This week Paul leads the team with Zahra and the disembodied voice of Maylee, to talk gaming news, english pronunciation, and reviews! With Zahra sprinkling the magic on a review of farming simulation in Homestead Arcana, and Paul loses his head in a review of the puppeteering sequel Another Fisherman’s Tale.
Mainlining Zelda Zelda
With A Friend
Games podcast, where Paul, Hazel, and Tobi talk gaming news.
However, it doesn’t stop there… In an exclusive double reviewer special Hazel and Paul rejuvenate destroyed ecosystems in the game Terra Nil, then Paul risks his sanity by fishing for a review of Dredge.
In our not so special 666th episode Rani, Paul, and Caroline talk news. Rani flips open the gaming book Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin to regale us with another book review. Followed by the patented DOUBLE review from Paul, who plays mix and match with body parts in Birth, and afterwards mix and match with souls in My Lovely Daughter.
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.
WoW Player Doing WoW Things, Carbon Aware Xbox, Transgender Magic Bundle, and More!
World of Warcraft Player Maxed Out Without Playing
World of Warcraft players, and those who tried to become a WoW player, are probably familiar with the tutorial boat that takes players to the starter zone. And yet, despite there being absolutely no quests, enemies, or even resources to harvest on the boat, a player has managed to level up their character to the recently increased level 70. How?
Cheatcho has a number of account-wide pet battle quests, meaning that they can be done on separate characters, while allowing Cheatcho to redeem the quest rewards on a completely different character, namely the one on the ship. Apparently if you have a level 25 Chrominius pet on your account, you can use an ability called arcane explosion that can wipe out the quest giver’s pets quickly.
This method took 200 days to achieve max level.
Xbox is now Aware (of carbon)
A new Xbox firmware update brings changes to power management, where every Xbox console defaults to energy-saving mode, reducing console power consumption when the console is off. This change won’t affect performance or how updates install, but you won’t be able to remotely wake your console, and it boots up a little more slowly. It is optional, and players can opt for ‘Instant On’, although this uses up more energy.
In addition, your Xbox can schedule game, app, and OS updates at specific times to help reduce carbon emissions, by connecting to the internet and using the available regional carbon intensity data.
You can also hide game art when choosing tiles for the home page, letting you change game art to blocks of solid colour, helpful if you find yourself overwhelmed with visuals.
Massive Trans Witch Games Bundle
In response to Hogwarts Legacy, and the rising interest in games centred around magic whilst being trans-friendly, itch.io has a bundle of 69 (nice) items made by indie queer artists.
24 of the games are digital, with a further 41 titles being physical tabletop games. Some notable mentions include a witchy dating sim called Casting Hearts, and my personal favourite, a game about a skateboarding witch in Magic Trick.
VRChat Sex Worker Denied Entry to US
VRChat is a form of chat room where attendees are present in virtual reality, allowing them to interact, talk, and play together in a virtual room despite being countries apart. It’s not uncommon to enter a room with a dozen skeletons, 3 furries, and a lot of chaos. Everything ranging from concerts to birthdays to just about anything can exist. Humans being humans, sex, and consequently sex work, also has a place.
The VRChat sex worker, Hex, resides in the United Kingdom, however attempted to visit the United States to visit some friends. She was denied entry and explained how her work was done in a ‘virtual game’. However, according to Hex, the woman interviewing her didn’t quite understand. Despite not technically meeting the legal definition for prostitution in U.S. immigration laws, she was issued an official letter stating that she was denied entry due to ‘prostitution’.
And now for some upcoming games!
- Theatrhythm Final Bar Line (PS4, Switch)
- Wild West Dynasty (PC)
- Gigantosaurus: Dino Kart (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
- The Settlers: New Allies (PC)
- Tales of Symphonia Remastered (PS4, XBO, Switch)
- Wild Hearts (PC, PS5, XBO)
- The Dreams in the Witch House (PC)
- Atomic Heart (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO)
- Like a Dragon: Ishin (PS5, PS4)
- Ninja JaJaMaru: The Great Yokai Battle+Hell Deluxe Edition (PS4, Switch)
- Ninja JaJaMaru: The Lost RPGs (PS4, Switch)
- Ninja JaJaMaru: The Legendary Collection (PS4, Switch)
- Digimon World: Next Order (PC, Switch)
- After the Fall (PSVR 2)
- Fantavision 202X (PSVR 2)
- Gran Turismo 7 PSVR 2 upgrade (PSVR 2)
- Horizon Call of the Mountain (PSVR 2)
- Job Simulator (PSVR 2)
- Jurassic World Aftermath Collection (PSVR 2)
- Kayak VR: Mirage (PSVR 2)
- Kizuna AI – Touch the Beat! (PSVR 2)
- The Last Clockwinder (PSVR 2)
- The Light Brigade (PSVR 2)
- Resident Evil Village (PSVR 2)
- Song in the Smoke (PSVR 2)
- Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge – Enhanced Edition (PSVR 2)
- Synth Riders (PSVR 2)
- The Tale of Onogoro (PSVR 2)
- Tentacular (PSVR 2)
- Tetris Effect (PSVR 2)
- What the Bat (PSVR 2)
- Zenith: The Last City (PSVR 2)
- Zombieland: Headshot Fever Reloaded (PSVR 2)
Adios Deck Survival
Zed Gamers gather close and listen as Rani, Paul, & Cameron press buttons and banter while chatting gaming news, Paul pretends to review Vampire Survivors while ranting about the Steam Deck, and Cameron feeds his mafia pigs in a review of Adios.
Short and Fast
This week Zed Games goes the whole hog with news, reviews, community, and culture as CAMERON brings in the hottest in this week’s gaming news! CAROLINE gives us the quick and dirty in a review of The Fantastic Kitty Rue, AND the entire team makes sure YOU ALL ARE INFORMED on the latest in Sonic culture with a discussion of the recently released Sonic Prime series.
DnD OGL goes Boom, more damned Activision Blizzard Shenanigans, and Doors Close on Google Stadia
DnD OGL Update Aftermath
In the aftermath of the Open Game Licence 2.0 leak, Wizards of the Coast have struggled to claw back their fanbase as DnD Beyond servers suffer under the load of mass subscription cancelations. Additionally, several big third-party publishers who would be affected by the new royalty system have tabled their intention to either jump ship or create their own licensing system. Kobold Press teased “Project Black Flag”, Matt Colville’s MCDM Productions is working on both a new OGL as well as a new TTRPG, and Paizo/Pathfinder looking to collaborate on an open RPG license.
In response, a statement was released insisting “It was never our intent to impact the vast majority of the community.” They also tried to clarify stating that any future revisions “…will not include the license back provision that some people were afraid was a means for us to steal work. That thought never crossed our minds.”
Activision Blizzard… when will it end?
As the saga continues, here’s the current headlines coming out of the company that can’t stop making waves.
- Activision Blizzard has refused to acknowledge the union that formed late December. Management at Proletariat issued the statement that leadership “…has always been pro-worker“ and that employees “…deserve some time to process (sic) and to better understand its potential impacts.”
- The Microsoft Activision Blizzard merger that was announced in January 2022 has had new challenges with the European Union filing an antitrust challenge and Google parent Alphabet Inc, and Nvidia are filing for unfair advantages in the gaming market. These join other objections placed with the US Federal Trade Commission to be investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority, and finalised in April.
- In some hearsay arguments Activision Blizzard claims that it was Netease that rejected the six-month extension of their partnership. Various sources cite irreconcilable differences including Netease president referring to an Activision Blizzard executive as a “jerk”. Because of these, after January 23rd several titles will no longer be accessible in China, most notably World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, Starcraft, and Overwatch 2.
Doors Close on Stadia
As the curtains close on the experiment that was Google Stadia, refunds have been processed for everything but Pro subscriptions… but payments were also paused the day shutdown was announced. But what about all that hardware you don’t have? Well, if you did manage to get the controller, Google has pushed a self-serve tool to enable Bluetooth connections with the gamepads. Meaning, your Stadia Gamepad may be obsolete, but at least you can still use it on the hardware you didn’t get because you used Stadia.
Oh! Remember that guy who had 6000 hours in Red Dead Online on the Stadia who was pleading for a character transfer? Well, not only did Rockstar organise a transfer, he also got a gift box from the company. Unfortunately, Rockstar has announced they will no longer be releasing any major content for Red Dead Online, instead focusing on the upcoming GTA6.
And finally, a moment for the death of Google Stadia…
And now, for some upcoming games.
On Friday January 20th, the next instalment in the series Fire Emblem Engages and its Wave 1 DLC are coming to Switch. World War 1 horror survival Trenches emerges from Steam early access onto PlayStation, Xbox, & the Switch.
Tuesday January 24th, the RAM-hungry, RPG, fantasy shooter Forspoken is coming to PC & PS5, and deckbuilding & strategy boardgame mashup Mahokenshi comes to PC.
And on Thursday January 26th, for that nostalgia hit Wonder Boy Anniversary Collection is coming to PlayStation and Switch. The strange Hitman: World of Assassination hodgepodge that collects Hitman 1 to 3 as well as Hitman 3: Freelancer Mode are all coming to PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch. Fight the nightmares of a girl in the twin stick shooter NeverAwake, coming to PlayStation and Switch.