Dinosaur Planet 64 Released, BlizzCon Reveals Diablo 2 Remake

Today: Videogame archivists release Rare’s Dinosaur Planet online — Catch a killer in a future even worse than ours in Dry Drowning — Twitter doesn’t just play Pokémon Red, it even catches Mewtwo

All the news out of BlizzConline

Blizzard's annual BlizzCon event had to go online this year, but BlizzConline still offered everything a Blizzard fan could hope for: Six channels, each focusing on a series or genre as well as lots of new announcements including a pile of Diablo news.

Diablo II released in June 2000 with an expansion in 2001

BlizzConline round-up:

  • Diablo II: ResurrectedAnnounce Trailer

    That’s right, Blizzard is reviving its legendary action-RPG, complete with new 3D artwork. Diablo II: Resurrected is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X later this year

  • Diablo IVRogue Announce Trailer

    “The Rogue is the newest addition to the Diablo IV campfire, combining range and melee attacks with incredible speed and mobility. Prepare to slaughter hordes of the damned with imbued weapons and specialized attacks”

  • World of Warcraft: ShadowlandsChains of Domination – “Kingsmourne”

    This was inadvertently revealed late last week by a press kit that got sent out too early, but the trailer is well worth seeing. Face off against Sylvanas Windrunner and take to the skies with the new flight ability. There’s lots more too, so check out the full announcement

  • World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade ClassicAnnounce Trailer

    Burning Crusade Classic is the first expansion for World of WarCraft Classic, and takes you back beyond the dark portal to the Hellfire Peninsula where you will face Illidan the Betrayer, just like in 2007

  • Hearthstone: Forged in the BarrensCinematic Trailer

    A new core set of cards comprised of well-known classics alongside 20 new cards, and a ranking system. Forged in the Barrens also introduces the new Mercenaries mode where you build teams and embark on rogue-like missions, and will launch later this year.

  • Blizzard Arcade CollectionOfficial Launch Trailer

    Hark back to the early days of Blizzard with Lost Vikings, Rock N Roll Racing and Blackthorne, available now for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Switch

What was Lionhead Studio’s first game?

a) Dungeon Keeper
b) The Movies
c) Magic Carpet
d) Black and White

The answer will be revealed at the bottom of today's issue. Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss what the answer could be.

Too gruesome even for marketing execs

Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee had a rather gruesome Mukodon Pop logo featuring a severed Mukodon head on a stick, which was replaced by a significantly cuter variant in Japan.

The new logo featured prominently in New 'N' Tasty

Around the time Abe’s Odysee launched, Japan was rocked by the Kobe murders. The Japanese redesign replaced the grim original logo in all subsequent releases.

Join our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today's fact.

Persona 5 Strikers arrives in the West

Plenty of new and exciting games coming up this week, starting with Persona 5 Strikers finally reaching Western shores, while Yakuza: Like a Dragon is hitting a slew of new platforms.

Persona 5 Strikers is a cross-over spin-off with Dynasty Warriors

Tuesday – February 23rd

  • Curse of the Dead Gods for PC, Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Horned Knight for PlayStation 4
  • Persona 5 Strikers for PC, Switch, PlayStation 4
  • Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos for PC, Switch
  • We Were Here Series for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5

Wednesday – February 24th

  • Horned Knight for Xbox One

Thursday – February 25th

  • Cotton Reboot! for Switch, PlayStation 4
  • Darius Cozmic Revelation for Switch, PlayStation 4
  • Forward to the Sky for Switch
  • Ghosts 'n Goblins: Resurrection for Switch
  • Hellpoint for Switch
  • Wrath: Aeon of Ruin for PC, Mac, Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon for PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

Friday – February 26th

  • Bravely Default 2 for Switch
  • Horned Knight for PC, Switch

Rare’s extinct Dinosaur Planet ‘made free’

Dinosaur Planet, the Rare adventure for Nintendo 64 that became Star Fox Adventures on GameCube, has finally escaped onto the internet and that means you can finally try it out!

Dinosaur Planet was completely unrelated to Star Fox

Thanks to Nintendo historian Forest of Illusion, a late build of the Nintendo 64 version is freely available online. It’s remarkably near being a complete game, but there is still quite a bit missing.

Late to the party: “It seems to be quite a late build of the game which is great, but it will need some hacking to be fully playable to the end,” according to Forest of Illusion. The game ROM was acquired from a Swedish collector, who presumably owns a preview cartridge.

Dinosaur to Fox: “Expect many graphical issues with shadows and lighting, and some slowdown. It should however, work perfectly fine with flashcarts.” Some flashcart users report weird behaviour, so the community will most likely have to do some serious restoration work to bring Dinosaur Planet back from extinction.

Dry Drowning Review

Developed By: Studio V

Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch

Visual novels are perfect for handheld consoles, as classics like Phoenix Wright, Danganronpa and Zero Escape have proven. There’s nothing quite like having a mystery to make the hours fly by while travelling. Dry Drowning originally launched on PC in 2019, but now it has finally made its way to Switch, arguably a more fitting home. Are you ready for some darkness?

You play the disgraced detective Mordred in the rather dystopic Nova Polemos. After he falsified evidence to close the Pandora serial killer case, our antihero’s agency is falling apart and his assistant Hera is crippled with guilt. Pandora is still on the streets, still committing murders inspired by Greek myth.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the authoritarian political party Black Bands is reviving a particularly horrific brand of nationalism, and the story is not just a murder mystery but also a portrait of life under an oppressive regime.

In the future, we all dress like we’re in Blade Runner.

Dry Drowning is quite portentiously executed with its heavy noir style and slightly overwrought prose, but the art and gameplay are quite impressive and the game pulls off its tense, uncomfortable narrative with some flair.

Your goal is to solve the Pandora murders by investigating crime scenes, interrogating witnesses and suspects and uncovering their lies. When people lie, their faces turn into weird masks, which is literally how Mordred sees people when they lie. It’s neat, but not entirely successful. Fortunately, there’s a lot of puzzles apart from the interrogations, and there’s plenty of variation. Imagine dark Phoenix Wright with a Telltale-esque approach to storytelling, with more choices.

The game loses some of its urgency by not allowing you to fail or mess up in any way. If you screw up an interrogation, you just get to try again. The story is still interesting, but the tension eventually drains away since errors don’t have any consequences. On the other hand, your choices actually do matter.

The team includes developers who worked on Halo and Destiny

Your choices actually have an impact on the story, and there are several branches to follow through the game. Characters also reflect on the choices, and while choices can be a bit heavy-handed, most of them genuinely attempt to present you with dilemmas rather than obviously right and wrong choices.

The port is well-executed, and the game looks great in handheld mode. The text is a bit small and would benefit from options to increase the text size – it can be hard to read even if you have perfect eyesight. Dry Drowning’s writing doesn’t make a great first impression, but if you let the atmosphere win you over, the investigation is fun and the setting is interesting. The choices might be basic, but they make the game worth playing more than once, unlike most visual novels. If you like the idea of investigating murders in a grim cyberpunk future, you’ll enjoy Dry Drowning.

PROS:

  • Nice variety of puzzles
  • Tense and stylish
  • Moody atmosphere

CONS:

  • Puzzles are a bit simple
  • The prose borders on purple
  • Hard to read text in handheld mode
7/10Good

Dry Drowning is available now on the Nintendo Switch. Publisher Vigamus Leonardo kindly provided a Nintendo Switch review code to DailyBits for free for the purposes of this review.

Pumpkin Jack codes for PS4 or Switch

We’re giving away five copies of the spooky 3D platformer Pumpkin Jack from indie developer Nicolas Meyssonnier. Should you be one of the lucky few then we’ll give you the option of picking between a PlayStation 4 or a Nintendo Switch code for the game.

Pumpkin Jack released October 2020 on PC

To be within a chance to a win all you need to do is follow our Twitter account @DailyBitsGaming and visit our official website. Doing both gives you two entries for double the chance! Check out the Pumpkin Jack Giveaway to learn more.

What was Lionhead Studio’s first game?

ANSWER: Black and White!

Find out who you really are...

No other game is as emblematic of Lionhead as Black & White. Released in 2001 after over three years in development and several delays, the spectacularly hyped god game had it all: Giant cows, morality, very English humour and sky-high expectations.

While players (at least those who had beefy computers) loved the groundbreaking artificial intelligence and the unique game mechanics, Black & White also served as an early warning that Peter Molyneux couldn’t always be trusted to tell the whole truth. Messy and buggy but beautiful: Very much the essence of Lionhead’s early efforts. Will we ever see anything like it again?

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Today's issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Erlend Grefsrud, Simon Priest, and Jamie Davey.