Game Freak’s Origins And Non-Pokémon Games

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Game Freak’s Origins And Non-Pokémon Games

Pokémon Sun and Moon director Shigeru Ohmori (left) and Game Freak co-founder Junich Masuda reflect on the studio's history.

We recently had the opportunity to visit the offices of Game Freak, the creators of Pokémon, to discuss the series, its impact, and its future. The studio is more than Pokémon, however, and we talked to them about its beginnings and its games that don’t explore the world of Pocket Monsters.

Game Freak began as a magazine in Japan, or as Pokémon producer and composer and Game Freak co-founder Junichi Masuda refers to it, a mini comic. Satoshi Tajiri, who is credited as Pokémon’s creator, would visit arcades, talk to their owners and get tips for the games that would be included in the magazine, but making video games was always its goal. As a small group of video game fans, they didn’t think they could make an arcade game, but with the release of the Famicom (the Nintendo Entertainment System in America) Game Freak thought it might finally be able to make something.

Science-Fiction Weekly – Star Trek: Discovery, Dredd, The Way, Who Goes There?

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Science-Fiction Weekly – Star Trek: Discovery, Dredd, The Way, Who Goes There?

In the 1938 novella Who Goes There?, author John W. Campbell, Jr. tells the story of a group of scientists that unearth a spaceship in Antarctica. The scientists extract the alien pilot and begin doing tests on it. Although they conclude the ship has been frozen in ice for at least 20 million years, the alien isn't dead, and is in fact hostile. The alien can take the shape and personality of any living thing it touches, leading to the scientists not trusting one another. Yes, this is the plot of John Carpenter's movie The Thing, which is a near direct adaptation of the book.

Who Goes There? is now the inspiration for a board game of the same name, which just smashed its Kickstarter goal of $54,000 with a hefty haul of $558,000. Holding true to the source material, the game begins with players cooperating, but as the temperature falls, trust becomes an issue; someone may be infected and working against the party. The game supports three to four players, but can be expanded to six, with the goal of surviving long enough to escape via helicopter. The "thing" has the same goal, only with the long prospect of global domination. You can take a look at a lengthy playthrough of Who Goes There? below, and can expect to see it on store shelves in summer 2018.

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Pokémon’s Developers Talk About Their Console RPG Debut On Switch

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Pokémon’s Developers Talk About Their Console RPG Debut On Switch

One of the most exciting announcements at E3 2017 came from a man sitting behind a desk. The Pokémon Company's Tsunekazu Ishihara announced that Pokémon developer Game Freak is creating a "core RPG title on Nintendo Switch." While visiting Game Freak for our extensive feature in the new issue of Game Informer, we spoke with series director/producer/composer Junichi Masuda and director Shigeru Ohmori about that announcement and what it means for the team to finally respond to the fan outcry wishing for a proper Pokémon RPG on a console.

Watch the interview below to learn more about what this step means for the game's developers and much more.

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Fantasy Flight Announces Fallout Board Game

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Fantasy Flight Announces Fallout Board Game

Bethesda’s Fallout games are filled with deep world-building, challenging choices, compelling storytelling, and harrowing combat. Those games (and their expansions) have offered an opportunity to dive into a bleak future filled with strange characters and nearly constant conflict and exploration – a recipe that also happens to be an ideal fit for great adventure board games. Thanks to the developers at Fantasy Flight Games, that’s exactly what we’re getting: The Fallout board game from Fantasy Flight Games is on the way, and I had a chance to sit down and play it for the very first time. 

The board game version of Fallout looks to Bethesda’s blockbuster titles for inspiration in both gameplay and tone, but establishes storytelling and mechanics of its own that suit the tabletop experience. One to four players (solo play is an option) select one of five playable explorers, from a savvy Wastelander to a stout member of the Brotherhood of Steel. Players range out across a modular, hex-based board that matches with one of several scenarios and settings – all of which are drawn from Bethesda’s core Fallout games or their expansions. In my playthrough, I adventured through the Commonwealth of Fallout 4. 

Hands-On With Pinball FX 3's Universal Classics Pack

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Hands-On With Pinball FX 3's Universal Classics Pack

Zen Studios has tapped three classic film franchises for the first table pack of its upcoming release of Pinball FX 3, and we've got exclusive hands-on impressions.

Zen Studios has landed some massive franchises for its Pinball FX 2 and Zen Pinball 2 table packs, offering fun takes on Disney's Marvel and Star Wars universes, along with myriad other film, television, and video game series. For the launch of its upcoming Pinball FX 3, however, the developer is going old-school. The Universal Classics pack features three tables based on the studio's biggest film franchises: Jaws, E.T., and Back To The Future. Read on for our exclusive hands-on impressions of all three tables.

Pinball FX 3 offers a number of interesting new modes and social features, which you can read about in the next issue of Game Informer. The biggest takeaway for longtime Zen fans, however, is that the vast majority of tables you've already purchased will carry over into Pinball FX 3 for free.

Four Things To Know About Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

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Four Things To Know About Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

The latest project from Ninja Theory (the studio behind Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, and DmC) is out today, and it may not be what you expect.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is an uncomfortable journey seen from the perspective of Senua, a woman who struggles with psychosis. For a few reasons why that creates a compelling interactive experience, watch the video below. You can also read our review of the game by heading here.

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Matching All 45 U.S. Presidents To All 45 Chrono Cross Party Members

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Matching All 45 U.S. Presidents To All 45 Chrono Cross Party Members

The United States of America has had 45 presidents. Chrono Cross has 45 characters you can recruit as party members. Despite existing in different realities, our commanders-in-chief share some staggering similarities with the denizens of the classic PlayStation RPG – including their hobbies, mannerisms, and physical appearances. But which pairings work the best?

We don’t need to keep explaining how this works; you’re probably sick of seeing “Which president approximately equals which Chrono Cross character” lists all over the internet by now, but we’ll try to throw in some nontraditional picks to surprise you. So strap yourself in, because all of this is about to make complete and total sense.

01. George Washington = Kid If you had to choose a single person to represent the concept of President of the United States, you would choose George Washington. Likewise, Kid is the face of Chrono Cross. Even though she’s not technically the protagonist, she is at the center of the story, and that visual of her on the beach is the first image that comes to many players’ minds when they think of the game.

Eight Characters We Want To See In Dragon Ball FighterZ

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Eight Characters We Want To See In Dragon Ball FighterZ

Historically, Dragon Ball fighting games have always straddled the line between being competent fighters and throwing in loads of characters and complex mechanics to make the gameplay look just like the show. The closest things fans had to a nuanced fighting game (the Budokai series) still lacked the depth of mainstream games like Street Fighter and Tekken. So, when the no-nonsense Dragon Ball FighterZ was unveiled at E3 2017, it became a highlight of the show for Dragon Ball fans who wondered what took Bandai Namco so long.

Previous Dragon Ball fighting games were usually evaluated on the shallow basis of, “How many characters does it have?” or “How many obscure movie/OVA characters can I play as?” With FighterZ, fans must alter their expectations. Rather than just making dozens of cookie-cutter characters that all play the same, developer Arc System Works must design each fighter to make sure they’re balanced, unique, and fit the game’s 3v3 format.

What The Heck Is This? Episode 11

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What The Heck Is This? Episode 11

We cover a lot of big, well-known games here at Game Informer. Thanks to these efforts, you (hopefully) know all about the next big franchise, or the highly-anticipated new game from that notable indie developer What about those random games that fly under the radar? The one among the dozens that release every day on Steam? Or that Xbox One game with the weird title? This new video series is an attempt to highlight those games – for better or worse.

We see these type of games all of the time. The game that we look at and say, "What the heck is that?" This is our chance to play them and decide, on the spot, if we want to keep playing them, or move on to to something different.

In episode 11, we play around with the early access dinosaur sim, Saurian and a modern frogger starring an astronaut who may, or may not, have a gun, called Road of Danger.