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  1. Red Dead Redemption 2 now lets PC players grab a cup of “Hot Coffee,” if you catch my drift. But if you weren’t around for the halcyon days of 2005 then strap yourself in, because this is kind of funny. The mod is a reference to the infamous “Hot Coffee mod” from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It’s a mod that allowed players to take control of the protagonist CJ as they have sex with one of his girlfriends. The encounter was originally designed as a minigame but the developers eventually decided to keep the content hidden. It would not be unlockable at all through gameplay. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=every-ign-rockstar-game-review-ever&captions=true"] Instead, it took until a year later in 2005 when San Andreas released on Windows that modders were able to unlock the previously blocked content. While the mod is decidedly un-sexy and awkward, it created a pretty big scandal, and San Andreas became rated AO for Adults Only. Unlike the San Andreas mod, the Hot Coffee mod for Red Dead Redemption 2 isn’t unlocked content the devs kept hidden, but a deliberate homage. The mod lets players take control of Arthur Morgan during his boozy trip to the saloon where he can woo one of the patrons and take them back to a hotel room. Like in San Andreas, the Red Dead Redemption 2 version of the mod is also not sexy, and all characters involved are clothed, and the voice lines are just generic ones from the game repurposed for the mod. Although the mod is clearly a joking reference to an older era of Rockstar Games, the developer and publisher Take-Two are reportedly unhappy with it. One of the modders confirmed to PCGamesN that they were contacted by Take-Two to take down the mod. This isn't surprising considering Take-Two had to settle with the FTC following the fallout of the hot coffee mod, and later versions of the game completely removed the content. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2019/10/17/red-dead-redemption-2-pc-trailer"] There was some question about whether or not Red Dead Redemption 2 would support mods on PC ahead of its release, but Rockstar declined to comment on the matter. But it appears now that the PC version can support mods, even if the developers don’t approve of them. While we won’t link to the mod, it’s not hard to find with a little help from the internet. Meanwhile, check out IGN’s Red Dead Redemption 2 review and Red Dead Redemption 2 wiki for more of our coverage. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Matt Kim is a reporter for IGN. View the full article
  2. In 2015, development of Resident Evil 2: Reborn, the fan-made remake of the classic survival-horror game, came crashing to a halt when the young development team in small-town Italy received a call from Capcom politely asking them to stop. Before long, Resident Evil 7 and later RE2: Remake were officially announced. Meanwhile, in Italy, Invader Studios rose from the ashes of the cancelled fan project, delivering their own title Daymare: 1998 on Steam in 2019. As Daymare: 1998 heads to consoles in April, IGN Japan and IGN Italy visited the Invader Studios team in the small mountainside town of Olevano Romano, 45 km east of Rome, where they told us about the fallout of that fateful call from Capcom. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=invader-studios-tour&captions=true"] When the group of friends who were working on their fan remake – built from the ground up in Unreal Engine as an over-the-shoulder third-person action game – they knew the IP was not theirs to use. Rather than intending to monetize the project, they saw it as a way to hone their skills as game developers and maybe, just maybe, garner them some attention. Which it did – after hundreds of thousands of YouTube plays, the team received a call from Capcom’s European marketing office. And that was the end of the project. Showing Respect in the Industry The team was invited to visit Capcom’s Osaka office, where they were shown top-secret early builds of the as-yet-unannounced Resident Evil 7 and – yep – Capcom’s own over-the-shoulder third-person action game remake of Resident Evil 2. “They didn’t treat us like fans, but as professionals,” recalls Daymare Creative Director Michele Giannone. “That’s why they could show us materials that were not announced yet. They even asked for our feedback, and the fact that we are in the credits of the final Resident Evil 2 Remake game is a sign that we probably did something that helped with some of their decisions. There are some comparison videos on YouTube that show some of the ideas that we had, with the environments, the way we reimagined the RPD and the path of the player – maybe they got something from us.” “It was good for them to show the community that they respect developers and a group of fans like us, so it was good publicity for them with the community,” says Daymare Art Director Tiziano Bucci. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2019/10/03/the-7-resident-evil-influences-weve-found-in-daymare-1998"] If this seems unfair, the meeting actually helped to encourage the budding young developers to start their own company and create their own game from scratch. At the meeting in Osaka, feedback went both ways, and Capcom offered advice and contacts that would set Invader Studios on the path to Daymare, their first complete game release. Daymare's Survival-Horror Roots “The rhythm of the game is deliberately very slow,” says Alessandro De Bianchi, Daymare’s director. “You can run, but you will die easily if you do. So you have to think about everything. We included reloading mechanics that are more realistic, because you have to load the ammo into the clip and then put the clip in the gun – and this makes you more anxious, because you have to always be prepared. You have to take your time and manage your items, because you don't know what is in the next room.” Mysterious environmental puzzles, too, impede your progress as you explore locations such as the dimly lit Aegis research facility, an eerie hospital and even a Japanese restaurant, Sakurama, forcing you to think laterally and, more than likely, pull your hair out in frustration. The walls and shelves of Invader Studios’ small office itself are crowded with artwork and merchandise from Japanese series' such as Resident Evil, The Evil Within, Bayonetta and Parasite Eve, along with a series of framed photos of the Invader team posing proudly with top developers from each of these series – Shinji Mikami, Hideki Kamiya, Kazuhiro Aoyama, Kenichi Iwao, and the modern Resident Evil team at Capcom. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=daymare-1998-screenshots&captions=true"] Ex-Capcom Staff Join the Crew Something else that helped cast Daymare in the mold of classic survival-horror is the inclusion of ex-Capcom staff in the production credits. The team were able to make contact with Kazuhiro Aoyama, who worked on the original Resident Evil as a planner and later directed Resident Evil 3 – and who agreed to become the “Producer Associate” on Daymare, Along with artist Satoshi Nakai, who brought his experience on Resident Evil: Code Veronica and Resident Evil 0 to the Invader Studios project as enemy creature designer. “Thanks to our work on the Resident Evil 2 remake and also the first (prototype) level of Daymare, we got a lot of good contacts and good attention, so we managed to reach Aoyama and Nakai in 2016, during the preproduction of Daymare,” says Giannone. “They were really happy to collaborate with us. Aoyama in the early stages gave us tips and suggestions about game design, and Nakai gave us really good and original concepts for the enemies. So it has been a great collaboration with them. They are legends, so we are really proud. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2019/09/30/daymare-1998-official-2019-pc-trailer"] As for Resident Evil 2 – well, the official remake came out in early 2019, as you know. And eagle-eyed players will have noticed that Invader Studios was included in the special thanks section of the end credits. Rather than considering Capcom’s game a competitor, the team is happy to see a resurgence of interest in the genre they love. “If Capcom wants to invest in these kinds of games, and then you also have The Last of Us Part II, and then Resident Evil 3 Remake, there is a lot of attention on this genre,” says Bucci. “And there are only a few games in this genre on the market. So when you finish Resident Evil 2 Remake, if you want to play more, you can choose Daymare. So it’s good for us and for the community that Capcom is making these kinds of games.” Daymare: 1998 is out now on Steam and will release on April 28 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Daniel Robson is Chief Editor at IGN Japan, and Giovanni Marrelli is an editor at IGN Italy. View the full article
  3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons shares the same core gameplay as the rest of the series, but its transition to the Nintendo Switch brings with it a swath of different online components. One of these may effectively eliminate the ability to time travel to holidays, which was one of the more popular ways to cheat in past Animal Crossing games. Nintendo announced seasonal events will now be part of free updates during the big Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct. By keeping events locked to free downloadable updates, you likely won't be able to change your Switch system's time to experience Christmas, and all the cool gifts, while in the middle of (real world) spring. So, in theory, while you might be able to tweak your Switch system clock to time travel to December 25, 2020, the Christmas event won’t be happening until Nintendo releases the update. Nintendo said the first of these updates is available at launch and will add an April event, Bunny Day, to New Horizons. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=6-new-animal-crossing-new-horizons-screenshots&captions=true"] Time travel wasn't necessarily just used for getting cool holiday items early, though. It was also used to help fill out all the museum fish, sea creatures, and bugs, some of which were rare and could only be found under very specific conditions. For instance, in Animal Crossing: New Leaf the Horned Hercules can only be found from July - August from 5 PM to 8 AM. If you don't play regularly in those hours, finding it could have been a huge pain. It’s possible that things like bugs and fish, which are linked to the calendar, not holidays, could still be available to time-traveling cheaters — but we're speculating Tom Nook’s travel service could also be a solution to catching rare fish and bugs, year-round. If you save enough Nook Miles in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you can buy a ticket to tour a seemingly-randomized deserted island that’s filled with resources. The islands shown in the direct featured a variety of seasons, and we’re hoping this means you can visit islands that exist in different seasons from your own. It wouldn’t be a perfect replacement for time-traveling to catch specific bugs, but it’d be helpful for those of us who don’t want to test any potential new issues that could come with changing the clock. Time-traveling previously meant risking cockroach infestations, overgrown weeds, and animals departing the town, but we don’t know how or if any of that will change with New Horizons. The Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct revealed plenty of other great information too. You can read about all the new details in our wrap up and see what's in store for the first 30 minutes of New Horizons with our hands-on preview. Visit the Animal Crossing: New Horizons wiki for even more on new features, confirmed characters, and other details about the upcoming game. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Miranda Sanchez is an executive editor at IGN. She hopes Roscoe and Goldie settle on her island sooner than later. You can chat with her about video games and anime on Twitter. View the full article
  4. PlayStation, as well as Facebook Oculus, have both announced they will not attend this year’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California over concerns for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. PlayStation and Facebook will both be pulling out of GDC this year due to concerns over COVID-19. In a statement to IGN, Oculus says that the company will be “removing our booth footprint and are advising all employees to refrain from travel during the show.” [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=2020-platform-exclusives&captions=true"] In a statement to GamesIndustry.biz PlayStation offered a similar statement to the one it issued after announcing that Sony would be pulling out of PAX East. “We have made the difficult decision to cancel our participation in Game Developers Conference due to increasing concerns related to COVID-19… We felt this was the best option as the situation related to the virus and global travel restrictions are changing daily. We are disappointed to cancel our participation, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern. We look forward to participating in GDC in the future.” IGN has also reached out to Sony for comment. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/02/07/next-gen-console-watch-how-powerful-ps5-xbox-series-x-may-be"] GDC will continue as planned without Sony and Oculus, and spokespeople for the event issued the following statement regarding COVID-19 to IGN: The GDC team is following developments around the Novel Coronavirus closely as we take the health and safety of our game development community very seriously. Following the strict quarantine laws put in place by the US government and guidance from the Department of Public Health, WHO and CDC, which has seen us put in place enhanced on-site measures, we are confident that the Game Developers Conference will follow in the footsteps of other large and successful international events taking place at the Moscone Center. As always, we thank the GDC community for their support and look forward to welcoming back those who haven’t been able to join us this year. GDC will enact “enhanced on-site measures” per U.S. quarantine around coronavirus to host GDC in San Francisco. “We are also continuing to follow the latest CDC and WHO guidance, following in the footsteps of other large international events that are taking place successfully at the Moscone Center.” This is the latest major game event to be impacted by COVID-19 following the Taipei Game Show and PAX East. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Matt Kim is a reporter for IGN.View the full article
  5. Yesterday, Swedish developer Experiment 101 delivered an update to fans telling them that work on the upcoming action RPG Biomutant continues. And despite the recent silence, the devs are committed to delivering Biomutant despite not wanting to disclose a release date at this time. And the fans are pretty okay with that. In its first tweet since September 9, 2019, Experiment 101 informed fans that Biomutant has not been canceled. “We know many of you are wondering if the game is still in development. Let us assure you that we’ve never been working harder and more focused on it than now!” Experiment 101 wrote. pic.twitter.com/dc6Hh8RJvf — Biomutant (@Biomutant) February 19, 2020 Biomutant never had a firm release date, and at some point, the developers pushed the game back from its 2019 release year to 2020. And without an update from the devs since September of last year fans were wondering if the game was still in development. But the news that the game is still alive arrived as welcome relief to fans. “Thank you for the update, anything is better than nothing. One of my most anticipated games of 2020,” wrote one fan on Twitter. “Happy to hear from you! I for one will be happy to try out the game whenever it will be released,” said another. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2019/08/13/biomutant-collectors-edition-trailer"] The reason why the developer’s update means so much to the community is because of the prolonged silence. On the r/Biomutant subreddit, one of the top posts is from four months ago asking specifically, “When is the game coming out? Why is the developer so quiet?” So the update is the long-awaited answer to those questions, though there’s still no release date. But even the update was met with appreciation. “I personally prefer this over the No Man’s Sky approach,” is the headline of one of the top subreddit topics since Experiment 101’s update and references Hello Games’ rocky launch and numerous post-launch fixes. “The Biomutant team should take the time they need so they don’t have to do anything like that.” [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2018/02/20/biomutant-official-gameplay-teaser-trailer"] Biomutant is an upcoming action RPG by a team of former Avalanche developers and published by THQ Nordic. Players can customize an animal protagonist and explore an open world using kung fu and various weapons. Biomutant features branching storylines and the build of your character will impact their playstyle. So for example, a heavier character will move more slowly but hit more powerfully. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=all-the-big-games-coming-in-2020&captions=true"] Without a firm release date, Biomutant is still tentatively scheduled to be released sometime in 2020. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Matt Kim is a reporter for IGN. You can reach him on Twitter.View the full article
  6. DOOM Eternal, the highly anticipated sequel to the fantastic 2016 DOOM reboot (and also the IGN First game for February), is heavily influenced by the 1997 Nintendo 64 entry, DOOM 64. In this month's episode of IGN Unfiltered, Ryan McCaffrey sat down with id Software Executive Producer Marty Stratton and DOOM Eternal Director Hugo Martin to talk about DOOM Eternal, how it was inspired by DOOM 64, and what the legacy of DOOM means all these many years later. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/02/03/the-first-10-minutes-of-doom-eternal-gameplay-4k60fps-ign-first"] Not only is DOOM 64 a primary point of tonal inspiration for DOOM Eternal, but it's also the first game in the series that Martin ever owned, and it's his personal favorite. "I had played DOOM prior to that, in the dorms... on other people's PCs," Martin said, "but I didn't have a PC at that time; I was a Mac user. So, when DOOM 64 came out, that was the first time I had a chance to dive in for several hours at a time, into a DOOM game. "I genuinely think DOOM 64 is my favorite, having played them all... We replay them, all of us, at the beginning of development... always," Martin continued. "I'm constantly revisiting all of them, just to spot-check and play it again... make sure you keep your finger on the pulse of what really makes a good DOOM game. So they're all very familiar to everyone on the team." [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="legacyId=503&captions=true"] Martin went on to explain what made DOOM 64 stand out to him. "I just like the atmosphere of DOOM 64, I think. It's a little bit more moody. Obviously, it's a few years later, [so the development team was] able to do a few more things. I think, honestly, the art that went into it is really memorable. The game constantly feels like it's messing with you and that was actually something that... translated really well to DOOM Eternal." What does that look like, for fans unfamiliar with the Nintendo 64 title? Martin elaborated; "Walking down a hallway in DOOM 64, I mean... you never knew what the level was going to throw at you. Probably a bit more so than the original DOOM. And, I think, that feeling of just barreling down a hallway without a care in the world, versus knowing that the level is keeping me on my toes. That was actually something that we really wanted to get into DOOM Eternal." [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2019/10/25/doom-64-official-announce-trailer"] Catch up on every episode of IGN Unfiltered here to witness conversations with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Director Stig Asmussen, Remedy writer Sam Lake, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, Halo boss Bonnie Ross, and so many more! [poilib element="accentDivider"] Brian Barnett writes news, features, wiki guides, deals posts, and much more for IGN. You can get your fix of Brian's antics on Twitter and Instagram (@Ribnax).View the full article
  7. Nintendo has confirmed Animal Crossing: New Horizons will support Amiibo figures and Amiibo cards from the Animal Crossing series. Scan an Amiibo, and you'll invite that character to your island. But since Amiibo and inventory issues tend to go hand-in-hand, you might want to pick up any figures you want sooner rather than later. That way you can get them at regular price instead of inflated third-party prices. Below, you'll find some of the Animal Crossing Amiibo that are available now at Amazon. Also check out our Animal Crossing hands-on preview for details about the game's first 30 minutes. Don't see the deals below? Click here. Animal Crossing Series Amiibo [poilib element="commerceDeal" parameters="slug=animal-crossing-amiibo"] And if you're in the market for an Animal Crossing shirt, check out our new IGN Store to see the designs. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Chris Reed is IGN's shopping and commerce editor. You can follow him on Twitter @_chrislreed. [widget path="ign/modules/recirc" parameters="title=&type=articles%2Cvideos&tags=us-shopping&count=3&columnCount=3&theme=article"]View the full article
  8. The GameCube was discontinued in 2007, but that hasn’t stopped fans from obsessively searching for the best games in the system, whether to warm their sense of nostalgia or find a library to play on emulators. So, here you have it - the best GameCube games of all time, as voted by IGN’s staff. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=top-25-nintendo-gamecube-games&captions=true"] Click through the gallery above or scroll down for the full list! 25. Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem Told over the span of over 2000 years, Eternal Darkness features a woman named Alex trying to uncover the truth about her grandfather’s mysterious murder. What follows is a series of flashbacks, that each explores different events that have occurred in the house over the last couple of centuries. It’s incredible to relive these moments and see the house evolve over time; Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem was an inspiration to games like What Remains of Edith Finch. 24. WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Games! If you haven't played a WarioWare game before, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Games! is a great place to start. The basic premise is that Wario, in his newly-defined role as cheeseball game-making antagonist, has created over 200 "microgames" that you have to learn and master in just a few seconds each. They are thrown at you in quick, randomized succession, and range from cool NES Zelda and Mario-inspired challenges to goofy anime jokes -- and there's a *lot* of nose-picking. Sometimes dismissed as a port of WarioWare from the Game Boy Advance to the GameCube, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Games! added one very important element: fun multiplayer. It's the best multiplayer the WarioWare series has to offer to-date, with the Wii version, WarioWare: Smooth Moves, a clear runner up. 23. Luigi's Mansion The original Luigi's Mansion managed to evoke a genuinely spooky aesthetic while never losing the humor and charm that comes with such a scared protagonist as Luigi. Add in a great loop of Luigi's ghost hunting gameplay, and it's no surprise Luigi's time in the spooky spotlight has led to an enduring franchise. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2019/09/14/luigis-mansion-speedrun-finished-in-1-hour-12-minutes-by-firedragon"] 22. Beyond Good & Evil Beyond Good & Evil has so much going for it. Blending sci-fi with a sort of anti-corporate political vibe, Beyond Good & Evil also had remarkably layered stakes. It was visually stylish, and the gameplay was always fun whether you were in combat, traveling in your hovercraft, sorting out a puzzle or photographing wildlife. The latter mechanic has been in a plethora of games since then, but it still hasn't been beaten in terms of how satisfying it felt to "get the shot". 21. Skies of Arcadia: Legends Skies of Arcadia Legends was somewhat derided at the time of release for not being enough of a graphical improvement over the Dreamcast original, but the GameCube version improves upon the original in meaningful ways by replacing some of the more grindy elements with new features and things to discover. What really stands out about Skies of Arcadia is the sense of exploration and discovery you feel when traversing the world in your airship. Skies may not have ranked among the best-selling RPGs of all time, but it most certainly made an impact on anyone lucky enough to have experienced it. 20. Killer7 In an era where spacious 3D platformers packed with collectibles and sprawling open-world action games were really hitting their stride, Suda51’s narrow, on-rails, and completely bonkers Killer7 was an anomaly. A game where seven serial killers (all of which were different personalities inside of the mind of one man) traversed a stylish, haunting world in search of assassination targets seemed wildly out of place on the upbeat and saccharine GameCube library. But despite being bloody, violent, and full of filthy words you’d never hear Mario, Zelda, or a bunch of Pikmin say, Killer7 is so unique and special that it was instantly loved by tons of Nintendo fans at the time, many of which are still begging for a modern port or remake of the game on Nintendo Switch. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2018/12/31/killer7-2005-vs-2018-comparison-trailer"] 19. Resident Evil [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=every-ign-resident-evil-game-review-ever&captions=true"] REmake is so good that Capcom has re-released it on seven different platforms and likely inspired Capcom to continue revisiting early entries in the series, like the incredible 2019 Resident Evil 2 and the upcoming Resident Evil 3 Remake. The improvements over RE's original release are remarkable, while still capturing the original's fun puzzles, interesting environments, and ever-present sense of dread that the early Resident Evil games really mastered. 18. Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes While they might have added a few too many flips for its own good, the GameCube remake of the original Metal Gear Solid, now called Twin Snakes, remains - much like the remake of the original Resident Evil - a great example of why it's worth revisiting an old game on new hardware. New gameplay elements from the MGS sequels, including improved enemy AI and first-person aiming, breathed new life into Snake's trek through Shadow Moses, and brought the Metal Gear series to a whole new fanbase - flips and all. 17. Metroid Prime 2 Echoes Metroid Prime 2: Echoes built upon the eerie 3D worlds introduced in the first Metroid Prime, continuing Samus’ story in first person on a brand new planet torn apart by light and shadow - giving off some serious Link to the Past vibes. More than anything else, Echoes gave us Samus’ most formidable opponent - a mirror version of herself that would come to be known as Dark Samus. The Metroid Prime sequel also gave us a better look at the universe of the series, letting players finally see the Federation, and pitting her against alien threats besides just metroids and space pirates in a radically diverse planet full of wonder. 16. Ikaruga In 2003, a two-year old port of a Japanese-only arcade game probably seemed like a strange release for the GameCube. Ikaruga’s polarity mechanic made it an elegant, elevated shoot ‘em up that required some thinking along with the usual fast reflexes. While every other arcade shooter required you to dodge bullets, Ikaruga invited you to embrace them (half of them anyway) and felt revelatory for it. Almost twenty years later, our frothing demand for Ikaruga’s smart arcade thrills persists. 15. Pikmin Pikmin had that unquantifiable Nintendo magic from its first entry. Captain Olimar's timed adventure to escape a planet home to the adorable Pikmin and also many terrifying, hungry monsters is a fantastic blend of art design, unique RTS gameplay mechanics, and charming characters in its sweet, powerful hordes of Pikmin. What makes the original entry truly a joy to master is its 30-day time limit to succeed. There's inherent replayability to trying to master Pikmin's objectives in as quick a cadence as possible, but even only taking a crack at Olimar's journey one time leads to a beautiful blend of exploration, strategy, and giant Duracell batteries. 14. Viewtiful Joe While the 3D action genre had thrived on other consoles with games like Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden, and God of War leading the charge, the pinnacle of the 2D action genre could be found right on the GameCube. Its clever implementation of movie-inspired powers gifted Viewtiful Joe with a one-of-a-kind feel, as you would alternate between slow-mo, to slow down and reflect bullets; fast-mo, to punch so fast that you would ignite flammable objects; and a zoom-in effect, to increase the damage you would deliver for each punch. The interplay between these three special VFX powers, in addition to the many purchasable and upgradeable skills that Joe could acquire, made for an unforgettable experience that to this day is still unlike anything else out there. 13. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Mario has had several RPG iterations in his many years out in the field, but the Paper Mario franchise may be one of its most inventive. The consistently funny, punny, and smart writing of The Thousand Year Door elevates what began in Nintendo 64's Paper Mario to an all-time classic RPG experience. The great turn-based combat returns alongside a fantastic ensemble, beautifully imagined and designed worlds, and self-aware storytelling that stands apart from Mario's many other adventures. 12. Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance was the series' first foray onto a home console in the west, allowing it to mix complex 3D maps with sublime 2D artwork and character portraits. Missions were tactically diverse and challenging - from stealthy prison breaks to castle sieges. Unlike most other entries in the franchise that centered around noble lords, Path of Radiance allowed players to view a complicated war between countries through the eyes of Ike, a brash and no-nonsense mercenary. Its unique story presentation deftly explored themes of prejudice between humans and the shape-shifting beast-folk known as laguz, as well as political subterfuge, war-time propaganda, and even slavery. As an added bonus, you could also transfer your data to the sequel on the Wii - Radiant Dawn - to further boost your army in their next adventure. 11. Soulcalibur 2 When Soulcalibur 2 appeared on both the GameCube, PS2, and Xbox, players on each console got their own guest fighter. PlayStation had Tekken’s Heihachi, and Xbox had comic book anti-hero Spawn… but really, it was no contest, because Nintendo had the hero of Hyrule, Link. Even without such an awesome guest fighter, Soulcalibur 2 is an excellent fighting game, and even included a robust single-player experience featuring tons of customized battles to test player’s adaptability to crazy win conditions. 10. Mario Kart Double Dash Mario Kart: Double Dash has forever cemented itself as the king of the couch, introducing an entirely new way for players to race both with and against to each other, thanks to the unique ability to have two racers man a single kart. By letting one person in the backseat focus entirely on using items offensively and defensively, the driver was free to put the pedal to the medal and toss back newly gained items - or find the right times to swap positions and make use of each character’s unique item. Beyond its new doubles mechanic, Double Dash was chock-full of instantly memorable tracks to race again and again (and again, if you were racing on Baby Park). [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=igns-top-25-nintendo-switch-games&captions=true"] 9. Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader Rogue Squadron II was undoubtedly the graphical showcase for the GameCube at launch, and remains one of the best-looking games on the system. It takes everything we loved about the original N64 game and ups the intensity and fidelity. Replaying that first Death Star level is about the closest thing there is to actually being in a Star Wars movie. 8. Pikmin 2 As great as the original Pikmin is, the franchise continued to improve with Pikmin 2. While it abandoned some of the engrossing stress that came with the original's time limit, opening things up really allows players to navigate Pikmin 2's mysterious world to their own whims. Adding in new Pikmin types with new abilities and Olimar's partner Louie allows for plenty more variety on the hunt of Pikmin 2's fantastic continuation of the series. 7. Super Mario Sunshine A much-needed vacation away from the Mushroom Kingdom led to a fun, tropical setting filled with unique takes on old enemies (hello goopy Piranha plants) and fresh new mechanics thanks to F.L.U.D.D. While F.L.U.D.D is a character in its own right, it's also a backpack Mario wears that's part water gun, part jetpack, and completely game-changing. F.L.U.D.D creates new opportunities for creative combat and platforming making Super Mario Sunshine the perfect balance between the old and the hasn't-been-seen-since. And getting used to F.L.U.D.D makes the handful of levels without it feel especially challenging, and refreshing if you're a platforming purist. From Blooper surfing to traversing theme parks, Sunshine is a memorable joy from start to finish. 6. Animal Crossing This laid back, low-stress town simulator decked out with talking animal townsfolk, arrangeable furniture, and customizable clothing instantly connected with fans of all ages on the Nintendo GameCube and sparked the start of Animal Crossing becoming one of the biggest and most recognizable video game franchises on earth. Meanwhile, dissenters who were accustomed to much more engaging video game experiences constantly shouted: “but what do you actually DO in Animal Crossing?” As it turns out, not much, but that’s entirely the charm of it all. Animal Crossing never really tries to hurt you or punish you (outside of Mr. Resetti) and instead nudges you to go fishing, beautify your house and town, and mostly just relax and take it easy. It’s a wonderful experience, even when it’s 2:00 AM in the game and everyone is asleep but your character is still up and shaking trees looking for money like some kind of psychopath. 5. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Twilight Princess was a darker approach to Zelda -- both in visuals and in its story. Brimming with cinematic flair, it featured some of the most inventive dungeons and bosses in the series, and the unique ability to fight and traverse in wolf-form was only bolstered by Link's mischievous companion, Midna, who easily ranks among one of the best sidekicks of all time. 4. Resident Evil 4 [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2019/08/10/resident-evil-4-speedrun-finished-in-1-hour-25-minutes-by-mikewave"] Sure, Resident Evil 4 reinvented the core Resident Evil franchise just as it was starting to get a bit stagnant, but it also redefined the third-person action game genre as a whole and created a new benchmark for years to come. Resident Evil 4 expertly blended the horror and ammo conservation elements the franchise was known for and threw in copious amounts of action, ridiculous movie-style set-pieces, and one of the first-ever legitimately fun video game escort mission sequences. It’s tense, thrilling, campy, and infinitely replayable (and quotable) even today. 3. Super Smash Bros. Melee For many, Super Smash Bros. Melee is the pinnacle of Super Smash Brothers, and it’s not hard to see why. Melee has a unique feel to it not present in any other Smash Bros. game. Characters feel weightier, there are a ton of high-level techniques that completely alter how the game is played, and some characters' melee counterparts are just simply more fun to play. Regardless of how it's viewed among other Smash Bros. games though, it’s indisputable that Melee was one of the most important games ever released on the system. 2. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Despite its many detractors ahead of launch, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has endured as one of the most unique entries in the Zelda franchise. Yes, its sailing speeds were improved in the Wii U remaster, but even still the chance to explore the high seas as Link, sailing from island to island while discovering new characters, awesome new dungeons, treasure, and talking fish is one of the GameCube's finest adventures. It's a Zelda adventure that really plays on the passage of time, the recurrence of the hero's story throughout generations, adding a deep level of storytelling to the series while simultaneously delivering one of its most vibrant adventures to date. 1. Metroid Prime Metroid Prime is one of the most sublime video game experiences of all time, and a no-brainer choice for the top GameCube game ever created. When news first broke of a first-person, 3D Metroid game, expectations were… low, to say the least. The previous game in the series, Super Metroid, is widely regarded as the best 16-bit game of all time. Why would Nintendo dare to mess with perfection? However, after just a few minutes of play, it becomes clear Nintendo didn't mess with perfection, but instead allowed it to branch off in a new direction, and the fruits it bore would become the Prime trilogy. For all intents and purposes, it sticks to the Metroid formula, but never before had it been so personal and immersive. The sense of mystery and loneliness was amplified by its new, first-person setting, with Kenji Yamamoto's haunting score working perfectly to give Prime a feel like no other game before or since. It seems almost quaint now, but the transition to 3D was a monumental decision, one that could easily have gone disastrously wrong. Yet not only is Prime exactly the right game for Metroid's 3D debut, its undeniable quality would have shown through had it not built on the existing fiction of the Metroid universe. It's without question the best GameCube game, and one of the best games ever made for any system. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2017/09/12/metroid-1991-vs-metroid-2017"] Leave your fondest GameCube memories in the comments below! [poilib element="accentDivider"]View the full article
  9. Like all good entrepreneurs, The Nook empire is diversifying in Animal Crossing: New Horizons – by spinning up a new business venture: island getaways. In my time with New Horizons (the first 30 minutes) gameplay doesn’t stray far from what makes Animal Crossing so charmingly addictive a few key updates aim to make it the most customizable entry in the series. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/02/20/animal-crossing-new-horizons-direct-2202020"] The Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct showed massive potential for the newfound deserted island to grow into a proper village, and I got to see what it’s like from its meager beginnings. Granted, one half-hour isn’t enough time to get a true sense of New Horizons’ day-to-day gameplay, but I did get to see some of its new systems. If you’d like to keep your character’s island arrival a surprise, stop here and instead go check out the wrap-up article of the Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct and our interview with Animal Crossing developers at E3 2019. Preparing for Island Living Move over Rover and Kapp’n, Timmy and Tommy Nook are open for business. These two cute twin tanuki set you up for your new adventure by checking your information at an airline counter. Before you’re able to board your flight, Timmy and Tommy check your name, allow you to customize your character through simple menus rather than have it determined by a quiz (hurray!), and choose your island design from one of four layouts. A representative from Nintendo said additional character customization options unlock as you play too. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=6-new-animal-crossing-new-horizons-screenshots&captions=true"] With the bulk of the customization done, Timmy and Tommy have one final question: what’s the one thing you’d bring with you to a deserted island? I was asked to choose between a sleeping bag, a lamp, some food, or something to kill time. I like wandering around at night so I chose the lamp. Timmy reassured me that Nook Inc. would provide all essentials despite my choice, and the Nintendo rep said my answer wouldn’t do anything directly but didn’t elaborate on the possibilities. With the profile complete, my character was taken to the deserted island. This introduction is a mild departure from previous Animal Crossings where you arrive by train, taxi, or bus and set up your profile along the way before arriving in an established but fledgling town. In New Horizons, however, they’re not kidding when they say you’re going to a deserted island – save for Tom Nook’s tent and the tiny airport, nothing else is built. Knowing how I’ll eventually be able to manipulate the terrain, place items outside, and customize even more made this airport scene an exciting introduction. Once the plane touched down, I was greeted by Tom Nook and made excited introductions with my first two island friends, Hamlet and Hazel – it’s not every day you get to start a new life on a deserted island! Tom walked us through the Resident Services tent that houses a crafting workbench, an item shop, the recycling box, and the latest automatic bell dispenser, and then instructed us to find a spot on the island to claim as our own. I chose to set up my tent in a strategic spot behind Resident Services, though I was told I could move my tent later. A New Debt to Pay Sadly, you can’t vote your new neighbors off the island if you’re not pleased with them, but at least you can choose where they’ll set up camp. Once I was all settled I found my neighbors and was able to decide whether or not I liked their pitch for their new home. You’ll have the option to let them settle there, tell them to find another spot, or choose a spot for them yourself. When setting up your tent and theirs, you’ll be able to “imagine,” or preview, what the tent will look like in that location, which was helpful. I appreciate having more of a hand in designing my island right from the start, and it was nice that Hamlet and Hazel appreciated my input. [poilib element="quoteBox" parameters="excerpt=We%20may%20be%20in%20a%20new%20of%20environment%2C%20but%20this%20is%20the%20same%20old%20Tom%20Nook."] With our homes settled, Tom Nook requested I gather sticks for a fire, and some peaches, my island’s randomly chosen native fruit. The actual collection process is the same as it’s always been and I wasn’t given access to tools, so my actions during the first day were limited. But eventually, the day came to a close and when my character awoke New Horizons had synced to real-time (it runs on its own time for the first tutorial day) and saddled me with a massive 49,800 bell debt. We may be in a new kind of environment, but this is the same old Tom Nook. Fortunately, Tom did offer to let me pay off my initial charge for the island getaway package with a new kind of currency called Nook Miles. These miles are earned by completing objectives, like “Angling for Perfection,” a challenge that requires you to catch 10 fish. I didn’t get to explore exactly how much you can earn from each completed objective, but I know I’ll be putting my first 5,000 miles toward paying my debt and save my bells for an eventual house upgrade. And Nintendo confirmed that you can only pay off your debt with Nook Miles the first time, so don’t get used to that convenience. Quick Crafts Unfortunately, my time with New Horizons was coming to an end, so I ran straight for the Resident Services tent to test out the new crafting system. Here, Tom Nook hosts DIY classes, and he just so happened to have time to teach me how to craft items through recipes. I downloaded the DIY Recipes app for my NookPhone – a handy smartphone equipped with a camera, a rescue service to get you out of tough spots, a Nook Miles tracker, and other apps – that let me save the recipe for a flimsy fishing rod. These DIY recipes can be earned in a variety of ways – you might receive one in the mail and islanders can gift them to you. I hunted down the five tree-sticks needed to make the fishing rod, crafted it with the press of a button, and was ready to fish – and I would have if my time hadn’t run out. Crafting seems like a fun way to build items that would otherwise take from my precious bell-debt fund, though items like the flimsy fishing rod and others will be available for purchase. There are still tons of features I’m excited to fully get my hands on: Customizing crafted items, making paths, exploring truly deserted islands through Nook’s travel service, and pretty much everything announced in the Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct (you can read our summary of the biggest announcements here if you haven’t already!). New Horizons doesn’t seem like it’ll be a major departure from what we know and love about Animal Crossing, but it sure does seem to have plenty of quality-of-life improvements and better customization options that’ll likely keep it as engaging as ever. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Miranda Sanchez is an executive editor at IGN. She hopes Roscoe and Goldie settle on her island sooner than later. You can chat with her about video games and anime on Twitter.View the full article
  10. As someone raised along the stretch of New England coastline where they shot the first two Jaws movies (and, yes, part of the fourth, but we don’t talk about that one), Maneater has been on my radar since it first burst onto the stage at E3 2018 like it was hungry for some Robert Shaw. Since then, we've been given a pretty good idea of what to expect from Tripwire's open-world Shark RPG. There's a large open world ocean to explore, ranging from brackish backwater bayous to polluted lakes, ponds and coastlines (even what looks like a Sea Wolrd-esque amusement park), plenty of sea life - and any humans unfortunate enough to get too close to the water - to devour, and an evolution system that drives your progress through the game forward, all tied together (successfully, based on what I've seen) a reality TV series narrated by veteran voice actor Chris Parnell. Recently, I got a chance to swim through the opening hour or so of Maneater, and even though it wasn't all smooth sailing, I'm eager to get back in the water for more. Okay, those are all the ocean puns I've got, I promise. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/02/20/maneater-15-minutes-of-story-gameplay"] During our demo, I was able to play as both a powerful adult bull shark and then later her orphaned pup, which is the shark that you spend the remainder of the game controlling. The unbridled power fantasy of the full-grown shark was, perhaps unsurprisingly, the more immediately satisfying of the two; but the younger, weaker shark had its own intriguing elements as well, and it was clear that transitioning from one to the other would be a fun process. As a (surprisingly adorable) pup, and later as a "teen shark*", I found the world much more dangerous. Even a small garfish can pose a threat, and while it's relatively easy to take on smaller prey like grouper or turtles, the way you have to approach fighting more aggressive enemies is far more tactical than you might expect. "The combat felt a little stale initially," admits Tripwire's CEO and Co-Founder John Gibson, looking back on the early stages of Maneater's development. "The shark would swim through the world and just bite. You know, it was a bit like PAC man… but when we added some movement, some lunges to those attacks, then it started feeling like a knife fight." [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/02/20/maneater-baby-shark-vs-alligator-gameplay"] It was a fair comparison - once I got the hang of it, a fight with another sea creature was more reminiscent of a sword fight or a boxing match than the typical "freight train with teeth" violence we usually associate with sharks. When the Tripwire team demoed it for us at last year's GamesCom, they jokingly called it "Shark Souls," and while relating a game to From Software's hugely influential series has become something of a meme, it's not an entirely incorrect comparison. Especially when punching above your weight class - in this case, I thought it would be a good idea to pit by tiny little shark pup against an adult alligator, for example - every attack, dodge and counterattack felt important, and each error I made was a lesson learned, and a mistake to avoid next time. "Every battle has a cadence," Gibson says. "That was the moment where the light bulbs came on." [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=maneater-screenshots-feb-2020-update&captions=true"] That said, the most enjoyable - in the guiltiest of pleasurable ways - was, of course, when I took the shark to the surface to terrorize the human population of the region I was in. As both a teen shark and an adult, wreaking havoc among boaters and beachgoers was intensely - and horrifyingly - satisfying. Being able to latch onto a diver and drag them, screaming, through a crowd of panicked swimmers or breaching from below the surface to slam down onto an inflatable unicorn raft and pop it, bouncing more potential food into the red-churned waters, was gleefully wicked fun. In those moments, it didn't feel quite like an action or reverse horror game, along the lines of GTA or Carrion, but more like the shark a variation on House House's mischievous goose, if the goose devoured people for nourishment instead of just stealing their house keys. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/02/20/maneater-gruesome-people-eating-challenge-gameplay"] To be clear - it still controlled like an arcade/action game, through and through. Single buttons control each function, from chomping down on a fish or foe to whipping your tail around to stun them. When I'd gorged myself on enough swimmers, local shark hunters would arrive (to claim the bounty that inevitably gets placed on an animal that kills a bunch of humans), and these simple controls worked well to let me bring the fight to the cocky fishermen. Often literally, as the ability to hurl the full weight of my shark body onto their boats and eat whoever was standing on deck was a strategy I enjoyed far too much and employed often. I didn't get to spend much time with the evolutionary end of Maneater's "Eat, Explore, Evolve" gameplay pillars, but based on the info I gleaned from the dev team and by exploring its starting areas, there are plenty of interesting ways to shape what my shark can do over the course of Maneater's 8-10 hour campaign. As your shark gets older and larger, it will evolve from a pup to a teen, then adult and eventually become an Elder shark - and that's when things get especially wild, it seems. While there are certain abilities you can pick up early on, like a unique form of echolocation or the tail attack mentioned earlier, late-game evolutions include bizarre mutations absorbed from toxic waste dumps or by hunting and defeating each region's mutated apex predators, like a chitinous bone plating that offers more protection in battle or bio-electric fins that deal bonus electricity damage. Gibson says that finding taking the time to find and unlock everything it has to offer can take well past 15 hours, and that's not including all optional objectives or their post-launch content, which will likely include "different areas and new gameplay". [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/02/20/maneater-dev-diary-3"] I thoroughly enjoyed my initial time with Maneater, and I'm eager to explore more when it launches this May. "[We're] taking what is something that people are familiar with and that they know, but taking it somewhere really unique so they can experience a genre that they love but in a way that they’ve never experienced before," says Gibson. While there were a few small issues that made my demo a bit clunky - the UI might have benefitted from a tutorial explaining the distinction between dodge indicators and counter-attack indicators, for instance, and there were some interesting collision hiccups - but those are small and easily remedied problems, ones that I trust Tripwire to address by the time they launch. And after all, aren't all the best shark adventures a little rough around the edges? The issues weren't enough to sour me on the shark-sperience, by any means; if anything it just made me wish for a longer demo; you could say learning its intricacies really made me want to sink my teeth in. Okay, that was the last last one, I swear. [poilib element="accentDivider"] JR is a Senior Editor at IGN, and very sorry about all those nautical puns. You can yell at him about them on Twitter. [poilib element="accentDivider"] *I'd 100% watch a Teen Wolf reboot where they replace lycanthropy with whatever disease those dudes on Street Sharks had. View the full article
  11. Nintendo is holding an Animal Crossing Direct later today, focused entirely on Animal Crossing: New Horizons. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2019/06/11/animal-crossing-new-horizons-full-treehouse-presentation"] The stream begins at 2pm UK / 9am ET / 6am PT, and will deliver around 25 minutes of brand new Animal Crossing: New Horizons information, including an in-depth look at Nook Inc's Deserted Island Getaway Package. We'll be updating this story with everything we learn as the stream plays out, so be sure to revisit us during and after the Direct to learn all the new details. For more, be sure to take a look at all the news we have on Animal Crossing: New Horizons multiplayer, every villager we've seen so far, and all the big and small changes this entry is making to the series. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=animal-crossing-new-horizons-nintendo-switch-screenshots&captions=true"] [poilib element="accentDivider"] Matt Purslow is IGN's UK News and Entertainment Writer. You can follow him on Twitter. Miranda Sanchez is an executive editor at IGN. She's really excited to make a nice island and hope she'll see Roscoe and Bones there. You can chat with Miranda about video games and anime on Twitter. View the full article
  12. Fortnite Chapter 2, Season 2 has been revealed, and it’s Top Secret. No, not top secret as in we can’t tell you, but as in it’s all themed around spies and spec-ops missions. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/02/20/fortnite-chapter-2-season-2-top-secret-launch-trailer"] The season introduces several key elements based on two new cover operative factions - Ghost and Shadow - which have taken over the battle royale island. Their arrival coincides with a set of new locations that can be discovered across the map, including hideouts. Limited Time Operations will further the spy theme, with tasks including infiltrating enemy bases, dispatching henchmen guards, and defeating evil masterminds, all of which will reward powerful and unique weapons. The spy theme wouldn’t be complete without a variety of 007-style gadgets, so expect to find decoy grenades, proximity mines, and disguises that allow you to sabotage rival agents. There are also secret passages that tunnel into enemy hideouts, security cameras to sneak past, and auto-turrets to destroy. The cinematic trailer for the season features a variety of Fortnite characters engaging in spy behavior - hiding, wearing disguises, using gadgets, and definitely still making a mess in order to make it to the final circle. The music is distinctly Bond, which is well-timed considering No Time To Die releases in just a couple of months. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/02/20/fortnite-chapter-2-season-2-battle-pass-gameplay-trailer"] The Battle Pass trailer provides a little more detail on how Top Secret works: the pass unlocks a secret base and a set of agents, including Meowscles, Midas, Maya, and TNTina. Completing missions within matches of Fortnite will unlock variant skins for these battle pass agents - Ghost or Shadow versions - so you can customise your look with dark or light colours. The trailer also promises that the Limited Time Operations will “change the fate of the island.” Hinted at in the trailer, before being shown in the final Battle Pass poster, is a new Deadpool skin. It’s not clear yet how you’ll gain Deadpool, but as he’s part of the Battle Pass trailer it seems sensible to imagine that he’ll be a reward for pass holders. The small print says “Battle Pass Now, Deadpool Later, Maximum Effort!”, suggesting that the merc with a mouth’s skin won’t arrive with the launch of Chapter 2, Season 2. Fortnite Season 2, Chapter 2 is now live, so you can dive in and start recruiting your agents. Keep an eye out on IGN, as we’ll bring you further news and guides to help you learn your way around the new additions. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Matt Purslow is IGN's UK News and Entertainment Writer. You can follow him on Twitter. View the full article
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