Category Archive : Gaming

Uncharted movie asset (Sony)
Uncharted gets the movie sequel it deserves (Sony)

There definitely will be another Uncharted film says Sony Pictures, as Nintendo announces the Japanese date for its Mario sequel.

The trend of video games being made into movies continues, as work on a second Uncharted film has been confirmed by Sony Pictures. At the same time, Nintendo has reconfirmed that The Super Mario Bros. Movie 2 will be out on April 3, 2026 in the US and announced that it’ll be out in Japan on April 24.

It’s not certain if Tom Holland or Mark Wahlberg are continuing their roles as Nathan Drake and Victor Sullivan, but considering the movie’s success, as one of the highest-grossing video games adaptations ever, that seems likely.

Sony hasn’t announced anything else about the sequel but the original 2022 film ended with several teases that the next one would be a direct adaptation of the first game, Drake’s Fortune.

The end of the first film also hinted that Nate’s brother Sam and/or Drake’s Fortune bad guy Gabriel Roman would be making an appearance. Although in the games it wasn’t until Uncharted 4 that Sam was first introduced.

Apart from lifting an action scene from Uncharted 3, the first movie had very few specific connections to the games, so it’s going to be a bit odd if the second one is a much more direct adaptation.

Uncharted developer Naughty Dog has made it clear that it’s not going to make any more entries in the series, but that doesn’t mean Sony can’t get someone else to do them.

A LinkedIn post in April 2022 mentioned that the studio was building new teams for ‘the legacy of Uncharted,’ basically confirming that new projects were underway – even if they’ve never been officially announced.

The Uncharted movie adaptation had a budget of $120 million (£94 million) and made $407 million (£320 million) worldwide.

Going by the usual logic that a movie has to make back at least twice its budget (to cover marketing and the fact that a movie studio doesn’t get all the profit to itself) it was a pretty major hit for Sony.

However, that’s still far behind The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which had a budget of $100 million (£78 million) but earned a whopping $1.36 billion (£1.07 billion) worldwide – becoming the most profitable movie of 2023.

The trend of video games being made into movies is not surprise then, with other recent examples being Gran Turismo, Mortal Kombat, Detective Pikachu, and Sonic The Hedgehog.

That’s not to mention The Last Of Us and Fallout being made into popular TV shows, further solidifying the video games trend in both live action and animation.

Uncharted 4 asset (Sony)
Uncharted 5 could still be happening (Sony)

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Nintendo 64's Perfect Dark comes to Switch Online (YouTube)
The original Perfect Dark looks a bit different to the Xbox Series X/S reboot (YouTube)

Turok and Perfect Dark have been added to the Nintendo Switch Online virtual console, along with two classic Metroid and Zelda games.

During its Nintendo Direct showcase today, the veteran publisher revealed that it’s expanding its Nintendo Switch Online games library with a special new Nintendo 64 collection of ‘mature’ games.

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Perfect Dark are the two titles to spearhead the collection and will be available from today, although you’ll need the more expensive Expansion Pack subscription option to access them and the other N64 titles.

If you only have the standard Nintendo Switch Online service though you still get two notable new Game Boy Advance titles today, with remakes of both a classic Zelda and the original Metroid.

2004’s Metroid: Zero Mission is an excellent remake of the first NES Metroid game, to the point where there’s little need to play the original anymore.

Meanwhile, 2002’s The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past And Four Swords is a remaster of the classic SNES entry in the series, plus a separate multiplayer mode inspired by it – which was later expanded into a standalone GameCube game.

The multiplayer modes for both Perfect Dark and Four Swords both support up to four players online, so nothing is being left out in terms of options.

Nintendo’s showcase didn’t disappoint, as it also revealed that a new Zelda game – finally starring Zelda herself – is set to be released later this year.

It also announced Metroid Prime 4: Beyond, which will come out at some point in 2025. The game looked so good, that fans think it may actually be a secret Switch 2 game.

While Zelda and Metroid were a surprise, as well as new Mario & Luigi and Mario Party games, it’s not unusual for Nintendo do add new games to its Switch Online games library, which consists of over 100 retro titles.

Earlier this month they added five new (or rather old) Mega Man Game Boy titles, and before that Super Mario Land, Baseball, and Alleyway.

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter comes to Switch Online (YouTube)
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter – one of the earliest console FPS (YouTube)

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Mario & Luigi: Brothership key art
Mario & Luigi: Brothership – that was unexpected (Nintendo)

The Nintendo Switch is going out with a bigger bang than expected, with multiple new first party titles announced for this year and beyond.

If this month’s Nintendo Direct had been 20 minutes long and only featured a few indie games and Wii U remasters nobody would’ve blamed Nintendo. Their new console is out in 2025 and for the longest while they had nothing scheduled for release in the second half of the year… but now they do.

Many were hoping for a reveal of Metroid Prime 4 and they got it, but it ended up being the only first party Nintendo game not due out this year, with a new Zelda title (that actually stars Zelda), a new Mario Party, and a new Mario & Luigi.

Unusually for Nintendo, a number of the games had been leaked ahead of time, but the Direct started off with something nobody was expecting: a new entry in the Super Mario RPG adjacent Mario & Luigi series.

Mario & Luigi: Brothership will be out on November 7 but two of the main reasons it’s a surprise is that original developer AlphaDream went bankrupt in 2019 and that was partly because the series had been selling less and less over time.

It was always very good though and while it’s not clear who’s making Brothership the trailer looks a lot of fun, with some distinctive cel-shaded visuals and the games’ usual turn-based combat with real-time gimmicks.

We just hope the game maintains its sense of humour from the previous titles, which was always one of the main appeals in entries like Bowser’s Inside Story.

In terms of other games, the previously announced Nintendo World Championships: NES Edition was confirmed for July 18, with a console version of Fantasian Neo Dimension, from the creator of Final Fantasy, coming sometime this winter.

Nintendo Switch Sports will be getting a new basketball mini-game this summer, as a free update, while Disney Illusion Island is getting a free update this very day.

There wasn’t an awful lot of indie games on show, but we liked the pencil art style of MIO (Memories in Orbit), which was one of a few titles not due out until 2025 – further proof that Nintendo and others intend to support the Switch well into next year.

We imagine Looney Tunes: Wacky Worlds Of Sports is probably multiformat but a fair amount of effort seems to have gone into it, with ‘four arcade style sports’ on offer.

There was also confirmation of a major new update for Among Us, with several new imposter roles. Although it was ironic that it was only a short announcement, as a leak concerning the update is what finally revealed the date of the Nintendo Direct, before it was officially announced.

Despite rumours of Zelda and Metroid remasters, and expectation that there could well be more beyond just that (the continued absence of Xenoblade Chronicles X is baffling), Donkey Kong Country Returns HD proved to be the only one, with a new version of the 2010 Wii game – which also incorporates the new levels created for the subsequent 3DS edition.

The remaster won’t be out until January 16, so it’s not just Metroid Prime 4 that Nintendo is holding back until next year.

Most of the games were due out this year though, with Nintendo lingering a lot on Dragon Quest 3 HD-2D Remake, which will be a very big deal in Japan when it’s released on November 14. They also announced that there’d be similar remakes for the first and second games, which makes slightly more sense when you realise that the third game is a prequel that takes place before the others.

Meanwhile, multiformat game Funko Fusion, by many of the makers of the Lego games, will be out on September 13 and actually looks quite good – if only because Shaun of the Dead would never be in a Lego game.

Since it’s out next week, Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD only got a brief mention but there was also a continuation of weirdo 3DS franchise The New Denpa Men, as well as smartphone remaster Metal Slug Attack Reloaded – which is a Tower Defense game and not to be confused with the upcoming Metal Slug Tactics.

Roguelike sequel Darkest Dungeon 2 got a July 15 release date for its console versions and then it was announced that a number of notable new games are coming to the Nintendo Switch Online virtual console, including Game Boy Advance games Zelda: A Link To The Past And Four Swords and Metroid: Zero Mission. That’s in addition to a ‘mature collection’ for N64 games, including Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Perfect Dark.

Nippon Ichi’s Phantom Brave is getting a new sequel subtitled The Lost Hero, that looked quite promising, with the ability to possess object with pet phantoms, in order to give them special abilities – it’s out sometime next year.

Marvel Vs. Capcom Fighting Collection: Arcade Classics was an interesting revelation too, as it wasn’t thought that Capcom had the Marvel rights anymore, but it’s out this year and will reignite rumours of a possible new game in the future.

Next up was Super Mario Party Jamboree, which had been leaked before, at least in theory, and will be out on October 17. We’ve long been Mario Party apologists and this one looks particularly promising, with five new game boards, plus two retro ones, as well as 110 mini-games and a host of new game modes, including a 20-player online option. It looked very substantial and the games are always big sellers, especially around Christmas.

After that it was Zelda: Echoes Of Wisdom, and a brief plug for Lego Horizon Adventures, which is not coming to Xbox, and the Switch version of Stray – although the latter two didn’t have release dates any more specific than ‘winter’.

Metroid Prime 4: Beyond was the mic drop at the end of the Direct but before that you still had Tales Of The Shire: A Lord of the Rings Game, which looked like a Tolkien-esque Animal Crossing, and Ace Attorney Investigations Collection, which we’re really looking forward to as one of the game has never had an official English translation before.

Then there was The Hundred Line: Last Defense Academy from the makers of Danganronpa, which looked interestingly weird, and is out in ‘early’ 2025, and a remake of Romancing SaGa 2 that will be out on October 24.

It was a highly impressive Nintendo Direct and while it wasn’t quite enough to challenge the Xbox Games Showcase as the ‘winner’ of this not-E3 season it was far more interesting than anyone could’ve expected and means the rest of the year is going to be a lot busier for Nintendo than previously expected.

Ace Attorney Investigations Collection key art
We had no objections to his Nintendo Direct (Capcom)

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Metroid Prime 4: Beyond trailer image
Metroid Prime 4: Beyond- what console are these graphics running on? (Nintendo)

Nintendo has finally shown off Metroid Prime 4 and while it has an unexpected cameo it won’t be out until next year, which is highly suspicious.

Metroid Prime 4 was first announced exactly seven years ago, but two years later Nintendo had to admit that it wasn’t going well and that everything had been scrapped and development handed over to Retro Studios, who worked on the original (although by that time many of their veteran staff had moved on).

At no point was anything shown of the game and while there’s been much speculation amongst fans, as to whether it is being held over for the new Switch 2 console, Nintendo has given no indication that’s the case.

They still haven’t, but rather than being this Christmas’ big new game the reveal trailer during the June Nintendo Direct shows that it’s not going to be out until next year – which makes it very likely it’ll be a cross-gen release.

Given how good the graphics look there are already conspiracy theories suggesting the footage is running on a Switch 2. However, given there’s still little clue as to how much more powerful the new console will be that’s hard to say – but we wouldn’t have said there was anything in the trailer the Switch 1 couldn’t do.

Nintendo said ahead of time that they wouldn’t be talking about their new console during the Nintendo Direct, and they didn’t, but Metroid Prime 4 was the last reveal of the showcase and the only first party title not coming out until 2025.

In terms of the trailer itself, it showed series heroine Samus Aran battling generic space pirates before it’s revealed that they’re being led by the bounty hunter Sylux from Metroid Prime 3, who appears to have two Metroids under his control.

Sylux is a fairly deep cut, and many probably won’t recognise him, so it’s not clear if he’s the game’s main antagonist or just a little Easter eggs for fans.

If he is a prominent part of the game then it’s peculiar that the long-rumoured remaster of Metroid Prime 3 (and 2) still hasn’t been announced, especially given how popular the remaster of the first game was.

In fact, there was only one Nintendo remaster during the Direct, in Wii game Donkey Kong Country Returns. That’s despite ports of Zelda: Twilight Princess and The Wind Waker seeming almost like shoe-ins.

It’s never a good idea to try and predict Nintendo though and whatever fan theories emerge from this trailer they’ll probably be disproven the next time Nintendo talks about the game… whenever that might be.

Metroid Prime 4: Beyond trailer image
Metroid Prime 4: Beyond- Sylux was a bit of a surprise (Nintendo)

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The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom game still
The Legend Of Zelda: Echoes Of Wisdom – this looks pretty awesome (Nintendo)

A new Zelda game is out this year and for once it stars the person it’s named after with a brand new adventure and all-new gameplay.

For anyone that’s never played the games, they probably assume that Zelda is the name of the guy in the funny green hat (or blue tunic) that you usually play as, but of course that’s not the case. Link is the protagonist and Princess Zelda usually has a very passive role as damsel in distress or, at best, extra help during the final battle.

But after decades of fan demand she’s finally getting a proper game all to herself (there were two improper ones, that weren’t made by Nintendo, for the CD-i system in the mid-90s but nobody likes to talk about them).

The new game is called The Legend Of Zelda: Echoes Of Wisdom and while it’s a top-down adventure that uses the same graphics as the remake of Link’s Awakening it’s a brand new game with Zelda having very distinct new abilities.

It’s not clear whether the game is canon, but the story seems to start with Link confronting Ganon but being sucked into a mysterious rift, while just having time to release Zelda from imprisonment before he disappears.

Zelda doesn’t use a sword (if she uses any weapon, it’s usually a bow) but wields a new device called the Tri Rod, which can be used to create ‘echoes’ of ordinary objects, like tables, boxes, beds, trampolines, and blocks of waters.

She can then place multiple copies of these echoes anywhere she wants in the world, at any time, which seems to make for some very interesting puzzles, with the most basic form being to create platforms and stairs to clamber over scenery.

Zelda can use echoes to attack enemies, by throwing rocks and the like at them, but she can also create echoes of the monsters themselves, turning them into allies and using their special abilities, such as flying, shooting, and spreading flames.

It all looks and sounds great and it’ll be out on September 26, along with a special Echoes Of Wisdom Switch Lite (Zelda is the bearer of the Triforce of Wisdom, if you’re wondering about the name).

Although there had been rumours of a new Zelda game, starring its titular character, the reveal was a very welcome surprise during the June Nintendo Direct, which was full of new announcements, including a new Mario & Luigi, Mario Party, and the first reveal for Metroid Prime 4: Beyond.

Except for Metroid Prime 4, all of the games will be out this year, which means the Switch will be going out in considerable style, with support continuing well into 2025.

The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom game still showing the character of Zelda
The Legend Of Zelda: Echoes Of Wisdom – Zelda takes the leading role (Nintendo)

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A scene from Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree
Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree – prepare for some tree surgery (Bandai Namco)

GameCentral reviews the long-awaited expansion for Elden Ring and discovers another classic FromSoftware journey of pain and pleasure.

It’s not easy coming back to Elden Ring after two years away. Like many that completed the original we started a New Game+ and played only a few hours of that before finally moving onto other games. Then we realised in a panic, that to start this long-awaited expansion we’d need access to the domain of Mohg, Lord of Blood, which takes a considerable amount of time and effort to reach, even the second time around.

With most other games we’d have resented the restrictive requirements, and the thought of having to fight through tough bosses all over again, but we can’t pretend we didn’t enjoy every moment of it. Apart from anything, it was good practice for not only re-familiarising ourselves with the controls but the game’s unyielding attitude.

We started Shadow Of The Erdtree with a sturdy level 178 character, who had no trouble beating existing bosses a second time in New Game+. However, the moment we came across a new enemy in the expansion we were immediately confounded and died again, and again, and again, until they were beaten. Which was marvellous.

Although the term is relative when talking about FromSoftware games, Elden Ring is widely considered the easiest of their recent titles. But with DLC like this they no doubt feel that they’re dealing with a more hardcore audience. Even so, its difficulty is hard to quantify, as there’s no way to know what level character people might be playing with (although you’d imagine around 100 to get as far as Mohg) and right from the start the enemies range greatly in terms of their robustness.

A lot of the more minor opponents are pure cannon fodder (even though we still ended up getting killed by a dog the minute we started getting cocky) and yet many of the new enemies are extremely difficult, like the dancing grotesque that pounces on you as soon as you enter the new Land of Shadow.

The first mini-dungeon is very easy to find and is clearly meant as a statement of just how difficult the expansion can get, as its machinegun-owning occupant shoots you down with disarming ease. We quickly retreated outside, only to run into a giant walking brazier (of the sort that you can see in the trailers) that shoots colossal chunks of molten fire at you from miles away.

A scene from Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree
Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree – some enemies are genuinely creepy (Bandai Namco)

Take everything slowly and sensibly though and you can start to pick up the many new items the expansion introduces, including several new weapon types, such as thrusting shields, perfume bottles, great katanas, and martial arts. There are new spells (the new Heal from Afar is very handy for anyone wanting to play the part of healer in co-op), new skills, and new Ashes of War – as well as new talismans and new crystal tears for the Flask of Wondrous Physick.

Most people playing the expansion have probably already maxed out their health flasks and other upgrades, but the Land of Shadow provides new collectables which can increase your damage and defence, and that of your Spirit Ashes, but which has no effect when you’re back in the Lands Between.

The occasional cut scene gives a vague sense of what’s driving the story, which involves the Golden Order trying to purge the original inhabitants of the world, but as usual for From the details can only be discerned from reading item descriptions, which, also as usual, are purposefully ambiguous.

However, there are a number of friendly new characters who are attempting to do the godlike Miquella’s bidding, following his golden signs across the landscape to try and discover where he’s gone. Most have a quest associated with them, as they perform a similar to role to the characters in the Roundtable Hold, but there’s lots of other strange and dangerous sorts too, including dragon worshippers and Lovecraftian style cultists.

As well as the new open world area and many smaller, optional dungeons there are also three new legacy dungeons, which are the equivalent of something like Stormveil Castle in the main game. The level design for these is excellent, with one particularly clever one having multiple entrances so that it feels very non-linear – From games are often compared to Castlevania but this is perhaps the closest they’ve come yet.

The only real disappointment is that rather than fixing the glitch where it takes an extra second for ground textures to load in, once you respawn, it seems to take even longer now. We’re also confused as to whether the game even tells you what to do to start the expansion. We got a PR message when we started, so maybe in the final release that will change to an explanation that you need to defeat Mohg, but otherwise nothing else tells you where to go or why.

You could argue that Shadow Of The Erdtree doesn’t introduce anything substantially new but there are far more new weapon types, and weird new items, than you’d normally expect for a mere expansion. Although it’s hard to tell for sure, the map feels like roughly a fifth the size of the main game – which is exactly what From promised.

Wild invention is not something you would ever reasonably expect from an expansion, but this goes above and beyond in terms of the sheer amount of content and the size of the map. There are dozens of new enemies and bosses, and all are exactly as well designed as you’d expect of From.

Shadow Of The Erdtree offers few hints about From’s future but it does cement the fact that they’re currently at the very top of their game and it’s difficult to see how they’ll ever top the monumental achievement that Elden Ring has now become.

Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree DLC review summary

In Short: Exactly as engrossing and meticulously designed as you’d expect of FromSoftware but even by their standards this is an enthralling slice of DLC that underlines and enhances the achievements of the original.

Pros: Mountains of new content, including a whole new map, multiple new weapon types and armour sets, and some typically excellent bosses. New legacy dungeons are excellent.

Cons: No major gameplay innovations. Difficultly level feels more variable than the parent game and how to access the DLC is needlessly obscure.

Score: 9/10

Formats: PlayStation 5 (reviewed), Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, and PC
Price: £34.99
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: FromSoftware
Release Date: 21st June 2024
Age Rating: 16

A scene from Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree
Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree – nothing worth doing is easy (Bandai Namco)

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A compilation image of xQc appearing overwhelmed by Twitch's new Power-ups features
Power-ups is not Twitch’s most popular feature among streamers (Twitter/Twitch)

A new feature on Twitch lets fans take over streams with messages and emojis, but xQc and other creators want it gone.

One of the livestreaming world’s biggest stars, xQc, who signed a £55 million non-exclusivity deal with Kick last year and boasts 12 million followers on Twitch, is not too impressed with the newest chat feature on Twitch.

The new Power-ups feature is supposed to be fun, according to Twitch, by letting fans send paid-for messages and emojis with effects that make them stand out more.

Bombarded with emojis filling his livestream, an overwhelmed xQc quickly removed the feature by increasing the amount fans have to pay to use it, and he’s far from the only streamer to criticise it.

When the feature first went live, xQc’s entire broadcast was filled with emojis that floated across the screen for everyone to see.

‘What the f*** is all that,’ xQc exclaimed, as he asked a friend how to remove it.

He found his way into the settings, where he put the minimum donation amount to use the feature at $10,000.

‘Dude, this is insane,’ he said, as the invasive emojis quickly disappeared with the new donation setting.

xQc with the new Power-ups feature on Twitch
Welcome to the emoji show (Twitch)

In a blog post about the new Power-ups feature, chief monetisation officer at Twitch, Mike Minton, said:

‘I’m excited to announce that you can now level up your favorite streams using Power-ups. Power-ups are designed to provide fun and interactive ways to influence streams using Bits, all while supporting the streamers you love.’

The Power-ups feature comes with three new ways to interact with streamers.

One is by letting fans donate to streamers with messages that come with an effect attached. Another is to send an emoji across the screen for everyone to see. A third way is to send a giant version of an emoji into the chat.

xQc isn’t the only streamer left unimpressed by the Power-ups feature, with PirateSoftware replying to Twitch’s announcement tweet, complaining that there is no way to turn it off.

Although Twitch has responded to streamers praising the new feature since it launched, it hasn’t addressed the complaints asking for an off button.

The new Power-ups features cost fans roughly 45p for a chat message with an effect, and £4 for an on-screen celebration emoji.

Twitch chat feeds are already difficult to read, especially for bigger streamers who have lots of chatters at any time, and the new Power-ups feature isn’t helping in keeping track of what is said.

With the on-screen celebration emojis, it’s especially difficult to see what’s happening, as it can clog up the whole screen.

An example of the Twitch Power-ups chat
Stand out in the chat with cats with sunglasses (Twitch)

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Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree screenshot
Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree – no one is being laid off once it’s finished (Bandai Namco)

FromSoftware president Hidetaka Miyazaki has quoted former Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata while assuring fans there will be no layoffs at his company.

We’re halfway through the year and the constant stories about publisher layoffs still show no sign of ending. Just this week we’ve seen the closure of Alone In The Dark developer Pieces Interactive and the revelation that EA paid its executives £47.3 million, despite laying off 670 people earlier in the year.

This has all being going on for over a year now and yet no Japanese company has been affected. The only exceptions have been the Microsoft-owned Tango Gameworks and Sony’s Japan Studio, where the PlayStation division is run like an American business and is headquartered in California.

Most Japanese companies have avoided commenting on the issue, since it doesn’t affect them, but Dark Souls and Elden Ring creator Hidetaka Miyazaki, who is also president of FromSoftware, has stated that: ‘This is not something I would wish on the staff at FromSoftware in a million years. I’m pretty sure our parent company Kadokawa understands that and shares that view.’

Although a number of outside companies, including Sony and Tencent, have minor stakes in From, the majority shareholder is Japanese media company Kadokawa Corporation, whose main business is manga and anime.

They’ve never seemed to be a malign influence and have ensured that From do not become a console exclusive company owned by Sony or Microsoft, but there’s always a worry of what might happen if times get tough.

However, like most Japanese developers recently, FromSoftware has not only been hiring but has also instituted significant pay rises.

It’s not that Japanese companies are charities and American companies are not but the pay rises, which have also occurred at publishers such as Square Enix and Capcom, were a response to historically low wages at many Japanese studios.

Japanese employment laws are also much stricter than those in the US, and while it’s possible to shut down whole studios it’s all but impossible to layoff large percentages of them and still leave the company in operation, which is what’s been happening in the US.

In comparing the attitudes of the two countries many have referenced former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who twice took a pay cut – as did the whole executive board, to a lesser extent – when things were looking bad during the Wii U era.

‘I think it was the old ex-president of Nintendo, Iwata-san, who said that ‘People who are afraid of losing their jobs are afraid of making good things.’ I’m paraphrasing that, but I totally share this view,’ Miyazaki told PC Gamer.

‘I think it’s true. And I think the people at Kadokawa, our parent company, understand that I hold this view very strongly. While we can’t say 100% – we can’t say with complete certainty what the future’s going to hold for From and Kadokawa – at least as long as this company is my responsibility, that’s something I would not let happen. So hopefully our players and our fans can take a little bit of assurance from that.’

That’s certainly not something you’d hear Xbox boss Phil Spencer or the head of EA saying, despite neither of their companies having anything close to financial problems.

The long-awaited Elden Ring DLC expansion Shadow Of The Erdtree is due to be released this month but after that it’s unclear what FromSoftware is working on, especially as they’re now big enough to work on two major projects at once.

Fans have long been hoping for a remaster or remake of PlayStation 4 exclusive classic Bloodborne – or a PC release – but despite Miyazaki stating that it and the first Dark Souls are his personal favourites, of the games he’s worked on, there’s still no evidence that it will return.

Hidetaka Miyazaki
Hidetaka Miyazaki doesn’t want to sack anyone (FromSoftware)

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Amouranth wearing a red hat and white t shirt with a yellow scrunchie around her wrist
Is Amouranth joining Kick full-time as Kick co-owner? (YouTube)

Fans think Amouranth is coming back to Twitch for good or signing on as Kick co-owner on June 20, after posting a mysterious Twitter video.

Amouranth has already become the most watched female streamer of the year, not including VTubers, remaining relevant despite having started live broadcasting over 10 years ago.

Since then she’s been a trendsetter on platforms such as Twitch and Kick, with her cosplay and hot tub streams, but Amouranth has also been busy investing her millions into everything from fruit orchards to AI versions of herself that will be your girlfriend.

The streamer now seems to be on the verge of revealing another deal, as a video on Twitter sees her sign a document, which has fans thinking she’s coming back to Twitch full-time… or even becoming co-owner of rival Kick.

In the video Amouranth reads through and signs a document that is mostly covered with strips of black tape, but you can see the text: ‘Absolutely super top secret. NDAs [Non-disclosure agreements] required by all parties.’

Other words can be read such as, ‘Stable cleaning supplies,’ ‘Orange juice,’ ‘When completed, please change your Riot Games account,’ and ‘Use chlorine in your hot tubs.’

The document also includes the name of Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, but misspelled as Jeff Besos, who through his e-retailer owns Twitch.

It all seems to be a joke, and the document is almost certainly not real, but the implication is that Amouranth has signed up to something that she’s going to reveal later.

Fans are now discussing what the announcement might be, with Kick streamer The Joker, saying:

‘Did Amouranth just announce her return to Twitch…. AFTER receiving that Kick car?’ referring to a green Jeep she was recently gifted by the streaming platform.

‘You forgot to cover up Jeff’s name. Welcome back to Twitch,’ says Mike on Twitter.

One other guess is an exclusive Amazon product line, as there’s a clothing rack behind her in the video. Another is that she’s signing on as a new Kick co-owner, because of the green pen she’s using.

The document also says, ‘This information shall be shared publicly on June 20, 2024,’ and gives Amouranth the title of ‘owner’, of whatever the document is referring to.

If she does return to Twitch though she wouldn’t be the owner, so the most likely theory is that she will become a co-owner of Kick.

Not only did she recently receive a car from the streaming platform, but the contract is signed by two unknown ‘owners’ at the bottom, and the streaming platform is owned by Bijan Tehrani and Ed Craven.

If that’s the case, it would probably mean that Amouranth, who doesn’t have an exclusivity deal to stream in one place or another, becomes a full-time Kick streamer and leaves Twitch entirely.

Amouranth's contract with part's of the text blacked out
Good luck reading between the lines (Twitter)

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Metroid Prime Remastered screenshot
Metroid Prime Remastered – will a new game be announced today? (Nintendo)

The Tuesday letters page tries to explain the age rating for Still Wakes The Deep, as one reader offers a warning about Elden Ring’s DLC.

To join in with the discussions yourself email

Direct predictions
Glad to see we finally got a date for the Nintendo Direct, although I’m not sure why it had to be only a day before. I seem to remember the E3 ones used to be announced many weeks in advance. I agree with the logic that at 40 minutes long there’s got to be something major in there. Nintendo knows better than to bore people for that long with only minor games. After all, they invented this whole format.

Metroid Prime 4 seems by far the most likely candidate and I think a release this year followed by a revamped version for the Switch 2 makes perfect sense. What better way to prove the new console’s power if the game looks significantly better on it? So I think it will be definitely be shown today, for a Christmas release.

It reminds me of a rumour a few months ago that said Metroid Prime 4 will be out this year, along with two Pokémon games. I can see that happening or maybe this rumour about a top-down Zelda remaster or new game? There’s no way Nintendo is going to go five years without a new Zelda game and they always get someone else to do the remasters, so it could easily be ready by now.

Oh Mother
I’m not expecting huge announcements in the Nintendo Direct tomorrow, on the basis that Switch is in its twilight era, but a localised version of Mother 3, or maybe a couple of Goemon games being added to the Nintendo Switch Online subscription would be enough to get me very excited.

I don’t think that will happen, but you never know.
John Atkinson

GC: Goemon isn’t impossible, but Mother 3 is several leagues below Hollow Knight Silksong in terms of likelihood.

Beyond Ultimate
My bet for what they’ll do with the next Super Smash Bros. is that it’ll definitely be a Mario Kart 8 Deluxe port solution. They can add a few new characters, and maybe a new single-player mode, but I really don’t see what they can do beyond that, given that Ultimate is pretty much perfect for what it’s trying to do.

In this day and age, of multiplayer games lasting forever, Super Smash Bros. should really just become a live service game, but I don’t know that Nintendo would do that. They’d probably think that a new game would sell just as well, even if it was just an enhanced remaster. They may be right too but with every passing year I wonder if that’s the way that all sequels will go, even Nintendo ones.

Just business
As a fan of the original Alone In The Dark I bought the recent reboot and while it had some problems I thought it was generally well done and a very authentic homage to the first game. So, I was very saddened to hear that the developer has already been shut down, yet another victim of the awful Embrace Group.

And then we find out how much EA is paying its execs to come up with the great idea of laying off hundreds of developers. I know it’s not just gaming that acts like this, it’s just business, but it’s really disgusting to hear about. No wonder most developers that see even a hint of success go off and start their own studio or become indie.

I used to think making games for a living would be the ultimate job, now it just seems like a nightmare. My sympathies to all those affected.

Passive violence
Not that I’m a fan of ratings and censorship but I believe I can explain Still Wakes The Deep getting only a 16 rating, despite using the c-world and being inspired by The Thing. I think that swearing only has a small influence on the age rating and that it’s basically not being penalised at all for the violence.

You said there isn’t that much gore in it, which makes me think that the reason that otherwise inoffensive games like Assassin’s Creed haven an 18 is because you take part in the violence, you don’t just watch it. That seems pretty silly given how movies are, but I think it’s just a hang-up from people in power still not really understanding video games.

I have to admit I am surprised that multiple uses of the c-word didn’t get an auto-18 rating. I’m not even sure that GTA has used that word before. But yeah, I doubt they play/watch these things properly, especially when it’s more of an indie title.

Second time round
Just a heads-up for anyone who is planning on getting the Elden Ring DLC to check their save files, even if they did beat Mogh first time around.

I redownloaded the game over the weekend to get back into the hang of it and make sure I had beaten the necessary boss (yes, according to my trophies) but what I didn’t realise was that I had started a New Game+ after finishing the first time, and as such was right back at the beginning.

Now I need to play through significant parts of the game just to reach the point where I can start the DLC and will almost certainly not be ready by release day. At least my character is stupidly over-levelled for the early sections, so I’m making faster progress than first time around.
TGN Professor

GC: This is exactly the position we were in. The problem with New Game+ is it deactivates all the fast travel sites, plus you have to beat Radahn and Morgott again if you go the Consecrated Snowfield route. It didn’t take as long as we first feared but it is still several hours of work. Also, don’t assume you’re over-levelled for the DLC itself…

Intractable problem
I really don’t see the point in continuing Starfield with more DLC. The game is fundamentally not fun to play, with boring combat and space combat, an uninteresting plot, and forgettable characters. That’s not a good foundation for a game Bethesda is talking about getting support for a decade or whatever.

I’d much rather they switch all resources to The Elder Scrolls 6 and Fallout 5 but I think they’re too stubborn to admit that Starfield is just nowhere in that same league. I don’t see how they’re going to fix any of those problems and I’m not sure if they’re too proud to even admit the problem exist.

Episodic gaming
I hadn’t heard the rumour about Spider-Man 3 being split into two parts before, but that’s an interesting way to address the problem of rising costs. My question is whether each part will be as long as Spider-Man 2 or half the length? If it’s going to be shorter then the game will basically be twice the price of the previous game, so the guy that wants to spend £150 for a new game essentially gets his wish.

If each part is the same as a regular game though I’d say that’s a good way to both save money and get games out more quickly. Would it have made sense to split Elden Ring in two and sell it that way? Probably not but something like Baldur’s Gate 3 could easily have been split into three and sold at a third of the main game.

You’d essentially be getting a paid-for demo of the full game, which seems like something that would appeal to publishers. It seems less wasteful for people not sure they want to pay more and means they waste less money on a game they never beat – because they can’t sell it on because it’s digital.

It’ll probably be a less interesting movie style part 1 and 2 though, and Sony won’t bother using it as a way to change how games are sold but I think it could work that way.

Inbox also-rans
Is it worth buying Super Smash Bros. Ultimate if I’m going to be playing it for the single-player mode only?
LoRd SiNn

GC: That’s not an easy question to answer but we’d say yes… if you enjoy the majority of the characters and are a big Nintendo fan in general.

RE: The Inbox letter about a PS5 Pro. If it manages to make Gran Turismo 7/PlayStation VR2 even a little bit better than it already is, I would buy one. It’s easily my biggest time sink over the last year.

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