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The Week in Video Games – April 9, 2017

Here’s our round-up of the most important stories in video games from Thumbsticks and elsewhere on the ‘World Wide Web’.

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Yooka-Laylee

Here’s our round-up of the most important stories in video games from Thumbsticks and elsewhere on the ‘World Wide Web’. 

This week a game was scored six out of ten, Bioware vowed to finish making Mass Effect Andromeda, and the tech-specs for Project Scorpio were finally revealed.

More Mass Effect fixes incoming

Mass Effect Andromeda might be selling quite nicely – it’s still at number one in the UK charts – but if you’ve just bought the game, it might be worth waiting a while before diving in. After releasing the 1.05 patch this week, Bioware’s Aaryn Flynn posted a blog update promising a number of future technical and content improvements.

Polygon’s Ben Kuchera argues that this effectively means Mass Effect Andromeda is an Early Access title. It’s hard to disagree.

Holy platform exclusivity!

Rocksteady Games have announced that Batman Arkham VR is no longer a PlayStation VR exclusive, and will be released on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift later this month.

6 out of 10 of the week

The review embargo lifted for Yooka-Laylee last week and, well, it’s not the triumph we hoped for. In his review, Jim Sterling says that it’s “a game out of time”, and Marty Sliva in his, more positive, IGN appraisal, says the game “lacks the heart and polish” of the titles that inspired it.

Nintendo open to more open-worlds

Having mastered the open-world formula at the first attempt – and by evidently learning a few lessons from the best video games of the past decade – it appears that we can look forward to more expansive adventures from the Japanese game maker. Zelda series producer, Eiji Anouma, said in an interview with Famitsu – and covered by Polygon – that “in the future, open air games will be the standard for Zelda.”

A vapour chamber heat sink! What took you so long, Microsoft?

We know this wasn’t supposed to be a console unveiling in the traditional sense, but has there ever been a more sleep-inducing curtain-raiser for a piece of gaming hardware? Digital Foundry’s exclusive Project Scorpio analysis goes deep on the technical detail, but we all know that it will be the games that matter. Microsoft has a lot to prove at E3.

And the BAFTA goes to…

The great and the good of the video games industry arrived in London this week to duke it out at the prestigious BAFTA Game Awards. There was a real sense that the awards mattered this year, with plenty of in-depth – and serious – coverage to be found on TV and in the mainstream press. Here’s the full list of BAFTA nominees and winners.

PSA for GameStop.com customers

Kotaku reports on analysis from KrebsOnSecurity indicating that GameStop.com may have been subjected to a data breach. If you used the website between September and February, it’s possible your credit card information has been compromised, including the CVV2 number. Make sure you take all the usual precautions.

Need more Nintendo Switch news?

If you’re still hungry for more nuggets of information on the Switch, check out this in-depth Famitsu interview with Nintendo’s Shinya Takahashi and Yoshiaki Koizumi, translated by the fine folks at Nintendo Everything.

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Thumbsticks editor and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Hob, Pokémon Shield and Baba is You.

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New PlayStation 4 releases (June 1-5, 2020)

Here’s our guide to every new PlayStation 4 video game released on the PS Store over the next week.

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New PlayStation 4 game releases
Sony / Thumbsticks

Here’s our guide to every new PlayStation 4 video game released on the PS Store over the next week.

At the time of writing, there’s just a handful of new PS4 games confirmed for release. It’s not unusual for the time of year – typically E3 would only be a few weeks away – and many PS4 titles may have made way for The Last of Us Part II, which, at one point, was due last week. In any case, here’s what we know. We’ll update this page as more titles are confirmed.

Fans of retro-style platformers can look forward to going on another perilous adventure in Awesome Pea 2. It looks like another simple but lovingly crafted game from developer Sometimes You. The sublimely executed Game Boy style visuals are also very appealing.

If you miss the great outdoors, Tour de France 2020 and Pro Cycling Manager 2020 give fans of lycra and velocipedes the chance to race across France at reasonable speeds.

We were also expecting Game Freak’s Little Town Hero to be released on PS4 this week, but it seems the game has been bumped to June 23. Likewise, Rock of Ages III: Make & Break appears to have been pushed back to June 21. Again, we’ll update this page should things change.

Here’s the full list of new PlayStation Store releases for the PS4, PS VR, and PS Vita as it stands.

New PlayStation 4 releases: June 1-5, 2020

Monday, June 1, 2020

  •  No releases

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

  • No releases

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

  • Strawberry Vinegar
  • Awesome Pea 2

Thursday, June 4, 2020

  • Tour de France 2020
  • Pro Cycling Manager 2020

Friday, June 5, 2020

  • Tcheco in the Castle of Lucio
  • The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle (Expansion)

Catch up with next week’s new Xbox One releases.


Bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest games. You can also follow us on social media via Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

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New Xbox One releases (June 1-5, 2020)

Here is next week’s lineup of brand new Xbox One releases. One title is quite literally awesome.

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New Xbox One game releases
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Here’s the full lowdown on next week’s lineup of brand new Xbox One video game releases. One title is quite literally awesome.

There isn’t a huge amount to be excited for on Xbox One next week, but we promised you an awesome game, so let’s talk about one.

Awesome Pea 2 is the follow-up to Sometimes You’s enjoyable 2018 retro-platformer. The original was a slight, but occasionally tricky game, starring a heroic vegetable. The sequel promises a larger serving of everything, including dungeons, enemies, and loot. The pea-souper visuals also return, beautifully recalling the dingy display of the Nintendo Game Boy.

Other new releases include Strawberry Vinegar, a quirky visual novel about making food to save your soul, and We Were Here Together, a mysterious puzzle adventure set in the wastes of Antarctica.

The latest addition to the Thumbsticks ‘Big Book of Bland Game Names’ is called Cyber Protocol. It’s a fun retro-style puzzler. Finally, the long-awaited Eco Lifestyle expansion comes to The Sims 4.

Each new release can be purchased from the Xbox One digital games store and Microsoft online store. Here’s the full lineup.

New Xbox One releases: June 1-5, 2020

Monday, June 1, 2020

  •  No releases

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

  • No releases

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

  • Strawberry Vinegar
  • Depth of Extinction
  • Awesome Pea 2

Thursday, June 4, 2020

  • Tour de France 2020

Friday, June 5, 2020

  • Tcheco in the Castle of Lucio
  • Outbuddies DX
  • The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle (Expansion)
  • We Were Here Together
  • Rigid Force Redux

If you’re looking for some video game bargains, read our roundup of this week’s rockin’ Xbox One sales.


Bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest games. You can also follow us on social media via Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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New Super Lucky’s Tale is coming to PS4 and Xbox One this summer

New Super Lucky’s Tale is on its way to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this year.

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New Super Lucky's Tale is coming to PS4 and Xbox One
Playful Studios

New Super Lucky’s Tale is on its way to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this year.

Playful Studios and PQube have announced that the super okay New Super Lucky’s Tale is breaking free from its Nintendo Switch bastille and will be released on Xbox One and PS4 this summer.

Pitched as a love letter to classic 3D platformers, New Super Lucky’s Tale was first released as plain old Super Lucky’s Tale in 2017, where it was an Xbox One X launch title. The revised and expanded “new” version debuted on Switch in 2019 to warm reviews and nods of moderate appreciation.

The foxy 3D adventure platformer is getting a physical and digital release on PS4 and Xbox, but there’s no news on if the game is being updated to take advantage of the increased hardware power.

You can see Lucky in action in this accolades trailer. If you own a Switch, you can also download a free demo to sample it for yourself.

Summer is a slightly vague release window, so we’ll make a prediction and see how close we end up being. Let’s lick our finger and stick it in the air… June 25, 2020? That’s our entirely random hunch.


Bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page for weekly updates on the latest Xbox One, Switch, and PS4 games. You can also follow us on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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June’s free PlayStation Plus games are War-full

Sony confirms the two free PS4 games coming to PlayStation Plus in June 2020.

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PlayStation Plus
Sony / Thumbsticks

Sony confirms the two free PS4 games coming to PlayStation Plus in June 2020.

June’s free PS Plus games are perfect for players who would like to shoot things, with the choice of a historical epic, of a futuristic, erm, even more historical epic.

First up is Call of Duty: WWII, the ‘boots on the ground’ FPS from Sledgehammer Games. The 2017 game is as subtle as a sledgehammer, but it’s one of our favourites from the franchise’s recent history. And it’s available to download right now.

It’s joined by the infamous Star Wars: Battlefront II, the game that caused millions of voices to cry out in terror at its microtransactions. With two-and-a-half years of changes and content updates under its belt, the game is much improved and probably the second-best Star Wars adventure of the generation.

June’s free PS Plus games are available to download from June 2 – July 6, 2020.

PlayStation Plus free games – June 2020

  • Call of Duty: WWII
  • Star Wars: Battlefront II

May’s PlayStation Plus games – Cities: Skylines and Farming Simulator 19 – remain available to download until next Tuesday.


Bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page for weekly updates on the latest Xbox One, Switch, and PS4 games. You can also follow us on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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Borderlands: The Handsome Collection is free on the Epic Games Store

Grab Borderlands: The Handsome Collection from today through Thursday on the Epic Games Store.

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Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
Gearbox Software

Grab Borderlands: The Handsome Collection from today through Thursday on the Epic Games Store.

Handsome Jack. You love him or you hate him. He has a diamond unicorn called Butt Stallion. You think that’s funny or deeply stupid. He’s a smarmy prick, with a hidden tragic backstory. That either makes him sympathetic or just a smarmy prick with a hidden tragic backstory.

How you feel about Handsome Jack will likely determine how you feel about this week’s Epic giveaway. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection includes Gearbox’s Borderlands 2 and the 2K Australia-developed spin-off, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Both star the titular Hyperion President. In Borderlands 2, Jack is a villain and constant voice in your ear. Pre-Sequel, though — which, confusing title aside, is just a prequel — charts Jack’s fall from grace.

Both games are worth checking out if you haven’t already. The original Borderlands defined the loot-shooter, fusing solid FPS mechanics with RPG progression and procedurally generated loot. Borderlands 2 refined everything the first game did, expanded it, and did a significantly better job of telling a story.

Pre-Sequel transplants the action to a moon of Pandora, the lawless desert planet that served as setting for the first two games. The new environment brings new mechanics with it. The moon’s lower gravity means that gunfights and traversal have a vertical component. And, the lack of oxygen will push you between conveniently placed domes of air.

I never finished Pre-Sequel but I enjoyed the bits that I played of it. It’s a shame that 2K Australia closed shortly after its release.

The meme-y humour of Borderlands 2 and Pre-Sequel doesn’t hold up especially well (you can go ahead and use “Butt Stallion” as a litmus test for whether you’ll think it’s funny or not). But, they’re still a blast with a few friends at your side.

And, given that both are free right now, it should be pretty easy to round-up a co-op party. Here are Tom’s impressions of Borderlands 3 if you’d prefer something more current.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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