The Roundup: The Circle & Beyond

by Lucy Ungaro

We’re back again with more of the Circle’s exploits. Let’s see what our detectives have uncovered for us this week. 

Star Wars Battlefront has always been a game close to my heart. It’s one of the first video games I remember playing and loving (yes, I’m young). I am too biased to say whether the excitement for the next game is warranted or whether it’s mostly nostalgia-based, but after reading this article by Ben Gilbert that showcases the many epic battle confrontations we can expect to enjoy in Battlefront, I think it’s safe to say that we’re in for a real treat.

For more Battlefront, Jeremy Voss compares the quality of the PS4 version of the game to that of the Xbox One. I have to say, things are looking a little grim for Xbox users, though I’m sure these problems will be resolved eventually. Hopefully, they will be fixed in the month it takes until the game is released on November 17. Almost there!

Also in the realm of things I love: a previously PS3 exclusive JRPG is coming to PC in a few short days. Jorge Jimenez provides details, as well as a video depicting Mugen Souls Z’s adorable graphics and pretty colors.

The Circle brings us news of another really cute game called Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash. Come on, even the name is precious. Chibi-Robo returns to us on the Nintendo 3DS this time, and Jason Cipriano really seems to enjoy it. He describes the gameplay of the Chibi-Robo games as “endearing, and occasionally odd”, which is an aesthetic we all know and love in Japanese games. Check out the article here to find out more about Chibi-Robo’s latest adventure.

This past Thursday, the NYU Game Center hosted an event with the creator of the NES, Masayuki Uemura. If you missed it, don’t worry; Evan Narcisse will provide you with all the details. Read about the history leading up to the creation of the NES, complete with slides from the event. Evan Narcisse stresses how lucky we all are that the NES came to be, and how if one of the events that led up to its making had differed, we might not have any video games today. It’s crazy to think about how essential Nintendo has been to the video game industry, and even more so when that importance is concentrated into one man.

Scott Stein describes his experience as a real life ghost. I’m not kidding. He was present at the Democratic debate, but only through Virtual Reality. He could see and hear the people around him, but could not participate, and they had no idea he was there, seeing them. “I couldn’t talk to anyone, because these people couldn’t see me. I couldn’t tweet, because I couldn’t see my phone. I was a ghost.” It’s almost profound how Scott Stein describes delving into uncharted territories, and how lonely it made him feel. Check out the article to see the problems that still exist with VR.

On a lighter note, Lara Croft is back to her tomb raiding antics. Samit Sarkar provides footage of the upcoming Tomb Raider game, and promises that it will include much more actual tomb raiding than the previous installment. Tomb raiding was present in the 2013 game, but only as a side dish. Read about how it will be implemented in the next game.

Check out an intellectual debate about which games should be made into musicals, brought to us by Matt Gerardi. I have to say, I think Mass Effect is the best choice, for Mordin Solus reasons. This is a really good idea, actually, and I’m surprised it hasn’t happened yet.

Rock Band 4 gets Ebenezer Samuel’s seal of approval. In his review, he describes what a game franchise revival needs in order to be successful, and explains how Rock Band 4 follows these standards pretty well. It stays true to itself, while adjusting just enough to feel like a new game.

I used to love Minecraft for the stories I could create for myself as I roamed through the giant, lonely world. It felt a bit like Skyrim in the sense that the lack of story could make it feel empty, until I filled it up with my own narrative. Now, though, Minecraft has been paired with Telltale Games to make a story-based Minecraft game that I never would have expected. I have high hopes, since Telltale usually does a great job of building stories off of other franchises and really making you feel like you are a part of the world. Chelsea Stark brings us all the details on Minecraft: Story Mode here.

And now for news outside of the Circle…

Voice acting has become a really important aspect of video games. I, for one, am really passionate about certain voice actors. If a voice actor’s performance moves me, the game becomes much more meaningful to me. It’s amazing how versatile voice actors can be, even to the point where my two most beloved video game characters could be voiced by the same person without me realizing it. Here’s an article about characters that are surprisingly voiced by the same actors.

And now for a refreshing study about video games making people nicer, rather than making them more violent. Check it out here.

Thanks for reading, see you guys next week!

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