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Monday, October 5, 2020

The catch-up coffee: Monday, October 5, 2020


News by Lindsay M.

Welcome to Digitally Downloaded’s regular catch-up news feature. With each issue, we will bring you the best news that you may have missed. Grab the biggest mug you’ve got, fill it with your favourite brew, and catch up with us (and our favourite news anchor, Dee Dee)!

Insomniac changed Peter Parker's face and people are maaaaaad...


I find this incredibly amusing. Spider-Man is a PlayStation exclusive, and when it was first shown off for PlayStation 4 a lot of people (a lot) were complaining about Peter Parker's face not being right. The discontent subsided, the game released, everyone loved it, everything was great. Until now. A remastered version of Marvel's Spider-Man is bundled with Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition for PlayStation 5, and wouldn't you know it, the developer went and gave beloved Peter one heck of a facial transplant. Take a look at this face:


You see it too, right? Peter Parker is now basically a dead ringer for Tom Holland, the actor who portrays the Marvel Cinematic Universe's version of Peter/Spider-Man. So it's beyond amusing that people hated it, the developer changed it, and those same people are mad about the change. Some humans are just impossible to please. To be fair, Peter's face is far from the only change in the remastered version of Marvel's Spider-Man. There are graphical updates, including updates to the skin, eyes, teeth, and hair of other characters. The frame rate can be boosted to 60 frames per second. There's also near-instant loading, Spacial 3D audio, and DualSense haptic feedback. There are also three new suits available, including the Amazing Suit.

Photographers will get a kick out of the new photo mode, which allows players to place lights in the environment and change Spidey's suit while remaining in photo mode. Marvel's Spider-Man: Remastered is bundled with Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition for the PlayStation 5. Standard editions can be upgraded at a cost in-game. Both titles will be available at the time the PlayStation 5 launches, either November 12 or November 19 depending on your location.

It's nearly time for more Sackboy


Little Big Planet and its sequels were downright charming, and we're set to see the hero, Sackboy, in an all-new game. Media Molecule had a heavy hand in the original series, but with it being involved in providing consistent updates to Dreams, it makes sense that another developer involved takes over. Sackboy: A Big Adventure is an adventure platformer developed by Sumo Digital, and is a PlayStation exclusive. It's due out for PlayStation 4 and 5 on either November 12 or November 19 (same deal as Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales above) depending on your region. Here's the latest trailer, and it's a beefy one:


In the game, dastardly Vex kidnaps Sackboy's friends and forces them to do his bidding. Unfortunately, what he wants is for them to build a device that will transform the land from innocent imagination to a barren eyesore of nightmares. Luckily, an ancient legend predicts a prophecy, and there will be someone equipped to survive the peril ahead to save Craftland. Traverse mountains, jungles, and even outer space, to save Sackboy's friends. And Sackboy can do so in style, with over 60 costumes to find and the ability to mix and match from each. The game can be played solo or multiplayer.

There will be multiple versions of Sackboy: A Big Adventure to purchase, including the Digital Deluxe Edition for PlayStation 4/5 and the Special Edition for PlayStation 4. Pre-ordering any edition, digital or via a retailed, will give players a copy of a digital comic to explain some of the game's backstory. The Digital Deluxe Edition includes a the game, a digital art book, four costumes based on PlayStation icons (Jin from Ghost of Tsushima, Sam Porter Bridges form Death Stranding, Connor from Detroit: Become Human, and Deacon St. John from Days Gone), four emotes based on the same four characters, and 20 avatars. The Special Edition is a physical release that includes all of the above with a physical rather than digital copy of the title and a Sackboy-dressed-like-a-tiger stuffed animal. Get a peek at this editions over at the PS Blog

What do video game lobbyists and COVID-19 have in common?


To answer that question: darned if I know. But that didn't stop the Government of Canada from working with the Entertainment Software Association of Canada for a COVID-19 awareness campaign. The campaign isn't one or multiple video games, rather, it contains ads directed towards players in an attempt to reach the younger population. Yes, this is only very loosely related to video games, but I think it's an interesting collaboration. There is one video available to date, and is already really bad, but I feel the need to share it regardless:


While teaming up with a lobbyist group is, to me, questionable at best, I do acknowledge that something has to be done to target younger adults in Canada, who make up a disproportionate percentage of COVID-19 cases in the country (people ages 20-29 account for 28 per cent of reported cases). Part of the problem is that certain provinces (hi Doug Ford, I hate you) have sent extremely mixed messages, including clashing with orders from municipal health authorities. In Ottawa, several large (and technically illegal) house parties seem to be one cause, so targeting the people holding these parties seems reasonable. The ESAC says that 65 per cent of Canadians play video games, and that number increases as the age demographic decreases. But will they listen this late in the game after the confusion messaging and regulations have been going on for seven months?

The first video is about wearing a mask, and is is currently the only video available, and quite honestly has zip to do with video games minus a menu of mask choices. More will be published, including Keep Your Distances, Wash Your Hands, and Stay Home If You're Sick. So here's my two thoughts. First, the videos targeting gamers are all extremely simple, pushing behaviour that I've seen successfully instilled in two-year-olds, so I wonder if the demographic being aimed for isn't kind of "above" these messages. Second, there are so many talented animation firms and game developers in this country, why did the federal government think teaming up with lobbyists was the way to go?

Iwaihime goes international


Supernatural visual novel Iwaihime, developed by DMM Games, originally released for PC in early 2016, but only in Japan. A year and a half later, a new version that was partially rewritten and containing new scenarios and CG images, was released for PS Vita and PlayStation 4. Now the game is being launched worldwide (for the first time) for PC via Steam and Johren on October 23; this is the second version of the title with the updated parts included, and supports English, Japanese, and Chinese (Simplified and Chinese). Here's the opening film:


The story revolves around curses; it is a tale of sin, retribution, and penance. With each generation, the males of the Susuhara leave the home at the right age to strike out on their own. It's on their own that they learn to refine their minds and bodies until man. The protagonist, Suzumu, has been preparing for a long time. He lives alone and attends high school. Everyone seems to be having fun except a strange girl named Toe Kurokami who never lets go of a Japanese doll that is rumoured to grow its hair when nobody is looking. Oh, and it's cursed. That doll gives me the heebie-jeebies. It's fate that brings Suzumu together with this girl. The cast is rounded out with a variety of other female classmates, a teacher, and a distant relative.

Iwaihime is written by the creator of Higurashi and the rest of the When They Cry series, Ryukishi07. This second version of the title is his preferred rendition, so let's all forget the first iteration existed, shall we? The characters are drawn by illustrator Kazuharu Kina, and the backgrounds are by environment artist Mocha.

- Lindsay M. 
News Editor


The catch-up coffee: Monday, October 5, 2020
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