Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Very, very, very, very, very, very, VERY good news.

So Nintendo had a little ten-minute "Nindies" stream today.  Here's the full stream.  Announced today for Switch were...

Worth watching are Light Fall, The Messenger and Bad North, but this is not very, very, very, very, very, very, VERY good news.  Under merely very good news, there's The Banner Saga.

Story and choice-driven strategy-RPG The Banner Saga 3 will come to Switch this summer (everything announced today got a release window, at best, never a date).  But also coming "soon" are The Banner Saga and The Banner Saga 2.  Here's hoping they actually show up before Banner Saga 3 so you can play them first, and carry your progress over.

But, again, this is merely very good news.  And today brought very, very, very, very, very, very, VERY good news.

...and here it is:

Klei Entertainment's Mark of the Ninja is coming to the Switch this fall as Mark of the Ninja Remastered.

Holy shit.  I tuned into the direct at work today, and it began with Mark of the Ninja's reveal.  I literally leapt out of my chair and jump around fist pumping.  I had never dared to dream.

Mark of the Ninja is a modern masterpiece.  It was my Game of the Year for 2012, despite the fact that it only appeared on the Xbox 360 at the time - a platform I probably maxed out at six games for, total, which had a controller I loathed.

Prior to Mark of the Ninja, Klei Entertainment had only made the pretty-darned-good (beautifully-presented) Shank, and the goddamned-excellent Shank 2Mark of the Ninja was the game that let us know these might be some of the best game developers in the world. The perfection of Mark of the Ninja - a classic 2D platformer with incredibly thoughtful, well-executed and gorgeous stealth - was the first indication that Klei would go on to produce the masterful Roguelike Don't Starve and the critically acclaimed blend of genres that is Invisible, Inc.

Mark of the Ninja is one of the best games of this century, as far as I'm concerned, and the single best stealth game that's ever been made.  It's also a 2D platformer.  With hand-drawn sprites.  And incredible animation.  And gorgeous overall presentation.  And absolutely wonderful action platforming.  Oh my God.

I had never dared hope, because... well, look at the logos in the bottom-left of that image above.  Mark of the Ninja was published by Microsoft Studios - an Xbox 360 exclusive that eventually made its way to PC, Klei have said that Mark is actually Microsoft's intellectual property, and Klei didn't have the option to port it over to PS4 or Vita.  I'd never imagined, in my wildest dreams, that one of my favorite stealth games, one of my favorite platformers of all time, would be playable on a handheld, but here we are.


I love Hyper Light DrifterLOVE.  IT.  When it came to PS4, I absolutely adored it, and patiently waited for the Vita version, which had been promised when the game's Kickstarter hit that stretch goal.

It never came to Vita.  Instead, the head of studio Heart Machine said he had the sniffles, couldn't do the port, and a week later announced he was hiring for a big new project!  Fuck you, buddy - that still stings.

...but it only stung that bad because I love Hyper Light Drifter so much.  I returned to it for three or four playthroughs back in December, and wrote the closest thing I ever did to a review for it. I've been dying for Hyper Light Drifter on a handheld the moment it was announced, and it will apparently land on Switch... this summer.

Mark of the Ninja on Switch.

Hyper Light Drifter on Switch.

Today is a very good day.

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