The Roundup: The Mayor On Games, We Welcome A New Circle Member, Destiny 2, Best Gaming Laptops, Disappearing Nintendo Offerings, And More!

By Ronald Gordon

Hello and welcome back to the Roundup! It’s the Critics Circle’s method of gathering up stories from members and interns alike to give them a proper shoutout. Since our last update, I’ve been exploring all types of games, jumping from Tabletops like Blood on the Clocktower to shooters like ULTRAKILL, really getting the review ideas flowing. Enough about me though: this week we’ve got a brand new Circle Member, Harold’s details about the big meeting with the Mayor on games, an offering with an ethnically diverse cast, Destiny 2 news, where to get the best Laptops of 2023, and so much more!

Starting off, let’s welcome a new member of the Critics Circle, Giovanni Colantonio from Digital Trends. He’s recently written about how great of a year 2023 is looking for rhythm games. Mentioning the success of Tango Gameworks’ shadow-dropped hit Hi-Fi Rush, Giovanni stated, “Between an excellent Final Fantasy title, indie hidden gems, and a wealth of VR music games getting a second life thanks to PlayStation VR2, 2023 is shaping up to be the year of the rhythm game.” Through some sort of cosmic convergence, it seems that 2023 really is the year of rhythm and groove. Congrats to Giovanni for becoming part of the Circle! 

Yesterday, NYVGCC president Harold Goldberg attended a meeting of NYC’s Digital Games Industry Council, of which he is a member. The meeting of many influential executives and entrepreneurs in the city’s games world included a surprise visit by Mayor Eric Adams. Here’s what happened.

Talented intern Valeisha Jackson brings us her review of A Space for the Unbound, which she says “is a small game that gives you big feelings.” Featuring a cast of characters of Indonesian descent, A Space for the Unbound tells the classic story of a boy who’s in love with a girl in a very emotional way, writing “the game elegantly goes through the mental health feelings of isolation and loneliness as part of its wider mysteries. The story handles dealing with these emotions very properly and very respectfully.” When it comes to a love story that involves a missing person and somehow magic, the idea of tackling mental health issues doesn’t normally come to mind. Yet A Space for the Unbound handles anxiety/stress well, showing that it’s not easy to suffer from these things, and that it takes time to battle against them. Says Valeisha, “I say this because many people do not take mental health seriously or even believe that the symptoms are real. I am glad that this game has brought attention and shown more importance to how a mental health disorder can affect someone and how it can be overcome.”

Destiny 2 has many events both planned and put into action already, but Whitney Meers brings coverage of the game’s most recent raid announcement. Destiny 2 is one of the longest running online games, with seasonal updates and events being released multiple times per year. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the raid event titled “Lightfall” already is making news: “While we don’t know all the details on the Lightfall raid in Destiny 2, we do know it will be an all-new raid in the free PC game, as opposed to Vault of Glass in 2021 and the King’s Fall raid last year, which were both remakes of raids from the original Destiny.” In her article, Whitney details one of the most important aspects of this new raid, that being it’s all originality in comparison to the previous raids which were remakes of raids from the original Destiny game. “The Destiny 2 Lightfall raid release date is Friday, March 10. The raid will be available at 9am PST / 12pm EST / 5pm UTC.” 

Stephen Totilo talks about the disappearance of several last gen Nintendo games, and how sad it is for them to vanish from the availability. Times are changing, and so is the Nintendo EShop, thanks to the recent announcement that nearing the end of March, the Wii U and 3DS consoles will no longer have access to their online marketplaces. Writes Totilo, “Beyond the Game Boy collections, that includes 94 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) games, 51 Super NES games, 21 Nintendo 64 games and 31 Nintendo DS games offered through Wii U. The 3DS sells more than 150 games for classic systems too.” Stephen recounts in his article how the 3DS has been one of the most successful Nintendo consoles to date, allowing players to play all manner of classic games not yet available on modern hardware. But not for long: “This week, gaming historian Phil Salvador noted on Twitter that a third of all Pokémon games released since the series’ start in the late 1990s will soon become commercially unavailable to buy and download on Nintendo platforms.” 

If you’re in the market for a laptop, Sherri L. Smith has you covered with a list of the best laptops of 2023. “Laptops. I’ve spent over a decade testing and reviewing them. It’s a passion of mine that puts me in a prime position to help in your quest to find the best laptop for you.” Taking her years within the tech industry into account, editor-in-chief Sherri has every intention to ensure you get a laptop that fulfills your needs this year: “Whether you’re looking for a sleek ultraportable for work, a Chromebook for school, a 2-in-1 that doubles as a tablet or a gaming laptop to decimate your foes, this is the place to find it. This page is constantly being updated to reflect the Laptop Mag staff’s current top laptop choices based on our latest reviews.” The selection of laptops already there is vast, and it’ll grow even more as the months pass so feel free to give it a look whenever you find yourself in need of a new machine. 

Beyond The Circle

Forspoken, a game that hasn’t been held in high regards mostly, had its studio reabsorbed into Square Enix. Even after the mountains of advertising that their next gen console ready game put out, Luminous Productions will no longer be producing any games outside of the Square Enix title. The details are found in this article, written by Steven Green from CGMagazine, who says, “On May 1st, Luminous Productions will be merged back into its parent company, Square Enix. This announcement comes following the studio’s sole game release seemingly flopping after middling review scores and disappointing sales numbers.” This is, of course, sad news for Luminous Productions, having had high hopes for their potential projects and the possible future releases they could’ve created. Writes Green,“So many of the original staff came from this portion of Square Enix that they stated that it functionally ‘no longer exists.’ While it’s not been announced what exactly will happen with the staff of Luminous Productions now, because of their history, they could simply find themselves back where they started following this announcement.”

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.

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