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.
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.