News: February 2017
Good Game Says Goodbye
In rather unexpected and sad news, Good Game – Australia’s longest-running television show about video games – has been cancelled. “After the program’s summer break, two of the key presenters of Good Game announced they were leaving to pursue other opportunities,” announced an official statement released by the program. “In light of this major setback, and changes in the way audiences are choosing to get their information about gaming, the ABC has decided to end the long and successful run of the show.” The show’s online counterparts Pocket and Well Played were also axed, while the child-friendly iteration Spawn Point is the sole survivor.
“I’m so proud of the work we did, and the team who made it all possible,” wrote the series’ remaining host, Steven ‘Bajo’ O’Donnell, in a personal message to fans. “We tried to make a show for you, by us, and did our very best to bring you what you wanted.” The show will be sorely missed, and we wish all involved the best of luck.
Deus Ex Gets Shelved
Deus Ex fans are bound to be a little disappointed this month, as news has surfaced that the sci-fi series has been placed on hiatus, at least for the foreseeable future. Publisher Square Enix has apparently made the decision in part due to underwhelming sales of the most recent Deus Ex game, Mankind Divided. However, its justification may also stem from working on other projects. Eidos Montreal, the team behind the game, will reportedly be kept busy on both the latest entry in the rebooted Tomb Raider series (Shadow Of The Tomb Raider) and games for the new Square Enix/Marvel partnership, beginning with a previously revealed Avengers project.
Game On! Retro Gaming Night
Newtown’s 1989 Kitchen & Arcade is one of Sydney’s newest and finest video game-themed establishments, serving old-school games alongside your latte. Its latest event, Game On!, embraces nostalgic charm by running an evening of retro gaming. Taking place on Wednesday February 22 between 6pm and 10pm, you’ll be free to mingle with like-minded gamers while you get your hands on arcade greats including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, NBA Jam, Point Blank 2, Street Fighter 2 and Ghosts ’N Goblins. That’s because 1989 possesses an absolute bevvy of consoles including the Nintendo Entertainment System, Atari 2600, Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive and Sega Saturn. Tickets are only $11.44 but are limited to 40 people, so if you’re interested, head to eventbrite.com.au pronto.
Love to spend your time whipping up whacky and/or wonderful cosplay costumes in order to celebrate your favourite video game or pop culture properties, but have nowhere to wear them? Well, the good news is that you needn’t wait for convention season to begin, because Spawn Point Small Bar’s Cosplay Night is back for 2017.
Taking place on Saturday February 11 from 5-11pm, the underground Clarence Street bar will act as a loving hub for any cosplayers who wish to road-test potential outfits and compete against some of the best. There will be a judging panel in place to help officiate proceedings, meaning if you attend, you’ll have the chance to walk away with some great prizes. Entry is free, so mosey on over, try one of their custom cocktails, snack on some pizza and enjoy what is bound to be a great night. For more details check out Spawn Point Small Bar’s Facebook page.
Review: PlayStation VR
With virtual reality now widely accessible to mainstream audiences, attempting to capture the hearts and minds of gamers the world over, it’s high time we take the leap into another world and go heads-on with what is arguably the most affordable unit of the bunch, PlayStation VR (PS VR).
Having been in development for a few years now, it’s instantly clear that PS VR is a sleekly refined product. Setting the actual unit up is surprisingly time-consuming and filled with cables, but once you’ve got yourself sorted, it’s rather smooth sailing. The actual software, however, is unfortunately a little hit or miss.
PlayStation VR Worlds, for example, is certainly one of the best implementations of the technology, ranging from underwater adventures to intense shoot-outs, but lacks substantial depth. Meanwhile, Until Dawn: Rush Of Blood is an incredibly unsettling and creepy experience that becomes slightly undone by operating as an on-rails shooter. Thankfully, Eve: Valkyrie, the strongest title of the bunch, fares much better by placing you into the cockpit of a space fighter capable of zooming around space at intergalactic speeds. It’s fast, it’s frantic and is one of the best examples of the technology so far – provided it doesn’t make you queasy.
At the end of the day, despite what Sony may claim, there is no killer reason to shell out hundreds of dollars for a PS VR right now unless you’re a diehard tech fan, especially when the unit is more expensive than the console it’s compatible with. It’s certainly more affordable than key competitors, and is a great jumping off point for the technology, but desperately needs somebody to make the most of the potential within. Here’s hoping with more focused software and a few updates, PS VR becomes a permanent fixture in our living rooms.
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