The Roundup: The Circle And Beyond

By Jonathan G. Lee

Yo! Jon here. Lucy is taking a break so I’ll be filling in for her this week. For those of you who made it out to our Barcade community event, it was great seeing you all again!

Christopher Byrd explores the “boisterously odd” Headlander, Double Fine’s first title published under Adult Swim Games. Zany, retro, and unapologetically cheesy, it’s a stylish side-scroller that’s not without its bugs but still worth a few days of fun. Read the full review here.

Pokemon GO: Veni, vidi, vici. . . even at The White House … at least for the first week it was out. Chelsea Stark reports that the game has been on a slow but consistent decline in active daily users since June 14. Every game goes through lulls, but does Pokemon GO have enough features to maintain its momentum in the marketplace? Read the full analysis here.

Speaking of Pokemon, just a few days ago, Nintendo stocks plummeted after embarrassed investors realized that the Japanese gaming giant only held a 32% stake in Pokemon GO. The game was actually developed by San Francisco-based Niantic Labs. Samit Sarkar reports that Nintendo experienced a significant drop in sales and operating income since 2015. Read his full write-up here.

Eb Samuel put on his nostalgia goggles and dove into I Am Setsuna, a JRPG throwback that embodies everything you loved and hated about the original PlayStation era of role-playing games. Enjoy the clever turn-based combat mechanics, wipe away tears when the sentimental piano solos come on, and lament the poorly designed inventory system as the game takes you back into the late 90s. Read Eb’s full review here.

With five more months left in the year, Joshua Rivera lists his top games from the first half of 2016, a diverse year so far. We got games about coping with cancer, fire lookouts, teenagers trapped on haunted islands, city slickers becoming farmers, and space marine demigods shredding apart demon heads like mozzarella sticks. Read about his picks here.

Sony and Nintendo had a baby together and it was called the Nintendo PlayStation. There’s some parallel universe out there where this unholy partnership carved out an unstoppable gaming empire that conquered everything in its path. But in ours, it simply produced a weird prototype console that was only half functional. Matt Gerardi reports that there’s a guy on YouTube who tried to restore the Nintendo PlayStation to its full glory. You can read his breakdown here.

And now for news outside of the Circle. . .

Hello Games, the developer behind the hotly anticipated No Man’s Sky, is getting sued. The game’s procedural environments are thanks in part to the “superformula”, a mathematical formula proposed by Professor Johan Gielis. Hello Games has never attempted to hide this, but Gielis and his company Genicap are now suing. Though the game has gone gold and is set to release on August 9th, its future is now uncertain. You can read more about it here.

You can kill Gary Busey in HITMAN. No, not a character played by Gary Busey. The actual Gary Busey. Just … Just watch the trailer. Here.

Is development a young man’s game? David Mullich, a producer with 35 years of experience who was part of the team that made Vampire: The Masquerade, says it is. In the past five years, he claims he’s received approximately 100 rejections. Mullich acknowledges that his experience is anecdotal, but he could be onto something, if any researchers were interested in finding a link. Read more here. He’d also love to hear your thoughts and perspectives.

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