February is done, and while what seems like the biggest month of the year is right around the corner (seriously, some good ass games coming in March!) a good chunk of stuff happened in the past 28 days. At least one GOTY contender, a bunch of terrible news, some great games were played by yours truly and a new section with some suggestions for you of the video variety. Let's check it out.
What happened this month in games? Well...
Pokemon GO updated to add Johto Pokemon
80 new pokemon from Gold and Silver have been added to the 2016 smash hit Pokemon Go.
What this means
The game has been expanded a whole bunch. Not only are these new pokemon everywhere and available to catch, other new additions such as the Kings Rock item (for evolving certain pokemon) have been included in the update.
- Pokemon GO updated to version 0.57.2 for Android and 1.27.2 for iOS
Pewdiepie called out on Anti-Semite jokes by WSJ
Pewdiepie tried to make a point about the service Fiverr, and instead came across like a dick. The Wall Street Journal ran a piece on him, which included examples of previous Nazi jokes, villifying him.
What this means
Every person and their dog shared their opinion on this issue as it sent shockwaves across the games media and regular media landscapes, so I would suggest you read up from sites around the web and form your own opinion. Pewdiepie did the wrong thing here and backed it up with a non-apology, but on the flip side he doesn't all of a sudden hate everyone who isn't a white supremacist. The only real good thing to come out of this was the bubbling discussion around Youtube and shock culture, and the fact that this largely unchecked video platform houses endless hours of entertainment watched by young children.
- Disney Severs Ties With Youtube Star Pewdiepie After Anti-Semitic Jokes
- Pewdiepie Apologizes For 'Death To All Jews' Joke, Slams Wall Street Journal
Circle of Life at Gamestop
A report written by Jason Schreier of Kotaku regarding Gamestop selling practices sets the gaming media on fire.
What this means
Jason's articles are the best breakdown of it all, but in short Gamestop incentivize employees to meet certain quota's for the sale of new games, pre-owned games, subscription services/game cards and trade ins. A more aggressive push on this idea has resulted in Gamestop management (at worst) pushing employees to lie to customers about having stock of new games in order to sell pre-owned games. Through all of this, there was no clear sign if this also affected EB Games Canada or Australia (of which Gamestop is the parent company of.)
- New GameStop Program Leads Employees To Lie To Customers
- 'We Are All Scared For Our Jobs': GameStop Employees Share Their Circle Of Life Stories
- Sources: GameStop Changes Controversial Circle Of Life Program
A few games for specific audiences this month.
Fire Emblem Heroes - iOS, Android
Nintendo's second mobile game takes the gacha mechanic popular among Japanese mobile games and puts it's own Fire Emblem spin on it.
Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World - 3DS
2016's insanely adorable Woolly Yoshi has been ported to the 3DS with added content.
Nioh - PS4
Callign this game a Souls Clone is extremely reductive, but Nioh falls in that genre quite well. It's the first real game to come out and stand head shoulders against FromSoftware's best, managing to stand out on it's own in some key ways.
For Honor - PS4, Xbox One, PC
Quite a different style multiplayer game, For Honor is kind of a mash of dynasty warriors, fighting games and strategy titles. Is the kind of game that will likely hold a hardcore fanbase but will drop off the general radar quickly.
Sniper Elite 4 - PS4, Xbox One, PC
Exactly another one of these games, but with better shooting mechanics for guns that aren't sniper rifles. You already know if this is for you.
Halo Wars 2 - Xbox One, PC
A good sequel to a good game. An RTS set in the Halo universe, playing into the overarching story of the current trilogy. Works surprisingly well with a gamepad on console.
Not as many this month as in Jan, but some good ones.
A sweet 3D platformer that lasts for 30-60 minutes. This game gets 3D platforming mechanics down in a way you don't see even in AAA games. feels like a proof of concept, I really hope the developers of this game end up going on to make something larger.
Still haven't played the post-league content yet, but Pokemon S&M is definitely the best pokemon game to be released. It changes things up in ways the series hasn't done before while still holding on to the core tenants of the franchise. This pokemon game truly feels like a pokemon adventure.
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
As part of #4iF this year, I really wanted to finally play through the MGS 5 prologue. Turns out, these games mechanically are super fun, once you learn how the controls work at least.
Indie developer Eastshade Studios recently released a short little first person narrative game as a precursor to their upcoming title Eastshade. It's cheap and small, giving a taste of whats to come in the main game while doing some world building in the process.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
A master in mechanics and gameplay design, Rise of the Tomb Raider is so refined and fluid. The story and characters aren't the greatest, but the gameplay overshadows that completely. Much like the first reboot in 2013, but with more tombs.
A narrative game, mostly text based with a little top down RPG style for movement. This game is a heavy one - it focuses on depression, and does not shy away from it in the slightest. I can't say I "enjoyed" it, but it was a great piece of work for what it set out to do.
I don't always watch video content, but when I do, I suggest it to you if it's great.
I just couldn't get into playing this game, so after trying for the 5th time I decided to watch it through on Youtube. So glad I did! this game must have been incredible back in the day. I wish I had have discovered the series 20 years ago.
The Game Theorists is probably my favourite Youtube channel, for good reason. The videos are always entertaining and the theories are always at least plausible. Matt Patt really went out of his way with this one, digging up stuff I didn't even know from Undertale (trust me, with the amount of digging I did on this game after completing it, it was surprising.) If you've played Undertale, definitely check out this now 3-parter.
This one and a half hour documentary from Obsidian surrounding Pillars of Eternity is super fascinating. It chronicles the development from pre-kickstarter to launch, giving us regular people a peek into the amazing work that goes into creating our favourite games. Highly recommend watching.
The OA by Netflix
It sat on my list for a couple months, but on a whim Loren and I decided to watch through this 8 episode season. We were hooked from the first episode. It's definitely the type of TV show that leaves things ambiguous, allowing you to come to your own conclusion. If you're unsure whether it's a show for you, just watch the first episode. You'll either be hooked or won't care immediately.