The Roundup: Overwatch League, Polybius, Pokemon Go, Dragster, EVO 2017

Hey y’all! Jeffrey here with this week’s roundup!

With everyone back into Zelda mode with the release of the new DLC, I went returned to the world of Hyrule to finally collect all 120 shrines. With only about 10 left for me to find, I kind of wished there were more. Stumbling across hidden shrines in the literal corners of the map is a rewarding experience that trumps so many other traditional videogame collectibles. Wouldn’t it be cool if they would secretly update the game every few weeks and toss in a couple new shrines here and there? 

Also, I’d love it if you would check out my new community focused PlayStation podcast, PS Best Friends! What separates us from other PlayStation podcasts is that this is a true community effort. In each episode, we feature a guest host from the greater PlayStation community. No developers, or high profile influencers, just regular folk who love PlayStation as much as we do. New episodes go live every Tuesday. To keep up to date with us, follow us on twitter @PSBFpodcast.

And without further ado, the Roundup!

Michael Thomsen gets his hands on Polybius. As the rumors go, Polybius was originally an arcade game crafted by the CIA in the 80’s that would leave players mentally disturbed. Luckily, this 2017 version doesn’t do that, and Michael is still OK. The game offers a very cathartic experience for gamers who tend to shy away from the enormous worlds of games like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, or the fast-paced, competitive nature of games like Overwatch. For more on what makes Polybius such a relaxing, yet rewarding virtual reality game, read here.

Heather Alexandra reports on the drama and doubt regarding a world record for an Atari 2600 game, Dragster. The seemingly impossible time of 5.51 seconds, was achieved by Todd Rogers in 1982. The contention? Not even a computer playing the game perfectly can match that time. While Activision claims to have seen a Polaroid snapshot of the time back in the 80’s, the image no longer exists today. To find out how far people are going to disprove this record, read here.  

Joshua Rivera talks about a moment from What Remains of Edith Finch, which he considers his favorite videogame level of the year so far. In a game all about death, the level puts you in control of the main character’s older brother, Lewis Finch, who works a mundane job at a cannery. You start off chopping fish heads, a task so tedious it can literally be played with one hand on the controller. As the fish keep on coming, Lewis’ mind starts to wander. This is reflected in game as small fantasy RPG that slowly takes up a large part of the screen. But you also explore Lewis’ imagination, in order to have the player truly empathize with the character. That’s something Joshua says is absent from most modern games. To read more on how Lewis’ story ends, read here.

Scott Stein revisits Pokemon Go a year after its release to explain why it is AR’s killer app. Augmented reality, or AR, may not be familiar to everyone, but Pokemon Go is. Having digital images appear in the real world through the screen on your phone is soon going to be described through comparisons to Pokemon Go. While the game may have not made the best use of AR, it ushered the concept into the mainstream public like no other AR application could. For more on why this could be more important than VR, read here.

Gita Jackson collects the internet’s reactions to newly announced Overwatch character, Doomfist. Doomfist has been a long anticipated and rumored playable character for the game. But just earlier this week, Blizzard made him official. In his origin video he is shown killing the beloved hero, Tracer, solidifying his evil affiliations. For funny comments and spectacular fan art, read here.  

And now for news outside of the Circle. . .

Over at Waypoint, Patrick Klepek writes about a story that has been haunting him for the past 10 years. Early in his career working at 1-UP, Patrick received news from a source that Cory Barlog would be leaving Sony Santa Monica Studios. While he was told not to go public with this information by his source, he did talk about it with some co-workers in his office. One thing lead to another and when Sony got word of this breach in privacy, it almost cost the source his job. To find out how Patrick finally cleared his conscience, read here.

Get ready for a bittersweet Evolution Championship Series this weekend. With the new Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite releasing in a few months, it may the last time we see Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 at the the popular fighting game tournament. While many of the top Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 players moved on to newer fighting games with better developer support, EVO 2017 may be the deciding factor as to who is the world’s greatest MVC3 player due to the fact that no one has ever had a repeat victory before. For more on what this year’s contenders have to say, read here.

In other Overwatch news, the competitive scene is growing with the newly formed Overwatch League. The first seven teams will be from New York (!!), Boston, Los Angeles, Miami-Orlando, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Seoul. Some team owners will be traditional sports team owners as well. So this is a great step to further legitimizing Overwatch’s place in the eSports world. For a more in depth interview by Heroes Never Die, read here.

With the professional eSports scene thriving, what about high school eSports? Well it’s looking like the future is pretty bright for teenagers looking to play on a school team that isn’t basketball or football. While no state has sanctioned gaming as an official sport, many educators seeing a demand for it are creating eSport teams for their high school students. For more on where this scene can go, read here.

The Envision Game & Technology Academy at George Mason University is doing some pretty amazing things over this summer. Over a dozen students are enrolled in a summer class called “Story-Based Game Design for Girls.” The idea is to get young girls interested and involved in more STEM based fields, and creating their own videogames is a perfect entry point. For more, read here.

We at the Circle would like to congratulate and wish the best to fellow games journalist, Brian Crecente. Brian had helped launch the beloved Polygon back in 2012 (and before that, Kotaku). We’re sure he’s going to do great things as the editorial director at Glixel. To keep up to date on Brian’s work, you can find him here.

And there you have it! Check back next week for another Roundup!

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