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Thursday, October 14, 2021

The catch-up coffee: Thursday, October 14, 2021


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)!

Monark's western launch set for February


NIS America is bringing FuRyu's Monark to western territories, and we now know to expect it in late February 2022. That's not too far away, no? FuRyu has a history of titles a lot of us as DDnet adore (for example, The Legend of Legacy and The Caligula Effect) so we're keeping a close eye on Monark leading up to its Japanese and western launch dates. Here is the latest trailer focused on adversaries:


A deadly mist surrounds a school, and to save their friends, the player enters the Otherworld (a Daemon-filled world beyond our own). Players will have to harness their Authority of Vanity and learn to conjure Fiends using their own Ego. Ego can be developed through psychological tests; this in turn enhances the power of the player's Fiends. Seven Pactbearers will need to be defeated, as they are corrupting the academy. Embracing madness is essential, but descend too far and you may not be able to come back.

Developed by FuRyu and Lancarse, and published by NIS America, Monark will be released on February 22 (North America) and February 25 (Europe) for PC via Steam, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. It will launch in Japan on October 14 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.

Run an animal shelter in To The Rescue!, available next month


I first wrote about To The Rescue! during E3 2021 when it was featured in one of the many showcases on June 14. It is an animal shelter sim where players help stray dogs find forever homes while running the shelter from the ground up. This week, the developer announced when we'd be able to get our hands on the adorably endearing title. Here's the launch date announcement trailer:


There are four dog sizes, seven breeds, and dozens of traits. Each adopter also has certain traits. The happiest part of the game will surely be matching dogs to their new families based on their personalities and wants. Of course, running the shelter isn't all cute and loving – the nitty gritty needs doing too. Players will need to balance each dog's schedules, which include feeding, grooming, and exercise. They'll also need to treat illnesses, manage shelter resources, upgrade facilities, and keep donors happy.

Developed by Little Rock Games and published by Freedom Games, To The Rescue! will be released on November 4 for PC/Mac via Steam. A Nintendo Switch version is planned for next year. 20% of the proceeds from both versions will be donated to The Petfinder Foundation.

Experience an open world inspired by classics in Dreamland: Village Life


Dreamland: Village Life is a open-world simulation game set in a reimagined open world inspired by classic titles. Players will arrive in a small town and set out to farm, fish, adventure, craft, mine, and make friends. In-game time is fully synched to the real world, so daytime is daytime and nighttime is nighttime. There will be changes to the environment based on the season and time of day. Basically, it sounds like a mash-up of titles ranging from Animal Crossing to Harvest Moon. Here is a trailer, courtesy of Gematsu:


Players are able to fully customise their persona, including gender, eye shape/colour, hair style/colour. Chat with and send gifts to the villagers to become friends. Players can farm anywhere by plunking down some soil and raise livestock to collect cooking ingredients. There is fishing and insect collecting available, too. There is even an RPG battle system where players form partnerships with villagers and go on an adventure as one of five occupations (warrior, magician, reaper, archer, and priest). It's all really familiar, but not necessarily in a bad way. The RPG system is currently the standout portion of gameplay because it should add freshness to an otherwise overdone sim genre that includes all of the same features otherwise.

Developed by Macaron Studio, Dreamland: Village Life will be released next year for PC via Steam. A Kickstarter campaign is scheduled to launch on November 20.

VirtuaVerse will be released for PlayStation this month


Already available for PC, point-and-click adventure game VirtuaVerse is set for its first console launch on PlayStation 4. The title is set in the future, one that happens very soon. One Artificial Intelligence has taken over all others, as well as governments. Society is now an integrated reality connected to a neural network that optimises people's experience. Here's the console launch trailer:


The game focuses on Nathan, an outsider who wants no part in this new life system. He lives off the grid and makes money by smuggling in modded hardware and cracked software. He is one of few who can stitch AVR (artificial virtual reality, I presume)  off and see the true reality. One night his girlfriend disappears from their apartment, leaving behind a cryptic message on the bathroom mirror. Nathan finds himself on a journey with his girlfriend's hacker group and a guild of AVR technomancers. He'll travel the world, dealing with hardware graveyards, digital archaeology, tripes of cryptoshamans, and VR debauchery.

Developed by Theta Division and published by Blood Music, VirtuaVerse will be released on October 28 for PlayStation 4. It originally launched for PC via Steam/GOG early about a year and a half ago.


The catch-up coffee: Thursday, October 14, 2021
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