Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

Joystiq Weekly: Sonic's scarf, The Banner Saga and heart-monitoring horror

Welcome to Joystiq Weekly, a "too long; didn't read" of each week's biggest stories, reviews and original content. Each category's top story is introduced with a reactionary gif, because moving pictures aren't just for The Daily Prophet.

Sonic has a history of being a bit too social for his own good, but the roster shown for Sonic Boom's reveal on the 3DS and Wii U? Not bad! We can deal with Amy Rose and the newly tank-like Knuckles, but if Silver the Hedgehog shows up at some point? The deal is off.

Aside from a new Sonic cycle, this week brought rough news from Sony, a review of The Banner Saga and an awards show that didn't hurt to watch! We've got that and much more ready for you to devour after the break.


  • Sonic found a scarf and a new game to blaze through at Sega's reveal of Sonic Boom for the Wii U and 3DS. Sonic and his friends have covered themselves in medical tape, but most of Sonic's friends seem to be absent, so we'll count that as a great tradeoff. The Wii U version will be developed by Big Red Button Entertainment, which is led by ex-Naughty Dog artist Bob Rafei. The 3DS counterpart is in the hands of Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time developer Sanzaru. Sonic Boom will round out a Nintendo-exclusive trilogy of Sonic games announced last May.
  • Amazon has purchased Killer Instinct developer Double Helix. Yes, the same Amazon you binge purchase from online. A statement related to the story described the move as part of Amazon's "ongoing commitment to build innovative games for customers." Microsoft plans to announce a new development partner for the rebooted fighter soon, but it's unclear whether that's in relation to content for Killer Instinct's season or a future installment in the series.
  • Sony has found success with its PlayStation 4 launch, but not every bit of news concerning the company is uplifting - the electronics giant announced plans this week to sell off its Vaio PC business and reform its TV division. The changes will result in laying off 5,000 employees over the next year. Sony has projected a 110 billion yen ($1.08 billion) loss for the fiscal year of 2013.
  • Xbox One and PC users can start blowing each other to bits in Titanfall's mechs on March 11, but Xbox 360 owners will have to solve disputes with words until March 28. Publisher EA said the delay is meant to give Bluepoint Games, developer of the Xbox 360 version, time to add polish.
  • Much like chess, Senior Reporter Jess Conditt respects the complexity in The Banner Saga's grid-based combat. Drawing similarities from the game's art and characters to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Conditt found a way to relate to the struggles of The Banner Saga's cast, even if they were half-giants with horns jutting out of their head.
  • Managing Editor Susan Arendt explored "Smoke and Mirrors," the second episode of Telltale's The Wolf Among Us, and thought it was darker and more sluggish than "Faith," the opening act. Despite it feeling bleak, Arendt wrote that the episode "makes you want to help these characters, to give them something besides another day of nothing but despair and heartache."
  • You might have played Fable on the original Xbox, but Community Manager Anthony Agnello revisited the experience in Fable Anniversary on Xbox 360. With remade visual assets, an overhauled interface and optional control schemes reminiscent of more recent Fable games, Agnello found Anniversary to be "the best way to explore Molyneux's vision of role-playing."
Original Content
  • Associate Editor Dave Hinkle spoke with Nevermind creator Erin Reynolds about her horror game's implementation of biofeedback. Players wear a heart-rate monitor as they explore, influencing their experience based on the game's reading of their stress levels.
  • News Content Director Alexander Sliwinski chatted with Mighty No. 9 creator Kenji Inafune, comparing the incoming blue robot to Inafune's iconic Mega Man. Inafune noted an intention to do something unexpected with the series while still retaining classic action that fans are anticipating.
  • Freddie Wong and Felicia Day hosted the 17th annual DICE Awards this week, where The Last of Us swept up just a few accolades, including Game of the Year. We had a good time liveblogging the whole show, though it didn't match the, uh ... spectacle of watching Joel McHale dismantle the VGX Awards.
[Image: Sega]

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr