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Level-5’s Hino Yoshihiro confirms that multiple Ni No Kuni games are currently in development

Hino Yoshihiro, the President of Level-5, recently sat down for an interview with Japanese newspaper Nikkei, and he had a few things to say about the future of the Ni No Kuni franchise.

Yoshihiro told the newspaper that he wants to release multiple new games in the series after the animated film adaptation, which will be released in Japan in August. The developer will start this ambitious plan right away with the launch of a Remastered version of Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch for the PC, PS4, and Switch in September.

After that, Yoshihiro said he would like to take “a new approach” with future installments in the franchise (all but confirming Ni No Kuni 3), while also adding that Ni No Kuni games will also continue to be associated with smartphones.

Aside from Wrath of the White Witch Remastered, nothing is known about most of the new Ni No Kuni games in development, and it’s possible it could be a very long time before we learn more.

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Game Critics Awards’s Best of E3 2019 bestows “Best of Show” on Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy VII is more than 20 years old, but Square Enix’s radically reimagined Final Fantasy VII Remake received top marks at E3 2019 from the Game Critics Awards’s judging panel. The game, which will launch next Spring, took home the coveted “Best of Show” award, and it was also honored as “Best RPG” and “Best Console Game.”

The judging panel spread the rest of the awards around, and Bethesda’s Doom Eternal was the only other game to collect multiple wins (“Best PC Game” and “Best Action Game”). The wide range of other winners included Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds (“Best Original Game”), Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs Legion (“Best Action/Adventure Game”), Nintendo Luigi’s Mansion 3 (“Best Family/Social Game”), among others.

While Sony and Microsoft kept fairly quiet about the PS5 and Xbox Scarlett, Microsoft still managed to lock down “Best Hardware/Peripheral” with the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2. And CD Projekt Red took home yet another “Special Commendation for Graphics” thanks to Cyberpunk 2077.

The full list of winners from the Game Critics Awards’s Best of E3 2019 Awards can be found after the break. (more…)

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Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds receives four nominations in Game Critics Awards’s Best of E3 2019 Awards

The Game Critics Awards‘s judging panel, which has expanded to 64 publications this year, has announced the nominees for the Best of E3 2019 Awards.

This year, Obsidian’s The Outer Worlds lead all games with a total of four nominations, including one for “Best of Show.” The RPG will be competing against Gearbox’s Borderlands 3, id Software’s Doom Eternal, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII Remake, Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs Legion for the big prize.

A quartet of other games also seemed to strike a chord with panelists, and also receiving three nominations apiece were Remedy’s Control (“Best Original Game,” “Best PC Game,” “Best Action/Adventure Game”), Bithell Games’s John Wick Hex (“Best Original Game,” “Best Strategy Game,” “Best Independent Game”), Nintendo’s Luigi’s Mansion 3 (“Best Console Game,” “Best Action/Adventure Game,” “Best Family/Social Game”), and MachineGames’s Wolfenstein: Youngblood (“Best PC Game,” “Best Action Game,” “Best Online Multiplayer”).

The complete list of nominees for the Best of E3 2019 Awards can be found after the break, and you can learn all about the winners beginning tomorrow, June 27. (more…)

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Harry Potter: Wizards Unite launches in the US and UK on June 21

Niantic’s next augmented reality game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, will cast a spell on iOS and Android devices in the US and the UK later this week. The game, which asks players to help contain a “Calamity” that’s dropping magical items on the Muggle world, will be available to download beginning June 21.

Like the developer’s Pokemon Go, players will interact with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite in the real world. The game’s official website explained exactly how it works in a recent post:

Play Your Part in the Wizarding World
A calamity has befallen the wizarding world, causing artefacts, creatures, people, and even memories to mysteriously appear in the Muggle world. Witches and wizards from across the globe must come together to solve the mystery of The Calamity, overcome the confounding chaotic magic that surrounds these “Foundables,” and return them to their rightful place, keeping them safe from Muggle eyes.

Your journey begins as a new recruit of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, established by the Ministry of Magic and the International Confederation of Wizards for the purpose of investigating and containing The Calamity.

The Magic is All Around You
As you step outside and explore the world, the Map will reveal Traces of magic, highlighting the location of magical Foundables. While these Traces can be found all around you, certain Foundables may be more likely to appear at various types of real-world locations including parks, banks, municipal buildings, college campuses, libraries, monuments, zoos, art galleries, and more. Cast a variety of spells to overcome the Confoundable magic, keep the magical Foundables safe, and send them back to the wizarding world. By returning Foundables, you’ll earn unique rewards that can be tracked in the game Registry.

As you cast spells, you’ll consume Spell Energy. Be sure to regularly stop by Inns, found at Muggle locations around the world, to collect food and drinks that replenish your Spell Energy. While exploring, you’ll also come across ingredients that can be used to brew Potions, which will aid you in different aspects of your Wizarding World journey. These ingredients can be found on the Map, varying by the environment, weather, and time of day, as well as in specially designated Greenhouses.

Make sure to also keep an eye out for Portmanteaus, which can be unlocked to reveal Portkeys that whisk you away to iconic wizarding world locations. For the first time you’ll be able to step into a full 360-degree Advanced AR immersive experience in places like Ollivander’s Wand Shop.

Stronger United
Test your combat skills by visiting one of the multiple Fortresses indicated on the Map. Fortresses are host to Wizarding Challenges, real-time multiplayer battles against dangerous foes, including Death Eaters and ferocious Werewolves. You won’t want to face these threats alone–gather your friends to take on threats of even higher levels and recover rarer magical Foundables from within the Fortress walls.

To further develop your wizarding skills, you can also choose to specialize in different magical Professions. Aurors, Magizoologists, and Professors each have their own unique skills and abilities that will come in handy at different times, particularly during Wizarding Challenges. Team up and strategize with witches and wizards from other Professions to tip the scales in your favor.

A Launch Trailer for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has been embedded above.

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Dr. Mario World launches for mobile devices on July 10

Nintendo is taking another stab at this whole mobile gaming thing on July 10 with the iOS and Android launch of Dr. Mario World. Mixing match-3 mechanics with the puzzle franchise’s tri-colored viruses, the consolemaker has released a new trailer to give prospective players an overview of exactly how Dr. Mario World operates.

In addition to the now-standard “squash the viruses with vitamins” gameplay, players will find puzzle-style levels that can only be beaten by activating Koopa Troopa Shells, Bombs, Locks, and more. The game will include over 200 of these levels at launch, and Nintendo plans to add more as time goes by.

Like most free-to-play games, Dr. Mario World will use multiple currencies that are replenished over time (Hearts), earned through gameplay (Coins), or purchased with real money (Diamonds). Hearts are used to replay levels, while Coins and Diamonds unlock new Doctors and special helper items.

Yes, Dr. Mario’s friends will also get to don his famous white coat (many for the first time), and unlocking Dr. Luigi, Dr. Peach, Dr. Toad, Dr. Yoshi, and Dr. Bowser will add a variety of special powers to your medicine bag.

Finally, an online Versus Mode “turns up the intensity” with real-time one-on-one matches.

Dr. Mario fans can now pre-register at the game’s official website to be notified when Dr. Mario World is available to download.

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ChessFinity is the Chess-based “Endless Runner” you’ve always wanted

Chess is the regal and sophisticated “Game of Kings” that has captivated players for more than a thousand years. Meanwhile, the “Endless Runner” is a platformer subgenre that rose to prominence only within the last decade. Naturally, someone has mashed them together to create the first game “that combines the rules and figurines of traditional Chess with the thrill of an endless runner.”

Produced by THQ Nordic’s HandyGames division, ChessFinity is currently in development for iOS and Android devices. The procedurally-generated game’s first trailer has been embedded above, and it looks about how you’d expect it to look, with players attempting to navigate a “road” littered with opposing pieces:

ChessFinity retains what makes Chess the “Game of kings,” the strategic masterpiece board game that has been played for centuries all over the world, and combines this with a new spin on how you as the player approach Chess. You won’t be confronted with an all-too smart AI that keeps on destroying your army nor with an experienced player. In ChessFinity, you’ll be confronted with procedurally-generated challenges that get harder and harder but are always beatable. Every time you play, you’ll get better and better and leave a high score for others to beat.

During the game, you can always swap to a piece that fits the situation best… of course, the mighty queen has the most movement options, but she can’t jump like a knight can. Sometimes, it may be best to sacrifice one of your pieces… we’re looking at you, pawn.

ChessFinity will be available to download for iOS and Android devices soon.

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Craft your own world with the AR-powered mobile game Minecraft Earth

In the ten years since it launched, Minecraft has slowly taken over the gaming world with its blocky environments and promises of limitless creativity. But now it looks like Microsoft and Mojang want to help the franchise take over the actual Earth with the announcement of Minecraft Earth.

Minecraft Earth is currently in development for iOS and Android devices, and according to an FAQ, it’ll give players the opportunity to build Minecraft-style creations in the real world through their smartphone’s screen in an augmented reality game that should operate similarly to Pokemon Go:

What is Minecraft Earth?
Minecraft Earth is an all-new augmented reality game you can play on your mobile devices that brings the Minecraft world into our universe! Through the lens of the game, you’ll be able to build creations with friends and place them in the real world at life-size.

You’ll discover exciting new mobs to use in your builds. And you may need to put your survival skills to the test as you explore a new side to your neighborhood and battle Minecraft mobs in real life!

Minecraft Earth is currently planned as a free-to-play game, and it should launch sometime in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, a Closed Beta will be available this Summer, and if you’re interested in checking out the next evolution of Minecraft before anyone else, you can apply for a invitation at Minecraft.net.

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Play as Thanos for a limited time in Fortnite’s new Avengers: Endgame event

After what seems like an impossible wait, Avengers: Endgame is finally in theaters… but Marvel has also made sure that Thanos the Mad Titan made his way back to Fortnite in a new limited time event that begins today.

The “Fortnite X Avengers: Endgame” event will split players into two teams: the Chitauri and the Heroes. The Chitauri invasion squad has been tasked with searching for Infinity Stones, and according to Epic’s official website, the first player to find a Stone will transform into Thanos and receive a massive power boost:

Each time an Infinity Stone is claimed, Thanos’ abilities grow more powerful and the Chitauri gain health.

  • Reality Stone (Red) – Heath and Shields doubled
  • Soul Stone (Orange) – Siphon activated
  • Mind Stone (Yellow) – Jump Height doubled
  • Space Stone (Blue) – Ground Pound AOE size tripled and damage X6
  • Time Stone (Green) – Big Knockback added to each hit and damage X3
  • Power Stone (Purple) – Laser Damage X6

But the Heroes will also be able to obtain more powerful implements of destruction during the event, including Thor’s Stormbringer, Hawkeye’s Bow, Captain America’s Shield, and Iron Man’s Repulsors. With these Mythic Weapons, they’ll be able to take the fight straight to Thanos and possibly prevent the supervillain from collecting all six Infinity Stones and performing a “Snap Royale” on the universe.

New Marvel-branded gear will also be available during the “Fortnite X Avengers: Endgame” event. Players will be able to unlock free rewards (such as Sprays, Banners, and a Quinjet Glider) by completing challenges, and two Outfit Sets (one featuring Black Widow and a mystery set coming next week) will be available for purchase through the Fortnite Store.

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