Coronavirus may delay Super Smash Bros content as lockdown slows development

It seems like even Super Smash Bros isn't safe from the impact of the coronavirus breakout that's been troubling the world for the past month.

An upcoming interview with Masahiro Sakurai – figurehead and director of the series – reveals that the lockdown has seemingly has a massive impact on the schedule for Smash Bros announcements.

Twitter user PushDustin has posted on their account that part of a leaked interview with Sakurai that apparently mentions how coronavirus precautions have caused a delay in the development, and announcement, of new characters.

Japanese blogger Ryokutya2089 (who has been a good source for early Japanese rumours in he past) states that Sakurai suggests Nintendo had planned to release information on upcoming content and new characters, but these plans have been put on ice.

Apparently, Sakurai discusses the workings of Nintendo, and outlines the measures the company is going to to ensure the safety of all its employees.

Ryokutya2089 reports that Sakurai notes even one case of the novel coronavirus detected amongst Nintendo Japan employees could shut the entire office down, and so the utmost care is being taken.

As such, you can imagine the marketing schedule and development schedule for the new content have both been quite heavily impacted.

This is all rumour a the time of writing, so take it with a grain of salt. If it turns out to be true, though, we'd be happy to see Nintendo prioritise its staff over its games.

We'll update you with more news as it becomes available.

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Cryptic Sega teaser suggests Virtua Fighter 6 reveal could be imminent

The last Virtua Fighter game we saw released by Sega came out almost 14 years ago – way back in 2006.

The game, for all its flaws, delivered on what many people want from a Virtua FIghter title: decent, hard-hitting, 3D combat.

The 3D fighter space has been dominated by Bandai Namco of late – Tekken and Soul Calibur are the champions of the arena, with few newcomers able to challenge their reign – but that may all be about to change.

Twitter post by VFdotcom picked up on a 60th anniversary celebration post from Sega, that has some… interesting… art on it.

"As a part of SEGA's 60th anniversary, something is being teased that's seemingly fighter related. The announcement will be made on the 25th of March 2020. What could it be?" says the tweet (via EventHubs ).

The image in question – seen in the header of this story – features the silhouette of a character with a raised fist, who appears to be wearing a ghi… bearing a striking resemblance to Akira, Virtua Fighter's mascot character.

The message on the image supposedly translates to something like "six days until birth."

You'd be hard pressed not to make the Virtua Fighter 6 connections here, then.

We only have a few days to wait to see if this is an honest to God teaser for a new VF game… or some top-tier trolling from Sega.

We'll update you as we learn more.

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Mixer Introduces Quality Of Life Improvements At The Perfect Time

As more and more people self-isolate in solidarity to contain the spread of Covid-19, streaming services are now more important than ever, and Mixer is bringing several quality of life improvements at the absolute best time. Social distancing may be keeping people apart, but streaming helps everyone stay together in a virtual world, and the upcoming changes are sure to be helpful.

To begin, Mixer has reworked their main homepage on all platforms to provide a more focused experience with featured content and smart, AI-powered recommendations. The main sections will a have “Featured,” “Top Category,” and “Partner Spotlight,” and also brand-new content rows with recommended streams from community events, cultural moments and more that is specifically tailored to the individual user.

Auto-hosting has also received an update that allows users to create a list of specific streamers they want to host automatically when offline, always giving an audience something to watch that is tailored to the specific tastes of each channel. Higher quality emotes are also now here, with all emotes having 28 pixels across all platforms. There are new global emotes visible today and all partner emotes will be seeing an update in the coming weeks.

A new feature that is being rolled out in a beta test is the new Ad Break. Mixer Partners have been testing this feature, which allows them to choose when they show an advertisement, which is meant to help keep content immersive and uninterrupted at key times. Mixer describes this as something that will continue to be developed in the future and will be part of a full package of monetization opportunities for streamers.

Xbox One users will now have a better viewing experience from their consoles, which has been built from the ground up to allow for users to enjoy their favorite streamers with little hassle as quickly as possible. The April Xbox One system update should bring this, along with additions of emotes and subscriber badges in chat.

Finally, and most importantly for some users is that Clips Creation is seeing substantial improvements. This feature will be available for more viewers of Mixer Partners and Verified channels in the mixer app on iOS and Android. This is sure to provide great opportunities for sharing the best moments from a stream.

Although the above points are all great improvements made to the quality of life on Mixer, there is more coming, and details will be revealed soon. With so many people needing to stay home now and maintain social distancing, now is the best time to check out Mixer and find a new streamer!

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The bright side of coronavirus: goodbye video game backlog! – Reader’s Feature

A reader tries to look at the positives of self-isolation, as he uses the current crisis to catch up with old games and old friends.

I’ve got two elderly parents that are in the most at-risk age group, and one of them has diabetes, so please don’t think that I do not take the coronavirus seriously or that I am trying to make light of the situation. But while desperately trying to find a positive to this terrible situation I have come up with just one: video games. Or rather, the fact that I now have the time to play them.

I’m currently working from home and self-isolating, and so I’ve both been stuck with nothing to do of a night. I couldn’t bear doing nothing but watch TV, so instead I’ve been doing the obvious thing and working through my video game backlog. Like many gamers I’ve got a huge list of games that either I haven’t started or I’ve never beaten.

I don’t think anyone’s interested in me making a list, especially as a lot of them are probably fairly obvious, but I’m currently playing through NieR:Automata, which I’d bought but never got round to as I wasn’t quite convinced it was my type of thing. It’s been amazing so far though and now I’ve got all the time in the world to do the multiple playthroughs.

Before that I finished off Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, which I had beaten previously but still had plenty of things to do in it. But now I’ve completed every mission and I think done everything except all the koroks. Maybe I’ll get back to them if this goes on for a very long time but after that I’ve got Dragon Age: Inquisition, which I never got round to at the time, Divinity: Original Sin 2, and Persona 5 lined up.

As you can see, I like role-playing games, but I don’t always have time for them and now I can catch up with them all and feel that this whole shut-in experience hasn’t been a complete misery.

The important point here, I feel, is that there can be a silver lining to every situation and that while I’m okay with it (as far as I know, this is quite the test) I know a lot of people just cannot handle being alone for long periods. That’s obviously going to be a big problem for them because there’s no way out of self-isolation that doesn’t risk you or people you love.

But video games not only offer you something stimulating to do, rather than just gluing your eyes to the gogglebox, but many of the games also have voice communication where you can chat to friends and family online and even play with them if they’re into games as well. So I’ve been playing plenty of Apex Legends in between my role-playing games.

Maybe I can even get other people into games if they’re not already, because I’ve already been playing with one person I never knew even had a console and I haven’t really seen properly for ages.

Who knows, perhaps the other unexpected side effect of all this is that people will start to look on video games in a more positive light and stop using them as a scapegoat for all of societies’ ills. Ah, who am I kidding, they’ll probably end up being blamed for starting the coronavirus…

By reader Brian

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. As always, email [email protected] and follow us on Twitter.

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Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: next gen console sequels

GameCentral readers imagine what their favourite games are going to look like on the PS5 and Xbox Series X, from Uncharted 5 to Dino Crisis.

This week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Gifford, who asked you to imagine your ideal next gen sequel. Take any game or franchise that already exists and imagine it for the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X. How would it differ from current versions and how would it take advantage of the superior graphics and faster load times?

Many imagined the obvious follow-ups like God Of War, Forza, and Horizon Zero Dawn, but there was lots of other hopeful talk about less certain sequels, such as XCOM 3 and a new Dishonored.

Rockstar test
It has to be a Rockstar game. Until we see a new game from them, ideally a new Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption, the new consoles won’t have been tested, in my opinion. Ordinarily I’d assume it’d be a long wait until that happened, but it’s been so long since GTA 5 came out it could be literally any time. I wouldn’t even be that surprised if it was a launch game for one or other of the consoles.

If Microsoft or Sony want to make a splash saying they’ll be the only console with GTA 6 on it, even if it’s only for a year, is going to win the generation right that. The graphics in Rockstar games are second to none and I cannot wait to see what they do with a next gen open world where you can enter every building and landscape goes on for miles. Red Dead but in the modern world!

I do like the idea of an 80s version of LA Noire though as well, so I’m totally fine if that gets released as well. Could be a useful test for Rockstar at first, before the main event.

The dinosaur question
Since everyone has convinced themselves that Horizon Zero Dawn 2 must be a thing (and I agree) I would love to see how that’s going to turn out. The original looked amazing but what impressed me almost the most was that it was from Guerrilla Games, who up till that point had been all style and no substance. Horizon still wasn’t a deep game but it was good action role-player and I’d like to see them take it further.

I’m hoping for more variety in the combat, much deeper skill tree and customisation options, and a better story. Aloy was all very good as a female lead that was not sexualised but she was also kind of boring and so was everything except for the backstory, which was really good and easily the most interesting part of the plot. I don’t know how you take advantage of that for the sequel but I’d like to see.

And, of course, hopefully the graphics will be amazing. It goes without saying really, but I’ve heard enough talk at this point and want to see how all this variable frequency and SSD stuff works in practice. How realistic is it going to make my giant metal dinosaurs? That’s the important question.

Next gen Horizon
It’s not something I’ve heard a lot of talk about but a new Forza is pretty much guaranteed to be an Xbox Series X (and I guess Xbox One if there’s no exclusives) launch game and I would very much like that. The Forza games long ago surpassed Gran Turismo as far as I’m concerned and they’ve also always had amongst the best graphics on the consoles.

It should be Forza Motorsport’s ‘turn’ for a new game next but I think Microsoft see Horizon as the more mainstream friendly version so I’m curious to see if they’ll push another one of those out first rather than the more serious series. I’m okay with that, because I see the logic, as long as they go back to Motorsport after and we have the best of both worlds.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Elden Souls
I’m not sure this really counts as such, because it’s not really a sequel, but the next gen game I’m most looking forward to is Elden Ring by From Software. As a continuation of the Dark Souls concept there’s obviously a family link there, from what they’ve said, but we know almost nothing about it other than apparently it has an open world.

We don’t even know if it’s really next gen or not as it was only announced for the current consoles. But has that been ditched now and it’s only on Xbox One and PlayStation 5? I kind of hope so, in terms of it reaching its full potential but I’ll just be happy to see some proper footage and get some real information soon.

Beyond that, I’d love to see MachineGames given the chance to complete their Wolfenstein trilogy. I get the feeling the last game didn’t do that great (I don’t know why they released it at Christmas) but I’m really hoping they get the chance to finish the story and take advantage of next gen graphics too.

Side by side comparison
I’m curious to know whether Sony will try to continue the Uncharted series in the next gen. It’s one of their biggest franchises but I get the feeling Naughty Dog are kind of done with it. This is an obvious point to restart with a new developer though, and a new lead, so I hope they give it a try.

Uncharted 4 is one of the best-looking games of the whole gen so it would be very interested to see how much a PlayStation 5 sequel could improve on that. There’s a lot of techy talk at the moment about how this or that will make games better but comparing a last gen sequel to a next gen one is, for me, the best way to tell whether any of it really means anything.

I hope we finally see what this new Batman game looks like too, as that’s kind of the same deal. I want what once used to blow me away to look quaint and low tech by comparison. It’ll happen at some point, but we’ll have to wait and see if it does at launch.
Tom Meadows

Retro revival
I want to know what Capcom has cooked up for the next gen. There’s rumours of next gen Resident Evil, which is great, but I want to know if the Dino Crisis remake is real and the Onimusha revival. I’d be totally up for those, as well as deeper dives like Bionic Commando and Ghouls ‘N Ghosts.

Now is the time to be build, embrace your older games and make them new!

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

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I’d really like to see a next gen Dishonored, a third game in the trilogy if they can be given the budget to do it justice. I don’t know how well the original games did, I think okay, but for me they were amongst the very best of the generation and the second one in particular had some of the best level design I’d ever seen. Really clever, intelligent stuff.

Whether they’d be forced to dumb a third game down I don’t know but Bethesda are usually pretty good about that sort of thing so I hope not.

I also hope there’s a chance for a Prey 2, or perhaps just a remake. I loved that game too but it did have some serious technical constraints and it was the first game I thought about when Sony were talking about instant loading and the problems it solves.

I could think of a lot of games that could be improved by quick loading like that, and if the PlayStation 5’s backwards compatibility can take advantage of that then I will be very impressed. Although, of course, it’ll never beat a proper sequel that takes advantage of it from the start.

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The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word 4Player viewer features at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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Sorry PC Gamers, Horizon Zero Dawn Won’t Feature An FOV Slider

Guerrilla Games has revealed an unfortunate and rather surprising bit of news regarding its upcoming PC port of Horizon Zero Dawn, with the announcement that players will not have a Field of View (FOV) slider. The news was unexpected among those who are excited to see the game on PC for the first time, but the developer went on to explain its reasoning for the decision.

Speaking in the official Steam forum, Community Manager Anne van der Zanden stated, “We will add several ways to customize your settings for Horizon Zero Dawn for PC. However, we feel that changing the FOV compromises the original Horizon Zero Dawn experience and visual style too much, so you will not be able to change this.”

The move is a surprise because PC gaming is usually a far more flexible experience thanks to the range of personalization and adjustments that can be made on hardware that is far more powerful than a PlayStation 4, and because Guerrilla recently announced that there would be support for Ultrawide displays. These displays will naturally demand a different Field of View, which leads us to believe that any change in perspective will be forced and automatic based on the detected displays used by PC players.

There is also the possibility that Ultrawide support goes the route of Overwatch, which is to say by cropping portions of the top and bottom of the screen. Hopefully this is not the case, else the use of an Ultrawide monitor is completely useless for Horizon Zero Dawn.

With that said, players should not be surprised to hear of some creative modder come up with their own method for manipulating the FOV within days of the game’s official release. Even if a solution becomes widely available online, players may prefer not to tinker with the developer’s initial vision for how the game should be experienced. What Zanden says may in fact hinder players from experiencing the game as it was meant to be played.

There is another major reason that some players like having control over FOV, but it is not one that is experienced by everyone, and that is the feeling of motion sickness that comes from certain perspectives in games. With too narrow an FOV, which can be a subjective amount depending on the user, it can be easy to feel nauseated after playing for twenty or thirty minutes, and often drives players away completely.

For now, this is pure speculation. The game is set to launch in the summer of this year, so we have only a few short months to know exactly what lies ahead for PC players.

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Pokémon Sword & Shield: How To Find Stonjourner

“Once a year, on a specific date and at a specific time, they gather out of nowhere and form up in a circle,” Stonjourner’s Pokédex entry. Could you even imagine how terrifying that would be if their meeting place was like… your house? Imagine waking up to that. Or, better yet, hearing their footsteps quickly surround you. Yeesh.

Locating Stonjourner

Regardless, you’re here to catch Stonjourner. Well, if you have Pokémon Shield, you turn yourself right around and walk on over to the GTS, as Stonjourner is a Sword exclusive Pokémon!

If you’re playing Sword and looking to catch Stonjourner, you have a couple of different options on where to do so. To start, Stonjourner can be found through Max Raid Battles in Giant’s Seat, Rolling Fields, and Stony Wilderness. Otherwise, every location that you can find Stonjourner in is going to be through a non-overworld encounter.

Outside of the Wild Area, Stonjourner can be found on Route 10 at a 2% encounter rate. The only other place you’ll find Stonjourner is the Lake of Outrage, with a 2% rate under intense sun and a 5% rate in a sandstorm. Yeah, no matter what way you cut it, Stonjourner is an incredibly difficult Pokémon to find. Although, you don’t have much ground to cover, so just stick to one area and start encountering. You’re bound to find one eventually.

Rocky Boi Fight Time

Once you actually catch Stonjourner, that’s really it. The Pokémon doesn’t have an evolution or Gigantamax form. Of course, it can Dynamax like every other Pokémon out there. Still, that doesn’t mean that it can’t hold its own.

Well… it actually can’t. That is, if it’s going in against a special attacker. Its special stats are absolutely dreadful, but its physical stats are incredibly high, making this an off-balance Pokémon, to say the least. If you do plan on using Stonjourner, standby moves like Earthquake will do the trick. If you really want to be a competitive beast, use it to set up Stealth Rocks and give it a Focus Sash in order to keep it around for longer than it would normally survive. Its ability powers up all the attacks of its allies, so Stonjourner might be well-suited to double battles.

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Korean Rating Agency May Have Confirmed A Modern Warfare 2 Remaster

The South Korean Game Rating and Administration Committee has released a rating for a game called Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered, the very existence of which is news to us. The rating, which was released at the end of February, was publicly visible on the ratings committee’s website for almost a month before anyone noticed.

It doesn’t exactly come as a surprise that Activision Blizzard would release would plan to remaster Modern Warfare 2, seeing as it was a extremely-popular and well-regarded entry into the Call of Duty franchise. This is especially true in light of the fact that the original Modern Warfare was remastered back in 2016, and a brand new Modern Warfare game was released just last October, with a battle royale mode called Call of Duty: Warzone launching on March 10 of this year.

The first Modern Warfare, released all the way back in 2007, revolutionized the military shooter, which had previously been stuck in the World War II era. Its sequel, released two years later, upped the ante by increasing the game’s scope and providing far more characters, environments and locations to fight through.

However, the game is probably most well-known for its infamous level “No Russian,” which had players participating in a mass shooting at a Moscow airport as part of an undercover operation in which you are trying to gain a terrorist organization’s trust. The mission ends badly for both the player character and the United States in general, so perhaps it can be said to contain a valuable lesson in not mowing down innocent civilians, but it caused plenty of controversy in its time.

Activision Blizzard has not yet confirmed the existence of the remaster, so there’s no word as to when it would be released or which generation of consoles it would be launched on. However, ratings organizations don’t usually release ratings for games that don’t exist, so we can expect to see the game sometime soon.

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Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 Adds Five New Free DLC Costumes Before The Fantastic Four Update

Nintendo has announced that all players will be receiving five free costumes in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order a day before the Fantastic Four arrive in the next DLC pack on March 26. The additional cosmetics look great, providing a new look for Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Elektra, and Deadpool.

Downloading the update on March 25 is all players need to do to unlock the new costumes. The theme in this bundle of cosmetics might not be immediately apparent to all players since there has not been much exposure to the group. Looking closely, Marvel fans will notice that each of these characters has been associated with The Defenders at one point or another.

Daredevil will be receiving his Man Without Fear costume, largely inspired by season one of the Netflix show – when Matt Murdock was fighting crime before acquiring his signature look of red and horns. Iron Fist is receiving his Modern look, which is a combination of previous designs seen in comic books for decades. Overall, the look of this costume is like the original with darker, earthy tones, but with his signature yellow colors and enormous collar that make Iron Fist impossible to confuse with other characters.

Luke Cage is getting his Power Man look, which is arguably a different person altogether. Victor Alvarez was the third person to use the alias of Powerman after Erik Josten and Luke Cake, though today most people simply recognize Cage from his impressive performance in the Netflix series. Electra will be sporting her look from the Ultimate series of comics from Earth-1610, which is similar in style to some of her existing costume options.

Lastly, Deadpool will be receiving his Battle of the Atom costume. This was a major 10-part comic book crossover that sought to fix a problem in which time-displaced X-Men needed to return to their own times, as having them elsewhere was having disastrous consequences. Deadpool formed part of the Future Brotherhood, and this costume is like what players know, but with his face mostly exposed and no signed of the cancerous growth we often see in other representations of the character.

The release of these five new skins is another great example of how well Nintendo has been treating its consumers. Players are already excited for the long-awaited release of the Fantastic Four that is happening in less than a week, and these extra skins are a great bonus for everyone a day before trying the new characters.

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons – How To Get A Shovel

Empty-handed. That’s how you’ll start Animal Crossing: New Horizons. All you’ll have are the clothes on your back as you touch down on your island for the first time. After exchanging some cordial introductions with other villagers, Tom Nook and the twins will set you up with your very own tent and some simple DIY recipes. The recipes you’ll receive at the very start of the game include things like the flimsy fishing rod, a campfire, a leaf umbrella, and a net. The shovel, however, takes a bit more work. Here’s how to get it.

Catch 5 Fish or Bugs

Once you’ve built your fishing rod, catch any five fish. Take those fish over to Tom Nook at resident services. Take out a fish, and show it off to Tom. He’ll then ask you if he can have the fish to send to his friend’s museum. You’ll be tempted to hoard your hard-earned fish in your tent until it starts to smell like an unfiltered fish tank. Don’t. Hand those fish over to Tom Nook. Once you’ve given him five fish (or bugs) you’ll unlock the museum tent and Blathers the owl, who works as the museum curator.

Talk to Blathers

Blathers won’t appear in the tent until a day has passed. Go talk to him as soon as you get the chance. During your first discussion, Blathers will give you a DIY recipe for a flimsy shovel and the vaulting pole.

To build the shovel, all you’ll need is five pieces of Hardwood. If you already have the ax, collecting five pieces of Hardwood should only take a couple of minutes. Now head over to your DIY workbench or Tom Nook’s workbench at resident services and get crafting. Voilà, you’ve got your flimsy shovel.

Upgrade Your Flimsy Shovel

But you wanted a shovel, not a flimsy shovel. Flimsy tools work great, but they break relatively quickly with routine use. Luckily, any tool can be upgraded into a more durable version pretty easily. Once you’ve paid off your travel debt of 3,000 Nook Miles and taken out the loan for your first house, you’ll have access to Nook Plus Miles.

By completing daily activities, you can gather enough miles to buy the recipes for better tools in the Nook Stop terminal. Just go to the ABD and redeem Nook Miles. Purchase the “Pretty Good Tool Recipes” for 3000 miles. To upgrade the shovel, you’ll need the flimsy version of the tool and some iron. All that’s left is to head back over to your workbench and get crafting. Now you’ll have a durable shovel that can be used to dig up fossils, plant your garden, or remove tree stumps! 

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