A Polygonal Throuple

This week Zed Games brings you Maylee’s #GamingNews with Paul, Rani and Tom from Netherworld talk game releases, concept album games, and CRAZY TAXI. Paul then presses a single button in Lorelei and the Laser Eyes developed by @SimogoGames. Then the “20% off Great Value” Tom from Netherworld gets PS1 retro in a review of survival horror Crow Country from @SFB Games, and then Paul takes us back to 1997 in a review of the remake of Riven from @CyanGames.

Not another game delay

Crazy Taxi Reboot
At the 2023 Game Awards Sega teased reboots for several of its classic titles like Jet Set Radio,
Streets of Rage, and Crazy Taxi. A recruitment video for the Crazy Taxi reboot, features the
current team including Kenji Kanno, (the director of the original Crazy Taxi game) sharing details
about the project. They aim to preserve the gameplay of the original games, navigating a city at
breakneck speeds, but also to adapt it for the modern audience. So, what does the modern audience want?

Large-scale, open-world, massively multiplayer games of course. It’s a significant shift but might be what the team needs to make it the AAA hit they’re aiming for.
There is currently no release date for Crazy Taxi (or any of the other reboots) so we’re in for a wait.

 

Xbox partners with Amazon for console-less gaming

Microsoft has announced that later this month (July 2024) Xbox subscribers will be able to
access a wide range of games through their Fire TV Stick, without the need for an Xbox console.
You’ll need one of the newer Firesticks (4K or 4K max), a Game Pass Ultimate subscription, and
a Bluetooth controller, but that’s still likely to come in cheaper than a console.

 

Don’t Nod Delays Game Release
Life is Strange: Double Exposure, developed by Deck Nine, will be released in October 2024. It
centers around Max Caulfield, the protagonist from the first Life is Strange Game which was
developed by Don’t Nod.

Don’t Nod, which is no longer involved in the Life is Strange series, is currently working on Lost
Records: Bloom & Rage. This game was set to be released in Q3 2024 but has been postponed
until early 2025. A statement on Twitter revealed that this decision was made to avoid
competition between the two games. “We know you’re all excited for both Lost Records and the
new Life is Strange game, and we wanted to ensure both have adequate space to shine. The wait
will be worth it!”

 

Frostpunk 2 Delayed

The release of Frostpunk 2 has been delayed from July 25th, until September 20th
This follows the game’s recent beta where several notable issues were highlighted. 11-bit
studios say they want time to fix those issues and add several additional features before
release. We want to ensure Frostpunk 2 meets the high expectations of our fans and provides a
seamless and engaging experience.” They also promised that until release they would provide
behind-the-scenes updates to show how things are progressing.

 

Upcoming Game Releases:
Zenless Zone Zero will be released for PC, PS5, iOS, Android on July 4th.
July 5th gives us Cyber Citizen Shockman Zero on PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One & Xbox Series X
July 11th will see the release of Once Human and The Crush House, both on PC.
Finally, Anger Foot will be released for PC on July 10t

Queensland Games Festival


This week on Zed Games Zahra, Hazel, and Peter talk Gaming News and their Steam Library pride and shame, then a recap of this years @QueenslandGamesFestival and all that entails including the board game Casus Belli from @WallaceDesigns, the card game Epic Garden from Jade @epic_card_games, memorising regulars in Coffee Up by Jason Tam @_tototam,  an ear plucking The Ghost of the Witch from @montros.is, farm and builder Delverium from @SagestoneGames, cute Catto’s Post Office by @InShambleStudio, australiana filled Vivid Tracks from Wild Wattle/Beacon Games Studio, management sim Tavern Keeper from @GreenheartGames, frog game Frogreign from @Arkanpixel, multiplayer waiter in space @Servonauts, roly-poly spin-off Isopod from @SBugGames, On Point the VR Shooter from @ActuatorDigital, cartoony unpacking-like decor game Momento from @FatAlienCat, and the winners GoGo Town from @PridefulSlothStudio and Key Fairy from @OwlMachine… We even managed to squeak in a review With Zahra of Linea: An Innerlight Game, and a look at the Mass Effect Remasters to end the show on.

Gamers Hoarde Games

Remember Beyond Good and Evil 2?

Beyond Good and Evil 2 is still in development! That’s it, that’s the news. Ubisoft have reassured us that they haven’t forgotten about it, and they’re still working on it, which is great because it was first announced in 2008, kinda disappeared, reappeared with a trailer in 2017, and then was kinda totally silent since 2018.

There’s been some concerns about its development since Emile Morel, creative director, passed away earlier this year, but Ubisoft has reassured that it is still in the works, and the 20th Anniversary Edition of Beyond Good and Evil, which was accidentally announced early on Twitter before the tweet was deleted, has launched digitally on the 25th of June.

The remaster is supposed to contain some more of Jade’s past, and other content to tie into the second game. There will be a physical copy, and a Collector’s Edition, with preorders for those kicking off 12th of July.

$19 Billion Dollars!

That’s how much Steam users have collectively spent on games they’ve never played. So, congratulations everyone, I know each and every one of you helped to contribute to this remarkable achievement.

This is a bit of a guestimate, as only 10% of Steam accounts are public, but that 10% was responsible for at least $1.9 billion USD.

Gamer Rage

What do you do if you have a dispute with another player in an online game? Most of us probably try to ignore it and move on. Maybe block ‘em. Maybe stooped to their level. You probably didn’t fly to a different state,buy a hammer and a flashlight, break into a home, and attack said player, in real life.

Well, Edward Kang from New Jersey allegedly did just that, flying to Florida to confront a player that he had an argument with in ArcheAge, an online fantasy game. The two were found in a struggle by the player’s stepfather, who heard the player cry for help. Both the player and Edward were taken to a nearby hospital, with the player having severe head wounds, but both will be ok.

Edward is facing charges of breaking and entering, and assault. When he asked how much time he might serve, Leeper, county sheriff, allegedly responded with “I would say, Mr Kang, it’s going to be a long time before you play video games again.”

So next time, just take a walk. Not to the hardware store.

Vintage claw hammer with wooden handle against white background

War Thunder Apologises

Gaijin Entertainment, developers of the free-to-play multiplayer War Thunder, have officially apologised for ‘accidentally including imagery from the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster’ in some key art. The Challenger disaster was an event from 1986 where the space shuttle broke apart soon into its flight, killing all seven crew members.

War Thunder players noticed how an image of the disaster lined up with the artwork in the ‘Seek & Destroy’ wallpaper, with one person overlaying a photo from the disaster with the wallpaper.

“Hey guys, please accept our apologies for this, the picture was part of an aerial explosion reference pack used by our artists and the context was lost. We’ll change the key art on Monday and will make sure this doesn’t happen again,” said community manager Oxy.

In the past, the War Thunder community has managed to leak classified military documents onto the forums, often to win arguments or to make suggestions for the developers, so attention to detail is definitely a common trait.

News Nibbles!

Nintendo Switch Sports has had a few updates since it launched, adding golf, and soon, basketball! The motion control should allow players to pass, shoot, and dribble.

Sylvie Nightshade, a software engineer, made a Stardew Valley mod that adds a ‘hardcore’ mode to the game. What does that mean? Well, if you open the Stardew Valley Wiki, your farm will be deleted.

Ryan Lewis, a recent Cornell Tech graduate, created a program that converts the data from Google Maps into Minecraft worlds. The program first converts the data into voxels, and each voxel is turned into a Minecraft block, with the help of an algorithm, accurately recreating buildings, roads, terrain, and more.

 

And now for some upcoming games!

June 27th

  • Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD – Nintendo Switch
  • Neo Sprint – PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Xbox SX

June 28th

  • Gigantosaurus Dino Sports – PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Xbox SX
  • SPYxANYA: Operation Memories – PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC

July 2nd

  • Final Fantasy 14: Dawntrail – PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox SX
  • The First Descendant – PlayStation 5, Xbox SX, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

That’s it this week in gaming news!

Nintendo Direct, Game Industry News, and a summary of the week’s gaming headlines

Nintendo Direct.
I’m only going to run down the major headliners of the 40-minute June 18 Nintendo Direct, because if you’re into it you have either watched it or you’ve watched your favourite Youtuber’s summary. If you’re not, you probably don’t want a mega rundown. So here they are:

  • Mario lovers are getting Mario & Luigi: Brothership coming November 7, this year. It looks to be a dual-control platformer. As well as Super Mario Party Jamboree, a massive party game with the ability to host up to 20 players. Play it October 17.
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns HD is coming Jan 16, 2025, with 80 levels plus some from the original 3DS hit.
  • Zelda fans were hit with a Nintendo Switch Online addition of Zelda: A Link to the Past Four Swords (basically multiplayer Link). Then the new title The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom was announced to much fanfare, where you play as Zelda and create echoes in your adventure to save Link. Coming September 26 this year.
  • And finally, in Metroid news, also coming to Nintendo Switch Online Metroid Zero Mission is coming to the collection. And the long-anticipated, after the announcement of it back at E3 2017, Metroid Prime 4 will be gracing our consoles sometime in 2025.

There was a heap more, with the announcement and release dates of Just Dance 2025, Dragon Quest 3, some Marvel vs Capcom collections… lots of stuff.
Want to learn more? Follow the links on our Facebook @zedgamesau

Game Industry News
This week saw the closure of Game Industry’s 2022 and 2023 “Best Places to Work in Canada” studio Timbre Games by owner Sumo Group before the release of its first game. This is included in the 15% downsizing Sumo Group, a subsidiary of Chinese giant Tencent, had announced on June 11 (~250 people). Paradox Interactive is closing down their Tectonic Studio, makers of the upcoming life sim Life by You after Deputy CEO reportedly called the early access title “lacking in some key areas” and “the road leading to release… far too long and uncertain.” (24 people)
After sales lagged on Wizard with a Gun, developer Galvanic Games has closed their doors (12 people). Embracer Group also blamed lacklustre sales for this week’s closing of Pieces Interactive, developer of Alone in the Dark released in March (42 people). VRChat has also announced a 30% reduction in staff (~30 people) blaming plateauing sales and a lack of management. And after the announcement in May of Microsoft’s closure of Tango Gameworks, the studio finally closed its doors this week.
In the wake of all the layoffs, the big name companies’ CEOs and shareholders in the industry continue to profit, with EA CEO’s compensation increased by 22% to over USD$25 million. And this after cutting 5% of its workforce in Feb (~670 people) for restructuring.
At least Gearbox has been somewhat released from Embracer Groups failing model with its deal with Take-Two Interactive closing this week. The deal moves most of the IP and studios under Take-Two’s wings. Including hits such as Borderlands, Risk of Rain, Homeworld, and Duke Nukem, but leaving behind the studios and IP of Lost Boys Interactive and Cryptic Studios.
But not all is lost, with staff from layoffs forming advisory companies – such as those from indie studio Modern Wolf forming Secret Sauce – or creating “support studios” like CodeDev: The Unreal Guys who work as a specialist team to help studios work with the Unreal engine.
But the industry is struggling. In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz Tencent advisor and former PlayStation boss Shawn Layden is cautioning the industry to take a more patient approach to game development.

“It’s human nature, right? If you’re at the craps table and someone’s got the hot hand and they’re running the table… you just want to jump on that train and get a piece of that before it goes. That’s why patience is the thing that’s important. The industry is losing patience. It’s ‘we need to find a way to solve this problem in six months’ in an industry where nothing gets done in six months.”

And now for the week in gaming headlines.

And don’t forget – to read more follow the links in our Facebook profile @zedgamesau

And now for the week in gaming releases.
There’s Fallout in you CoD with a bundle dropping today, and the VR title Blade and Sorcery has finally left early access.
Now, on Friday June 21. Visual novel sci-fi detective game Times & Galaxy comes to PC and consoles. And after 25m copies sold since release, the expansion Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree comes to PC, Xbox and PlayStation. Also don’t forget to be a good tarnished if you grab this and “…be mindful of spoilers for those who want to tread into the Realm of Shadow with nothing but their determination and their minds unclouded.”
Saturday June 22 brings us the retro helicopter top-down shooter Megacopter: Blades of the Goddess coming to PC. On Monday June 24, detective sim Uncover the Smoking Gun comes to PC.
Tuesday June 25 brings us Cozy Grove: Camp Spirit, coming to Netflix mobile. Be the ball in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble coming to Switch. For the VR gamers Riven PC MQ Remake is coming to Meta Quest. The DLC A Little to the Left: Seeing Stars is coming to all platforms. And bouncy farm sim Southfield is coming to PC.
On Wednesday June 26, 2D visual novel and narrative adventure Until Then comes to PC and PS5, and PS1-era styled cartoon precision platformer Frogun Encore is coming to PC and Consoles.
And finally on Thursday June 27, the remaster Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD is coming to Switch. Battle Royal MOBA Battle Crush is coming to PC, Switch and mobile. And lastly, the remake of Atari’s “Sprint” NeoSprint is coming to PC and consoles.

Annual Showcase Season

This week the “Hey, Hey, Hey” team lead by the Maylee’s (also Paul and Peter) talk the week in Gaming News… well, kinda? Paul hijacks the episode to talk about this years “Annual Showcase Season” but not before Zahra gets freaky in horror romance Sucker for Love: Date to Die For from Akabaka. Then Paul talks the week in game announcements including; Tempopo from Witch Beam, Mixtape from Beethoven and Dinosaur, Mars First Logistics from Shape Shop, Wanderstop from Ivy Road, Pinball Spire from Apparition Games, and Techno Banter from Dexai Arts.

Annual Showcase Season is looking fine

This week in sleepless nights,

It’s Annual Showcase Season again. That time of the year where publishers pull out their wares and cram them into various online showcases to get us all hyped. Traditionally this was all based around the Electronic Entertainment Expo but that is now a thing of the past and now centres around Summer Game Fest.  Fragmented would still be an accurate way of calling it though as while we normally think of a few keys shows this last week has contained over 20 events. And I’ve watched them all. Here are some of the larger announcements.

Summer Game Fest

Summer Game Fest was the first major showcase hosted by Geoff Keighly who is commonly known as the Dorito Pope. In the lead up to the event Geoff messaged to fans that they should lower their expectations for this year’s event despite charging participants an alleged $250K USD per minute.

The show kicked off with Lego Horizon Adventures. A LEGO game based in Sony’s Horizon universe. Surprisingly the game is coming to Switch along with PS5 and PC.

A new game for you snitch loving potheads out there. Harry Potter: Quidditch Champions is coming from Warner Brothers.

Blumhouse, the studio behind films such as Get Out, Insidious, The Purge and so, so many others have thrown their hat into producing videogames. Their first lineup of 6 games is a diverse list of horror adjacent titles. The final game announced, known as Project C is developed by Half Mermaid Productions who are working with Sam Barlow of Her Story fame and film maker Brandon Cronenberg.

Innersloth, developers of Among Us are using their success to create a game fund called Outersloth. The announced titles include Australia’s own Mars First Logistics and a new game from the Thirsty Suitors team, Outerloop Games, which is a cooking game where you pilot a mech currently called Project Dosa.

Do you enjoy Civilisation like millions have?  Well here’s some good news. Th new one is coming out and is called Civilisation 7. Not much is known yet but there will be a gameplay showcase in August.

Lastly Alan Wake 2 will be getting a physical release at last and the first of their major DLC was announced based on the fictional show inside the game, Night Springs.

Devolver Direct

Devolver Digital rarely disappoint with their showcases. Focussing on entertainment over showing off their upcoming games. This year focussed on the 15th birthday of everyone’s favourite, totally real video game character, Volvy.

Among the celebration 2 notable games from well regarded developers were revealed.  From Sébastien Benard the lead designer of Dead Cells came Tenjutsu, a top down, roguelike, martial arts… city planner? And Heart Machine of Hyper Light Drifter fame announced Possessors, a stylish side scrolling action game.

In Aussie Devolver related news there is an upcoming update for Cult of the Lamb. On August 12 the free Unholy Alliance update will be released which will add local co op to the 2022 hit.

Ubisoft Forward

Ubisoft announced a new Anno game, Anno 117. There were updates for most of their current franchises and did a deep dives into the new Japanese based Assassin’s Creed Shadows and Star Wars Outlaws.

Prince of Persia has become a focus for the publisher with the The Rogue Prince of Persia, story DLC announced for The Lost Crown and confirmation that the long awaited and troubled remake of The Sands of Time is still coming with a planned release of 2026.

Xbox Games Showcase

And to wrap up our brief coverage we have Microsoft and they came in with all guns blazing. We got a deep dive into Black Ops 6 and assurances that there will no longer be any platform exclusive content when the game launches on Xbox, PC and Playstation on October 25. The game will however require an internet connection for single player due to streaming textures which they claim will keep install size down.

DOOM: The Dark Ages was announced taking our armoured demon slayer into a medieval inspired setting with some truly creative weapon designs shown off.

Mixtape was announced by Australia own Beethoven & Dinosaur with 90’s kids listening to music and feeling ways about stuff. It really takes me back. Speaking of feeling things, Life is Strange is back and so is the first game’s protagonist Max Caulfield in Life is Strange: Double Exposure

Dragon Age: The Veilguard was officially shown off for the first time with some gameplay along with the new Perfect Dark, Fable and Avowed.

The Show finished off with the announcement of Gears of War: E-Day. Taking the series back to the beginning with the original emergence of the locust and playing into the series more horror roots .

 

There’s far too much to cover in this bulletin. You can go to gamesrecap.io see links to all trailers and conferences including the always entertaining  Wholesome Direct.

Upcoming Game releases

Taskmaster VR (Quest 3, Quest 2, PC), Monster Hunter Stories (PlayStation 4, Switch, PC), Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings Of Ruin (PlayStation 4), Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – June 14

#BLUD (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC), Still Wakes the Deep (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC) – June 19

Dicefolk (Switch), Five Nights At Freddy’s: Help Wanted 2 (PlayStation VR2) – June 20