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PlatinumGames Announces a Very Real Release of Sol Cresta (No Fooling!)

Colin Edge

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You may remember April 1, 2020, when PlatinumGames teased a brand new game in the vintage Cresta series, dubbed Sol Cresta. You may also remember that it was an April fools’ prank. So naturally, when the same announcement broke yesterday, many were worried it was another fakeout. “Stop toying with our emotions, PlatinumGames!”

However, Platinum tweeted a follow-up announcement from their official Twitter account today, confirming the new release. Sol Cresta is real. Let the happy dancing commence.


Sol Cresta will be the third and final installment in the classic docking and shooting “Cresta saga”, following Moon Cresta (1980) and Terra Cresta (1985). Also, according to the trailer (and confirmed in Platinum’s official blog), Platinum has anointed the new game Vol. 1 in a series of upcoming Neo-Classic arcade games. This new series aims to keep the “spirit” of legendary arcade titles alive, while also implementing cutting edge tech to enhance the experience. 

The nostalgic 8-bit animation of the trailer video stirs up warm and fuzzies. The teaser also previews footage of developmental gameplay for Sol, highlighting a major upgrade to classic Crestas’ ship-docking feature. Building on the game’s history, the ability to dock ships to maximize firepower made Cresta Moon and Terra stand out from its contemporaries in the ‘80s. Staying true to this feature, Sol Cresta appears to get creative with docking capability to make it a “core gameplay element”. 

While the game announcement is real, Platinum still can’t seem to help messing with us: towards the end of the trailer, a digital timer icon announcing the release date locks in the year (2021), but endlessly scrolls through which month/day the game will drop, leaving us in profound suspense.

Sol Cresta will arrive sometime this year on the Switch, PS4, and Steam. Quality ports for Moon and Terra already exist on Nintendo’s eShop.

I’m a writer and creative professional who loves pop culture, music, games, and anything else that allows people to express themselves and share their passion.

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Nintendo

Pokémon Unite Gets a Release Window for Switch and Mobile

Colin Edge

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The Pokémon company announced a release window for its new MOBA game, Pokémon Unite. And it’s soon. The company also debuted an epic theatrical trailer for the game.


Unite will drop for the Switch in July, then in September for mobile devices (likely iOS and Android). The five-on-five battle strategy game was created in partnership with Tencent’s TiMi Studio Group, who developed Call of Duty: Mobile. Unite was originally announced last year.

The game will be free to play, with in-game purchases optional. Crossplay between console and mobile will be supported, and you will also be able to save your progress from one device to another with a Pokémon Trainer Account or Nintendo Account.

And if the trailer is any indication, the game looks like a heap of multiplayer fun. Unite takes place on an uncharted island called Aeos. When striking blows to the opposing team and capturing free-roaming Pokémon, players gain Aeos energy. With it, players can upgrade their Pokémon throughout the course of a battle. 

Aeos energy apparently translates to points when delivered into the other team’s goal. That would explain why the trailer shows Lucario slam dunking like Micheal Jordan in the ‘90s. Naturally, when time runs out, the team with the most points wins. Battles take place in several different stadiums, with unique landscapes and rules specific to each locale.

In true MOBA fashion, Unite’s characters will have varying strengths and abilities. Some will be faster, others stronger, etc. Use these abilities strategically to your team’s advantage! The game’s cast of Pokémon is also diverse – we’re all happy Mr. Mime made an appearance in the trailer.


Some hardline Pokémon fans might argue that a mobile device game cheapens a brand with such a rich history and deep loyalty. Fair point. 

But Pokémon has shown without a doubt that it can successfully branch into essentially any type of media (cards, movies, consoles). And it does this without losing touch with the lovable, familiar identity of the franchise. A franchise that’s worked its way into the hearts and hands of kids of all ages – decade after decade.

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Nintendo

Game Builder Garage Gives Programming Some Nintendo Magic

Colin Edge

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When I was a kid, I learned how to type on a computer keyboard by playing Mario Teaches Typing on my family’s PC. I had so much fun making Mario bounce off goomba’s heads with the keys that I didn’t even realize I was learning how to type. Almost three decades later, Nintendo is still using games to teach valuable technology skills in diverting, imaginative ways.

Game Builder Garage has been out for almost a week. If you haven’t gotten it already, you may be wondering whether or not you should. Overall, it’s a wonderful game, about games. 


The new programming game sprinkles Nintendo magic over the otherwise onerous process of programming, and makes it fun. But depending on your level of interest in how games are made, Garage might not be worth the money for you.

Garage shows the basic concepts behind game design, with its own system of lovable little characters called Nodons. Strewn across colorful graph paper, you can connect an object to an action, for instance, by joining two Nodons with a line. These charming creatures can be arranged in an essentially unlimited number of ways to create all types of landscapes and outcomes. 

This game widens the scope of its predecessor Super Mario Maker titles by offering a more vast array of games you can build. Whether you want to make a side-scrolling shooter or a 3D fighting game, you have a plethora of choices.

But you’ll need to learn some skills to navigate those choices. That’s why the Garage includes guided lessons that teach you how to make seven basic games to get you started. There’s also a free programming mode, but Garage strongly suggests you take the lessons first.

This is where your personality could determine how you feel about the game. I enjoy learning in a dummy-proof, structured way. The lessons are designed to accommodate that. But if you enjoy bending rules, you may feel annoyed by the lessons.


Garage’s affable teachers,  Bob and Alice, walk you through step-by-step instructions to build the tutorial games precisely to their specs. They even show you exactly what the game will look like before you set out to build it, so there’s little imagination in this part of Garage. If you want to go off script, you can’t. But then again, that’s what the free programming mode is for.

I’m not too interested in learning actual coding, so Game Builder Garage’s system of Nodons works for me. But if you are an amateur programmer, or you want to learn something more technical like C++, you don’t get that from this game. 

Maybe you’re on the other end of the spectrum – you don’t want to get technical at all. In that case, heads-up: this game does take you to school in certain ways, making use of math and logic. You may feel like you’re back in class. But this game makes class almost as fun as the Magic School Bus.

While somewhat limited to the game’s built-in tools, the amount of freedom and complexity you are able to explore completely satisfies the itch to create. The game is warm and fuzzy, with the cuteness of titles like Snipperclips. The scripting and character creation of the Nodons is genuinely entertaining.

You can also share your game designs with friends via a user code. Naturally, programmers have already created astounding worlds using this game’s palette, including recreations of Nintendo classics like Mario Kart and Zelda.

If you enjoy playing video games more than creating them, you may want to pass on this one. But even for non-programmers, Game Builder Garage makes game design simple and charming with classic Nintendo style.

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Consoles

Nintendo’s Big Reveals From E3 Direct

Colin Edge

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Nintendo’s long-awaited Direct broadcast aired today as part of the annual E3 gaming conference. As promised, Nintendo made big announcements and revealed exciting trailers about its upcoming games for their flagship Switch console.

However the Japanese gaming company did not make any announcement about the highly rumored “Switch Pro” console. The absence of this news likely disappointed fans who were almost sure of the upgraded console’s imminent release.


Nonetheless, news from Nintendo is always cause for celebration! Here are some games we have to look forward to:

BotW 2

Nintendo shared an exciting update on Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. The sequel to 2017’s smash success has been given a release date. Well, more of a release year. The game will be arriving sometime in 2022.

In a trailer that opens with Link free fallin’ like Tom Petty, we see a wider span of Hyrule, walking boulders, and our hero passing through solid matter. It’s an exciting update on a game that’s already highly anticipated. 

Creators said the sequel will explore the skies above Hyrule, the fabled Legend of Zelda kingdom. Makes sense, since we see plenty of falling/gliding in the trailer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi-MRZBP91I&t=5s


Metroid Dread

While BotW 2 is exciting, its announcement was still quite nebulous, with few details. But another major announcement of the day provided much more concrete info: Metroid Dread, the latest in the fan-favorite Metroid series, is coming to Switch on October 8 of this year.

The official title and release date are welcome announcements. Creators even shared details on the deluxe edition, featuring a case, booklet, and collector cards.

According to producers, “The series has chronicled the uncanny relationship between Metroid and the heroine Samus, but this game will make an end to that story arc.” Woah.

Nintendo’s Treehouse presentation following the Direct also exhibited gameplay from the upcoming side-scroller, showing off its thrilling play and intricate design.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NjCICl7dDo&t=100s

Mario Party Superstars

A bundle of Nintendo announcements just has to include the company mascot in some way or another. The game giant announced Mario Party Superstars as another major release. 

With the success of Super Mario 3D All-Stars, it seems Nintendo has found “greatest hits” collections valuable to the fans, and the company itself. Sample gameplay for this title was also shown in the Treehouse presentation.

The video board game includes five boards from the N64 era and 100 mini games. Every mini game is compatible with button controls and every game mode works in online play. Play on your Switch Lite. Play with friends online. It’s a party.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Erdq0kiako4

…And Lots More

Nintendo also announced a commemorative Zelda Game & Watch handheld game to celebrate the franchise’s 35th anniversary. We can also look forward to an Advance Wars 1+2 remake, a two-player WarioWare game, and Tekken’s Kuzaya joining Smash Bros ultimate. 

For updates on these (and many more) Nintendo Switch projects revealed today, stay tuned to Byte News!

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