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    Xbox Game Pass Adds 9 New Games, Including Outlast, FIFA 21, And More

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

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    Even more titles are joining the Xbox Game Pass library, including the latest FIFA title, a horror favorite with Outlast, and more. Red Dead Online is also available through the evolving subscription service, which comes at the perfect time given that Microsoft recently rescinded the requirement to pay for Xbox Live in order to play with friends remotely. For those interested, here are the new games arriving to Xbox Game Pass – and what's leaving. 

    What's new on Xbox Game Pass

    Since Xbox Game Pass is an ever-evolving subscription service, there will always be new titles coming and going from its lineup. For the newest additions, however, here is what members can look forward to: 

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    What's coming: 

    • Dragon Quest Bulders 2, Console and PC - May 4
    • FIFA 21, Console and PC - May 6
    • Outlast 2, Cloud, Console, and PC - May 6
    • Steep, Cloud and Console - May 6
    • Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster, Console and PC - May 13
    • Just Cause 4: Reloaded, Cloud, Console, and PC - May 13
    • Psychonauts, Cloud, Console, and PC - May 13
    • Red Dead Online, Cloud and Console - May 13
    • Remnant: From the Ashes, PC - May 13

    DLC and Game Updates: 

    • Fallout 76: Locked and Loaded 
    • Gears: Tactics Anniversary
    • Grounded April Update
    • Halo Infinite PC Update
    • Minecraft: R2D2 Beanie - Until May 6 
    • Sea of Thieves: Reapers vs. The World - Until June 22

    What's leaving - May 15

    • Alan Wake, Console and PC
    • Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2, PC
    • Final Fantasy IX, Console and PC
    • Dungeon of the Endless, Cloud, Console, and PC
    • Hotline Miami, PC
    • Plebby Quest: The Crusades, PC

    For those that may not have the Xbox Game Pass membership yet, there are a few things you should know. This membership offers gamers a deal that has grown exponentially since it was first introduced, and the value of it has improved immensely. There are two options to choose from with the standard Xbox Game Pass and Game Pass Ultimate. Xbox Game Pass is $9.99, whereas the Ultimate version includes Xbox Live for $14.99. 

    This sort of service is great for those that may be a little choosier with the games they like. Even more so now that some titles are coming in at a $70 premiem price point. Xbox Game Pass allows players access to over 100 titles at no additional cost outside of the membership, including first-party day one additions and acquired studio games. 

    Thoughts on the new Xbox Game Pass arrivals dropping this month? What do you hope gets added next? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below!

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    ESA Releases Statement Regarding Konami's Decision To Back Out Of E3 2021

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    konami-withdraws-from-e3-2021.jpg

    Previously, Konami confirmed that it has "a number of key projects" in the works to share with fans, but the company has opted to join Nintendo, EA, Sony, and more in the decision to skip out on E3 2021. Following the confirmation of another company missing from the now-digital showcase (due to COVID-19), the ESA has issued its own statement. 

    "Due to timing, we will not be ready to present at E3 this year," reads the initial statement from Konami. "We want to reassure our fans that we are in deep development on a number of key projects, so please stay tuned for some updates in the coming months. While we are not participating this year, we have great respect for the ESA and we know that 2021 will be a great success. We will continue to support the ESA and wish the best to all participant's in this year's show." 

    Given that the company's attendance was previously confirmed by Konami itself, the statement riled up conversation centering around the continued evolution of E3 and what the future looks like for the gaming event. The ESA responded with its own statement, provided to Game Informer, saying, "We support our partner Konami’s decision to not participate in E3 this year and are excited to see what they’ll be announcing in the future when they're ready to do so. We can't wait for their return to E3 2022, but in the meantime, we look forward to sharing all of the highly-anticipated reveals, programming and so much more at this year's E3."

    While we don't know for sure what Konami has in the works, there have been rumors swirling for years now that a new Silent Hill game is on the way, despite Hideo Kojima's departure. While the community continues to speculate what could be next for the studio, it looks like we'll have a few more months to wait to see anything confirmed. 

    Regarding E3 2021, the upcoming event will be digital to abide by health and safety concerns while the COVID-19 vaccine continues to become more and more available. The showcase will be going on from June 12 until June 15. 


    What are your thoughts on the current state of E3 and the growing list of studios that are not attending? Thoughts on the ESA's response? Sound off in the comment section below! Feel free to also share some of your own theories on what you think Konami is currently working on. 

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    Patch 9.1 PTR - Mythic+ Rating System Preview, New Mythic+ Affix and Anima Powers

    Curse
    By Curse,
    Patch 9.1 PTR - Mythic+ Rating System Preview
    The Mythic+ Rating System that was teased by Raider.IO is now active on the Public Test Realm. Keep in mind that this feature has just been added, so everything is subject to change.

    Mythic+ Rating System Preview
    • Players can check their Mythic+ Rating in the Mythic Keystone tab.
    • Hovering over the dungeons will show the points gained from each instance.
    • Mythic+ Rating can be increased by completing dungeons more quickly or on higher difficulties.
    • Completing keys on both Fortified and Tyrannical will further increase the score, as previously mentioned in the developer interview with Ion Hazzikostas.

    mythicplusrating1.jpg mythicplusrating2.jpg


    Creating and Joining Groups
    • Group leaders can now see the applicant's Mythic+ Score along with their name, role and item level.
    • Alt characters do not show any info about the player's main character, their points, nor the number of dungeons completed in time for different brackets (5-9, 10-14, 15+). These statistics are currently provided by the Raider.IO Addon, which will most likely remain useful in that regard.
    • The score tab is currently clickable on the PTR (although broken in functionality). If this gets fixed, group leaders will be able to sort applicants by their Mythic+ Score.

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    Patch 9.1 - New Mythic+ Affix and Anima Powers
    Shadowlands Mythic+ Season 2 Affix has been added in Build 38511: [PH] SL S2 Affix - [PH] Defeat the Jailer's forces to gain cool powers!

    The "cool powers" referenced above seem to be Anima Powers, some of which were added in an earlier build. Most of the following Anima Powers are currently used in the fight with the Tarragrue in the Sanctum of Domination raid, but they might also show up in Mythic+ Dungeons.
    Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
    Patch 9.1 - New Anima Powers
    • Blade of the Lifetaker - Your attacks have a high chance to steal health from the enemy equal to 10% of your maximum health.
    • Disembodied Mystic Hands - Your attacks have a chance to steal a beneficial Magic or Enrage effect from your target, applying it to yourself.
    • Elethium Diffuser - Inflicts Shadow damage equal to 50% of all the damage you receive, split amongst enemies within 10 yds, but you are no longer able to step backwards.
    • Elethium Weights - Your Strength, Agility, Stamina, and Intellect are increased by 30%, but you are no longer able to jump.
    • Ephemeral Effigy - You take 25% less Physical damage and suffer 15% more Magic damage. Taking Physical damage has a chance to increase your movement speed by 25% for 6 sec.
    • Erratic Howler - While in combat, release an uncontrolled howl at random intervals. This howl inflicts 40 Shadow damage to enemies within 20 yds and interrupts spells.
    • Ever-Beating Heart - You become immune to Fear and Stun effects.
    • Heart-Seeking Fang - While in combat, leech 3 health from a random enemy within 15 yds every 2 sec. This damage and healing is doubled if the target is suffering from a Bleed effect.
    • Huddled Carvings - Your damage and healing done is increased by 30% while within 5 yds of at least 2 other players.
    • Lumbering Form - While in combat, your size is increased by 100%, your damage and healing is increased by 30%, and you automatically knock back ALL players that come within 2 yds of yourself.
    • Negation Well - Greatly increase the power of your jumps. Your movement speed is also increased by 20%.
    • Obleron Endurance - Maximum health increased by 45%.
    • Obleron Ephemera - Versatility increased by 12%.
    • Obleron Spikes - Critical strike chance increased by 12%.
    • Obleron Talisman - Mastery increased by 12%.
    • Obleron Venom - Critical damage and healing increased by 18%.
    • Obleron Winds - Haste increased by 12%.
    • Oddly Intangible Key - You take 90% less damage from area of effect attacks.
    • Overgrowth Seedling - Increases your armor by 100% and reduces the power cost of most abilities by 30%.
    • Potent Acid Gland - Your attacks have a chance to launch a glob of acid, inflicting 30 Nature damage and increasing damage you inflict on that target by 25% for 8 sec.
    • Pulsing Rot-hive - Your attacks have a chance to attach decayfly larvae in the target, inflicting 9 Nature damage every 1 sec for 6 sec. When this effect expires, the larvae hatch from within the target to fight for you.
    • Resonating Effigy - You take 25% less Magic damage and suffer 15% more Physical damage. Taking Magic damage has a chance to increase your movement speed by 25% for 6 sec.
    • Satchel of the Hunt - You grant all allies within 20 yds an additional 30% movement speed.
    • Soulward Clasp - Your abilities have a chance to create a zone of soul empowerment nearby. Any player may collect this to gain 25% damage and healing done and 25% movement speed for 10 sec.
    • Spectral Oats - While running, you take 10% less damage and inflict 10% more damage, as well as heal for 5% of your maximum health every 1 sec.
    • Spiked Skin - Attackers take damage each time they attack you for 20 sec.
    • Stoneflesh Figurine - When below 40% maximum health, you reduce all damage taken by 40% and your own movement speed by 40%.
    • Ten of Towers - Increases damage done by 10% and reduces damage taken by 10%. Upon death, detonate and stun ALL players and enemies within 10 yds for 10 sec.
    • The Stone Ward - Shields you for 30% of your maximum health. This absorb refreshes every 20 sec. While this shield holds, you are immune to stuns and being knocked back.
    • Tremorbeast Heart - Primary stat increased by 15%, and regenerate 5 health every 5 sec.
    • Twisted Samophlange - While in combat, the 3 nearest other players to you within 5 yds gain 15% increased damage and healing done.
    • V'lara's Cape of Subterfuge - Your attacks have a chance to cause you to fade away, reducing your threat for 6 sec. While you are under this effect, your critical strike chance is increased by 50%.

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    Patch 9.1 PTR - Chapter 2 Main Quest and Unlocking Flying

    Curse
    By Curse,
    Patch 9.1 PTR - Chapter 2 Main Quest and Unlocking Flying
    Today we are checking out Chapter 2 of the Chains of Domination storyline! Finishing this portion of the story, which likely opens up in week 2 of the patch, will allow you to fly in the original four Shadowlands Zones. You cannot fly in the Maw even with flying unlocked. *MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD*

    Chains of Domination - Chapter 2
    • Tal-Galan, your liaison in Korthia, has brought to your attention that the jailer's forces are attacking the outer reaches of Korthia in an attempt to infiltrate the city's vault. He believes the Jailer is after something important, and enlists the help of the Necrolords to figure it out.
    • Just down the hill from the main Korthia hub is Scholar's Den. Here, you must help Bonesmith Heirmir repair an Anima conduit while rescuing Keepers and slaying Mawsworn.
    • Repairing the Anima conduit provides you with fragmented keeper records that you need Tal-Galan to coalesce to learn the truth of what lies in the vault. The records show the image of the Maldraxxus's Primus, who realized the Jailer's plan and gave his sigil to the Keepers in Korthia for save-keeping in the vault. The message ends with him saying that if the Jailer gets all 5 sigils nothing will stop him from...but it cuts off. You must find additional conduits to decipher more of the message.
    • The location of the next conduit is across a chasm. You must collect 50 anima-infused bones from nearby wildlife and activate a beacon to find cracked records. The cracked records reveal the next part of the message, which finishes the sentence that nothing will stop the Jailer from reaching the Sepulcher when he has all 5 sigils. The Bonesmith tries to ask about the Sepulcher, but Tal-Galan says it is not to be discussed. You hook-shot across the islands and protect the Bonesmith from a devourer while she repairs the next conduit.
    • With both conduits repaired you should be able to enter the vault. You take a flayedwing over to find the Necrolords engaged in combat with the mawsworn outside. You must help rescue some keepers and defeat more mawsworn here before the keepers open the way to the vault.
    • Inside, Tal-Galan begins to open the door, but you are interrupted by Jailer forces. After dispatching them, the last record of the Primus indicates that he is going to bind his sigil with another form of magic as a failsafe, but the message ends before you learn how.
    • The sigil appears before you and Tal-Galan opens a way-stone back to camp after claiming it. Upon showing the sigil to Bolvar, he reveals that it has been bound together with memory magic. He suggests that you present the sigil to the Runecarver in Torghast as he is familiar with this magic.
    • Presenting the sigil to the Runecarver merges it with him and he returns to his real form, the Primus of Maldraxxus! The Jailer takes notice of this and tries to stop you. You must defend the Primus from the Jailer's forces, but Anduin enters the fray and manages to get the sigil from the Primus. The Jailer lets you live, apparently so he can see us all bent to his will.
    • You reconvene with the Primus in Korthia and discuss how to keep the Arbiter's sigil, the only one left, from falling into the Jailer's hands. The Primus says that the covenants have grown stronger, but much must be done for them to remember their true purpose and find their futures. Only then can new sigils be forged to pursue Zovaal. Completing this ends the chapter and awards you with Memories of Sunless Skies, effectively unlocking flying account-wide in the Shadowlands!

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    Arena World Championship 2021 - Shadowlands Finals

    Curse
    By Curse,
    Arena World Championship 2021 - Shadowlands Finals
    Arena World Championship 2021 Shadowlands Finals have started! Watch top teams from around the world compete for their share of $200,000 global prize pool in the Season 1 Finals!

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    Pokémon Snap Guide: Where To Find Pokémon In The Lental Region

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    New Pokémon Snap

    New Pokémon Snap is now available, and you're probably wondering where you can find your favorite Pokémon across the Lental region's diverse biomes. As you may have seen in our other guide, which lists all the Pokémon we've discovered so far, New Pokémon Snap features a huge collection of your favorite monsters to find and photograph. While we haven't uncovered all the Pokémon scattered across the Lental region ourselves, we have a pretty good lay of the land.

    map.jpg

    The Lental region charges you with scouring 12 different diverse biomes across different research levels and times of day. As you might expect, different Pokémon live in different areas and conditions, while various species are also more active during the night, while others are energetic and visible only during the day.

    Where To Find Pokémon In New Pokémon Snap

    As you head into these maps, please note that this isn't a comprehensive list, but rather a guide to help you know what to keep an eye out for. As such, the below images and descriptions contain spoilers for which Pokémon appear where. Keep in mind that different Pokémon appear at different research levels, so if you see something on our maps but not in your game, keep leveling that area and the Pokémon will appear eventually!

    Florio

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    Florio Nature Park

    The opening area of New Pokémon Snap eases you into the action, but that doesn't mean there aren't a ton of opportunities to discover and photograph iconic Pokémon in this wildlife park. Florio Nature Park lives up to its name, delivering a sprawling greenspace for Pokémon to congregate. Along the way, you can spot Dodrio prancing around, Bidoof building a dam, Swanna leading its Ducklett, and Bouffalant grazing. Come back at night for a chance to spot Scorbunny running amok, a showdown between Pinsir and Heracross, and some great opportunities with Combee and Vespiquen.

    As you wrap up the mainline part of Florio Nature Park, you'll open up the Illumina Spot, which features Meganium. Keep the giant grass Pokémon glowing for the best photo opportunities. As you continue on repeated playthroughs, Pokémon like Eevee will begin appearing in the Illumina Spot.

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    Research Camp

    One of the pleasant surprises of your New Pokémon Snap journey is the ability to photograph the myriad monsters that wander around the grounds of Professor Mirror's Research Camp. Not only does this enable you to get up close with Pokémon who are used to the presence of humans, but there are some monsters that are only present at the Research Camp. This location offers outstanding opportunities for photographing Meowth, Starly, Audino, and Stoutland, while the sharp-eyed researcher can find Cutiefly and Bunnelby just off the beaten path. Of course, it wouldn't be a fully populated camp without two of the most popular Pokémon: Pikachu and Eevee.

    Belusylva

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    Founja Jungle

    After completing enough research in Florio Nature Park, you're able to jump to Belusylva and ride through the Founja Jungle. Liepard, Beautifly, and Bounsweet can get right in your face, but you might have to work a bit to attract the attention of Pikipek and Quagsire. Come back at night for a wider spread of critters, including Ariados, Ledian, Toucannon, Morelull, Yanmega, and others. 

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    Elsewhere Forest

    The most mysterious of all areas, Elsewhere Forest carries an eerie feeling throughout your entire journey, giving us serious Lost-Woods-from-Zelda vibes. As you push through the disjointed course, you end each segment getting consumed by fog, only to emerge in seemingly disparate clearings filled to the brim with Pokémon like Bulbasaur, Trevenant, Espurr, and even Celebi.

    Once you unlock the Illumina Spot of Elsewhere Forest, you can engage in an encounter with Milotic. Tracking the slippery water type can be tricky, but it gives you plenty to shoot while it swims all around you. On repeated playthroughs, Milotic is joined by creatures like Lotad, Magikarp, Serperior, and Espeon.

    Maricopia

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    Blushing Beach

    The gorgeous Blushing Beach gives us a taste of the tropical life of Maricopia and surrounds you with Pokémon to match the theme. Whether you're talking the walking palm tree that is Exeggutor or the surfing Alolan Raichu, the luau theme is in full effect – especially if you play some music for the Bellossom. Machamp may be using the beach as an opportunity to workout and show off his muscles, but Blastoise is taking it easy along the shore. Come back at night and you can witness a battle between Seviper and Zangoose, or be an audience member as Primarina sings a song. You can also toss an apple at the red shovels on the beach to pull Sandygast out of hiding (and scare Octillery half to death in the process).

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    Maricopia Reef

    The beach is great, but what about the big game you can only spot further out at sea. Reefs are always wildlife hotspots, and the Maricopia Reef in New Pokémon Snap is no different. From aggressive Sharpedo that will not hesitate to snap right back at you if you hit them with a fluffruit to Squirtle chilling on the rocks, you have plenty of water types to shoot. As you navigate around a swirling whirlpool, you'll be able to spot several nautical flying types like Wingull and Pelipper, plus a Wailord that you couldn't miss even if you tried your hardest. Depending on the research level and time of day, you end the the stage with Pelipper, Corsola, Mareanie, Lapras, and Pyukumyuku.

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    Lental Seafloor

    Perhaps the densest area of Maricopia, the seafloor gives you two completely different routes to explore once you unlock the Illumina Orb and can encourage the Clawitzer to blast away the rocks. While seeing Pelipper swimming beneath the water is cool, I was more fascinated by the interactions between Wailmer and other Pokémon like Octillery and Qwilfish. Later in the stage, you can get some great shots of two Clawitzer battling, as well as plenty of shots of Tentacruel as you head towards the surface. Once you unlock the cavern area of the Lental Seafloor, you have access to a few new Pokémon like Lanturn and Golisopod.

    The Illumina Spot of the Lental Seafloor gives you a run in with Wishiwashi in both Solo and School forms. Watching the monstrous School form swirl around you is almost terrifying in the dark depths. Not a ton of other Pokémon travel that deep, but on repeated journeys through the deep seas, Wailmer showed up, but Wishiwashi's School form remained the star.

    Voluca

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    Sweltering Sands

    If you're tired of water and water types, fear not, as it's off to the dry dessert! Sweltering Sands, despite being a barren landscape, features a pretty strong selection of Pokémon. It's hard to miss Cacnea rolling down the dunes or Mandibuzz circling overhead, but repeated playthroughs yield encounters with Pokémon like Tyranitar, Lycanroc, and more. If you come back at night, Lycanroc's Mightnight form comes out to cause mischief, other Pokémon like Silicobra, Sandshrew, and Kangaskhan stretch their legs. If you find yourself stuck on how to stop the tornado during the day, try lighting up all three Crystabloom plants by the one on the right to reveal Flygon.

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    Fireflow Volcano

    If the dessert wasn't hot enough for you, how about an active volcano? Altaria and Archeops glide and lounge all around you, while majestic Luxray observe to make sure you don't pull any funny business. As you descend into the volcano itself, you'll spot all kinds of rock and fire types, including Monferno, Charmander, Aerodactyl, and Tyrantrum. Once you unlock higher research levels, you can take the right path to see a gathering of Flareon, Charmander, Slugma, and Torkoal, or go left and witness a showdown between Charizard and Tyrantrum.

    The Illumnia Spot of Fireflow Volcano is probably the most difficult, but it's still pretty straightforward. The two Volcarona surrounds itself with flames, rendering Illumina Orbs useless. Toss some fluffruit their way and the fire will dissipate temporarily, allowing you to snap them in all their glory. On return visits to the spot, you can see additional Pokémon like Monferno, Talonflame, and Archeops, but you have better opportunity with them in the main Fireflow Volcano course.

    Durice

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    Shiver Snowfields

    Up next, it's out of the frying pan and into the ... frozen tundra? The Shiver Snowfields deliver plenty of ice types for you to photograph. Beartic and Swinub are pretty easy to spot, as is Mamoswine, but don't miss the Skarmory off in the distance. Nighttime visitors will have a shot at Delibird, Jynx, Vanilluxe, and Mightyena. Don't miss your chance to lure out an Alolan Sandslash when you see its well-camouflaged quills sticking out from the snow.

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    Outaway Cave

    Outaway Cave gives you lots of shots at Gengar, though few of them are truly great opportunities. The best way to get the ghastly ghost type on camera is to toss fluffruit into any swirling portals you see on walls or the floor. Always be on the lookout for bat Pokémon like Crobat and Noibat, as they're a pretty steady presence. As you descend deeper, keep a lookout for Croagunk singing their tunes.

    The Illumina Spot features a massive Steelix bursting through tunnels and leaping all around you. Simply snapping photos of it won't do you any good; you need to light it up with several Illumina Orbs before Professor Mirror will accept your shots. Come back after you accomplish your mission and you'll also spot Noibat, Carbink, and Sableye on the path. 

    Aurus

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    Ruins of Remembrance

    The final area of the main campaign is the Ruins of Remembrance. Here, your research culminates as you learn more about the Illumina phenomenon. Houndoom prowl as if to guard what lurks beneath the ground, while Salandit and Noivern welcome you to the subterranean setting. Once you enter the main room of the ruins, you can spot plenty of creatures, ranging from Chandelure and Natu to Sigilyph and Golurk. You can also encounter Absol, but your main focus is to light up all of the Crystabloom plants to progress the story – try nudging the Natu that's asleep on the Golurk's shoulders if you can't figure out how to get that last one to light up. Also, Jirachi is easy to miss, but it appears on top of one of the Illumina statues at higher research levels.

    The final Illumina Spot lets you chase down the grand prize: Xerneas. The Legendary Pokémon from Pokémon X teleports all around you as you do your best to snap photos of it. When you come back to the spot, Xerneas is joined by Pokémon like Woobat, Umbreon, Sigilyph, and more.


    For more on New Pokémon Snap, be sure to read our full review here and see our list of every Pokémon we've encountered (so far) here.

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