Valve’s Steam Deck launching next month

Today: What do the critics think of Pokémon Legends: Arceus? – Microsoft’s Xbox subscription practices are about to change – Fan’s remastering Resident Evil 4 are gearing up for launch soon

Steam Deck launches February 25

Steam Deck with logo

Valve has announced the much-anticipated launch of Steam Deck is set for February 25. The first batch of emails to those who have reserved an order has been sent out with 3 days left to purchase.

Should any reservation not be claimed then it will go ‘down the line’ to any left in the queue, and the first Steam Decks should be on their way to customers starting from the 28th.

  • Orders sent “in the same order” as reservations made
  • Can only order the Steam Deck model you reserved for
  • Reservation deposits applied to final cost and shipping

Emails: Additional email batches will be sent out in waves “on a weekly cadence” in the run-up to the full launch later next month. Press units are also being released soon for hardware reviews.

Reviews: The embargo for the Steam Deck reviews is also on February 25, “but keep an eye out for some preview coverage and impressions before that,” said Valve as they tie off some loose ends.

Which film director directed Clock Tower 3’s cutscenes?

a) Kinji Fukasaku
b) Takashi Miike
c) Takeshi Kitano
d) Wong Kar-wai

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.

Pokémon Legends: Arceus reviews

Pokemon Legends: Arceus wild areas

Game Freak’s most ambitious game to-date is out as Pokémon Legends: Arceus launches for Nintendo Switch, and we’ve rounded up a bunch of reviews to see what’s going on.

Set in the region of Sinnoh, Pokémon Legends: Arceus is a prequel to the original Nintendo DS adventures Pokémon Diamond and Pearl that was released in late 2006.

Review round-up

  • The Telegraph (Score 5/5) – ”By tearing up the rule book and breaking new ground, Game Freak has created the best Pokémon title in decades.”
  • VGC (Score 5/5) – ”…one of the most entertaining, engaging and engrossing games in the entire history of the Pokémon series…
  • GamesRadar+ (Score 4.5/5) – ”…a refreshing take on the Pokemon formula, stripping back the game to focus on the titular creatures with such great success.”
  • NintendoWorldReport (Score 9/10) – ”An astoundingly smart improvement on the tried-and-true Pokémon formula.”
  • Nintendo Life (Score 9/10) – ”…is quite simply one of the greatest Pokémon games ever made.”
  • TheSixthAxis (Score 9/10) – ”…elegantly takes the formula and flips it on its head, creating a unique new challenge that fans will love.”
  • Game Informer (Score 8.75/10) – ”…an exciting new direction for the series, while still maintaining many of the core tenets…”
  • VG247 (Score 4/5) – ”…it’s the best main-series Pokemon game in a long, long time.”

UK regulator ‘secure improvements’ to Microsoft’s Xbox subscription practices

Xbox Game Pass subscription tiers

A significant victory for the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as Microsoft agrees to voluntarily update its Xbox subscription practices to alleviate concerns raised by the regulator.

These changes affect Xbox Live Gold, Game Pass, and Game Pass Ultimate by altering how Microsoft deals with upfront information, refunds, inactive memberships, and price increases.

’Take note’: “Other companies offering memberships and subscriptions that auto-renew should take note, and review their practices to ensure they comply with consumer protection law,” said the CMA.

Inactivity: One of the bigger changes will be inactive accounts where Microsoft will notify users after a period of inactivity with their subscription, and even cancel the membership if inactivity continues.

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  • Day 0 patch for Pokémon Legends: Arceus apparently “fixed some problems” says the vague changelog
  • New Line proceed with the Mortal Kombat sequel with Moon Knight writer Jeremy Slater to create the script
  • Planet Coaster and Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep headline February’s games for PlayStation Plus subscribers
  • Mario Kart meme for COVID-19 booster mocked online since it’s actually a banana that stops Omicron
  • Fan-made remaster Resident Evil 4 HD Project has received its official final trailer with a release scheduled for February 4

Which film director directed Clock Tower 3’s cutscenes?

Alyssa Hamilton sees a ghost playing piano in Clock Tower 3

ANSWER: Kinji Fukasaku!

Question! If you’re rebooting one of the scariest games of all time, who do you get for it? Why not the guy who directed Battle Royale? If you know Japanese film, you might know Kinji Fukasaku from films like Battles Without Honor and Humanity or Tora! Tora! Tora! His work on Clock Tower 3 was one of his last projects before his passing in 2003.

Its use of motion capture was a big deal, giving cutscenes fluidity and playfulness thanks to Fukasaku’s direction. Unfortunately, the game sold way below expectations and had Capcom axe the Clock Tower series. We guess 2000s gamers just weren’t ready for a fusion of campy horror and Sailor Moon transformations.

The weekend is upon us, who’s checking out Pokémon Legends: Arceus?

Today's issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Erlend Grefsrud, Simon Priest, and Jamie Davey. If you have any feedback or news tips for the team, please email us!