Minecraft joins Smash Bros, Squadrons & Crash reviews, more

OCTOBER 2, 2020

Daily Gaming Update


Minecraft characters enter the Smash Bros. arena

As part of “Fighters Pass Vol. 2,” Minecraft is officially making a cross-over appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It includes four characters from that universe: Steve, Alex, Zombie, and Enderman. The former two are human defaults in the Minecraft universe, with the latter two being mobs. If you get the chance, make sure you watch the trailer linked above. It’s surreal seeing Mario interact with Minecraft characters.

Like all crossovers, the characters will have unique movesets that reflect the game they come from. Most prominently, they will be able to build blocks anywhere on the map — director Masahiro Sakurai confirmed they’ll have to rework the maps to make that possible. More details of how they fight will be shown in a presentation on Saturday.

Even I didn’t think this day would come. When thinking about new fighters for this game, we don’t just pick my favorites or draw from a hat. More often than not, these discussions start by Nintendo approaching me with an idea. Of course, if I can’t do that idea justice, I’ll tell them no.

— Masahiro Sakurai

Later on in that interview, Sakurai jokes that introducing these characters will be no easy feat, but that he’s up for the challenge. According to Daniel Kaplan, the discussions have been happening for this crossover for a long time (indicated as 2014).

There are still 4 more reveals for the characters coming to Smash Bros as part of Vol. 2. I’m looking forward to seeing who they’ll be.

Star Wars Squadrons and Crash Bandicoot 4 out now

Two video games are releasing today: space shooter Star Wars: Squadrons, and 3D platformer Crash Bandicoot 4. The reviews are now available, so let’s take a look!

The concept for Squadrons is very simple: you’re a starfighter pilot battling enemies in the Star Wars universe. The good news? If that concept is all you need, then EA executed on it well.

…it does exactly what it set out to do — and it does it very well indeed. It’s EA’s smallest-scale console Star Wars title yet — but also its best.

— Alex Donaldson, VG247

Reviewers were happy with the gameplay, saying that the campaign was functional and the multiplayer had enough to keep you going. Most importantly though, they lauded the controls. Whether playing through a screen or VR, the “…flight controls hit a sweet spot between accessibility and nuance…”

The only negative I can find is that critics were often left wanting more. Some felt the campaign was more of a prelude for the multiplayer, and that the game would benefit from being fleshed out more.

Crash 4 is a direct sequel to 1998’s Crash Bandicoot: Warped, and is apparently a successful revitalization of the series. The game stays true to its roots as a 3D platformer, with all the tropes you’re used to with the genre. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not that’s a good thing.

Across the board, critics praised the game’s visual fidelity and the introduction of new mechanics that change the way its played.

Toys For Bob has taken the essence of what fans loved about the classics, distilled and bottled it and then shaken it up…Anyone hankering for some old-school Crash Bandicoot action will find exactly that and more, and all wrapped up in one of the most gorgeous platformers I’ve ever seen.

—Kieron Verbugge, Press Start

Not everyone loved it though. Polygon in particular wrote about their dislike towards the game’s story, level design, controls, camera, and intense difficulty. They called it the “best-looking HD PlayStation 1 platformer of all time.”

If you’re thinking about picking it up, definitely watch some gameplay before doing so!

Rogue Company now free-to-play everywhere

I don’t blame you if you need a reminder: Rogue Company is a third-person hero shooter published by Hi-Rez Studios (Smite, Paladins, Realm Royale). For the last three months, the game has been in a period of paid beta, which attracted over 2 million players, and is the most successful game launch in Hi-Rez history.

When it was originally revealed, I didn’t think it had much going for it. Either way, now that it’s free-to-play, you can try it out for yourself! It has full cross-play and cross-save support.