Welcome to another week of gaming news brought to you by me, Mr Zee. There aren’t a whole lot of stories to tell, but there definitely are some big ones, so I’m excited to let you all in on what’s been going on. On top of this week’s news, I also want to bring up that with the holiday season coming up, nearly every platform is hosting sales on games, so now is a good time to build up your library! This week I’ll be talking about the latest update to Stardew Valley, the game that just keeps on going. Several companies have given their responses to the poor reception of Cyberpunk 2077 due to its glitches and bugs. Riot has announced an MMO centered around the League of Legends universe. And lastly, we’ll talk about the recent Nintendo Direct where we got a virtual tour of the upcoming Nintendo theme park, Super Nintendo World. Let’s get started!
Stardew Valley Hits the Beach
Stardew Valley developer Eric Barone released a tweet recently discussing some of the changes coming with version 1.5 of the game, and it’s a huge update! So huge in fact that I simply can’t cover everything in just this article, so if you want all of the juicy details you can check out the patch notes here! But let me give you the main headlines here on some of the bigger additions. A new beachfront farm is now available for new files which offers a new kind of playstyle. If you decide to take it on, you’ll find crops are a bit more unreliable for income as the sand jams up sprinklers, and instead there will be much more emphasis on fishing and foraging for income. There’s also random loot crates that will wash up ashore that you can collect from. A local multiplayer function is also being added which existing players can access by building a cabin, or new players can set in a new file to start with the cabin. A new social menu is now also available which tells you what NPCs you’ve interacted with so far in the day. There will also be additional characters, monsters, equipment, creatures, furniture, quests, and so much more being added! The update has already been released for PC, and is slated to come to consoles early 2021, and then mobile some time after that! If you haven’t purchased the game yet, you can buy it from Humble Bundle for either Steam or Switch!
Cyberpunk 2077 Refunds
There were some questions regarding Sony’s willingness to offer refunds just a week ago, but now there are official statements from Sony, Microsoft, and even Gamestop that they will be offering full refunds for the game until further notice. Sony typically has very strict policies on refunds stating that they normally don’t offer refunds on any game that has been played at all. Until recently, Sony refused to comment on offering refunds for Cyberpunk 2077 digital copies and instead referred customers to the developers CD Projekt Red. Now, Sony has officially stated that they will offer full refunds for the digital copies here after verifying that you have purchased a digital copy. They’ve also recently removed Cyberpunk 2077 from the PS store stating they will keep the game removed from their store until it is patched and fixed. Microsoft generally has a more broad refund policy in which they will refund any digital game within two weeks of purchase, but has moved to allow refunds for Cyberpunk 2077 until further notice. The game is still available on the Xbox store with a warning tagged in that you may experience performance issues. If you have a digital Xbox copy of the game, you can request a refund here. If you purchased a physical copy of the game from Gamestop, they have also now expanded their existing refund policy just for this game. Normally Gamestop does not offer refunds for opened games, but employees have been given directions to offer a full refund for any physical copy of Cyberpunk 2077 that has been purchased within 30 days even if it has been opened.
Riot, the company behind the Esports giant League of Legends, has recently made an announcement that they are beginning development of an MMO game set within the League of Legends universe, Runeterra. Vice President Greg Street released a tweet hinting at a new project and coyly used the word “massive” when describing the project. To further clarify, in reply to another twitter user asking if it was going to be an MMO, Greg Street replied with a short and simple statement “It is an MMO.” So far though, that’s the only detail we really know about the project as they’re just beginning the long development process. And given the heavy development process of creating an MMO, we may not see any details for quite a while as the staff have a lot of work ahead of them! Speaking of which, Riot is now looking to hire more team members for a “massive” company expansion to help work on this project. Given that general amount of work put into MMO’s any new employees will likely be there for the long haul even after the first version comes out. If you’re looking into a career in game development, this is a great opportunity that even I may be looking to get into! Wish me luck!
Super Nintendo World 1-1
A recent Nintendo Direct hosted by President Shigeru Miyamoto gave us a small look at the thrilling work of the new Nintendo themed Universal Studios park, Super Nintendo World. In the video Miyamoto gives a tour of some of the facilities, though he mentions within the video that what he is showing is only a fraction of all there is to see and do in the park. Some of the major facets include a bracelet that guests will receive that connect to the Universal Studios app on their smartphone. The purpose of these bracelets is to unlock some secrets hidden in the park including hitting every block you see to gain reward coins and power ups. You’ll also want to be on the look out for special key coins throughout the park. If you collect three, you’ll be able to take on Bowser Jr in a game that hasn’t been revealed yet. Other major things brought up is a large restaurant run by toads that you can see running around a busy kitchen through window screens on the walls, and the heavily anticipated Mario Kart AR course which gives guests special AR glasses that allow them to see all of the items and characters that show up on the course. But if you’re hoping to see the course for yourself, you may have to wait until you can personally ride it. The park will be open in Universal Studio Japan early next year, but will also be built some time in the future in California, Florida, and Singapore. The Universal Japan app already has a section devoted to Super Nintendo World and hints at some of the other activities including a casino, a couple other minigames, and a few checkpoints placed throughout the park. And it may seem a bit eerie, but you’ll find Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Peach mascots around the park that have the ability to blink and move their mouths. Here’s the full video!
Healing Potion: St Jude Play Live
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is an organization dedicated to the treatment and care of child cancer patients. Through them we’ve received a huge impact in successful cancer treatments in children. St Jude Play Live is an initiative that allows streamers to raise money towards St Jude any time they go live on Twitch. So far, St Jude Play Live has raised over $30 million USD and has helped raise the child cancer survival rate from 20% to 80%. Anyone can sign up for St Jude Play Live so long as they are over the age of 13, and if you sign up they’ll even give you professional templates and overlays for your stream! Check out the site below!
Mobile Game of the Week: Orna GPS RPG
With the widespread success of Niantic’s Pokemon Go, many other developers have also tries to replicate the formula of making GPS based games. Many have led to half-baked games that may barely work and generally aren’t entertaining even when they do work. One example of a successful iteration of a GPS game is Orna by Cutlass. Orna is a high fantasy RPG game that makes use of the GPS for tracking down monsters, materials, special buildings, quests, and bosses. One particularly useful feature of Orna, especially with Covid limiting movement, is that materials and monsters are plentiful no matter where you are, and with materials comes the ability to make your own buildings such as shops and blacksmiths wherever you want them to be. I’ve already built a mini base for myself around my own home including a shop, blacksmith, and keep. Over time your character will level up and you’ll be able to advance into different branching classes and gain new skills. If you’re into PvP, you can join an alliance and fight for territory. The entire world is split into thousands and thousands of regions, and each region has a spot available to be taken over. If no one has claimed an area yet, you must fight a monster to take it. Otherwise you have to fight the current reigning player’s character to take the region from them and claim it for your alliance. There’s also a PvE version of this aspect in which each region has a boss monster to take on. The more regions you claim, the bigger your income. Alliance raid bosses are also available if you want to try and take on a big monster as a group! You can check the game out by clicking either of the images below!
That’s all for this week’s news article! I hope you all enjoy the holiday weekend coming up! Until next time!