Coming from the initial announcement, Balan Wonderworld is now scheduled to release on March 26, 2021 and will be playable on PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Balan Wonderworld is the all-new action-platformer from the creators of Sonic the Hedgehog Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima and is their first collaboration in 20 years.
Check out the announcement trailer below, which highlights the coop multiplayer feature of the game:
In Balan Wonderworld, players will get to explore the fantastical land of Wonderworld, where they’ll be guided by an enigmatic maestro named Balan, who will help players restore balance to the world by clearing Wonderworld of Negati, physical manifestations of worry and other negative emotions.
Players can jump, climb, fly, smash, and more, as they explore a multitude of unique areas, collecting over 80 unique costumes to assist on the journey. Each costume bestows its own special power, from the Pumpkin Puncher outfit that lets players smash through enemies or obstacles blocking pathways to the Air Cat costume that allows players to walk in mid-air for a certain amount of time.
Balan Wonderworld is scheduled to release on March 26, 2021 across all major platforms.
From the makers of Bastion and Transistor, Supergiant Games, comes Hades, and it will be available for the Nintendo Switch Later today. Surprise!
Check out the overview of the game from its Steam page:
Hades is a god-like rogue-like dungeon crawler that combines the best aspects of Supergiant’s critically acclaimed titles, including the fast-paced action of Bastion, the rich atmosphere and depth of Transistor, and the character-driven storytelling of Pyre.
As the immortal Prince of the Underworld, you’ll wield the powers and mythic weapons of Olympus to break free from the clutches of the god of the dead himself, while growing stronger and unraveling more of the story with each unique escape attempt.
The Olympians have your back! Meet Zeus, Athena, Poseidon, and many more, and choose from their dozens of powerful Boons that enhance your abilities. There are thousands of viable character builds to discover as you go.
Hades originally launched on Steam as an early access title since 2018, but if you’re transferring to the Switch from your original save progress, bad news as it was confirmed that there won’t be cross-save benefits.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps has been announced for the Nintendo Switch and will be available later today in the Nintendo eShop. This follows the initial game, Ori and the Blind Forest, making both games in the series now available for the Switch.
A Collectors Edition was also revealed, which includes both games in the series, Ori and the Will of the Wisps and Ori and the Blind Forest, in a fantastic package with multiple inclusions. Pre-orders are now live on the iam8bit website.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is available later today via the Nintendo eShop.
During the Nintendo Direct Mini, a brand new Monster Hunter title was announced in the form of Monster Hunter Rise, coming to the Switch and will be released on March 26, 2021.
A second title called Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin will also make its way to the Switch in the Summer of 2021.
Check out the announcement trailers below:
Rise, as explained by Producer Ryozo Tsujimoto, refers to the use of verticality in the game, which hunters will be using quite a lot in this game, as enabled by a new item called the Wirebug. The Wirebug will allow for various new actions that is only available because of the item.
There will be a new dog companion named Palamute which will be assisting you throughout battles as well as act as a transport you can ride on without a decrease in stamina.
The Monster Hunter Rise Deluxe Edition was also announced, which will give you a number of layered armor sets and gestures. Pre-orders will also get you bonus items like a golden retriever costume for your Palamute and a forest cat costume for your Palico.
Another announcement was the availability of Monster Hunter Amiibos, which will be available when the game launches next year. Using these Amiibos will give you a special layered armor in the game.
Additionally, Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is the latest RPG title in the series. Both games will have compatibility benefits with each other, so it will do one well to play both games.
You can also check out the full Monster Hunter Direct below for more details about both games:
A Portugese retailer seems to have listed a Mass Effect Trilogy coming out for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch but has since been taken down. Thankfully, the Internet (and Nibel) is here to the rescue to get the screenshots.
No other details have been given, but the rumor has not died down at all ever since the first report on it a couple of months back by Venture Beat’s Jeff Grubb, saying that the Switch Version would follow shortly afterwards.
Following the initial reveal back in July, Developers Psyonix have announced that Rocket League will be going free-to-play on September 23 across all platforms like the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
The official announcement highlights a string of updates that start on September 16 and when it fully transitions to free-to-play, PS4 and Nintendo Switch owners will not need a subscription to PS Plus or Nintendo Switch Online to play the game.
The free-to-play update will include cross-platform progression along with revamping and improving various features like Tournaments and Challenges.
Existing players and anyone who will purchase the title before going free-to-play will be awarded with ‘Legacy’ status, which will include the following:
All Rocket League-branded DLC released before free to play
“Est. 20XX” title that displays the first year you played Rocket League
200+ Common items upgraded to “Legacy” quality
Golden Cosmos Boost
Huntress Player Banner
September 23 also marks the date when Rocket League will make its way to the Epic Games Store and in celebration, you’ll receive a $10 Epic Games Store coupon along with 2 in-game items if you add the game to your library between September 23 until October 23.
Nintendo has made a habit of making announcements from out of nowhere but at least this time around, they’ve given a one day notice as a Nintendo Direct Mini will be happening tomorrow at 7AM Pacific (10PM Philippines).
From an announcement on their Social Media channels, the partner showcase will provide information on “Nintendo Switch titles exclusively from our publishing partners.”, so it should be a presentation to possibly look out for.
Bandai Namco has announced that the new character will join the current Jump Force roster but no other details like his abilities have been given, although based on the screenshots it is quite certain that he’ll be able to wield his trademark fiery Dragon of the Darkness Flame.
Hiei is the third character in Character Pass 2, which already includes Shoto Todoroki from My Hero Academia and Meruem from Hunter X Hunter.
Jump Forceis available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings!
“Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above.
“Wait for it…” means that the game probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point, we suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10.
“Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future, unless you want to intentionally hurt yourself. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.
Release Date: September 4, 2020
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Similar Games: NBA 2K Series
Price: Estimated SRP PHP3,190
Annual games like NBA2K are inexplicably tough to review. On one hand, it remains the best basketball sim game out there, no question about it. On the other hand, it’s still the (same) best basketball sim game out there. It may sound weird, but hear me out.
The NBA 2K experience offers the most solid basketball experience year in year out. They look great, sound great, and most importantly, play great. The player models are near accurate, the detail in the shoes will please sneakerheads, and even the court and ring announcers add to the overall great experience of the game.
NBA2K has come a long way from its humble roots, and every year the step up in production and marketing is just amazing. On these merits alone, the game is considered a must buy because basketball fans are getting the closest thing they can get to their favorite sport, while newcomers can expose themselves to the best game that the genre has to offer.
But even with the change in tag line or cover athlete, it’s really just the same game over again, which is both a good and bad thing.
What more can you add to an already solid base? The sport does not drastically change per season except for new faces in each roster. As developers, what exactly do you do? What do you work on to actually have something of significance every year?
The Long Shadow
To partly answer the question, one thing you spice up is MyCareer.
I absolutely loved the MyCareer storyline back in 2K20. I think many would agree that the 2K20 iteration was one of the better ones in recent years. The performances, the writing, the actors… everything about made it a joy to play, and being produced by LeBron James’ SpringHill Entertainment, you can really see the step up in quality from previous years.
As someone who loves sneakers, it had a lot of wow moments for me seeing all the heat the characters were wearing, even featuring Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear of God line among others.
MyCareer this year tells the story of Junior, who is the son of a well-known and loved basketball player trying to carve out his own path to greatness. The premise showed promise, but the execution was rather disappointing. In a way, 2K21 was trying to get out of the shadow of a great storyline that was 2K20, but unlike Junior making his way to the NBA, this falls short of doing just that.
It had all the ingredients of a W – a great cast headlined by Jesse Williams and Dijmon Hounsou, officially licensed Collegiate programs like the UCLA Bruins and Florida Gators, even celebrity appearances by cover athletes Damian Lillard and Zion Williamson.
Sadly, it did little to get me attached to Junior. I felt no connection or tug, and it didn’t help that some of the writing was a bit cringey. There’s even a simple love story shoved in there where they get into a fight in their dorm and you’re given a choice to walk out or make amends. It all feels out of place and with everything considered, you’ve got a MyCareer storyline you’d probably like to skip just get to the NBA Draft.
And you know what? The game actually gives you that option.
It’s also a bit weird that draft team, the Boston Celtics in my case (the Lakers and Warriors weren’t interested), get the top 2 picks in the draft, somehow teaming me up with the number 1 pick, Hendrixx Cobb. NBA teams would kill for the number 1 AND 2 pick but somehow, a team I chose to work out with, just gets both picks. For a game that prides itself in realism and its sim elements, this felt a little whack.
Shot Meter Fiasco
One of the biggest updates to 2K21 was the addition of a Shot Meter, which 2K promised to be second nature after a few runs down the court.
I turned it off.
Before you toss the git gud memes this way, know that within the first few days of releasing the game, even Damian Lillard was shooting bricks, prompting a hotfix from the developers. While that’s not indicative of how tough the new shot aiming system works, you know there’s something off when your cover athlete complains about it.
Instead of your shot being timing based, once you pull down on your right analog stick, a shot meter will appear and you’ll have to slightly flick the stick again left or right to “aim” it. As you can imagine, it would take getting used to because it feels very unnatural to perform a second motion after pulling down on the stick, adding an unnecessary layer of difficulty that veterans of the game may want to try out but will probably disregard. At some point, even shooters like Curry will start missing shots if you’re even slightly off center (slightly early or slightly late release), but while that’s supposed to happen in reality, it can be unforgiving in this context.
I understand that some people may like it, even love it, but in my experience, I went back to what I was familiar with and stuck with it. I’m pretty sure many of you will too. 2K have recently pushed a fix and will let players choose which system to use as soon as they log in.
What’s great though is that the game gives you the option to go back to how it was last year, which could be what most players would default to just because of familiarity. You can also choose to only apply the meter to shots, layups or both. In case you hate both the shot aiming and the timing system, you can opt to use the real shooting percentages of the players.
VC, in-game currency, can be earned to use on various things – player customization items, stat points, and much more. Playing through MyCareer, the development of your player will depend on your performance, as well as the amount of VC you get. Slog your way to the draft and your salary per game will give you 400 500-ish, being a lottery pick will obviously get you more. Each action you do during the game is also rewarded with VC, so it literally pays to actually do good in games. There are various streams of VC in the game but somehow, it doesn’t feel enough. Of course, it feels the same every year, as improving your character will take a while to get him to superstar levels, but given that you earn anywhere from 600-1000 or a bit more per game and at a certain point stat upgrades will cost 1000 per tick, it’s going to take a long time and many, many minutes spent.
That’s where the Mamba Forever Edition of the game comes in, which gives you a huge stash of VC to kickstart your career. Microtransactions in the game are generally negligible if you don’t mind the grind, but the amount of things to spend VC on is off the charts – haircuts, kicks, stat points, and so on. Even across game modes. It gets overwhelming, which makes it hard to feel that you actually make progress after a game. Again, I know its been mostly the same for the past few years, but its definitely still a consideration this year.
Badges also make a return this year, which has a simplified progression system compared to previous years. Depending on your actions on court, you’ll be accumulating points that will allow you to unlock badge slots that lets you equip a number of improvements to your skill set. My player this year was a power forward who specialized in rebounds defense, so as I played through games and gathered rebounds and blocks, my Defense and Rebound badge slots were unlocked the fastest. I was able to equip badges that would let me box out my defender more effectively and even give me an easier time to worm my way through box outs on me. There’s quite the selection, and the nice thing about this is that you definitely feel the impact in the game, which makes the badge system one of the better implemented systems in the series.
Throughout the games in MyCareer, I’ve noticed that the AI can be a bit wonky. Some games, they can be perfect teammates, passing the ball during the proper time, taking good shots, moving the ball around. Some games, they can be complete rookies. One thing I particularly hate is that they milk the clock a lot, even when we’re down by a couple of points in the winding seconds of the ball game.
Other instances when the AI felt really inconsistent was when I was setting up screens for my point guard. As a Power Forward, I specialize in pick and rolls and post moves and in most games, the AI never adapts to certain exploits. Even in higher difficulties, this would allow the defender to switch during the screen, giving my player a mismatch over the opposing point guard for an easy 2 points. Sometimes? They NEVER switch.
The AI in 2K21 feels more frustrating rather than difficult.
Apart from MyCareer and a neighborhood location update that takes you to the beach, there isn’t anything of note for the other modes, at least not big enough to consider talking about this year. The addition of the WNBA also feels like an afterthought, placing them there but not really giving them the avenue to shine.
One glaring thing that 2K has overlooked here is that MyCareer progress won’t have cross-progression capability. 2K has announced that MyTeam progress will carry over, but have made no such statements to MyCareer and your player. This is rather mind-boggling since MyCareer is one of the most played modes in the game and if you’ve had the misfortune of already spending on microtransactions, then you’re kind of on the short end of the stick here since you’ll have to do all of that again come the next-gen consoles.
All of this considered, NBA 2K21 is still the best basketball sim game out there but it seems that the years of it being uncontested has made it look a bit stale, with minor updates that don’t shake up the game enough to merit a full priced release.
What we liked:
Solid gameplay and mechanics
Best basketball game out there
NBA Player models are more accurate than ever
Tons of ways to customize the look and moves of your player
What we didn’t like:
MyCareer storyline is not as good as the previous year
Shot Aiming mechanic is tough to get the hang of
VC distribution feels a bit too stingy
At the end of the day, NBA2K21 is more of the same, similar to its brothers the year before and before and before. MyCareer is usually the one big differentiator every year but the lackluster storyline could not stand up to the previous iteration from 2K20.
Don’t get us wrong, the NBA2K series is the best basketball sim game out there. It is a great game for fans of the sport and even for newbies who want to try it out. With solid basketball physics and mechanics, there isn’t any game out there that can hold a candle to the series. That said, for vets who are on the fence about picking up a full priced game only to find mostly roster changes, a lackluster MyCareer storyline, and a couple of tweaks here and there, 2K21 could be a tough sell.
NBA2K21 was reviewed on a PlayStation 4 Pro via a review code provided by the publishers.
Ubisoft has just announced nine new tracks that people can dance to in Just Dance 2021, including the likes of ‘Blinding Lights’ by the Weeknd and ‘Without Me’ by Eminem.
Coming from their initial song list that saw ‘All the good girls go to hell’ by Billie Eilish and ‘Feel Special’ by Twice, Just Dance 2021 is bringing in more tracks to liven up the mood.
These songs include:
Blinding Lights by the Weeknd
Without Me by Eminem
Till the World Ends by the Girly Team
The Weekend by Michael Gray
Samba de Janeiro by Ultraclub 90
Runaway (U & I) by Galantis
Bailando by Paradisio ft. Dj Patrick Samoy
Dibby Dibby Sound by DJ Fresh & Jay Fay ft. Ms Dynamite
Boy You Can Keep It by Alex Newell
Players with a Just Dance Unlimited subscription or an active trial period can try out ‘Without Me’ by Eminem via Just Dance 2020 for a week.
The company also has just launched Season 4 of Just Dance 2020, It’s Showtime. The new season reveals a world inspired by Broadway and musicals. It’s Showtime will debut two events: The Party which happens until September 24 and The Gala which runs from October 15 – November 5. The event are available for all Just Dance 2020 owners on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One devices, and PlayStation 4.
Just Dance 2021 will be released on November 12, 2020 for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, as well as Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.
The 2015 indie survival horror game Kholat is now headed to the Nintendo Switch in a limited physical release of only 3,800 copies, which is available to pre-order from the Red Art Games website for $35 (around PHP1,600).
Billed as “the most terrifying journey of your life”, Switch owners can now experience this horror game created by Polish indie developer IMGN.PRO and narrated by famous British actor Sean Bean.
Kholat is an exploration adventure game with elements of horror inspired by the event known as Dyatlov Pass Incident. The player will plunge directly into the boundless scenery of the inhospitable Ural Mountains with the task of finding out what really happened. Controlling the main character you trace the steps of a group of nine Russian college students who went missing in February 1959 on Kholat Syakhl.
The game is told through a first-person horror adventure framework and presents an atmospheric storyline of intrigue and mystery. With standard survival equipment including map, compass and flashlight, the player must balance their health and well being with the challenges that unfold.
Kholat is available now for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
The Day One Edition of the game will give players access to the Nomes’ Attic, an exclusive DLC for Little Nightmares II as well as a mini-soundtrack, composed by Tobias Lilja.
Players who purchase Day One Edition of the game in Southeast Asia will also receive the Mokujin Mask for Mono, inspired from the popular character from Tekken. Digital pre-orders will be available at a later date.
Little Nightmares II is scheduled to release on February 10, 2021 for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, February 11, 2021 for the Xbox One and PC. Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X versions will arrive later in 2021, with a free upgrade for owners of the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One version.
A huge indie gem back in the day, Ubisoft is reviving Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game Complete Edition (what a mouthful) in time for its 10th anniversary and is scheduled to release during the Holiday of this year.
As the name suggests, this release will include all of the DLC add-ons but will release through digital means only.
An overview of the game reads as follows:
Scott Pilgrim is back! Team up with friends to battle your way through waves of tough enemies to fight for love. Share health and coins, compete in mini-games like Dodgeball, and challenge each other to an epic-last-one-standing duel. The Complete Edition includes the “Knives Chau” and “Wallace Wells” downloadable content.
Rediscover the beloved 2D arcade-style beat’em up inspired by the iconic comic book series and movie Scott Pilgrim vs. The World in this Complete Edition! Play as your favorite characters—Scott Pilgrim, Ramona Flowers, Knives Chau, Stephen Stills, and more. Team up with three of your friends as you battle your way through waves of tough enemies to defeat the League of Evil Exes!
Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game Complete Edition will release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC later this year and will retail for $14.99 (around PHP750).
What was previously titled as Gods & Monsters is now Immortals Fenyx Rising, the latest from Ubisoft that is scheduled to release on December 3, 2020.
Formally announced during Ubisoft Forward, Immortals Fenyx Rising is a third-person open world action adventure game that could probably be described as a cross between God of War and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Immortals: Fenyx Rising is a fresh and witty take on the open world action adventure genre, featuring dynamic action, combat and stories inspired by Greek mythology. Roam freely across a beautifully stylized world and use extraordinary abilities gifted by the gods against fearsome mythological monsters. Treacherous trials, heroic feats and the very underworld itself await your bravery.
Wield the Power of Gods – The gods of Olympus have blessed you with gifts: the wings of Daidalos, the sword of Achilles, the bow of Odysseus, and more, as well as legendary powers that will help turn the tides of battle. Use them to fight mythical monsters, solve ancient puzzles and explore the vast open world.
Confront Mythological Enemies – Face off against legendary beasts like Cyclops, Medusa, or Minotaur, and confront corrupted heroes such as Achilles. Take them on in fast-paced aerial and melee combat, combining your god-given abilities and weapons.
Explore a Stylized Open World – Discover a beautifully rendered and vibrant fantasy world. Traverse, climb or explore by air across seven unique regions, each inspired by the gods.
Overcome Heroic Trials – Use your wit and special abilities to solve challenging puzzles and mind-bending vaults or partake in high-strategy boss battles to increase your power and upgrade your skills.
Build Your Legend – Customize your character’s appearance and discover new armor and gear inspired by Greek mythology. Gather materials across the world to craft powerful items and upgrade your gear in your quest to fulfill your destiny.
A series of trailers accompanies the announcement, giving players an explainer and overview of the gameplay:
Immortals Fenyx Rising is scheduled to release on December 3, 2020 for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, Stadia, and PC.
A Bloomberg report says that Nintendo is boosting production by another 20%, raising the total target of Switch units to be produced to 30 million by the end of the fiscal year from a previous target of 25 million, owing it all to the extremely high demand for Switch units. Thanks to titles like Animal Crossing and Mario Kart 8, the Switch is seeing a continued wave of interest.
While that’s indeed good news for potential Switch-ers, a segment in the report offers something particularly interesting, and it may hint at what Nintendo has in store for next year.
It seems that Nintendo may be gearing up for that rumored updated model that’s been said to make its debut as early as Q1 of 2021. The report mentions that “Several outside game developers, speaking anonymously as the issue is private, said that Nintendo has asked them to make their games 4K-ready, suggesting a resolution upgrade is on its way.“
This goes back to a previous Bloomberg report as well, stating that there may indeed be a new Switch model on the way. In that report, it was quoted that “The specifications of the new machine have yet to be finalized, though the Kyoto-based company has looked into including more computing power and 4K high-definition graphics.”
4K on a portable device would be quite a challenge, we would assume. The power needed to do that, while offering decent battery life and a cooling system that can handle everything would probably be the toughest hurdles to overcome, but technology has advanced lot over the past couple of years so anything could indeed be possible.
It sounds like an interesting upgrade nonetheless, and given Nintendo’s history of putting out a new system variant a few years into the life cycle, this shouldn’t sound too surprising. At the moment, it’s probably just a matter of when.