Playtonic Games, the new independent studio formed by several former members of Rare, has released a new trailer for their upcoming Kickstarter-funded game, Yooka-Laylee, focusing on the various characters that will be appearing in the game. This includes major characters like the main antagonist Capital B and Trowzer the Snake (heh heh) who will teach you important techniques. The one that’s captured the most people’s attention, however, is a special guest character hailing from another crowdfunded game.
Shovel Knight, the titular hero from Yacht Club Games’ sidescrolling action game, will appear in Yooka-Laylee as an NPC. This isn’t the first time that the hero of shovelry has made a cameo in another game, as he is also making an appearance in SWDTech Games’ detective-based RPG Pixel Noir and will be a party member in Lab Zero’s RPG Indivisible. The game Shovel Knight had it’s own fair share of cameos with the Battletoads appearing exclusively in the Xbox One version of the game and Kratos from the God of War series in the Playstation 4 version.
Yooka-Laylee is being built as a revival of 3D platformers like Banjo-Kazooie that the team was famous for as a part of Rare. The Kickstarter campaign raised over £2,000,000 for the development of the game. It’s set to release on PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, Wii U, and Playstation 4 in early 2017.
If there’s one game developer that I’d say you can trust with a crowdfunding campaign, it would definitely be Lab Zero Games. While major industry veterans like Tim Schafer, American Mcgee, and Keiji Inafune have each had their fair share of missteps with crowdfunding, the people at Lab Zero know the importance of transparency with their funders and detailing exactly how much money they need for their goals and what that money will be going towards. Their DLC campaign for their first title, Skullgirls, remains one of the most well-executed crowdfunding campaigns for a video game that I’ve seen. They’ve once again taken to Indiegogo to help fund their next game, Indivisible, which they describe as a combination of Super Metroid and Valkyrie Profile with elements of roleplaying, platforming, and even some fighting-game elements. 505 Games is willing to put $2 million towards development of the game, but only if Lab Zero is able to raise $1.5 million with their campaign.
Indivisible tells the story of a young girl named Ajna who possesses the strange ability to absorb other people and call upon them for aid as Incarnations. These Incarnations act as your party members in combat and include such diverse characters as the Aztec-inspired athlete Tenoch, the reclusive shamaness Razmi, and the voodoo zombie Narssus. There will also be a number of cross-over characters from other indie games appearing as playable Incarnations, including Juan from Guacamelee, Zackasaurus from Super Time Force Ultra, The Drifter from Hyper Light Drifter, Lea from Curses ‘N Chaos, Calibretto from Battle Chasers, the titular Shovel Knight from the massively popular Shovel Knight, and evenAnnie from Lab Zero’s own Skullgirls. Each Incarnation will have their own storyline to explore throughout the game as sidequests.
Gameplay takes the form of an exploration-based platformer in the overworld and a fast-paced RPG in combat. Anja will acquire various weapons throughout her journey that can be used both in combat and to discover new paths. In battle, your party acts more like a single fighter rather than individuals as each will be controlled with their own face button and each will have abilities operating on cool-downs. This will allow you to chain abilities together into combos and deal serious damage to your opponents.
Initially, it didn’t look like Indivisible was going to reach its goal within its month-long campaign, but Indiegogo agreed to extend the campaign for an additional month. The campaign is now sitting at $1,047,385 with 15 days to go. The game is planned for release on Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and Linux. You can check out the Indiegogo page for Indivisiblehere. If you’re on the fence about the concept, you can try the game for yourself by downloading the free prototype that they have available.
The Smash Bros Fighter Ballot has closed. All votes are in, but who will be added to the roster? There’s no doubt that Super Smash Bros 3DS/Wii U has one of the greatest line-ups of video game characters to ever grace a screen together. From Sega’s Sonic to Capcom’s Megaman, there is such unique representation that it’s hard to believe more can fit in. Yet, back in April, Nintendo asked us all who we would want to see join the already stellar cast. Now 6 months on, it’s time to look at which likely contenders could be added over the upcoming months.
Just for reference, this list is comprised of likely candidates to join the brawler going off of popularity and statistics gathered from the community’s votes in the Smash Ballot. So as much as we would all love to see Crash Bandicoot, Spyro and Simon Belmont, you won’t find them here.
King K. Rool
Wanted by thousands of Smash fans for years, the king of Kremlins seems like an ideal fit. There is a lacking presence of heavyweights and villains currently, so you have both boxes ticked with King K. His moveset already seems set up with inspiration taken from his appearances in the Donkey Kong Country series, you could use anything from his Pirate or Mad Scientist designs. Created by Rare but surprisingly still owned by Nintendo, this is an easy pick that would make fans happy. Another Character into the Donkey Kong franchise is also welcome.
If I had to put my money on anyone from this list, I would choose Wolf without a shadow of a doubt. The antagonist of the Star Fox series has already made a debut back in Super Smash Bros Brawl, however, unlike characters like Lucas, Mewtwo and Roy, has still not made a return. It just seems like a matter of time before his announcement is made. When you think about it, Wolf makes the most sense out of the remainder of characters. On top of this, you have Star Fox Zero due to release next year and what better way is there to promote the game then by adding the nemesis of Fox McCloud?
Yacht Club Games’ prized possession has sky-rocketed since his release. Even though he’s a third-party character, Shovel Knight is becoming more probable with his very own amiibo on the way. Yacht Club Games have also got their own campaign going to get the knight into the franchise. Then there was the leak on the official Nintendo website saying that the amiibo will support Super Smash Bros. This was denied shortly after by the creators, however, more and more pieces are falling into place and making it seem as if the indie mascot is destined to be picked.
It’s Ink-redible how well Splatoon has done both in terms of sales and critical acclaim. Now seen as a big hit for Nintendo, their turn to appear in Smash Bros is one that will certainly happen. The question is when. Many think they will be saved for Smash 5 or will just be given a stage like Super Mario Maker was. Others believe its time to cash in on the squids while they are popular and dominating a high percentage of votes. Either way, they would be a superb edition, but I too am inclined to wait until the next entry.
Another creation by Rare, however, unlike King K, the duo are still owned by the company. The least likely from the list, but one of the most requested, every N64 fan would relish in the return of Banjo-Kazooie back on Nintendo hardware even if it’s brief. The bird and bear’s reputation has never diminished due to the success of their first two games; Banjo Kazooie and Banjo Tooie. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has even tweeted his willingness to get the much loved icons into the fighter by saying “I think it would be cool if Banjo was in the next SSB DLC” before going on to add that “We’ve worked with Nintendo on Rare IP before, no issues”. As positive as these statements are, this still seems like a pipe dream. We will have to wait and see how this one pans out before we find out if we will be getting “Jiggy” once again.
Honorable Mentions: Shantae, Rayman & Issac
So that concludes our list of 5 likely characters to join Super Smash Bros. Do you agree with the list? Who would you like to see join the fight? Leave us a comment below to tell us why.
There have been rumors of a Shovel Knight amiibo figure floating around the internet for some time, but Nintendo, Yacht Club Games, and the Game Grumps (because why not?) have officially revealed an NFC figure for the champion of shovelry. Scanning the amiibo into a Wii U version of Shovel Knight will unlock an exclusive co-op mode, while scanning it into a 3DS version will unlock exclusive challenge stages. It will also unlock exclusive customizable gear in both Wii U and 3DS versions of the game. Sadly, there’s no word on anything like a Legend of Zelda crossover stage in either version to match the God of War and Battletoads levels that were added for free to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game respectively.
Naturally, there’s been a great deal of speculation that this sets a precedent for Shovel Knight himself to appear as a DLC fighter in Super Smash Bros, but there’s actually little to support that. This figure was made specifically for use in Shovel Knight as evidenced by the labeling of the box and that the figure’s base has a different engraving from that used for the Smash line of amiibo as you can see by looking closely at the above picture. This could be a good sign of his chances at the roster, but it doesn’t guarantee anything.
What this does set a precedent for is Nintendo to license out the amiibo brand to other third-party developers that they work closely with. Shovel Knight is the first non-Nintendo-owned game to have its own amiibo line. While we’ve seen other third-party amiibo with Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man, Pac-Man, and the promised Ryu amiibo, all of those are tied to the Super Smash Bros line rather than representing their own franchises. There are the two Skylanders: SuperChargers figures of Bowser and Donkey Kong that double as amiibo, but that’s only for the two characters in the cast based on Nintendo characters and doesn’t extend to any of Activision’s own characters. We may see more companies release NFC figures under the amiibo banner in the future. The most likely candidates, given their recent history with Nintendo, would likely be Sega, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Activision, Square Enix, and Tecmo Koei. Are you planning to pick up a Shovel Knight amiibo? What other games do you want to see receive their own amiibo support? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.
One of the best games of last year is coming to a store near you. After a year of Shovel Knight being available on various digital store fronts, developer Yacht Club Games has announced that the game will be getting a retail release this October. In spirit of the games it is inspired by, the physical disk will come with a manual and all of the current DLC packages for free, and the future DLC will be free as well. The DLC includes:
Battle Mode: A “Smash Bros” type of mode available on PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, and PC
Body Swap Mode: Enables the ability to swap the gender of any of the Knights in the game.
Plague of Shadows Campaign: A new campaign where you play as Plague Knight.
King Knight’s Campaign: A new campaign where you play as King Knight.
Specter Knight’s Campaign: A new campaign where you play as Specter Knight
The retail Shovel Knight will release on October 13th in North America and October 16th in Europe on PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, and 3DS, with a PC version available in Europe only.
Selling over 700,000 copies online and winning over 100 accolades, many of them being Game of the Year awards, this seems like a logical step for Shovel Knight to take now. Personally, even though I bought this game twice already, once on 3DS and once on PS4/Vita, I will definitely be buying this again for the box. I can’t recommend this game enough.