Weird Gaming News, January 2021 - ArticlePatrick Day-Childs , posted on 29 January 2021 / 2,725 Views
Happy end of January! We’ve already seen two revolutions: a new vaccine is in the third phase of testing and I got a new TV. In terms of video game releases, Hitman 3 was probably the most notable one, but if you’re an Xbox or PC player it’s worth noting that the Yakuza Remastered Collection has now been released and is on Game Pass.
But let’s take a look at some of the odder things that have been happening during this already mental month.
New Atari Can Run Cyberpunk... Kinda
Atari’s latest entry in the gaming hardware market, the Atari VCS, is a console-PC hybrid that was crowdfunded back in 2018 and released to backers last December. Naturally, the most sensible way for some backers to stress-test the platform was to see if it could run CD Projekt RED's most recent release, Cyberpunk 2077.
The Atari VCS has a dedicated PC mode, which YouTuber Kevin Kenson used to run the game. The result? It boots up, the fan howls with pain, and the second any movement is attempted the frame rate drops and the game begins to seize up.
Razer’s Face Mask is Everything You’d Expect
Razer, a company not known for its subtlety, has released a face mask! Naturally the mask, called Project Hazel, has RGB lights, but more notably it also has voice amplification. Just to make you extra annoying.
The mouth part is also transparent, so others can see your mouth move, and it has a charging case with a UV light that kills bacteria while it charges.
Project Hazel is classed as an N95 Respirator, which isn't recommended for the general public by the US Government, but only on the basis that it's trying to not let them go to waste.
It’s made of recycled plastic, it’s (obviously) reusable, and has a special silicone lining to make it more comfortable, so it pretty much sounds like it's everything a top end mask should be.
Nintendo Laughed at Microsoft
It recently came to light that, during the early days of the original Xbox, Microsoft tried to buy out Nintendo. The two firms even met to discuss the matter. Kevin Bachus, the former director of third-party relations for Xbox, recalled the meeting:
"Steve [Ballmer, ex-Microsoft CEO] made us go meet with Nintendo to see if they would consider being acquired. They just laughed their asses off. Like, imagine an hour of somebody just laughing at you. That was kind of how that meeting went."
There was also an attempt to convince Nintendo to engage in a joint venture, where Microsoft would build hardware that would play Nintendo games.
Oh, and Microsoft also tried to purchase Midway, Square, and EA. None of which worked out. Still, even without those companies in its pocket, the original Xbox managed to produce some great exclusives, like Steel Battalion, Jade Empire, Ninja Gaiden, and of course Halo.
Koei Tecmo Stop Fans Getting Jiggy With It
Ah yes, Dead or Alive. The fighting game series known for its in-depth story and complex gameplay. These are the core elements that drove the series to generate volleyball and holiday special spin-offs.
So why would anyone even consider making a porno out of a Dead or Alive game using mods? Well that at any rate was Koei Tecmo's view; the company is now suing the sellers of a DVD which uses nude modded characters from several Dead or Alive games.
Amusingly, when Dead or Alive 5 first came to PC the game's developer, Team Ninja, asked people to enjoy the title with "good moral and manner". Naturally, in less than 24 hours nude mods had been created for it.
Doomguy and Isabelle Have a Better Relationship Than You
Doom Eternal and Animal Crossing: New Horizons launched on the same day. This coincidence resulted in some fans pairing Doomguy and Isabelle together and having them go out on (usually) sweet dates, such as the one below:
Now, it’s easy for brands to get super cringey when they try to get on the same page as fans, especially over stories like this. But Bethesda gently reminded us that the two are still an item. It was a nice way to start 2021 - shame it's gone downhill ever since.
No Dowry for Jane Austen MMORPG
Sadly it looks like Ever, Jane will never land on our laps, my dear lords and ladies. The game, which you've probably never heard about, was Kickstarted to the tune of $110,000. But a particularly rough year meant that sadly the severs have had to shut down.
The more I read about Ever, Jane though, the more interested I became. It seemed like a real labour of love. It's sad too, considering that if the developer had held out a little longer - and with the right marketing plan - it could have rode on the coattails Bridgerton, which became Netflix’s biggest ever show.
Ever, Jane focussed on allowing you to create your own romance and drama, something we rarely see in video games outside of the odd clan dispute. Arguably, the reason for the game’s lack of success comes from the fact that development team - 3 Turns Production - simply took on too large a project.
3 Turns is open to selling the game off though, so if you’re sat on a pile of gold and wondering what to do with it then you could always take over.
Pro-Vaccine SCS Accidentally Becomes Anti-Vax?
Translating can be tricky. And, occasionally, it can really screw you over if you get it wrong. This is something that the developer of the Euro Truck Simulator series, SCS Software, has recently learned the hard way.
It created a new in-game campaign for Euro Truck Simulator 2 called Hauling Hope! Players took on the role of truckers delivering Covid-19 vaccines across Europe.
Some fans complained that SCS were adding politics to the game, so SCS responded with a press release, which said:
"We do not take a stand neither for or against vaccines, we just wanted to express our appreciation and support for every real truck driver out there who have been facing a very challenging times since pandemic situation began!"
This annoyed even more people. But it turns out that there was a translation error and the statement was meant to say:
"No matter if you stand for vaccines or against them, these truckers still have to work really hard and we wanted to give them their well-deserved 15 minutes of fame."
Apparently, the original press release wasn’t double checked by anyone. Finally, SCS sent out an e-mail confirming its stance:
"We would like to clarify that we fully recognize the threats posed by COVID-19, and the effects and turmoil that the pandemic has caused around the globe. We firmly believe that the way forward is to have faith in science, to adhere to recommended COVID guidelines and to practice good personal hygiene."
So the take away? Either double-check everyone’s work, or don’t try and do nice things. I'm not sure which one is more appropriate yet.
Of course, there's also the whole GameStop Wall Street controversy, but I like to try and cover stuff people may have missed. Also I don’t understand stocks or shares. Like, at all. That's why I use a betting odds calculator. So I didn't relish the prospect of explaining what was happening on that front.
As always, thanks for reading -- every view and comment means a lot to me! You can read December 2020’s weird news round-up here.