Now, according to a listing on the G4F Localisation website, Professor Layton’s original outing is on its way to the Nintendo Switch. The webpage makes mention of an Italian, German and Spanish translation by Native Prime.
You couldn’t escape it. It was here, rife and potent. It ploughed a path through conventional gaming conversations from the casuals to the parents of gamers that had to put up with the noise, the screaming and the not going to bed because if you didn’t kill John with thirty-seven remote mines stuck to the toilet door in The Facility, well, what was the point of going on with life?
All anybody talked about was how good you were at the game or how you defeated three other people with ‘Slappers Only’ in The Archives. A random person would talk to you at the bus stop on the way to school, explaining how they ‘sniped’ their friend’s bonce as he peered his head out of one of the balconies in Complex.
Your mum, going about her normal day, tending to your every need whilst you festered on the floor in your School Uniform, complete with tie, blazer and a pair of worn-out Kickers in front of a gamma ray-soaked CRT television on a Sunday because that’s where you fell on Friday afternoon after school, would ask you if you have cleared Train on Double ‘Oh’ Agent yet , whilst politely asking you to stop shooting Robbie Coltrane and Sean Bean in the knees.
If you owned it, you played. If you didn’t own it, you played it at somebody’s else’s house. If you didn’t like it, you still played it. If you loved it but there was no space on the screen for you to inflict revenge or casual violence, then you waited. The planned, plotted. The wait was key to defeating Barry, who had taken your title as ‘Supreme Camper’ and wouldn’t abide by the bedroom or front room rules of multilayer etiquette.
If you had no one to play with and you had finished the game over and over, unlocking everything possible, you handed a controller to your Dad, Nan or the pet Terrapin. It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered now. This was all that mattered. It decided who made dinner. Who made the tea. Who goes to the shop for snacks. Who bought the beer. Who chose the music. Who chose the next level and weapon layout, cheats and loudness of the TV. It was all. It was everywhere. It was relentless, unforgiving, like a cult or some crazy equivalent of a modern-day social media trend or viral pandemic; try as you might, you couldn’t escape it.
It was, of course, GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64 – and quite frankly if it didn’t exist, the N64 in the UK would have struggled for credibility and justification of ownership form the off. While Super Mario 64 was the console’s killer app in the eyes of many, just as many other players picked up the system to play this groundbreakingly brilliant FPS.
To find out what it was like to work on such a seminal piece of gaming history, we spoke to David Doak, once of Rare Ltd. You may remember him as the helpful scientist who gave you the decoder to open the bottling room door, but in real life it was the writer for the N64 mega-hit, and he still remembers what it was like to see all of that hard work pay off in the shape of one of the generation’s most lauded titles.
Nintendo Life: Do you remember the exact moment when the game was released? Was there apprehension between the team, including yourself?
David Doak: Things were quite different back then because there was a significant lag – a month, perhaps – between ‘going gold’ and commercial retail release, due to the time required for cartridge manufacture and distribution. Also there were a number of master versions – firstly US/NTSC, then JAP and EUR/PAL, which were spread out over the late summer of 1997. The time in the lead up to getting ‘gold master approval’ for the initial US/NTSC was very fraught. It was our first big ‘game is done!’ moment – so lots of excitement about finally getting there, but also a lot of trepidation. The initial cartridge run was probably less than 100,000 units (I’m guessing) – it wouldn’t have been great to have left some game-breaking bug in there!
I don’t have clear memories of the exact public retail release date. There was definitely a fair amount of apprehension because we really had no idea how well it would be received. By way of context, we knew that the game had been very popular in testing – particularly after feedback from NoA / Treehouse – and with the other teams at Rare (there was even an internal trade in illicit multiplayer ROMs), but the public showing at E3 1997 hadn’t set the world on fire. The critical feedback was also not immediate – again, there was a lag, certainly for print reviews, and online was still relatively niche.
In 1997 at Rare, there was one machine with direct internet access (in a locked room!) and I would regularly check to see if reviews had come out, and I particularly remember reading IGN’s very positive review by Doug Perry. Later, the UK print review in EDGE magazine was another big sigh of relief, and something that mattered a lot to us on the team because it was so respected.
Do you ever find yourself in a situation where somebody is talking about the game, but has no idea you were involved in its creation?
It’s not that unusual, particularly if I’ve just got into a casual discussion about games with someone I’ve met in a different context. It’s almost always fun though, because the game is so well-liked and fondly remembered that if I reveal I was involved then it generally makes people happy. Mind you, these days they tend to say, “Not played it myself but my Dad/Mum really liked it.” I haven’t gotten to grandparents quite yet!
At any point, did you and the team at Rare think, “Wow, this is it, we’ve achieved to do what we set out to do?”
Certainly not at the time. We were incredibly self-critical and my enduring memory is that we were just relieved to finally have finished making the game. All we could see were the bad things; the compromises and cuts which had been necessary to get the thing finished. In my experience of game dev, that is not unusual; nobody ever thinks their game is properly finished.
We’ve always had visions that ideas for other games – including Perfect Dark – were actually decided with Power Weapons in Facility? Please tell us this is true…
I can’t recall ever using the game for competitive arbitration or decision making. I like the idea though! I think my FPS skills have long since peaked, but I do have some deep reptilian GoldenEye/N64 controller muscle memory instincts…
The impact of the game was clearly felt back then as it still is today; do you still become excited by the prospect of people remembering the game fondly after all this time?
As I get older it is an increasingly amazing thing to see impactful the game was, and continues to be. It is such a great privilege to have been part of something which has clearly brought an enormous amount of joy to many, many people. I’ve spoken a few times about this – it is particularly touching to have ‘random’ people thank me for contributing positively to their childhood memories.
I think it is harder for individual games to have such a deep and lasting impact these days, simply because there are so many of them. I also think that “couch multiplayer”, with everyone bunched up together for a good session of friendly banter and shared fun, is one of the pinnacles of video gaming – GoldenEye was undoubtedly a pioneer and an epitome of that. Sadly, much of the social joyfulness of that kind of multiplayer experience is often now lost in online anonymity and toxicity.
Lastly, do people ever tell you “Time to leave, Dr Doak”?
Not so much, more often it is, “I’m really sorry – I must have shot you so many times.” – which is always sweet because then I get to forgive them!
As we move forward into the newer, more costly ways of playing multiplayer online with people halfway across the world, it’s important to remember that GoldenEye certainly didn’t invent ‘in your house multiplayer’ but it did exactly what David says – “couched multiplayer, with everyone bunched up together for a good session of friendly banter and shared fun” – and outside of Switch, that’s arguably missing in today’s gaming community. We’re proud to say we were part of the ‘couched’ movement, and the memories it created whilst blowing our best friend up whilst he spun around aimlessly in The Facility toilet. Those days of gaming are almost certainly gone, replaced by heavily-marketed, expensive ways of upgrading your experience to play someone online you’ll never ever meet.
Sony has revealed it will be hosting a series of live broadcasts, with the first one kicking off on 25th March.
These ‘State of Play’ showcases intend to provide updates and announcements from the world of PlayStation. Here’s a bit about what to expect, direct from the PR:
State of Play will give you updates and announcements from the world of PlayStation. Our first episode will showcase upcoming PS4 and PS VR software, including new trailers, new game announcements and new gameplay footage.
As you can probably imagine, people have had an absolute field day on social media with this announcement. Most comments appear to be poking fun at PlayStation for seemingly copying Nintendo’s Direct presentations.
Even our colleagues over at Push Square seem to agree the Japanese entertainment giant has taken a page out of Nintendo’s book. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time Sony PlayStation has shamelessly copied Nintendo.
What do you think about Sony building hype with its own live broadcasts? Are you surprised it didn’t happen sooner? Share your thoughts below.
Going by previous games in the series, I doubt it’ll be the most taxing game, so I might try upping the adrenaline levels with a little Rocket League. I fired it up for the first time in ages last weekend and it looks an awful lot sharper than it did when the game launched. God bless patches, eh? So, when I’m not waddling around a cardboard diorama as T. Yoshisaur Muchakoopas, you’ll likely find me chasing a big ball in my DeLorean. Magic.
Austin Voigt, contributing writer
To be quite honest, after seeing the trailers for the new Labo VR kits, I think I’m going to go try to finish up the rest of the Nintendo Labo Toy-Cons that have just been sitting in the box collecting dust. I never actually finished building all of the kits I bought the first time around, and now the completionist in me is feeling compelled to do so. Also, I’ve been on a bit of a building kick lately with LEGO and whatnot, so although the Toy-Con software isn’t entertaining beyond a couple of minutes’ worth of gameplay, I do get a kick out of the construction process.
Dom Reseigh-Lincoln, reviewer
This weekend is going to be a busy one for the ol’ Nintendo Switch. I’ll be taking Unravel Two for a co-operative spin to see if this charming platformer can really work on handheld hardware. I’ll also be shouting “I object!” and pointing my finger with riotous indignation while playing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy. I’ll also be getting my freeform adventure on in the intriguing first-person promise of Windscape. Look out for reviews of all three next week on Nintendo Life.
Liam Doolan, news reporter
After the Nindie Direct earlier this week, this weekend I’ve decided to spend my time playing Crypt of the NecroDancer (for obvious reasons). Admittedly it’s a game I’ve purchased on multiple platforms, but somehow never got around to playing. So for the next few days, that’s my main goal. I’m also eager to try out Blaster Master Zero 2. It was probably my third favourite announcement of the recent presentation, right behind Cadence of Hyrule and Cuphead. Last of all, I intend to return to Wargroove. As much as I adore this game, I always feel I need more time to play it and this weekend will probably be no different even after I’ve spent multiple hours on it.
Gonçalo Lopes, contributing writer
WARNING: A huge import package is approaching fast! This weekend will be spent revising RXN -Raijin-, World of Final Fantasy Maxima plus premiering Zoids Wild: King of Blast, Girls und Panzer: Dream Tank Match DX and, last but not least, Darius Cozmic Collection. All games in their physical plastic glory. Whenever Zuntata is blasting from my sound system you know that always equals a good time. Still no excuse to skip some Super Smash Bros. Ultimate action of course.
My game of the week is Blaster Master Zero 2. Inti Creates has this neo-retro formula down to a tee so having this out-of-nowhere halfway into a Nindies Direct was the Switch high point for me this past week.
Which games are you playing this weekend? (206 votes)
The Sega AGES line has taken ages to get up and running here in the west. Despite this, it has managed to develop into a quality library of retro re-releases with some subtle quality of life improvements to enhance the overall experience.
While we wait for the likes of Virtua Racer to arrive, Sega has now confirmed it’s releasing two games next week in North America and Europe on 28th March. These games are Alex Kiddin Miracle World and Gain Ground, which were both released some time ago in Japan. Here’s the official confirmation:
Have you been waiting for these two releases? What do you think of the Sega AGES collection so far? Tell us down below.
While Nintendo is known for making gaming as accessible as possible to the masses, a number of indie developers have made a name for themselves on the Switch by providing absolutely ruthless experiences. Cuphead by StudioMDHR will be no different. This game is already known as a punishing run and gun 2D platformer and it’s now been reiterated the critically-acclaimed title will be released in the same state on the hybrid platform.
In a recent interview with Kotaku at Nintendo’s 2019 GDC indie event, Cuphead’s co-director Jared Moldenhauer said the studio wasn’t about to make the notoriously difficult game any easier and wants the next wave of players to experience it exactly how it was intended:
“Some people wondered if we were going to tweak the balance or really adjust things, and I don’t see that as being fair…We wanted to let the next wave of gamers experience it exactly how we intended to make it.”
Even though the game includes a simple mode, it doesn’t provide the full experience and cuts a lot of content. As Moldenhauer notes, “the end result, where people are a little upset that you can’t beat the game” pays respect to a bygone era of gaming.
Are you glad to hear the difficulty of Cuphead won’t be watered down on the Switch? Are you the type of player who enjoys overly challenging video games? Tell us down in the comments.
It’s a common trend for developers of upcoming releases to announce downloadable content ahead of time nowadays and NetherRealm Studios is no different. The first of six DLC fighters coming to Mortal Kombat 11 in the Kombat Pack is Shang Tsung. Interestingly, the character is voiced by the Japanese-American actor, martial artist and stuntman Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, who starred as this same character in the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie.
In addition to this, Noob Saibot has also been revealed in an official gameplay trailer. The character originally debuted as a secret fighter in the second Mortal Kombat game and became playable in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.
How are you finding all of these Mortal Kombat updates? Are you looking forward to the game’s launch next month? Tell us below.
Now that the team behind the game has comes to terms with this, the release date has been confirmed. The Switch eShop version launches worldwide on 26th March (aka. next week). You can pre-order a standard copy of the game for $19.99 or Digital Collector’s Edition for $39.99 right now. Both versions include the bonus V2 Green Ranger skin and a digital artbook. The Collector’s Edition also contains the Season One Pass (including three new characters, their arcade story, and warrior skin), an exclusive Lord Drakkon Evo II fighter and a selection of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Pink Ranger character skins.
If you haven’t already seen it, here’s the latest game trailer, revealing the full character roster:
Watch the gameplay reveal of the full starting roster. See the signature attacks from Goldar, Ranger Slayer, Mastodon Sentry, Kat, Magna Defender, Gia, Jason, Tommy and Lord Drakkon. Check out the game’s real-time assist takeover mechanics, dynamic defense, juggle combos, and Megazord come back system in action.
Will you be joining the fight on 26th March? Tell us down below.
Motion Twin’s Dead Cells didn’t have the best launch on the Switch eShop. In fact, when it arrived, the French-based developer had to acknowledge frame-drops and performance issues with a public apology. It spent the next six months reworking the game engine, to bump the framerate up to 60fps and since then, it’s been recognised as one of the best-selling indie games on Nintendo’s hybrid platform.
During a recent panel at the 2019 Game Developers Conference, the team behind Dead Cells went to the extent of revealing the overall sales for the roguelike action-platformer. The game has now sold more than one million units. Although the PC makes up 60 percent of sales, it admittedly had a headstart due to the early access launch. The console market has also been “a big part of” the game’s success, “especially the Switch” sales, according to Motion Twin’s game designer, Sébastien Bénard.
As for what’s next? Players can look forward to a ‘huge‘ and free DLC update arriving this Spring, which will add a ‘proper conclusion’ to the game’s story. This downloadable content will also be playable at PAX East next week.
Do you own Dead Cells on the Switch? Glad to hear it’s selling so well? Tell us down below.
If you love Super Mario World anywhere near as much as we do, you’re going to love this 3D model based on the game’s overworld, too.
Shared on Twitter by Matt Brailsford, this gorgeous little creation features all of the key areas seen on the game’s famous map. Everything from the little world numbers, the Yellow Switch Palace, and all the familiar scenery is correct and present, and it looks absolutely adorable. Take a look.
There are some more pics, too:
Go ahead and tell us you wouldn’t want of these making your home look wonderful in the comments. We dare you…