Diablo 2 Resurrected Alpha, Play Pokemon Yellow in Valheim
Today: You can get a taste of Diablo II: Resurrected if you’re lucky — Relax in your Viking fortress and catch some Pokémon between troll hunts — Starbase Utopia is too obsessed with waste management
Switch update references new Aula dock
Dataminers have dug into the latest Switch update and found an interesting entry that seems to be a reference to the new Aula model rumoured to be in development.
The new dock is mentioned in the following strings found inside the Ver 12.0.0 update, ”is_crda_fw_update_supported” and “CrdA”, which are supposedly references to the Aula model. It is also possible that it's an update for the current dock hardware, but it would be the first one ever issued.
Good as gold: Another telling entry was “4kdp_preferred_over_usb30”, which lines up with reports claiming that the new Switch model will support 4K output through a new Nvidia chipset that supports DLSS.
Fixed backups: Apart from containing tantalizing hints, the firmware also fixed an issue where save data backups interrupted before completion. Could the Switch Pro everyone has been talking about since the original console launched finally be on the horizon?
Which novelty band made the one hit wonder “Pac-Man Fever”?
a) Nervous Norvus
b) Buckner & Garcia
c) Rick Dees and his Band of Idiots
d) Weird Al Yankovic
The answer will be revealed at the bottom of today's issue. Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss what the answer could be.
FACT OF THE DAY
Tricky timeline for the imperial command
Star Wars: X-Wing’s opening cinematic featured a carefully replicated scene from The Empire Strikes Back where Captain Xamuel Lennox and Lieutenant Cabbel stand together on a command deck.
While that might seem like a minor detail, it still warranted a correction in the 2014 book Star Wars: Imperial Handbook: A Commander’s Guide. The book clarified that while Lennox was indeed present in both scenes, Cabbel was not. Why? Because X-Wing and The Empire Strikes Back takes place many years apart.
Blizzard has announced a technical alpha test for Diablo II: Resurrected between April 9th and 12th, which will focus on “early game systems, the three playable classes, and client performance data”. It will be singleplayer only, with the old cinematics still in place.
Technical test details:
Starts April 9th at 7am PDT / 3pm BST / 10am EDT
Ends April 12th at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 6pm BST
Acts I & II
The Sightless Eye
The Secret of the Vizjerei
Limited test: Any progression made during the test will not carry over to the full game, and it will not be possible to load save data from the original Diablo II either. The test will only be available to “limited amount of PC players who have pre-registered” on the official website.
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Enjoy a spot of emulation in Valheim
What’s missing from open-world Viking survival hit Valheim? Why, a Game Boy emulator, of course! How else would you be able to play Pokémon while resting after a wolf assault?
Valheim is still in Early Access but it has been a huge hit and has attracted the attention of modders, who are adding all kinds of unexpected oddities to the game.
Not exactly handheld: The emulator is a buildable object in the game, and it's not quite as compact as the real Game Boy. The emulator does not include any ROMs, since that would most likely create a very complicated legal situation for everyone involved.
Viking Boy Advance: You can learn more about the rune-powered Game Boy from the creator's Reddit posts, and don't forget to deck out your dungeon with a few emulators. Why prove yourself to Odin when you can hunt a MewTwo in Pokémon Yellow?
Spacebase Startopia Review
Developed by Realmforge Studios — Reviewed on PC
Spacebase Startopia is very concerned with trash. Your donut-shaped space habit is practically overflowing with garbage, which attracts vermin. Your underlings don't like vermin. You don't like vermin. No-one likes vermin.
You might ask why waste management and pest control is such a central theme in a game ostensibly about building a high-tech space station, and the answer is another question: Yeah, why, exactly? Things start out innocently enough: You take control of a three-story space base, and everything is pretty neat, tidy and compact. Not nearly as overwhelming as your average management or strategy game.
Your goal is to tempt different aliens to move to your space habitat by offering living quarters, gainful employment and opportunities to socialize. Bonus points if you can avoid deadly diseases, barbarian invasions and – yes – vermin. Neither the short tutorial nor the rather repetitive campaign really prepares you for the intricacies of running a space station, though.
The basics are both simple and fun: Set up medical centers, dot your base with charging stations for your robotic minions and try to decide the best spot for the disco. The devil is in the details, though: You also need to make sure ventilation filters and power-generating conductors are carefully placed. Sprinkle a bit of terraformed land, exotic agriculture and combat mechs on top, and voila – a space base!
Then the garbage starts piling up. You have probably already put recycling centers at strategic points in your habitat, but that's not enough. You will need to manually destroy both waste and the vermin it attracts. To make matters worse, your robot minions aren't exactly zippy and garbage duty often ends up getting pushed down the queue as you divert them to more pressing matters.
Sure, you're supposed to be managing your service bots by investing in them and supplying the proper infrastructure, but things quickly get out of hand no matter how diligent you think you are. As visitors and workers flood your base, facilities start breaking down at an alarming rate and simply keeping everything pristine becomes a chore. Dealing with diseased aliens is a pretty clunky affair, and combat is neither interesting or fun. Most of the micromanagement is simply irritating.
Of course, the simulation occasionally gives rise to fun and exciting moments and you often have to make tough choices about what kind of disaster you'd prefer to face next. Unfortunately, there are not that many surprises left when you have learned how the game works. The endgame is simply ever more micromanagement. And garbage disposal. So much garbage disposal.
It doesn't help that the game struggles to be funny, complete with forced pop culture references that already feel outdated. Your central computer is a sarcastic little thing, riffing off HAL 9000 and GlaDOS, but simply doesn't have the material to match up with its inspirations. It's neither funny or terrifying. It's just a bit annoying.
The result is that Spacebase Startopia feels undercooked. It has all the ingredients for an interesting game, but the result feels rushed. Too much of the game is simply busywork for not much reward, formulated as the least inspiring kinds of maintenance work. Governor of a space habitat? More like regional manager of interstellar waste disposal.
Tiered base system is interesting
Fun choices spice up missions
Micro-management is boring and unresponsive
Spacebase Startopia is available now on the PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X, PS4 and PS5. Publisher Kalypso Media kindly provided a PC review code to DailyBits for free for the purposes of this review.
WHAT ELSE HAPPENED TODAY
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fury World event on April 9th featuring five days of one-on-one combat
Battle royale Pac-Man 99 launches today so get chomping on Switch Online – There's also some DLC coming
Which novelty band made the one hit wonder “Pac-Man Fever”?
ANSWER: Buckner and Garcia!
One of the defining one-hit-wonders of the eighties was Pac-Man Fever, by the forgettable duo Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia. The single launched in 1981 and became a top ten hit in 1982 thanks to the growing popularity of arcade games. Buckner & Garcia tried to capitalize on their sudden success with a whole album of arcade-inspired ditties.
Unfortunately, neither Do The Donkey Kong nor Goin’ Berzerk set the charts on fire, so Buckner & Garcia quickly sunk back into obscurity. They did, however, prove that you can make pop music about nerdy stuff, so maybe it’s a good time to grab the Pac-Man Fever DLC for Rock Band 4 and pay homage to the OG nerdcore crew.
Today's issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Nick Akerman, Erlend Grefsrud, Simon Priest, and Jamie Davey. If you have any feedback or news tips for the team, please email us!