On Zed Games this week we lock it down, Cage style. Firstly chatting this weeks gaming news brought to us by Maylee, then taking the zen moment with a parrot in Zahra’s review of Bird Alone, and lastly a going toe to toe in a discussion on the PlayStation Showcase and locking down Q!
Tag: gaming music
Zelda Tumbles, Amazon Doubles Down, & Activision-Blizzard Again?
More in Activision-Blizzard-Microsoft News
The EU Commission into Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision-Blizzard has been approved after an extensive investigation. Microsoft has agreed to provide free licenses for the next 10 years to cloud streaming services allowing residents in the European Economic Area to stream Activision-Blizzard games on any cloud platform, addressing the competition concerns identified by the Commission. However, the merger still faces challenges with the FTC filing in the US and continues to be blocked pending appeal in the UK. 1-4
In other Activision Blizzard News, the company has abandoned its original plans for Overwatch 2’s separate co-op PvE mode… a major selling point that got players to move somewhat objective free from Overwatch 1 to 2. Now the game will incorporate co-op gameplay and experiences into the live-service model, disappointing fans who had been eagerly anticipating the depth and progression of the original vision.5-7 These views have been best summarised by user Uchihagod53,
“The f**k was the point of [Overwatch 2] then?”
Zelda: The Good, Bad and … ooo look at the pretty colours…
Fans have been disappointed at the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, with a player finishing the game in just over an hour and a half (speed runner gymnast86),8 the inability to pet dogs,9 and lack of unlimited bombs.10
Despite this, Tears of the Kingdom has received overwhelmingly positive reviews with around 97 on Metacritic and OpenCritic, making it the highest-rated game of 2023 and the highest-rated Switch game to date. The critical success of Tears of the Kingdom has made it the biggest Zelda game launch in the UK and is expected to be one of the biggest and best-selling games of the year worldwide.11, 12 Players can also look forward to more in the future with Eiji Aonuma (the series manager and producer of Tears of the Kingdom) stating that future Zelda series games will continue to embrace the open-world format introduced in Breath of the Wild. Aonuma compares this shift to how Ocarina of Time established a format for subsequent Zelda games in the late 90s.13
Amazon Doubles Down on Lord of the Rings MMO
After talks broke down between Tencent and Amazon in 2021, Amazon decided to abandon their stake in a Lord of the Rings MMORPG.14 However, the rights for the franchise recently reverted to Middle-Earth Enterprises leading to new discussions with Amazon and the eventual partnership between Amazon’s New World team and the Embracer Group. The game is currently being pitched as an MMO separate from the Lord of the Rings projects, rather aiming for gameplay experiences over faithful adaptation with an over 10-year lifespan.15-17
However Lord of the Rings Online fans are not worried about this game taking over the franchise even in the face of potential server shutdowns and resource allocation, instead pointing to the lacklustre performance of Amazon’s MMO New World.18
And Here’s Some Tasty Gaming Bytes
- You can finally 100% The Burning Shores DLC of Horizon Forbidden West, now that they’ve added the ONE Brimshine Sliver so that you can finally buy and upgrade everything.19
- In a new acquisition to the gaming community Sea Lions have become gamers, with US Navy’s Spike traversing mazes WITHOUT fishy bribery and showing delight when winning games.20
- And finally the relaxing, co-op-able game Powerwash Simulator has hit 7 million users,21, 22 making us ask the question,
“Why meditate when you can simulate?”
And now for some upcoming games.
On Friday 19th, build your own racer in Lego 2K Drive coming to everything.
Monday May 22nd, multiplayer tactical roguelike Inkbound comes to PC.
Tuesday May 23rd, save the post-apocalyptic world in the tactical RPG in Miasma Chronicles or save it as a platforming pixie preservationist in After Us, both coming to PC and Next Gen Consoles. Or lighten up with a cartoonish platform shooter Glitch Busters: Stuck on You coming to PC, PS4 and Switch. Explore the hand-painted puzzle platformer Planet of Lana coming to PC and Xbox. Hit the nostalgia nerve with Puzzle Bobble Everybubble! on the Switch. And Star Trek: Resurgence is coming to PC, PlayStation and Xbox.
And next week on Thursday May 25th, the sequel to Do Not Feed the Monkeys, Do Not Feed the Monkeys 2099 is coming to PC and Switch. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is coming to PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. And lastly Tennis Manager 2023 is coming to PC.
Mainlining Zelda Zelda
Everything’s Better With a Kazoo
The Super Mario Bros. Movie – Review
The Super Mario Bros. Movie is the latest addition to the ‘video game movies can be good’ evidence pile.
Produced by Chris Meledandri and Shigeru Miyamoto (basically Mario’s dad), and the awesome talents of Illumination, The Super Mario Bros. Movie has the bros themselves, Mario and Luigi, sucked into the magical world of warp pipes, mushroom people, and power-up blocks. Unfortunately, Bowser is set to destroy everything, find love, and reign supreme.
As we settled in the cinema surrounded by kids, big and small, we were immediately hit with a wave of nostalgia as the titular characters appeared on the big screen, looking much more appealing and familiar than their last foray onto the big screen. Animation-wise everything looked gorgeous, with the video game characters requiring only a few tweaks to maximise their characterisation and expressiveness. Coupled with Illumination’s team, the world of the Mushroom Kingdom took on a kind of beauty never really expressed in the games.
The musical score was an auditory delight, with familiar themes making an appearance constantly, as well as the additions of a few rock and love ballads. We were especially thrilled to hear the ‘DK Rap’ at the appropriate moment.
Turning game logic into movie logic is a challenging thing, and incorporating familiar mechanics into the movie world, and the powerups, was an experience all on its own. It was a lot of fun to see a powerup block, to see what the powerup was, and then to witness how that powerup would be used was hysterical. That wasn’t the only example of how the movie translated video game mechanics into the world, with my favourite mechanic being a Mario Kart mechanic, where you’re required to build your kart. The addition of this mechanic was clever and overall just a lot of fun, adding a lot of character to the setting, and being a familiar call-back.
And that was a common theme. As adults who grew up with these games, it was a joy to spot various references and additions, nudge each other, and meet each other’s grins as our inner child fed on the nostalgia. And for the kids who also grew up with these games, just perhaps with more pixels, it was a satisfying movie, with thoughtful nods and delights for them. Really, I don’t think anyone left the cinema without feeling a bit like a kid, in the best way possible.
I’m not sure if it’s a very rewatchable movie for the adults, but it was a lot of fun to watch through for the first time. For the kids, easily something I’d rewatch a couple of times. There were scenes that had me laughing, cheering for our heroes, appreciating the references, or even needing a tissue for (sue me, I’m a sap).
It’s a fun movie, a beautiful movie, and definitely a fantastic way to spend a couple of hours. Everyone’s performance was lovely, especially Bowser’s, the music was a treat, and we all left the cinema feeling that urge to boot up the Nintendo64, Switch, or NintendoDS and continue the nostalgia trip.
Zed Games were provided movie tickets.
Cats & Music
This week Hazel is in control, taking Rani and The Temporarily Returned Tobi on a journey through the musical influence video games had on their lives, while Zahra tells us about the cuddly cat game Calico, and Maylee delivers the freshest of video game news.
SEASON of C64
This week in Zed Games Zahra is in control with Maylee and Cam as crew, guiding us through the relaxing and interesting world of SEASON: A letter to the future in their review, Cameron tells us all about the Commodore 64 and it’s very vibrant and inventive community who still love this piece of gaming history, and Paul keeps us all up to date with the news.
Rani rocket’s in to save the day running the first Zed Games show of 2023! Cameron finds the fair winds in the game Sail Forth, and the team chats their experiences with Rage Quitting!
New Year New News
Mission: Hitman Changes
Fans of the Hitman series are undergoing some changes in order to create an “ever-expanding” world that could evolve over time. And this next step is set to allow IO Interactive realise the vision they’ve set out to achieve.
Hitman 3 will become HITMAN World of Assassination, and will include access to Hitman 1 and Hitman 2. Those who already own Hitman 3 will get a free upgrade to HITMAN World of Assassination. This also means that World of Assassination will be the only single option to start playing.
“There will be no more confusion over which edition to buy, what content you own, how to redeem Legacy packs or import locations, etc. We’re done with that,” says IO Interactive.
These changes will come into effect on the 26th of January, 2023.
Sonic’s Dad Indicted for Insider Trading
The blue hedgehog’s co-creator, Yuji Naka, along with a former Square Enix employee, Taisuke Sasaki, have both been formally indicted after their arrest in November for alleged insider trading.
Naka has been determined to have confidential information about Square Enix’s plans to develop a Final Fantasy spin-off, and used this information to buy ¥144.7 million yen of company stock, or $1.6 million AUD, knowing that the announcement would cause the stock value to rise.
Square Enix has stated that they are fully committed to working with authorities as the investigation continues. It is unclear when Naka and Sasaki will stand trial.
What’s This? It’s Sephiroth with the Chair!
Kenny Omega, a famous wrestler joined the fray at Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom event in a Sephiroth cosplay, even walking out to his theme song, “One Winged Angel ”.
Kenny Omega has spent a few years in America in AEW, a newer competitor to WWE. Omega however returned to Wrestle Kingdom, which is exactly what it sounds like. And yes, his walk was exactly as cool as you imagine it would be, featuring Sephiroth’s wing, giant screens, and pyrotechnics. Omega also won the match.
YouTuber Logan Paul had developed a “really fun game that makes you money”, CryptoZoo, where you buy currency to spend on egg NFTs that hatch. You can breed these animals to make hybrids, and eventually you’re supposed to be able to cash out money. Members of Paul’s team ended up selling their currency early to make millions, while fans ended up losing thousands.
Logan Paul did address accusations of CryptoZoo being a scam by attempting to discredit his critics, such as investigative YouTuber Stephen “Coffeezilla” Findeisen, who had spent a year looking into CryptoZoo, as well as a slew of scams in the crypto space.
I don’t want to talk about this anymore.
And now for some upcoming games!
- Flash Party (PC)
- Children of Silentown (PC, PS4, XBO, Switch)
- Kandria (PC)
- Gatewalkers (PC)
- One Piece Odyssey (PC)
- Rogue AI Simulator (PC)
- Terror of Hemasaurus (Switch)
- Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider (PC, PS4, Switch)
That’s it this week in gaming news
News? In My Media?
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)