Season’s greetings, Circle gang! It’s Jon again with your weekly Circle Roundup. Today’s Roundup is brought to you by snow!
So when you think of snow, you probably think of Christmas. And when you think of Christmas, you (hopefully) feel happy! Christmas trees, candy canes, nutcrackers, Santa Claus, and the Sticky Bandits.
Snow = Christmas and Christmas = Happy, so through the transitive property of holiday cheer, Snow = Happy! The reason why the idea of a White Christmas makes so many of us feel all warm and fuzzy is because of the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol,” starring the infamous Ebenezer Scrooge.
Dickens made it snow on Christmas in his novel to allude to Scrooge’s icy heart! In his time, it was a bad thing for it to snow on Christmas. Today, snow on Christmas has ironically become our ideal Christmas.
I promise I didn’t share that just to be a Scrooge.
And with that, the news!
Michelle Erhardt discussed the first person shooters of 2016 at Bullet Points, a critical podcast dedicated to FPS games. This was a particularly rich year for shooter fans. Major releases included Fallout 4, The Division, Battlefield 1, Dishonored 2, Overwatch, Titanfall 2, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Call of Duty Infinite Warfare, and DOOM. Smaller releases included Superhot, Killing Floor 2, Devil Daggers, and Shadow Warrior 2. No matter your preference, there was something for you to play this year. Overwatch was the gateway game that thrust Michelle back into the shooter scene and eventually into the hands of the well-received but underappreciated Titanfall 2. Check out Michelle’s appearance on the episode here.
Harold Goldberg, in his alter ego as Boys’ Life’s Game’s Guru, offered up the year’s best family-oriented games. The winners? Overwatch and The Last Guardian. But wait. There’s more, much more: you, too, can vote on Game of the Year.
Eb Samuel reviewed Planet Coaster, a spiritual successor to the beloved Rollercoaster Tycoon series. Players take on the role of an amusement park owner who must build a variety of roller coasters to attract customers. Frontier Developments have been supporting the game faithfully so far with a big December update and full mod support. Read Eb’s full review here.
Chelsea Stark reports that Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe has stepped down to become head of the Oculus Rift PC development team. Former Microsoft employee Jon Thomason has taken the helm of the Oculus Rift mobile development team. This could be a precursor to the Oculus corporation being absorbed into Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg made headlines in 2014 when he purchased the then fledgling company for $2 billion dollars. Read Chelsea’s full report here.
Russ Frushtick did another episode of The Besties, but only because you asked so nicely. The Besties is Polygon’s GOTY podcast. Listen as Russ puts forth his selections like gladiators, fighting against other GOTY nominees. These games which are about to die in obscurity for you, salute you. Listen to Russ and the guys deliberate here.
Jeff Bakalar has made a list of the most anticipated games for 2017. Games about frontier outlaws, bald godslayers, galactic pilgrimages, and the ever-predictable zombie apocalypse all make an appearance. Check out Jeff’s full list here.
And now for news outside of the Circle. . .
Salt miners beware — a new feature in Street Fighter V will publicly shame you for rage-quitting. Earlier in the fall, Capcom rolled out features to penalize players that left matches early to deny their opponents the satisfaction of victory. But it appears that temp bans and warnings weren’t enough, so now competitors can expect to saddled with a shameful player icon that will mark them as sore losers. Read more about it here.
Justin Wong, one of the best fighting game players in the western world, once famously remarked that it took him six months of training to consistently perform a hadouken. That was time well-spent, because that one little ability has become the bedrock from which all 2D fighting games are developed. Watch more here.
Danny O’Dwyer went independent and started publishing his own videos on games. He recently did one about DOOM. It’s good. Watch it here.
Shigeru Miyamoto is probably the most well-respected game designer in the world, not to mention the most beloved. So it didn’t surprise me when he revealed in a recent interview at Glixel that he’s worked with the same team for 30 years. That’s a long ass time to be making videogames together. He also spoke about similarities between Nintendo and Apple, Super Mario Run, and his love of carpentry and gardening which are the most Japanese old man hobbies ever. Read more here.
Tracer has been revealed as the first gay character in Overwatch! Before the game was released, the Overwatch creative team confirmed that there were already LGBT characters in the game who would be fleshed out at a later date. Read the latest Tracer comic here.
That’s all, folks. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!