Shadow of the Colossus is brimming with hidden, unrealized potential. The curious world map, unused assets, and tales of scrapped Colossi have led ardent players to wander its landscape in search of secrets for years. One such player named Nomad Colossus was recognized by Bluepoint Games in the credits of the newly released remake with the message “Nomad Colossus and the 79 steps to enlightenment.” These steps to enlightenment have been tied to a new collectible that players have been finding across the world.

While fruit and lizard tails can be found that respectively increase Wander’s health and stamina, these enlightenments, which look like gold coins, have no immediate effects. Up to 70 of them have been found by Brian (also known as “PS4Trophies” on YouTube), which he details in his video below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

There’s no trophy or in-game stats tied to them, but there is a log of how many you’ve found tucked away in the bottom-left corner of the world map, which has been a source of mystery for players in the past due to the shifting clouds in that quadrant. Could a new location or item be unveiled if there are 79 coins total? Perhaps Bluepoint resurrected one of the Colossi lost during the original game’s development? Only time will tell.

[Source: PS4Trophies via Eurogamer]

Capcom has announced commencement of their Capcom Pro Tour, their multi-tournament fighting game tour, but curiously does not mention the recently-released Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite at all.

Street Fighter fans,” Capcom’s blog post reads, “the wait is almost over. Capcom Pro Tour (CPT) 2018 is nearly upon us and we’re proud to feature Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition and Season 3 this year.”

Last year, despite Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite having not been released for the beginning of the Pro Tour, plans were still made to include it, and it culminated with the Battle for the Stones event at PSX in December. This year, there is nary a mention of the game within Capcom’s public facing esports initiative, with all support having been poured into the recent update to Street Fighter V.

This year’s two premier events are Final Round in Atlanta, GA on March 16, and NorCal Regionals in Sacramento, CA on March 30. If you’re looking for Street Fighter V tournaments to watch early on, those will be the two to look out for.

[Source: Capcom]

 

Our Take
It had been a given until relatively recently that Marvel would show up on the Capcom Pro Tour, even if it didn’t show up anywhere else. I doubt this is a complete refocus on Street Fighter V as much as it is a vote of no confidence that the investment in pushing MvCI is going to be worth it.

Sega has announced via Twitter that their puzzle mashup Puyo Puyo Tetris will be coming to Steam on February 27, with a 10% discount available for pre-orders.

This blending of bricks and blobs brings both iconic franchises together with multiple game modes, including a story campaign and various challenge trials, to play on your own or with up to four players. It was released for PS4 and Nintendo Switch in April 2017, with only a physical release on PS4. To see what we thought of Puyo Puyo Tetris back then, check out our review.

[Source: Sega on Twitter]

 

Our Take
Listed at the same price as the PS4 version, I’m curious as to why the Switch version is more expensive and what criteria there is for determining what games that release on multiple platforms will require a higher price tag from Nintendo.

Showing Mario’s nipples is one of the few things more capable of breaking the internet than a Kardashian, and that’s something Super Mario Odyssey producer Yoshiaki Koizumi did not expect.

In a video posted on Nintendo’s of America’s Twitter account, Koizumi answers a series of questions regarding Mario Odyssey. The first question asks, “Why does Mario have nipples, but no belly button?” and if Nintendo was expecting the huge reactions fans had.

“So, we’re jumping right into that question, are we?” Koizumi jokingly says. “Well, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t really expect that to be a topic among fans. Once I heard that people were talking so much about Mario’s belly button, it made me start to think about whether we should revisit the topic on the design side.”

Koizumi then answers an age-old question: is Toad’s head a hat or a head? “So that, as it turns out, is actually Toad’s head,” he confirms, followed by teasing fans by telling them they will have to think about how that works. Koizumi also discusses how the developers chose certain elements from other Mario games to be in Odyssey, his personal score in the volleyball game, and how game designers added more coins in areas based on debugging reports.

Luigi sometime this month will be added to Odyssey via free update that brings a competitive balloon-finding mode. Until then, read our Odyssey review here.

[Source: Nintendo of America’s Twitter]

 

Our Take
You never know what the internet will react to and how, but it’s interesting Nintendo didn’t realize how fans would respond to a shirtless Mario, something we’ve never seen. How can you not react? At least fans weren’t too “nip-picky” about the reveal.

If you subscribe to the computer, tablet, or mobile edition of Game Informer magazine, you can now read all about Metro Exodus. Following our cover reveal, our digital issue is now live on web browsers and will be coming to iPad/iPhone later in the day. You can download the apps to view the issue by following this link. All of these digital options are included in a standard subscription.

The issue launches this week on our third-party subscription apps including Google Play, Kindle, and Nook.

Not a digital subscriber yet? Convert your existing print subscription here or start a new subscription here.

Click on the banner below to visit our special Metro Exodus hub. We’ll regularly be adding new stories to it in the coming days and weeks, so if you want to know everything you can about 4A Games’ latest effort be sure to bookmark it and check back in throughout the month.

Luca Redwood gained notoriety in 2012 with the release of 10000000 on mobile devices. The RPG-lite match-three game was perfect for mobile devices and has the rare distinction among comparable games of having an ending. He followed that game up with an interesting multiplayer game called Smarter Than You, and in 2015 released a sequel of sorts to 10000000 entitled You Must Build a Boat. Later this year he will release his fourth game, Photographs. We spoke with Redwood about the success of his previous games and what makes Photographs different from his other projects.

Game Informer: 10000000 and You Must Build a Boat were both highly replayable puzzle games, but Photographs is more focused on characters and story?

Luca Redwood: That’s what this game is – it’s a bit of both. My niche is threading the needle between the casual and the hardcore. That’s what I tried to do with 10000000 and You Must Build a Boat. For this one, it’s trying to thread the needle between a casual game and a serious game.

Yeah, it’s a puzzle game. You’ll solve a puzzle then you get a new puzzle. On the whole narrative aspect of it – it happens around that. It’s five stories. They’re completely individual, but for you as a player you don’t say, “I’m going to play a narrative game.” You say, “I’m playing this puzzle game.” And every time you complete a puzzle, a story will be told around you.

Each of the five stories/puzzles are standalone? Or are they connected?

They can stand alone. They connect a little bit in different ways. They’re not necessarily set in the same time, but there’s one aspect from someone’s story, then you play a different story later on and you will see reference to them in their story. Then in the end it all sort of knits together in an interesting way.

What are you calling these? Stories? Episodes?

I call them tragedies. That’s the serious aspect of this game. It’s pretty dark. I always saw the pitch as imagine if Black Mirror was a game, but I think Black Mirror has done a game now, so I can’t really use that pitch. It’s all pretty bad stuff.

Do each of the tragedies have distinct puzzle mechanics? Or are they all based on the same simple hook? How does it all work?

Here’s the tricky thing with threading the needle between casual and hardcore. On PC, it’s easier. People are happy to play a serious game. It’s much harder on mobile. It’s certainly very hard to get them to read text. If you want to really tell a story on mobile, you’ve got to be inventive about how you’re going to make that happen.

The way it works in this game is you will do a puzzle and when you solve the puzzle you will get a photograph and that is a quite nice visual element to the story. There is voice-acted narration, which is like one to two short lines which I’ve found is as much as you can push it and that will tell a story. But the main thing I want to do is tell a story through the gameplay. There is one story where there are two characters trying to stay together, but circumstances are pulling them apart, and the puzzle for that story is about controlling two characters at once and trying to keep them together, but the levels are pulling them apart and you’ve got to overcome that. But when you finish that character’s story, that entire puzzle’s mechanics are completely thrown away, because it was specific to that story. If you try to put those puzzle mechanics in another story, it doesn’t tell that story. Which, in retrospect, maybe was a bit of a mistake? Because it turns out making five games is harder than making one game. But I think it works well and evokes the right emotions, even if it doesn’t explicitly say so.

Are you moving things on a grid like a match-three? Or will it be more like an adventure game?

There are a couple where you are moving stuff on a grid, but some are completely non-grid based. There is one that isn’t even turn-based, it’s real time. They’re all very, very different.

So there is no high-score chasing base puzzle game to play, like in You Must Build A Boat and 10000000? The puzzles all have distinct endings?

Yeah, that’s right. That’s the narrative part of the game. There are beginnings, middles, and ends. You can replay them, but this isn’t meant to be a super repayable puzzle game.

You did all the art for your previous games, but not this one, right?

This was another way I wanted to tell a story. I followed this artist, Octavi “Pixels Huh” Navarro, for a long time. I think we spoke a bunch of times over the years just because we were wanting to do some work together, but we were never free at the same time, but finally we were. He does a lot of work which is, “oh look, it’s just one picture,” but there is so much detail, and you can read so much of the story from just this one picture. I knew that was right for this project, so I thought rather than try to do an approximation myself, why don’t I just get this guy to do it and he was pretty keen. It looks a lot better than my own art. I drew some prototypes, and I sent them to him and he makes them look significantly less embarrassing.

Is Photographs just coming to mobile? Or will it receive a PC release, as well?

Definitely mobile and steam. Probably concurrent release. I’ve done that before and it works well, even if it’s a bit of extra work to make it all happen at the same time.

I’ve said 2018 to give myself as much breathing room as possible, but I am pretty sure it’s going to be around May or June. It’s coming along really well. Some of the stories are complete, and the others are mostly complete. Just today I was casting and sorting out voice acting and voice direction. I’m at that stage so it’s coming along nicely.

When did you start working on Photographs?

I’ve had the idea for it, for about five years. It sat on the shelf because I wasn’t convinced the market was right for it and it wouldn’t sell particularly well, but there have been quite a lot of serious games like it that have come out recently. 2016 I was basically on one project that at the end of 2016 I decided I wasn’t going to bother with. That was initially the next one I wanted to do.

So you began working on it in earnest in 2017?

Yeah, in terms of – I am always designing games. I’ve got notebooks full of stuff. I designed a lot of it and then I made the decision to into full production and started writing code sort of towards the end of 2016, starting in 2017.

Mobile game development has become your full-time gig now, right? Were you surprised by the success of 10000000 and where it has lead you?

You Must Build A Boar did much better than I was expecting. I think between them they’ve done like 500,000 copies. I don’t know, if you were Activision, you would probably be pretty upset about that number, but it’s just me, so it’s kind of fantastic. But yeah, I wasn’t really expecting it, especially with 10000000. I think I stayed with my job after 10000000 for like six months, because I wasn’t quite sure if it was all going to stop the day after I handed in my notice to my employer. You know what? It’s still going alright. It’s not enough to pay may salary, but it still sells like… 50ish copies a day? Like $2 or $3 bucks?

You let people e-mail you for a free copy of You Must Build A Boat if they bought 10000000. Did that affect the sales?

I don’t think so. It was thousands, and then I would reply to the
e-mails and there would be five more in the inbox, especially in those
first few weeks, but I was happy to do it.

It was originally going to be a free expansion, and then it got so big it was its own game. What I was going to do was find a way to automatically gift a copy. I said I was going to do that, but everyone said not to do it because they wanted to support me, so I though, okay, I will open up an e-mail address. I just said, “E-mail me your receipt and I will gift you a copy,” which worked well, except I spent the first few weeks after release refreshing my inbox and sending out codes.

Sorry to focus on 10000000 and You Must Build A Boat…

Well that’s the risk right? Photographs is very different. I’m struggling because, they’re like short stories and part of the interest is in the surprise with these tragedies. You’ve got to relate to these characters and have a moment of horror and then bad things happen to them, and I am quite worried about showing too much, because then I will lose that.

Can you tell me about one of the stories?

It’s the one I am working on now. It’s called the journalist’s story. It’s about a guy and he’s running a family business and it’s going alright. It’s been handed down through generations and generations and it’s called The Uplift. It’s about a newspaper that writes uplifting news. It’s all good, and the appetite for the public changes. More hateful stuff is selling and he’s cramped in this situation between, “Okay, these are the values of our publication, and our publication is going to fail and I am going to have to close my family business. Or we can change our publication to reflect the values of dissent and hate.”

This isn’t a story that’s going to be told in text. This one is more like a word puzzle. You find works that encapsulate how he is feeling at the time, but then you have this diorama that is building up around you, and the idea behind that is if you walk away from your computer or your phone and you come back, then you know exactly where you are in the story because you have these dioramas that show that.

Of the few puzzles, that is probably the closest to 10000000 or YMBAB. You’ve got letters and you’re forming words, but then that tile disappears. So you have to be tactical about which worlds you’re going to say because you’ve got to try and clear the whole grid. If you spell this word and then this word, then you’re not going to have any vowels left.

One’s kind of like a pinball puzzle where you have to line up various elements and make sure your pinball, which is represented by an Olympic diver – not Olympics, so I don’t get sued. Athletic diver – is hitting the right places in the right order. They’re all very different.

The whole thing is that it doesn’t get boring. You’re kind of obliged in a puzzle game to have 200 levels and then it’s like, “Yeah, I already know these concepts and it’s just dragging it out.” Like most of the stories, there are 15 levels, tops, so you play through all these levels and each story takes 20-30 minutes. I basically teach a game, and then throw it away afterward, so it’s all killer no filler.

I do appreciate that in video games.

I don’t know. I think people like us like that. I don’t know if the larger archetype wants to see the bullet-point saying, “Over 900 hours of gameplay!” For me, two hours gameplay is a big tick in the plus column, but for others it might be a big tick in the minus column, so I am not sure how that is going to go.

For more on Redwood’s previous games, head here to read about 10000000 and here to read our review of You Must Build A Boat.

Silph Road, a dedicated group of dataminers that dig into Pokémon Go’s code to uncover secrets, has recently made an interesting discovery. If their findings are correct, the latest version of Pokémon Go (version 0.91.1 for Android and 1.61.1 for iOS) shows signs that story quests are soon to come to the mobile game.

These quests include both short and long-term goals, and include some familiar human characters from the franchise like Professor Willow. According to Silph Road, these human characters will be given animations such as facial expressions indicating when they’re upset or happy.

As for the patch notes that Niantic revealed publicly for the update, you can view those below.

  • Improved the in-game News feature.
  • The Pokémon Collection search function now lets Trainers search using “Shiny.”
  • Various bug fixes and performance updates.

For more on Pokémon Go, read about how Niantic announced Community Day and how players can now purchase new outfits for their avatar by earning medals.

[Source: Silph Road]

 

Our Take
Story quests haven’t been confirmed by Niantic, but we’ve reported on Silph Road many times before and they have been a reliable source in the past. This indicates a strong possibility that these quests are coming at some point, but it’s unclear exactly when. I haven’t played Pokémon Go in some time, but maybe this would pull me back in if the quests are interesting enough. It could also be really cool to see how these story quests are integrated into events. Maybe we’ll see them show up for Valentine’s Day?

After two successful games sets in the post-apocalyptic Moscow underground, the Metro series is ready for its moment in the sun. Ever since we watched the impressive debut footage at Microsoft’s last E3 press conference, we were eager to learn more about Artyom’s journey through the irradiated Russian countryside and how developer 4A Games hopes to pair the traditional, linear Metro experience with some of the open spaces and focused exploration of its progenitor – S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. This past month, we journeyed to 4A Games’ headquarters on the gorgeous Mediterranean island of Malta to find these answers and more.

The 14-page cover story that emerged from our visit is packed with new details about Metro Exodus. We sat down with creative director Andriy “Prof” Prokhorov, executive producer Jon Bloch, and others to discuss 4A Games’ move from Kiev to Malta, chronicle the tricky task of evolving Metro from linear to open play spaces, and learn just how large these sandbox spaces get (we’re talking orders of magnitude larger than anything in Last Light). 4A Games also shared many smaller details series fans won’t want to miss. The feature touches on how weapon customization is changing in Exodus, the brand-new crafting system, and much more.

You can check out our cover by clicking the image below to open the full spread.

We also have a month of exclusive online coverage for Metro Exodus from me, Ben Hanson, and Javy Gwaltney that includes video interviews, close examinations of gameplay systems, exclusive screenshots, and more. Watch our coverage trailer for a tease of what’s to come.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

In addition to our 14 pages of Metro Exodus coverage, the March issue is jam-packed with interesting features. Matt Miller goes hands-on with Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, plundering the swashbuckling adventure for new details in anticipation of its pending release. Andrew Reiner peers into the twisted and tantalizing minds of Justin Roiland (Rick & Morty) and William Pugh (The Stanley Parable) by asking them to design sequels to beloved gaming franchises like Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, and Resident Evil. Elise Favis takes a closer examination of how the defeat of net neutrality could affect gamers in the coming years. We also have a four-page feature on Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, a two-page break down on the expanded content coming to Middle-earth: Shadow of War, and a GI Classic examining the Metro series precursor, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. 

Print subscribers can expect their issues to begin arriving in the next few days. Can’t wait that long? The digital edition of the issue is available later today on PC/MaciOSAndroid, and Google Play. You can also get the latest issue through third-party apps on NookKindle, and Zinio starting tomorrow. To switch your print subscription to digital, click here, or to create a new subscription to the digital edition, click here.

Click on the banner below to visit our special Metro Exodus hub. We’ll regularly be adding new stories to it in the coming days and weeks, so if you want to know everything you can about 4A Games’ latest effort be sure to bookmark it and check back in throughout the month.

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is nearing completion for PC, Mac, and Linux, with a release planned for April 3. For players without a dedicated gaming PC, you can still look forward to a chance to try out this sequel, as Game Informer has learned that Deadfire is set to come to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch during the holiday season of 2018. 

While Obsidian heads up primary development duties for Pillars II on PC, the game is being ported to consoles by developer Red Cerberus. Versus Evil and Obsidian are working together to publish the game. 

For more on Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, check out our four-page feature in the latest issue of Game Informer, releasing today. 

 

Our Take
The original Pillars of Eternity was a fantastic isometric role-playing game, and there’s good reason to believe that its sequel will continue the tradition of excellence. The original game released last summer for Xbox One and PlayStation 4; it’s good news that console players won’t have to wait quite so long for the sequel. Undoubtedly, Nintendo enthusiasts should also be excited to see the game heading to the Switch, a platform that is still establishing its cred as a role-playing game destination.  

Sony is currently running through a closed beta for the PS4’s upcoming 5.50 system update, and today the company has disclosed exactly what it contains.

The update includes:

  • Play Time Management: The ability to restrict a child’s total playtime or as it happens. Time can also be added via the console’s app.
  • New Tabs/UI: You can further search through your Library by seeing the games you’ve installed, those you’ve purchased but haven’t installed, and all the apps bought with your PSN ID. PS Plus members can also see which free games you own from the subscription. In the Library you can also hide purchased apps.
  • Supersampling Mode For PS4 Pro: This allows those PS4 Pro owners with an HDTV but not a 4K TV to get an “enhanced visual experience when playing some PS4 games.” Sony says that some games that don’t even have the supersampling feature may look better, but some won’t.
  • Other Features: Import custom wallpapers, tournament team-page customization, bulk notifications deleting, PlayStation Now background music, and quick menu enhancements.

For the full details, click on the source link below.

[Source: Official PlayStation Blog]