Hello everyone, welcome to another week of gaming news! This week we’ll be talking about the future of Cyberpunk 2077 updates, and some testimonies surrounding the sketchy release. Warner Bros big upcoming open world Harry Potter RPG, Howarts Legacy, is unfortunately facing delays but so far the premise is exciting! Psychonauts 2 is now getting ever closer to completion with the script and voice recordings being officially done. This year Nintendo will be celebrating Pokemon’s 25th anniversary starting with a very near release date for the New Pokemon Snap. And lastly, we offer our condolences for the late death of Adobe Flash as well as cover a couple ways you can relive the old days of flash games and animations still today! Let’s get to it!
Updates on Cyberpunk
A couple new stories coming up on Cyberpunk 2077 including CD Projekt Red’s future goals, and the possibility that the major bugs and issues were already known by the company and ignored as well as some reports from employees that they had been forced to overwork and crunch leading to a great downfall in the development process. After a report written by Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier, it was revealed that over 20 current and former CDPR agreed that the major bugs and issues in Cyberpunk 2077 primarily being in the older gen consoles were shown in testing, but neglected and ignored. On top of this, they also reported a great amount of crunching and obligatory overtime for as much as 13 hours a day for 5 days a week. CDPR studio head responded to these claims stating that the sample size of 20 employees was too small to get a general idea of staff feelings, and also claimed that the sources being anonymous meant they were unreliable, but it would make sense that any CDPR employees would not wish to sacrifice their careers and would ask to remain anonymous.
Shortly before this report, CDPR co-founder Marcin Iwinski laid out a roadmap of future updates to the game stating that the first half of the year will be dedicated to getting out patches and putting the game back on track as well as getting the digital version back up on the Playstation store. The second half of the year will be dedicated to next gen console updates, a free DLC package, and some updates to multiplayer functionality which we may not see to light until 2022. Iwinski also responds to some questions on why console review codes were released later than PC codes and assures people that during this time of getting the game on track the staff will not be facing any crunch or obligatory overtime.
Hogwarts Legacy Delayed
Probably one of the biggest upcoming games that was announced for this year, Hogwarts Legacy the open-world RPG set in the Harry Potter universe has been delayed until next year. Given the previous year we’ve had and how it looks like things won’t be changing for at least a few more months, it’s no surprise that devs won’t reasonably be able to keep up with preset deadlines. And given the large amount of issues circulating around Cyberpunk 2077, I think we can all agree we’d rather wait for a good release. But let’s talk about what we know about this game so far. Although Hogwarts Legacy is set in the Harry Potter universe, it will take place a full century before the events of the book series. Because of this, the game will take on a completely unique original story involving the character that you create for yourself. The main premise of the story is that sometime after your character gets accepted into the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, you learn that your character has a special power to use ancient magic. There are no details yet of what this ancient magic details, but it seems you’ll get the chance to make morality choices surrounding it.
After many allegations surrounding Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and many people’s decision to boycott against her brand, many will be happy to know that she has had no part in the creation of this game. Hogwarts Legacy will be produced by Warner Bros and developed by Avalanche Studios, the makers of the Just Cause series, Mad Max, and Rage 2. The game will be available for a large array of platforms including PC, Xbox consoles, and Playstation consoles. No word yet on a Switch port of the game.
Pokemon 25th Anniversary
2021 marks the 25th anniversary of one of Nintendo’s most popular franchises, Pokemon. We have several stories revolving around Pokemon, but let’s start with the anniversary event that Nintendo has announced. There isn’t a whole lot of information available yet, but it sounds like it will play out similarly to the Mario anniversary where we’ll be spending the entire year getting several announcements about the future of the games, anime, and merchandise. The headline of it all is that we’ll also be getting a performance from Katy Perry during the event. Who else is hoping to hear Katy Perry sing the Poke Rap?
We also have some news about the new Pokemon Snap game coming to switch, literally titled New Pokemon Snap. We now have a release date of April 30th for the big sequel to the widespread popular photography N64 game. Much like its predecessor, this gameplay will put you on an auto track while you try to capture the best images of the Pokemon around you to get scored, use apples to lure pokemon for better pictures, or try to uncover some secret events to bring out some rare Pokemon. The game is already listed on the Nintendo Eshop and is soon to be available on Humble Bundle. Based on the Eshop description and the official website, there will be over 200 Pokemon to take pictures of, and an overarching story of a mysterious Illumina Phenomenon causing the flora and Pokemon of the area to periodically begin to glow. You can check out the trailer below!
Lastly, the company that designed Pokemon Go, Niantic, has just gained a $5 million settlement on a lawsuit against the hacking group Global++. Global was known for selling modded versions of Pokemon Go for a subscription fee which gave players functionality over changing their GPS location and setting their character to auto walk without actually having to go anywhere. The group managed to sell reportedly hundreds of thousands of subscriptions even after receiving several cease and desist notices. They were found guilty of breaking federal law and must pay out a settlement of $5 million as well as cut out any and all activities involving Niantic’s code, data, and services.
Death of Flash
While the death of flash is really no surprise to anyone as it has been planned to be removed for the past four years, it still hits many people hard that we will no longer have the same access to flash games and animations that we used to. Adobe Flash has stated that they will not only be removing Flash from their site and no longer supporting it, but they will also be blocking all flash content on the web. That means even if you choose to disregard the security risks and keep Adobe Flash installed anyway, it still won’t run any Flash based games or animations. So what does this mean for the tens of thousands of animations and games that were made on Flash? Well, some people have decided to take matters into their own hands in that regard. The Internet Archive is currently working on a prototype program that will allow you to play flash games on older versions of websites by searching the website name in the Wayback Machine, but it’s still a work in progress. Others have created local archive programs that allow you to locally download Flash games and play them directly on your computer such as the Flash Game Archive and BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint. Looking through their game directories is like a trip down memory lane as you’ll find so many titles you completely forgot about. Check them out!
One Step Closer to Psychonauts 2
In a previous news article it was stated that Psychonauts 2 was getting closer to completion as the level designs were all finished as well as the mechanics. In fact, the game was completely playable as was. Maybe missing some important things to make it a good game, but playable. Tim Schafer recently released an update that we’re now a step closer to the final product as not only was the final piece of the script written, but the final dialogue required has been recorded and the voice actors are finished with their work. In his tweet, Tim makes a joke referencing the Stephen King movie, Misery, before noting that the last line they recorded was from the character Lili saying “Bye Raz.”
Healing Potion: Rise Above the Disorder (RAD)
Previously known as Anxiety Gaming, RAD is a non-profit organization with a focus on mental health. Gaming for many is a great coping mechanism for some of our mental health struggles. As someone who grew up with severe anxiety issues that I still work towards managing today, I can vouch for the fact that gaming can offer an escape when we really need them. For that reason, RAD uses gaming streams and social chat program Discord to raise money and influence towards their goals.
Of course, gaming is only a temporary escape and can’t be used as a permanent answer for mental health struggles and disorders. That’s why RAD uses that money raised to help people who are struggling find the help they need. With a focus on increasing access and affordability to everyone, they offer a Therapist Finder application to help match patients up with a therapist that not only fits their needs, but also their personality and lifestyle. For those that have troubles with affordability, RAD offers grants to those that qualify which covers therapy, medication, and even travel cost! I’m a very big advocate for mental health, so if you feel at all that you some help managing your mental health, please don’t hesitate to check into RAD. And if you’re in a position or have a platform to extend that help to others, please take them into consideration!
Mobile Game of the Week: Card Crawl
This week’s mobile game spotlight goes to Card Crawl by Arnold Rauers, a new take on solitaire involving the use of weapon, item, and defense cards mixed into a deck of monsters. The idea of the game is that four cards will be dealt before you. If it’s a weapon, item, or armor, you can move it to your four slots below, representing yourself, your two hands, and your pocket. If it’s a monster card, your only hope of getting rid of it is to use a weapon with high enough damage to kill it, or take the hit either directly or to your armor. Once three out of four of the cards dealt are either in your slots or destroyed, another three will be dealt. The goal is to defeat each of the monster cards and get to the bottom of the deck without losing all of your health.
The game has plenty of replayability given that it’s a Solitaire typed game meaning each play will be different, but also the more you play, the more cards you unlock to put into the deck. Try to unlock everything there is by playing and winning efficiently!
That’s all for this week’s news! Hopefully by next week we’ll have a release date for Psychonauts 2, but we’ll have to wait and see! Until next time everyone!