#31 – PC Gets The Tetris Effect

TODAY: Command & Conquer closer to getting Remastered & Re-Released — Sean Murray thinks you’re right about the problems, but not the solutions — Tetris Effect brings the Zone exclusively to Epic Games Store

Top Story

Will We See Another Banjo-Kazooie Game In The Future?

Banjo-Kazooie’s appearance as a guest fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate makes us wonder if we will see another game starring the bear and bird duo in the near future. Grant Kirkhope, the composer of the original game’s soundtrack, is not convinced despite the massive attention Rare’s classic received during this year’s E3.

The reveal of Banjo-Kazooie appearing as a guest fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has sparked the question: will we see another Banjo-Kazooie game in the near future? Grant Kirkhope, composer of the original soundtrack in Banjo-Kazooie, remains unconvinced despite the massive amount of attention the Rare IP received during E3 this year.

Speaking to Video Games Chronical, Kirkhope discussed the likelihood of a new Banjo game:

“My honest opinion is I don’t know if they’ll ever be a new Banjo. It’s easy to go, ‘look at these numbers’, but it might be a drop in the ocean for Xbox. Is there a market for it? I just don’t know. I would think that Rare probably doesn’t have the appetite for it. They’re super busy with Sea of Thieves and that’s a gigantic game: it’s going to take the whole studio to keep making content for that.”

Kirkhope thinks the only way to get a new Banjo-Kazooie game made is to find a new studio to take up the reins: “They’d have to find the right people to do it,” he continued. “Ubisoft Milan were perfect for Mario, for example, and the Killer Instinct guys did a good job.”.

Grant Kirkhope is unsure whether Banjo-Kazooie will return anytime soon

The last Banjo-Kazooie game released was Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts for the Xbox 360, all the way back in November 2008. Nuts & Bolts was a big departure from the series’ traditions, and was focused around building wacky vehicles. The game was re-released as part of the Rare Replay compilation in 2015, and upgraded with Xbox One X enhancement last month, making it playable at 4K resolution.

In other words, gamers looking for a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie might as well settle for Yooka-Laylee, which was created by former Rare developers who worked on the original Banjo-Kazooie. Yooka-Laylee was the result of a very successful Kickstarter campaign, whose initial goal of £175,000 was reached in less than 40 minutes and eventually ended up garnering the team over £2,000,000 in funding.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which of these developers have NOT worked on the Marvel Ultimate Alliance series?

  • Radical Entertainment
  • Raven Software
  • Vicarious Visions
  • Team Ninja

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

News Bits

Command & Conquer Developer Shows Off Remastered Tesla Tank

Towards the end of last year, EA announced that they are developing remastered versions of the original Command & Conquer, as well as its sequel Red Alert. The latest Command & Conquer Developer Update reveals that Petroglyph have completed their first production milestone: the alpha version of the first campaign mission is complete!

The mission is not only playable, but uses the new, remastered 4K assets too! To celebrate, the developers have shown off the new artwork for the Tesla Tank, one of Red Alert’s most iconic units. Be sure to subscribe to the Command & Conquer subreddit to keep up to date with the team’s efforts!

Randy Pitchford Confirms: No Cross-Play for Borderlands 3 At Launch

Following the latest announcement of an announcement by Borderlands 3 developer Gearbox Software, CEO Randy Pitchford responded to speculation that the announcement might be about cross-play support.

But no! Pitchford stated that there won’t be any cross-play at launch, but that Gearbox Software is working with their partners to “create a positive cross-play experience.” In the past, developers who wanted to implement cross-play usually failed to clear a single hurdle: Sony. Could they be the stumbling block this time too?

Daily Fact

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: first comic book game published by Nintendo

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is out this week, exclusively for Nintendo Switch. After a fashion, it’s the Switch’s substitute for Marvel’s Avengers – which is coming out on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 next year – but it’s more important than that. For one, it’s the long-awaited return of one of the most popular series of Marvel games – the previous one came out exactly 10 years ago – but it also marks Nintendo’s first time publishing a major comic book game.

Nintendo have published unusual (and even licensed) games before – most notably GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64, the one brilliant James Bond game we got before EA pinched the license and messed it all up. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 isn’t interesting just because it’s Nintendo’s first comic book game though, but because Activision used to own the Ultimate Alliance brand! Nintendo must presumably have paid a pretty penny to add it to their catalog of big, gamer-friendly Switch exclusives like SEGA’s Bayonetta – and we love them for it. Now… where’s that new DuckTales game?

Daily News

Players are usually right about the problems – but not the solutions

Last week’s Develop conference in Brighton, UK, brought a lot of game developers together. Sean Murray – director of No Man’s Sky – delivered a lengthy interview to PCGamesN, discussing Hello Games’ relationship with its community, and how consistent updates have served to repair the damage done at No Man’s Sky’s launch.

It was recently reported that the average No Man’s Sky player now plays about twenty hours longer than the first customers did at launch, showing that Hello Games’ consistent delivery of updates increased player engagement. When asked about how No Man’s Sky is performing today, Sean Murray said:

“I don’t know if I’m ever happy with the game when I look at it. You probably don’t look back on writing you’ve done and think, ‘that’s the best thing ever’. It’s the same when you’re working on a game, you just see all the things you wish you could fix, or that could be better.”

Hello Games are feeling “creatively inspired at the moment”

Following the controversial and rocky launch as well as the angry reception from players, Hello Games have had to work on the relationship with their customers. Now that several major developers are struggling to fix game-breaking bugs or keeping their customers in the dark about the failure to deliver promised features, Sean Murray talked about his experiences on how communities respond to problems:

“I think players are normally almost always right about problems. That’s the thing I always find. They’re almost never right about the solutions, or can never agree on them, anyway. The useful feedback is: ‘I don’t like that thing’ or ‘I want to do more of this’. [But] then they’ll tell you crazy things they want you to do to solve that.”

Murray also stated that about 70% of the changes they make in patches are in direct response to their community, meaning player concerns directs Hello Games’ focus. While communicating with a vocal community can be challenging, Murray said the studio is working hard to revamp the parts of the game that players are not happy with, which in turn has improved the overall game experience.

Tetris Effect Getting Trippy for the PC – Exclusively on Epic Games Store

Tetris Effect – a PlayStation 4 exclusive featuring PSVR support by Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s new studio Enhance, Inc – will finally launch for PC on July 23rd, courtesy of Epic Game Store! The PC version will feature Oculus and Vive VR support.

The port is exclusive to Epic Games Store for now, which might upset some PC players – while the less easily offended can enjoy pre-order benefits like 20% off, a sampler soundtrack and some desktop wallpapers. It also looks like the port will be superior to the PlayStation 4 version, supporting an unlocked resolution and uncapped frame rate.

Players have the option to increase texture and particle effect options if vsync is turned off, allowing the game to sparkle even more than it already did – and that’s not all: there’s also support for super high-resolution displays (4K and beyond) as well as ultrawide monitors.

Enjoy Tetris Effect in VR or in 4K

Tetris Effect was one of the most highly rated games on Opencritic last year, averaging 89 on the video game reviews aggregator website. Featuring an all-new mechanic that allows players to stop time by entering the Zone, giving them the chance to get out of a difficult situation – or rack up a huge amount of points.

Epic has not revealed how long Tetris Effect will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store, but rest assured that it will eventually come to other storefronts at a later date. So far, the announcement trailer has received an unsurprisingly mixed response, with the upvote to downvote ratio currently sitting at around 50:50.

While some fans are excited that Tetris Effect will finally be available to play on PC, others are already grumbling about the Epic Games Store exclusivity, calling for it to be released on Steam. Either way, we’re really excited to jump back into Tetris Effect and wholeheartedly recommend that you pick this up if you haven’t experienced it yet.

News Bits

Climb The Throne of Atlantis In Latest Assassin’s Creed Odyssey DLC

It may be time to jump back into Assassin’s Creed Odyssey as its final DLC instalment, Judgement of Atlantis, launches today. This episode will give players the power to rule over the lost city of Atlantis, providing them with powerful new abilities and weapons.

Blessing of Kronos boosts your adrenaline and provides immunity to adrenaline-sucking and freezing effects, Kronos’ Punishment creates a clone who can stealth-attack enemies, and Wrath of Ares enables you to slow enemies down and launch an explosive attack using your spear. New Isu weapons also include a spear, dagger and mace, each of which can be infused with Warrior, Assassin or Hunter enhancements.

Judgement of Atlantis releases on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One today, but if you’d like to learn a bit more about it before hopping in, you should check out this gameplay preview.

Famitsu Says New Monkey Ball Rolling Onto PC, PlayStation 4 and Switch

The latest issue of Famitsu revealed that a new Super Monkey Ball game is in development and will be launching on PC, PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Switch. The only bits of information we have about this game is that it could be a remastered version of the Wii-exclusive Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, and that the Japanese release date is October 31st.

Sega has yet to announce this game for any region, so keep your eyes peeled for any updates from the publisher.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which of these developers have NOT worked on the Marvel Ultimate Alliance series?

Answer: Radical Entertainment!

Fun fact! There have been three Marvel Ultimate Alliance games – and three completely separate developers. They all play similarly, but were developed by different studios. Raven Software made the first game (and the X-Men Legends series that inspired it), Vicarious Visions made the Civil War-focused second game, and Team Ninja are responsible for this week’s Switch-exclusive third game!

Radical Entertainment, on the other hand, have not had anything to do with the Ultimate Alliance series – but they developed Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, another fantastic Marvel game which served as the basis for the studio’s successful Prototype series!

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