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Week in Views - The hunt for the new Star Wars game, Xbox goes handheld, and cats versus monsters…

The Pocketgamer.biz team pick their highlights from the headlines this week and deliver the stories behind the stories
Week in Views - The hunt for the new Star Wars game, Xbox goes handheld, and cats versus monsters…
  • The PocketGamer.biz team share their thoughts and go that little bit deeper on some of the more interesting things that have happened in mobile gaming in the past week

The games industry moves quickly and while stories may come and go there are some that we just can't let go of…

So, to give those particularly thorny topics a further going over we've created a weekly digest where the members of the PocketGamer.biz team share their thoughts and go that little bit deeper on some of the more interesting things that have happened in mobile gaming in the past week.

Daniel Griffiths

Daniel Griffiths

Editor - PocketGamer.biz

A galaxy far, far away… Why Star Wars: Hunters took six years to hit the target

A long time ago, a developer began working on a Star Wars release that turned out to be far, far away… 

It’s a well known fact that increasing the number of cooks has a disproportionate effect on the quality of the broth. And the same applies even in the repulsorlifted worlds of Star Wars. For just as Disney’s trial-by-committee management of the Star Wars brand has had debatable effects on the quality of SW output post George Lucas hand wash, so Zynga's helpful intervention into NaturalMotion’s Star Wars shooter seems to have gone down like a pint of blue milk…

Thus you wind up with a game that’s been six years in the making and is only now breaking cover on a format that’s about to get replaced. But Star Wars: Hunters is finally out now, on mobile and Nintendo Switch and - speaking with Zynga’s executive vice president Yaron Leyvand - he couldn’t be happier

It’s Zynga’s first console game after all, and the team have spent years fine tuning in soft launch, even going so far as to ditch a whole weapons system that test players didn’t even notice was there. 

But perhaps the biggest learn from the SWH wait is when to treat science as fiction and perhaps go with the gut instead. How much fretting and tweaking can one game take? When does chin scratching become face palming? Delay a project too much and - thanks to the unstoppable force that is progress - things can rapidly get too long in the Snaggletooth.

Has Star Wars Hunters done enough? Or done too much? Now that the game is officially in outer space, is the force is strong with this one? We'll be watching… always.

yt
Paige Cook

Paige Cook

Deputy Editor

Could a new Xbox handheld be revealed this Sunday?

A YouTube leaker who has correctly predicted Xbox plans in the past believes we could see a teaser for an Xbox handheld gaming device during Sunday's Xbox Showcase. It seems likely since handhelds are becoming more popular, and then you have the PlayStation Portal, so it almost feels like Xbox has to have its own entry in that market at some point.

While it makes sense for Xbox to have a handheld device, which would be in keeping with their new outlook of being able to game anywhere, I can’t help but wonder what type of capabilities it will have. 

I personally think that this device needs to offer far more than just being a GamePass machine since other handhelds can do that anyway, like the Steam Deck and Asus Rog Ally.. The ability to play the rest of your Xbox catalogue that isn’t tethered to GamePass or the cloud would be interesting and set it apart. However, if it is a device centred around GamePass, then the price point should reflect that.

yt

The upcoming Xbox Showcase on Sunday needs to be a good one. Lately, the Xbox brand has been facing some challenges, with controversial decisions like the layoffs at Tango Gameworks and other studios. So it would be great to see something that reignites the passion of the Xbox community.

Ultimately, it feels like this generation of Xbox hasn’t had much to offer yet. With a new refresh upcoming for both the Xbox Series X and S and now a potential handheld gaming device, that’s a lot of hardware, but hardware is of little use if Xbox users don’t feel like there are any noteworthy Xbox games to get excited about. Here’s to hoping that changes soon.

Aaron Astle

Aaron Astle

News Editor

Monster Hunter Puzzles: Felyne Isles is the series’ latest mobile venture, launching later this month

So, there’s another mobile Monster Hunter on the way. This time it’s a match-3 game, rather than geolocation, and it features the Felynes much more prominently than Monster Hunter Now. You heard that right. This is a cat game!

Monster Hunter Puzzles: Felyne Isles looks like a fun spin on the puzzle formula as monsters can attack the board to disrupt certain squares - setting them on fire, dousing them in water, etc. Meanwhile, the player’s matches deal damage back to the monsters, in an effort to stop their rampages.

The rewards for completing levels include materials that can be used to customise the player’s catty likeness and the Felyne Isles themselves, ready to be decked out with restaurants, huts, and all sorts - judging by the trailer - to help the cats out in getting back to a life of luxury.

If not for the Rathalos, it almost sounds peaceful…

yt