By Matt Gerardi
Welcome back to The Roundup, the New York Videogame Critics Circle’s weekly look at our members’ writing and news from around the world of videogames. This week, our writers wrestle with the constant menace of Capcom’s Resident Evil 3 remake, uncover a most specific of April Fool’s jokes, and take a peek at the approaching console war. Plus, an inside look at the sweetest of Animal Crossing weddings.
A year after Capcom’s masterful reimagining of Resident Evil 2 knocked the world’s socks off (and won the publisher our 9th Annual New York Game Award for Best Remake), the zombie nightmare is back for, what else, Resident Evil 3. Heather Alexandra reviewed the rebuilt classic at Kotaku, writing that this new take on the game “ratchets up an already intense experience into something downright exhausting.” But it’s a good kind of exhausting, one that exhilarates with noise and fury and constant pressure, finding its place on the more action-oriented spectrum of the horror genre. “The terror doesn’t fade simply because you have an assault rifle or grenade launcher. For good and ill, Resident Evil 3 takes last year’s Resident Evil 2 remake and hones it into something meaner.”
Our senior intern Ronald Gordon also weighed in on Resident Evil 3 right here on the Circle site. Ronald shared the same fondness for the game’s intensity, saying it “put my heart through the ringer” with its ceaseless waves of zombies and the relentless pursuit of the hulking Nemesis. “Capcom has already shown its prowess with remodeling like the Resident Evil 2 remake,” he said, “but RE3 proves that they can do even better.”
For obvious reasons, this year’s April Fools’ Day was decidedly light on pranks, but Whitney Meers gave us the scoop on one especially idiosyncratic gag that found its way to Apex Legends.The Mozambique shotgun is an infamous weapon among players of Respawn’s battle royale game, a nearly useless gun that also happens to be all over the darn place, making it prime meme material for frustrated players. Well, on April 1st, players were treated to the sudden appearance of golden Mozambiques that held nine shots, as opposed to the usual three, turning the tiny shotgun into a serious threat.
We’re now in the phase of our slow crawl to a new console generation where all the numbers about these next machines are out there and everyone gets to while away their time theorizing about which one is going to be the biggest and best. But, as Mike Andronico pointed out this week, it’s not quite as simple as just looking at raw horsepower this time around. On paper, the Xbox Series X is the beefier machine, but Sony’s new approach to the way the PlayStation is built and processes data could make for some serious upgrades to how we play.
From Beyond The Circle
One of the more fascinating copyright battles in recent years has been over the ownership and use of real-life tattoos. By the standards of American copyright law, tattoos are theoretically the intellectual property of the artists who draw them, not the people on whom they are drawn. And that’s caused some headaches for the entertainment industry, where celebrities with distinct tattoos have unwittingly found themselves as the vector for a handful of copyright suits after their appearances in films and games. In 2016, that became an issue for 2K Games when the studio behind several basketball players’ tattoos sued the company for putting them in NBA 2K without their permission. As the law firm representing the publisher announced last week, this case has finally came to a close. The court ultimately sided with 2K, citing three nuanced groundings for why the game’s depiction of these players did not violate the artists’ copyright. The firm’s summary is subjective, of course, but it’s nonetheless a fascinating look at the nitty gritty of this strange copyright case.
Following up from the utterly horrible stories about GameStop’s pandemic response that we discussed a few weeks ago, Vice has a published a personal account from a now-former GameStop employee who decided to leave the company in the wake of its decisions. The author, who used a pseudonym to avoid breaking contractual agreements made with the company, had been working with the retailer, on-and-off, since 2012, and genuinely loved the environment he found there despite the constant issues with corporate-level management. But he paints a picture of desperation and total inhumanity that worsened as the company’s business soured over those years and came to a disgusting head in this most terrible of times.
On a lighter note, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues on, games aren’t just proving to be a valuable way of helping people relax and pass the time, they’re also turning out to be a useful substitute for the in-person celebrations we’re all missing these days. CNN’s Shannon Liao spoke with some self-isolators who’ve taken their parties online. One group of friends tried to hold a graduation bash in Apex Legends, for example. And a New Jersey couple moved their wedding from Brooklyn to Animal Crossing, complete with their friends in the in-game wedding party. The bride and groom also had their wedding profiled in The Washington Post, who got the full scoop on the impossibly sweet ceremony. Give that one a read if you need a little cheering up.
That’ll do it for this week’s Roundup. Thank you for reading. Stay safe. Stay healthy. We’ll see you next week.
Matt Gerardi is a writer from New York, the former games editor at The A.V. Club, and a member of the New York Videogame Critics Circle.