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Yes, Blue Toad is playable in New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, with a catch
When New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (whew!) launches on Nintendo Switch tomorrow, players of the Wii U original will be happy to find that reports of Blue Toad’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
The Wii U version of New Super Mario Bros. U featured four playable characters: Mario and Luigi, of course, alongside two Toads — one yellow, one blue. But with the Deluxe version’s addition of a playable Toadette, it seemed like Blue Toad had been thrown out of the picture. He no longer appeared in any marketing material, replaced by Yellow Toad and newcomers Toadette and Nabbit.
Bungie splits with Activision, acquires rights to Destiny
Bungie and publisher Activision are bringing their eight-year Destiny partnership to a close. The developer announced today that it will acquire publishing rights to the shooter franchise from Activision, and will publish future games on its own.
“Today, we’re announcing plans for Bungie to assume full publishing rights and responsibilities for the Destiny franchise,” Bungie and Activision said in a joint statement. “Going forward, Bungie will own and develop the franchise, and Activision will increase its focus on owned IP and other projects. Activision and Bungie are committed to a seamless transition for the Destiny franchise and will continue to work closely together during the transition on behalf of the community of Destiny players around the world.”
Facebook rejects Gris ad for ‘sexually suggestive’ content
Nomada Studio’s lovely Nintendo Switch and Windows PC game Gris is artwork in motion — an interactive mood board, or a canvas awash in watercolors that convey a deep, trenchant melancholy. It’s the last game that anyone with a strong aesthetic eye would expect to offend, but publisher Devolver Digital says Gris has done just that. Facebook passed on a trailer the company requested to run on the platform over what it called “sexually suggestive” imagery, a decision that Devolver says is “really stupid.”
“Facebook rejected a GRIS launch trailer ad for this ‘sexually suggestive’ scene so this year is going great so far,” reads a tweet on the official Devolver Digital account from this afternoon. The attached image is of a statue of a woman, her body obscured by shadows and darkened shades of blue. There appears to be no nudity, as nothing beyond her shoulders is visible; the rest of her torso takes on the look of a tower. This figure features prominently throughout the game, and even in differently colored settings, the amount of her body that’s visible remains the same.
Epic Games Store’s latest free game is What Remains of Edith Finch
Epic Games has introduced yet another incentive to PC owners wondering if they should make the move over the storefront and launcher. That includes a free game giveaway every two weeks through the end of the year. The latest download is What Remains of Edith Finch, which is free for a limited time starting today.
The Windows PC version of Edith Finch is available now until Jan. 24 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Giant Sparrow’s 2017 game won accolades from a number of critics (like us!) for its atmospheric exploration of grief, combined with a mystery unraveled through a number of flashbacks. Edith Finch’s brief playtime makes it an easy choice for an afternoon — and a game giveaway.
Excelsior! World of Warcraft pays tribute to Stan Lee
World of Warcraft’s latest patch in the public test realm adds an NPC to Stormwind Keep, called Stormwind Stanley, who looks somewhat familiar.
That is, of course, a tribute to Stan Lee, the former writer, editor, and publisher of Marvel Comics who died in November. Stormwind Stanley doesn’t do much other than take a long stroll around the keep and its grounds, but its a chance for fans to walk with the creator of Iron Man, the Hulk, and Spider-Man. Stanley he also greets passers-by with “Excelsior!” Lee’s signature valediction.
Awesome Games Done Quick 2019: what to watch on the fifth day
The fifth day of Awesome Games Done Quick includes 19 events, nine of them featuring a speedrunner currently ranked No. 1 in the world in the event. Thursday afternoon features a Bethesda block involving Prey (2017), Dishonored and two of the classic Dooms. Late night into early morning, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD carries the schedule for nearly six hours.
Awesome Games Done Quick 2019 kicked off on Sunday and runs through Saturday from Rockville, Maryland. You can watch all of it live, right here.
Red Dead Online gets a bigger battle royale mode today
Rockstar Games has a new update for Red Dead Online that brings a bigger battle royale-style mode to the game. Named Gun Rush, the game mode drops up to 32 players into a battle to be the last player standing as they scramble for weapons and ammunition in an ever-shrinking play area. Gun Rush will be available in free-for-all and team variations.
Red Dead Online, the online competitive multiplayer component of Red Dead Redemption 2, already had a game mode based on the battle royale genre known as Make It Count. But that take on battle royale was on a much smaller scale, and focused less foraging for weapons than it did on quiet survival. Gun Rush should make battle royale in Red Dead Online a more action-oriented contest.
Catherine comes to PC today
Catherine, the 2011 romantic thriller-meets-platformer developed by the Persona team, is now available on Steam. It’s a (sort of) surprise release that marks a major step for the Japanese developer: Catherine Classic is Atlus’ first internally developed game to come to Windows PC.
The PC version of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game comes with several upgrades over the console versions, including 4K resolution, customizable controls, and an unlocked frame rate. Catherine Classic also offers a choice between English- and Japanese-language voice acting, a feature not included in the Western console release. The PC version costs $19.99.
Nintendo eShop update delivers double the Mario Bros.
The Nintendo Switch eShop is back in full swing this week with a fresh batch of new (but also not so new) games for the Switch, including New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition. Both games come to Switch on Jan. 11.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe includes the Wii U platformer and its New Super Luigi U follow-up along with new content: Toadette and Nabbit are now playable characters. It’s one of the first great games of 2019, we said in our review of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.