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TalkBack / Five Questions About Pokemon Legends: Z-A
« on: Yesterday at 03:00:00 AM »

Caution: Although this is a Pokemon article, it is rated PG-13.

Well, that was surprising and in a way, not surprising. I believe I might have referred to a new mainline Pokemon game on Switch being announced in the Pokemon Presents as “the free space on the bingo card”, and it came to pass pretty much as expected. We do have a new Pokemon game coming to Switch, but it’s still leaving a lot of questions. Specifically, I have five.

1) If even POKEMON is punting on 2024, how completely fucked is this industry?

Right before the Pokemon Presents began, word came down from Jim Ryan (he of the rapidly approaching golden parachute) at Sony that they were laying off 8% of their gaming workforce or 900 people. Including a majority of their PSVR2 development, which goes to show: Sony will cut bait on the second attempt way faster than is sane. (See also: Vita, PlayStation). Before I finished work on Pokemon Day, current Life is Strange developer Deck Nine announced they were laying off 20% of their workforce. And then due to a corporate move, Cloud Imperium Games, makers of alleged grand space combat game/ship seller/possible Ponzi scheme Star Citizen, announced they were cutting staff. This is a company that, mind you, somehow pulled in US$140,000 THAT DAY ALONE via crowdfunding.

This year has been looking real bad for the game industry, as the pace of layoffs only seems to be accelerating as we approach the end of most fiscal years. If - Snorlax-sized if - the Switch’s successor was delayed in order to flesh out the lineup even more in 2025, that pushed back a lot of things from third party publishers with it. But a Pokemon at the end of the year plus an assumed return to form from Call of Duty seemed like a good financial note to go out on - but now the former is in 2025 and it’s still an open question what Microsoft will do or put up with for Call of Duty given it’s a not-insignificant part of why they bought ActBlizzKing in the first place.

Pokemon skipping THIS year is a warning shot. But if Call of Duty skips as well, it’s going to take a lot of the more casual money out of the market at a time when most Western or Western-exposed developers (Sony) are already afraid to hire, the rest of this year is going to be painful.

2) Was Kalos the planned site for the generation capper all along?

Although some of them (species of Pokemon) have the dreaded X-Pac Heat (poor Simisear, literally the least popular Pokemon in existence) there’s also some quite popular lines and a frickin’ Smash Bros character who aren’t available unless you use the 3DS to bring them in. - The Collector's Hopes For Scarlet and Violet, May 17, 2022

The Smash Bros. character in question is Greninja, one of the starters of Pokemon X and Y who debuted in Smash 3DS/Wii U. And it’s true: at the time of that article, none of the starter families from X/Y were available on Switch. They slowly trickled into Scarlet and Violet via limited events, then when the Indigo Disk went and gave the Smash Ultimate memorial “Everyone is here!” treatment to the starters, all three became permanently available. It sure seems like that particular group of three got held back for a reason.

Add in Scarlet and Violet clearly taking a lot of influence from the Iberian Peninsula immediately to the southwest of France, and you have a national link between S/V and Z-A. Common (although never officially confirmed) theories about Paldea include the Great Crater being created by a particularly large shot from “the ultimate weapon” that drives so much of the plot of X and Y, so this is a good chance to either prove or disprove that theory.

3) What will Z-A do for people who want to fill the Pokedex with just Switch games?

One of the things I mentioned last week when I hoped for a Legends set in Unova was that it would provide an easy excuse to include nine common species that still haven’t been playable on the Switch to this point. Eight of them were Unovan common spawns, and the ninth (a French poodle) would have an excuse to show up in a historical version of the United States.

It turns out that Kalos would be another option for those particular Pokemon to make their hybrid console debuts. Obviously Furfrou the poodle would be a native to the region, and the elemental monkeys are common spawns in the second area of X and Y you can catch Pokemon in, while Watchog shows up in areas immediately following the 6th badge and would presumably bring Patrat along for the ride. So that part of it should be covered.

As for other playable Pokemon, X and Y still have the largest regional Pokedex of any game in the series, north of 450 Pokemon. So there’s plenty of options to choose from. And that’s not accounting for them having to possibly bring in starters from other regions in order to accommodate the return of Mega Evolution. Maybe a starter trio of Treecko (which has a Mega Evolution as Sceptile), Froakie (Greninja’s old “Ash-Greninja” form being retconned into a Mega) and… why is “My Worldplaying?

A major benefit of Legends: Arceus allowed for all of the Sinnoh-era mythical Pokemon to be capturable in the course of normal play. A side quest gives Manaphy and Phione, save data unlocks postgame capture of Darkrai and Shaymin, and Arceus is the literal final thing you get. If that precedent holds in Z-A, we’ll get permanent access to three mythical Pokemon - DIancie, Hoopa, and Volcanion - that haven’t been distributed in ages. Diancie could fill the Manaphy role since it could be tied to the Kalos-native Carbink, Volcanion could be a S/V save bonus given its Fire/Water typing, and Hoopa… well, it could be the driver of the plot if we’re going to do a second season of “So I’m A Joltik, So What” and have the player character get isekai’d again.

4) Does the focus on Lumiose City mean we’ll see a similar gameplay structure to Arceus?

The “building a city” portion of Legends: Z-A was made quite explicit in the original trailer, and also harkens back to the 19th century Renovation of Paris. A similar concept wasn’t as explicit in the prerelease hype for Arceus, but part of the story of the game involved building up the late 19th century version of Jubilife City into a thriving city that supported the growth of Pokemon as well. So it won’t be Sim City in the way we’re thinking.

But Lumiose City in X and Y has five exits, each splitting off to very different areas. One goes out to the starting areas, one to a swamp, one to a volcanic badlands, one to coastal waters, and one to an area of ice. Coincidentally, those areas in a fashion are the same five zones we explored in Arceus - the Fieldlands, Mirelands, Coastlands, Highlands, and Icelands. With each one being accessible out of Lumiose, it sure feels like it’d be easy to implement a five environment structure here as well - as opposed to Castelia City in Unova which only has two known exits. (Which is a shame, as I hear in Castelia you can be a new man.)

Via Pokearth at, the map of Kalos ca 2013.

It’s not obvious if we’ll see the same focus on catching Pokemon to fill out an early Pokedex, or if it’ll be more focused on battling than the original. But I do hope they maintain the most badass trainer class in franchise history: “Pokemon Wielder”.

5) How far into 2025 will it be before Z-A lands, and do we get anything in between?

Pokemon Legends: Arceus shipped 14.6m copies with a launch date of January 28, 2022. If we assume a similar launch timing for Z-A, that would put it to January 31, 2025. Given Game Freak’s usual three year cycles as of late, that seems to be the morning line favorite, especially since it was unveiled on Pokemon Day and every game unveiled on Pokemon Day has been out by the next February 27. This is a small sample size (Sun and Moon, Sword and Shield, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, Legends: Arceus, Scarlet and Violet, and the expansion pass) but much like their partner Nintendo liked to have all the E3 games out by the next one when possible, they probably want to go more into detail on ZA in August and then talk about something new next year around this time if there is anything.

The question is though, has the door really been closed? In our Slack after the presentation, as we tried to figure out why they skipped Unova, John raised the possibility of something Black and White related this year. As of now, I’m doubting it: they have announced multiple games a year before (2021 with BD/SP and Arceus) and they both hit within the next 12 months.

However, a quick turnaround from Z-A to something else for holiday 2025? Not off the table now. I still think it would be an effective gap year (January/February 2025 to holiday ‘26), but the longer we go without a successor the question does need to be asked.

Will this age as badly as my predictions from last week, or is Game Freak and Pokemon Company predictable in their unpredictability? Keep it locked to Nintendo World Report for all the updates.

TalkBack / Nintendo Suing To Shut Down Popular Switch Emulator
« on: February 27, 2024, 01:47:30 PM »

It is morally right to point and laugh at operational security that is this bad.

Nintendo has filed a lawsuit against the maker of a popular Switch emulator that could have impacts far beyond just a single program.

The lawsuit, filed yesterday and discovered by Axios games writer Stephen Totilo, is against Tropic Haze LLC, the legal entity whose products include the popular Yuzu Switch emulator (as well as the popular 3DS emulator Citra). Nintendo's suit alleges the following:

  • The emulator uses product keys illegally obtained from Switch consoles to run retail and digital Switch games
  • The company profits from the use of the illegal keys and games (although the emulator is free, it does receive money via Patreon)
  • The company actively promotes piracy of Switch games, including boosting a claim that over a million people played The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom using Yuzu prior to the game's release last May (and paying membership in the Patreon doubled in the same timeframe) alongside the existence of a "Yuzu Piracy" sub-Reddit
  • Developers of the emulator frequently sent pirated Switch games for the purpose of "testing"

Nintendo cites three different cases as precedent for the shutdown, and is seeking a jury trial. If granted and if the ruling is in Nintendo's favor, penalties are requested to include the shutdown of Yuzu, damages equal to $2500 per user + $150,000 per pirated game, and a blanket ban of the principals from Discord.

TalkBack / Other Announcements From The Pokemon Presents Presentation
« on: February 27, 2024, 04:33:00 AM »

All the fun of opening cards without any of the homicide required to buy them.

In addition to the announcement of Pokemon Legends: AZ, the Pokemon Presents provided updates and a new software announcement for the franchise.

The new announcement was Pokemon TCG Pocket, a mobile version of the Pokemon Trading Card Game that will feature a simplified version of the TCG gameplay as well as the ability to open two packs of cards per day for free. Certain packs will include "immersive" cards which feature brief nature cutscenes with the Pokemon. It will launch on mobile (iOS/Android) in 2024, and is produced in cooperation with Creatures and frequent Nintendo partner/Pokemon Masters dev DeNA.


  • As part of the Pokemon Day celebrations, a series of Tera Raid events will be happening in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet starting tonight NA time. Vensuaur, Blastoise, and a rerun of Charizard will appear in sequence.
  • Pokemon Go announced a crossover event with the Pokemon Horizons anime beginning on March 5, coinciding with the dub of the anime premiering on Netflix on the 7th. It will feature the Pokemon Go debut of Characadet, Armorouge, and Ceruledge, as well as a Captain Pikachu costumed mascot that will introduce the move Volt Tackle. The anime protagonists Liko and Roy can also photobomb the player.
  • Pokemon Masters EX will add new trainers Geeta (the Scarlet and Violet Top Champion) and Silver (Gold/Silver/Crystal rival) soon.
  • Pokemon Sleep will be adding its first Legendary Pokemon starting in March with the introduction of Raikou. Entei and Suicune will follow.
  • In addition to adding Violet box legendary Miraidon to Pokemon Unite, Falinks and Ceruledge will be entering the game beginning in April.
  • Pokemon Cafe Remix has begun a new event in which the player can choose a Scarlet and Violet starter to join the "kitchen" in a new outfit.


Apparently we took Arceus and added... Sim City?

The next main Pokemon game appears to be waiting a full three years from its predecessor.

The "one more announcement" of the Pokemon Presents was a new Pokemon Legends title. Subtitled "Z-A", the title will be developed by Game Freak and will launch simultaneously worldwide in 2025.

Z-A will be focused on the Kalos region of Pokemon X and Y, as the trailer focuses heavily on a "Lumiose City Redevelopment Plan" (with Lumiose being the hub city of Kalos). Mega Evolution, introduced in this region, will be returning in some form.

TalkBack / Nintendo Downloads - February 29, 2024
« on: February 26, 2024, 03:00:00 AM »

By the next time I can use that date in one of these, my legs and feet will have calmed down from this weekend's IRL grind session.

Things we missed last week: Aside from the items in the Direct that were either "out right now" or "out tomorrow" (respectively: Penny's Big Breakaway, Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On!, and Pentiment + NSO updates of wildly varying quality depending on the region), Konami's Jungler was the Archives game of the week.

After 11 hours of chasing down shinies this weekend which could have gone to 16 had Mother Nature cooperated, my legs are killing me so I have to make this quick. Retail wise we have the new Shiren the Wanderer game (which Neal reviewed) and office otome Sympathy Kiss (which I did). The digital space has Star Wars: Dark Forces which we can reasonably assume will ship complete since Aspyr is NOT involved, Sunsoft and boutique publisher Red Art have teamed up for a sequel to Ufouria: The Saga called naturally Ufouria 2, and Devolver is taking us through the ages of cricket for some reason.

Lastly regarding Picross S+: It is a Switch port of the Picross e series from the 3DS, and the main thing you are buying on the eShop if you preload is the equivalent of the original Picross e. E2 - 9 (the last one, IIRC, never being released outside Japan) are the same price as listed but in the DLC section.

North America


Shiren the Wanderer: The Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island (US$59.99/C$79.99: Tuesday)

Sympathy Kiss ($49.99/$69.99: Tuesday)


Of The Red, The Light, and the Ayakashi Tsuzuri ($49.99/$68.81)

Star Wars: Dark Forces ($29.99/$38.99: Wednesday)

Ufouria 2: The Saga ($24.99/$31.99: Friday)

Heavenly Bodies ($19.99/$22.00)

We Need To Go Deeper ($19.99/$24.99)

A Void Hope ($15.99/$20.79)

Dead End City ($14.99/$17.99: Wednesday)

Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds ($14.99/$19.99)

Tamarak Trail ($14.99/$19.99)

The Lost Ashford Ring ($14.99/$19.99)

Time Trap: Hidden Objects ($14.99/$19.99)

One More Dungeon 2 ($14.99/$19.99: Friday)

Lion Simulator Survival ($12.99/$17.39: Sunday)

Pocket Fishing ($12.99/$17.41: Monday)

Cavern of Dreams ($12.99/$16.99)

Helicopter Simulator: Rescue Sim ($12.99/$17.41: Friday)

Buggy Race: Racing Master ($11.99/$15.99: Saturday)

Xelan Force ($10.00/not releasing)

Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons ($9.99/$13.49: Tuesday)

Sandstorm Strike Force ($9.99/$12.99: Tuesday)

Spear Master ($9.99/$11.49: Tuesday)

Pecaminosa - A Deadly Hand ($9.99/$12.99: Wednesday)

Anglerfish ($9.99/$12.99)

Drone Racer: Fly Stunt Simulator ($9.99/$12.99)

Escape Game: The Old Folks House ($9.99/$12.49)

Matches Puzzle 2 ($9.99/$12.99)

Cape's Escape Game: 7th Room ($9.8/$13.38)

Desktop Baseball 2 ($9.8/$8.92)

OLLLO ($8.00/$10.00)

Hike Adventures ($7.99/$10.72: Monday)

World War II Shooting Simulator ($7.99/$10.99: Wednesday)

Cricket Through The Ages ($7.99/$10.49: Friday)

DIY Fashion Star ($7.99/$10.76: Friday)

Virus Rush ($7.99/$10.80: Friday)

Another Bar Game ($5.99/$7.79)

King's Odyssey: Rise of the Necromancer ($4.99/$6.76: Sunday)

Picross S+ ($4.99/$6.7)

Take It Racing 2 ($4.99/$6.7)

Sculpt People ($4.99/$6.73: Friday)

Pool Together 2 ($4.99/$6.70: Saturday)

Matsukeke Blast ($4.69/$6.27)

Tiny Number Hunt! ($3.99/$5.39)

Gravityscape DX ($3.99/$3.99: Saturday)

Looking Up I See Only A Ceiling ($2.99/$3.99)

Sales and Price Drops

Highlights: The Stanley Parable is 40% off until March 3 and the Portal Companion Collection is 60% off until March 5. PSPrices, DekuDeals



Shiren the Wanderer: The Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island (€59.99/£54.99: Monday)

Sympathy Kiss (€49.99/£44.99: Tuesday)


Of The Red, The Light, and the Ayakashi Tsuzuri (€45.97/£40.19)

Star Wars: Dark Forces (€28.99/£24.99: Wednesday)

Ufouria 2: The Saga (€24.99/£22.49: Friday)

We Need To Go Deeper (€19.99/£17.99: Wednesday)

Heavenly Bodies (€19.99/£17.99)

A Void Hope (€15.99/£14.39)

Dead End City (€14.99/£13.49: Wednesday)

One More Dungeon 2 (€14.99/£14.99)

Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds (€14.99/£13.49)

Tamarak Trail (€14.99/£13.49)

The Lost Ashford Ring (€14.99/£13.49)

Time Trap: Hidden Objects (€14.99/£13.49)

Lion Simulator Survival (€12.99/£11.99: Sunday)

Pocket Fishing (€12.99/£11.69: Monday)

Helicopter Simulator: Rescue Sim (€12.99/£12.99: Friday)

Cavern of Dreams (€12.79/£9.99)

Buggy Race: Racing Master (€11.99/£11.99: Saturday)

Spear Master (€9.99/£9.99: Tuesday)

Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons (€9.99/£8.99: Tuesday)

Sandstorm Strike Force (€9.99/£8.99: Tuesday)

Pecaminosa - A Deadly Hand (€9.99/£8.99: Wednesday)

Anglerfish (€9.99/£8.99)

Desktop Baseball 2 (€9.8/£5.23)

Cape's Escape Game: 7th Room (€9.27/£8.29)

Xelan Force (€9/£7)

Escape Game: The Old Folks House (€8.99/£8.09)

OLLLO (€8/£7.19)

Hike Adventures (€7.99/£7.19: Monday)

World War II Shooting Simulator (€7.99/£7.99: Wednesday)

Anime Girls: Son of a Beach (€7.99/£7.19)

Cricket Through The Ages (€7.99/£7.19: Friday)

Virus Rush (€7.99/£7.19: Friday)

Another Bar Game (€5.89/£5)

King's Odyssey: Rise of the Necromancer (€4.99/£4.49: Sunday)

Take It Racing 2 (€4.99/£4.49)

Picross S+ (€4.99/£3.99)

Sculpt People (€4.99/£6.73: Friday)

Pool Together 2 (€4.99/£4.49: Saturday)

Matsukeke Blast (€4.69/£6.27)

Tiny Number Hunt! (€3.99/£5.39)

Looking Up I See Only A Ceiling (€2.99/£2.99)

Gravityscape DX (€2.99/£2.69: Saturday)


BAR: Stella Abyss (¥7920)

Matsurika no Kei -kEi- Tenmeitane Idenden (¥7480)

Of The Red, The Light, and the Ayakashi Tsuzuri (¥7480)

Goblin Slayer: Another Adventurer - Nightmare Feast (¥5680)

Ufouria 2: The Saga (¥3300)

Riviera: The Promised Land (¥2860)

Tamarak Trail (¥2199)

The Lost Ashford Ring (¥2100)

One More Dungeon 2 (¥2000)

Crazy Goose Simulator (¥1999)

Helicopter Simulator: Rescue Sim (¥1999)

Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds (¥1700)

Time Trap: Hidden Objects (¥1650)

Dead End City (¥1500)

Xelan Force (¥1500)

Drone Racer: Fly Stunt Simulator (¥1333)

Matches Puzzle 2 (¥1399)

Piczle Cross: Story of Seasons (¥1000: Tuesday)

Escape From The Mouse Lab (¥990)

Cape's Escape Game 7th Room (¥980)

Desktop Baseball 2 (¥980)

Cricket Through The Ages (¥920)

Another Bar Game (¥700)

Picross S+ (¥500)

Looking Up I See Only A Ceiling (¥450)

Age 10 Language Study Quiz (¥420)

Color Sensation Test (¥420)

Easy Korean Learning (¥420)

Learn About The Sengoku Period (¥420)


Should you download the update? Should you buy the game right now? Neigh.

The game industry's mass of layoffs has led to a major update for a popular fighting game releasing in a completely broken state.

A new paid DLC for Them's Fightin' Herds added two new characters, one of whom has the ability to cause infinite unbreakable combos.

Publisher Modus Games reportedly fired the quality assurance team for TFH in December while the patch for the DLC was being prepared, according to a QA team member who was also the administrator of the game's Discord server.

TalkBack / What A Generational Transition Means For Pokemon
« on: February 23, 2024, 03:58:18 AM »

For one thing, it means a once-in-a-decade event.

After Nintendo's last financial results release, the latest updates to Pokemon game sales indicated that the mega-franchise has shipped somewhere over 100 million copies on Switch, with “main” games - defined as anything that can move Pokemon into the Home subscription service - being more than 95 million copies. Although the record sales of a set of Pokemon games will never fall due to being set by a trio of Red/Green/Blue, both of the Switch generation starters (Sword and Shield, Scarlet and Violet) have taken second and third in franchise history ahead of Gold and Silver sales. Pokemon has handled the transition to hybrid consoles well, at least in terms of sales.

Technical performance… not so much.

But as we move into the endgame of the OG Switch, what can we expect from the fast growing franchise as we move to… whatever the Switch’s successor is?

Well, your EVOLVED form, but the point still stands.

To start with, there is no main Pokemon game on the schedule now - but Pokemon Day is a short time away. About four days, to be exact.

2024: One (Or Two) More For The Road

Regardless of whether or not the successor comes out this year, it will not launch with a Pokemon main series game. There might be a spinoff in the launch window - we saw that with the rescue of Pokken Tournament from the Wii U in 2017 - but past precedent suggests that The Pokemon Company and their development partners will go for the higher user base over trying to deal with a system in the midst of console shortages. Or apathy.

  • Pokemon Crystal launched a month ahead of the Game Boy Advance in 2001 in Japan, and about a month and a half after the North American launch of the GBA.
  • Pokemon Emerald launched in September of 2004 in Japan, with the DS launching in December there. For North America, the DS preceded Emerald’s launch by about six months.
  • Pokemon Black and White 2 for the DS launched in Japan in June of 2012, more than a year after the 3DS’s launch. The West got it even later, in October. (And the online services lasted a year and a half.)
  • Lastly, Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon were the pre-Black Friday Nintendo games in 2017, while the Switch launched in March.

So there is almost no chance that whatever Pokemon release this year is targeting the successor platform. I'm sure Game Freak got early access to dev kits as one of Nintendo's key partners, but based on Scarlet and Violet they need much, MUCH more prep time.

So what should we expect this year on the 27th of February? There's three possibilities:

  1. Pokemon Legends: (name here) - I don't want to say that Game Freak would try to crank out an Arceus follow-up while also trying to contain the Scarlet and Violet tire fire, but would it surprise anyone? A game in Unova - the Black and White region - is what I'm hoping for, and it's strictly for Pokedex reasons: there are nine non-legendary or mythical Pokemon that have never appeared in a Switch Pokemon game. Eight of them debuted in Black and White*, and it's very easy to see why a game set in a historical version of Pokemon Northeastern United States would get the 9th**.
  2. A straight remake of Black and White. This seems like the least likely proposition, given that remakes have routinely skipped generations after 2009 or so. The question becomes then how do we deal with the existence of Black and White 2? Is it DLC in a later remake, or its own game set? If it's the latter, and they want to maintain the features from BW2 that carried over story elements from the first game, it's probably an easier sell if there's a few years between Wicked Black/Blinding White 1 and 2 than coming out a year apart.
  3. A new Let's Go game, probably set in the Johto region. Pokemon Go is still an ongoing concern, and Pikachu/Eevee are probably the best-running Pokemon Switch games, but I don't think Togepi and Wooper have the same cachet as Pikachu and Eevee. (With apologies to several current and former Nintendo World Report contributors.)

Of course, if the successor is backwards compatible with the original Switch… hopefully the new system has enough power to brute force making the existing games run at something approaching modern standards.

2025: The Year Off

Yes, the Pokemon franchise is likely to take a year off from a boxed game release next year. The transition period will be well underway, and it gives GameFreak time to make sure that the debut game runs up to the standards of the hardware.

A lot is made of the fact that the games have to be rushed out in order to meet deadlines, but the pandemic has afforded opportunities for Pokemon to focus on existing games and Pokemon for a year. The Pokemon anime rebooted Ash into retirement and is focusing on a bespoke storyline that isn't necessarily married to a particular region. The other spinoff games still have a lot of room to add new Pokemon and trainers - or in the case of Pokemon Masters EX, new alts for existing trainers.

Perhaps the biggest opportunity for marketing existing Pokemon is in Pokemon Go. A rollout of Sword and Shield-debuting Pokemon which might have been expected in 2020 got stopped when developers Niantic had to reboot the fundamental operation of the game to accommodate the fact that people needed to “stay the blazes home”. By the time the currently announced events wrap at the end of the month, there will be 22 Pokemon introduced in the 8th generation in the game - and a third of them debuted in Legends: Arceus. You know that the Galar STARTERS aren't available in Pokemon Go as of now? Meanwhile, they did a full rollout of Scarlet and Violet Pokemon in September 2023, beginning with the starters and early route Normal-type Lechonk.

All of Gen VIII according to Pokemon Go. Missing: Sword dog, movie tie-in mythical, Basculegion, the thing Niantic thought releasing in only in person raids on Valentine's Day - a Wednesday - was a good idea.

I have to think that sometime in one of the next two Pokemon Day announcements or the pre-Worlds Pokemon Presents we will see an announcement of a season of Galar, in a similar fashion to how the “Season of Alola” was announced in February of 2022. And maybe by the end of 2025 I'll have a good Gholdengo in that game.

2026: If It's Bad Do We Call It “Degeneration X”?

The last time Pokemon took a year off was 2015. And despite Nintendo's best effort to have a Pokemon-killer for the holidays in the form of Yo-Kai Watch, the absence was definitely noticeable. During that time, GameFreak was focused on their own projects, but also was working to prepare a major throwback for the 20th anniversary of Pokemon.

If you disregard the Yo-Kai Watch portion, this feels awfully familiar. They're working on… something… with the Private Division label of Take Two, that we have one piece of concept art for alongside a nebulous “fiscal 2025” release window that could land it in the first part of 2026. Which is where Tembo the Badass Elephant dropped in 2016. And after that, the march of time suggests that there will be a new generation of Pokemon for the 30th anniversary released on November 20, 2026.

The questions about the setting, the new Pokemon that will take the list of known Pokemon species into the 1100s, the new raid-based gimmick… all will be answered in due time. (Hey Game Freak, if you want to go back to North America, I know several places in Canada that could serve as a point of inspiration.) But it'll be in time for the second or third holiday of a new platform, as has been the case for every first main pair on a new system since Satoru Iwata became president of Nintendo.

And with four years between shipping Scarlet and Violet and whatever pair will be used, we hopefully don't need to hold a programming seance for Iwata to come in and fix things to the point that they can gratuitously cram Kanto in there. We are NOT going down that road again.

The other reason why they'd want to hold off on bringing out the new generation on the next generation is system cost. Switch but more powerful has a price floor of current Switch OLED pricing, and given that price drops have become a sign of weakness since the debut of the 3DS Ambassador Program it'll still probably be pushing $500 Canadian BEFORE taxes in 2026. The last two system debuts have coincided with new lower points of entry: the 2DS cut 35% off the price of entry of the 3DS in September 2013 and the Switch Lite in September 2019 was ⅔ the price of the regular Switch. If the successor is anywhere nearly as successful as the Switch, there will be a lower cost redesign to let the actual target market - the Juniors division at the annual World Championships or younger - have a shot at getting in.

If you want the Switch’s successor to launch with the franchise that has sold more than any other, fear not: you will be sick of Mario games six months after launch. Pokemon is going to march to its own beat, and yet we'll look at the sales charts in 2031 and think “wow, that is a lot of Pokemon”. And that's just the way The Pokemon Company likes it.


Wait, a GOOD game getting remade in the LRG Carbon Engine? Is that legal?

One of the Game Boy Advance's biggest - and most expensive on the gray market - cult hits is coming back.

The partnership between Konami and Limited Run Games has led to the announcement of a remaster of Ninja Five-O - or Ninja Cop depending on the territory. No release date was provided, though a limited preorder option will be available directly from LRG.

The 2003 game developed by Hudson is a side-scrolling action title that received little attention in its pre-launch period but received great critical acclaim: Mike Sklens gave the game a 9 in a 2003 Planet GameCube review. LRG is currently offering preorders for a "Re-Sparked" version of early 1990s Konami title Rocket Knight Adventures, as well as a version of Hudson's early 1990s NES platformer based on Felix the Cat.

TalkBack / Other Announcements From The Partner Showcase
« on: February 21, 2024, 02:17:16 PM »

Time to round up the unusual suspects.

Other items announced in today's Partner Showcase:

  • Previously announced for PC, Snuffkin: Melody of Moominvalley - a musical adventure based on a Scandinavian story - will hit 1.0 on Switch March 7.
  • WayForward-developed Contra: Operation Galuga, originally revealed last September, received a new release date of March 12.
  • The "Royal Edition" of historical action RPG Kingdom Come: Deliverance will be available on March 15.
  • A collection of the original pair of Star Wars: Battlefront games (from 2004-05, not the ones designed to give a sense of pride and accomplishment from the late 2010s) was revealed, including all previously version exclusive content. The runs begin March 14, roughly two weeks after the Dark Forces remaster.
  • Character customization was shown for strategy game South Park: Snow Day, which will be available on March 26.
  • Tales of Kenzera: Zau confirmed a release date of April 23.
  • Crustacean based action/RPG Another Crab's Treasure received a new trailer and an April 25 hatch date.
  • Giyu wins by doing absolutely nothing as the world of Demon Slayer takes board game form in Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- Sweep the Board, which rolls on April 26.
  • Arranger: A Role-Puzzling Adventure, a story based game with roguelike-style "everything moves at once" action, will be available in the summer.
  • An expanded look was given for Level 5's Fantasy Life i: The Girl Who Steals Time, alongside a release date of October 10.
  • A new Ender flower will bloom this year with Ender Magnolia: Bloom in the Mist, a follow-up to 2021's Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights that maintains the side-scrolling combat.
  • The Gundam Breaker series of gunpla-building action games will be available in English on a console for the first time in eight years, as Gundam Breaker 4 was revealed for a 2024 release.
  • Sword Are Online's latest adventure will be out on Switch this year with "Fractured Daydream", which includes raid battles with parties of up to 20 players online.


Probably closer than "AAA Crazy Taxi" to being that super game Sega's always going on about.

Sega's continued efforts to go from chimpan-a to chimpanzee will bear fruit again this year.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble is the latest entry in the puzzle/racing franchise, and will release on the Switch June 25. AiAi and their simian siblings will have new moves, including a Sonic the Hedgehog-style "spin dash", as they traverse more than 200 stages.

The game's online mode will also support up to 16 players on the course at once.


And suddenly the sequel will make a lot of sense.

The remaster train has added a portable car after today's Partner Showcase.

Capcom have announced a remastered version of the 2017 3DS title Monster Hunter Stories will be available on Switch this summer, roughly three years after its sequel. Previously Japan-only content from the original will be included.

Monster Hunter Stories applies the characteristics of the mind-blowingly popular (in Japan) action franchise to a turn based RPG, in which the primary characters known as "Riders" tame the usually hunted monsters and use them in a RPG party. The remaster will include a museum mode including the ability to listen to the game's soundtrack.

TalkBack / Epic Mickey Rebrushed Hitting The Canvas This Year
« on: February 21, 2024, 01:33:56 PM »

I don't think you can put something back under copyright after it hits the public domain, but The Mouse will definitely try.

A lost game of the Wii's latter years is coming back on Switch, and it didn't even require a broadcaster's rights to be traded to happen.

Epic Mickey Rebrushed, an enhanced version of the 2010 Wii 3D platformer, was revealed today in the Partner Showcase for release sometime in 2024. The game features Mickey Mouse exploring worlds inspired by early Walt Disney works, including Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (a character whose rights were essentially traded with Universal for the employment of Hall of Fame sports commentator Al Michaels) in a prominent role.

John Rairdin compared the opening cutscene's original treatment to the Switch version here.


One of the great WiiWare success stories is back in the fold.

After being shown for the first time during the Winter Games Fest 2023, we have confirmation of World of Goo 2's console home - and the sequel will also be exclusive to a Nintendo system.

The sequel to the smash WiiWare success, World of Goo 2 was confirmed for release on May 23 in today's Partner Showcase: it will be at least temporarily a console exclusive on Switch.

New powers were shown as well as a Switch-only 4 player co-op mode.

TalkBack / Endless Ocean: Luminous Brightens Switch On May 2
« on: February 21, 2024, 12:56:49 PM »

Not the first time this plucky partner has shown up in a Partner Showcase.

For the first time in nearly a decade and a half, we'll be able to dive into the ocean on a Nintendo console.

The last announcement of today's Partner Showcase was a new Endless Ocean title. Endless Ocean: Luminous will be available May 2, and feature the ability for up to 30 divers to hit the water together. Currently, it is showing on the Nintendo NA webstore as a digital only release at a MSRP of $49.99 US or $64.99 Canadian and is eligible for the Game Voucher program.

Although published by Nintendo in western territories, it will be published by developer Arika in Japan; the June 2022 Partner Showcase included a plug for the then-recent Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes which was published by Koei Tecmo in Japan.

TalkBack / Grounded, Pentiment Called Up From AAA Xbox
« on: February 21, 2024, 12:48:12 PM »

One makes their big league debut tomorrow, the other in spring.

As expected after a business update last week, two previous Xbox-published titles were announced for Switch release in today's Partner Showcase.

Both titles are products of Obsidian Entertainment, with their medieval adventure title Pentiment being first to drop tomorrow. The second is Grounded, a survival game in which up to four players are shrunk down to the size of an ant and have to survive in a backyard swarming with larger insects and other creatures. It will be available on Switch on April 16.

Two other titles - Hi-Fi Rush from Tango Gameworks and Sea of Thieves from former Nintendo studio Rare - were expected, though both were only announced for PlayStation 5 release today.

TalkBack / New Shin Megami Tensei V Title Revealed, Vengeance Reaps June 21
« on: February 21, 2024, 04:26:00 AM »

Atlus is going to keep cranking it out.

The blasted world of Tokyo appears to be getting a remix.

During the Partner Showcase, a side story of Shin Megami Tensei V (2021) was revealed. Known as Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance, it will release on June 21.

The trailer shows what appears to be a female playable character in addition to the Nahobino.

UPDATE 5:35pm ET: Further details have emerged about Vengeance, including the revelation that the original 2021 release will be included alongside a new story from what is claimed to be the game's halfway point. Save data will not carry over directly, though "up to three" demons from the ingame compendium will be available in the Vengeance story if you have SMT V save data on the Switch version.

TalkBack / Sympathy Kiss (Switch) Review Mini
« on: February 20, 2024, 06:19:44 AM »

This stuff is why I prefer to work from home. That and the hour+ commute.

My non-NWR job loves to crow about the quality of “work-life balance” they provide as an employee perk. Given that I have been able to only get one holiday season off in the last seven and that required eleven days in the hospital, I’m pressing Y to doubt. So I wasn’t sure if I was mentally prepared to review a new Idea Factory-localized romance that’s set in an office environment. Though I’m still working through the last couple of suitors, I’m ready to give it a “meets expectations” on the performance survey.

The heroine of Sympathy Kiss is a design grunt at an app developer in Japan, whose self-named app–which was an early mover in digital news and social networking–was struggling in the face of more modern competition. As such, the heroine is drawn into a team at the company whose job it is to turn the app’s performance around, with the implicit threat of layoffs if they can’t pull it off. In the midst of this, she can build a romance with her (male) teammates or possibly with young, attractive men at a partner company. I did have a hard time making the first choice of the game since it came up incredibly quickly; it felt like I had booted up the game and played for ten minutes before I was asked what “role on the team” I wanted (i.e., which suitor would be the focus of the route). I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with the first choice, so I just went with the first guy on the list and I’m not sure that was the right call.

A lot was made in the prerelease of a few key features: the ability to text with colleagues outside of the suitor, an “emotion select” screen, and the ability to make specific work/life balance selections. The first and last didn’t really provide much beyond some light flavor (at least that I saw), but the “Emotion Select” might be one of the lamer option choices in an otome I’ve played. The options show up as vaguely text message-like emoticons that take up almost the entire screen and usually just offer a binary choice; if the suitor did something dumb in a date situation, it would show the option to be angry (>_<) or embarrassed (~_~) and that would be the extent of the choice. It’s not really used all that much, but might come up later on the last hidden / golden route. I do have to give them credit for accurately portraying office life in a way that works internationally: it was really easy to empathize with the protagonist’s work struggles as I often feel like she did on the job. Off of it, not so much.

This is what the emotion selection looks like docked. It's worse in handheld mode.

The writing is technically proficient; I didn’t identify any egregious spelling or grammar errors in the text. Good to see that IFI has upped their game in this department given what happened in the last work-based romance they localized. The city the game is set in is a clear pastiche of metro Tokyo with the environmental variety to match, while the guys are the usual mix of typically attractive men whose key differences come down to the personalities (the overeager, the brooder, the flirt) in a typical romance novel fashion.

It’s good to see that Sympathy Kiss is strong on the technical end, it just didn’t click with me. If you’re a little more amenable to dealing with people at the office, you’ll be able to get through it quickly and easily. I’m more of the kind who wants to interact with as few people as possible in the run of a day.

TalkBack / Pokemon Presents Video To Air February 27
« on: February 20, 2024, 01:26:37 AM »

(something) CONFIRMED!

Pokemon is continuing their twice-a-year pace of Presents videos.

The next Pokemon Presents video will be released at 9 a.m. EST / 6 a.m. PST / 1500 CET on Tuesday, February 27 for "Pokemon Day". The date represents the anniversary of the release of Pokemon Red and Green in Japan in 1996.

Updates on Pokemon service games (Go, Cafe Remix, Masters) and media properties are expected. Although no Switch Pokemon games are currently known to be in development, traditionally these games - or DLC - have been announced on "Pokemon Day".

TalkBack / Partner Showcase Direct Announced For Wednesday, February 21
« on: February 19, 2024, 01:22:42 PM »

First party news will continue to be posted here.

The first Direct of the year is a predominantly third party one.

In a rare Monday afternoon on a holiday announcement, Nintendo has confirmed a 25 minute Partner Showcase will be released on Wednesday (February 21) at 9 a.m. ET / 6 a.m. PT / 1500 CET. Unlike prior Directs, this will largely be focused on 3rd party announcements.

The last Partner Showcase aired on June 28, 2022 and included the announcements of Theatrhythm Final Bar Line, Nier: Automata, and the modern Persona trilogy on Switch.

TalkBack / Nintendo Downloads - February 22, 2024
« on: February 19, 2024, 03:00:00 AM »

Really, aren't cards the original roguelike?

Things we missed last week: Master of Weapon (Taito) was the Archives released, and regular indie show star Lake - the game about mail delivery in a small town - was also a surprise release.

It's all digital (at least for now) this week as originally the headliner was going to be the latest (and possibly last, given that the Riot Forge was shuttered in one of the 20k layoffs this year) League of Legends spinoff game, until the Steam Next Fest brought a game that nobody will shut up about in poker-based Game Boy Color style roguelike Balatro. Seriously. Bandle Tale is out this week as well.

Also worth keeping an eye on are a rare 2D collect-a-thon? in Promenade, and an apparent Pong sequel in qomp2. Look for reviews of those throughout the week. There's also a new EggConsole game as that has started popping off... with Hydlide 3, and in Japan the compilation of remasters of the Game Center CX games.

North America


Yohane the Parhelion -Numazu In The Mirage- (US$29.99/C$38.99)

Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story ($24.99/$34.99: Wednesday)

Apex Heroines ($24.99/$33.5)

Lunaria: Virtualized Moonchild ($24.99/$33.24)

Inkulinati ($24.99/$33)

Promenade ($24.99/$31.99: Friday)

qomp2 ($19.99/$26.99: Tuesday)

Wira & Taksa: Against The Master of Gravity ($16.99/$22.85: Friday)

Balatro ($14.99/$18.99: Tuesday)

Metro Simulator 2 ($14.99/$20.15: Wednesday)

Tenderfoot Tactics ($14.99/$19.49: Wednesday)

Dino Race ($12.99/$17.99: Friday)

The Jump Guys ($12.99/$17.50: Friday)

Drift Master Simulator 2024 ($11.99/$16.99: Sunday)

Quadroids ($11.99/$15.99)

The Bike Moto Bike Simulator ($11.99/$15.99: Saturday)

Unlife ($10.99/$15.99: Friday)

Aery - Stone Age ($9.99/$14.99)

Toy Rider ($9.99/$14.99)

502's Arcade ($9.99/$12.99)

Truck Sim 2024 ($9.99/$12.99: Friday)

Squirrel Stapler ($7.99/$8.91)

Eggconsole Hydlide 3 PC-8801 mkIISR ($6.49/$7.34)

A Time Traveler's Guide To Past Delicacies ($4.99/$6.64: Wednesday)

Geometry Survivor ($4.99/$6.49: Wednesday)

Froggie ($4.99/$5.99: Wednesday)

King's Odyssey ($4.99/$6.76: Friday)

Woodturning 3D ($4.99/$6.73: Friday)

King's Odyssey: Dwarves Tale ($4.99/$6.76: Saturday)

Geometric Sniper Z ($3.99/$5.39)

Make It! Taiyaki ($3/$2.74)

Slimeboo ($2/$3)

Hopping Bunny ($0.99/$1.39: Tuesday)

Revealed Later

Penny's Big Breakaway ($29.99/$39.99: Wednesday)

Farmer Simulator: Evolution ($19.99/$26.99)

Pentiment ($19.99/$24.99)

Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! ($15.00/$20.00: Wednesday)

Japan Train Models - JR Kyushu Edition ($13.99/$18.83)

Call of Honor: Duty of Warfare ($12.99/$17.99: Saturday)

Towers Watch ($12/$15.96)

Nyaaaanvy ($9.99/$8.99)

Escape First Alchemist ($7.99/$9.99)

The Tales of Bayun ($7.99/$9.50: Friday)

Pixel Game Maker Series Cat and Castle ($4.99/$6.77)

Chop Goblins ($4.99/$6.49)

Little Red Riding Hood: Wonder Animals ($4.9/$6.60: Tuesday)

Little Red Riding Hood: Wonder Animals Vol 2 ($4.9/$6.6)

Trom ($3.99/$5.4)

Quick Golf ($2.99/$4.04)

Twisty Pals ($0.99/$1.29: Saturday)


Jungler ($7.99/$9.87)

Sales and Price Drops

Highlights: The complete Witcher 3 is on sale until Sunday if you have the space for it. PSPrices, DekuDeals


Yohane the Parhelion -Numazu In The Mirage- (€29.99/£24.99)

Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story (€24.99/£19.99: Wednesday)

Lunaria: Virtualized Moonchild (€24.99/£22.49)

Inkulinati (€24.99/£21.59)

Promenade (€24.99/£22.49: Friday)

Apex Heroines (€22.8/£20.49)

qomp2 (€19.99/£17.99: Tuesday)

Wira & Taksa: Against The Master of Gravity (€16.99/£15.29: Friday)

Metro Simulator 2 (€14.99/£13.49: Wednesday)

Tenderfoot Tactics (€14.79/£12.79: Wednesday)

Balatro (€13.99/£12.79: Tuesday)

Dino Race (€12.99/£11.99: Friday)

The Jump Guys (€12.99/£11.69: Friday)

Drift Master Simulator 2024 (€11.99/£11.99: Sunday)

Quadroids (€11.99/£10.79)

The Bike Moto Bike Simulator (€11.99/£11.99: Saturday)

Unlife (€10.99/£10.99: Friday)

Aery - Stone Age (€9.99/£9.99)

Toy Rider (€9.99/£9.99)

502's Arcade (€9.99/£8.99)

Truck Sim 2024 (€9.99/£8.99: Friday)

Squirrel Stapler (€6.62/£5.89)

Eggconsole Hydlide 3 PC-8801 mkIISR (€5.59/£5.39)

A Time Traveler's Guide To Past Delicacies (€4.99/£4.49: Wednesday)

Froggie (€4.99/£4.49: Wednesday)

Kings Odyssey (€4.99/£4.49: Friday)

King's Odyssey: Dwarves Tale (€4.99/£4.49: Saturday)

Geometry Survivor (€4.99/£4.29: Wednesday)

Geometric Sniper Z (€3.99/£3.59)

Make It! Taiyaki (€3/£1.6)

Hopping Bunny (€0.99/£0.89: Tuesday)

Revealed Later

Penny's Big Breakaway (€29.99/£24.99: Wednesday)

Pentiment (€19.99/£14.99)

Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! (€15/£13.49: Wednesday)

Japan Train Models: Kyushu Edition (€13.79/£12.39)

Call of Honor: Duty of Warfare (€12.99/£12.99: Friday)

Towers Watch (€11.99/£10.79)

Membal (€10.99/£9.89)

Nyaaaanvy (€9.99/£8.99)

Escape First: Alchemist (€7.99/£7.19)

The Tales of Bayun (€6.99/£6.29: Friday)

Little Red Riding Hood: Wonder Animals (€4.99/£4.49: Tuesday)

Chop Goblins (€4.99/£4.49)

Little Red Riding Hook: Wonder Animals Vol 2 (€4.99/£4.49)

Pixel Game Maker Series Cat and Castle (€4.99/£4.49)

Wood Turning 3D (€4.99/£4.49: Friday)

Trom (€3.99/£3.59)

Line Color World (€2.99/£2.69)

Quick Golf (€2.99/£2.69: Friday)

Hentai: Make Love Not War 2 (€2.2/£1.99)

Twisty Pals (€0.99/£0.99: Saturday)


Jungler (€6.99/£6.29)


Uniform Girlfriend (¥8360)

Crayon Shin-Chan: Shiro of Charcoal Town (¥6980)

GameCenter CX: Arino no Chōsenjō 1+2 REPLAY (¥6490)

5 Minute Unexpected Ending: Monochrome Library (¥5000)

Yohane the Parhelion -Numazu In The Mirage- (¥4950)

Bandle Tale: A League of Legends Story (¥3699)

Apex Heroines (¥3627)

Inkulinati (¥3360)

Kannagi no Mori (¥3300)

Lunaria: Virtualized Moonchild (¥2980)

qomp2 (¥2300)

The Jump Guys (¥1920)

Toy Rider (¥1900)

Golazo! 2 (¥1800)

Quadroids (¥1700)

Aery - Stone Age (¥1600)

Unlife (¥1600)

502's Arcade (¥1470)

Nyaaaanvy (¥980)

Eggconsole Hydlide 3 PC-8801 mkIISR (¥880)

A Time Traveler's Guide To Past Delicacies (¥660)

Prisonela DX (¥660)

Geometric Sniper Z (¥590)

Froggie (¥500)

Kurukuru Puzzle (¥420)

Okudake Study (¥420)

Make It! Taiyaki (¥300)

Revealed Later

Penny's Big Breakaway (¥4290)

Farmer Simulator: Evolution (¥2900)

Wira & Taksa: Against The Master of Gravity (¥2508)

Pentiment (¥2090)

Last 4 Alive: Escape From Zombies (¥1800)

Membal (¥1777)

Balatro (¥1700)

Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! (¥1500)

100 Doors - Escape From Prison (¥1380)

Japan Train Models: Kyushu Edition (¥1320)

Hentai Girls: Sweet Doctor (¥900)

Jungler (¥838)

Sea Port Tycoon 2024 (¥730)

Pixel Game Maker Series Cat and Castle (¥550)

Geometry Survivor (¥499)

Line Color World (¥399)

TalkBack / Four More Costumes Revealed For Princess Peach: Showtime
« on: February 14, 2024, 04:12:24 AM »

You'll never see one of them coming.

Peach apparently took some notes from her time in Smash Bros., as some of her new costumes for Princess Peach: Showtime show.

The four newly revealed costumes are:

  • "Dashing Thief" - a phantom-thief themed costume focused on stealth and gadgets
  • "Figure Skater" - skating around the stages with spins and jumps for attacks
  • "Mermaid Peach" - controls fish with song among other aquatic abilities
  • "Mighty Peach" - gives the ability to fly and make powerful punches as a superheroine would

TalkBack / Yoshitaka Murayama (1969 - 2024)
« on: February 14, 2024, 02:56:18 AM »

The Suikoden and Eiyuden Chronicles creator had an undisclosed illness.

The creator of a seminal mid-1990s RPG series and its spiritual successor has died.

An update to backers of Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes from developer Rabbit & Bear Studios has announced that Yoshitaka Murayama, the director of the upcoming RPG as well as the Suikoden franchise that it succeeds, passed away from an ongoing illness on February 6. No further details have been provided out of respect for the privacy of his family.

Originally hired into quality assurance by Konami in 1992, he was later asked to develop a game for the then-upcoming PlayStation console and chose to create an RPG, which released in 1995 in Japan as "Suikoden" and became a cult hit for the platform. He left Konami in 2002, just before the release of Suikoden III for the PlayStation 2, as part of a career plan to go freelance after ten years. He later worked on manga and wrote part of the scenario for The Alliance Alive, the 2017-18 3DS RPG, before forming Rabbit & Bear Studios in 2020 to create a successor to Suikoden called Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes which is slated to release in April.

TalkBack / Splatoon 3 Side Order DLC Reveals Gameplay In New Trailer
« on: February 13, 2024, 03:22:56 AM »

Well, they kinda had to do that soon anyway. But do we get a run-in from Poseidon?

With a little over a week to go until its release, Nintendo has finally confirmed the gameplay of the Side Order DLC for Splatoon 3 in a new trailer.

In the DLC, the player character (an Octoling) must climb the "Spire of Order", a large tower almost entirely colored white, and complete challenges on each floor. The challenges change each time, and completing unlocks items for a "palette" for skill modifiers. Failing to reach the top will reset progress to the beginning, though the palette earned along the way will convert to a currency that can be used to buy permanent upgrades.

The next "season" of content ("Fresh Season '24") will start on March 1st, and includes new stages for the main game and Salmon Run as well as weapons and other items.

TalkBack / Nintendo Downloads - February 15, 2024
« on: February 12, 2024, 03:00:00 AM »

Superb Owl winners: Those who bet the 1st half under, Taylor Swift fans, and the news editor who walked away with a shiny 93 Hisuian Decidueye.

Things we missed last week: The Archives release is called Face Off, it's from Namco, and it's only available in Japan and Canada. SURE.... wait, it's a hockey game? Oh, that makes sense.

There are four major games being remade depending on the territory, and in both groups three of them have a whiff of fraud about them. The fourth is of course the remake of Mario vs Donkey Kong for the GBA (not as many Minis, more of a DK '94), but in the West there are remakes of the first three Tomb Raider games - and our reviewer assures me that unlike another recent Aspyr Media-published game I could mention, this one does come with everything up front. (Look for the review later this week in gaming magazines.) Japan, meanwhile, gets a trio of Tokimeki Memorial Girls Side releases from Konami. And I didn't see a cheaper bundle, so enjoy dropping 18k yen on those ones if you wish to partake. The other retail class release this week that we will acknowledge is Spirit Hunter: Death Mark II from Aksys.

Because the alternative is continuing to watch Limited Run see how far they can push me before I remove credit for publishing The House in Fata Morgana by way of blessedly not Plumbers Don't Wear Ties, but an intentional homage to the ZELDA CD-I games in Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore. In the other download titles this week, there is a former Indie World game in PlateUp!, a rhythm game based on the Azure Striker Gunvolt games - hey, music's big in that plot, might as well - and a new source of the original Ys if you want to play the PC-8801 version by way of the EggConsole line. Lastly, shout out to Banchou Tactics, which asks the most important question: what would Final Fantasy Tactics play like if all of the units were Japanese delinquent teenagers?

North America


Spirit Hunter: Death Mark II (US$49.99/C$68.51)

Mario vs Donkey Kong ($49.99/$64.99: Friday)


Tomb Raider I-III Remastered Starring Lara Croft ($29.99/$40.65: Wednesday)

Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore ($19.99/$26.99: Wednesday)

Lords of Exile ($19.99/$21.99: Wednesday)

Banchou Tactics ($19.99/$25.99)

Maid of the Dead ($19.99/$25.99)

PlateUp! ($19.99/$25.99)

Meta Meet Cute+ ($17.99/$22.99: Wednesday)

Genso Chronicles ($14.99/$20.99)

Gunvolt Records: Cychronicle ($14.99/$20.29)

Scream and Steel ($13.99/$17.99: Friday)

Cyber Taxi Simulator ($12.99/$17.99: Saturday)

Birth ($10.99/$12.49)

Tenement ($9.99/$12.99: Sunday)

Fit My Cat ($9.99/$13.47: Friday)

Z War Apocalypse Shooter ($9.99/$12.99: Friday)

Swords & Adventures ($6.5/$8.78)

Eggconsole Ys PC-8801 mkIISR ($6.49/$7.34)

Dreamland Solitaire ($5.99/$8.23: Monday)

Pretty Girls Klondike Solitaire Plus ($5.99/$6.99)

Party Party Time 2 ($5/$4.71)

Throne of Egypt ($4.99/$6.75: Monday)

Witch's Rhythm Puzzle ($4.99/$6.49)

Caveman Ransom ($4.99/$6.99: Friday)

Sea Port Tycoon 2024 ($4.99/$6.99: Friday)

Your Majesty ($4.99/$6.75: Friday)

Bucket Crusher ($4.99/$6.73: Friday)

Edge of Reality ($4.99/$6.64: Friday)

DIY Makeup ($4.99/$6.73: Saturday)

Monster Legacy: New Horizons ($4.9/$6.60: Monday)

Art of Glide ($4.39/$5.84: Friday)

Twilight Survivors ($2.99/$4.31)

Hex Cats ($2.99/$3.99)

Top Web Search 2023 ($2.29/$3.11)

My Name is Mayo 3 ($1.99/$1.99: Wednesday)

Revealed Later

Adam Wolfe ($29.99/$40.50: Friday)

Lake ($19.99/$22.79)

Duck, Quack, Shoot! ($19.99/$26.99: Friday)

Last 4 Survive: The Outbreak ($14.99/$20.99)

Magic City Detective: Secret Desire ($14.99/$14.99)

Maze of Realities: Reflection of Light ($14.99/$14.99)

Membal ($11.99/$15.99)

The World According To Girl ($9.99/$13.55)

I Love Finding Furbabies ($9.99/$11.00: Friday)

Legendary Tales: Stories ($6.99/$9.3)

Lo-Fi Haiku: Coffee and Chill ($6.9/$9.9)

Hentai Girls: College Crush ($5.99/$8.49)

Line Color World ($2.99/$3.99)

Shooting Blocks ($2/$2.7)

Courage's Reasoning Nori 5 Chewed Rice Balls ($1.00/not released)

Tippy Pads ($0.99/$1.29: Saturday)


Master of Weapon ($7.99/$9.87)

Sales and Price Drops

Highlights: 2020 Game of the Year Hades is half off until February 20. PSPrices, DekuDeals



Spirit Hunter: Death Mark II (€49.99/£44.99)

Mario vs Donkey Kong (€49.99/£39.99: Friday)


Tomb Raider I-III Remastered (€29.99/£26.99: Wednesday)

Arzette: The Jewel of Faramore (€19.99/£17.99: Wednesday)

Lords of Exile (€19.99/£17.99: Wednesday)

PlateUp! (€19.99/£16.75)

Duck, Quack, Shoot! (€19.99/£17.99: Friday)

Banchou Tactics (€19.5/£17.59)

Maid of the Dead (€19.5/£17.59)

Genso Chronicles (€14.99/£13.49)

Scream and Steel (€13.99/£12.99: Friday)

Gunvolt Records: Cychronicle (€13.49/£12.19)

Cyber Taxi Simulator (€12.99/£12.99: Saturday)

Fit My Cat (€9.99/£8.99: Friday)

Z War Apocalypse Shooter (€9.99/£8.99: Friday)

Birth (€8.99/£8.29)

Dreamland Solitaire (€5.99/£5.39: Monday)

Pretty Girls Klondike Solitaire Plus (€5.99/£5.49)

Eggconsole Ys PC-8801 mkIISR (€5.59/£5.39)

Party Party Time 2 (€5/£2.97)

Throne of Egypt (€4.99/£4.49: Monday)

Caveman Ransom (€4.99/£4.99)

Witch's Rhythm Puzzle (€4.99/£4.49)

Edge of Reality (€4.99/£4.49: Friday)

Sea Port Tycoon 2024 (€4.99/£4.49: Friday)

Your Majesty (€4.99/£4.49: Friday)

Monster Legacy: New Horizons (€4.9/£4.40: Monday)

Art of Glide (€3.69/£3.29: Friday)

Hex Cats (€2.99/£2.69)

Twilight Survivors (€2.99/£2.69)

Tiny Treasure Hunt (€2.49/£2.24)

Top Web Search 2023 (€2.49/£2.29)

My Name is Mayo 3 (€1.99/£1.79: Wednesday)

Revealed Later

Adam Wolfe (€27.56/£23.64: Friday)

Lake (€19.99/£17.99)

Last 4 Survive: The Outbreak (€16.99/£14.99)

Magic City Detective: Secret Desire (€14.99/£13.49)

Maze of Realities: Reflection of Light (€14.99/£13.49)

The World According To Girl (€9.99/£8.58)

Legendary Tales: Stories (€6.99/£6.29: Wednesday)

Lo-Fi Haiku: Coffee and Chill (€6.90/£6.19)

Hentai Girls: College Crush (€5.99/£5.99: Wednesday)

Bucket Crusher (€4.99/£4.49: Friday)

Swords & Adventures (€5.99/£5.39)

Shooting Blocks (€2.00/£1.79)

Tippy Pads (€0.99/£0.99: Saturday)


Master of Weapon (€6.99/£6.29)


Crimson Flame Sanada Ninpocho (¥7150)

Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 1st Love (¥5995: Wednesday)

Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 2nd Season (¥5995: Wednesday)

Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 3rd Story (¥5995: Wednesday)

The Legend of Heroes: Trails Through Daybreak (¥5940)

Mario vs Donkey Kong (¥5900: Friday)

Maid of the Dead (¥2780)

Pirates Outlaws (¥2490)

Lords of Exile (¥2450)

Bancho Tactics (¥1980)

Gunvolt Records: Cychronicle (¥1980)

HunterX: Code Name T (¥1900)

Fit My Cat (¥1465)

Genso Chronicles (¥1320: Friday)

Birth (¥1120)

Eggconsole Ys PC-8801 mkIISR (¥880)

Edge of Reality (¥660)

Pretty Girls Klondike Solitaire Plus (¥600)

Candy Shake Cup (¥563)

Witch's Rhythm Puzzle (¥563)

Party Party Time 2 (¥500)

Hex Cats (¥435)

Learn About Japanese Swords (¥420)

Top Web Search 23 (¥350)

Twilight Surviors (¥240)

Revealed Later

Lake (¥2050)

Manita's Kitchen (¥1900)

Dino Get Out!! (¥1499)

Z War Apocalypse Shooter (¥1476)

The World According To Girl (¥1280)

Legendary Tales: Stories (¥999)

Swords & Adventures (¥963)

Master of Weapon (¥838)

Caveman Ransom (¥660)

Borzoi Adventure (¥630)

Shooting Blocks (¥325)

Courage's Reasoning Nori 5 Chewed Rice Balls (¥100)

TalkBack / Nintendo Releases Financial Results For Holiday Quarter
« on: February 06, 2024, 03:35:47 AM »

Is the Mario movie halo effect still in play? Oh, absolutely.

Nintendo has had to revise their earnings estimates upwards for the second time in as many quarters after their latest financial results, which continue to pile on records in the sales department.

All monetary figures quoted in yen, with a US$ comparison provided based on an exchange of $1 USD = ¥148.644.

Financial indicators

Revenue: ¥598.559bn (~$4.026bn US), down 6.22% year over year

Operating Income: ¥184.32bn (~$1.24bn), down 3.1% year over year

Ordinary Income: ¥126.241bn (~$1.077bn), up 17% year over year

Digital Sales: ¥128.9bn (~$867m), up 1.9% year over year

Mobile/IP (film) Revenue: ¥20.2b (~$136m), up 31% year over year

Ordinary income is reflective of exchange rates, which continue to favor Nintendo as more than 90% of their sales in the reported period were outside their home market of Japan. This is reflected in the revised estimates below.

Hardware Shipments

The Switch's new lifetime sales are 139.36m following a 6.9m shipment quarter; although this is the lowest Switch holiday ever, it was also the seventh holiday for the platform. The breakdown was 3.48m OLED, 2.15m standard, and 1.27m Lite.

With the new total, the Switch needs to ship 14.66m units to pass the DS for #1 on Nintendo's all time shipments list, and 19.34m to pass the PlayStation 2 for 1st among dedicated gaming hardware. It has already taken the latter crown in Japan from the DS with shipments in the homeland of 33.34m.

Software Results - New

Nintendo had four first party titles in the quarter, with the biggest being Super Mario Bros. Wonder which shipped 11.96m units in the quarter - the fastest selling Mario game ever. (Sell-through - to customers - was reported at 10.7m units.) The Super Mario RPG remake also clocked in with 3.14m sales in the quarter, while neither Detective Pikachu Returns or Wario Ware: Move It were reported to have crossed 1m shipments.

Software Results - Catalogue

The headliner is the continued dominance of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which (buoyed by the annual Black Friday bundle) shipped 3.57m units for a new lifetime total of 60.58m copies: just the second game ever to cross 60m sold. (For comparison, the original Mario Kart 8 shipped 8.54m units.)

Other milestones in the top 10 (which ends with New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe at 17.2m and can be found here): NSMBU is the only top 10 game to NOT be over 20m units with both Super Mario Party and Tears of the Kingdom crossing the barrier, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet have passed Pokemon Gold and Silver to become the third best selling Pokemon pair (though the first slot is held by the trio of Red/Green/Blue), and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate cemented its hold on 3rd in Switch game shipments with a 1.23m unit quarter buoyed by being included in Switch OLED bundles.

Pikmin 4 - released this fiscal year - also received an updated life to date of 3.33m.

Other Announcements

  • Although confirmed last week by Universal, Nintendo confirmed that the Universal Studios Orlando will add a Super Nintendo world next year
  • Due to current results and a stronger Euro against the yen, Nintendo has revised their estimates for the fiscal year upwards for the second time: net revenue up 3.8%, operating profit up 2%, ordinary profit another 3.3%, estimated hardware to 15.5m (from 15, they are already at 13.75m for the year), and software to 190m units from 185m (already at 163.95m).

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