Editing Mario’s Tracks

Today: Hokko Life is both more and less than an Animal Crossing clone — Ubisoft goes full Tom Clancy in free-to-play game BattleCat — Got dreams of being in debt? SWERY65 makes them come true

Super Mario Kart track editor uncovered

SFX-DOS is missing some elements from the code leak

The track editor that the team at Nintendo used to build the original Super Mario Kart has been uncovered, and work has begun to restore its functionality.

The code was discovered in a prototype of Super Mario Kart that appeared online thanks to the so-called Nintendo Gigaleak, which included a significant amount of source code.

Vintage Nintendo: Nintendo used Super Famicom DOS to turn their development kits into workstations, and this unconventional toolchain has been partially restored using the leaked source code.

Trifecta of tools: “There are a few level editors in the game itself,” modder MrL314 told VGC. You can see the track editor on Twitter, while the other two let developers design AI checkpoint data and place objects like pipes and other level features.

What was the first Fire Emblem localized for Western audiences?

a) The Sacred Stones
b) Mystery of the Emblem
c) The Binding Blade
d) The Blazing Blade

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.

Pimp your game on Amiga and Atari

Someone at Sega hid a not-safe-for-work intro to Dynamite Düx in the Amiga and Atari versions, but you had to poke the word ‘DIRTY’ into memory location $1e20a to see it.

Sega’s very own 'GTA hot coffee' moment

The result is that Lucy and Shadow are only wearing little clothing, and the intro text changes to a less family-friendly alternative revealing how Bin and Pin were “playing” in the garden before an ‘evil pimp’ showed up and took Lucy away to his brothel, whereupon Bin and Pin followed them so they wouldn’t miss out on the action.

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

Hokko Life Review

Hokko Life is now available in Early Access on Steam

DEVELOPER: Wonderscope

VERSION TESTED: PC Early Access

Hokko Life isn't shy about being an Animal Crossing knock-off. From the moment you reach the village by train through being introduced to your animal neighbours and learning to fish and catch bugs, there is no doubt that this is Animal Crossing for PC. But is it an example of great artists stealing, or just a pale copy?

Your life in the village starts after you fall asleep on a train and end up at the final stop. The Inn's owner invites you to stay, and before you know it you're helping fix up the slightly run-down village while new neighbours arrive in a steady stream.

It's a nice little village and all, but it's impossible not to constantly compare it to Animal Crossing and its extremely studied charms. Hokko Life can't really offer up characters as rich as Tom Nook or Isabelle, nor does it feature the multiplayer mode that makes Animal Crossing more of a group activity than a solitary pursuit.

Hokko Life allows you to place objects and design your home to your hearts content

The design tools aren't just for show either: You actually use them to shape the village, by for example designing and building bridges to cross the river. Turns out building a bridge is harder than it sounds though, and you can actually mess up your design and end up with a useless bridge.

If you're not that interested in engineering bridges, Hokko Life can get a bit frustrating. It's not quite as casual as Animal Crossing, and requires you to invest a bit of effort in learning how to use its design tools in order to enjoy the game properly.

That's what makes Hokko Life more than just an Animal Crossing clone: The village truly becomes your creation, and it will become better and better the more you learn to master the tools at your disposal. If you want a more expressive Animal Crossing, then Hokko Life should satisfy you and earn a place of pride on rainy or otherwise lazy afternoons.

Hokko Life is still in early access and has some flaws, such as items being hard to retrieve if you put them in slightly weird places, but the foundation is solid and it has a lot of potential. It will be interesting to see how it grows, and whether it manages to free itself from Animal Crossing and become its own game in the end.

PROS:

  • Cozy Vibes
  • Helpful quality of life improvements
  • Designing adds a cool twist to the genre

CONS:

  • Wonky item placement
  • Designing things isn't always easy
  • Verges on plagiarizing Animal Crossing
7.5/10Recommended

Hokko Life is available now on PC. Publisher Team17 kindly provided a review code to DailyBits for free for the purposes of this review.

Ubisoft online shooter ‘BattleCat’ leaks

BattleCat: Splinter Recon Division

Some of Ubisoft's internal marketing documents recently leaked online, and appear to reveal an upcoming multiplayer first-person shooter for PC and consoles called BattleCat.

It's still in the early stages of development, probably too early to appear in this week's Ubisoft Forward event, but the details from the marketing plans certainly makes the game sound interesting.

Purrfect mix: It appears to mash up Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon and The Division into one giant Tom Clancy multiplayer universe featuring the Echelon, Wolves and Outcast groups from each series.

Free-to-purr: The document mentions two game modes: Escort and Ringleader, but does not say much about how they play. Ubisoft recently announced their intent to focus more on free-to-play games in the future, and BattleCat seems to be one of them.

Monster-taming Coromon also for Switch

Coromon has familiar turn-based monster battles

Freedom Games and TRAGsoft have announced a Pokémon-esque monster-taming game called Coromon, scheduled to launch on Switch in the first quarter of next year.

The game is set in the Velua region where humans and Coromon live in harmony, until a shady group attempts to unleash a dark power into the world. Only the player, a young hero, can stop them in time.

Gotta clone 'em all: “Together with your Coromon, you'll have to train, fight and puzzle your way through an adventure-filled world!" according to the developer. Coromon features cute pixel art, and you can check the game out right now.

Playable demo: You can download and play the demo on Steam, ahead of what the developers promise will be a “very special announcement” on June 14th during E3.

  • Golf Story developer Sidebar Games gives update on Sports Story that offers “first step to turning pro” in Wall Bounders
  • Oddworld Soulstorm rated for Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One, receiving a Teen rating
  • Japanese trailer for The Good Life by SWERY65 shows off his debt repayment RPG
  • Tetris Effect secret levels 1984 and 1989 for all as developers announce how to unlock them
  • Geoff Keighley teases new Gearbox Software IP that will be unveiled during the Summer Game Fest starting on June 10th

What was the first Fire Emblem localized for Western audiences?

Six games later, we finally got to play some Fire Emblem

ANSWER: The Blazing Blade!

Fire Emblem has been around since 1990, but it took 13 years to reach the West. The Blazing Blade was simply called Fire Emblem in North America and introduced Western audiences to the series’ distinct flavour of turn-based strategy with permadeath.

It was a critical darling and is widely considered one of the best games on Game Boy Advance, but it might never have made it to western shores if it wasn’t for Roy and Marth appearing in Smash Bros. Melee. They sparked an interest in Fire Emblem, and Nintendo reacted by bringing the venerable series to a whole new audience.

Today's issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Erlend Grefsrud, Simon Priest, and Jamie Davey. If you have any feedback or news tips for the team, please email us!