Plus new MONSTER HUNTER mobile game from Niantic and highlights from Nintendo Indie World Direct #gamingnews
NEWS THIS WEEK
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SIFTER is produced by KYLE Pauletto, Fiona Bartholomaeus, Daniel Ang& Adam Christou. Mitch Loh is Senior Producer and Gianni Di Giovanni is our Executive Producer. Thanks to Omny Studio for their support of SIFTER.
KYLE: Hi I’m Kyle Pauletto
FIONA: and I’m Fiona Bartholomaeus
KYLE: Welcome to Walkthrough, SIFTER’s weekly recap on the biggest news in video games.
FIONA: This week we wrap the latest Nintendo Indie World Direct, an ex-developer claims Battlefront 3 was almost done when cancelled and there is a new monster hunting geolocation game from Niantic… Monster Hunter Now.
Here is the news for Sunday 23rd of April. Let’s go!
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KYLE: Gary Bowser, a Canadian member of the hacking group Team-Xecuter who was jailed for his involvement in selling and promoting hacking tools for Nintendo consoles, has been granted early release from prison after serving 12 months of his 40-month sentence.
Despite his early release, Bowser still owes $10 million to Nintendo as part of a court-ordered restitution for the financial damages caused to the company.
In an interview with journalist Nick Moses, Bowser said Nintendo can take 25-30% of his gross monthly income towards the repayment.
FIONA: Maybe Nintendo should chill out, because Bowser has already been paying the bill off at $25 a month from his prison wages, totalling $175 so far. So not long to go!
FIONA: Speaking of Nintendo, they announced a stack of new games coming to the Switch during this week’s Indie World Nintendo Direct and here are a few that caught our eyes.
The atmospheric pixel art styled Animal Well, is an exploration adventure game set in a labyrinth full of creatures and mystery. It’s arriving on the Switch, Playstation and Steam in early 2024 and is published by YouTuber videogamedunkey one of the first titles for his new label.
My Time at Sandrock, the sequel to My Time At Portia will be hityinh the Switch later this year. Explore the desert community of Sandrock, and help rebuild and expand the town, explore the ruins and caves, fight monsters and make new friends.
Oxenfree II: Lost Signals, is the long awaited sequel that arrives very soon on July 12th. Set five years after the first game we follow Riley as she sets out to investigate more mysterious radio signals. This narrative-mystery adventure game looks to be just as unnerving and trippy as the first and remember your actions will have consequences.
KYLE: Another newly announced sequel for a popular title is Blasphemous II. Continuing the sidescrolling platformer action this beautiful pixel game will see you fighting hordes of enemies after waking up in a strange new land. It’s coming out this year on Switch, Steam, PS5 and Xbox.
An adorable new cat game will be arriving on Switch and PC called Little Kitty, Big City. You play as a black cat who is lost in the big city and needs to find their way home…well, after you finish exploring of course. This game looks to be a lot of fun and plus you can wear lots of cool cat hats…hats for your cat. No release date as of yet so keep your eye out.
Finally the super popular Cult of the Lamb is getting a massive update called ‘Relics of the Old Faith’. Players will get to experience a brand-new post-game storyline, revamped crusades, enemies and bosses, and a whole bunch of new items. That’s coming out this week on April 24.
FIONA: According to a former developer Star Wars Battlefront 3 was tantalisingly close to completion before it was cancelled.
Michael Barclay, a lead designer at Naughty Dog and ex-Star Wars Battlefront 3 developer, revealed that the game was nearly finished and would have been, in his words, "legit incredible."
It’s a claim that has been challenged, particularly by a QA team member on reddit who worked on the game, but it’s nice to think of what could have been if Free Radical were able to finish their 2008 cancelled title.
KYLE: But what really poured salt in the wounds was the two rebooted titles in the series, which were so jam packed full of predatory microtransactions and pay to win systems that fans like myself really struggled to get fully immersed.
Now knowing how close we were to getting a third in the original series sucks to hear. But at least Jedi Survivor isn’t too far away!
KYLE: Move over Pokemon Go as there’s a new mobile monster catching game on the way from Niantic, Monster Hunter Now.
This Monster Hunter spin-off will see players hunting monsters out in the real world but this time you’ll be battling them with various weapons, upgrading gear with resources and teaming up with up to four friends locally.
A short teaser trailer has been revealed for the new game and it already looks like the battle animation is an improvement on their previous AR mobile games.
There’s a closed beta for Monster Hunter Now starting on April 25th, which you can sign up for, or you can wait until it comes out later this year.
FIONA: I reckon this will be so much. Who doesn’t want to see dragons hanging out in your street and be able to fight them. I can’t wait for this one to drop.
FIONA: And finally, we were treated to a couple of exciting game announcements throughout the week.
Harry Potter fans can rejoice, with the reveal of a new multiplayer Quidditch game, Quidditch Champions.
It’ll be developed by Unbroken Studios and published by WB Games, and while details are limited, we do know it’ll be a fast-paced, competitive multiplayer game, and players will be able to create and customize their own Quidditch players.
Initial playtests for the game have already taken place this week, with more opportunities in the future for those who missed out. The release date for the game, coming to PC and consoles, has yet to be announced.
KYLE: And EA’s Ascendant Studios announced Immortals of Aveum, a spellcasting first person shooter releasing in a couple of months.
You play as Jak, a young battlemage who joins the elite order of Immortals to fight in the Everwar and save the world from the tyrant Sandrak…but you won’t be doing any of that on PC without some pretty solid hardware. The specs needed are insane.
On the plus side it’s an entirely offline game and promises zero microtransactions. Just a straightforward single player adventure, like in the good old days.
It’s coming to PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S in July so keep an eye out for that.
KYLE: That’s it for the big headlines, here’s what’s coming out this week
FIONA: Dive into the beautifully hand-drawn world of AFTERIMAGE, a fantastic looking 2D metroidvania. Explore diverse landscapes, battle fierce enemies, and develop your own combat style. Pick it up on all platforms on April 25th.
KYLE: Also out this week is Strayed Lights. Players will transform from a tiny light to a powerful entity as you explore otherworldly ruins and engage in fast-paced battles with shadow creatures. That’s out on all platforms this Tuesday.
FIONA: Cyberpunk shooter ArcRunner drops on Thursday. Battle rogue AI, team up in online multiplayer, and upgrade your arsenal with unique characters and randomised levels. Out on the 27th for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox.
KYLE: Also out on the 27th is The Last Case of Benedict Fox, where you play as a detective bound to a demon companion. Investigate a mysterious mansion, fight demons, and solve puzzles while exploring the minds of the deceased. Out on PC and Xbox on Thursday.
FIONA: And finally, one of the most anticipated games of the year, Star Wars: Jedi Survivor. Set 5 years after Jedi: Fallen Order, you continue Cal's desperate fight against the Empire as one of the last Jedi Knights. Hopefully with less bugs this time. That’s out on the 28th for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox.
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KYLE: This has been Walkthrough by Sifter, my name is Kyle Pauletto.
FIONA: And my name is Fiona Bartholomaeus. Thank you so much for listening.
KYLE: Walkthrough is our recap of the news but if you want to catch up on all of SIFTER’s stories we’ve got a fancy newsletter. It’s an easy way to make sure you don’t miss any of our interviews or reviews and it’s out every fortnight. Head to sifter.com.au/newsletter to subscribe, that’s sifter.com.au/newsletter.
FIONA: SIFTER is produced by myself, Kyle Pauletto, Daniel Ang & Adam Christou. Mitch Loh is Senior Producer who edited this episode and Gianni Di Giovanni is our Executive Producer.
KYLE: Thanks to Brian Fairbanks from Salty Dog Sounds for composing the Walkthrough theme tune.
Thanks to both Audio Technica Australia and Omny Studio for their support of SIFTER’s three podcasts.
FIONA: Thanks again for listening, we’ll be back with more news next Sunday.