Plus Assassin’s Creed Valhalla wins first video game Grammy and Valve announces first Team Fortress 2 update in years
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.
FIONA: Hi I'm Fiona Bartholomaeus
KYLE: and I’m Kyle Pauletto
FIONA: Welcome to Walkthrough, SIFTER’s weekly recap on the biggest news in video games.
KYLE: This week Nintendo dropped a stack of old and new games as part of a blockbuster Nintendo Direct, The very first grammy for video game music has been awarded, and Team Fortress 2 gets a major update after six years
Here is the news for Sunday 12th of February. Let’s go!
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FIONA: Nintendo dropped a forty minute direct on Thursday and it was packed with new and old games you can play on the Switch. What is old is brand new again!
The big one was the long rumoured Metroid Prime Remastered, which was made available right after the presentation.
We actually got a look at some gameplay for Zelda Tears of the Kingdom, with some meccano like vehicle building and all the enemies have hats now. Can you believe its only a couple of months until the release date on the 12th of May Kyle?
KYLE: I am so pumped for this!
FIONA: Gameboy and Gameboy Advance games have been added to Nintendo Switch Online, but you’ll need to have a higher tier subscription to play Minish Cap, the best handheld zelda game of all time on GBA.
Other games in the new gameboy collection includes Metroid II, Link’s Awakening DX, the original GOAT Tetris, as well Mario Kart Super Circuit and Warioware Inc Minigame Mania.
The Megaman Battle Network Legacy collection which includes 10 games from that amazing series, launches on the 14th of April.
KYLE: Pikmin 4 got a release date, complete with space dog Otachi which releases on the 21st of July
Speaking of release dates, tactical war game Advance Wars 1+2 Re-boot camp which was delayed from a december 3rd 2021 launch will now arrive on the 21st of April.
Indie title Sea of Stars, a retro turned based RPG will arrive on the 29th, on a bunch of platforms, but you can pick up a demo right now which is exclusive to the Switch
Roguelike action platformer Dead Cells gets the “return to castlevania” expansion, a crossover which lets you play alongside Alucard and Richter (rick-ter) Belmont on the 6th of March
Splatoon 3, Fire Emblem Engage, Xenoblade Chronicles and Mario Kart 8 are all getting major DLC expansions this year.
FIONA: This year the 2023 Grammys included an award for best score soundtrack for video games or interactive media for the first time, and the award went to....
RANDY RAINBOW: "Assassin's Creed Valala"
FIONA: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok.
Here is the song's composer Stephanie Economou using her platform to spread the good word about video game music during her acceptance speech.
STEPHANIE ECONOMOU: "I want to say I'm so grateful to Ubisoft and Simone Landry for inviting me into the rich rich legacy of Assassin's Creed."
"To all of the remarkable musicians who had a hand in shaping the sound of this score, I share this will all of you."
"And lastly I just want to recognise all of the people who fought tirelessly to bring this category of video game music into existence."
"Thank you for acknowledging and validating the power of game music this is truly such an honour thank you."
KYLE: I love to see video game creators getting the credit they absolutely deserve, and fingers crossed we will see more of it moving forward.
KYLE: The saga that is Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard continues this week, with an insane statement from the studio's CEO.
UK’s Competition and Markets Authority have been all over Microsoft over the proposed 69 billion dollar purchase, putting pressure on the company to explain how this is a reasonable acquisition, and not an act of egregious monopolization.
And the heat is clearly getting to those involved.
Here is Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick on CNBC this week, speaking to why he believes this deal is so important for the UK’s tech industry.
BOBBY KOTICK: “I would think you would want to embrace a transaction like this where you're going to see job creation and opportunity."
"And it it isn't really at all about whether or not Sony or Microsoft platform, it’s really about the future of technology and you know they’ve said now for the last year, I think Rishi Sunak has said they would like to be the Silicon Valley of Europe, or of the continent, and if deals like this can’t get through, they’re not going to be Silicon Valley, they’ll be Death Valley.”
Well I bet the UK Competitions and Markets Authority loved to hear that.
FIONA: It’s such an interesting situation and seems like it’s just getting more heated, at this point it’s hard to see what will be the outcome.
FIONA: The fans called for it and finally Team Fortress 2 is getting a big update, which should address multiplayer issues with the 2007 game.
Valve put a callout for community members to contribute to the game through the Steam Workshop, saying they were planning on a full sized update with new maps, items and more.
The last big content update for the game was in 2017 but the game has received minor patches since then.
KYLE: This legendary shooter really set the template for many of the class based shooters we have now like Apex Legends and Overwatch, so it’s cool that it’s still getting new stuff more than 15 years since it was released.
KYLE: That’s it for news, here are the games releasing this week
FIONA: Out on the 14th is Blanc. It’s a super stylish adventure game that follows a wolf cub and a fawn stranded in the frozen wilderness as they try to find their way home. It has a fantastic, black and white hand drawn style that just looks beautiful. Grab it on PC or Switch this Tuesday.
KYLE: Also out Tuesday is Wanted: Dead, the latest game by the makers of Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive. It’s a hack and slash third person shooter hybrid set in an anime-inspired Hong Kong, and it looks awesome. It’s available on PC, PlayStation and Xbox on the 14th.
FIONA: Warzone 2 Season 2 is dropping this week, and promises a bunch of new content. New events, skins and operators for all game modes, plus most excitingly a brand new map for resurgence mode. Warzone 2 is available for free on most platforms, and season 2 will go live on the 15th.
KYLE: And later in the week we get the release of Wild Hearts, a monster hunting action RPG by Japanese developers Omega Force. Hunt down massive monsters alone or co-op with friends in a fantasy world inspired by feudal Japan. Wild Hearts is out on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series S and X on the 17th.
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FIONA: This has been Walkthrough by Sifter, my name is Fiona Bartholomaeus
KYLE: And my name is Kyle Pauletto. Thank you so much for listening.
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KYLE: 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 who also edits each episode.
FIONA: 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.
KYLE: Thanks again for listening, we’ll be back with more news next Sunday.