#114 – Steam Cloud VS Google Stadia

TODAY: Microsoft takes on Pokémon Go with Minecraft Earth — New Pokémon Sword & Shield trailer ahead of launch — Remember Project I.G.I? There’s a prequel on the way!

Top Story

Valve’s partner site reportedly includes code for ‘Steam Cloud Gaming’

Google is finally going all-in on games with their streaming service Stadia, which is launching on November 19th – and it looks like Valve might want a piece of the action too!

Steam is already the market leader for digital PC games distribution, and they may well need to get into streaming if they want to keep the top spot. Judging by a recent update to the Steamworks platform, it might happen soon!

Steam Cloud already exists, but it’s for savegames

Code uncovered by Steam Database – who has a long history of digging into Valve’s data to figure out what they are up to – discovered a reference to ‘Steam Cloud Gaming’. The latest partner site update requires its users to agree to an ‘addendum for cloud gaming’.

This isn’t exactly conclusive proof that Valve is about to launch their own game streaming service – it could also mean that they are adding support for a third-party service, like they recently did for EA’s Access subscription, or it could simply be an update to their existing cloud services.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which city hosted the first Mario & Sonic Olympic Games?

  • Beijing
  • London
  • Vancouver
  • Athens

The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!

News Bits

Minecraft Earth creepers into UK

The augmented reality spin-off Minecraft Earth is in early access for the UK starting today. It’s a location-based game where players gather resources and fight enemies as they move around in the real world. The early access version includes time-limited, procedurally generated adventures and is available on both iOS and Android.

Apex Legends gets firing range and time-limited ‘duos mode’

Bored waiting around in the lobby? Why not squeeze off a few rounds on the firing range while you’re waiting? Apex Legends now allows you to try out all kinds of weapons, loot and even heroes while you’re waiting. Respawn Entertainment has also introduced – for a limited time – a new ‘duos mode’ where you team up in two-person squads. Apex Legends launched in February, and sports over 70 million users.

Daily Fact

Light-gun shooter Resident Evil Survivor didn’t survive on PC

Released in 2000, Resident Evil Survivor was a light-gun shooter for the original PlayStation. It was a huge departure for Capcom, swapping the third-person fixed-camera survival horror for a first-person experience. Unfortunately, the US version didn’t even support the GunCon light gun for the PlayStation since the Columbine High School massacre had prompted American politicians to scapegoat videogames – which made gun peripherals a bit controversial.

Capcom developed a PC version of Resident Evil Survivor, but it was only released in China and Taiwan, and not until late 2002. The game’s amnesiac protagonist – already struggling to fight off hordes of the undead and rediscover his identity – had an even harder time of it when the light gun was swapped for a two-button mouse. In the end, Capcom decided against releasing the PC version in Japan and Europe as originally planned.

Daily News

New Pokémon Sword & Shield trailer

Pokémon Sword & Shield is finally launching next week, and that means it’s time for a fresh trailer featuring an overview of what we can expect from our adventures in Galar.

The trailer features over five minutes worth of gameplay snippets, location teasers and a closer look at the various Pokémon. However, most of the new Pokémon shown in the trailer have already leaked onto the internet in the months leading up to launch.

Pokemon Sword and Shield There’s also a quick tour of some Pokémon Gyms packed with enthusiastic crowds cheering on the battles. Like in previous games, you need to defeat Gym Leaders to earn Gym Badges and eventually become the Pokémon champion.

The new Galar region is based on the British Isles

Dynamax challenges also make a return, allowing you to grow Pokémon bigger than usual and bring them on raids with up to three other players. There’s also Gigantamax, which doesn’t just grow but also changes Pokémon into new and immensely powerful forms. Pokémon Sword & Shield is out on November 15th.

Stealth shooter I.G.I. Origins launching in 2021 for PC and consoles

Project I.G.I. is getting a prequel called I.G.I. Origins from developer Antimatter Games, announces publisher Toadman Interactive. It will be coming to PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 sometime in 2021.

It’s a first-person stealth shooter which is big on making you think how to get in and out of a fight. It’s a veritable spy gadget wonderland with adrenaline-fuelled action set during the 1980s — a real tumultuous time as the Cold War continues to rage on. We’ll be uncovering a mystery threatening the world with nuclear annihilation as an MI6 agent.

The 1980s — home to Cold War, an overuse of jeans, and weird boy bands

Regent — which is our codenamed — will be undertaking a fight around the world as lethal globe-trotting spy. “…Regent will undertake a series of missions across the world to achieve the objectives of Spy paymasters in a dramatic, filmic experience that explores the origins of the Insitute of Geotactical Intelligence.”

The original Project I.G.I. released back in December 2000, with a follow-up in 2003 and so what better way to celebrate the future of the series than by going back to the past? A reveal trailer has been released offering glimpses of our clandestine shenanigans. The PC version will be coming to Steam, announced Toadman.

News Bits

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 review round-up

Nintendo and Sega are teaming up their mascots and sending them to the Olympic Games once again in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Does it fall short, or secure a place on the podium? The judges’ verdicts are in:

  • GameSpace (Score 9/10) – ”The amount of events is just right to get the most fun for your money.”
  • Nintendo Enthusiast (Score 8/10) – ”The real magic of the game, though, is how it serves as a perfect casual entry point into the world of the Olympic Games.”
  • DualShockers (Score 8/10) – ”Overall, Mario & Sonic is a welcoming surprise that I can see myself playing with friends regularly.”
  • Destructoid (Score 8/10) – ”Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020’s retro suite is compact but it kicks everything up a notch.”
  • Nintendo Life (Score 7/10) – ”Its 34 events provide welcome variety and there are far more hits than misses in its line-up, but once you’re finished with Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020’s four-hour Story mode it becomes notably less enticing for solo players. With no real incentives or unlockables to aim for, this should be considered a strictly multiplayer affair if you want to still be playing it by the time the actual Tokyo 2020 Olympics roll around.”
  • VideoGamer (Score 7/10) – ”A fun collection of events, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 has some chaff amongst the wheat, but overall, this an entertaining package that will no doubt be a party favourite.”
  • IGN (Score 6.4/10) – ”This latest entry in the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series sports the best collection yet of minigames and events, but is hampered by a tedious story mode and overall poor execution.”
  • Twinfinite (Score 3/5) – ”For a few rounds, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is a great party game. The events themselves are varied and fun to play but the story mode that’s the draw for lone players moves along at a snail’s pace.”
  • USgamer (Score 3/5) – ”Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 offers a glimpse of what the series could be if it fully committed to a story mode or really invested in becoming a sportier companion to Mario Party. Most of the minigames are fairly strong and the whole package is dripping with polish. As far as minigame collections go, this one can carry the torch just fine—but maybe it’s not the one you pick to light the fire at game night.”
  • TheSixthAxis (Score 5/10) – ”Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 brings a raft of new and returning events with it, but manages to both reduce and overcomplicate everything to the point where it simply isn’t that fun to pick up and play with others. Younger fans may get a kick out of a few of the events, but overall this is a tiresome and drab tie-in that you’ll have forgotten about long before the real world opening ceremony next July.”

Capcom is not cancelling Deep Down

Capcom is still keeping alive their trademark filing for Deep Down, although the “original team is clearly no longer together”, according to Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono. The game isn’t abandoned, but there’s there’s not much Yoshinori can tell us about it at the moment. Deep Down was supposed to be a dungeon crawler for the PlayStation 4, along the lines of Dragon’s Dogma and Dark Souls.

Weekly Giveaway

Europa Universalis: The Price of Power

We are doing a bonus giveaway in collaboration with Aegir Games to celebrate the Europa Universalis: Price of Power Kickstarter campaign. To participate, you need to visit the Kickstarter page, put down a pledge for the full game and send us your Kickstarter backer name by email.

Everyone that enters will receive a free key for Iconoclasts on the system of their choice, and also has the chance to win two Nintendo Switch Lites! The winner of the first giveaway for the actual board game was announced last week, so check your emails if you missed it.

The giveaway is open until the Kickstarter campaign ends on Thursday, and winners will be announced the following day.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which city hosted the first Mario & Sonic Olympic Games?

Answer: Beijing!

Mario and Sonic finally put aside – or perhaps redoubled – their decade-long rivalry at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Released in 2007 for the Wii and DS, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games became enormously popular.
Mario and Sonic

Since then, Mario & Sonic sports titles have accompanied most winter and summer olympics since then: Vancouver 2010, London 2012, Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016. The series skipped the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, possibly because the event wasn’t very well-received – or maybe they just couldn’t manage to spell the name properly.

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