Hello! Welcome to the latest Geeky Brummie Gaming Roundup!
This week, Mick Gordon donates pay, Multiversus is dying and Yoko Taro has Sega waifus
Mick Gordon Donates Atomic Heart Pay
Composer Mick Gordon has confirmed that he will be donating his fee for working on Atomic Heart to the Australian Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal.
Mick Gordon, best known for the more recent Doom soundtracks, has been working on Atomic Heart, a new shooter from Russian developers Mundfish. He’s been working on music for the game since 2020, but with recent controversies surrounding the game, he felt it appropriate to take this action.
While it’s unlikely that Mundfish are directly connected to the conflict in Ukraine, it’s likely that they received funding from the Russian government. This money is likely to have exchanged hands before the conflict, but it’s still made some uneasy about supporting the game due to this connection. Mundfish have relocated their headquarters to Cyprus, but it may not be enough to shake the association for many people.
It’s clear that Gordon is one of these people. While he has a lot of positive things to say about the dev team, his donation is his attempt to rectify the possible connection to Russia’s actions.
Multiversus Experiences Huge Drop-Off
Multiversus, or as it should have been called, Warner Smash Bros, has experienced a significant drop-off of players since its explosive launch last summer.
If you’re unaware, Multiversus is the Warner Bros take on the Smash Bros formula, with characters from Warner IPs battling it out on wacky stages. This includes DC superheroes, Looney Tunes, Cartoon Network favourites, Ayra Stark from Game of Thrones, actual human man LeBron James, and more.
Back in July last year when the game first launched as a beta, it managed to attract over 150,000 players on Steam in its launch week. Now its player base on the same platform has fallen below 1,000, which is usually a death knell for any live service game.
A lot of theories are being thrown around about this drop-off. The aggressive monetisation, which got patched to be even more aggressive. The significant drop in content updates – Season 1 released multiple characters while Season 2 provided…uh…Marvin the Martian. Balance patches making characters worse to play. All sorts of reasons.
But as someone who played the game when it first released, I would like to suggest another reason – it simply wasn’t very good. I played exactly two sessions of the game, where I found it be floaty and hard to read, with bland music, minimal content and tedious progression. Plus it initially forced to play as superheroes and that just made me sad until I was able to get Bugs Bunny. Also several moves have lengthy cooldowns, and in a chaotic platform fighter that’s just annoying.
While I personally didn’t enjoy the game, I did think it was doing better than it currently is. Clearly you can’t sell a game on Arya Stark stabbing Batman alone.
Yoko Taro Is Making Sega Waifus Because Of Course He Is
Yoko Taro is one of gaming’s more eccentric developers. Aside from only ever being seen wearing the head of a Nier character at all times, he’s also been filmed rolling around with official merchandise and called himself a “parasite” in a 2022 retrospective article in Japanese magazine.
So it’s perhaps not surprising that the creator behind the Nier franchise is currently working on an utterly bonkers mobile game. And Sega are, somehow, letting him do it.
Imagine, if you will, a world where Sega have become an all-consuming megacorp and are now a dystopian force for evil (again, Sega ARE publishing this). You are the one who is tasked with taking them down, and the only way to do this is to team up with anime girls who are also Sega franchises. No, I am not joking, that’s the premise.
404 Game Re:set is a mobile game where you collect Sega waifus, with girls based on After Burner, Virtua Cop, OutRun and Virtua Fighter confirmed so far, although more are promised further down the line. If the Sonic one isn’t just someone’s MS Paint OC I will be very disappointed.
It’s a bumper week for re-releases. To start, Returnal is the latest PlayStation exclusive to come to PC, a roguelike shooter about an astronaut trapped in an endless loop on a distant planet.
Bitwave Games are brining four Toaplan arcade games to PC this week, with Out Zone, Truxton, Twin Cobra and Zero Wing, available as a bundle or individually. All of them are classic shoot-em-ups, and if you spent any time on the internet in the late 2000s, you may recognise Zero Wing as the game that infamously gave the world “all your base are belong to us”.
Because Dotemu cannot be stopped from reviving old games, this week, they released Pharaoh: A New Era (PC), their remake of Pharaoh, a 1999 city builder set in Ancient Egypt. It also contains content from the Cleopatra expansion
And finally for the re-releases, there is Tales of Symphonia Remastered (PS4, Switch, Xbox One), which brings the classic Gamecube JRPG to modern consoles. There’s already a release for Steam, by the way.
In Early Access, Wild West Dynasty (PC) is a survival/crafting game set in the Ol’ West, where you build a ranch that grows into a settlement while trying to not get besieged by bandits and coyotes.
Continuing their relentless release schedule of FMV games, Wales Interactive bring us Ten Dates (PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox), a game where two best friends go speed dating. Gameplay comes down to dialogue choices so you can either make a good impression or completely botch your chances. It released on Valentine’s Day, appropriately.
Birth (PC) is quite possibly the weirdest game of the week. It’s a point and click adventure where you play a lonely person who decides to build their own friends. So obviously you go out and collect bones and organs in order to assemble them. Obviously.
Continuing the weirdness, Dreams in the Witch House (PC) is based on the H.P. Lovecraft story of the same name. It’s a point and click adventure with RPG elements where you have free rein over your actions in a largely open narrative. You play as an Arkham University student haunted by terrible dreams, and you have the choice of trying to maintain your physical and mental strength or delve into the nightmares to discover the truth of the hidden horrors creeping in ready for May Eve.
Speaking of Lovecraftian horrors, Elderand (PC, Switch) is a pixel art action platformer all about fighting off said horrors. Clearly takes a lot of inspiration from Castlevania and Dark Souls.
Square Enix are very aware that Final Fantasy has excellent music, which is why we’re now on the fourth rhythm game based on the franchise. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Final Bar Line (PS4, Switch) features a whopping 385 tracks from the franchise, all while chibi versions of popular characters like Cloud and Yuna batter enemies as you play music well. DLC will also add music from other Square Enix franchises such as Nier and the Mana series. Add the police station music from Parasite Eve, you cowards!
Wanted: Dead (PC, PlayStation, Xbox) is a “love letter to sixth generation consoles” developed by a team of former Team Ninja developers. If you’re expecting a Ninja Gaiden, then congrats, this is a Ninja Gaiden that also has guns in it. You play as an elite cop named Hannah Stone as she uncovers a conspiracy in cyberpunk Hong Kong, mostly by shooting lots of guns and swinging a katana around and looking cool while doing so. Reminds me of forgotten PS3/360 game Wet, and that’s a good thing. Voice acting in the trailer is ropey as heck though.
Wild Hearts (PC, PS5, Xbox X/S) is the latest EA Originals title. It’s Monster Hunter made by the Dynasty Warriors team. That’s it, that’s the game.
Game of the Week
Game of the Week this week is Blanc (PC, Switch), a cute little co-op adventure game about a wolf cub and a fawn looking for their families after a snowstorm.
Heavily promoted for the Switch, Blanc is a gorgeous little game, rendered entirely based on ink drawings done by hand, and its monochrome style with bold outlines is a treat for the eyes. It’s also adorable as these two precious little creatures us their unique skills to aid each other.
It’s a cute little game that’s perfect to play with a partner or a child, and I simply had to make it Game of the Week as a result.