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The Week in Video Games – 1st October, 2017

This week in video games: PUBG becomes its own company, the Super NES Classic is released, Red Dead Redemption 2 gets a new trailer, and Valve tackles Steam shovelware.

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Cuphead - Art

This week in video games: PUBG becomes its own company, the Super NES Classic is released, Red Dead Redemption 2 gets a new trailer, and Valve tackles Steam shovelware.

Here’s our round-up of the week’s most important gaming news.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds spun off into own company

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds developer Bluehole has announced the formation of PUBG Corp, a new company dedicated to the ongoing development the game, and its global business opportunities.

Chang Han Kim, CEO of the new subsidiary, said:

“Given PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ global success, we want to ensure that we have the operational efficiency that is required to support the game globally. This new structure allows us to be nimble as we look towards the expansion of strategic business opportunities that include the game’s potential in the esports sector and the growth of PUBG as a true global IP franchise.”

In other PUBG news, Bloomberg speaks to Brendan Greene about the game’s rapid rise, and his early struggles as a developer.

Sony won’t compete with the Nintendo Switch

In a brief interview with Bloomberg, Sony’s Andrew House says that despite the success of the Nintendo Switch, there’s a limited market for handheld gaming.

Cuphead review round-up

It’s been a long time coming, but Cuphead exists, and is out now on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. Anticipation for the game was high, but so were fears around its difficulty.

Chris Plante, writing at Polygon, says the game’s challenge is something to embrace :

“The lion’s share of Cuphead is a special formula that takes a notoriously challenging genre of the past and carefully and lovingly introduces it to the wider audience it deserves.”

Kyle Orland at Ars Technica wasn’t quite as forgiving:

“Even a slight mistake in positioning or an overly twitchy push of the jump button will cost you one of only three pieces of health you’re given. There’s no limit on lives, but there are also no checkpoints, meaning one false move in the last phase of a fight can erase the last two or three minutes of hard-fought damage.”

And Gamespot‘s Peter Brown speaks for everyone on plant Earth in praising the game’s visuals:

“The sheer variety of characters and settings yields consistent delight as you go from one stage to the next, with everything bearing the telltale signs of grainy ’30s film and rudimentary production techniques. Cel-shading means something to a lot of people, but Cuphead truly re-creates the look of hand-drawn cel animation.”

Red Dead Redemption 2’s new trailer

Rockstar continue to whet our appetites for Red Dead Redemption 2 with a new trailer that introduces the game’s protagonist, the outlaw Arthur Morgan.

The doors close on The Chinese Room

The Chinese Room – creators of Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, and Dear Esther – have scaled back operations, resulting in staff layoffs and the closure of their Brighton-based studio. Dan Pinchbeck speaks about the decision to ‘go dark’ in an interview with Eurogamer, and on the Chinese Room blog.

The SNES Classic Mini arrives

The tiny Super NES Classic is now on sale. Finding units online continues to be tricky, but anecdotally we’ve heard of a much improved supply of units at retail. A few irritations aside, most reviews have been positive on Nintendo’s latest collectible:

Jason Schreier at Kotaku appreciates some of the console’s modern additions:

“The SNES Classic does everything it promises to do. It runs some great games and helpfully makes them a little easier to play with those save states and rewind function.”

The Super NES Classic’s game selection has also received praise, with particular attention paid to the previously unreleased Star Fox 2.

Devin Coldewey at Tech Crunch found the game to be an ambitious, if flawed, gem.

Star Fox 2 is a very interesting game, albeit one that runs smack up against the limitations of the console from the get-go. Don’t expect Star Citizen — but be ready to be pleasantly surprised at a game that was clearly ahead of its time”

Meet the Atari Box

Atari have confirmed more details about the forthcoming Ataribox console. The device runs on Linux and is powered by an AMD processor with Radeon Graphics technology. The console – which will be pre-loaded with a bunch of classic Atari titles – is due to launch in late Spring 2018 priced somewhere between $249-$299.

Value pulls games from Steam

Valve has pulled over 170 games – all made by Silent Echo Studios – from Steam. The removal is the latest in Valve’s attempts to keep its marketplace free of shovelware.

Star Wars Battlefront II trailer

I suppose if you are going to get John Boyega to narrate the new trailer for Star Wars Battlefront II, you may as well get your money’s worth. The new trailer runs for almost 5 minutes, and details all of the game’s main single and multiplayer modes. It even includes a few infographics to show just how much more content Battlefront II has in comparison to its predecessor. Cheers for highlighting the paucity of content in the first game, EA.

Assassin’s Creed Origins educational mode

Ubisoft have announced a new, combat-free educational mode for Assassin’s Creed: Origins. The ‘living museum’ will be released as free DLC in early 2018.

Unlucky for some

Palmer Luckey has revealed he is still working in the VR industry, on a new, unannounced project. Lucky made the announcement during his recent appearance at the Tokyo Game Show.

“Don’t think of me as an Oculus person, just think of me as a VR person” says Luckey.

Thanks for the clarification, Palmer, but that’s not how we think of you at all.

Resident Evil 2: The Board Game

With 22 days still to go, the Kickstarter for Steamforged’s Resident Evil 2 board game stands at £449,583, having cruised past its £150,000 goal in a heartbeat. We’re usually hesitant to cover crowd-sourcing campaigns here at Thumbsticks, but this four-player co-op version of Capcom’s classic looks like the real deal.

Games with Gold and PlayStation Plus games for October

Gamers love free games, and October’s Games with Gold and PlayStation Plus lineups have plenty of treats on offer. Our picks include The Turing Test on Xbox One, and Amnesia: Collection on PlayStation 4.

Designing for the Super Nintendo

To accompany the release of the Super NES Classic, Nintendo have published a new range of interviews with the developers of some of the included games. Head over to the Nintendo website to read about the developement of classic video games including Star Fox, Super Metroid, F-Zero, Super Mario Kart, and Yoshi’s Island.

Recommended reading

The harmonious and loving relationship between developers and streamers has been the focus of much attention recently. Carolyn Pepper of legal firm Reed Smith tackles the question of whether developers can ever control how their games are streamed at Games Industry.

And do you remember the boot video for original Xbox console? Matt Kim at US Gamer reports on Seamus Blackley’s explanation of why it’s not a video at all.

And finally…

Nintendo has announced that the original Wii Shop Channel will close in January 2019. Although it’s unlikely that anyone uses the store anymore, it’s sobering to think that its closure will take over 200 Virtual console games with it.


See you next week, and to take us out…

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.

Thumbsticks editor and connoisseur of Belgian buns. Currently playing: Dragon Quest XI, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Transistor.

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New Nintendo Switch releases (Sept 28-Oct 3, 2020)

Super Mario Bros. 35 headlines a jam-packed week of new games released on the Nintendo Switch eShop.

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New Nintendo Switch eShop releases
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

Super Mario Bros. 35 headlines a jam-packed week of new games released on the Nintendo Switch eShop.

Super Mario’s 35th Anniversary hasn’t been quite as celebratory as the Nintendo might have hoped. Much of the criticism has been directed at Super Mario 3D All-Stars, but the three-game collection has still sold like hotcakes and is an excellent – albeit bonus light – package.

Next up is Super Mario Bros. 35, a new battle-royale twist on the 1985 platforming classic. If it can match the pleasures of Tetris 99, we’re in for a treat. The game is free to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, but only until March next year.

Also coming to Nintendo Switch this week is cult classic action RPG, Ys Origin. Nihon Falcom’s 2006 adventure is the ultimate dungeon crawl and blends a galloping story with excellent combat mechanics. As the game’s PS Vita release proved, its structure makes it the perfect handheld experience.

Of the 30-plus other titles release on the eShop, we recommend taking a look at MindSeize, the ambitious Metroidvania from Kamina Dimension, and Orangeblood, a frenetic hot mess of an RPG from Grayfax Software.

Here’s the full lineup of confirmed new Nintendo Switch releases. We’ll keep this post updated throughout the week with any late additions.

New Nintendo Switch releases: Sept 28-Oct 3, 2020

Monday, September 28, 2020

  • Undead Darlings ~no cure for love~

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

  • Alwa’s Legacy
  • Bacon Man: An Adventure
  • Projection: First Light
  • Re:Turn – One Way Trip
  • Umihara Kawase BaZooKa!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

  • Detective Case and Clown Bot in: Murder in The Hotel Lisbon
  • Mindseize
  • Murder in The Hotel Lisbon

Thursday, October 1, 2020

  • Candy Raid: The Factory
  • Electronic Super Joy 2
  • Farm Builder
  • Filament
  • Hot Shot Burn
  • The Last Days
  • Liege Dragon
  • Little Big Workshop
  • Macbat 64
  • Nubarron: The adventure of an unlucky gnome
  • Orangeblood
  • Powertris
  • Shmubedi Boo
  • Smoots World Cup Tennis
  • Super Mario Bros. 35 [Switch Online]
  • Warsaw
  • Ys Origin

Friday, October 2, 2020

  • 103
  • Birthday of Midnight
  • Grim Legends 2: Song of the Dark Swan
  • Logic Puzzle Collection: Sudoku – Permudoku – Nonodoku
  • Let’s Sing presents Queen
  • Make a Killing

Saturday, October 3, 2020

  • Quell

More Nintendo from Thumbsticks

For more Nintendo content, read about the new Final Fantasy eShop sale, the incoming Switch port of Doom Eternal, and our review of RPG Maker MV. You can also bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page and follow us on Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

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Classic Final Fantasy games up to 50% off in a Nintendo Switch sale

You’ll find big discounts on classic Final Fantasy games – including 7 through 10 – in a sale on the Nintendo Switch.

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Final Fantasy Nintendo Switch sale
Nintendo / Square Enix / Thumbsticks

You’ll find big discounts on classic Final Fantasy games – including 7 through 10 – in a sale on the Nintendo Switch.

The Nintendo Switch does feature new games – every week! Bookmark our new releases page to stay up to date on that front – but it’s the console’s credibility as a retro machine that gets people excited.

Everything is getting ported to Nintendo Switch. Everything. Even PC games at both ends of the joke – Doom at the low-end, to Crysis at the high – are getting a run-out on Nintendo’s little handheld that could.

It’s a combination of that lovely form factor and the ease of portability, with a little help from a lovely 720p screen, that makes the Switch feel so good as a remaster-wielding retro machine. (And of course, Nintendo’s stellar back catalogue, from a raft of NES and SNES games with Nintendo Switch Online to the recently-released Super Mario 3D All-Stars.)

At the top of my list of things I wanted to see on the Nintendo Switch was “every Final Fantasy game ever, please,” and, sure enough, Square Enix and Nintendo are obliging. But they’re rarely cheap. You’d think for all the times I’ve bought and re-bought Final Fantasy VI, VII or IX over the years, I might get some sort of loyalty discount. Maybe a Final Fantasy equivalent of Nectar points? But no. They cost quite a lot, even if Square’s ports aren’t always that hot.

Which is why a Square Enix sale on the Nintendo eShop – featuring a bunch of Final Fantasy games, but also, more! – at discounted prices is so exciting. There’s up to 50% off, as well, which is a cracking discount.

Here’s everything included in the Square Enix Nintendo Switch publisher sale.

Square Enix Nintendo Switch publisher sale

  • Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon EVERY BUDDY!
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Final Fantasy VIII Remastered
  • Final Fantasy IX
  • Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD
  • Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
  • Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD
  • Final Fantasy Explorers (Nintendo 3DS)
  • I Am Setsuna
  • Lost Sphear
  • Oninaki
  • Romancing SaGa 2
  • SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions
  • Spelunker Party!
  • Star Ocean: First Departure R
  • Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call (Nintendo 3DS)
  • World of Final Fantasy Maxima

The picks of the litter are obviously the mainline Final Fantasy games. Final Fantasy VII is obviously brilliant; the remaster of Final Fantasy VIII is splendid; Final Fantasy IX is secretly the best one; Final Fantasy X/X-2 is another excellent remaster; Final Fantasy XII isn’t great (but the Zodiac Age remaster makes it much more bearable); and Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is… also on sale. There’s a reason the Final Fantasy VII Remake is so great, and it’s because it steals its best ideas from these earlier iterations.

The recent remake of Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon – subtitled EVERY BUDDY!, their emphasis, not ours – is also well worth checking out, even if it is a bit of a peculiar curio. Romancing SaGa 2 is also well worth checking out, while I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear are modern-developed indie games published by Square Enix.

These deals are only available until September 30, so you’d better get on that.


Bookmark our sales and freebies pages for the latest video game promotions. You can also follow Thumbsticks on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter for daily news updates.

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 PlayStation 4 releases (Sept 28-Oct 2, 2020)

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time and Star Wars: Squadrons headline the list of new PlayStation 4 releases.

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New PlayStation 4 game releases
Sony / Thumbsticks

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time and Star Wars: Squadrons headline the list of new PlayStation 4 releases.

Here at Thumbsticks, we pride ourselves in being some of the finest gaming armchair analysts around. But, we’re only human and have to confess that the popularity of Activision’s Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy took us by surprise. With over 10 million copies sold it’s now over to Toys for Bob to bring the franchise up to date with Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. First impressions are positive, and the recently revealed N’ Verted mode should give the game a venue to experiment with some wild new ideas.

EA’s history with the Star Wars licence has had its ups and downs, but following Battlefront II (eventually) and Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order the publisher has found some consistency. The strong run looks set to continue with Star Wars: Squadrons, a game that sets out to do one thing well, and from early accounts achieves it capably.

Speaking of licensed products, we’re also hopeful for The Walking Dead Onslaught, the new PSVR survival game from Survios. It’s about time the franchise had another decent tie-in.

Other new PlayStation 4 releases include Orangeblood, Genshin Impact, and Re:Turn – One Way Trip. There’s also a chance that the promising future racing game Pacer will be released on PS4 following a short delay.

Here’s the full lineup of new PS4 games confirmed so far. Check back throughout next week for details of any late additions.

New PlayStation 4 releases: Sept 28-Oct 2, 2020

Monday, September 28, 2020

  • Genshin Impact
  • Undead Darlings: No Cure for Love

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

  • Commander ’85 – TBC
  • Pacer – TBC
  • Re:Turn – One Way Trip
  • The Walking Dead Onslaught
  • Warsaw
  • Projection: First Light
  • Umihara Kawase BaZooKa!
  • Until You Fall

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

  • No new games today!

Thursday, October 1, 2020

  • FIFA 21 (EA Play First Trial)
  • Orangeblood

Friday, October 2, 2020

  • Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
  • Star Wars: Squadrons

More from Thumbsticks

Visit our new releases page for weekly updates on the latest games. You can also follow Thumbsticks on 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 Xbox One releases (September 28-October 2, 2020)

Crash Bandicoot, Star Wars and FIFA (sort of) headline this week’s list of upcoming Xbox One releases.

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New Xbox One game releases
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Crash Bandicoot, Star Wars and FIFA (sort of) headline this week’s list of upcoming Xbox One releases.

Do you know which Star Wars games are the absolute best? No, it’s not that new one with Archie Andrews off Riverdale as a Jedi, nor is it Episode I: Racer, or even Knights of the Old Republic. It’s the classic PC flight sims, the ones that came on half a dozen floppy disks: X-Wing, Tie Fighter, and X-Wing vs Tie Fighter.

With that in mind, we are perhaps most excited about Star Wars: Squadrons, a Star Wars space combat flight sim with all the pew! pew! you’d expect. Squadrons has pedigree, too; it’s developed by EA’s Motive Studios, the crew behind the brilliant Star Wars Battlefront II. (That’s the modern, multiplayer Battlefront II with lots of cool ships to fly, not the middling shooter from 2005.)

The other big name on the Xbox One Releases this week is Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. Developed by Toys for Bob, the company behind the excellent remasters, publisher Activision hopes that the return of its mascot platformer will emulate the successful return of its other late-90s icon, Tony Hawk.

There’s one other big game this week, but it’s not for everyone. Literally. If you don’t have EA Play, you won’t get to play FIFA 21 on October 2; you’ll have to wait until October 9 like everyone else. But if you do have EA Play – and remember, it’s now included with Xbox Game Pass – you’ll get to try out EA’s big footie sim, FIFA 21, a week before your mates.

Other games of note include Feather, a zen exploration game with beautiful flight, Commander ’85, an intriguing cold war mystery, and Inertial Drift, a racing game with an innovative twin-stick control scheme.

Each new game can be purchased from the Xbox One digital games store or the Microsoft web store. We’ll update this post throughout the week with any late additions to the lineup.

New Xbox One releases: September 28-October 2, 2020

Monday, September 28, 2020

  • No games for you!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

  • Bartlow’s Dread Machine
  • Projection: First Light
  • Re:Turn – One Way Trip

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

  • Birthday of Midnight
  • Commander ’85
  • Feather
  • Inertial Drift
  • Swordbreaker

Thursday, October 1, 2020

  • FIFA 21 (EA Play First Trial)
  • Orangeblood

Friday, October 2, 2020

  • Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
  • Star Wars: Squadrons
  • Dragon Lapis
  • Warsaw

Visit the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest games. You can also follow us on 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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Left 4 Dead 2 is having a free-to-play weekend

If you enjoy Left 4 Dead 2 during its free weekend, you’ll be able to pick it up for just $2 / £1.43.

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Left 4 Dead 2 free-to-play weekend
Valve / Thumbsticks

If you enjoy Left 4 Dead 2 during its free weekend, you’ll be able to pick it up for just $2 / £1.43.

Valve, the company that famously does not make threequels, released Left 4 Dead 2 almost 11 years ago, in November 2009. It’s a co-op zombie first-person shooter and, well, it’s really good.

Unsurprisingly, Valve stopped releasing content updates for it years ago – the last one was the addition of the first Left 4 Dead’s campaign to the sequel in 2010, if memory serves? – but that doesn’t mean Left 4 Dead 2 has been left fallow.

Thanks to Valve’s famously open Source engine (that’s a “famously open engine called Source”, not “Open Source” in the licensing sense), however, fans of Left 4 Dead 2 have been able to keep the updates coming. One of the biggest was Cold Stream, released for PC in 2012 and Xbox 360 in 2013.

Then, just this week, another community-created update – called The Last Stand – was released for Left 4 Dead 2. Once again, Valve gave the community creation its blessing and, as a result, The Last Stand is a very official unofficial update.

To celebrate, Valve is hosting a free-to-play weekend for Left 4 Dead 2 on Steam. The game, including all single- and multi-player modes, will available to play for free all this weekend. Even better, if you enjoy it, you’ll be able to pick up Left 4 Dead 2 for the princely sum of $1.99 / £1.43 until September 28, 2020.


You like free stuff, right? Bookmark our free games page and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for regular free stuff updates.

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.

Continue Reading