The Roundup: Call of Duty WWII, iPhone X tricks, Indie Gems on the Switch, Xbox One X, WWE 2K18

By Jeffrey Mizrahi

Playing Call of Duty WWII and Super Mario Odyssey at the same time is very interesting. One game has you grinding endlessly (or just use real money to buy in game currency) at a chance to score a cool costume for your character, while the other encourages you to spend in game currency (and ONLY in game currency) to dress up your character in the silliest costumes of your choosing. People often criticize Nintendo for not keeping up with certain modern videogame trends (looking at you voice chat and friend codes). But sometimes that’s a good thing. Some of my favorite moments in Odyssey come from running around as Mario in his boxers and a fedora. The game just wouldn’t be the same if I had to spend two dollars on each hat or outfit. Thank you, Nintendo for not putting loot boxes in your games, and while I hope you learn some great things from your videogame friends, they may not always be the best influence!

And with that, this week’s Roundup!

Michael Thomsen gives us his opinions on Call of Duty: WWII. He writes about how many moments from this new Call of Duty feel very much like moments from old Call of Duty, albeit a little more focused this time around. While it has been a while since the series was based in World War II, the game remains all too familiar. To read more, and find out Michael’s thoughts on the game’s multiplayer, read here.

Scott Stein teaches us how to use our new fancy iPhone X. If you’re anything like me, you may have had a lot of questions after booting up your new smartphone this week. Things like screenshots and control center have been remapped to new areas of the device, so get ready to relearn a few things. For a detailed list of tips and tricks, read here.

Michael Andronico knows his fellow Switch owners may be looking for more adventures outside of Mario and Zelda. So, he made a fantastic list of some of the best indie gems you may not know about on Nintendo’s newest console. Ranging from modern day classics like Shovel Knight to the budget priced top-down adventure, Kamiko, you may find your next game of the year on this list. To check out all 17 games, read here.  

Samit Sarkar gives his pre-review on the world’s most powerful console, the Xbox One X. Samit aims to find out if the system is worth the $500 investment if you don’t have have a 4K or HDR TV to fully utilize all that the box has to offer. He found himself preferring a smoother frame rate over pixel count (when given the choice). While better graphics may not sell you on the system, shorter load times may. For more on how this behemoth stacks up to PlayStation’s own offerings, read here.  

On launch day, Harold Goldberg wondered whether the Xbox One X is a good buy for kids this holiday season. While there’s much power to the latest system, a more reasonable purchase may be the new Minecraft Xbox One S bundle with the expertly designed Minecraft case and Creeper controller. IIt’s a keeper. Plus, with the lack of brand new Microsoft games, waiting might be the way to go – especially if you’re looking for a discount. There’s more here.

Our own Shane Ferguson gives us some insight into WWE 2K18. Shane really enjoys this year’s entry in the long running series. But he also identifies a large amount of issues holding it back from being the better game it can be. While he says the overall gameplay is fun, things like local multiplayer requiring a separate PSN user and glitches with the character creator ruin a great experience. To learn how 2K can better this series next year, read here.

Outside the Circle

Ars Technica’s Kyle Orland looks carefully at the news that Nintendo is ramping up production for the Switch console. Can it meet the extravagant sales numbers Nintendo believes it can hit? Or will it soar past those millions? How much of a gamble is Nintendo actually taking? Check out the analysis here.

Blizzcon, Blizzard’s annual convention, happened this past weekend and boy, oh boy, were there some bangers! First up, we now have a new Overwatch hero to add to the meta. Moira, the games new support character, can do heavy damage, as well as heavy healing with her spellcaster abilities. In other Overwatch news, Blizzard showed off a new map Blizzardworld, as well as a new animated short starring Reinhardt. Moving onto Blizzard’s popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft Classic was announced. It will be a new server based on the original content of the game. There were also announcements for Starcraft II and Hearthstone, you can read about those here.

A new Nintendo Direct this week shed some light on the upcoming Switch RPG, Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The 16 minute long video showed off new battle mechanics as well as a detailed expansion pass for the game. No interest in Xenoblade? No worries, because Nintendo also showed off some free tie-in DLC with The Legend of the Zelda: Breath of the Wild. To get all the details on what is looking to be a HUGE game, read here.

Have you been wondering what that countdown timer was in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus’ menu screen? Well the secret has been revealed! With the new patch, the timer has been replaced with a tab called “SAS Machine” which adds 10 new combat simulations to the game. Also added in the patch is a new tab that allows buyers of the game’s DLC to access that content. To read more on what this new patch does for the game, click here.  

Looks like a year off did wonders for the Assassin’s Creed franchise. In an earnings call earlier this week, Ubisoft has said that this year’s Origins, has sold double the amount 2015’s misfire Syndicate sold in its first 10 days on the market. For more on which one of Ubisoft’s older titles sold ridiculous numbers this half, click here.

If you needed more proof the game industry is one tough place to work, Telltale has laid off 25 percent of their company this past week, affecting 90 employees. They plan to reorganize the studio and focus more on fewer, better games. Telltale has worked on some of the industries greatest narrative adventures and we wish the best of luck to the workers affected by this news. To read Pete Hawley, Telltale’s CEO, full statement, click here.

And that’s a wrap, folks!

Jeffrey Mizrahi is a writer/intern for the New York Videogame Critics Circle.


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