The Roundup: The Circle & Beyond

By Lucy Ungaro

Hey everyone! Here is your weekly gathering of video game news. Peek at, peruse, or pore over to your heart’s content.  

There’s still a lot of positive buzz floating around in regards to Metal Gear Solid V. One of the most entertaining celebrations of MGSV’s Kojima-style antics I’ve seen so far is an article by Ben Gilbert titled “14 amazing things you can do in the new ‘Metal Gear Solid“. As Ben Gilbert points out, there is an incredible attention to detail and especially to extra content, such as creating a zoo with the animals you find on your travels. Also blowing up a helicopter with a flying jeep. You’ll learn a bit about U.S. military history, too!

Ebenezer Samuel describes Metal Gear Solid V in an “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times” manner. According to him, the sandbox world and combat are “sublime”. However, this focus on open world and combat means sacrificing storyline, which is becoming a common occurrence in video games franchises that (d)evolve (depending on how you see it), from narrative based to exploration and combat based.

I know I’m still reeling since the next Silent Hills game was canceled after such an enticing Playable Teaser. I feel better when I see upcoming games like P.A.M.E.L.A, though. Check out Jorge Jimenez’s article on the relatively soon-to-be-released survival-horror game. While it may not be as hauntingly horrifying as P.T., the art looks gorgeous and the concept is thrilling.

There’s a really pretty mobile game called Monument Valley, and its developers are creating another beautiful space for you to traverse, except this time in Virtual Reality. Chelsea Stark gives us the details on the game, Land’s End, and how the developers are working to create a comfortable and immersive VR experience. Read about it here.

Some more VR news brings us to an exciting development for laptops and the Oculus Rift. Dan Ackerman reports that laptops will be given Oculus Rift support, thanks to Nvidia, as well as full on desktop graphics. I can attest to the nightmare of attempting to get my laptop to work with the Oculus Rift, so I’m glad future laptops won’t cause the same pain to others. Check out all the techy details right here!

From Samit Sarkar, the Bungie team admits to Destiny‘s shortcomings, and explains that the latest expansion is a jumping off point for continuous improvement. This is good news for Destiny fans, many of whom love the game even while recognizing its flaws, as well. Here’s the article.

In less positive DLC news, apparently fans are none too pleased with Batman: Arkham Knight‘s latest DLC. The promises that were made were not kept, according to Evan Narcisse‘s article, though, of course, modders have stepped in to do some of what developers did not. Read about it here.

Another game with a lot of buzz lately is Super Mario Maker. Here‘s a collection of some of the most annoying, as well as the most clever, level ideas players have had in their games, compiled by Matt Gerardi. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside to see a great community of players coming together to make their own Mario levels!

Sports gamers! FIFA 16 seems to impress. It appears that EA took their fans’ reviews and criticisms to heart, and really tried to improve the game rather than just using the same formula they know will bring in the money, according to Jeff Bakalar and David Carnoy. I’m excited about the introduction of Women’s International Teams, but also confused as to why it took so long to get there, and why they have different functionalities than male teams? For much more information, check out the article here.

And now for news outside of the Circle…

One of my personal favorite indie game events in New York is coming up soon. No Quarter showcases games from indie developers in a relaxed party setting. You get to meet the developers and really get involved in the New York indie game scene. Info on the event can be found on the NYU Game Center website, here.

The NYU Game Center is also hosting an event for a crazy cool Kickstarted book titled A History of the Great Empires of Eve Online. It is a book launch as well as a chat with the author, Andrew Groen, on September 24th. Details here.

For all those interested in game jams, did you know there is a “Monthly Game Making” event hosted by the Code Liberation Foundation in New York? Because I didn’t. Game creators get a free space to go “jam on their games”, as well as meet potential collaborators. The events get sold out pretty quickly, so plan in advance.

That’s what I have for you this week. See you next time! 

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