#30: Marvel Ultimate Alliance Week

TODAY: Game Freak rebuilds Pokémon models in Sword and Shield – Heavy Rain revolutionised the adventure genre, and we tell you why you should check it out on PC – Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 gets hero DLC after this week’s release

Top Story

Game Freak ‘forced to rebuild’ Pokémon models in Sword & Shield

Some fans had got suspicious that developer Game Freak had simply lifted Pokémon from the Nintendo 3DS titles for the new Nintendo Switch adventure Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield. The studio reveals that actually they had to rebuild the Pokémon models.

The 3DS models for the Pokémon simply wouldn’t work right for the Switch title, and so its team had to craft them again from scratch. That isn’t to say the actual animations themselves haven’t been ‘copied’ across, but the models are definitely fresh. Any of the Dynamaxing or Gigantamaxing Pokémon are of course made specifically for Sword & Shield.

You can’t animate ‘em all – just the good ones

The information came from an interview in Japanese magazine Famitsu, and was summarised on Reddit. Fans had already been troubled by the news of Pokémon Sword & Shield’s roster of available Pokémon in the game missing hundreds of already established critters. The reason is that it would be overwhelming for the studio to include the almost 1000 strong Pokémon species and forms. Having to redo the Pokémon models from scratch killed any chance of getting them all in.

Game Freak isn’t abandoning those Pokémon not included in Sword & Shield and have every intention of revisiting them in future titles, they said. They described it as ‘bringing them on a trip’ going forward in the series, and that some ‘aren’t interested’ in visiting certain regions. Pokémon Sword & Shield releases November 15, 2019 for Nintendo Switch.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which game series preceded and influenced Marvel Ultimate Alliance?

  • Marvel Super Heroes
  • Justice League Heroes
  • X-Men: Children of the Atom
  • X-Men Legends

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

News Bits

Greedfall takes us back to the 17th century this September 2019

Spiders – the studio not the arachnid – are busy developing their new fantasy RPG Greedfall, which is set during the 17th century. Colonial forces from major powers discover an island paradise, only it’s filled with magic and monsters. Do you aid the natives and push back empires, or aggressively ‘civilise’ this new land whatever the cost. Greedfall is out September 10, 2019 for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 might be arriving October 4 for Switch

There’s only a vague Q4 2019 release officially attached to Nintendo’s Luigi’s Mansion 3 right now, but if Amazon Mexico has it right then expect it to launch October 4, 2019. The Mexican version of the online retailer has leaked accurate dates before. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is coming to Nintendo Switch and features co-op where a friend can control the spooky and gelatinous Gooigi.

Daily Fact

Dragon Quest – a Japanese cultural phenomenon and truanter of children

The Dragon Quest series is a huge goliath within Japan. Not only has it been said to have inspired many other well-known franchises, like Final Fantasy and even Pokémon, but there are actual restaurants themed around Dragon Quest lore. It’s considered the Japanese ‘national game’.

An urban myth persists to this day since Dragon Quest III, that the franchise is so popular Japan made it illegal to launch a new Dragon Quest during the work week. While certainly amusing to think a single game series has that much appeal, it’s actually not true. There was a report of over 300 schoolchildren caught for truancy following Dragon Quest III’s launch however, as they waited in stores to buy it. Rumours also claim productivity dips around a new game’s release.

A situation involving a string of muggings of Dragon Quest games did draw enough attention from Japanese authorities that the matter was discussed in the Diet, but no law was passed. Where’s a travelling hero trained in the turn-based arts when you need them?

Game Spotlight

Heavy Rain on PC makes us wonder why it wasn’t there in the first place

(Quantic Dream – PC/PS4)

At the weekend we had an Early Look spotlight on The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan, the latest horror adventure from the Until Dawn team at Supermassive. Supermassive, Telltale (The Walking Dead), Dontnod (Life is Strange) and other similar consequence-based adventure games owe a debt to Quantic Dream and Heavy Rain – which is out now on PC for the first time, so it’s given us a chance to revisit it.

Heavy Rain originally released on PS3 in 2010, and while a few elements of it are routinely mocked online (JASON!) it changed the adventure game forever – from the point-and-click puzzlers with linear stories to tales based around choice and consequences. While Quantic Dream’s earlier games Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy and Omikron/The Nomad Soul laid the foundation, Heavy Rain (the studio’s first game without two titles) was a revelatory experience.

Press X to Jason

Heavy Rain revolves around four playable protagonists – troubled father Ethan Mars, private detective Scott Shelby, FBI agent Norman Jayden, and journalist Madison Paige. Their lives intersect thanks to a serial killer called the Origami Killer, who they’re all investigating in some way. They’re all also suffering from their own issues – you start the game as Ethan Mars, whose son Jason is killed in a car accident (admittedly, possibly the silliest moment in the game). He’s crippled with depression over it, and things go from bad to worse when the Origami Killer kidnaps his other son Shaun.

In terms of gameplay, you directly control one of these characters at a time within a set location. You can examine a lot of things in the environment and talk to key characters there, and you can usually interact with a lot of things too. There are always multiple actions you can take, and whether you succeed or fail at them – there will be consequences. Whether one character treats you better, or you find a key piece of evidence, or someone dies – it’s all on you, and it’s awesome.

Like Tears in the Rain

The story is a little bit Telltale-like, in that the player has a lot of influence on how the story plays out – but not so much influence on where it goes. The Origami Killer will always be the same person every time, despite the game’s excellent attempts to suggest that all the characters could be the murderer – so if you’ve had the identity spoiled for you at some point in the last 9 years it’ll take the shock out a bit.

Regardless, it’s still a tight tale told in a fascinating way – we particularly like how time passing is measured in inches of rainfall. In general it’s been adapted to PC well, with a combination of direction keys (WASD), mouse button presses and movements. It’s not quite as tight as a gamepad (which is supported, but not the default) but in general it worked fine – despite the odd silly moment where we failed to kneel down or pick up a magazine.

Heavy Rain is well worth picking up if you haven’t played it, especially if you like games such as The Walking Dead, Life is Strange or Until Dawn. While the voice acting and the odd writing blip (JASON!) leave a little to be desired, it’s a unique game that revolutionized the adventure genre – for better or for worse…

Daily News

Gears 5 doesn’t have Season Pass or loot box cooties

The upcoming Gears 5 from developer The Coalition and Xbox Game Studios won’t be offering any Season Pass for the third-person shooter. They’re also kicking loot boxes to the curb so it’s not going to support the slot machine-like mechanic.

However there will be microtransactions, but at least they’re honest ones because you’ll be able to directly purchase the digital items you want without the randomness and redundancy. Certain content for the game is exclusively earnable – so you can’t break out the wallet for it.

There’ll be no ‘surprise mechanics’ here

Additionally they’ll be keeping weapon stats the same for both single-player and multiplayer in Gears 5, unlike in Gears of War 4. No need to put down your favourite implement of despatching hostiles between the two anymore because of a difference in ‘tuning’. Servers are also going to operate at 60Hz meaning your trigger finger skills are going to matter.

Gears 5’s new main character is Kait Diaz who is of Locust descent and she’s trying to undercover the origins of her family. Long-time fans might be happy to see Marcus Fenix returning to the series, alongside his son JD Fenix and Delmont Walker. Gears 5 releases on PC and Xbox One September 10, 2019.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order DLC roster revealed

There’s already a plethora of notable characters to choose from in this week’s Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order when it hits Nintendo Switch on July 19. More are on the way as part of the $20 expansion pass, and those secrets have already been spilled.

Each of the DLCs is expected to introduce new characters as well as fresh ‘story content’ alongside them. You won’t be able to purchase these individually though, as you’ll need to fork over the price for the complete expansion pass as they take the all-you-can-eat buffet approach.

I am Groot

The DLCs will include more X-Men, Fantastic Four and Marvel Knights heroes. There’s a special alternate-colour chef outfit for Deadpool if you get the expansion pass. The core game already includes many big names like Captain America, Deadpool, Doctor Strange, Groot and Rocket Raccoon, Hawkeye, Hulk, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Star-Lord, Thor, Wolverine and many more.

There are as many bosses as playable characters and about half as many non-playable background fillers. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is made by Team Ninja and releases exclusively this week for Nintendo Switch.

News Bits

Red Candle Games apologises over “art asset incident” in Devotion

The game Devotion, which had received critical praise, got into some hot water with Chinese gamers and especially Chinese authorities due to an “art asset incident” involving Chinese leader Xi Jinping and a Winnie-the-Pooh internet meme. Red Candle Games have apologised for the “critical and unprofessional error” and might re-release Devotion in the future.

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled getting boost for Nintendo Switch

There’s much to love about Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled but there’s wrinkle for Nintendo Switch owners of the game because load times are a bit tedious. Thankfully new patch notes reveal the Switch has its own ‘boost mode’ that CTR will take advantage of to help trim the wait. It will temporarily overclock the Switch CPU thanks to a console update in May.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which game series preceded and influenced Marvel Ultimate Alliance?

Answer: X-Men Legends!

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is out this week for Nintendo Switch, so we’re having a Marvel Games week at Dailybits! While there have been three games now in the Marvel Ultimate Alliance series, the first game was actually an expanded sequel to the two X-Men Legends games created by Raven Software – who also made the first Marvel Ultimate Alliance, which had very similar gameplay to X-Men Legends!

Marvel Super Heroes and X-Men: Children of the Atom were actually both games that did something similar to X-Men Legends, except they inspired a different popular Marvel series – Marvel Vs Capcom! They’re both Marvel beat-em-ups made by Capcom, made before the first MVC – what a history! And Justice League Heroes is, of course, a DC Comics game and not Marvel – although it was DC’s take on the Marvel Ultimate Alliance gameplay style. It wasn’t as good…

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