The Roundup: The Circle & Beyond

By Jonathan G. Lee

Hello, hello! It’s Jon here again with your weekly Circle Roundup! I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend. I have some relatives visiting from the old country and my uncle has never had Mediterranean food before, so my Labor Day was spent eating green lentil stew instead of barbecue. It was delicious! And don’t worry, I get plenty of barbecue at my second gig, maybe a little too much barbecue actually.

And now, the Roundup!

Dan Ackerman wrote a book! The Tetris Effect: The Game That Hypnotized the World discusses the history behind the landmark eponymous game. Created by Soviet computer scientist Alexey Pajitnov, the game has arguably become the most popular videogame of all time – especially if you also take into account the imitators it spawned. Our own Harold Goldberg sat down and interviewed Dan about his new tome. Read it here.

The much discussed Sony project PlayStation Neo has been revealed to be the PlayStation 4 Pro. Chelsea Stark reports that the big draw of the PS4 Pro is the 4K optimization, but even people without 4K televisions will still benefit from the PS4 Pro’s upgraded hardware. To quote our own Alex Cranz, it plays games real good and plays movies real good. However, PS4 Pro doesn’t support Blu-ray. Bummer. Read more here.

Joshua Rivera gives us a small list of suggested games to play now that we’re settling into the fall season. Batman: The Telltale Series, XCOM 2, and Bioshock: The Collection all made the list. Once we enter the holiday season, we’re going to be bombarded with blockbuster game releases, so get these titles out of the way if you’re looking to add to your backlog. Read Joshua’s breakdown of the titles here.

Samit Sarkar reports that baby oil and golden tans are back in Street Fighter. Street Fighter V’s newest DLC character is Urien, the Mediterranean megalomaniac from Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact who was the younger brother of Gill, a fighter of monstrous power with a messiah complex. Wonder what their parents were like. Urien’s fighting style is inspired by pankration, an ancient Greek sport which combined boxing and wrestling. The new trailer shows off some of Urien’s abilities, including his trademark Aegis Reflector. Read about it here.

Mario’s on mobile now. Matt Gerardi reports to us about Super Mario Run, a mobile game built on the classic Nintendo formula: easy to get into, hard to master. The game only requires one input (tap to jump) but timing and prediction are key. Read more about the pricing, platforms, and the official Nintendo press release here.

And now for news outside of the Circle. . .

Mass Effect: Andromeda will feature a brother-sister team. Depending on what sex the player chooses, your opposing sibling will be off on their own adventures in the galaxy and crop up in the story at various points. It’s a throwback to a similar feature in Dragon Age 2 which also featured the player character’s sibling as an NPC, the Hawke twins. Depending on the player’s class, one of the Hawke twins will be mortally wounded and the surviving twin will become a companion. Also, the game looks real pretty. Read more about Andromeda’s siblings here.

Don’t stick a fork in World of Warcraft just yet. Though the series is long in the tooth (12 years long in fact), the newly released sixth expansion World of Warcraft: Legion has sold 3.3 million copies on the first day. Read more here.

Do indie developers need publishers anymore? Brandon Sheffield, an indie developer and contributing editor of Gamasutra, says sort of. The big assessment an indie dev has to make is whether they can market themselves better than a publisher can. Read more here.

Who gets the Play Of The Game most often in Overwatch? The list of quick play candidates is unsurprising, but you may be a little surprised at the top winning in competitive play. Or maybe you won’t be very surprised if you consider how prevalent King Of The Hill is on competitive mode. Read more here

And that’s a wrap for me. See ya next week!


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