Thursday, April 21, 2016

Weekly Link Round Up

It's been a long week, hasn't it? And it's only Thursday! Best get a round up in the works before it hits the weekend and time slips away.

It's the Weekly Link Round Up! What's been cooking in the video game crock-pot this time?

- Microsoft announced yesterday that it is stopping production of new XBox 360 units. They will continue to sell remaining inventory of the system, which is currently bundled with Forza: Horizon 2, for $199. Silver Lining: All 360 support will remain in tact. Gold Subscriptions, free games, hardware troubleshooting, you name it. There is no end date on this support, yet.

- Ever heard of Rambo: The Video Game? With the poor reception it received in early 2014, probably not. But silently behind the scenes, the developers were working hard on an expansion pack that no one expected to see! Over the years Reef, the developer, had went dark. No activity on their social media accounts until out of nowhere on Monday, they sprang back to life with news about Rambo. Maybe this was a marketing tactic? Or maybe the error of a young company? Now the internet is talking about it and people are going to buy the game again. Success, I guess?

- I'm kind of surprised that Curt Schilling continues to pop up in the news, but he seems to have trouble with keeping his mouth shut. Unless it's the subject of his gaming studio that went under, and is now under fraud investigation with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Schilling is a former baseball pitcher, turned business owner with a gaming studio called Green Monster Games, later named 38 Studios. He's been charged with abusing Massachusetts' tax credits to fund the studio and not paying employees. He recently had a gig on ESPN as an analyst, but foot in mouth syndrome seems to be a problem for this man. Given the recent stir on his social media now making national media news, you'll probably hear his name pop up more often. Get a brief history on his gaming debacle here.

- WhatCulture got a facelift! It looks crisper. Not exactly streamlined, but it's a new look. But that's not why we're posting this list of 14 Video Game Franchises That Will Never Die. We're posting because it's part of the Weekly Link Round Up tradition! You are sure to see the standard line-up on here, such as Sonic, Tomb Raider, and Grand Theft Auto. Even Pac-Man. Yes, the yellow dot continues to produce games exclusively for Nintendo. But his games are more of rehashing the same content in a different format. He's more of an iconic image, less of a game hog.

- In a surprise WTF moment, mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in a rampage and blamed it on video games, an Oslo court ruled in favor of Breivik, who was suing the government and claiming that his human rights had been violated in prison. Though he has a television and a gaming system, as all of the newspapers enjoy pointing out, he has been in isolation since being incarcerated in 2011. He is strip searched multiple times throughout the year, handcuffed often during the first few months in prison, and claims he received poor quality food and only plastic utensils. Somehow eating with a plastic fork is inhumane, but it's totally cool for kids to use them in school. With the ruling, some of the restrictions regarding his isolation will be lifted and he will be allowed to interact with other prisoners. I don't anticipate the plastic fork one to go away.

-  Let's bounce back to something fun again: here's a list of 13 Hilarious Anti-Piracy Traps in Video Games, courtesy of Inverse. The one for Game Dev Tycoon, a simulator where you create your own game company, is very meta. A number of these are legit and in game. I'm questioning the Pokemon: Red one since that's clearly a ROM of the game being used in this instance, and Nintendo rarely does something so cheeky, nor with their pre-N64 games. But The Sims 4 one is awesome. If you pirate that game and attempt to play it, the pixel nudity saved for the Sims when they get nude will start to grow and take over the entire game screen. I'd like to see someone try to play the game through that mess.

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