The Roundup: The Circle & Beyond

by Lucy Ungaro

This week, we’re continuing with the Star Wars theme. There’s also news on Fallout 4, more cute robots, nominees for IndieCade, and a psychological study on why horror games are scarier than other horror media. The Life is Strange finale just came out, and I’ll be reviewing it soon, so keep an eye out for that!

Even Star Wars Battlefront knows that most of its appeal comes from nostalgia, says Ben Gilbert. That’s not to say that it’s a bad or unexciting game at face value, just that the over-enthusiasm surely can’t merely be a result of a potentially great game–there’s more to it. Star Wars is something we love, and have loved for a long time, and this childhood passion of ours is apparently very marketable. Sony’s new marketing trailer plays off of our nostalgia, and Ben Gilbert explains why it’s effective.

In more Star Wars news: the Star Wars: the Old Republic expansion is coming out next week, and Jorge Jimenez describes the launch trailer as “epic.” The game appears to be taking a Mass Effect 2 route: build up a giant alliance of buddies to defeat bad guys. It’s a good route to take because it inspires camaraderie, even with game characters that aren’t being played by real people. Camaraderie is one of the warmest feelings I’ve experienced in a game, so I believe this expansion has the potential to do well. Although SW:TOR wasn’t received as spectacularly on release as expected, I’ve really enjoyed it, and find myself continuously called back to it. Check out the article by Jorge Jimenez to find out more details.

Last week, we talked about a game called Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash, and read a mostly positive review by Jason Cipriano. For a very different take on the game, check out this review by Derrick Sanskrit. Not impressed by the cuteness of the character, he calls the game a “mess,” and says that it tries to do too much and ends up doing not enough. It’s interesting to see differing Circle opinions about the same game!

Chelsea Stark provides us with an update on Fallout 4. Hopefully, it will tide us over until November 10! Check out the next “S.P.E.C.I.A.L” trait and video in the S.P.E.C.I.A.L video series.

And now for news outside of the circle…

IndieCade is coming up next week! Click here to see the nominees and their lovely games, get tickets, and check out the schedule. The games all look so delicious, like several enticing, diverse candies. Any predictions for winners?

I love horror movies. Rather, I love watching them from behind my hands as I cower in fear. I also love watching horror games–yes, watching, not playing. While I can just barely get through watching horror, playing is another level of fear that my courage sadly can’t surmount. I’ve always felt like simply moving my character forward in horror games is an impossible feat of bravery mixed with a little bit of stupidity. You know that dumb character in horror movies that goes towards the bump in the night rather than hiding under his covers and going back to sleep like any normal human would do? Well, in horror games you have to become that person. And that’s what makes them so incredibly effective at scaring, along with other fascinating psychological reasons that you should definitely read about in this study about our minds and horror games.

That’s it for now, but I’ll be back next week with some more horror for you, in celebration of Halloween! See you then.  

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