Nintendo Recap: Pokémon BDSP Outperforms Sword and Shield at Launch, ’97 Zelda Ocarina of Time Demo Live
Hello everyone! It’s been a crazy few weeks with the Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals, and a few eye-opening interesting theories have been revealed in the run-up to the Game Awards premieres. Additionally, The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 1997 Space World demo has been decompiled and can be obtained legally. We also learned that Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl have sold very well and even had a stronger launch than Sword and Shield. Crazy, right? There’s a lot to say this week, so let’s dive in!
Game Awards teaser
Geoff Keighly creates hype for upcoming 2021 Game Awards to be held December 9 at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET. As part of this, he tweeted that he “saw the final cut of a world premiere of #thegameawards that we’ve been working with a developer on for 2.5 years.” This led to a lot of speculation from gamers about what the game might be like.
Many suspect that this is the official name for the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as well as some new content. After all, it was at E3 2019 that the sequel was first announced, so that around 2.5 years ago this Game Awards collaboration could have started. Still, it could very well be something different and not Nintendo related at all. We’ll have to wait and find out. Either way, I’ll be listening and definitely report back on all the exciting news from Nintendo that arrives that night.
Best-selling Switch games for Black Friday
As noted in Gamesindustry.biz’s Black Friday rankings, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was the best-selling Switch game this Black Friday. That’s not surprising given the Switch bundle that comes with the racing game and a three-month Nintendo Switch Online membership. Here are the five best-selling Switch games during that time frame:
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
- Shiny Diamond Pokémon
- Animal crossing: new horizons
- Mario Party Superstars
Surprisingly, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond was only the third best-selling Switch game for this Black Friday weekend, with Minecraft beating it. Now Minecraft has always been an unstoppable cash cow that continues to sell well. Since it’s been out for a while now, it’s probably seen better deals than the Gen IV remakes that just came out, which were always at full price. Still, it’s interesting that Brilliant Diamond was the best-selling version of these remakes. This isn’t too surprising given that the game that is listed first for any generation of Pokémon is usually the best-selling game.
After that we have Mario Party Superstars, which just released in October and is definitely the best Mario Party game to be released in years. It’s also not a shock given that it’s more of a collection of remakes of old classic paintings and popular mini-games. It’s hard to go wrong when working with the best. Either way, it will make a great family gift this holiday season if you haven’t purchased it already.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl had an amazing launch
Japanese game store Famitsu reported that Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl (BDSP) sold approximately 1,396,000 physical copies in Japan in just three days. It doesn’t even take into account the number of digital sales. As such, this marks the second major opening week for all Switch games in Japan, right after Animal Crossing: New Horizons. That’s better than the Sword and Shield launch of around 30,000 physical units.
We also know via Gamesindustry.biz that BDSP also had the biggest launch of all Pokémon games in UK history. We don’t really know what the US numbers are yet, but it looks like this remake has worked well here too.
It makes you wonder how Pokémon Legends: Arceus is going to behave in February. After all, it’s very different from the normal Pokémon formula and there will only be one game instead of two versions, so sales will likely seem smaller because of that alone.
Speedrunner beat Pokémon BDSP in under 18 minutes
Speaking of BDSP, Speedrunner Werster on YouTube has repeatedly broken its completion record of Any% (hitting the end credits with any acceptable completion level) remakes in record time. His best record at the time of this writing was 17 minutes and 17 seconds. This was accomplished by taking advantage of the glitches and opening and closing menus at the right time to skip cutscenes. It’s not something the average gamer wants to experience, but it’s an impressive achievement nonetheless.
Kirby the Forgotten Land release date could be coming soon
Kirby and the Forgotten Land was announced a few months ago, but no exact release date has been given. However, last week the game received its ESRB rating, as reported by Stealth on Twitter. That means it’s probably almost finished, and we might get a release date announcement very soon. My bet is we’ll see a special video for it at the Game Awards.
Nintendo’s Doug Bowser calls Activision Blizzard situation “explosive and disturbing”
It recently emerged that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has known about the sexual harassment allegations for years and has even taken steps to keep the situations calm. Xbox’s Phil Spencer and PlayStation’s Jim Ryan came out and said they weren’t happy with what was going on at Activision Blizzard and even went so far as to say they were reassessing their company’s relationship with the giant. video game.
Nintendo of America’s Doug Bowser was next to respond. In a letter to employees sent on November 19 and obtained by Fanbyte, he said the reports are “distressing and disturbing, they go against my values and the beliefs, values and policies of Nintendo”.
He went on to say that Nintendo is in contact with Activision Blizzard and “has taken action and is evaluating others.” It’s unclear exactly what it means to “take action” in this case, but it stands to reason that all of the big game companies want to distance themselves from the egregious actions of this billion-dollar company’s scandals. We will keep an eye on this and report back as soon as we know more. In the meantime, Kotick is still in power and as long as he stays there, he won’t feel like anything has really been done to change the culture.
Zelda Space World ’97 Experience demo available for download
In 1997, a demo of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was presented at the Space World conference. Since this was only a demo, hardly anyone got to play it and it was believed that the coding had been lost for years. However, you may remember that at the start of this year, in January, a 32MB N64 cartridge of F-Zero was found by Twitter user Forest of Illusion, which included part of the demo for it. ‘Ocarina of Time.
Then later that year there was the Gigaleak, which contained the source code for several classic N64 games, including Ocarina of Time content that could be used for the demo. As such, fans dumped the data and set out to decompile it so that they could recreate the demo as close to the original as possible. This has been a big project as many items and menus had to be redone or added to make the demo playable. Craziest of all is that you can actually legally get a ROM and play it on an emulator. If you are interested, you can find this Zelda demo ROM on Github.
In addition to the ’97 Space World demo, the full Ocarina of Time game has also been fully decompiled. As reported by VGC, it was decompiled by Zelda Reverse Engineering Team (ZRET), a community-led group, who had been working on this project for about two years. It’s a perfectly legal thing for them, but we’ll see if Nintendo does anything to try and protect one of its best games of all time.
Have a good week-end!
Even though I beat Brilliant Diamond and became the champion, I will still play the game this weekend. After all, I have yet to capture the Legendary Pokemon in Ramanas Park and am still willing to spend hours shining hunting. Hope you enjoy the games you play this weekend and have a relaxing few days before Monday.
Till next time.
- Rebecca Lance