#33: An Offer You Sony Refuse

TODAY: Looks like this could finally be the year of Luigi — No-one expects the Ordo Xenos Inquisition – Can Oculus entice Sony into a VR game trade?

Top Story

Plants vs Zombies 3 revealed thanks to surprise Android release

Plants vs Zombies 3 is coming! Wanna feel old? It’s been 10 years since the original Plants vs Zombies launched on PC and promptly took over the world, getting ported to pretty much every platform known to man.

The sequel Plants vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time launched five years later and was probably very successful, even though no-one really got very excited about it since it was a free-to-play mobile game that didn’t exactly maintain the elegance of the first game.

Now EA and PopCap have officially revealed Plants vs Zombies 3 in the most surprising and either overwhelming or underwhelming possible fashion – then again, EA announced and released Apex Legends the very same day, so it’s not exactly out of character! Either way,Plants vs Zombies 3 just popped up on the Google Play store for Android, and if you’re one of the lucky few, you can try it right now.

Revenge of the lawn

EA revealed that a new Plants vs Zombies game was coming during an earnings call earlier this year, but everyone assumed it was the new Garden Warfare shooter we’ve heard rumours about for a while and not actually Plants Vs Zombies 3.

As reported by Android Police, the new game’s available as a pre-alpha on the Android store – but slots are limited, and you may not even get to see the store page depending on what country you’re in (we’re in the UK and just get an error message). It’s only an early build of the game, so there’s probably not that much exciting in there anyway. The only apparent change so far seems to be that sunflowers are missing, replaced by a sun-meter. Hope there aren’t too many drastic departures from the nearly perfect original!

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

DC Comics attempted their own Marvel Ultimate Alliance-style game once – what was it called?

  • Infinite Crisis
  • Justice League Heroes
  • Teen Titans
  • Gotham City Imposters

The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!

News Bits

Luigi’s Mansion 3 coming this Halloween

Being ardent Ghostbusters fans, one of our most anticipated games of the year is Luigi’s Mansion 3 for the Switch – and now we finally know when we’re going to get it! Nintendo has announced that the ghost-hunting extravaganza will be creeping us out at that most appropriately spooky time of the year, namely Halloween: October 31st.

Luigi’s Mansion 2 was one of the best sequels ever, so the same team should be able to harness the power of the Switch and deliver something special. Hopefully it won’t be too scary though, as we soil our pants easily.

Daily Fact

Marvel Ultimate Alliance is actually a spin-off of an X-Men game

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is out this week, exclusively for Nintendo Switch. This came as something of a surprise for long-time fans, since the Marvel Ultimate Alliance games have never been exclusives – not even in the distant past, when they were known by another name. You see, they are actually spin-offs – or rather hugely expanded versions of – the X-Men Legends series.

X-Men Legends 1 and 2 were released in 2004 and 2005 respectively, developed by Raven Software – who also made the first Marvel Ultimate Alliance, which came out in 2006! Blimey, three epic Marvel games in three years? Why hasn’t there been a single great MCU videogame?

Anyway, the gameplay of X-Men Legends was identical to Ultimate Alliance – except the MUA series expands the cast to include the entire Marvel universe, not just the X-Men. Sadly the X-Men Legends games have never been re-released, so there’s no way to play them nowadays. Boo.

Daily News

There’s a Warhammer 40K TV series in the works

Out of all the truly major franchises out there, it’s pretty surprising that one as huge and influential as Games Workshop’s Warhammer has never been adapted for cinema or television. Not even a tiny rumour of some script stuck in development hell. Warcraft has a movie. Doom has two. The Mars Attacks trading cards got a movie. Even John Malkovich got a movie. But neither Warhammer nor Warhammer 40,000? Lunacy.

Well, that’s about to change, thanks to Big Light Productions – the production company behind Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle – who is developing a Warhammer 40K TV series! According to Games Workshop’s very own Warhammer community site, the show will follow the exploits of Gregor Eisenhorn, a gruff Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos who hunts down demons for the God-Emperor of Mankind. Which sounds pretty awesome.

Innocence proves nothing

The production is spearheaded by Frank Spotnitz of X-Files and Man In The High Castle fame, who sounds about as excited to be working on it as we are to see it: “We are delighted to collaborate with Games Workshop to develop the beloved visionary world of Warhammer 40,000 into a TV series… There is nothing else like it on television, and we are incredibly excited to tap into our own experience creating imaginative, complex and compelling worlds to bring this incredible saga to the screen.”

While there have been plenty of Warhammer 40K videogames – including one about Inquisitor Eisenhorn himself, which unfortunately wasn’t very good – and a few animated fan films, this will be the first live-action adaptation of such a major franchise. It’s still going to be a while until it’s ready to go on air, but hey – there will probably be another hundred Warhammer 40K games to keep us occupied in the meantime.

Oculus will put its exclusives on PSVR, if Sony will do the same for them

It’s a weird time for VR, with all comers – apart from Microsoft – duking it out in an effort to secure a piece of what they believe is the future of gaming. Critics may argue that VR is not quite there yet: the high price, fragmented market and immature technology are all putting people off despite excellent Batman, Star Wars, Star Trek and even Rick and Morty games.

Oculus first-party gaming head Jason Rubin is hoping to change this. While he’s definitely a part of the exclusivity problem, it seems he wants to put Oculus games on Sony’s PlayStation VR – but only if Sony reciprocates, and puts at least some of their PS4-exclusive VR games on Oculus. Good luck with that…

Anyone see the movie Tron?

Speaking with Kotaku, Rubin – who was previously at Naughty Dog, so has a history with Sony – confirms that the team have thought about teaming up with Sony and exchanging exclusives. “I would love to make a trade with Sony,” Rubin said. “You know they have great stuff that they funded, and we have great stuff we’ve funded.”

It’s a long shot, but could we eventually see Oculus trade Phantom: Covert Ops, Stormland and Lone Echo II for Blood & Truth, Astro Bot, and even Iron Man VR from Sony? That would almost certainly help bring more customers to both products… but then again, Sony tends to keep its cards close to its chest, and its exclusives even closer. Don’t get your hopes up, Mr. Rubin.

News Bits

There’s a Space Invaders movie coming

Some people want to colonize Mars, others try to cure cancer – and Greg Russo just wants to bring Taito’s arcade classic Space Invaders to the silver screen. Thank you, Greg Russo, for giving us what we really need.

This is not the first time the good Mr. Russo – no relation to the brothers behind the Avengers movies – takes inspiration from the world of videogames, also being involved with adaptations of Mortal Kombat, Saint’s Row, and as a Resident Evil reboot. At least he’s a gamer…

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

DC Comics attempted their own Marvel Ultimate Alliance-style game once – what was it called?

Answer: Justice League Heroes!

The Marvel Ultimate Alliance series – which sees a third entry exclusively on Nintendo Switch this week – is really popular. Given the relative simplicity of their design, being little more than arcade-style beat’em-ups in 3D with a touch of Diablo, it’s a wonder more developers haven’t tried to rip them off – especially Marvel’s rival DC Comics.

Well, the home of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman did try – with Justice League Heroes, released in 2006 for PS2, Xbox, PSP and DS. It was okay, but paled in comparison to Marvel Ultimate Alliance and is still not available on any digital distribution channels.

As for the others? Infinite Crisis (other than being the name of the universe-shattering comics event of 2005) was a short-lived MOBA – which is arguably a little bit Ultimate Alliance-y – that failed to tempt anyone away from League of Legends.

Gotham City Imposters is a multiplayer shooter by Monolith – developers of No-One Lives Forever, F.E.A.R and Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor – that’s still alive and kicking to this day.

Teen Titans was a PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube game from 2006 which… okay, fine, it is actually a bit like Marvel Ultimate Alliance. If you answered that, give yourself half a point for cheekiness.

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