#140: Star Fox 2 Lands on Nintendo Switch Online

TODAY: Steam will offer demos of games announced at The Game Awards for a limited time — Yoshi was almost a horse, but reptiles are more Mushroom Kingdom — Get ready to definitely become a Martin Sandwich

Top Story

‘Finished but not released’ Star Fox 2 barrel rolls onto Switch Online

More classics have been added to the Nintendo Switch Online library, with Star Fox 2 leading the pack of 4 SNES and 2 NES games.

Star Fox 2 was developed in the final days of the Super Nintendo’s lifetime, and never made it to market since Nintendo shifted their focus to the Nintendo 64. It was finally released in 2017 as an unlockable for the Super NES Classic Edition mini console.

Nintendo Switch Online requires a subscription

Super Punch-Out, Kirby Super Star and Breath of Fire II are also being added to the slowly expanding but already rich SNES, alongside Crystalis and Journey to Silius for NES.

Like the other retro games available on Switch, the new additions support the rewind feature which allows you to cheat death and undo your mistakes. They sure don’t make ’em like they used to.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

In what series do you meet boss character The Nameless King?

  • Bloodborne
  • Dark Souls
  • Dragon’s Dogma
  • The Surge

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

Two Point Hospital gets 10ccs of console release February 2020

Two Point Hospital – the most excellent spiritual successor to Theme Hospital from the former Bullfrog devs at Two Point Studios – is finally getting the console treatment on February 25th.

Get ready to build hospitals, hire doctors and keep a variety of silly diseases at bay on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch. Two Point Hospital will also be available on the Xbox Game Pass service.

The Game Festival offers 48 hours of demos following The Game Awards

Geoff Keighley and the rest of the Game Awards crew will try a brand new thing this year: The Game Festival will start shortly after the main event.

Demos for a variety of titles announced during the show will be available on Steam for 48 hours, and if it turns out successful it’ll probably become a permanent staple.

Daily Fact

Horses ‘didn’t make sense’ for Mario’s universe, so we got a reptilian Yoshi

Mario’s proud steed could have been a horse, but Nintendo felt like an equestrian sidekick would be out of place since the Mushroom Kingdom is dominated by reptiles – and thus Yoshi was born. Appearing more like a mix of crocodile and turtle, he’s not the most obvious riding animal but maybe that’s why he’s so iconic.

Mario almost got his turn in the saddle in Super Mario 64 – but the equine extravaganza ended up in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time instead, where Link would befriend the untamed and rather spirited horse Epona.

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

Daily News

Turn 10 holds first “studio-wide playtest” for next Forza Motorsport

Turn 10 is busy tuning up the next Forza Motorsport, and they have just completed their first “studio-wide playtest” according to creative director Chris Esaki.

He also listed some new features during a community livestream, although he noted that they “don’t really matter in the larger scheme of things. The overall product, and where we’re going with it, is so vastly a different and an amazing experience”.

“We experienced our new tyre model, we experienced our new tyre pressure model – we have a new way that heat interacts with the tyre pressure and we actually have dynamic track temperatures affecting this all,” he explained.

“We have dynamic rubbering in on the track. We have a new atmospheric pressure system that accurately has pressure affecting things like air density, affecting aerodynamics and power, as well as the tyre pressure. We have an entire new suspension system with new suspension modelling.”

Forza debuted on the original Xbox in May 2005

Those are “just the moment-to-moment, rubber meets the road” mechanics though – there’s still no word on the progression, customization and online features and we will have to wait for next year to hear more about them.

Esaki wouldn’t even confirm the title, which platforms the next Forza is launching on or for that matter a launch date. Could it be a launch title for the next Xbox?

Former Double Fine VP Greg Rice now at PlayStation as indie boss

Former vice president of business development at Psychonauts creator Double Fine has just joined Sony Interactive Entertainment as the global head of indie accounts.

Double Fine was recently acquired by Microsoft Game Studios, and Rice left to continue pushing the indie envelope for PlayStation since it’s uncertain whether Double Fine will keep supporting indie games with Microsoft.

Psychonauts 2 hits PC and consoles in 2020

“I’ll be managing all independent developer and publisher accounts and building new initiatives to support indies big and small from all over the world,” tweeted Greg Rice. “Looking forward to being part of the next generation of great PlayStation games!”

He will be joining former Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida to nurture indie talent for Sony. This hopefully means Sony is gearing up to provide a nice, balanced mix of AAA spectacle and quirky indie fare for PlayStation 5.

News Bits

Hand tracking for Oculus Quest soon

The Oculus Quest is hitting a major milestone this week: It is the first VR headset to feature hand tracking. What does that mean in practice? Well, you’ll soon be able to interact with VR experiences without using controllers! Sound too good to be true? Check out Oculus’ video controls walkthrough to see how gestures can be used to navigate menus.

You just need to download the new Oculus Quest software next week, and then enable hand tracking in the Experimental Features menu. Hand tracking is only available in the Oculus Library, Store, Browser and TV apps for now but the new SDK also launches next week and we will probably see developers implement hand tracking features soon.

Boneworks is finally here

Boneworks, perhaps the most anticipated VR game – at least until Half-Life: Alyx was announced – is finally available on Steam. Level Zero’s experimental physics adventure raced to the top of Steam’s top-selling list, briefly dethroning Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Red Dead Redemption 2. Players seem to like Boneworks so far, with over 2,500 reviews netting it a Very Positive rating.

Big SteamVR update for Index users

Valve is pushing a lot of updates in support of their new VR headset, and this week SteamVR received a UI overhaul which added a fresh lick of paint to the interface as well as two huge new features: The ability to switch refresh rate without restarting the headset, and higher brightness (up to 140 from 110).

Now you won’t have to spend minutes rebooting the headset to change the refresh rate, and will probably be able to better navigate dark and low-contrast areas in VR games. The update is still in beta, so if you want them right away you’ll need to opt in.

ValveNewsNetwork claims Half-Life: Alyx can control headset brightness

ValveNewsNetwork claims that Valve’s Source 2 engine now allows developers to dynamically adjust the brightness of VR headsets, allowing developers to optimize visibility for particularly light or dark areas. Half-Life: Alyx is apparently the only game using the feature right now, but if it turns out good it will probably make its way into other games and engines too.

VR Roundup

One of the survivors in Resident Evil Resistance is named ‘Martin Sandwich’

Capcom has named one of the unlucky survivors from upcoming 4v1 asymmetric online game Resident Evil Resistance. Martin Sandwich is a “skilled engineer and mechanic” who can lay traps to slow and hinder enemies, and is named after the infamous ‘Jill Sandwich’ scene in the original Resident Evil.

Split-screen coming to Fortnite on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Soon you’ll be doing the splits in Fortnite for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One! The latest update lets you divvy up your screen if you’re playing Battle Royale Duos or Squads mode – but not Creative, Limited Time Modes, Save the World or (duh) Solos. Unfortunately neither the PC or Switch version will support split-screen – at least not yet.

Win an Oculus Quest!

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All you have to do is follow DailyBits on Twitter.

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Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

In what series do you meet boss character The Nameless King?

Answer: Dark Souls

Dark Souls is pretty much defined by its epic boss encounters, and the series features a pretty substantial rogues’ gallery of horrors. Still, Nameless King stands out for being not just big and horrible, but also one of the toughest bosses in a famously tough series.

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