This Week in Games
Seeing S.T.A.R.S.

by Heidi Kemps,

Can you believe it's December already? Jeez, where did the year go? Hopefully you all successfully avoided brick and mortar retail hell last weekend. I stayed here at home over the Black Cyber weekend and finished painting a resin kit. (Though I may have splurged a little on some discount Nintendo eShop cards online.)

Anyhow, mass consumerism aside, I hope you all had a lovely holiday weekend! There's a decent amount of gaming news this week, so let's jump right into those icy-cold December headlines!

SUPER MARIO MAKER 2 GETS ITS FIRST MAJOR UPDATE

Super Mario Maker 2 is one of many massive global hits on the Switch this year. It's been on the charts worldwide since its debut, and is continuing to sell like hotcakes in Japan -- along with the console itself – for the past six months. Nintendo could just rest on their laurels with this one, as the game's already packed with content as-is and still selling, but nope! They're giving us the first big new content update for the game, for free, and it's a doozy!

Starting today, you'll be able to drop Spike, Pokey, and frozen coins into your courses, and also make Mario careen around 3D world courses like he was a famous Sega rival. But that's small potatoes compared to the big fanservice addition: THE MASTER SWORD!

Pick up the Sword and Mario transforms into the Hero of Hyrule, replicating the feel of those weird 2D sidescrolling sequences from the original Zelda and the Gameboy games. You can only place this item in original Super Mario Bros. mode, however, so don't get excited thinking you can transform Mario 3 into Zelda II. (Zelda II is great, by the way.)

The new speedrun mode is cute too, though if you're bringing in Ninjis then I need to ask where is my Super Mario Bros 2 mode Nintendo

Ahem! So yeah, Zelda in Mario, that's neat! It makes me wonder if the reason Amiibo support was removed was so that they could bring in guest characters with unique gameplay like this. I could see Kirby making an appearance and managing to fit in well… hmmm…..

AN OLD NEMESIS RETURNS

So who here's excited for The Game Awards next week?

Yeah, same. The only thing we watch for is the announcements, and even most of those are kinda bland. At least we got Joker in Smash last year, right?

Why am I bringing The Game Awards up now? Well, remember how, back when a bunch of big Street Fighter V announcements leaked days before EVO, I talked about how CAPCOM just has the absolute worst track record when it comes to announcement leaks? Guess what, it happened again, and it was probably their big Game Awards reveal.

But at least we are now certain that a remake of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is in the cards! In my opinion, RE3 is the classic RE that most needed a makeover: it's never remembered quite as fondly as the original or RE2. The fact that it was a spinoff that was then repurposed as a main-series game probably has something to do with it.

Anyhow, we don't have much to go on for the RE3 Remake (Suggestion: annoy your friends online by insisting on calling it the R3make) save for the bit of info that leaked out through the PS Store, which is… basically just the cover. But there's a lot to speculate on here, like… whoa, what happened to Carlos's hair?

Anyway. R3make. It's happening. We'll probably see it next week. Excite!

Also, if I may, a plug: my pal Alex Aniel is the biggest Resident Evil fan I know, and he's crowdfunding a book about the series that includes a lot of juicy, never-before-told details and stories from the devs themselves. If you're interested in Resident Evil history, you should consider tossing him a few bucks!

PERSONA 5 ROYAL HAS A WESTERN RELEASE DATE, DISPLAYS ACROSS THE USA

If you would have told me a decade ago that Persona would be popular enough in the West to support big, bold simultaneous advertising events at major cities across the USA, I would have told you that you were nuts. Well, it's 2019, and, uh…

Yeah, that's a huge Persona 5 Royal release date announcement projected on the side of the Hotel Miyako in Los Angeles's Japantown. There's more where that came from, too:

New York!

Chicago! (Well, not in Chicago proper, but Chicagoland. You Midwest folks know what I'm talking about.)

San Francisco!

Alas, it was only those 4 cities. Kinda surprised there wasn't anything in Texas. Or Las Vegas! I mean, jeez, P5 starts off in a casino... It would have been so appropriate for Sin City! Depending on where you were, you may have also had an opportunity to meet the English voice actors and staff. Pretty neat... if you lived in those cities.

Anyhow, Persona 5 Royal's English-language release date is set for March 31st. That's awfully bold, given that the FF7 Remake hits just a few weeks earlier. (Jeez, Q1 2020 is already looking crazy for releases, isn't it?) I'm sure Atlus will deliver the usual injections of teaser trailers every so often leading up to release, much like they did in Japan. Now, what's the word on the overseas release of Persona 5 Scramble…?

TINY SPECULATIVE NEWSBITS

Hey, there's a NieR 10th Anniversary website up now! Man, I love NieR. Here's hoping that this is a sign of Yoko Taro cooking up something new and delightful in that wonderfully deranged brain of his.

Also, uh… there is (was?) something about a remaster for PlatinumGames's and Sega's Vanquish on Microsoft's site. That's interesting! Vanquish is a good game so please buy it this time around. (And since we're thinking of underappreciated last-gen games, maybe a Binary Domain remaster could be in the cards, too?)

That should just about do it for this week! So, is anyone here besides me picking up SaGa Scarlet Grace this week? I can't help but satiate my curiosity about the latest entry in Square Enix's much-maligned SaGa franchise. (It's an acquired taste, but only the really brave will admit to liking Unlimited SaGa.) Also, what are your predictions for reveals at The Game Awards? I'm thinking a new Smash combatant and something from Platinum. Chat away with your thoughts in the forums below, and I'll see you next week – probably later than usual, due to The Game Awards being a thing. Laters!


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