Articles by Andrew Goldfarb

Knack 2: Meet the Team Making Sony’s Sequel

Developers who worked on Gravity Rush, Wild Arms, LocoRoco, and more. By Andrew Goldfarb This month’s IGN First is a bit different than usual. Rather than highlighting a single game — we’ll get back to that next month — we’re highlighting the Japanese game industry as a whole. We visited some of the biggest studios in Japan to focus on their games and creative processes. Check back all month for interviews, gameplay reveals, and more! Find a list of everything we’ve published so far in our IGN First: Games of Japan hub! Knack 2’s development team has an impressive pedigree. While much of the original Knack team is returning for the sequel, many of those developers have diverse backgrounds that will help to shape Knack 2. Creative director Mark Cerny is well known, but you may not be as familiar with the rest of the team. During a recent visit to Sony’s Japan Studio, we sat down with a few of those key members to find out where they got their start and what their responsibilities on Knack 2 entail. Takamitsu Iijima – Game Director First game: Wild Arms Other credits: Ape Escape series, Kung Fu Rider “Iijima-san is the game…

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Knack 2: Why Sony Decided to Make a Sequel

“Simply put, we really love Knack.” By Andrew Goldfarb This month’s IGN First is a bit different than usual. Rather than highlighting a single game — we’ll get back to that next month — we’re highlighting the Japanese game industry as a whole. We visited some of the biggest studios in Japan to focus on their games and creative processes. Check back all month for interviews, gameplay reveals, and more! PlayStation’s Japan Studio isn’t shy about admitting the original Knack wasn’t perfect. When a sequel was announced at last year’s PlayStation Experience, Sony was open about listening to fan feedback and trying to improve upon the first game, even including a line of in-game dialogue about Knack’s limited moveset. But Sony isn’t continuing the franchise lightly. Behind the scenes, developers are genuinely excited to revisit the character and deliver their original vision. Speaking to IGN in Tokyo recently, Japan Studio went into more detail, explaining exactly what they hope to improve with a sequel. The team had a whole lot of ideas that they just didn’t manage to get into the first game. “Well, the reason we are making a sequel to Knack is just that READ FULL STORY AT…

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Pokemon Go Update Will Change Gyms, Add Raid Battles

New items, badges, and more will be introduced as part of a gigantic gym reinvention. By Andrew Goldfarb A major new update is coming to Pokemon Go this summer, completely redesigning gyms and adding raid battles along with new items. Later this summer, gyms will no longer be based on Prestige. Instead, gyms will now only allow a maximum of six Pokemon, and only one of each type (so you’ll no longer see gyms filled with nothing but Gyarados and Dragonite, as only one of each is allowed per gym). Instead of starting with the weakest Pokemon first, players will now battle Pokemon in the order they were placed in the gym. Gyms will also become places where you can get items, allowing you to spin a photo disc like you do at PokeStops and receive items in return. The new look for gyms in Pokemon Go The first major change comes in the form of a new motivation system. Pokemon placed in gyms will have heart meters that grow and deplete, representing their motivation. Pokemon will now lose CP over time as they’re defeated and their motivation lowers. Players on the same team as the READ FULL STORY AT…

Everybody’s Golf Makes An Old Franchise Feel New Again

Fishing, a character creator, and much more feel like a major makeover. By Andrew Goldfarb This month’s IGN First is a bit different than usual. Rather than highlighting a single game — we’ll get back to that next month — we’re highlighting the Japanese game industry as a whole. We visited some of the biggest studios in Japan to focus on their games and creative processes. Check back all month for interviews, gameplay reveals, and more! Everybody’s Golf has been around for a long time. Known until now as Hot Shots Golf in the U.S., Everybody’s Golf joins Gran Turismo as one of Sony’s longest-running franchises, with installments on every piece of PlayStation hardware dating back to the original PlayStation. For its big debut on PS4, Sony is giving the franchise a makeover, with major additions like fishing, a truly open online lobby, and much more. IGN visited Sony’s Japan Studio to find out what makes Everybody’s Golf more than just another sequel and how its new features “will redefine the Everybody’s Golf experience as a whole,” according to franchise producer Yasuhide Kobayashi. Character Creation From the moment you start, Everybody’s Golf offers a major new change: a character creator….

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Skyrim for Switch Includes Zelda Items, Amiibo Compatibility

Wield a Master Sword, Hylain Shield, and more. By Andrew Goldfarb Bethesda has revealed that Skyrim on Nintendo Switch will include items from The Legend of Zelda. Gameplay shown during Bethesda’s E3 showcase included a treasure chest including a Master Sword, Hylian shield, and the Champion’s Tunic from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in Skyrim after a compatible amiibo is scanned. Archer Link was shown as compatible during the conference, but it’s unclear if additional amiibo will also offer costumes. On Twitter, Bethesda confirmed that Skyrim will arrive this fall on Switch, but no specific release date was revealed. Nevertheless, Skyrim for Switch is currently available for pre-order. Skyrim was confirmed for Switch during Nintendo’s reveal event in January, following an appearance in the console’s initial teaser video. Stay tuned to IGN’s E3 hub for more news from E3. Andrew is IGN’s executive editor of news and wore his Nintendo Switch shirt when he found the Master Sword. You can find him rambling about Persona and cute animals on Twitter. READ FULL STORY AT IGN!

A Way Out Is Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Dev's New Game

Hazelight’s mysterious project finally revealed. By Andrew Goldfarb Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons creator Josef Fares revealed his new game A Way Out today during EA Play. A Way Out is a co-op adventure game due out in early 2018. Published by EA, the game is the first project from Hazelight Studios and centers around two inmates, Leo and Vincent, as they attempt to break out of prison. The game was actually teased way back in 2014 as part of the announcement of Hazelight’s formation. Fares’ previous game, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, was released in 2013 and used the novel concept of controlling two characters with a single controller. For more, read our Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons review. Stay tuned to IGN for all the latest news from E3, which you can find on IGN’s E3 hub. Andrew is IGN’s executive editor of news and would probably get caught if he tried to break out of anything. You can find him rambling about Persona and cute animals on Twitter.

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Persona 5 Director Discusses Atlus’ Next Big RPG

Katsura Hashino on his past and future. By Andrew Goldfarb This month’s IGN First is a bit different than usual. Rather than highlighting a single game — we’ll get back to that next month — we’re highlighting the Japanese game industry as a whole. We visited some of the biggest studios in Japan to focus on their games and creative processes. Check back all month for interviews, gameplay reveals, and more! Katsura Hashino is in a period of transition. After over a decade with the Persona series as director of Persona 3, Persona 4, and Persona 5 (plus a break in 2011 to direct the marvelous Catherine), Hashino announced late last year that he’s joined a newly-established internal studio within Atlus called Studio Zero. Hashino has moved on from Persona, handing off development of the series to successors within Atlus. Instead, he’ll direct Studio Zero’s first project, a new fantasy RPG codenamed Project Re Fantasy with a team of Persona veterans including his longtime collaborators, artist Shigenori Soejima and composer Shoji Meguro. Studio Zero marks a fresh start for Hashino and for Atlus, with the studio’s official site making its mission statement clear: “This is not Persona. This READ FULL…

Yakuza 6, 13 Sentinels Showcased on E3 2017 Badge Art

Vanillaware’s latest game makes its E3 debut. By Andrew Goldfarb Every year, Atlus (and now SEGA) debut new artwork that will accompany every single badge distributed at E3. This year’s art, which will be given to the 50,000 attendees and additional 15,000 members of the public coming in 2017, features Yakuza 6 and 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, which was confirmed for the West just this morning. Yakuza 6 and 13 Sentinels on this year’s badge insert 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim was announced back in 2015 and is the latest title from Vanillaware, best known for Dragon’s Crown and Odin Sphere. Unlike the fantasy atmosphere in Vanillaware’s previous games, 13 Sentinels is set in a futuristic setting, as evidenced by the mech seen behind the character in the artwork above. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life, meanwhile, launched in Japan last year and was confirmed for the West at PlayStation Experience. It’s expected to launch worldwide next year. To see more of Atlus’ badge artwork, be sure to check out last year’s Persona 5-themed E3 art. For everything from E3, stay tuned to IGN, where you’ll be able to find streams of the press conferences, new gameplay previews, interviews with all…

80 New Pokemon, Evolution Items Coming to Pokemon Go

The rest of the Johto region has arrived, plus new evolution items, and Nanab and Pinap Berries. By Andrew Goldfarb Niantic and The Pokemon Company have announced that more than 80 new Pokemon are headed to Pokemon Go this week. The new Pokemon come from the Johto region, originally introduced in Pokemon Gold and Silver, and can be encountered in the wild starting this week. Niantic is also adding new Evolution items for evolving Pokemon, as well as new purchasable outfit and accessory options for customizing your trainer. New berries will also be introduced to aid in catching Pokemon. The new Nanab Berry will slow the movements of wild Pokemon, while the Pinap Berry will double the amount of candy earned from catching a Pokemon if the next ball thrown yields a successful catch. The new berries join the Razz Berries that were already in the game, which can be fed to a Pokemon to make them slightly easier to catch. While a full list of new Pokemon isn’t available yet, Niantic specifically mentioned that Chikorita, Cyndaquil, and Totodile will be among the new additions. The new Pokemon coming this week join the initial set of Pokemon from generation 2 introduced…

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Call of Duty 2017 Will Take Franchise ‘Back To Its Roots’

“Traditional combat will once again take center stage.” By Andrew Goldfarb Activision says this year’s Call of Duty will “take Call of Duty back to its roots.” In a call reporting fourth quarter 2016 earnings, Activision elaborated that “traditional combat will once again take center stage” in this year’s title, which is currently in development from Sledgehammer Games. Activision also commented on the lower-than-expected sales of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare last year, noting that the “space setting didn’t resonate” with players, and Infinite Warfare “wasn’t the success we planned.” Still, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg noted on a call following the earnings report that “we’ve never been more excited creatively or commercially about our three-year Call of Duty slate.” A slide from Activision’s Q4 2016 earnings report Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare launched last fall and went on to be the best-selling game in the United States for 2016 despite not hitting the heights of previous Call of Duty sales. For our thoughts on the space setting, read more in IGN’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare review. Andrew is IGN’s executive editor of news and will also go back to his roots this year. You READ FULL STORY AT…

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Activision Re-Confirms Destiny Sequel for 2017

Sequel will seek “to broaden the franchise’s global reach.” By Andrew Goldfarb Activision has confirmed that a sequel to Destiny is still on track for release in 2017. In a presentation accompanying its fourth quarter 2016 earnings today, Activision clarified that it will release a “full Destiny sequel in 2017 to broaden the franchise’s global reach, which along with follow-on content plans, sets the stage for growth.” Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg confirmed in a call following the earnings report that “development is going great, and it is indeed on track for release this fall.” Activision also said Destiny will aim for a “great cinematic story” this time around. Slide from Activision’s Q4 2016 earnings report In early 2016, Activision first revealed plans to release a Destiny sequel in 2017 as part of last year’s earnings report. Activision previously said that the “majority of the team at Bungie” is currently working on the sequel, which is rumored to also be headed to PC. Andrew is IGN’s executive editor of news and is also hoping to broaden his global reach this year. You can find him rambling about Persona and cute animals on Twitter. READ FULL STORY AT IGN!

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Super Mario Run Update Adds Easy Mode

Toads are now easier to acquire in Toad Rally mode. By Andrew Goldfarb Nintendo has released a new update for Super Mario Run on iOS. As Nintendo confirmed on Twitter, the update adds a new Easy Mode that will provide players with unlimited Bubbles and eliminate the time limit. Super Mario Run’s version 1.1.0 patch notes The update also changes Toad Rally mode, making it easier to gather Toads and harder to lose them. Nintendo also added “compatibility with new events,” a Korean language option, and unlimited redemptions for Toad as a playable character when connecting your My Nintendo account. Super Mario Run has been downloaded more than 50 million times since its launch in December. Currently only available for iOS, it will launch on Android in March. For more on Super Mario Run, read IGN’s Super Mario Run review and find tips to get all of the purple, pink, and black coins in our Super Mario Run wiki guide. Andrew is IGN’s executive editor of news and is very proud of himself for completing the black coin bonus level. You can find him rambling about Persona and cute animals on Twitter. READ FULL STORY AT IGN!

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Zelda, Bokoblin Breath of the Wild Amiibo Announced

Two new figures join the Zelda family. By Andrew Goldfarb Nintendo has announced two new amiibo for Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Zelda and Bokobin will join the previously-announced Breath of the Wild amiibo, including Archer Link, Rider Link, and a Guardian. As described by Nintendo, Zelda carries a Sheikah Slate, while the Bokoblin is carrying “a rudimentary Boko Club.” The full Zelda: Breath of the Wild amiibo family As revealed on Nintendo’s Zelda amiibo page, the full line of Zelda: Breath of the Wild amiibo will launch on March 3, alongside Zelda: Breath of the Wild and the Nintendo Switch itself. Earlier tonight, we learned Breath of the Wild’s release date as well as the date and price of the Nintendo Switch. For much more about what Nintendo announced, check out our wrap-up of all of tonight’s big Nintendo Switch announcements as well as our Nintendo Switch pre-order guide. Andrew is IGN’s executive editor of news and hopes the cute dogs in the game get amiibo figures too. You can find him rambling about Persona and cute animals on Twitter. READ FULL STORY AT IGN!

Ghost Recon Wildlands Short Film Announced

30 minute live-action film will premiere in February. By Andrew Goldfarb Ubisoft has announced a live-action Ghost Recon Wildlands short film, War Within the Cartel. The 30-minute short stars T.I. and will be executive produced by Star Trek and Amazing Spider-Man writer Roberto Orci. It will premiere on Ubisoft’s Twitch channel on February 16 and will then be available to watch on Amazon for free to Amazon Prime subscribers. War Within the Cartel will focus on the Santa Blanca drug cartel as they seek to flush out a traitor within their ranks, with T.I. portraying a member of the cartel named Marcus. The short is directed by Avi Youbian, who previously directed The Walking Dead season five episode “Now.” Aside from Orci, War Within the Cartel is also produced by American Gods actor Orlando Jones, and LA-based studio Legion of Creatives. According to Ubisoft, the end of the film will lead directly into the events at the beginning of Ghost Recon Wildlands. Promotional art for War Within the Cartel by artist Ken Taylor Ghost Recon Wildlands will launch on March 7 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Beta registration is currently available for one of the multiple betas headed to players prior…