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This Week in Gaming News: Switch Gives Us Paid Online, 8bit ‘Bloodstained’ and Monster Hunting All in the Same Week

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Gaming News

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.

Gaming News Switch Online

For ‘most’ read: ‘least’

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.   

Gaming News Offline Save Backup

Officially better offline save backup than 2018’s Nintendo Switch

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!

Gaming News Switch Virtual Console

This will probably never happen

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.

Gaming News PES 2019

Uncanny

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.

The four characters allow for a variety of ways to play, multiple endings and will ensure that a combination of all their skills and abilities will be required to access certain areas of the game world. It’s being released on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, 3DS, Vita and Steam, and will available for just $9.99 when it becomes available on May 24th. I cannot wait for this one, and I barely have to.

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 not be a Switch port of Monster Hunter World, but it’s Monster Hunter on Switch. Portable Monster Hunter on a proper console! Rejoice! The game was hugely popular in Japan when it released over a year ago, and Western gamers can finally get hold of the title on August 28th. A celebration of the series’ roots, Generations Ultimate will feature the largest roster of monsters with a new Elder Dragon, new explorable areas, local wireless and online multiplayer, ‘Hunter Arts’ moves that can be controlled on the touchscreen, as well as new ‘Brave’ and ‘Alchemy’ Hunting Styles.

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.

Crotchety Englishman who spends hundreds of pounds on video game tattoos and Amiibo in equally wallet-crippling measure. Likes grammar a lot, but not as much as he likes heading out for a sesh of Bakamitai karaoke in Kamurocho.

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K-Pop Meets Battle Royale With The Upcoming ‘Fortnite’ x BTS Collaboration

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Fortnite has had quite a few collaborations during its time as the reigning king of the battle royale video game genre. The game has collaborated with other gaming properties- such as the Borderlands series- but they have also crossed over into other media platforms from films to comic books. Fortnite has had highly publicised team ups with the likes of various Marvel and DC properties as well as Star Wars and Stranger Things. One of the other media platforms Fortnite has a habit of collaborating with is music and artists. There previous teams ups have involved the likes of Major Lazer, Travis Scott and Marshmello but Fortnite are now venturing into the worldwide global phenomenon that is K-Pop with their latest collaborators: BTS.

The BTS x Fortnite collab will include some new emotes so that you can show off your BTS dance skills whilst shooting people in the face.

 BTS- the biggest K-Pop band in the world and quite possibly the biggest boy band in the world full stop- has announced they will be joining Fortnite to debut a variation of their latest music video. Their hit song Dynamite- their very first song entirely in English- has been topping charts and breaking records worldwide, climbing to the top of the US’s Billboard Hot 100 and the choreography version of the Dynamite music video will be premiering exclusively within Fortnite’s Party Royale mode. The choreography MV will have fewer cuts, showing off the dance skills of the Bangtan boys. The event will take place on Friday September 25th at 8PM EDT (that means a late night for my fellow Brits as it translates to 1AM our time) and again on Saturday 26th at the same time.

You will also be able to download two new emotes that have been choreographed by BTS themselves. These will be available in Fortnite’s Item Shop from September 23rd at 8pm EDT. I myself am a recent convert to BTS’s music thanks to Dynamite (some would say fangirl but I’m sticking with convert) as it is such a carefree, catchy and cheerful song. The world needs that kind of music right now, so I would recommend checking it out below if you’re a fan of light-hearted pop. Have a look at Fortnite’s official website here to see how you can join in with BTS’s Dynamite Party Royale.

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Reality Gets Weird in the ‘WandaVision’ Trailer

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One of the anticipated Marvel Cinematic Universe spin off shows for the Disney Plus streaming service finally has a full length trailer. WandaVision– a not so subtle play on words- will focus on the characters Scarlet Witch- Wanda Maximoff- played by Elizabeth Olsen and Vision, played by Paul Bettany. The series takes place following the events of the 2019 MCU film Avengers: Endgame. The show moved up to 2020 following an initial 2021 release date, switching places with the other Disney Plus Marvel show Falcon and The Winter Solider. There’s quite a lot to unpack in what looks to be Marvel most bizarrely intriguing project yet.

The Premise

Not much is known about the plot of the show and the trailer offers more questions than answers. The official synopsis for WandaVision reads as follows:

Set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, Wanda Maximoff and Vision begin to suspect things are not as they seem as the two live their ideal suburban life.

This is about as vague as it can possibly get. The trailer shows the two of them engaged in a 50’s style sitcom, living a content married life. When neighbours ask them about their background, the couple struggle to answer. This suggests that the premise will centre on the two characters trying to differentiate fiction from reality. We also see Wanda and Vision in various fashion styles, suggesting different time periods. Let’s throw in some time travel speculation just to confuse things even more so.

Vision’s Resurrection

One key element of WandaVision is- obviously- Vision who as you’ll know if you saw Avengers: Infinity War is very much dead. He died not once, but twice. He was killed the first time by his lady love Wanda in an attempt to keep the Mind Stone- embedded in his head- out of Thanos’s grasp. He was then killed a second time by Thanos, who used the Time Stone to reverse time and get to the Mind Gem before Wanda could. Thanos rips it clean out of Vision’s skull. So yeah- like I said- very much dead. So how is he here in this odd 50’s sitcom scenario with Wanda? I’m guessing WandaVision will answer that question as it is brought up by a character in the trailer. The female character- played by Kathryn Hahn who confirmed that her name is Agnes-expresses fear that she is dead when Vision awakes her from a nap she is taking in her car whilst dressed like a witch. As you do. These are all entirely normal situations. When Vision asks her why she would think that she is dead, she responds with “Because you are”. Vision’s expression suggests that he is unaware of this, or at least hugely confused. The show is likely to explore Vision’s fate post Endgame but Wanda’s powers are likely to be responsible for at least some of the weird occurrences and possibly for Vision’s resurrection.

Wanda’s Powers

There is no doubting that Wanda is one of the most powerful Avengers due to her telekinetic manipulation abilities. However, the show looks like it will be delving into just how powerful she really is. Could it be that Wanda is altering the fabric of time and space itself to create a happier alternate reality for herself? Her character has done this before, in the House of M comic book series.  Wanda has arguably had one of the more tragic stories of the MCU heroes. She lost her parents at a young age. Her home was destroyed and her brother Pietro/ Quicksilver was killed in Avengers: Age of Ultron. She accidentally caused multiple civilian causalities, leading to her blaming herself and being put under home arrest in Captain America: Civil War. She then had to kill the love of her life- Vision- in Avengers: Infinity War as she was the only one powerful enough to do so. Not only that, but she had to watch him die a second time when Thanos turned back time. She also got dusted in Infinity War, only to come back in Endgame and almost defeat Thanos singlehandedly. Safe to say, she’s had a bit of a bad time. Losing all the people that she loves more than anything is sure to have an effect on a person. So what could happen if that person has incredibly strong powers? Powers that could possibly create all new realities? Why wouldn’t you want to invent a happier, sitcom style life if you had experienced all that she has?

Monica Rambeau

Another interesting part of the trailer is the appearance of Monica Rambeau. Rambeau is a character from the Marvel comics who was portrayed as a child in 2019’s Captain Marvel MCU film, being the daughter of Carol Danvers’s best friend Maria Rambeau and having a close aunt/niece relationship with Carol. In the comics, she takes over the mantle of Captain Marvel after obtaining energy based powers and has also been known as a hero under the aliases of Photon, Spectrum and Pulsar. In WandaVision, Teyonah Parris takes over the role as a grown up Monica. Her role in the show isn’t clear but we see her fall from a portal in front of government agents. Has she already got her powers at this point or is this how she obtains them?

References

There are references aplenty in the trailer. From a reference to the aforementioned House of M comic series – where Scarlet Witch goes a bit mad and loses control of her powers, bending reality to her will- to Wanda and Vision appearing in their classic comic book outfits, the show is obviously taking inspiration from Marvel comics throughout the decades. There are also some general pop culture references as well, such as their 50’s paradise looking an awful lot like the I Love Lucy show from 1951 and the use of The Platters version of the 1944 song Twilight Time. The general premise is pretty 50’s too, with Wanda and Vision having to hide their true selves- that of a superhuman and an android- to protect their perfect life. Older sitcoms like I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched adapted this kind of plot device so that optimum hilarity would ensue as characters would go to extreme lengths to hide their extraordinary true identities.

WandaVision is looking really interesting from what we have seen so far. It certainly seems to be diverging from Marvel’s normal film and television structures. If the show stays strong in its distinctive style, it may be one of the most unique things to come from Marvel in a long while.

WandaVision is coming to Disney Plus exclusively in December 2020. Have a look at the trailer below.

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Sad News DS Fans: The Nintendo 3DS Has Been Discontinued

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After almost ten years in service, Nintendo’s portable 3DS console has officially been discontinued according to Nintendo’s official website. This applies to all the various models of the console: the 3DS, the 2DS, the New 3DS, the New 2DS, the 3DS XL, the New 3DS XL and the New 2DS XL.

The 3DS was an innovative handheld gaming console upon its release in 2011, combining 3-D technology and gaming without the need for special 3-D glasses. The 3D effect was obtained via an optical illusion with the systems screen- a stereoscopic effect that could be turned on with a slider. I remember the awe I felt the very first time I used the 3DS. It felt like a whole new era of gaming encased in a small and sleek package.

Although not hugely popular when it was first released, sales of the console grew a few years after. Since the release of the Nintendo Switch in 2017, sales of the 3DS have been steadily declining so it is not a huge surprise that Nintendo have made this decision. However, it is still a sad moment for DS fans as it means the end of solely portable consoles for Nintendo. I have a lot of fond memories from my 3DS and my plain old DS. I still remember getting the original DS for my birthday in 2006 and spending the rest of the day playing Nintendogs. Good times.

So raise a glass, bid farewell and press F to pay your respects to the 3DS and the DS console in general. You will be missed, dear friend.  

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