Xbox Series Pre-Orders Open Tuesday, Rayman Creator Exits

TODAY: Beyond Good & Evil 2 is still on the day, despite Michel Ancel’s departure — If you’re looking for a tight, challenging Metroidvania you should check out Minoria — Learn more about Cyberpunk 2077’s gangs

Next-gen Xbox pre-orders open soon

Microsoft has announced that Xbox Series X and S pre-orders are opening on Tuesday, September 22nd.

Microsoft is giving more time to organise for pre-orders than Sony

“Xbox Series S and Series X will be available in 37 countries on November 10, and 41 countries by this holiday,” according to the Xbox blog. Xbox Series X will be $500 in the US, while Series S will be $300. You can also try to sign up for Xbox All Access to pay off the console in monthly instalments while enjoying Xbox Game Pass.

Confirmed pre-order retailers (September 22)

  • United States (8.00am PT)
    • Microsoft Store, Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Walmart, Target, Sam’s Club, Newegg
  • Canada (8.00am PT)
    • Microsoft Store, Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, EB Games, The Source
  • United Kingdom (8.00am BST)
    • Microsoft Store, GAME, Amazon, Dixons, Currys PC World, Argos, John Lewis, Smyths Toys, VERY, AO, Tesco, Simply Game, Shopto
  • Australia (8.00am AEST)
    • Microsoft Store, JB Hifi, EB Games, Telstra, Harvey Norman
  • New Zealand (8.00am NZST)
    • Microsoft Store, JB HiFi, EB Games, Spark
  • Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (9.00am CEST)
    • Microsoft Store, Amazon, MediaMarkt, GameStop, FNAC, Elkjop/Elgiganten

Xbox All Access participating retailers (September 22)

Xbox All Access pre-orders will not open on September 22nd in Canada, France, Poland and South Korea, “but the program will be available in these countries before the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S launch this holiday.” Microsoft promises more details soon…

  • United States (8.00am PT): Best Buy, GameStop, Microsoft Store, and Walmart
  • Australia (8.00am AEST): Telstra
  • New Zealand (8.00am NZST): Spark
  • United Kingdom (8.00am BST): GAME and Smyths Toys
  • Denmark (9.00am CEST): Elgiganten
  • Finland (9.00am CEST): Gigantti
  • Norway (9.00am CEST): Elkjop
  • Sweden (9.00am CEST): Elgiganten

What studio developed Left 4 Dead under the name Valve South?

  • Nuclear Monkey Software
  • Facepunch Studios
  • Turtle Rock Studios
  • Bohemia Interactive

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.

JoJo’s Bizarre Localization Changes

Fighting game JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle had to make some changes to avoid infringing on trademarks and copyright before launching in the west. For example, the character Vanilla Ice became Cool Ice, and other references to bands and musicians got toned down or changed.

All Star Battle was made partly thanks to 2006's Phantom Blood

Giorno’s stand Gold Experience was renamed to Golden Wind while the character ‘Jean Pierre Polnareff’ became ‘Jean Pierre Eiffel’. However, only the subtitles were changed, so the original Japanese voice acting still features all the original names!

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

Cyberpunk 2077’s Night City Wire round-up

The third Night City Wire episode aired today, and showcased the different gangs that rule the streets of Cyberpunk 2077. Find out more about the Voodoo Boys, the Animals and the Maelstrom on CD Projekt RED’s Twitch channel!

Episode 3 has now aired for Night City Wire

PC system requirements

  • Minimum
    • OS: 64-bit Windows 7 / 10
    • CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K / AMD FX-8310
    • RAM: 8 GB
    • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB / AMD Radeon RX 470
    • Storage: 70 GB HDD
  • Recommended
    • OS: 64-bit Windows 10
    • CPU: Intel Core i7-4790 / AMD Ryzen 3 3200G
    • RAM: 12 GB
    • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB / AMD Radeon R9 Fury
    • Storage: 70 GB SSD

Episode 3 highlights

Beyond Good & Evil 2 still on the way

Beyond Good & Evil 2 was first revealed in 2008, but then Ubisoft went quiet again until 2017, when they showed a new trailer with a very, very different style.

Sci-fi space piracy in the Beyond Good & Evil universe

Now the game seems to have entered full production, and Ubisoft says they are “well underway and […] are currently concentrating on core development and production milestones.” They also briefly mention the departure of Michel Ancel, who has “decided to stop working in video games” in order to focus on wild life.

On track: “For years, Michel imparted his creative vision and helped us remain faithful to BG&E’s incredible universe,” said Ubisoft, and his “uncompromising passion pushed us to redefine what was possible” in video games. The team recently passed an “important internal milestone,” proving their space pirate fantasy is shaping up well.

Next year: “We still have a lot more to do to, and we’re ramping up the size of the team to help.” Ubisoft Paris is going to help out with production, and “many new people” are joining Ubisoft Montpellier. They plan to show Beyond Good & Evil 2 “in action sometime next year,” but no word on whether it’s a next-gen game or not.

Minoria Review

Developer: Bombservice
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch

The best thing about Switch is games that work equally well docked and on the go, but it’s fascinating that some games just feel more right when played in handheld mode. Minoria is one of those. The Metroidvania adventure launched for PC last year, and has now finally arrived on Switch.

Minoria begins as the two nuns Sister Semilla and Sister Fran try to stop a sacrilegious ceremony. The two of them must purify the witches of the world and fight against heresy and keep the church’s doctrine pure by means of holy inquisition. Although the art style is surprisingly cute, the game is pretty moody and brutal and while the story is a bit predictable, it’s enthusiastically told and gets you involved in the characters.

Can’t I just do my inquisition-ing WITHOUT some giant monster wrecking house?

If you played any of Bombservice’s previous games, you will know their distinct take on the Metroidvania formula. You explore a big castle, fight monsters and purify the place by defeating witches and their minions. On the way, you unlock new spells and abilities, while coming to master the platforming and combat. It’s a fun take on the formula, and has really nice, responsive controls.

Particularly the parry mechanic feels great, and if you time it right you can launch a powerful counter-attack that can damage multiple enemies. It makes regular enemies easy to defeat once you’ve learned their attack patterns, but doesn’t make the game too easy: The boss fights are real highlights that demand your full attention, and there’s just no shortcut to success. All you can do is die, die again – and persevere.

You die a lot in Minoria. Even basic enemies can kill you pretty quickly, and you simply need to master the game to make it through the castle. There’s no grinding your way to victory here, which means beating particularly bosses is a real treat. Minoria is tough but fair, and there’s plenty of save points where you can restore your resources and face challenges at full strength.

Verdict

If you like your Metroidvanias challenging and atmospheric, Minoria is made for you. It’s got tight controls, a fascinating world and doesn’t outstay its welcome.

8.5/10

Thumbs Up

  • Tricky Bosses
  • Nice moody art
  • Great game feel
  • Worthwhile challenge

Thumbs Down

  • Underwhelming leveling
  • Parrying can make combat too easy

PlayStation 5 pre-order and price guide

The rush is on to secure a PlayStation 5, with pre-orders opening yesterday. Many retailers have already sold out their pre-order allotments, and it will most likely be challenging to find a unit without queuing up at a retailer’s location on release day – but that’s no reason to give up as more units become available online!

Most retailers have already allocated initial pre-order stock

Here’s a list of retailers that might be going in and out of stock during the next few days:

US (Standard $499 / Digital $399)

UK (Standard £450 / Digital £360)

Australia (Standard $750 / Digital $600)

Deadly Days Switch Giveaway

This week we were giving away several Nintendo Switch codes for Deadly Days if you refereed DailyBits to a friend! Using our widget, you could start earning referrals for a chance to win a code, but it can also be used to enter into future giveaways too.

Deadly Days is available now on Nintendo eShop for $18.99 or £17.09.

win a digital copy of Deadly Days on Nintendo Switch

Deadly Days is a unique strategic rogue-lite in the zombie apocalypse. Manage and protect a group of survivors and help them to stop the catastrophe. Discover and use a large number of wild and crazy objects, even wilder and crazier survivors, special abilities, and deadly weapons.

Deadly Days Giveaway Winners

  • Sadhgun Sobti – India
  • Gunar Schubert – Germany
  • Duncan Wright – Scotland
  • Tymoteusz Moryto – Poland
  • Erkam Sanal – Turkey
    • PlayStation 5 will not be backwards compatible with PlayStation 3 says PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan. The focus is on PlayStation 4 games
    • Left 4 Dead 2 – The Last Stand coming to Steam on September 24th featuring all-new official content developed by the community in collaboration with Valve
    • Multiplayer modes will be cut from Disintegration by November 17th after developer reveals the game “unfortunately struggled” to gain traction
    • Launch a criminal enterprise in Empire of Sin on December 1st, perhaps inspired by the feuding gangsters in the latest trailer
    • Nolan North is trying to get a second Deadpool game made since the first became a cult hit, and he wants a Ryan Reynolds cameo

What studio developed Left 4 Dead under the name Valve South?

Answer: Turtle Rock Studios!

You may not recognize them from their name alone, but you definitely know their games.

Grabbin’ a smaller game studio!

They worked on Counter-Strike and both Left 4 Dead games with Valve, and were acquired by Valve to form Valve South in 2008. However, Turtle Rock never properly integrated into Valve and they eventually got spun out as Turtle Rock again.

The companies kept working together, and Turtle Rock contributed to Left 4 Dead 2‘s post-launch content as well as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Turtle Rock recently announced a spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead called Back 4 Blood, most likely with Valve’s blessing.

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