News by Britta S., Matt S., and Trent P.

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)!

Forget Pokemon Go (we know you already have); there’s a new mobile ‘mon game in town

Released with absolutely no fanfare at all, Pokemon Duel is now available as a free download on mobile devices.

This little game involves building up teams of Pokemon, just like in all the other Pokemon games. The difference in this one is that you then battle with other players through a board game structure. You expand your forces either by winning matches, or spending real-world money. Given that this is a fundamentally competitive game, there is always the risk that it’s a pay-to-win, but we’ll check the game out and get back to you on that one.

The game is available both on iOS and Android immediately.

Accel World vs. Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight gameplay showcased

Bandai Namco presented the first direct-feed gameplay of the PlayStation 4 version of Accel World vs. Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight during the Taipei Game Show 2017. The 15-minute footage is a mix of recorded footage and live gameplay shown directly by Producer Yosuke Futami, featuring characters from Accel World as well as Kirito, Asuna and Sinon from Sword Art Online, engaged in battles and a boss fight. The gameplay demonstrates how Sword Art Online characters use flight, melee weapons and magic, while Accel World characters use acceleration, special powers and the high jump ability.

As the title indicates, Accel World vs. Sword Art Online is a crossover RPG between Accel World and Sword Art Online, two light novel series written by Reki Kawahara that have branched into various multimedia adaptations. While we’re familiar in the West with the SAO franchise, Accel World will be little known here. It is based on a light novel series that spawned manga, TV anime and a game centered on a virtual reality Massively Multiplayer Online Fighting Game.

Accel World vs. Sword Art Online uses the Alfheim Online setting that was previously used by SAO: Lost Song, where players can fly and fight both in the air and on the ground. Now, the world of Brain Burst (Accel) has encroached on the world of ALfheim Online. The Floating City of Ryne acts as your base, with the governing principles – Accelerated and Virtual – intersecting right here. The story sees a sudden maintenance announcement made, after which Kirito and Asuna come across the machine humanoid avatar Black Lotus while chasing after Yui. Players will be able to adventure with up to two others in the game.

Accel World VS Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight will launch for PlayStation 4 and PS Vita on 16 March in Japan. Considering the popularity of the SAO anime and game franchise in the West, we anticipate that this crossover may be considered for a Western localisation.

Tomorrow Corporation brings past titles to Switch

The indie developer will bring its full line up of previously released titles to the Nintendo Switch for launch day. Tomorrow Corporation has released games previously on Nintendo platforms, however this will be the first time players can experience the games on a Nintendo portable device.

The two games to look forward to are Little Inferno and Human Resource Machine. Little Inferno is a puzzle game which the player burns objects to progress further. Human Resource Machine which contains puzzles designed to figure out how to automate a work task built around a logic based programing mechanic.

Both games sound simple, but they also feature strong ideologies which Matt praised when reviewing Little Inferno as one of the strongest aspects of the title.

The studio will also poublish World of Goo, which was released under the developer 2D Boy when first developed by Kyle Gabler. World of Goo is a structural building physics puzzler which contains the same ideologies and styling as the later games. Unfortunately one game we will miss out on is the other “side project” of the developer, Henry Hatsworth, as that title was published by EA.

To offer incentive to either repurchase or pickup these titles on the Nintendo Switch platform the games include a special mode. The special mode allows players to indulge themselves by listening to the soundtracks created by Kyle Gabler.

A developer at Tomorrow Corporation has also posted replies on the studio’s initial blog post announcement. Kyle Gray has revealed that the games will not be bundled together and sold separately with a sale on launch. The developer is also focusing on digital releases at this stage but will gage any interest for a physical release.

New gameplay video surfaces for Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age’s remaster

Among the group of stellar games we are expecting to see this year, a remaster of a PlayStation 2 game is near the top of our ‘most anticipated’ list: yes, Final Fantasy XII — subtitled The Zodiac Age in its shiny new release form as a PS4 exclusive.

Square Enix showed a bit of gameplay of the upcoming Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age during the Taipei Game Show. The gameplay was introduced by Final Fantasy Brand Manager Shinji Hashimoto and played live by Producer Hiroaki Kato. The first six-minute video features exploration and combat (including a boss battle right at the end), the Gambit menu, and a glimpse of the Turbo feature that can be triggered with L1. The second, very brief video excerpts just the boss battle.

The re-release of the game will have backgrounds, character models, cutscenes and fonts overhauled in high resolution . Audio will support 7.1 surround sound, higher quality voice acting will be included. Both Japanese and English voices will be available in the options, and the soundtrack will also be available in two versions: “original” and “re-recorded” in the settings. Loading times will be reduced, auto-save will be added, and the Turbo mode will also be improved.

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is planned for release worldwide in 2017, with no specific dates yet announced.

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