved at one point and he’s now a lone rebel trying to create war and profit from it," creative director Shaun Escayg says. Asav believes in his cause, but Naughty Dog reminds us that this is a world of thieves; everyone is looking out for themselves, and this can make for morally grey characters despite their motivations. It's also a small world of thieves – just like how Nadine and Sully happened to know each other, Nadine has a similar connection to Asav, who she has worked with in the past.

A Condensed Story
Because it is a stand-alone game, The Lost Legacy will be more condensed. It's longer than The Last of Us DLC Left Behind but shorter than Uncharted 4. While The Lost Legacy will still have those enormous set pieces and grandiose moments Uncharted is known for, it's still a smaller scale Uncharted experience. Naughty made it clear that this is a new game, and not an expansion of Uncharted 4. It was a way for the team to look at the series' universe from a new perspective. "This is something we can do completely independently while still in the same universe with the same characters, and exploring new relationships with them," Scherr says.

Gameplay Tweaks 
The Lost Legacy will feature all the pillars of Uncharted, from rope swinging to puzzle-solving, but there are smaller changes worth noting. Stealth has been an option in several Uncharted entries, but Uncharted 4 built on this idea further with sections of tall grass and awareness meters for enemies. This comes back in The Lost Legacy, with even more stealth capabilities. For the first time, you can equip a silent pistol to kill foes from afar. As for combat, Chloe has a more martial arts vibe to her fighting moves, whereas Nathan was more of a brawler. 

When working as a team, Chloe and Nadine are similar to Nathan and Sam. Nadine can mark enemies for you so you can spot them quicker, and she'll help you out in combat. If you don't want to fight, sometimes that's also an option. During the Western Ghats demo we saw, it was possible to evade conflict completely while in the jeep, by driving by and ignoring hostile areas. Furthermore, a lockpicking mini-game is introduced, which we briefly saw in action during the PSX demo where Chloe lockpicks a door. Several crates lying around will only open following this short minigame, where you rotate the lock and wait for your controller to vibrate.

To find out more about Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, check out our cover reveal here or click the banner below to peruse our growing hub of exclusive content.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Six Ways Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Changes Things Up For The Series

Although Nathan Drake's story was wrapped up in Uncharted 4, Naughty Dog revealed at last year's PSX that it wasn't entirely done with the series' universe. Chloe Frazer, a fan-favorite treasure hunter that we last saw in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, now takes center stage with mercenary Nadine Ross by her side. Taking place six months to a year after the previous Uncharted, Chloe and Nadine team up in search of an ancient treasure in India. Much is different this time around, with a grittier and more grounded narrative, but many elements you've come to love in Uncharted will still be present. 

Here are several ways Uncharted: The Lost Legacy changes things up with a new setting, more grounded storyline, bigger environments, and more.

A New Duo of Thieves
The series moves away from Nathan Drake for the first time, and the team saw room to explore this universe further with a pair of familiar faces: Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross. Chloe is the playable protagonist, and the two must overcome their differences in order to achieve their goal. Chloe leads the way, and has moved up in the treasure hunting business, coming into her own and returning to India in search of a treasure called the Tusk of Ganesh. She enlists mercenary Nadine, who we met in Uncharted 4, because of her particular skill set. The conflict between the two, and how that relationship unfolds, is a big part of what The Lost Legacy is about.

A Personal Setting
Chloe is half Australian and half Indian, and we learn about her Indian roots in this stand-alone entry. "The setting of the game has a personal connection with [Chloe]'s background, and it adds like a certain depth to everything you’re doing in that environment. It has more meaning for her," Uncharted writer Josh Scherr says. In a short demo we saw during our trip to Naughty Dog, Chloe and Nadine approach a large waterfall sided with two grandiose elephant statues. It's clear that these monuments hold meaning to Chloe as Nadine makes a quip about how Chloe should take a photo for her father. The treasure the two search for is also significant to Chloe, and their journey ties into mystical stories relating to Hindu gods that were told to her as bedtime stories when she was young.

Bigger Environments
Uncharted 4's Madagascar was one of the larger locales in Uncharted 4, giving players more freedom. The Lost Legacy further expands these open environments, all the while telling a linear story. In The Lost Legacy, Chloe and Nadine travel to the Western Ghats, a rural mountain range in India they traverse by jeep. It's reminiscent of Madagascar in the way that there are different terrains of mud, water, and rocks, along with a stunning vista. A key difference is the Western Ghats is geographically larger than Madagascar, and the biggest environment the series has seen yet. "We have this really great location of these rural Western Ghats, that allows us to get a real, true sense of exploration kind of unlike anything we’ve done before where the level design isn’t directing you exactly where to go, and you’re free to explore, find things, and discover things," game director Kurt Margenau says.

Meet Antagonist Asav
A new Uncharted entry also means a new central enemy. In The Lost Legacy you'll meet Asav, a barrel-chested insurgent rebel leader who formally worked for the government. He's unearthing treasures, artifacts, and murals that are culturally significant to the region, and has several reasons behind his actions. "He has history with the government, he feels left out in solving the conflicts the government solved at one point and he’s now a lone rebel trying to create war and profit from it," creative director Shaun Escayg says. Asav believes in his cause, but Naughty Dog reminds us that this is a world of thieves; everyone is looking out for themselves, and this can make for morally grey characters despite their motivations. It's also a small world of thieves – just like how Nadine and Sully happened to know each other, Nadine has a similar connection to Asav, who she has worked with in the past.

A Condensed Story
Because it is a stand-alone game, The Lost Legacy will be more condensed. It's longer than The Last of Us DLC Left Behind but shorter than Uncharted 4. While The Lost Legacy will still have those enormous set pieces and grandiose moments Uncharted is known for, it's still a smaller scale Uncharted experience. Naughty made it clear that this is a new game, and not an expansion of Uncharted 4. It was a way for the team to look at the series' universe from a new perspective. "This is something we can do completely independently while still in the same universe with the same characters, and exploring new relationships with them," Scherr says.

Gameplay Tweaks 
The Lost Legacy will feature all the pillars of Uncharted, from rope swinging to puzzle-solving, but there are smaller changes worth noting. Stealth has been an option in several Uncharted entries, but Uncharted 4 built on this idea further with sections of tall grass and awareness meters for enemies. This comes back in The Lost Legacy, with even more stealth capabilities. For the first time, you can equip a silent pistol to kill foes from afar. As for combat, Chloe has a more martial arts vibe to her fighting moves, whereas Nathan was more of a brawler. 

When working as a team, Chloe and Nadine are similar to Nathan and Sam. Nadine can mark enemies for you so you can spot them quicker, and she'll help you out in combat. If you don't want to fight, sometimes that's also an option. During the Western Ghats demo we saw, it was possible to evade conflict completely while in the jeep, by driving by and ignoring hostile areas. Furthermore, a lockpicking mini-game is introduced, which we briefly saw in action during the PSX demo where Chloe lockpicks a door. Several crates lying around will only open following this short minigame, where you rotate the lock and wait for your controller to vibrate.

To find out more about Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, check out our cover reveal here or click the banner below to peruse our growing hub of exclusive content.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Reinventing a classic series through Resident Evil VII: Biohazard

“The Resident Evil series can be thought of as a series of trilogies,” said RE7 director Koshi Nakanishi. “That meant that, with this the seventh game, we could choose to take a new direction.” …


Gamasutra News

Castlevania Netflix Series Producer Unveils Teaser Poster

As we previously reported, Netflix is producing a Castlevania series with the help of Adi Shankar and Frederator Studios, the animation studio behind Adventure Time. Earlier today via Facebook, Shankar revealed a teaser poster depicting a blood-red rendition of Dracula's iconic castle, as well as a spiffy new logo. You can get a look at the full image down below.

Castlevania is set to make its Netflix debut sometime in 2017. According to Shankar, the series will be "in the vein of Game of Thrones", and is set to be an adaptation of Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse. 

[Source: Adi Shankar's Facebook]

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The Next Free Resident Evil 7 DLC Stars Series Hero Chris Redfield

Today Capcom revealed that Resident Evil 7's next free DLC centers on series hero Chris Redfield.

Via its Twitter account, Capcom shared some pictures of the iconic soldier, teasing: "Who or what is he chasing? Find out soon in this separate story."

The DLC is set to hit this spring. 

For more on Resident Evil 7, you can read our review here.

Our Take
If you're a fan of Resident Evil, this is exciting. I've always liked Chris, so this makes me happy. The title alone makes me intrigued. Chris is a fighter – an embodiment of a hero. It will be interesting to see what kind of story Capcom gives him this time around. I love when developers give back to the fans with free DLC post launch. 

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The Sports Desk – What Does The Future Hold For EA Sports’ PGA Series?

We usually hear about EA Sports' plans for its latest golf title by now, but judging by the fact that nothing was mentioned in EA's latest financial call setting up the year, it doesn't look like we're getting anything in 2017. When EA released its last golf title – 2015's Rory McIlroy PGA Tour – it said the follow-up would not be an annual release like other games in the publisher's arsenal, but that doesn't mean that EA's roadmap for the franchise going forward is clear.

When it came out, Rory's on-the-disc content was bare compared to previous entries, and as such, EA supported it after launch with a series of free content drops. But with no current indication that those are going to extend the life of the 2015 title until we get an all-new game at some point, fans of the franchise are adrift.

The practice of yearly updates for a sports game is questioned by many gamers, but this lull comes at a bad time for EA's golf franchise in particular. Before Rory – the first golf game for the current generation of consoles as well as the first one to use DICE's Frostbite engine – the old Tiger series had some tentpole features such as its use of the Masters or online country clubs which it could build momentum with. But with the first Rory title dropping features and the series' current quiet period, it makes me wonder what it is going to look like when it returns. Could we even, gulp, be looking at an NBA Live-style abyss for EA Sports' golf series?

Competitors such as The Golf Club 2 are filling the void and making their own compelling case. While the competition isn't so vastly superior as in the case of NBA 2K vs. NBA Live, the more ground series like The Golf Club gain, the bigger hole EA Sports digs for itself with each passing year without a game as a counter-argument. I have no knowledge of what the PGA development team down at EA Tiburon is working on in regards to the series at the moment, but I think it's safe to say that they're doing something for the franchise even without anything officially announced on the horizon. However, I also believe that a consistent release schedule (whether yearly or every two years) confers an iterative momentum that many video game franchises benefit from. It's easier to keep up with the times than to play catch-up.

The series could be looking at VR – a natural fit for the sport – as a rallypoint going forward. But not only is there already competition on this front from the likes of The Golf Club VR and VR Golf Online, EA has been hesitant to dive into this area so far. Beyond that, with VR's limited current install base, I don't think VR can be the only basis for the next PGA game. A full-featured title is needed to re-establish the franchise, otherwise EA may as well just keep updating the old 2015 game, which is something EA isn't doing right now anyway.

Taking a broad look at EA's larger strategy with its sports titles makes me wonder where the PGA series fits in at all…

  • Yearly Releases: With the next PGA game not announced for 2017, it doesn't even look like it's an every-other-year franchise like UFC.
  • Ultimate Team: This lucrative component could be harder to do for PGA than other series, although mixing/matching equipment and clothes like in old Tiger games could be the way forward.
  • Licenses: With an often pared down roster of real golfers and courses, I get the sense that this is a very expensive component for the series. The short-term use of The Masters was perhaps an example of how hard it is for PGA to address this important requirement for EA Sports titles.
  • eSports: EA is clearly interested in driving its titles towards eSports when possible, but PGA isn't likely to capture the excitement of FIFA or Madden, for example.

Considering the context, PGA tour doesn't seem to fit into the EA Sports mold. However, this could be a boon for the franchise. If EA Sports were to treat it like its own special case, then anything is possible. Customizing the company's approach to PGA's dissemination, feature set, cost, etc. may be against the company grain, but given the circumstances, could be worth considering.

Missed some of the previous Sports Desk entries? Take a look at the past installments via our Hub page by clicking on the banner below.

Have a suggestion or comment? Put it in the comments section below, send me an email, or reach me on twitter at @mattkato.

 

THE TICKER
A quick rundown of some of the sports news from the week.

Steep's Alaska DLC Coming On February 24

Motorcycle Title Ride 2 Is Out Now
The Milestone-developed game is available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC

Motosport Manager DLC Adds The GT Series & More 

Forza Is A Billion-Dollar Franchise 

Madden NFL 17 & Skate 3 Hit EA Vault 

Dirt Rally Gets VR 

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