An image that popped up on image boards and social media today shows off what appears to be a placement document for banners of games at Nintendo’s E3 booth. 

The listing, which appears to be one page and at minimum not representative of everything that could be at the booth, lists a number of games that have been long speculated to come to the Switch. The first is Fortnite, which is unsurprising as Epic is very keen on getting that game on every possible platform. Other games include Dragon Ball FighterZ, Overcooked 2, and Paladins, Hi-Rez studio’s multiplayer shooter.

Also shown is Starlink, Ubisoft’s Toys-To-Life starship game that appeared at least year’s Ubisoft conference but has not been seen since.

Is this document real? It’s hard to say. Its origins are certainly suspect, but nothing on this list is incredibly shocking, as the developers of these games have spoken about wanting to put them on Switch for some time. It will be interesting to see if this rumor bears fruit when E3 opens on June 12, but Nintendo’s own E3 showcase takes place that morning at 9:00 a.m. PT.

Our Take
I am inclined to believe this, if only because it is relatively mundane. In an age of ubiquitous smartphones, printed documents that show off things like this are more than likely to get out, and the lack of spectacle probably means no one is trying to hunt down the leaker for it. But like I said, we’ll see.

World of Demons, the first PlatinumGames title that’s made for mobile phones, has a brand new gameplay trailer.

The new trailer shows off more of the action gameplay people have come to expect from PlatinumGames, as well as some of the title’s other features, like the demon summoning and asymmetric multiplayer. You can watch the trailer below.

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World of Demons is scheduled for release this summer for both iOS and Android.

A demo of Pokemon Gold And Silver contains a large number of unused Pokémon designs. The demo file surfaced over 20 years after it was originally playable at the Nintendo Space World trade show in 1997, according to The Cutting Room Floor.

Fans at The Cutting Room Floor analyzed the demo’s files, revealing the unused designs. These include old designs for existing Pokémon, such as the legendary beasts, Raikou, Entei, and Suicune.

There are also completely original Pokémon, like a vine monster called “Gelanla,” a spooky hamster-cat called “Electiger,” and several unused “baby” evolutions, like a pre-Meowth Pokémon called “Meowsy.”

ResetEra user The Shadow Knight compiled an image containing every sprite in the demo, according to IGN, including the original 151 Pokémon and the unused second generation designs. Some highlights include an unused evolution for Farfetch’d, an awesome unused Hoothoot evolution (replaced by Noctowl), and two unused starter Pokémon.

A full list of the Pokémon’s names and their accompanying images can be found at The Cutting Room Floor. More details about the demo’s files can be found in a spreadsheet assembled by the team who sorted through the files.

[Source: The Cutting Room Floor, ResetEra via IGN]

 

Our Take
I’m very glad some some of these designs didn’t make it to the final game (Raikou’s in particular looks like a bad Neopet), but some of them are pretty cool. I wish that the unused Politoed design (the frog-thing on the far right of the second-to-last image) hadn’t been replaced with the current Politoad. It’s cute and all, but there’s something really awesome about that big goofy frog design. I hope Game Freak brings some of these to the games eventually, because a lot of them are way cooler than an ice cream Pokémon.

The first Borderlands game has been rated for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, thanks to a listing from the ever-talkative Korean Ratings Board.

The game, which was originally released in 2009, appears to be the Game of the Year variant, which includes all of Borderlands’ DLC. Borderlands has since spawned a series of one sequel, a pre-sequel, and a Telltale sidestory, with a third game openly talked about but still unrevealed.

Borderlands 2 and its prequel, the Pre-Sequel, are both already available on modern systems in what’s called The Handsome Jack Collection, but Borderlands 1 has never been ported. If Borderlands 3 is imminent, it probably makes sense to just complete the loop and bring the first title over.

 

Our Take
There’s a contingent of people that definitely prefers the first game to the sequels, so hopefully they clean the look up a bit for a remaster and get it looking nice.

If you’ve ever wondered how item stores in video games manage to stay in business, Moonlighter lets you step behind the counter to find out. As a young merchant named Will, you spend part of your time tending to your shop, and the other part diving into randomly generated dungeons to restock. This straightforward premise initially shows huge potential, but like most jobs, routine sets in and leaves you going through the motions.

Moonlighter isn’t the only item-store simulator out there, but it sets itself apart from the competition with its fantastic retro atmosphere. The pixel art and music evoke a unique retro aesthetic without feeling like cheap nostalgia, which is rare feat. Beneath that alluring presentation is a formula that provides a few hours of simple fun. After exploring a dungeon, you sell the items you collected – a process which requires some trial and error, since you want to set a price that maximizes profits while keeping your customers happy. Then you use that money (and some materials) to upgrade your gear, helping you delve deeper and collect more valuable loot. After that, the cycle repeats as you defeat bosses and unlock dungeons with different visual themes.

At the beginning, I looked forward to spending my nights encountering strange foes and finding artifacts in the randomized dungeon layouts. During the day, I enjoyed the puzzle-like process of finding the sweet spot for pricing when restocking my shelves, with different customer reactions signaling whether the cost is too high or low. After scrolling through my ledger on a particularly profitable day, the urge to take just one more trip to the dungeons was powerful. Even the simple battles were entertaining, using top-down combat that borrows from games like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.

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Despite all of its promise, the problem with Moonlighter is how soon the whole concept plateaus. Once the early thrills wear off, you are left to chase rewards that never ultimately pay off. As you craft and upgrade different weapons and armor, they get stronger – but they generally keep pace with enemies’ increasing power, so you don’t feel much improvement. Plus, without new abilities to expand your options, you’re using the exact same moves in the fourth dungeon that you used in the first one. This doesn’t dull the basic fun of combat and exploration in the moment, but it prevents the adventure from evolving.

Once you finish the golem dungeon and catalogue all of its treasures, you move on to the forest dungeon and repeat the same process. The environment and enemies change, but the template doesn’t; you fight through three floors and take periodic trips home to sell your spoils. No puzzles, no tricks – just clearing rooms. At the end of each dungeon, you fight a boss, but even those encounters feel similar. Whether it’s a robot snake or a ball of electricity, the bosses demand little from you other than getting close and swinging your weapon, using potions when necessary.

One interesting wrinkle in your journey is the addition of item curses. Objects you find might have one of these random properties, like breaking after you take too much damage, or destroying an item in an adjacent inventory slot. This adds a layer of management to your looting; you need to think about which items you collect and where they’re placed on the grid, so amassing artifacts isn’t only a question of how much space you have left in your bag. But once you get your treasures home, the routine kicks in again.

Discerning the value of different items feels static. You’re putting a higher price tag on nutritive water than you were on iron bars, but your strategy never changes. Just take a guess, wait for a customer’s reaction, and adjust until you get the ideal response. However, I appreciate how the game remembers the right prices once you find them, which cuts down on the hassle of getting stuff on the shelves.

I wish I could say all aspects of Moonlighter were so user-friendly, but I encountered a variety of different technical problems during my playthrough. Customers not leaving my store (so I couldn’t close up shop), important enemies not spawning, and inconsistent hit detection are just a few examples. The severity varies, but the progress-blocking problems forced me to restart – an act that usually caused me to lose valuable items I had gathered. Frustrations like these put a major dent in Moonlighter’s long-term charm.

With four dungeons to finish and forget in a prescribed order (plus a final boss fight), the repetition makes Moonlighter feel less like one unfolding game and more like the same game four times. The story is barely present, and persistent elements that tie the rogue-lite experience together – like crafting and store expansion – have too little impact to convey a satisfying sense of progress. When viewed on a smaller scale, the accessible combat and simple formula make it easy to pick up and enjoy Moonlighter casually. However, my excitement and enthusiasm were at their highest during the brief window when I didn’t know exactly what to expect next.

 

This review pertains to the PS4 version of Moonlighter. The game is also available now on Xbox One and PC, with a Switch version planned for later this year.

Yesterday, Amazon Spain very abruptly cancelled a number of Crackdown 3 preorders for the upcoming Xbox One exclusive, fueling speculation that the game might be delayed or worse. Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg says it was simply an Amazon error, however.

Crackdown 3 was first announced at Microsoft’s E3 show in 2014, but has suffered numerous delays since then, originally pegged as the premiere Xbox One X launch title. Since its most recent delay last year, fans have expressed anxiousness at Microsoft’s muted marketing about the game. The Amazon Spain cancellations thus fueled a lot of worries that the game had been cancelled, a fate that has unfortunately befallen some other Xbox One exclusives, giving Microsoft somewhat of a reputation for it.

Aaron Greenberg, general manager of marketing at Microsoft, assuaged fan fears over the status of the game.

Greenberg confirmed the game is still being worked on, but pointedly stayed away from speculation on the game being delayed at all. With E3 only days away at this point, Microsoft will likely update Xbox One owners on the status of the oft-delayed game and whether we should expect it soon. Microsoft’s E3 conference takes place on Sunday, June 10 – 1:00 p.m. PT

 

Our Take
Microsoft’s silence on the game makes me think it’s one of either extreme: the game has been delayed out of this year or they’re going to do an all-out marketing blitz for it starting at E3. We’ll find out in a few days.

In a new developer spotlight, Insomniac has teased a new exploration-based VR game on the Oculus. The studio hints at a solution to the issue of movement in an open-world environment, eschewing the typical short-range teleportation system that many VR games currently use. 

The game sounds like it could be a mix of the ambition of No Man’s Sky and the quality of world design that Insomniac is known for. Hopefully we will see a hand-crafted open world or galaxy that will allow players to explore and discover and run into the fun and vibrant characters that the studio does so well.

You can see the full video below.

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Our Take:
It looks like Insomniac is still fully in support of VR. I am glad to see developers still taking chances and trying to find the full potential of the format. Insomniac has made some amazing games (Sunset Overdrive is my jam) and I want their signature style and creativity to carry over to an open-world VR game.That would be something to get me interested in finally taking the plunge of picking up a headset. 

Following on the heels of GTA IV, Bully, and Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar announced today that three more of its titles would be coming to Xbox One backwards compatibility. Starting June 7, GTA: San Andreas, Midnight Club: LA, and Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis will all be available to play on Xbox One.

Rockstar has said that GTA: San Andreas will be the enhanced version released on Xbox 360, with increased resolution and draw distance, even if using the original Xbox disc. Additionally, both the initial release of Midnight Club: LA and the complete edition (with new tracks, music, and parts) will be available. 

Red Dead Redemption received a native 4K update alongside its backwards compatibility, but so far no similar improvements have been announced for these titles. Regardless, they present an excellent opportunity to enjoy more of Rockstar’s catalog.

As Sega gears up for the launch of Sonic Mania Plus this July, it is continuing its animated short series Sonic Mania Adventures. The first episode captured fans’ hearts with a charming animated style and amazing remixes of classic Sonic tunes, and the second and third episodes are no different.

The third episode, appropriately titled “& Knuckles,” features the series’ red echidna fulfilling his duties as the guardian of the Master Emerald. Come for the Knuckles-focused short, but stay for the awesome reworking of his theme song that’ll leave you wondering where you can find the soundtrack to this series.

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To watch the first two episodes of Sonic Mania Adventures, head here for Episode 1 and here for Episode 2.

I began chatting
with Jeff Marchiafava about doing Blog Herding back in 2013. I just really
wanted my life intertwined with Game Informer’s. As many of you know, I
interned here. I love everything about G.I. I wrote many stories, one for print,
went to parties where craft beer was had, and bad games were played. And editor
Matt Kato became one of my closest friends, and one I look forward to chatting
with every day – even if he supports Manchester City. According to email correspondence
with Jeff, it was in January 2015 that we began talking about what this
iteration of Blog Herding would look like, and what it would mean when I took
it over.

There have been
so many times where bloggers reminded me just how old I was getting when it
came to a past game I played. And now I have this reminder that I did Blog
Herding for over three years, beginning on March 26, 2015. It’s baffling, rewarding, but also
scary. I’m afraid I didn’t do enough for all of you. I definitely tried! I hope
I did. I absolutely loved playing Rocket League and Monster Hunter with all of
you. I loved reading your writing. I absolutely enjoyed becoming friends with
some of you and chatting with you about life, games, and what gaming means to
us in our lives.

And Game Informer
has given me a lot. Every single one of you has given me more than I can
express – whether it is a reason to check out a game or a conversation on what
this crazy life means (it would be remiss not to mention Rebekah Lang’s impact
on me as a friend). When there was a chance to do Blog Herding, I knew I had to
give back to the great community. And not to belabor the point, but you all rock,
and I hope I served you well. The new website won’t have the ability for blogs
to be written. Your blogs will be saved, but I do recommend you back them up if
you can. And I implore you to all try and freelance – the range and depth of
content on display in this community is astounding. Don’t be afraid to grow,
and then to shine.

Our final Blog
Herding has ninjas, foxes amongst the stars, a card game, and eulogies. It’s
not a regular week, but a good one. A bitter sweet one, but one I’m glad to
have been a part of. I just wish I had been here longer. You’re all amazing.

I actually kept a
bottle of a special beer, Alaskan Smoked Porter 2011, in the hopes that I would
get a job at Game Informer before its recommended aging length of five years
was up. I gave myself a five-year window. To some, I failed, but I made great
friends along the way, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Except maybe not having
an old beer to drink now! That’s life, and I hope with the loss of user blogs,
you all find a way to continue writing.

Looking back at
that first Blog Herding… I don’t even have the same last name anymore! What a
wild ride this has been. Thank you all.

See you all
later, space cowboys and cowgirls. No – you have dust in your eyes. Plus, I’m
allergic to my cat. Yes, the one I named after Shigeru Miyamoto.    

Community Blogs
For May 17 – May 30:

Zang
Recomends: Shadow Blade: Reload (PS4)

The Zangmaster writes about a fast-paced platformer starring a ninja. That’s
pretty much all I need to know. While I like to play ninja games more in the
style of Tenchu (such an underrated, amazing series), I’m down for just
about anything with a ninja in it.

Nintendo
64 – The Console With a Distorted Legacy

Widdowson91 argues that the Nintendo 64 isn’t all that great because it doesn’t have a lot of great games compared to other consoles. I
would argue that a handful of the 64’s best games are probably some of the best
games ever. It’s an interesting blog. What do you think?

Gwent
Beta: Rule Changes, Loot Boxes, and Trolls, oh my!

JillG breaks down the popular Gwent, a card game a good friend of mine won’t
stop talking about, and one I know nothing about. It’s a good read for those
interested in trying out the beta, which I finally deleted because I just can’t
find the time to play it. Plus, I’m more of a Pazaak guy myself.

Would A Star Fox Racing Game Really Be
That Bad?

In a world where gamers want proper Metroid and Star Fox games, Nintendo might
give us exactly what we want: a Star Fox Racing game. Err, wait a minute.
MightyMagikarp’s blog counters the people who don’t want to see an improper
Star Fox game, instead giving us reasons why this might be a good idea. At this
point I would rather see him on a planet filled with dinosaurs again.

My Recent Speedrun Obsession
Writergirl2394 is addicted to speedruns. She breaks down what makes them
appealing, like Skyrim’s broken world involving horses and flinging oneself.
This is definitely one interesting community, and one I would like to explore
more.

RIP User Blogs
It was hard to include these blogs, but this is what we got with the end of BH
near. Dominic Cichocki, who has been an up and coming writer in the blogosphere
as of late, reflects on what the platform was able to do for him. This is such
a nostalgic post it both makes me happy and hurt. Thank you for being a part of
G.I., Dominic.

A Farewell To The Blogs (Thanks, G.I.)
Bjdbuch first wrote a Game Informer blog nine years ago. I had just moved to
Alaska and was writng for a newspaper there and trying to freelance and break
into the industry. (I actually interviewed with Andrew Reiner and Jeff Cork, I
believe, for a job at Game Informer that summer). I ended up getting closer to
where Cork grew up than to G.I., but it was a fun adventure! Anyway, bjdbuch
wrote a blog back then. At 13. It was short and imperfect, but it was another
part of the Blog Herding legacy. “The community gave me a sense of
purpose and pride during a time in my life where I didn’t have much. Middle
school was hell, but I knew that I could always go to GameInformer.com and find
people who liked me for the nerd that I was. It was amazing.” You’re amazing,
bjdbuch.

Darkest
Dungeon: Give the Blogs Some Company in the Grave

JillG “celebrates” the demise of Blog Herding with Darkest Dungeon. It works.
Jill may have come to the blog game later on, but her impact was felt. Thank
you for sticking with us, Jill!  

Gaming’s Most Epic Moments: The New GoW
Was Amazing

Brendon Curzio beat God of War, and I did not. So, I can’t say what all he
writes about, but I can say the moments in God of War are *kisses fingers like
a chef* – amazing. I can’t read this because spoilers, but knowing Curzio, it’s
good. And knowing God of War, these moments are some of gaming’s best.

Community
Reviews:

Mario
& Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions Review – A Welcome Return

Insane_Buffoon
delievers a short and sweet review on why this Super Mario and Luigi RPG is so
much fun to play. “The biggest new addition is a new separate campaign
featuring a tenacious goomba trying to reunite with his beloved leader. The
gameplay plays out in a real-time strategic lite style.” I have wanted to
replay this game on the Gameboy Advance, but I really want to try out the new
content.

Community Writing Challenge:

This is it, ladies and gentlemen. The final challenge: What
did writing for Game Informer’s blogging platform mean to you? What did it do
for you? How did it change you?

I hope you enjoy
the blogs! Please contact me via my Game Informer page or on Twitter at @LouisGarcia12 with
any blog news or playdate suggestions.