Nintendo 64DD Unboxed, Total War: Rome Remastered

Today: Restore glory to Rome with remastered Total War: Rome or lay waste to it in new Asterix & Obelix beat’em-up — Valve might do more Alyx — Ever wondered what a Nintendo 64DD dev kit looks like?

‘Last project’ for Final Fantasy creator

Upcoming iOS RPG Fantasian could be Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi’s final work.

Final Fantasy is Sakaguchi’s most notable work

“I think it is certainly possible that this could be my last project,” Sakaguchi told VGC, “and that was kind of in the back of my mind as we were developing it.” His team is currently finishing up the second part of Fantasian.

Old-school: Sakaguchi created Final Fantasy while working at Square, and directed the first five games in the series. He left Square in 2004 following the Enix merger and created Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey for Xbox with his new studio, Mistwalker.

Final Fantasian: “…I haven’t given much thought to the next steps for the company or where we want to go, and I think I could use a bit of vacation time in between now and whatever it is we do next,” he added. Fantasian is a JRPG with a world composed of beautifully hand-crafted miniatures.

Which company created the Rampage series?

a) Midway
b) Atari
c) Sega
d) Namco

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.

The art of gladiatorial combat

Lucasart’s tactical role-playing game Gladius puts you in charge of a gladiator school and tasks you with mastering the fine art of blood sports.

Gladius launched in 2003 for Xbox, GameCube and PlayStation 2

While not exactly successful at the time, Lucasarts clearly liked the idea enough to consider a sequel: James Zhang’s private website featured concept art labeled Gladius 2 from 2004, a year after the original was released.

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

Total War: Rome Remastered

Creative Assembly has teamed up with Feral Interactive to remaster Total War: Rome, and you can lead the imperial legions in late April.

The original Rome: Total War released in late 2004

“Remastered to 4K with multiple improvements to visuals as well as refinements to gameplay, it’s time to revisit a true classic,” boasts the Steam store page. The remastered edition includes the Alexander and Barbarian Invasion expansions, as well as the original game.

Highlights:

  • Optimized for 4K, supporting ultra-widescreen and native UHD resolutions
  • New art for units, buildings, objects and the campaign map
  • Environmental effects such as dust clouds and heat haze
  • Enhanced in-game camera with map rotation and wider zoom
  • Heat maps and new icon overlays for diplomacy and security
  • New tactical map, unit displays and range markers
  • Merchant agents can start trade routes and exploit resources
  • 16 additional campaign factions bringing the total up to 38
  • Cross-platform multiplayer between Windows, MacOS and Linux

When in Rome: If you already own the original version, you are eligible for a discount until May 31st. Make sure to watch the glorious swords-and-sandals-inspired live-action announcement trailer.

Nintendo 64 Disk Drive dev kit unboxed

Witness a historical unboxing as Rerez host Shane Luis unboxes a Nintendo 64 Disk Drive development kit.

By August 2000 Nintendo had effectively ditched 64DD

The Disk Drive was an ill-fated peripheral adding a magnetic disk drive to the Nintendo 64, a high-capacity read-and-write storage format. It suffered a number of delays before eventually launching in Japan in 1999, didn't shift a lot of units, and was discontinued in October 2000.

Future that never was: “Unfortunately this system was never used and the 64DD platform failed to take off. If the 64DD was a success who knows what might have happened!” Shane Luis tweeted. The entire kit is in Japanese except for the packaging, which is labeled in English.

Slice of history: You can find pictures of the unboxing on Shane Luis's Twitter feed and discover what sort of oddities were included with the development kit.

Render unto Caesar this autumn

The Gauls are growing restless once more and will get rid of that pent-up energy in beat'em-up Asterix & Obelix: Slap Them All for PC and consoles.

Give those legionaries a good slap

The game will revisit situations and locations from Goscinny and Uderzo's classic stories, and pit you against legions of hapless Roman Legionaries waiting to have their helmets collected. The gameplay footage in the trailer looks a lot like Konami's classic arcade game.

Respecting the source: "Mr Nutz Studio is in charge of developing Asterix and Obelix: Slap them All! and making this adventure as respectful to the original material as possible,“ according to publisher Microids. “The developers chose to go with an artistic direction very close to the comic book where the characters, the scenery and also the animations are hand-drawn".

Gameplay & Co-op: Asterix and Obelix: Slap them All will feature classic scrolling beat'em-up gameplay much like the recent Streets of Rage 4 and Battletoads, featuring two-player local co-op multiplayer.

Don't hold your breath for Alyx sequel

Valve is in no hurry to follow up Half-Life: Alyx according to Robin Walker: “I think hot on its heels might be a little bit optimistic.”

The legendary developer is famous for taking their sweet time, but they're also “really excited to keep going” since the fans were happy about the way the story is going.

Get tactical with Vail VR

AEXLAB is bringing their competitive virtual reality tactical shooter Vail VR to Steam, and you can already sign up for the closed alpha.

Grab Beyond a Steel Sky for the PC

Get ready for some point-and-click cyberpunk from masters of the craft Revolution Software in Beyond a Steel Sky, the long-awaited sequel to 1994 classic Beneath a Steel Sky, and it will also be coming to Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch later on this year

Beyond a Steel Sky uses 3D cel-shaded graphics

We have 5 Steam codes to give out this week, and all you need to do is check out our Beyond a Steel Sky page on Gleam. Winners will be revealed on Monday, good luck!

Which company created the Rampage series?

ANSWER: Midway!

TOTAL CARNAG- wait, wrong game.

Rampage isn't a particularly big name in games any longer, but it took arcades by storm in 1986 and helped the market regain credibility after the Atari crash three years earlier.

Designed by Brian Colin and Jeff Nauman, Rampage established Midway's trademark bombastic and tongue-in-cheek style, and the series kept going for quite a while with Rampage: World Tour, Rampage Through Time and Rampage: Total Destruction before Midway filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

Warner Bros. acquired the rights to Rampage, and produced a successful movie, but no more games have been announced – yet.

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