Plus Grammy nominees, we recap Nintendo Indie World highlights, and Fortnite restricts certain outfits in game
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SIFTER is produced by Kyle Pauletto, Fiona Bartholomaeus, Courtney Borrett, Daniel Ang, Adam Christou and Chris Button. Mitch Loh is Senior Producer and Gianni Di Giovanni is our Executive Producer. Thanks to Audio Technica Australia for their support of SIFTER.
FIONA: Hi I’m Fiona Bartholomaeus
COURTNEY: and I’m Courtney Borrett, nice to meet you, I’m covering for Kyle who is on leave.
FIONA: Welcome to Walkthrough, SIFTER’s weekly recap on the biggest news in video games.
COURTNEY: This week, we catch up on Nintendo Indie World, Fortnite limits which cosmetics can be used in G rated game modes, and the Grammy nominees for games have been announced including an Aussie made game.
Here is the news for Sunday 19th of November. Let’s go!
PROMO: Join the SIFTER community on Discord at sifter.com.au/discord
FIONA: This week we got a brand new Nintendo Indie World, highlighting all the games that are coming to Switch so get ready to fill up that SD card.
The open-world space exploration game, Outer Wilds, is finally heading to Switch in the Outer Wilds: Archaeologist Edition which includes the Echoes of the Eye expansion, so get ready to explore planets, mysteries and everything in between when the physical version releases next year.
Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution will be a blast from the past for some as it’s the previously unfinished sequel to the Game Boy Colour platformer Shantae, which was released just over 20 years ago. Play as the hair-whipping half-genie in this pixel side scroller either by yourself or with friends in local multiplayer. That’s also coming next year.
Explore the Scottish highlands in A Highland Song. It’s a gorgeous narrative, rhythm adventure game. With dozens of pathways to explore, the story changes depending on the route you take. It’s out on December 5th so check it out when it arrives on the Switch.
COURTNEY: Enjoy the beautiful ink art style of Howl, a turn-based tactical folklore game which tells the story of the ‘howling plague’ which turns all who hear it into beasts. You play as a deaf prophet who is tasked with finding the cure. The game launched on the same day as the Indie World so you can check out the full game and the demo already on the eShop.
The sci-fi puzzle-adventure game Planet of Lana is coming to Switch after its successful launch on other consoles earlier this year. The hand-painted game stretches across centuries and galaxies as you play as a young girl who embarks on a rescue mission. We spoke to Wishfully Studios, the team behind Planet of Lana on Lightmap, you can check that interview out on our website.
And finally the Aussie made physics-based game Heavenly Bodies is headed to the Switch in February. Set on a 1970s space station, you play as cosmonauts trying to fix your ship and complete challenging puzzles all while dealing with the weightless motion of zero gravity.
There were plenty of other games that were announced at the Indie World showcase, you can check out the full list in our show notes.
COURTNEY: Geoffapalooza is back in with the nominations for The Game Awards.
Baldur’s Gate and Alan Wake 2 have picked up nominations a piece, and it’s fair to say both teams are likely to have a great night on the 7th of December when they walk out with an armful of angel statues.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 picked up 7, Super Mario Bros Wonder collected six and Zelda Tears of the Kingdom secured a respectable 5 nominations.
The hype cycle for Starfield didn’t hold for Bethesda, sadly, which got just a single nomination in Best RPG. Sorry Todd.
FIONA: No Australian studios in the mix this time round, but Dredge by kiwi studio Black Salt Games, picked up two nominations in Best Indie and Best Debut Indie which is very well deserved, that game is great.
Will there be any stage invading wild antics like this moment from last year?
I’d say no, yeah probably not hey. Good luck to all the nominees.
FIONA: Speaking of awards, the finalists for the 2024 Grammys have been announced, but the award we’re here for is the return of ‘Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media’
Last year Assassin's Creed Valhalla composer Stephanie Economou walked away with the inaugural prize, and next year’s competition is just as strong.
The nominees are Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II’s composer Sarah Schachner, God of War Ragnarok’s composer Bear McCreary, Hogwarts Legacy’s Peter Murray, J Scott Rakozy, and Chuck E. Myers “Sea”, and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor composers Stephen Barton and Gordy Haab.
COURTNEY: Joining that amazing list is Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical, which is not a surprise at all. It was a highly anticipated game for many years. Composers Jess Serro aka Montaigne, Tripod, and Austin Wintory and have been recognised for the game.
It’s always great to see the musicians of the gaming industry get the recognition they deserve. We at SIFTER can’t wait to see who wins, but sneakily we’re hoping the Aussies go home with the statue.
COURTNEY: We all suspected it might happen but Naughty Dog and PlayStation have officially announced a PS5 remaster of The Last of Us Part 2.
This new version features prettier graphics, screen resolution options up to 4K, dual sense controller support and developer commentary as you play.
There are also a couple of new modes, a freeplay guitar mode, a rogue-like survival mode called No Return, and the Lost Levels, which features parts of the game that were originally cut from release.
FIONA: The remaster will be out on the 19th of January and you’ll have a couple of different options if you’re planning on picking it up.
There is a fancy limited WLF edition with a steelbook case, collectible cards, a patch and some enamel pins.
Though I imagine most people who played a copy of the PS4 version on disc will opt for the US$10 or AUS $14.95 digital upgrade instead.
FIONA: The latest update to Fortnite has introduced a slew of age-restrictions to the game’s cosmetics, including items that have already been purchased.
It appears to be mostly skins that have weapons attached to them as part of the outfit, so anything with a holstered gun, knife or grenade is out, so don’t worry those real thirsty skins are still fair game.
All cosmetic items now have their own individual age rating, meaning that they can’t be played on islands with a lower age rating and it coincides with the launch of a themed island where players can vote on The Game Awards.
COURTNEY: Players aren’t happy, but Fortnite’s most popular game modes, Battle Royale and Zero Build won’t be subject to any age restrictions, because those modes have weapons.
What is good is that Epic Games have now introduced the option to submit audio evidence along with player reports now, adding to the block, mute and report options.
This will allow Fortnite players to report any harassment or inappropriate comments that are spoken over voice chat, as well as in text chat.
COURTNEY: Here is the next round of sackings from major studios – seriously, it’s happened again.
Amazon is back again for the second time this year, this time laying off roughly 180 employees.
FIONA: And indie games publisher Humble Games is also laying off staff but the number of people who have lost their job is still unconfirmed.
In a year with so many incredible games it’s just heartbreaking that this keeps happening but we’re going to keep reporting on this because it’s not fair to those who’ve lost their livelihoods to be forgotten.
COURTNEY: That’s it for the big headlines, here’s what’s coming out over the next week
FIONA: Get ready for some time-looping madness in the black and white turn-based game In Stars and Time. Follow Siffrin and his friends as they try to put an end to the tyrannical reign of an evil king. Gain a new perspective with each loop and use what you’ve learned to solve puzzles and make better choices in conversations. Grab it on PC, PlayStation and Switch on the 20 November.
COURTNEY: Live out your spaceship dreams when the Spaceport Edition DLC comes to Construction Simulator on November 21. Build your spaceport from scratch including a research centre, rocket launchpad and more in two new campaigns and multiple missions. Blast off on PC, PlayStation and Xbox.
FIONA: Also out on the 21st November is Wordless. Embark on a journey of self-growth and understanding in this beautiful 2D metroidvania platformer. Experience and explore an abstract universe all while battling enemies with a turn-based combat system. That’s coming to all platforms on Tuesday.
COURTNEY: Explore a dream world full of ecological catastrophes manifested into monsters in Domino: The Little One. The gorgeous hand-drawn 2D puzzle-adventure game sees you playing as Domino, navigating their subconscious in a journey to discover the power to bring about change. Explore the mind-bending eco-odyssey on PC on the 23 November.
FIONA: Knuckle Sandwich is an indie RPG that sees you playing as a young man on a fictional Australian island. The offbeat story revolves around finding a job and making new friends while trying to solve a mystery involving a gang and a cult. The game will be available on PC from November 23, but keep an eye on our interview show Lightmap because Gianni sat down with creators Andy Brophy and Olivia Haines so make sure you’re following SIFTER’s Lightmap for that.
COURTNEY: Fans of cyberpunk ninjas will be able to live out their fantasies in the new retro-styled platformer, Ninja Issen. Inspired by classic ninja games from the 8 to 16-bit era, the game is a gritty adventure about a rogue ninja who is accused of a heinous crime he didn’t commit. It releases on November 24 for PC.
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FIONA: This has been Walkthrough by SIFTER, my name is Fiona Bartholomaeus
COURTNEY: And my name is Courtney Borrett, thank you so much for listening.
FIONA: If you’re looking for something to listen to now you’ve reached the end of Walkthrough, why not check out our reviews show Drop Rate! Hosted by Chris Button and featuring great games writers sharing their thoughts and feelings on the newest games. Search for SIFTER Drop Rate in your podcast player now, look for the green icon. That’s SIFTER and Drop Rate.
COURTNEY: SIFTER is produced by myself, Fiona Bartholomaeus, Kyle Pauletto, Adam Christou, Daniel Ang and Chris Button. Mitch Loh is Senior Producer who edited this episode, and Gianni Di Giovanni is the Walkthrough script editor, and SIFTER’s executive producer.
FIONA: Thanks to Brian Fairbanks from Salty Dog Sounds for composing the Walkthrough theme tune and Audio Technica Australia for their support of SIFTER’s podcasts.
COURTNEY: We’ll be back with more news next Sunday, see you then.