#76: What’s That Glitch Pokemon?!

TODAY: Don’t forget that Amnesia Collection is out for Switch this week — Tokyo Game Show is in full swing, bringing an avalanche of trailers — New, improved and terribly expensive VR headset from HTC

Top Story

The Pokémon Company tease new Pokémon through ‘website glitch’

A brand-new Pokémon is poised to enter the limelight along with the upcoming Pokémon Sword & Shield – but is it a whole new species, or an evolution of an existing one? Fans are busy figuring it out.

The new Pokémon was teased by a glitch on the official website, a reference to the original Pokémon Red & Blue, where you could encounter a glitched Pokémon that appeared as a weird collection of garbage data. It wasn’t really a Pokémon at all, and went by the name ‘MissingNo’, but could still be caught and trained at the risk of losing your save data.

Out with the old, in with the new

The new species is a fighting Pokémon with an ability called STeadfast, and judging by the flavour text it appears to be an evolved form of an existing Pokémon: “Only [Redacted] that have survived many battles can attain this [Redacted]. When this Pokémon’s [Redacted]ers, it will retire from combat.”

Fans are speculating that this could be Sirfetch’d – leaked a while back – which appears to be a Galar region evolution of Farfetch’d, which was the first species in the Pokédex that couldn’t evolve into anything else. It’s an anatine Pokémon brandishing a leek as a weapon, while the evolution appears to wield a shield and possibly a lance.

Pokémon Sword & Shield is out on November 15th for Switch.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which of these games is NOT made by developer Frictional Games?

  • Soma
  • Penumbra: Overture
  • Amnesia: Justine
  • Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!

News Bits

Yo-Kai Watch 4 heading for PlayStation 4, Western release in the works

Once a Switch exclusive, JRPG Yo-Kai Watch 4 is now heading for PlayStation 4. Released for Switch in Japan this June, Level-5 has confirmed that a western localisation is in the works. An enhanced version of the original Yo-Kai Watch is also coming to Switch this month in Japan, so maybe that will hit the PlayStation 4 as well?

Oh I forgot, Amnesia: Collection is out for Nintendo Switch this week

The Amnesia games have been rather conveniently bundled up in the Amnesia: Collection, and is now available for Nintendo Switch. The collection features Amnesia: The Dark Descent, the expansion Amnesia: Justine and the squealing spin-off Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. It originally launched for PlayStation 4 in November 2016, then Xbox One in September 2018.

Daily Fact

Sonic Heroes was the first multi-platform Sonic in the franchise

Speedy, blue hedgehog Sonic is most famous for his 2D platform adventures, but he was also the star of the 3D platforming series Sonic Adventures on Dreamcast, and eventually the multiplatform Sonic Heroes series for PC, GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox.

Game Director Takashi Iizuka worried that Sonic Adventures was too hardcore and that another sequel would only appeal to die-hard Sonic fans, so he decided to go back to basics for the game that became Sonic Heroes.

He wanted to make something more akin to the old Genesis games, designed to be so accessible that even players unfamiliar with Sonic could understand and enjoy it. Despite less-than-stellar critical reception, Sonic Heroes became a big hit, selling over 1 million units in Europe by the end of 2004.

Daily News

Tokyo Game Show trailer round-up

This year’s Tokyo Game Show in full swing over in Capcom-Konami-Sony-SEGA-Nintendo land – otherwise known as Japan. The show has brought a steady stream of fresh trailers and gameplay footage, and here’s a round-up of the highlights so far:

  • Death Stranding (Kojima Productions/Sony) – Gameplay (Commentary) / Briefing Trailer – November 8, 2019 (PS4)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (CyberConnect2/Bandai Namco) – Pre-Order Trailer – January 17, 2019 (PC, Xbox One, PS4)
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake (Square Enix) – Trailer – March 3, 2020 (PS4)
  • Project Resistance (Capcom) – Gameplay Overview – TBA (Xbox One, PS4)
  • Nioh 2 (Team Ninja/Koei Tecmo) – Trailer – Early 2020 (PS4)
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon (STUDIO/PUB) – Announcement Trailer – January 16, 2020 (PS4)
  • Gungrave: G.O.R.E. (IggyMob/Digic Pictures/Red Entertainment) – Reunion Trailer – TBA (PS4)
  • Project Sakura Wars (SEGA) – Story Trailer / Gameplay Trailer – Q2 2020 (PS4)
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition (Square Enix) – Trailer – January 23, 2020 (PS4, Switch, iOS, Android)
  • One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 (Koei Tecmo/Bandai Namco) – Trailer – TBA 2020 (PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch)
  • Trials of Mana (Square Enix) – Trailer – April 24, 2020 (PS4)
  • No Straight Roads (Metronomik/Soldout) – Trailer – Early 2020 (PS4)
  • Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind (Square Enix) – DLC Trailer – Winter 2019 (Xbox One, PS4)

$699 Vive Cosmos VR out October 3rd

HTC’s latest VR set Vive Cosmos is launching on October 3rd, at a wallet-shaking $699 – nearly as much as the original Vive. The new model features a combined resolution of 2880×1700, an 88% increase over the original that promises to “minimize the screen-door effect.”

The new design allows you to simply flip the front of the headgear to exit VR instead of removing the whole headset, and features integrated on-ear headphones.

Step into a virtual world where your wallet is empty

“Cosmos offers an unmatched experience and is also our most versatile headset yet-with, inside-out tracking, options in the future for different faceplates, unlimited content in the box, and the new user interface, we see limitless possibilities for XR customers,” said Graham Wheeler of HTC.

Most importantly, you no longer need base stations to track the movement of the headset and controllers. The Vive required you to kit out a room with sensors, while the Cosmos uses cameras built into the set.

The new controllers also glow during use, improving motion tracking via six motion cameras. There’s also a $299 wireless adapter sold separately, meaning no more danger of tripping over cables – if you can afford it.

Under the Radar

Blasphemous

(The Game Kitchen – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Mac, Linux)

Blasphemous has received a lot of praise for its interesting platforming, epic boss battles and beautiful – albeit grotesque – pixel art. Often compared to From’s Souls games, its nightmarish world and tricky enemy encounters make for a punishing experience that demands mastery of its combat system if you want to uncover the treasures that hide in the depths of its levels.

As the name suggests, Blasphemous is dripping with religious undertones. You play The Penitent One, and your world is “trapped in an endless cycle of death and rebirth” – a cycle only you can break. In practice, this means navigating a non-linear game world featuring a variety of enemies that require you to learn their attack patterns so you can parry their attacks.

Parrying slows down time, giving you ample opportunity to punish your hapless enemy while avoiding damage. As you progress, you’ll meet more and more hostile enemies with different attacks and abilities that keeps the combat fresh, and you on your toes.

The boss fights are particularly tricky, and no doubt demands the same level of patience and resilience as From’s classics.

The Penitent One is equipped with a long, one-handed sword that can be upgraded with new moves and combos. Combos start out as simple button press and hold strings, before growing more complex and involving d-pad toggles. Your character also has magical abilities fueled by the fervor meter.

These powers allows The Penitent One to summon lightning, or rolling waves of magic. Like the items and rings familiar from the Souls games, Rosary beads, ropes and relics can be equipped to make your character stronger. These items are found scattered around the levels, or can be bought from merchants using the game’s currency, named Tears of Atonement.

Blasphemous is not just about combat, though: the levels feature secrets and areas that can only be reached with particular relics or abilities. In other words, keep an eye out for interesting places you can’t reach so you can go back later. You’ll also come across other characters on their own quests, and helping them seems to be in your best interest.

All in all, if a mix of Souls-like challenge and Castlevania-style level design sounds tempting, you should pick up Blasphemous! It’s perfect for Switch, since it can be enjoyed in short bursts and is perfect to play on the go. The art and story are striking and interesting, too.

Blasphemous is already available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch and is 10% off until September 17th.

News Bits

Ring Fit Adventure revealed for Switch, using new ‘Ring-Con’ controller

Remember Nintendo’s weird teaser trailer showing very active people using some kind of belt or ring thing to play mysterious, unseen games? Turns out the game is Ring Fit Adventure and that the controller is called Ring-Con. It’s a “fitness-filled quest that’ll keep you moving” which presumably makes it the Wii Fit of the Switch generation. It’s out on October 18th.

BioWare’s MMO Anthem now part of EA Access on PlayStation 4

MMO Anthem from BioWare is now available via the EA Access Vault for PlayStation 4. If you’re an EA Access subscriber, you can ‘enjoy’ Anthem at no additional charge, except some download time, drive space and possibly your soul.

Anthem was released in February and reportedly made over $100 million. It was also accused of bricking PlayStation 4s.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which of these games is NOT made by developer Frictional Games?

Answer: Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs!

Frictional Games is behind Amnesia: The Dark Descent, one of the greatest horror games of all time – now out on Switch, as mentioned before! Before starting work on Amnesia, the studio created the Penumbra trilogy, starting with Penumbra Overture, which is similar and well worth playing.

The Amnesia story is quite interesting: Frictional developed an expansion called Justine, but left the sequel A Machine For Pigs in the able hands of The Chinese Room, developer of archetypal walking simulator Dear Esther.

Frictional went on to make science-fiction horror adventure Soma, and currently has two secret projects in the works. All three Amnesia games are included in the collection for Switch, so if you’ve got strong nerves you should definitely give it a go!

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