#166: Pokémon HOME details and premium plans

TODAY: Resident Evil 8 will be sticking with first-person, according to leaked reports – Zombie Army 4 gets jacked up with Season One content – The Ministry of Broadcast team tells us all about their dystopian narrative-driven platformer.

Top Story

Pokémon HOME details revealed, includes free and premium models

The Pokémon Company has finally unveiled the full details of the Pokémon HOME service, which will allow Trainers to exchange their Pokémon across different games and platforms.

What’s the catch? There’s a free and a premium version of Pokémon HOME meaning you’ll need a subscription if you want the expanded features. Also, if you trade any Pokémon from Let’s Go Pikachu! or Let’s Go Eevee! into Sword and Shield then it’s a one way transfer.

Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter ‘one month free’ for HOME launch

You’ll also need a Premium Plan if you want to migrate your collection from the Pokémon Bank from Nintendo 3DS titles into the new Pokémon HOME platform, and once moved over they cannot be moved back. Pokémon HOME provides varying services depending on what game you’re using to connect with it, and what plan (free or paid) you’re on.

A Premium Plan is $2.99 for 30 days, $4.99 for 90 days and $15.99 for 365 days. HOME also features the GTS, which lets you designate which of your Pokémon you’d like to trade and attempts to match you up. Premium subscribers also get the Judge program which shows you how powerful deposited Pokémon are. Pokémon HOME is launching in February.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which Japanese horror game served as the main inspiration for Resident Evil?

  • Clock Tower
  • Sweet Home
  • Twilight Syndrome
  • Doctor Hauzer

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

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales comes to Nintendo Switch through the eShop

CD Projekt RED’s isometric card-battle RPG is coming to Nintendo Switch. Now you can wear the crown in Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales, which solves its more violent tendencies through Gwent. Queen Meve has a rather sorry home she returns to, and you can enjoy setting the world to rights through the Nintendo eShop – if it pleases, your grace.

Stadia Pro subscribers ‘demand better’ from Google over lacklustre launch

The state of cloud-streaming platform Stadia from Google is starting to anger more of its Pro subscribers, whom many purchased a Founders Edition. They’re unhappy with the poultry offerings and the lack of announcements, updates and feature improvements. Google acknowledges the complaints as “completely valid,” and promises to ‘take in all feedback’. Some proclaim the project is ‘already dead’ on its subreddit.

Daily Fact

We could have been a ‘messiah’ in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Many games end up suffering cut content due to technical problems or time constraints. BioWare’s quite excellent Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic from 2003 — set four thousand years before Episode IV: A New Hope — also had its share of content being snipped. We would have made our way into a deadly Sarlacc pit on Tatooine for one thing.

That’s where they intended to hide Tatooine’s Star Map, and we would have become a messiah to the Sand People by doing so, which would have tipped them into challenging Czerka Corporation’s hold on the starport. There was also a whole planet dropped in Hutt Space called Sleheyron, where we’d likely have fought in a slave gladiatorial arena.

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

Daily News

Report claims Capcom’s ‘Resident Evil 8’ will be sticking with first-person

The terrifying stay with the Baker family down in Dulvey, Louisiana certainly got Resident Evil fans’ blood pumping again, and Capcom will apparently be sticking with first-person for the foreseeable future.

While the remakes of Resident Evil 2 and Nemesis revive the classic goodness of the zombie horror series, Capcom is banking on first-person taking it to new heights. Other rumours include Ethan from Resident Evil 7 making a return as the main protagonist, with Chris Redfield also showing up again.

Series veteran Chris Redfield appeared briefly in Resident Evil 7

Zombies are said to be shuffling back onto the scene, and there’s even going to be a new enemy type that’s being described as ‘werewolves’. There’s also going to be a new stalker enemy type, with a ‘ghostly female apparition’ chasing us. A source for Eurogamer confirmed it will be first-person.

Capcom has naturally declined to comment on the report. Just as the ‘old school’ third-person Resident Evil is becoming hot stuff again, they seem to want to make a new era for the series by going first-person, and so far the fans approve.

‘Season One’ content for Zombie Army 4 gets a trailer

Rebellion has announced there’s more coming to Zombie Army 4: Dead War as they release a post-launch trailer highlighting the extra goodies due for deployment in good time for PC and console.

A new mini-campaign called Hell Cult will be introduced which offers three all-new missions for one to four players, and there are also plenty of traditional wares like character packs, weapon bundles, skin packs and new outfits. They aren’t being too specific on these yet with more details to come.

All-in-all, Season One for Zombie Army 4: Dead War promises:

  • 3 new campaign missions
  • 4 character packs, playable in any mode
  • 9 weapon bundles with new weapons and charms
  • 5 weapon skin packs for customisation
  • 4 character outfit bundles, complete with hats

Zombie Army 4: Dead War releases on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 February 4, 2020. If you snag the Super Deluxe Edition then you’ll be getting Season Pass 1 as part of the package.

Developer Q&A

“Watch! Listen. An interview with Ministry of Broadcast Studios”

A brutal regime, a sick game, and the man forced into it. This is Ministry of Broadcast; a cinematic platformer that has you partake in a deadly game show for a chance to see your family. Mixing old school design with dark satire, the game has made a splash. It was part of Indiecade’s official selection in 2018 and received praise from John Romero himself. With Ministry of Broadcast now available for PC, we asked the team at Ministry of Broadcast Studios (Petr Škorňok, Petr Melicherík, Dušan Čežek, Sanja Čežek) about their game, the joys of development, and their inspirations.

Daily Bits: In your opinion, what makes Ministry of Broadcast special compared to other games that explored dystopian themes?

Ministry of Broadcast Studios: You are right. There are many games with dystopian themes, but we are still not sure if MOB is actually set in dystopia or our own world. We are talking about relevant topics of today, without trying to portray any type of regime or country. I guess it is easier for people to talk about all those hard topics through [an] imaginary dystopia than to really focus on the world around them.

The game tells the story of the wall which was built overnight, dividing country and families in half. The country is ruled by an obviously absolutistic regime, but this regime is giving all the people an absurd chance to legally escape to the other side by participating in a government-organised reality show. You are in the role of just a regular guy who just wants to reunite with his family again.

DB: What led to Ministry of Broadcast’s development? Did the idea of making a classic cinematic platformer come first, or did the dystopian narrative lead to that genre?

MOB: We started talking about the state of the world we live in at the moment. The world has all the means to be closer than ever, but the walls are built all around us. Real brick made walls or virtual ones. People are amused by watching other people perform all sorts of monkey business on national TVs, Youtube, Instagram, etc. So what if the regime would have their own TV show where your freedom is at stake?

[The] Cinematic platformer fit naturally since we grew up on games such as Oddworld, Flashback, Prince of Persia and it seemed like a great genre to use. Especially since we wanted to bring this Big Brother feeling straight to the player. Controlling the protagonist makes you some sort of Big Brother, telling him where to go and what to do. Tile based controls of old Prince Of Persia fit nicely since it gave us the opportunity to set a small delay in between the player and the protagonist. We wanted you to feel that he is a real person turned into a puppet and you are the puppeteer.

DB: Ministry of Broadcast has been showcased at events such as PAX and IndieCade. How does it feel to get your game out to an audience like this?

MOB: We wanted to test our ideas with a wider audience and with different parts of the world. The feedback we got was more than valuable. Not only with gameplay but also with human interactions, marketing efforts, and creating a community which is unique. People reacted to the game in completely different ways. For some, the game was about Trump’s wall. For others, Berlin. Some people were struggling with the controls. For some, it felt natural to play a game like this. After each conference, we had loads of papers with players’ feedback and we were trying to sort out what makes sense and what doesn’t.

DB: The last couple of years brought interesting conversations regarding political intent in games. Terry Spier working on The Division 2 stated that the game was not making political statements in 2018. The year after that, the team developing Disco Elysium thanked Marx and Engels during their acceptance speech at the Game Awards. Since this game is heavily inspired by 1984, are you worried about any possible reaction or misinterpretation?

MOB: We think that the game medium has evolved a lot during the last decade. We don’t think that we should talk about games vs topics anymore. Games have evolved into regular mediums such as books, or movies. It gives creators a great platform to tell their stories.

For us, this game was exactly that. We wanted to create a strong narrative experience and to share some ideas, but also some unique Pythonish type of humor. Creating stronger arguments or being sarcastic will always make some room for negative reactions or misinterpretation, but we think that is a good starting point for dialogue. Not everything needs to be mellow and politically correct. Some things deserve to be said as they are. That is why we honour what the Disco Elysium team did.

We could make a safer bet if we decided to tell the very same story that would take place in a fantasy world, but this wasn’t the kind of setting we wanted to have. It wouldn’t feel so personal to us. It is time for us as a society to start talking again and not just being offended about every single thing.

DB: Finally, are there any tips you would give to budding game developers out there planning to make a game of their own?

MOB: Just do it. Find your team and make it. This is our first game and it is made out of pure love. When we started, we didn’t have any budget, publishers, or time. We were working during night while still having our daily jobs. Along the way, people started noticing our game and now we are a few days away from our global release. Even if the game doesn’t make it, we have a great team and we will continue to tell stories and make games we love to play.

A huge thanks to the team at Ministry of Broadcast Studio for answering our questions. Ministry of Broadcast is now available for PC and will be released for the Nintendo Switch this spring.

Message from Today's Sponsor

Iconoclasts Xbox Launch Contest – Win the New Xbox Series X!

The 23rd January, 2020 marked the Two Year Anniversary of Iconoclasts! Since launching, Iconoclasts has garnered much praise, including an 85%+ score on Metacritic, and we now look forward to introducing the game to new players on the Xbox One.

To celebrate the release of Iconoclasts on Xbox One we are giving away the new Xbox Series X plus three launch titles to one lucky gamer. To enter all you have to do is to complete at least one of the actions on Gleam. The more entry points you earn the higher your chance of winning.

– Bifrost Entertainment

News Bits

EA release overview trailer for Battlefield V Chapter 6: Into the Jungle, which arrives February 6

Welcome to the jungle, we’ve got fun and games; also some bugs, and a lot of angry locals. Chapter 6: Into the Jungle for Battlefield V is arriving early next month on February 6 and features some “thick and treacherous vegetation” on the Solomon Islands in the Pacific. Breakthrough, Conquest, Squad Conquest and Team Death also support the ‘narrow and intense’ new map.

Game Freak has trademarked ‘World Down’, which is a possible nod to more Pokémon DLC or new IP

Pokémon Sword and Shield has DLC on the horizon as Game Freak expands the region of Galar. The studio has trademarked ‘World Down’, covering video games and trading cards. This might be referencing the underground dens coming to Sword and Shield where Trainers co-operatively explore. Then again, it might be connected with their Gears Project, which looks at new IP ideas to develop.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which Japanese horror game served as the main inspiration for Resident Evil?

Answer: Sweet Home!

Without Sweet Home, there wouldn’t be Resident Evil. Released only in Japan on December 1989, the horror RPG was an adaption of a film with the same name. Both game and film tell the story of a group of filmmakers entering a haunted mansion to archive frescos. With a focus on item management, puzzles and permadeath, the game was never released in America. This is probably thanks to its violent content and shocking story for the time.

However, it also laid the groundwork for iconic features of Resident Evil, such as the short cutscenes for opening doors and limited healing items. If you loved the terror of that franchise, you have this underrated RPG to thank. While Sweet Home is only available for the original Famicom, there have been unofficial English translations made for NES emulators.

Weekly Giveaway

Sleep Attack on Nintendo Switch

This week’s giveaway is for Sleep Attack on Nintendo Switch, which is a Tower Defense strategy game from Bad Seed, and is currently available on the Nintendo eShop.

“Enjoy an amazing new TWIST in Tower Defense! You control the layout of the battlefield, and you decide the paths your enemies follow. Combine tactical planning with strategic tower upgrades to slow, divert and damage your enemies. Carefully choose the placement and upgrade levels of your towers, as each turret possesses unique strengths and weaknesses.”

Enter into our giveaway by following us on Twitter or Facebook, and you can also enter by retweeting our tweet about the giveaway too. There will be a total of five codes that we can send out for Sleep Attack during the week, which will only be available to subscribers of DailyBits!

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