#105: Nintendo Following Disney’s Lead?

TODAY: Postal 4 lives up to fan expectations, but probably no-one else’s — Bethesda has decided that Fallout 76 fans aren’t paying enough — Got a Valve Index? Might want to hold off on Borderlands 2 VR!

Top Story

Nintendo doesn’t want to be like Disney

Despite the considerable difference between their corporate structures, Disney and Nintendo have some basic similarities: Both are family-friendly companies who have been around for a very long time through ups and downs, and their core business revolves around a stable of highly recognizable mascots – and they’re both in the theme park business!

Nintendo is currently constructing a theme park in Japan, and they have finally gotten back into the movie business as well, starting with a brand new Super Mario movie. Does this mean Nintendo is taking cues from the House of Mouse to sustain their success and grow even more? Not quite, according to Nintendop president Shuntaro Furukawa.

When You Wish Upon a Switch

In an interview with TIME magazine, Furukawa denied that Nintendo looked to Disney as a model: “We’ve never tried to imitate any other company,” he said. “The idea of using our IP in things like theme parks or movies is simply an extension of the philosophy we’ve had all along.”

Whether or not Nintendo is trying to be more like Disney, the things they have in common seems to be both companies’ greatest strengths. The Super Nintendo World theme park will open next year in Universal Studios, Japan. If anyone knows how to get tickets for the opening, we’re all ears!

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which of these fictitious diseases do NOT appear in Theme Hospital?

  • Slack Tongue
  • Infectious Laughter
  • Broken Heart
  • Mucky Feet

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

News Bits

Two Point Hospital on consoles delayed to 2020

Two Point Hospital, the spiritual successor to Theme Hospital, was released on PC in 2018 to high acclaim – but the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch versions have just been delayed until 2020.

“We want to make sure we deliver a game that can be enjoyed to the fullest on all platforms,” said game director Mark Webley. “This means we will need a little bit more time to optimise the game to ensure the best possible experience across all platforms.”

Daily Fact

Monolith Productions has only ever had one successful sequel

Criminally overlooked developer Monolith Productions – no, not the makers of Xenoblade, the other Monolith – are celebrating 25 years of game development this month. During its quarter-century in existence, the developer has knocked out some of the finest games ever made: Blood, F.E.A.R., Condemned and Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor to name a few – but the one thing the studio struggles to do is satisfying sequels.

While all the sequels to the games just listed were a bit disappointing, No One Lives Forever 2 was even better than the pretty fantastic original. It featured spectacular set-pieces, such as a fight against ninjas in a trailer park that gets hit by a tornado, making it a shame that it’s so difficult to play the No One Lives Forever games today, since they’ve stood the test of time remarkably well.

In any case, No One Lives Forever 2 remains Monolith’s only worthwhile sequel yet, and much like Valve they’ve never managed to produce a third game in any of their series. Oh, and yes – Aliens Vs Predator 2 is pretty amazing too, but Monolith didn’t make the first one, so the point still stands!

Game Spotlight

Postal 4 continues to deliver, for fans

(Running With Scissors – PC)

We need to get this out of the way early on… there are some games that you can recommend to absolutely anyone due to their sheer quality. Postal 4 is not one of those games, but it’s also not trying to be the perfect game for everyone. The target market for the Postal series seems as though it has been designed specifically with twelve year olds in mind, but that’s part of the charm that made the series popular in the first place. If you don’t understand what we mean, check out the trailer for Postal 4 before reading the rest of this Spotlight. When you see just how janky the developers have made the game look in the trailer, this is the aesthetic that they are going for because they know this is what their fans truly want.

Postal 4 is set years after the devastating events of Postal 2 which saw the destruction of the town named Paradise. Only two survivors remained after the carnage: Postal Dude and his Pitbull Terrier, Champ. Not long after having all of his possessions stolen following a brief gas station rest stop, Postal Dude finds a new home at the dazzling town of Edensin. At the heart of every Postal game is a sandbox waiting to be explored, and that has not changed in Postal 4. If you need something more constructive to do, players are tasked with completing a set of errands and side quests to unlock a myriad of rewards.

Running With Scissors, the developers of the Postal series, aren’t the type of people to succumb to the complaints of numerous parents who believe this game should be banned. While the developers haven’t toned down the violence in Postal 4, they have included pacifist options to avoid actually murdering anyone. There are brand new ammo types featured in the game to support peaceful confrontations, though the developers specifically state that these are less peaceful and are more on the side of non-lethal confrontations. Please don’t take this to mean that the series has turned ‘soft’, that couldn’t be further from the truth. This is the same game that allows you to pour gasolene over people while sending your army of dogs to tear those same people to shreds.

There are still plenty of features to come to Postal 4

Postal 4 has been built using Unreal Engine 4, finally bringing the Postal series into the modern age. We had no problems running the game on our PC (3900X & RTX 2080), but that is to be expected with a powerful machine. There have been reported issues of the game not performing well on systems that aren’t using a quad core CPU, so be aware of this before heading to buy a copy for yourself. Speaking of changes, Rick Hunter, the original voice actor of Postal Dude, was not available for this role so the developers brought in Jon St. John (known for his role as Duke Nukem) to take over. If you are going for over-the-top silliness, you might as well go all in by having Duke Nukem’s voice actor as the star of the show.

It’s important to remember that Postal 4 is an Early Access title, meaning there is plenty of room for the game to improve. Our time in the Arizona sandbox was met with a whole lot of walking around in search for things to do. The town of Edensin is surprisingly large, but the amount of space available certainly hasn’t been utilised correctly. This current build of Postal 4 features only a quarter of the planned final world, so that should give you an idea of how big this game will be by the time it reaches its full release.

The developers specifically built the game via the Steam Early Access route as they wanted to reward fans for showing their support on day one. Postal 4 could have easily become a Kickstarter title, but the developers wanted to show off the gameplay before coming to the community for money. Postal 4 will most likely be in an Early Access state for the foreseeable future. Running With Scissors has posted their roadmap of the features they want to implement and a rough timescale of when they’ll be added. To give you an idea of how involved the developers have been since the game launched last week, Postal 4 has already received five patches to add new features to the game in addition to bug fixing and engine optimisation.

With plenty of features still to come from the developers, there’s enough in this Early Access build to know exactly what you will be getting with Postal 4. The game is in a barebones state right now, but the developers are slowly adding pieces to each week that will see Postal 4 become the biggest Postal game yet. Right now you can purchase Postal 4 on Steam for £13.94 until October 28th. You can expect the price of the game to rise closer to the game’s launch as features are added, so if you want to buy Postal 4 for the cheapest price possible, now is the best time.

Daily News

Bethesda introduces a $100 Premium subscription service for Fallout 76

Fallout 76 has had a rough time since its release last year: Terrible reviews, declining player counts, weird bag controversies – it took a heavy toll on the goodwill of the fan base. Since then Bethesda has been working to regain trust by updating Fallout 76 with new content, and proper NPCs and stories are finally arriving next year.

Now it seems Bethesda wants their hard work to pay off, since they just introduced a $100 premium subscription model called Fallout 1st. For the low price of $99.99 a year, or $12.99 a month, you can gain access to a bunch of premium Fallout 76 content. What a deal!

While Fallout 1st offers some features that understandably cost extra, such as private servers where up to 8 players can enjoy their own little adventures together, there is also exclusive content like the iconic Ranger outfit from Fallout: New Vegas. It just feels a bit shady.

So do they have the ‘Fortune Finder’ or ‘Scrounger’ Perk?

How has the internet responded? A heady mix of condemnation and ridicule. Ex-Fallout writer Chris Avellone had a very fine take, praising Microsoft and Obsidian – who’s behind the Fallout-esque The Outer Worlds – for coordinating their launch with Bethesda torpedoing their own product.

WWE 2K20 is completely broken, even outside the game

2K Games’ latest wrestling title is out now, and fans around the world are having a fantastic time … creating funny gifs and writing angry Reddit posts about how incredibly broken the game is. It seems like WWE 2K20 is a huge mess.

For starters, there’s a laundry-list of missing features. For instance, there is no custom match option for online multiplayer, and no custom arenas – but there is an extraordinary amount of lag! Some options are incorrectly labelled, like certain music tracks – and if you are foolhardy enough to stick a logo on your custom wrestler, Career Mode won’t load.

I’ve got you for five minutes of play-time

Then there are the glitches – the many, many wonderful glitches. There are simply too many to mention, so just head to #FixWWE2k20 on Twitter and enjoy. It’s pretty hilarious, if tinged with tragedy. Our favourite is the game’s failure to deal with high-heeled shoes, although we’re also big fans of the Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson model – it’s awful, even compared to previous WWE games.

The game’s problems even extend into the real world: The game’s Collector’s Edition was supposed to contain signed photos of certain wrestlers – but in many cases, the photos provided aren’t signed. But don’t fret! Adam ‘Edge’ Copeland, one of the wrestlers who’s photo was supposed to be signed, has promised to provide a PO box so people can send him photos for him to sign. I’m sure 2K wish they’d thought of that first.

VR Bits

Borderlands 2 VR NOT on Valve Index

Borderlands 2 VR launched this week, but not without a bit of confusion. On release day, Borderlands 2 VR’s Steam Store page listed support for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Valve Index, which was a pleasant surprise for some since Index support had not been announced before. Try to guess why!

This morning, 2K published a statement on the Steam page: “Hi everyone, it has come to our attention that the Valve Index was briefly listed as a supported headset on Borderlands 2 VR’s product page. Unfortunately, this was a mistake. The Index is *not* supported at this time, and the Borderlands 2 VR’s metadata has been corrected”.

Since the statement, a few people have also reported issues with scaling in the HTC Vive port. As a result, Steam reviews are currently ‘Mixed’, and it might be worth waiting until the Vive issues are worked out.

Budget Cuts 2 arriving this December

You might remember seeing some pre-alpha gameplay from Budget Cuts 2: Mission Insolvency at E3 this year, but did you know that it’s scheduled to release on December 12th? The stealthy sequel will be available on both the Steam and Oculus stores, with support for Valve Index, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

Promising new enemies, environments and gadgets, is a stand-alone sequel that Budget Cuts 2 continues where the first game left off. Judging by the previews from E3, it seems like the developers have listened to fans’ complaints about the first game and made an admirable effort to improve the next chapter.

$100,000 VR eSports prize pool set for Omni Arena in 2020

Virtuix and HP have announced that they have doubled their prize pool from $50,000 to $100,000 for the 2020 Omni Arena experience. The prize pool will be shared across multiple tournaments worldwide. If you’re unfamiliar with Omni Arena, it’s a VR eSports attraction combining VR headsets with a treadmill to simulate the feeling of walking around in the game. You can learn more about Omniverse eSports on their website.

The Best VR titles to pick up for Halloween

With Halloween just a week away, we’ve picked five excellent VR horror titles for your skin-crawling pleasure!

Resident Evil VII (PSVR) – Even if you’ve played Resident Evil VII before, the VR experience is worth coming back for. There’s nothing quite like literally being alone in in the dark in the Baker house.

Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul (PSVR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift) – Explore what appears to be an ordinary house, and uncover the horrifying mystery of what has happened there.

Alien: Isolation Mod (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift) – Like Resident Evil VII, Alien: Isolation was more than scary enough on a screen, but becomes positively pants-wettingly frightening when you are totally immersed in its abandoned science-fiction environments.

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood (PSVR) – A literal rollercoaster of horror, and an absolute must for fans of Until Dawn. Maybe not be the best pick if you suffer from motion sickness, but if you have a strong stomach you’ll definitely enjoy blasting through hordes of monsters.

The Brookhaven Experiment (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PSVR) – Highly recommended if you like fighting scary monsters and pride yourself on your aim. After an experiment tears a hole through reality, you need to find your way out using your torch and precious few bullets in this survival shooter.

News Bits

Shadow of Mordor developer Monolith is 25 years old

Monolith Productions is 25 years old! Monolith is the developer behind a range of classics like Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, F.E.A.R., Condemned, Blood, No One Lives Forever and SHOGO.

While the studio’s focus has shifted from first-person shooters to third-person orc-stabbers, it’s been going strong since 1994. The team are holding a Q&A session to celebrate this Friday 25th October on Twitch, at 9pm BST. Just don’t ask them about Contract J.A.C.K….

Command & Conquer Remastered will be 2D with a Classic graphics toggle

It’s still a way off, but we’re really excited for the remaster of the original Command & Conquer (and Red Alert, too) – and we’ve finally got our first look at some gameplay. The game keeps the original 2D style but everything will look a lot nicer – and even better, there’ll be a graphics toggle so you can flip between classic and remastered graphics! We wish all remasters would offer that option.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which of these fictitious diseases do NOT appear in Theme Hospital?

Answer: Mucky Feet!

We’re sure the developers of Two Point Hospital are sick of hearing it, but their game is the spiritual successor to the classic comedy hospital management game Theme Hospital. Both games come packed with all manner of weird diseases – and yes, that’s a Two Point Hospital disease we snuck in the list, but the rest are all real. Well, in the game, at least.

We chose ’Mucky Feet’ because it’s got a bit of history behind it! Bullfrog developed the original Theme Hospital, but after the studio closed the teams formed various new studios – including Fable studio Lionhead and Mucky Foot! Developers from Bullfrog, Lionhead, and Mucky Foot are now part of Two Point Studios, and they obviously decided on a little disease-based homage to their former home!

Weekly Giveaway

Europa Universalis: The Price of Power Board Game Giveaway

Europa Universalis: The Price of Power brings Paradox Interactive’s award-winning Europea Universalis series back to the table top.

Just a few hours left now before we close our giveaway of a Deluxe Edition of Europa Universalis: The Price of Power. A 4X board game of Epic Empire Building in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Age. It’s developed by Aegir Games and the ongoing Kickstarter was funded in only 3 hours!

You can enter our giveaway for it right here. We will also add on a “little” surprise contest exclusively for all who register so don’t miss out on that. It’s gonna be worth it!

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