News by Britta S., Lindsay M., and Matt S,
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)!
Hnnnnggggggg, Blue Reflection really is getting an English release
By Matt S., Editor-in-Chief
Blue Reflection has been one of our most anticipated games since Koei Tecmo announced it last year. Developed by Koei’s JRPG house, Gust, it was one of the three “beautiful girl trilogy” games that the team was working on simultaneously; the other two are Atelier Firis (our review can be found here), and Nights of Azure 2 (which has been delayed somewhat, but it’s still on its way).
We weren’t sure that Blue Reflection would actually get an English release, however, because the game is absolutely filled with fanservice: it’s got baths and sideboobs, skirts that defy physics, and wet, white, t-shirts. Given that Koei’s been slightly hesitant about its more extreme games of late – Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 only getting an English release in Asia, for example – there has been a giant question mark around this one for some time now.
But this week Koei Tecmo did right by us all and announced that, yes, the game will get a release. Coming to PlayStation 4 and PC on September 26 (29 for those of us in Europe), we will all get to enjoy one of the most beautiful art aesthetics that we’ve ever seen in a game, plenty of high-quality JRPG action as only Gust can do, and yes, the really, really beautiful girls. As an added incentive to pre-order, by doing so you’ll unlock the (quite spectacular) DLC swimsuit costumes, as well as a set of costumes based on Gust’s Atelier Rorona.
Channelling The Nightmare Before Christmas: Pinstripe coming to PS4
By Britta S., Contributor
Pinstripe is described on its website as an “emotionally charged adventure through Hell”. It was created over the course of five years by one developer, Thomas Brush, who made nearly all of the game himself: the artwork, the music, the story and the coding. On April 25, Pinstripe launched for PC via Steam and now the 2D action adventure game is coming to PlayStation 4. When? “Soon,” the trailer says.
Pinstripe’s look is said to be inspired by The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, and Alice in Wonderland, and a Washington Post reviewer found echoes of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Washington Irving in the story’s dark mood. You play as Teddy, an ex-minister, who descends into a frozen hell in search of his missing little daughter Bo – kidnapped by the creepy Mr. Pinstripe. As you traverse the six levels of hell, you unravel more of Teddy’s dark past and what happened to Bo.
His only tool a slingshot, Teddy has to solve a variety of puzzles to progress. If you’re lost, trusty pet dog George can help you ‘sniff’ out clues. Thanks to a very successful Kickstarter campaign, Brush was able to add features such as a bonus level set in Heaven, an Adventure+ mode, and voice acting. The cast of voice actors includes some cameos from well-known YouTubers, including Pewdiepie; I guess we shouldn’t hold that against the game and judge it on its other merits.
Kynseed: a whimsical sandbox RPG adventure
By Britta S., Contributor
PixelCount Studios have finished its Kickstarter campaign, well in excess of the funding goal, and the mysterious acorn Kynseed can now sprout, allowing the mysterious Mr. Fairweather (yes, there’s a lot of mystery in this game!) to offer the player his wondrous deal whereby you can realise your potential but have to pay the price in terms of mortality. The other acorn involved in this project is PixelCount itself, comprised of two ex-Lionhead Studios developers who worked on the Fable series. Take a look at the land of Quill, sniff the air, check out the pixel action in this Kickstarter Trailer:
The developers intend to continue the Lionhead tradition of games imbued with that special, eccentric British humour. Kynseed may look like another Stardew Valley – a 2D sandbox RPG with simulation elements such as farming, blacksmithing, adventuring, running a store, while also raising a family – but it has roots and tendrils in British folklore that infuse the game with a distinctly fae charm. Here, in the land of Quill, a faery realm and a magical acorn do exist, superstitions and proverbs can and will come true, and babies are naturally delivered by the stork. Talking of children: you can pass the acorn on to your offspring when you reach 60 (remember the Fairweather deal?), thus avoiding life’s Game Over.
I’d like to talk briefly about the look of Kynseed. It’s pixel art, for sure; but it’s different, somehow, from any other I have seen. It seems almost … ‘fussy’ is the only word that springs to my mind. The eye is nearly overwhelmed with beautiful detail. It reminds me, in a way, of pointillist art (a late 19th-century art technique that looks strangely like a forerunner to pixel art). The developers’ declared intention is to avoid the ’tileset’ look that makes so many 2D games look interchangeable. To that end, the studio has developed a special tool that allows it to create new, unique sprites by combining various existing ones.
Make time for more retro Mega Man!
By Lindsay M., News Editor
Fans of the little man in the blue outfit haven’t had to wait too long after the release of the original Mega Man Legacy Collection for another instalment: Capcom has announced that Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 will be released later this year. Whereas the original collection included the six 8-bit games from days of NES past, this new anthology brings players through four titles. Here’s a trailer:
Departing from the 8-bit standard of all six games in the first collection, here we see four titles ranging from 8-bit to 32-bit. Mega Man 7 was the series’ foray into the exciting world of 16-bit graphics, and introduced villainous pair Bass and Treble. Mega Man 8 was boosted up to 32-bit performance and included fully voiced and animated cut scenes. Those impressive graphics and newfound animation ability wasn’t enough though, and the titles drop back to 8-bit with Mega Man 9. Mega Man 10 was also 8-bit, and includes three playable characters.
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 will be a digital title. It will be available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on August 8 of this year. In addition to the four titles, the collection also includes remix stages, first-timer friendly options such as additional armour and checkpoint saves, and a Museum showcasing the series’ history and art.