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Digital Outburst Reload | Gaming SitRep 11/12/16

Digital Outburst Reload | Gaming SitRep 11/12/16
Carl 'Malkaurai' Phillips

It’s time for another episode of the Digital Outburst Reload, your weekly round-up of the latest gaming news – be it the exciting, the ridiculous, or the completely irrelevant – and a heads-up of the upcoming releases along with incoming content here on Digital Outburst.

If something we covered has piqued your interested you can find links providing more information in the headlines below!

Featured News

Christmas comes to Overwatch next week

Having had the surprise ruined by dataminers last month, Blizzard have officially announced that their Christmas event for Overwatch will be landing on Tuesday 13th December. Much like the Olympics and Halloween event, each character will be getting themed skins, voice lines and emotes to unlock via loot crates, but that’s not all. The King’s Row level will be getting a snow-covered makeover, and chances are a few more will get the same treatment as well. In addition to all that, a Christmas-themed Brawl mode will be added to the game for the duration. There’s no word on if a PvE event like Junkenstein’s Revenge will be included, but that’s still a heft amount of content for players to get through.

All I’m saying is that Reinhardt doesn’t get some sort of Reindeer-like outfit I’m going to hammer out an angry email to Blizzard using my keyboard of rage.

Final Fantasy’s patchy store to be, erm, patched

A somewhat belated review is currently in the works for publishing next week, but one thing many critics and gamers have agreed on is that Final Fantasy’s narrative isn’t as strong as other aspects of the game. Square Enix has taken note of this, and has announced that they are already working on adding new scenes that make some character motivations clearer. Also on the to-do list are “gameplay enchancements” for Chapter 13 which has come under fire for its excessive length. The post on the official Squeenix website also mentions that the team are looking at customisable avatars, New Game Plus modes, and limited-time hunts like the Elusive Targets of Hitman.

Whatever. I’m still finding joy singing ♫I want to ride on my Chocobo all day♫…

Oni 2 was an actual thing, and then sadly wasn’t

Now here’s an interesting one. Oni, the action title from Bungie from before Halo was a thing, was originally to get a sequel. YouTube channel PTopOnline, which specialises in finding the stories in long lost games, dedicated his latest video to Oni 2 and the story of Angel Studios. You’ve probably not heard of them (although they continue life today as Rockstar San Diego) but the short of it is that Oni 2 was to feature combat that seamlessly went between melee and range attacks, as well as controlling individual limbs. The video above shows the game in action, and bearing in mind it’s from 2002 and running on a PlayStation 2 it’s actually quite impressive. It’s a video that’s definitely worth a watch if only to get a glimpse into how development was like back then.

REPORT: Gamecube Virtual Console support to be included with the Nintendo Switch

It’s pinch of salt time – Eurogamer have reported that the Nintendo Switch console will be able to play select Gamecube titles via a Virtual Console, with three games already playable on the upcoming platform. Three separate sources have allegedly told the online publication that Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi’s Mansion, and Super Smash Bros. Melee are definitely making the jump, and that Animal Crossing is also being worked on. The report also states that Nintnedo are aiming to offer an upgrade program similar to the one on the Wii U, so existing Virtual Console titles can be transferred to the Switch for a reduced cost.

It’s all very exciting, but in the meantime you can watch Jimmy Fallon “geek out” (ie. get overexcited because the script – which he was constantly jumping ahead of – called for it) whilst playing Super Mario Run and getting hands-on with the Switch, because you must suffer as I have suffered.

Ubisoft takeover fears continue as Vivendi buy more shares

Despite fierce declarations that Ubisoft would fight for its independence, French media company Vivendi has upped its stake in the games publisher to over 25%. While this won’t ease fears that the Watch Dogs maker could be taken over, Vivendi has stated that it be doing so within the next six months but it will continue to buy stock depending on market conditions. Should Vivendi’s stake rise to 30%, however, they are required by law to make an offer to buy the company.

And this is something we should all be worried about, because Ubisoft have finally sorted out their DLC and microtransaction idiocy from yesteryear, along with actually resting the Assassin’s Creed franchise. I suspect Vivendi won’t share that mentality once in power…

You can now put a Bully on your smartphone

Rockstar Games’ cult hit Bully has finally made the leap onto iOS and Android. The surprise release is all to celebrate the game’s 10th anniversary, and includes all of the extra content that arrives in the Scholarship Edition. It costs £4.99 from both stores, which is pretty good going considering how much game you get (whether you feel it’s playable on a touchscreen is another matter, however.)

Now all we need is for Rockstar to actually sort out a HD remaster for current gen consoles and PC! Yeah, I’m not hopeful either.

Agent 47 gets festive, for charity!

The world’s most famous bald assassin is getting into the Christmas spirit. From next Tuesday, Hitman players will have access to a special version of the Paris Showstopper level which has been given a festive overhaul. The targets are two thieves looking to steal all the presents, so it’s up to Agent 47 to stop them (and possibly “borrow” a certain red suit for the interim.) The DLC will be free, with IO Interactive’s hope that players will instead donate some money to the World Cancer Research Fund.

See, even cold blooded killers like to do nice things! I mean, sure, it’s still brutal slaughter of his designated targets during a festive celebration, but still.

Upcoming Releases

  • 13/12/16

Forza Horizon 3: Blizzard Mountain Expansion – XO

Things kick off this week with the first expansion to the fantastic Forza Horizon 3. Players can expect more than 50 new events and challenges that take place in extreme weather on ice and snow, along with eight new vehicles in which to do them in. It’s a great way to inject more life into what is arguably the best racing title of the year, as well as giving it a season twist.

Stardew Valley – PS4, XO (14/12/16)

The indie-made farming simulator created by a single developer makes its way onto consoles this week, having won over PC gamers at the start of the year. Stardew Vallet is very much like Harvest Moon in that players look after a farm and interact with NPCs, but it takes the gameplay further by adding crafting, quests, and combat in procedurally generated dungeons. It’s definitely one to consider if you want something homely to distract you over the Christmas season.

  • 15/12/16

Super Mario Run – iOS

Finally, the biggest icon in the games industry makes his way to mobiles this week. Super Mario Run is a side-scrolling auto-running platform game in which players much get Nintendo’s mascot to the finish line as quickly as possible, or just collect all the coins and stomp on their enemies. Players will also be able to compete with their friends for the best times and scores. A free trial version will be available, but the full game will set you back £7.99 here in the UK. Not many apps could get away with such an asking price, but this is Mario we’re talking about here, and Nintendo’s rigorous playtesting should mean it’s a fun experience.

ICYMI…

Coming up on Digital Outburst…

  • Final Fantasy XV Review

And that’s it for this week’s Reload. As always, if you have any questions or feedback be sure to let us know in the comments below!