April Fools Round-Up 2014: All The News That's Not Fit to Print

April Fools Round-Up 2014: All The News That's Not Fit to Print

It's that time of year when news is not news and humor is hit or miss.

As someone who covers gaming news on a daily basis, April Fools' Day can be maddening at times. Some of the news releases are obviously April Fools' jokes, while others can turn out to be real. For an example of the former, you can look at any one of Blizzard's annual joke releases. For an example of the latter, Ubisoft announced Far Cry III: Blood Dragon on April Fools last year, which turned out to be a real thing.

Either way, we're collecting all of the notable April Fools' stuff here to make it easy for you to find out what's real and what's not.

Nester Joins Super Smash Bros for 3DS and Wii U

Nintendo has announced that Nintendo Power's Nester has join the cast of Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS! Look, I actually wouldn't put this addition past Sakurai and Nester is a character I can see fitting right in with the rest of the cast. But today is April Fools' Day and that model isn't up to snuff compared to past character reveals. All your dreams are dead, my friends.

Google is Hiring a Pokemon Master

This is one of those half-real, half-fake jokes. Google is not hiring a Pokemon Master, but the Google Maps: Pokémon Challenge is a real thing! If you update Google Maps on your Android or iOS smartphone, you can hunt around the globe for 150 Pokemon. Of course Nintendo going mobile would be crazy addictive.

The Blizzxtravaganza!

Once again, Blizzard has a host of elaborate April Fools' Day events across every major title in their stable. Over in the World of Warcraft side, Blizzard's artists showed a mock up of the new female Draenei model, taking the race closer to the "goat" side of "space goat". In Starcraft II territory, the company announced that the next expansion will be called Herald of the Stars, because Blizzard has found that the acronym has been successful for them.

"One thing that has unexpectedly come to our attention is our audience's love for the acronym HotS," said the company. "With recent successful titles Heart of the Swarm, Heroes of the Storm, and Hearth (of the) Stone, we took notice of players' absolute love for this particular string of letters. This caused us to reconsider everything, and the results were nothing short of spectacular."

The company also revealed its second fighting game - the first was 1995's Justice League Task Force - the violently titled Blizzard Outcasts: Vengeance of the Vanquished. The game stars the dead and defeated characters from across Blizzard's entire lineup, including Mankirk's Wife, the Starcraft II Battlecruiser, Kael'thas Sunstrider, Wirt, and Gamon. There's also a sketch of the proposed controller for the game available on the website.

But nothing outdoes the Diablo III April Fools' joke, a Flappy Bird clone called Happy Reaper. According to the company, the game is "probably the most challenging Blizzard game you've ever played." You can expect to find the same amazing graphics, great gameplay, and deep storytelling available in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.

Final Fantasy XIV Becomes a Dating Game

Square Enix has announced that Final Fantasy XIV will see the addition of the Favour System, allowing players to give gifts and go on dates with their favorite NPCs.

"This new system will allow adventurers to grow even closer to their favorite NPCs," company says on the Final Fantasy XIV developers blog. "Have you held out hope that one day Minfilia will look your way for longer than a cutscene? Or perhaps you offer gifts to Merlwyb to try and win her over? Well, that's what the Favour system is for! While we showcased female NPCs in today's update, rest assured that male NPCs will be debuting in the system at the same time!"

Also, for a short period of time, everyone on the Final Fantasy XIV forums is game director Naoki Yoshida.

Thief Gets a Second Remake

The reboot of the Thief franchise might not have gotten the reception Square Enix wanted, but it's not afraid to try again. Square Enix Japan has redone Thief as a webgame where your only options are to steal and run away.

League of Legends Makes MOBAs Faster

Riot Games has decided to bring League of Legends into the future with Ultra Rapid Fire. The mode reduces ability cooldowns, drops mana and energy costs, and doubles ranged champion damage, all to make every player a playmaker. No more sitting in support and hoping someone notices your efforts!

The best part is Ultra Rapid Fire is a real queue for the game that will be running for the next week. Players who partake in Ultra Rapid Fire will earn an exclusive summoner icon as well.

JAST USA Announces Its Next Visual Novel

Japan import site JList has announced that visual novel publisher JAST USA's next title will be My Girlfriend is the Prosecutor-General.

The joke here is when Russia annexed Crimea last month, the Crimean Parliament installed a new prosecutor general, Natalia Poklonskaya. One press conference clip of Poklonskaya hit Japan and the fan art started to flow like wine. At this point, she even has her own subreddit, proving that you can find moe in military action.

The First Titanfall DLC Gives Us Optimus Prime

IGN and Respawn have worked together to give us a look at the first Titanfall DLC, featuring Transformers' Optimus Prime. This is one of those moments when I wish the joke were real. Really, the line, "One shall stand, Titans shall fall" is just too good.

Capcom Reveals New Mega Man X

Over at Rockman Unity, Capcom revealed plans for a brand-new Mega Man X... model kit. That's right, even in an April Fools Joke, Capcom isn't going anywhere near new Mega Man games. The new look is pretty awesome though; it was designed by Mega Man Powered Up and Maverick Hunter X artist Mizuno Keisuke. Shame it's not real.

The post has been removed from Rockman Unity, but Rockman Corner still has the art.

Path of Exile Goes Pay-To-Win

The developers of Path of Exile have taken a long, hard look at their free-to-play game and have decided that pay-to-win is the way to go. What does winning look like in Path of Exile? Fireworks! For today only, you can buy fireworks in stacks of 10 for 15 credits. Enjoy.

The Next GRID Game Takes Players To a New Track

Codemaster is tired of just doing racing games, so it's going to be doing something different. The company has announced GRID: Railroad. I'd think that Rail Simulator already has the market locked up, but I'm not a business guy.

Sega Gets Into The VR Game

Finally, we end with the laziest April Fools joke of all. Behold the MEGAne Drive VR headset, bringing classic Mega Drive games to Japanese players in glorious VR. ("megane" is the Japanese word for glasses)

Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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