News by Britta S. and 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)!
Goichi Suda’s The 25th Ward getting remastered, will hopefully receive a Western release
By Lindsay M., News Editor
Please please please let this game come to the Western world. The Silver Case’s remaster did, so it would make sense for the game’s sequel to also makes it way into our hands. The fact that Grasshopper’s English Twitter account has posted the news just doubles my high, high hopes. They’re now sky-high hopes. Don’t let me down, Grasshopper!
The Silver Case is probably the single best Noir visual novel available, and it’s out now on PC and PlayStation 4 if you are yet to indulge. The game is actually from 1999 and only just received its Western release in 2016, again putting my hopes up in the clouds when it comes to The 25th Ward. It is extremely narrative-heavy with various puzzles thrown in for good measure, and follows a special task force member in a place called the 24 Wards. Both of DDnet’s reviews compare the game’s aesthetic to that of Raymond Chandler.
The 25th Ward, on the other hand, was an episodic sequel to The Silver Case developed for mobile devices. It’s original release was between October 2005 and March 2007, but it had further releases between 2007 and 2011 — making the game three scenarios, each with five episodes. Each scenario focuses on a different character from the original game. A remake was planned for the Nintendo DS in addition to The Silver Case, but neither saw the light of day. This newly-announced remake will contain new chapters as well. I would expect to see it released for PC and PS4, as did its predecessor.
Battle for Alfheim Online: Accel World VS. Sword Art Online launches on July 7
By Britta S., Contributor
We last tracked the Western release of this crossover between the worlds of Accel and Sword Art Online in January and the release is going ahead as planned this northern summer. The action RPG Accel World VS Sword Art Online will come to PlayStation 4 and PS Vita on July 7. Publisher Bandai Namco confirmed that the game will be digital-only in the Americas, but there will be a PS4 physical release for Europe. A limited-time digital launch edition will be available in the Americas, including two exclusive DLC packs.
After the third SAO game last year — Hollow Realization was reviewed by Clark here — the popular franchise urgently needed to look to new pastures. What better way than to combine two virtual worlds with massive fan bases? Accel World is a cult anime series in Japan, so we’ll at least get to experience characters from two of the light novels by Reki Kawahara this way. Artdink developed the second SAO game, Lost World, so it makes sense that they’re at the helm again for this new venture, as the action is set in that game’s Svart Alfheim.
The two worlds of Alfheim Online and the Accelerated World have begun to merge and Yui is missing. Player characters from both MMO worlds need to fight together in this war of the corrupted worlds. The new trailer (above) demonstrates the different battle techniques available, with Alfheim characters again leveraging the power of fairy flight, and Accel characters equipped with their special hyper-jump and acceleration techniques.
Sequel to The Inner World is coming this July
By Britta S., Contributor
I recently reviewed The Inner World for PlayStation 4 and soon it’ll be time to dive into this enchanting world again, for the sequel is not far away: The Last Wind Monk will release on July 13 (what a crowded July we’re having!). Play it on whichever platform floats your inner world: PC/MAC/Linux, PS4 or Xbox One. For the announcement, Headup Games released a new trailer for The Last Wind Monk:
This is a cracker trailer, for it shows us both old, well-loved characters and creatures (Peck, the flappy pigeon returns, this time also playable) as well as new, exciting ones. I’ll have to think of a suitable descriptive term for the dictator, though; he is brilliantly realised, suggesting Hitler without making him look like a Hitler carbon copy. If you don’t know the first game and are reeling a bit from all this wackiness, here’s a quickie orientation. The world of Asposia is kept in balance by the flute nose dynasty (yes, their noses function as magical flutes), but there is only one member left: Robert, whose journey we followed in the first puzzle adventure. A new threat arises in the sequel — Emil, the unsavoury trader (also returning from the first game), is fomenting unrest and uncertainty among Asposians. Gosh, perhaps a parable for our times…? Robert has to find the legendary last wind monk to save Asposia’s peaceful way of life.
The great thing is that you can dive into this sequel even if you haven’t played the first game. As usual, incredibly brain-teasing puzzles will send you frantically scampering around Asposia; along the way, you’ll be causing no end of trouble in a tumble mouse factory, helping a desperate bingo-pony and the cute-ish baby gorfs, procuring some toilet paper in prison, and of course finding the last wind monk! There will be new locations, new flute nose songs to practise, and the same old reliable tiered hint system without which no one can survive long in Asposia. It all looks as beautifully hand-drawn as before, and we will find out in July whether this sequel suffers from sequelitis or rises with the air from the wind fountains to even greater heights.
You won’t believe what Dontnod has been secretly working on
By Lindsay M., News Editor
I try to keep my squee-ing restricted to Twitter, but this news gets all the squee so squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! The developer is perhaps best known for Life Is Strange, but it is also behind Remember Me and the upcoming Vampyr (all the latest info on it can be found here). My introduction to the company was through French company was through Life Is Strange, a time-travelling teenage drama in episodic form that had people off all ages enthralled. I think each one of us who played as the game went live went through all stages of grief repeatedly between episodes, waiting to learn what would happen to Max and Chloe. I have a special connection with Max, finder her to be my video game character soulmate. That’s a thing, right?
Late last week, Dontnod posted a video on social media, simply titled, “A message from DONTNOD Entertainment.” I was busy at the time, so despite my push notifications for whenever the Life Is Strange account tweets I skimmed the text and moved on. That was the biggest mistake I’ve made in weeks; the video would have been more aptly named, “We will blow your mind so watch this now.” It starts slow, with sweeping views of what is undoubtedly the company’s office. Then three men appear, casually dressed and seated on stools. Ready for the bombshell? Luc Baghadoust, executive producer of Life Is Strange, states, “We’ve been working since the release of the boxed version last year on a new Life is Strange game, with the Life is Strange team, and we cannot wait to share more with you.”
Wait, WHAT?! Exsqueeze me?! Life Is Strange’s sequel has been officially announced?! We all had hopes, dreams, perhaps even inklings… but confirmation that the team has been quietly working on the game since its predecessor’s full retail release completely blows my mind. It’s happening, everyone. We know nothing about it, but IT. IS. HAPPENING. Life Is Strange has sold over three million copies to date, so the news is less of a surprise and more of a gigantic relief that the developer has latched on to the je-ne-sais-quoi that the game has.