Hello! Welcome to the Geeky Brummie Gaming Roundup!
We’re back with the usual roundup once again! This week, stamps, Y2K bug nostalgia, Netflix and the latest notable releases!
ROYAL MAIL MAKE VIDEO GAME STAMPS
The Royal Mail has decided to celebrate the UK video game industry with a series of stamps depicting various British-made classics from the 1980s and 1990s. These include WipEout (developed by Psygnosis who later became the now-defunct Sony Studio Liverpool), Dizzy (developed by our local devs, Codemasters) and Worms (from Wakefield-based Team 17).
Tomb Raider also gets a special shout-out in this set, as the Derby-based Core Design helped create the phenomenon of the 90s in Lara Croft. The games referenced include 1996’s Tomb Raider, 1998’s Tomb Raider III and 2000’s Tomb Raider Chronicles. There’s also a stamp for the 2013 reboot game, which seems like a cheat since it was developed by Crystal Dynamics, who are based in San Francisco.
Still, this is some fun cultural representation for the UK video game industry. Although sadly it does show how few of these studios are still around.
WWE 2K20 DOESN’T WORK IN 2K20
WWE 2K20 is a glitchy game, as I mentioned before when it released, but New Year’s Day revealed a new depth to its glitchiness that’s just astounding.
Many players loaded up the game on 1st January 2020 to discover that many of the modes just flat out didn’t work, leaving much of the game unplayable. Users trying to discover fixes found just one: set your system clock back a day.
In other words, WWE 2K20 stopped working because it’s 2020, the year that’s in its own title. It’s the Y2K bug, only even more stupid. It’s apparently been fixed, but lord knows how this happens. How does a game break just because it’s the year in the game’s own title? Clearly this is another WWE mystery we’ll never get solved.
THE INTERNET TOSSES A COIN TO THEIR WITCHER
So The Witcher came to Netflix. It’s quite popular, as evidenced by how much I have that Toss a Coin to Your Witcher song stuck in my head permanently despite having not watched the show. Thanks, Twitter!
But not only is the show popular, it’s retroactively made The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt even more popular. The game’s concurrent player base on Steam has shot up to 94,000, the highest it’s ever seen since release. Even at launch, that number was around 92,000. And there are only two factors responsible for this – Netflix, and the Winter Steam Sale dropping the game to a cool £15.
It’s rare that this happens, and it’s not exactly an easy thing for other publishers to emulate, as getting a Netflix series greenlit and produced seems like a lot of work just to make a few new sales of an old game. Although it does raise questions about Konami dragging their feet on a Castlevania collection after that got an excellent Netflix show.
But still, congratulations, CD Projekt RED. The Witcher isn’t really my personal taste but I recognise some quality work regardless.
NI NO KUNI COMING TO NETFLIX
Speaking of Netflix, another video game adaptation is coming: Ni No Kuni, an anime based on the Level-5’s JRPG series. Released back in August in Japan, it will see its international release this month. Just as each of the games tells a different story with new characters, the anime will be doing the same, seeing a new set of characters moving between our world and a fantasy realm.
And just like the original game had visuals from legendary animators Studio Ghibli, this anime will feature staff with Ghibli history on their CVs. Director Yoshiyuki Momose was a key animator for Spirited Away and composer Joe Hisaishi (who also worked on the games) is responsible for practically every Miyazaki movie’s soundtrack. Level-5 staff have also contributed to the anime, so it’s looking like a faithful tie-in.
No news on whether we’ll be seeing more ferociously Welsh fairies, however. That’d be proper tidy.
ANOTHER DIRECTOR GOES OFF THE CHARTS
The Uncharted movie has lost another director, as Travis Knight has joined five other directors in quitting the project. This time it’s over Tom Holland’s commitments to playing Spider-Man that are holding up the project, and Knight clearly didn’t want to wait around.
I don’t know why we’re still bothering with this, to be honest.
SONY REVEAL PS5 LOGO
At CES 2020, Sony revealed the first look at the PlayStation 5 logo. You might be shocked to hear this, but imagine the PS4 logo, but instead of a 4…it’s a 5. I know, it’s too shocking to handle, but we’re all going to have to get used to it.
Unsurprisingly for January, it’s a quiet week right now. There’s a pretty interesting looking Chinese horror game on Steam called Paranormal HK. Be warned, all the menus are initially in Cantonese, although there is an English translation in there somewhere. And Nintendo decided that mere days into 2020 was the best time to release Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training for Switch. If you’ve played previous Dr Kawashima games on the DS, you know the drill here, only now it’s on the Switch.
And that’s…basically it.
GAME OF THE WEEK
This week’s Game of the Week is The White Door, from the developers of the Rusty Lake series. It’s a narrative adventure for Steam and mobile platforms about a man in a mental institute repeating a routine to try and reclaim his lost memories.
It’s a fairly straightforward game with a few simple puzzles, but it’s an interesting premise with a cool minimalist art direction and intriguing premise.
And that’s it for this week. See you again soon with more gaming news and releases!