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As usual, it was very difficult to "Sia the game year" 🇸🇪

Written by Jonas on the 11th of July 2024 at 22:12

As you may know, at Gamereactor we run something we call Sia Game Year every New Year, where you have to try to guess what will happen during the new game year. It's often incredibly difficult and what feels like a given can only be laughably outdated for a few months.

Now that we've reached about halftime, I notice that two out of three readers think that Nintendo will announce a new 3D Mario this year. Given that they won't be talking about Switch 2 until early next year, this seems very unlikely right now – but hope is alive. When asked which Activision Blizzard game will be the first to come to Game Pass, an overwhelming majority believed in something Call of Duty-related, and only 25% in the correct answer which is Diablo 4.

Just over 56% of you also thought that any of Everwild, Perfect Dark, South of Midnight, State of Decay 3 and/or Fable would premiere this year, but that obviously won't be the case, they will all come out in 2025 or later. A third also thought that the next Bond would be presented in the first half of the year (which was not the case) and almost half expected it to take place in the last six months of the year instead. And so it can be, even if MGM doesn't seem to be in a hurry at all...

Also note that fewer than 8% thought Nintendo wouldn't show the Switch 2 this year. Of course, it can still happen during the autumn, but there is a great risk that just over 92% will get this one wrong. Regarding Nintendo in particular, 65% of you thought that Nintendo would announce a new Animal Crossing or Mario Kart this year. I think these numbers would have looked significantly different this year.

Just over 61% thought that Bioware would not release any new game this year at all, while 37% still thought that Dragon Age: Veilguard would be released this year. And those who chose this option seem to be right, while 63% are thus eliminated.

Finally, it's worth mentioning that only 18% of you thought we'd be handing out a maximum of one full pot (a ten) in 2024. And this currently looks like it will come true, as Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth just got a ten. If there is another one in the fall, it is instead the 49% who believed in two full pots who will be right, and if there are two tens (or more), it was 33% of you who voted for this option.

Just before New Year's we report how it went, but as I said... Predicting the year is really hard!

As usual, it was very difficult to "Sia the game year"

This is just a small selection of all the questions. The complete result will be reported in late December.

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House of the Dragon feels like the end of Game of Thrones 🇸🇪

Written by Jonas on the 11th of July 2024 at 01:54

Many people really disliked the ending of Game of Thrones and it's easy to see why (yes, now it's going to be spoilers ). From the time George R.R. Martin's books ended, it was noticeable how the series kind of took on a different tone, and as the popularity grew, so did the cowardice. It became less violent, less naked and fewer people were allowed to die (and when the crowd favorite died, he had to be brought back to life).

And right here I think we find House of the Dragon. It should be said right away that the script is sharper here than at the end of Game of Thrones, there are clearer red threads and people are not moved across the world as if they had teleportation machines. But... it's this feeling that it's a David Eddings book made into a film rather than something raw by George R.R. Martin.

In the last episode, it starts to get closer to war and we get to see the first real battles between dragons, but what should have been a real epic battle was quickly decimated to a mass of soldiers on the edge of a forest who implicitly fell victim without any real fighting taking place. The dragons were mostly filmed with the rider's face zoomed in as if they were riding around with a selfie stick in search of cool Tiktok clips, and it looked more like they were cycling around Lake Vättern rather than riding a fighting dragon.

Everything was disconnected and totally unexciting. What should have been a really powerful battle that made me as a viewer feel that war is too damn bad, but fantasy battles are so much fun, turned out to be nothing. HBO needs to stop making this Game of Thrones spinoff feel like family entertainment. The series' storytelling and acting are consistently really good, but it's framed in a way that never really feels like there's anything at stake.

Without detailed beheadings, King Joffrey's shenanigans, cameras that don't disappear every time skin is shown , Ramsay Bolton's sadism and leaden battles that feel like worthy contenders to the intro from Gladiator - it's hard to get involved in the same way. It was precisely because it was so dirty, unexpected and "real" that Game of Thrones stole our hearts in the first place. And it was when this disappeared that we started complaining, but even so, I feel that House of the Dragon has more in common with the end of Game of Thrones rather than the first four brilliant seasons. 

House of the Dragon feels like the end of Game of Thrones

The ideal perspective from which to depict epic dragon battles according to HBO.

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Baldur's Gate IV is probably just to forget 🇸🇪

Written by Jonas on the 10th of July 2024 at 02:37

It took almost ten years from the first faltering steps until Baldur's Gate III was released last year. So the journey was long, but most people probably agree that it was worth the effort. 

Now that it's clear that Larian is dropping out of everything Dungeons & Dragon-related (which includes Baldur's Gate), it's not without me thinking about what will happen with the sequel. If it took nine years to get the third one so good, it will probably take over nine years for the sequel (game development tends to take longer and longer).

But we can hope for an equivalent level of ambition in 2033 approximately. But can't you develop faster than that then, a lot has already been done? Yes, but since Larian is no longer around, it is new people who will try to interpret their heritage and understand why they did what they did.

That alone will be a completely massive project. After all, no one wants to risk developing a game for ten years and then getting a flop on their neck. But I also don't think that Hasbro executives have the same patience again. Now they know how well the series can sell and probably want more of the good stuff in quick - and you can suspect that they also want to get in some microtransactions and other things.

In short, I think there is an imminent risk that Baldur's Gate III will be a completely unique one-off we will never see the likes of again. There is simply too much that needs to come together.

It takes a new developer with the same talent as Larian, a publisher willing to pay a large team a full salary for ten years (with no guaranteed profit), managers who don't want to speed up the work with shortcuts, managers who don't want to poke in at least a little live service fashion, and more.

In short, enjoy Baldur's Gate III as much as you can. We will get to play more good role-playing games in the future, but I don't believe that there would be a Baldur's Gate IV that lives up to the third game.

... and for anyone who thinks that "Larian might say yes again later on", it means that part four will be released anyway much later because they will now be investing in other things for a number of years to come.

Baldur's Gate IV is probably just to forget

A Baldur's Gate IV that matches the third place I don't think we will ever experience - but I hope I'm wrong.

Wish the Zelda movie had been cartoonish 🇸🇪

Written by Jonas on the 9th of July 2024 at 02:30

Just before Lucia last year, we published a news story about Youtube user Rwanlink's cartoon Zelda video, which reminded us of what it could look like if Studio Ghibli had made a Zelda movie.

As you probably know, there is actually a Zelda reel on the way, but this is a feature film and thus neither cartoon nor animated. Yesterday, some of my best friends and I had a discussion about the upcoming Zelda movie, and it turned out pretty quickly that everyone was a little skeptical about the idea of turning Zelda into a feature film. 

Everyone would have preferred a Japanese 80s-style cartoon (like the cartoon Zelda images that were produced for Zelda II in particular), or a CG-animated reel. Of course, we all want to be wrong and get something hugely surprised by a real great movie - but I have such a hard time seeing that happening.

That Hollywood (Maze Runner creator Wes Ball is directing with a script from Pokémon: Detective Pikachu author Derek Connolly) could recreate Zelda in a way that feels genuine is simply too unlikely. A talking actor like Link with a green hood on his head just screams with cheesiness.

Again, I hope I'm completely wrong, but it would probably have felt much safer to get an animated movie instead. Either cartoon or CG animated? Immediately, Link could look the right way and Hyrule is portrayed convincingly - or what do you say?

Wish the Zelda movie had been cartoonish

This is what a cartoon Link would look like if I had to decide, the picture is from the Zelda II marketing with period Japanese design.

I like Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F 🇸🇪

Written by Jonas on the 8th of July 2024 at 03:24

Last week, as you know, we were able to present our review of Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F, where Petter was not impressed and gave a rating of four. During the weekend, I have been watching the comeback of the old Detroit cop, and feel much more entertained.

Even if the film doesn't quite manage to shake it off when the "Netflix feeling" (unfortunately no compliment), I'm still impressed by how the film team manages to offer just the right amount of nostalgia, combined enough new things for it to become a natural part of the series.

Sure, the pace is a little slower, and car chases where Foley razes a major American city to the ground are now exclusively yawns, but Eddie Murphy looks like he's having fun and it's contagious. That doesn't mean I would have given a top rating, but it's a better movie than part three and a dear reunion that ultimately leaves me wanting another movie. 

I like Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F

It could definitely have been better - but it definitely could have been a lot worse.