By Jeffrey Mizrahi
What’s up, everybody! Jeffrey here with another Roundup featuring the latest work by a handful of our greatest Circle members!
No matter how hard I try, I just can’t stop thinking about Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. Before bed, when I wake up, when I get home, I keep thinking “I have time for a quick solo match, right?” I haven’t felt this sense of “just one more game” in so long, it’s kind of scary. And the funny part is, I’m not even that good!
This week we have Dan Ackerman and Alex Cranz giving us the latest on new tech, Michelle Ehrhardt with a masterful piece about courage with an Overwatch twist, Gita Jackson reports back with an update on No Man’s Sky, Allegra Frank provides the scoop on Sonic Mania’s Easter eggs, and our 15-year-old intern Kimari Rennis sheds some light on Fortnite.
And with that, The Roundup!
Dan Ackerman ranks the top 25 most powerful gaming laptops currently on the market. Whether you’re heading off to college in the coming weeks, or you spilled some coffee on your current rig, this list is a useful reference if you need some incredible gaming power on the go. It’s not surprising to see Acer’s $9,000 Predator in the number one slot, but scroll down a couple ranks to find some cheaper laptops that still pack a hell of a punch. For a full breakdown on how the 25 laptops faced off, read here.
Alex Cranz talks even more tech with a review of AMD’s two new Vega graphics cards. Alex compares the Vega 64 and Vega 56 to Nvidia’s 1080 card and the results are pretty interesting. While the 64 is slightly better than the 1080, the cheaper 56 card practically matches Nvidia’s chip in performance. While the Vega chips drain more juice from your power supply, AMD also released software called Radeon Chill that essentially scales the stress on the card based on what you are using it for. To learn more about how this may spark a new war between graphics cards manufacturers, read here.
Michelle Ehrhardt gives a beautiful ode to Genji from Overwatch. She compares her own personal transition to the cyborg ninja’s experiences. Alternating between her perspective and Genji’s, Michelle writes about acceptance, courage, and family. Check out this must read, here.
Gita Jackson returns to the vast galaxies of No Man’s Sky to check out how game changing the latest update really is. When the game launched a year ago, the biggest complaint was that there wasn’t much to do. In the 1.3 update, there are actual story missions, a terraforming addition to the multi tool, refined flight controls, and more. Gita writes that all these additions really help flesh out this once half-baked game. For more on Gita’s impressions, read here.
Allegra Frank shares some of Sonic Mania’s most charming Easter eggs. It’s pretty wild to see a new Sonic game in 2017 be so well received. It’s even wilder to see the amount of fanfare and attention to detail this game has in it, all while not being too cheesy. First, the game includes a buzzing noise in a certain area, referencing a moment in last year’s 25th anniversary stream only die hard Sonic fans will remember. The second is a hidden “& Knuckles” mode that has the red echidna follow around Sonic a la Tails. Only true Sonic fans know this is a nod stemming from the release of Sonic 3 & Knuckles back in the day. For more on these Easter eggs, read here and here.
Kimari Rennis had a chance to give Fortnite, Epic Games’ new tower defense, third person shooter a spin. While she loves the gameplay, characters, and level progression, she’s not the biggest fan of how the game handles its loot crates. Still, her overall experience is a postive one. To read the whole Insight review, click here.
Mark your calendars! This Saturday we’re teaming up with Play NYC to present a spectacular panel featuring some of your favorite NYVGCC members! For more details, read here!
Outside the circle…
Discord takes a stand against the alt-right! In the wake of some tragic events this past weekend in Virginia, Discord is shutting down a popular alt-right server, citing both their own community guidelines and terms of service, and detailing how these users broke those rules. For more on this small victory, read here.
The decade old Xbox achievement system seems to be fundamentally changing soon. Microsoft teased earlier this week that the new system will have a way of representing gamers who may not play a variety of games, but put a lot of time into a single game. The way the current system works rewards someone who plays a few hours of dozens of games more than it rewards someone who plays dozens of hours of a few games. To learn more about what Xbox executive Mike Ybarra has to say about the changes, read here.
In other niche console news, the patch notes for PlayStation 4’s 5.0 update have leaked. Features such as 1080p 60fps streaming to Twitch and changes to how family and sub accounts work are at the top of the list. There are still rumors flying around that the long awaited PSN name changes may still be apart of this patch. But as of yet, there hasn’t been any concrete evidence to give those rumors any validity. For more on what changes we should expect to PS4’s firmware, read here.
We Happy Few, the game that seems to have been in early access forever, has finally gotten a release date. The psychedelic survival game is being published by Gearbox Publishing and will be released on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 April 13, 2018. For more, read here.
And rounding out this week’s Roundup we have a very New York video featuring everyone’s favorite plumber. The folks over at Kotaku walked the streets of NY and asked locals the question we’ve all been thinking since E3. Is Mario human? Find out what they had to say, here.
And there you have it! Keep o playing, folks!