In development for the Switch, details are thin at the time of writing, but the huge announcement wasn’t one most predicted:
Expect this one late next year at the earliest.
Square Enix has revealed that a remaster of Final Fantasy VIII is finally coming to the Switch (and other consoles/PC) later this year. Yes, that one.
Announced during the E3 Live event, the remaster brings the game’s classic story to modern platforms, now with new visuals that help bring the game’s characters to life
You can see an example of the graphical update below:
The story of Final Fantasy VIII involves the military nation of Galbadia declaring war on the Dukedom of Dollet, who must hire the mercenary force, SeeD.
Squall Leonhart, a new member of SeeD, together with his friends and Rinoa Heartilly, a member of a resistance group, get pulled into the war, unaware of their fated task to save the world:
We don’t have an exact date for release, but it’s due out this year.
Released way back in 2008, The Last Remnant captured the minds of gamers with its enthralling story, likeable characters and intricate battle system.
Now it returns — this time on Nintendo Switch in a remastered, portable form:
Features of the Switch remaster include the following:
A developer featurette was also released, providing an in-depth look at some of the secrets behind the creation of the adventure:
It’s yours for £15.99 in the UK.
Microsoft pulled out all the stops during their E3 2019 Press Conference showcasing a total of 60 games.
Twenty-two of those games are indie titles, all of which will be available on Xbox Game Pass at launch.
A handful of the games really stood out to me. Which? Well, Blair Witch, Blazing Chrome, Riverbond, Star Renegades and AfterParty which I covered a while back here on Nitchigamer.
The full list can be found below:
ID@XBOX Games Shown at E3 2019
As a Game Pass subscriber, I will add more than a few of these to my library. I hope you do too!
Next up, of course, is Nintendo’s E3 Direct. We’re hoping to see some rather unique games on show there.
The game combines complex dialogues and the simplified graphics of visual novels along with an open story structure and the mechanics of RPGs.
With around 10 hours of content, Roadwarden also features an impressive ‘attitude system’.
Whenever the player encounters new characters, they can select one of five attitudes: friendly, playful, distant, intimidating or vulnerable. Their choice impacts the subsequent interaction and changes the mood and the direction of the general conversation.
Roadwarden uses isometric pixel art to present areas, items and events, and various sidequests and hidden interactions have been developed to ensure multiple playthroughs for enthusiasts.
It’s due out in the first half of 2020 as a digital download for PC and Linux.
Cult shooter XIII — from 2003 — is returning in the form of a remake, not a remaster, this November. The surprising announcement concerning the obscure title first appeared on PlayStation’s official blog here.
XIII wasn’t your typical FPS — not at all. Instead, it utilised stylish cel-shaded graphics combined with an engaging conspiracy story that featured ‘XIII’, a soldier who loses his memory and has been accused of killing the President of the United States.
The only clue XIII has to go on? A small key and a mysterious tattoo. Here’s a teaser to whet our appetites:
Back in the day, XIII featured an impressive 34 levels in the solo campaign — it was loved, by the few who bought it, for its intense gunplay and often brutal takedowns.
“This remake’s idea came naturally as we felt this unique kind of story-driven FPS experience was missing in today’s gaming landscape.
Our goal is to bring XIII’s compelling story to a new generation of players with the best possible graphics and animation.”
The XIII remake is being developed by Playmagic and will be published by Microids for PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC. It’s released, if you haven’t already guessed, on November 13th.
The weirdest thing of all? This writer was thinking about the game and the possible future of the franchise just last week. Freaky.
We just had April Fool’s Day, so the revelation that both Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are getting official VR support may come as quite the surprise.
Yes, through the enhanced functionality of the Toy-Con VR Goggles, you’ll get to play both of these games from a new dimension.
Odyssey is getting a small update in which you’ll be set challenges in three new mini-missions that involve collecting coins and music notes, and will no doubt have you wondering about the future of Mario in VR.
While the bigger surprise is that Breath of the Wild will be fully playable in VR — no, not just a small section of the game, the complete experience.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) 5 April 2019
To get it all up and running you’ll need the Nintendo Labo: VR Kit that’s out on April 12th. The Kit starts at £34.99 for the basic set and £69.99 for the complete set.
The VR updates for Odyssey and Breath of the Wild go live on April 25th.
So, given the relatively weak power of the VR Kit compared to the others out there, it’s undoubtedly going to be of great interest to see how these games translate over. With that said, early hands-on reports indicate that Labo VR is proving to be better than expected, although it’s not clear how comfortable it is for long sessions.
It’s even more interesting to see Nintendo, who was once seemingly unfazed and somewhat distant about the technology, add it to its two flagship franchises.
The idea of the next Mario and Link games on a fully featured VR-enabled Nintendo system suddenly isn’t that implausible. And that would be quite something indeed.
The beloved Final Fantasy VII finally hits the Switch today… I can already hear you asking: how is this newsworthy?
Well, it’s the first time the game has been released on a Nintendo console, and that’s a pretty significant milestone considering it originally started life as a SNES title.
You see, back in 1994 Square moved production of Final Fantasy VII to the PlayStation 1 after technical issues and a series of delays plagued their development on SNES.
In addition to that, there was the allure of the shiny new CD-ROM format being offered by Sony with increased storage options — long story short, it was hard for Square to resist a change in direction.
It’s worth mentioning that the following extra features are included in the Switch edition out today:
You can check out the launch trailer for Final Fantasy VII below:
So, this particular slice of gaming history will set you back £12.79 in the UK and $15.99 in the US. It’s never too late to jump in if you haven’t already, right?
It’s always day time here, especially during the night. The artificial sun rays saturate my room from the surrounding buildings, displaying all the shades of red, blue and green.
Laying here, I stare at the waltz dance of the swaying dust particles illuminated by the hues; it’s not long until my meditation is broken. A repetitious blinking light protrudes from the corner of my room, begging for my attention like a child to their mother. I quickly stand and move to mother the console, for I have heard the child’s cry, the cry of a job… The only cry I receive.
A cry for a missing package. Let’s hope the destination remains the same. To the bar, I go and speak with the client, see if I get any leads from him.
It’s a methodical job; tracking the civilians of this grand city. The mundane lives brought by the industry – wake up, work, home, pub, mistress; the same day in, day out. Not I, I would rather be dead… hell, I actively search it at times.
Stepping into the sunstroke streets, I inhale the dense fog into my lungs, the damp air solidifying on my lungs. The city glows from the neon lights humming in the fog and reflecting from the rain-soaked pavement. An outsider would say it looks beautiful, like a painting of Valhalla.
Yes, video game Mice on Venus is being developed by Callum Hancock. An ambitious project, it’s shaping up to be something interesting.
It’s a detective simulation game about investigating cases with ambiguous morality.
Mankind has left Earth, setting up colonies floating in the upper atmosphere of the planet Venus. You play as a PI, and you need to solve cases assigned to you by the world’s citizens. It’s up to you how to go about solving each of the cases.
Each case plays out as a routine, where the world’s citizens follow their own simulated schedules throughout each day. The player must navigate these routines to intercept targets, follow leads and gain information.
I can’t wait to hear more about Mice on Venus.
But what were the key announcements from the showcase?
You can find all of the indie games shown at the presentation below along with their expected release dates:
It wasn’t that long ago, January in fact, that we had a dedicated ‘Indie Highlights’ presentation from Nintendo (they need to stick to one name with these, surely?), so it’s another presentation from the company that wasn’t entirely expected.
Key announcements like Cadence of Hyrule – Crypt of the Necrodancer and Cuphead are more than welcome, while Blaster Master Zero II, My Friend Pedro, Overland, and The Red Lantern prove that the Switch is becoming a place for more than just a smattering of indie games.
It’s worth mentioning that Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, a refreshing take on XCOM which released last year, was also announced separately for Switch and is due out June 25th — that’s as well as Castle Crashers Remastered, coming to both Switch and PS4.
We’re also going to see a set of Konami classics heading to PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch too. And yes, Castlevania is in there.
At the start of the month Nintendo decided to announce the ‘Nintendo Labo VR Kit’, and, as you can imagine, explosive energy was immediately felt coursing through the internet.
The energy felt wasn’t just for the strange timing and complete absence of it in their recent Nintendo Direct. It was more: Nintendo is doing VR again.
A ‘rival to Sony’s PS VR’ some predicted, while others made sweeping, bold statements about how Nintendo was fully embracing the world of VR. They’re not really.
In fact, I immediately saw it as a basic VR Kit for kids and families, because that’s what it is. It’s the sort of gadget you buy for someone small (and new to VR) but not quite ready for the challenge of a PS VR or HTC Vive.
Nintendo has positioned themselves as such so they can target that younger age bracket to increase the adoption of VR in general. It’s from there, if at all, we’ll see the company fully engage in VR again. Remember the Virtual Boy in ’95? They’re probably not keen to repeat that.
Well, obvious comparisons are being made to Google Cardboard, which served a similar purpose: it was a low-cost system designed to generate initial interest in VR. Couple that with Nintendo’s creative DIY style of Labo products and add in the Switch to the mix.
It’s fair to say that not everyone is overly ecstatic with the idea though — some developers are worrying that it might even limit people’s perceptions of what VR is truly capable of. That’s certainly a moot point.
Not to mention that the Labo VR Kit is the fourth Labo kit, an initiative which hasn’t been doing great for Nintendo and will probably be one of the last if the meagre sales continue.
So, there are two Labo VR Kits available next month: one that includes all the Toy-Con creations, and one that consists of a smaller selection of projects to get started. However, both contain the Blaster.
Funds permitting, this writer might pick one up when it launches April 12th out of pure curiosity more than anything else, although, I won’t go in expecting a visually stunning experience. That’s already been taken care of with the Vive et al, and really? I think that’s the point.
Versus Evil has announced that it will publish Into The Dead 2 exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.
Developed by PikPok, Into The Dead 2 started as a mobile-only title and this will mark the first time that the game will release on a video game console. The franchise has been downloaded over 100 million times on mobile phones.
Known for its exciting gameplay and visually stunning graphics, Into The Dead 2 puts you in the middle of an endless zombie apocalypse.
You must journey through to save your family. Unlock and upgrade various types of weapons to show those zombies who’s boss. The game comes complete with seven chapters, sixty stages and hundreds of challenges to complete. Multiple endings mean multiple ways to own zombies.
Into The Dead 2 has not received a release window at this time. For now, check out the original announcement trailer below: