Pokemon Presents Highlights, Mortal Kombat and Injustice

TODAY: Free Radical's cancelled Battlefront nearly made it out the door as a free-to-play game — It's always high noon in the retro-styled roguelite Colt Canyon — Rockstar battles the KKK in Red Dead Online

Top Story

Selfies are out, Pokémon snaps are in

There is a new Pokémon Presents stream available on YouTube, and here are the highlights!

Pokémon Smile

  • Free iOS and Android app aimed at very young kids
  • Uses minigames to encourages kids to brush their teeth

Pokémon Café Mix

  • Run a café for Pokémon
  • Fulfill orders by solving puzzles
  • Befriend Pokémon and they will help out
  • Pokémon serving as staff use special skills
  • Coming to mobile and Switch

New Pokémon Snap

  • Remake of the original Pokémon Snap for Nintendo 64
  • Explore islands and take pictures of Pokémon
  • Exclusively for Switch

Pokémon Go

  • All Pokémon tournaments in 2020 will be digital
  • Mega Evolutions are coming to Pokémon Go

Pokémon Sword & Shield

  • Isle of Armor expansion out today
  • Challenge Zeraora
    • Event starts today and lasts until June 28th
    • Special Max Raid Battle with Gigantamax Zeraora
    • Everyone gets Shiny Zeraora if one million Trainers can beat the challenge

New team, new game: Game Freak is looking for developers for a new team of over 20, who will work on “a new entry in the Pokémon core series”.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which Rockstar game got an AO rating and needed its violence toned down?

  • Max Payne 3
  • Manhunt 2
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
  • Table Tennis

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.

Daily Fact

Free Radical's Battlefront 3 almost made it out as Galaxy in Turmoil

Star Wars: Battlefront 3 – which was supposed to feature seamless transitions from ground to space combat – was cancelled and that probably killed Free Radical, but the project itself lived on for a while.

Frontwire Studios took over development, and the plan was to fix up the game, rebrand it to Galaxy in Turmoil and release it as a free-to-play title on Steam.

Unfortunately, the lawyers were not pleased. Lucasfilm had granted EA an exclusive license to develop Star Wars multiplayer games, and while Lucasfilm had assured Frontwire Studios that they would be able to release, those plans got iced in 2016.

Mortal and Injustice

Mortal Kombat and Injustice games coming to next-gen consoles

It's not easy to keep projects secret when you need to hire for them, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has just revealed that they are working on new Mortal Kombat and Injustice games.

The new games appear to target PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X judging by details from a Principal Software Engineer job listing. Looks like AT&T's intent to sell Warner Bros. Interactive is not affecting their current projects.

Next generation: The listings specify that they are looking for someone with a “next generation console graphics vision for the Mortal Kombat and Injustice franchises,” and that the new hires “...will work closely with the Lead Engineer and the rest of your peers to develop state-of-the-art graphics technology for the PS5 and XBOX Series X.”

Old or New? It's not clear whether the games mentioned in the job listings are actually new entries in the series, or if Warner Bros. Interactive is just looking to re-release Mortal Kombat 11 and Injustice 2 for next-gen consoles.

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Game Review

Colt Canyon Review

A rootin' tootin' outlaw shootin' roguelite

Developer: Retrific

Version tested: PC

The wild west is back in vogue. In the wake of Red Dead Redemption 2, a veritable herd of cowboy games have been announced across a variety of styles and genres. Colt Canyon is a pixelicious arcade action game with a roguelite flavour, but is it a maverick or just an old nag?

Being and old-school arcade game, there's not much story to talk about. Your partner is kidnapped by outlaws, and guess what: You gotta go after them! Go west across the game world, reach the final boss and save your partner. That's all there's to it, but the mechanics are rather more interesting.

You start out with a weak weapon without much ammo, and you need to free prisoners to earn upgrades. The combat is fast-paced and intense, and actually somewhat faithful to the weaponry of the period: Guns don't hold a lot of ammo, and every shot counts.

You often find yourself sneaking around looking for guns, ammo and health pickups as you prepare for the next encounter. It's generally not a great idea to stumble headlong into combat, unless you outnumber the enemy. When you save prisoners, you can hand them weapons and build yourself a posse. If you're careful, you can amass yourself a little army of former prisoners.

Mistakes are punished harshly. Death comes quick, and once you're dead – well, you're dead and have to start from the beginning. You can unlock new characters and loadouts which adds a decent amount of variety and strategy. If you've played Nuclear Throne or Enter the Gungeon, you know the drill. There's also multiplayer, if you're not feeling the poor, lonesome cowboy vibes.

While the game definitely focuses on skill and the roguelite design template always involves a bit of randomity and occasional unfairness, encounters can occasionally get out of hand as enemies swarm you – particularly in boss battles. The first boss keeps throwing fodder at you, and even veteran cowboys will occasionally bite the dust early on. Other levels allow you to take a more stealthy approach, but swarming remains a problem throughout.

It just feels like you don't quite have the right tools to deal with the waves of enemies the game throws at you, especially if you're unlucky with your loot and enemy compositions. The game will be updated in the future, so there's a good chance the difficulty will be polished properly over time.

Colt Canyon is for gamers who enjoy a challenge and don't mind dying a lot to learn the ropes. It's a nice, snappy little game with short game rounds full of action and interesting moments, but don't expect it to hold your hand and stroke your hair. It's more likely to put a rattlesnake in your boot.

7.5/10

Thumbs Up

  • Straightforward Challenge
  • Pure Design
  • Neat companion system
  • Simple but atmospheric pixel art

Thumbs Down

  • Swarms of enemies can be frustrating
  • Difficult, not always in a good way

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons Official Companion Guide

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It’s the number one best-selling game guide on Amazon, and tells you all you need to know about villagers, customization, items, exploration and much more. If you order Animal Crossing: New Horizons Official Companion Guide via our link Daily Bits receives a small commission!

Red Dead Online Changes

Rockstar takes action over Red Dead Online KKK NPCs

Red Dead Online has suddenly been swarmed by KKK NPCs spawned by players using mods, and Rockstar has issued an update to remove the exploit.

The KKK made minor appearances in the Red Dead Redemption 2 campaign as random encounters where the robed rascals would end up dead through some slapstick mishap like settings themselves on fire or getting crushed by a big wooden cross, but they were not supposed to show up in the multiplayer mode.

Exploit ban: This isn't the first time players exploit Red Dead Online: There was recently a funny wave of two-headed skeletons knocking out cowboys, but the KKK invasion hits a bit too close to home given the protests against racial injustice across the United States.

Frustration: Some players are unimpressed that Rockstar moved rapidly to remove this issue but still haven't fixed the game's myriad of other technical problems. Players have also asked for the possibility of playing exclusively with a group of friends to avoid cheaters and griefers ruining the fun.

What Else Happened Today?

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which Rockstar game got an AO rating and needed its violence toned down?

Answer: Manhunt 2!

The first Manhunt managed to secure an M rating despite all the controversy surrounding it, but the chickens came home to roost when the ESRB rated the sequel in 2007.

Manhunt 2 followed an assassin escaping from a mental hospital, and the ultraviolent executions were simply too much for the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Rockstar were forced to add a filter that obscured the violence, remove the scoring system and change some of the more excessive executions.

You can see the uncut executions online, and they are actually quite brutal and definitely not for the faint of heart. Manhunt was re-released on PlayStation 4, but Manhunt 2 has yet to resurface. Considering how much Rockstar's profile and aesthetics has changed in the last decade, it seems unlikely it ever will.

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

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