Gaming Roundup – Many Marios

Hello! Welcome to the latest Geeky Brummie Gaming Roundup!

This week, Mario rumours, Final Fantasy leaks and the BAFTAs! Plus, all the latest releases as always!

It’s-a Me! All the Marios!

This year sees the 35th anniversary of the Super Mario franchise, as Super Mario Bros launched in Japan in September 1985. Seems like a good time to bring all the Mario games into one place on the Switch, right?

Quite possibly this is happening, according to rumours floating around the internet. Normally I don’t report on rumours as more often than not they’re bored people on 4chan making stuff up, but this has been reported by many major sites with reputations of not reporting unsubstantiated rumours.

The rumours state that Nintendo may be working on Super Mario All-Stars 2, a collection of Super Mario 64, Sunshine and Galaxy in one package, a Deluxe version of Super Mario 3D World (similar to last year’s New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe), and a brand new Paper Mario title.

Of these three, Super Mario 3D World is the most obvious, as Nintendo have been steadily re-releasing their Wii U catalogue on Switch, to hopefully give those games a new lease of life on a system people actually own. 3D World is one of the few remaining titles that have yet to be ported over, so it’s only a matter of time.

Super Mario All-Stars 2 seems plausible. Mario 64 is due an overhaul especially and bringing back Sunshine is the start of answering the internet’s screaming for Gamecube games on Switch. Rumours only state Galaxy is getting a remaster, but no word on Galaxy 2, but hopefully it’s both as those two deserve a HD coat of paint.

The Paper Mario one is an interesting one. The series has been floundering a little in recent years, with lukewarm responses to both Sticker Star and Colour Splash, which have drifted quite far from their original appeal. Rumours are suggesting Nintendo have learned from this and have designed it to be closer in style to the beloved N64 original and Thousand-Year Door. If true, I’d be very interested. If they want to throw in a HD remaster of Thousand-Year Door too, that’d be great, as getting a Gamecube copy is a nightmare these days.

Ultimately, if all of this is true, Nintendo seem determined to have most of Mario’s back catalogue on Switch by the end of the year, and if they do, that’ll be excellent.

Control Was Robbed and I Am Upset

This week saw the BAFTA Gaming Awards ceremony. I say ceremony, it was Dara O’Briain in his living room reading out awards, because a global pandemic means we can’t have normal awards shows anymore. Anyway, here are the winners.

The big winners of the night, and the only two games to win more than one award, were Outer Wilds and Disco Elysium, both of which I really need to get around to playing.

Disco Elysium took Debut Game and Narrative, which I thought were well deserved based on what I’ve seen people saying about how clever its narrative design is. It also won Music, but having no knowledge of the soundtrack, or indeed much knowledge on British Sea Power, the band who made it, I can’t comment on this.

Outer Wilds was the biggest winner, however, taking Best Game along with Game Design and Original Property. Of course, this means Control, the actual best game, did not get the award it deserved and now I am very upset. But Outer Wilds is good too I GUESS. (In all seriousness, from what I’ve seen of Outer Wilds and it’s interesting time loop gameplay, it totally deserves this award.)

Speaking of the actual best game, Control, I was very pleased to see Martti Suasalo win Supporting Role as Ahti, the mystical janitor from Remedy’s mind-bending action game. Ahti is a huge part of what makes that game so delightfully weird, so this was well-deserved. He gave a great acceptance speech too.

For Leading Role, that went to Gonzalo Martin for his performance as Sean Diaz in Life is Strange 2, which I feel is also hugely deserved. I loved Life is Strange 2, and it wouldn’t have been nearly as hard-hitting without his performance as Sean.

Untitled Goose Game got Family, and yeah, this is a good choice. Can see kids loving the chance to play as a terrible goose and make all the worst social decisions, which is of course what the game is all about.

Elsewhere, Luigi’s Mansion 3 got Animation, Sayonara Wild Hearts got Artistic Achievement, Ape Out got Audio Achievement and Observation got British Game, which I did not expect. Kind Words (lo fi beats to write to) got Games Beyond Entertainment, which I feel is a great pick, as that game isn’t really a game and more a form of anonymous casual therapy.

And then the less interesting awards. Apex Legends got Multiplayer, Path of Exile got Evolving Game and Call of Duty Mobile got Mobile Game, but as someone who doesn’t much care for live services, multiplayer or mobile, none of this really makes much difference to me. Also Death Stranding got Technical Achievement, which is fair, as it does have a lot of excellent tech in it. At least it didn’t get any artistic awards, because it deserves none of them. Oh you heard me.

One thing I note about these winners is just how varied they all are. Control and Death Stranding got 11 nominations each but only got one each in the end. Only two games got more than one award, but otherwise it was a nice spread of different titles. Honestly, if that doesn’t highlight the sheer range of games we have right now, even above and beyond the AAA space, I don’t know what does.

Congratulations to all the winners, but really, we all know that Control was robbed, and I am upset.

Final Fantasy VII May Already Be Out

Square Enix have issued warnings to fans to not spoil content in the Final Fantasy VII Remake. Seems a bit silly to announce this as it’s a remake of a 23-year-old game, but the scale of this does seem like there’s a bunch of new content and surprises in store.

It’s also because the game doesn’t come out officially for a week, and yet some people already have copies of it. This isn’t due to an error or a leak, however. This is what our good friend Covid-19 has caused, as Square Enix sent out copies earlier than planned in anticipation of broken distribution chains. Of course, if your local distribution chains hasn’t been disrupted by lockdowns and isolations, then the game took the usual amount of time to get to you, and arrived two weeks early (many first saw their copies arriving last weekend).

It’s not unusual for pre-ordered copies to arrive earlier than release date. But it is exceptional for copies to arrive two weeks early and shows just how drastic things have gotten with the virus situation. That said, with everything going on, it’s fortunate that the game’s releasing on time at all.

Modern Warfare 2 Remastered Releases…Sort Of

Activision have issued a surprise release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered, a polished re-release of 2009’s critically acclaimed CoD game. It is, admittedly, just the campaign, but it seems that there are plenty of fans who were hoping to see that. But because it’s Activision, there is of course a catch.

If you play on PS4, congratulations! You can buy the remaster right now and enjoy yourself (if you’re into this sort of thing, I guess). If you play on PC or Xbox, however, then it sucks to be you, because there’s a timed exclusivity deal for a month and you can only pre-order for a release on the 30th.

Yes, that’s right. Activision have applied timed exclusivity to a remaster of a 10-year-old game. It’s a bone-headed decision that exists solely to cut out 66% of the audience and annoy them. Quite why they thought this was a good idea I will never know, but there it is.

But if that’s annoyed you, then there are plenty of other games out this week that might be worth your time instead. In fact, here they are!

New Releases

A few titles launched in Steam Early Access this week. Endzone: A World Apart is a city builder set in a post-apocalyptic world; think SimCity but with more nuclear fallout. Good Company is a similar game, set in the less stressful world of industrial production company management. And finally, Mists of Noyah has experienced a few last minute delays, but is still pencilled in for release at time of writing (so if it’s been delayed again, don’t blame me!). It’s a procedurally generated side scroller all about hunting and being hunted.

Other smaller releases this week include Totally Reliable Delivery Service (for PS4, Xbox, Switch and the Epic Store), one of many cartoony games coming this year about moving things from one place to another. There’s also One Step from Eden for Steam and Switch, a card battler crossed with a fast-paced action game with a really neat art style. In Other Waters, also for Steam and Switch, is a unique narrative game where you play an AI guiding a biologist through the waters of an alien planet.

This week also saw the release of The Complex, the latest game from FMV specialists Wales Interactive. It centres on Dr Amy Tenant, a scientist working to solve the effects of a chemical attack on London. It’s very much a choose-your-own-adventure sort of deal, with many of your decisions choosing who lives or dies in a stressful situation. Admittedly, its release in the midst of a global pandemic is a little on the nose, but it looks interesting all the same.

Launching to great fanfare and breaking Steam in the process, Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord launched in Early Access this week. It’s a dense epic action game all about historically accurate medieval battles. I honestly didn’t realise how anticipated this one was until Steam broke this week, so clearly more people wanna go swinging a broadsword around on a battlefield than I expected.

But the big S.T.A.R. of the week is, of course, Resident Evil 3. A remake of 1999’s classic survival horror sequel that sees you stepping into shoes of lockpick master herself, Jill Valentine, as you escape Raccoon City while evading the clutches of the walking bioweapon, Nemesis. It’s basically more of what Capcom did last year with Resident Evil 2, and according to reviews, it’s a faithful remake right down to it not being as good as the RE2 that released the previous year (but still great).

Game of the Week

If you follow me outside Geeky Brummie and have seen my Top 100 Games of the 2010s series of videos, you will know that my favourite game of the last decade was Persona 5, the latest in Atlus’ critically-acclaimed anime-styled RPG franchise about teens who save the world from physical embodiments of Jungian psychology. Usually with an animal sidekick.

Persona 5 Royal is an updated re-release of that game, with a bunch of new content. It follows in the tradition of Persona 3 FES and Persona 4 Golden, which were expanded editions of their originals with new content and new characters. Persona 5 Royal adds a new member to the Phantom Thieves group, adds a bunch of new sidequests to entertain yourself with out and about in Tokyo, and best of all, Morgana, your cat companion, no longer demands that you go to sleep every other night.

If you missed out on the original game, I highly recommend you pick up Royal, which released this week for PS4. You can thank me later.

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

Find Leigh on Twitter at @TheCheapFerret and on YouTube at Bobthepetferret

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