It’s Thursday, so we ALL know what that means right!? Yes, I missed doing this on Monday, and then I also missed doing anything of value for the next two days. I expect this to continue for roughly the rest of my life. Anyway, I am headed to Eurogamer Expo tomorrow, so we can all live in hope that I’ll gleam something insightful and worthwhile from that. But oh, maybe not.
This last week Nintendo has utterly dominated the headlines, barging into every conversational nook and cranny and yelling, largely through the conduits of nudity, and respectful and ingenious reverence to the deceased. Oh, Nintendo.
Firstly, Mario got his kit off during Nintendo Direct and everyone absolutely lost it. Why? Because he has nipples. It should be duly noted that this industry scares me to the core of my being. That said, the joy that came from that very Direct update was the kind of wholesome video game goodness that actually made me think of the good old days. It seems a long time since everybody’s been really, jovially excited about something that isn’t a HD reboot or a console whose only USP is its sixquanteen terraflipaflops of raw unhinged power.
Mario Odyssey looks wonderful and is just another reason I am currently lamenting not having a Switch.
Speaking of the Switch, the other nugget of news that has been rattling around the cerebral risk assessment failure that is my attention span, is the dawning fact that there’s a NES emulator built INTO the console. That, however, is most certainly not all.
Clever hacker types have recently uncovered the emulator in the code, but not before one confused Switch owner managed to accidentally activate it and reveal its sole game – NES Golf. Without any evidence to prove his discovery, OP was met with some skepticism on the forum he belonged to, but when corroboration from another user on that forum also surfaced and seemed legit, the world was set immediately on fire. Many more clever hacker types began trying to decipher the location of the game, how to unlock it natively (i.e without getting under the hood and tinkering like a regular MyNameIsNeo) and what it all meant.
More recent discoveries have uncovered a rather touching truth. Seemingly, NES Golf can only be launched on one day of the year – the day Nintendo President Satoru Iwata died. You do so by performing a gesture with the joycons that resembles the bow he used to make during his infamous Nintendo Direct videos, and the game itself? Coded by none other than Iwata in his formative years.
Many are pointing out that the way the game has been hidden, and the fact that its existence seems to entirely reference the kind and friendly former Nintendo head honcho (who died in 2015, mourned by the entire industry, one of the good ones) points to the idea that NES Golf is a omamori.
Justin Epperson pointed out on Twitter:
‘In Japanese culture omamori are bought at shrines for various reasons, if you keep one close to you it will protect you or give luck […] So the idea is Nintendo imbedded Iwata’s game to watch over every unit […] Every Switch is a shrine.’
Nope. No sir. Not me, nu-uh; YOU are crying.
A glorious tribute.
In non-Ninty related news, Sony’s TGS keynote was packed full of at least vaguely interesting titbits, though I couldn’t get through the live show as the translator’s monotonal drawl lulled me into a state of unconsciousness and I fell off my chair. Maybe I never got up. Maybe I’m dead at last.
Most notably, among the smattering of announcements, was the immediate release of a prettier, PS4 Final Fantasy 9, presumably so you can refuse to enjoy it all over again, in high definition.
New IP Left Alive also reared its enormous gun-metal-gray head, combining Metal Gear and Armoured Core vets. The first gameplay trailer is below and it looks intriguing. We’ll have to wait and see if this weathered devs can pitch in under Squenix and make something special.
Among some footage of games we already know are coming out, Sony also dropped in the news of a Zone of the Enders 2 paint job coming in fancy HDHD flavours of course and, most excitingly, with PSVR compatibility. Done right, that could be a killer addition to the PSVRs thus-far largely novelty line up.
HD remakes were batted out at the audience with the rapidity and enthusiasm of Boris Johnson ruining this country, and so the might of Shadow of the Colossus, a game I haven’t actually played somehow, entered the ring for its second high-def outing. Not entirely sure if this is just Sony forever squeezing more cash out of us, but it sure seems like, developer-economics-wise, backwards compatibility in the PS4 is an ever-starkly missing feature.
Lastly but by no means leastly for this catch up, indie meditative puzzle ‘em up Expand has been given a PS4 release date, via the publishing sluice of UKIYO. Regular readers will know how much I love a good relaxing game experience (here I am doing all of AZBU for your enjoyment) so I’m hugely intrigued by this. Here’s the trailer – complete with a beautiful soundtrack which might pave the way for something special in the final game. It’ll be with you on PS4 on the 3rd of October or you can get it on Steam and find out about its soundtrack right now.
That’s all from me – see you at Eurogamer on Friday, if you’re there!