By Shane Ferguson
Salutations, Circle clan! I’m Shane and I’ll be kicking off August’s first roundup with a well-deserved thank you to everyone who attended the Circle’s first Abrons Arts Center block party. Everyone enjoyed the festivities and the community had a great time!
In this week’s Roundup. . .
Christopher Byrd reviews Tacoma, Fullbright’s unique sci-fi adventure that brings you aboard the lunar transfer station Tacoma. You play as a contracted A.I. communications specialist who must retrieve A.I. data from the station detailing the final moments of the crew, amidst an increasingly precarious emergency situation. Interesting characters and a remarkably developed universe make for an immersive experience. Check out his review here.
Samit Sarkar gives us the scoop on AMD’s long awaited Radeon RX Vega line of GPUs scheduled for release August 14th. AMD introduces an upgraded RX Vega 64 decked with liquid cooling as part of their new Radeon Pack. This represents AMD’s attempt to convince customers to take advantage of the next-generation capabilities of the Vega cards, with hardware and software that optimizes their power. Find out here.
Gita Jackson examines the controversial hit House Party’s return to Steam after being pulled for suggestive content. Steam received a number of complaints following its debut calling the game “Pornography”. It’s back and including more restrictions this time around. Find out more here.
Jordan Minor gets his hands on the new Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. All of the silly strategy goodness leaves him satisfied and overwhelmed with possibilities. Discover why this turn based strategy game is no gimmicky shallow take on the genre. Read his impression here.
Mike Andronico walks us through a beginner’s guide to everything Overwatch. He breaks down what makes the FPS so special and why you should buy Overwatch if you haven’t already. If you’re one of the very few late to the Overwatch party such as myself, you definitely do not want to miss this one. Check it out here.
Also Harold Goldberg was interviewed by Mike Andronico for People Playing Games Mike’s podcast. The New York Videogame Critics Circle founder talks about his books, his travels and his start as a music critic. Harold also loves SuperGiant’s Pyre, which he reviewed in his role as Boys’ Life’s so-called Game’s Guru. He says it’s one of the year’s best games. Find out why here.
Sherri L. Smith pits Oculus Rift against the HTC Vive in a fight to the death for VR supremacy! Okay maybe not, but it’s still a great review. With hefty price tags on both ends, you will want to check out this face-off before pulling the trigger. Compare specs, design, features, controls, games, and more here.
In this week’s news beyond The Circle . . .
Atlus has announced that they will be collaborating with A-1 Pictures to produce a Persona 5 anime! Not much is known yet about the project, but it is scheduled for release in Japan next year. Check out the new teaser here.
European PlayStation Plus Subscribers will see a price increase for monthly, quarterly and annual subscriptions as soon as next month. Regions to be affected include the United Kingdom, Norway, France, Germany, and Italy. A similar hike took place in North America around the same time last year. Fingers crossed that this doesn’t mean another increase in the States anytime soon. Read more here.
In better PlayStation Plus news, August is here! Which means a new slew of awesome free titles emerges this month. PS4 owners will get Just Cause 3 and Assassin’s Creed IV’s Freedom Cry story DLC! PS3 owners can download Snakeball and Super Motherload. Own a Vita? Get Level 22 and the critically acclaimed Downwell which supports PS4 cross-buy! Don’t feel left out Xbox owners, this month Xbox Live subscribers can download a free copy of Slime Ranger and the incredibly addictive Trials Fusion! Together with the backward compatible free Xbox 360 games of August Bayonetta and Red Faction: Armageddon. Now is the perfect time if you haven’t tried any of these titles yet. Check it out here.
A super rare Atari 2700 prototype console was found at an Oceanside, California thrift store last week. Redditor L064N was shopping at the Disabled Army Veterans thrift store 10 minutes before closing when he stumbled upon an indistinguishable console. A quick Google search led him to believe it might be an Atari prototype which he then purchased for $30. He has since sold the prototype on eBay for $3,000! He believes there to be at least 12 in existence. See the full story here and original eBay listing here.
In more retro news, Nintendo confirms they will reopen pre-orders for the Super Nintendo Classic later this month following some disorientation with the initial pre-orders of the console’s approaching release. Nintendo took to Facebook to confirm that not only will they give consumers another chance to secure the mini SNES, but they will ship additional consoles to retailers for those unable to obtain a pre-order. Finally, Nintendo! Let’s hope that doesn’t mean we’ll see only 5 extra consoles on release day. Read the full story here.
And that’s it for this week’s Roundup! Enjoy your weekend! Play games with your pals, not idiots!
Shane Ferguson is the newest intern of the New York Videogame Critics Circle.