Hello, Circle readers! Jon here, bringing you your final Roundup of the month.
Our members have been busy this week! Today’s lineup features a nice mix of big releases and some indies: Splatoon 2, Destiny 2, Pyre, and yet another piece of Mighty No. 9 drama. Yes, even after Mighty No. 9’s release, it still manages to disappoint backers.
Beyond the Circle, we have some new footage of Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds leaving early access (with some controversy), long awaited updates on the Overwatch League, and a possible hint that Grand Theft Auto VI has entered production.
Also, the Circle is hosting our very first block party at the Abrons Art Center! Read on for more details!
And with that, the Roundup!
Eb Samuel reviewed Splatoon 2, the sequel to Nintendo’s first and only shooter series. In true Nintendo fashion, the game is designed for everyone in mind. Seriously. You could be the worst shot in the world and still contribute to your team. The splatter from your paint guns marks territory for your team, increasing their mobility while hamstringing your enemies. This time around, the game features some extra depth, a new horde mode, and a whole lot of charm. Read Eb’s review here.
Matt Gerardi hosted a roundtable on Destiny 2 with fellow A.V. Club writers Alex McLevy and Clayton Purdom. Alex McLevy in particular holds a special love for Destiny because it was his very first first-person shooter — EVER! Matt himself was not so jazzed about the first Destiny, which he abandoned after a few hours because of its grindy number-crunching. Matt found that while Destiny 2 is delivering more of what it’s good at (cinematic, exciting, and very, very pretty), he also found it overcompensating. Read Matt’s roundtable here.
Alex Cranz reviewed the New Nintendo 2DS XL, the latest offering in Nintendo’s very confusingly named 2DS family. The latest 2DS is indeed new, since it can play titles that the original 2DS and 3DS can’t. So why should you buy this when you have a perfectly good Switch? Cause it’s affordable, light, and unlike the Switch, has a huge library of games to choose from. Read Alex’s review here.
Christopher Byrd reviewed Pyre, the latest game from Supergiant Games. It hits all the standard Supergiant trademarks: gorgeous art, silky smooth animation, an omnipotent narrator, writing with a big floating existential question, and a quirky set of game mechanics. Chris described the gameplay as a mix between text-based RPGs and sports. Battles revolve around wresting control of an orb and plunging it into your enemy’s eponymous pyre. Come for the pretty graphics and the high fantasy story, stay for the wizard soccer. Read Chris’ review here.
Allegra Frank reports that Mighty No. 9 backers finally got their physical rewards, more than two years after the game’s release. Backers who paid $60 for the physical edition had a choice between NES boxes or Famicom boxes. The NES box was actually nice, with original art not found in any other promotional material. The Famicom rewards were, uh, not so nice. The game’s manual wouldn’t even fit in the box. Read Allegra’s report here.
If you haven’t heard, the Circle is hosting our very first block party! Come by today to the Abrons Art Center (466 Grand Street) from 5pm – 8pm! There’s gonna be free food and drinks, games, giveaways, t-shirts, and special guests! If you want to join us later in the night, we’re having an after party at the Two Bits Retro Arcade nearby! Read more here.
And now for news outside of the Circle. . .
After months of radio silence, Blizzard is finally rolling out concrete updates on how the Overwatch League will be structured. The first post discussed how to qualify as a competitor and the second post announced the League’s seven headlining teams. The latest post discussed player rights, and it’s a big surprise. OWL demands that all teams must give players a minimum salary of $50,000 USD a year, seasonal housing, one-year contracts with an option to extend, health insurance, retirement savings, and at least 50% of tourney bonuses. There is also no region locking, meaning any team can pick up any players (expect to see many Koreans aces on western teams). All these enforced player rights already puts Blizzard heads and shoulders above other esports leagues. Read the post here.
Wolfenstein: The New Colossus DLC will feature four episodic adventures, all from the perspective of different characters fighting the Nazis in America. These vignettes feature a former professional quarterback, an ex-OSS agent, and a US Army officer with their own backstories and unique abilities. I’m already in love. The market for great single-player shooters is already tiny, and even tinier for single-player shooter DLC. Read about it here.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, everyone’s favorite MMO battle royale survival game, has officially left Early Access. It’s also celebrating its Gamescom Invitational by adding new crates to the game filled with cosmetic items, only this time, you need to pay to open them. This has caused a rift among fans, some of which believe crates with paid keys are a predatory practice, especially in a game popular with minors who are not legally fit to gamble. Read about it here.
The Grand Theft Auto VI rumor mill has started grinding after some observant fans have found actor resumes listing GTA VI among the credits. Tim Neff is one such actor, who listed himself as a mocap actor for Red Dead Redemption 2 and now GTA VI. Unfortunately, the rumor is unfounded. Tim Neff’s agent has denied that his client has been involved at all with Rockstar. You’ve just been clickbaited. Read PC Gamer’s coverage on the story here.
DOOM released a major patch that gave away all of its DLC to the entire playerbase for free. The patch was poetically numbered as 6.66. Check out the trailer here.
And that’s it for this week’s Roundup! Have a great weekend, and see you next month!