Hello Circle members and friends! It’s Jon again back with your weekly Roundup.
This week, we’re going back a bit and looking ahead. Michelle Ehrhardt discussed the themes of the latest Zelda title and the fan community that has built up around it, Joshua Rivera discussed the very relevant themes of Far Cry 5 to America in 2017, Alex Cranz met the King of Mechanical Keyboards, Chris Byrd reviewed Rime, and Jordan Minor reported on some classic Neo Geo titles you may be interested in at the Switch eStore.
And a special shoutout to Steve Haske, who is not a Circle member, but he just dropped an amazing longform piece on the history of Halo for Waypoint.
And with that, the Roundup!
Michelle Ehrhardt joined Tavit and Yussef on their podcast Video Game Hour to talk about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Join the gang as they talk about speed runs, puzzle design, the guy who collected all 900 Korok seeds, and reclaiming a broken world. Listen to the podcast here.
Jordan Minor reports on the steady flow of classic titles filling up the Nintendo Switch library. While it’s not quite a Virtual Console just yet, the Arcade Archives over at the Switch eShop has been introducing Neo Geo titles like King of Fighters ‘98, Metal Slug 3, Over Top, and more. Check out Jordan’s write up here.
Joshua Rivera wrote about the upcoming Far Cry 5 being set in a fictional Montana county ruled by a fanatical doomsday cult called Eden’s Gate. Hope County is very much rural and very much white. Eden’s Gate bears a striking resemblance to fundamentalist Christian churches obsessed with apocalyptic rhetoric and the Branch Davidians, a cult made famous by the Waco siege. Lucky for Far Cry 5, this setting is quite relevant to us now in the Trump presidency and the growing angst of Middle America over the changing landscape of the country. Read Josh’s piece here.
Harold Goldberg penned a longform, gonzo piece on Eve FanFest and his quick trip to Iceland. There, he met an affable creature called the Space Pope, spoke to a ton of CCP executives, and was slapped in the face (well, metaphorically, and in a good way). He even took a dip into the famous Blue Lagoon at which point he had a revelation. Read Harold’s story here.
Alex Cranz flew all the way to Facebook’s Menlo Park campus to meet with Jacob Alexander, a legend in the mechanical keyboard enthusiast community. Among hobbyists who drop thousands of dollars switches, caps, and plastics, Alexander is a key-clacking giant with over 500 individual keyboards to his name. Alex’s profile on Jacob Alexander is a longform piece that focuses on the hobbyists, the manufacturers, and the joy of feeling that spring with every command you input. Read Alex’s piece here.
Chris Byrd reviewed Rime, a game that was inspired by a near-death experience in the Mediterranean Sea. Rime isn’t giving you anything to shoot or even anyone to talk to. It’s trying to send you a message through a skeletal plot, a beautiful world, and puzzles that invite you to soak in the experience rather than achieve an objective. Read Chris’ review here.
And now for news outside of the Circle. . .
Steve Haske spent a year writing a massive, exhaustive, unabridged history of Halo. Seriously, this thing is huge and if you’re a fan of the franchise, it’s a mandatory read. Read this monstrous and amazing piece here.
Someone has already created a petition demanding that Ubisoft cancel Far Cry 5 under accusations that it makes white people look bad … and something about GamerGate. My initial instinct is that this is the snort-laugh prank of a troll (the infamous “you targeted gamers” copypasta is attached at the end). Or maybe it’s an ingenious meta commentary on Far Cry 5 itself being inspired by white outrage. Or maybe it’s a crafty stunt by Ubisoft. Or maybe it really is genuine. Poe’s law is in full effect for me right now. Read the petition (or hilarious flamebait) here.
NBA 2K17 says that the Golden State Warriors will avenge their loss from the Cleveland Cavaliers at this year’s NBA Finals. According to a simulation from 2K Sports, the Warriors will cinch a decisive 132-106 victory thanks to a stunning 41-point performance from Kevin Durant. Good luck, KD! Read about the prediction here.
YouTuber strafefox released a video about the making of Donkey Kong Country, a game so gorgeous that it still looks great 27 years later. But not only did it make Donkey Kong look pretty, it also gave him a soul and connected him with a whole new generation of gamers. Check it out here.
The Nintendo Switch is mad tough. Someone dropped one from 1,000 feet and it was still operational. I believe this herculean durability is an absolutely intended design feature, but it was probably to ensure the Switch to stay healthy even after your older brother gets triggered from you winning the 12th game of Mario Kart in a row and decides to see how fast your Switch can close the distance between itself and the sidewalk downstairs. See the modern Galileo gaming experiment here.
And that’s it for this week’s Roundup! Be sure to tune in again next week for the latest news of what’s going on in and outside of the Circle!