Your Pop-Tarts & Toaster Strudels for Q1 2021



  • Inspired by the EZA Podcast, I thought we could do our own version of Pop-Tarts & Toaster Strudels, where we each pick two games for the upcoming quarter and explain why it's our Pop-Tart or Toaster Strudel.

    As a reminder:

    • Your Pop-Tart is the game you want to bring attention to because you strongly believe it's going to be awesome. It can be an obscure game that's being overlooked, or a AAA game that you just know will be worth the hype, or anything in between.
    • Your Toaster Strudel is the game you have a bad feeling about. Ideally, not a game you simply have zero interest in, but rather something you'd want to be good but is currently raising too many red flags.

    This time, we'll focus on games with a confirmed release date between January and March 2021.



    • My Pop-Tart: Cyber Shadow (January 26th)

    Youtube Video

    Published (but not developed) by Yacht Club Games, of Shovel Knight fame, it's a Ninja Gaiden spiritual successor that looks expertly made. Gorgeous NES-style graphics and tons of cool moves. It will live or die by its level and enemy design, but every trailer so far has been hype, and the Yacht Club seal of approval is encouraging.

    • My Toaster Strudel: Bravely Default 2 (February 26th)

    Youtube Video

    I really liked the original, it was a great callback to classic JRPGs, with an engaging combat system... in 2013... on 3DS. Back then, there was a bit of a dearth of old-school JRPGs and the gorgeous diorama environments worked perfectly on the 3D screen. Chibi-style characters worked well for portable graphics.

    But we're in 2021, and from what I've seen so far, the art style did not translate well to HD, it just looks cheap. The combat and job system seems similar to the original's, although if it ain't broke, don't fix it, so why not.

    But worst of all, the world, story and characters seem sooooo bland! When I started the demo and the game started telling me about magical crystals and some chosen one bullshit, I was instantly checked out. The 4 heroes (of light?) are generic as hell too, and I feel like this game will bring absolutely nothing new to the genre. It seems closer to the likes of I Am Setsuna or Lost Sphear in terms of production values, but less original.

    I hope I'm wrong!



  • my Pop tart is Metroid Prime 4
    reason: game will be fucking awesome like the first 3 prime games were and i'm hyped.

    my Toaster strudel is Metroid Prime 4
    reason: we have seen nothing except a logo and a video saying that development restarted at the beginning of 2019. this game is never coming out is it?



  • @axel Bravely Default 2 is also my Toaster Strudel for mostly the same reasons you mentioned. The first Bravely Default was okay but I didn't even care enough to finish it. I really want more Octopath Traveler from Square Enix and the Bravely series doesn't scratch that RPG itch in the same way.

    I looked through the early 2021 release schedule and I don't see many Pop-Tart candidates. One game that I'm confident will be good is Hitman 3 so that's my Pop-Tart. I like that it's not episodic anymore and I'm excited to see how it plays on PS5. Faster loading, better performance and DualSense optimization could make playing Hitman 3 feel like a new experience, even if overall it's not much different from the previous games in the series.



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  • @capnbobamous Those games ain't coming out in Q1, chief!



  • I really think we should revisit the argument brought forth by one of the allies that toaster strudels are way better than pop tarts. Or at least that’s how I remember it from the last time I had either like 20 years ago.



  • @axel Clearly my reading comprehension is not up to par. Whoops!



  • @e_zed_eh_intern I had never heard of either of those things before EZA so I'm just following the standard established by sir Bosman :)



  • My Pop-Tart is Balan Wonderworld. You can really tell the passion the devs have for the project. They speak about it as though it has been a long time since they've gotten to make a dream game, and this is it. I'm not expecting it to have a super high score on metacritic or anything, but I am expecting it to be an extremely imaginative, fun game full of experimenting with a difficulty accessible to kids that older players can also enjoy. Even better, it has 2-player local / split screen coop, so if you have kids it'll be perfect to play alongside them.
    Youtube Video

    My Toaster Strudel hilariously is ALSO Bravely Default 2, but that's no fun, so let's just say my Toaster Strudel is Ghosts 'n Goblins: Resurrection. Something about the style they picked just looks off and cheap and hard to tell your hitboxes in a legendarily difficult game.
    Youtube Video



  • Strawberry for both.



  • Pop-tart:

    returnal
    Housemarque are great and glad to see them taking this route

    Ratchet and clank(if it release in that period) Insomniac baby

    Toaster struddle:
    bad vibes for sure but Balan Wonderworld frankly has me worried.



  • @mbun Shit, I had no idea they were making a new Ghosts n Goblins. Thanks for bringing that to my attention =D



  • Pop Tart- Hitman 3. Probably be one of the best games of the year. Given the previous 2 games this is a cert to be good.

    Toster Strudel- Prince of Persia Remake. This looks just awful the delay makes me think it got negative feedback from play testers. I hope I'm wrong seems like a passion project for that team.



  • @neocweeny they're remaking the original



  • @mbun I'm cautiously optimistic about Balan. Haven't seen any red flags, it's just a genre that's usually hard to crack. I'll definitely be happy if it turns out great.

    I want to believe they spent the 6 months since the reveal to polish the visuals of Prince of Persia and it could still turn out decent, but maybe not.



  • @paulmci27 I considered that as well, but as a huge fan I didn't have the heart to pick it. Just hoping it turns out to be way better than everyone expects. The environments actually looked good. Just seemed like all the character models were unfinished.



  • @yoshi Looks like new levels in the trailer.



  • Pop-Tart: Eastward

    From the moment I saw the initial reveal trailer some years ago, I had no doubt that this game is going to rule. It's got a beautiful aesthetic inspired by 90s anime and captures an almost Earthbound feeling vibe of charm in its characters. Characters, animations, the world, everything looks like it's got so much heart and soul poured into every bit of it, and so I've got no doubt this game is going to be a gem this year, probably similar to how Celeste blew up some years ago.

    Youtube Video

    Toaster Strudel: Oddworld: Soulstorm

    Oddworld is one of my favorite franchises. I've played every game, and while many haven't been perfect, they've all been unique to say the least. It's been a LONG time since New n' Tasty came out, and even though I can feel the love and passion from Lorne Lanning (definitely check out the Ars Technica interview with him about the inception and creation of the property if you haven't and are interested - there's a two hour cut and a 20 minute one that are both fascinating) I just don't know if the game can capture the feel I love from the original. It feels less like the old school adventure platformers, and like it's lost a bit of that in what I've seen from this remake, like shooting a turret at dudes while everything is blowing up. I hope this is great. I'm definitely playing it. I'm just feeling a little cautious about the way the cooking process is turning out, especially given it feels like we've seen the same trailer cut five different ways.

    Youtube Video

    Youtube Video