Cannon Brawling on Nintendo Switch April 14th

It’s been almost 7 years since I reviewed Temple Gates Games’ Cannon Brawl, a Worms-like that adds a light real time strategy layer with resourcing and building construction. Since it was released in 2014 on Steam for Windows, macOS, and Linux, Cannon Brawl has also come to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and now Temple Gates Games and Blitworks are bringing Cannon Brawl to the Nintendo Switch eShop on April 14th for $10.

I’m playing a pre-release version of the game and it is perfect for the Switch. The cannons are just as fun to fire, and the writing is still funny. The campaign is rewarding and teaches players one thing at a time in a fun way before unlocking new characters or other cannon types and upgrades but you can still just jump right into an AI battle or multiplayer. Using two Joy-Cons for single-Switch multiplayer works great. I highly recommend checking out Cannon Brawl on the Switch or revisiting it on any of the other platforms it is on.

The Nintendo Vault Takes Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Disney has been successful with their decades-old tradition of only releasing movies from the Disney Vault when they’d like more money please, so Nintendo has decided to do something similar and is not going to sell Super Mario 3D All-Stars after today. Super Mario 3D All-Stars was released on September 18th, 2020, and has Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy all either emulated and adjusted or just re-compiled and adjusted for the Nintendo Switch. The Mario compilation is already half back in the vault, several stores have stopped selling it already but there is the caveat that it will continue to be sold at some stores “…while supplies last.” What an odd decision that probably has something to do with their fiscal quarter also ending today.

Valve Expands Remote Play Together to Players Outside of Steam

Speaking of Valve’s game streaming technology, their Remote Play Together service that lets people share local multiplayer games over the internet through game streaming now lets up to four players join with just a link, no Steam account required. Valve says that it’ll work for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. Only the host needs to own the game.

PlayStation Store Shutting Down for Vita, PS3, PSP

Sony confirmed rumors today that they are shutting down the PlayStation Store for new purchases on three platforms this year. The PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation Portable will all lose the ability to purchase new games and DLC digitally, but can still redownload previously purchased items. This was confirmed via an e-mail to users and an “important notice” posted to Sony’s PlayStation support documentation website:

We are closing PlayStation™Store on PlayStation®3 consoles on July 2nd, 2021 and on PlayStation®Vita devices on August 27th 2021. Additionally, the remaining purchase functionality for PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) will also retire on July 2nd, 2021. 

Many more questions were answered by that notice like what will happen to funds added to accounts of users who aren’t planning on migrating to the PlayStation 4 or 5 (they can be refunded) but it’s pretty clear now that the digital purchases made on stores like these are extremely ephemeral. Microsoft is hailed for their back-catalog support but they retire Forza Horizon games after a few years and make them unavailable for purchase. Nintendo’s e-shop for the Wii shut down in 2019 and they also shut off re-downloads of purchased games for that platform.

Making games available for digital purchase should mean that they are available in perpetuity, but it’s clear that the businesses selling games don’t expect to do so, leaving game preservation in the hands of people outside of those companies who are constantly threatened with legal action. Nintendo still doesn’t regard emulation as legal despite boasting about their in-house emulation capabilities and selling boxes that use emulation as does Sony with their PlayStation Classic, most likely Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft are the primary reason that emulators aren’t allowed on most app stores.

Fortunately for today’s subjects, while PlayStation Vita emulation is still early, PlayStation 3 emulation has improved a great deal with RPCS3 and PPSSPP handles PSP games well. It’ll be up to people who pirate game software to continue to distribute games that weren’t available on discs and patches for game software will probably be hard to come by.