GamesThe best and worst of March 2024

The best and worst of March 2024

If the releases of Rise of the Ronin, Dragon’s Dogma 2 and Princess Peach: Showtime! On the same day they seemed little to you, the month of March has also come with its obligatory quota of controversies, dismissals and questionable decisions (or not) by studios and companies. Today, we take a look at the best and the worst that this third month of 2024 has left us.

The worst: The DLC of Dragon’s Dogma 2

Yes, it is nothing new that Capcom includes small paid additions to “save time” in its recent releases. He did it with Devil May Cry V, with the remakes of Resident Evil, with Monster Hunter World and Rise and, if you hurry me, with the original Dragon’s Dogma. But the controversy – partly with a touch of misinformation – had a good reason. And Dragon’s Dogma 2 is a game that shines for making risky creative decisions, the kind that generate friction for users, such as limiting fast travel. As in that popular quote (“these are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others”), Dragon’s Dogma 2 has firm ideas that don’t seem to matter as much as the fact of earning a handful of euros more from selling consumables, and That’s what hurts: that the launch of such an exemplary game in the artistic aspect is marred by such stingy and, ultimately, stupid market practices.

The best: Sequels that will not exist and cockroaches that fly

In these times we live in, in which it seems that companies and developers are increasingly going against the grain with respect to what users want and search for, we feel even more like a breath of fresh air to those studios that not only listen to the players, but rather they establish rich and healthy communication and feedback dynamics with them. It is not surprising, then, that when Larian Studios announced that it was not going to make a sequel to its acclaimed and extremely successful Baldur’s Gate 3, fans received it not with hate, not with disappointment, but with love; The studio has earned the trust of those who have enjoyed this RPG, and therefore, its followers will support them in the decisions they make. Something similar will happen, I hope, when Arrowhead Games, developer of Helldivers 2, takes on its next project. Arrowhead uses its communication with users not only to obtain feedback about the game, but as part of the game’s mechanics. With this, Helldivers 2 continues to be one of the most fascinating phenomena of the year and in large part it is due to the humor, affection and transparency of the studio towards its users.

The worst: The extra wave of layoffs in March

March means the end of the fiscal year for many companies. Squeezing until the last minute to fatten those end-of-year results, many companies have decided that this month was the time to lay off many of their employees. It is almost impossible to collect all the cases, but there have been in Creative Assembly, in Deviation Games, in Respawn, in Gearbox, in Velan Studios, in Something Wicked, in Certain Affinity and in more.

The best: The mischievous Pomeranian and his friends

Almost at the end of the month, Bandai Namco has published three free games on Steam. Despite being small projects, perhaps you have heard about them because a specific title, called Doronko Wanko, has gone quite viral due to its curious aesthetics and fun premise: we are a little Pomeranian dog who has to destroy and dirty his parents’ house. owners to get points. The other two games, Nottolot and Boomeroad, are also small concepts that brim with creativity without excessive pretensions. In a similar way to what Game Freak has been doing for a few years now, the games are the result of Bandai’s own novice developer training program, which aims to give experience and ease in development to its newly hired developers before entering the larger projects. That these games have been well received, and that more and more companies are committed to giving opportunities to junior developers is always excellent news, and I hope many others take an example from this.

Worst: The Adult Swim Games Conflict

Earlier this month, several developers who had published games under Warner Bros.’ Adult Swim Games label received notifications stating that their titles would be removed from the platform within 60 days, without much further explanation. Specifically, the situation was reported by the developers of Soundodger, Small Radios Big Televisions and Fist Puncher in an interview with Polygon. The serious part of the matter is that the publisher refused to return the publishing and distribution rights of the game to its creators. At the moment, sixteen games have been affected, but nothing indicates that there could not be many more. Everything indicates that Warner Bros. is simply looking to close the label, to which titles such as Duck Game, Death’s Gambit, Pool Panic and Rain World belong. And those who lose, as is often the case, are the users and the creators.

The best and worst of March 2024

The best and the worst: The resurrection of Inazuma Eleven

If you don’t have any kind of history with the Inazuma Eleven saga, you probably don’t mind the fact that a beta of Inazuma Eleven: Victory Road has been published, the next installment of the saga for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC . However, the franchise’s situation was, to say the least, uncertain until just a little while ago. To begin with, this is the first main installment of the anime football saga since 2010 – or 2013, if we count the spin-offs, the GO! series, for Nintendo 3DS – and, to continue, the beta has been translated into Castilian. The Inazuma Eleven saga, which had had a complex publication history in the West for about a decade, seemed about to disappear completely when Level-5 announced in 2020 the closure of its divisions outside of Japan. Whatever made them change their minds is welcome, because this Victory Road is just the first step in a new wave of releases that the studio has planned internationally, such as Decapolice, Fantasy Life or the new Professor Layton installment. The bitter point is that, the truth is, the translation of the beta is quite mediocre, sometimes being absolutely incomprehensible.

The worst: The industry crisis hits Spanish studios hard

Although we usually focus on the effect that massive layoffs have on foreign studios, March has been a particularly hard month for the Spanish industry in this sense. At the beginning of the month, Pendulo Studios (Blacksad: Under the Skin, Tintin: Cigars of the Pharaoh) announced an ERE that would affect 43% of the workforce after a conflict with the French publisher Microids. In line with this, Novarama Studios (Invizimals) was facing its imminent closure after entering bankruptcy. Finally, Smilegate Barcelona, ​​originally founded as a branch of the Korean company responsible for Lost Ark and Crossfire, closed its doors; Its fifty employees were also laid off.

The best: Stardew Valley will never die

Stardew Valley is almost ten years old, but it just surpassed its peak player count on Steam. Perhaps it’s definitive proof that when a game is great, it will be great forever. The quintessential contemporary farming game has released a new update that has been more than enough for everyone to remember how much they liked it and come back, en masse, to see what’s new. Playing new releases, the latest, what’s hot, is cool; but it’s cooler when, sometimes, a title appears that will be our happy place forever, even if the years go by.

The best and worst of March 2024

Worst: Whatever Atlus did with Persona 3

Atlus is one of my favorite companies in the video game industry when it comes to the quality of their artistic creation and the riskiness and originality of their ideas. But unfortunately, it’s also one of my least favorite companies when it comes to market posting policies. Making a remake of Persona 3 was an excellent idea: it’s not just that the original PlayStation 2 game is already a few years old, but the differences between its two main versions, the FES and the Portable, make the game more difficult to access for newbies. Not only has Atlus not taken the opportunity to launch Persona 3 Reload to turn it into a full version that combines both contents, but it has revealed that part of the content of the FES version will be added as a paid element through a season pass that On top of that, it only includes a couple of cosmetics and extra songs for the menus. This is perhaps the antithesis of the type of preservation and evolution of an artistic work that a remake should be.

The best: The history of video games good, but good

But this month we have seen two small curiosities regarding, this time, the good preservation of video games. On the one hand, Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story, the new work from Digital Eclipse that, as they already did with The Making of Karateka, is an incredible perspective that not only adds light to the history of the studio, but catalogs and offers all its games in an orderly and understandable way (our colleague Jaime told you in more detail in his analysis). On the other hand, Electronic Arts recently decided to release several versions of some of its most classic titles on Steam at super discounted prices. What does this mean? Well, among other things, playing Command & Conquer is no longer an absolute nightmare of platforms and versions, which isn’t even that bad.

Cursed Artifact Corner: Jim Ryan’s Funko Pop

I don’t have much to comment on this because the image speaks for itself: PlayStation Stars has added a new collectible to celebrate Jim Ryan’s departure from the company’s leadership. It’s… a thing.

The best and worst of March 2024

It’s not goodbye, it’s goodbye: The death of Akira Toriyama

On March 8 we learned of the death of Akira Toriyama, one of the most influential figures not only in manga, not only in anime, not only in video games, but perhaps in the history of art, in general. From Dr. Slump to Dragon Ball, through Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger and more, the world stopped for a moment to remember the beautiful moments experienced with his work, which has inspired so many other artists, players and readers alike. For a little while nothing mattered more than sharing those good moments with others, remembering the beautiful winks to his children in Chrono Trigger or how much Goku and company fascinated and fascinated us, and perhaps that is the definitive proof that Toriyama will survive to always.

Daily Global Times
Daily Global Times
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