Hello, Circle family! Jon here, wishing the Irish and the Irish diaspora among us a very happy St. Patrick’s Day!
St. Paddy’s is, of course, a very jovial event because it lifted the traditional restriction on meat and drinking during Lent. However, during the turbulent period of The Troubles, the holiday was a source of great pain. Sectarian and religious friction between the Irish and the Northern Irish often erupted in violence, especially on St. Patrick’s Day.
The holiday’s origin, which is largely lost on Americans, is actually a memorial for the missionary who brought Christianity to Ireland. Patrick was a British Roman who was captured by Irish pirates and enslaved for six years. After he escaped, he studied to become a priest in his native Britain, and astonishingly, returned to the land of his captivity to spread the Gospel in Ireland.
So wear your green, dance with the leprechauns, and raise your mugs with your friends! But also remember that St. Patrick’s Day honors a man who is remembered for his radical, unconventional compassion. That’s something we need more and more of these days.
And with that, the Roundup!
Chelsea Stark reports why Link wasn’t sporting his trademark Kokiri hat in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The answer is easy enough: it looked silly. Art director Satoru Takizawa shared that as game worlds continue to look more lifelike, making the Kokiri hat look cool has become increasingly difficult. Read Chelsea’s full report here.
Anthony Agnello asks, is it too late for a newbie to start playing Rocket League? The answer is no! It’s not too late, and in fact, the game is in a great place for beginners. The new Dropshot mode is a lot of fun and the ladder system ensures you won’t be bullied by ball gods like Kronovi who have been doing stunts like this since the days of Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. Read Anthony’s full article here.
Sherri L. Smith went to SXSW and played Archangel, a giant robot game coming out this summer for the “Big Three” VR platforms. VR is wanting when it comes to AAA titles, and Archangel is shaping up to be a big blockbuster to change that. The slick visuals suggest that the title is heavily influenced by both Japanese and western giant robot media. Read Sherri’s full preview here.
Eb Samuel spoke with Jason VandenBerghe, the director behind For Honor. A game like For Honor is a pretty tough sell. 3D weapons-based fighting games is an incredibly niche genre that enjoyed some small popularity with the Bushido Blade series and died shortly after. However, that didn’t deter VandenBerghe, who had nursed the concept of For Honor and spent 10 years pitching the game to skeptical studios. Read Eb’s full interview here.
Matt Gerardi reports that speedrunner Venick has gotten his run of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild down to 54:04. That’s under an hour. The average gamer can finish the main quest in roughly 33 hours. Getting the most out of a speedrun involves a lot of metagaming, and Venick shared about several he used to shave those precious seconds. For example, he played the title on Wii U (it loads faster) and on German (the dubs used less words). Venick also got criticism for using an amiibo to take off an extra minute but hey, haters gonna hate. Dude killed Gannon in his underwear. Read Matt’s full report here.
And now for news outside of the Circle. . .
The first 10 hours of Mass Effect: Andromeda have been met with a rocky reception. Fans and game journalists alike have been split on how polished and entertaining the full title will be when it launches on March 21. Personally, as a fervent and long-time fan, it had me dreading what a 60-hour playthrough of this game would look like. Writing and combat aside, the game’s mechanics seem built to be frustrating. There is no quick save feature (seriously, in an open world game?), it brings back the clunky inventory management of the first Mass Effect, the planet-traveling animations are infuriatingly long and unskippable, and worst of all, it’s using the same single-player MMO farming mechanics that made me quit Dragon Age: Inquisition. Read more here.
Telltale CEO Kevin Bruner is stepping down. Bruner will be replaced by Telltale co-founder Dan Connors, who was himself CEO before Bruner took over in 2015. Read more about it here.
Noah Caldwell-Gervais talked about how Tyranny deals with power, law, and authority. I encourage everyone reading this to take a look at Caldwell-Gervais’ previous work! The guy is seriously underappreciated and, admittedly, I got a soft spot for him cause we’re both guys who write about videogames and had to take cooking jobs to support ourselves. Check out Noah’s video on Tyranny here.
Japan is saying goodbye to the PlayStation 3. After 11 years of continuous production, the sun will finally dawn on the wonderful console that gave us The Last of Us, Red Dead Redemption, Metal Gear Solid 4, Demon’s Souls, God of War, and Uncharted. It’s unknown whether or not the console will continue to be produced internationally. Read more here.
And that’s all for today! Please join us next week for another Roundup!