Welcome to this week's roundup where we are becoming virtual DJs, playing a new dungeon crawler game, celebrating Turkey Day, and looking into contentious image rights in games. Enjoy!
This week, I've been playing Fuser - it's the latest game from Harmonix, only rather than making you feel like you're in a rock band, this game is all about making you feel like a DJ. It works! The core feeling of dropping tracks and finding mixes that work is really enjoyable. I'm not so keen on the price tag, or the voice/character work, but if you've ever wondered what it would feel like to press a button that drops 50 Cent's In Da Club vocals seamlessly into the backing track from a Dua Lipa song, then this has what you need.
Inspired by Adam's "Etch Play Checks Out... Tetris Effect: Connected video" last week, I decided to pick it up on Game Pass for PC to give it a whirl myself. Tetris was one of my favourite games growing up, and still is. I spent many an hour stacking Tetrominoes on the Nintendo 64, coming up with the best strategies to build a solid foundation. And by that I mean, learning from the best Tetris player I've ever seen, my Dad, and copying what he did.
I did really enjoy Tetris Effect: Connected, the visual elements of the game really draw you in (which you'll see from Adam's video), the music adds an extra layer to it, and I very much found myself in the "just one more game" loop for about 2 hours before I finally put it down. That said, while the new game modes are fun, I am very much a Tetris purest, and always see the game as a patient affair and enjoy reaping the rewards from a solid foundation you have built. That's kind of lost in the more modern versions of Tetris, such as Connected and Tetris 99, which feel much faster and seems to require you to be less meticulous. I'll continue to dip into these versions, but my heart still lies with The New Tetris for N64.
An interesting news article popped up on my timeline this week around image rights in FIFA. Two huge football stars, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Garerth Bale have both called for a probe into how EA sports have obtained their image rights in FIFA 2021. EA claim they get the license through an organisation named FIFPro who are a global representative for professional football players. However, both players stated they aren't a member of this organisation. EA obtain licenses from leagues, teams and individual players, which may be what's adding to the confusion as the license could be granted by any of these entities.
Who gave FIFA EA Sport permission to use my name and face? @FIFPro? I’m not aware to be a member of Fifpro and if I am I was put there without any real knowledge through some weird manouver.— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) November 23, 2020
And for sure I never allowed @FIFAcom or Fifpro to make money using me
This week I've also been playing Golf With Your Friends. I don't think I've ever played a game that can go from so satisfying to unbearably annoying so quickly 😆
It's Black Friday. The time of year where you can get your hands on some discounted goods. The Telegraph have put together a handy list of some of the top deals across gaming if you want to have a look and indulge in the spending spree!
I'm a little bit late to this game, but last week a new roguelike dungeon crawler came out called Slashers Keep. I'm a huge fan of the genre, with hundreds of hours across Binding of Isaac, Enter the Gungeon, Risk of Rain, Dungeon of the Endless and even more. But this one has an uncommon twist that most others don't attempt, it's first person! That, mixed with the low fantasy hack and slash feel makes it feel a lot like an old school CRPG similar to the original Elder Scrolls games. I'm not too deep into it yet, so I don't know what else it has in store, but so far I'm really enjoying it.
This week I celebrated Turkey Day on Animal Crossing: New Horizons. This game is the gift that keeps on giving and I loved the small challenges of collecting ingredients to help guest chef Franklin (the turkey who cooks, rather than being cooked) create a feast for my villagers. During a time when social interactions are limited, this warmed my heart and gave me yet another reason to return to my island.
2020 has seen a mass increase in remote working, due to you know what. It is becoming clear that remote working won't be going anywhere anytime soon, even after we get back to some semblance of normal life. This week Square Enix's Japanese operations announced their remote working arrangements would becoming permanent.
There are plenty of advantages, and some downsides, to remote working. Some people love it, others not so much. There is a comprehensive article that came out today on gameindustrybiz that looks at where remote working goes from here which worth a read.
As we discussed on the weekly live show yesterday (which you should totally be joining us for every Thursday at 4pm on our Twitch channel), games industry awards season is in full swing. Golden Joysticks, MCV Women in Games awards and the TIGA awards all happened this week.
Whilst there are certainly varying opinions as to the legitimacy and meaning of awards, I personally have grown to enjoy them for what they are, a celebration of teams and individuals doing amazing things. Of note this year is the increase in awards categories covering what we refer to as "games for good" efforts. Diversity and inclusion, heritage and accessibility awards that serve to incentivise and reward the progression and evolution of the industry. I am particularly thrilled to see clients, partners and friends picking up awards across these ceremonies so congratulations to all of the winners and who knows, maybe I'll even throw the Etch Play hat in the ring in 2021!
Last week I braved the Amazon rush on release day and actually got my hands on a PlayStation 5, instead of a George Foreman or a rice cooker which some unlucky customers have received.
However, the pre-loaded game Astro's Playroom really shows off the power of the console. The real hero is the DualSense controller - the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback are a real step forward and I'm looking forward to trying these out with some of the new releases for PS5!
And with that, another weekly roundup comes to a close. Let us know what caught your attention this week by firing us a message over on Twitter. In case you've missed it, we run a weekly live show on Twitch every Thursday at 4pm, where we discuss the latest videogame news, play some games and chat videogames marketing. All of which all along with plenty of other videos are always uploaded to our YouTube channel.
Have a great weekend folks 👋
Before you go... you can check out the recording of this week's live show right here 👇