News! It happens a lot during the week, sometimes in overwhelming quantity. After looking back on the last seven days, I cherry picked the stories that made me do the biggest double-takes and give my two-cents on each.
Nintendo Power Makes An Unexpected Comeback
Nintendo Power was a pillar of games print for decades before it folded in 2012. After years in the grave, the soul of the magazine has been reincarnated into the vessel of a podcast. The Nintendo Power Podcast hosts company employees (including former Nintendo Power Editor-In-Chief Chris Slate) to discuss Nintendo’s latest and greatest. Designers also sit down to chat about works in progress. The debut episode is available now and features Eiji Aonuma and Hidemaro Fujibayashi breaking down The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It was sad to Nintendo Power go away so it’s cool to see it back in a form that actually makes a ton of sense. Can we get Howard Phillips for an audio version of Howard & Nester?
Rising Thunder Rises Again
Remember Rising Thunder? If not, it was an in-development fighting game developed by Radiant Entertainment. A hive-mind of fighting game aficionados (namely, fighting luminary Seth Killian) pitched in on the project, which emphasized accessible strategy over execution. Rising Thunder entered a free public alpha in 2015 which came to a close when League of Legends developer Riot Games purchased Radiant in 2016.
In a surprise move, a community version of the promising fighter will be made available online for free in January. It won’t be any different from the original alpha content-wise, but will sport online and local play. Additionally, the source code for the servers be made available for modders to tinker with. I played a bit of Rising Thunder during its original alpha and thought it was a smart idea wrapped around a fun game. Though it won’t resume active development, getting to play it again is better than leaving it to die outright.
Catherine Remake Strutting To The West
Another game getting a new lease on life is 2011’s Catherine. Atlus’ puzzle/romance romp saw protagonist Vincent entangled in a surreal love triangle with two women, Catherine and Katherine. But the upcoming Full Body edition introduces a third love interest; the enigmatic Rin (you know, like CatheRINe. Yeah, the name’s a stretch). On top of a new character, the remake boasts new additional endings, tougher puzzles, and enhanced visuals. A big change is an online multiplayer mode that caters to the competitive Catherine scene that does indeed exist. Catherine: Full Body is slated for PlayStation 4 and Vita at an undetermined date in the next year or so, possibly even 2019. I never got around to Catherine despite owning a copy of it. I’ll likely play that version before this releases but I’m interested in seeing how Rin shakes up the established narrative.
Apple Begins To Regulate Loot Boxes
The loot box controversy has been increasingly attracting government ire. Gaming companies have it in their best interest to remedy the problem themselves before legislation is introduced. Apple took a big first step by requiring App games offering loot boxes to publicly disclose the odds of winning prizes. Now, players will know what their chances are of obtaining that rare item before potentially dumping tons of cash in pursuit of it. Though the mandate doesn’t specify how developers must go about displaying odds, this is a good step towards protecting players, namely naive kids and gambling addicts, from themselves.