The Roundup: the Circle and Beyond

by Lucy Ungaro

Welcome back to the Roundup! It’s been too long. We’ve had a lot going on at the Circle lately, what with the Game Awards a couple of weeks ago. If you missed the show, no worries. You can watch it all here on our Twitch channel. Now let’s see what’s been going on in the video game world during these past two weeks. 

First off, Jordan Minor provides a rundown on the Game Awards and its winners. To experience what it was like to be there without actually having been there, check out his article!

Matt Gerardi brings us another “Keyboard Geniuses”–a weekly compilation of his readers’ thoughts and opinions. This time the main topic is the many different Zeldas, and which version is the “best”, among other things. Since this is probably a very, shall we say, heated topic for many players, it’s nice to see an intelligent, civil discussion on the matter. I’m not going to spoil it for you, though–find out what people think right here.

The new wave of the adventure game genre continues with Night in the Woods, a game that Michelle Ehrhardt says is a platformer mixed with Gone Home-style storytelling. The game was recently kickstarted and is currently under development by a small indie studio that is dreaming big. But Michelle Ehrhardt wonders if they can achieve their goals. Read about it here.

Here’s a sentence you probably thought you’d never see: Kanye West is making a video game about his mom ascending into heaven. Was I right? Check out this article by Chelsea Stark for the dirty details.

It’s time for some scares! Well, probably not in the way you’re used to. Grayout is a nightmarish text-based game that simulates what it’s like to have aphasia–which means, basically, not being able to formulate coherent sentences and thus having great difficulty communicating with anyone. Sara Clemens says it’s one of the most frightening games she’s ever played. Read about her experience here.

Fire Emblem: Fates is out, and Christopher Byrd has a lot to say about it. Despite not usually being a fan of JRPGs, this game, he says, has totally drawn him in. To find out why, here are his thoughts.

And Harold Goldberg traveled to the new Nintendo New York store to find that a portion of the retail outlet is actually a museum that houses the level designs for the original Super Mario Bros.

And now for news outside of the Circle…

It’s pretty interesting to think about how fiction and technological advancements are connected. Sci-fi can inspire scientists to create, even when it comes from videogames, according to this article. Unfortunately, most of the advancements mentioned had to do with weaponry, which is probably not something to rejoice in.

A recent trend in games involves combining physical “toys” with digital games (like amiibo). An indie game called Fabulous Beasts lets players stack toy “beasts” on top of each other, and then  “breed, evolve, and maintain” these beasts in the digital realm of the game. Sounds like a quirky mixture of Jenga and the Sims–Animal Edition. Find out more about it here.

According to Jonathon Blow, the Witness isn’t an indie game. He cites the budget of the game–around $6 million–as well as the large scale of it as his reasoning. To me, “indie game” means more than just budget and size, but maybe that’s just me. In this article, Blow also talks about the effect piracy has had on the game, saying that it’s still harmful even if the game is a success.

That’s it for this week. I’ll be back next week, I promise. 

 

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