#153: Pokemon Direct Update

TODAY: WB Games still teasing their new Batman game — Nintendo had to censor Conker’s Bad Fur Day and didn’t have much faith in it — Fan-made patch for Street Fighter V fixes lag in online multiplayer

Top Story

Pokémon Direct: Separate Expansion Passes for Pokémon Sword and Shield

Nintendo’s latest Pokémon Direct has revealed that there’s DLC on the way for Pokémon Sword & Shield, which you can unlock with the Expansion Pass.

There are two different Expansion Passes, one for each version of the game. The DLC will feature two new areas – The Isle of Armor and The Crowned Tundra – as well as new customization options, trainers, rivals and challenges and of course: New pokémon.

You can start new adventures using your old save data

The two new areas are part of the Galar region, and seems to be based on Ireland and Scotland. The new pokémon includes a new kung-fu fighter from the Isle of Armor that sports Gigantamax and can evolve into two different styles of fighter. Crowned Tundra will feature a new legendary that ‘once ruled over the land’.

Around 200 classic pokémon will be added alongside the new areas, and they can be collected even without an Expansion Pass thanks to trading. The Isle of Armor DLC will launch in June, while Crowned Tundra will appear later in autumn. Each Expansion Pass will cost $30 and be available for pre-order on the Nintendo eShop soon.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

What was Rocksteady’s first game?

  • Batman: Arkham Asylum
  • Urban Chaos: Riot Response
  • Freedom Fighters
  • Disruptor

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.

News Bits

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX lets you play as a Pokémon

Tired of those pesky human trainers hogging the limelight when it’s actually their pokémon that does all the hard work fighting on their behalf? Well, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX for Switch puts you in the sh … er, paws of a classic pokémon! Pick a pokémon, and explore randomly generated dungeons and defeat enemies in turn-based combat to recruit more pokémon to your rescue team, all presented in an adorable watercolour art style. Pika!

WB Games Montréal posts ‘Capture the Knight’ teaser on Facebook

There’s definitely more Batman coming out of WB Games Montréal, who has been posting pieces of a logo, the latest with the caption “Cape sur la nuit / Capture the Knight”. The studio was responsible for Batman: Arkham Origins, which served as a prequel to Rocksteady’s excellent Arkham Asylum and packed a pretty neat multiplayer mode. Now the big question is, will we play as the caped crusader himself again, or someone new?

Iconoclasts heading for Xbox One to celebrate Two Year Anniversary

Bifrost Entertainment and Joakim Sandberg announced today that Iconoclasts will be released for the Xbox One on 23rd January. MP2 Games have been working on the port, which is in aid of the game’s 2nd anniversary, having been available on the Switch, PS4 and PC since 2018.

Daily Fact

Conker’s Bad Fur Day ‘vivisected a squirrel’ and mocked completionists

The twisted but cute Conker’s Bad Fur Day was one of the last big games for Nintendo 64, released near the very end of the console’s lifetime in 2001. It was full of vulgar humour, and a definite change in tone from earlier Rare games like Banjo-Kazooie. Nintendo even had to put down the foot and cut out a scene where Conker watched in horror as a fellow squirrel was tortured while begging for his life.

Nintendo wasn’t very confident in Conker’s commercial viability – it was late in the console cycle and no-one were really screaming out for a mascot platformer parody – so THQ handled publishing in Europe, since Nintendo didn’t want to pay for localization.

It seems Rare didn’t take the game terribly seriously either: There’s a collectible piece of chocolate behind some bars in a part of the game, but there was no way to actually reach it. Game director Chris Seavor knew it would drive some people nuts that they couldn’t collect every item in the game, so he left it in.

Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today’s fact.

Daily News

Sony is yet to reveal PlayStation 5’s “more unique elements” and ‘bigger differences’

Turns out we don’t know nearly all there is to know about the PlayStation 5. According to Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, there are still ‘more unique and big’ revelations on the horizon.

Sure, we know there’s a faster CPU and GPU as well as SSD storage, and Sony has promised full backward compatibility – but presumably there’s something new, wild and exciting to entice people into upgrading from the PlayStation 4, which is very much alive and kicking.

PlayStation 5 will not launch later in Japan

“Each time a new console is released, the processor and graphics improve,” acknowledged Ryan. “Those are enticing of course, but we need to have special appeals as well. We have already confirmed the use of an solid-state drive. Having load times that are next to nothing is a major change.” Apparently the new DualShock supports 3D audio, which is also considered a ‘game changer’.

“But you know. There are still more unique elements for PlayStation 5 to come that separate it from previous consoles. The ‘bigger differences’ have yet to be announced,” he teased.

He also commented on the new logo being remarkably similar to the PlayStation 4 logo, saying the goal was consistency so that people would “positively think, ‘That’s PlayStation.'” PlayStation 5 is is expected to launch before next Christmas.

Doom focused on the ‘soul’ of the original while “getting rid of all the other crap”

The secret behind Doom’s triumphant return in 2016 was the way it went back to basics and trimmed all the fat to focus on what elicited “an emotional response” from players.

“…if you think about some of the truly great games, you can point to that one thing that is awesome about it,” said Tim Willits, former studio director at id Software.

Doom rediscovered the ‘emotional core’ of the series, which was dark, scary and fast-paced action. The deconstruction clearly worked, and fans flocked to the gory, frenetically-paced rollercoaster ride from Mars to hell and back.

Doomguy can rip our heart out anytime he wants

“The action, how did it make you feel, the experience of playing? What were the things that you remembered about the original Doom that elicit an emotional response from you as a player? That’s the soul of the game,” he continued. The studio was “focusing on that and getting rid of all the other crap.”

It also helped to have “really, really talented people,” and that the team were all heavily invested in and inspired by the series. They “focused on the pure, emotional aspects of the original Doom, and built everything else around that.” The sequel, Doom Eternal, arrives on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on March 20th and hits the Switch later this year.

Esports Roundup

Fighting game fan releases a patch for Street Fighter V to fix the broken netcode

Altimor has released a fix for Street Fighter V on PC that makes the online multiplayer significantly smoother when playing against high-point opponents. Altimor is no stranger to modding, having released hitbox viewers for both Guilty Gear Xrd and Dragon Ball FighterZ.

The Street Fighter V community has been busy testing the fix, and Arlieth has posted a video where plays on a three-bar connection with and without the patch. The patched version is significantly smoother.

How does the fix work? Well, Altimor discovered and corrected a bug that causes the game to lag for both players. Capcom apparently knew about the issue before launch, but never fixed it – although it was fixed for Marvel vs Capcom Infinite.

The fix only applies to the PC version of Street Fighter V, so crossplay will remain laggy like before. If you’re worried about Capcom banning players using the fix, they’ve never really been bothered by mods like this before.

Valve announce TRUE SIGHT, a Dota 2 documentary coming later this month

Valve has launched a trailer for True Sight, their documentary about the competitive Dota 2 scene. Offering a glimpse behind the scenes, the documentary follows a number of professional Dota 2 teams and culminates in the showdown between OG and Team Liquid at The International 2019.

The trailer gives a glimpse of what was going on in Team Liquid during the finals as OG went on a rampage, and you can watch the documentary live on January 28th at 7:00PM CET on SteamTV or Twitch. If you miss the stream, it will also be available on YouTube afterwards.

Blizzard reveal new structure for Hearthstone Masters in 2020

Blizzard are kicking off 2020 by restructuring Hearthstone’s pro league to make sure there is an even spread of events throughout the year. Blizzard is teaming up with ESL/Dreamhack to double the number of Masters Tour stops to six, and the prize pool remains the same: $250,000 for each tournament.

The Grandmasters format is also changing and Blizzard is promising new competitions where players from Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas will duke it out. Head over to the Hearthstone blog for more information.

News Bits

New online competition for Pokémon Sword & Shield: Galar Newcomers

A new Pokémon Sword & Shield competition has been announced! As the name suggests, the competition focuses on the new pokémon from the Galar region. The format is Double Battle, and Galarian as well as Gigantamax forms are permitted. Registration is open until January 30th, with battles taking place between January 31st and February 2nd. All participants receive 50BP.

League of Legends gets a ‘Warriors Season 2020 Cinematic’ full of action, drama and tunes

Riot Games has released a fancy new cinematic music video to celebrate the start of the 2020 season. Titled ‘Warriors’, it offers three and a half minutes of blood-pumping, sword-clashing, spell-crackling, gun-slinging and fist-fighting action. Expect perfect hair, a blatant disregard for gravity as well as architecture and of course epically cheesy tunes.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

What was Rocksteady’s first game?

Answer: Urban Chaos: Riot Response

Yup, in the distant past, before Batman: Arkham Asylum, Rocksteady slowly and steadily built its name making other games. Their first game was called Urban Chaos: Riot Response, a sequel to Mucky Foot’s open-world brawler – and it was actually a very interesting game! However, they didn’t strike it big until Eidos published their first Batman game.

We’re still wondering what their next game will be, but it’s probably safe to assume it won’t be another Urban Chaos sequel.

Weekly Giveaway

Blackmoor 2 on Nintendo Switch

We’re kicking off this year’s weekly giveaway with some Switch codes for Blackmoor 2, which is releasing on the Nintendo Switch eShop today.

Blackmoor 2 is a beat-em-up platformer that supports 4 player co-op action. Please follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be entered into this giveaway. We will be sending out one code each day this week, and good luck to everyone that enters.

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