By Ronald Gordon
Hello and welcome back to the Roundup! Another week of the Critics Circle happenings and darn good writing. This time around, we’ve got some information on the updates with Meta tech, a review of Shovel Knight Dig, news of drama revolving around Rooster Teeth and Bayonetta 3, and announcements for future Critics Circle events. Also, enjoy the new Silent Hill 2 Remake video trailer above – and pay special attention to the super-chilling music, which may be the best part about the snippet.
I’d like to announce that the New York Game Awards Ceremony has its decided date. Hosted by the friendly faces of Founder Harold Goldberg and former President of Nintendo America Reggie Fils-Aimé, the ceremony will take place at SVA Theatre on January 17th of 2023. Tickets are on sale now, so be sure to grab yours before this year’s Legend Award Winner is announced and we sell out!
Scott Stein from CNET brought the world two videos on his experience with the new Meta Quest technology. Having had the chance to experience Meta Tech up close and personal, even being able to sit and talk with CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself, Scott’s videos bring generally good news and details about what the Metaverse’s technology can do and what demographic they’re trying to reach. His hands-on experience with the Meta Quest Pro offers detailed descriptions of how the headset handles, and its pros and cons. Meanwhile his insider look into the Metaverse’s Reality Labs tells you a lot more about how the company itself is handling this new technology they’ve made. Give both videos a watch!
Jordan Minor’s Shovel Knight Dig review tells the story of how Shovel Knight goes from Indie Platformer to ambitious Roguelike via spin-off. “Shovel Knight Dig doesn’t waste too much time on setup,” Jordan says. He writes about how the roguelike aspects don’t change much about how Shovel Knight’s classic beginning: “Instead of focusing on a tedious narrative, Shovel Knight Dig takes advantage of the understated worldbuilding that’s turned Shovel Knight into a beloved franchise. You’ll see familiar friends, fight familiar foes, and find fleeting bits of lore that add an appreciated depth to the experience.”While Shovel Knight itself is a beloved Indie game that many fans have grown to appreciate, one imagines Shovel Knight Dig can only help expand the franchise into newer territory with its release. But Jordan still has his doubts that the game will get very far in an already polluted genre. “Although this is fertile territory for Shovel Knight, the indie roguelike field is a well-worn subgenre at this point. As a result, Dig doesn’t feel particularly special.”
With the remake of a Final Fantasy VII prequel called Crisis Core comes Ebenezer Samuel with a Daily News article. Having been released on the PSP a whopping 15 years ago, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII featured the previous wielder of Cloud’s famous Buster Sword, that being young soldier Zack Fair. While the game may have fallen to the wayside in the eyes of fans, Ebenezer has hopes that the remake will change this fact. “A remaster of the original game, it’s a reminder that the PSP had quite a few sleeper hits. And as I play through this demo, I almost feel like the original Crisis Core might have been ahead of its time…The original Crisis Core was a good-looking game for the PSP era, but this title befits the big-screen treatment it’s going to get.” When it initially launched, Crisis Core was a different from the formula of RPG games of that time. Getting to see it reemerge as a remade and polished version of what it used to be is great news.
Imad Khan mentions the strange phenomenon of Online Games requiring phone numbers as Call of Duty follows in Overwatch 2’s footsteps. What is meant to be a method to discourage cheating within Overwatch 2’s launch period is now spreading to more Activision Blizzard games for similar reasons, and some are angry. Imad mentions a major fault in this system: Overwatch 2 “also caught some ire when players realized that they needed an active phone number to access the game. This was limited to people with post-paid cellphone plans, or plans that are billed at the end of the month. Prepaid plans, which require people to pay before service is activated, and voice-over-IP plans don’t work with SMS verification, according to an Activision Blizzard blog post.” It’s unsure whether or not Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will have this similar issue come first launch, but if it does there may be yet further outcry of players wanting it to be accessible regardless of prepaid/post paid phone plans.
Beyond The Circle
Turmoil around the upcoming Bayonetta game has arisen over the internet. After breaking her NDA, Voice Actor Hellena Taylor announced that she will not be reprising the role as Bayonetta due to issues regarding payment. On her Twitter are a series of videos of her retelling her side of the story, and urging any fans of Bayonetta to boycott Bayonetta 3. On the other hand, a recent article published on Bloomberg tells another side of the story, how Taylor was offered much more than she let on in her initial video thread but still turned it down in an attempt to earn more. Andy Robinson’s article on Video Games Chronicle pieces together all of the news surrounding the incident in a concise way, so feel free to check out their article if you’d like to know more.
In a shocking turn of events, Rooster Teeth finds itself under fire due to a former employee expressing ire over their years of overwork and harassment for the company. From the unfortunate debt they’ve accrued due to RT’s supposed medical coverage to the years upon years of name calling and discrimination, Kdin Jenzen (@KdinJenzen on Twitter) experienced a lot of unwarranted behavior for the years she worked at RT. Retelling her story in a Twitlonger was all that the former director for the company could think to do, as her final year with the company had come and gone this past July. Ethan Gach’s article on Kotaku does a great job of summarizing the points, as well as offering up more news on how members of the content company have responded with kind words and replies to Jenzen’s tweet and the discussions that follow. It’s essential reading.
Rockstar posted on their Instagram about the recent Red Dead Online event. Alongside the new Halloween Hardcore Telegram Mission, False Hopes & Prophecy which came out on the 18th, players can earn 3x as much gold, RDO$, and XP on all Hardcore Missions up until the 31st. Have a look at their Newsletter in case you want to know more, and happy hunting!
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.