#7: Nintendo Eyes The Cloud, Blood Lives Again…

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Today we’ve got a look at 1997 classic FPS Blood, which has been remastered for the PC, plus there’s movement up above suggesting that Nintendo are looking at Cloud solutions, and there’s an update on the development of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2!

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

What year was the first The Legend of Zelda game released?

  • 1985
  • 1986
  • 1987
  • 1998

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

News Bits

Doom Eternal’s UI “meant to be big and bold” for comfort

Big, bold and loud is what Doom does best, but the UI of Doom Eternal has some criticising just how big and bold it needed to be. The response from id Software? “You need it this big, trust us.” Things are happening so fast you need a quick read on your stats in a “millisecond glance”. Okay, then.

Animal Crossing New Horizons welcomes all weathers

The Southern hemisphere can stop its bleating now because Animal Crossing New Horizons finally recognises their differing (and blasphemous) weather seasons from the North. Now, for example, Australian fans can enjoy hot ‘winters’ in Animal Crossing when it’s out March 2020, which is their seasonal autumn. Don’t worry; you can set it manually to the Northern hemisphere if you wish.

Daily Fact

Cinderella stops gaming past midnight in South Korea

Online gaming is a major force around the world – connecting friends, foes and strangers in all-out rumbles. Trouble is some don’t quite know when to quit for bedtime. South Korea’s National Assembly decided that they’ll be deciding that for anyone less than 16 years of age.

In May 2011 they passed the Youth Protection Revision Act, also known as the Shutdown Law or Cinderella Law. Basically between the hours of midnight and 6.00am in South Korea, all online game services are required to block those pesky adolescents from online gaming.

Sleep is for those without a raid-heavy guild

The law has driven South Korean kids as far as to commit identity theft! While it targets online games, consoles and handhelds are perfectly fine to lose sleep over. There have been numerous challenges to the law and since September 2014 parents can request their late-night gaming boys and girls be exempt. Quite the birthday gift; law exemption.

China, Thailand and Vietnam have all implemented similar types of laws, although Thailand later repealed theirs after two years, admittedly because they couldn’t get it to work anyway.

Indie Spotlight

Blood: Fresh Supply

(Monolith/Nightdive, PC)

If you’re a fan of FPS games, you need to be familiar with Blood (er, the game, not the juice that your enemies leak when you shoot them). It’s a shooter from 1997, the same year that saw the release of Quake II and GoldenEye 64, so we’d be the first to admit that its Doom-esque 2D visuals weren’t all that impressive back then – now, however, it looks retro and awesome compared to the blocky nonsense of its more popular genre-mates.

Which is good, because re-release experts Nightdive Studios has just released Blood: Fresh Supply, a remaster of the game (and its expansions) with a few enhancements – but mostly it’s just designed to work perfectly on modern systems. Oh, and it’s got mod support for all old fan expansions, which is really nice of them.

If you don’t know Blood, it’s the first game from Monolith Productions, the creators of such masterpieces as No One Lives Forever, F.E.A.R., Condemned, and Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. It’s an FPS that uses Duke Nukem 3D’s Build engine, so it has that lovely retro bitmap style.

It’s built in a similar way to Duke 3D and other classic FPSs – make it through levels shooting everything in sight, search for keys, cute secrets, boss encounters at the end of episodes, these sorts of things. Classic! None of this story nonsense! Well, it has one, but it doesn’t matter as much as the style – pure B-movie horror.

If you’re a fan of the likes of The Shining, Friday the 13th, Evil Dead, Return of the Living Dead, and other memorable horror movies (and books!) Blood is exactly the game for you, as it’s one big scary movie reference. There are whole levels based on the Overlook Hotel, Crystal Lake, Hill House, Frankenstein’s Castle and more, with the highlight being the zombie-infested carnival. Gotta love the monsters that shout “join us” and “I’ll swallow your soul” too.

Aside from fantastic and memorable levels, the monsters are equally cool. The machinegun-wielding chanting monks are wonderfully iconic, as are the zombies that come back to life if you don’t blow their heads off (and you can use those heads as a football). Fat butchers that spit you to death, hard-to-hit gargoyles which can appear to be stone until they come to life, disembodied hands that can strangle you, and our personal faves – screaming ghost reapers. Terrifying stuff.

The arsenal of guns is fantastic too, and weird – it includes an electricity cannon, a tommy gun, a flamethrower that’s just an aerosol can and a lighter, a voodoo doll, and a flare gun – hit an enemy with one, wait a few seconds, and they burst screaming into flames. Awesome.

Blood is one of the best shooters ever made, and now anyone can easily play it. Blood: Fresh Supply boasts hours of retro FPS fun and is well worth picking up. Seriously, that flare gun? Funnest videogame weapon ever. Get it.

Daily News

Nintendo ‘keeping close eye’ on the Cloud, might rain sometime

The forecast appears cloudy for Microsoft and Sony’s future in gaming following the unveiling of Project xCloud. It even has the old rivals joining forces to work on Microsoft’s Azure platform. Meanwhile, Nintendo is not exactly roaring thunderously about their cloud-streaming or any other wacky weather-based data-center technology.

Nintendo of America’s Charlie Scibetta does admit they’re “keeping a close eye” on streaming tech, and that Nintendo could one day rain down gaming on their platforms. “Streaming is certainly interesting technology,” Scibetta told TechCrunch at E3 2019.

Many clear skies ahead yet

Other than vague acknowledgements that yes, clouds sure exist, Nintendo seems content to stick to their own vision of the future of gaming. After turning motion games into a global behemoth and revolutionizing console design by adding rails to touch screens, the Japanese company has proven its knack for creating rather than following trends.

On the other hand, cloud-based services are very handy for subscription-based business models that offer access to huge gaming libraries and Nintendo sure does have a healthy collection of games at their disposal. They also have a marked tendency to charge good money for their classics, contrary to the rest of the business, which seems to give away games at the drop of a hat.

“Nintendo is keeping a close eye on it and we’re evaluating it. We don’t have anything to announce right now in terms of adopting that technology. For us, it’s still physical and it’s digital downloads through our eShop,” Scribetta concluded.

Will Nintendo ever make it rain subscription-based Mario, Zelda and Super Smash? It’s the eShop for now.

Stalker 2 is new, not ‘old new’, say GSC Game World

It has been quite some time since STALKER 2 was officially announced. Since then the developer has managed to shut down and then reopen again with the announcement of a totally different game, Cossacks 3. Last year they announced that a new STALKER was still in the works – and that it’s a whole new game.

The new version apparently won’t be a continuation of the previous games, but will obviously still be set in the bleak Chernobyl exclusion zone. It’ll also feature Russian accents, camo on everything, grubby equipment and all that jazz… but other than that, everything is totally different!

The original trilogy radiates inspiration

In an interview with a YouTuber, GSC Game World revealed this was their largest effort so far and that funding for STALKER 2 is coming out of their own company coffers. No crowd-funding plans it seems, or at least not yet. There’s been no official confirmation of any platforms except that VR won’t be supported.

Apparently those marketing materials for STALKER 2 might be hiding something, but the devs won’t give any clues. Some suspect there’s a cypher hiding in the announcement trailer, although GSC Game World suggested the next piece of intel is lurking somewhere on the game’s website.

Fallout 76 development “a triage” between fixes or content

A doctor’s worst nightmare – outside student debt – is a triage. This is the ‘assignment of degrees of urgency’ to decide the order in which you treat large numbers of patients – usually during a disaster, or war. Quite telling that Bethesda view Fallout 76 that way as well.

Chris Mayer says with their “limited development resources” they must constantly pick between addressing the online game’s many bugs and glitches, to introducing new content for the veteran players as otherwise “they’ll begin to drop out because they’ll get bored,” he warned.

Fallout 76: Catch 22 Edition

“If you just look back at the patches we do, and the patch notes, almost all of those are lifted directly from what are the biggest discussion points, the biggest problems that the community has vocalised,” Mayer tells VG247.

“So if we have the determination of we can fix this one thing versus this other thing, which one is going to have more of a community impact, and we think that’s been working well for us, and I think – I hope – our fans would agree.”

Recently Bethesda has announced they will be introducing NPC characters after all, along with romanceable companions. The difference here is that they won’t be following you around the game world. Fallout 76 has been crying out for a much need narrative transplant. Finally there’s a donor.

News Bits

Hopes continue to fade for Final Fantasy XV PC Level Editor

Once upon a time there was promise of a Level Editor for Final Fantasy XV on PC, which already supports mods for the game somewhat. Sadly with development ended and DLC canned, it’s unlikely Square Enix will ever make good on it. The PC modding scene has proven its creative genius before, so could the community manage to produce one itself?

Dozens lost at Amazon Game Studios, claims former dev

The ambitions of Amazon Game Studio might have been a bit too much as dozens apparently are getting either moved elsewhere within Amazon, or facing severance packages. The company that also delivers everything to your doorstep says it’s focusing on “New World, Crucible, and new unannounced projects” that they’ll reveal later. Amazon already cancelled “mythological sport brawler” Breakway last year, after attempting a major overhaul.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

What year was the first The Legend of Zelda game released?

Answer: 1986!

Yes, the first game in Nintendo’s enormously popular The Legend of Zelda series was released all the way back in 1986! It was designed by the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka, both of whom are still at Nintendo today helping to shape the company’s latest games – including the latest Legend of Zelda game, Breath of the Wild.

It immediately became a huge hit , selling 6.5 million copies. The first game in the series is notable for featuring ideas the series wouldn’t embrace again until decades later – such as non-linear quest design where you can approach dungeons however you like. It’s remarkably punishing, and frequently rewards exploration. It’s obvious Dark Souls took a lot from this game, even if the Zelda series itself didn’t!

Oh, and you may have noticed us slip 1998 in there as an answer. Just wanted to see if you were paying attention! Can we do emojis? 😉 There we go.

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