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)!
11 bit studios donating all This War of Mine proceeds to Ukrainian Red Cross
One of my favourite developers, 11 bit studios, is proclaiming the same thing most of us are thing: fuck the war! The Polish developer is geographically right next to Ukraine, with its eastern border being up against the country that is currently under attack. I realize that this is a heavy topic, but we can’t just ignore it, and quite frankly I believe that games like Call of Duty are to blame for making all those gAmErZ think that war is fun. War isn’t fun. War isn’t playtime. War destroys. War kills. 11 bit studios knows this, as was made very evident right off the bat with the developer’s absolutely brilliant title, This War of Mine. Until this Thursday, the studio will be donating 100% of proceeds from This War of Mine and its DLC to the Ukrainian Red Cross; here’s a tweet with its statement:
This War of Mine has perhaps never been more poignant since its release in 2014. The game has different scenarios involving people hiding out in a home as shelter from the war raging just outside the door. There’s a bit of violence, but it’s mostly about just trying to survive. Where is the food coming from? What about the water? How do we ration? Are there places we can visit to loot? What happens if someone gets sick? The DLC, The Little Ones, adds children to this horrifying scenario that is currently unfolding in real life before our very eyes. In the same universe is This War of Mine: Stories, that focuses more on narrative that survival.
Now, I’d love to buy This War of Mine and its DLC. I really would. But the game is so brilliant that I already own it on every possible platform, along with the DLC. Basically, I’m useless when it comes to this specific effort with the exception of what I’m doing now: spreading the word. Buy This War of Mine. Buy the DLC. Share 11 bit studios’ statement.
The next mainline Pokémon game announced
Nintendo pulled a weird one this weekend, as it had a specific stream about Pokémon that aired on Sunday. I mean, possible early Monday morning depending on your location, but Nintendo generally doesn’t announce major games on the weekend. Yet here I am, happy to share the news that Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet will be released late this year as a Nintendo Switch exclusive. I’m already wondering which one I will choose, and that decision will probably be based more on which drag queen with those names I prefer instead of any differences between the two titles (sorry, Scarlet Adams and Scarlett Harlett and Scarlet Envy and Scarlett Bobo, Violet Chachki beats you all – although Bobo is a very close second). This has turned into a ramble that I’m sure nobody cares about, so I’m going to take this opportunity to briefly stop yammering on and show off the trailer:
Nintendo claims the series is taking “a new evolutionary step” by allowing players to explore freely in “a richly expressed open world.” Towns blend into nature with no borders, and the Pokémon can be found in the skies, in the sears, in the forest, on the streets… basically everywhere. Players will choose one of two main characters, whose outfits are either red or purple depending on which version of the game is being used. Post-launch, the games will link with Pokémon HOME, where Trainers can keep their entire collection in one place.
So what about the starter Pokémon? Well, for the first time ever, I won’t be starting with fire because it’s just the least cute. The first Pokémon starter is Sprigatito, a capricious, attention-seeking Grass Cat Pokémon. A CAT! How could I say no?! The second is Fuecoco, a laid-back Fire Croc Pokémon that goes at its own pace (AKA slowly). The third and final is Quaxly, an earnest and tidy water Duckling Pokémon. That’s right: it’s a duck. A cat AND a duck?! How does one decide which is better when neither set fire to stuff?!
Pokémon Legends: Arceus gets a bit update
That’s right, more Pokémon news dropped this weekend! In the same presentation that featured Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, it was announced that Pokémon Legends: Arceus‘ 1.1.0 update (titled Daybreak) is now available. The update begins a new investigation into what is causing outbreaks of Pokémon across the region. Here’s the trailer:
It’s not just Pokémon outbreaks that are an issue, as they are accompanied by rainstorms. Investigative partners are Warden Mai of the Diamond Clan and her partner, Munchlax. The outbreaks mean that players may be able to catch Pokémon that are otherwise difficult to find. In addition to the investigation, players will have the opportunity to battle powerful opponents, including Legendary Pokémon. There are new challenges at the training grounds in Jubilife Village, including battling wardens. There is also more fun to be had, as people of all walks will visit the photo studio, where players can take pictures of them. The Daybreak content is only available post-credits, so players must complete the main game to access it.
Developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo/The Pokémon Company, Pokémon Legends: Arceus Is currently available for Nintendo Switch both physically and digitally. It was received extremely well, with the Metacritic critic review score sitting at an average of 83/100.
Nintendo has acquired SRD
When Microsoft started snatching up developers, and Sony followed suit, people were wondering what Nintendo’s move would be. Let’s be real, Nintendo can continue to thrive without bringing studios into its fold, so I didn’t really think much about it until last week when it was announced that Nintendo would be acquiring 100% of shares for developer SRD.
While the name SRD may not seem too familiar at first thought, even to Nintendo fans, their games are infamous. SRD began developing for Nintendo systems in 1982, and its developed games in series such as Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., Animal Crossing, Star Fox… you get the point. It also developed Nintendo’s Labo kits, Ring Fit Adventure, and Wii Fit. Most of its games are actually extremely well-known and Nintendo exclusives, so the acquisition seems like a great fit.
Nintendo says the acquisition will strengthen the developer’s management base and secure the availability of software development resources. It also anticipated an improvement in development efficiency. The acquisition will close on April 1 barring extenuating circumstances.