April 2020

Animal Crossing: New Horizons doesn't just have fake art, some of it's haunted

Up until now, the worst you could expect after an ill-advised purchase from Redd the art dealer in Animal Crossing was a dubious fake that Blabbers' museum would refuse to take off your hands. New Horizons is seriously upping the stakes, however, with art work that's not just fake but haunted in some cases - morphing unsettlingly as the sun goes down, and possessed by the blinking, grinning, and shifting spectres of the damned.

Well, okay, that's probably a little overdramatic, but there's definitely something up with the paintings in New Horizons, as some unsuspecting Animal Crossing players are starting to report. And although the cataloguing of this haunted art is only just getting underway, the general theme appears to be that all afflicted items are forgeries, and that all undergo some form of transformation as the day goes on, reverting back to normal in the morning.

Certain fake versions of Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring, for example, will suddenly snap their eyes shut at dusk, and Tōshūsai Sharaku's The actor Otani Oniji III as Yakko Edobei adopts an unsettling grin. The haunted version of Hishikawa Moronobu's Beauty Looking Back, meanwhile, will turn to face in the opposite direction as night falls - and worse, examining the painting rear reveals a woozy stain of the figure seeping through.

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons doesn't just have fake art, some of it's haunted

Up until now, the worst you could expect after an ill-advised purchase from Redd the art dealer in Animal Crossing was a dubious fake that Blabbers' museum would refuse to take off your hands. New Horizons is seriously upping the stakes, however, with art work that's not just fake but haunted in some cases - morphing unsettlingly as the sun goes down, and possessed by the blinking, grinning, and shifting spectres of the damned.

Well, okay, that's probably a little overdramatic, but there's definitely something up with the paintings in New Horizons, as some unsuspecting Animal Crossing players are starting to report. And although the cataloguing of this haunted art is only just getting underway, the general theme appears to be that all afflicted items are forgeries, and that all undergo some form of transformation as the day goes on, reverting back to normal in the morning.

Certain fake versions of Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring, for example, will suddenly snap their eyes shut at dusk, and Tōshūsai Sharaku's The actor Otani Oniji III as Yakko Edobei adopts an unsettling grin. The haunted version of Hishikawa Moronobu's Beauty Looking Back, meanwhile, will turn to face in the opposite direction as night falls - and worse, examining the painting rear reveals a woozy stain of the figure seeping through.

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The Wonderful 101: Remastered's physical release delayed due to coronavirus

Platinum Games has delayed the physical release of its spruced-up superhero action romp The Wonderful 101: Remastered due to shipping and distribution issues relating to the coronavirus. The digital release will, however, still go ahead as originally planned.

The developer announced the delay in an update to Kickstarter backers earlier today, confirming a revised retail release of 30th June in the US and 3rd July in Europe for the physical version of The Wonderful 101: Remastered. Its digital launch remains unchained, meaning the game will be available to download on PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC on 19th May in North American, and on 22nd May in Europe.

As part of its announcement, Platinum warned that although Kickstarter backer rewards are "being given the highest priority", those that opted for the physical version of The Wonderful 101: Remastered as part of their pledge may now, unfortunately, not receive it until after the game's general retail release, due to logistical challenges.

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Yes, Switch's Streets of Rage 4 port is just as good as PlayStation 4

In yesterday's Streets of Rage 4 coverage, Digital Foundry dissected the original Mega Drive trilogy, discerned the key aspects that made the original games so successful then applied the same criteria to the brand new sequel. Our verdict? It's a masterpiece, a retro modern title that stands tall alongside Sonic Mania, Mega Man 11 and Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom. But how do the various versions compare, and specifically, does the Switch version hold up against the other console platforms?

While we were able to cover PlayStation 4 and Steam code before launch, Xbox and Switch were not available - but the game is live now and we've been able to run the rule over every rendition of the game. The good news is that they're all brilliant, we can recommend a purchase for any given system, but there are some oddities we'd hope to see addressed in the short term via a patch.

To cut to the chase though, the number one question we've been asked since the embargo lifted concerns the quality of the Switch release - and with good reason, as this style of game would make for a brilliant handheld experience. Here, we can report that the title is totally identical to the PlayStation 4 release. Whether you're playing docked or in mobile mode, frame-rate is locked to 60 frames per second and the game's visual make-up is the same too. Even the graphics menu is fully present and correct on Nintendo's console/portable hybrid. Just like the other consoles, four-player local co-op is supported, and as you may hope, two users can each grab a single Joycon to get in on the action with no extra pads required.

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505 says Indivisible's surprise Switch launch down to tool error, after dev airs concerns

Publisher 505 Games has claimed that the surprise launch of gorgeously animated action-platformer Indivisible on Switch earlier this week - a surprise, in particular, to its somewhat dismayed developer, Lab Zero Games, which said it had no forewarning of the release - was down to a "release tool" error.

When Indivisible made its sudden eShop appearance on Wednesday, Lab Zero Games' Mike Zaimont - who served as project lead and lead designer on the title - took to Twitter, writing, "Feel like you missed the announcement? You're not alone, our team found out because people on Twitter sent us congratulations! I had no idea! But there it is!".

Although Zaimont applauded the quality of the Switch version, specifically calling out the porting team's "seriously excellent work", he shared his disappointment at a series of failures with the release - including the lack of a launch date announcement from 505 (and indeed "no lead-up PR at all"), the wrong eShop art being used, and the fact the port was based on a build missing a range of recently added features, including couch co-op and a New Game Plus mode.

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Apex Legends' next hero is master thief Loba Andrade and she's out for revenge

Respawn has rolled out its Apex Legends reveal box once more, this time flinging the doors open to unveil the game's next playable hero: Loba Andrade, a thief who's out for revenge.

Those with relatively decent memories might recall an intriguing tease that came toward the end of Apex Legends' previous character reveal, when - after some cheeky sleight of hand by Respawn - robot hitman Revenant stepped into the spotlight. Revenant's reveal video concluded with a young girl weeping over the body of her father, the assassin's latest target, leaving many to speculate that she might soon return.

The name Loba, meanwhile, has been connected to Apex Legends for some time, thanks to the efforts of dataminers, but now all the pieces have finally snapped together, with Respawn confirming that, yes, Apex Legends' latest playable character is a grown-up version of the girl we saw mourning her father 25 years previously, and yes, her name is Loba.

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Burnout Paradise Remastered hits Nintendo Switch in June... for a cool £45

Slightly over a year after it first released on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Burnout Paradise Remastered is finally making its way to the Nintendo Switch on 19th June - for a heavy price tag.

The Switch version was announced during the mini Nintendo Direct back in March, but now we know the official release date. The action-racing game is already available for pre-order via the Nintendo eShop, although I hope you've been saving up your pennies, as it'll set you back £44.99. That's pretty steep, particularly considering the PC version only cost £17.99 when it released in August last year.

Despite the cost, Burnout Paradise Remastered on Switch may yet be worth your while - as the console version got the thumbs-up from Christian Donlan, who described it as "vast, speedy and gloriously overwhelming".

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Nintendo will delay its typical E3 Direct broadcast in June

Nintendo's plans for its annual E3 broadcast have been pushed back due to complications arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

That's according to Venturebeat, which first reported on the story this afternoon, and which Eurogamer sources have also been able to corroborate.

While Nintendo has long held its presentations digitally, Eurogamer understands it has told publishers set to reveal games during its showcase that it needs more development time on its first-party games. Work is currently being held up as the famously-secretive company adapts to staff working remotely.

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Assassin's Creed Valhalla reshapes the series' RPG storytelling by giving you a Viking settlement

Ubisoft knows what you think of Vikings: their reputation in history as bloodthirsty invaders, interested in Britain only to pillage its riches. And so, in today's reveal trailer for Assassin's Creed Valhalla, this version of history is addressed head on.

You see Vikings and their families spending some quiet, quality time together back home in Norway, where Valhalla's saga begins, and that things weren't so (Alfred the) Great in Britain either - where the majority of Valhalla actually takes place.

Of course, this first trailer barely scratches the surface of the game - and indeed how its portrayal of Vikings, Saxons and various other groups living in Britain will actually look (though actual footage arrives very soon). Will good old King Alf really be a moustache-twirling pantomime villain? No, lead producer Julien Laferrière assures me, as we settle down to talk Valhalla in detail. Will all Vikings be good guys? No, again. But what seems certain is how Valhalla has been entirely shaped by this principle Vikings were not only invaders but settlers as well. They were ferocious warriors, yes, but also a group of people with a rich culture, living gods and huge mythology - all of which Valhalla will explore in detail. Central to all that will be a new village settlement hub - a home for main character Eivor and their comrades, a familiar starting point for adventures and a place you'll see your decisions play out.

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Microsoft to show Xbox Series X games via livestream next week

Microsoft will show off its first Xbox Series X games in an Inside Xbox livestream next Thursday, 7th May at 4pm UK time.

There's no official word on what exactly we'll be seeing, but Eurogamer understands a mix of first and third-party games will be on offer.

Obviously, fans are looking forward to see more of flagship title Halo: Infinite, only teased until now, but also some of the many projects Microsoft's array of games studios have been quietly building and keeping under wraps.

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