Welcome to the latest edition of the Geeky Brummie gaming roundup!
This week we’ll be talking unofficial Fortnite events, fighting game DLC and the little handheld that couldn’t. All that plus the week’s new releases!
FORTNITE EVENT IN NORWICH SUED BY EPIC GAMES
One of my favourite genres of entertainment is disastrous public events. We’ve had DashCon, we’ve had Fyre Festival, and now it’s Fortnite Live, an event in Norwich trading off the popular battle royale game. Promising to “recreate Fortnite” in real life, it disappointingly turned out to not be 100-man, last-man-standing paintball. Instead it was an event on par with the fair from Father Ted. At least, that’s how one visitor described it.
Among the attractions were a small climbing wall, some archery targets and a cave experience that was just a lorry with a bit of tarpaulin on it. Fortnite was available to play at the event too, at a cost, a questionable decision when playing the game at home costs nothing.
It generated a lot of negative reaction from visitors, with refund demands flying around all over the organiser’s Facebook page (which is no longer up, of course). It inevitably reached the media, and news of the event spread far and wide. Far enough that it reached Epic Games themselves.
Some Epic Legal Action
Unsurprisingly, widespread discussion of a disastrous event with their name attached isn’t something Epic want and they are now taking legal action. The organisers didn’t seek permission from Epic for the use of their IP to sell their event, so the case seems clear cut here.
It’s not clear why the organisers of this event thought they’d get away with something like this, but it is clear they won’t now.
APEX LEGENDS IS HUGELY POPULAR
Apex Legends launched a couple of weeks back, and now it’s the talk of the gaming world. 25 million players in, it’s unsurprising there’s been quite a bit of news about it in the last week. This includes the fact that a game this popular has inevitably attracted cheaters, with 16,000 people banned as a result. It’s also highlighted that the game, at present, doesn’t have a report function to speed up this process. Although in 2019 you’d think a report function was a standard feature, Respawn are taking steps to rectify this.
Meanwhile, director Neill Blomkamp of District 9 fame is a fan. This week he’s expressed interest in seeing his character Chappie, from the movie of the same name, show up as a character in Apex Legends. The devs seem interested in entertaining that request too. Considering Blomkamp recently directed a live-action trailer for Apex Legends’ EA stablemate Anthem, this is a crossover almost guaranteed to happen.
Finally, some gamers have gotten themselves confused in their rush to play Apex Legends, as they’ve bought the VR game Apex Construct instead. Completely different different games, and the confusion gets weirder when you realise that Apex Legends is free-to-play while Apex Construct costs £24.99. You’d think that would help distinguish them, but apparently not.
FIGHTING GAME NEWS!
Tekken up the bat
Fighting game DLC news is abundant from Bandai Namco this week. First up, the release date for The Walking Dead’s Negan and classic fan favourite Julia Chang coming to Tekken 7, confirmed to be 28th February. It’s unusual for DLC characters to see a simultaneous release, but the reveal trailer claims this is down to series director Katsuhiro Harada being threatened by Negan to include him in the next update. I’m assuming this isn’t the real reason behind this, of course, but who knows?
Amy’s got Soul
Meanwhile, Soul Calibur 6 is getting a returning character in the form of Amy. According to my research, she’s a former vampire and adopted daughter to series veteran, Raphael. She’s also a speedy gothic Lolita with a knack for fencing. As someone who has never played Soul Calibur, I’m not sure I understand all that, but I’m sure fans of the series are excited.
In other fighting games, developers of Dead or Alive 6 continues to flip-flop on their stance on the franchise’s infamous focus on its fighters’…um…attributes. After Koei Tecmo initially claimed to be toning down the sexiness of the characters in the latest instalment, this week they got in trouble with Twitch and Evo Japan for their use of “sexy” marketing tactics. These included models fondling each other on stage and the game’s director placing characters in compromising positions and rotating the camera around them. Come on, guys, it’s not 1996 anymore. You can be better than this.
SONY ENDS VITA PRODUCTION
Hey, remember the PlayStation Vita? Sony’s powerful little handheld that went up against the 3DS and immediately flopped? Well, the system will finally be ending production, based on information from Sony’s website.
What’s surprising here is that it’s taken so long to get here. The system launched in 2011, saw an initial burst of buzz due to its impressive screen and features, and then flopped. Poor first-party support and pricey proprietary memory cards were often cited as major reasons for its decline, and were never addressed by Sony. Eventually they just stopped talking about it outside of the monthly free indie games with a PS Plus subscription.
As an owner of the system myself, I think it was a great system that never got the support it deserved. It was a surprisingly powerful system that still impresses, even more than the Switch in handheld mode. But ultimately, I only own about 5 games for it that aren’t downloaded PSP games, which is a common theme amongst the three of us who own one. It’s a little sad that it died out, but it’s unsurprising at the same time.
Not a lot to report with new releases this week. Bioware’s live service Destiny-like Anthem is out officially this week, although EA’s “early access” releases have confused this a little. Reactions have been mixed so far, with some claiming it’s broken beyond repair while others are having an awesome time with it. Might be best to do some investigation before dipping in.
Beyond that, there’s only a couple of ports to talk about. Nintendo Switch saw a release of Aragami, an excellent stealth game where you play as a ghost ninja who can control shadows. It’s been released for other systems in the past, and it’s a great game that I highly recommend.
Speaking of highly recommended, this week also saw the PC release of Yakuza Kiwami, marking the second Yakuza game to jump from PlayStation to PC. I’m a huge fan of the series since 80s-themed prequel Yakuza 0, so this has to be my Game of the Week. If you’ve never played a Yakuza game before, imagine a serious crime drama with a Life in Japan simulator attached. When you’re not dealing with the tensions between organised crime factions, you’re wooing hostesses, playing pool and singing your heart out at karaoke. It’s a gloriously silly series, and Kiwami is a fantastic place to jump in as a newcomer as it’s a remake of the first game, so no prior knowledge is required.
And that’s all for this week! I will see you next week as always with the latest in news and releases!