It’s The State of Gaming Podcast for July 2021, Popzara’s in-depth look at what’s shaking up the gaming landscape delivered on a monthly basis. Our hosts Cory Galliher and Nate Evans guide you through the best, worst, and everything else making headlines and headway in the fine world of interactive entertainment.
The Games of July 2021
Leading the pack is Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, an HD (duh) remaster of the 2011 Wii waggle classic that proved motion-controls didn’t have to be terrible – just too late in the Wii’s lifecycle to make a difference. The last pre-Breath of the Wild Zelda is back, cleaner, faster, and better than ever on your Switch console.
Capcom’s Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings Of Ruin continues the franchise’s recent hot streak with more turn-based monster hunting. Robot Entertainment’s Orcs Must Die! 3 frees itself from Google Stadia exclusivity and joins the rest of the world on platforms you already have while Square-Enix finally brings the long, long-awaited sequel to the DS original with Neo: The World Ends With You to the masses.
Koei Tecmo’s Samurai Warriors 5 proves their slash-o-thon franchises will never end, though stick around as our guests chat about the incredible live-action Dynasty Warriors film that fans will definitely want to check out. Finally, Inti Creates’ third entry in their surprisingly great revival of the Blaster Master franchise going with (what else?), Blaster Master Zero 3!
Stay tuned for a bonus talk about a trio of (mostly) mobile exclusive titles that might surprise you. Among them include Konami’s Contra Returns, CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher: Monster Slayer, and Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters. Should any of them find their way onto your phone/tablet?
NPD: June 2021
NPD is still our best and most reliable snapshot of videogame sales in the US, though even their tallies should be taken with a grain of salt. Total sales of new gaming hardware and software for June 2021 was $4.9 billion, a nice 5 percent bump from last year’s $4.6 billion. Interestingly, while Nintendo’s Switch led the hardware pack in hardware sales, Microsoft’s Xbox Series X / S made a grand showing in sheer dollars spent on new gaming hardware.
On the software side Sony’s PS5 exclusive Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart coming in first, a spectacular debut for an exclusive on a relatively new platform. Nintendo’s Mario Golf: Super Rush debuts in third, each game pushing their respective franchises’ to best-ever sales debuts. Bandai Namco’s franchise Scarlet Nexus makes a strong next-gen showing in fifth while Capcom’s Resident Evil: Village, coming in sixth, is also the second best-selling game of 2021 (so far).
Other highlights include Nintendo’s strong showing throughout the Top Twenty with an impressive seven Switch exclusive titles on the charts, while Activison’s Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 returned to the charts, thanks to its recent debut on Nintendo’s hardware. Also worth mentioning is the lone appearance of a Microsoft-led title, Sea of Thieves, which also saw a return to the charts (in twentieth) thanks to the release of new Jack Sparrow-led DLC “A Pirate’s Life” from Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean.
Software selling giant Valve is back in the hardware business with their PC handheld Steam Deck! It’s everything you’d ever want in a portable console, just as long as Steam (and likely emulation) is your favorite platform. Just don’t call it a Switch! And speaking of Switch, Nintendo’s long-rumored “Switch Pro” turned out to be a bust, instead arriving in the form of a slightly larger revision called Switch OLED Edition.
Did you know there’s a sequel to the 1996 live-action/animation blockbuster Space Jam? That’s right – Space Jam: A New Legacy is here and it largely ditches basketball for a videogame-centered plot. Is it any good? You’ll have to listen to find out – or read our review! Either way, it’s time better spent than actually watching the movie!