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Stuff We Want to Discuss – The Weekly Gaming Round-up (21/01/19-27/01/19)

Here are our thoughts on some of the major gaming news stories from the past week. The selection of references is based entirely on personal interest level. End of. Also; it might not be weekly.

Now let’s take a nose dive into this week’s business.

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Metroid Prime 4 Booted, Time to Reboot it

In a bold move, Nintendo have opted to come out and admit that the planned release of Metroid Prime 4 isn’t going to happen. At least not as it was. In a video statement, Nintendo’s Shinya Takahasi revealed development has not gone to plan, with the product not reaching the level of quality they had in mind. In a weirdly open moment about the inner working of the development cycle, it was admitted that the game has been entirely scrapped in its current form.

Worry not, as Retro Studios have been brought into the mix to mop up the mess and start all over again. Where the hell have Retro been actually? Tropical Freeze’s original release was just short of five years ago, makes your wonder what they may have already completed in that time…

It’s got to be painful for the team that have been working on the game to date but there really will be lofty expectations of this particular sequel. I applaud their honesty but would hope whatever was worked on can be at least salvaged for parts, even under the guise of a new project. Let a younger team go wild maybe? Worked for Splatoon. [via Nintendo’s YouTube channel]

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Switch Indie Highlights… no Direct

Nintendo, whose latest system is host to nearly every indie heavy-hitter these days, gave a shot in the arm to the marketing for various upcoming releases.

You can’t avoid the “but what about my full Direct”. Look, we all want a Direct, and it’s not unusual for anyone to expect one in January, given the recent history but honestly, why are you ignoring the games here? These aren’t massive, rich studios and don’t have the resources to hammer home their existence through 24/7 extensive marketing campaigns. Give them a look, then get back to Direct begging.

A range of genres, creatively realised ideas, quirky art-styles, ports and, best of all in my view, Steamworld Quest, were all on display. Go catch up, here. The end reel of popular titles already released on console really drove home the idea that the Switch has something for everyone, at every price point.

A Direct would be very cool right about now though. [via Nintendo’s YouTube channel]

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Anthem Demo Woes & Microtransaction Details

It’s not unknown for server issues in a demo build. Bioware’s upcoming Iron-Man-‘em-up juggernaut, Anthem has had what they’re describing as a ‘rocky’ day 1.

‘Before I share details on this and what we’re still facing, I want to dispel one comment we’ve seen: that we under-planned for server capacity… To ensure stability, we intended to manage our servers to match the player population as it grew. Overall, we had excess capacity prepared for population increases, and continue to do so. That said, what’s important is that all parts of the game work as designed to meet players’ needs, and that did not happen in the opening hours.’ – Chad Robertson, Bioware

It takes just one cursory glance at social media to see the demo has been littered with crashes and connection errors.

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Demo performance aside, the issue of microtransactions reared its head, something which BioWare addressed head-on:

‘…One thing to keep in mind is these don’t represent final, stamped for all of eternity pricing. We are iterating on our economy design and balance almost daily, so you’re seeing a snapshot of one iteration. This is why we tend to not discuss things like pricing, because it’s one of those iterative things that’s sure to change frequently right up until the day you play the game.’ – Chris Schmidt, Bioware [Reddit]

What do I make of this? Not a lot, EA know they must tread carefully where microtransactions are concerned but big budget games do need a monetisation model. They insist this isn’t final and will continue with dynamic adjustments, which is more likely translated as ‘we put this out to test the reaction’. As long as they’re not deploying their phantom-thievery Battlefront II tactics, it will hopefully level out.

As for the demo issues? Well I’d like to think they’ll extend the demo period or at least schedule a separate one prior to launch, something they have already suggested is on the cards, but let’s face it, these demos are designed as stress-tests to get a feel for what they’ll need server-side. No-one actively wants to see this project burn. I just hope EA are treating their devs with the respect and time they need to realise their vision. Or it might be all the fault of your local infrastructure. We’re still rocking copper wires from the exchange, I believe…

Nothing to date has put me off the concept of Anthem either way, so I’m still looking forward to picking up the PC version when it lands on 22nd February [via Bioware Blog]

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CD Projekt Red’s Sebastian Stępień Leaves,  Then Joins Blizzard as a Creative Director

Reggie Reviews wishes Sebastian well in his new role!

Also, Cyberpunk 2077 is cancelled. What do you mean that’s not true and this one CV tells us nothing?

Jog on. [via Linkedin]

That’s your lot for this week, folks! Any news in particular this week that caught your attention? Sound off in the comments or via Twitter (@Reggie_Reviews and @2DMike3D).

References / Sources:

https://youtu.be/zLIv_UXI_So (viewed 27/01/19)
https://youtu.be/B8eRT4HVT1U (viewed 27/01/19)
https://www.youtube.com/user/Nintendo?&ab_channel=Nintendo (viewed 27/01/19)
http://blog.bioware.com/2019/01/26/anthem-vip-demo-update (viewed 27/01/19)
https://www.reddit.com/r/AnthemTheGame/comments/ajg581/image_featured_store_items_cost/eeveueh/ (viewed 27/01/19)
https://www.linkedin.com/in/sebastian-st%C4%99pie%C5%84-3bb81947 (viewed 27/01/19)

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