By Ronald Gordon
Hello and welcome back to the Roundup! This column is the Critics Circle’s way of rounding up all the stories from Interns and Members to show them off in the spotlight once again. This time around we’ve got games reviewed by our interns, news on NVIDIA’s newest piece of software, and so much more.
Before we start, I’d like to bring up a new type of review I did in collaboration with fellow Senior Intern Isaac Espinosa. MultiVersus is a free online platform fighter that I didn’t want to take on alone, so I brought Isaac with me to make the game a lot more enjoyable. We mainly fought each other since the online scene was full of players ready to hand us L’s. Feel free to give our joint review a read if you’re into a fun casual Platform Fighter.
Let’s start off with our Intern Valeisha Jackson’s mini roundup of Horror Games for Halloween season. With the spookiest time of year rolling around once again, Valeisha took to finding games that would fit the happily grim nature of the month. From the infamous train themed indie game Choo Choo Charles to rat-based pixel shooter Shardpunk: Verminfall, Valeisha covers a plethora of new games coming to platforms in the near future. If you’re in the mood to find a chilling game to play to really set the mood, check out her article.
Next up we have Intern Karoline Castillo-Troncoso with a review of Deer Journey, an compelling game about what it’s like to be an outcast amongst your own kind. When left to consider what Deer Journey had to offer, Karoline came to the brilliant realization that a deer fawn surviving in the forest is much like any of us humans surviving in life: “When playing Deer Journey, its narrative reminds me of the mindless rollercoaster that is life. We traverse through life’s affliction and tribulation, habitually in a restless manner.” Karoline’s insightful words ring true as her article details the many troubles within Deer Journey and how she came to understand their meaning in the grand scheme of things. Read it to witness her powerful words for yourself.
Moving onto Circle members, Jorge Jimenez wrote an article on PCGamer about NVIDIA and their new RTX Remix software. Free and accessible to all, RTX Remix is a software that allows for all sorts of modding capabilities to be added to any game that’s compatible. Writes Jorge, “The most exciting part is that RTX Remix mods can easily be exported and shared with other players online. All the mods will take advantage of Nvidia’s Reflex and upcoming DLSS 3 tech. Nvidia also claims that RTX Remix will work with existing game mods from popular mod sites like Nexus Mods, enhancing that content as well.” RTX Remix is fantastic news for the modding community, as now more mods can be made and it’s easier to add them to the games they’re meant to modify. I for one am happy that a community such as this is finally getting some more accessibility and ease of use, considering how much fun or how helpful some mods end up being in games.
Ebenezer Samuel wrote a review about the new Soul Hackers 2 game in a post I read in the Finger Lakes Times (it was originally published in the NY Daily News). From the same company that made Persona and Shin Megami Tensei, Soul Hackers 2 is a new JRPG from Atlus that Ebenezer thoroughly enjoyed: “…I was dazzled by the visuals and voice acting. Both in-game visuals and cutscenes seem stripped right from an anime, and the world has a distinct look. It’s part-cyberpunk, part-demonic, with a washed-out neon aesthetic that never gets old. You can get anywhere from 60-75 hours out of “Soul Hackers 2,” and you’ll never tire of looking at the action.” Soul Hackers 2 kept Ebenezer locked in and ready for more, even after the long cut scene-riddled opening it has, which just goes to show how vastly entertaining it can be once you really get inside the game.
In recent news involving Rockstar and the infamous videos published widely, Stephen Totilo did his best to cover everything important regarding the massive leak of GTA VI. “Officials at Rockstar Games expressed disappointment today that in-development footage of their next Grand Theft Auto leaked Sunday but said it will not derail the game,” he writes. While it is good news that this leak has done nothing to halt progress on the game, there is still plenty of information and media to scrub in order for what was leaked to once again become anonymous. Forums featuring the leak have had it removed, YouTube videos relating to it have been copyrighted, and even the mysterious hacker who originally released it has strangely gone dark. “The hacker who released the footage has begun disappearing from the internet, a day after brazenly saying they were ready to sell GTA’s source code and were willing to ‘negotiate’ with Rockstar.” There’s hope that something like this doesn’t happen again, but the internet is so unpredictable that anything can happen when the right person gets the wrong idea.
Beyond the Circle
Moving onto news outside of the Circle, Cyberpunk 2077 has finally begun to attract players again thanks to the laundry list of updates it has received. In this Forbes article about the Cyberpunk 2077 updates, written by Paul Tassi, you can see a full detailed list of everything that CD Projekt Red has done to patch and advance their game beyond the seeming debacle it was at launch. “The fact that the playercount total is still going up means more and more people are getting back into the game or grabbing it on sale, and this surge is not over yet. It’s possible this upcoming weekend could be even bigger. I would have frankly already expected a slowdown, but that’s not what the data is showing.” With a newfound rise in players and more plans for DLC to come alongside the popularity of the Cyberpunk: Edgerunners anime by Studio Trigger, 2022 has effectively helped to breathe new life into a poorly executed freshman release for what may be a franchise. Much like Paul is in his article, I as well am excited to see what’s in store for Cyberpunk 2077.
In a bit of wholesome news, Pokémon has dissolved their dislike of Nuzlocke style gameplay. As mentioned in Alex Hopley’s article on Gamerant, after the news from two former employees of the company saying that company opinions on Nuzlocke style gameplay were low, Pokémon has come out to say the opposite. “However, according to a tweet by Joe Merrick of Serebii.net, it seems that The Pokémon Company does not view Nuzlockes as harshly as was indicated and recently stated that it doesn’t have “any issues with fans/creators playing the games with Nuzlocke rules.” This is of course wonderful news, considering a lot of fans thoroughly enjoy playing according to Nuzlocke rules, as it helps them experience become a bit more challenging in their favorite Pokémon games. Ultimately, this leads to an all-new level of replayability.
Ronald Gordon is a New York Videogame Critics Circle senior intern. He was the first of our writers – or any intern anywhere – to complete an internship at Rockstar Games.