It’s Friday! Or is it? Time is a social construct, so I could tell you it’s Wednesday today, and how could you prove me wrong? It’s Friday because it’s the fifth day this week, but when did this week start? Can’t prove that either, I’m afraid. Well, the calendar in the bottom right corner of the monitor says it’s Friday. Who told the computer that it’s Friday? Anyone could change that display in the settings. What I can say, for certain, is that events occurred and news transpired in this indefinable time period, and it’s been turned into bite-size chunks, here in the round up…
Teofilo Garcia is one of the last tabungaw hat makers left in the Philippines. Tabungaw hats are a traditional craft wherein a tabungaw gourd is left to harden in the sun, turning from pale green to golden yellow, and hollowed out once the insides have turned soft. Once the gourd is cut in half and cleaned, Garcia varnishes it to a shine and weaves bamboo mesh inside to make it comfy to wear. The Filipino government has described Garcia as a ‘national living treasure’ for ensuring that this cultural knowledge is still celebrated in an age of baseball caps. And, he’s got a little monument outside his workshop that says so too.
I’m telling you about Garcia because I think he would be a great character in a Zelda game. He could be a hat salesman somewhere in the hills of Hyrule, and ask Link to keep an eye out for any colourful vegetables he finds. Link has a choice whether he harvests these and cooks them or takes them back to the hat salesman. If he does the latter, the grateful NPC will make him a hat made from the gourd with combat buffs that depend on its colour. Like, an orange veggie hat would boost Link’s fire resistance, or a purple one would strengthen the legendary hero’s stats at night. Nintendo, you can drop both of our names in the ‘Special Thanks’ section of the credits.
A new report states that Forever Entertainment has partnered with Sega once more to deliver The House of the Dead and The House of the Dead 2 remakes, and that has gotten a lot of old people very excited. The Polish publisher has been working on Panzer Dragoon remakes for the Nintendo Switch with developer MegaPixel Studio. These are slated to release this winter, so Forever Entertainment’s renewed relationship with Sega can only mean good things for those games. It is unknown as to which platforms the The House of the Dead remake will arrive on, but a rail shooter would lend itself nicely to the pick-up-and-play nature of the Switch. And, Forever Entertainment has said that a first look at the game will come in the next few months, with a release window of 2020 for the first game’s reboot.
To destabilise the shield meta, Blizzard has adjusted thirteen of its heroes’ abilities. The actual changes are minute buffs or nerfs to durations or cooldowns, but the sweeping size of the update is pretty significant. Sigma’s been nerfed to the greatest extent, as his Experimental Barrier was exceptionally powerful when combined with other shielding abilities like
Orisa’s Protective Barrier and Symmetra’s Photon Barrier. Orisa and Symmetra also received nerfs with Baptiste, Doomfist, and Moira. Lúcio, D.Va, Mercy, Winston, Roadhog, and Tracer were buffed, and Blizzard termed the patch to be a ‘remaster’ of the game. Everything by (re)design.
During Sony’s State of Play showcase, a new trailer for The Last of Us Part II was revealed. At long last, am I right? Anyway, the cinematic trailer shows that Ellie’s story will be one motivated by revenge. Ellie and her romantic interest Dina go out on a routine scouting mission, but something goes terribly wrong and Dina is suddenly nowhere to be found. Ellie eventually reunites with Dina, but judging by the trailer, she seems to be executed before Ellie’s eyes by a bloodthirsty, antagonistic faction of survivors. Her story then becomes a question of what Ellie would do to bring Dina’s killers to justice, and her ruthless and brutally efficient combat style will mow down humans and infected alike. Also, Joel is back and ready to helicopter-parent in at a moment’s notice, if not before. Finally, Naughty Dog officially unveiled the next game’s release date: February 21 2020.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has said that there would be ‘no downside’ to bringing Red Dead Redemption 2 to PC, and Rockstar Games’ plans to port the rooting-tooting-cowboy-shooting console exclusive may have been rumbled. The game has been rated as a MA15+ by the Australian Classifications Board, and it’s been a rather reliable source in the past. The Borderlands remaster was revealed through it, and Star Wars Legends was confirmed by a rating filed just before the VGAs in 2009. And, the Rockstar Games Launcher was announced last week, which offers Rockstar’s PC titles and gave away Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for free for a bit. It’s a spooky coincidence, but Take-Two or Rockstar Games haven’t acknowledged the appearance of the rating, so we’ll hold our horses for now.
In July, a class action lawsuit filed against Nintendo regarding the ‘Driftening’ affecting Switch Joy-Con controllers. Joy-Con drift is a hardware malfunction where the Switch registers as if the user has moved the analog stick or D-pad even when they aren’t touching it. It was a serious issue for the Nintendo Switch, and unfortunately, it seems that the little brother Switch Lite is experiencing a similar problem. The new console released earlier this week, and it’s concerning to see that faults are cropping up. Moreover, it’s more expensive to repair a Switch Lite than two Nintendo Switch Joy-Con of its drift, which is bound to cause a raised eyebrow or five.
‘Pokémon Go generated $176 million in August, marking its highest point since peaking in 2016,’ said game industry analysts SuperData. ‘Outperformance was partly driven by a flurry of in-game events as Niantic capitalized on what is typically the game’s strongest month.’ No, it’s not just me. Lots of people still play Pokémon Go, and they keep the lights on and put bread on the table for developer Niantic. Themed events like promotions for Detective Pikachu, Community Days on which one specific Pokémon is featured, and Pokémon Go Fests in cities across the world are continually providing the game with new content.
It was the 80th anniversary of the Dark Knight’s first comic book appearance this year, and Batman: Arkham Origins developer WB Games Montréal posted their own tribute to the character with a WYSIWYG clip of the Bat Signal shining on a building. Only it wasn’t so WYSIWYG if you watched closely. Three glitchy images appear for a split second, and one of these illustrations references the Court of Owls from The New 52 comics. Scott Snyder, the creator of the Court of Owls, cryptically quote-retweeted the video with ‘Wait for it… #bewarethecourtofowls’, but he hastily deleted it. Screenshots are forever, and both WB Games Montréal and Snyder seem to be teasing that a new game is coming that involves the diabolical cabal of Gotham City's oldest and wealthiest families.