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The Year of Nintendo

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2020, what a year. Also what a year for Nintendo, and when we say Nintendo–we are meaning the Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo has a way of integrating itself through a variety of markets. Children, Adults young and old can all enjoy the simplicity and G-rated fun of it’s systems. Whether you want to take a trip down nostalgia lane with Mario Kart or Zelda, or if your a rambunctious 6-year-old with the attention span of a fly, Nintendo has a game for you.

The Wii U was a bit of a let down, especially when you compare it next to it’s older brother the Wii. This has not been the case for the Nintendo Switch. A powerful system in terms of game library and performance, not to mention handheld capabilities which has really set this system apart. Sure the 2020 pandemic may have aided it’s sales, but it was already a very successful product prior.

The days of competing with the Xbox One and PS4 are now over. The new systems of Sony and Microsoft are on the horizon. Although with that being said, this should not completely take out the Nintendo Switch. It will put a dent into their sales, but they have already established themselves as a formidable company, and their strong sales should continue into 2021, especially with the holidays edging every bit closer.

The Switch operates with two main models, the regular model and the Lite (which can only be used as a handheld) which have now combined for 55 million units sold. What makes this number even more staggering is that this year alone they have sold 20 million of these units. One would imagine how incredible these numbers will expand come holiday season.

With a gaming library that continues to expand and strip away titles from it’s competitors, the Nintendo Switch is a force to be reckoned with. Nintendo has done a wonderful job setting itself apart from it’s competitors by not only having their amazing first-party games, but also adding popular titles that are on Sony and Microsoft consoles, it not only has games for everyone, but games for adults as well. If 2020 was the year of Nintendo, it surely will be interesting to see what they have in store for an encore.

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Entertainment

‘Return To Monkey Island’ – the beloved franchise is back!

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Devolver Digital / Lucasfilm Games

It’s been 13 years since the last Monkey Island instalment was released in 2009. Going back even further, it’s 32 years since the original game ‘The Secret Of Monkey Island’ was released on the Amiga in 1990. Created by game designers Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman, it helped launch the point and click genre of adventure games onto a global scale, and introduced young and old gamers to a fun, family-friendly interactive adventure to capture the imagination.

You take control of a young wannabe pirate, Guybrush Threepwood, who arrives on a small island in the Caribbean with aspirations of becoming a – well – a real pirate! A whole host of colourful characters await him on his journey, including the Ghost Pirate LeChuck and Governor Elaine Marley. When the Governor is kidnapped by LeChuck who terrorises the entire Caribbean with his un-dead crew, it falls to you to help Guybrush assemble a crew, get a ship, set sail for the fabled Monkey Island, save Elaine and defeat LeChuck!

‘The Secret Of Monkey Island’ (1990)

This was followed by a hugely successful sequel in 1991; ‘The Secret Of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge’ that expanded and improved on everything we had seen before. Years later in 1997 and under new management after Gilbert and his team parted ways, the third entry – ‘The Curse Of Monkey Island’ – helped introduce new blood to the franchise. New styles of graphics, interactive heads-up display and a full voice cast brought the series to life like never before.

In 2000, the fourth entry – ‘Escape From Monkey Island’ – was released that divided fans and critics. The heart was there, but the inclusion of 3D graphics and removal of the familiar mouse controls for PC was a big shift that didn’t win everyone over. It would be in 2009 when Telltale Games developed an episodic entry called ‘Tales Of Monkey Island’, returning some familiar point and click elements, the full voice cast and a very imaginative fantastical story.

2009 also signalled the revival of both original games with new special editions being released for PC and console. This breathed new life into the classics, bringing the established voice cast to record dialogue, new composition of the score and improved graphics and HUD. It also allowed players to switch between classic and special editions whilst playing for a truly immersive experience of old and new.

‘The Secret Of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge’ Special Edition (2009)

 And then…all was quiet.

Fans cried out for more Monkey Island, but when Disney acquired LucasFilm Games in 2012 and the entire back catalogue of George Lucas, it seemed the adventures were well and truly over. However, in 2021 when Disney brought Lucasfilm Games back, a glimmer of hope was sparked. And then on April 1st 2022, Ron Gilbert announced the development of a brand new Monkey Island game. Being this was April Fool’s Day and Gilbert was known for his tongue-in-cheek jokes, there was a huge pinch of salt taken with the announcement. But just three days later, Devolver Development released the teaser trailer for ‘Return To Monkey Island’

 After two years of secret conversations with Disney and the old team including Gilbert, Grossman, original composer Clint Bajakian and voice actor Dominic Armato, a new story had been written for the 5th entry into the series. Described as both a direct continuation from LeChuck’s Revenge but with new elements that honour the previous games not under Gilbert’s design, it seems this is the game fans have been waiting years for.

A striking difference noted by many was the art style. While hardcore fans longed for a return to the classic pixel design of the original games, something of a nostalgic comfort blanket, artist Rex Crowle (of ‘Tearaway’ fame) brought the look into 2022 and then some. Taking a 2D style but with a cartoonish, almost paperfolded style, this entry looks nothing but unique and unlike anything that has come before. In order to keep the game fresh and appealing to new gamers and old, Gilbert couldn’t simply harken back to a game design that kept the series in the 90s. He had to take new, bold risks to be innovative and fresh. This looks just that.

‘Return To Monkey Island’ (2022)

With Gilbert and the team releasing mini teasers each Monday in a self-proclaimed Monkey Island Monday, critics and fans worldwide have lapped up everything the game has offered. It holds nods and winks the franchise as a whole (especially the originals) whilst giving us glimpses of new characters, islands and puzzles. The HUD retains the point and click charm but in a modern way. And with a full voice cast back to bring new and old characters to life, it seems this is the perfect time to hoist the main sails and set sail once more as we return to Monkey Island…

‘Return To Monkey Island’ will be available on PC via Steam, macOS and Nintendo Switch from Monday 19th September 2022.

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Ps4

New Hogwarts Legacy Trailer; Pre-Orders Announced, and Deluxe and Collector’s Editions Detailed

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Warner Bros. Games today revealed an all-new trailer for Hogwarts Legacy, the upcoming open-world, action role-playing game in development by Avalanche Software, scheduled to launch on Feb. 10, 2023. The “Sebastian Sallow’s Dark Legacy” gameplay trailer showcases some of the darker elements players will encounter, including a closer look at the game’s more dangerous locales, sinister foes and fearsome magical creatures lurking in the shadows. Focusing on one of Hogwarts Legacy’s optional companion questlines with Sebastian Sallow, the trailer also provides a glimpse at the Unforgivable Curses and difficult dilemmas players will face as they learn more about the Sallow family’s mystery and decide whether to engage with or even embrace, the Dark Arts.

Check out the trailer below that was released during Gamescom Opening Night Live!

Published by Warner Bros. Games under the Portkey Games label, Hogwarts Legacy is an immersive, action, open-world role-playing-game set in the 1800’s wizarding world. Beginning as a fifth year, players will embark on a journey through new and familiar locations, explore and discover magical beasts, craft potions, master spell casting, upgrade talents and customize their character to become the witch or wizard they want to be.

Pre-Order Details

Starting August 25 at 4pm BST, Hogwarts Legacy will be available for pre-order on PlayStation®5, PlayStation®4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One consoles and PC via the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, Steam and Epic Games Store.  The Nintendo Switch pre-order date will be revealed soon. All players that pre-order will be able to obtain the exclusive Onyx Hippogriff Mount upon completing the relevant quest.

The Hogwarts Legacy Standard Edition will be available for Nintendo Switch™ and PC for £49.99 (SRP), PlayStation®4 and Xbox One for £59.99 (SRP) and for PlayStation®5 and Xbox Series X for £64.99 (SRP).  

The Hogwarts Legacy Deluxe Edition will be available for Nintendo Switch™ and PC for £59.99 (SRP), PlayStation®4 and Xbox One for £69.99 (SRP) and for PlayStation®5 and Xbox Series X for £74.99 (SRP).  It includes 72 hours Early Access to the game starting on February 7, 2023, as well as the Dark Arts Pack. The Dark Arts Pack provides access to an exclusive wardrobe via the Dark Arts Cosmetic Set, a flying Thestral Mount players can ride, and access to the Dark Arts Battle Arena where players can test their mastery of the Dark Arts against waves of challenging enemies.

The Hogwarts Legacy Digital Deluxe Edition will be available for £74.99 (SRP) across all platforms and includes the Deluxe Edition content as well as the Dark Arts Garrison Hat and cross-gen digital upgrade for PlayStation®5, PlayStation®4, Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles.

The Hogwarts Legacy Collector’s Edition will be available for PC for £269.99 (SRP), PlayStation®4 and Xbox One for £274.99 (SRP) and for PlayStation®5 and Xbox Series X for £279.99 (SRP) and includes the Deluxe Edition content, Dark Arts Garrison Hat, as well as a physical Life-Size Floating Ancient Magic Wand with Book Base, Steel Case, and in-game Kelpie Robe.

For fans wanting a first look at the contents of the Hogwarts Legacy Collector’s Edition, Avalanche will be unboxing it on YouTube Below.

https://youtu.be/NlPKejj-oEw

For more information on how to pre-order Hogwarts Legacy, visit: www.hogwartslegacy.com

Hogwarts Legacy is scheduled to launch worldwide for PlayStation®5, PlayStation®4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC on Feb. 10, 2023.  The Nintendo Switch release date will be confirmed at a later time.

 

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PS5

Robocop: Rogue City – Gameplay Reveal Trailer

Welcome to Detroit; crime runs rampant as the city lies on the edge of ruin, people fighting for scraps as others live extravagant lives of luxury. Control of the Detroit Police Department is given to the Omni Consumer Products corporation in an attempt to restore order. You are that solution. – via: Sony 

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Welcome to Detroit; crime runs rampant as the city lies on the edge of ruin, people fighting for scraps as others live extravagant lives of luxury. Control of the Detroit Police Department is given to the Omni Consumer Products corporation in an attempt to restore order. You are that solution. – via: Sony 

Release Date: June 2023

Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Series X and Series S, PlayStation 5

Genre: Action game, Adventure game, Adventure

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