Alright so Monster Hunter World came out a couple weeks ago and pretty much completely took over my social life (and I hope it did the same for you too!). Between it and my day job, I haven’t gotten around to keeping up with my posts. Shame on me… I know, but I’ve just been having so much freaking fun (and work stress too)!
So another few weeks have passed, and with them a slew of important gaming related news and intriguing articles!
Let’s get right into it…
Due to Fortnite’s Runaway Success, Epic is Shutting Down Paragon
Epic announced last Friday that it will be shutting down Paragon servers on April 26th and moving the vast majority of the Paragon’s staff over to Fortnite. The developer will be issuing full refunds to all players who put money into the game. While the move is disheartening for Paragon players, it is unsurprising since Epic had already started allocating members of Paragon’s staff over to Fortnite prior to this announcement. Paragon found itself a dedicated, core community when it released in 2016, but its moderate success has been quickly dwarfed by the Fortnite/PUBG craze.
Everyone is Sinking Their Teeth into Monster Hunter World
In just 3 days, Capcom has shipped five million copies (now six million) worldwide of Monster Hunter World (this includes digital sales). The latest in the franchise is still being met with rave reviews from critics, series fans, and newcomers alike. While shipped doesn’t mean the same as sold for physical copies, this still bodes well as it indicates a strong demand for the title and solidifies it as one of 2018’s first major hits (alongside Dragon Ball FighterZ which released the same day). Online retailers, such as Amazon, are already reporting two to four week waiting periods for shipping due to the demand.
Graphics Card Shortage is Taking its Toil on Retailers and Gamers
Crytocurrency miners are continuing to buy GPUs in mass to power their mining rigs which is causing a major graphics card shortage among major retailers like Newegg and Micro Center. The shortage is causing significant price increases to popular Nvidia and AMD graphics cards such as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070. The GTX 1070 has a suggested retail price of $380, but is currently going for close to $900. Price increases are starting to hit mid-range to lower end cards as well since crytocurrency miners have made higher end cards unavailable. Nvidia and AMD have issued statements to retailers requesting that they prioritize gamers first when it comes to selling their GPUs. Retailers are taking action by limiting the number of cards one can buy and offering discount incentives for those who are buying components for gaming purposes.
Marvel Vs Capcom Will Not to at EVO 2018
Due to Infinite‘s less than stellar launch and reception, the last in the Marvel Vs Capcom series did not make the game line-up for this year’s Evo. This development has been a huge blow to the MvC community and fans of the game are truly taking it to heart. It seems the popular series has been ousted by a new competitor in the fighting game world, Dragon Ball Fighterz. The recently released Dragon Ball Fighterz takes a lot of inspiration from Marvel Vs Capcom 2 and other 3v3 fighters.
Loot Boxes Vs the World
Loot boxes continue to come under heavy fire from government officials across the states and the globe. These are just a few of the recent pushes within the past few months for regulating and reexamining gamers relationship’s with micro-transactions:
- Germany considering loot box regulations
- New Hampshire Senator urges ESRB to evaluate its rating system as it relates to loot boxes and micro-transactions
- Hawaii introduces two bills regulating the sale of games with loot boxes
- Belgium’s Justice Minister calls for loot box ban in Europe
Big Wins for Women in eSports
Things have been looking up the past couple of weeks for women in eSports. Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon was officially drafted to the Shanghai Dragons and will be providing her unparalleled Zarya skills to the struggling team. Although this will take some time since her and the other three drafted players will need to beat US bureaucracy first.
Over in South Korea, Canadian Starcraft 2 player, Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn, took the top prize at the Intel Extreme Masters 2018 tournament. She is the first female Starcraft 2 player to win a major tournament. The event was also sponsored by the Olympics which shows potential for eSports to finally make a break into the global sporting event.
God of War Returns April 20th
Sony dropped a fresh trailer for God of War last week and gave everyone the news they’ve been waiting for: a release date. Santa Monica Studios’ next entry in the franchise will release on April 20th, 2018. Check out the gorgeous reveal trailer above!
Red Dead Redemption 2 Releases October 26th
Rockstar finally revealed the release date for the long awaited sequel. Red Dead Redemption 2 will ride its way into the hands of gamers everywhere on October 26th (seriously what is it with this date?). The new trailer gives us a better idea of the game’s overall story and continues to show that this game is gorgeous as hell.
Kingdom Hearts 3 Drops… At Some Point in 2018
We still don’t have an official release date for this long, long, long, long awaited sequel, but new trailers were debuted at D23 Expo and hype levels for Kingdom Hearts 3 reached critical mass. The trailers unveiled new footage of the Tangled world, Toy Story World, and the recently rumored Monster’s Inc world. New gameplay footage is present as well and gives us a good look at one of the game’s summons, Ariel (who looks STUNNING), various keyblades, and some of the companions from each world. We also got a beautiful new theme song courtesy of the one and only, Utada Hikura.
It honestly wouldn’t be a Kingdom Hearts game without her.
Lara Croft: The Evolution of the Female Protagonist
Curry Mitchell over at Mammoth Gamers wrote a fantastic article on the evolution of the female protagonist over the past few decades of gaming. Using the famous Lara Croft, Mitchell examines how female characters in games developed from sex objects to bonafide badasses and actual characters you can relate to. The article also dives into why you should care about, and support, the development of powerful female characters in games.
What Super Meatboy’s Switch Success Signifies
Brendan Groom over at Pass the Controller posted an interesting article on what the success of Super Meatboy’s Switch release means for other indie games coming to the console. He overviews the sales of the game since it launched on Switch and analyzes how that could mean major success for other similar titles that come to Nintendo’s flagship hardware.
Hint: They are probably going to sell very, very well.
The Gamer’s Journey Turns A Year Old
Just throwing some blogger love over to M at The Gamer’s Journey. Her blog turned a year old recently and that is pretty incredible. It takes a lot of love and willpower to keep a blog up and running, so congrats on the big achievement. We hope to see more great content in the year two!! Check out her site now and give it a follow.
Doki Doki Literature Club Changed the Way I Look at Games
Justin Reed over at Jay Prodigy Blog gives us his impressions of the free Steam game, Doki Doki Literature Club. His article dives into how the game utilizes the mask of a dating sims to tell a truly terrifying and unsettling narrative. He goes in-depth on how Doki Doki is able to effectively utilize the genre and meld it with elements of horror and ARG experiences. He also touches upon how the game widened his perspective on what developers can actually do with their games and stories; how they can be much more playful with genre then ever before.
An Analysis of the Use of Scars, Cuts, and Injuries in Video Games
Tom Clement wrote a really intriguing piece on Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One Before… on the use of scars and injuries on characters in gaming. He presents how games such as Tomb Raider and Spec Ops utilize scars to show the struggles and experiences the characters have survived over their journey with you, the player. Clement shows that scars are an extension of many video game character identities and that they represent the idea that a character has “been through hell.” Overall an interesting read regarding details most players often would glance over.
Alastair Millar at Queery and Praxis analyzes how the current trend of adding photo modes to games has created an intricate relationship between photography and gaming. He dives into how photo mode allows gamers to play with their photographer’s eye and experience a whole other medium within a medium. This blending of the arts allows for performance within a performance and developers an even deeper connection between gamers and their favorite video games. He also comments on how much more time he spends in photo mode than playing actual games these days.