On Zed Games tonight, Maylee brings the week in gaming news while Rani and Cameron expresses concern about Zahra’s review of Sonic Frontiers, with Paul adding his thoughts on the blue blur as well as telling us all about Evil West!
On Zed Games this week Hazel, Caroline, and Peter talk news, Caroline walks us through a review of Lunistice, and then the crew talk the g̸͚̜̈́͋̕l̵̊ḭ̸̭͗̃t̴̚c̸̈́̚h̸͠é̷̉̚ŝ̷̌ of the most recent Pokemon release.
Ads? In My Windows 11?
You’re probably familiar with the start menu in windows, an easy-to-access feature that allows you to access programs quickly. Well, it seems ads will be joining the start menu, with testing underway. Some of these ads will be used to promote Microsoft services. Recommended website listings, and an ad in the account menu, are already present in preview builds, and there’s more features planned for Windows 11.
Windows states on their site, “We’ve been working on adding more valuable content to the Recommended section in Start and are excited to introduce a new content type: websites.”
PS5s? In My Honda?
Honda and Sony have recently created a new venture called Sony Honda Mobility, and with this venture comes an interesting proposal: a car designed to maximise the entertainment possibilities Sony has to offer.
That’s right, an electric car that’ll allow drivers to always be prepared with music, movies, and video games.
Yasuhide Mizuno, chair of the joint venture, says that the first car model may hit North American markets by 2025. However, a very specific feature may need to be developed first before we can see PlayStation 5s in cars; autonomous driving. After all, you can’t drive and play video games at the same time.
Shovelware? In My PlayStation Store?
PlayStation is cracking down on shovelware games, that is games that have been reskinned, non-games, and games designed just to give people platinum trophies. A letter to developers states that shovelware games will be either banned or delisted, and involved developers are at risk of being banned from publishing future games.
PlayStation states, “SIE strives to ensure that customers can search and discover the full breadth of experiences on PlayStation, and that partners have a fair means of being discovered. When partners oversaturate or “spam” PlayStation Store with many variants of the same type of content, it can negatively impact both the customer and partner experience.”
Monsters? In My Pocket?
Despite Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s rocky launch, with the games being criticised for glitches, bugs, and generally underwhelming, Nintendo has reported 10 million sales, with it being reported to have the highest global sales level on any of the company’s consoles in the first three days.
However, many players have reported returning their copies due to their experiences with the game, and successfully receiving refunds.
And now for some upcoming games!
- Dysterra (PC)
- Horse Club Adventures 2 – Hazelwood Stories (PS5, PS4)
- Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr: Sororitas DLC (PC)
- Gotham Knights: Heroic Assault (PC, PS5, XSX)
- In Nightmare (PC)
- The Knight Witch (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
- Soccer Story (PC, PS4, XBO, Switch)
- Warhammer 40,000: Darktide (PC, XSX)
- Dwarven Skykeep (PC)
- Gundam Evolution (PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO)
- Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song- Remastered (PC, PS5, PS4, Switch)
Hitting your earholes from Zed Games, the crew talks news, Pokemon Scarlet/Violet hype, and Paul kicks groin in McPixel 3.
This week on Zed Games, Paul winds us up over the Playdate, and Zahra & Caroline talk Games for the Holidays!
Bayonetta Controversy Continues
In the most recent evolution of former Bayonetta voice actress Hellena Taylor’s vendetta against Bayonetta 3’s developer PlatinumGames Inc, Taylor doubled down on her call to boycott the recent release and asked fans to instead donate the money they would have used to purchase the game to a list of possible charities. While this call to action may seem innocuous, several of the charities listed have strong anti-abortion stances. So far, Taylor’s controversy seems to have only had minimal effects on the sales of Bayonetta 3 with reviews marking it an overwhelmingly positive success.
In other good Bayonetta 3 news, Anna Brisbin announced they voiced playable character Voila and would be doing a charity stream of her playing Voila while also raising money for the charity Trans Lifeline! The stream went on to raise over $5000 USD.
Stream has ended! You raised an amazing $5,170.69!! 😭 So proud. Thank you all SO much for your huge support for the game, for me, & the cause. 🥲💜 This game is incredible.
— Anna Brisbin 🐈⬛ BAYONETTA 3 OUT NOW (@BrizzyVoices) October 29, 2022
With the Xbox versus PlayStation console wars of 2022 starting to come to a close, announcements for the subscriber numbers for Games Pass and PS Plus have been released in financial filings, and things aren’t great for either team. On one side, Microsoft have announced that they are losing up to $200 per console purchase and that Game Pass subscriber growth has fallen around 50% short of the company’s projections, but still exceeds the last announced numbers of 25 million subscriptions. This is theorised to be due to the lack of major releases and appeasing competition watchdogs after the acquisition of Activision. Since then, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has announced the indefinite Call of Duty support for PlayStation, with the pledge that Call of Duty would come to the console “as long as there’s a PlayStation out there to ship to”.
On the other side, after PlayStation’s rather rocky revamp of the PS Plus subscription model, the recent financial release of subscription numbers have estimated a drop of over 2 million subscribers. Sony CFO Hiroki Titoki does not blame this drop on the new system, but rather, and I quote
“More people are now going outdoors…”
Yep, you heard it here folks, PlayStation gamers have been accused of touching too much grass.
And now for some Tid-Bytes;
You asked for it, now it’s time to eat your cake! It has been confirmed in a recent Q&A that God of War: Ragnarok will have a transmogrification system. Design Lead, Mihir Sheth confirmed the system saying “The short answer is yes. There is a way to do it…it’s there in the game.” So finally you can dress up your own God of War as prettily as they will permit you.
The Store is Closed has seen litigation even before its Kickstarter finished its countdown. After this co-op survival horror was pushed online by press as a horror game set in IKEA, developer Jacob Shaw received a letter from lawyers representing IKEA. This letter gave him 10 days to “change and removed all indicia associated with the famous Ikea stores.” The game is currently in a working pre-alpha and is populated with packs of generic furniture assets.
Lastly here’s some Overwatch 2 Titbits;
Did you know that there is system in World of Warcraft where you can sell in-game items for WoW Tokens to other players via the in-game auction house, and that these tokens can then be used to charge your Battle.net account. This means that while completing challenges within Overwatch 2 may be satisfying, if you’re just grinding for Overwatch Coins, your time could be better spent in World of Warcraft.
Want that new Pachimari in-game charm? Did you know it’s cheaper for you to buy it in real life than on the digital store for your in-game character? Buy it once, have it in your hands forever.
Now for the week in gaming releases.
Thursday November 3rd is the big day this week with horror survival The Chant coming to PC and next gen consoles. 1v1 one-hit-kill fighter Die By The Blade, aperture-esque puzzle shooter The Entropy Centre, and racer WRC Generations are all coming to PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. Indie hoard chibi shooter From Space comes to PC and Switch. Live your inner horse owner’s dream with Horse Tales: Emerald Valley Ranch coming to PC, PlayStation, and Switch. And finally, indie puzzler How to Say Goodbye, tactical arena brawler Kingshunt, arcade typing runner Outshine, and robot maker sandbox RoboCo all come to PC.
Friday November 4th is Switch Day with Square Enix’s new life sim/RPG Harvestella coming to PC and Switch. And Aeterna Noctis and It Takes Two both get their own Switch ports.
Monday November 7th, smite and raise your enemies in The Unliving and another indie survivor game Soulstone Survivors, both coming to PC.
Tuesday November 8th, cosy indie puzzler A Little To The Left comes to PC, Football Manager 2023 comes in various forms to PC, PS5, Xbox, and Switch. And Sonic Frontiers comes to PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch.
And last, but not least, Wednesday November 9th, God of War: Ragnarok comes to PlayStation.
Valve has posted a job listing. Nothing new, except that it gives us a hint of what’s to come, with the listing looking for someone to ‘prototype, ship, and support’ a virtual reality headset, saying “At Valve, we are pushing the boundaries of virtual reality experiences… The main scope of this position is to prototype, ship, and support consumer gaming products leveraging visual-inertial tracking, camera passthrough, environment understanding, eye tracking, and hand tracking.”
This certainly isn’t Valve’s first foray into VR, but it does signal a push to get ahead in the VR headset market.
Metaverse Isn’t Popular
Decentraland, a Metaverse project, hasn’t exactly been flourishing. It’s a sandbox environment where users can buy and sell virtual real estate, and has a market cap of $1.2 billion. The number of active users over a 24 hour period? 38.
Dencentraland do point out that active users are defined as unique blockchain wallet addresses, which leaves out users who just use it as a place to socialise and hang out, which may bring numbers up to 8000 users per day.
Doom’s On Notepad Now
You’ve seen Doom on PC, consoles, calculators, pregnancy tests, and more. Now get ready for 60 frames per second Doom gameplay in notepad, the very same notepad you have at home. It is playable, using text to create the visuals, much like ASCII art. In very quick, simplified terms, notepad is being used as a monitor, with other software running in the background doing the hard work.
Splatoon Gets a Bit… Rowdy
Nintendo had to release a public statement recently, reminding players of Nintendo’s streaming guidelines, and more specifically, how open streamers are to legal actions. Why? Streamers had started a trend of using chroma-key to superimpose explicit adult videos over the enemy’s ink, essentially treating it as a kind of greenscreen.
As it goes against Nintendo’s streaming guidelines, they can now take down posts, videos, and streams, and even pursue legal action.
The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association has announced the winners of the 2022 Australian Game Developer Awards. Judging goes through 70 game industry professionals, with winners from 13 categories announced, plus an additional 4 cultural awards, resulting in this year’s awards being filled with the highlights of what Australia has to offer.
Cult of the Lamb has left with four awards, including Game of the Year.
Julian Wilton, Creative Director of Massive Monster, says “After experiencing our success overseas, it was an amazing feeling to see our game really resonate with Australians as well. We received such strong support locally and we love that it’s being enjoyed, not just for the gameplay, but also for the art and music.”
Raymond Corrigan, the creator of Earthlingo, won the Rising Star award.
Ryan McMahon, art director at Playside Studios, won the Ambition award.
Clara Reeves, CEO of Hipster Whale, has been recognised for her ongoing contributions to the Australian games industry with the Adam Lancman award.
Gameloft Brisbane has come away with the last cultural award with the Studio of the Year award.
And now for some upcoming games!
- The Case of the Golden Idol – PC
- The Darkest Tales – PC, XBO, Switch
- The Eternal Cylinder – PS5, XSX
- Fueled Up – PC, PS4, XBO
- GOAL! The Club Manager – PC
- Kao the Kangaroo: Oh! Well DLC – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
- Lost Eidolons – PC
- Sunday Gold – PC
- Triangle Strategy – PC
- Trifox – Switch
- Winter Games 2023 – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
- Dragon Ball: The Breakers – PC, PS4, XBO, Switch
- NHL 23 – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
- No More Heroes 3 – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
- PGA Tour 2K23 Standard Edition – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
- Saint Kotar – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
- Scorn – PC, XSX
- Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival – Switch
- Trifox – PC, XSX, XBO
- Destiny’s Sword – PC
- A Plague Tale: Requiem – PC, XSX, PS5, Switch
- Amberial Dreams – PC
- Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
- Marvel Snap – PC
- Them’s Fightin’ Herds – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
- The Last Hero of Nostalgaia – PC, XSX, XBO
- The Last Worker – PC
- Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection – PC
- The Valiant – PC
- Batora: Lost Haven – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
- Hell is Others – PC
- The Jackbox Party Pack 9 – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
- Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope – Switch
- The Pegasus Expedition – PC
- Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
This week Hazel leads the Zed Games crew with Cameron and Rani to talk gaming news, Cameron reviews the remixed and remastered Sam & Max: Beyond Time & Space and the team chats on Best Worst Games and More!
This week Maylee wrangles a full crew with Zahra, Hazel, and Caroline coming in to talk games and chat this week in gaming news. We also have two review with Toby digging deep with a review of A Mortician’s Tale, and Maylee takes us on a amaurotic trip through Blind Drive.
Palladium and Bungie Collaboration
Destiny guardians are no stranger to making sure they look their best, or most absurd, in-game. So the more fashionable guardians may be excited to learn that Palladium, the shoe company, are collaborating with Bungie to create boots inspired by The Witch Queen. These boots come in tan and black, made of canvas, and have some Destiny 2 flair.
Wizards of the Coast Casts Lawsuit
Wizards of the Coast, the current publisher of the popular Dungeons & Dragons tabletop roleplaying game, has filed a lawsuit to prevent the release of Star Frontiers: New Genesis, a space opera in a tabletop roleplaying game format, being developed under TSR LLC.
TSR LLC is the latest company to claim the name of TSR Inc., the original publishers for Dungeons & Dragons in 1973. TSR LLC is attempting to revive the original Star Frontiers.
However, with an online leak, Star Frontiers: New Genesis has been facing a significant amount of backlash due to racist and transphobic content, including a ‘negro’ subrace with a maximum intelligence rating of 9.
Wizards of the Coast writes that “it would be irreparably harmed by the publication and distribution of the game using its trademarks because consumers may mistakenly associate Wizards with the reprehensible content of the game, damaging its reputation and goodwill, and undermining its efforts to foster a culture that embraces diversity.”
Northeastern University Bomb
A staff member of Northeastern University has suffered injuries to his hands when he opened a package that was detonated.
Investigation is still ongoing, with motive being at the forefront of concerns. It’s been reported that the package contained a note that criticised Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, and the relationship between virtual reality developers and academic institutions.
This note was contained in a hard plastic container, and detonated when the latches were released and the lid was lifted.
Thankfully, the staff member was not seriously injured.
State of Play, Nintendo Direct, and More
Sony, Nintendo, and Ubisoft have made many announcements for upcoming projects and games during Tokyo Game Show, one of the big three gaming conferences.
Sony announced Tekken 8, Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge Enhanced Edition, Demeo, a dungeon crawler, Like a Dragon: Ishin, a Yakuza spin-off, Pacific Drive, a driving survival game, and a new loyalty program called PlayStation Stars.
Nintendo brought The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Fire Emblem: Engage, Pikmin 4, and some old favourites will be coming to the Nintendo Switch Online via the Expansion Pack membership subscription, such as Mario Party 1/2/3, Pokemon Stadium, and GoldenEye 007.
Ubisoft follows up with Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, Skull and Bones, a pirate simulator, Rider’s Republic for BMX, skateboarding, and snowboarding fans, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Heartland, and Rainbow Six Mobile, with a partnership announced with Netflix.
And now for some upcoming games!
- The Dark Prophecy – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
- Hidden Through Time: Definitive Edition – PS4, Switch
- Various Daylife – PS4
- Fortnite Season 4 – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
- Return to Monkey Island – PC, Switch
- Construction Simulator – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
- Hardspace: Shipbreaker – PS5, XSX
- Soulstice – PC, PS5, XSX
- The DioField Chronicle – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
- Gundam Evolution – PC
- Potion Permit – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
- Serial Cleaners – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
- Session: Skate Sim – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
- Slime Rancher 2 – PC, XSX
- Train Life: A Railway Simulator – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO