I’ll see you again in 25 years: The Return of Bubsy

What could possibly go wrong?” is a famous phrase uttered by a bobcat who was aimed to be the next Super Mario or Sonic The Hedgehog, but sadly due to a stream of badly designed games never saw the attention that company Accolade might have hoped for. However, 25 years since its first release and furthermore the sixth title in its series, Bubsy will be back on consoles once again.

It has only been a couple of years since Bubsy made his first return after 20 years of no new game in ‘Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back’ but it looks like we’re set for another title in 2019 called ‘Bubsy: Paws on Fire’ which will be available on PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC. The 2017 predecessor aimed to go for the classic Bubsy style which had colourful imagery and simple controls that most platformers have…it still had the infuriating mechanics of ‘I shouldn’t have died from that’ which Bubsy is well known for.

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A boss battle snapshot from Paws of Fire

The new title is being developed by Choice Provisions who are famous for creating the popular auto-running ‘Bit.Trip’ series and are aiming for a first quarter release next year. Writer/producer at Choice, Dant Rambo, described the upcoming Bubsy game as “an auto-runner at its core, but there’s a lot more to it than that” but said there was much more to the game than that.

Paws on Fire is set to have four playable characters with each having their own movesets. These are:

  • Woolie: Flying and shooting abilities
  • Arnold: Ability to go underground (these are bonus levels)
  • Bubsy & Virgil Reality: Running your way to victory!

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If you have played any previous Bubsy titles then these characters should all be recognisable. This is the first time Bubsy has had to work alongside his archrivals the ‘Woolies’ as well as other characters throughout the games returning. The game will have 100 levels which will be set over three worlds and each of those worlds will feature a boss battle.

The game will feature unique combos as well as a leaderboard for each individual character. There will be unlockable content to give players re-playability which looks like some content cannot be unlocked in one playthrough.  Finally there will be a customisation area where clothing items are unlocked by retrieving enough collectables such as balls of yarn.

bubsy custom

When faced with the creation of a new Busby game, Choice Games had this to say:

“After some productive meetings and even more productive face scratches we agreed to work with Bubsy on creating an auto-runner worthy of his stature. And when that was done we scrapped it and made a good game instead.

Bubsy was first introduced on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System under the title ‘Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Third Kind’ and would feature three further games in the 90’s including the disastrous ‘Bubsy 3D’ which showcased how game designers had not mastered three dimensional graphic gameplay yet and was a pretty ugly game. The platformer did not prove to be a success and Bubsy looked to be no more until 2016 where there was an unexpected announcement of a new game in the works.

You never know, we might get a solid Bubsy game yet!

 

Sony Reveals The Full List of Games For It’s Upcoming Classic Console

Last month Sony announced they would be releasing a miniature version of their classic PlayStation console.

Originally Sony only revealed five titles including Final Fantasy VII and Tekken 3 and this left a lot of people in two minds due to the lack of announcements and the £90 price tag.

This new announcement includes Grand Theft Auto and Metal Gear Solid, but there are still a few hit and miss titles. Below is the full list:

  • Battle Arena Toshiden
  • Cool Borders 2
  • Destruction Derby
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Intelligent Qube
  • Jumping Flash!
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Mr. Driller
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
  • Rayman
  • Resident Evil Director’s Cut
  • Revelations: Persona
  • Ridge Racer Type 4
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
  • Syphon Filter
  • Tekken 3
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
  • Twisted Metal
  • Wild Arms

The PlayStation Classic is set to release December 3rd!

Are there any titles you feel are missed from this console?

Sony announces PlayStation Classic console which will include Final Fantasy VII

It’s that time of year again when a miniature retro Nintendo console should be hitting the shelves and people have been expecting to hear of a Nintendo 64 Mini but nothing has been announced.

Instead Sony revealed the exciting news that there will be a miniature version of the original PlayStation with its original 1994 design.

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Not many more things can be described to me as nostalgic than the booting up sounds of the PlayStation which send shivers down my spine every time I hear them.

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The console which is due to hit shelves December 3 will feature 20 built-in games including the iconic Square Enix title Final Fantasy VII and Namco’s Tekken 3.

There are currently three other confirmed titles which are Ridge Racer Type 4, Jumping Flash! And Wild Arms. 

playstation classic 4

The console is set to be priced at £89.99 and will feature two traditional PlayStation controllers without joy-sticks and will be inputed into TV sets via a HDMI cable like the retro Nintendo consoles.

The PlayStation Classic will still feature its disc eject button, but as the games are pre-installed, its function when pressed will change one game to another.

When it comes to the PlayStation there are an endless amount of titles that spring to mind which could feature on the console.

Crash Bandicoot, Spyro The Dragon, Croc: Legend of the Gobbos, PaRappa The Rapper, Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey, Dino Crisis, Metal Gear Solid, Gran Turismo and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night are just a few big names that could feature from an endlessly great catalogue!

 

Nintendo Switch’s online service to launch September 19th: Here’s what you need to know

nintendo switch online

It has been a long time coming since the console’s release back in March 2017, but the Nintendo Switch‘s online service will finally go online on September 18. Online and Nintendo aren’t two words that get associated together very often and if so, not usually in a positive respect. Nintendo has never really ventured out into online game-play much, especially not with a service that will be on the Switch, but they’re going to give it a try and this is what you need to know.

The online play service that Nintendo will provided will enable players to play games online with friends and others around the world. There are many Nintendo titles that have online access such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2 and the upcoming Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Along with those titles you will be able to play Minecraft with your friends through the service.

When playing with friends, you are able to communicate with them through the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app which launched last year with the console. There you can use the voice chat to talk to them but it would be good for there to be a suitable headset to fit into the controller, but with the interesting tech of the Switch, it might not be that straightforward. The app has been in use since its first iteration, but was mainly used to show leaderboards and results from Splatfest events.

An important feature to the online service is that if you ever lose your Switch or play on a new one, you can cloud save your game files and re-download them so none of your gaming experience and play is lost. If you’re at a friend’s house and want to show them something in your game, all you need to do is log on to your account and your game file will be there waiting for you. If you’re connected to the internet when playing on your Switch, the games will save data and be backed up automatically.

One of the popular aspects of having the Nintendo Switch Online service will be that you will be able to download all Nintendo Entertainment System titles such as Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda. As long as you remained subscribed to the online service you will be able to play all the games whenever you like with 20 retro titles being playable upon launch. This is similar to how Sony and Microsoft let you download certain titles every month with their online network gaming services, but Nintendo always love to go back to their routes and are shelling out a lot more titles than their rivals. This makes an interesting change to the Wii U and previous consoles where retro games could be purchased through the virtual store but are now playable for a much cheaper price.

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These are the titles launching with the online service on 19/09.

You will be able to play these retro titles online as well and compete with friends such as getting the highest scores in Donkey Kong or Dr. Mario. You can also interfere with your friends retro games when online where you can add a cursor to their game giving them hints or simply congratulating them. Whilst the retro titles are great they do come with a downside as users will have to login to their accounts once a week in order to keep playing the games. This is unfair for those who are travelling or like some of us who forget or are too busy to keep playing the Switch. It’s classic Nintendo to have a new idea which comes with issues. Once games are downloaded on XBOX and Playstation consoles, they are free to play offline which is something Nintendo will need to look into.

You don’t just have the option for NES games with your Switch, you also have the option to purchase two NES Controllers which are joy-cons and slot into the side of the Switch along with being detached for game-play. They look exactly like the original models only they are hands-free and the top of the controller features the Switch locking that joy-cons have. If you going to play old NES titles you might as well do it with some style! These controllers will available for purchase on launch day.

Nintendo has confirmed that any free-to-play games such as Fortnite will not need a Nintendo Online Service subscription for players to be able to play the game online.

The Nintendo Online prices are considerably cheaper than their competitors but obviously Nintendo’s online world isn’t as vast as theirs.

For A single account:

1 month = £3.49
3 months = £6.99
12 months = £17.99

For a family membership (up to 8 accounts)

12 months: £31.49

For those of you who play Splatoon 2 and added bonus for buying the 12-month membership is that your Inklings will receive exclusive Nintendo Online clothing. If you’re unsure about purchasing the service there will be a 7 day free trial through the Nintendo eShop on the Switch console which is also where you can buy the service along with on the Nintendo store.

Kanto’s Calling: Let’s Go Pikachu & Let’s Go Eevee announced for the Nintendo Switch

It has been rumoured for a long time but finally Pokémon is coming to the Nintendo Switch in the form of two titles: ‘Let’s Go Pikachu‘ and ‘Let’s Go Eevee‘ which represent the starter Pokémon from Pokémon Yellow. The games which are set to be released November 16th and are being made by Gamefreak, will see players return to Kanto from the first generation of games. However, the games you once knew have been given major updates and a fresh coating of paint.

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Protagonist Red is seen here with Pikachu clasping to his shoulder similar to the anime. Pikachu (and Eevee) will travel outside of their pokéball like in Yellow.

The new titles which take place in the first generation of the games have a new 3D look and gameplay which looks more like Pokémon GO than the traditional Pokémon style. The majority of the trailer shows players catching Pokémon rather than battling them (although the trailer shows trainer battle glimpses) like you would when playing Pokémon GO. One way of catching the creatures is to detach the joy-con controller from the Switch console and use one of them free hand and incorporate the motion controls to throw a pokéball which makes the experience all the more realistic. Even more so is the addition of the ‘Pokéball Plus’ which is like Pokémon GO’s ‘Plus’ watch but with many more upgrades such as it working as a controller and letting you carry Pikachu or Eevee with you wherever you go like the pokéwalker you got with Heart Gold and Soul Silver.

pik2
Towns will appear much bigger due to the 3D design and have a great colour scheme.

That’s not the only similarity to the aforementioned games, because once again Pokémon will travel with you outside of the pokéball with certain Pokémon appearing much larger now that they’re in 3D such as Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Electrode and Gengar whom were shown in the trailer. Riding Pokémon appear to be continuing in the games which were introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon where you can use certain Pokémon to travel through terrains and this is shown with Onix, Lapras and Charizard for rock surfaces, water and air travel. Starting with Pikachu or Eevee feels like a major throwback to Yellow and because of another feature to the game I imagine that you will be able to catch the starter Pokémon as well.

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A preview of what it might look like travelling on a Charizard and will feature shadows on the ground as well. 

The feature I am referencing is the Pokémon GO catching style to which I would assume you can catch Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Charmander in the game as there is a Bulbasaur featured in the trailer. The interesting part to this would be where will these Pokémon be placed because in a shot of Mt. Moon the Pokémon you see inside are the ones you’d expect to find. In Yellow the starters were given to you in different towns…but obviously the gameplay looks to be different. The Pokémon that were seen in Mt. Moon were ones that you could actually see which finally confirmed that roaming Pokémon are in the game (like GO) and the sprites used like really well designed and colourful.

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Inside Mt. Moon with Pokémon roaming freely. 

In the image above there are two trainers and this is because grabbing the other joy-con enables a second person to enter the game and that helps with catching Pokémon where there are two pokéballs used. This adds an extra chance of catching Pokémon by the looks of things and two people can battle together against trainers in the game as well…which sets an unfair advantage for Youngster Joey and his top percentage Rattata. This raises the question of how battling and levelling up will work in the game if you don’t catch Pokémon by battling which is sad because that’s one of my favourite aspects of the game but only time will tell. Having two people on the same screen together reminds me of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl where you and a friend could link up and harvest fossils and gems underground (where is our gen 4 remake Nintendo?). From other images the game appears to play out similar to the first games featuring notable landmarks and faces such as Professor Oak, Team Rocket and the all-powerful Mewtwo.

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Professor Samuel Oak who definitely looks like he’s had a few years taken off of him.

Pokémon GO is definitely a big part in influencing this game (it’s sort of in the name) and it is practically a part of it as well because you can send Pokémon that you have caught on your mobile over to the ‘poké park’ on the Switch games. It is not said whether these will be used in the regular game, but it wouldn’t surprise me after a certain point in the game if you could…maybe a new Safari Zone? This kind of makes me wish I had done more events on Pokémon Go to build a better roster. I assume there will be a way to care for your companions in the park like feeding them berries or brushing them like in Pokémon X and Y. Those titles introduced character customisation and outfits and funnily enough the trailer shows that you can get custom outfits for Pikachu and Eevee which I assume may be limited to just them or certain characters.

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Pikachu will now be stylin’, profilin’ and electrifying!

The final thing to add is that the trailer finished off by saying we will meet a very special Pokémon in the game or perhaps receive in an event as it looked like it was being opened as a gift received from GO. This could potentially be Mew, a new evolution for Pikachu or Eevee or maybe a generation 8 Pokémon as it is said a new line of games will be out next year.

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Who could it be? It looks as though the special Pokémon will be on both Go and Let’s Go.

The announcement has certainly created a lot of excitement with Pokémon trending all over social media and I assume a lot more will be revealed at E3 in a couple of weeks. It looks like this will be one of the most adventurous Pokémon titles with you playing the game on the go and connecting your smart phones to the Switch. Will Pokémon be on different games like Vulpix and Growlithe? How many Pokémon can you hold at one time or will there be a GO carry system? Will there be other generation Pokémon? How many Eeveelutions will there be? Will there be monthly events? Can we trade via the Switch?  How are levels and moves based? Will gyms be like raids in GO? Does this dress make Pikachu look fat? Stay tuned for more information here on Wardculture!

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Big Nintendo Switch and Mario announcements!

You may have missed it yesterday, but Nintendo had a busy day with some big announcements for the company in terms of sales and future prospects for their red cap wearing hero.

First off, just after 10 months of being on the shelves the Nintendo Switch has surpassed the Wii U in sales with a total of 14.86 million consoles being sold. Its predecessor only managed to sell a total of 13.56 million in its five years of shelf life before being discontinued at the beginning of 2017. In the last sales quarter alone the Switch produced sales of 7.23 million devices and in terms of video games, this is how they shape up in sales:

Mario Odyssey: 9.07 million copies sold
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: 7.33 million
The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: 6.70 million
Splatoon 2: 4.91 million

bowser
9.07 million copies is a lot of Bowsers being defeated by our hero Mario!

The next big news Nintendo announced yesterday was that they’re going to be making a Super Mario Bros movie which will feature popular characters from the game. The film is going to be made with Illumination (Despicable Me) and isn’t the first time Mario has hit the big screen. In 1993 Bob Hoskins played a live action version of Mario along with John Leguizimo as Luigi and Dennis Hopper as Bowser. The film was not a huge success and may be a reason why we haven’t seen a Nintendo film since. There is no set date for its cinema release but it will most likely be in a minimum of two years.

supermariobros
Somehow a live action moie about two Brooklyn plumbers just didn’t seem to cut it with audiences in the early 90’s.

It’s been a speculation for a while since before its release but, Nintendo confirmed yesterday the month the Nintendo Switch’s online service will be released. It’s going to be in September and a years subscription will be around £20 with options for one-month and three-month subscriptions respectively. The online service will allow players to play with anyone from anywhere in the world and will enable players to have downloadable titles every month like their Xbox and Playstation competitors. This will include classic titles such as Super Mario Bros 3 and Dr. Mario. This looks like the Virtual Console could be happening and then opens up other doors for what is next for the Switch, will we have streaming and video services soon?

Super_Mario_Bros._3_overworld_map

Finally, the last piece of exciting Nintendo news is that there will be a Mario Kart game coming to smartphones which will be the next in Nintendo’s steady production of mobile titles. The game is rumoured to be released by March 2019 and will be titled ‘Mario Kart Tour’ with Nintendo stating on Twitter: “The checkered flag has been raised and the finish line is near.” There is no doubt that this will be very popular upon release like the big N’s other mobile titles: Super Mario Run, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes. It’ll be interesting to see how the mechanics work for this title and whether Nintendo throw out any peripherals but to have one of the most popular racing titles wherever you are in the world. It looks like another successful year for Nintendo.

The Ataribox: what is it?

So a couple months ago Atari teased that they would be releasing their first console in 24 years since the Jaguar in 1993. This tease has actually turned out to be true and the company is currently working on their new console, the interestingly dubbed ‘Ataribox’ and images of the console were released to give us a look at what the company are hoping to make.

The console has a dark wood/black and red/black finish and gives the impression of an 80’s styled hardware with a modern crisp touch to it, reminiscent of their older models like the 2600. So far no release dates, game confirmations, specs or pricing has been confirmed or mentioned but it is stated that the console will have the best of retro and ‘modern’ content from the brand. Whilst Atari own the brand it is expected that a lot of their classic titles will end up on this console. It does not appear to be a simple ‘plug and play’ machine which has been created by third parties (most notably the Flashback console).

Recently on Steam, Xbox One and PS4 two Atari game packages were released called the ‘Flashback Classics vol. 1/2‘ and this is just some of many in terms of Atari re-releases over the years which have previously been on Steam and older Playstation consoles. There are so many ways of obtaining their back catalogue which features titles such as Pac-Man, Asteroids, Joust, Yars Revenge, Adventure, Centipede, Breakout and Space Invaders that is it really necessary for this console to even exist? Such a thought has drifted around for years as it seemed like another Atari console would never happen and the same could be said for a lot of other companies (one with a blue hedgehog).

The Atari Jaguar released in 1993 was a major flop and saw Atari exit the console market…in the time of their last console to the Ataribox…I was born.

This console will favour nicely to retro fans and it will be interesting to see if the console is a disc drive system seeing as the NES & SNES Classic Mini have proven to be popular and are such simple systems with no add-on features. Another interesting fact will be their idea of ‘modern’ games being thrown into the mix…surely this won’t have the most amazing specs and will sit in between console specs over the last few years. Will it merely just license recent Atari titles to its console like Roller Coaster Tycoon? Well it is nice to have everything in one place and the console itself does look aesthetically pleasing to say the least. On the other hand the name will strike a fuse with gamers seeing as the addition on ‘box’ contrasts with ‘Xbox’ but, I feel its to exemplify how a lot of Atari content will be in this machine…maybe it’s a prototype name like ‘NX’.

The console will have HDMI, SD Card and USB  inputs which gives me the impression that it will support modern gaming and have updated (to a degree) specifications. The console will also be crowdfunded and I imagine to shovel enough out the company will set themselves a high target. Atari are not just jumping right back into the console game as they are listening to fans and taking a step by step approach to make sure everyone’s feelings on the project are heard.

Stay tuned for further updates on this interesting new retro project!