Nintendo is gearing up to launch a new Super Smash Bros. game this December, and the hype couldn’t be higher. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate lives up to its name by including every single playable character in the history of the franchise in its roster. Last generation we saw numerous new fighters added to the roster after the game’s initial launch.
Can we expect DLC for Smash Ultimate as well, or will the game be complete at launch? Bill Trinen, Nintendo of America’s Senior Product Marketing Manager, tackled this question in a recent interview with Nintendo Life. Unsurprisingly, Nintendo is playing their cards close to the vest for now.
Nintendo Life:Are there plans to either announce characters between now and December or is the finalized, complete roster? Can we expect to see more at a later date?
Bill Trinen: We can answer that when we get closer to December.
Nintendo Life:Will there be DLC? Are there plans to expand on the game after release?
Bill Trinen: The thing about us, when it comes to something like DLC, we don’t really start on it until we have got the game done. So, maybe when the game comes out they will make a decision on if they will do it, or if they do what they want to do, that sort of thing.
Trinen’s non-answer to the first question suggests we could possibly see more roster reveals before launch day, but he wouldn’t commit to that. As for DLC, that’s up to Sakurai. We’ll just have to wait and see.
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Last month, Nintendo announced a contest that tasked fans with creating musical instruments and games out of its Labo kit. Today, the Japanese developer revealed the winners of the contest, and, naturally, Nintendo fans went all out.
Released in April 2018, the Nintendo Labo is aimed at children to teach concepts such as programming and engineering. Players take kits to build things such as cardboard robots and toy fishing rods, though the Labo can also be used for experiments and new creations.
Take the Labo piano decked out with Zelda decorations up top, for example. Not only do the decorations include a Master Sword, but there are also tiny Koroks hiding in the landscape as well. Its creator, Chris Brazzell, says that various pieces adorning the set were constructed with clay and origami. It also includes an IR sticker that makes it possible for the Labo to do something special when the Master Sword is pulled out. (Brazzell has not set a specific functionality for it yet, but it’s a nice touch.)
Perhaps the most impressive invention comes from Momoka Kinder, who created an accordion that’s powered by sunlight. She built the accordion with simple objects, such as tissue boxes and rubber bands in an effort to make it easy for other people to re-create the project. According to Kinder, the accordion plays a sound when the notes detect that you are blocking the sunlight on the buttons. Here’s a demonstration by Kinder, who also shows off the programming that makes everything function:
The official contest website highlights other top creations, which include inventions such as a clock, a T. rex, and a mini treehouse. For their efforts, these fans will win a cardboard-color Nintendo Switch that is not available to the public. They earned it.
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Rocket League and Warhammer: Vermintide 2 came to Xbox Game Pass this week. Game Pass lets you pay $10 a month for access to a library of over 100 Xbox games. As long as you keep your subscription active, you can download and play any of them. Game Pass was an interesting idea when Microsoft introduced it last summer, but now it’s great.
Rocket Leagueneeds no introduction, but I feel it necessary to restate just how fucking awesome this game is. For reasons known only to the internet gremlins who actually run Kotaku dot com, it’s not on the site’s list of the 12 best Xbox One games, but if there were a Kotaku list of the 13 best Xbox One games you can bet your rocket-propelled soccer cars it would be on there. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a game outside of a Smash Bros. or Mario Kart that feels as potentially timeless.
Vermintide 2, meanwhile, is a game about slaughtering giant rat men in exchange for rare loot. It came out earlier this year on PC, and in the short time I’ve spent with it since it hit Xbox One yesterday, it’s played well minus the occasional stutter. The light shining through grimey trees and dilapidated medieval towns looks great, and the melee feel of bashing in the heads of oversized rodents, demonic knights, and hulking barbarians is spot on. Like Rocket League, Vermintide 2 is something you can spend weeks grinding through and not feel cheated, which is what I plan to do for much of the rest of this month.
But these are only the two most recent additions to Game Pass. There’s currently over a hundred other games in the library. Some of them I’ve never heard of, and plenty of others I know for a fact aren’t worth your time. A bunch are surprisingly good though, and these include, but are not limited to:
- Fallout 4
- Gears of War 4
- Halo 5
- Sunset Overdrive
- Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 & 2
- Metro Last Light Redux
- Warhammer: Vermintide 2
- Pro Evolution Soccer 2018
- Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut
- State of Decay 2
There’s also a huge array of Xbox 360 and original Xbox games, some of which are very good, like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Fable II. These games are nice to have easy access to without have to actually commit to buying them on the Microsoft Store. (You can see the full list here.) Occasionally the lineup changes as different publishers decide add new games or pull others, like Overcooked, which is sadly getting pulled at the end of this month. Currently, though, the library over all has been looking stronger than at any time since it launched, with many of the bigger games getting added in the past few months (The Division, The Elder Scrolls Online, and Fallout 4 all got added during this year’s E3).
A few weeks ago it was Banjo-Kazooie’s birthday. The backpacking bear and bird duo were celebrating 20 years since releasing on the N64. I re-read Kotaku editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo and alum Patrick Klepek’s epic discussion of the game and was just itching to play it, so much so I even scanned Craigslist for a few desperate minutes seeing if anyone in a 15 mile radius was unloading the console, the game, or hopefully both. Later in the evening I booted up my Xbox and started looking for something else to play. I see so much box art for so many games across so many screens it barely registers anymore, but several rows deep in the Game Pass backlog I spotted Banjo-Kazooie. Of course: Microsoft owns Rare now. Rare Replay was released a few years ago. I didn’t need some stranger’s old N64 to play Banjo-Kazooie, just 10 minutes to download it from Game Pass.
Netflix started in 1997, and by the mid-aughts had began pivoting to streaming. Within a couple years the the quixotic question everyone liked to pose was “What if there was a Netflix for games?” Well, we have i, with services like Game Pass or EA Access (and Origin Access on PC). It’s not on-demand video game streaming like PlayStation Now or Nvidia’s GeForce Now, but in the year of our lord 2018 it accomplishes the same thing without latency issues or the constant threat of weird technical hiccups. Hopefully Sony, Nintendo, and Steam roll out similar programs of their own while we wait for the perfect streaming future to arrive.