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)!
Experience a time loop in Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood
Groundhog Day occurs every February 2, and it is also the name of a well-known Bill Murray film about a man who lives the same day over and over. I doubt it’s a coincidence that Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood is set to launch in Feburary. The fantasy puzzle adventure game is developed by Devespresso (The Coma series) and published by Headup Games. Here’s a trailer:
The protagonist is Scarlet, an aspiring rock diva. She awakes in a different realm after being flung there by a tornado. Yes, you’ve heard this premise before: it’s very Wizard of Oz. This definitely isn’t Oz, though, as a hex has Scarlet reliving the same day repeatedly. The world is brimming with magic and beauty. She takes on the role of the Red Witch and leads a group of Munchkins (okay, devs, you could at least try with that descriptive name) through the Wicked Wood. She’ll find witches, knights, beasts, and monsters under the cover of leaves. And, since the game is already brimming with references to popular culture and famous stories, there is a bad wolf on the loose and a wicked witch ready to cast spells. Scarlet will also die repeatedly, with each death bringing a new opportunity to get further or try a different path.
Scarlet and the Wicked Wood involves solving what the developer describes as “ridiculous” puzzles. There are multiple story branches, and multiple endings. The game features hand-illustrated graphics by Minho Kim and story by T.L. Riven. It will be released for PC via Steam sometime next month.
Spend time on a deserted island with quintuplets
Yes, it sounds like an… adult film. But it’s not: the game I’m referencing is actually based on a manga/anime series. The Quintessential Quintuplets began life as manga, and the first season of the anime aired around this time last year. The second season will start soon, ending in March – just in time for the launch The Quintessential Quintuplets ∬: Summer Memories Also Come in Five. That’s some perfect marketing, right there. Here is the announcement trailer:
The game doesn’t follow the story portrayed in the anime. Rather, it’s completely original, where the player spends two weeks with the Nakano quintuplets on a deserted island. The quintuplets’ private island, more specifically. Futaro and his sister, Raiha, are invited to the island for two nights and three days, but an unexpected storm extends the adventure bu quite a bit. Futaro will tutors all five sisters, creating different endings for each sister: there are 14 possible endings total.
The Quintessential Quintuplets ∬: Summer Memories Also Come in Five will be released in Japan for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, on March 25. A physical version will be available in addition to digital downloads; there is also a five-disc limited edition available.
This otome game has a surprisingly rare premise for the genre
Let’s be real: the romance visual novel genre is still very much dominated by the premise that guy-meets-girls. The good news is that otome is a growing genre, both in Japan and here, and Paradigm Paradox looks like a really good example of the script being flipped. Here is a trailer from its announcement last July:
The story is set in the 26th century, and humans can only live in isolated colonies. A student is bored with her everyday life. It is rather dull considering her lack of interest gossip regarding Heroes and their enemies, Vermin. She’s even isolated from the good-looking guys at her school. One night, after sneaking out, she finds a colony of Vermin, which is quite dangerous. Luckily, four female Heroes appear to repel the evil creatures. The student decides to become a Hero while still leading a normal life at school. But why, all of a sudden, are there many opportunities to talk to the cute boys?
Paradigm Paradox will be launched for Nintendo Switch in Japan sometime this year. Normal and limited editions will be available. It will be released under Idea Factory’s Otomate brand.
It only took four years to discover the last secret in NieR: Automata
NieR: Automata (the greatest game ever according to DDnet’s editor-in-chief) released to critical acclaim in 2017. One year later, the March 2018 issue of Weekly Famitsu has a quote from the game’s director, Yoko Taro, stating that there was one secret players were yet to discover. Time kept passing. Prince Harry and Megan Markle got married. France was victorious over Croatia at the World Cup. Notre Dame Cathedral burned. And there was a freaking worldwide pandemic, of all things. Now here we are. Someone has finally discovered that last secret, three years and ten months post-launch.
( NieR:Automata Spoilers )
3 years 10 months.
— yokotaro (@yokotaro) January 3, 2021
The secret? It’s a cheat code that allows you to skip to the last ending after killing the first boss, unlocking bonus modes. This was an absolutely intentional move by the developers, as it isn’t just a glitch: it’s actually a cheat hard-coded into the game. I suppose since the last corner of NieR: Automata has been discovered, it’s time for a new NieR title! Sure, the mobile title NieR Re[in]carnation is launching for the App Store and Google Play on February 18 in Japan, but that will likely pale in comparison to the first and second NieR titles.
Square Enix announced last month that NieR: Automata had surpassed five million units sold. If you haven’t gotten into it yet, it’s not too late! It is available for PC via Steam, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. There is also a Game of the YoRHa Edition available for PC and PlayStation 4.