Fighting game fans, you can probably guess what’s leading the pack in this week’s installment of Replay: one of the most exciting events in esports history. Alongside that, there’s some long-overdue gameplay for Red Dead Redemption 2, along with a real tragedy for the game preservation community. It’s not all cheerful this week in games, but it’s all worth knowing.
Dragon Ball FighterZ is the Ultimate Spectator Sport
This past Sunday, the last day of the EVO fighting game tournament brought some of the most riveting, and surprising, play I’ve ever seen. To a record-setting audience of more than a quarter of a million viewers, players SonicFox and Go1 squared off in Dragon Ball FighterZ; the contest ended with SonicFox taking the title after a long, intense competition that included a controversial side switch. (Literally: SonicFox asked to switch position so that his character would be on the right side of the screen.)
Dragon Ball FighterZ, which made its EVO debut, is an incredibly welcoming game to watch: dynamic, energetic, but still fairly easy to read, especially for anime fans who recognize a kamehameha when they see one. The event took on even more significance, though, because of the winner. While the fighting game community is famously more inclusive than most, that hasn’t always extended to gender and sexuality—but SonicFox is a gay, black furry, who attended EVO wearing his queerness as proudly as his fursuit. It was historic, and wonderful.
Oh, So That’s How Red Dead Redemption 2 is Going to Play
Today, Rockstar Games released a gameplay trailer for the much-awaited Red Dead Redemption 2, which offers our first glimpse at the way this open-world western will actually play. It’ll center around a large gang of outlaws, wandering around the frontier, with the large ensemble cast forming a centerpiece of your interactions with the open world. It’ll be out October 26.
It seems intriguing, if not much of a departure from the standard Rockstar formula. But considering the original landed on a lot of best-of lists—not just of the year, but the decade—it’s understandable.
EmuParadise is Paradise No Longer
Games have a complex relationship to piracy. Obviously, stealing intellectual property from developers and publishers is a bad, inadvisable thing to do. But with archival efforts in the industry so minimal for so long, emulation—convincing your computer to act like an old game console in order to play ROMs, illegal game files—has just about the only reliable, complete source of old and obscure games around. Now, thanks to efforts by Nintendo, one of the biggest copyright holders behind those old games, the days of exhaustive ROM archives might be behind us.
Last month, Nintendo filed lawsuits against two ROM websites; this week, EmuParadise, the biggest of the lot, announced that it’s shutting its digital doors. “It’s not worth it for us to risk potentially disastrous consequences,” site founder MasJ said in a statement. “I cannot in good conscience risk the futures of our team members who have contributed to the site through the years.” That’s veritably thousands of games, many of them impossible to get legally, gone. Possibly for good. It’s a shame.
Recommendation of the Week: Dying Light
This isn’t a new game, but it’s one I would really love to see more people check out. Set in a sprawling, Middle Eastern metropolis overrun with zombies, Dying Light is one of the most engaging open worlds I’ve ever encountered. As its centerpiece is a parkour system that rivals Mirror’s Edge in terms of sheer joy. Simply running, scavenging, and surviving in this place is an absolute pleasure. Even more engaging, the world of the game becomes increasingly hostile at night, leading to riveting chases across burned-out buildings, monster-thronged streets, and slum rooftops. This game probably escaped a lot of people’s notice when it came out three years ago, but it’s well worth checking out.