The Geek Dojo Weekly

Hi, I’m Jeff and welcome to the The Geek Dojo Weekly for the week of May 20th 2021! This is a weekly video games newsletter featuring my top stories of the week. 

Returnal may get a save feature, Summer Games Fest is ready to roll, and free Palestine! Let’s get into the news.

IGN Management Pulls Article Supporting Palestine Aid Groups, IGN Staff responds

Via: Kotaku

IGN editorial staff came together and posted an article with ways to support Palestine, earlier this week. The article originally went up on May 15th and was taken down without IGN’s editorial staff’s permission on May 16th. A public statement from IGN was not given until the early morning hours of May 17th. The content was removed because it was, “not in-line with our intent of trying to show support for all people impacted by tragic events. By highlighting only on population, the post mistakenly left the impression that we were politically aligned with one side.”

This enraged IGN’s editorial staff and they responded with an open letter over on Medium.

Continue reading

The Geek Dojo Weekly

Hi, I’m Jeff and welcome to the The Geek Dojo Weekly for the week of April 29th 2021! This is a weekly video games newsletter featuring my top 5 stories of the week. 

Lost Soul Aside looks amazing, Sony and Microsoft are making a lot of money, and Nintendo keeps doing Nintendo things. Let’s get into the news!

Lost Soul Aside Gets a Fantastic New Gameplay Video

Via: Lost Soul Aside Twitter

Lost Soul Aside is a project created by one man, Bing Yang, from China. The project was originally shown off way back in 2016 with much attention. Shortly after that, he was approached by Sony to help with development, and Bing Yang was able to create his own studio, Ultizero Games. Within the last 5 years, we have not seen or heard anything about Lost Soul Aside, until this week. The official Twitter account was updated with a statement apologizing for the wait and an 18 minute gameplay video to watch.

The new gameplay video set the gaming world ablaze. The game itself still maintains it’s Final Fantasy ascetic, but the gameplay itself looks like Devil May Cry. I am pretty amazed by the showing and I am interested in seeing more for sure. There is no release date or release window just yet, but Lost Soul Aside will be available on PS4, PS5, and PC.

Surprise! Super Mario Party Gets a New Update

Via: Game Informer

Nintendo continues to do Nintendo things. Originally released in 2018, Super Mario Party is receiving a big update. Update v. 1.1.0 will include 70 new mini games, a 2 vs 2 Partner Party mode, and online play!

Since there is no end in sight to the COVID-19 pandemic just yet, this is a pretty nice surprise. Fans have been wondering why Super Mario Party did not ship with online play to begin with. My theory is that the update was going to come out way sooner, but COVID slowed down production. Either way, better late than never and this should breath new life into the game altogether.

Monster Hunter Rise 2.0 Update Released This Week

Via: Polygon

Monster Hunter Rise got it’s big new 2.0 update this week. The update features a great deal of new content including an unlocked HR, Elder Dragons Chameleos, Teostra, and Kushala Daora, Apex monster hunts, and new weapons and armor to craft. The Apex monster hunts are a nice touch as they were only available to fight in the Rampage mode quests. The Apex monsters available to hunt are Apex Arzuros, Rathalos, and Diablos. They will be a bit tougher than their regular counter parts, so prepare accordingly. There is more content that was not necessarily covered in the trailer so you will have to find out on your own. More content will be on the way as update 3.0 will be released in late May. Happy hunting!

Guilty Gear Strive Open Beta 2 Has Been Announced

Via: Guilty Gear

The next Guilty Gear Strive beta will be available on PS4 and PS5, 8pm PST on May 13th to May 16th at 7:59PM PST. All characters, including the newly announced I-No and Anji, will be available to play. Offline versus mode, tutorial, training and online matches will be playable. Some features added from feedback on the first open beta have been implemented as well, such as a rematch function. This is great, because after each match in the first beta, you would go directly back to the lobby and you would have to start the match up all over again. A rematch option is a great addition and gets players back into the game a lot faster. Check out the link above for more details on the beta.

Numbers!

Considering how hard it is to buy these consoles, PlayStation and Xbox and moving a lot of units.

Via: The Verge

Sony has sold a total of 7.8 million PlayStation 5 consoles, as of March 31st. This puts the PS5 selling a bit faster than the PS4, as that system sold 7.6 million units as of March 31st. 2014. NPD has stated that the PS5 is the fastest selling console in US history through it’s first five months of availability.

Via: GameIndustry.biz

Microsoft’s fiscal Q3 showed a 50% increase year over year. The personal computing division jumped up 19% to $13 billion, and Microsoft has credited gaming as the primary driver of that growth. Hardware was up 232% year over year, for the quarter. Those results are accredited to the continued demand of the Xbox Series X | S consoles.

Noteworthy:

The Last of Us 3 has a script: IGN

Rumors: Netherealm is working on a Marvel fighting game?: Comicbook Gaming

Respawn wins an Oscar: Game Informer

Yoko Taro is working on a strange new project: Game Informer

iOS PS5 and Xbox S | X controller support is here: Games Radar+

Yoshinori Ono moves on from Capcom: Twitter

Bobby Kotick takes a payout: Game Industry.biz

Jedi Fallen Order gets a next gen update: Polygon

Microsoft lowers PC sales cut: Game Informer

Notable Releases:

Tuesday, April 27th:

Death end re;Quest – Switch

Wednesday, April 28th:

Second Extinction – Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One

Genshin Impact – PS5

Thursday, April 29th:

Total War: Rome Remastered – PC, Mac

Friday, April 30th:

R-Type Final 2 – Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC

Returnal – PS5

New Pokemon Snap – Switch

Catch me every week on The Skill Tree: A Gaming Podcast

Madness (Episode 17) The Skill Tree (A Gaming Podcast)

On today's festive episode (which features Hashim in the best mood he's possibly ever been in), the guys talk about their initial impressions of Guilty Gear -Strive-, and the first part of the Summer Games Fest for 2021, which includes (but not limited to): Elden Ring, Tiny Tina's Wonderland, Battlefield 2042, the Ubisoft Forward, Devolver Digital, and more! The guys also talk about Overwatch finally getting crossplay, and Back 4 Blood rumors.  — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/theskilltree/message
  1. Madness (Episode 17)
  2. StoneCold (Episode 16)
  3. Affiliated (Episode 15)
  4. Bullying (Episode 14)
  5. Legally (Episode 13)

Would you like this weekly newsletter sent directly to your mailbox? Feel free to subscribe!

The Geek Dojo Weekly

Hi, I’m Jeff and welcome to the The Geek Dojo Weekly for the week of April 22nd 2021! This is a weekly video games newsletter featuring my top 5 stories of the week. This week only features 3 top stories. Next week we will get back to the normal 5.

Jeff Kaplan leaves Blizzard, a new game has been revealed from the developers of Celeste, and we got a a small win in the fight for game preservation. Let’s get to it!

Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan Leaves Blizzard

Via: Play Overwatch

After nearly 20 years, Jeff Kaplan has confirmed his departure from Blizzard Entertainment. No need to be alarmed as Overwatch 2 is still in development. With Kaplan’s exit, Aaron Keller will be stepping in as game director. Aaron Keller has been at Blizzard for 18 years and he is the founding member of the Overwatch team so Overwatch fans shouldn’t have to worry about anything going wrong.

Kaplan’s departure definitely comes as a shock to the video game industry. Blizzard has been a different company after being acquired by Activision in 2008. Recently they have been pushed to get more games out the door and a number of layoffs has rubbed a lot of people in the industry the wrong way. Fortunately, some of it’s those ex-Blizzard employees have gone to start up their own studios like Frost Giant and Dreamhaven. I wonder what exactly happened behind the scenes to make Kaplan want to leave, but we more than likely will never know. I also wonder will we see him join either of the aforementioned studios or start up his own studio. I do know I will miss hearing, “Hi, I’m Jeff from the Overwatch Team.”

Happy trails, Jeff. Can’t wait to see what you do next.

The PS3 and PS Vita Stores Will Not Be Shut Down After All

Via: PlayStation Blog

A couple of weeks ago, Sony dropped the news that the PS3, PS Vita, and PSP stores will be going offline this summer. A lot of consumers, including myself, were pretty upset about this, especially from a game preservation standpoint. It seems like PlayStation’s current CEO Jim Ryan actually heard our frustrations about this move. He released statement on the matter this week:

Recently, we notified players that PlayStation Store for PS3 and PS Vita devices was planned to end this summer. Upon further reflection, however, it’s clear that we made the wrong decision here. So today I’m happy to say that we will be keeping the PlayStation Store operational for PS3 and PS Vita devices. PSP commerce functionality will retire on July 2, 2021 as planned. 

Unfortunately the PSP still gets the short end of the stick and support will end this summer as planned, which is understandable. As far as I know, a majority of the PSP library is available in the Vita store. Ryan goes on to mention the decision was based on, “a number of factors, including commerce support challenges for older devices and the ability for us to focus more of our resources on newer devices where a majority of our gamers are playing on.” After the initial announcement of the store closure, they were able to see how passionate we all are about these older products and the storefronts will be open for the foreseeable future.

This was the right move by Sony, but it’s still not a good look, because it seems like it was a way to get people to spend more money. Many still use the PS3 and the PS Vita to this day for older classic games that are not available in the current iteration of the PlayStation Store. I personally think Sony should not think about shutting these stores down until they come up with a viable solution for backwards compatibility. Until then, I will keep my Vita and PS3 close by for some old school video game fun.

Extremely OK Games, the team behind Celeste, Revealed Their Next Title, Earthblade

Via: Extremely OK

Extremely OK Games founder Maddy Thorson describes as a, “vibe reveal,” as they, “didn’t want to reveal much about the game or its story yet, but we think that this well establishes the world and the feeling of being in it.” Earthblade has been described by the team as a, “2D explor-action game in a seamless pixel art world.” It’s going to be a long time before we see anything on Earthblade and we can expect it, when it’s ready, in “20XX.”

Check out the teaser poster and a snippet from the game’s soundtrack here!

Noteworthy:

Discord and Microsoft end acquisition talks: Game Informer

Apex Legends is coming to mobile devices: EA

Valkyrie is Apex Legends new character for Season 9: Apex Twitter

Everything shown off at the Resident Evil Showcase: IGN

Xbox free to play games are now free to play: Xbox

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is finally coming to America: Twitter

Catch me every Monday on The Skill Tree: A Gaming Podcast

Madness (Episode 17) The Skill Tree (A Gaming Podcast)

On today's festive episode (which features Hashim in the best mood he's possibly ever been in), the guys talk about their initial impressions of Guilty Gear -Strive-, and the first part of the Summer Games Fest for 2021, which includes (but not limited to): Elden Ring, Tiny Tina's Wonderland, Battlefield 2042, the Ubisoft Forward, Devolver Digital, and more! The guys also talk about Overwatch finally getting crossplay, and Back 4 Blood rumors.  — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/theskilltree/message
  1. Madness (Episode 17)
  2. StoneCold (Episode 16)
  3. Affiliated (Episode 15)
  4. Bullying (Episode 14)
  5. Legally (Episode 13)

Would you like this weekly newsletter sent directly to your mailbox? Feel free to subscribe!

The Geek Dojo Weekly

Hi, I’m Jeff and welcome to the The Geek Dojo Weekly! A weekly video games news column featuring my top 5 stories of the week.

The Mass Effect Legendary Edition is Real!

via: Game Informer

And is coming very soon! EA released a trailer detailing everything included in the collection:

  • Mass Effect 1,2, and 3 are included
  • Remastered in 4K
  • Gameplay and quality of life improvements
  • All previous DLC included
  • Available May 14, 2021

I am ecstatic about this news. The Mass Effect trilogy is one of my all time favorites and I can’t wait to experience it again in all of it’s 4K glory. The trailer gave me goosebumps, so be sure to check it out. Game Informer will have exclusive content on the collection all month.

Google Stadia is on Life Support

Via: Kotaku

Google will be shutting down their internal Stadia studios and focusing on their partners instead. This is a pretty shocking move considering they brought in talent, such as former Ubisoft producer Jade Raymond, to lead the charge. Google will offer their Stadia tech to other publishers in hopes other companies will use the streaming service. Stadia head of operations, Phil Harrison, will work on pursuing new partnerships.

I believe the Stadia platform is practically on life support, at this time. One thing they should strongly consider is switching to a subscription based service. Paying for the service and games separetely is not a good way to run this. Not many people will want to buy a $50-$60 game on a streaming service when they can actually own it on another console.

Just Go Ahead and Forget About Anything Bayonetta 3 For a While

Via: VGC

Last week I reported on possible Bayonetta 3 news this year. Looks like we may need to reel those expectations back in a bit. According to a recent interview with VGC, Hideki Kamiya joked we should, “forget about Bayonetta 3,” for now.

“I understand it’s driving the fans crazy! In light of that, my suggestion would be that maybe we should all reset and forget about Bayonetta 3. Then when something finally does happen, it will be a nice surprise, won’t it?”

Kamiya also mentions that it is still early in the year so it may be still be possible we get news about it this year. Just don’t get your hopes up too high.

EA is Developing a New NCAA Football Game

Via: The Verge

EA Sports College Football is in the very early stages of development. EA is working with the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) to obtain the use of over 100 FBS teams, stadiums, mascots, and uniforms. Player likeness or real names will not be used. With or without the real players names, this is great news for the fans of the series.

Embracer Buys Gearbox for $1.3 Billion

Via: IGN

Gearbox Software, the developer of Borderlands, will be joining Embracer Group as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Randy Pitchford will remain as Gearbox’s boss after the merger.

“Lars [Wingefors]’s vision of Embracer as an allied partner group committed to fuelling and accelerating the ambitions of a series of decentralized, successful entrepreneurial companies while magnifying the collective value and advantages of diversification across the entire group is the most brilliant strategy and design for short, medium, and long-term success in this industry that I have ever encountered in my 30 years in this industry,” Pitchford stated. “The feeling at Gearbox is that we are just getting started and this transaction is not merely a stimulant for the talent of our employee-owned company, but a propellant for the exciting future we have planned.”

Noteworthy:

Apex Legends Launches on the Switch March 9th: EA.com

Lady Dimitrescu is over 9ft tall: Resident Evil Twitter account

God of War gets PS5 Enhancements: Santa Monica Studios

Returnal Gets Delayed: PlayStation Twitter account

Nintendo Multiplayer Upgrades: Nintendo Everything

Notable Releases:

  • Ys IX: Monstrum Nox | PS4 [Tuesday, Feb. 2]
  • Project Winter | Xbox One [Thursday, Feb. 4]
  • Haven | PS4, Switch [Thursday, Feb. 4]
  • Nuts | Switch, PC [Thursday, Feb. 4]
  • Nioh 2 | PC [Thursday, Feb. 4]
  • The Nioh Collection | PS5 [Thursday, Feb. 4]

Catch me every Monday on The Skill Tree: A Gaming Podcast

Madness (Episode 17) The Skill Tree (A Gaming Podcast)

On today's festive episode (which features Hashim in the best mood he's possibly ever been in), the guys talk about their initial impressions of Guilty Gear -Strive-, and the first part of the Summer Games Fest for 2021, which includes (but not limited to): Elden Ring, Tiny Tina's Wonderland, Battlefield 2042, the Ubisoft Forward, Devolver Digital, and more! The guys also talk about Overwatch finally getting crossplay, and Back 4 Blood rumors.  — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/theskilltree/message
  1. Madness (Episode 17)
  2. StoneCold (Episode 16)
  3. Affiliated (Episode 15)
  4. Bullying (Episode 14)
  5. Legally (Episode 13)