Saturday, August 24, 2019

Year 3: August Update

Has it been a month already? Once again I didn't get a whole lot done but I have been working on those Dreamcast ads! Maybe I'll get a "Let's Play" video up tomorrow if I have time; I did try to record one last week but didn't like it so I need to try again. Last week I used a He-Man image on my update and this month there was some good Masters of the Universe news so here is another to the right. Kevin Smith is bringing a new version of the cartoon to Netflix that will pick up where the show from the '80s left off. Netflix also has a She-Ra cartoon though I don't expect this one to be in the same animation style as that which doesn't look anything like the original She-Ra.

Since I've been putting 2-6 hours/day into editing the Dreamcast ads I've not been gaming much at all. After a three week break of almost nothing beyond some quick looks at five games to get screenshots for work, I put Wolfenstein: Youngblood back in, lowered the difficulty, and beat it. I was stuck on the last battle which is probably easy with a co-op partner but with the AI character it can be frustrating. The European game show known as Gamescom was this past week so there was a variety of news though much of it was new trailers, screenshots, release dates, etc. Sega did announce a Yakuza remaster collection for parts 3, 4, and 5, and showed a new strategy game called Humankind from Amplitude Studios that gives off some Civilization vibes. Electronic Arts finally unveiled the next Need for Speed game that releases in November. Google showed a bunch more games coming to Stadia, something that is also not far off at all as it is expected this November too. Intellivision Entertainment released a new trailer for the Amico console that is coming October 10, 2020.

I was reading comments at Game Informer (GI) and, well, reading comments on Internet articles is never a great idea (and responding to a dumb comment is probably a worse idea) but I do it anyway. People tend to say stupid things and like to believe they're being funny by being negative. While the Amico may very well be unsuccessful, there really is no reason to hate on it. It's self-funded and Tommy is clearly excited about it which I think is great. However, despite my love of the original Intellivision, I'm not exactly the target audience. It aims to appeal to families with a strong focus on local co-op and simple gameplay. The controllers have screens similar to a smartphone which makes sense as that would not intimidate those that don't normally play games. Parents will certainly have an easier time picking up on Amico games than something on PlayStation 4 or Nintendo Switch. Another appealing factor to parents is that games will be inexpensive too ($2.99-7.99). I'd guess the biggest hurdle will be the price of the Amico itself which is expected to be $149-179. Atari is actually releasing something similar this year, yet it's the Amico I'm always hearing about.

Speaking of Game Informer, its owner GameStop laid off a bunch of staff including 7 of the 38 people at GI. I don't have a subscription to GI but I do regularly visit its website and was surprised by some of the folks that were let go. They're definitely skilled writers and possibly half (or at least a third) of the reviews/features writers GI had. The editor-in-chief said the print magazine will continue though I can't help but wonder if it will shrink dramatically. It's too bad as most video game magazines are long gone and I don't know that there are any others still around in the U.S. aside from maybe a couple fan-made retro gaming mags. Hopefully everyone that lost their jobs can find work quickly, and a job that's just as fun as I assume working at GI was, though I expect it's difficult to get good paying jobs when it comes to writing about games these days.

Look for that Dreamcast coverage on 9/9/19! (...or maybe the day before which is a Sunday!)


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