The Roundup: Game Boy Returns? Whither VR? 2nd Annual Game Devs of Color Expo, 25 Years of Mortal Kombat, Respawn’s Got A VR Offering

By Shane Ferguson

Greetings Circle clan, Shane here again with your Roundup for this week. This quarter is really starting to heat up, with some great announcements and anticipated releases. Personally, I’m looking forward to playing Assassin’s Creed: Origins. I’ve been on a brief hiatus from the series, but Ancient Kemet seems like a great place to get re-acclimated. Also included in this week’s Roundup is everything from VR announcements and Destiny 2 walkthroughs to Nintendo news and PC hidden gems.

Here we go!

Samit Sarkar is back this week with all the latest on Destiny 2‘s new Iron Banner matches. Everything you need to know about the event is in this guide! Check out all of the new weaponry, armor and loot crates that this update has to offer. The event starts this week and ends next week Tuesday, 10/17. Destiny 2 aficionados will definitely want to check out this walkthrough. Read more here.

Michael Andronico gives us the scoop on how to get EA’s Star Wars Battlefront 2’s free beta. (Our Donovan Floyd will have his impressions next week!) You don’t have to wait until November to have some epic dogfights in the new Starfighter Assault mode. Playing Battlefront 2’s beta will earn you a special “Founder’s Crate” that will carry over into the final game. This will include in-game credits, a special Darth Maul emote and a rare Star Card. For all PC gamers, Mike also provides us with all the PC requirements necessary for the download. Check out what EA’s Battlefront 2’s beta has to offer and more here.

Sherri L. Smith examines the current state of virtual reality in this enlightening article. It’s been five years since the hype train for VR departed and it is safe to say it hasn’t quite met expectations. With augmented reality gaining momentum, has time already run out for virtual reality? Smith breaks everything down in this extensive look at the whole VR industry, examining all the hardware and software along the way. And will the untethered, upcoming Oculus Go change things for the better? Read the article here.

Matt Gerardi and Clayton Purdom talk about some of the games they’ve played this weekend. There’ s one classic and one “adorable throwback to the collect-a-thon of old.” When not slaughtering in Mordor, Matt has been playing A Hat in Time. A new PC indie game developed by Games for Breakfast, it got its start on Kickstarter back in February 2014. It’s a simple, but charming 3D platformer reminiscent of adventure/collectible games like Super Mario 64 and Spyro the Dragon. Find out why Matt thinks it might be this year’s cutest hidden gem here.

Jordan Minor explains to us why he thinks the Brooklyn Gamery’s second annual Game Devs of Color Expo is the perfect E3 antidote. From games about keeping toxic exes from one another to games about fighting gentrification, the expo was diverse in more ways than a few. It was held in Harlem’s historic Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture with the intention of showing you don’t need a traditional capitalist industry to get acclaim and recognition. It was great to see this side of gaming culture celebrated as I can identify as a Black aspiring independent developer myself. Unfortunately, I wasn’t even aware of this Expo taking place until reading this article. So I will definitely be putting it on my bucket list for next year. Check out the full article here.

Now with some news outside of the circle…

Respawn Entertainment has announced their new super secret virtual reality title in the works as part of their partnership with Oculus. This untitled project aims to “depict being a soldier in combat in a more fully fleshed out and realistic way,” says Respawn co-founder Vince Zampella. The game is still very early in its production and is scheduled for release in 2019. When not partnering with Oculus to turn us all into super soldiers, you might know Respawn Entertainment from their work on Titanfall. This project is unrelated according to Respawn’s Peter Hirschmann, who reassured fans in a blog post that the new VR title will not be a Titanfall game. Read more about it here.

Some Nintendo fans are upset this week as many still have not received their pre-ordered SNES Classic Edition from Amazon. Emails were sent out this week asking customers if they still wanted to keep their pre-ordered purchase, stating “Please note that we don’t charge you for an item until we’re ready to ship it. On the day we ship your order, we’ll send you an email message confirming its contents and the shipping method.” At first, this seemed normal due to the Nintendo classic editions being notoriously understocked. However, now many are placing the blame on The Amazon Treasure Trucks. Apparently, many of these trucks were posted up in select locations on the release day of the SNES Classic. Customers (even those without pre-orders) could come by and purchase a SNES Classic Edition from these vehicular storefronts. I’m torn because I feel this move was fair and Nintendo has not made it particularly easy for the casual consumer to get their hands on one. On the other hand, I think people who have actually purchased their item via pre-order should have priority. Especially when you are dealing with an item that is in a limited quantity. Read the full story here.

In some more cryptic Nintendo news, Nintendo just registered a new trademark in Japan. For what, you may ask? Well, we do know it is something Game Boy related. The trademark was filed on September 15th and included an image of a Game Boy. Could this be associated with something along the lines of a mini Game Boy Classic? Or something Switch affiliated? A mini Game Boy seems peculiar, yet I like the idea for some reason. The trademark covers “home video game console” programs, as well as “programs for smartphones” and “smartphone cases and accessories.” And there are other accessories such as “keychains,” “necklaces,” and “watches.” Could this just be simply to protect the Nintendo Brand overall? With the recently filed N64 trademark, I would be surprised if we didn’t get at least one other mini from Nintendo eventually. Check out the full story here.

Mortal Kombat celebrates 25 years of fatalities this week. Want to feel old? Check out their 25th Anniversary trailer here.

And that’s it for this week’s Roundup. Thank you for checking in, enjoy your weekend (don’t forget to play video games) and see you again next time!
Shane Ferguson is one of our New York Videogame Critics Circle writer/interns.

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