September has arrived, and in any other year, this would be the kick-off to a monster release schedule rolling into the holiday season. But in the year of COVID, so much is still up in the air. We don't know the release dates or prices for the next-gen systems, we don't know if Nintendo has a trick up its sleeve for November, we don't even know if the games we're looking forward to over the next 12 weeks will be hit with a last-minute delay.
But we do know there is still so much to talk about with the industry, and on this episode of Podtoid, CJ, Chris, Dan, and Charlotte get to chatting about Marvel's Avengers, Moon, Super Mario 3D All-Stars, and speaking German. All that, plus we answer your questions, on Podtoid Episode 457.
It's still a few years away, but the potential of Unreal Engine 5 to define the next generation of gaming is very real. The demonstrations for it so far have been impeccable, and with some talented art directors, we could see some truly astonishing looking games on the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Or, we'll see the same crap they're making with Unreal Engine 4.
Either way, a game's engine is a part of its identity. Sadly, some franchises are in the midst of an identity crisis. While I understand why it's ideal for developers to work with one engine over many years, there often comes a point where the age or limitations of an engine hinders the potential of the series. Sometimes, to save a series, you have to make a change.
Thankfully, there are many options available for developers looking to revitalize a franchise. That's the basis of this Destructoid Discusses post was prompted by Brett Makedonski, who got the idea when Jordan Devore brought up the fantastical prospect of a new Dead Rising game made with the Resident Evil engine (Psst...Capcom, you should do this). That led me to ask the rest of the Destructoid staff to name a game they'd love to see made in another franchise's engine.
Work continues on the remaster of Westwood Studios' 1997 point 'n' click adventure Blade Runner. A newly released video from developer Nightdive Studios gives fans their first look at the classic adventure's spruced-up cutscenes.
While the late '90s character models are present and correct, Nightdive has seemingly done a good job in making the FMV sequences crisper from a visual standpoint, with smoother edges, higher resolution, and added fluidity to their animation. Scenes featured in the video include the opening pet store massacre, and Rep Detect agent Ray McCoy traveling through Los Angeles circa 2019... Yeah...
I'm fairly predictable when it comes to Square Enix rhythm games: I see one, I play it. I even have a Japanese 3DS that I primarily use to play Theatrhythm Dragon Quest. But when Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory came along, it spoke to me in a way that few other rhythm offerings have from the publisher.
Recently, I sat down with Ichiro Hazama (producer), Tetsuya Nomura (director) and Masanobu Suzui (co-director) to have a quick chat about the upcoming project.
Kingdoms of Amalur slaps. That is all.
Wait you want more? Okay fine.
Just a little while ago, we did indeed learn if your PC can run Crysis, as Crytek provided the actual minimum and recommend specs. But can your PC actually run Crysis? We'll find out soon enough.
It seems as if the company is embracing the pop culture phrase directly into the game, as evidenced by a tweet over the weekend. "Exclusively on PC," the game will sport a "Can it Run Crysis?" graphics setting, which will "demand every last bit of your hardware with unlimited settings." Yes, this will end well for everyone involved.
Crytek also provided a screenshot, which you can view and heckle below. Given that this is a remaster and not a remake, I'd say they did a decent job of bringing out the colors and detail of the island; to the point where it excels upon concepts the original was never able to achieve. Of course if you're a fan of the dour, less saturated look of the 2007 version, you might not be a fan.
Nintendo has released a new trailer previewing the next update for mobile battler Fire Emblem Heroes. Arriving tomorrow, September 8, the newest summoning event will see a selection of heroes donning their most ostentatious finery before heading off into battle.
Special Heroes being added to the mix include valiant princess Lachesis, noble healer Ethlyn, loyal crusader Quan, and finally a new dual-hero in the form of Sigurd, who is accompanied by his wife Deidre. As devoted Fire Emblem fans may have noticed, all of the above characters starred together in 1996 Super Famicom release Genealogy of the Holy War
DotEmu has released its previously announced balance update for awesome scrolling brawler Streets of Rage 4. The new update has made substantial balance tweaks to the title's roster of heroes and villains, while improving the fluidity of online play and stamping out several bugs.
Axel fans will be pleased to hear that your boy now has an improved walk speed and improved recovery on certain actions, while Floyd fans will be dismayed to hear that his infinite has been fixed. Difficulty has been increased for certain higher-level boss characters, while particularly frustrating attacks - such as Estel's Police Backup assault - have been made a little easier to evade. Even the retro characters have been given a tweak or two.
Patch notes detailing each character's individual buffs and nerfs are available for viewing over on the official DotEmu blog. The publisher also noted that owners of SoR 4's PS4 physical edition may have difficulty applying the update, but that the team are looking into the situation and expect a fix soon.
Streets of Rage 4 is available now on PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
It is being reported that World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has decreed that its stars must cease all "detrimental" third-party deals/engagement, which is presumed to include live streaming on Twitch, YouTube, and other social media platforms.
In a letter obtained by Wrestling Inc. and clarified by industry insider Bryan Alvarez, WWE CEO Vince McMahon ordered WWE stars to terminate all ongoing third-party activities within 30 days, or face the possibility of fines, suspension, or termination at the company's discretion. While the letter references activities that are "detrimental to [the] company", the non-specific wording at what constitutes "detrimental" has reportedly left some talent confused and frustrated.
In response to online criticism from both fans and current and former WWE stars, the company has since issued a second statement reaffirming the decision.
In recent years, many top WWE stars have used platforms such as YouTube, Twitch, and Cameo to connect with their fans. Wrestlers Dakota Kai, AJ Styles, Cesaro, Mia Yim, and Asuka are among those who frequently stream video games, hold charity marathons, or simply converse with their followers. Such activities have increased during 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact those within the pro-wrestling industry, causing a drop-off in all-important merchandise royalties and ticket sales, while devastating the independent scene.
As all WWE wrestlers are designated "independent contractors", (a phrase that has long been a source of major controversy within the business,) it remains to be seen whether this new "third-party" decree can or will be upheld from a legal perspective. It is believed that WWE will further expand on this ruling to its talent at this week's TV tapings.
Vince McMahon threatens to punish talent engaging with third parties [Wrestling Inc.]
After some time with the live version of Marvel's Avengers, I realized that it had a lot to prove.
Now that I'm finished with most of the content that the "1.0" edition has to offer, it still has plenty to prove.
I came into gaming in a time when Japan was king. All the biggest and best games created in the '80s and '90s came from development studios and publishers operating across the Pacific. This is back in a time when Mega Man was a top-tier franchise for Capcom, and Konami hadn't yet discovered pachinko machines.
And yet despite Japan's near-complete domination of the industry, there are many games from the era that have existed only as folklore to those of us in the west. These unlocalized titles, supposed gems that "western audiences just wouldn't understand," became the stuff of legend to the dweebs and geeks of the time who hit up gaming chatrooms on AOL.
We didn't have Xseed or NIS America or any of these other small publishers that cater to the whims of niche audiences the way we do now. We had to make do with what was given to us and daydream about what wasn't. And there is no game I daydreamed more about than Moon: Remix RPG Adventure. This game has been such a long time coming, I knew I shouldn't do this review alone. So I asked Adzuken to help me see if this un-RPG was worth the love I had given it from afar for so many years.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater left its mark on history...I want to say...within minutes of its release in 1999.
It didn't matter if you skated or not, it was a cultural touchstone, a sign that skating had arrived. While it's faltered through the years (Tony Hawk himself dates it around 2006, when Project 8 was released), it's back now: for real this time.
Previously, on this review of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition, my Clavat caravaner completed his fourth year of travels, meeting some new friends and enemies along the way. And while his caravan is capable of holding three other adventurers, he completed his journeys alone. But riding solo on the road can get lonely, so for the second half of his quest to rid the world of miasma, he wanted to find a friend he could travel with.
Oh, if only it were that simple.
Cblogs Recap: Week 36
-Julc3 reflects on the daily conflict we see online as the presidential elections come to a close and how it's affecting his enjoyment of his hobbies (The American presidential system is broken and puts the fate of all Americans in the hands of 6-8 states).
Hamster have pulled out a genuine classic for this week's Arcade Archives release: Konami's genre-defining shooter Contra is now available to download on Nintendo Switch.
Originally unleashed on the arcade scene in 1987, Contra is a side-scrolling platformer/shooter that sees one or two players don the headbands and 'roided body frames of commandos Bill Rizer and Lance Bean, as the musclebound duo run 'n' gun their way through a full-on alien invasion. What can I tell you that you don't already know? It's Contra.
As announced during Limited Run's July live stream, the physical media manufacturer will offer a re-release of the very first titles in WayForward's adorable adventure series Shantae. Not only are the original 2002 release and its 2010 sequel coming to Nintendo Switch, but the original Shantae will also receive a fresh run of Game Boy Color cartridges!
Sega's cult RPG series Shenmue is to receive an anime adaptation. The series - a joint production between Crunchroll and Adult Swim - was announced during yesterday's "Virtual Crunchyroll Expo 2020" event.
The Shenmue anime will run for 13 episodes and is being produced by Japanese studio Telecom Animation Film. The anime will be a re-telling the video game's narrative, following the adventures of young martial artist Ryo Hazuki, who embarks on a long and hazardous journey to avenge the death of his father at the hands of the sinister Lan Di. Shenmue creator and Ys Net head honcho Yu Suzuki is on board as executive producer.
"The first Shenmue video game was released more than 20 years ago and we are excited to work with Adult Swim again to bring this franchise to life through the anime series," said Crunchyroll's Sarah Victor in a press release. "We look forward to showing our fans more of this action-packed adventure series".
No date was announced for the anime's premiere, which will launch on the Crunchyroll and Adult Swim streaming networks. For more information, be sure to follow the anime's official Twitter account. In the meantime, Shenmue III is available now on PS4 and PC.
It is Labor Day Weekend here in the United States, but because more than half the cast of Podtoid doesn't live in this here country, we recording an all-new episode this weekend. And as it's the first show of the month, we're looking to get some listener questions. The crew has had a week off, so we're champing at the bit to answer those questions you've been dying to ask us while also ignoring those of you who keep writing variations of "Marry, Screw, Kill."
Remember, the more creative the question, the more likely it is to get asked on the show. And we're good sports, so if you want to make fun of our legendary love of cashews, have at it!
And you made it. I made it. We all made it. It is the end of another week and I hope that it is a week that finds you and yours very well. It's still a weird world filled with strange days (great movie), but I do think we're all showing incredible strength, courage, and drive in pushing forward through the weeks and months. I'm real proud of you all.
You probably shouldn't be proud of me, however, as I've relented and am back on my Street Fighter V BS. Yes, my "least favourite game that I've put over 700 hours into" is once again installed on the ol' hard drive, as I lead my gal Juri through a flurry of online opposition. The Industry's Chris "50/50 W/L" Moyse is back in the game, and while I'll admit I'm really missing Mortal Kombat 11, the upside is that no-one has sent me a post-match message threatening my life since I took a break from the NetherRealm.
But let's hear from you. You know how this works by now, as you've been doing it for years. Drop into the comments and fill us in on the games that you've been enjoying this week. Whether you're mashing your way through Marvel's Avengers, pulling off a shove-it ollie-nose-grind-donkey-dong in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 & 2, or just enjoying some of your trusty all-time favourites, let us know how you're currently spending your gaming time.
Have a safe and pleasant weekend, from all of us at Destructoid.
In today's giveaway, we're handing out 125 Steam keys for giant robot strategy title Volta-X!
Who here likes giant robots? What about kaiju? *counts hands*
Yeah, I thought so. Well, you're all in luck! The first 125 people who claim a key get to take a FREE Steam copy of giant robot/kaiju battler Volta-X!
Stardew Valley is calling my name with each update 1.5 check-in, and today's screenshot – a laid-back beachside scene with ducks floating around some submerged trees – is about as cozy as they come.
In update 1.5... pic.twitter.com/qnsoLtifep— ConcernedApe (@ConcernedApe) September 4, 2020
To an outsider, it's just a random image hinting at upcoming game content. I won't deny it! But to those of us who have fallen head over heels for Stardew over the years, it's so evocative. It reminds me of small, fuzzy screenshots in old gaming magazines that would sell me on the entire mood of a game.
This is a lovely note to end a Friday news schedule on.
We post PC specs all the time, but rarely are we afforded the opportunity to post the PC specs for the most infamous PC game of all-time. It's a special day.
Crytek has published the Crysis Remastered PC requirements on its Epic Games Store page. They doesn't live up to the legacy of the original. Crysis Remastered is here to make friends, not melt your rig. It's a trade-off that most people are probably willing to make.
Without further ado, here are Crysis Remastered's minimum and recommended specs on PC:
It's been a tough decade for arena shooters with grand plans to break into the mainstream, but there will seemingly always be a dedicated community of hardcore players to rally around the best of the best. Diabotical – a free-to-play arena shooter with silly-faced Eggbots – is the latest standout.
The game has over 15 modes including 5v5 Instagib, time trials to run, an in-game aim trainer, and 30 maps. You'll know if Diabotical is in your wheelhouse after watching this trailer – there's no mistaking it.
Diabotical launched yesterday on the Epic Games Store and it's supported, in part, with cosmetics.
"We have a two-year dev plan thanks to Epic Games and the Arena FPS community's support," creator The GD Studio tweeted. "So consider [September 3] the start of Season 1! We'll improve the product with your feedback as we go. And drop you some bigger updates each season. Season 2 in December."
Next time you're feeling Quake's call, maybe give this an afternoon. I respect its fundamentals.
Bandai Namco has released a trailer for one of the scurvy dawgs headed to its anime brawler One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 and, as previously reported, it's none other than swashbuckling troublemaker X Drake.
Spoilers for the One Piece anime follow.
Captain of The Drake Pirates and a member of the notorious "Worst Generation," this former SWORD member turned his back on his marine status to become a ruthless bandit of the seven seas. Already a dual-weapon fighter of expert skill, X Drake is also capable of transforming himself into a monstrous Allosaurus, devastating armies of men with his primal powers.
Nintendo has clarified how the controls will work in Super Mario 3D All-Stars on Nintendo Switch, and while we don't have the full picture for every possible setup, it's nice to know that Pro Controllers are supported. After all, some of us were burned before by Pokémon: Let's Go and Super Mario Party.
Folks have also wondered how the original Wii pointer controls in Super Mario Galaxy are being adapted for Switch. In a statement to Polygon, Nintendo said the planet-hopping game is "supported in TV, Tabletop, and Handheld Modes. In TV and Tabletop modes, motion controls are required for pointer functionality. In Handheld Mode, pointer functionality has been adapted to use Touch Screen."
Snatching Star Bits with touch controls sounds fiddly, to say the least. As noted on the store listing for 3D All-Stars, Switch Lite players can get a co-op assist from a friend if they have detached Joy-Con.
The master detail-gleaners over at GameXplain have also pointed out that the GameCube controller isn't fully supported in Super Mario 3D All-Stars, so Sunshine die-hards will have to keep that in mind.
This compilation isn't everything I hoped for given its less-than-ideal remastering and unfortunate Super Mario Galaxy 2 omission, but I couldn't resist ordering the physical edition as soon as I saw it pop up on Amazon. The bizarre March 2021 deadline itself didn't push me to action – I'm too much of a fan.
In lighter news, I'm having a hell of a time revisiting Super Mario All-Stars in Nintendo Switch Online's Super Nintendo library. I almost blew through Super Mario Bros. 2 in one night. Two worlds left to go!
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 will have you grinding rails and manualing flatlands with some of the best to ever ride. You've got your Rune Glifbergs, your Chad Muskas, and, of course, you've got your Birdmans.
There are some more, umm, unconventional, skaters too. A fun staple of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater is the stable of secret characters. Officer Dick, a lazy-ass mallcop-lookin' dude, debuted in Tony Hawk 1. Spider-Man swung onto the scene in Tony Hawk 2. (Unfortunately but also predictably, Spider-Man isn't in this game. Given how cagey Sony is about licensing Spidey, no one really expected Activision to pay out the nose for a secret character.)
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 seems to have three secret characters to unlock, although only two of them look to be earned in the traditional sense. Let's get the oddball out of the way first.
Three days. For three days, CJ tried to find some online multiplayer friends to run dungeons alongside in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition. He never made a friend. The complete inability to play with others severely affected the review score -- although, it wasn't so much the busted functionality but rather a misunderstanding of how local multiplayer made the original great.
Whether it'll salvage the experience or not, Square Enix is promising to fix the networking problems. Director Araki Ryoma wrote a letter on Square Enix's site that addresses all the persistent issues that have popped up. "First of all, the situation where players were unable to play immediately after launch was caused by our servers going over capacity," Ryoma explained. "We ran maintenance to increase that server capacity on August 29, which has led to comparatively stable running thereafter. Going forward, we will move to address any further server issues as required."
Ryoma also pledged to fix the many bugs that plague the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles remaster, committing to a cadence of updates that will get the game in a better state. However, no specific schedule was divulged.
More functional, yes -- no one argues that the updates will eventually improve the way it works. But will Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles ever make its players happy without undertaking the monumental task of adding local co-op? The quibbles are more fundamental than some broken netcode.
Here are the patch notes for the first Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles which will launch sometime between mid- and late September:
The Steam release of Spelunky 2 has been upgraded from a vague but hopeful "shortly after PS4" to a locked and loaded September 29 launch. The extra time is needed to "iron out online multiplayer on PC."
As a reminder, the PlayStation 4 version is set for September 15, 2020 – it's nearly here.
The sequel takes the original game's trap-dodging, pattern-learning dungeon exploration formula and expands on it with new NPCs, rideable animals, and fancier physics for water and lava. You'll collect treasure, hoard bombs, and try to uncover loads of secrets across hundreds of failed attempts.
It's not too late to brush up your ocular-patdown skills with Spelunky 1. (Trust me, you'll want to.)
Nintendo did frustrating Nintendo Things last month when it delisted the Wii U version of Pikmin 3 alongside the announcement of the new Pikmin 3 Deluxe for Switch. That's just kind of how Nintendo rolls, though. The same thing happened with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze when it was due to get a Switch re-release.
Now, because there are no rules and nothing makes sense, Pikmin 3 is back on the Wii U eShop. It's one of the $20 Nintendo Selects just like it was before. Everything is back to normal, save for the 30 days when you couldn't actually buy a digital version of it for an old console.
Kind of a weird development considering how games in similar situations (like the aforesaid Tropical Freeze) were never relisted. Good news for the very small number of people this affects -- seriously, I'm sure there will be more comments on this article than Pikmin 3 Wii U sales today -- as they again have the opportunity to buy the game seven years later. It's better news for anyone scratching their head at nonsensical anti-consumer business moves.
Pikmin 3 [Wii U eShop]
While the trio of Doom games were in rough shape on Switch when they first arrived (yikes, Bethesda logins!), that lunacy has been patched out, and Bethesda has continued to patch the series. This time around, we're getting a hefty update for Doom and Doom II.
All versions now have access to the community mod BTSX Episodes 1 and 2, Nightmare mode "has been restored" to make enemies twice as fast, widescreen rendering support is in, a crosshair can be enabled for more precise aiming, just like the original and a ton of bugs have been squashed.
In an interesting turn of events, the iOS port is getting a new touch scheme and controller support, but more importantly, the PC/Switch/PS4 editions are getting gyro aiming. Bethesda calls it an "additional amount of precision," and you can either set it to the controller's pitch or yaw. Or, you can turn it off. Bethesda notes that on PC, the only way to currently use gyro aiming is to hook up a DualShock 4.
Doom and Doom II Update [Slayer's Club]
Nippon Ichi Software (NIS) has released a lengthy gameplay trailer for its upcoming release Mad Rat Dead, the rhythm-action platformer headed to PS4 and Nintendo Switch next month.
As a reminder, (just in case this is your first time seeing this screwy new title), Mad Rat Dead tells the story of a miserable lab rat who has reached the end of his crappy existence. Visited by the super-cute Rat God on his final night, our hero is given one last day on his rodent coil, with which to escape his cage and seek revenge on those who assigned him his shoddy spin on planet Earth.
You wait months for a localisation of Dangan TV, and then two episodes come along at once! Spike Chunsoft has added English subtitles to the third episode of its in-depth web series, looking at the creation and development of the cult murder-mystery series, Danganronpa.
Following on from previous episodes on original entry Trigger Happy Havoc and first sequel Goodbye Despair, episode three focuses on the series' first spin-off entry, Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls, which first launched on PS Vita in 2014, before ported to PS4 and PC later in 2017.
For the first time to date in the Dangan TV webseries, creator Kazutaka Kodaka does not put in an appearance. The panel for this episode consists of series producer Yoshinori Terasawa, game director Shun Sasaki, and voice actor Aya Uchida, who portrays Ultra Despair Girls' ass-kicking protagonist Komaru Naegi. As always, the episode is hosted by Megumi Ogata, channeling the spirit of Monokuma in a delightful black/white jacket.
I wasn't really digging the whole "campy space" vibe of Fallout 76's first season (or the whole seasonal model at all really) as they didn't go far enough with it; but it looks like Bethesda got that message loud and clear as they're going a bit crazier this time around.
As revealed on the game's official blog, season 2, titled "Armor Ace and the Power Patrol," is oozing with cheese. With the Power Armor serving as an analog to G.I. Joe, the art is much more enticing, as is the wacky new seasonal board (this one goes to rank 100) that you can view below. It's a little on the nose, but the motif of fighting the "Red Viper" menace kind of gives it away.
In terms of brass tacks, Bethesda is adding new daily and weekly quests, with a focus on the latter to avoid giving players FOMO for having to play every day to rank up efficiently. Double XP (S.C.O.R.E.) events are also returning. Oh, and they finally announced what we all knew would happen: you can buy ranks "immediately" instead of waiting for a grace period. Microtransactions: they rule the world!
Speaking of double XP events, the first one kicked off earlier this week and ends at 12PM ET on September 8. That's when the first season ends, so get cracking if you're trying to finish your first seasonal board.
Inside the Vault [Bethesda.net]
In case you missed it, Nintendo unveiled a ton of Mario stuff yesterday.
But buried inside all of the new announcements was an offer for a free pin set in the US. There are provisos of course, but here's how to get it.
Just a few days ago we learned that the fun-sounding Gods & Monsters was torn to shreds and built back up by Ubisoft as "Immortals: Fenyx Rising." Now, thanks to a new Microsoft Store listing, it seems as if the game is getting a new look, too.
Thanks to the classic Microsoft Store leak, we know that the game is tentatively scheduled for release on December 3, and the new screens are decidedly (and sadly) less cartoony in nature. Oh, and it has a pre-order bonus quest (A Tale of Fire and Lightning): of course. We'll clearly learn more about the game and its release date on September 10 at the next Ubisoft Forward stream.
According to the listing, Immortals: Fenyx Rising will be coming to PC, PS4, Xbox One and Stadia on December 5, while an Xbox Series X and PS5 launch are also planned. Ubisoft specifically calls out the Smart Delivery system for providing a cross-Xbox-One-to-Series-X copy, but does not mention the situation between the PS4 and PS5.
This seems to be a trend, and the new "all-in-one-entertainment-system" marketing move.
[Update: Kotaro Uchikoshi has taken to Twitter to clarify that the Apple Arcade edition of World's End Club does not feature the complete story. While the director says the game in its current state has around 10 hours of playtime, it has a clear "cliffhanger" moment. Uchikoshi states that the concluding chapter will launch around the time of the Switch release in 2021.]
Izanagi Games launches a brand new title today on Apple Arcade. World's End Club has been created by Zero Escape director Kotaro Uchikoshi and is written by Danganronpa head honcho Kazutaka Kodaka.
CD Projekt RED has announced that an "enhanced" edition of its acclaimed 2015 RPG The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is coming to next-gen platforms PS5 and Xbox Series X.
According to a statement posted on the official Witcher site, the new edition of Wild Hunt will feature improved, ray-traced visual effects and faster load times. It will also come bundled with all previous DLC and story expansions.
While the next-gen edition will be made available as a standalone release, CDPR has stated that it will be offering free upgrades to all owners of The Witcher 3 on PS4, PC, and Xbox One. The Nintendo Switch edition, however, was not referenced in the statement.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is available now on PS4, PC, and Xbox One. No date was revealed for the PS5 and Xbox Series X edition.
[Update: Mike Zaimont released a statement, confirming that Lab Zero Games has laid off its remaining workforce.
"Unfortunately, Lab Zero was forced into layoffs because we were no longer able to meet our payroll obligations," said Zaimont in an email to Kotaku. "It is not a decision I made lightly. I personally know how hard it can be to find employment in a poorly performing economy, but we have more debt than cash, and the last thing I would ever do is not pay my hard-working colleagues or our partners for their work. We are exploring all funding options in hopes of bringing those team members back, but right now that's the reality."]
According to one of its former employees, Lab Zero Games has laid off its remaining staff. The news follows an employee exodus that took place at the end of August, with resignees citing a culture of toxic behaviour within the former Skullgirls' studio.
The reported layoff was referenced on Twitter by ex-Lab Zero animator Jonathan Kim (aka "Persona") who claims that studio owner Mike Zaimont has "laid off everyone who didn't quit LZ, but hasn't agreed to a severance for them yet." Zaimont had previously given Lab Zero staff the option of leaving the studio before August 31, after being confronted by the team with a request that he step down from the company, following accusations of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior.
In today's contest you can win a Switch copy of Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition from Super Rare Games!
Y'all know my undying love for Super Rare Games and everything they put out, so I'm not going to sing their praises this time around. Let's keep it nice and simple: The awesome dudes and dudettes over at Super Rare Games gave us a copy of Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition to give away! Only 5,000 copies will ever be produced, so get yours before it's gone!
Splatfests are exceedingly rare nowadays. We just saw one wrap up in late August (eggs rule, chickens drool) but that was only the second in all of 2020. However, there are two more planned by the end of March 2021.
In a low-key rush-job section of this morning's knockout Mario Direct, Nintendo revealed one of those two Splatoon 2 Splatfests. In January, players will fight for their favorite Mario power-up. As Nintendo frames it "Which Super Mario power-up do you prefer? Supersize with a Super Mushroom or become invincible with a Super Star?"
It's not as slapdash as it may seem at first. Whichever side you choose says a lot about you. The star is for the reckless and the confident. It is for those who will bowl through everything now without an insurance policy for 10 seconds later. The mushroom, however, is for the responsible. It's for the person who adds to their 401(k) instead of buying a Porsche. Your mom would want you to be a mushroom person. (Well, you know what I mean.)
Like all of life's important questions, it'll be settled on the battlefield. Get your Rocky montage training sessions in now. Come January, we fight.
Ys Origin has been making the rounds for years, and the next stop on the list is Nintendo Switch.
If you've thought about jumping into Nihon Falcom's enduring RPG series and you like the sound of getting cozy with this prequel adventure on your Switch, the date to remember is October 1, 2020.
Apart from the Nintendo Switch eShop release, there will also be a physical collection from Limited Run Games – a standard version ($29.99) and a collector's edition ($69.99) with a boxed copy, soundtrack, art book, poster, and special case. The former is available to pre-order now but the latter is sold out.
Not that I need any extra oomph this afternoon after my third cup of coffee, but if I did, the energetic song in this release date trailer sure would do the trick. "Unhinged beats to slay demons to."
I've been a fan of Super Smash Bros. since the original Nintendo 64 release way back in 1999. Ever since then I've wavered in and out of being obsessed with the game to dropping it completely at times (thank you tripping in Brawl). But as I've grown older and gotten more into indie games, I've always felt that there was an untapped market for taking the Smash Bros. concept and giving it an indie skin. It almost worked with Rivals of Aether, but the itch was still there. Enter Bounty Battle.
Bounty Battle looks to stay in the vein of party fighters with an eclectic cast of characters and unique fighting styles. The catch is that Bounty Battle will feature faces from popular indie games from the past decade. It's an exciting and extensive list of games that the characters will be pulled from and there's sure to be something for everyone here.
The games include: Guacamelee!, Darkest Dungeon, Dead Cells, Awesomenauts, Nuclear Throne, Owlboy, Axiom Verge, SteamWorld Dig, Jotun, Battle Chasers Nightwar, Death's Gambit, EITR, Super Comboman, Pankapu, Flinthook, Doko Roko, Tower of Samsara, Blubber Busters, Ruin of the Reckless, The Bug Butcher, Blasphemous, and Blocks That Matter.
I told you there was something for everyone! The real outlier and frankly stab in the gut for me in that lineup is EITR, which I'm still waiting on years after it was supposed to be released. It's going to be interesting to see how the developers handle dealing with characters and playstyles that other developers created. It's a daunting task and one that I hope Dark Screen Games is up to.
Bounty Battle will release on September 10 for Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam.
Harmonix has never been left wanting for cool and innovative ideas that meld music and games. One such example went a bit under the radar in 2017 when Harmonix created some legitimately neat tech that allowed players to mash songs together on the fly. That was DropMix and it impressed most everyone who played it, but the expensive peripherals made it a tough sell for some.
Come November, Harmonix is basically releasing DropMix in video game form without the need for any additional devices. It's Fuser, a DJ mixing game where players take individual sections of popular songs and remix them against other songs, with options to change the tempo and key too. The possibilities are endless, and it seems like the kind of thing where Harmonix's tech will make even the most ridiculous mashup sound better than it has any right to.
Today, Harmonix announced that Fuser launches on November 10 on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One. Two months until the party kicks off. That's when you find out whether you can subvert Harmonix's intentions and come up with a creation that truly sounds like nails on a chalkboard.
Some good news, bad news-type stuff out of Torn Banner Studios recently. Ironically, we'll have to wait longer into the future to step very far back into the past.
Chivalry 2 has been delayed out of 2020 and into 2021. In an update on the game's site, Torn Banner explains that COVID has mucked up the developer's plans (literally everyone can empathize), forcing Chivalry 2 to be pushed back to next year.
However, this means that it'll launch on both new and old consoles. Chivalry 2 is coming to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, an Xbox Series X. As noted during last year's reveal, the PC version will be a timed exclusive on the Epic Games Store.
The delay allows Torn Banner to include more features at launch, but your cavalry will have to stand on their own two feet for all the first-person medieval melee. Horses gallop onto the scene sometime post-launch. They'll be much needed reinforcements.
[Update: The developer has reached out and wants to make it super-extra-clear that the delay isn't the reason Chivalry 2 is coming to next-gen consoles. Those plans were already announced in June. However, it probably is the reason that it's launching on PS5 and Xbox Series X rather than getting ports a little while later -- but that's my read on the situation, not Torn Banner's official word.]
Chivalry 2 Development Update -- August 2020 [Chivalry 2]
Microsoft is calling Microsoft Flight Simulator the "biggest game launch in Xbox Game Pass for PC history," and there's a concrete figure to back up that hazy milestone: over a million unique players.
The most popular airport? JFK. The longest flight? 10.39 hours.
It's been tough to gauge if existing fans are just that into the game and super vocal about it on social media or if Flight Simulator has tapped into a wider audience of players who haven't tried the series before or haven't touched it in many years. Either way, their jolly travels are begging to be shared.
I've considered Flight Simulator to be perfect fodder for Game Pass since it was announced, but to see it climb to the top is still impressive. Even though the sim is intriguing as a subscription inclusion, it's not necessarily an impulse decision – you've gotta set aside a lot of space and time to fully download it.
The real question, though, is how will it fare on Xbox One? We still don't have a release date. More niche games with wider audience potential will be greatly appreciated on Game Pass. Bring 'em on.
If you missed grabbing Into the Breach before, you don't need to try again in another timeline – the turn-based tactical mech game from FTL creator Subset is free today on the Epic Games Store.
You have until Thursday, September 10 to claim Into the Breach, and I can't recommend it enough.
We've been through this before, so I'll keep it brief. Unlike many other rogue-leaning games, it feels like your fate is always in your hands, even from the first hopeful run. You don't have to sweat bad RNG.
Longer-term, as you settle into the kaiju-infested world and uncover bulletproof strategies, you'll unlock a bunch of different mechs that work in drastically different ways – some of which you'll find easier than others – and there are fun challenges to shake up your tried-and-true playstyle. Such a cool game.
A 100-floor tower. A long, arduous climb that gets tougher the higher you go. Sound familiar?
The Division 2 is getting a new mode that's reminiscent of Final Fantasy XIV's Heaven-on-High or maybe even Grasshopper Manufacture's Let It Die. It's a PvE experience called "The Summit" where solo players or teams ascend a 100-story skyscraper. A cleaner analog for seasoned Division players would be the Underground expansion from the original game.
It's structured so that 10 floors are grouped together in terms of difficulty and every tenth floor has a boss. Ubisoft says it takes about as long to clear 10 levels as it would to clear one of the strongholds. However, Summit is a roguelike in a sense, as the floors don't have set factions or objectives. They change every time you come back.
It's a challenge that Ubisoft doesn't expect you to knock out in one go. Progress is retained every 10 floors, so that's where you'll start if you decide to shut the game off. There are also elevators every three floors, and that's your checkpoint in case your squad wipes. You'll probably need the lift because Summit works through Division 2's difficulty levels as it progresses, all the way up to Legendary.
Construction's done on this high-rise pretty soon. Summit is being added as part of Title Update 11, which launches sometime this month. It'll be free for everyone who owns the Warlords of New York expansion.
If you're still playing Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled and have been thinking "I wonder when the next update is," you should probably get your expectations in check.
That update this past March? That was seemingly the end for our little Bandicoot racer. Taking to Twitter, developer Beenox just clarified that "the march update with the Beenox Pack was our final update to the game." They state that "there is no additional content in the works," due to "being hard at work on some other incredible projects."
Apparently, Beenox was scooped up to help with the N.Verted challenge mode in Crash Bandicoot 4. This is the case with a lot of Activision studios, who are tapped to help out on cross-projects all the time: Call of Duty being a major franchise to utilize that strategy (alongside of Destiny, when Activision had control of it).
They've also been tapped for "some other things they can't quite mention yet," which are hopefully Crash Bandicoot related. Keep the revival going!
Last week saw the 2020 iteration of the annual gamescom presentation which - like many trade shows this wretched year - was forced to abandon its usual format and transition to an online showcase due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite this year's setbacks, gamescom has announced that it hopes to return to its traditional venue - The Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany - for 2021. Gamescom 2021 is expected to be a hybrid event, offering news, reveals, trailers and panels in both a physical and online capacity.
"The extraordinary circumstances made Gamescom 2020 extremely challenging, yet especially exciting," said German Games Industry's Felix Falk. "The digital concept demonstrates how big the international potential of our games event - already the largest in the world - still is. At the same time, however, it has become clear how important the on-site conference, in addition to further digital development, is for the community and the games industry. So, we now have to take our experience from this year and use it to develop the ideal combined on- and offline event for 2021."
In statistics listed on the official gamescom website, it is reported that over two million viewers tuned in to this year's Opening Night Live presentation, with gamescom itself being viewed by an audience of over 10 million during the weekend's festivities.
That fact remains, however, that the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us and, despite the pleas of various world leaders, public safety goes beyond everyone just "getting back to normal." While it's understandable that global industries have no choice but to start laying out their plans for 2021, the reality is that the pandemic remains a very real and very unpredictable issue - going into the last quarter of 2020 and beyond.
Gamescom 2020: A strong signal in challenging times [GGIA / Eurogamer]
We got a host of announcements from Nintendo this morning: but none of them are coming out this week. In fact, only one of them is coming out this month!
For now, we have NBA 2K21 as the big release on September 4, as well as Spellbreak, Spinch and AVICII Invector on September 8. The rest, as they say, is history. Or available to peruse below!
It's interesting that Mario 3D All-Stars is out as early as mid-September. What does Nintendo have planned for the holiday season? What does anyone have planned for the holiday season? Will the next generation see a delay? Stay tuned to Destructoid's front page to find out!