The Roundup: The Circle & Beyond

By Jonathan G. Lee

Greetings! Jon here with your weekly Circle Roundup. Did you know General George Patton was an Olympian? He placed 5th in the pentathlon for the 1912 Olympics. Perhaps more relevant to us, that same year Pierre de Coubertin (the founder of the modern day Olympic Games) introduced an arts competition. The gold medal for literature went to. . . Pierre de Coubertin.

And with that, here’s the Roundup:

August 23 marked the 25th anniversary of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the console responsible for more nostalgia than any other console ever made. Anthony Agnello decided to celebrate by streaming the many classics spawned by that wonderful machine. And then he played the terrible ones. Watch the whole thing here.

So Mafia III is gonna be pretty different. For one, you play as a black Vietnam vet running a multi-racial organized crime ring. But it also might do something that surprisingly few games attempt, much less AAA titles: it could address racism head on. Austin Walker sure hopes that’s the case. Read his piece here.

I’m a lifelong, diehard PC gamer. I would rather be buried alive with a mouse and a keyboard than play an FPS with a joypad. But I’ll be the first to admit PC gaming’s biggest flaw: when it comes to cross-platform releases, we are the Oliver Twist on the optimization list. Case in point, Alex Cranz pointed out that No Man’s Sky was released on PC a few days after it dropped on PlayStation. It still turned out to be buggier than a beehive. But with so much money in the PC market, why is this such a persistent problem? Alex breaks it all down here.

Titanfall 2 released its tech test on Xbox One. Jorge Jimenez played it. Watch for the gameplay, stay to hear Jorge talking hella mess to people on Xbox Live. See it here.

Games should make you feel things. I mean, that’s why we all got into this line of work in the first place, right? But sometimes, that profound emotional power that games can hold over us is not always a good thing. Jeremy Voss has been making his way through No Man’s Sky. He’s been feeling exactly what the author of Ecclesiastes spoke of in his opening chapter — meaningless, everything is meaningless. What began as a game of poignant wonder has instead become daunting, cold universe where the player strips planets dry and finds no new outposts under the sun. Read here.

Now for news outside of the Circle. . .

Adult Swim is reviving the ToeJam & Earl franchise with ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove. I can’t think of a more appropriately weird developer to helm the license. Watch the teaser here.

Sony announced that PlayStation Now will be coming to PC and the DualShock 4 USB Wireless Adaptor with it. I haven’t owned a console since Dreamcast and haven’t been seriously interested in any since then, but I’ve always been a little jealous of the Sony exclusive games. God of War, Ratchet & Clank, Last of Us, Uncharted — I could only admire these games from afar. Now I can admire them right on my 144hz monitor. Read the news here.

The Museum of London commissioned BlockWorks to make a 1:1 scale replica of Elizabethan era London in Minecraft. If that was old news to you (the recreation project was completed a while ago), then you can look forward to the whole thing getting burned down on September 2, right on schedule for the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. Read more about it here.

Humongous esports drama? Well, it must be a day when birds flew, water was wet, and White Castle was delicious. Regi, owner of a really popular, game-winning League of Legends team called Team SoloMid, made some comments about how difficult it is to monetize LoL teams with the infrastructure and policies that Riot Games has in place. Marc Merrill, one of Riot’s cofounders and an occasionally angry guy, clapped back on Regi’s statements hard in a reddit post. The result has been lots of angry people on the Internet, the LoL community shoring up their battlelines (Is Regi funneling LoL earnings into other ventures? Is Riot a soulless money vampire?). So, again, just another day in esports. Kotaku put up a pretty good summary here. And here’s Regi in all his glory.






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