We've been playing an excessive number of games this week. I suppose that's because a) we need to write about them, and b) some of us have small children to keep entertained. The top child-friendly choices are pretty much any Lego game, whether it's got naughty dinosaurs in it or a party of dwarves eating an unsuspecting Baggins' food. When the small people (not Hobbits) have gone to sleep, I've been playing some more Gears Tactics, the awesome demo of Project Triangle Strategy, Warframe, Guilty Gear Strive, Destruction AllStars, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, some more FFVII Remake – though I've definitely hit a lull there – and some EVE Online too.
Meanwhile Jim has dabbled in some Valheim and Rocket League though most of his time has been spent dungeon-crawling in Moonlighter. He tells us, "It's a perfect game for dipping in, completing a dungeon run, and then selling your loot to the punters that visit your shop before logging off. I'm reaching the end so can hopefully cross it off the backlog before moving onto something else."
Aran has played more Assassin's Creed Valhalla, saying "I tried River Raid mode which is decent enough for a free add on. I think I'm over the halfway point in the main game. Have 100% in most of the regions now."
After playing an outlandish number of PC demos, Steve played some Early Access Rustler, telling us "it's a fun medieval take on old top-down GTA". He also died many times in the sadistic Green Hell, finished the charming Blue Fire after some patching, and immersed himself in the wonderfully weird life of Simon Foreman through some Astrologaster.
Ade has been playing Cyber Shadow for review "which absolutely isn't so hard it makes me cry. Other than that I'm still on with Assassin's Creed Valhalla. I've gotta be getting close to the end of the main story by now, right? RIGHT?!"
Miguel has been playing a bunch of Apex Legends, but also got back into Overwatch for a hot second over the weekend, saying "I forgot that game was really fun!" He's also played some Ys IX, some 30XX, and a wee bit of the Guilty Gear Strive beta.
In a clear step for regular programming, Tuffcub has played Destiny 2 and seemingly nothing else. Nick P has been smashing through Hitman 3, completing every challenge, telling us, "I'm about two trophies off the Plat. Then I'm moving on to do all the legacy content as well. I've set some pretty decent records too, placing top 50 in some of the global leaderboards."
Gareth played Borderlands 3, after buying a season pass in the sale and has subsequently been playing "the Handsome Jack's Casino Heist one, whatever it's called". Memorable then? Seemingly, it is; "It's really, really fun. I've also replayed some Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order which is fun despite inexplicable frame rate drops during cutscenes and that damn map. I also tried Star Wars Squadrons prologue in VR, which was fantastic but I had to stop there because the rest wasn't included in the trial I was playing. Oh, I also played a bit of the PS4 re-release of PS2 game War of the Monsters, which is about giant monsters fighting in cities. Pretty fun."
And finally we come to Tef. The standout game that he played this week was Knockout City, taking a seemingly very simple foundation of dodgeball, and spinning into a quirky multiplayer game. His plan is to play Project Triangle Strategy this weekend though – he's downloaded it at least.
How's about you? What have you played this week?
UK-based games event company EGX has announced plans to bring EGX Rezzed and EGX back as live, real-world, in-person events in 2021. If everything goes to plan with the roll out of Covid-19 vaccinations and they deem it safe to do so within the government guidelines, EGX Rezzed will return to Tobacco Dock, London from 15-17th July, and EGX will be held at Excel, London from 7-10th October.
Read the full statement below for dates and details: pic.twitter.com/SxYEGq4S11
— EGX (@EGX) February 19, 2021
Our main goal has always been to create a safe and accepting space for our community of passionate gamers.
We're announcing our proposed dates now to help partners plan for how they might attend this year, as well as provide a chance to start conversations about how to bring attendees panelists, exhibitors, and our broader community together at each event. It takes a lot of prep to create the EGX events that you know and love, so we have to start this planning early – but your safety is always our highest priority, and we will only run these events if it is safe to do so.
If things go well there is a good chance that we will be able to put on live events in the summer and the latter half of this year.
To say that such public announcements feel premature is a bit of an understatement, but if EGX is to be held this summer, then they do need to start their preparations as soon as possible.
Whether they can reasonably go ahead is another matter. The UK still in the grips of a full lockdown (outside of whatever it is the government has deemed to be essential work). The rate at which the various Covid-19 vaccinations have been going in the UK are certainly encouraging, and many of the most at-risk in the country now have a degree of resistance to the virus at its most severe, but we're absolutely not out of the woods yet. The vast majority of the country remains unvaccinated, and the rate of infection is still very high despite the rate of spread slowing. There's still very real risks to the rate picking up once again as and when the government decides to loosen restrictions, especially with more virulent mutations of the virus adding uncertainty to proceedings.
Come July, the UK should be at the stage of vaccinating people in the 18-30 age range, but only with first doses and with decisions still to be made over whether children can be vaccinated as well. Combine that with the drop in infection rates last summer, and we'll likely see restaurants, cafes, bars and more reopening with social distancing measures in place.
However, will that be suitable for video game events and conventions that would previously have thousands of attendees crammed together in long queues? Whatever event EGX can come up with will have to be dramatically different to whatever they've created in the past. They'll no doubt be helped by a degree of wariness from the general public, but even so…
EGX Rezzed was one of the first video game events to be a victim of the Covid-19 pandemic. Shortly before it was set to take place last spring, it was pushed back to the summer then completely cancelled a month later, and the autumn convention followed suit.
So… I guess we'll see what happens in July.
A demo for Outriders is on the way next week, giving us all a chance to try out the upcoming action RPG shooter from People Can Fly ahead of its release on 1st April – no joke. The demo will drop on 25th February across PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC (on Steam and with streaming via Geforce Now), and People Can Fly have given us all the juicy details of what the demo will offer.
The demo will weigh in at 24GB on PC and 22GB on consoles, though it may need more space to install, depending on compression and file copying. Pre-loading is not currently planned for the demo, meaning that you'll be able to grab it only once it goes live at the following times:
Still, there's no time limit to the Outriders demo – it's not a beta for a live game, but a demo for a fully fleshed out action RPG – and PCF plan to leave the demo up until after the launch of the full game.
In terms of content, the Outriders demo will include the game's prologue and opening chapter, meaning that it will be limited to the early game variants of enemies – more exotic enemies and gear will feature after this point. It runs up until the showdown with the first rival Altered character, Gauss, but that's not the end of the content, as some side missions will unlock after defeating him. All of this can be played in co-op with full cross-platform multiplayer, though for the demo you will need to manually enable it.
You'll be able to try out all four of the previously revealed character classes, and the demo will allow you to have six character slots. Your character level will be capped to Level 7, which will allow you to earn each class' fourth ability and try out different combos. You'll also get two skill points to drop into the skill tree. Resources will be capped to a certain amount, because all of your progression in the demo can carry over to the full game (if you stick to the same platform), and they understandably want to keep the game feeling balanced if you choose to grind for hours.
Speaking of which, the game's difficulty level, World Tiers, will let you try out content at up to World Tier 5. At level 5, the chance for higher rarity gear is increased, but the drop chance for Legendary Gear is still extremely low. Again, balance. Once you get to the full game, there will be plenty more World Tiers to match your ability, and end-game Expeditions to test yourself against.
Having originally been planned for a late 2020 release, Outriders will now be coming to PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia and PC on 1st April. It will be a cross-gen release on console with free upgrades, and full cross-platform multiplayer so all players on all platforms can team up and play together.
Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos is the answer to the question: "What if you mixed 2D Zelda aesthetics with a modern, procedurally-generated roguelike?" The two sound like a perfect pairing, and in many ways, Rogue Heroes completely pulls it off by managing to mix the two in an interesting and engaging way.
Rogue Heroes is honestly a bit of an open book. It's up to you to carve your own legacy in the world. There are some general goals you can focus on, such as taking on one of the game's procedurally-generated dungeons. You can also spend your time focused on building the main hub area, populating it with citizens, building a farm and customising your own home. You can even spend your time fishing if that's the kind of thing you're into.
This open-world is backed up by one of the most rewarding gameplay loops I've experienced in a long time. Building up the village at the centre of Tasos requires a specific type of currency called gems. These gems can only be found in the procedurally generated dungeons, and with each visit to the dungeon your character can subsequently spend these gems building and upgrading the village. By building the village up, you can add the likes of a blacksmith or a gym, which in turn enables you to upgrade your character.
Every action and achievement in Rogue Heroes feels like it's rewarded with something, whether that be gems, new weapons and tools, additions to your town or upgrades to your character. I often found myself just going for one more dungeon run because I had my eye on a specific addition to my village or a particular statistic I wanted to increase.
This gameplay loop is further enhanced by brilliant top-down Zelda-like combat. Much like Link in the original 2D outings, your character can swing their sword in eight different directions and use a shield to deflect incoming attacks. This is backed up by an arsenal of weapons and tools such as a bow and grappling hook. You can permanently unlock the tools as you go through the game, but you can find temporary versions of them within dungeons which expire upon death.
Dungeons are designed around a procedurally-generated set of puzzles, room shapes and enemies. It's surprisingly complex considering how many pieces have to fit together, and while you will start to see repetition upon repeated visits, the developers should be commended for just how much they've managed to fit into each one of the dungeons. Even when repetition started to set in many, many hours into the game, the basic gameplay loop and combat are so fun that I didn't mind at all.
Rogue Heroes is brutally difficult, to the point that many of your initial visits to a dungeon will end in quick death. With each returning visit you'll be stronger and wiser, meaning you'll last a little longer. I hate to make the dreaded comparison, but Rogue Heroes reminds me of the Souls series, at least in the way that death is ultimately a method of learning, and a vessel for self-improvement. Each of the main bosses are also a lesson in trial-and-error, as each one has distinctly different mechanics that you'll need to learn to overcome.
What makes Rogue Heroes unique is its four-player co-op gameplay. You can team up with three other heroes locally or online to take on the dungeons of Tasos together. Echoing The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords, playing Rogue Heroes with a group of friends is absolutely the best way to experience it and perfectly captures the essence of one of the most overlooked Zelda titles.
I feel Rogue Heroes only really shortcoming is the narrative. There was a real opportunity to build a fantastic story here, but instead the plot just takes a bit of a back step next to the gameplay. The team behind it could have done so much more with the premise, so it's a real shame that this portion of the title was so underdeveloped in comparison. My only other complaint is that the climbing and movement when ascending stairs locks you in an animation for slightly too long, which often results in receiving damage from an enemy.
Once players have conquered the main dungeons, it's time to take on the infinite dungeon. An endless amalgamation of the previous dungeons which challenges heroes to see just how far they can descend into its depths. It's a great way to extend replayability, and it also provides players with the opportunity to max out their characters. It also extends the viability of multiplayer, as groups of friends can tackle the infinite dungeon.
Ubisoft are celebrating For Honor's fourth anniversary this week by announcing a continuation of the live game's narrative arc in Year 5: Year of the Covenants – kicking off on 11th March – as well as a thoroughly unlikely collaboration with a Shovel Knight crossover event. Um… OK, then?
That's right, Shovel Knight is coming to For Honor's blend of medieval multiplayer battling in the form of some new outfits, emotes, and execution moves. Inspired by Yacht Club Games' indie smash hit, there's the Shovel Drop Emote, a trio of Illustrious Outfits, each of which come with Ornaments, Mood Effects, Symbols and more.
Each comes with a hefty price using the Steel in-game currency – while available as in microtransactions, you earn Steel after matches, through completing Orders and Events, and so on. The emote will cost 10,000 Steel, while the Outfits will be between 15,000 and 20,000 Steel each.
The Shovel Knight cosmetics are available from now until 4th March.
Once all of that silliness is out of the way, Ubisoft will be turning their attention to the release of Year 5: Year of the Covenants, which kicks off on 11th March.
Year of the Covenent will continue the narrative arc that began in Year 4, promising four themed seasons that have new customisation events, and a new hero released during Year 5 Season 2 and Year 5 Season 4. Following on from the introduction of Gryphon in Year 4 Season 4, there are currently 28 Heroes in the game, seven multiplayer modes, a story campaign to battle through and more.
For Honor is currently out on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, playable on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S via backward compatibility. Since the start of Year 4 Season 4, the game has been made aware of the added power that the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S offer, meaning that while they offer comparable visual settings to the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X respectively, they run at 60fps as opposed to 30fps and stabilise any dynamic resolution scaling.
Here's what you get for playing on the new consoles:
- Improved Water Reflections
- Improved Distance Level of Detail
- Improved Shadow Resolution
- Improved Texture Filtering
- 4k Resolution (Xbox Series X, PS5) / 1080 p (Xbox Series S)
- 60fps on PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S
Source: press release
Codemasters are planning to drop a fresh new content update for Dirt 5 next week, with a mixture of paid DLC and the accompanying Update 3.00 bringing some free content to Playgrounds mode and the usual array of bug fixes. All of this will arrive for Dirt 5 across Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on Monday 22nd February – this is just ahead of its addition to Xbox Game Pass on 25th February.
What's in the Dirt 5 Energy Content Pack?
The Energy Content Pack promises new cars, new career events and new sponsors, and is available as a standalone DLC pack costing £9.99/€11.49/$12.49, or included in the Amplified Edition or Year One Upgrade.
The four new cars are:
- Porsche Taycan Turbo S
- Alpine A110 Sports X
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500
- GMC Sierra Pre-Runner
There's a whopping 25 new career events which will be found in the new Energy chapter, two new sponsors – Xite and Mad-Croc – and new liveries, stickers, lanyards and more to earn through the career.
What's coming in the free Dirt 5 Update 3.00?
Update 3.00 brings a bunch of free new content to the Playgrounds mode, with a new set of Junkyard Playgrounds items, including washing machines, sheds and finishing gates covered in flames. There's even a big scrap-built dinosaur sculpture that will bring tears to the eyes of Scrapheap Challenge fans. There will also be a new Italy environment for you to build your custom creations in.
As well as this, there will be a set of new bespoke liveries for the Peugeot 205 T16 Evo 2, Ford Escort RS Cosworth, Ford RS200, some community-requested features like an increase to the Level cap, and a bunch of visual and technical fixes and improvements across the board.
Dirt 5 Update 3.00 full patch notes
CONTENT AND FEATURES
- Energy Content Pack (separate pack, included in Amplified Edition and Year One Upgrade versions)
- Junkyard Playgrounds Update – over 20 new themed Playgrounds items to use in Create mode
- New official liveries: Ford RS200, Ford Escort ES Cosworth, Peugeot 205 T16 Evo 2
- New Playground location: Italy
- Level cap increase to 120
- PS5: Fixes and improvements to address reports of frame rate drops and stutters in all visual modes
- Further visual improvements in cockpit/interior camera views
- Multiple display and UI fixes for split-screen events
- Fixed instances of shadows appearing overly dark in specific conditions and locations
- Fixed multiple instances of lighting and object pop-in during night conditions
- PC: Mouse will now disappear from screen when game is running
- PC: Fixes and improvements for players using AMD Ryzen CPUs
- Fixes for the under-ice lighting in selected Ice Breaker events
- Fixes for instances of seams and flickers on Greece and China events when using the 'Prioritise Frame Rate' visual setting
- Changes made to post-race flow to increase speed and remove waiting time
- Fixed instances of 'invisible' walls or objects allowing players to 'wall ride' in certain areas of locations
- Fixed instances of unclear 'out of bounds' sections forcing cars to reset in Brazil and Arizona
- Further AI behaviour improvements in multiple events and modes
- Xbox: Fixes for minor instances of rumble disappearing on Xbox One
- Xbox: Fix for instances of crashes during Ice Breaker events
- Xbox: Fixed instances of crashes on start screen for some Series X|S players with previous save data from Xbox One version
- Xbox One: Fix for graphical corruption when accessing photo mode on Xbox One with 'Prioritise Framerate' setting
- Updates to Career race objectives, including removal of 'Dynamo' objectives
- Multiplayer playlist update – new race events available in online play including multi-class races
- Ghosting and speed reduction system implemented when players hit walls at a designated excessive speed
- Fixed inconsistencies between HUD timer and post-race leaderboard timings
- Improvements made to camera movement in Smash Attack events
- Upon improving your time/score and then restarting an event, the correct and updated time/score will now always show in the HUD
- PS5: Multiple fixes for Trophies not triggering as designed
- Fixes for crash occurrences during boot on PS5
- Addition of optional RaceNet signup/login and livery reward for sign-in
- PS: Fixes instances of additional content being unable to select when playing offline
- Fixes for multiple minor instances of soft locks on all platforms, occurring after races or when exiting an event
- Resolved instances of players on PC and PS4 having to re-complete the EULA and tutorial race whenever they boot the game
- Various fixes for issues occurring when using keyboard on PC
- Logitech G920/G923: Clutch pedal can now be mapped to any input
- Logitech G923/G27/G29: Players can now use the shift paddles in menus to navigate tabs
- Pressing the PS or 'Share' buttons on a PS4/PS5 controller will now automatically pause the game during events
- Improvements made to throttle, brake and steering saturation implementation on all supported wheels and platforms
- Further support and input functionality for Thrustmaster T80, T300 and T500
- Various visual and technical tweaks and updates across the board to improve game performance and quality of life
Dirt 5 launched in 2020 just ahead of the new generation of consoles, bringing a dose of arcade racing to owners of consoles new and old alike – there's cross-buy and cross-gen upgrades to help everyone play the game at its best, not to mention enhancements for the PS5's DualSense controller.
In our Dirt 5 review, Tom wrote:
DIRT 5 strips away the more serious elements of the franchise and puts all its eggs in one, arcade cabinet shaped, basket. At times a riot, in other areas a little repetitive and lacking in finesse, it nevertheless delivers on the concept of an adrenaline-fueled off-road racer. It's a game that makes you sit forward in your seat and savour the joys of jumping a Dakar Rally Peugeot 3008 over a ravine.
As De La Soul rightfully pointed out, three is the magic number (other notable numbers include Number Two, who is Captain Picard's second in command, and there's obviously the Fantastic Four and then the Famous Five). Square Enix have harnessed the mystical power of three with the three-sided Project Triangle Strategy – sadly only a working title – all set to be a veritable Toblerone of tactical RPG goodness.
Following its announcement in this week's Nintendo Direct, a Project Triangle Strategy Debut Demo was released on the Nintendo eShop, which we eagerly downloaded.
In the land of Norzelia, three mighty powers reign – Glenbrook, Aesfrost, and Hyzante – each a distinct kingdom with their own landscape and trade. In fact, trade is at the heart of Project Triangle's conflict, with each nation controlling a vital resource that its neighbours are after. That nutritional pyramid scheme spills over into all-out war, known as the Saltiron War, presumably because those were the key commodities that they needed that day. A few packets of beef crisps could have probably solved it all.
Despite the end of the salt and iron shortage, just as peace was settling across Norzelia, Aesfrost decided they weren't actually too keen on peace, and invaded Glenbrook instead. In response, House Wolffort, highest of the three high houses of Glenbrook – Square Enix are really pushing the power of three here – sends out Serenoa, a young Duke, to take up arms against the despicable Archduke. I was surprised to discover that there's four people in your party, though I suppose you could also say that Serenoa has a trio of companions.
The demo drops you into Chapter VI, entitled Remember Me and set on the very night of Aesfrost's invasion, so we can assume that the first five chapters are the build-up to this key moment, or maybe we'll get a taste of the Ironsalt War to sate our hunger.
It's clear from the very start that Project Triangle boasts the same dedication to fantastic audio as its predecessor Octopath Traveller, and obviously shares the same sumptuous HD-2D art style. Besides the emphatic orchestration that perfectly underscores the unfolding drama (though we'd argue there aren't enough triangle solos), the key speech is all spoken and delivered in an engrossing, believable way. It's helped along by well-written lines of dialogue that we can only hope will be carried throughout the rest of the game.
Octopath's mature writing remains a highlight of that game – outside of the H'aanit's painful to read Middle English – and if we're following one grand narrative rather than eight, Project Triangle can avoid the slightly underwhelming conclusion of its predecessor.
Gameplay is comprised of multiple phases, and players will find exploration sandwiched between story sections and battles. These sections allow you to explore the area, talk to other characters, nab items, and stake out terrain features that might help you in the coming battle. Conversation during these sections may include, you guessed it, three options that can influence certain character's actions, strengthening their resolve or pushing them further away.
It's all related to the three major guiding convictions – the Dairylea triangle of conviction, if you will – made up of Utility, Morality and Liberty. Your choices will shape Serenoa's convictions, altering his own outlook, as well as those around him, which has the potential to be an interesting mechanic if it's followed through.
As a turn-based tactical RPG, Project Triangle will immediately speak to fans of similar fare like Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea and Fire Emblem. Just as in those games, positioning of your characters will be crucial to success, as will the use of terrain features that give you an advantage. There are some nice additions to the formula, including a nod to Octopath in the need to hold onto action points in order to deal more damage, but fans of tactical RPGs will likely feel right at home from the start.
Octopath Traveller was one of the most visually arresting RPGs of the last few years, and Project Triangle leans on the same engine to startling effect. If you're a fan of classic RPGs of the past, from Grandia through to the early Final Fantasy games, the art style is going to speak to you on all sorts of levels. This is undoubtedly a modern game though, and the way the water sparkles and the magical effects explode, all the while appearing like a perfectly formed vignette, will have your synapses firing with glee.
If we're looking for a downside, it's that the HD-2D art style and viewpoint occasionally made it hard to discern characters and enemies during the combat section. That said, by the end of the demo, I'd become much more adept at moving everyone around, and with the game not expected until 2022, it's fair to say that the team have plenty of time for making sure everyone pops from the landscape too – Square Enix will be asking for feedback on the Debut Demo with a survey at some point.
Joining a host of marvellous triangular things, Project Triangle Strategy could have a narrative as fluid as a PG Tips tea bag, a cast of characters as sweet as a Toblerone, and gameplay with the snap and crunchy of a Dorito. They do only have one shot at it – really, for the magic to work it needs to be a trilogy – but from every angle, Project Triangle Strategy looks like another glorious RPG from Square Enix. This is definitely one to keep an eye-ess, oh-ess, sea-ee ell-ee-ess on.
The PowerA Fusion Pro wireless controller is easily one of the best DualShock 4 alternatives we've laid our hands on. A chunky yet ergonomic design elevated by some clever advanced features, it packs in everything you'd want from a competitive grade gamepad. It's just a shame that the Fusion Pro has arrived so late to the party with PlayStation gamers rapidly adopting the PS5.
Give this controller a quick glance and there's one notable highlight you'll see before getting down to the nitty gritty. It's impossible to ignore the four rear-mounted back paddles, but there's a few other layers to the Fusion Pro to appreciate.
What's in the box?
Unboxing this officially licenced PlayStation 4 pad, you'll find the usual bonus accessories that come bundled in with a controller of this price. The sturdy quality packaging has an inside box adorned with graffiti-style artwork that contrasts the otherwise simple black and blue outer sleeve, and within that you'll find the PowerA Fusion Pro and all its accessories bundled up inside a sturdy protective zip case to safely and stylishly transport your controller.
Open it up and you'll find two replacement thumbsticks along with a pair of blue metal anti-friction rings, as well as a "Pro Pack" cover (we'll get to that in a bit) and a 3 metre braided micro USB cable. The controller can be used wirelessly over Bluetooth, but shaving off every millisecond of latency possible will need you to plug in.
Pro trigger control
Even if you're a serious competitive gamer, some PS4 pro gamepads can be a tad too technical, offering a suite of customisation options that can be refined to your exact preferences. However, it's nice to have a controller you can adjust without needing to plug it into PC, downloading bespoke firmware, and fiddling with button/calibration profiles.
There are some easy ways of modifying the PowerA Fusion Pro and neither of them require head-scratching busywork. Next to the two triggers are switches used to adjust the them to one of three lock settings. In tactical shooters such as Rainbow Six Siege, dropping the trigger sensitivity will have you firing a weapon with more efficiency, whereas you might want a looser trigger for racing titles.
There's a few areas where you can swap out the physical parts of the controller, with the whole front plate easy to pry off from its magnets in order to swap out analogue sticks, or put on some differently coloured anti-friction rings to add a hint of extra flair to the controller.
Round the back you have the option of attaching some back paddles. There are so many third party pro controllers on the marking that have dabbled in back paddles, Sony having even launched their own back button attachment last year. Instead of being a permanent fixture, PowerA have created a "Pro Pack" attachment that slots into the back of their controller and can easily be removed. It has four metal arms that rest against your middle and ring fingers on either hand during play with the option to assign most button inputs to each paddle.
When playing with a controller that has such strange protrusions, there's always the worry that you'll somehow press a paddle accidentally, and during a crucial gameplay moment. The way the metal arms are designed prevents this and you can even remove them individually if you don't want all four of them attached at once. I preferred having only the bottom two attached, opting for the slightly shorter paddles that tucked neatly into my oversized grip.
Configuring the paddle is exceptionally straightforward. You press a programming button, then tap the button you wish to mimic followed by the paddle you want to map that control do. Done. It's pretty effortless.
Looking for a premium PS4 controller? Check out these alternatives
- Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller Review
- Nacon Revolution Pro Controller 3 Review
- Nacon Daija Fight Stick Review
- Razer Raiju Controller Review
- Razer Raiju Ultimate Controller Review
- SCUF Infinity 4PS Controller Review
Next to the DualShock 4, the Fusion Pro is a meaty controller, but it's fair to say it doesn't have the same effortless style. There's a plainness to its appearance – the flat, rubberized face, symmetrical analog sticks, and pointed triggers – though pro gamers will always rank functionality over appearance which is good news for PowerA. From the embedded touchpad button and speaker to the dongle-less Bluetooth capability, it acts much like Sony's own controller while carrying some extra heft.
Rumours of new games in the Silent Hill franchise have been swirling around for a good year or two now. In August 2020 Konami created a Twitter account for the franchise leading to speculation that something may happen, and then in January this year we had a report of two Silent Hill games in production.
At that time two separate sources have reported that multiple games were in production. The first came from DuskGolem aka AestheticGamer who has previously leaked information on Resident Evil which turned out to be correct.
In other news while I'm dropping this stuff, and I think I can talk about this, I'll mention there is a couple new Silent Hill games in the works. Konami about two years ago reached out to various developers to pitch ideas for two Silent Hill games, one a soft-reboot of the franchise, the other an episodic TellTale/Until Dawn-style game to go alongside the reboot. I don't know anything more than that though, but I sure do hope Konami's given it the appropriate budget and found the right developer to make those games succeed.
This is just a guess, but I'd say there's a high chance one or both of those titles may be revealed this year, but we'll see. I don't actually know their plans or anything about these games other than their existence though, I don't know much about the inner workings of Konami.
His statements have been backed up by another separate source.
"We can also verify that, while we can't discuss any details, we've also heard from our own independent source that a Silent Hill project is in development," stated website Relyonhorror.com , "These two sources are (in our opinion) the strongest evidence yet that Silent Hill may really be back from the dead."
The last official word on Silent Hill was when Konami unceremoniously cancelled Silent Hills, a game that was being created by Guillermo Del Toro and Hideo Kojima.
That brings us up to today when Bloober Team CEO Piotr Babieno spoke to GI.biz and mentioned they were working on a famous horror IP.
"We've been working for more than a year on another gaming project, another horror IP, and we're doing this with a very famous gaming publisher," said Piotr. "I can't tell you who. I can't tell you what the project is, but I'm pretty sure when people realize we're working on it, they will be very excited."
VGC are also reporting that Konami have hired a "prominent Japanese developer" to work on the franchise with a reveal scheduled for sometime this summer.
At the time of Hitman 3's launch, PC players were stung when it came to being able to import content from the previous two Hitman titles. Hitman and Hitman 2 were available on Steam while Hitman 3 is an Epic Games Store exclusive. This meant Hitman 3 owners could not access the legacy content due the two stores not talking to each other. IO Interactive promised a fix and now it is live. The studio has released a 3 step guide, and you will need to sign into an IO account.
The three-step process for importing locations into HITMAN 3 on PC:
1. Read the instructions
2. Review your accounts
3. Claim content / import locations
A few important things before getting started.
Double check all your choices before claiming content. They cannot be undone or reversed. The content you claim will be an 'Access Pass DLC'. For example, if you own HITMAN 2, you can claim the HITMAN 2 Access Pass. It's that simple.
Once you have claimed an Access Pass, restart HITMAN 3 to access the relevant content. (There are no codes you need to redeem.)
We recommend using a PC browser, the location importing site is not fully optimised for mobile browsers. After signing into your IOI Account, you'll need to link both your platform account that owns HITMAN 2 and the platform account where you own HITMAN 3 to your IOI Account. From there, you'll be able to view the status of what you own and import your locations.
On PlayStation and Xbox, the process is clearer. Any content you have from Hitman 2 is possible to be imported, with Hitman 1 having to first be redeemed for Hitman 2 (even if it's just the free Starter Pack) before it can make the jump to Hitman 3. See the full details here. In our review for Hitman 3, Jim wrote:
Hitman 3 Guides & more from TheSixthAxis
The first trailer for the rebooted Mortal Kombat film has been released and it looks pretty good with plenty of gore, special moves, and a surprising large cast of characters. We already knew Kano, Sonia, Raiden and others were in film but the trailer shows Goro, Reptile, Smoke and others.
The fight scenes look really well choreographed and as this is an R rated movie it is very bloody with spikes in heads, hearts being ripped and, glimpsed very briefly at the end the trailer, some extremely messy fatalities. However, the dialogue seems a little a cheesy but I guess it's hard to make a tournament where you fight mutants with four arms to save the world sound serious, it's not exactly a sensible idea. A movie where we send chief Brexit negotiator David Frost to set terms with Shan Tsung and Outworld might not do all that well at the box office.
The story follows a new character, MMA fighter Cole Young, who is completely oblivious to the world of Mortal Kombat but soon learns of his heritage when Sub Zero hunts him down. He teams up with Jax and Sonya and soon finds himself in the punchy kicky world of the game, meeting Raiden, Kano, Liu Kang and other familiar characters. Greg Russo recently tweeted about the movie and said "All I can say is the bar for opening scenes has been set…"
The cast includes Cole Young (Lewis Tan), Liu Kang (Ludi Lin), Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim), Raiden (Tadanobu Asano), Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee), Jax (Mehcad Brooks), Kano (Josh Lawson), Shang Tsung (Chin Han), Scorpion (Hiroyuki Sanada), Kung Lao (Max Huang), Mileena (Sisi Stringer), Nitara (Elissa Cadwell), and Kabal (Daniel Nelson).
The new Mortal Kombat movie is out this April 15th, in cinemas if they are open in your part of the world and also a day one release on HBO Max in the United States.
While the ubiquity of open world adventures that owe a debt to GTA III continue to dominate the big budget AAA games market, smaller indie developers have begun to turn their eyes back towards the series' origins. Two of the stand-out examples of this approach are Glitchpunk and Rustler – each taking Rockstar's template in opposite temporal directions. Glitchpunk offers up a cyberpunk world with androids and technology whilst Rustler strips everything right back to medieval basics. Introducing itself as Grand Theft Horse, Rustler is exactly what it sets out to be. Whether that is enough to keep your attention may depend on your tolerance for recycled jokes and dated mission structures.
Despite the retro sensibilities and approach, Rustler doesn't go for the expected pixellated aesthetic; instead opting for an almost cel-shaded look that is pretty easy on the eyes. Everything is clear and easy to distinguish, even when you end up surrounded by enemies. The exception to this, though, is the lack of any transparency when you go behind buildings. This led to a number of frustrating moments when I found myself stuck behind obstacles or caught by guards without being able to see what was happening.
In terms of structure and gameplay, this is pure old-school GTA. Whilst working your way through the main quest narrative, you'll have the opportunity to carry out side missions for different characters, with occasional roadblocks requiring you to have earned enough money to continue. The beta build contains a complete narrative arc but more sidequests and missions are promised before the full release. On the whole these missions offered a nice mix of fetch quests, escort missions and combat but inevitably the dated mechanics began to feel a little repetitive during the 6 hours or so I played. There was also a lack of clarity in several missions where it took me a few tries to work out what the game wanted me to do.
Rustler's indebtedness to GTA is apparent from even a cursory glance, but perhaps more egregious is the wholesale lifting of humour and gags from Monty Python. The game opens up with a disclaimer that it cites popular culture in the name of parody and fair use but these references go way beyond Easter eggs. The infamous Spanish Inquisition make an appearance as a faction who give you quests, as do the Knights of the Holy Grail, and you also get a full retread of the Black Knight scene. This makes the game feel like it's lacking a character of its own, an impression exacerbated by protagonist Guy being the spitting image of the lead character from Rockstar's Bully.
Having said all of that, and having listed the issues I had with Rustler's beta build in terms of mission structure and self-indulgent lifting from its influences, the actual experience of playing is solid fun. Controls are tight, the map is large without being too unwieldy, and the combat system has the potential to offer decent depth. In this build I found the lengthy halberd was over powered and enabled me to survive even the highest warning level for quite some time.
While I wasn't blown away by Rustler during this initial hands-on, I enjoyed my time with it and will definitely keep an eye on the extra content to be added during Early Access. If it can move past its inspirations and develop more of a sense of its own identity then this is one old-school adventure that could have plenty to offer in the near future.
The inevitable goal for any successful mobile game over the last few years is multi-media expansion, turning a simple game about collecting knights and gun-girls into television shows, arcade games, console adaptations, ramen flavors, and more. Azur Lane has been hitting all of these milestones, with the seriously popular free-to-play phone game about scantily clad anime-girl versions of your favourite naval warfare vessels now having all sorts of adaptations, promotional campaigns, and crossovers.
Last year, the series made the leap from mobile phones and browser windows to home consoles thanks to Compile Heart and Idea Factory launching Azur Lane: Crosswave. Initially, the game only dropped anchor on PC and PlayStation 4, but now ship-heads around the world can dive in for the first time or take a second dip with the new Nintendo Switch port.
Azur Lane: Crosswave marries an original story full of fan-pleasing interactions and appearances with a gameplay loop that plays out much like a 3D alternative to the combat and upgrade grind of the original mobile game. The story does a decent job of involving you in the experience even if you have very little knowledge of the overall lore – simply come into it with the fact that these over-designed gun-toting girls are meant to be personifications of actual warships and fighter planes and you'll be good to go.
There are a variety of different factions and groups in Azur Lane, but Azur Lane: Crosswave focuses heavily on the Sakura Empire, alongside newcomer ships Shimakaze and Sugura. While the laser-focused attention on the Sakura Empire helps make the story approachable for newcomers, longtime Azur Lane fans hoping for the spotlight to shine on other notable factions won't have as much to chew into here. Story scenes all play out through visual novel interactions, and moments between battles or narrative events will have you navigating a top-down hand-drawn map of each environment to get to your next conversation or battle. These are hardly resource-intensive scenes, so they all play out on the Nintendo Switch just as smoothly as they would on the other versions of the game.
When you end up in actual combat, you'll be bringing three controllable ship-girls, as well as up to three additional support units, into a watery arena to face off against hordes of generic battleships and fighter planes. In some instances, you'll also fight rival ship-girls in more hectic one-on-one battles. All of these engagements take place in a wide open ocean environment with invisible walls keeping you within a specific smaller section, so there isn't really anything too graphically intense going on here either. The resolution of the Nintendo Switch version seems a bit lower than the PC or PlayStation 4 counterparts, and the framerate can get a little funky when there are massive amounts of projectiles on-screen at once, but on the whole combat feels fast and fluid.
Unfortunately, as I explained in my review of the original release of Azur Lane: Crosswave, the gameplay isn't all too exciting. With a small variety of enemies to fight, regular battles quickly become a repetitive chore. It's a little more exciting when you get into battles with rival ship-girls, but the floaty nature of aiming and firing in this game means that these aren't the graceful one-on-one bouts I'd hope for from a typical action game. Additionally, as you progress through the game, your skill doesn't end up being nearly as important as how much experience and how many upgraded pieces of equipment your girls have, which can end up leading to some more mind-numbing grinding to get them properly equipped.
The full Azur Lane: Crosswave package looks and runs just about as well as it would on other systems, with minor exceptions. Still, no matter what system you play it on, you'll likely only truly connect with it if you're a diehard fan of the series who's able to forgive some big flaws. For newcomers, while the story offers plenty of exciting characters and fun dialogue, the combat might be too much of a chore to sit through for the long-run. Azur Lane: Crosswave can be a treat for fans, but even on Nintendo Switch, it's a hard sell for first-time ship-girl enthusiasts.
Update: Mediatonic has now, by way of the Fall Guys Twitter account, confirmed that Fall Guys will also be coming to Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One this summer, as well as Nintendo Switch.
DID SOMEBODY SAY XBOX?
I SWEAR I HEARD SOMEBODY SAY XBOX
Fall Guys is coming to Xbox Series XIS and Xbox One
RT if it was u that said Xbox pic.twitter.com/Bl13AitmYE
— Fall Guys Season 3.5 (@FallGuysGame) February 18, 2021
The original article follows.
The hit multiplayer game of last summer, Fall Guys is coming to Nintendo Switch! It's going to be a little while away from now though, with the Nintendo Direct stating that the game will only arrive on Switch this summer. In other words, the end of a timed exclusivity period is coming to an end.
The announcement follows on from comments stating that Fall Guys will be coming to every major platform at some point in the future. CEO and co-founder Dave Bailey told GI.Biz "We want it to come to every major platform, and we're working hard to achieve that." He also hints that cross-platform play will be enabled, "We want to come to all the different platforms, and hopefully connect those platforms so people can play together."
It's not long since the official Xbox Instagram account stated that smash hit multiplayer scramble Fall Guys was coming to Xbox Game Pass as well but Devolver Digital have quickly refuted this claim. A mobile version of Fall Guys is also in development for the Chinese market and Mediatonic will be closely monitoring how that performs.
— Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) January 20, 2021
The success of the game has meant Mediatonic have been expanding quickly, bringing on new staff to work on the game to satiate the hungry players who demand regular content, "It's unbelievable how insatiable people's appetite for content is," comments Bailey.
There's clearly more afoot than just the regular season and mid-season drops, and Nintendo Switch is likely just the first announcement of several to come through the first half of this year. For now though, the game remains off in the distance and developer Mediatonic are likely still focussing on producing more levels, game modes, gameplay quirks and cosmetics for the upcoming Season 4 update. We don't know when that will kick off exactly, but they recently released a Fall Guys mid-season 3.5 update to keep things fresh for players.
Electronic Arts have completed their acquisition of UK racing game specialist Codemasters, folding the Formula 1, DIRT, WRC, GRID and Project CARS racing game series into EA's portfolio alongside the likes of Need for Speed, Real Racing and (if we're lucky) Burnout. The deal saw EA pay $1.2 billion to buy Codemasters, outbidding Take Two in the process.
— Electronic Arts (@EA) February 18, 2021
Speaking of the deal, Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts said, "This is the beginning of an exciting new era for racing games and content as we bring together the talented teams at Electronic Arts and Codemasters. […] Our teams will be a global powerhouse in racing entertainment, with amazing games for players on every platform, and we can't wait to get started."
Codemasters CEO Frank Sagnier called it "a landmark in Codemasters' history, and an exciting day for our employees and players."
I'm not entirely sure Frank's got his finger on the pulse with that one. Sure, he is expected to scoop up £20.5 million personally and other execs will share around £10 million in pay outs, EA are now in charge of the company's future. They previously stated that they will conduct a year-long review of the company to see how they and Codemasters "can work most effectively and efficiently together." They say this won't lead to a "material" number of redundancies, but make no guarantees. Given the number of studios and overlapping racing game brands that Codemasters own, there's a real fear that some parts of the company will suffer.
And there's also concerns for fans of Codemasters' racing games that they will have to shift focus to meet EA's particular goals and ambitions with regard to monetisation. With the F1 and upcoming WRC license, we could see some kind of Ultimate Team mode adapted for these real world motorsports and the addition of microtransactions in a more pervasive fashion. Gamers will certainly view such changes with trepidation, though the real impact is unlikely to be felt for a few years.
This is just one of a few big money moves that EA are making as they look to broaden their portfolio and reach. EA also announced the acquisition of Glu Mobile, the developer behind such mobile game hits as Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, for $2.4 billion – two Codemasters, in other words.
Source: press release
Team17 have dropped a hot new update for Worms Rumble across PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and PC, adding the new Battlegrounds Bank map and kicking off the game's first community event in the process. PlayStation fans will also be overjoyed to learn the update fixes some trophy glitches as well.
The free new map caters to Last Worm Standing, Last Squad Standing and Deathmatch modes in the real time shooter, the Battlegrounds Bank map featuring multiple areas that include a cash-filled bank and a money vault. Time to make a withdrawal, eh?
To celebrate the update there's a Double XP and Currency event in the game running from 6PM GMT today, 18th February until 6PM GMT Monday, 22nd Febraury. Coincidentally, those are the exact same times that the game is having a free play weekend on Steam, letting people play the entire game for the next few days.
Following the free weekend, Team17 will be kicking off the game's first community event: Bazooka Bowl. As you can probably guess, it will be pretty Bazooka heavy, but how do bowls come into the equation? We'll find out on 25th February when the event starts.
Those who like to dress up fancy can snag some new Premium DLC cosmetic packs. 'Cats & Dogs' and 'Honor & Death' are available at £3.99 / $4.99 each.
But that's not all this update does, because it also fixes one of the biggest problems with the game: broken trophies! The update fixes the following bugged trophies on PS5:
- On a Roll (by rolling again in-game, if criteria is met, it will unlock)
- Challenger (If another challenge is complete, it will unlock)
- Last Worm Standing (If player wins another LWS match, it will unlock)
- Better Than Most (finishing in the top 50% of players, it will unlock)
There are still two trophies that aren't working – Geared Up (Purchase all customisations) and Tooled Up (Reach level 10 with all weapons) – but Team17 aim to have those fixed in the next few weeks.
Here's the full patch notes for the update:
- Fixed an issue where the player could crash when using the grapple gun on an escalator.
- Fixed an issue where the player could crash on respawning in the Lab.
- Fixed an issue where the player was unable to move when the game starts.
- Fixed an issue where the reload animation did not play correctly for each weapons reload time
- Fixes for unlocking the following trophies: On a Roll, Challenger, Last Worm Standing, Better than Most.
- Fixed an issue where some error messages were automatically dismissed.
- Fixed an issue where the player lost focus of the main menu when dismissing an error message.
- Fixed an issue where the player's worm was displayed incorrectly after taking explosive damage.
- Fixed an issue where an error message was displayed on accepting an invite to a party with Crossplay disabled.
- Fixed an issue that caused the player to lose their progression data.
- Fixed an issue where friendly fire damage was incorrectly counting towards Challenge progression.
The game launched at the end of 2020 as a PlayStation and PC exclusive – in fact, it was a freebie for PlayStation Plus subscribers. In our review of Worms Rumble, Gareth scored the manic multiplayer title a solid 7 out of 10. Here's what he had to say:
Although purists may balk at Worms Rumble, I found Team17's reinvention to be a welcome change in direction for the series. Real-time action wrapped around the battle royale genre works a treat here when combined with the zany, explosive world of Worms, but in order to become a multiple mainstay it needs more depth both in terms of strategy and player progression.
Shortly after launch the studio revealed that Worms Rumble had racked up close to 1.5 million players in launch week. Other statistics include 38.4 million worms killed, 384,577 worms revived, and a whopping 5.17 billion points worth of damage dealt.
- Worms Rumble Guide – 7 essential tips & tricks for winning
- Will Worms Rumble come to Xbox and Nintendo Switch?
Exactly as expected, Milestone have announced MotoGP 21 and confirmed that the game will be coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, in addition to the usual PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC versions, MotoGP 21 will launch on 22nd April 2021.
As with the previously released and updated games MXGP 20 and Ride 4, MotoGP 21 will run with a dynamic resolution up to 4K and a 60fps frame rate. The game visuals have also been improved with enhanced lighting, there's faster loading time, online races now have up to 22 races, and the game takes advantage of the DualSense haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.
MotoGP 21 also promises to make the racing more realistic than before. If you crash or fall you will no longer automatically respawn, but will have to run over to your bike and get back on, just like in real life. Brake temperature will now be a factor, the bike suspension system has been revised, and the game now features long lap penalties as a way of punishing transgressions. Introduced in the 2019 season, the game has caught up to the real sport in that regard.
The game will build on the existing features of the series, with the latest iteration of ANNA, the neural network AI for drivers and an overhauled Managerial Career. Amongst the staff hires, you now have a personal manager to lead the staff, chief engineer to increase research points earned, and a data analyst to try and balance bike development – R&D and customisation are as important as ever. If you wish you can start your career with a junior team in lower Moto categories.
MotoGP 21 will feature the 2021 season, which is not expected to be anywhere near as heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic as the 2020 season was, though Dorna has made provisions that could affect the game. They chose to postpone the Argentine and American Grand Prix until the situation is deemed safe in those countries, the season will start with a double-header in Qatar before heading to Portugal for the third round, and there is a single Reserve Grand Prix event in Indonesia, after the Russian Grand Prix was removed from the reserve list. It's not clear what tracks will appear in MotoGP 2021 or if Milestone will adapt the game before April.
Looking back at the 2020 game, Tom said in our MotoGP 20 review:
MotoGP 20 tries to build upon the promise of recent developments with a raft of new features, but it's those very inclusions that don't quite feel fully formed yet. The presentation is more polished, there's a real attempt to try something new, and I enjoy the more serious focus of the riding, but I can't help but think that this game needed a little more time in development to iron out the quirks.
MotoGP 21 is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PC, Steam and Epic Games Store, on 22nd April 2021.
Source: press release
Nintendo's first full Nintendo Direct of 2021 was a doozy, bringing a wide range of game announcements from third parties, dropping the details of some DLC expansions for existing games (including the next Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighter), and a bunch of first party games that will excite long-term fans of Big N.
You want more Zelda? New Mario Golf? More Splatoon? There's a lot that was stuffed into that 50 minute presentation, so scroll on down to get the skinny. Alternatively, you can watch the full Direct here:
We'll get to the big stuff first (instead of following the order that Nintendo went by.
A sequel to the hit multiplayer action shooter from Nintendo, it seems that Chaos winning in the final Splatfest has transformed the world. Splatoon 3 takes players to the "City of Chaos", introducing a bunch of new customisation options, new weapons like the bow, and more, while still retaining the familiar 4v4 Turf War format.
The game will be out in 2022, with plenty more details to come.
With no further update on the Breath of the Wild sequel, Nintendo are hoping to appease fans with a HD remaster of the previous mainline Zelda game, Skyward Sword. First released in 2011 for Wii, it took full advantage of the console's improved MotionPlus Wiimote, and that has been translated to full Joy-Con motion controls on Switch. Alternatively, the game now features full button controls for Pro Controller, handheld mode and the Switch Lite.
Skyward Sword HD is out on 16th July.
The first home console Mario Golf game since the Gamecube, Mario Golf: Super Rush will have all the golfing action you could want, starring a host of familiar Mario characters and pick up and play golfing. There's new motion controls as an option, just be sure to wear a wrist strap so you don't launch your Joy-Con into something expensive!
The game also has new modes, including Speed Golf, where everyone plays at the same time and races through the course, and a Story Mdoe, starring your Mii character with levelling up and skill progression.
Mario Golf: Super Rush is out on 25th June.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Expansion Pass
The musou Breath of the Wild prequel is getting even bigger through 2021 thanks to a DLC season pass. The Expansion Pass is now available for £17.99, promising two waves of DLC additional content that adds new characters, stages and more. The first wave arrives in June and the second in November, but those who buy before early will get a new weapon and costume for Link on 28th May.
Building on the same HD-2D game engine as Octopath Traveller, Project Triangle Strategy leans on a different side to Square Enix's long RPG tradition. Triangle Strategy is a tactical RPG (think Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics), but with meaningful choices to be made that affect how the story unfolds.
The game will launch exclusively for Nintendo Switch in 2022, but there's a free demo available now on the Nintendo eShop
No More Heroes III release date
The third game in the cult classic No More Heroes series has a release date on 27th August!
The next Super Smash Bros. fighter is…
Pyra/Mythra from Xenoblade Chronicles 2! Coming out in March.
Star Wars: Hunters
Set between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Hunters is a free-to-play multiplayer shooter with a cast of Bounty Hunters, heroes of the Rebellion and Imperial stormtroopers all duking it out in arenas across the Star Wars universe. The game launches in 2021.
The hit multiplayer game of 2020 is coming to Nintendo Switch this summer!
Animal Crossing X Super Mario 35th Anniversary
The Super Mario themed items and accessories will be coming to Animal Crossing: New Horizons in March after the 25th February update.
The Mii-based RPG has been revived from the Nintendo 3DS for the Nintendo Switch generation, letting you take your Mii and those of friends and family on an adventure to battle the face-stealing Dark Lord. A smattering of new features are being added to the game, giving you more customisation options than ever.
Miitopia arrive on Nintendo Switch on 21st May.
Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir / Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind
A pair of classic visual novels are making their way from Japan to the West for the first time, localised with English text and modernised for the Nintendo Switch. Coming as a dual-pack, Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir and Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind will be out on 14th May.
The three action-packed entries in the Ninja Gaiden sereis are coming to the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on 10th June.
Check out the new trailer for Monster Hunter Rise:
Velan Studios have cooked up a brand new take on dodgeball for Knockout City, with high-paced ball-throwing battles with a bunch of video game twists. Check out our hands on preview here. The game will be out for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC on 21st May.
DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power
Based on the Cartoon Network show, you'll step into the boots of a bunch of classic DC superheroines including Batgirl, Supergirl and Wonder Woman as they have to get through high school, all while saving the city of Metropolis. The game is out on 4th June.
The third game in the Plants vs. Zombies shooter spin-off will be coming to Nintendo Switch on 19th March.
Legend of Mana
The classic JRPG from Square Enix will be bringing its remastered HD graphics, rearranged music and added features to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PC on 24th June.
The acclaimed indie time-loop game Outer Wilds will be playable on Nintendo Switch when it launches this summer.
Samurai Warriors 5
Diving deep in the Sengoku period, Samurai Warriors 5 will be slicing and dicing it up on Switch this summer.
World's End Club
Coming from the creators of Danganronpa and Zero Escape, you and 11 other characters in the Go-Getters Club have to set off across Japan in a mixture of side-scrolling action and narrative as you try to make your way back to Tokyo. World's End Club is out for Nintendo Switch on 28th May.
The Xbox exclusive zombie 'em up is being remastered for modern consoles, including the Nintendo Switch, on 16th March.
Ghosts 'n Goblin Resurrection
Getting local co-op is coming to the series for the first time, with arthur getting help from three supporting characters: Barry for defence, Kerry for transportation or Archie for bridges. Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection is coming out on 25th February.
Capcom Arcade Stadium
Tons and tons of Capcom's arcade classics are now available on Nintendo Switch as part of Capcom Arcade Stadium with features like gameplay rewind, game speed adjustments and more adding into the emulation. You can get 1943 – The Battle of Midway for free and then add to your collection with game packs or the standalone Ghosts 'n Goblins add-on (which will be free up until 25th February).
A new first-person action game about exterminating demons in Heaven, Neon White is the next game fromt he creator of Donut County… coming to Switch and PC in winter 2021.
SaGa Frontier Remastered
The remaster of the 90s RPG is coming to PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android and PC on 15th April.
PHEW! What a stream that was! Were there any highlights for you?
This week's Nintendo Direct was chock full of surprises, one of them being the unexpected announcement of Samurai Warriors 5. Koei Tecmo will be bringing their hack n' slash sequel to the Nintendo Switch this summer, as well as PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC (via Steam). Of course, the game will be available on newer systems with both the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S offering backwards compatibility.
From that very first glimpse of Samurai Warriors 5, it's clear to see that Omega Force and Koei Tecmo are trying something new with their long-running series. As with past entries, it will offer a high octane retelling of the Sengoku "Warring States" period in Japan. It's no surprise that generals Nobunaga Oda and Mitsuhide Akechi will take leading roles in Samurai Warriors 5 though their appearances have been dramatically altered since we last saw the pair.
Samurai Warriors 5 is essentially a reboot, and one that dons a slightly altered cell-shaded art style. Fans who have enjoyed the series since its debut will already have a good idea of the game's playable roster of characters though their designs have been redone in this newest chapter. Perhaps Omega Force are taking inspiration from Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada? The spin-off is solely focused on poster boy Yukimura Sanada who ages through the years. Giving us younger/older variants of other lead characters in Samurai Warriors 5 seems sensible given how long the main conflict lasts.
Of course, what we really want to know is how the developers have evolved the series combat. Koei have confirmed that Samurai Warriors 5 will lean on the same "one versus one thousand" formula Warriors is known for, and that's certainly echoed in the small snippets of gameplay we see in the debut trailer. However, it's fair to say that the combat system has given way to fatigue over the years. Hopefully Omega Force will not only reboot the Samurai Warriors story but also shelve its over-reliance on mindless button-bashing.
Thankfully we won't have to wait long before seeing more of the game in action. Koei will be hosting monthly livestreams, the first of which is planned for next Thursday, February 25th.
Source: Press Release
Koei Tecmo have some of the most iconic franchises of all time under their banner, but few stand up to the legacy of Ninja Gaiden. Before the Souls franchise came along to make gamers cry into their controllers, Ninja Gaiden was the top dog, offering supremely challenging Ninja-based swordplay, and now the most recent games are coming to modern platforms, releasing for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC on the 10th of June.
The Ninja Gaiden Master Collection comprises the three mainline 3D games, made up of Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, with most of the previously released game modes and DLC costumes arriving in one thrilling collection.
The Ninja Gaidne: Master Collection allows fans and newcomers alike to experience the tale of "super ninja" Ryu Hayabusa as he battles deadly fiends causing chaos around the world. Ninja Gaiden Sigma, originally released in 2007, set the standard of high-speed action for the series – introducing dual-wielding weapons, and a Mission Mode alongside its gripping Story Mode.
Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, originally released in 2009, continued Hayabusa's journey alongside characters Ayane, Rachel, and Momiji, with four difficulty levels testing players' battle techniques with every heart-stopping fight.
The latest entry, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, originally released in 2012, upped the challenge with powerful new enemies and fiercely violent depictions, as well as bringing Kasumi into the action, making it the series' most alluring white-knuckle experience to date.
It's possible that many players might have come into contact with Ryu Hayabusa and his ninja pals in Koei Tecmo's Dead or Alive series, with the most recent entry, Dead or Alive 6, launching in 2019. We handed it a 7/10, with the action remaining as good as ever, but the continuing question mark about the series' objectification of women hanging heavily in the background.
We absolutely can't wait to return to the world of Ninja Gaiden, and Ryu Hayabusa's tale, in June.
In lieu of any more details about the highly anticipated Breath of the Wild sequel, Nintendo today announce The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD. The game will be coming to the Nintendo Switch on 16th July, and is now available for pre-order.
Originally released for the Nintendo Wii in 2011, the game took the console's core motion controls to heart using the enhanced Wii MotionPlus controller for more accurate 1:1 motion tracking. That is brought to the Nintendo Switch through the use of Joy-Con, though it has been enhanced for the remaster.
You can play through the game using a pair of Joy-Con controllers similar to the original game, but there's also new button-only controls that have been created so that those wishing to use a Pro Controller, to play handheld, and owners of the Nintendo Switch Lite can enjoy the game. In this form, the motion controlled sword swings will be mapped to the right analogue stick and directional inputs allowing for vertical, horizontal and diagonal directional slices.
Of course, the game has also been enhanced with improved graphics and a smoother 60fps frame rate.
Series director Eiji Aonuma looks back on the game quite favourably, not only as the last home console game to be released before Breath of the Wild, but also as a source of inspiration where you can see the series' evolution. You had much more flexible traversal, a stamina gauge, the concept of upgrading gear and more, much of which would evolve and grow for Breath of the Wild.
Alongside the game's release, Nintendo will also ship some special themed Joy-Con, the right one themed after the Master Sword and the left with the Hylian Shield motif. Great for collectors, and those that think they might be imbued with game-enhancing properties – they aren't though.
Revisiting our original The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword review, Dan said:
For 90% of the time Skyward Sword is an absolute revelation, with perfect puzzles and well-designed locations. It also provides characters you can care about, and genuinely want to help. The motion controls also hold up well for the most part, although it will still be a sticking point for many gamers.
Unfortunately it's that final 10% that really does disappoint. After sampling some of Nintendo's finest work, to suddenly find yourself taking part in some extremely uninteresting, generic quests is a bitter pill to swallow.
With button controls and modern improvements, lets hope it's an all-round improvement.
Source; Nintendo Direct
Nintendo closed out the first Nintendo Direct of the year with a hugely exciting announcement: Splatoon 3 is coming to Nintendo Switch in 2022! With a whole new region, new options and enhanced gameplay, we simply cannot wait to see more.
The game trailer starts off with an Inkling out in the wasteland, an upended Eiffel Tower in the background. You've left Inkopolis behind in Splatoon 3 and ventured off to the Splatlands, at the heart of which a new city to splatter your way through resides: Splatsville, AKA the "City of Chaos". If the dystopian transformation wasn't clue enough, it seems that the result of the Final Splatfest had a real and lasting impact on the series' story going forward!
Splatoon 3 introduces a few new features for the paint-based shooter, including new weapons like bows, more options to customise your character (there's more hairstyles including both Inkling and Octoling styles, and they're no longer gender specific) and your own Small Fry little buddy, and new movement abilities.
Turf War is back as the main mode, of course, but now with an unusual twist of having you launch into the map from up high.
There's sure to be plenty more of the game yet to be revealed between now and launch, and the game is likely more than a year away. Still, for fans of Splatoon on the Wii U and the sequel that launched in the first few months of the Nintendo Switch's life, this is some of the best news they could get.
In our Splatoon 2 review, I wrote:
A fairly straightforward sequel to one of the Wii U's best games, Splatoon 2's unique take on the online multiplayer shooter is as fresh as ever on Switch. Nintendo still have one foot in the past with online functionality, stubbornly sticking to their (paint) guns when they should be learning from others, but these flaws are easily covered up once you get into a game. At its heart, Splatoon 2 is a second helping of one of the most inventive shooters of the last decade.
Here's looking forward to Splatoon 3 taking the series to new heights in 2022.
EA has announced that it will be releasing Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville Complete Edition on Nintendo Switch, and it will be available from March 19th on the console. This edition will contain all the content released for the game on PS4, Xbox One, and PC with all those items being unlockable in game through playing. The price has been set at $39.99.
Melvin Teo, Producer at PopCap Vancouver, said
"We are excited to bring everyone's favorite Plants vs. Zombies characters to Nintendo Switch for the first time, giving players the ability to play in their homes or on the go, however they choose. The Switch's motion controls allow us to try a fresh new take on Neighborville, and with its docked and portable play, we have the ability to bring the game and its characters to life in ways that weren't possible before."
Plants vs. Zombies Battle for Neighborville will be the first game that uses the Frostbite engine to be released on the Switch. The game will have both offline and online multiplayer. In offline multiplayer matches will allow four players to play together, while online there will be 8v8 multiplayer. Players will have the option to use the Switch's motion controls for aiming, though that can be customised in the settings for the game.
How Did We Rate Plants vs Zombies Battle for Neighborville?
In terms of how entertaining Plants vs Zombies Battle for Neighborville turned out to be we turn to Stefan. While we did not review the game when it fully released, Stefan did play the game when it first hit early access before becoming a full release. At the time of early access, Stefan wrote:
This is where I'm not terribly chuffed with Battle for Neighborville. It shouldn't be necessary for the third game in a series, not to mention from a publisher the size of EA, to go through a foreshortened Early Access period like this, with a six week drip feed of additional modes and features throughout. PopCap say they want to tune the game with their most ardent fans, and perhaps that's a good thing, considering the high profile struggles of Star Wars Battlefront II, Battlefield V and Anthem, but it shouldn't be necessary. A good old fashioned open beta would do the job of testing and feedback just as well… but that doesn't make you money, I suppose.
Still, I've been a fan of these Plants vs. Zombies spin offs since their inception, with PopCap having this magical way of twisting what was once a humble computer and mobile puzzle game into a great online shooter. Not only that, but each time they've managed to take some of the latest trends in the broad shooter genre and pull them off with aplomb.
You can read his full thoughts here.
Source: Press Release
There's few games as simple as dodgeball. You have a ball, and you try to throw and hit your opponent with it to knock them out of the game, except they can try to catch it and flip the script on you. It's a game that, outside of American schools, is probably best known from the 2004 Ben Stiller sports film spoof, but Knockout City takes that simplistic concept and puts an edgy new twists on the rules of engagement, cooking up a surprisingly compelling multiplayer game.
At its most fundamental, Knockout City is still dodgeball. All you have to do is hit other players with a thrown ball and avoid getting hit yourself, but even within that there's a delicate dance of mind games, team strategy and timing. Any thrown ball can be caught by your opponent with a properly timed catch, disarming you and leaving you vulnerable to attack in turn. Fake throws to draw out a grab animation, positioning to hit an unsuspecting opponent, ganging up on someone with a teammate and more all feed into the moment-to-moment gameplay, and that's before we get to the myriad changes that have developer Velan Studios dubbing this 'Dodgebrawl'.
Everything is souped up, taking advantage of the fact that you're playing a video game and not actually throwing balls at other people. Your basic movements are augmented with a double jump to get to slightly higher vantage points, or you can whip out a hang glider like a Hyrulian Warrior and glide down to ground, and while you're running around you can shoulder charge nearby opponents to stun them and knock any ball they're carrying out of their hands.Throwing a ball can be charged up to fly faster through the sky (and holding it can be a part of waiting for the perfect moment to strike), but spinning through a double jump lets you throw a sweeping curve ball.
OK, that's all fairly video gamey so far, but nothing too outlandish, right? Well, just wait till you figure out how to roll up into a ball and be thrown by your teammate, or powered up to become an explosive bomb that arcs through the sky, landing with a bang that can wipe out the whole other team if you're lucky. There's also a smattering of special balls you can find, such as the Moon Ball that affects the gravity of the holder and any victim, cage balls that bundle up their target in a ball, letting you grab and throw them off the map for a quick win.
There's a lot of common ground through all of this with fighting games and the need to have low latency tracking of player inputs and actions. There's no use trying to catch a ball with precise timing if it's going to hit you through laggy nonsense. To that end, Velan have built the bespoke Viper game engine, doing so with a new coding language called V-Script that can be run both backwards and forwards as needed by the game, letting it rewind, fix the simulation around any lag and packet loss, wind the game forward and carry on. It's based off similar ideas and principles as fighting games with rollback netcode, but accounting for the throwing ball physics and half a dozen players at once, all of which can become physics objects in their own right at any time.
It's all quite barmy, and quite a lot of fun to play in the handful of game modes we got to sample. Team KO is as you'd expect, with two teams of three duking it out to be the first to reach 10 KOs and win the round. Diamond Dash is then equivalent to Call of Duty's Kill Confirmed, while Ballup Brawl drops you into a map with no balls spawning, forcing you to throw one another as weapons. The last is a fun diversion, but seems to devolve into aerial bomb spam.
It's all wrapped up in a thoroughly familiar graphical style evoking the likes of Fortnite, and fellow EA Originals title Rocket Arena, with its smooth toon-ish characters and environments. It's fair to say there's a bit more edge and grunge to it though. You have hundreds of cosmetics to earn, letting you customise the look of your character, pick unifying themes for icons for your Crew to fight under, and so on. It's, without wishing to diminish the hard word of Velan put into the game to craft all of this, relatively standard and unremarkable in that respect. Visually, Knockout Brawl feels like it's merely part of the crowd, meaning the game has to really let its gameplay do the talking. Oh, and the pumped-up electro-jazz soundtrack.
Thankfully Velan have done their damnedest to ensure there's as few barriers to play as feasible. The game is coming to all major platforms – PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC, with certain enhancements for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S – and there's full cross-play and cross-progression. The one thing missing seems to be cross-buy, with Knockout City coming with an upfront $19.99 price tag. This… well, we'll simply have to see how it pans out, but the upside is that there's no loot boxes and the planned seasons of content and rewards are all free.
To try and convince you to part with your cash, Knockout City will launch on 21st May with a free game trial to get as many people playing as possible at the start. Before then, even, Velan will be holding a PC beta test with a limited set of content this weekend from 20th-21st February.
A couple of weeks ago the Microsoft store leaked the fact that a Stubbs The Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse remaster was on the way, with game listed for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. Now, Aspyr Media has confirmed that the remaster for Stubbs The Zombie in Rebel Without A Pulse is real, and it is not just limited to the Xbox family of consoles. The game will also be available to play on PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PS5 via backward compatibility.
According to Aspyr, the controls have been reworked to suit more modern styles of play, and achievements/trophies have been added giving some extra challenges to accomplish.
What is Stubbs The Zombie?
The game is a comedic twist on the zombie apocalypse, set in 1959 with the eponymous Stubbs rising from the dead and leading growing ranks of undead to topple the city of Punchbowl in the name of love. Stubbs has a number of undead abilities including zombie sputum, gut grenades and flatulence, using them to kill and convert humans to your cause.
First released in 2005, the game was developed by Wideload and was the first original title published by long-time Mac porting house Aspyr – a company that has just now been snapped up by Embracer Group. Of note, Wideload Games was founded by Alex Seropian, one of the co-founder of Bungie, who used his ties to the Xbox first party company to license the Halo engine for Stubbs the Zombie. You can really see that tie in the game's sticky grenades and physics. Stubbs the Zombie was fairly late to the party when it released on the original Xbox in 2005, just a month before the launch of the Xbox 360, but with a complimentary release on PC and Mac, it was a moderate success.
Stubbs The Zombie in Rebel Without a Cause will be available on March 16th, and is available to pre-order now.
Source: Press Release
Monster Hunter Rise is set to arrive next month, and as we creep ever closer to what is (hopefully) set to be one of the top Nintendo Switch releases of the year, Capcom have drip-fed some more information during tonight's Nintendo Direct, with a brand new trailer showcasing a bunch of new and returning monsters that will be making an appearance all too soon, as well as some idea about the way that Monster Hunter Rise's Rampage events will play.
First up, new Monster Rakna Kadaki is going to cause a lot of problems for people with arachnophobia, as it's a horrendous giant spider type affair, wrapping itself, and presumably you, up in webs that will slow you down while it attempts to chow down on you (or at least send you back to camp with your Palamute's tale between your legs). They were swiftly followed by returning monsters Basarios and Volvidon, both of whom look great in their Monster Hunter Rise guise.
The second, all-new monster we got to have a glimpse of was Almudron, a mud dragon that looked like a version of Mizutsune that you're going to have to have a good scrub of your armour after fighting.
Perhaps the most intriguing part of the trailer though is a look at the game's Rampage feature. We've been told about The Rampage, a rushing host of monsters, and Magnamalo before, but here we got to see how it's going to play out in action. It looks as though you'll be defending the walls of town against a ridiculous number of monsters at the same time, trying to repel them before they break through. There's the classic inclusion of various wall-based weaponry to help you on your way, and it looks as though the twins we've seen in previous trailers might be hunters that help you out along the way. Then again they might just be lending you a skin or armour set instead.
The trailer closes out with a look at Apex Arzuros. It might be that the apex monster leads the attack, and that you need to take them out to stop the Rampage, or perhaps it's just another variant that we're going to see later on in the game.
Monster Hunter Rise releases exclusively for Nintendo Switch on March 26, 2021.
Nintendo and Square Enix have announced Project Triangle Strategy, a new game for Nintendo Switch making use of Octopath Traveler's HD-2D visual styling. The game will be out in 2022, but you can try it out now with a Debut Demo available to download for free from the Nintendo eShop.
Download the demo from the following links:
The game is clearly a successor in many ways to the excellent RPG Octopath Traveler, but the actual gameplay has much more in common with the tactical RPG battling of the Fire Emblem series, right down to the titular triangle of strenght and weaknesses alluded to in the game's title.
Of course, Square Enix have their own rich legacy to honour in the tactical RPG genre, with the iconic Final Fantasy Tactics games, the first of which came to the PS1, with sequels and successors for Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS and iOS. After paying homage to some of their classic turn-based RPG in Octopath Traveller, it seems as though Project Triangle Strategy will make good use of their almost unique graphics engine and visual style while evoking the spirit of another fan favourite game and genre. As alluded to by the working title, there's elemental strengths and weaknesses to factor into, using fire to melt ice and then lightning to electrocute it and catch enemies in your trap, as one example.
Project Triangle Strategy promises to have deep and meaningful RPG story that's full of choices and shifting consequences through a branching narrative. You play as Serenoa, heir of House Wolffort, and command a group of warriors through a tangled plot, leaning on your convictions of Utility, Morality and Liberty. It's not just you that shapes the story at key points, but other characters as well who will cast votes on the Scales of Conviction, determining the fate of the continent of Norzelia.
Octopath Traveler was a fascinating RPG experiment when it launched for Nintendo Switch in 2018, and enough of a success at the time that Square Enix told us to expect similar games to follow. In our Octopath Traveller review, I wrote:
Octopath Traveler is a wonderful collection of adventures and stories, but the quirk of storytelling that lends it its name is both its greatest strength and weakness. While the turn-based combat and 'breaking' enemies makes practically every battle engaging, the eight tales this game tells don't really feel like they need to be told together. It's a little unbalanced because of this, but this remains a charming, beguiling JRPG.
Nintendo have dusted off the quirky RPG Mii battler Miitopia for the Nintendo Switch, upgrading the old 3DS game for the newer console and releasing it on Switch on 21st May.
New features include being able to customise your Mii with make up and popping fancy pants wigs on their noggins. However, the fundamental adventuring will remain the same, a light RPG in which Miis battle and go on little adventures.
Back in 2017, Dave reviewed the 3DS Miitopia, saying:
I wasn't expecting to like Miitopia as much as I did, but it certainly had me hooked until the end. It's deceptively long despite its rather basic premise and while the first two thirds are somewhat restrictive, the final third is when the game really comes into its own and shows off its true potential with compelling mechanics that are surprisingly deep. Miitopia is an odd duck for sure, but one that is very hard to put down once the hooks are in.
Mario Golf is coming back on Nintendo Switch with Mario Golf: Super Rush, coming out for Nintendo's hybrid console on 25th June, bringing with it lush new graphics and a bunch of new game modes to swing through.
Mario Golf: Super Rush will feature a broad cast of Mario characters as you'd expect, from Mario and Yoshi to Daisy and Bowser, and it builds on the classic Mario Golf gameplay, with plenty of accessibility options to let you preview your shot and view the terrain.
In addition to playing with buttons as usual, you can also use the Joy-Con with motion controls, bringing back all the joys of swinging the Wiimote on the Nintendo Wii and occasionally getting a bit too close to smashing your TV screen. Of course, there never was a Mario Golf game for the Wii or Wii U; this will be the first time that Mario Golf has featured on a Nintendo home console since all the way back in 2003!
What's nice to see is that there's also some new game modes for Mario Golf: Super Rush. Speed Golf sees everyone tees off at the same time and then sprint after the ball to get your next hit in as quickly as possible. There's dashes and special shots to speed you along, and you can grab coins and super stars to get the edge over your rivals.
Then there's Story Mode, which will bring out your Mii, dust them off and send themstarting you off as a rookie and letting you level up and grow your character. You'll be able to take your Mii into the multiplayer modes as well.
The last Mario Golf game arrived on Nintendo 3DS all the way back in 2014. In our Mario Golf: World Tour review, Dan wrote:
I've really enjoyed my time with Mario Golf: World Tour. Despite feeling a little light on main courses, there's more than enough content on offer, coupled with a great online mode and the usual Nintendo visual flair. This is a game that will keep you busy for quite some time.
Mario Golf: Super Rush will be out for Nintendo Switch on 25th June.
It's that time once again when we get a new character for Super Smash Bros Ultimate, and this time it's Pyra, star of Xenoblade 2. It looks as though she's able to transform into alter-ego Mythra as well, giving you a dual bevy of sword-wielding superstars to take into battle. There's a host of other Xenoblade 2 characters who look to be hanging around too, including Rex and Nia, who are presumably going to appear as Assist Trophies as well, meaning that Xenoblade fans are in for a treat.
Pyra brings living-house-dragon Gramps with her as her stage, with the flying elderly dragon travelling through the clouds of Alrest, the perfect place to send all of those unwanted foes to the bottom of the sea. Kirby can get right in there for a start. Xenoblade fans are hugely served now by Super Smash Bros Ultimate, with Shulk one of the core characters from when the game launched.
I loved Xenoblade 2 when it launched in 2017, where it earned a coveted 9/10 rating – "Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a phenomenal RPG. It's a truly incredible piece of work that builds and expands on the series' staples, while turning into a unique and heartfelt adventure all of its own."
Chronicles 2, a pseudo-sequel to the beloved original, is set in the world of Alrest, a place populated by huge creatures known as Titans who serve as floating islands upon and within which the citizens of Alrest live. It's a wonderfully imaginative setting, and the symbiotic nature of the relationship between the living Titans, humanoids and other creatures is at times surprisingly thoughtful. You join main protagonist Rex – a salvager clad throughout in Steampunk diving chaps – as he seeks to return Pyra – a living weapon – to Elysium, while nefarious forces are set against you.
Pyra joins the battle this March, so Smash Bros fans don't have too much longer to wait.