Xbox Games October Gold Lineup

Do you have Microsoft’s Games with Gold which is a fancy title for Xbox Live Gold subscription? Then you will get the following games for free for a very limited time so act while you can for the month of October:

Xbox One

  • Overcooked (October 1-31)
  • Victor Vran (October 16-Nov 15)

Xbox 360 (compatible with Xbox One)

  • Stuntman: Ignition (October 1-15)
  • Hitman: Blood Money (October 16-31)

Super Mario Odyssey Art Book Reveals Concepts for Bowsette, Rosalina and More!

As anyone who’s read the Legend of Zelda Master Works likely knows, art books for games are usually a good source of information on scrapped concepts and beta content. After all, that one showcased various unused designs for everything from Guardians to Divine Beasts to whole towns, leading to rampant speculation about everything in the game as a result.

And just like said book, the Art of Super Mario Odyssey one reveals even more interesting unused concepts for its game. Like this one, which looks very much like a recent meme that’s going around right now:

Official Bowsette?

Yup, it’s Nintendo’s equivalent to Bowsette. Apparently they had plans to let Bowser capture Peach at one point, which would give him a form reminiscent of the recent fan creation going around. Obviously it didn’t pan out, but still, it does make you wonder what would have happened had it got in. Would it be called Bowsette? Would this mean have taken off all the way back in October 2017?

Who knows. Maybe. Then again, maybe this version of Rosalina may have become a meme instead:

Musician Rosalina

Because while most versions of the character are in a somewhat formal style of garb, this one features her in a more casual getup better for New Donk City life. It’s an interesting new look that fits the character well, and one that would make her inclusion in Odyssey feel more unique than just another ‘Galaxy shout out’.

But it’s not just existing characters who get some interesting concept art here. No, Cappy has some as well, showing all kinds of early designs for our sentient hat friend. Most are just different in the eye design department, but a few have different styles of hats too, like a baseball cap or an olde worlde Napoleon esque one. The ‘penguin’ version is pretty neat too, at least in the sense it implies Cappy was going to have actual limbs at one point.

Cappy Concepts

You can find a few concepts for bosses here too. Like Torkdrift, who clearly went through a lot of design changes in his development:

Torkdrift Concepts
Clearly the ‘mechanical Spindrift’ concept was a later development!

As well as the Broodals, who mostly stuck to their familiar designs right from the get go:

Broodal Concepts

And the unique early designs don’t end with the characters either. Oh no, New Donk City looked very different in its early days too:

Early New Donk City

Indeed, it actually looked… somewhat Mario like. Forget the realistic New York stylings from the final game, this one seems to have a traditional cartoony Mario vibe throughout the city, with characters sharing Mario’s proportions and design aesthetic and locations including oversized warp pipes and rockets among other things. It was a city truly befitting of the Mushroom Kingdom/World, and one that Mario would feel right at home in.

Which may actually be why it was cut. Think about it, Odyssey is a very ‘experimental’ game. Indeed, one of the big selling points to the whole affair is how ‘non Mario’ like every kingdom is, and how many actually subvert expectations altogether. Look at the Ruined Kingdom for instance. It’s very Dark Souls/Elder Scrolls/whatever inspired, but that’s part of the appeal.

Same goes with New Donk City itself. It’s very non Mario, but that’s the appeal. It’s Mario exploring a world which doesn’t seem to fit his ‘universe’.

The New Donk City beta isn’t really like that. It’s certainly fitting for the Mario series, but perhaps too fitting. Enough so that it could have worked in the Mushroom Kingdom proper, or as a race track in a Mario Kart game. So perhaps Nintendo changed it for not looking ‘different’ enough for Odyssey.

There’s also artwork for other locales too. Like Tostarena Town in the Sand Kingdom:

Tostarena Concepts

Tostarena Artwork

As well as the Odyssey itself:

Odyssey Artwork

However, neither of these areas seemed to go through many changes based on the above artwork, so I think we’ll move onto costumes here instead.

Since quite a few costumes were planned and scrapped for this game too.

Like this one, based on the Sprixies from Super Mario 3D World:

Sprixie Outfit

This Japanese school girl outfit:

Japanese School Girl Outfit

And this… thing which I guess is somewhat based on a Luma. It’s a tad hard to tell from the side.

Luma Outfit

Either way, none made it into the game. Why? Well, it’s hard to say for the Sprixie one, since that seems like a fitting reference to the last main series Mario game. But for the others, there may have simply not been the right context for them.

Seriously, where would that Japanese school girl esque uniform have fit in? Yeah Bowser’s Kingdom has a Japanese theme, but that’s a late game area with a more serious tone, not some standard cartoony world based on the region. And having it somewhere else (like say, New Donk City) would just be jarring and look out of place.

As for the Luma? That one probably just got scrapped due to the design not working that well as a costume. After all, it looks pretty hard to recognise from the side, and even viewed from the front would likely seem a tad ridiculous to look at.

Regardless, they’re not the only costumes that got cut from the game in its development. Nope, a matador and a stylish top hat wearing Mario also nearly made the cut, along with various alternate takes on the Crazy Cap employee getup. Which itself was apparently more in line with a stadium/cinema vendor early in development:

More Unused Costumes

And it’s not just Mario’s costumes getting artwork in this book either. No, some neat pieces of concept art for his regular outfit are included here. Nothing too spectacular, but it does include some neat animation references and what not none the less:

Mario Concept Art

It’s a veritable treasure trove of amazing artwork, and one which likely holds many more interesting ‘what could have been’ moments within its pages.

So if you’re interested in all of this, check out the book. You can get it in Japanese on Play Asia here, or wait for the inevitable English release in future. Cause if the Master Works and Mario Encyclopaedia are anything to go by, it’s almost certain that Dark Horse Books will be taking on this one at some point too. Maybe not this year (or the next), but soon enough none the less.

But still, what do you think about all this artwork? Are there any ideas in there you wish made it into the final game?

Tell us what you think in a comment or over on the Gaming Latest forums today!


Is a Virtual Console Coming to the Nintendo Switch?

As you all likely know, there isn’t a Virtual Console for the Nintendo Switch. There’s a semblance of one in the free NES games provided for the online service, but the standard VC setup where you buy games individually from the eShop seemingly hasn’t made it over to the system.

It’s a baffling decision given the service’s popularity on past Nintendo systems, and one that makes many fans question why a console as perfect for retro games as the Switch isn’t getting a way to play classic games on the go.

Yet despite the lack of announcements, it seems like Nintendo may not be scrapping the service just yet. Nope, as a dataminer named KevDoy has discovered, the JSON data for the Nintendo Switch eShop has what appears to be a Virtual Console section in it. Here’s his original tweet with a look at the code:

As you can clearly see, it references all kinds of Nintendo systems here. SNES, GB, GBC, GBA, Nintendo 64… hell, even DS games have a subcategory here. Nothing’s in said subcategory mind you, but still, it shows the possibility for a Virtual Console is there.

But will it happen?

Well, it’s hard to tell.

On the one hand, the Virtual Console model was a very successful one for Nintendo, and it seems absolutely crazy for them to ditch the idea with the Switch. Why stop selling games thousands or millions of people want to play? It makes no sense, and the concept of them coming to the Switch just seems like a logical conclusion there.

At the same time though, nothing technically says this’ll be Virtual Console. It could merely be a placeholder, as the finder himself suggests on Twitter. After all, the same categories exist on the 3DS, and the data could have been carried over from there.

Or it could be something to do with the ‘free’ games service on the Switch’s online service instead.

After all, it’s highly unlikely Nintendo will stop at just NES games there.

Switch Online NES Games

Instead, common sense suggests they’ll keep adding to that lineup throughout the Switch’s lifestyle, with each year bringing a new platform to the mix. Like say, with next year’s big Direct reveal being something like ’30 free SNES games now available if you subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online!’ It just seems all too logical for the company, and fitting with their tendency to build on the past step by step like with the NES/SNES Classic and what not.

Either way, the data is there. There are categories for past Nintendo systems in the data for the Nintendo Switch eShop.

So what do you make of it? Do you believe it hints to a Virtual Console on the system?

Is it just a placeholder like suggested?

Or could the games be tied to the Switch’s Online Service at some point? Tell us your thoughts either directly via a comment here or over on the social media site of your choice!


Nintendo Just Added a Virtual Console Section to Nintendo Switch eShop JSON (Twitter)

Nintendo Switch Cloud Saves Will Be Saved for 6 Months After You Unsubscribe

Earlier this month, Nintendo revealed various details about the Switch’s online services. These details weren’t particularly well received, with an especially high level of ire being seen directed towards their treatment of cloud saves, with various sources indicating they’d be immediately deleted if your subscription ran out.

However, it seems these fears were a bit misplaced. That’s because (as IGN reports), your cloud saves will not actually be deleted the minute your Nintendo Switch Online subscription expires. Instead, they’ll be maintained for six months after that point, giving you plenty of time to renew and continue playing.

That’s good news for Nintendo fans, and indicates the Nintendo Switch Online service will not be as incompetent as people feared it may be. Indeed, it’s actually generous enough here that the time given is longer than many other services, with even business critical ones often deleting data after a few months rather than half a year.

Is it perfect? Nah you still need to renew to access the save data at all. That’s not ideal to say the least.

But it’s better than we all feared it was, and indicates Nintendo isn’t completely incompetent when it comes to online for this console.

So don’t worry folks. Your saves won’t be instantly deleted when your subscription expires, and you’ll have plenty of time to change your mind if you so desire.

Now if only Nintendo had bothered to explain all this the first time around…


Nintendo Will Let You Recover Cloud Saves Up to 6 Months After Your Subscription Expires (IGN)

Meltan Has Been Announced as a New Mythical Pokémon

A couple of days ago, reports came in of a mysterious ditto like Pokémon that was appearing in Pokémon Go. This Pokémon was first spotted by dataminers in network traffic for the game, but soon appeared all over the place in game too, with players reporting it’d be replaced by a Ditto after being caught.

Meltan in Pokemon GO

It was an interesting enigma. Was it a real Pokémon? Some sort of placeholder that’d made its way into the game? The somewhat plain design and random appearance made it hard to guess either way, and led to random speculation among the fanbase in regards to what its purpose was overall.

But now it’s finally been revealed as a new Pokémon. Yep, that Ditto like creature is actually a new species called Meltan, with said Pokémon turning out to be a Steel type with electric type attacks. Here’s a trailer from the Pokémon YouTube channel with more information on it:

Plus some official artwork:


As well as a description provided by the company:

Most of Meltan’s body is made from liquid metal, and its shape is very fluid. It can use its liquid arms and legs to corrode metal and absorb it into its own body. Meltan generates electricity using the metal it absorbs from outside sources. It uses this electricity as an energy source and also as an attack that can be fired from its eye. Clearly a curious Pokémon, Meltan is very expressive and shows an interest in all kinds of things.

Either way, Meltan is described as the Hex Nut Pokémon, with its height and weight given as 0’08 tall and 17.6lbs respectively. It’s a Mythical Pokémon (like Mew, Celebi, Jirachi, etc) and while the method of obtaining is unknown at the moment, it’s clear that it’ll involve connecting Pokémon GO to Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu/Let’s Go Eevee in some way.

Meltan in Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu/Let's Go Eevee

So what do you think about this new Pokémon? Are you happy with what could be the first reveal of generation 8?

Hell, what generation do you think this thing is anyway?

Tell us your thoughts on the matter over in the comments below!


Introducing Meltan (Official Pokémon Website)