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Monday, November 9, 2020

The catch-up coffee: Monday, November 9, 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)!

Pandemic dating has been turned into a video game


That's a weird thing to say, but it's true. I've briefly talked about it before, but Five Dates is an FMV game that was entirely conceptualised, filmed, and developed during an earlier iteration of the UK's COVID-19 lockdown. "Five Dates is the world’s first live action interactive rom-com aimed at Millennials and Gen-Z. The world needs a dose of warm and funny right now and we hope it’ll spark some new ideas for romance for those who play," John Giwa-Amu of Good Gate Media said via a press release. It's set to grace our screens very soon, but first, the latest trailer:



The game is completely live-action. It follows a millennial from London, Vinny, as he joins his first dating app while living in lockdown. He ends up with five possible female matches, which makes me a little sad because the boy-girl trope has been beaten to death already. Anyway, his possible matches are Maya, Shaina, Grace, Paige, and Saffron (who is my early favourite because pink hair). The player (viewer?) will make choices that will end up defining Vinny's love life. Basically, it's an interactive rom-com.

Five Dates is a collaboration between Good Gate Media and Wales Interactive. Back at the beginning of the pandemic, I had high praise for an interactive film called The Complex; Five Dates is from the same director, producer, and developers. It will be released for PC/Mac via Steam on November 17. A console launch for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One will follow soon after. And you can bet we'll have a review up ASAP, as I remain hopelessly in love with the FMV genre and Wales Interactive.

Surprise! There's an update for Final Fantasy IV for PC/mobile


I can't believe I'm here discussing an update for a game that originally launched in 1991. Actually, that's not true, it's entirely believable when I look back at the releases and re-releases of the rest of the Final Fantasy franchise. The PC (Steam) and iOS/Android versions of Final Fantasy IV have been updated. And there's a trailer for the update, because why not!



The PC update includes a completely new interface, full-screen mode, and several more language options (Chinese – Simplified and Traditional, Korean, Thai, Japanese). There are also various small bug fixes. The iOS/Android version now has full-screen support for larger (AKA more recent) screens. More importantly, the opening cutscene has finally been added. There's also some bug fixes in that update.

As I touched on before, Final Fantasy IV was originally released in July 1991 for the Super NES. The game follows a dark knight named Cecil as he tries to prevent a sorcerer from collecting powerful crystals and destroying the world. The game is important to the life of the franchise as it was the first to introduce the active time battle system (used in several following titles) and the first to give each character a class that could not be changed.

The Idolmaster is getting a new mobile game


The Idolmaster is a pretty big rhythm franchise in Japan, so it makes sense that Bandai Namco has announced a brand-new concert puzzle game in the series for mobile release. It will launch next year in Japan for iOS and Android as a free-to-play title including in-app purchases, with an open beta to be held exclusively on Android before the end of 2020. Here's the announcement trailer:



The Idolmaster: Poplinks is set at a mega-concert, Poplinks Festival. The idols leave the safety of their agencies to form three-idol "units." The producer wants to be at the top of the concert and creates their own unit. The main goal is no surprise: get the highest score. The casual game can be played in short bursts, which is imperative for mobile titles. Players will be able to see how the idols in each unit get along with each other.

What unit you create is entirely your decision, so go with similarities between the idols, and after that follow your gut. Units with the same members are able to evolve different based on the producer's choices, so if you and your friend create teams with the same three idols, the outcome won't necessarily be the same. Increase their popularity through unit activities, and train via Coaching. There will be a whopping 70 idols available at launch, with a promise for new idols to be added monthly.

Moonlighter is coming to mobile platforms


Today's catch-up is oddly mostly about mobile games, and I've got another one for you! I've had my eye on Moonlighter since its initial announcement and through its original release. Developed by Spain-based Digital Sun and published by 11 bit studios (who developed This War Of Mine, as I like to regularly remind people), Moonlighter is described as a shopkeeping RPG, which is intriguing all on its own. Following success on PC and consoles, the title is ready to make the leap to mobile with a redesigned experience. Take a look:



Now, it's not all about shopkeeping. Primarily an RPG, Moonlighter has roguelike elements. There are adventures to be had and dungeons to crawl. During an old excavation, a set of Gates were discovered... Gates that lead to different dimensions, affording brave (and often reckless) explorers the opportunity for riches galore. A small town was founded near the site, which is where the shopkeeping part comes into play: put items on sale, manage your gold reserves, and upgrade the shop as you see fit. There is also a wonderful crafting and enchanting system to enhance your finds.

Moonlighter originally released in 2018, and is already available on PC, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. The mobile adaptation is coming to iOS on November 19. The mobile version isn't just shoved onto a new system without thought: there's a new control scheme, redesigned interface, and rebalanced experience. There are now touch mechanics so players aren't forced to use those annoying virtual twin sticks that are so common in console-to-mobile releases. All previously available content will be on iOS from day one. 

- Lindsay M.
News Editor

The catch-up coffee: Monday, November 9, 2020
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