It’s occurred to me this week that, considering I typically write this on a Friday, I should probably take into account what happened last Saturday and Sunday… but I can’t remember that far back. If you remember what happened last weekend, hit me up in the comments and you’ll win the respect of your peers and can give yourself a pat on the back.
In bonus news: I’ve played about four or five hours of God of War and it’s fan-bloody-tastic. Could easily be a GOTY right there. But enough small talk though, let’s get news! (I’m working on a catchphrase for the start of the piece, but I don’t think ‘let’s get news’ is going to cut it. I’ll do better next time.)
There’s a New Castlevania! It’s on Mobile! Wait, it’s on Mobile?
You didn’t really expect Konami to do something for the love of the art, right? If there’s one thing the Japanese do in between Pachinko Parlour trips, it’s stare at their phones. Konami, savvy business buggers that they are, have clearly noticed this, and they know that mobile games means money in the Land of the Rising Sun. As such, Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls is to be a mobile game that is, according to Eurogamer, exclusive to Japan whilst simultaneously offering real-time co-op ‘around the world,’ so decipher that if you can.
Perhaps even more shocking than Konami is making a Castlevania game is that it does actually look like a proper Castlevania game. It’s, like, not a puzzle game or a card game or anything – it’s one of them real ones! It’s set in a future where Count Dracula has been completely destroyed, but he hasn’t really because some total sod is resurrecting him. Nice one. It’s up to protagonist Genya Arikado to re-destroy the sucker of necks until the next time Konami needs/wants money (which luckily, if the game is good, is always). You can also play as characters from older games, like Backwards draculA and Simon Belmont.
There’s no word on a release date – or if there’s definitely not going to be a worldwide release to accommodate that ‘around the world’ co-op, as well as the 4 vs. 4 competitive mode – but it’s headed into closed beta state in mid-May, which you can sign up for right here. I’d like to say that if the game is successful it might trigger Konami to think about making a new console Castlevania, but the absolute best we can hope for is almost certainly another Yakuza-controlled gambling machine in a smoky hall in Shinjuku. It’s nice to have goals in life.
Overwatch Now Has a Competitive Season for 6 vs. 6 Lockout Elimination
Blizzard surprised us all this week by announcing that the popular 6 vs. 6 Lockout Elimination mode now has a short competitive season. Because if Overwatch competitive has taught us nothing in the past, it’s that personal glory outweighs team achievement all day long.
If you don’t know what the combination of words and numbers in the phrase ‘6 vs. 6 Lockout Elimination’ means, it’s basically a team deathmatch mode where two teams try to whittle each other down, eliminating killed opponents until the end of a round, at which point the winning team’s heroes cannot be used again in subsequent rounds.
I don’t even think there’s a joke to be made here. Blizzard chucked in a new competitive season for a popular game mode right in the middle of a PvE event just weeks after the introduction of a new character. Their continued support for Overwatch is incredibly commendable and doesn’t even look close to slowing down. ‘Games as a service’ might be marketing speak straight from Satan’s anus, but if any game is to personify it in a good way, it’s undeniably Overwatch.
The Dark Days of Switch Delays
Nintendo Switch owners, you poor bastards. The console was hit with two delays this week that made me very sad indeed. The first delay of the two was to Shovel Knight: King of Cards – the latest expansion to the absolutely brilliant platformer from Yacht Club Games – which has slipped from its targeted ‘early 2018’ date, as anyone who understands dates, and whether or not a game has been released, will already know. For those who don’t: it’s past early 2018, and the game has not been released. I’m glad we cleared that up.
Yacht Club Games have now been quoted as saying:
“After assessing where we are, and where we want to be, we now expect King of Cards to be ready for a grand debut in the latter half of 2018. It’s a ways away, but Pridemoor Keep wasn’t built in a day!”
As if that delay didn’t hurt fans of hardcore gaming enough, perhaps even more upsetting for Switch owners was the announcement by From Software that the Nintendo console’s version of Dark Souls: Remastered is delayed until the summer, despite the Xbox One, Steam and PS4 versions all scheduled to make the May 25th release.
Publisher Bandai Namco’s explanation is as follows:
“The new release timing gives the development team the time needed to make sure Nintendo Switch players can fully appreciate the true ‘Dark Souls’ experience anytime and anywhere, thanks to the unique portable nature of the Nintendo Switch console”
Bandai Namco didn’t give any reason for the delay, but let’s be honest – we all know why, right? Fucking Blighttown. I bet you 20,000 souls that poisonous mosquito-ridden shit heap sent the frame rate back to the stone age, and Bandai Namco had to step in and delay the whole thing, lest we suffer through playing any more of that game on the equivalent of CCTV footage in 2018. Admittedly, this is fine if it means I can usher in the age of dark while on the toilet (not an intended euphemism, but it works) without getting a migraine for my trouble.
What isn’t fine is the inexplicable simultaneous delay of the Solaire of Astora Amiibo. What did he ever do to you, Bandai Namco?! Granted, his frame rate is an embarrassing 0fps, but we’re all fine with that. I am willing to accept having to wait a bit longer for portable Dark Souls that actually works, but I will not wait for plastic toys. Not now, not ever!
Single Player Campaigns Are For Losers – The Kids Want Battle Royale!
Mate, admit it. You don’t want single player Call of Duty any more. You want to be hip, you want to be cool, you want to be down with the kids, right? Then shut up and get on board with the battle royale hype!
As it turns out, Call of Duty fans will have no choice in the matter, because Black Ops 4 won’t have a single player campaign at all. According to Polygon, as the development of the game approached conclusion, “it became evident that development on the single-player campaign wouldn’t be completed.” Of course anyone, or more accurately everyone, who’s ignored the main campaign of Fortnite will probably attest to the notion that a battle royale mode is probably more important than a single-player campaign anyway, but CoD is the first established gaming franchise to have the mode shoehorned in.
It’d probably be easy to dump all over Activision for this bandwagon-jumping, but CoD has arguably been stale for years, and in drastic need of something to freshen up the same copy/paste formula of the last several instalments. It may be shameless, it may be unoriginal, and it may be the latest fad, but the company that basically defined modern online multiplayer (on consoles at the very least) can surely produce a quality – if perhaps not ground breaking – spin on the formula.
And hey, if they can’t then maybe DICE can in the upcoming Battlefield V. A report by Venturebeat states that the mode will not arrive for the game’s release and will instead be patched in as a free update once the game is in the hands of players – if it happens at all. How the mighty are rushing to follow trends, eh?
Is a New Wave Race Coming to Switch?
Just like a local news broadcast, we’ll end this week with something a little more frivolous and light-hearted. Fandom had the chance to interview Wave Race producer Shinya Takahashi at this year’s video game BAFTAs and posed the question to him regarding a return of the arcade jet ski racer on Nintendo’s current hardware. His response was vague, yet promising:
“You may see that game again. We have been trying to make many games and that may be one of them – I personally love Wave Race!”
Personally, I’m done trying to predict Nintendo after all the madness of recent years (both good and bad), but you’d see no argument from me about a Wave Race resurgence, even if it’s just so Nintendo can stick it to Rare in the water effects department.