By Jeffrey Mizrahi
What’s up, Circle readers! Jeffrey here – with my first ever Roundup.
Just when I think finals week couldn’t get any worse, my PS4’s disc drive went kaput and spits out every disc I throw at it! I think I’ll take it as a sign to study more…
Don’t forget we still have the NY Videogame Critics Circle Spring Community Event at Barcade this Tuesday, 5/23 at 7 p.m.! Come by and challenge me to a game of Tetris! Be prepared though, if I lose I will be blaming the joystick and claim that I am better with a d-pad.
This week, Austin Walker talks about Battlegrounds and power ups, Sherri L. Smith gives us her thoughts on Prey and reminds us how badly we need more games in the vein of Bioshock, Samit Sarkar talks millennial and searching for lifes answers in Master of None, Heather Alexandera brings us the scoop on amiibo bootlegging, and Allegra Frank tells us why Nintendo fans are angry yet again. And former columnist/intern Lucy Ungaro unveils her game at NYU’s Showcase – tonight!
And with that, the Roundup!
Sherri L. Smith reviewed Prey, likening it to other sci-fi greats such as Bioshock and Dead Space. While she got a little bored with the jump scares, the game truly shines in its highly detailed and explorable world. Read up on what makes Prey a rewarding experience here.
Austin Walker compares the scopes in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to the game changing power ups of yesteryear. Traditional power ups like Mario’s fire flower changed the state of play in much more dramatic ways than contemporary upgrades and buffs do. You can read why Austin thinks the scopes in Battlegrounds make the player feel so empowered here.
Samit Sarkar took a look at season two of Aziz Ansari’s TV show Master of None. In his review he talked about how he related to Aziz’s character, Dev, both sharing the experience of growing up in America with religious immigrant parents while not particularly being a believer themselves. Read more about what made Master of None’s new season so much better than the last here.
Heather Alexandra delves into the world of the bootleg amiibo business this week. Due to Nintendo’s poor handling of amiibo supply, people are now selling custom amiibo “cards”. Onboard the custom cards is an NFC chip with the same data you would find in a regular amiibo. Hopefully, Nintendo can see that amiibo are things that people want to buy, and they will produce a sufficient supply of the upcoming Legend of Zelda and Super Smash Bros. figures. Heather goes into more detail about what the consequences may be for these amiibo bootleggers over here.
Allegra Frank has the latest news on an upcoming collaboration between the creators of Parappa the Rapper and Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan!. Project Rap Rabbit is live on Kickstarter now, asking for a little over one million dollars to get funded. If it hits its goal, the game will release on PS4 and PC. If it reaches its stretch goal of nearly four million dollars, it will release on the Switch. Read Allegra’s full story, along with some angry Nintendo fans responses, here.
Lucy Ungaro Tonight, New York University’s Game Center is hosting their End of Year Show, which is free and open to the public. Bonus! Former ace Circle columnist/intern Lucy Ungaro will showcase her game, Instrumental. Stop by and check out tons of games developed by students in both graduate and undergraduate programs. Be sure not to miss it! Plus, free drinks! For more information, click here.
Kimari Rennis Our teen intern from the Bronx’s DreamYard Prep School was really moved by What Remains of Edith Finch. Since Edith is 17 and Kimari is 14, the game really resonated (for the most part). Check it out!
Beyond the Circle:
Ubisoft came out with some news this week that should come as no surprise to anyone. New entries in the Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and The Crew franchises are slated to come out before the end of this fiscal year. Based on earlier rumors, the new Assassin’s Creed game will take place in ancient Egypt, and the new Far Cry game will take place in Montana. Along with these announcements, South Park: The Fractured But Whole has a new release date of October 17, 2017. Read the full news story here.
In a heartbreaking face-to-face with the reality of music licensing issues, Remedy Entertainment’s Alan Wake will be taken down from Xbox and PC digital stores indefinitely. It’s really a shame that a piece of art that hundreds of great developers worked on for several years can vanish in an instant due to something as trivial as licensing issues. Hopefully by the time you’re reading this your local videogame shop still has some physical copies left. Find out what Remedy had to say here.
The Wall Street Journal reports on a upcoming Legend of Zelda mobile game coming from Nintendo sometime in 2018. With the free-to-play Fire Emblem Heroes widely outperforming the free-to-download yet expensive to play Super Mario Run, we may see a free-to-play Legend of Zelda game sometime in our future (yuck). For those without a WSJ membership, read TIME’s full post here.
Students and faculty at Stanford University continue to embrace videogames in their academics. The Interactive Media and Games Seminar Series is a weekly seminar that features guest speakers such as Dennis Fong, the first professional gamer, and Allan Alcorn, the design engineer of Pong. The rising interest in interactive technologies and software at Stanford is something many professors are excited about and encourage in their students. Find out where you can watch these seminars online over here.
And there you have it, my first ever round up!