Hello everyone and welcome to this week's Nintendo recap. After months of waiting, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was finally released on Switch, and it's proving to be a huge game with plenty of improvements over past entries in the series. In other news, we learned this week that it wasn't Nintendo who told PlatinumGames to cover up our favorite witch, Bayonetta.
We also finally got a release date for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe — Booster Course Pass's second wave, which brings additional courses, including a brand new one, to the game. There are plenty of other things to discuss, so let's dive on in.
Bayonetta 3 cover-up wasn't Nintendo's idea
You'll recall that a couple weeks ago, Nintendo released a new trailer for the upcoming Bayonetta 3 and explained that this adult game would have a new Naive Angel Mode that keeps the Umbra Witch covered up instead of having her be naked through her most powerful attacks. Many people on the internet didn't respond well to this news, with some people blaming Nintendo for making PlatinumGames censor our leading lady.
However, PlatinumGame Executive Director Hideki Kamiya recently explained on Twitter that the reverse is actually true.
ベヨの露出の話になると「任天堂だから云々」という言葉をやたら目にするけど、ベヨ1（移植）、ベヨ2、ベヨ3を通じて、任天堂から露出のことで口を出されたことは、ベヨ2でリンクのコスチュームに対して「もっと胸元露出させてもいいのでは？」と提案されたことを除いて、一度もないんですよ…July 19, 2022
“I see a lot of people bring up Nintendo when discussing the nudity in Bayonetta, but during our time with the Bayonetta 1 port, Bayonetta 2 and Bayonetta 3, the only suggestion we received was regarding the Link costume in Bayonetta 1 and 2, and how it should have been a little bit more revealing. No bias influenced that aspect of the game, and I think players can enjoy the game without worrying that it may have been. As Iwacchi mentioned, Nintendo isn’t just a giant company with red tape around every corner, and after working with them for such a long time, I get the impression that although there are times where we may butt heads, they’re surprisingly open to direct discussions around development and sales.”
(Thanks for the translation, NintendoEverything)
So it turns out that Nintendo didn't ask PlatinumGames to tone down Bayonetta's more bawdy elements. In fact, Nintendo at least once asked the developer to make her design racier and in a Link cosplay too. Scandalous. 😘
It's believed that Naive Angel Mode was designed so that people playing at home around family or those streaming online won't have to worry as much about "inappropriate" imagery. If you think about it, this mode will make the game more approachable for more players, even if the innuendo-filled dialogue doesn't change.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 releases to overwhelming positive reviews
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has officially released on Nintendo Switch after what feels like an eternity of waiting. The game has scored very highly among critics and was at an 89 Metascore at the time of this writing. Of the many praises it has received, one that everyone can agree on is that the world is huge with plenty of quests to do. Some have even reported that it took over 100 hours to beat. We're currently working on our review of the game on iMore and will get it up sometime next week, so check back for that.
Despite being a Switch exclusive, some people have managed to bring the JRPG to Steam Deck and other platforms since the full game leaked a week before launch. This means there are plenty of spoilers floating around online already, so if you want to avoid them, you'll want to be careful when on social media or streaming sites.
Concept art and challenges for Xenoblade Chronicles 3 revealed in Nintendo interview
While we're on the topic, Nintendo released a three-part interview where the Monolith Soft developers behind Xenoblade Chronicles 3 talk about the game and the challenges they faced in making it. They discuss just about everything, including character designs, combat, music, and even motion capture.
At one point, producer and director Koh Kojima explained that coming up with character designs was a "hellish process of trial and error." The team especially struggled to get Noah's look right since they wanted him to be both a powerful individual as well as a philosopher. Concept art for some of the characters was even included in the interview.
Another cool thing is that this interview reveals what lengths the team went to in order to create an immersive world. We've known since the first announcement trailer that flutes play an important part in the game, but the interview reveals that the developers actually made their own flutes so they could create unique music. As Mitsuda said, "By making the flutes from scratch, you can create a sound that hasn't been heard before." That's going the distance in a level of audible world-building I love to hear.
With the team working so hard to improve upon previous games in the Xenoblade Chronicles franchise and focus on so many little details, it's no wonder that the third installment in the JRPG series has been doing so well.
Wave 2 of the Mario Kart Booster Course Pass brings eight additional courses next week
On Thursday, Nintendo announced that Wave 2 of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe — Booster Course Pass will finally release on Aug 4. This will bring two additional cups with four courses apiece. Among the ones announced are fan favorites from past Mario Kart games and a brand new, never-before-seen course that looks so sweet it might just give your cavities.
|New York Minute||Tour||Zip past towering skyscrapers and enjoy a scenic drive through the park in this Big Apple-inspired course originating from the mobile game Mario Kart Tour.|
|Mario Circuit 3||SNES||Drift your way around tight corners and avoid the Warp Pipes in this classic course that originated in Super Mario Kart on Super NES.|
|Kalimari Desert||N64||This desert race features frequent run-ins with an old-fashioned steam locomotive that crosses the course – be careful not to cause any delays!|
|Waluigi Pinball||DS||Launch, bump and weave across this course themed after a giant pinball table, complete with colorful lights and sounds. Just try not to tilt!|
|Sydney Sprint||Tour||Soak up the sunshine as you soar above the bay and cruise around the sights in this course that originated in Mario Kart Tour.|
|Snow Land||GBA||Try not to slip and slide on this wintry course from Mario Kart: Super Circuit. Just remember: Cooler heads will prevail.|
|Mushroom Gorge||Wii||This course features an underground cavern, deep chasms and giant mushrooms to spring off of – make sure you land safely!|
|Sky-High Sundae||Brand New||The competition may heat up, but that doesn’t mean you can’t chill out in this sweet race, which is filled with larger-than-life desserts at nearly every turn. Prove you’re number one under the sun(dae) in this debut course!|
Anybody with a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscription can play these new courses when they go live next Thursday. If you don't have a subscription, you can also purchase the Booster Course Pass on its own from Nintendo for $24.99. However, you must have the base game to play the extra courses.
Digimon Survive released for Switch
After hardly any information was put out there ahead of launch, Digimon Survive finally released on Friday for multiple platforms, including Nintendo Switch. This franchise was the big Pokémon competitor back in the 90s, but its games haven't done very well over the past several years.
Not only that, but the game's official Twitter account posted a recommendation for players to not discuss spoilers on social media for two months.
We ask players to avoid posting anything on social media that may spoil the story from Chapter 5 onward for the first two months after Digimon Survive’s release. Let’s keep Digimon Survive a one-of-a-kind experience! pic.twitter.com/ONeEH2tnptJuly 27, 2022
Unfortunately, it's hard to get a good idea of how well this game plays since Bandai Namco didn't give out review codes before release. I'm neck-deep in the massive world of Xenoblade Chronicles 3, so I won't be playing it anytime soon. However, if a company refuses to give out codes to reviewers, it's often a sign that there is something wrong with the game and that it likely won't perform well. We'll have to see if that's the case as user reviews start pouring in.
What to play this week
I highly recommend checking out Xenoblade Chronicles 3 if you haven't already. I've been playing it for several hours, and it's proven to be a good addition to the series with a complex battle system and an engaging plot. If you were worried about hopping in, know it's also beginner friendly! At the very least, you'll get a lot of bang for your buck with it since it's over 100 hours long.
Until next time.
- Rebecca Spear
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Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.