SegmentNext Weekly Round-Up: Madden Embraces Final Fantasy To Unleash Apocalypse


Over at Segment Next, we realize long hours of work, and even longer hours of gaming, consume your weeks. Unlike us, you probably haven’t acquired the ability to stay awake 24/7, so it’s understandable you don’t have much time for every last bit of gaming news dripping from the pipeline.

That’s why we’re introducing our official Segment Next Weekly Round-Up, acting like a feeding tube of our best posts of the week. Now you can catch up on anything you may have missed in one quick burst. Sort of like binge drinking, which we don’t condone…without us.

Madden NFL 25
First up, our newest contributor, Ben Skelly, wrote some awesome guides for the Madden aficionados out there. If you’re not an aficionado, you will be after you read his NFC and AFC team offense and defense strategy guides.

Grand Theft Auto 5
More news about the videogame equivalent of a Steven Spielberg/Christopher Nolan/Michael Bay feature release, GTA V, discussing how the game will use reactive audio that adapts to your situation and environment:

Be it the terrain, environment or your activity; GTA V will provide an interactive score that will adapt to your situation or environment. This dynamic self-composed score was produced by a three-man team consisting of Tangerine Dream, DJ Alchemist and Woody Jackson – who previously worked on Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption.”

Speaking of GTA V, here’s the official trailer:

PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Did you think a week would go by without some news (read: anything) on the PS4 and Xbox One? With the PS4, Sony Worldwide Studio’s president confirmed that the PS4 will automatically activate and download content users download via their Vita:

“downloading a game from the smart phone will activate the console automatically, complete the download and then the console will shut down on its own.”

Liam Stanway talks about Microsoft’s Independent Developers publishing program for Xbox One:

“In the past few years we’ve seen a rise in free to play games and indie titles that has taken the market by storm, but despite all this major publishers have made life difficult for the devs creating those games. I wouldn’t say that it’s intentional, but rather new players coming to an old system and trying to make it work for them.

We need to see an end to certain practices and begin to embrace new ones that will support more developers. We’ve seen the likes of Steam Greenlight which has been a step in the right direction, but we need to see similar services available for consoles whilst they dominate the market as they do.

We’ve heard horror stories of indie publishing on the Xbox 360, with Microsoft forcing devs through an seemingly never ending reem of red tape, and charging them to patch their titles once they’d been published (FEZ comes to mind).”

Nintendo Announces 2DS

Our Liam Stanway calls it “a very smart move by Nintendo.”

Microsoft Releases “Halo One” News
Microsoft accidentally released “Halo for Xbox One” news (we here at SN are playfully dubbing it “Halo One”), which let slip a brief story description for Halo’s interstellar Xbox One foray:

“Halo for Xbox One takes the now-legendary saga to new heights and is one of the most anticipated games for the new console. In possession of a mysterious data chip, Petty Officer John-117, aka Master Chief, confronts a new battery of challenges and tests in a Herculean effort to stay alive in a galaxy where sentient life is mercilessly hunted. Pre-order the next chapter in the wildly popular Halo series designed exclusively for Xbox One.”

Also, a “Halo 4 Game of the Year Edition” has been confirmed by Microsoft, which released this statement:

“A Game of the Year Edition of Halo 4 will be offered this October, offering tremendous value for fans who want to enjoy one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2012, and additional DLC all in one place.”

Saints Row 4 Sells One Million Copies
Deep Silver released a giddy press release about the sales figures of “Saints Row 4,” positioning the game as the fourth best-selling game of 2013, behind “Tomb Raider,” “BioShock Infinite” and “The Last of Us.” Our Sarmad Lillah laments:

“Other than that, the user involvement in the game has also been impressive, with more than 806,908 pieces of user generated custom content and the whopping 1.3 million community members; it looks like they have actually gone from the Crack House to the White House!”

The Last of Us
Naughty Dog’s latest update to “The Last of Us” introduces a new multiplayer mode, Interrogation:

“Your ultimate goal is steal supplies from a safe that is being hidden by the opposing team. However, first you’ll need to find where they are hiding the box in the first place. For this purpose each team is tasked with successfully interrogating members of the other team five times. Simply shiv an enemy or get him/her into a downed state and then press ‘Triangle’ on your controller to start pumping out information.”

Speaking of “The Last of Us,” I finally had a chance to play it and share my experiences with it:

“The first task I have is to find and kill Roberts, a gun-dealing thug who set Tess up with two murderous henchmen. We learn later she killed those two, right before we tag-team murder three more of his henchmen, all without batting an eyelash.

Nathan Drake wouldn’t approve of such murder, at least not without a witticism to justify it. Joel and Tess’ justification is the states of nature, however, not treasure diving.”

I also shared some of my insights into the game:

“Most games opt either for dark or light colors, but the Last of Us throws it all at you. You experience deep blacks, foggy grays, dirty yellows, and lush green forestry against blue skies. The latter can lull you into a false sense of security, which I nearly learned the hard way when a Clicker hiding in a shed in Bill’s town tried to give me the business. The Last of Us’ dynamic range lays its theme out like ammo on a dank wooden desk. Sometimes beauty can come from ugliness.”

Are Modern Videogame Characters Screwed?
I wrote about Jamin Warren of “Kill Screen” and PBS’ new YouTube show and examined some of the points Warren makes about the game characters we all love:

Warren presents two reasons why Mario, Sonic and Link will still be talked about in 2511, while Sam Fischer and Master Chief probably will be buried under dusty copies of unsold expository novels. The first reason is a marketing principle called ‘the first-mover advantage.’ The theory goes that first movers facilitate an early popularity, which allows brands to sink their teeth into the marketplace and never let go. According to Al Ries and Jack Trout’s “Immutable Law of Marketing,” the Rule of Leadership states that being first is more important than being better. However, as Industry Week points out, first-mover doesn’t always mean last man standing.”

Ghosts in the Machine
Lana Polansky and Brenden Keogh edit this book featuring short stories by Ashton Raze, Denis Farr, Alan Williamson, Shelley “Big Shell” Du, Matt Riche, Rollin Bishop, Ian Miles Cheong, Andrew Vanden Bossche, Ryan Morning, Dylan Sabin, Alois Wittwer and Maddy Myers.

Support game criticism and great writing by buying the book here!

By John Kilhefner

Johnny is a freelance writer whose work features on PopMatters, Critical Distance, Nightmare Mode, Writer's Weekly, GlobalPost and much, much more. Um, If his mom is reading this, he says he applied at that "one place" but they're currently not hiring. Now he's telling me to tell her that he'll, uh, be back with the car by six...


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