Another week has passed, and with it a slew of important gaming related news and intriguing articles!
Let’s get right into it…
Overwatch League Player Suspended for Homophobic Comments
It feels like just last week we were talking about Overwatch League and controversy… oh wait, we were! This week Dallas Fuel’s Félix “xQc” Lengyel was suspended and fined $2,000 by Blizzard for inappropriate and homophobic comments made toward Houston Outlaws’ Austin “Muma” Wilmot after a match on Friday, January 19th. The Fuel lost to the Outlaws on Friday and, as reported by Compete, the comments were in response to Wilmot’s use of Lengyel’s infamous phrase “rolled and smoked my doggies.” Wilmot coyly used the phrase in a post-match interview and Lengyel was not having it. He went onto his stream to say: “Shut your fucking mouth. Go back there. Suck a fat cock. I mean, you would like it.” This prompted some feuding between Lengyel and Wilmot until the former apologized for his behavior.
Lengyel will be benched for the rest of season one’s first stage which ends on February 10th.
VRChat Players Come Together to Help Someone in Need
The troll meme factory that is VRChat community surprised everyone this week when players stopped to help another player who was experiencing a seizure while playing the game. Many were not sure if the player, known as DrunkenUnicyclist, was actually experiencing a seizure since many people on VRChat tend to participate in bizarre behavior and his erratic movements definitely fall under that category. Once others were able to confirm what was happening, they banded together to help DrunkenUnicyclist through this intense experience. Some players kept checking in with him to see if he was ok and kept tabs on his breathing while others ensured he had virtual space and wasn’t being overwhelmed by colorful avatars.
The event has prompted conversation between developers and the VRChat community about how to better address medical emergencies that might arises while playing. Many are suggesting that medical alert buttons be added so that players can ping moderators when serious issues due occur. Hats off to the VRChat players who went above and beyond to help a fellow player in serious need.
Sonic the Hedgehog’s Creator finds a New Home at Square Enix
Yugi Naka, the lead programmer for the original Sonic, recently announced that he will be moving onto Square Enix. He made the announcement over Twitter today, but did not reveal any details as to what project he may be working on for Square. Naka has been working for Sega’s various development teams since 1991 and was even a former head of Team Sonic, so this sudden move is pretty intriguing.
The House of Mario threw everyone for a loop on January 17th when they announced the coming release of the Nintendo Labo kits. The Nintendo Labo line is a brand-new build-and-play experience that bridges cardboard creations and augmented reality gaming via the Switch. You can purchase one of the various Labo kits that comes with the necessary cardboard pieces and a game card that offers instructional video along with the actual gameplay experience. In order to utilize the actual game software, you must build the given creation from the kit and then connect one, or both, of your Joy-Cons to it. This creates what Nintendo coins as a “Toy-Con.” The infrared sensor of the Joy-Con reads reflective tape on the cardboard pieces which allows it to pick up movement from the pieces such as tapping the keys of a cardboard piano or punch of a robot fist.
This new line is being aimed toward much younger Switch users, and their parents, and definitely gives the console a more Wii-like appeal. Build kits will be available when Nintendo Labo launches on April 20th, 2018.
Playstation Totaku Figures
Sony also had a surprise announcement this week and revealed that they will be launching a Playstation collectible line in partnership with ThinkGeek on March 23rd. While the new toys featuring classic Playstation mascots definitely appears to be riffing off the aesthetics of Nintendo’s Amiibos, there does not appear to be any embedded NFC functionality.
Each figure will be $9.99 and the initial collection will included:
Parappa the Rapper
Kratos from God of War
The Feisar FX350 racing ship from Wipeout
Sackboy from LittleBigPlanet
Heihachi from the Tekken series
Mod Brings Super Mario Cast into Goldeneye 007
Reported by Polygon’s Owen S. Good, the mod called “GoldenEye With Mario Characters” by StupidMarioBros1Fan is available on Mod DB. It replaces the original Goldeneye character models with that of Mario and company in all their N64 glory. See for yourself:
Darwin Project Open Beta is Worth a Look for Battle Royale Fans
The Darwin Project‘s recent beta, unlike its original E3 announcement, has captured the attention of many battle royale players and gaming news outlets like Destructoid. The game puts a much heavier emphasis on combat by limiting the number of players to ten and creating opportunities for players to hunt and track each other. Players can utilize a variety of ways to get information on an enemy players location by finding clues from things they may have left behind on the battlefield like a snuffed fire, footprints, or rummaged resources.
Another peculiar feature to the game is one that will utilize audience interaction via Mixer and Twitch. There is particular streaming functionality built into the game and allows viewers to have more direct involvement with a match’s proceedings. One such function is The Show Director. One viewer each match is designated as The Show Director and acts as a Hungry Games-like aristocrat by harming or helping players through manipulation of the environment. This player can do things such as set off deadly traps, cut off access to certain zones, and give misinformation. Other viewers can do things such as place bets on who they think will win the match.
From the beta impressions, it seems The Darwin Project is positioning itself to be a unique and refreshing spin on the recent battle royale craze.
Sonic the Hedgehog’s Surprising Influence on Fashion
Kotaku’s Gita Jackson wrote an interesting article that delves into how the blue blur and his original retro style inspires work that has been featured at the London Fashion Week and other high profile fashion events. Fashion designers such as Carri Munden draw ideas and inspiration from Sonic levels (like the classic Green Hill Zone) and utilize their color palates and 16-bit aesthetic in order to create unique graphic clothing. Other designers use the pure nostalgia of the icon on their clothing such as a gorgeous black bomber jacket (photo in the original article) that has a white outline of Sonic in a signature pose. The article is a great examination of a wonderfully unique connection between two artistic industries.