Plus DOTA 2 ditches the battle pass and local video games are on the rise in Australia
NEWS THIS WEEK
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SIFTER is produced by Kyle Pauletto, Fiona Bartholomaeus, Daniel Ang, Adam Christou and Omi Koulas. 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
OMI: and I’m Omi Koulas
FIONA: Welcome to Walkthrough, SIFTER’s weekly recap on the biggest news in video games.
OMI: This week Nintendo shares a stack of new and remade games coming to Switch, DOTA 2 ditches the battle pass, and spreadsheet simulator EVE Online actually connects to Excel.
Here is the news for Sunday 25th of June. Let’s go!
PROMO: Join the SIFTER community on Discord at sifter.com.au/discord
FIONA: A massive Nintendo Direct was held this week with heaps of fun announcements and reveals.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder returns to the side-scrolling roots of the platformer and introduces the Wonder Flower, an item that changes the world as Mario and his friends see it.
Pipes come alive, hordes of enemies appear, and some characters change their look entirely including turning Mario into an elephant which looks bloody great.
It certainly seems trippy but I mean that in the best way and we have a wonderfully close release date!
Super Mario Bros. Wonder releases on the Nintendo Switch this year, on 20 October.
Princess Peach will get her own game soon too, and while details on that were pretty light it looks like you’ll be running across a theatre stage and magically transforming.
It’s been 18 years since Peach got her own game, the kinda sexist Super Princess Peach on DS where being overly emotional was her super power, so we’re hoping this one does our girl some justice.
OMI: Detective Pikachu Returns! Is a sequel to the 3DS 2016 game continuing Tim Goodman and Pikachu’s story in Ryme City, solving mysteries and making friends along the way.
The spinoff Pokemon game Detective Pikachu Returns launches 6 October this year.
FIONA: Fire up that nostalgia, a full remake of the classic Super Mario RPG and a remaster of Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon are on the way.
Speaking of beloved franchises, Pikmin 1+2 was also shadowed dropped to the Nintendo eShop for everyone to dive back into the big, small world of Captain Olimar and the Pikmin.
The pair of games can be snapped up for $69.95 or $39.95 dollars individually.
And we got to see even more gameplay for Pikmin 4 on the Switch which arrives really soon, you can grab that one next month the 21st of July
OMI: WarioWare: Move It! Is the next game in this zany series, which includes over 200 micro-games with a focus on movement and the gyro-controls in the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons.
There were a bunch of third party games we got an update on too, Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Volume 1 got a release date, get your cardboard box ready for October 24th.
Vampire Survivors is launching on Switch on August 17th and brings with it local coop so you can auto attack your way to victory with your pals on the couch.
Penny’s Big Breakaway is a 3D platformer from the team who made Sonic Mania. It shares a lot of the Sonic DNA with some added movement through a super yoyo that you can ride or swing from like a grappling hook, when it launches early next year.
Wow - what a big week for Nintendo! There’s so much more news from this huge Nintendo Direct that you can find on our website, sifter.com.au.
FIONA: Time’s up for the battle pass in DOTA 2, the game that introduced the world to the DLC format almost ten years ago will be ditching them according to developer Valve.
Valve found that the annual battle pass uses far too many resources and has become too big, taking up nearly all the time, ideas and resources of staff.
OMI: In a statement the company said future updates are still a work in progress but the most recent ‘New Frontiers’ and patch 7.33 couldn’t have been released if they were still focussing on Battle Pass content, and the positive response they received has helped them build confidence with their new plan.
Even though it’s a massive shift in one of the biggest free-to-play games, it’s great to see they’re looking forward to making fun, exciting and innovative new content.
OMI: Get ready to head back to Callisto for the final chapter of The Callisto Protocol.
‘Final Transmission’ continues the story in the space horror survival game, which finishes on quite a cliffhanger.
The game reportedly failed to reach its sales goals or recoup its costs, according to a report on Korean news agency Yonhap, so it’s likely this might be the last bit of Callisto Protocol we get to play.
FIONA: The DLC releases on June 29, but if you have the game on PlayStation, you can play it two days earlier on June 27 and you can check out Gianni’s review of Callisto Protocol on sifter.com.au we’ll stick a link in the show notes.
FIONA: Screen Australia the film funding agency that backs Australian made games has just completed its annual survey, and last year was a massive year for locally made games.
Nearly 300 local games were released in 2021/22 financial year which is a big 68% increase from 2015/16.
The cost of these games jumped up over that same time frame as well, by a whopping 282% but good news is that profit for local devs increased by 204% as well.
A lot of stats in there, but long story short the Australian games industry is growing well, something we here at SIFTER are really happy to see.
OMI: This week the Australian government also passed the Digital Games Tax Offset which will make it easier to attract bigger studios to our shores, something the industry has been asking for, for ages.
OMI: It’s always been a joke that scifi spaceship MMO EVE Online is a spreadsheet simulator, but developer CCP games have actually confirmed it with an add-in for Microsoft Excel.
Players can use Excel in-game to manage frontline warfare, track their earnings, maximise their profits, monitor kills, and track character progress over time.
This collaboration with Microsoft means players can analyse all their data, regardless of their programming experience, and easily share it with others.
FIONA: The marketing team for EVE Online use the apt slogan “INFORMATION IS POWER” - and for this game, it really is, so get working on your profit and loss statements as you build your next space empire.
FIONA: That’s it for the big headlines, here’s what’s coming out this week.
OMI: Put on your detective hat for Crime O’Clock, an investigation “Where’s Wally”-like game with a charming art style and time-bending mechanics, releasing on the Switch on 30 June.
FIONA: Grab your Joy-Cons because it's time for Everybody 1-2-Switch, a new edition of Nintendo’s party mini-game package, now with smartphone integration, launching on the 30 June.
OMI: For the mech fans, the Front Mission 1st: Remake pits you against formidable foes in powerful military machines. This tactical turn-based RPG is finally coming to PC, PlayStation and Xbox on the 30 June, after an earlier release on the Nintendo Switch last year.
FIONA: Relive Sissel’s classic mystery-adventure when the long-awaited remaster of the puzzle game, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, lands on all consoles on 30 June.
OMI: Also out on that day, coming to the Nintendo Switch, is Master Detective Archives: Rain Code, a lucid-noir investigation game with a super stylish anime look and feel.
PROMO: Articles to read, videos to watch and podcasts to listen to on sifter.com.au
FIONA: This has been Walkthrough by SIFTER, my name is Fiona Bartholomaeus.
OMI: And my name is Omi Koulas. 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 relaunched reviews show Drop Rate! Hosted by Chris Button and featuring great games journalists sharing their thoughts and feelings on the newest games. Search for SIFTER Drop Rate in your podcast player now, look for the green icon.
OMI: SIFTER is produced by Kyle Pauletto, myself, Adam Christou, Daniel Ang and Fiona Bartholomaeus. Mitch Loh is Senior Producer who edited this episode and Gianni Di Giovanni is our Executive Producer.
FIONA: Thanks to Brian Fairbanks from Salty Dog Sounds for composing the Walkthrough theme tune.
Thanks to Audio Technica Australia for their support of SIFTER’s podcasts.
OMI: Thanks again for listening, we’ll be back with more news next Sunday.