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2021 VIDEO GAME CATCH ALL THREAD


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Google will close its two game studios, located in Montreal and Los Angeles. Neither had released any games yet. That closure will impact around 150 developers, one source familiar with Stadia operations said. The company says it will try to find those developers new roles at Google.

Jade Raymond, the veteran producer who helped build Assassin’s Creed for Ubisoft and moved on to EA several years ago before leaving to run game creation at Stadia, is exiting the company, according to Google.

Google will continue to operate the Stadia gaming service and its $10 monthly Stadia Pro service. It’s unclear how many, if any, exclusive games will still come to the service, though the company has indicated that it can still sign new games and will bring more third-party releases to the platform. It nevertheless will look to many like a draw down of the plan to have Stadia run as a bona fide competitor to console platforms.
The company plans to begin offering its Stadia tech to publishers, opening up the possibility for Stadia to become the streaming tech for other video game companies. Google’s head of Stadia operations, longtime console executive Phil Harrison, will focus on pursuing these new partnerships.

 

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Wait, Google spent a lot of money to start a new business/concept and then suddenly closed it not long after? Who could have seen this development. I just hope the developers were paid really well for a year and it was worth the trouble.

As it was set up, Stadia was a bad idea and continues to be a bad idea.

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Just now, Kevin Wilson said:

Wait, Google spent a lot of money to start a new business/concept and then suddenly closed it not long after? Who could have seen this development. I just hope the developers were paid really well for a year and it was worth the trouble.

As it was set up, Stadia was a bad idea and continues to be a bad idea.

Apparently some of the big name devs were getting 2-4x their previous salaries to move to google.  I hope everyone else secured the bag as well.

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That's incredibly shitty of Google to not plan more than that. Did they just expect people to buy Stadia and play the same games they could play on PS4/Xbox One and be okay with that?

What made those consoles work was they had something to draw you in -- whether it's Sony's first party exclusives or Microsoft's Halo and GamePass. Google needed something like that to get people to sign up.

I'm sure there was something that Jade Raymond & co. were working on, but we'll never know.

At least it's not Amazon's attempt at video games where they release Paragon, then 'un-release' it like a day or two later.

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Pokemon Sword and Shield are expected to beat Gold and Silver sales.

Pokemon Red/Blue/Green – 31.38 million
Pokemon Gold/Silver – 23.1 million
Pokemon Sword/Shield – 20.35 million
Pokemon Diamond/Pearl – 17.67 million
Pokemon X/Y – 16.49 million
Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire – 16.22 million
Pokemon Sun/Moon – 16.2 million
Pokemon Black/White – 15.64 million
Pokemon Yellow – 14.64 million
Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sappire – 14.34 million
Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu/Eevee – 13.00 million
Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver – 12.72 million
Pokemon FireRed/LeafGreen – 12.00 million
Pokemon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon – 8.89 million
Pokemon Black 2/White 2 – 8.25 million
Pokemon Platinum – 7.693 million
Pokemon Emerald – 7.060 million
Pokemon Crystal – 6.3 million

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Destruction All Stars is pretty cool, but I suck at it. It's use of the controller is great.

And then I started playing Control. Holy shit. This game scratches a big itch for me and right now, even though I'm very early in, I think I love it. It gives me some Half-Life vibes and some Lost vibes.

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Yeah, I'm probably going to pick up the Control: Ultimate Edition for PS5 when I download a couple other new releases later this week.  It kinda fell through the cracks on PS4, but seems like something I should make time to play.

Finished Florence a bit ago.  I'm kinda digging everything Annapurna Interactive does.  Florence is very much a niche game for the "games as art" crowd.  It has a simple art style and almost no traditional game play but tells a surprisingly affecting love story.  It's more interactive fiction than a game.  There are interactive elements - items to place, simple puzzles to solve (literally putting together two and three piece jigsaw puzzles), but there's no way to fail these tasks and just doing them frequently doesn't affect the outcomes.  It doesn't matter what groceries you put in the bag.  You just have to do it to advance the story.

Anyway, it's going to appeal to a small group of people, but I was engrossed and it was very well done.  I was surprised how engrossed I got in the story.  It's basically a sketch of a love story between two twenty-something artistic types who fall in love and embark on a multi-year relationship.  The director/designer is Ken Wong, best known for the PC puzzle game Monument Valley.

I am glad to see Annapurna Interactive moving to capture a more mainstream audience.  Their early games were mostly walking simulators and experimental puzzle games like Gorogoa.  They seem to still be going after the Journey fanbase, but there games are getting somewhat more conventional and seem to have wider appeal.  They published cel-shaded Soulslike Ashen a couple years ago and their last game was The Pathless, a PS4/PS5 launch title which was sorta Shadow of the Colossus meets Zelda.

Anyway, they've announced seven games for 2021 (they're hinting on Twitter that they'll have a couple more releases).  Solar Ash, from Hyper Light Drifter creator Alex Preston, looks great.  They're also publishing the odd single room time loop murder-mystery 12 minutes which has a big name voice cast and is an Xbox exclusive.  Fullbright Gone Home, Tacoma) has a new game that looks interesting.  The Artful Escape looks odd and intriguing.   Etc.  Even the cyberpunk cat game (Stray) looks promising.

Really happy to see there guys positioning themselves to reach  a larger audience.

 

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Working through my backlog and trying to focus on stuff I actually paid for, which isn't easy since PS+ gave away a lot of quality shit... But a couple years ago I got my teenaged son South Park: Fractured But Whole when he was really into the show. It also came with a free code for Stick Of Truth, so that's neat... Anyways, Platinumed the both of em, in release order. Both are pretty good basic RPGs but maaaaaaaaan SoT has truly bottom-barrel "humor." Luckily the newer game wasn't nearly as foul, but yeah in hindsight I'm glad my kiddo didn't get too into them 😂

Not sure what's next... We just picked up The Pathless, which is gorgeous but I'm not super into it after an hour. Meanwhile we've had God Of War for over a year and that new PS5 patch got me thinking it's next on the list. 

 

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1 hour ago, RIPPA said:

I didn't realize (or forgot) that Altman's wife was Lynda Carter aka Wonder Woman (though it makes sense in hindsight)

When I saw Robert Altman died, I thought "Oh shit, the guy who directed MASH, McCabe & Mrs. Miller and Nashville died," then I realize it was a different Robert Altman.

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Well, they're probably meeting somewhere and having a laugh about the ZeniMax founder being asked to sign a copy of 3 Women.

Got my 205th Platinum trophy tonight with LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues for PS3. This is for the European copy, which has a separate trophy list. Nearly the same experience as it was the first time I did it.

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7 hours ago, Andrew POE! said:

When I saw Robert Altman died, I thought "Oh shit, the guy who directed MASH, McCabe & Mrs. Miller and Nashville died," then I realize it was a different Robert Altman.

I went so far as to wonder aloud (talking to my wife) why Altman never put his wife, Lynda Carter, in any of his movies,  I am dumb.

Got a good laugh out of the director of Moon Studios (Ori and the Blind Forest) going on a tirade on resetera (?) and calling CD Projeckt Red and Hello Games (No Man's Sky) "snake oil salesman" for promising more than they can deliver.  Peter Molyneux and Fable got a shout out too.  Sadly, he either sobered up or someone pointed out that it was a bad look to call out other studios, so he apologized a few hours later.  He was absolutely correct w/ everything he said though.  I do respect Hello Games for putting in the work to better the game instead of abandoning the game.  Hopefully CD Projekt Red does the same.

Playing Never Alone.  Not a great game but I dig the Native American folktale vibe and the art enough to be glad I bought it.  I'm always willing to try something a little different, especially if it's a short game.  

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14 hours ago, RIPPA said:

I didn't realize (or forgot) that Altman's wife was Lynda Carter aka Wonder Woman (though it makes sense in hindsight)

That was the first thing I thought when I saw he died. Felt sorry for her loss. 

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19 hours ago, odessasteps said:

Especially since that Robert Altman died 15 years ago. 🙂

Apparently if you're named Robert Altman you automatically have a predilection for ambitious, sprawling works that don't always quite come together.

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Finished Valhalla today. 93% done. I have never played a game that has more game in it, if that makes sense. Just layer upon layer of more stuff to do. The part of me that likes to check off lists was thrilled to look at a blank map, but man...I put 160 hours into this game. I can say that I can 

Spoiler

dual wield Excalibur and Mjolnir!

 

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On 2/5/2021 at 11:12 AM, Zimbra said:

Apparently if you're named Robert Altman you automatically have a predilection for ambitious, sprawling works that don't always quite come together.

I can vouch for this.  My sister-in-law knows a Rob Altman who is his late 40's and has already changed careers three times (plus several job changes in the same field) and been divorced four times.

He's only famous to divorce attorneys, though.

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6 hours ago, Shane said:

Finished Valhalla today. 93% done. I have never played a game that has more game in it, if that makes sense. Just layer upon layer of more stuff to do. The part of me that likes to check off lists was thrilled to look at a blank map, but man...I put 160 hours into this game. I can say that I can 

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dual wield Excalibur and Mjolnir!

 

Nice 👍

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I appreciate the pretty seamless transition into the Alan Wake DLC in Control - it just casually appeared as a mission after one of the main stories. And it's just as fantastically weird as the main Control storyline, even though I'm not super far into the game. The arcade machines you can find inside of one of the rooms in the DLC can help you knock off a few trophies, too. Which leads me to this: I love a game that's beautiful as fuck as much as the next guy, but man, I can't imagine choosing that over 60fps in an action game. I like that Miles Morales had a RT Performance mode, hopefully Control gets that eventually as well. But I'm doubtful.

(But hey, anyway, Control is fucking great, and I love that it's basically Twin Peaks meets X-Files in an action game)

I've been playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider too, and I had the same problem. Once you get into 60fps, it's hard to go back to 30fps just for a visual boost. It just doesn't feel right in games like this, you need the camera and character model to react as quickly as you, the player, can. It's like trying to run in thick mud or something once you get a taste of that sweet, sweet 60fps. What's really weird to me about SotTR has nothing to do with the Performance or Visual modes: there's a character model in there from the first Tomb Raider game in this trilogy, and I'm okay with that, if it wasn't for the vastly different face model it has. I can't even attribute that, in my head, to Lara aging across the trilogy - it just looks like a face model from two generations ago, especially when you can quickly switch to her default model and immediately tell the difference. It's especially jarring in cut scenes, too.)

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