The Roundup: The Last Guardian, The Foundation Update, VR, and Will Ferrell

Hey Circle gang! Today’s post is brought to you by livestreaming.

I’ve been fascinated by the growth of livestreaming, mostly because I think it’s the future. I meet more and more college-age kids who tell me they’ll schedule their day around watching a streamer like most of the country would schedule their day around watching a television show. It’s also significantly blurring the gap between celebrity and civilian. If you want to talk directly to Surefour of Cloud 9’s Overwatch team, all you have to do is hop onto his stream and ask him questions. You can’t get that sort of access with Lionel Messi or Kevin Durant.

But I also love streaming for its emergent moments. Here’s a classic from 2013 on the 100th episode of State of the Game with Geoff Robinson, who is infamous for his epic rants, toasting and roasting the forefathers of esports. Warning: expect a lot of graphic language and hilarity.

Those were the good old days, when my generation (the so-called Second Generation of Esports) were the young guns inheriting the foundation laid down by guys like Dennis Fong, Scott Smith, and Marcus Graham. Now that we’ve entered our 30s, it won’t be long until we’re throwing out our own grumpy tweets and getting confused by fast food.

And now, the Roundup!


Harold Goldberg has been anticipating The Last Guardian for the past 10 years, and now that it’s finally out, he has five reasons why it’s one of his top picks for Game Of The Year! Check out Harold’s piece here.

Sherri L. Smith wrote earlier on how the VR wars have officially begun. This week, she judged the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. And the winner iiiiisss. . . The Vive! The Vive may look like something a police officer from a cyberpunk dystopia would wear, but unlike the Rift, it ships with all its accessories right out the box with superior specs, motion tracking, and integration. Read Sherri’s full breakdown here.

Allegra Frank reports that Final Fantasy XV will be receiving updates throughout 2017 to improve the game’s narrative and almost universally reviled 13th chapter. I reported last week that critics all seem to agree that FFXV is a fine title with fun gameplay and a likeable cast, but they remain deeply divided on the quality of its story. Read Allegra’s full report here

Scott Stein spoke with Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime about Super Mario Run, the NES Classic, and the future of the Nintendo Switch. Fils-Aime reaffirmed Nintendo’s long-standing commitment to expand its branding, citing Nintendo’s recent partnerships with Vans and Universal Studios. Fils-Aime also cleared up speculation on a Super Mario Run port for the Nintendo Switch (nope) and NES games on the iPhone (double nope). However, the future looks promising for Mario, as Fils-Aime hinted that Nintendo wants to reassert the Italian plumber as a household name again. Reggie — my body is ready. Full Scott’s full interview here.

Samit Sarkar, like many other players, thought No Man’s Sky sucked. With the release of the Foundation Update, he revisited the game to find that Hello Games was definitely listening to its fans. The Foundation Update introduced tools that make traveling the game’s vast universe easier and reduce the monotony of resource gathering. But although the game was a step in the right direction, it didn’t walk far enough, because it didn’t solve the gnawing existential crisis of the game: What’s the damn point? The universe of No Man’s Sky is richer since the update, but it still remains lonely and nihilistic place. Samit, however, is still holding out hope. Read Samit’s full review here

And now for news outside of the Circle. . .

Evan Narcisse, a former member and co-founder of the Circle, is now writing comics! Evan announced on Monday that he is currently working on a project for Marvel, and therefore, will no longer critique comics since it presents a conflict of interest. However, he will still continue to cover film, television, and any other mediums where nerds love to work. We miss you, Ev! Check out Evan’s announcement here.

Will Ferrell is going to star in a movie about esports. Ferrell plays an aging esports player who is an anomaly in an industry where no pro gamers rarely play past the age of 30. Evil Geniuses and Fnatic are both expected to make cameos. These are three sentences I never thought I would type in my life. Read the announcement here.

Why do videogames matter? Well, because videogames are art, art is culture, and culture changes lives. But sometimes, videogames change lives because they can also be tools for therapy and rehabilitation. Such is the story of Sara Winters, a woman who was born with ocular albinism and thus legally blind for most of her early life. Listen to her story here.

Jimmy Fallon invited Reggie Fils-Aime onto his show and completely geeked out when Reggie surprised him with a Nintendo Switch. Jimmy Fallon is the yin to Conan O’Brien’s yang, a late night host who is a rabid fan of videogames. He even invited Shigeru Miyamoto to perform the Super Mario Bros. theme song with The Roots. Watch Fallon play the Switch for the first time in television here.

That does it for this week’s Roundup! See ya next time!

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