Sonic Announces Clothing Collaboration With Rowing Blazers

Rowing Blazers, a New York-based clothing brand, has announced a new line of Sonic the Hedgehog apparel. The collection draws inspiration from Sonic’s aesthetic from the 1990s, with graphics inspired by art from the time. 

Those who are interested in the collection can look forward to clothing items like a cotton sweater with Sonic’s image, a zip-up polar fleece, heavyweight rugby jerseys, a French terry loopback hoodie, cotton tees, and mesh shorts. The line also includes baseball caps, canvas tote bags, a necktie, and a hand-embroidered Sonic patch for blazers and other clothing items.

You can see a gallery of some of the items in the collection below.


According to Jack Carlson, founder and creative director of Rowing Blazers, which has done collaborations with FILA, Umbro, the NBA, and more, the company’s creations all hold important links to his personal life.

“A lot of it has to do with the things I loved growing up: the sports, the brands, the culture,” he said in a press release. “I grew up in the ’90s playing Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Genesis. Sonic has always been such an interesting character to me. In the original games, he was a little bit brash, a little bit punk. He was different from other cartoon and video game protagonists. He was very ’90s. Of course, there have been a lot of Sonic clothing capsules created over the years. I wanted to do something elevated, really beautifully made, and kind of timeless in its aesthetic. Of course, there’s a kind of irony to it because Sonic himself isn’t really very preppy, but that’s the fun of it.”

The collection retails as low as $38 to $325, though nothing is currently listed at the higher end of that spectrum just yet. The collection is live now, having launched yesterday. If you’d like to check out the collection for yourself, you can head here.


Overwatch 2, Nier: Automata, Shovel Knight Dig, Railgrade, And More All Things Nintendo

This week on All Things Nintendo, we go light on news and heavy on impressions and reviews. First, Wesley LeBlanc joins the show to chat about some quick news items and give his review of Shovel Knight Dig. Following that, Marcus Stewart joins Brian as the two cover a ton of games, including Overwatch 2, Nier: Automata, Railgrade, Dorfromantik, Tinykin, Let’s Build a Zoo, Tunic, and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion.

If you’d like to follow the people from this episode on Twitter, hit the following links: Brian Shea (@brianpshea)Wesley LeBlanc (@LeBlancWes)Marcus Stewart (@MarcusStewart7)

The All Things Nintendo podcast is a weekly show where we can celebrate, discuss, and break down all the latest games, news, and announcements from the industry’s most recognizable name. Each week, Brian is joined by different guests to talk about what’s happening in the world of Nintendo. Along the way, they’ll share personal stories, uncover hidden gems in the eShop, and even look back on the classics we all grew up with. A new episode hits every Friday!

Be sure to subscribe to All Things Nintendo on your favorite podcast platform. The show is available on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Google Podcasts.

00:00:00 – Introduction
00:02:03 – Wiglett Announced for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
00:04:57 – Harvestella Info Dump
00:08:43 – Dragon Quest Treasures Gangs
00:10:39 – Shovel Knight Dig Review
00:19.40 – Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion Preview
00:27:21 – Overwatch 2 Review-in-Progress
00:59:14 – Dorfromantik Review
01:07:28 – Railgrade Impressions
01:11:57 – Let’s Build a Zoo Impressions
01:18:33 – Tunic Review
01:23:46 – Nier: Automata Impressions
01:29:32 – Tinykin Review
01:38:04 – Definitive Ranking: Spin-off Games
01:48:03 – eShop Gem of the Week: Lumines Remastered

If you’d like to get in touch with the All Things Nintendo podcast, you can email, tweeting to Brian (@BrianPShea), or by joining the official Game Informer Discord server. You can do that by linking your Discord account to your Twitch account and subscribing to the Game Informer Twitch channel. From there, find the All Things Nintendo channel under “Community Spaces.”

For Game Informer’s other podcast, be sure to check out The Game Informer Show with host Alex Van Aken, which covers the weekly happenings of the video game industry!


Shovel Knight Dig Review And HBO’s The Last Of Us Trailer GI Show

In this week’s episode of The Game Informer Show, special guest Brenden Groom from the Pass The Controller Podcast joins us to chat about our Shovel Knight Dig review impressions, E3 returning next June as a segmented business and consumer show, and finally, whether or not HBO’s The Last Of Us needs to differentiate itself from the games. 

Follow us on social media: Alex Van Aken (@itsVanAken), Wesley LeBlanc (@LeBlancWes), Brenden Groom (@BeGroom)

The Game Informer Show is a weekly gaming podcast covering the latest video game news, industry topics, exclusive reveals, and reviews. Join host Alex Van Aken every Thursday for a chat about your favorite games – past and present – with Game Informer staff, developers, and special guests from around the industry. Listen on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or your favorite podcast app.

This episode was edited by Matt Storm, the freelance audio editor for The Game Informer Show. Matt is an experienced podcast host and producer who’s been speaking into a microphone for over a decade. You should listen to Matt’s shows like the “Fun” And Games Podcast and Reignite, a Mass Effect podcast. 

Jump to the timestamps to get to a particular point of discussion:

00:00:00 – Intro
00:04:49 – E3 is back!
00:15:09 – The Last Of Us HBO Teaser 
00:25:01 – Shovel Knight Dig
00:39:44 – Housekeeping and Listener Questions


Shovel Knight Dig Review – Digging Down In Glory

Reviewed on:

Switch, PC, iOS

Yacht Club Games

Nitrome, Yacht Club Games

September 23, 2022

The second I began Shovel Knight Dig, it felt like returning home. As someone who hadn’t played most of Shovel Knight’s post-launch DLC, the last time I touched this series was nearly a decade ago. Gaining control of the titular character immediately felt familiar, and my old Shovel Knight habits returned to greet this new take on the series, led by developer Nitrome this time. The moment-to-moment experience plays excellently, in part because it’s more Shovel Knight with some well-designed gameplay twists. However, the game’s venture into roguelite territory feels inessential and so light-stepped that it didn’t convince me it needed to be a part of this ever-expanding genre. Still, Shovel Knight Dig is more Shovel Knight, meaning retro-game and platforming enthusiasts will find great enjoyment throughout. 

Rather than moving right through a beautifully pixelated stage, Dig tasks players with digging down, deeper and deeper into procedurally generated levels. This presents new feelings in the pantheon of emotions I feel while playing a Shovel Knight game: urgency and stress. Unlike many platformers out there, you can’t take the time to observe where you must go and how best to get there. You have to keep digging down and while going back up a few spaces is possible, it’s not easy. You’re not meant to backtrack because your goal is far below you. If you miss some gems or one of the stage’s three machine cogs, which unlock a special bonus reward, you probably missed your chance. 


On top of that, if you spend too long in any one place, the antagonist Drill Knight will use a massive one-hit-kill excavation machine to bury you deeper into the Smeltworks, Secret Fountain, Grub Pit, or one of the game’s other stages. I like this added stress to Dig’s platforming, which largely feels identical to that of the original Shovel Knight game. 

After completing three stages in a given lair, you face a boss. I love these boss fights, but they’re disappointing in the context of Dig. They feel like Shovel Knight bosses, fast-paced and fun, but they don’t take advantage of the new mechanics specific to Dig. You jump around an arena attempting to damage a boss while dodging their attacks. Only the final boss implements the game’s unique dig platforming mechanics and I wish this type of design was present in the multiple other opponents I faced before this one. 

The hours I spent digging down through stage after stage, I rarely felt like I was playing a roguelite. It was only when I died and returned to above ground, which is where a camp of NPCs you’ve met and shopkeepers reside, that I was reminded of the game’s tip-toe into roguelite mechanics. You lose your stage progress and some of your gems upon death, but these losses are so minuscule that I never felt compelled to go out of my way to retrieve my lost currency in the next run. 


I also never felt the need to equip new sets of armor, which can only be purchased after finding templates of them in secret areas scattered throughout the various stages. In fact, the only permanent upgrade I could make was to my bag, which allowed me to hold onto more than one item, like a door or chest key, at a time. Part of the fun of a roguelite is tracking your progression and growing more powerful each run, but in Dig, each run felt like a brand new start. I didn’t hate this, but it’s not my cup of tea. 

Still though, because most of my eight hours with Dig were spent spelunking through stages leading down, I rarely had to think about the game’s roguelite efforts. I spent most of my time playing through beautiful stages to the tune of chippy synth tunes, fascinated with how far Nitrome and Yacht Club were able to stretch the “dig” aspect of this game. Perhaps the roguelite nature of Dig will play a bigger role in my post-game excavations because I’m rearing to jump back in to discover all of its secrets. Even if it doesn’t, though, I know I still have at least a few more hours of great Shovel Knight gameplay ahead of me and in the world of platforming, that’s a treasure worth digging up.


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Stadia Will Close In January, Google Issuing Refunds For All Hardware And Software Purchases

Google has revealed that its cloud-streaming games service, Stadia, will shut down early next year. 

More specifically, Stadia will close down its platform and end its online servers on January 18, 2023. After that, you won’t be able to access the Stadia service in any way. As for your games and hardware, Google is offering refunds “for all Stadia hardware purchases (Stadia controllers, Founders Edition, Premiere Edition, and Play and Watch with Google TV packages) through the Stadia store,” according to an FAQ posted by Google today. It seems like the only aspect of Stadia that won’t be refunded are Stadia Pro subscriptions. However, you “will be able to continue playing your games in Pro without further charges until the final wind down date.” 

If you are hoping to get a refund for your hardware, Google says “most hardware purchases…made directly from Google” will not require you to return your hardware. The company intends to have the majority of refunds processed by Stadia’s January 18 shutdown date. 

The Stadia Store and all its functions have been turned off so you will not be able to make any more Stadia-related purchases or in-game transactions. 

Stadia shutting down isn’t the most surprising news. Despite cloud gaming’s continuing rise in popularity as of late thanks to the likes of Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming initiative and others, Stadia never seemed to really take off. The first big sign that Stadia might not be long for this world came back in February of last year, when Google revealed it was ending its first-party game development and closing two studios. Then, this February, word got out that Google Stadia had reportedly been deprioritized by the company. Now, Stadia has just a few months left in it before it becomes a part of history. So long, Stadia. 

Did you use Stadia? What do you think of this news? Let us know in the comments below!


Portal-Like Puzzle Game, The Entropy Centre, Gets November Release Date

The Entropy Centre, an upcoming Portal-like sci-fi puzzle game coming from new studio Stubby Games, will be released this November. 

More specifically, it will hit PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 3. This news comes after a showing during the June Future Games Showcase, with The Entropy Centre’s trailer garnering more than two million views in just 48 hours, according to a press release about today’s news. To celebrate this November release date, Stubby Games has released a new trailer. 

Check out The Entropy Centre release date trailer for yourself below

As you can see, The Entropy Centre continues to look great. For more about the game, check out this reveal trailer and then watch this gameplay trailer for a look at what you’ll be doing in The Entropy Centre. 

Are you excited for The Entropy Centre? Let us know in the comments below!


Scorn Release Date Moved Up One Week

Publisher Kepler Interactive and developer Ebb Software have revealed that Scorn’s release date has changed, moving up one week earlier in October. The game will now release on October 14 instead of the previously announced October 21

As for why, the team doesn’t say. However, a new teaser trailer released today is titled, “You’ve waited long enough,” so perhaps the studio simply wants to get this game into players’ hands sooner. Check it out for yourself below: 

Here are some screenshots from the game: 


For more Scorn, check out this trailer from the June Xbox and Bethesda Showcase and then watch these 14 minutes of gameplay

Are you going to be checking out Scorn next month? Let us know in the comments below!


Game Informer’s Fall Buying Guide 2022

Whether you’re heading across the country and into a new dorm room, across the neighborhood to a familiar school, or just looking to gear up for the fall, we’ve got a curated selection of tech, toys, tabletop games, and more to delight and engage the fun. Snag a gift for the student in your life, or just look into something as a reward to yourself for making it through the hot summer. We won’t tell. Read the full story…


Hot Wheels Unleashed Leads October 2022’s PlayStation Plus Games

PlayStation has revealed the October 2022 PlayStation Plus games for next month: Hot Wheels Unleashed, Superhot, and Injustice 2

All Premium, Extra, and Essential PS Plus members can add these games to their libraries and download them starting next month, on October 4. You’ll have until October 31 to add them to your library. As for September’s games, which are Need For Speed: Heat, Granblue Fantasy Versus, and Toem, players have until October 3 to add them to their libraries. 

Here’s what PlayStation has to say about each game: 

Hot Wheels Unleashed

Collect, build and race in this fantastic arcade sim based on the Hot Wheels universe. Earn new vehicles then take them to the track to race side by side with friends in two-player split-screen, or face up to 12 opponents in online challenges. One you’ve raced, why not try and build your own course? Create amazing layout inside and outside the track editor. Ad loops, special boosters, obstacles and special elements to make an incredible amusement park for your races, then share your creation online for other players to try. 

Injustice 2

The creators of Mortal Kombat return to the DC universe with the biggest superhuman roster. Select from twisted versions of iconic heroes and supervillains and bring epic-scale battles to awe-inspiring locations across the globe. Take on other players locally and online, or immerse yourself in the story-driven single player campaign as Batman struggles against Superman’s regime. You’ll earn gear after every match to equip, customize and evolve your roster. 


Blurring the lines between cautious strategy and unbridled mayhem, Superhot is the FPS in which time moves only when you move. No regenerating health bars. No conveniently placed ammo drops. It’s just you, outnumbered and outgunned, grabbing the weapons of fallen enemies to shoot, slice, and maneuver through a hurricane of slow-motion bullets. Superhot’s polished, minimalist visual language helps you concentrate on the most important – on the fluidity of gameplay and cinematic beauty of the fight.

Are you excited about October’s titles? Let us know in the comments below!


Skull And Bones Delayed Again, This Time To March 2023

Skull and Bones has been delayed again, this time to March of next year. 

It was originally due out in 2018 but then delayed to 2019. It was delayed to at least March 2020 after that, but things went quiet and the game missed that window. Then, in May of last year, Ubisoft announced that Skull and Bones would release sometime between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023. And now, it’s slipping out of its November 8 release date, which was only just announced back in July, into a new March 9, 2023 date. As for why, the team cites a need for more polish and balancing.

Kotaku’s Ethan Gach says sources say the teams working on Skull and Bones are burnt out. According to Gach in his Kotaku story, the latest technical test for the game ended on September 19. One source involved with the test told Kotaku that gameplay was more refined than in previous tests but that progression needed work as it still felt too shallow. Gach writes that this is a concern shared by multiple sources close to the game’s development. 

Here’s what Ubisoft has to say about the delay: 

Ahoy there, privateers. Our team is hard at work polishing and balancing the experience ahead of the worldwide launch. As a result, we’ve made the tough decision to move our release date to March 9, 2023. We’re very eager for you all to get your hands on Skull and Bones and dive in headfirst to the dangerous and exciting world of building your own pirate empire. To give you the best possible experience we’ve decided to take a little more time to make sure we can deliver exactly that.

For the most eager of you, we are also very happy to announce that we will hold an open beta of the game in the near future. We’ll share more news on how you can sign up to register soon, so keep your spyglasses trained on our social media for more news and announcements.

The last the public saw of Skull and Bones in a big way was during a July showcase, which is where we saw extensive gameplay and received the now-delayed November 8 release date. I learned a lot more about the game around the same time when Skull and Bones was Game Informer’s cover story. At the time, the team seemed confident in its November release date but given the history of this title, I’m not surprised it’s been delayed again. 

Are you excited to play Skull and Bones next March? Let us know in the comments below!


Dynasty Warriors Studio Reveals Wild Hearts, A Monster Hunter-Like Game Coming Early Next Year

Electronic Arts and Koei Tecmo have revealed Wild Hearts, a new Monster Hunter-like game coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC next year. 

More specifically, this EA Originals title will be released on February 17, 2023. This news comes by way of the game’s reveal trailer released today. In it, we see a lot of monster hunting action. The game seems to take place in a mythological land filled with large and dangerous beasts. You’ll need to craft better gear to take on tougher monsters, eventually taming the otherwise wild area. 

Check out the reveal trailer below

As you can see, Wild Hearts looks great, especially if you’re someone who’s a fan of Capcom’s long-running Monster Hunter series. 

“Wild Hearts opens up a vibrant fantasy world to players that’s as untamed as it is beautiful,” Koei Tecmo executive vice president Yosuke Hayashi writes in a press release. “With Wild Hearts, not only did we want to showcase the evolution, infusion, and real threat caused by Kemono, but we also wanted to create a game where crafting was at the core of the experience, redefining what can be possible in a beast hunting game. We have placed great care in designing our Karakuri to fit within the combat, and we’re excited for players to use these powerful mechanisms to fight giant beasts and traverse the world.” 

Wild Hearts take place in Azuma, a fantasy landscape inspired by feudal Japan, now ravaged by the once-peaceful Kemono. These Kemono range from plant-infused squirrels to the massive creatures seen in the trailer above, like the Kingtusk wild boar. 


“After a dreadful fight with the winter wolf Deathstalker, players become bearers of a life-sustaining technology and are compelled to restore balance across the region,” the press release reads. 

The game will feature co-op gameplay that allows you and up to two additional friends to fight Kemono. Plus, it will feature cross-play as well, so PlayStation players can play with their Xbox friends and vice versa. The same goes for PC, too. 

Wild Hearts hits PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC via Origin, Steam, and the Epic Game Store on February 17, 2023. It will cost $69.99. 

Are you excited about Wild Hearts? Let us know what you think of this reveal in the comments below!


Return to Monkey Island Review – A Return To Childhood Nostalgia

Reviewed on:

Switch, PC

Devolver Digital, Lucasfilm Games

Terrible Toybox

September 17, 2022

“I’m Guybrush Threepwood, mighty pirate!”

Between the moment Guybrush uttered this iconic line in Return to Monkey Island and our reintroduction to familiar characters like used ship salesman Stan S. Stanman and Cobb, with his “Ask me about Loom” badge, I was already shrouded in a haze of nostalgia. And you would be eating all these up, too, if you’re a Monkey Island fan. The thing about Monkey Island enthusiasts is that we can talk your ears off about what makes the series so unique. It’s the earnest naivety of its pirate hero Guybrush Threepwood and the series’ whimsical and self-referential humor. But most of all, it’s that one absurd puzzle you’ll need to crack within the original Secret of Monkey Island: the sheer hilarity of transporting an ultra tart blend of a pirate beverage called grog across an island without melting its mug and incinerating your hands along the way.

There’s still plenty of such fondness to reminisce about in Return to Monkey Island, a point-and-click adventure game that hasn’t lost any of its luster and immense charm since creator Ron Gilbert’s last Monkey Island game, which is close to 30 years old. It feels like time has barely passed since then, with the premise of its swashbuckling tale faithfully crafted from a Monkey Island structure that feels refined to near perfection.

Guybrush is heading to the eponymous island in search of its greatest secret, and he is again in need of a boat and crew. He drops by Melee Island, the favorite haunt of any self-professed Mighty Pirate and others in the Caribbean, and runs into a couple of old friends and less-than-friends there. The Voodoo Lady makes several dramatic proclamations about the nature of Guybrush’s ill-fated expedition, with him eventually scrapping up whatever resources he can for his voyage to Monkey Island. Hijinks, which may involve the ingenious use of chicken and other fowl-related products, ensue. You get the drift. 

The essence of Monkey Island lies in its trademark goofy panache and a genuine sense of humor, with which Return to Monkey Island radiates. It’s challenging to go into specifics without veering into spoiler territory, but there are a plethora of playful jokes and self-aware gags that left me wheezing due to the game’s impeccable comedic timing. One early scenario, meant to introduce the ability to skip through dialogue quickly, has you listening to a rambling monologue about anchors’ exquisite function, history, and beauty. 

Return to Monkey Island strings its punchlines with remarkable comedic timing. There are setups for jokes that pay off to ludicrous conclusions at a later time. There are tons of fourth-wall-breaking references poking fun at everything from pop culture to the idiosyncrasies of video games. There are throwbacks to past gags like the eye-watering, immaterial textures of Stan’s jacket, which never stops being funny. Such humor is more than just skin-deep; it’s thoroughly infused into every part of Return to Monkey Island, from its eccentric cast of characters to the way its puzzles play out, like a particular quest involving a mop, some grease, and a tiny hole. Return to Monkey Island oozes personality, with plenty of charisma to spare.

Given the series’ popularity, it would have been easy for Gilbert and his studio, Terrible Toybox, to create a new Monkey Island game that simply banks on its fans’ sentimentality for the series – a knowing wink, some inside jokes, or breadcrumbs alluding to long-running gags in Monkey Island (and there are so many of them). But while Return to Monkey Island is a sequel to Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge, Terrible Toybox isn’t content to just let the game serve as an elaborate throwback to the earlier games. 


Notably, there’s the game’s refreshed art style. Far from a stark departure from the spirit of the series, this feels more like a much-needed coat of fresh paint on a beloved but legacy series, emblematic of the new-yet-familiar direction that Return to Monkey Island is taking. Take, for instance, the scrapbook, a nifty feature that briefly recounts the colorful exploits of the famed Mighty Pirate, meant to ease new players into the game and serve as a recap for a series that spanned three entire decades. 

There’s also a hint system that’s brilliantly woven into the story, and it’s meticulously considered and immensely helpful for folks like myself who can get driven into a corner by its puzzles, and it doesn’t reveal all the answers at once. Clues, presented through a spellbook, are gradually revealed depending on the obstacles you’re facing, encouraging you to discover the solutions to the puzzles on your own. This is done by presenting keywords that may inspire a solution – an epiphany, perhaps – or through vague clues that gently nudge you in the right direction.

And then there’s the refreshing point-and-click interface, which is more intuitive than the antiquated “nine verbs” menu of traditional point-and-click titles. No longer will you haphazardly drag random knick-knacks to these verbs to inadvertently discover what you can do with them; this new interface streamlines such interactions to examining or using these objects. As a result, Guybrush’s bits of humor and quips associated with misusing these items in the older Monkey Island games vanish in this title. You will no longer be able to talk to random artifacts you grabbed off the shelf or mash unrelated things together. Fortunately, such gags are largely inconsequential in the first place (you shouldn’t worry, anyway; Return to Monkey Island is a wellspring of great jokes). 

You can even select between two difficulty modes, which lets you choose between an experience that prioritizes the story over its puzzles or another for puzzle enthusiasts who prefer a bit of a brain teaser. The sum of these parts points to an incredibly thoughtful design that makes Return to Monkey Island an adventure anyone can dive into – one that can be equally delightful to new players, especially for those who may be concerned about trudging into a series with decades of history.

Then again, distilling it to its components wouldn’t quite encapsulate the splendor of this Monkey Island sequel. Instead, I would point out that Return to Monkey Island feels like a homecoming, of returning to those sepia-toned days where I first relived the exciting adventures of the intrepid Guybrush Threepwood in The Secret of Monkey Island many years ago. It’s also why, despite Terrible Toybox’s gallant efforts to make Return of Monkey Island more approachable to new players, it’s still the original series fans who would get the most out of this point-and-click experience. They’re the very folks who will be delighted to catch a glimpse of, say, the same scrap of melted metal that Guybrush once used to hold his grog as they briefly recall the absurdity of that puzzle in their heads. Return to Monkey Island is profoundly nostalgic and relentlessly funny, and I’m once again a kid, laughing at Guybrush’s umpteenth last-ditch efforts to distract his opponents with, “Look behind you, a three-headed monkey!”


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Overwatch 2: It Will Take New Players About 100 Matches To Unlock All Original Heroes

Overwatch 2 players new to the series will have to unlock the original characters, meaning that cast won’t be available on day one. 

This news comes from a new Overwatch 2 blog post, as reported by Destructoid. In it, Blizzard says a consistent piece of feedback it has received is that new players feel overwhelmed by Overwatch’s hero pool and various modes. As such, the team has implemented a new First Time User Experience, or FTUE, designed for Overwatch 2 players who have never played Overwatch. 

The new FTUE addresses that feedback directly. In phase one, players will need to unlock the game’s modes and chat functions – this happens “rapidly,” Blizzard writes in the blog post. Then, in phase two, players will unlock the original Overwatch heroes by playing “approximately 100 matches,” according to Destructoid. It’s important to note this is just for the original game’s heroes – new heroes will be unlocked through Overwatch 2’s battle pass system

Competitive play can be unlocked by winning 50 Quick Play matches. However, Blizzard says, “most FTUE restrictions are lifted while in a group, so new players can team up with their friends at any time to play almost any game modes.” Competitive is the exception, though. 

“While this [new FTUE] process helps players join the fun, it’s also an effective way to discourage disruptive behaviour and cheating,” the blog reads. “FTUE is an investment to complete because it takes time to unlock game features – Competitive, specifically, cannot be accessed without winning matches. Disruptive players are unable to immediately affect the larger community, with things like voice chat and match chat unlocking later in FTUE. Brand-new accounts made by cheaters or disruptive players will have to play through this experience, giving us the chance to identify suspicious accounts before they enter other game modes.” 

If you have an account with Overwatch playtime on it, or if you own the Watchpoint Pack, you will not have to play through the First Time User Experience, Blizzard says. 

There’s plenty more in the blog post, including details about Overwatch 2’s Ping system, Endorsements, machine learning and audio transcriptions, and its overall Defense Matrix Initiative experience, so be sure to check it out if you’re interested. 

Overwatch 2 hits PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC on October 4. While waiting for its free-to-play release next week, read about how Overwatch 2 devs spent a year making Genji’s customizable Mythic skin and then read about how Overwatch 2’s vice president is interested in exploring brand collaborations similar to Fortnite’s Naruto crossover.  

[Source: Destructoid]

What do you think about this new First Time User Experience? Let us know in the comments below!


Wiglett Is A New Diglett-Like Pokémon Coming To Scarlet And Violet

There are Pokémon designs like Charizard that make me go, “ooo yes, very nice” and there are others like Voltorb that make me go, “oh, why do you exist?” There’s also a rare third class of Pokémon I call “weird lil things” when I see them and Wiglett, a new Pokémon joining the Pokédex in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, is that class’ newest member. 

Today, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company released a 3 and a half minute video highlighting Wiglett, its similarities to Diglett, and how it’s just different enough that it is an entirely new species, rather than a regional variant. As such, this new Diglett-like Pokémon is called Wiglett. It looks like a worm, lives in the sea and on the beach, and seems to stick together with other Wigletts. Check it out in Serebii’s video below: 

I’m most excited to see Wiglett’s evolution, if it evolves at all. But hopefully, I’ll see that in another trainer’s party because I’m not sure Wiglett is a sure bet for mine. 

For more about Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, watch the latest trailer that shows off new school rivalries, gym leaders, and more, and then watch this trailer all about competitive play in the 9th generation of Pokémon. After that, read our preview of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet to find out everything you need to know about the Paldea region

Is Wiglett going to be in your party? Let us know what you think of it in the comments below!


Overwatch 2 VP Interested In Exploring Brand Collaborations, Cites Fortnite’s Naruto Crossover – Exclusive Interview

During our recent interview with Overwatch’s Vice President, Jon Spector, we asked the executive a few additional questions about developing sustainable revenue streams for free-to-play games. Titles like Fortnite and Warzone have popularized collaborations with major brands like Dragon Ball Super, Attack On Titan, and Snoop Dogg, so I was curious if the Overwatch team would consider it. 

“We’ve seen some really fun examples out there of games working with other brands or other games,” Spector says. “I’m a big anime nerd myself. I think it’s super cool when I see Naruto appear in Fortnite. I don’t even play Fortnite, but that’s awesome. And as we look at the Overwatch 2 space, those are things that we’re interested in exploring. If and when we do that, one of our key values is to do it in a way that feels like a great fit for the Overwatch franchise.” 

He continues, “So we’ve been more focused on those collaborations as the stuff we might be interested in doing. And less on the ads-in-our-game type stuff.”

While Overwatch 2’s monetization model heavily relies on selling premium Battle Passes and high-quality cosmetics, Spector says the team is “working to deliver more content for free than ever before, on a regular and consistent basis to players all over the world.” 

Specifically, the team is aiming to drop content updates every nine weeks. Each season will deliver a new theme – Season 1 brings cyberpunk-inspired cosmetics – along with new characters or maps (sometimes both). 

“We want to be in a position to sustain [content delivery] for years to come,” says Spector. “And so we ask ourselves, ‘How do we align the revenue systems in the game against that goal?’ We always want to make sure things in the game feel fair and rewarding for players, regardless of whether they choose to spend [money].” 

He continues, “And we believe that’s the best way to support the game on an ongoing basis. It’s a really big shift versus asking players to spend forty or sixty bucks to come in the door, and then having different monetization models after that.”

Click here to read more about Overwatch 2’s premium Mythic Skins and why the team spends over a year creating each one. 


Update: Rick From Rick And Morty Hits MultiVersus Today

Update, 9/27/22:

Rick Sanchez from the hit TV show “Rick and Morty” will be available as a playable fighter in the free-to-play platform brawler, MultiVersus, today. He joins his in-show sidekick, Morty Smith, in the game who was added to the roster last month. 

The official MultiVersus Twitter account has released a short video showcasing a breakdown of Rick’s moveset and class type. His moveset includes the following:

Yeah, Fart Bomb!: Throw a fart bomb, hitting enemies upward.
Meeseek and Destroy: Summon a Meeseeks that runs forward, uppercuts, or readies a golf club. 
Basrick Portal Theory: Aims and summons a max of two portals

Who’s ready to get rickety-rickety-wrecked, Son?! Rick joins #MultiVersus TOMORROW!

— MultiVersus (@multiversus) September 26, 2022

The original story continues below…

Update, 8/12/22:

The official MultiVersus Twitter account has revealed that Season 1 for the popular stage fighter will begin next Monday, Aug. 15, after a delay to the season was announced last week. Morty from Rick and Morty, who was set to drop with Season 1, will join the roster roughly a week later, on Aug. 23. Also, the team has announced that everything coming to the game in Season 1 will not drop on the same day, citing that new modes and content will drop throughout the season. 

Quick Note: Everything we are bringing to you in Season 1 will not drop on the same day. New modes and content will be spread through the life of the Season. We’ll continue to share dates on all the fun things to come!

— MultiVersus (@multiversus) August 12, 2022

The original story continues below

Original Story, 8/4/2022: 

The crossover brawler of our dreams, MultiVersus, is the fighting genre’s latest prize winner. From Adventure Time to Game of Thrones, Player First Games’ debut title is a wacky fusion of legendary franchises that’s left fans enamored with the light-hearted art style and Super Smash-inspired gameplay. Sadly, the rising champ’s first season and next playable character, Morty (Rick & Morty), have been pushed back. A finalized release date remains unknown.  

We want to let everyone know that we are delaying the start of Season 1 & the release of Morty to a later date. We know this might be disappointing for some and want to assure our Community that we are dedicated to delivering new and exciting content that delights players. (2/3)

— MultiVersus (@multiversus) August 4, 2022

Tweets released by the MultiVersus dev team thank players for their continued support and patience while announcing the unexpected news (seen above). You can read the complete statement below:

“A big thank you to everyone playing MultiVersus. It’s exciting to see so many players enjoying the game and the launch of the Open Beta is just the beginning. We want to let everyone know that we are delaying the start of Season 1 & the release of Morty to a later date. We know this might be disappointing for some and want to assure our Community that we are dedicated to delivering new and exciting content that delights players. We’ll let you know the timing as soon as we can. We appreciate your patience & enthusiasm and look forward to unveiling Season 1 very soon!”

Season 1 was initially slated to launch on August 9. For now, you’ll just have to keep busy kicking Lebron James’ butt. John Carson previewed MultiVersus for us and concluded his findings by stating, “I went into the alpha test of MultiVersus with low expectations. Besides Smash Bros., the big brand mash-up fighters feel hollow and feature underwhelming rosters, but I’ve come away impressed with what I’ve played so far. The cast is great so far, and each character brings unique gameplay and mechanics to the fray.”

What are your thoughts on MultiVersus so far? Let us know in the comments below!


Tinykin Review – Little Big Fun

Reviewed on:
Xbox One

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC



August 30, 2022

Everyone 10+

Tinykin smartly blends platforming and puzzle-solving with the minion management of Nintendo’s Pikmin series. Players control a flea-sized astronaut who travels from his home planet to Earth to trace humanity’s true origins. The explorer’s journey takes him to an ordinary home occupied by sentient insects who worship a mysterious deity. To return home, the astronaut must assemble a rocket by gathering ordinary household objects with the help of small, adorable aliens called Tinykin. As a fan of “little person in a big world” experiences, Tinykin’s premise and world drew me in, and its gameplay satisfied me until its conclusion.

The best, though perhaps reductive, way to describe Tinykin’s gameplay would be “Pikmin as a platformer.” Each room in the house offers large, smartly laid-out playgrounds where players overcome platforming challenges and solve environmental puzzles using different types of Tinykin. These include pink varieties that carry objects, red versions that explode on impact when tossed, and green Tinykin that stack vertically to form a living ladder, among others. I like how the game introduces each Tinykin one stage at a time, letting me spend an entire level getting used to their unique talents before introducing another. 

The well-crafted puzzles become better (and more involved) as you recruit more Tinykin to your ranks. Some obstacles can be as simple as carrying an oversized appliance out of your path. Other tasks become scavenger hunts, challenging you to find creative ways of traversing the world to locate and retrieve scattered items. Solutions tend to be relatively straightforward, no matter what form a puzzle takes; Tinykin never forces you to wrack your brain, at least not for very long. I found this level of challenge relaxing but engaging enough to avoid becoming mundane or overly simplistic. Tinykin’s puzzle-solving has a nice flow that keeps the experience moving, making it a breeze to get through. 

Controlling the Tinykin is simple and intuitive, requiring little more than aiming and flinging them at designated targets. I also love that Tinykin can perform jobs independently, allowing me to multitask. It feels great to let a dozen helpers work on lugging objects to their destinations while I gleefully collect scattered pollen (used to upgrade a hover ability), find missing letters for a mail bug, and complete side quests. 

Tinykin is a collect-a-thon like the 3D platformers of old. Gathering items and finding secrets is rewarding because every nook and cranny usually hides a discovery. Sometimes it’s bundles of pollen; other times, it’s a missing piece needed to complete a side errand, such as reuniting a photograph with its frame. The world is a colorful, oversized jungle gym, and I’m impressed with how each room feels like a lived-in dwelling while still having clear pathways that appear organically arranged. 


I had the most fun freely exploring and using my Tinykin army to tinker with whatever lay before me, like pushing in protruding books or yanking a washing machine’s door open. Hopping across a kitchen, hallway, or bathroom is a delight from this small perspective, and platforming feels exceptionally tight. Riding soap bars across ziplines to get around faster makes it even better, and locating shortcuts, such as climbing ropes, expedites backtracking. I only wish there was a map because the busy environments make quest givers feel like needles in a haystack whenever it’s time to turn in a job. 

Tinykin feels comforting in an old-school sense. Its challenges never become convoluted, nor does its design reinvent the wheel, and that’s okay. Tinykin executes its handful of ideas exceptionally well, making it a thoroughly enjoyable and laid-back journey that only requires six to eight hours of your time. Don’t let this delightful adventure sneak under your radar.


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Overwatch 2 Devs Spent A Year Making Genji’s Customizable Mythic Skin – Exclusive Interview

Overwatch 2 introduces a bevy of new characters, maps, and modes when it launches early next week. However, the most significant change arriving alongside the sequel’s new free-to-play format is a Battle Pass. The pass’ free track allows players to unlock a new support character named Kiriko, while its premium track – which costs $10 or 1,000 Overwatch Coins – offers unique cyberpunk-themed cosmetics like weapon charms, souvenirs, and legendary skins. Players who complete the 80-tier premium Battle Pass receive Cyber Demon Genji, the first of Overwatch’s new class of customizable cosmetics called Mythic Skins. 

We recently interviewed Overwatch 2’s leadership group to learn about their philosophy while developing the Battle Pass and Mythic Skins’ role in the sequel’s revamped monetization strategy. 

“When we looked at making this transition to free-to-play, one of the great goals we had was to give Overwatch players what they wanted, which was just continuous delivery of content. We know this because players have been telling us that keeps them engaged over the long term,” says General Manager Walter Kong.

Kong tells us the size of Overwatch 2’s core team is nearly triple what it was in 2016 – a necessary expansion to meet the short timelines of developing a free-to-play online game. He continues, “We spent a long time thinking through how to be able to fund continued development of the game in a way that would still present fair and enjoyable experiences for all players, whether they choose to pay or whether they choose to play for free. And our approach, in terms of players who pay, is to deliver tremendous value.” 

That’s precisely where Overwatch 2’s new skins come into play, though they’re not exactly a cheap investment, according to Game Director Aaron Keller.

“We put a lot of time into building our cosmetics. A Mythic Skin takes us over a year to make. It’s a massive investment for the team, and a massive amount of resources go into building these things. And we think it’s worth it.” Keller continues, “One of our values is to be able to put out the absolute coolest cosmetics we can, and we hope they can be seen as some of the very best in the industry.”

Every season has a theme and an accompanying Mythic Skin featuring multiple layers that players customize to their liking. 

In an exclusive follow-up interview with Overwatch’s Commercial Lead and Vice President, Jon Spector, we asked for more details on Mythic Skins and the team’s philosophy while creating them. 

“Putting the Mythic Skin in the Battle Pass felt like the right decision, even if candidly, I think we’d make more money selling it directly in the shop. But we really wanted it to be one of the centerpieces of our Battle Pass system,” says Spector. He continues, “The guiding principle behind Mythics was asking the art team to outdo themselves and make something even cooler than Legendary Skins. In some of our media assets, you can see the Dragonblade animation, which I think is the single coolest thing we’ve ever done with a skin.”

In the case of Cyber Demon Genji, Spector tells us there are four separate layers to style: two Dragonblade variants, three helmets, three tattoo patterns, and multiple color schemes. There’s also an option to randomize the layers for decision-averse folks. After unlocking the skin, all customization options are available to players, so they won’t have to complete challenges or spend additional time playing the game to fully enjoy their reward for reaching Tier 80.

But players who were hoping Overwatch 2 would mirror Halo Infinite’s no-expiration Battle Pass system will be disappointed. 

“One of the pieces of player feedback I’ve seen since Mythic Skins were first announced is people feeling like [the skins] are more special if there’s an aspect of earning them. So I think the ability to look back and say, ‘I got Mythic Genji because I was playing in Season One and completed the Battle Pass,’ will make it feel even more special,” says Spector, who wants players to feel really good about investing money into the game. 

“We’ve all been in the trenches for a while getting everything ready for October 4. The whole team is so excited about launching Overwatch 2. But also knowing that it’s the starting point for the journey we’re all on together, and knowing how much cool stuff we have down the pipeline, feels really good.”

Click here to read more about Kiriko, Overwatch 2’s new support character. 


HBO’s The Last Of Us Gets Its First Teaser Trailer

At long last, HBO has released the first trailer for The Last of Us. Though officially classified as a “teaser,” it offers nearly two minutes of clips that provide pretty good looks at the upcoming adaptation. 

The teaser doesn’t reveal a premiere date, but we get to see how Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) survive the post-apocalyptic world, scenes of humanity’s collapse a la the game’s prologue, and a quick glimpse of a Clicker. 

The Last of Us is led by Craig Mazin of Chernobyl fame and Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann. We learned during Summer Game Fest that Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, who portray Joel and Ellie in the games, will have unspecified roles in the series. The Last of Us will be available to stream exclusively on HBO Max in 2023.

To help prepare fans for what’s to come, Naughty Dog recently released a remake of the first game dubbed The Last of Us Part 1. You can read editor Blake Hester’s impressions of that title here


E3 2023 Dates Announced, Will Have Separate Industry And Public Days

In March, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced that E3 would return next year as an in-person show following the cancellation of the 2022 edition. We now know the dates of the event as well as how it will be structured.

E3 2023 takes place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from Tuesday, June 13 through Friday, June 16. Digital presentations, such as the annual press conferences held by first and third-party publishers, take place a couple of days before, beginning June 11. 

The ESA also states that the show will feature separate admission days for industry professionals and the general public. E3 Business Days, designated for developers, publishers, and press/media, take place on June 13-15. Media registration opens in December. 

June 15-16 will host E3 Gamer Days, where fans will be admitted to the show floor. There is no date for public registration at this time. Since E3 first opened its doors to fans in 2017, professionals and the public have largely intermingled for the entirety of the show, which has caused issues in terms of crowd traffic. E3 adopting the same dividing format as events such as Tokyo Game Show should alleviate that problem.   

As previously announced, PAX/New York Comic-Con organizer ReedPop will helm E3 2023. The company has promised to make E3 into a “world class event to serve the global gaming industry.” The last E3 to take place in-person at the LA Convention Center was in 2019. The 2020 show was canceled due to the pandemic, and the 2021 version was a digital-only show. 


Silent Hill: The Short Message Rated In South Korea

Silent Hill: The Short Message has been rated by South Korea’s Game Rating committee, and it’s possible this is a new unannounced Silent Hill game. 

This news comes by way of Video Games Chronicle, which reported that the rating committee rated Silent Hill: The Short Message today. However, the rating did not include any platforms, so it’s unclear where this game might land if it actually ends up being a real title. In fact, the rating features little else other than listing Uniana as its publisher. As VGC notes, this company regularly publishes Konami games in South Korea. 

The publication also notes that Silent Hill: The Short Message might be related to one of various Silent Hill projects reportedly in the works at multiple different studios. VGC reported in February that Konami is planning a revival of the Silent Hill series amidst other reports stating that a Silent Hill 2 remake is in development

While waiting to hopefully learn more about Silent Hill: The Short Message, read about Silent Hill creator Keiichiro Toyama’s new game, Slitterhead

[Source: Video Games Chronicle]

What do you want out of a new Silent Hill game? Let us know in the comments below!


Don’t Expect Marvel Games To Become Connected Like The MCU

Marvel has stepped up its gaming output these past few years. Following the success of Marvel’s Spider-Man in 2018 by Insomniac Games, the team later announced Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, due out sometime next year. Insomniac is also working on a Wolverine game. Elsewhere, Motive Studio just announced last week that it’s working on a single-player Iron Man game and before that, Marvel pulled back the curtains on Amy Hennig’s new game that features Black Panther and Captain America. There’s also Crystal Dynamic’s Marvel’s Avengers, which is still getting content today, and last year’s excellent Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

All of this is to say that Marvel has been pumping out a steady stream of games with more to come. However, despite that, you shouldn’t expect the company to create a connected universe like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to vice president and creative director of Marvel Games Bill Rosemann. 

“The world is, amazingly, very familiar and accepting of the multiverse,” Rosemann told, as reported by Eurogamer. “We have all these different realities. Now they’re all real, and we want to give everyone the freedom to tell their story. We don’t want to say ‘you can’t blow up the moon, because this game over here by another studio needs the moon.’ We want to give everyone the freedom and the clear lane to tell their story.” 

He continues, stating that every team is given the opportunity to build its superhero in a Marvel game from the ground up with elements of familiarity. 

“Every decision [the Motive team] are making about their Marvel universe, their Tony Stark, their Iron Man…they’re building it from the ground-up,” Rosemann tells “But it is being built with what we call Marvel Building blocks. When you play the game, it may not be the Iron Man story that you’ve experienced before, but there will be many similar things. What would you expect in a Marvel story?

“There are things, there are institutions, certain companies, groups…I don’t want to say what is and isn’t in this game, but for example, there is S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra, there’s the Daily Bugle, there’s these different countries that exist. These are building blocks that make the Marvel universe. They make it feel like a real Marvel story. Now with that, [Motive is] going to tell its story, and we will give them that freedom.” 

It sounds like Insomniac’s Spider-Man won’t be meeting Motive’s Iron Man, unfortunately, but if Marvel’s Spider-Man is any indication, we could still be in for some great gaming experiences. 

For more, read about all of the upcoming superhero video games, ranging from next month’s Gotham Knights to Wolverine and more. 

[Source: Eurogamer via]

Do you want a connected universe of Marvel video games, or are you happy with them remaining independent of each other? Let us know in the comments below!


Oxenfree II: Lost Signals Delayed To 2023

Night School Studio has delayed Oxenfree II: Lost Signals. 

Originally set to release this year, Oxenfree II will now debut sometime in 2023. The team didn’t mention a specific window, however, so as for when in 2023, that remains unknown. It could be just a month or two into the new year or six months into the new year – only time will tell. As for why, Night School Studio says it needs more time to make this sequel “truly special” and to add more localizations. 

Here’s the studio’s full statement on the delay:

“We owe it to our amazing community to make Oxenfree II: Lost Signals the best game it can possibly be. Seeing your fan art, reading your excited comments, and connecting with you fuels our ambition to make this our best game yet. To make Oxenfree II truly special and add more localizations, we’re moving our release window to 2023. 

Thank you for your patience, support, and understanding. We can’t wait to share the game with you. Stay tuned!”

An update on OXENFREE II: Lost Signals

— Night School Studio (@nightschoolers) September 24, 2022

Oxenfree II: Lost Signals hits PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC sometime in 2023. For more, read about why Oxenfree II: Lost Signals is one of our most anticipated indies and then check out this story about Netflix’s acquisition of Night School Studio

Are you excited for Oxenfree II: Lost Signals? Let us know in the comments below!


Holiday 2022 Primer All Things Nintendo

This week on All Things Nintendo, Brian is joined by the New York Post‘s mixed-martial arts reporter, co-host of the Ground & Pwned podcast, and former games journalist Scott Fontana to preview the upcoming holiday gaming season. The two go month by month, breaking down the most exciting releases on the horizon on Nintendo Switch, starting with the first week of October. 

If you’d like to follow the people from this episode on Twitter, hit the following links: Brian Shea (@brianpshea), Scott Fontana (@Scott_Fontana)

The All Things Nintendo podcast is a weekly show where we can celebrate, discuss, and break down all the latest games, news, and announcements from the industry’s most recognizable name. Each week, Brian is joined by different guests to talk about what’s happening in the world of Nintendo. Along the way, they’ll share personal stories, uncover hidden gems in the eShop, and even look back on the classics we all grew up with. A new episode hits every Friday!

Be sure to subscribe to All Things Nintendo on your favorite podcast platform. The show is available on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Google Podcasts.

00:00:00 – Introduction
00:01:46 – First Nintendo Game/Favorite Nintendo Game
00:17:40 – Holiday 2022 Primer: Intro
00:18:57 – Holiday 2022 Primer: October
00:47:24 – Holiday 2022 Primer: November
00:58:11 – Holiday 2022 Primer: December
01:03:15 – Holiday 2022 Primer: TBA Release Dates/Most Anticipated
01:07:52 – eShop Gem of the Week: Broforce

If you’d like to get in touch with the All Things Nintendo podcast, you can do so by emailing, tweeting to Brian (@BrianPShea), or by joining the official Game Informer Discord server. You can do that by linking your Discord account to your Twitch account and subscribing to the Game Informer Twitch channel. From there, find the All Things Nintendo channel under “Community Spaces.”

For Game Informer’s other podcast, be sure to check out The Game Informer Show with host Alex Van Aken, which covers the weekly happenings of the video game industry!


Super Replay Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Part 4

Standing here, I realize that this Super Replay will be a cut above the rest because we’ll be slicing and dicing in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance! Join us today on Twitch at 2 p.m. Central to enjoy two hours of what will be a full playthrough of the cult favorite action game streaming weekly each Friday. 

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance serves as a sequel/spin-off to Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots that puts cyborg ninja Raiden at the helm. Instead of sneaking around in boxes, players eviscerate foes in fast-paced, stylish action courtesy of developer Platinum Games. Since its launch in 2013, Revengence’s action and absurdity have garnered it a passionate internet fandom, but I have a little secret: I didn’t think the game was all that special when I played it at launch. However, years of being inundated with internet memes and being told my opinion is incorrect has inspired me to give Revengece another look. Will I acquire a new appreciation for the game nine years later? How many watermelons will I slice? You’ll have to tune in to find out. 

Watch on Twitch!

Join me, Marcus Stewart, along with Blake Hester as we revisit Raiden’s beloved solo adventure. If you enjoy our livestreams but haven’t subscribed to our Twitch channel, know that doing so not only gives you notifications and access to special emotes. You’ll also be granted entry to the official Game Informer Discord channel, where our welcoming community members, moderators, and staff gather to talk games, entertainment, food, and organize hangouts!


Unprecedented GTA 6 Leaks And EA Motive’s Iron Man Game GI Show

In this week’s episode of The Game Informer Show, special guest Matt Storm joins Alex Van Aken and Brian Shea to break down the unprecedented Grand Theft Auto 6 leaks that happened over the weekend. In what is one of the largest video game leaks of all time, over 90 videos showcasing secret in-development footage of the open-world crime sequel were leaked on GTAForums and quickly spread via fans on YouTube and social media. 

Additionally, we chat about this week’s news of a collaboration between Marvel Games and EA Motive to develop a single-player Iron Man game. During The Playlist, we dive into our time playing Splatoon 3, TemTem, and Metal: Hellsinger. 

Follow us on social media: Alex Van Aken (@itsVanAken), Brian Shea (@BrianPShea), Matt Storm (@dj_stormageddon)

The Game Informer Show is a weekly gaming podcast covering the latest video game news, industry topics, exclusive reveals, and reviews. Join host Alex Van Aken every Thursday for a chat about your favorite games – past and present – with Game Informer staff, developers, and special guests from around the industry. Listen on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or your favorite podcast app.

This episode was edited by Matt Storm, the freelance audio editor for The Game Informer Show. Matt is an experienced podcast host and producer who’s been speaking into a microphone for over a decade. You should listen to Matt’s shows like the “Fun” And Games Podcast and Reignite, a Mass Effect podcast. 

Jump to the timestamps to get to a particular point of discussion:

00:00:00 – Introduction

00:02:55 – Motive Studio Iron Man Game Announcement

00:22:46 – Grand Theft Auto 6 Leaks

00:45:03 – Splatoon 3

00:57:08 – Temtem

01:06:40 – Metal: Hellsinger

01:11:59 – Housekeeping and Listener Questions


Super Mario Bros. Movie Gets April Premiere Date, First Teaser Trailer Airs Next Month

Illumination’s Super Mario Bros. film will get its first teaser trailer next month. It also has a new premiere date for the film following its delay in April. 

The animated film, starring Chris Pratt as the titular plumber, will hit theaters on April 7, 2023. The biggest question regarding the film has been what Pratt’s Mario performance will sound like, and we may finally get to hear it in just a few weeks. The movie’s first teaser trailer premieres on October 6 at 4 p.m. ET during the New York Comic Con.

Join us October 6th at 4pm ET for the teaser trailer premiere of Nintendo & Illumination’s upcoming Super Mario Bros. film, releasing April 7, 2023.

— New York Comic Con (@NY_Comic_Con) September 22, 2022

The Super Mario Bros. cast also includes Charlie Day as Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, and Seth Rogan as Donkey Kong. The film was delayed to ensure quality, though Nintendo was reportedly been pleased last year with how the film was shaping up at that point. Pratt recently described his performance as “unlike anything you’ve heard in the Mario world”, and it apparently won’t have an Italian accent


Ted Lasso And AFC Richmond Coming To FIFA 23

The Apple TV show Ted Lasso has proven to be one of the most popular and well-liked series of the last few years, introducing viewers to a lovable cast of characters whose lives and storylines largely revolve around the fictional English Premier League football club, AFC Richmond. Through its first two seasons, the series has taken home numerous awards, including the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2021 and 2022, with several of its actors – including Jason Sudeikis, Brett Goldstein, and Hannah Waddingham – taking home awards for original performances. Now, Ted Lasso reaches into a new realm: video games. 

EA Sports today announced that Ted Lasso and AFC Richmond are joining the FIFA 23 roster of teams. Lasso is joined on the sidelines by Coach Beard, with the pitch being populated by some of the team’s biggest stars like Jamie Tartt, Roy Kent, Dani Rojas, Sam Obisanya, and Isaac McAdoo. While the actors’ likenesses are included in the product, EA Sports hasn’t indicated if we’ll be hearing Jamie Tartt and Roy Kent’s signature crowd chants (though it seems doubtful, seeing as how Roy Kent’s chant would probably bump the ESRB rating up to M for Mature).

Regardless of that fact, you can play matches at AFC Richmond’s home ground, Nelson Road, and even take control of Coach Lasso or AFC Richmond through Career Mode. AFC Richmond is also playable in Kick-Off, Online Friendlies, and Online Seasons. FIFA 23 Ultimate Team is also adding several AFC Richmond customization items, including kits, TIFOs, and the option to select Ted Lasso or Coach Beard as your FUT club’s manager. All the AFC Richmond content in FUT will be obtainable through objectives and challenges.

You can see Ted Lasso and the AFC Richmond squad in action through the trailer below.

FIFA 23 arrives on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4. Xbox One, PC, and Stadia on September 30.


The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Preview – Everything’s Bloodier In Texas

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Sumo Digital

Gun Interactive


When Gun Interactive revealed The Texas Chain Saw Massacre last year, I was underwhelmed by its short teaser but excited about its potential. It’s one of my favorite horror movie franchises, partly because of how much it still scares me – every good haunted house has a Leatherface at the end that chases you out to the exit, right? – but also because of its backdrop: Texas. Horror, be it movies or games, typically draws attention to dreary atmospheres, spooky ambiance, perhaps some bad weather, and nighttime. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre bucked that trend in the 1970s. After going hands-on with Gun Interactive’s upcoming asymmetrical 3v4 multiplayer game with the same name, I’m most impressed by how much the otherwise serene Texan farm works as a playground for escape attempts and murder. 

Gun Interactive, formerly Gun Media, is perhaps best known for Friday the 13th: The Game, which it published for developer Illfonic. I loved Friday the 13th; it became the nightly hangout game for my friends and me. It’s home to some of my favorite gaming memories, like turning on a Tiny Tim song so campers would hear it through proximity chat as my Jason went in for the kill. However, some intellectual property rights issues held that game back from reaching its full potential, effectively ending its development save for regular maintenance. The rights holder of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre were big fans of Friday the 13th: The Game and were aware of the issues it encountered because they approached Gun Interactive with this game idea and the desire to let the studio lead the charge. 


“They contacted us, which was a very humbling experience,” Gun CEO Wes Keltner tells me. “We were still with Friday the 13th, and I received an email from the rights holders of [The Texas Chain Saw Massacre], and they had played that game and loved it and loved our approach. They loved that it was sort of a white glove treatment to Friday the 13th, and they thought, ‘These are the guys. These are the ones we trust that we want to bring our game to market.’” 

Keltner tells me that he speaks with the rights holders of this franchise daily and that they’ve been easy to work with in development. He says rights holders sometimes get a bad rap, but that’s not the case here. They’ve been open to ideas, progressive in pursuing them, and open to letting the team play with this world. 

“Ninety-nine percent of the time, it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s a great idea, let’s go do it,’ so that’s been really, really cool to work with,” Keltner says, teasing that there might even be some kind of relationship between this game and past and future movies, stopping short of telling me anything more. 

Keltner says the team met with them and decided the game should hone in on the original 1974 film. It was always going to be an asymmetrical game from the jump – that’s what the team does best, after all – but in what way and to what extent they could play with the franchise was a question. The team eventually landed on a 3v4 format that tasked four victims with escaping the house of horrors that is this Texan farm and three murderers, one being Leatherface, with killing them before that happens. 

It’s a unique setup in the already niche realm of asymmetrical horrors currently dominated by the likes of Dead by Daylight, but playing it felt great in a familiar way. Each victim has a unique ability, and Gun designer Robert Fox III says that players can customize each with cosmetics and things that directly affect how they play. This includes unlockable skills, perks, and more. He and Keltner say that players will be able to figure out different builds that work best for them, and this, coupled with the game’s customization options and unique 3v4 dynamic, is what they’re hoping keeps players around for 1,000 hours. 

In my hour with the game, I played as Connie, who has a rechargeable ability to break through locked doors, which allows her to bypass the simple but effective door unlock minigame. Smashing through a locked door was incredibly useful, especially when Leatherface, the Cook killer, or the Hitchhiker murderer were in tow. 


When the match began, all four victims were in the basement. Leatherface was too, which I loved because it meant that the round immediately started with chaos. You can’t mosey around, deciding how best to escape with your team. There’s likely a chainsaw roaring in your ears, and you need to get out of the basement as soon as possible. Connie’s ability to quickly bust through locked doors made doing that easy, but the house’s first and second floors presented their own set of challenges. That’s where the grandfather NPC resides, and the three playable killers can feed him blood to improve his ability to see and hear where victims might be in the house. It’s also where the Cook and Hitchhiker prowl. 

I didn’t get to play with the Cook, but I did go hands-on with the Hitchhiker. This lanky character slashes at victims with a small knife, and killing them takes significantly longer than Leatherface and his chainsaw. Killing is only half of his kit, though. He can place bone traps around the map, which alert everyone in the house when stepped on by a victim. Hearing and seeing a victim step on my trap brought an exciting adrenaline rush to my fellow killers and me as we all rushed to its location, hoping to find a victim to kill. 

In the third match I participated in, I controlled the show’s star, Leatherface. He’s a massive, bouldering figure that’s loud and the exact opposite of agile. That’s okay, though, because where victims can crawl through cracks in a wall or tight gaps, Leatherface can cut right through specific barriers. I liked that I couldn’t spam the chainsaw; it’s loud, and every victim will know where you are when it’s on. Plus, turning it on requires you to play a quick and easy minigame. It was fun using this crank and subsequent chainsaw roar to let victims know I was onto them, and pressing the left trigger to throttle it for a louder effect had me laughing out loud maniacally to myself. The most satisfying part of this character, though, was the kills. His chainsaw takes victims out quickly, with plenty of blood spurting from my weapon’s incision point. 

All these killings and escapes happened to the backdrop of a gorgeous Texas sunset on a lusciously green farm filled with sunflowers, old barns and sheds, overgrown grass, and a terrifyingly macabre house. Fans of the original 1974 film will recognize how much love and detail was put into the home, complete with hanging bodies, buckets of blood, knick-knacks, and more. 

“If you watch that film, the majority of it [is] bright, sunshine-y, happy, beautiful vistas, right?” Keltner says. “[That] allowed us to kind of play around more with beauty and find that balance between the macabre and certain things that were serene. There are moments where that, yeah, you’re running for your life, but you may stop by like, ‘Dang, it’s beautiful here.’”

And he’s right! The game looks great. It’s a big step up from Friday the 13th’s visuals, but The Texas Chain Saw Massacre still retains some of the jank that fans of the former, if they’re anything like me, came to love about the game. It’s not a massive triple-A game, but the team has crafted it lovingly. And it’s also not quite out yet. I could tell what I played was a preview build. I hope the team can massage the game more to make movement feel smoother, gore more realistic, and animations more fluid. 

I’m excited to see what the team is able to polish more between now and its 2023 release, and I can’t wait to learn more about skins, how Gun will incorporate other Texas Chain Saw Massacre movies into the game, the other maps, and more. If what I’ve seen so far is any indication, though, I think my friends and I will have a new hangout game next year. 



Sonic Prime Gets First Teaser Trailer Showing Off Eggman, Shadow, And More

The Sonic the Hedgehog brand’s expansion throughout multimedia has given fans plenty to enjoy in recent years. Whether you’re talking about the two well-received films, the fun Sonic Boom animated series, or the long-running and beloved comic series, people who enjoy the Sonic the Hedgehog video games have had plenty of other avenues to expand their fandom. The next project to land on that list is Sonic Prime, the upcoming Netflix series that gives us all-new adventures with Sonic and his friends/enemies.

Today, Netflix and Sega released a teaser trailer giving us a taste of the action. It doesn’t show much, but if the 40 seconds of action are any indication, it’s bringing plenty of style and fun (as well as several classic characters). You can check out the trailer in the header above.

Sonic Prime is set to release exclusively on Netflix this winter. For more on what else Sonic is getting up to this winter, check out our exclusive coverage hub of Sonic Frontiers here. For our thoughts on the latest Sonic video game release, Sonic Origins, head here.


Motive Studio Announces Single-Player Iron Man Game As First Part Of New EA/Marvel Collaboration

EA Iron Man game

Electronic Arts’ Motive Studio today announced it is currently developing an Iron Man game in collaboration with Marvel Games. The as-of-yet untitled game is a single-player, third-person, action title starring everyone’s favorite genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist: Tony Stark. Electronic Arts heralds this game as the first of several new games developed in a new collaboration with Marvel.

According to the announcement, Motive Studio hopes to tap into the rich history of Iron Man and Tony Stark. The studio hopes to channel “the complexity, charisma, and creative genius of Tony Stark, enabling players to feel what it’s like to truly play as Iron Man.” 

“We are thrilled to collaborate with the talented team at Motive Studio to bring their original vision of one of Marvel’s most important, powerful, and beloved characters,” vice president and creative director at Marvel Games Bill Rosemann said in the announcement. “Their experience delivering both established entertainment worlds and thrilling gameplay – combined with their authentic passion for the armored icon – will fuel our quest to deliver a love letter to a legendary hero in the form of the ultimate Iron Man video game.”

The Iron Man team at Motive Studio is led by executive producer Olivier Proulx, who recently produced Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy for Square Enix and Eidos-Montréal. Proulx also worked in production leadership for Marvel’s Avengers. He’s joined by Ian Frazier (Star Wars: Squadrons, Mass Effect Andromeda), Maëlenn Lumineau (Immortals Fenyx Rising, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey), and JF Poirier (Star Wars: Squadrons, Star Wars: Battlefront II). 

“It’s an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to make a video game based on one of the most iconic superheroes in entertainment today,” Proulx said in the announcement. “We have a great opportunity to create a new and unique story that we can call our own. Marvel is encouraging us to create something fresh. We have a lot of freedom, which is so engaging for the team.”

Motive Studio’s Iron Man project is currently in pre-production, meaning it is unlikely we will see the game for quite some time. Motive Studio is currently working on the upcoming Dead Space remake, which is scheduled to launch on January 27. Previously, Iron Man appeared in Iron Man VR, a 2020 PlayStation VR-exclusive title, and Marvel’s Avengers, a 2020 live-service ensemble title. Before that, Iron Man starred in two Sega-developed console games based as the first two Iron Man Marvel Cinematic Universe films. The character has also appeared in multiple games like the Marvel vs. Capcom series and the upcoming Marvel’s Midnight Suns.

Oddly enough, this announcement narrowly missed the Disney and Marvel Games Showcase stream at D23, which announced another triple-A Marvel game starring Black Panther and Captain America. That game is in development at Skydance New Media, under the leadership of industry luminary Amy Hennig. For more on that game, head here.

What do you want to see from a new Iron Man game? What can the team at Motive Studio and Marvel Games learn from previous games that featured Tony Stark? Let us know in the comments below!


The Sights Of Tokyo Game Show 2022 Part 2

Tokyo Game Show is in full swing, especially now that the general public has invaded the Makuhari Messe convention center this weekend. Blake Hester and I have been touring the show floor, checking out games, and taking plenty of pictures. We shared our first batch of TGS photos yesterday (check them out here) and have even more images to help make you feel as close to the event without being here as possible. Be sure to click the photos to view them at full resolution. Enjoy!

Sonic firmly informed attendees that Frontiers is coming on November 8 whether we like it or not.


Capcom arrived in full force, showing off Street Fighter 6, Exoprimal, the Mega Man Battle Network Collection, the Resident Evil Village DLC, and Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak

Bandai Namco’s booth

I didn’t dare tell Chun-Li that I spent most of my Street Fighter 6 demo beating her up as Kimberly.

These three ladies were very happy to greet everyone who passed by. Their unwavering enthusiasm and positivity was quite inspiring.


This isn’t an effect. Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty features horses with half a body. The hindlegs will be available as DLC.


Square Enix booth

Final Fantasy VI fans will be relieved to know that they will never own this massive statue. Who has the space?

This was easily the most mature-rated game on the floor.

All Elite Wrestling’s Christopher Daniels and Ryo Mizunami sign autographs for fans at the AEW: Fight Forever booth.

I have no idea what this is but it looks cool.


Sega/Atlus booth

Konami easily has the slickest-looking booth at the show.

Street Fighter 6 Full Launch Roster, World Tour Opening Movie Revealed

Street Fighter 6 Fighters

Hot on the heels of this week’s announcement of Ken, Dhalsim, Blanka, and E.Honda in Street Fighter 6, Capcom has posted the opening video of World Tour mode from the highly anticipated sixth mainline entry in its legendary fighting franchise. Through the video, the publisher reveals the full fighter roster at launch, featuring a good mix of fresh faces and familiar foes.

The launch lineup of fighters includes 18 characters to choose from. You can see the full list below.

  • Blanka
  • Cammy
  • Chun-Li
  • Dee Jay
  • Dhalsim
  • E. Honda
  • Guile
  • Jamie
  • JP
  • Juri
  • Ken
  • Kimberly
  • Lily
  • Luke
  • Manon
  • Marisa
  • Ryu
  • Zangief

Many of these fighters made their first appearances in Street Fighter (Ken and Ryu) or Street Fighter II (Blanka, Cammy, Chun-Li, Dee Jay, Dhalsim, E. Honda, Guile, Zangief). However, some fresher faces include Juri (debuted in Street Fighter IV) and Luke (debuted in Street Fighter V), and six all-new characters: Jamie, JP, Kimberly, Lily, Manon, and Marisa.

Check out the opening movie above and start plotting who will be your main when Street Fighter 6 launches on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, and PC next year. 

Which fighters are you disappointed are missing from this launch lineup? Who do you hope is added to Street Fighter 6 through DLC? Let us know your wishlist in the comments!


NBA 2K23 Review – A Hop-Step Forward

NBA 2K23

Reviewed on:
PlayStation 5

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

2K Games

Visual Concepts

September 9, 2022


NBA 2K23, the latest in Visual Concepts’ long-running, annualized basketball series, introduces multiple new features and revamped game mechanics while taking us on a stroll down memory lane. Though the 2K franchise has garnered a reputation for focusing more on microtransactions than actual gameplay innovation, this year’s game mode additions and foundational improvements mostly overshadow the notorious pay-to-win schemes. The result is a package that feels more novel than other titles in the series’ recent history.

2K’s in-game mechanics have primarily followed a steady and successful blueprint, but this year introduces several updates, most notably the reworked shot meters and stamina bars. The new shot meter leaves little room for error, making it more challenging than previous iterations. I initially struggled with mastering this updated feature thanks to these stricter release-timing mechanics; previously, you could make a shot even if your timing wasn’t perfect, but in NBA 2K23, success almost always requires a near-perfect release.


The stamina system in 2K23 has also been modified and now has three adrenaline bars to go along with it. Sprinting and using explosive dribble moves now deplete the stamina and adrenaline bars. This is especially helpful in online matches as it prevents individual players from over-dribbling and encourages team play. These tweaks, though challenging to master, make the game feel as close to the actual sport as possible, which only helps the franchise in the long run.

These improvements to the core gameplay permeate the vast array of modes on offer in NBA 2K23. This suite of offerings includes all the series’ mainstays and a few exciting new ones, like the Jordan Challenge, which allows you to relive iconic moments from Michael Jordan’s career, and MyNBA Eras. The former offers fun challenges like “The Shot” and “The Flu Game,” each with its accomplishments to recreate.

In contrast, instead of reliving history, MyNBA Eras enables us to rewrite it by giving us four NBA periods to choose from, each having its own varying rules and rosters. As a Suns fan, I particularly loved revisiting iconic periods, like the “7 Seconds or Less” team of the 2000s, and playing through a season in that era. This type of experience is precisely the kind of innovation the series has been missing in recent years, and its inclusion in 2K23 does wonders for rounding out this entry’s offerings.

If you’re looking for the more traditional 2K modes, MyCareer remains one of the essential features of any 2K release. This year’s storyline leaves a lot to be desired, and the lack of choices makes it feel less like I’m crafting my own player’s career and more like I’m pushing through a predetermined narrative.

However, the bulk of the improvements in MyCareer went into restructuring The City, the hub where you find most of your activities. Here, Visual Concepts fully embraces its RPG aspects with the retention of its quest system and the addition of The Arena, where MyCareer events are now fully integrated. The inclusion of both features gives players a fully immersive experience, and the gameday events, such as press conferences and pre-game shootarounds, make this mode feel even more like an NBA player’s career.

Players can also access the Jordan Challenge throughout the area, not to mention the multiple online competitive matches found in and around it. The four City affiliations reappear, but each of the factions’ neighborhoods has its own beautifully designed theme this time. The City’s size in 2K23 has also been reduced, and with the inclusion of fast travel using the subway system, traversing it is easier than in last year’s release.

As usual, MyTeam includes many competitive contests playable in both single- and multiplayer versions. Rather than letting you choose your starter outright, this year’s edition enables you to try out the starters first in a Triple Threat (3v3) match against A.I. before making you pick. There are also themed challenges and contests available wherein you can earn rewards to help boost your team. If you prefer the casual experience of 2K as I do, MyTeam has plenty to offer in terms of its offline, single-player modes.

Ultimately though, microtransactions are as present as ever in NBA 2K23. Grinding out MyTeam points and tokens is an option for those not willing to spend beyond the game’s premium price tag, but unless you’re incredibly patient, spending real money to buy packs is the easiest way to acquire a stacked squad. It’s tough this year as the currency earned through MyCareer and MyTeam matches is so minimal it takes a ridiculous amount of work to get your team and player up to par with higher-rated groups.

Overall, NBA 2K23 is a fitting tribute to the historical legends and iconic moments that made this sport what it is today. Though the game has its fair share of issues with its poor narrative choices and omnipresent microtransactions, it’s still a solid improvement over the previous game. This year’s release isn’t quite the flashy free-throw line dunk that lands a perfect score, but it is a worthy, all-around effort that would earn M.J.’s shrug of approval.


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Kimberly May Be My New Main In Street Fighter 6

Tokyo Game Show provided an opportunity to try out the latest build of Street Fighter 6. Although Capcom just pulled the curtain back on the next batch of fighters to join the roster, my demo included the first playable sessions for the last trio of reveals: Guile, Juri, and newcomer Kimberly. Since Kimberly was the wildcard of that bunch, I opted to spend most of my hands-on time discovering what she brings to the table. After only a few rounds, I had a tough time wanting to switch to anyone else.

If you haven’t been keeping up, Kimberly is a ninja pupil of Guy who adores the ‘80s and graffiti. She incorporates the latter interest into her acrobatic offense, such as throwing exploding spray cans like they’re shurikens. That’s silly and fantastic. She’s also set to play a pivotal role in the plot. I spoke to Street Fighter 6 director Takayuki Nakayama and producer Shuhei Matsumoto who told me that Kimberly, Luke, and Jamie act as the game’s main faces to compliment the old guard of Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li.  Luke is the star, Jamie brings a technical game, and Kimberly emphasizes speed. 

Given Kimberly’s apparent importance, it’s good to know she’s a blast to use. Kimberly’s swiftness allows her to quickly close gaps with attacks that rush opponents. I loved executing her running step-up kick, where she walks on and then kicks off an opponent’s face, flipping backward to immediately create distance again. Or you can follow this move up with an over-the-top powerbomb. Speaking of cool wrestling moves, Kimberly can cave faces in with a rushing superman punch of sorts that she can chain into a grapple takedown. 

Her Hidden Variable attack stands as one of my favorite tricks. This essentially acts as a smokescreen teleport as Kimberly drops an exploding spray can like a smoke bomb to create a “surprise” ambush. I enjoyed using this to disorient my opponent and chaining it with moves that push Kimberly away, allowing me to immediately regain ground. Plus, the vibrant clouds just look cool, even if inhaling in all of that paint should knock Kimberly out faster than any punch could. 

I also dig what I can only describe as Kimberly’s take on Ryu/Ken’s famous hurricane kick. The only real difference is that she ascends vertically instead of spinning across the screen, making it great for punishing adversaries who get too close, negating aerial attacks, and launching opponents in mid-air. This move can be executed mid-jump, and nailing it feels immensely satisfying. That about sums up Kimberly as a whole. She has an entertaining and playful style that meshes well with the existing roster. 

A demo isn’t enough time to master all of Kimberly’s intricacies, but she’s another stand-out rookie in a game that’s doing well in that respect. She’s the most fun I’ve had playing a combatant in Street Fighter 6 so far as someone who favors speedier, agile characters. I can’t wait to get to know Kimberly better when the game launches next year. 


Nintendo Direct Recap, Danny Peña Interview, Reiner’s Top Stories From GI | All Things Nintendo

Weeks like this are why All Things Nintendo exists. Not only do we have a huge Nintendo Direct to recap, but also news out of Tokyo Game Show, D23, Ubisoft Forward, and more. In the main segment, Brian is joined by gaming podcast legend Danny Peña to talk about his career and how it got made into a children’s book. The show ends with Game Informer‘s outgoing editor-in-chief Andrew Reiner sharing some of his favorite memories from his three decades covering the industry at Game Informer.

If you’d like to follow the people from this episode on Twitter, hit the following links: Brian Shea (@brianpshea), Danny Peña (@godfree)Wesley LeBlanc (@LeBlancWes), Andrew Reiner (@andrew_reiner)

The All Things Nintendo podcast is a weekly show where we can celebrate, discuss, and break down all the latest games, news, and announcements from the industry’s most recognizable name. Each week, Brian is joined by different guests to talk about what’s happening in the world of Nintendo. Along the way, they’ll share personal stories, uncover hidden gems in the eShop, and even look back on the classics we all grew up with. A new episode hits every Friday!

Be sure to subscribe to All Things Nintendo on your favorite podcast platform. The show is available on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Google Podcasts.

00:00:00 – Introduction
00:02:11 – Pokémon Fossil Collaboration
00:06:23 – Disney’s Illusion Island Announced
00:09:09 – Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope Boss Battle/DLC
00:12:28 – Splatoon 3 Early Sales Numbers
00:14:04 – Nintendo Direct Intro
00:15:03 – The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
00:20:35 – Fire Emblem Engage
00:22:45 – It Takes Two
00:25:02 – Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse
00:26:41 – Xenoblade Chronicles 3 DLC
00:27:32 – SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake
00:29:09 – Fitness Boxing: Fist of the North Star
00:29:22 – Oddballers
00:29:33 – Tunic
00:30:12 – Front Mission Remakes
00:31:09 – So Many Farming Games
00:32:03 – Various Daylife
00:33:40 – Octopath Traveler II
00:35:29 – Theatrhythm Final Bar Line
00:38:47 – Splatoon 3 Splatfest
00:40:02 – Nintendo Switch Online N64 Catalog
00:48:34 – Mario Strikers: Battle League Free Update
00:49:20 – Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass Wave 3
00:51:23 – Nintendo Switch Sports Golf Update
00:53:59 – Pikmin 4
00:55:34 – Bayonetta 3
00:56:02 – Resident Evil Cloud Versions
00:59:06 – Sifu
01:00:30 – Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion
01:01:58 – Tales of Symphonia Remastered
01:02:03 – Radiant Silvergun
01:02:07 – Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe
01:03:37 – Nintendo Direct Recap
01:10:10 – Danny Peña Interview
01:54:37 – Definitive Ranking: Andrew Reiner’s Most Memorable Stories at GI

If you’d like to get in touch with the All Things Nintendo podcast, you can do so by emailing, tweeting to Brian (@BrianPShea), or by joining the official Game Informer Discord server. You can do that by linking your Discord account to your Twitch account and subscribing to the Game Informer Twitch channel. From there, find the All Things Nintendo channel under “Community Spaces.”

For Game Informer’s other podcast, be sure to check out The Game Informer Show with host Alex Van Aken, which covers the weekly happenings of the video game industry!


Temtem Review – Competitive Evolution

Temtem review

Reviewed on:
PlayStation 5

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, PC

Humble Games


September 6, 2022

Everyone 10+

The Pokémon franchise has been more prolific than usual as of late, with multiple releases over the past year and another big entry coming soon. However, those without a Switch or looking for a suitable monster-battling alternative should focus on Temtem, which has emerged from years of early-access development. While borrowing heavily from the formula of Nintendo’s massive franchise, its world is fun to explore, and collecting and learning all about the titular Temtems is satisfying. Although the core adventure is a smidge repetitive, Temtem is challenging and engaging, even for well-seasoned trainers.

Your Temtem journey begins by selecting a partner monster and setting off to challenge the various dojos (Temtem’s version of gyms) around the Airborne Archipelago. While exploring this series of vibrant floating islands, you gain rivals, challenge dojos, and butt heads with the dastardly Clan Balsoto along the way. The pieces of a classic Pokémon experience are here for better or worse, and while that predictability bored me in the early hours, the story eventually arrives in some cool places I didn’t expect, making Temtem feel more like an “us against the world” JRPG than a typical monster collector tends to.


The biggest draw to this genre for me is collecting as many of these cute and destructive creatures as possible. While the lack of variety and abundance of forgettable designs on the first island disappointed me, each subsequent area introduces more enticing monster designs and elemental combinations. My favorites include the deceptively cute Adoroboros and the fiery electric scarab Scaravolt. Figuring out the location of a monster I needed to fill out my Tempedia or one that would complement my current competitive team was a blast.

The hunt for new Temtems is exciting, but I’m even higher on the battle system. These fights are strategic and challenging to the point where every tamer battle made me consider my team composition right down to the order of my squad. Contrary to the way most trainers compete in Pokémon battles, the default way to throwdown in Temtem is 2v2. It’s a twist I enjoy that deepens the strategy in just about every battle. I often had to solve battle-based puzzles, like whether my active team is the dominant duo on the board or if they’ll be quickly wiped out by well-matched opposition, with the latter case happening quite often. 

Another wrinkle I love in battle is the stamina system. Each move uses a portion of the Temtem’s stamina gauge, with lighter blows consuming far less than haymakers. However, using more stamina than what’s available takes HP, creating a high-risk, high-reward scenario for making a desperate all-out attack at the cost of your team’s health. It’s a clever solution to spamming powerful attacks, and it results in more deliberate fights, especially when going toe-to-toe with other aspiring tamers.

The online features flourish when I interact with others. Throughout the adventure, you see tamers running around with their partner ‘Tem in tow. You can challenge them to a battle, trade, or chat about where to find a monster. An always-available rolling text chat also lets you talk with a world full of active players freely. The lack of a barrier to communicating or participating in fights and grouping up with others is refreshing for the genre and should be looked at seriously by companies like Nintendo as a feature to strive for.

There’s plenty to do with tamers online after the main scenario is done. On top of the competitive activities on hand, like joining a club and participating in Dojo Wars, I’ve kept busy with Temtem breeding, skimming auctions for monsters and items, and exploring the player housing neighborhoods that can be decorated with furnishings purchased all across the Archipelago. With all of the above and more to do, there’s plenty of endgame content for those who wish to stick with the game long-term. 

Temtem may look like a copycat on its surface, but its deviations from the Pokémon formula pay off considerably. With unique battling elements and an engaging MMO structure, Temtem evolves as its own experience and offers a vast, challenging adventure that even those without a Nintendo console can enjoy.

GI Must Play


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Looks Like I Don’t Need To Replay Crisis Core After All

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion

I adore Final Fantasy VII, and I was similarly enamored with Remake. Given the latter game’s events and the tantalizing trailer for its second part, Rebirth, it had me thinking that it may be a good time to dust off my copy of 2008’s Crisis Core. Square Enix read my mind by announcing a remaster of Zack Fair’s PSP adventure, christening it with the subtitle “Reunion”, giving newcomers the answer to the question of “who the heck was that black-haired fella in Remake?” As for me, I thought I had a good reason to return to the game. After playing a decent chunk of Reunion at Tokyo Game Show, I’m all good. 

My expectations were always reasonable. Reunion is a remaster, not a remake the scale of, well, Remake. That means that feature-wise, the best way to sum it up is “That PSP game? You can play it on consoles now, and it looks nicer.” Square Enix has made this clear from the beginning, so it’s on you if you expect Reunion to be anything more than that.

However, I think a part of me still wanted to find some excuse or new hook to replay the adventure. That’s odd in itself. I enjoyed Crisis Core, but most of that affection stemmed from its narrative. And that’s an element I can relieve through the magic of YouTube. The gameplay? I found it serviceable at best in 2008. It felt repetitive and kind of weird, thanks to the slot machine-style limit breaks. The basic hack n slash combat can be fun in a mindless sense, but it was mostly a tolerable exercise of mashing the square button until the next cool plot point. That hasn’t changed here. 

As I cut down Wutai soldiers, those big twin ogre things, and eventually Ifrit, I already felt the old fatigue I had with the gameplay return. The novelty of witnessing Crisis Core’s glow-up faded, and I was hit with the overwhelming feeling, “Oh right. It really is just this game again”. Don’t get me wrong; it’s great to play a version of Crisis Core with traditional camera controls while using a regular controller. It also looks better. Not stunning, but better. By the time I wrapped up the demo, though, I could only see Reunion appealing to FFVII Remake fans itching to absorb more of this universe or Zack’s most rabid followers. If you’re like me and you only “like” Crisis Core, but you don’t “like like” it, Reunion likely won’t raise your opinion of the experience, especially if you were already lukewarm on the action. 

I’m not at all disappointed by this revelation, if you can even call it that. And I don’t think Reunion needs to be anything more than what it’s always been marketed as. Rather, I’m relieved to have exorcised any sense of obligation to revisit this beloved prequel because I’m really not missing anything. The good stuff i.e. the story is (probably) still good, and the less great stuff is…you get the idea. I’m interested in hearing what first-timers think of Zack come December 13, but there’s not much to see for the rest of us.


The Sights Of Tokyo Game Show 2022

Let me fill you in on a little secret most people won’t tell you: the real way to enjoy a video game show is at home, comfortably on your couch, watching the event on YouTube. 

Over the years, the game press has done a remarkable job tricking you into thinking otherwise. The shows look extravagant, energetic, and almost like we’re getting glimpses into the future, which we then curate into bite-sized news stories and on-demand trailers for our faithful readers back home. 

The reality is much more depressing.

Whether it’s E3, PAX, Gamescom, or in this case, Tokyo Game Show, going to a video game trade event means dealing with the near-lethal combination of jetlag and overwork. The brutal FOMO of being in some of the coolest cities in the world but spending all your time in convention halls. The unbelievable cacophony of thousands of people talking at once. The unbelievable smells of thousands of people all standing too close to each other. The never-ending lines of thousands of people all needing to use the toilet at the same time. This doesn’t even touch on the unavoidable safety concerns of having a video game conference in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. But I digress.

All that said, there’s some fun stuff to look at, like big, gaudy statues and giant booths that likely cost tens of thousands of dollars for games you’ve never heard of and likely will never play. Stuff that really makes it all worth it. 

While we’d love to fly each and every one of you out to Tokyo, sadly, we only had the budget to fly out two of our full-time employees. So in lieu of attending yourself, please enjoy my curated batch of pictures of what I saw on the show floor. 

We’re all thinking it so let’s just get this one out of the way first: Game of the show! This game looks COOL. Can’t wait.

If you read my Wanted: Dead preview a few issues ago, you’ll know I’m as excited for this game as these booth companions. Neat diner, though.

This dinosaur moved and roared and I nearly missed a demo because I was watching it for so long. I love dinos. I recently rewatched the first Jurassic Park and there’s a strong case to be made that it’s the blueprint for the perfect film.

This is cool and all but when are they going to remake Advent Children?

This is my Dad.

As we walked by, Marcus told me, “You HAVE to take a picture of Bomberman.” So intense was he that I dared not defy him. I shiver thinking what might’ve happened had I not taken this photo.

In the States, Thatgamecompany’s Sky came and went. But in Japan, it’s a big deal! It was really cool seeing it on the show floor. Sky is a great game. You should play it.

Here’s the obvious joke so we can move on: It’s only slightly bigger than the real thing!

I’ve always wondered what happens to these big statues after a convention’s over? Do they go to other shows? When they’re retired, what happens? Is there a landfill somewhere full of these things? Someone let me know; I want to visit.

Street Fighter! Street Fighter! Street Fighter! Street Fighter! Street Fighter! Street Fighter! Street Fighter! Street Fighter! Street Fighter! Street Fighter! Street Fighter! Street Fighter! Street Fighter! Street Fighter! Street Fighter! Street Fighter!

People love to dunk on Konami, but this booth was easily one of most crowded. Sorry, Metal Gear heads – Yu-Gi-Oh is paying the bills now.

Email Marcus and ask who these people are. I’m not sure.

People on the internet are saying this is a tease for Kojima Productions’ next game, but I’m not convinced. I think it’s an ad for the studio’s recruitment page.

One more for good measure.

Marcus playing Like a Dragon: Ishin! This game looks awesome. It also features Riki Takeuchi, which is a massive W in my book.

I’m old enough to remember when THQ went out of business!

I wasn’t kidding earlier about Marcus’ threats. He forced me to take those pictures of Bomberman. I’m hiding this cry for help here with this Forspoken picture. I fear my life is in real danger.

This QR code was attached to Kojima Productions’ booth. Scan it and let me know where it takes you. It wouldn’t work on my phone and I gave up after a few tries.

Well, there you have it, folks. All the fun of TGS without actually being there. See you next year!