Google Closes Stadia Studios, Lady Dimitrescu’s Height Confirmed
Today: Go on a strange adventure with the girl in Tohu — Nintendo was planning to bring several properties to TV, but got scared off by leaks — Blizzard celebrates 30th anniversary online with BlizzConline
Google shuts down Stadia internal studios
Stadia doesn’t seem to be living up to Google’s high expectations, and its recently opened internal development studio Stadia Games & Entertainment is already shutting down.
The studio was supposed to provide unique experiences tailored to the platform's strengths, but Google has clearly changed its mind about that. In a vaguely worded statement, Phil Harrison reconfirms Google's dedication to Stadia, they will not be producing any more original content for the platform and will instead focus on bringing third-party content to Stadia.
Cloudy forecast: The new plan is to hawk the Stadia tech infrastructure to “partners seeking a gaming solution”, which presumably means licensing the Stadia technology to other vendors. Maybe Netflix will launch its own Netflix for Games based on Stadia? Or maybe cloud gaming is not the future after all.
What was the original subtitle for Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past?
a) The Stone Tablets of Antiquity
b) Triforce of the Gods
c) Second Quest
d) Oh Gee, That Ganon’s Up to No Good
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
Tattoos and time-bending eco powers
Naughty Dog’s Jak II was supposed to feature time manipulation, allowing Jak to speed up time to move and fight faster or slow down enemies. Early preview builds still featured the power, but it didn’t make it to launch.
An entire mission where Jak and Torn protected the city walls during a Metal Head invasion was also left on the cutting room floor. The mission would reveal that Torn’s tattoos symbolized the guard’s loyalty to the city, and was also included in early preview builds.
A beautiful, oddball adventure in beautiful clockwork worlds
Tohu is a quirky point-and-click adventure full of charm and with an outstanding visual style that doesn’t deserve to drown in the deluge of new games hitting the Switch eShop every week. The story follows a little girl and her alter-ego Cubus on a quest to fix the engine that powers the fish planets of her home world.
As you click your way around the world, you’ll be presented with different puzzles that are mercifully logical and intuitive, aided by little thought bubbles that give you a hint of what’s expected from you. The thoughtful design means there’s no frustrating trial-and-error or obtuse pixel-hunting: All you need to do is follow a train of thought to its conclusion.
The art is the star of the show, mixing intricate backgrounds with adorable characters, all drawn in a broad palette of pastels. The style manages to be both cute and macabre at the same time, and the locations all teem with life following its own joyously strange logic.
The soundtrack is also delightful, and offers atmospheric and catchy melodies by Hollow Knight’s composer Christopher Larkin. The voice work is more of a mixed bag, though: The little grunts and barks are charming, but the lines repeat a bit too often and quickly start grinding on your ears.
There are also some minor technical problems. Hit boxes occasionally overlap and leads to misclicks, the load times are frankly abysmal and the low resolution doesn't do the great artwork justice.
In spite of this, Tohu is a fun, charming and solid little adventure that deserves all the attention it can get. If you enjoy point-and-click adventures, Tohu will take you right back to the genre's bygone glory days.
Lovely art style
Straightforward puzzle design
Annoying voice work
Tohu is available today on the Nintendo Switch. Developer The Irregular Corporation kindly provided a Nintendo Switch review code to DailyBits for free for the purposes of this review.
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Nintendo ditched TV shows after leaks
Nintendo was considering making TV shows based on The Legend of Zelda and StarFox according to comedian Adam Conover.
Conover was working with CollegeHumour at the time, who apparently had a secret StarFox claymation project in the works at the time. The collaboration was serious enough for Miyamoto to pay a visit, although Conover was not allowed to breathe the same air as Mario's dad.
Too secret:“…I just wanted to watch Shigeru Miyamoto walk by. He told me no and I'm still mad at him…” Conover said on a podcast for The Serf Times. The project was suddenly scrapped not much later after leaks caused Nintendo to pull out of the partnership.
Switcheroonie: History repeated itself when Netflix told Wall Street Journal about their plans for a Legend of Zelda show, causing a less-than-amused Nintendo to forget about television and focus its attention on making Switch a world-conquering success.
BlizzConline virtual gathering this month
There won’t be a proper BlizzCon this year but there will be an online event later this month called BlizzConline.
The event will mark the company's 30th anniversary and Blizzard promises two days and six channels of content, all of which will be freely available. Some of the content will be available in 12 different languages.
Day One: Friday, February 19th
News and announcements
Six themed channels focusing on different games
Day Two: Saturday, February 20th
Game-specific channels return
Community Q&A with developers
’Stay awhile and listen’:“We couldn’t let too much time go by without connecting with our community in the spirit of BlizzCon, and that’s what this show is all about”, said Blizzard president J. Allen Brack. “We’re also excited to share some updates on what the teams have been working on”.
Goodies & translations: There are also celebration collections available for sale in the Blizzard Shop on Battle.Net, offering a variety of in-game goodies for most of Blizzard's actively developed games.
WHAT ELSE HAPPENED TODAY
EA has confirmed the Mass Effect Legendary Edition will be released 14th May on PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series with a reveal trailer confirming over 40 DLCs included
Xbox Game Pass will soon be adding Jurassic World Evolution, Ghost of a Tale and more. The first of the new additions will arrive on 4th February for Xbox and PC
Capcom understands your love for Resident Evil Village's Lady Dimitrescu and has confirmed the she's 2.9m tall
Santa Monica Studio is releasing a God of War update today that adds increased performance with 60 FPS, 4K 2160p on PS5
What was the original subtitle for Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past?
ANSWER: Triforce of the Gods!
Localization is about much more than just translation, and A Link To The Past is a great demonstration of just how many different concerns a company like Nintendo must make when bringing games to different territories. First off, the original Japanese title is Kamigami no Triforce, which means Triforce of the Gods. Nintendo of America didn't like religious references and iconography at the time, so the game was renamed to fit their content guidelines.
There are changes in the game script as well. In the Japanese version, Agahnim is a high priest while the American version describes him as a wizard. Other references to Hyrulean religion were also changed or removed, although later games in the series were allowed to pass relatively untouched as Nintendo of America relaxed their requirements.
Today's issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Erlend Grefsrud, Simon Priest, and Jamie Davey.