#9: Gaming Deals and Breathtaking Moments…

We’re back, honestly, sorry about not being able to send out yesterday’s issue! Unfortunately we were prevented from sending out our e-zine because we placed a picture of Geralt of Rivia, from The Witcher 3, with not so many clothes on in a bath tub…This resulted in an issue with our email provider, which ended up making it impossible for us to send out anything yesterday as we raced to get it resolved. We would show you the image we intended to use, but then, well, we’d have a bit of a Groundhog Day problem…

Today we’ve got the very best gaming deals from around the web, there’s confirmation that The Honey Bee Inn cross-dress event will return in the Final Fantasy VII Remake, and could a new Homeworld game be in development at Gearbox? All of this is in today’s issue, but this time with even more clothes!

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

How many Legend of Zelda games have Ganon or Ganondorf as the primary villain?

  • 4
  • 5
  • 7
  • 9

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

News Bits

Fans clamor for Breathtaking! achievement in Cyberpunk 2077

The now-infamous “you’re breathtaking!” moment from Microsoft’s E3 2019 press conference – when Keanu Reeves’ role in Cyberpunk 2077 was revealed moments before he pranced onto the stage – has thousands of fans petitioning. Why? They think the 100 percent completion trophy should be named ‘YOU’RE BREATHTAKING!’

World of Warcraft 8.2 update ‘Rise of Azshara’ out June 25

The next big slice of update pie for World of Warcraft is coming June 25. It’s called Rise of Azshara and will be revising some of WoW’s Battle for Azeroth wonkiness, as well as featuring two new zones to frolic in, a new dungeon and eventually a brand-new a raid. There’s also equipment for mounts and flight for those who undertake a series of challenges.

Daily Fact

Sonic the… rabbit? Too slow. How about a hedgehog?

The life of a certain blue, running-shoes-wearing hedgehog could have turned out very differently. The character was originally envisioned as a rabbit that would defeat enemies by using his ears to pick up objects and throw them. Only one problem: it ruined the speed!

The goal was to keep the player on the move, and simplify the control scheme to keep the action fast and fluid. The development team racked their brains to develop a character that could maintain speed with minimal button presses, and ideally take out enemies just by jumping. What if the character rolled into a ball to smash through enemies instead?

Tails the loveable sidekick fox started out as Necktie the giraffe (not really)

Thus, Sonic the Armadillo was born. No wait, how about Mr. Needlemouse? Or maybe Hedgehog would be better? Yes, Sonic the Hedgehog because hedgehogs can roll up into balls and attack with their spiky quills. It also helped he was way easier to animate with less processing needed to just speed along, roll up and jump on enemies and through the level. Bunny ears cost too much!

Mr. Needlemouse eventually became Supersonic (because he was fast), but since an embarrassing number of early 16-bit games were named Super Something-or-other, the team eventually settled on the short and snappy Sonic.

Sonic the Hedgehog debuted in June 1991 for the SEGA Megadrive / Genesis, and later games would eventually make Sonic super again if he collected enough Chaos Emeralds.

Weekly Deals

What are ya buyin’?

It’s Wednesday already and once again, we’ve selected the hottest deals on the gaming market for you. It’s a good week for Xbox and PC gamers, but there are a few cheeky bargains for PS4 and Switch fans too. With free weekends for recently released titles, free DLCs and probably the best deal we’ll ever see on the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, it may be time to reach for your wallet!

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (Xbox One/PC) £1.00 @ Microsoft

Insurgency: Sandstorm (PC) Free to Play from 20th – 24th June @ Steam

Gears of War 4 (Xbox One/PC) £2.99 @ CDKeys

Cities: Skylines – Pearls From The East DLC (PS4/Xbox One/PC) Free @ CDKeys

Fallout 4 GOTY (PC) £11.05 @ Gamivo

Bayonetta (PC) £3.44 @ Fanatical

Cadence of Hyrule – Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda (Nintendo Switch) £20.12 @ Instant Gaming

You may have noticed one very new title in our list this week. Cadence of Hyrule only released on June 13th but we’ve already found a sweet deal that is cheaper than it’s eShop price. With regards to the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, it’s worth bearing in mind that the Ultimate upgrade will stack on your current subscription, making this deal even better!

Daily News

The Witcher 3 on Switch gets “a bit less foliage” and shorter draw distance

CD Project RED has revealed their magic optimization formula: simply clear up ‘a bit of foliage’ and make Geralt of Rivia slightly more near-sighted, and wham-bang, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt runs on Nintendo Switch!

There are noticeable changes to the UI and player interactions, but the overall experience will be the same, judging by what UI Coordinator Alvin Liu told VGC. Draw distance won’t be as generous as on Xbox One or PS4, and certainly not as crazy as mods can make it on PC.

Shrubberies get pruned, but adventure doesn’t

”Right now there’s a bit less foliage and some of draw the distances are lower… but it still looks amazing. I was very impressed. Unless you pointed a lot of changes out to me I probably wouldn’t have noticed them,” said Alvin Liu.

CD Projekt RED teamed up with Saber Interactive for the Switch version. “You’ll get the full Witcher 3 and all expansions. We’re not really cutting anything,” they added. That means you’ll be subjected to Roach and his horse shenanigans, your inventory will be overburdened, and the witcher himself will be as brooding as ever.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt releases on Nintendo Switch later in 2019, physically and digitally.

The Honey Bee Inn cross-dress returns in Final Fantasy VII Remake

Don’t panic! Game director Tetsuya Nomura can confirm that the Cloud’s cross-dressing antics at the Honey Bee Inn is present and correct in the Final Fantasy VII Remake. Frankly, what would be the point of a remake without it?

Quick summary of new details revealed in an interview published by Famitsu:

  • The black mist in the Remake trailer was the ‘watchmen of fate’, an all-new addition to the story
  • Increased amount of dialogue since you will have more choices with more varied responses
  • Honey Bee Inn and its infamous cross-dressing event is back in the Remake, but it’s been modernised for less ‘physical unease’
  • Despite the story remaining the same, there are plenty of new and surprising events
  • Aerith and Tifa are a western and eastern-style duo of heroines, and Tifa is packing some abs along with a ‘tightened chest’ so as not to distract during intense action
  • Combat is supposed to be less stressful, since emphasis is on immersion. Opening the command menu slows time, making it more like a traditional command-based battle system
  • New enemies have been designed to match the level design tweaks. We can only pray that Hell House still makes an appearance

Final Fantasy VII Remake releases on PlayStation 4 March 3, 2020.

A new Homeworld? Gearbox says they’re “building a future for the franchise”

There hasn’t been much news about Homeworld for a while, but at PAX East Gearbox’s Publishing head honcho Steve Gibson revealed that they are “building a future for the franchise” and are “really excited” to share something in the future.

The original Homeworld was developed by Relic Entertainment and released back in September 1999, with a sequel following in 2003. Both were included in the Homeworld Remastered Collection that Gearbox launched in February 2015, after purchasing the IP from THQ in 2013.

Passing the plasma torch

An expansion called Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak was developed by Blackbird Interactive and published in January 2016. A prequel to the first Homeworld, Deserts of Kharak departed from the fully-3D style of the earlier games and offered a more trypical RTS experience. It was received rather well by fans, and since then the question has been: What’s next?

Gearbox is only teasing for now, but developer Blackbird has been hiring new programmers for a “campaign gameplay role on a major project.” The new responsibilities of this junior coder? “…unit goals and behaviors, weapons and combat, inventory, some light AI, upgrades, etc.”

Nothing was announced at E3 2019, but Gamescom takes place in Cologne between August 21-24, and since the Germans are famously enthusiastic about strategy games, something might be revealed there.

Breath of the Wild 2 is happening because the team’s ideas were too big for DLC

E3 2019 has come and gone, and one of the biggest announcements at the show was undoubtedly Nintendo revealing a sequel to its critically acclaimed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Unveiled at the very end of the Nintendo Direct E3 show, Breath of the Wild 2 is probably not coming any time soon – and it has us very excited.

Kotaku spoke to long-time Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma about the game, especially about why Nintendo are choosing to make Breath of the Wild 2 rather than a new, original Zelda title. Apparently it comes down to the team having exciting new ideas for Breath of the Wild DLC that were, well, too exciting.

Wild Things

“DLC is pretty much data—you’re adding data to a preexisting title,” explains Aonuma. “And so when we wanted to add bigger changes, DLC is not enough, and that’s why we thought maybe a sequel would be a good fit… Initially we were thinking of just DLC ideas, but then we had a lot of ideas and we said, ‘This is too many ideas, let’s just make one new game and start from scratch.’”

There are already two expansions for the first Breath of the Wild: The Master Trials and The Champion’s Ballad, which both came out in 2017. While they added new challenges, outfits, stories, and even a motorbike, clearly that wasn’t enough for Nintendo.

While Breath of the Wild 2 does not have a release date or even an official title, if it’s anything like the giant, expansive, open-world original, we’ll be in for a long wait.

Alpha Protocol pulled from stores because SEGA no longer owns the music

If you haven’t heard of Alpha Protocol, it’s an unusual RPG from Obsidian – the developers of Fallout: New Vegas, Pillars of Eternity, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2, and upcoming The Outer Worlds.

While most RPGs are based on a fantasy, science-fiction, post-apocalyptic or other fantastic setting (like the rest of the games we just mentioned), Alpha Protocol is a bit more unique – a James Bond-style spy RPG.

Alpha Protocol lets you play whatever James Bond you like – suave, shoots first, brawler, bearded, even George Lazenby. It was a little janky and a bit unfinished, but the novelty of the experience got it a cult following. Sound fun? Well, you missed your chance, because it’s just been pulled from all digital stores.

Music Licence To Kill

Originally spotted by GameWatcher, the Steam version disappeared from sale with the notice “at the request of the publisher, Alpha Protocol is no longer available for sale on Steam. ” After the site got in touch with SEGA, the publisher responded with “following the expiry of Sega’s publishing rights for Alpha Protocol, the title has been removed from Steam and is no longer on sale. ”

While that lead many to presume that the rights for the game had reverted to Obsidian (who are now owned by Microsoft), leading to the hope that Alpha Protocol 2 may actually happen.

Sadly, Eurogamer killed that hope dead when they revealed that the SEGA spokesperson made a mistake – it’s actually the music licensing rights that have expired, not publishing. So SEGA still owns the IP, don’t want to do anything with it, and now they can’t even sell it because of a couple of songs on the soundtrack. Terrific.

News Bits

Take-Two muses on ‘shorter’ initial GTAs, longer post-content

Any fan of the Grand Theft Auto series knows the painful wait between entries. A handful of teases could drop and then BAM – two year drought. Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick reckons future GTAs will arrive faster, but likely a bit shorter on content, and expand more after launch. An acceptable trade? Rockstar cancelled GTA5’s DLC, favouring GTA Online.

Want to play Mass Effect 2 in first-person?

Mass Effect 2 is one of the best sci-fi RPG-shooters, if not one of the best games ever period, and the only downside is that it’s not a first-person game. Well, now a group of modders have changed that! You can now play the second and best Mass Effect with third-person combat and first-person exploration, just like Bioware’s latest game Anthem! Wait, is that a good thing?

You can summon your car in Cyberpunk 2077 the same way you summon your horse in Witcher 3

We’ve no idea how advanced technology will get in the next 60 years, but we do know one thing: you’ll be able to call your car by just whistling. Well, in Cyberpunk 2077 anyway. According to an interview at VG247 with lead quest designer Pawel Sasko, your car acts just like your ol’ equestrian buddy Roach: Just whistle, and it will gallop, er, motor eagerly towards you so you can get in. Then get stuck on a house. Dammit, car!

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

How many Legend of Zelda games have Ganon or Ganondorf as the primary villain?

Answer: 7!

There are 27 games in the Legend of Zelda franchise, with 19 of those being core, mainline games. Despite being the arch-villain of the series – the Bowser of Zelda, if you will – Ganon or Ganondorf (his human aspect) features in only seven of those games – and it’s debatable whether it’s really him in one of them.

The games are – deep breath now! – The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and Breath of the Wild. The debatable one is Zelda II: While Ganon is an ever-present threat, he’s dead and gone throughout the game, and the final boss is Dark Link instead. Still, that’s not bad going for the king of all evil!

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