Photorealistic Digital Humans, MCDonalds’ Pokémon cards

Today: Super Mario 3D World is finally getting the attention it deserves — Epic Games wants to make it cheaper and easier to make realistic human characters — Could Zelda remasters be on the way?

Scalpers snap up Happy Meal pack-ins

The Pokémon Company and McDonalds recently announced that Pokémon trading cards would be included with Happy Meals to mark Pokémon’s 25th anniversary, which presented a new and lucrative opportunity for scalpers.

Pokémon celebrates its 25th anniversary this year

Scalpers have started selling complete sets of anniversary cards on eBay, with one box reportedly going for $800. The set features 50 unique cards.

McTheft: It's unclear whether the sets have been stolen at some stage during manufacturing or transport or if McDonalds employees are making off with them to supplement their burger-flipping salaries. Either way, the cards are turning out to be a hot commodity.

Scalper's delight: Scalping has gotten a lot more attention lately since shortages of next-generation consoles as well as recent CPUs and GPUs have sent prices skyrocketing, with thousands of units ending up on auction sites like eBay and StockX, often marked up several hundred percent from retail price.

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China is a sequel to which piece of Assassin’s Creed media?

a) Assassin’s Creed: Embers
b) Assassin’s Creed: Brahman
c) Assassin’s Creed: Subject Four
d) Assassin’s Creed: Arena

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.

Home Horrible Home

Capcom’s Home Sweet Home was an adaptation of the horror film of the same name, and is generally considered the foundational work of the survival horror genre. It was a direct inspiration for Resident Evil, and many other horror games.

Sweet Home has an 8-bit legacy still felt today

Resident Evil started out as a remake of Home Sweet Home, but Shinji Mikami decided to take it in a different direction. It still retains many of the same design patterns, such as limited inventory, limited healing items and a mansion setting.

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

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury review round-up

Super Mario 3D World didn’t exactly get the attention it deserved on Wii U, but Nintendo has just brought it back to life on Switch, complete with bonus content called Bowser’s Fury and four-player co-op Captain Toad levels. The critics are generally purring with delight!

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury launches Feb. 12

  • VG247 (Score 5/5) – ”While Super Mario 3D All-Stars was content rich but low on actual effort, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury feels like a necessary release. It brings one of the best ever Mario titles to a platform people actually own, but also adds a new exclusive that’s completely worthwhile…”
  • GamesBeat (Score 5/5) – ”You can play a lot of 3D Mario games on your Switch. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is just as good as any of them. It contains makes the Wii U game feel better than you remember, and the bonus campaign makes the package one of the best ports Nintendo has brought to the Switch. It’s reshaped my thoughts on 3D World. This is one of the best Mario games ever made.”
  • Nintendo Life (Score 5/5) – ”Super Mario 3D World remains one of the better linear Mario games, and anyone playing it for the first time is in for an absolute treat. Add to that the curious bonus adventure that is Bowser's Fury and you've got a package that provides great value for money. It isn't without its flaws, but most of these (online multiplayer, repetitive missions in Bowser's Fury) relate to the new additions; the main game itself remains as pure and perfect as it was seven years ago…”
  • Destructoid (Score 10/10) – ”To be clear, I’d still wholly recommend this version of 3D World even without Bowser’s Fury.”
  • Game Informer (Score 9.25/10) – ”Having another chance to revisit Super Mario 3D World (or experience it for the first time) is reason enough to be excited. However, with an excellent, all-new game joining the Wii U port, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is a compelling option for anyone who wants more Mario in their life.”
  • Press Start Australia (Score 9/10) – ”Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury is a fantastic package that showcases what makes Nintendo games so special. Super Mario 3D World is just as good as when it released, and Bower's Fury is a surprisingly good standalone adventure that paves the way for the future of Mario.”
  • TheSixthAxis (Score 9/10) – ”I can't really recommend Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury enough. Whether you've played the original game before or not, the addition of online multiplayer is a big win, while Bowser's Fury is a testament to just how pure a Mario game can be while still feeling fresh and exciting. Put simply; this is an essential game for Mario fans.”
  • Gamespot (Score 9/10) – ”Put together, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury is a spectacular package. Super Mario 3D World is an absolute joy of classic platforming excellence, and this is the best version of it thanks to some well-calibrated improvements. Bowser's Fury is peculiar and less polished, but it dares to poke fun at its own oddities and it has a wild creative streak…”
  • Twinfinite (Score 4.5/5) – ”Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury offers two adventures' worth of 3D Mario platforming action in one convenient package. Though Super Mario 3D World is a little limited in its QOL improvements, the game still offers over 80 charming levels of platforming action.”
  • EGM (Score 4/5) – ”Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is the Wii U port that Switch owners have been waiting for. Besides the inclusion of online multiplayer, 3D World is the same good game that players already experienced on the Wii U, and fans of the series who missed it the first time around will enjoy its hybridization of 2D and 3D Mario gameplay. But the highlight of the package is Bowser’s Fury, a scaled-down but surprisingly robust mini 3D Mario game that actually takes some chances.”

Epic acquires character creation software

Epic Games has unveiled the latest addition to the Unreal Engine toolbox: MetaHuman Creator, a sophisticated character generator that lets developers create realistic digital people in a matter of minutes.

MetaHuman Creator could greatly help smaller studios

One of the major obstacles to making games with realistic human characters is the amount of effort required to set up a content creation pipeline for varied characters. Modelling them all individually is cost-intensive, while character creation systems often produce uninteresting or unattractive results. Epic is confident that MetaHuman Creator will change this.

Instant Person: It's a “cloud-streamed app that takes real-time digital human creation from weeks or even months to less than an hour – at an unprecedented standard of quality, fidelity, and realism.” When you're happy with your character, you can export and download it rigged and ready to animate.

Epic Growth: “3Lateral and Cubic Motion have led the field in creating performance capture-driven 4D animation; we’re proud that both of those companies are now part of the Epic Games family,” announced Epic Games. The results speak for themselves.

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China is a sequel to which piece of Assassin’s Creed media?

ANSWER: Assassin’s Creed: Embers!

Ezio’s story didn't stop with Revelations

Shao Yun was the heroine of Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China, but was introduced in the short film Assassin’s Creed: Embers. The animated short was included in the special edition of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, and served as an epilogue for Ezio Auditore da Firenze’s story where he trains Shao Yun in the ways of the assassin.

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China follows Shao Yun as she takes revenge on the Templars who wiped out the Chinese brotherhood of assassins. It’s a 2.5D side-scroller rather than an open-world sandbox. Shao Yun will probably not star in her own mainline game, but at least she’s the series’ number-one platform heroine.

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