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SYFY WIRE nintendo switch

Gaming: Dragon’s Lair on Switch; RDR2 goes battle royale; Bungie’s Activision-free destiny; Amazon reportedly streaming games

By Benjamin Bullard
Red Dead Redemption 2 via Rockstar official site 2019

The Nintendo Switch will get a major boost to its already-strong retro gaming bona fides next week, when all three of the original Dragon’s Lair games that heated up arcades in the 1980s arrive at the Nintendo eShop.

Canadian developer Digital Leisure revealed this week that Dirk the Daring will be questing his way onto eShop with the debut of Dragon’s Lair, Space Ace, and Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp — three classics whose graphics set the standard for arcade gamers through the mid-'80s and into the early '90s.

Despite its vastly different setting and cast of characters, Space Ace remains the honorary, if outlying, member of the trilogy — thanks to its reliance on the same cutting-edge graphical rendering and development know-how of Dragon’s Lair, which debuted months earlier in the summer of ‘83. Dragon’s Lair II came along in 1991, long after the arcade phenomenon had hit its peak, but its laser disc-rendered graphics nevertheless helped set it apart and stand the test of time alongside its trilogy predecessors.

News of all this fire-breathing nostalgia comes without much of a delay: Digital Leisure assures that all three games will swoop onto the eShop starting Jan. 17.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is saddling up one of the most significant early additions to its evolving online mode, debuting Gun Rush, which is essentially Rockstar’s wild-west version of a battle royale.

The newest update for Red Dead Online (which is still in beta), Gun Rush brings a last-cowpoke-standing fight-to-the-finish mode that can field as many as 32 players, working either solo or in teams. Via Polygon, Rockstar also has announced additional updates to Red Dead Online that include a plethora of daily “challenges” covering the full spread of the game’s many activities, as well as smaller upgrades — like reducing the area where your map location is visible to others — aimed at making it easier for players to avoid griefers and trolls.

As an add-on to RDR2 — one of the most successful launches in entertainment history, gaming or otherwise — Gun Rush is accessible now to any PlayStation 4 or Xbox One owner who’s already riding the trails in the Red Dead Online beta.

Bungie, the developer of the original Halo series as well as the ongoing Destiny franchise, is reportedly parting ways with Activision after an eight-year partnership, taking up the self-publishing reins as Destiny 2 continues to expand its online player base.

The two companies announced the split in a mutually amicable Twitter post:

“We have enjoyed a successful eight-year run and would like to thank Activision for their partnership on Destiny,” Bungie added on its website. “…We’ll continue to deliver on the existing Destiny roadmap, and we’re looking forward to releasing more seasonal experiences in the coming months, as well as surprising our community with some exciting announcements about what lies beyond.”

Finally, will we soon be able to jump into a game simply by saying, “Hey, Alexa?” 

Amazon may be preparing its own entry into the game-streaming fray, according to a new report via The Information. Two sources with knowledge of the matter told the outlet that Amazon is planning to launch a cloud-based, live-play streaming platform sometime in 2020 or later.

The online retail giant reportedly is already discussing possible gaming titles for inclusion on the platform. The Verge did some follow-up sleuthing, and discovered a small handful of Amazon job postings that appear to support the initial report. If true, Amazon would join both Microsoft and Google (and possibly others, by 2020) in offering some kind of selection of cloud-based games.