With the abolition of E3, the delivery of a huge amount of information regarding forthcoming games has become decentralised into many smaller events, and spread out across June and July. In one’s honest opinion this is actually a better way of doing things because fewer announcements get lost in the shuffle. Anyway, this week a bunch of little things were announced this week, mostly at the New Game Plus Expo; some game announcements, some release dates, and other sundry details.
New Game Announcements
We may have a bit of a wait on our hands before any reveal of a full-blooded sequel to Bloodstained is able to be announced, but this week Koji Igarashi has revealed Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2, a sequel to his NES inspired 8bit-esque spin-off. It is no surprise that a sequel is being developed, given that the first Curse of the Moon game sold more than 100,000 copies, 56% of which were on the Switch. Another clear indication of the Switch’s ascendency. The sequel is being developed for the Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and will release July 10.
The Pokemon Company has partnered Tencent and TiMi Studios to deliver the Pokemon franchise its first MOBA. Pokemon Unite will have players cooperating in 5 versus 5 battles, where they must capture Pokemon and bring them to the opposition’s goal to score points. The game is being developed for Switch, iOS, and Android and will be free to start. No idea how it will be monetised, but it does not sound very promising. The announcement video has already been heavily downvoted on Youtube, and Nintendo is deleting downvotes.
It looks like the last twenty years of mediocre Crash Bandicoot games are being relegated to being non-cannon, as Toys for Bob and Activision have this week announced Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. Toys for Bob is the developer behind the recently well received remakes of the initial Crash trilogy of games. The game sees Doctor Neo Cortex being transported back in time, and the game itself looks very faithful to the recent Crash Remasters. The game is releasing October 2, 2020 for PS4 and Xbox One. There is probably a good chance that the game will later see release on the Switch.
D3 Publisher has announced the 2021 Japanese release of Earth Defense Force 6, and Earth Defense Force: World Brothers. Earth Defense Force 6 is the typical large scale craziness that the series is known for, and is being developed for PS4. World Brothers is a super colourful and super deformed version of Earth Defense Force, and looks to have been developed in this direction in order to facilitate a Switch release – and to that end it is being developed for both the Switch and the PS4. World Brothers will be releasing in 2020 in Japan, while Earth Defense Force 6 will be releasing in 2021 in Japan. No news yet on when the game can expect to see release in the West.
On last week’s podcast the panel discussed the fact that since Keiji Inafune spectacularly flamed out over Mighty No 9, he has not had much in the way of work. Comcept did develop a mobile phone gacha game, but they were forced to shut it down earlier this year. It would seem that he has been working on something though, as this week it was announced that Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 is in production, and Inafune is supervising the implementation of the game’s action mechanics.
Falcom’s Trails of Cold Steel saga will drawing to a close with Trails of Cold Steel IV, and series fans will not have to wait for long. Trails of Cold Steel IV will release on the 27th of October on the PS4. The game will also be coming out later on in 2021 for the PC and Switch.
Another Falcom game is also on its way, via NIS America. Ys IX: Monstrum Nox will be heading West in 2021. This instalment sounds a little far out compared to what is typical for the Ys series. The game sees Adol languishing in prison, whereupon a strange woman turns him into a Monstum, which is some kind of magical entity. Now Adol must unite with other Monstrums to banish the threats which have been emerging from the Grimwald Nox.
Finally, Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate has been confirmed for a 2020 Western release for the PC and Switch. This game has actually already had a Western release back in 2016 for the Vita, but that obviously limited the game’s reach some, and roguelike dungeon crawlers are pretty bloody niche to begin with. This is another nail in the coffin of the Vita, following on from the Steam release of Persona 4.
Along with the release details mentioned above, the week also saw a few other sundry announcements that are relevant to us here at TDT. The first is concerning the Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles remaster, and it is very good news indeed. Crystal Chronicles was made for multiplayer, and it simply is not as good playing solo. Back when Crystal Chronicles released for the GameCube back in 2003 / 2004 this was not a problem, as each copy of the game could support up to four players (provided they each owned their own GBA); but now that the dominant form of multiplayer is online, which requires each player to have their own copy of the game, that poses a significant problem as it becomes difficult to find four friends which each own a copy of the game. To solve this problem Square Enix will be releasing a free version of the game. Players of the free version will be able to fully explore thirteen of the game’s dungeons, so long as they are playing with someone who owns a paid copy of the game. One has no idea how many dungeons are actually in the game, but Akademician appears to think that thirteen dungeons comprises the entire game, and he is more than familiar with Crystal Chronicles.
In other news Tales of Arise has been delayed indefinitely, thanks in large part to Corona-chan. According to the game’s producer Yusuke Tomizawa the development team has been working from home, yet certain areas of production have been falling behind. As such, the game will be going dark until there are more details to share.