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The Week in Video Games – February 25, 2018

This week in gaming: PUBG gets new crates, Burnout Paradise returns, and Sonic heads to big screen. Here’s our digest of the week’s top news stories from the world of video games.

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Metal Gear Survive

This week in gaming: PUBG gets new crates, Burnout Paradise returns, and Sonic heads to big screen. Here’s our digest of the week’s top news stories from the world of video games.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds news

PUBG continues to be updated, refined, and optimised. The most recent update adds new crates and performance improvements. A new matchmaking system was also deployed that prioritises players with lower ping-rates. PUBG Corp say the aim is to improve the play experience by splitting the matching pool, instead of restricting connection depending on ping.

In terms of new content, a third map is now scheduled for release by the end of June. It’s about time for a snow or lava level, don’t you think?

The week in PUBG copycats

Two new battle-royale shooters were teased this week. Mavericks: Proving Grounds, from UK studio Automaton Games, will feature matches with up to 400 players. Good luck with that.

Vulkan Society’s upcoming game is Proxima Royale, a sci-fi take on the battle-royale genre that is now taking sign-ups for next month’s closed alpha.

Fortnite Battle Royale’s Season 3 also began this week with an update that adds a wealth of new in-game rewards, 60 FPS for all consoles, a new orchestral score, and a hoverboard.

Destiny 2 features delayed

Bungie has delayed some features originally planned for Destiny 2‘s most recent update. In a post on the Bungie website, game director Christopher Barrett said:

“With today’s update we’ve moved a few items out to later releases – this is because we are trying to ensure each feature we add hits a sufficiently high quality bar. So while we really wanted to get Nightfall Strike Unique Weapons into your hands next week to coincide with Nightfall Scoring, it’s more important that each of those rewards live up to the difficulty it will take to earn them. They have to be super cool, so we’re giving the artists extra time to make sure they are… super cool.”

Metal Gear micro-transactions

Metal Gear Survive has a hard enough task to win over fans without this sort of funny business. As reported by Polygon, the game has made the creation of extra character save slots a micro-transaction. Each slot costs 1,000 of the game’s SV Coin currency, which equates to approximately $10 in real-world cash. Naughty Konami.

Phil Spencer reveals Xbox challenge

Xbox boss Phil Spencer spoke candidly at the gaming industry’s DICE Summit this week. His wide-ranging speech covered the challenge of rebuilding trust in the Xbox brand, and the culture at Microsoft’s gaming division:

“The team was in a world of pain, we hadn’t done our best work with the announce of Xbox One, the product we’d built wasn’t meeting the expectations of our customers, market share was taking a nosedive and it was painful to read all the headlines.”

The full and frank talk is available on YouTube, and well worth a watch.

DICE Awards for Zelda, Cuphead and Horizon Zero Dawn

The 2018 DICE Awards were held this week, and recognised the achievements of the best video games from the last year. Winners included, yup, you’ve guessed it, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, along with Horizon Zero Dawn, Cuphead, and Snipperclips. Here’s the full list of winners.

Meanwhile, Double Fine founder, Tim Schafer, will be the highly deserving recipient of this year’s BAFTA fellowship award.

Call of Duty studio founders move on

Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield, co-founders of Sledgehammer Games, have left the Call of Duty studio to work on new ‘executive duties’ within Activision.

Burnout Paradise returns

Electronic Arts have confirmed that Burnout Paradise Remastered will come to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on March 16, 2018. The reissue features the full base game, plus all content DLC, plus a range of performance and graphics improvements. Unfortunately, there’s no word on a version for the Nintendo Switch. Sob.

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Super Mario Odyssey gets a free update

A free content update for Super Mario Odyssey has added the new Balloon World online mode. Balloon World let players hide and hunt balloons to compete in online leaderboards, with a sartorially critical Luigi as your guide. Also included in the update are two new snapshot camera filters, and three new costumes for Mario to wear.

Sonic the Hedgehog movie on the way

The big gaming rivalry of the early 90s returns, but this time on the big screen. Following the news that a Mario movie is in production at Illumination Entertainment, Sega has announced that the long-mooted Sonic the Hedgehog film will finally come to cinemas in November, 2019. The film will be a live-action CG affair, made in partnership with Paramount Pictures. Deadpool director Tim Miller has signed on as Executive Director.

Papers, Please film released

Maybe Mario and Sonic should give up now, because here’s a video game movie actually worth watching. Papers, Please – the short film is a Russian-language film based on Lucas Pope’s influential 2013 game. The thought-provoking short is directed by Ordynskiy, and written by Nikita Ordynskiy, Liliya Tkach, and Pope. It’s free to watch right now on YouTube.

Detective Pikachu gets new trailer, beautiful amiibo

Nintendo has released a new trailer showing new gameplay for the upcoming Nintendo 3DS game, Detective Pikachu. More importantly, here’s a closer look at the game’s lovely, over-sized amiibo. Both are released on March 23, 2018.

Detective Pikachu amiibo

Harvest Moon creator’s next game is a cafe sim, with dragons

Harvest Moon creator, Yasuhiro Wada, has announced Little Dragons Cafe, a new simulation game heading to the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. The game has been in development for two years features a mix of cafe management, cooking, fishing, and dragon nurturing. Sounds blissful. Little Dragons Cafe will be published by Aksys this summer.

Troy Baker and Emily O’Brien join Death Stranding

Troy Baker and Emily O’Brien, have joined the cast of Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding. Baker is known for his work on The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite, and various Batman titles. O’Brien is soon to star in Days Gone, having previously starred in Telltale’s Batman: The Enemy Within.

And finally…

This week we published the first in a new series of features on Thumbsticks. ‘Cut scenes’ examines intersection between films and video games, beginning with Metal Gear Solid 2 vs. The Terminator.

Slightly more trivial pursuits can be found in our JRPG cover art quiz. Grab a coffee, put your feet up, and see if you can name all 14 games.


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

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June’s My Nintendo rewards: Save on Fire Emblem and Pokémon

The latest crop of My Nintendo rewards includes a discount on one of the all-time great Fire Emblem games.

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My Nintendo - Fire Emblem Awakening
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

The latest crop of My Nintendo rewards includes a discount on one of the all-time great Fire Emblem games.

Fire Emblem Awakening was the first game in the series to really breakthrough in the West. Originally released on Nintendo 3DS in 2012, this excellent tactical strategy game opened the door for the franchise to become one of Nintendo’s big hitters. If you enjoyed Fire Emblem Three Houses on Nintendo Switch, it’s worth going to back to see how far the series has come. European My Nintendo members can get a 50% discount in exchange for 220 Gold Points.

Other new rewards include price reductions on the fun Game Boy puzzler Pokémon Puzzle Challenge and the above-par sports game, Mario Golf: World Tour. You can also pick up 3DS themes based on the Animal Crossing and Metroid franchises.

Here’s the full lowdown on June’s new rewards. We’ll update this page if we get news of any new addition.

My Nintendo rewards – June 2020

EU Gold Point Rewards

  • Fire Emblem Awakening – 50% discount – 220 points

EU Platinum Point Rewards

  • NES Samus Aran (Theme) – 100 points
  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf – Colourful Pattern (Theme) – 100 points
  • Pokémon Puzzle Challenge – 50% discount – 70 points
  • Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move – 40% discount – 110 points

US Gold Point Rewards

  • Style Savvy: Styling Star – 30% discount – 90 points
  • Pilotwings Resort – 40% discount – 120 points

US Platinum Point Rewards

  • Animal Crossing: New Leaf – Colourful Pattern (Theme) – 100 points
  • Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone – 40% discount – 300 points
  • Picross 3D Round 2 – 40% discount – 300 points
  • Mario Golf: World Tour – 30% discount – 200 points
  • Pokémon Puzzle Challenge – 30% discount – 50 points

Many of last month’s rewards – including discounts on Dr. Mario Miracle Cure, Yoshi’s New Island, and Mario Kart 7 – also remain available. And it’s worth remembering that Gold Points can also be used towards the cost of Nintendo Switch games on the eShop. Read our roundup of the latest Switch releases to see what’s available.


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This week’s Nintendo Switch releases (June 1-6, 2020)

The Outer Worlds and Clubhouse Games headline this week’s lineup of new Nintendo Switch releases.

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New Nintendo Switch eShop releases
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

The Outer Worlds and Clubhouse Games headline this week’s lineup of new Nintendo Switch releases.

For all of Nintendo’s innovations, the company is always happy to revisit and reinvent past glories. Ring Fit Adventure is this generation’s Wii Fit. 1-2 Switch is Wii Play. And Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training is, erm, Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training.

Nintendo DS owners may recall Clubhouse Games/42 All-Time Classics, a delightful collection of parlour and board games released back in 2006. The Switch gets its own version this week with Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics (or 51 Worldwide Games in Europe). It’s another elegantly presented collection of low-key pastimes that are perfect to play with friends and family.

After a short delay in orbit, The Outer Worlds also lands on Switch this week. Obsidian Entertainment’s sci-fi RPG was well-received on its original release late last year, conjuring up some of that Fallout: New Vegas magic for many players. Virtuos, the company behind the recent Switch versions of Bioshock and XCOM-2, is handling the port. We’ll have a review for you on Thursday.

Other new games include retro-platformer sequel Awesome Pea 2 and the dungeon-crawling Knight Squad. WayForward’s Shantae and the Seven Sirens also get its European release.

We’ll keep this page updated throughout the week with any late changes. In the meantime, here’s the full lineup of new Nintendo eShop releases as it stands.

New Nintendo Switch releases: June 1-6, 2020

Monday, June 1, 2020

  • Do Not Feed The Monkeys

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

  • Liberated

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

  • Awesome Pea 2

Thursday, June 4, 2020

  • Arcade Archives Naughty Boy
  • Aqua Lungers
  • Depth of Extinction
  • The TakeOver
  • Shantae and the Seven Sirens (EU)

Friday, June 5, 2020

  • Bridge Strike
  • Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics/51 Worldwide Games
  • Knight Squad
  • Outbuddies DX
  • Pinball Lockdown
  • The Outer Worlds
  • They Came From the Sky
  • Strawberry Vinegar

Saturday, June 6, 2020

  • Potata: Fairy Flower
  • Super Holobunnies

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Visit our new releases page for regular Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 updates. You can also follow Thumbsticks on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

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Save up to 85% in the PlayStation Days of Play sale

Sony unleashes the first wave of Days of Play digital game discounts on the PlayStation Store.

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PlayStation Days of Play sale
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Sony unleashes the first wave of Days of Play digital game discounts on the PlayStation Store.

Our European readers can now pick up some excellent games at low prices in the first batch of PlayStation Days of Play digital discounts. The North American sale begins later today.

Highlights include a whopping 85% off FIFA 20. That’s a great price for a game that is consistently rooted in the upper reaches of the UK chart.

It’s also a terrific sale for PS4 exclusives. Offers include 55% off Marvel’s Spider-Man, 70% off Days Gone, 25% off Persona 5 Royal, and 48% sliced from God of War.

PS VR is also well-represented with Blood & Truth, Superhot VR, and Farpoint, among the immersive experiences on offer.

Other games to catch our eye include Capcom’s Resident Evil 3 remake, which is reduced by 30%, and a massive 70% price cut for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. If you start now, you might just complete the game before the arrival of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.

One-year PS Plus and PS Now subscriptions are also cut by 30% throughout the Days of Play promotion,

These deals run through to June 17. Visit the official PlayStation Store in your country for the full lineup of discounted games. Here are some more Thumbsticks picks.

PlayStation Days of Play Sale Highlights

  • A Plague Tale: Innocence
  • Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey
  • Apex Legends – Bloodhound Edition
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – Ultimate Edition
  • Astro Bot Rescue Mission
  • Battlefield V
  • Bioshock: The Collection
  • Blood & Truth
  • Borderlands 2 VR
  • Borderlands 3
  • Bravo Team
  • Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare
  • Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered
  • Code Vein
  • Concrete Genie
  • Control Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
  • Dark Souls III
  • Days Gone
  • Death Stranding
  • Destiny 2: Shadowkeep
  • Doom Eternal Deluxe Edition
  • Dreams
  • EA Sports FIFA 20
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
  • Farpoint
  • Ghost Recon Breakpoint
  • God Of War Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Online Edition
  • The Last Of Us Remastered
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Game Of The Year Edition
  • Medievil
  • Metro Exodus
  • Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Master Edition
  • Mortal Kombat 11
  • The Outer Worlds
  • Overwatch Legendary Edition
  • Persona 5 Royal
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
  • Predator: Hunting Grounds
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Resident Evil 3
  • Resident Evil 7 Biohazard
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • The Sims 4
  • Soulcalibur VI
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • Street Fighter V
  • Superhot VR
  • Tropico 6
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • Vampyr
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • World War Z

For more video game deals, bookmark our dedicated sales page and follow Thumbsticks on Twitter and Facebook.

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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Sega announces the Game Gear Micro

That Sega rumour turns out to be a delightful thing. Say hello to the teeny-tiny Game Gear Micro.

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Sega announces the Game Gear Micro
Sega

That Sega rumour turns out to be a delightful thing. Say hello to the teeny-tiny Game Gear Micro.

We’ve heard all sorts of rumblings around Sega in the last week or so, including the possibility that the company was being purchased by Microsoft, and that it was about to release a brand new video game console.

It turns out that the new console story was a ‘tiny’ bit right. The Game Gear Micro has been announced for release in Japan on October 6, 2020. It’s priced at ¥4980, which – checking XE.com for rough exchange estimate – puts it at about $45 in the US and £35 in the UK.

Game Gear Micro - Four Colours

The Micro moniker is no joke, either. The console is a mere 80mm wide and has a 1.5-inch screen. It also features a mono speaker and headphone jack. Nicely, it can be powered by two AAA batteries or charged via USB.

Oddly, the handheld will be released in four ‘collectable’ variants: black, blue, yellow and red. Each one contains four games.

Sega Game Gear Micro – Black

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Out Run
  • Royal Stone
  • Puyo Puyo Tsu

Sega Game Gear Micro – Blue

  • Sonic Chaos
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Sylvan Tale
  • Baku Baku Animal

Sega Game Gear Micro – Yellow

  • Shining Force
  • Shining Force II
  • Shining Force: Final Conflict
  • Nazo Puyo Aruru no Ru

Sega Game Gear Micro – Red

  • Revelations: The Demon Slayer
  • Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible Special
  • GG Shinobi
  • Columns

Fans who preorder all four colours will find their playing experience improved by a free replica of the Big Window magnifying peripheral.

At the time of writing we don’t have confirmation of a Western release, but here’s a hoping. Take a look at the console in the full reveal trailer.

Check out our new releases section for the latest PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch games. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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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Sony does the right thing, postpones PlayStation 5 game reveal

This week’s PlayStation 5 event, which promised to showcase PS5 games for the first time, has been postponed.

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PlayStation 5 logo black
Sony

This week’s PlayStation 5 event, which promised to showcase PS5 games for the first time, has been postponed.

In a simple statement on Twitter, the official PlayStation account announced that this week’s event – scheduled for June 4 – is postponed.

“While we understand gamers worldwide are excited to see PS5 games,” begins the statement, “we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration and for now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard.”

Black Lives Matter protests have been taking place across the United States after a Black Minnesota man, George Floyd, was killed by a police officer on May 25, 2020. That police officer knelt on his neck and back for almost nine minutes, while Floyd called out that he couldn’t breathe and three other officers stood and watched. The killing was filmed and widely shared, which led to protests; first in Minnesota, then nationwide.

In the days of protest since, police forces and national guard have responded with force, pelting protesters and press alike with tear gas and batons and rubber bullets.

We know you all love video games. So do we. And let’s be honest: when it all gets too much, having something to escape to, for the sake of your own mental health, is important.

But there are more important things going on than the next generation of video game console. So while there have been negative responses to Sony’s decision from the usual suspects, the positive responses have been the overwhelming majority. It’s absolutely the right thing to do.

Video games will still be here tomorrow. The PlayStation 5 and PS5 games can still be revealed when this is all over. But people are irreplaceable, and fighting for them is more important.


If you’re looking for ways to help, this Black Lives Matter Carrd site features a wealth of information on ways to help, funds you can donate to, and resources covering everything from protesting to mental health.

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