Hold on to your hats, folks, we’re coming up to E3 season. There’s definitely been some motion in the E3 ocean this week – including a totally bollocks leak apparently from Walmart that seemed to list Forza Horizon 5 for pre-order despite the fact that Forza Horizon 4 is yet to exist – so you can expect the coming weeks’ pieces to contain more and more build-up, potential leaks and early announcements. As for the here and now, this week’s roundup is pretty light on E3 stuff, but that’s because we’ve got way more interesting things to talk about. So let’s talk…
Nintendo Finally Announce Details for Nintendo Switch Online
If life, and Nintendo especially, has taught us anything, it’s that you should aim your expectations low to avoid disappointment. And, man, is this shit low. As everybody will know, there is currently no charge for Nintendo’s online ‘service’ (primarily because there isn’t one) but, come September, the company will instil a mandatory charge of £18/$20 for a year’s subscription to Nintendo Switch Online.
For your yearly subscription fee (there are also one and three-month options), you will receive the ability to keep playing Switch games online, 20 NES games that have added online play – including Super Mario Bros. 1 and 3, Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda – use of the Nintendo Switch Online App (still only on mobiles, by the way) and save data cloud backup. Yes, Nintendo are finally letting you backup your saves, but only if you pay them for the privilege, and only online – two stipulations not enforced by either Xbox One or PS4. Oh, and Nintendo’s information page on the online service specifies that the save data cloud is not compatible with all software.
This is especially disappointing, chiefly because when have you ever heard of cloud saving being selective with what you can actually save to the cloud? Switch save files are all exactly the same format, after all. In a surprising twist, the internet at large was totally fine with this.
I’m just kidding, of course they fucking weren’t. In fact, a social media campaign has already been started under #SaveTheSaves that is calling on Nintendo to implement a local save backup feature through USB or microSD. It’s also asking for free cloud saves for all users, but at this point you’re more likely to get Austin Powers that toilet made out of solid gold that he so desperately desires. It does, however, very saliently point out that local save backups have been a feature on practically every home games console since the Sega CD in one form or another, with even the Wii U allowing for USB 2.0 Mass Storage.
So yeah, it’s pretty shit isn’t it? Nintendo are again proving themselves to be absolute masters of game design and very little else. When your current device is offering less online features than one of the biggest flops you’ve ever produced, you should probably slap yourself in the face and spend a good while thinking about what you’ve done. Speaking of offering less than the Wii U…
Nintendo ‘Currently Has No Plans’ For Virtual Console on Switch
To add shit to the turd sandwich that is Nintendo Switch Online, Nintendo has also confirmed in an email to Kotaku that the Virtual Console will not appear on Switch as a method of delivering classic Nintendo games to the current system. With the Wii, 3DS and Wii U all featuring their own, admittedly badly handled, versions of the Virtual Console, fans have spent the better part of the last decade with access to NES, SNES and N64 games alongside classics from Sega, Neo Geo and more. The natural evolution of this on Switch, so we thought, would likely be a Virtual Console replete with lovely, portable, HD GameCube games, but instead we’re not getting one at all. Awesome!
Nintendo’s reasoning for this move, as laid out in that Kotaku email, is as follows:
“There are a variety of ways in which classic games from Nintendo and other publishers are made available on Nintendo Switch, such as through Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online, Nintendo eShop or as packaged collections. Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online will provide a fun new way to experience classic NES games that will be different from the Virtual Console service, thanks to enhancements such as added online play, voice chat via the Nintendo Switch Online app and the various play modes of Nintendo Switch.”
While this feels like the biggest missed opportunity since… well, the last time Nintendo did something stupid, we can at least hold on to the word ‘currently’ Nintendo used when talking about no VC. I checked my dictionary, and ‘currently’ definitely isn’t the same as ‘never’, so… you’re welcome?
‘Pro Evolution Soccer 2019’ Officially Revealed
Maybe the Americans should skip to the next bit of news, because I want to talk about Pro Evo, or PES as the millennials call it. Bloody kids. FIFA might be the world’s biggest football title, but Pro Evo is where the hardcore go to score goals, perform rabonas and call referees a wanker. Konami released an official trailer for this year’s iteration alongside some details on new and improved features we can expect when the game releases on August 30th.
According to Eurogamer, there are 11 new skill traits to be added to PES 2019 to spice up the gameplay and make certain players feel more like their real-life counterparts. The new skills include new types of ball distribution, like Ronaldinho’s no-look pass, and new shot types, like rising and dipping shots. It probably means nothing to a lot of people, but any fan of any annual sports title knows that subtle improvements and tweaks are the way these things go, and we’re all fine with that.
The game will also feature some new goal net physics, celebrations, and quick substitutions, and is boasting more official league licences than ever before in the wake of Konami losing the Champions League licence. For some reason, there’s also a David Beckham Edition if you want to avoid Philippe Coutinho looking like a Scream mask on the standard edition box. You know David Beckham, right? If you don’t, then here’s the trailer.
‘Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon’ Coming to Switch/3DS This Month
To those of you out there who helped Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night’s Kickstarter reach the stretch goal for this 8-bit spinoff; thank you. This game looks fucking awesome. While the main Bloodstained still appears to be some way off release, this slick-looking standalone title looks fantastic, existing as how a NES Castlevania title would look if it were developed in 2018 because, well, that’s basically what it is.
NintendoEverything had the full lowdown on the the game, which features four controllable characters that players can switch between on the fly. The main protagonist is Zangetsu – a master swordsman who focuses on having high HP and attack power that he combines with a speedy blade to push out high DPS. There’s also the whip-wielding Miriam who has the highest jumping ability, an alchemist named Alfred who has the lowest HP but can cast powerful magic, and Gebel who can turn into a bat and fly freely around stages.
Monster Hunter is on a Roll
Monster Hunter World is Capcom’s best-selling game ever, and its 7.9 million units were this week credited with helping Capcom achieve its most profitable year ever. The company was so pleased with the game’s performance that it declared its overseas success would mark ‘the start of a new era for the brand’, and they really weren’t lying.
Firstly, Variety revealed news from the Cannes Film Festival that the Monster Hunter movie would begin shooting in September. However, it’s reuniting the combination of Milla Jovovich and Paul W. S. Anderson that ruined the Resident Evil movies, so it was far less exciting than the news that Monster Hunter XX is finally coming to the West as Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate (a much more appealing title, am I right? No? Anyone?) on Nintendo Switch.
It might be harder for newcomers to get into than Monster Hunter World was, but those who have now had their first proper taste of the series should be very excited about this one. I’m going to go back and watch the trailer again, and you guys can go chill out while I take care of compiling news for next week. See you then.