For those that don’t know Cavern Blogs are pretty much my end of/start of the week post (depending how you look at it) that wraps up the previous weeks news highlighting a selection of the posts. There is also a final thoughts section on the bottom where I’ll briefly discuss my own thoughts about select stories from the week or my own gaming experiences.

This Week in Gaming News

Underworld Ascendant Launch Trailer – Underworld Ascendant is set to arrive next week, providing a new interactive dungeon delving experience from the brains behind games such as Ultima Underworld, System Shock and Thief.

OVERRIDE Developer Update Video – Giant mech brawler OVERRIDE has a new developer update video, detailing some of the changes the team made after the game’s beta test.

Path of Exile Heading to PlayStation 4 – A new trailer reveals free-to-play Diablo-inspired action RPG Path of Exile is heading to PlayStation 4.

Sunset Overdrive Appears on SteamDB – If the Sunset Overdrive PC rumors haven’t convinced you yet, take a look over at SteamDB at a recently entry for the game which essentially confirms its existence.

Persona 3, 4 Dancing Demo Trailer – A PlayStation 4 demo is now live for both Persona 3 Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5 Dancing in Starlight.

Brawlhalla New Platforms Launch Trailer – Brawlhalla has made the jump to both Nintendo Switch and Xbox One and to celebrate this Rayman and friends are joining the free-to-play Super Smash Bros. inspired fighter as well.

OVERKILL’s The Walking Dead Cinematic Launch Trailer – PAYDAY series developer Overkill has officially launched their latest project Overkill’s The Walking Dead, a co-op first-person shooter where you’ll not only face the dead, but the living as well.

Nintendo Switch Online November NES Line-Up – Nintendo shared a video showing off the Nintendo Switch Online free NES game line-up for November which list listed below.

This War of Mine: Complete Edition Nintendo Switch Trailer – 11 bit studios indie hit war survival game This War of Mine was announced to be heading to the Nintendo Switch later this month with all current and upcoming DLC included.

Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee League Champion Trailer – The trailers continue to flow for Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee, the latest showing off the challenges the player will face a long the way to become the League Champion.

DERU – The Art of Cooperation Launch Trailer – Cooperative puzzle game DERU – The Art of Cooperation has now officially launched for both PC and Nintendo Switch.

Kirby Star Allies Wave 3 DLC Trailer – A new trailer has revealed a third wave of free DLC content coming to Kirby Star Allies.

Final Fantasy XV Stream Details Future for Game – We learned that Game Direct Hajime Tabata would be stepping down from his position at Square Enix and much of FFXV’s previously announced DLC would be cancelled with the exception of Episode Ardyn.

HITMAN 2 Gameplay Launch Trailer – HITMAN 2 is makings its way to retail and digital storefronts next week and a new gameplay trailer should hopefully get you pumped for release.

ACE COMBAT 7: SKIES UNKNOWN Aces At War Ed. Trailer – A new trailer for ACE COMBAT 7: SKIES UNKNOWN shows off some new gameplay in addition to revealing the ‘Aces at War Edition’ version of the game which includes the full game, a 150 page art book, and an exclusive Steelbook case.

Farming Simulator 19 Garage Trailer – The latest edition of Farming Simulator is just around the corner and a new trailer titled ‘Garage’ covers the many helpful vehicles tools it holds for want-to-be simulated farmers.

Gary Busey Joins Killing Floor 2 For Christmas Event – This years upcoming Twisted Christmas event in Killing Floor 2 will have a special celebrity guest this year with the addition of a new playable character voiced by Gary Busey.

Youtube Arrives on Nintendo Switch – The rumors were true and the Youtube App is now officially available for Nintendo Switch.

Battlefield V Launch Trailer – The battle royale genre will need to make some space soon as one of the big boys will soon be joining the fight, I’m of course talking about Battlefield V which just saw the release of its launch trailer.

Trine Series Heading to Switch – A new trailer has revealed the Trine series will be heading to Nintendo Switch.

Tetris Effect Launch Trailer – Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s stylish flavor of popular tile-matching puzzle game Tetris is now officially playable as Tetris Effect has launched.

X018 Round-up – Here’s our one stop post for all the trailers and news coming from Microsoft’s X018 Xbox event in Mexico City.

Final Thoughts

Last week I had a couple big topics I wanted to cover, however I decided to save the Smash Bros. thoughts for this weekend as last week’s Diablo discussion was using up a lot of writing real estate.

First I just wanted to share my thoughts on the Direct’s character reveals.  When the Direct opened with Ken and Incineroar I was initial very positive about it, I was thinking “Okay, the Grinch leak is fake, but this is a 40 minute Direct and we are already getting some of these lackluster reveals out of the way”.  Little did I know shortly after this reveal Sakurai would announce this was the final launch roster, a major blow to all Smash fans that had expectations through the roof for this stream.  Sakurai always has some surprises up his sleeves though and he caught everyone off guard with his post-launch Piranha Plant free DLC character announcement.  A lot of people are very annoyed with this reveal because of it taking up a slot over other prominent obvious choices, but I love the idea honestly as Ultimate really needed that silly or unexpected character that pretty much every entry has.  It’s a shame we won’t have him at launch, but I suppose it gives us something to look forward to early next year.

DLC plans were also announced and thankfully is being provided through a fair-priced Season Pass rather than what we saw with the Wii U which was a mess of different microtransactions for characters, stages, and Mii costumes that added up to being more costly than the base game.  We don’t know what any of these characters are going to be, but Sakurai has confirmed this past week that the choices are finalized and were made by Nintendo this time around rather than Sakurai and his team.  He mentioned that Nintendo sent him a list of characters at which point he decides if he can make them into a fighter.  Many are speculating now if this means the characters will be from only Nintendo franchises, however I don’t think this is necessarily the case.  If anything I’d say it ups the chances because any third party characters entering the ring would have to be a decision made by Nintendo and whether they can work it out with the other party.  DLC characters are likely easier to make licensing deals for as well since the party can get a larger piece of the pie rather than a tiny fraction of the base game’s sales.  Basically this means Banjo fans shouldn’t give up just yet, because if he did make it in, it would be solely up to Nintendo to work it out with Microsoft and make it happen.

Since the Direct didn’t have many reveals, much of it was used to cover other modes.  Such as the online and the mystery mode which turned out to be ‘Spirits’.  Spirits is a new feature to replace trophies and instead of 3D models, these are 2D pieces of character art.  There are a lot more gameplay mechanics behind them however as they can be equipped to fighters in a new single player adventure mode to enhance their stats and abilities.  They can be leveled up as well meaning there is potentially countless hours of gameplay here for those that obsess over collecting and grinding levels.

The new adventure mode looks to be a step up from Subspace emissary in my opinion.  While the cinematic cutscenes were awesome in that, the gameplay was just incredibly dull thanks to excessive use of new original enemies rather than Nintendo classics.  Smash controls also aren’t really designed to be a fun platformer or beat em’ up too which didn’t help at all.  Ultimate instead provides a hand-drawn stage select map with a variety of encounters to be had.  The encounters provide opportunities to earn new spirits from a library of games spanning Nintendo and beyond.  They handcrafted unique fights for these stages as well, trying their best to replicate the spirit of that character in a Smash fight.

While initially let down, the Direct did manage to leave me feeling positive by the end and I look forward to seeing the five DLC character reveals happening throughout next year.  Who knows, maybe we’ll even see a surprise reveal at The Game Awards, which strangely enough airs the night before launch.

One other Smash-related thing I wanted to talk about briefly before I go is the campaign to censor one of Game & Watch’s attacks in the game.  The specific attack I’m referring to is his forward smash where he attacks with a torch.  In Ultimate they added a feather to his head during this attack to reference an old Game & Watch game which is deemed as offensive and racist today to Native Americans.  I hate to see the removal of a nod to a classic game in a game that is all about video game history, but I’ve learned Nintendo of America did the same edit in Game & Watch Gallery 4 for Game Boy Advance many years ago.  This means there probably is no reason to get outraged thinking that a vocal minority caused the game to be modified.  Nintendo likely had this planned for the North American version as they have claimed in an official response.  The Japanese version will likely be unaffected, hence why the footage of it exists.