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Gaming Roundup – Gear Up

Hello! Welcome to the latest Geeky Brummie Gaming Roundup!

This week, Take-Two take over, Sega shrinks the Game Gear and internet yelling proves ineffective yet again. Plus all the latest releases you need to know about!

Game Gear Micro Announced

Sega teased a big announcement this week, prompting many to speculate it was a new console (despite the Dreamcast going out of production 20 years ago) or some major earth-shattering new IP, all in celebration of their 60th anniversary.

The actual announcement was less exciting and was, honestly, a little bit weird. Sega have announced a mini console, but since they already did the Mega Drive, they’re doing the Game Gear. The Game Gear Micro is quite micro indeed, sitting in the palm of your hand. I’m not sure how comfortable that is to play, and that screen was evidently made for ants, but that’s what they’re going with anyway.

The release is weird too. The Game Gear Micro gets only 16 games, but that’s only if you buy all four models, as each colour model contains four different games. The selection is very Japan-centric, and with no news of a Western release just yet, it’s not clear if this will change. Currently each model is set to release around £40, meaning forking out a cool £120 if you want all 16 games. Which is quite the ask, Sega.

Kerbal Space Program 2 Devs Resist Takeover, Taken Down by Take-Two

In probably one of the scummiest business moves in the games industry, Take-Two Interactive are under fire this week for the way they’ve handled the development of Kerbal Space Program 2. The sequel to the beloved, NASA-approved space rocket building game has already faced some criticism, as it was already announced without the original creator’s knowledge. That wasn’t too bad, however, as the creator had left and sold the IP to the publisher, so fair’s fair.

This time, however, things aren’t so fair. Star Theory, the developers brought in to work on KSP2, got screwed over by Take-Two Interactive. Late last year, much of the team were shocked to discover LinkedIn messages from executive Michael Cook, stating that the project was to be cancelled, and offering new jobs to those who’d been working on it, if they wanted.

Within three months, a third of Star Theory’s staff left, and the company eventually went bust. And it turns out, the project wasn’t cancelled, and Kerbal Space Program 2 is still in development. Except now it’s being made internally at Take-Two, with a new development studio they’ve created to do this.

Discussions had been happening between Take-Two and Star Theory about the latter being bought by the former, but it was rejected as the founders of ST didn’t agree to the terms they were being offered. And so, seemingly out of spite, Take-Two decided to snatch away their project and poach the workforce, essentially finding a way to buy the team anyway, despite negotiations breaking down.

This is an awful practice, and shows Take-Two refused to accept no as an answer, and looked to throw the original developer under the bus for it. And what makes this especially bad, and creates a punchline to whole thing? The new studio is called Intercept. Way to stay classy, Take-Two.

The Last of Us 2 Preorders Unaffected by Internet Yelling

Remember when the internet was up in arms because the plot of The Last of Us 2 got leaked and people were angry about its apparent direction? Sounds pretty bad for Sony, right? With that much anger floating around, maybe this sequel to 2013’s PS3 swansong is going to struggle when it goes on sale.

Except no, as Sony have revealed that pre-orders for the game rival those of Insomniac’s PS4 Spider-Man at the same time in relation to release. Which suggests The Last of Us 2 is going to remain a smash hit despite the internet yelling. Weird that. It’s not like that’s ever happened before. The Rise of Skywalker was a huge flop, as we all recall.

This does suggest that many people didn’t react with instant rage to the spoilers, as experiencing a story is different to reading the annotated description of it, meaning most people aren’t going to abandon a story they’re interested in if someone leaks spoilers. Plus it’s entirely possible that the plot points that got the internet so riled up hit differently with actual context.

The lesson here is, don’t throw tantrums on the internet when you don’t know the full story. Or indeed, at all.

New Releases

Quiet week for releases this week. Starting with re-releases and ports, The Outer Worlds comes to Switch after a long wait, so if you’re after a Fallout-style RPG on the Switch, there you go. Meanwhile, classic RTS Command and Conquer, its sequel Red Alert, and all the expansions for the two have been re-released on PC as part of the Command & Conquer Remastered Collection.

On Switch, Nintendo have released Club House Games: 51 Worldwide Classics. It’s a traditional board game collection, with the likes of chess, poker and Connect Four (albeit unbranded). It’s not exactly a big AAA release but it does seem to be decent quality as opposed to cheap shovelware, so if you really need a collection like this, the Switch has one now.

The big release of the week is Valorant, emerging out of beta this week. It’s yet another Overwatch-style hero shooter, but this one comes from League of Legends developer Riot, which has already gained it quite a bit of attention. Certainly seems to be doing better than Amazon’s recent effort at least.

Game of the Week

Game of the Week this week is Liberated, released for Switch, with a Steam release coming soon. It’s a neo-noir action adventure set within the borders of a comic book.

It’s a moody tale of an oppressed future, with different issues of the comic book representing the perspective of different characters living in this world. Gameplay-wise, there are stealth sections, heavy gunplay and some vehicle sequences. The story also looks heavily choice-driven, allowing the player to decide who’s right and wrong in this dystopian society.

With its gorgeously grim art style and comic book stylings, Liberated looks like an excellent and unique game that should be worth picking up.

And that’s it for this week! I’ll see you next time with more from the world of gaming!