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Smoke and Sacrifice hits Switch in Japan on May 30th, 2019

Smoke show

Smoke and Sacrifice is an open-world, narrative-driven RPG, where exploiting living ecosystems is the key to your survival. Craft, fight, survive and explore the huge open world in this beautifully hand-painted, gothic adventure where every character has their tale to tell.

Smoke and Sacrifice, which launched quite awhile ago in North America, is now set for release in Japan. The title is due out May 30th, 2019, with preloads going live on May 23rd, 2019. Smoke and Sacrifice is priced at ¥2,000.

Dragon Quest Builders 2's third DLC pack dated for Japan

Get with the times

Square-Enix has confirmed a Japanese release date for Dragon Quest Builders 2's 'Modernist Pack' DLC. This pack will see release on May 30th, 2019, and is priced at ¥1,296. The pack includes more than 70 different options to create modern-looking structures, as well as hairstyle and clothing changes.

Game Freak prioritizing original projects over Pokemon, talks about the importance of trying something new, details 2019 efforts

Game Freak wants to be more than just Pokemon

Game Freak programmer and director Masayuki Onoue has opened up about the inner-workings of the company. In an interview with VideoGamesChronicle, Mr. Onoue talked a bit about the two teams within Game Freak. One team focuses on Pokemon, while the other team, named Gear Project, works on new ideas.

“There are two different production teams here, simply named Production Team 1 and Production Team 2. Team 1 is fully dedicated to Gear Project, while Team 2 is for the Pokémon operation. What that means is that Game Freak as a company is prioritising Gear Project, which is production team number one, more than Pokémon in general. We are always trying to create something that is equally exciting, or more exciting than Pokémon.

There is a lot of back-and-forth between Team 1 and Team 2. One of the interesting things is that Team 2, which is dedicated to Pokémon, only knows about specific platforms. So with Team 2, engineers can learn about other platforms that they might not have touched before. By mixing up the teams we are able to create this interesting synergy."

One of the games that came from Gear Project was Giga Wrecker. Onoue was involved directly with Giga Wrecker, and found the project to be quite refreshing.

"Yes, it was a totally refreshing experience when I moved from Pokémon to Giga Wrecker. It’s like a paradigm shift. When you’re a programmer working on Pokémon, you’re one of many programmers. However, as a director on Giga Wrecker the experience opened my eyes to the other aspects of game creation, all the way up to users playing the game. It’s really difficult to expect a programmer to have that kind of perspective, but as director I learned how to make a game more appealing and accessible to players, plus aspects of marketing as well.

Gear Project has helped me become more creative. I’ve now seen the whole process of creation all the way to marketing and selling the game to players. I can now bring that knowhow back to the Pokémon team and try to create something different for Pokémon. It’s a good synergy between Gear Project and Pokémon creation. Gear Project has helped me become more creative… I can now bring that knowhow back to the Pokémon team and try to create something different for Pokémon."

As you can tell, Game Freak is looking to do some new and big things with 2019. Onoue opened up about Game Freak's plans for the rest of the year ahead.

"2019 will be very exciting, especially following the Pikachu Let’s Go titles which allowed us to start looking seriously at Nintendo Switch as a platform. That was a very important milestone for us before moving on to the next step. In terms of the number of titles we are releasing this year, it’s happened coincidentally. It’s not like we’re trying to put everything together in 2019 – it just happened.

R&D is a newly founded division which is creating the basic library, which used to be created every single time we made a project. That helps the efficiency of our production for sure. Also, we are looking at what’s going on in the future, from a technical perspective, and that’s something else that we’ve never had before. I think that R&D division will certainly contribute to the future of Game Freak.”

Jeremy Parish's Virtual Boy Works #14 - Space Squash

Squash, anyone?

Another Japan-exclusive Virtual Boy release, this one from minor publisher Coconuts Japan. And it's a good, if slight, creation that takes great advantage of the Virtual Boy hardware to present players with a sci-fi rendition of a popular sport. Like a lot of other games on the system, it needed a little more time in the oven to achieve its full potential—but it's both fun and interesting, making it one of the more notable imports for Virtual Boy.

Pokémon GO’s June Community Day Features Slakoth and a Special Move

I choose you, Slakoth!

The Normal-type Pokémon Slakoth will be the star of this weekend's Community Day, and you don't want to slack off during this event!

This month, Community Day will occur on Saturday, June 8, 2019, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in your local time zone. Not only will you have the opportunity to catch plenty of Slakoth during the three-hour span, but if you evolve Vigoroth (the evolved form of Slakoth) into Slaking during or up to one hour after the event, your Slaking will know a special move that it is normally unable to learn. This move will be available only to Slaking evolved during Community Day. You'll even have a chance to encounter a Shiny Slakoth, if you're lucky!

Additionally, during the event, Lures will last for three hours and Eggs placed in Incubators will hatch four times faster.

Check back soon to find out the name of the special move—and have fun on Slakoth Community Day!

Japanese software/hardware sales - May 13th to 19th, 2019

Nintendo keeps dominating

Another fantastic week for Nintendo in Japan. The Switch is top of the hardware charts again, and it holds 8 out of the top 10 software spots for the week. Check out the full rundown below.

01./00. [PS4] Ys: Memories of Celceta - Kai (Nihon Falcom) {2019.05.16} (¥3.980) - 13.895 / NEW
02./02. [NSW] Super Smash Bros. Ultimate # (Nintendo) {2018.12.07} (¥7.200) - 8.507 / 3.085.499 (-16%)
03./03. [NSW] Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo) {2017.04.28} (¥5.980) - 7.258 / 2.302.993 (-14%)
04./04. [NSW] Minecraft # (Microsoft Game Studios) {2018.06.21} (¥3.600) - 6.954 / 783.332 (-16%)
05./01. [PS4] Days Gone (Sony Interactive Entertainment) {2019.04.26} (¥6.900) - 6.276 / 166.459 (-48%)
06./06. [NSW] Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! / Let's Go, Eevee! # (Pokemon Co.) {2018.11.16} (¥5.980) - 5.991 / 1.530.747 (-2%)
07./05. [NSW] New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe (Nintendo) {2019.01.11} (¥5.980) - 5.087 / 616.477 (-30%)
08./09. [NSW] Splatoon 2 # (Nintendo) {2017.07.21} (¥5.980) - 4.524 / 3.067.711 (-11%)
09./07. [NSW] The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild # (Nintendo) {2017.03.03} (¥6.980) - 4.518 / 1.319.464 (-21%)
10./08. [NSW] Yoshi's Crafted World (Nintendo) {2019.03.29} (¥5.980) - 4.068 / 134.812 (-27%)

AeternoBlade II officially announced for Switch

Due out Fall 2019

PQube (London, UK) - May 22nd, 2019 - PQube and developer Corecell Technology are excited to announce AeternoBlade II, a brand-new action/puzzle platformer for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One! Dynamic and versatile time-bending mechanics give a fresh spin to the fast-paced combat and ingenious puzzles, making AeternoBlade II a game to set your watch for this Autumn!

Harness the AeternoBlade and play as three unique characters, including returning heroine Freyja and newcomers Felix and Bernard. Each equipped with an individual set of skills, they journey across dimensions in a desperate struggle against the destruction of the Dark Abyss. The power of the AeternoBlade must be returned or reality, as they know it, will face total collapse.

The gameplay of AeternoBlade II is pure poetry that puts puzzle-platforming elements and dynamic combat in perfect sync. Engaging jump'n'run and puzzle passages seamlessly transition into action-packed battles that let you push the game's visually striking combo system to its limits. Combining both components by using launched enemies as mid-air stepstones to access new areas and much more will challenge your creativity in completely new ways this Autumn!

For more information and the latest news, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Twitch, Instagram and our official website: http://pqube.co.uk/

Official Nintendo-branded "Star" microSD card available on Amazon UK

Not the best deal

SanDisk's line of Nintendo-branded microSD cards just got an update. Joining the Zelda and Mario mushroom is the Star-themed microSD card, which is priced at £77.99, and includes 256GB of storage. Not exactly the best deal for the storage space, but you're paying for the name and design on the card. If that's worth the price to you, you can grab the card here.

Pokemon Rumble Rush now available globally for Android devices

Rumble in the jungle

Pokemon Co. has officially released Pokemon Rumble Rush worldwide. The game is now available for those who have Android devices, with the iOS launch coming later at an unspecified date. This launch comes alongside the Version 1.03 update, which unfortunately introduces a game-breaking bug.

Kofi Quest: Alpha MOD Kickstarter hits goal, officially seeing release on Switch

The latest Kickstarter success

The team behind Kofi Quest: Alpha MOD said they would bring the game to Switch if they hit their initial funding goal. With 9 days to go, the Kickstarter has officially hit its $33k funding goal, so a Switch version is now confirmed! We'll keep tabs on the Kickstarter for future updates on the Switch version's progress.