Unreleased Crash Bandicoot Level Stormy Ascent Released for N. Sane Trilogy

Given how popular the recent Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy was, it’s no surprise the game is getting DLC. After all, even remakes get it now. It’s a common part of the industry in general.

What is interesting though, is what the DLC actually is. Why?

Because it’s not new content.

Instead, it’s actually an unused level meant for the original Crash Bandicoot game. Named Stormy Ascent and generally seen as the hardest level in Crash Bandicoot history, it was initially intended for the first game before being scrapped for being too difficult in general.

Times change though, and now it seems Sony and Vicarious Visions have decided to make the level available for everyone to play. So here’s the trailer advertising it as DLC:

As well as a video of the original version to compare to:

As you can see, it’s been mostly left untouched all these years. Yeah there are apparently a few more crates here and there (since as the wiki points out, a bonus room has been added to the stage in the remake). But for the most part, it’s exactly what you’d expect it to be.

A completely brutal, unforgiving stage for the best Crash Bandicoot players to test their skills.

It’s a neat stage, and definitely worth trying out. However, the stage itself isn’t really the most interesting thing about the announcement.

Oh no, that’s the whole ‘trend’ it seems to be part of now. Namely, the trend of actually releasing scrapped games and content for more people to play.

I mean, think about it. Prior to a year or so ago, it was very rare for companies to make unused content available to players in any way. I mean sure, it occasionally happened. But for the most part, unused content was likely to be buried and forgotten about. Like the scrapped dungeons in the Legend of Zelda The Wind Waker or the infamous URA Zelda game in general.

But with stuff like this and Star Fox 2, it seems things are changing. Scrapped content and cancelled games are being given a new lease of life.

It’s a trend I’m glad to see happen, and this level is an indication that ‘beta’ content can indeed make a comeback in remakes and rereleases.

So support it and download this DLC right away. Because if you do, it might prove to the industry that people are interested in unreleased games and content, and that there’s a market for rereleasing stuff otherwise lost to history.

Still, what do you think? Are you happy this previously cut level is being made available as free DLC? What other games should do the same thing with their scrapped levels?

Post your thoughts on the matter here or on the Gaming Latest forums today!

Wario Land 4 review by Yui-Chan!

Ohayo gosaimasu! I have never played a Wario Land game before and since I want to practice my writing skills, here is a review of my own, about the latest game I played: Wario Land 4!


Wario Land 4 Title Screen
The title screen from Wario Land 4

Wario Land 4 is a platformer, the type of game a person like me, with no knowledge of videos games, would consider to be “yet another Super Mario Bros.” type game. Far surprised I was, when I gave it my first try!
The game is quite different from what you’d expect from a traditional platformer. Not only can Wario defeat his enemies by ramming into them with a shoulder dash, or squish them to pulp with a butt smash (or ground pound), but the stages are open spaces, forcing you to go in different directions and explore them for treasures! Overall, the gameplay feel very different, as you go along, than you’d expect from a traditional platformer, making the whole experience quite pleasing and new!

Continue Reading…

Free Bonus for PS Plus Members

This week, Orcs Must Die: Unchained was released for the PlayStation 4 after its initial PC release. And for those hesitant about the game, there is some good news. The launch was of the free-to-play version of Orcs Must Die: Unchained.  The developers promised that the game will have new content, game modes and will be regularly updated.

“After a fantastic showing at last year’s PlayStation Experience, we wrapped up our open beta and launched Orcs Must Die Unchained for PC in April,”

“Now we are thrilled to announce that the game will be arriving on PS4 with new content, game modes, and regular updates.

For those of you that are unaware of this game, Orcs Must Die is a tower defence game where players must defend their Rift from mass invading hordes of Orcs. As you progress through the game, you will collect traps, traits and other items which can then be upgraded to make them even more powerful.

The game features a survival mode, sabotage mode, weekly challenges and endless mode. The survival mode is a co-op style game where you will need 2 other players to defend your Rift. This is a great game mode for those that like to play together with their friends. The sabotage mode, on the other hand, is a team vs team game mode. In this mode, you will have to use spells to weaken the team and hope that the Orcs are able to overrun them. Whilst this is happening, the other team will be doing the same to you. The winner is the team that is able to defend their Rift successfully. The game is also updated with weekly challenges that offer different challenging scenarios in return for in-game prizes that will help you defend your rift in the various game modes.

And as an added bonus, for this month, PlayStation Plus members will be able to unlock a special bundle that contains in-game currency, some skins, consumables and more in-game items. This is a great bundle that will help you get a massive head-start in the game. The bundle is worth around $20 and will be available until the 17th of August.

The bundle contains: 8000 skulls, 1250 gold, a Maximilian lucky tunic skin, Gabriella violet vintage skin, a dragon guardian, 100 potions of rage, 100 potions of health, 10 scrolls of the Unchained, 10 scrolls of slow and a 1-week battle pass.

Download the game here: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/orcs-must-die-unchained-ps4/

Nintendo Switch Online App Released on Mobile

When Nintendo announced you’d need a separate mobile app to use voice chat in online games, the reactions were not exactly on the positive side. Basically, people wondered why it was all necessary. Why Nintendo needed a separate app to do something everyone else did via the system itself. In a paid online service that was heavily promoted as a step up from their past efforts.

But speculation aside, there was still a certain degree of optimism here. I mean, the app wasn’t released yet, so maybe it would turn out to be better on release. Maybe Nintendo would be justified when it hit the app store.

And today, that got put to the test. Because yes, Nintendo’s new mobile app for Nintendo Switch online multiplayer was released on both iTunes and the Play Store. Here are some pictures showing the app in action:

Nintendo Switch App Invite

Nintendo Switch App SplatNet

Nintendo Switch App Voice Chat

So how is it? Does the app work well? Does Nintendo make a good case for this being an app at all?

Well to be perfectly honest, the answer is still no. In fact, the app is arguably even more flawed that it initially came across as.

For example, given it’s a mobile app, you’d think it’d at minimum let you:

  • Use the chat feature at all times
  • Work in the background while the phone was used for other stuff (to save memory)
  • And be pretty simple to setup in general.

Yes, you can do the former. It seems to work at most times in game.

Or in other words:

You can’t lock the thing, switch to another app or disable the screen display and keep using it. You know, despite voice chat not really requiring that much attention being paid to what’s going on ‘on screen’.

It’s like what Niantic did with Pokemon GO, except even less logical.
And in case you thought any of this was made up by a ton of features or game support being implemented into the app… that’s not the case.

Nope, it’s only compatible with Splatoon 2 for one thing. Well, okay. It’ll probably be made compatible with more games down the line.

But for now, it’s Splatoon 2 only. That’s a somewhat questionable design decision to make given all the focus on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and ARMS at the moment. I mean, wouldn’t you at least try and get it working with those?

Probably. But Nintendo apparently disagrees, since none of those games have any compatibility with the app whatsoever. That’s utterly baffling given how the Wii U version of Mario Kart 8 had voice chat built right in for people playing in private lobbies. Couldn’t you at least figure out a way to bring that back?

What’s more, the features you can use for Splatoon 2 aren’t all that interesting or revolutionary in of themselves. You’ve got an online system for stats and a shop, which is apparently coming on July 21st when the game releases. You’ve got the ability to invite people to a game.
And you can obviously talk to them in lobbies.

Yeah, that’s pretty much all you get. A few features that in past generations could have been built into the game itself, except now only available through the app.

Which is really the general problem this app has. It just a bunch of features that should have been in the core game that have been ripped out and placed in an app for no practical reason whatsoever. For example, the whole SplatNet thing could have been done as a website.

After all, that’s how the original Splatoon did it.

Or maybe it could have been just available in the game itself. Again, existing games did this on Nintendo consoles. Like Mario Kart Wii and its online functionality.

But no, it’s only accessible through an app now. For no real reason other than ‘apps are cool’ and someone at Nintendo presumably wanted to push them as much as possible.

It’s just not a good system, and it feels like a huge downgrade from previous online systems in Nintendo games.

Let’s hope it gets better in future eh?

Paper Mario Pro Mode Released Alongside Modding Tools

Are you a fan of the original Paper Mario games? Want a new experience that doesn’t revolve around hundreds of identical Toads and Thing stickers? Maybe feel like the games are a bit easy overall?

If so, you’re in luck! Why? Because a new Paper Mario ROM hack has been released that greatly ups the difficulty of the original title! This hack is known as Paper Mario Pro Mode, and adds such interesting features as:

  • Improved enemy AI
  • New attacks (including extra mechanics in boss battles)
  • New badges to find and areas to explore
  • Extra enemies added to existing ones (like Boos in the Toad Town sewers)

And quite a few other interesting additions as well. Here’s a trailer showing some of them in action:

As you can see, it’s a really impressive mod, and adds the kind of challenge many fans of the original might want in a Master Quest type deal.

Yet the mod is only part of the package here.

Because in addition to the hack itself, modding tools for the original Paper Mario game have been released as well. This means you’re able to edit the original game much more easily than ever before.

And that’s great news for Paper Mario fans. Remember, mods for games like Super Mario World, Sonic the Hedgehog, Pokemon and the Zelda series have added a ton of replay value to their respective franchises, and led to all manner of great projects. The Second Reality Project, Mario 64 Last Impact, Super Mario Star Road… the list goes on!

So to see something similar for Paper Mario… well, that means we should be getting a decent selection of new Paper Mario fan sequels as well!

It’s great news all round, and means both the hack and tools are well worth checking out! So get to it Paper Mario fans! Give them a shot today!


Star Rod Modding Tools + Paper Mario Pro Mode (Origami 64 Forums)