Weekly Games Recap

Virtual reality continued its stride this week with the retail release of Oculus Rift. While not all buyers have their units yet due to a staggered shipping schedule, Kickstarter backers and early purchasers were able to enjoy games and apps that were available during release.

Meanwhile, traditional video games were fairly quiet early in the week. Square Enix’s announcement for “Final Fantasy XV” did not come out until their Los Angeles event last Wednesday, while Nintendo’s first ever mobile application “Miitomo” did not release until yesterday. Nevertheless, the gaming community still got its fair share of announcements and activities, ranging from eSports scholarships to virtual interstellar wars. Here’s what you missed:

  • EA Canada implemented a patch for “EA Sports UFC 2” to remove a religious animation. Russian UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov, a Muslim, informed EA of the issue after he noticed his in-game character cross its chest during an animation.

  • Oculus founder Palmer Luckey personally delivered the first Oculus Rift unit to Ross Martin, a customer from Alaska. The  unit was delivered on March 26, two days ahead of the March 28 release date. Martin’s order was the first to go through when pre-orders went live.

  • Oculus started shipping out Rift virtual reality headsets on March 28 to fulfill pre-orders. Units will continue to ship out to fulfill more orders with later arrival dates.

  • According to a Nikkei article, Sony is apparently planning to make the PlayStation VR PC compatible. Reddit user MSDefenseForce translated a part of the article where Nikkei has quoted Sony’s plans from Japanese to English.

  • Killer Instinct: Season 3”, which was released on Tuesday for Xbox One and PC, will receive a single player campaign called “Shadow Lords”. A release date for “Shadow Lords” has not yet been announced.

  • Jeff Kaplan, game director for Blizzard’s “Overwatch”, posted in their community forums that they will be removing a victory pose for one of the characters, Tracer. A user named “Fipps” criticized the pose as oversexualized in a forum post .

  • Telltale Games released the fifth episode of “Minecraft: Story Mode” March 29. The episode, entitled “Order Up!”, will bridge the gap between the previous story arc and three upcoming episodes.

  • Psyonix tweeted that “Rocket League” will add a basketball mode  to  the game sometime in April.

  • Konami announced that they will be releasing the survival match mode for “Metal Gear Online” as a part of an update on April 7.

  • KOEI TECMO America released their newest role-playing game, “Nights of Azure”, available exclusively for the PlayStation 4.

  • Capcom released two major updates for “Street Fighter V” this week, which included a new character named Alex and new features such as online rematch. Full update details can be found on Capcom’s blog.

  • Square Enix announced Wednesday that “Final Fantasy XV” will release worldwide on September 30 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. They also announced a fully-animated feature film that will premiere this fall, called “Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV”, as well as a five-episode animated series called “Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV”.

  • “EVE Online” recently saw another large battle emerging between player coalitions. CCP Games wrote in their blog that they expect more battles to come as the war continues to unfold.

  • Square Enix shut down PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 servers for “Final Fantasy XI” Thursday morning. Those who wish to continue playing must migrate to the Windows version.

  • University of California - Irvine announced Wednesday that they will be building an eSports arena and offer academic scholarships for the school’s eSports team this fall. The arena will house several gaming computers, a stage to host “League of Legends” competitions, and a webcasting studio.

  • Microsoft gave Xbox One owners a preview of Xbox Dev Mode, which lets users turn their consoles into a developer kit. The program will be released fully this summer.

  • The second episode for “Hitman” will release on April 26.

  • Nintendo released their first mobile application, “Miitomo,” for iOS and Android yesterday, along with their new rewards program, My Nintendo.