Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ Booth Is The Best Thing At PAX East

It’s always exciting to see how companies showcase their games at conventions, especially Nintendo, which tends to go all-out. At PAX East 2020, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the game of the show for Nintendo and the booth is basically a bite-sized recreation of the island getaway. There’s a little tent for your starting house, a flowing river, a campfire, a workbench, some forestry in the backdrop, and the rocks that look out to the ocean.

Fans are able to walk around and take pictures, and we had a chance to hang out at the booth ourselves. If you’re lucky, you could catch Tom Nook, K.K. Slider, or Isabelle roaming around the booth space and get a picture with them, too. You can get a view of the booth from the show floor in a short video from my tweet on location:

Not only did we get to relax at Tom Nook’s makeshift island getaway on the PAX East show floor, we also got a 20-minutes hands-on experience with Animal Crossing: New Horizons at the booth, too. You can check out our gameplay video below, which features four-player co-op, the new expansive museum, some of the fashion options at Able Sisters, and a bit more of the island itself. The audio quality is also very good, so you can listen to the catchy, relaxing Animal Crossing tunes.

We have the game covered from several angles; be sure to catch up with our highlights of 19 new things coming to Animal Crossing: New Horizons or our impressions from our previous hands-on with the game. For more from the convention, you check out our roundup all the games we’ve played at PAX East 2020 so far.

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The Witcher Season 2 Casts Vesemir

Kim Bodnia, best known for playing Konstatin in Killing Eve, will play Vesemir in Season 2 of Netflix’s The Witcher. Vesemir is Geralt’s teacher and one of the oldest and most powerful Witchers. Part of the Witcher Golden Age, Vesemir survived The Massacre at Kaer Morhen, a haunting slaughter that nearly wiped out the Witchers. He is “fiercely protective of the remaining few, who he sees as an endangered community who can find glory on ‘the Path’ to slaying monsters.”

“I am so thrilled to welcome Kim Bodnia to the cast of The Witcher,” showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich said. “I have admired his unique talents in shows like Killing Eve and The Bridge, and cannot wait for him to bring strength, tenacity, and warmth to the character of Vesemir, who is such an integral part of our upcoming season.”

Vesemir will also receive a dedicated animated movie, The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, which follows his journey “after the mysterious Deglan claims him through the Law of Surprise.” The studio behind The Legend of Korra is in charge of the project and The Witcher showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich and writer Beau DeMayo will also participate.

Now Playing: The Witcher Game Gets “Toss A Coin To Your Witcher” Mod – GS News Update

PlatinumGames Expanded So It Doesn’t Have to Turn Down ‘Fun Projects’

Platinum Games, the Osaka-based studio behind Bayonetta and Vanquish, announced the creation of a new office in Tokyo that Platinum director Hideki Kamiya and COO Atsushi Inaba says will be staffed with “Crazy people who want to make games.”

Currently, Platinum Games is sized at about 200 employees according to Inaba. The aim of the Tokyo studio is to bring aboard 100 more employees for a total of about 400. At the time of the studio’s announcement, Platinum said the Tokyo location would be working on different projects like live-service games.

But in an interview with IGN Japan, Inaba says another reason for expansion is just to work on more games in general, whether they’re original projects or partner projects.

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“First of all, we do not have enough staff at the moment. It’s a nice problem to have, but we get a lot of work offers from other publishers, for example something like Nier Automata where we can collaborate on the publisher’s IP, or to make original titles for a publisher, and we are limited to how many projects we can take on. So there are a lot of projects that we have to turn down, and I think it would be better to increase our capacity so we can work on more fun projects.”

Platinum, aside from working on original games, frequently partners with publishers to work on their IP. Whether it’s with Square Enix on Nier: Automata, or Nintendo with Bayonetta 3 and Star Fox Zero. From what Inaba is saying, Platinum is quite the popular partner and there are probably numerous publisher projects the company had to turn down.

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But with a new Tokyo studio and an increased employee count, perhaps Platinum can work on even more projects going forward.

The Tokyo studio was announced as part of a series of four announcements. Platinum already announced The Wonderful 101 Kickstarter, Project G.G., and the Tokyo studio. There’s still one announcement left and Kamiya says it’s the biggest one of them all.

How Platinum Games’ Project G.G. Builds Off of Viewtiful Joe, Wonderful 101

Platinum Games has officially announced Project G.G; or Project A Go-Go. According to studio director, Hideki Kamiya, Project G.G. is the first wholly-owned Platinum Games project, and while the studio says this new project will keep with the studio’s love of the action-genre, the game will also be broader in scope.

“We have labelled it as being part of the Hideki Kamiya hero trilogy,” said Kamiya in an interview with IGN Japan. “The first two titles being Viewtiful Joe, which is a solo hero story, and The Wonderful 101, which is a story of a group of heroes. In Japan, the next type of hero would be the giant hero, and I’ve always wanted to make a game based on that idea.”

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The giant hero and kaiju genre, or tokusatsu, is best known in the west from shows like Power Rangers. But while Kamiya says he’s inspired by the genre, Project G.G. isn’t a straight adaptation of it.

“[I]t won’t be a very niche kind of game; giant hero stories are popular in Japan, with things like Ultraman, and the game will have that kind of flavor to it, but I don’t want to restrict myself to the Japanese hero genre,” Kamiya says. “So the setting will probably not be Japan, as that might be restrictive. But I haven’t decided yet.”

Not much else is known about Project G.G. other than how Platinum is aiming to launch on every current console. “Basically we’d like to hit PS4, Xbox One, Switch and Steam, and then of course PS5 and Series X are coming soon. We don’t know exactly when this will come out, but we’d like to release it on whatever are the main platforms at that time,” Platinum Chief Creative Officer Atsushi Inaba said.

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Even the release date isn’t concrete with Inaba and Kamiya both saying that while anything can happen in game development the studio wants to deliver Project G.G “as soon as we can.”

In the meantime, Platinum Games still has one more announcement to make as part of its “Four” initiative which included The Wonderful 101 Kickstarter, Project G.G., and a brand new Tokyo-based studio. But IGN will be there to cover the big surprise when it’s announced.

Battle Strategies – Competitive Pokemon Explained Part 2

Even if you’ve played every Pokemon game, there’s a good chance you’ve never played it competitively. That’s because competitive Pokemon has a high barrier to entry, and there’s a lot you need to know just to start battling. That said, competitive battling is exciting and incredibly rewarding–it’s worth it, and Sword and Shield are a great place to get started.In the last video we broke down how a Pokemon’s stats are laid out. In Part 2, we dig into how battling works: abilities, speed and priority, weather, shutting down strong attackers, and much more.

In GameSpot’s Pokemon Sword and Shield review, Kallie Plagge wrote, “In collecting, battling, and exploring, Sword and Shield cut out the bloat and focus on what makes these pillars of the Pokemon games so captivating in the first place. You’re not held back by overly complicated back-end systems or hoops to jump through; from the outset, you can start wandering the Galar region, seeing its new Pokemon, and trying out its new battle strategies with very little in your way. This leaves you free to enjoy what Pokemon is all about, and that makes for an incredibly strong showing for the series’ proper debut on Switch.”

Y: The Last Man FX Series Casts Ben Schnetzer as Yorick

Actor Ben Schnetzer has been cast for the role of Yorick Brown in the TV adaptation of Y: The Last Man, multiple outlets are reporting.

Schnetzer will star in the long-gestating FX series alongside a cast that includes Diane Lane, Imogen Poots, Lashana Lynch, Juliana Canfield, Marin Ireland, and Amber Tamblyn. Previously, actor Barry Keoghan was set to play the role of Yorick and had been attached to the project since 2018, but left the series in early February.

Currently, production is scheduled to begin sometime in April. The plot for the FX TV series follows the comic book Y: The Last Man, created by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Pia Guerra.

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Character Yorick Brown is the last surviving male on Earth with his pet monkey, Ampersand, after a deadly plague. The DC Comics series follows their journey as they try to survive in this new world.

The troubled development of Y: The Last Man as a TV series goes as far back as 2014. However, FX president John Landgraf, spoke last month about it progressing along in pre-production, following a showrunner change.

“Eliza Clark is running that show with Brad Simpson and Nina Jacobson. We’ve seen five or six scripts now. We haven’t scheduled it because it hasn’t gone into production yet. But it seems to be going well.”

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For more information about Y: The Last Man, now going by the name of Y, take a look at everything we know so far.

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Jeffrey Lerman is a Freelance News Writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @Snakester95.