Planet of Tatooine, rejoice! GOG has brought back fan-favorite Star Wars Episode I Racer, the pod racing game from 1999.

Also known as the only good thing to come from The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode I Racer was a popular choice for N64-focused sleepovers around when the movie came out. The game also saw release on Dreamcast and PC, which is what the GOG version is based on, cleaned up and optimized for modern systems.

Race as your favorite pod racers like Ben Quadinaros, Aldar Beedo, Elan Mak, and all the rest. In our 2016 list of the best Star Wars games ever, we listed Episode I Racer at number 11.

PlayStation Now, Sony’s streaming cloud-based gaming service, has added select PlayStation 2 games to its repertoire.

The addition of PS2 games was announced today, confirming that these are similar to the buy-and-download PS2 Classics already on PlayStation 4, which feature updated resolution and trophy support. So fans that want to replay the games by going for every trophy can do so without downloading.

The games added this week are Ape Escape 2, the ape-capturing Sony adventure-platformer; Dark Cloud 2, Level-5’s more Zelda-like follow up to the PS2 launch game; and Hot Shots Tennis, the tennis spinoff of the popular Hot Shots Golf series. 

As with other PSNow games, save data can be saved locally or uploaded to the cloud and downloaded on other systems.

[Source: PSBlog]

 

Our Take
I think Sony sees PSNow as a venue to address backwards compatibility on the PlayStation 4, but that’s a bit of a struggle with how many great games are on the PS2. I wonder if this allows them to increase the pace at which PS2 games come to the service.

The FTC has ruled that the warranty policies of six companies violate their marketing principles and practices regarding voiding warranties.

On the pack of your consoles is a little sticker on the seam of the console warning you that breaking the sticker, basically opening it up and breaking the seam, voids the warranty. The FTC says this is illegal. In letters obtained by Motherboard through the Freedom of Information Act, the FTC has warned Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, ASUS, Hyundai, and HTC that they cannot void the warranty for opening the case up.

Motherboard points out that this sticker is in violation of “the 1975 Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which states that no manufacturer charging more than $5 for a product may put repair restrictions on a device its offering a warranty on.” 

The letters differ a little for each manufacturer, as Microsoft’s specifies a different warning about limiting warranties to repairs only done by Microsoft. The letters were sent in early April and gave the companies involved thirty days to comply. It is worth noting that the FTC is not empowered to actually force companies to change their warranty policies, and the complaint letters appear to ignore companies like Apple who have similar policies.

[Source: Motherboard]

 

Our Take
I had always been paranoid about accidentally damaging those stickers. Those stickers being declared void would allow people to seek different options for repairs rather than the manufacturer, who might not be selling you repairs for the best price.

Why does Mario always get to be in the spotlight? The cover of this year’s Game Infarcer imagines what things might look like with Luigi in the starring role. 

Once again, artist Zander Cannon (the mind behind Kaijumax) did an excellent job with the cover for our annual parody magazine. In this video, we sit down with Cannon to talk about the process of creating this funny (and bizarre) illustration. We also run through a bunch of the gags, including one that we here at Game Informer were sure no one would notice.

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If you enjoyed this video, check out our discussions from previous years, including a Bloodborne 2 cover and one for Metal Gear Solid VI.

We have an April Fools’ Day tradition here at Game Informer. We make Game Infarcer, a parody magazine full of joke games and made-up news. It even has a fake editor-in-chief! Though Game Infarcer came a little late this year (it was in our May issue instead of April, due to our 300th issue celebration), we are now putting the entire 2018 edition online for you to enjoy. Or read, at least.

It all starts with an excellent cover illustration from Zander Cannon (the mind behind Kaijumax), and then spirals into pretend gaming journalism. 

Don’t forget to click the images to make the articles readable!

On the next page: A new console iteration from Microsoft, and other things you can’t actually buy.

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Another game joins the Xbox 360 on Xbox One backwards compatibility list today and it’s an action-packed choice. THQ’s Saints Row 2 arrives on the digital service as of this morning.

The 2008 open world game was a revelation at the time in that the single-player story allowed full campaign co-op, which is still available in the backwards compatible version. A lot of Saints Row fans prefer the first and second game to the third and fourth, which are considered by some to be too extreme and wacky.

As always with Xbox One backwards compatible games, you can either use the original disc or buy the game on the Xbox One store. Either way, the game downloads a copy to your harddrive, so an online connection is required to get it either way.

Ikaruga, one of Treasure’s most venerated vertical shooters, is coming to Switch at the end of May.

The announcement comes via indie game shepherd Nicalis, which posted a tweet and blog entry about bringing over the game today.

 

 

The game, commonly considered a spiritual sequel to Treasure’s Radiant Silvergun, involves flipping between black and white to determine how you damage enemies and whether you take damage. The game was praised after its arcade release in 2001, warranting cult-classic status when it got ported to Dreamcast, Gamecube, Xbox 360, and PC over the last two decades.

With the Switch, players can either use it in horizontal mode, as one would traditionally use a Switch as a handheld, or in a vertical orientation similar to its arcade release, also known as TATE mode. Ikaruga lands on the Switch eShop on May 29 for $14.99.

 

Our Take
I played the hell out of the game on the Gamecube, but I’m definitely interested in getting another shot at it. Hopefully Treasure starts porting its old back catalog to modern systems again.

VR is a compelling technology, but most of the big sets tether you to a computer. Oculus is hoping to set players free with Oculus Go – an all-in-one VR headset that isn’t powered by a PC or phone.

Oculus announced the mobile headset last fall, but starting today, if you’ve got $199, you can snag an Oculus Go VR Headset that contains 32 GB of storage (the 64 GB model is $249). While this headset doesn’t need to connect to a phone or PC for power, you will need to connect to a free iOS or Android mobile app during setup.

The Oculus Go headset is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chip paired with Oculus’ automatic Dynamic Throttling feature that theoretically offers a smoother frame rate. Meanwhile, the Go’s new display panel features 538 pixels-per-inch for a resolution of 2560 x 1440. Obviously, battery life will vary based on use, but a built-in lithium ion battery should provide about two hours of playtime for games or up to 2.5 hours for streaming media and video.

Go users will have access to a variety of content, which includes (text from Oculus):

  • Over 1,000 Games and Experiences to explore including titles such as Anshar Online, They Suspect Nothing and Space Explorers (NASA), amongst others.
  • An update to Oculus Rooms with a fully redesigned and customizable environment, more life-like avatars and the ability to watch full-length movies from among the hundreds of top titles in the Oculus Store. We’re also bringing Hasbro games to Rooms: Boggle joins the platform this month, with Monopoly + Trivial Pursuit brand experiences coming later.
  • Oculus TV is a brand-new way to experience your favorite serialized content. A custom-built 3D environment with a massive screen and virtual seating area, Oculus TV also serves as a convenient hub to launch your favorite individual VR entertainment apps, like Netflix, Hulu, and SHOWTIME.
  • Oculus Venues, where you can watch live concerts, sports, comedy shows, and other events with your closest friends and an audience of thousands of people around the world (available beginning May 30).

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Our Take
This is interesting. Game Informer has been bullish on VR, and while the technology hasn’t exploded nearly as quicky as we thought, we’re still excited about the possibilities. This newest headset looks like a step in the right direction. Stay tuned for more impressions once we get our hands on a review unit. 

Nintendo has announced that Mii creation and editing will be available on browsers starting at the end of this month.

The news came in the latest, and presumably final, Miiitomo update for Nintendo’s mobile social network app. Since Miitomo was Nntendo’s method for adjusting your Nintendo online ID’s associated Mii at your leisure, Mii editing is now going to simply be browser-based for people who want to change their Mii’s looks.

Miitomo service is ending on May 9, a little over two years since its release. Outgoing Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima stated during the recent financial briefing that Nintendo has failed to achieve a satisfactory profit from their mobile offerings. Nintendo has also said that online details for the Switch should be arriving this month.

 

Our Take
I don’t think Miis are very well intertwined with Nintendo’s brand identity anymore, but I can’t imagine they get rid of them. Not sure what their plan is for the future of the avatar figures.

If you’re not watching Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans GO!, you might be missing out. The show pokes fun at itself and superhero tropes while breaking the fourth wall. If a recent trailer is to be believed, the upcoming film looks to do the same.

Teen Titans GO! To The Movies hits theaters on July 27, andlooks like a refreshing change of pace for the modern movie landscape. Check out the trailer below.

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Halsey is Wonder Woman. Nicolas Cage is Superman. Jimmy Kimmel is Batman. And Will Arnett Is Deathstroke. This moving is going to be weird.