Super Mario Bros 35th anniversary, Modern Warfare 2 Remaster

TODAY: What could Nintendo have in store for Mario’s 35th anniversary? – Half-Life: Alyx is already playable without a VR headset, but only barely with modding support – NASCAR was canceled but the iRacing simulator saved the day

Modern Warfare 2 Remaster Unlocked

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered this week

The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 remaster is out this week, and should appear on the PlayStation Store with the next update according to VGC.

The game was unceremoniously revealed by a Korean ratings board in late February, and recent datamining of a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare update exposed some artwork. The German PlayStation Store already lists Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered.

Story only: The original game launched in 2009, and followed the increasingly ridiculous exploits of fan-favorite Captain Price. The remaster focuses on the single-player content since Modern Warfare already has ample multiplayer modes, including the free-to-play Warzone.

Bundle deal: Dataminers also revealed that anyone purchasing the Ghost Bundle from the Modern Warfare client will get the Modern Warfare 2 remaster as well. Activision CFO Dennis Durkin has announced that there will be “several remastered and reimagined” releases this year.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which technology made the animation in Don Bluth’s Dragon’s Lair possible?

  • The Laserdisc
  • The AmigaOS
  • The ROM Cartridge
  • The Blast Processor

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

Both Mario and Sonic were going to appear in a Crash game – sort of…

Crash Twinsanity for PlayStation 2 and Xbox was supposed to feature Moronic the Plumber, a strange mix of Mario and Sonic on a quest to recover stolen treasure.

Perhaps fortunately, Traveller’s Tales Oxford Studio decided to scrap the idea and opted for a Spyro the Dragon cameo instead. Fake Crash was also supposed to appear, but technical issues got in the way.

Perhaps most tragically, a whole level with a musical number named Take a Walk Through My Brains, performed by Dr. Cortex, ended up on the cutting room floor. Perhaps he’ll eventually appear on Eurovision?

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

Nintendo's Anniversary Celebration

Nintendo could be remastering lots of Mario games for his 35th anniversary

Super Mario Bros’ 35th anniversary is coming up, and there are rumours that Nintendo will be remastering most of the Super Mario series for Switch.

Nintendo has not announced anything yet, of course, but if the rumours are true we can expect Nintendo to remaster and rerelease highlights going all the way back to 1985. The plans will supposedly be announced alongside a partnership with Universal, who Nintendo is working with on a Mario theme park.

E3 reveal: Mario’s 35th anniversary was intended to be announced at E3 in June, but since the show has been canceled the announcement is likely to be streamed instead. Nintendo has, of course, neither confirmed nor denied anything, simply stating that the company “does not comment on rumour and speculation”. We could see Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy all getting remastered, if reports are true.

Partnerships: Nintendo is also teaming up with LEGO to create a special set that will launch later this year. An animated Mario movie is apparently also in the works – oh, and more Paper Mario, too, if you can believe it.

This Week In Gaming

Can Nemesis distract from COVID-19?

Sick of hiding from an malevolent microbe? How about hiding from a genetically engineered super soldier with teeth like roof tiles? Prepare to be hunted high and low in Resident Evil 3: Remake.

Tuesday – March 31

  • Bubble Bobble 4 Friends launches for Nintendo Switch
  • Persona 5 Royal launches for PlayStation 4

Thursday – April 2

  • My Friend Pedro launches for PlayStation 4

Friday – April 3

  • Resident Evil 3 (2020) launches for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

What Else Happened Today?

Esports Bits

NASCAR Pro Invitation Series sets new esports viewing record in the U.S.

This year’s NASCAR event was cancelled thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, so Fox Sports broadcast an iRacing event instead, featuring Hall of Fame drivers competing in a simulator. According to Nielsen data, the event earned a 0.53 rating and had 903,000 viewers, which makes it the most-viewed Esports event in U.S. TV history.

NASCAR Senior VP and Chief Digital Officer Tim Clark said: “We talked last week going into it that no one had any expectations. This was about creating entertainment and a distraction from everything going on; I don’t think anyone even bothered to think about what sort of numbers this could drive.”

Fortnite players banned for collusion

The Fortnite Champion Series has issued 60 day bans to Logan ‘Bucke’ Eschenburg and Nate ‘Kreo’ Kou, as well as Andrew ‘Keys’ G and ‘Slackes’. Evidence of collusion appeared on Twitter, and the ban was issued just hours after the two teams placed first and second in the leaderboards after the community responded with outrage.

The Fortnite competitive community is still debating whether a 60 day ban is enough of a punishment for such a severe breach of trust and competitive spirit. By comparison, Valve banned the participants in the iBUYPOWER match-fixing scandal for life.

Nevada approves betting on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Nevada has become the first US state to allow betting on the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Esports league. While many sports events have been canceled over COVID-19 fears, most Esports leagues can carry on as usual since the competition takes place over the internet. As a result, betting company William Hill has started taking bets on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Viewers can watch the games on YouTube, Twitch or via William Hill’s Nevada app. Esports gambling has been allowed in Europe for a while, but the US has been slow to follow suit. If the program works out, Esports betting will most likely spread like wildfire across the United States.

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Two Point Hospital: Off The Grid Code

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From Hogsport to Blighton, from Flemington to Smogley, from here to remote corners of the Wanderoff County Park, everyone is talking about Mother Nature. Tabitha Windsock, Two Point County’s every-present mayor, has put rivers and forests back on the map with her sudden concern for ‘green-issues’. She’s got morals, integrity and, above all else, a cloying desperation to stay in office.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which technology made the animation in Don Bluth’s Dragon’s Lair possible?

Answer: The LaserDisc!

It’s hard to believe that Dragon’s Lair came out in 1983. With animation directed by esteemed animator Don Bluth, the game looked like it emerged from a parallel dimension next to rival arcade games like Mappy and Mario Bros – and it was all thanks to LaserDisc. Dirk the Daring’s adventure consisted of 22 minutes of high-quality animation that could branch and be played back in different orders, but also imposed huge constraints on gameplay.

Dragon’s Lair was the first FMV game, and its gameplay essentially consisted of a series of simple QTEs. While that doesn’t sound too impressive today, it was a serious technical challenge nearly 40 years ago: Since the game had to show different short clips all the time, the LaserDisc player had to do a lot more work than it was designed for and the player often broke down, making the already expensive cabinet very costly to maintain.

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