by on Feb 21, 2020

The Best Video Game News This Week: Animal Crossing, review bombs, and video game movies

It’s Friday! Or is it? Time is a social construct, so I could tell you it’s Wednesday today, and how could you prove me wrong? It’s Friday because it’s the fifth day this week, but when did this week start? Can’t prove that either, I’m afraid. Well, the calendar in the bottom right corner of the monitor says it’s Friday. Who told the computer that it’s Friday? Anyone could change that display in the settings. What I can say, for certain, is that events occurred and news transpired in this indefinable time period, and it’s been turned into bite-size chunks, here in the round-up…

There will be 383 villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which is the highest number of characters that a base game has ever had. There are 472 villagers in total in the series, which means that some new additions may arrive as updates roll out. Alfonso is confirmed, and that’s the most important thing. I’m not going to begin a “#BringBackTheNationalCensus” or anything like that. New Horizons is an opportunity to introduce new species to the menagerie, and we’ve already seen dodo pilots in the latest Direct. It got me thinking that, in this corner of the world, we could encounter very strange creatures who’ve been swept away on the tempestuous tides.

Tann and Tan will only appear during a thunderstorm. They are twin goats who will be found in one spot on the island, as Tan has a sprain. The weather doesn’t bother them, but Tann won’t leave Tan’s side because they might get even more lost than they are already. If the player gives medicine to Tan, the twins will express their appreciation with one of the golden tools. They’ll rest there for the time being until Tan is able to walk again, and they will be gone when the rain dries up.

If Tom Nook is an honest businessman who pretends to be the bad guy so the village rallies around a common cause, then Arnie is the sneaky trickster who is running you ragged purely for his own amusement. The raccoon will pop up on the island dressed as Nook, provide the player with an errand, like the initial hours of Animal Crossing: Wild World, and then flee. Leaving the player hanging after their deliveries, he’ll come back at a random moment in the day and claim he’s been here all along. Once the player has done all that Arnie asks of them, he’ll give them a Lucky Item and say that he’s been far too generous already.

Like Wendell, Fara the angora rabbit is very hungry when she arrives on the island. When approaching her from the front, she’ll say she doesn’t need any help and she’ll find a snack somewhere, despite losing all her Bells. If approaching her from behind, her fur will rustle and the player will hear a voice telling them that she is famished. The player must give Fara a fruit by talking to her second mouth, and, once satisfied, she’ll turn around and say she feels much better, all of a sudden. Fara will return to the island randomly, but giving her the same fruit twice will lead to the voice expressing boredom. When she has tried one of each type of fruit and honey, she’ll gift a perfect fruit which, when planted, will always bear perfect fruit no matter what the native fruit of the island is.

Nintendo may see Switch shortages ahead of Animal Crossing launch due to coronavirus

China introduced travel restrictions, quarantines, and outdoor restrictions upon approximately 170 million people as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Delays out of the country have hit the production and deliveries of Nintendo’s products in Japan, and it will affect its western markets, too. Anonymous employees revealed that a limited supply of Switch components from Chinese manufacturers is impacting a Vietnamese assembly partner factory. This is used to make Switches destined for the U.S., and the sources said that these shortages will manifest in April, once “existing inventory and current shipments of the console have sold through.” With the launch of Animal Crossing: New Horizons in March, there could be trouble ahead for Nintendo due to its use of Chinese manufacturers. “We do not see any major impact on the shipment to the U.S. currently, but we will remain vigilant and take steps if necessary,” said a representative for Nintendo. “It’s possible the supply would be affected by the virus if it becomes more widespread and prolonged.”

Could Ubisoft’s new VR game be a Splinter Cell adventure?

Could it? Ubisoft Düsseldorf is working on an “unannounced AAA VR” game that makes use of “one of Ubisoft’s greatest IPs.” We knew that the subsidiary was building a team to create a new VR game that wasn’t a historical-themed escape room, and that “new type of experiences” are in the pipeline for Splinter Cell. It’s been over seven years since the last entry in the series, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist. And, in May 2019, Ubisoft creative director Julian Gerighty let slip that a new game was in development, but then reneged on this, saying he was “obviously joking.” Intriguing.

Atlus on Persona 5 Switch port: “never ever give up on hope”

“You want what you want and if you don’t let us know it we’re never going to be able to make it,” said communications manager Ari Advincula to IGN. Persona 5 Royal is out now in Japan and will make its worldwide debut on March 31. This version has a new Phantom Thief, a new Confidant, a new Palace, new music, additional plot and social elements, a third semester, support for the PlayStation 4 Pro, and quality-of-life tweaks. Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal are ticking along nicely, with the former reaching 3.2 million copies sold by the end of 2019. Persona 5 Scramble is the next chapter, but it hasn’t stopped people prodding Atlus for a sought-after Switch port. Advincula expressed that she is “not the decision maker,” but she’s very keen for a port of Persona 5. Moreover, the recent community survey got a “record-high” number of responses, and the developer thanked fans for their “many valuable opinions.”

Netflix offered Mark Hamill the role of Vesemir in The Witcher, claims report

You may know him as Luke Skywalker, you may know him as the Joker, but plenty of people would give their right hand for Mark Hamill to play Vesemir in Netflix’s The Witcher. The campaigning caught the attention of the actor, who claimed he had “no idea what this is or what it’s about but agree it could/should be played by [him].” Now, a new report alleges that Netflix did reach out to Hamill about the role of Vesemir. The information comes from an “official production document” provided by sources who have been correct in the past. But, this isn’t a confirmation, and we’ll need to wait til we get an official announcement from the team.

Indie Metroidvania Kunai was randomly reviewed bombed by just one person

Casey, a character from the original Pokémon anime, does not appear in the new Pokémon Sun & Moon show on Netflix. Because of this, one person chose to review bomb Insurgency Sandstorm and Kunai to take out their frustrations. The games’ Metacritic scores plummeted through the actions of just one person, and they explained how it was possible using the site’s flexible system. Metacritic does not have an authentication requirement for reviews, so one could submit a review for a game that isn’t in their library. And, multiple reviews from the same IP address are allowed, and temporary email addresses are not recognised as throwaways by the site’s system. “This was no coordinated strike by a group of unhappy players wanting to make a statement of any wrongdoing on our side. KUNAI was randomly targeted by a single person claiming to be high and in a state of anger,” said the developer, TurtleBlaze. Fortunately, Metacritic responded to the developer’s report and the game’s score is back to where it was before.

Cabin Fever director Eli Roth signs on for the Borderlands movie, alleges report

The Splat Pack director is attached to the adaptation, and we can say that for certain now that the announcement has been published. Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford broke the news on Twitter, and said that the Gearbox Main Theatre Show at PAX East 2020 would delve into the upcoming movie. Then the post was deleted. It was like an unofficial official announcement. Roth is a good fit for the R-rated script, as he cut his teeth on schlocky, violent horror movies like Cabin Fever, Hostel, and The Green Inferno. He also directed the music video for Snoop Lion’s La La La, from the album Reincarnated.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons offers mystery islands and castaways

In Thursday’s Nintendo Direct, we got a “Deep Dive into Deserted Island Life” presentation from Tom Nook of Nook Inc. Customisation is chockablock with possibilities from the get go. Players are able to choose their island’s landscape and whether it’s in the northern or southern hemisphere, for real-time seasons. The tent is upgradeable to a house, which is extended and remodelled through services supplied by Timmy and Tommy, and players pick plots to reserve for new residents or buildings. Moreover, the plane offers trips to mystery places, and castaways may wash up on the shores of the home island. Finally, we got confirmation that a maximum of eight players are able to register a resident on one copy of New Horizons on one Switch. “Party Play” lets one player ring up the three other players who live on the same island to run around together. Online play supports eight visitors at any given time, and players won’t be able to use their axe or shovel on the island if they aren’t best friends with the host.

Shadow Warrior 2 developer to announce two new games this year

In fact, there are three new games in the pipeline at the Polish studio, but we’ll get reveals for two of these in the near future. “Our DNA is to experiment, to always look for something new. So, we will definitely not abandon the first-person shooter space but we really want to expand our approach,” said Flying Wild Hog CEO MichaÅ‚ Szustak. The first and second games are to be a “full triple-A” experience, whereas the third game is an “original action game.” He kept mum on the possibility of a next-generation launch and pledged that Flying Wild Hog “will not forget about current-gen owners and we want to deliver our games to all the people who want to have fun.” Cross-generation compatibility could be a go, but we won’t be able to say for sure until it announces its games. We could expect a third Shadow Warrior entry, but the studio stressed that it likes to make “new, cool, proto-experimental stuff.” Watch this space.

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Splinter Cell: Blacklist

on PC, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360

Sam Fisher returns for another action-stealth adventure.

Release Date:

23 August 2013