Remember that contest from day before yesterday where we gave away a Pickle Rick statue to Minneapolis entrant and a second equally awesome contest from yesterday where we did the same for Indianapolis? Well, Adult Swim has given Game Informer the go ahead to give away another special three-of-a-kind Pickle Rick statue to a lucky local fan in the Denver area this time.

With Rick And Morty Season 3 releasing on blu-ray and DVD today on May 15, Adult Swim is celebrating the occasion with a handmade Pickle Rick statue that isn’t available at retail. Whoever wins this will have one of the only ones in the world that no other Rick and Morty fan can buy. Take a look at some pictures of it with different lighting below.

To win, just comment on the post below. We’ll pick a winner at random from the comments by next Wednesday, May 23, at 12:00 PM CT. We’ll shoot you a message at your Game Informer account and get the details for you to get your statue. This contest is only open for local fans, however, so if you’re not in the Denver area, it probably doesn’t make sense to enter. If you’re in Indianapolis or Minneapolis, use these pages over here to comment!

If you are in the area, comment below and make sure you enter before it’s too late. 

No purchase necessary. Only open to U.S. Residents 13 years of age or older. Only one entry per person. One winner will be picked at random.

While it’s looking likely we’ll get to play Red Dead Redemption 2 this year, we’ll have to wait for a while longer for another of Take-Two’s big franchises to get a sequel. We’re not sure what franchise that might be, however.

As part of its quarterly financial earnings report (in which it posted strong earnings off the back of GTA Online and NBA 2K19), the company laid out its expectations for the 2019 fiscal year (which began in April of this year and concludes in March of next year), which includes strong sales for Red Dead Redemption 2, NBA 2K20, WWE 2K20, but does not include a major sequel in one of its key franchises.

The sequel, which had originally been planned to release during the 2019 fiscal year, has been pushed back to the 2020 fiscal year (April 2019-March 2020). The delay was made to give the developers extra time to work on the title. “We remain as excited as ever about this title, and expect it to enhance our results next fiscal year,” said Take-Two chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick.

Zelnick did not reveal which franchise he was referring to, but it’s possible it could be either Borderlands 3 (whose presence at E3 is not looking likely), or the next entry in the BioShock series (which a top-secret studio is working on but still looks to be a ways off). Either way, we’ll (probably) know by March 2020.

[Source: Take-Two Interactive]

 

Our Take
I’m betting this is Borderlands 3, but maybe Take-Two is overestimating the excitement around a potential Duke Nukem sequel?

In December of last year, the FCC led by Ajit Pai voted to end net neutrality, a regulation in place that prevents internet providers from prioritizing content on the internet for faster speeds or data access. Today, the Senate voted to reinstate those protections in a 52-47 vote. 

President Trump made eliminating net neutrality a priority when he selected Ajit Pai as FCC chairman, but has long been an opponent of the regulation. Congress, however, is empowered to codify those Title II protections to prevent ISPs from throttling or blocking content. While the FCC voted to repeal those regulations in December, red tape prevented the change from going into effect for a number of months, until Pai confirmed that they would start applying on June 11.

The vote has been split on party lines with Democrats voting to keep the Obama-era protections in place and the majority of Republicans voting to let the repeal go through. Under the Congressional Review Act, the Democrats were able to call a vote to examine and vote on regulations by federal agencies under an expedited process, meaning it allowed the Senate to deny repeals with a simple majority.

With Republican senator John McCain of Arizona currently hospitalized, only a single Republican needed to break ranks to beat the repeal. Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Joe Kennedy all stepped away from the Republican position and voted with the Democrats to pass the resolution. The CRA was used by the Republicans last year to repeal an Obama-era FCC rule that prevented broadband providers from selling customer data, but is not used often otherwise.

The largely symbolic vote is just the first step in the net neutrality fight and is explicitly intended to get the subject on voters’ minds to pressure their representatives for the far more important House of Representatives vote which has not been scheduled and might not be without voter pressure. Net neutrality proponents would need to get the signatures of a majority of the House to use the CRA, convince every single Democrat to vote to retain the protections, which is not yet true, and also flip 22 Republicans. After all that, the legislation would have to be signed by President Trump, who is on record as disliking network neutrality legislation.

The only way this moves forward is if proponents push forward. If you’re curious how network neutrality would affect gaming, Elise wrote up a world without network neutrality here.

 

Our Take
The fight for the internet should not be along party lines and shouldn’t be a partisan issue. If you use the internet, network neutrality should be something you care about and research heavily.

The
internet has been lighting up in the last few days which over what appear to be
possible leaks of a Pokémon game for Switch.

Yesterday, anonymous users of the
image board 4chan, which is known for a number of true video game leaks and a
far larger number of fake ones, posted the titles and details of what they
claimed were the next few Pokémon games. Titled Pokémon Let’s Go: Pikachu and Pokémon
Let’s Go: Eevee, the two titles are supposedly remakes or reimaginings of Pokémon
Yellow.

Pokémon Yellow was the third game
of the first generation, slightly redesigned to be more in line with the anime,
with changes like getting all of the starter Pokémon in your team and starting
with Pikachu instead. The battle sprites were also redrawn to be a little less
abstract than they were in Red and Blue and look more like the cartoon.

The rumors go on to suggest that
the title is no accident and developer Game Freak is trying to leverage the
success of mobile game Pokémon Go by combining mainstay Pokémon features with
that of Go. The post talks about not only making catching more like Pokémon Go,
but also integrating the Switch titles with the mobile games, including using Pokémon
Bank to trade between them.

Finally, the alleged leaker says
that Pokeride, the Alolan service to ride certain Pokémon around returns, as
does the Pokémon Heart Gold/Soul Silver feature of letting your Pokémon follow
you. A few months ago, a blurry screenshot appeared on the internet of a
trainer riding a Lapras with an Eevee riding on the trainer’s head. It was
dismissed as fake due to the blurriness of the shot and the inexplicable use of
the Eevee riding on the trainer. While the rumor creator could have also seen
that shot and simply based their post on it, it is definitely curious.

Pokémon rumors happen all the time
and fans will go far, from speculation disguised as rumors, to fake
screenshots, to even fangames presented as real ones. Since a Switch Pokémon
title was announced at E3 last year, fans have gone wild with speculation over
what the first mainline console Pokémon could be like. These rumors, however,
got a twist earlier today.

Two domains, “pokemonletsgopikachu.com”
and “pokemonletsgoeevee.com,” were registered
by the domain registration company CSC Corporate Domains Inc
. This is
notable because CSC Corporate Domains also registered the domains for Pokémon
Sun and Moon, pokemon-sunmoon.com website, which is the official website for
the Generation 7 titles on 3DS. The Pokémon Sun and Moon website lists Game
Freak, The Pokémon Company, and Nintendo as owners, while the latest websites
do not. That sort of information can be kept hidden easily, however.

It is also worth noting that The Pokémon
Company has been pushing Eevee as one of the mascots of the series hard in the
last year, giving the Pokémon its own merchandising line and even making Eevee the
center of The Pokémon Center April Fool’s joke
 with a photoshopped
appearance in Tekken 7.

With only a few weeks until E3, it
is likely we’ll hear about the game by then if it is indeed coming this year.
Regardless of whether these rumors are accurate or not, it is fascinating how
the Pokémon community rallies around speculation and rumors and tears them apart.
The community is already split on whether this is real or fake, so a lot of
people are likely to eat some crow when the Switch games are eventually
revealed.

 

Our Take
Like I said, Pokémon rumors are constant, but these seem to have a bit more meat to them than most. We’ll likely find out before too long, as I can’t imagine remakes taking too long if they were in development along side Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

The Crew 2 is getting a closed beta at the very end of this month on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

If you’re eager to take Ubisoft’s Crew sequel for a test drive, you can register for the beta here and choose your platform preference to get a chance to try the game when the beta launches on May 31. Once you get into the beta, you will have until June 4 to race around and change planes into boats and whatever else you want to do.

You can find our new preview of the game here. The Crew 2 releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on June 29.

After the first teaser and gameplay trailers for Rage 2 earlier this week showed what we can expect from the post-apocalyptic sequel, we now have confirmation of at least one other cool bit of info: It reportedly does not have loot boxes.

Speaking with German publication GameStar, id Software confirmed loot boxes are out, but that the long-tail, games-as-a-service approach is still in. According to translation by USGamer, id Software studio director Tim Willits said id wants “people to play Rage 2 longer,” though he did not elaborate on what, specifically, that would entail.

We will likely find out more about Rage 2 at E3 in a few weeks, the schedule of which you can check out here.

 

Our Take
Bethesda has mostly kept its hand out of the lootbox cookie jar, so can buy the notion Rage 2 wasn’t affected by the recent controversies surrounding loot boxes and their subsequent bans in Belgium and The Netherlands. Either way, nice to know!

With E3 open to the public again this year, Nintendo is applying the principles of other fan shows and requiring registration for its biggest announced game at the Los Angeles event.

In order for fans to play Super Smash Bros. for Switch on the E3 show floor, they have to register with an electronic ticket given a week before the show begins. This ticket allows people to show up at registered times and play the game for their allotted slot, much like ticketing at a packed convention like PAX would work.

In order to get a ticket, you will need to register for E3 by May 31. On June 5, an email will go out to registered attendees to register for their time to play the game, which will be made available in the form of a QR code for you to pull up on your phone or print out on a piece of paper. This is the only game at Nintendo’s booth that requires registration.

This seems like an effort to curtail lines for what will likely be Nintendo’s most popular game at the show and avoid people waiting in line all day to play the game for one match. Nintendo’s E3 showcase will be on Tuesday, June 12 at 9:00 a.m. PT.

[Source: Nintendo]

Chrono Trigger’s surprise Steam release has been plagued with graphical and UI issues since launch, but Square is hoping to continue working on them for at least two more patches, one of which is available now.

The latest patch updates the in-battle UI to make it more navigable for users playing a on keyboard or controller (previously, it was more optimized for a mouse, since it was based on the iOS version). Users can swap between the old and new UI in the options menu.

The graphics for character sprites on the world map have been brought more in line with the original release, and the animated cutscenes have gotten a resolution bump as well. The patch also fixes several bugs, lets players pause during combat, and fixes some of the Korean text. The previous patch added the option to change the graphics from the iOS graphics to the original, but this one will hopefully address to the issues that arouse from that option.

Square also promises another patch is planned for early June. That patch will make more improvements to the UI and control schemes.

To see what the game was originally like on release, check out our episode of New Gameplay Today on the game.

 

Our Take
Someday, this port will be as good as the game Square released over 20 years ago. But not quite yet!

Transformers fans have had lots to enjoy in recent years. In the video game sphere, 2015’s Transformers: Devastation offered an injection of nostalgia mixed with Platinum Games’ eye for high-octane action, and the Forged to Fight mobile game continues to expand with new characters on a regular basis. A new web-based animation series recalls some of the original generation of characters. An ongoing line of Hasbro figures explores a ton of different characters. And a compelling universe of storytelling has unfolded in the IDW comics (wrapping up later this year), in which old characters are given new life through a lengthy continuity and complex themes. 


The Flame Toys figure line looks to the IDW comic characters for inspiration

It’s that last universe of IDW comics that has served as inspiration for a new limited line of figures, different from what fans have come to expect in the past. Hong Kong-based Flame Toys recently introduced their Kuro Kara Kuri line of figures, which are built as high-end collectibles modeled after select characters from the comics. The initial figures from the line should be familiar to comic readers, but at least the first two figures may be new to fans of the classic cartoon or toys. “We chose the characters based on their background stories,” a Flame Toys representative shared. “For example, Drift’s name before is Deadlock. When his friend Wing dies, Deadlock becomes Drift, a good guy. As Drift is rich in story, it made us very interested in making it. Moreover, the rich background story also gave us increased design flexibility.”


The Drift figure comes with a stand, but is also poseable standing free

The figures are remarkably articulated, but they don’t transform. That might be a turn-off for some collectors, but other features balance out the absence of that fundamental feature. The figures boast remarkably robust poseability and articulation. Along with the included stand, the Drift figure can be set up for dramatic action shots, with swords in mid-swing and arms outspread. Alternately, the included wire-supported cape can replicate stoic standing poses culled from the comics. And the figure includes fun movement gimmicks, like a sword crossguard that changes the color of its embedded gem when the hilt is extended, and articulated ankles with multiple moving pieces, lending the sense of a real robot in motion as the figure is placed in different positions. Multiple light-up features help the figure shine even in low-light display spaces, and accentuate the immaculate paint and sculpting work. These are collectibles meant to be displayed like a statue, but adjusted regularly with new included face plates, hands, weapons, and poses, like an action figure. There’s over 50 points of articulation on this guy, so there are a lot of options.  


The included cloak features hidden wires that can lend the sense of the blowing wind, just like in a memorable scene from the comic

“Our design emphasizes robot joint mechanism and outlook modernization,” Flame Toys told me via email. “We want customers to play with and enjoy these figures as a way to celebrate the background story of the character. According to our complicated joint design, virtually any pose is possible, easily. For Drift, we have taken the background story as a major reference point for the design.”

Flame Toys has already released the Drift figure in the United States via distributor Bluefin, but the 8-inch die-cast and plastic figure doesn’t come cheap at $299.99. The upcoming Tarn figure features similar light-up features and poseability, and pre-orders for him are running $399.99. And while they haven’t yet been announced for North American release, early pictures have emerged from Asian fan conventions showing off other fan favorite characters like Star Saber and Optimus Prime, so we’ll have to wait and see if they make their way stateside. 


Tarn is a surprisingly nuanced and compelling villain drawn from the IDW comics

Since Days Gone’s reveal at E3 2016, a huge point of discussion for the game has been “the horde.” One of the most interesting aspects of the game from Sony Bend is the team’s ability to have hundreds upon hundreds of freakers rush toward the player as a dynamic, dangerous biomass. Sony Bend is eager to show that the E3 2016 demo is real tech in the game, and there’s no better way to do that than to have the horde brutally kill us over and over again. While visiting the studio for our cover story on Days Gone, we passed the PS4 controller between Jeff Cork, Jeff Marchiafava, and myself in an attempt to extinguish a 300-freaker strong horde.

How did it go? Well, watch the video below (featuring work-in-progress gameplay) and find out…

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For much more on Days Gone, check out our month of bonus coverage by clicking the banner below.