#61: Nintendo @ Gamescom

TODAY: Yu Suzuki could have more than Shenmue III up his sleeve — Cyberpunk 2077’s multiplayer is still offline — Microsoft knows if you’ve been naughty or nice

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Nintendo Gamescom Video Round-up

Gamescom 2019 has dominated this week’s gaming news since it started on Tuesday, and there might still be some surprises in store before it ends tomorrow.

Nintendo has been pretty busy showing off its upcoming games, so here’s a round-up of all their trailers and announcement videos for your pleasure!

  • Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield (GAME FREAK) – A message from GAME FREAK’s Shigeru Ohmori, along with some footage from the Sword & Shield, launching on November 15th, 2019.
  • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (SEGA Sports R&D) – Nearly half an hour of live footage of the Mario & Sonic-themed Tokyo 2020 tie-in. A much shorter 2D events trailer also aired. The game launches on November 1st across Asia, November 5th and 8th in North America and Europe respectively. It’ll also hit arcades.
  • ASTRAL CHAIN (PlatinumGames) – Enjoy over 30 minutes of new gameplay footage from exclusive action heavyweight Astral Chain, with game director Takahisa Taura talking about the Neuron special police task force as well as the game’s environments, puzzles and enemies. It’s out August 30th, 2019.
  • DRAGON QUEST XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition (Square Enix) – Series creator Yuji Horii and the game’s producer Hokuto Okamoto spend over half an hour talking about the changes in the enhanced port of Dragon Quest XI. It’s launching on September 27th.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Grezzo / Nintendo) – Another live stream lasting over 30 minutes, this time about the remake of the classic 1993 Game Boy adventure, launching on September 20th.
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3 (Next Level Games) – Just shy of 30 minutes with the spooky and slimy Luigi’s Mansion 3, and its more open-ended levels set in a creepy hotel. It will haunt your Switch on October 31st.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition (CD Projekt RED) – Miles Tost presents a live streamed slice of handheld play and explains what the RPG is all about for the uninitiated. Geralt has accepted the contract and the hunt begins on October 15th.
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Bandai Namco) – While the game has been out since December last year, Nintendo hosted the ‘GC Invitational 2019’ tournament at Gamescom this week.

Weekly Giveaway

UnderMine!

Time for another great giveaway from your pals at DailyBits! Like the idea of an action-adventure rogue-likes that mixes Legend of Zelda, Binding of Isaac and Rogue Legacy? Then you’ll love exploring the rich subterranean world of UnderMine – available now – and we’ve got 10 Steam codes to hand out to 10 lucky readers!

Please head here to enter this week’s giveaway – and at the end of the week you could be one of the lucky ones to receive a free Steam code!

“UnderMine is an action-adventure roguelike with a bit of RPG tossed in. Blending combat and dungeon crawling from traditional roguelikes like “The Binding of Isaac,” with the progression of roguelites like “Rogue Legacy,” UnderMine delivers a fresh new entry to the genre.

Mine gold on each run and increase the peasant’s power by finding powerful relics. Rescue NPCs and return them to the hub where they will open up shop and offer powerful upgrades for future runs. Delve deeper, exploring each new area, discover its many secrets and ultimately defeat its powerful boss. ”

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Who was the first secret character in a Mortal Kombat game?

  • Noob Saibot
  • Reptile
  • Jade
  • Smoke

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

News Bits

Shenmue’s Yu Suzuki could return to Virtua Fighter and Out Run

Something is going on behind the scenes at Sega, but Yu Suzuki is keeping the cards close to his chest. He teased that “there might be something” happening with two of the series he used to work on, namely Virtua Fighter and OutRun.

Sega is no stranger to working with partners, even on core IP, and Suzuki retains close ties to the company as a special consultant – but right now, he’s busy bringing Shenmue III to PC and PlayStation 4 on November 19th with his new company YS Net.

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne gets chilly trailer and dev diary

The upcoming expansion Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is almost here and to help you avoid the frostbite of ignorance, Capcom have released two new videos.

The first one is a trailer focusing on the Old Everwyrm and the Brachydios, while the second is an almost hour-long developer diary featuring Capcom’s Ryozo Tsujimoto, Kaname Fujioka and Daisuke Ichihara explaining what’s coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 6th and to PC in 2020.

Daily Fact

Want kids to read? Give them games!

An experiment conducted in US public libraries allowed videogames to invade these traditionally quiet temples to the written word. It might sound odd, but the promise of interactive fun has lured the younger crowd back into the libraries – and they check out more books than before the scheme started.

While libraries are not exactly turning into arces, they recognise that getting the kids and teens to even enter the library is half the battle. There’s no guarantee that the books will be the main attraction for everyone, but the numbers are looking pretty good!

Particularly boys have been drawn to libraries like moths to the proverbial flame, especially after library cards started advertising the fact you could check out games for a week at a time.

Sssshhh!

You might start out with some friendly Mario Kart with your new bookworm friends, and then check out Mario’s memoirs detailing his struggles to save not just Princess Peach, but the Mushroom Kingdom – and before you know it, you’re wearing a beret and having philosophical discussions about how Mario games are really just a metaphor for the struggles we all face in our daily lives! Or, y’know, just play Fortnite until way past bedtime and then copy-paste your book report from Wikipedia. If there’s one thing videogames teach you, it’s to exploit where possible.

Daily News

Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer in R&D, studio “focusing on single-player”

There could eventually be a Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer mode, but not even CD Projekt RED is certain what it will be like, because they’re busy “focusing on single-player”, with multiplayer remaining an R&D project for now.

All told, this is good news for fans, since it means there won’t be some rushed, tacked-on multiplayer mode just for the sake of it. There’s still no word on what the multiplayer might be, like whether it’ll be a more traditional PvP mode or co-op missions in a sandbox city.

’Does it make sense?’ approach for multiplayer

“We are doing R&D into multiplayer but we’re focusing on single-player experience, and that’s what you’ll get in 2020,” senior concept artist Marthe Jonkers told Eurogamer. “It doesn’t mean we’re saying no multiplayer, but it doesn’t mean we’re saying yes either. It’s still an R&D phase.” Hey, at least no-one’s talking about treating the game as a ‘live service’!

“The single-player experience, it all fits together. We’re not just going to slap some feature in and that’ll be it,” continued Jonkers. “Immersion is super important for us and we have to make sure everything fits together. It’s possible if it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit. We would never make anything that’s not at least The Witcher standard for Cyberpunk.”

Cyberpunk 2077 launches for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on April 16th, 2020.

Sleek, unofficial render of ‘PS5 devkit’

A patent by Sony for what is believed to be a PlayStation 5 development kit has been given more life by the tech community as the concept diagram has been 3D modelled.

Renders have been made by LetsGoDigital and they’re quite sleek. It’s what the devkits (if that’s what they actually are) could look like sitting in the offices of game developers around the globe. It could also be a throwaway design of many that Sony just wanted to make sure they have a patent in case they incorporate some of the design later.

V for Ve…ry unlikely to be the actual design

Devkits for consoles rarely look like the finished product so this deeply trenched ‘V’ design will probably not make it to consumers. Heat exhausts are traditionally at the back of the console, but these diagrams make it look as if it could be on the top, breaking convention.
At present the next console from Sony is expected no earlier than November 2020, should you apply the math and calculate previous timelines between announcements and launches. The original PlayStation hit December 1994, the PlayStation 2 in March 2000, PlayStation 3 arrived November 2006, and then the PlayStation 4 in November 2013 and PlayStation 4 Pro in November 2016.

Virtual Reality Zone

Find your own way in a tragic story

Afterlife – a VR experience focusing on the death of a five-year-old boy – lets players experience the tragic story through the dead boy’s eyes. The live-action story offers 29 choices that branch the story, offering several different endings.

Developer Signal Space Lab are proud of their ‘Seamless Interactive Cinematic VR’ – a new way to let players affect the story in an intuitive way, without breaking narrative momentum.

Afterlife is available now on the VivePort, PlayStation VR, Oculus and Steam. An adaptation is also available on iOS via the App Store.

Next-Gen VR Presence System

nimSony, a UK VR developer, has shown off a physics system named Hybrid Presence System for his upcoming game. Judging by the video, it is incredibly advanced for a VR game and looks pretty revolutionary.

The video might not seem very impressive if you haven’t played a lot of VR games, but many of the interactions shown are totally new to VR. While the video is just a tech demo, the developer plans to release a short game that shows off the Hybrid Presence System and the weapons shown in the video.

Keep an eye on nimSony’s channel to get updates on his physics system and upcoming game.

Espire 1: VR Operative delayed

Upcoming single-player VR stealth game Espire 1: VR Operative has been delayed. Tripwire Interactive announced the delay on Twitter, stating that it will be “coming out a little later this year”. The game was originally scheduled for an August release, but is just not ready for prime time yet.

Espire 1 was playable at GamesCom and did not fail to impress: The game puts you in control of a stealthy robot sneaking around, similar to Metal Gear Solid. The game will release on Oculus Quest and Rift, PSVR, HTC Vive, Valve Index and Windows Mixed Reality later in 2019.

New Westworld VR experience out now

HBO has partnered up with Survios to create Westworld Awakening, a single-player, narrative-driven stealth VR game based on the hit TV show. Players will play as Kate, a host being stalked by Hank, another host who just happens to be a serial killer.

The events of the game unfold alongside the second season of the show, so fans will feel right at home as you make your way through the Delos labs, talking to other hosts and solving puzzles along the way.

Westworld Awakening is available now on Oculus, Vive and VivePort.

News Bits

New character trailer for Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories

Expected out in early 2020, the new Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories has you making some tough choices. To help make them even more difficult for when it launches a new character trailer has released humanising your agony and indecision all the more. Thanks NIS America. It’s out on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.

Did you hear that? Microsoft contractors did if you used Xbox One with Kinect

Confirming what the more tech savvy already suspected, a report by Motherboard shows third-party contractors have been suppled a lot of audio captured by Xbox One consoles with Kinect. These things don’t work by magic as the devices are ‘always listening’ for recognised commands, as how else could they react? Which means all that captured audio gets processed by remote servers. Microsoft stated they “stopped reviewing any voice content” taken from Xbox for “product improvement purposes” months back. Snitches get stiches, Cortana.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Who was the first secret character in a Mortal Kombat game?

Answer: Reptile!

All the new characters and guests appearing in Mortal Kombat 11 were announced this week, and included The Terminator, Spawn and The Joker.

While guest characters are new to Mortal Kombat, secret unlockable characters have been around since the very first game – even in the arcade version! The very first secret character was the green ninja Reptile.

Reptile appeared at various times throughout the original Mortal Kombat, offering clues on how to unlock him – which wasn’t easy! You had to win a fight on the stage named The Pit, without blocking or getting hit once, then finish your opponent with a Fatality while a shadow appears over the moon. Yup.

If you managed to pull it off, you would face Reptile at the bottom of the pit – which might have been a bit of a disappointment, since he didn’t get any moves of his own until Mortal Kombat II. The things we do for content…

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