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9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors is coming to iOS

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Earlier this year, I played a little Nintendo DS puzzle game called 999: 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors. It’s quite brilliant; a quirky Japanese visual novel with an enormous brain and heart hiding behind all the lame puns. Since completing it in January, I’ve been preaching the gospel of 999 to anyone with a Nintendo DS and an open ear. Now, that quest is about to get a little easier. As of today, Japanese fans can purchase a version of the game for any device with iOS  5.1 or above. This port comes without puzzles and includes the story map from 999‘s sequel, Virtue’s Last Reward. If you can’t read Japanese or access the Japan iTunes store, you may have to wait a little bit for an English version.

According to Patrick Klepek of Giant Bomb, Kotaro Uchikoshi – the creator of the Zero Escape series – has commented on the possibility of 999 iOS for the Japanese illiterate. According to Uchikoshi, an English version will come out “by autumn”, but we don’t have any official confirmation from 999‘s North American publisher, Aksys Games.

This is simultaneously a great and terrible idea. Ports are generally a positive thing: they expand a game’s audience beyond a certain platform and could result in a talented developer earning more recognition and/or sick wads of cash. But, on the other hand (for reasons I could not begin to communicate, even if I wanted to), changing the platform and removing the puzzles will almost certainly have a negative impact on players’ overall thoughts on 999‘s tale. Now, the multiplatform Virtue’s Last Reward could work, but everything about 999 was designed for the DS, even the story. Trust me, iOS is not the ideal platform for this wonderful game.

Mike Cosimano resides in the coldest part of an area known for its already frigid temperatures, where he complains that every game isn't just Spider-Man 2 again. He also enjoys podcasting and being confused by PC gaming in his spare time. You can talk to him if you want to hear about his Fast and Furious crossover fan fiction.

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LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Technology Will Deliver a ‘Brand New Way to Explore the Entire Saga’

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LEGO Star Wars

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga will benefit from modern technological capabilities leading to a whole new project rather than just remastering older episodes.

In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, James McCloughlin game director at TT Games discussed the studio’s technological progress regarding game design compared to 15 years ago. McCloughlin confirmed that instead of remastering episodes one to six, the studio is developing a whole new experience to align with current player standards.

“We wanted to create a new Star Wars game which was designed without the technical restrictions of the older games—mainly episodes one to six—and since then we have learned so much as a studio.” He continued, “The older Star Wars games were great for that generation of gamers, but now players expect and need a lot more freedom in their play. With this game we hope to give players a brand new way to explore and enjoy the entire saga.”

One of the main features expected to dramatically change will be the size and scope of episodes one to six. McLoughlin highlights that player freedom is one of the biggest expectations of gamers and cited his experience working on Shadow of Mordor, Shadow of War, and the Batman Arkham series.

“Freedom is a massive part of modern games—since the days of the cantina [in the early Lego Star Wars games], we have designed and developed over-world spaces from Middle Earth to Gotham City all with different challenges and hurdles to overcome. This game should be an amalgamation of all of what we have learned so far as a studio.”

Furthermore McLoughlin explained that TT Games monitors consumer reception to its games, so after The Skywalker Saga is released the studio will consistently evaluate players’ reactions (both good and bad): “We now have a greater toolset to evaluate play through analytics and user testing that just wasn’t as readily available 15 years ago,” he explained. “We can now very easily target sectors of play and enhance the areas we know get the most traffic, to help make the entire experience great from start to finish.”

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is set to release in 2020 for PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. OnlySP’s Mike Cripe got to see the game in action at E3, finding that it may yet be as good as the highly anticipated Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

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