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The Arcade Vol. 3: Meta rivals Twitch, ‘Squirrel with a Gun’ breaks the internet and more

Good to see you again, fellow netizens! And if you’re new here, then let me bid you a warm welcome to the Arcade: a space for you to soak in all the quirkiness and intrigue the world of video games has to offer. Why don’t you take a seat, save your progress, and download the latest gaming news with us? Oh, and enjoy your stay while you’re at it!

1. Meta is coming after Twitch with a streaming service of its own

If you know your way around the internet, then you would have definitely heard about Twitch, the live streaming service that lets people broadcast a variety of content. From video games to study sessions—you name it, Twitch has it. But now, a report from Business Insider has revealed that, for the past two years, Meta has been developing its own streaming service.

Dubbed ‘Super’, the platform was originally meant to rival Cameo, an app that lets people pay for celebrities to record a personalised message for someone. However, Super has now evolved into a true Twitch rival. According to a pitch deck given to 100 creators to test the service, the platform will have many of the same features as Twitch—including creators being able to monetise their streams and have viewers donate to them via a tier system. The deck also sports a ‘sponsorship’ model in which brands can pay influencers to heavily promote their products within streams.

While it still seems to be in its development phase, the fact that Meta has openly spoken about the project and freely given access to the deck shows that they are at least trying to generate some hype around the upcoming platform.

2. Play as a little mouse in this ‘Stray’-inspired adventure game

It’s been almost a month since the release of Stray and while the hype surrounding the video game has died down a little, we are already seeing the fruits of its legacy. The Spirit and the Mouse is a third-person adventure game where, as per its official website, you get to “bring kindness and light to the people of Sainte-et-Claire as Lila the mouse!”

“Explore a small village, make electrifying new friends, and do good deeds for those in need in this lush narrative adventure game,” the description goes on to add.

This charming creation has been developed by Lucie Lescuyer and Alexandrea Stroukoff, who have a decade of experience in the games industry between them, from making AAA console games to mobile and indie games. The venture is the first project they have developed under their new label, Armor Games Studios. So, if you’re a fan of Ratatouille and cosy indie games, this is definitely a title to keep your eye peeled for.

The Spirit and the Mouse is slated to release on PC and Nintendo Switch in Autumn 2022.

3. Someone has recreated ‘The Office’ (US) intro in ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ and it's absolutely delightful

Since its release in 2020, Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH) has been a must-have for every Nintendo Switch owner out there. Its calm and idyllic setting and gameplay let a lot of people escape the four walls they were confined to during the COVID-19 pandemic. But it wasn’t just the relaxing nature of the game that captured everyone’s hearts, it was the sheer amount of customisation that you could perform.

Recently, redditor @Brave-Highlight-7168 took this customisation feature to another level by recreating the intro scene of everyone’s favourite sitcom, The Office (US).

The office in animal crossing from AnimalCrossing

@Brave-Highlight-7168’s intro once again highlights the extent of a fan’s imaginations and the wonderfully-inventive content we have come to expect from the ACNH community. As people across the world continue to join the player base, we can only anticipate more wholesome recreations in the future And I, for one, can’t wait to see what they come up with.

4. ‘Skyrim’ fan makes talking plushie of Whiterun Guard and brings the meme to life

Since its monumental launch in 2011, Skyrim has become one of the most played and influential games of its generation. From sprawling, snow-covered landscapes to a myriad of fearsome and wondrous creatures, Skyrim really knows how to capture the imagination of its players.

But one of the most famous aspects of the game is its characters, namely, the Whiterun Guard, who has been memed to the moon and back for saying the iconic line: “I used to be an adventurer like you. Then I took an arrow to the knee.”

Redditor @Aragog83 has taken this beloved NPC and created a plushie of the character and even made him talk. Both adorable and hilarious, I hope @Aragog83 puts them up for sale, because who wouldn’t want one?

I made a talking Whiterun Guard plush (please turn sound on) from skyrim

5. Adorable fan art of Paldean Wooper, nicknamed ‘Pooper’

At the beginning of August, Nintendo gave us a fresh look at the upcoming Pokémon Scarlet and Violet games, the latest instalment in the world-wide phenomenon. During the presentation, we were introduced to the Paldea region and shown many new features—including fresh Paldean Pokémon. One that really stole the show was the new variation of the Pokémon Wooper.

Originally being introduced in Pokémon Gold and Silver, Wooper is quite popular with many fans for its silly and cute design. In fact, Redditor @QuantumF0am was so enamoured with this new variation of Wooper that they decided to create some adorable fan art of the two versions interacting. The image depicted the blue ‘Johtonian’ Wooper splashing about in a puddle of mud and trying to make itself look like its brown Paldean counterpart—who players have affectionately nicknamed ‘Pooper.’

[OC]Johtonian Wooper Trying to Stay Hip. from pokemon

With more details yet to be released and new Pokémon set to be revealed, it’s an exciting time to be a Pokémon fan. Pokémon Scarlet and Violet will release worldwide on 18 November 2022.

6. The trailer for a fan-made ‘Assassin’s Creed’ set in Persia has dropped, and it looks incredible

Assassin’s Creed has become one of the most popular game franchises around, with Assassin’s Creed II really skyrocketing the series into stardom. Over the years, they have taken us all over the world, from Jerusalem to Italy, France to the Caribbean and—in its latest adventure—exploring the Viking’s expansion into the British Isles.

Last year, the game’s studio, Ubisoft, unveiled Assassin’s Creed Infinity—a live-service take on the iconic franchise that will add new locations, characters and more as time passes. While no gameplay has been revealed, YouTube channel TeaserPlay has shown a concept of what a Persia-based Assassin’s Creed game would look like using the powerful Unreal Engine 5.

The concept sports a huge, walled city with vast landscapes, ancient ruins, a desert oasis and more. Once again, nothing is really shown in terms of gameplay, but it is assumed that it would take from its predecessors and utilise stealth and parkour. A Persian setting was chosen as it is rumoured to be one of the locations featured in Assassin’s Creed Infinity.

7. Zachary Levi had to go to hospital because of his Nintendo Wii

When the Nintendo Wii released in 2006, it changed the gaming world forever. Its revolutionary motion controls redefined the way games were played and showed that gaming was, in fact, for everyone.

Those of you who remember its launch will also recall the many incidents of gamers accidentally breaking things or injuring themselves and others because of the console’s motion controls. It just so happens that Chuck actor Zachary Levi managed to do both.

In a recent interview with IMDB, Levi revealed how, just after the console’s release, he was up late playing Wii Tennis when he accidentally raised his hand too far and fast—shattering a light fixture and ending up in the emergency room. The Shazam! star eventually had to get 14 stitches in his hand because of the accident.

8. New indie game ‘Squirrel with a Gun’ is causing a stir online

The world of indie games is vast and varied. And while developers tend to follow trends, some appear out of nowhere with ideas so wild and wacky that they completely catch you off guard.

One such game is the currently-unreleased Squirrel with a Gun. Yep, you read that right. In this game, you play as a squirrel. With a gun. That’s it. But don’t let the simplicity of the concept fool you. Developer Dan DeEntremont has released gameplay footage online and it has taken the internet by storm.

In the video, we see a sweet-looking grey squirrel wielding human sized firearms, mugging people and even using the recoil of an Uzi to launch itself to great distances. The pure absurdity of it all is what gives the game its charm.

The synopsis of Squirrel with a Gun on its Steam page reads: “It is not easy, but it’s fun, to be a squirrel with a gun. Squirrel with a gun is a sandbox game that focuses on exploration and shooting combat. Defend yourself from random encounters with Agents, using various weapons. Deflect their melee attacks with exceptional timing to disarm them.”

“Climb and jump across platforms with your natural squirrel skill,” the description continues. “Use weapon recoil to cross even greater gaps. Explore the neighbourhood from a squirrel’s eye view. Talk with residents of the neighbourhood and help them out for goodies. Or mug them for goodies.”

If you weren’t interested before, I’m sure you are now. Squirrel with a Gun doesn’t have a release date yet, however, it is currently available to wishlist on Steam.

The Arcade Vol. 2: your one-stop-shop for this week’s quirkiest gaming news

Good to see you again, fellow netizens! And if you’re new here, then let me bid you a warm welcome to the Arcade: a space for you to soak in all the quirkiness and intrigue the world of video games has to offer. Why don’t you take a seat, save your progress, and download the latest gaming news with us? Oh, and enjoy your stay while you’re at it!

1. ’Stray’, the game where you play as a cat, has taken the world by storm

Unless you’ve been living under a rock over the last week, you’d have undoubtedly come across the indie game Stray which has captured the hearts of literally every gamer out there. Set in a dystopian, cyberpunk world, you play as a cat as it tries to get back to its family after falling into the depths of a world ruled by robots.

If that’s not enough to tempt you, then take a look at this:

Modders—people who create custom content for games—have managed to change the playable ginger cat to look like their own felines and the results are far too cute. Some of these experts are even taking requests to mod your cat into the game. So if you want to go on an adventure with your own furry friend, you know what to do!

Set in a dystopian world, there are plenty of mysteries to uncover and secrets to find in Stray. But one such riddle is well on its way to being solved. While wandering around the city, you are more than likely to encounter signs or graffiti with completely illegible text, with only snippets being translated for you by B-12, your robot buddy. Stray fans, however, have taken it upon themselves to decipher this strange language—with one such Redditor, @studiotheque, having worked out a majority of it already.

According to the user, the language seen in Stray uses three different ciphers, each with their own unique alphabets. So far, they have decoded the ciphers used in the video game’s chapter titles, which is known as Cipher 1. It has one letter for each of the 26 letters in the English alphabet and an additional ‘P’ for a total of 27 unique characters. Only eight letters of Cypher 2 have been decoded to date, and for its hand-written text, Stray seems to use a completely different language altogether. This is something @studiotheque has yet to make any significant progress on.

trying to translate all the in game text…some of it makes more sense than others from stray

On a slightly different note, does anyone remember the game, Elden Ring? No? Well, that’s probably because Stray now has a higher user score rating than the former. Yep, you heard that right.

On Metacritic, both the PC and Playstation 5 (PS5) versions of Stray sport a higher user score. The PS5 version of the game has a rating of 8.8, while Elden Ring only had 8.0. Its PC score is even worse, with Stray once again clocking in at 8.8, leaving Elden Ring at a low 7.0.

It’s worth noting that Elden Ring’s PC port did have some pretty bad issues at launch which would have dragged the score down. Plus, it has far more user reviews than Stray does, but it’s still a very interesting comparison to see nonetheless.

2. ‘Elden Ring’ player overcomes PC stutter to beat Malenia after 30 hours of failing

Talking of Elden Ring, we all know by now that FromSoftware’s latest creation is a hard-as-nails game, with some of the bosses (yes, Malenia, we’re looking at you) causing many players to rage harder than ever before. But for one gamer, Redditor @Toushi138, beating Malenia, Blade of Miquella, nearly cost them their sanity.

After 30 hours of fighting Malenia trying to defeat her for the first time, my PC decided to stutter in the WORST moment possible... from Eldenring

With many players getting stuck on this optional boss, @Toushi138 was no different—but after 30 hours of trying, you’d think they would catch a break. It’s at that point they should have probably enlisted the help of legendary Elden Ring player, Let Me Solo Her. But finally, they were on a roll—Malenia had barely any health left and the end was in sight. But at that moment, disaster struck. @Toushi138’s PC stuttered, just as Malenia had jumped into the air for a powerful attack. Unable to dodge, the gamer was hit with four of Malenia’s Scarlet Rot projections (a status effect that causes you to lose health overtime) and left with what’s known as the ‘magic pixel’, a sliver of health so low that it can barely be seen.

Miraculously, they managed to keep their composure and dodge a follow-up attack and back away to heal. With that ordeal out of the way, they got the final hit in and Malenia was eventually vanquished. @Toushi138, you’re our hero.

3. UFC fighter teabags opponent like in ‘Halo’ and ‘Modern Warfare 2’

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter Paddy Pimblett has been doing the rounds lately due to a post-fight speech he gave about men’s mental health. But in that same fight, just moments after winning, Pimblett performed a move known as ‘teabagging’ which has its roots in a couple of old online games.

Teabagging was originally seen in games like Halo and Call of Duty during online multiplayer matches and is performed by repeatedly crouching over a freshly-killed enemy’s head, effectively dunking your nether regions onto the opponent’s face. In the pre-fight interview, Pimblett retaliated to opponent Jordan Leavitt’s remark on how he would approach the fight by saying that he would teabag him like its Modern Warfare 2.”

Without missing a beat after defeating Leavitt, Pimblett proceeded to teabag his opponent, as seen in the video from Barstool Sports. While this act looks funny and is kind of awkward, recent reports have claimed that this kind of behaviour, even in video games, should be considered as a form of sexual assault.

4. Geralt visits McDonald’s with the help of AI

Everyone’s favourite Witcher, Geralt of Rivia, is known for his fascinating adventures throughout the video game, books and TV series. But thanks to Redditor @Ravenholic and the use of AI, they have sent the White Wolf on a brand new adventure: McDonald’s.

That’s right, folks! It seems that on his way to track down the Wild Hunt, Geralt got a bit peckish, and what better way to curb hunger than a Big Mac from the world’s most iconic fast food restaurant?

Not only has @Ravenholic sent him to McDonald’s, but the post also contains AI-generated images of Geralt at a metal concert, in a car, and at the grocery store to name  a few. Let’s be honest here, seeing the famously gruff and grumpy Witcher in such mundane settings makes for some pretty hilarious viewing.

Some Geralt related pictures generated with AI from witcher

5. Female developers at ‘League of Legends’ creator, Riot Games, disciplined for having bikini pics on personal social media accounts

Current and ex-employees at Riot Games have called out the company for allegedly disciplining female staff for having bikini pictures on their personal social media accounts and subsequently asking to delete them. It has also been stated that Riot has a policy that prevents developers from complaining about male employees “walking around in t-shirts emblazoned with bikini models.”

This information was first brought to light by @SNazerine—a software engineer on Valorant—through their personal Twitter account.

https://twitter.com/SNazerine/status/1550533671601377280

Other employees have replied to the initial tweet and seem to confirm the statement, with Twitter user @swampyhag, associate producer for gameplay on Valorant, writing: “sad but true!”

Many have also pointed out the clear hypocrisy on Riot’s part. Quite a few of the skins they have created for their female champions in titles such as League of Legends feature them in bikinis, yet they are allegedly forcing female staff to remove similar pictures from their personal accounts. Something doesn’t add up here, and once again, Riot is in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

6. ‘Minecraft’ players once again prove they have the best imaginations in the gaming sphere

Everyone remembers sitting down on a Saturday morning to watch cartoons and singing at the top of their lungs when Spongebob Squarepants came on. Well, one particular Minecraft player—Redditor @someonewhowa—has taken their love for the show to the next level.

@someonewhowa has given the Warden, a new Minecraft enemy, the makeover treatment and recreated it to look like Squidward Tentacles, Spongebob’s grumpy, clarinet-playing neighbour and work colleague.

squidwarden from Minecraft

Not only have they captured Squidwards’s likeness extremely well, but they have paid homage to his job working at the Krusty Krab by replacing the Warden’s antlers with spatulas. A nice little detail, I have to say.

The inhabitants of Reddit continue to amaze, with user @Frost_Beer creating a hyper realistic panther in Minecraft—with a little help from additional software.

So I made a Realistic Panther {Free Download} from Minecraft

Mojang’s extremely popular sandbox IP is able to be modded with special texture packs that can be downloaded and applied to the game which change the overall look of it. Increasing the size of the construction can help alleviate the trademark angular look Minecraft is known for and make things look more rounded. Combined with ray tracing, you get epic creations like the one @Frost_Beer has made.

Moving away from the digital world and into the real one, Redditor @nobodyaskeddotc0m has created an adorable Minecraft bee—first introduced in the Buzzy Bee update in 2019—out of LEGO.

I made a Minecraft bee out of Lego this morning! (sorry I didn't know what to tag as) from Minecraft

@nobodyaskeddotc0m has nailed the details, including eye reflections which you can see if you get close to a bee in the game and the antenna placement. They have, however, opted not to add wings to the blocky critter, something that perhaps would have been more of a hassle than it was worth. All in all though, it’s a fantastic bit of creativity and shows just how good the imaginations of Minecraft players are.

7. PC gamer orders Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti from Amazon, gets sand instead

For those of you who know, graphics cards are pretty expensive at the moment. Without a decent one, however, many high end games won’t run as smoothly or at a higher graphics setting. So when TikTok user Mauricio Takeda, who goes by @MauriSousa_, saw the new Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti graphics card on Amazon during Prime Day, they had to purchase it.

Having paid the equivalent of $2,637 for the item, you can imagine their disbelief and anger when they received the product—only to find it was filled with jars of sand. Not a trace of the graphics card was in sight.

Takeda contacted customer services about the matter, and the only response they got was a link to delete their Amazon account. It wasn’t until their story made its way to the news and Takeda filed a lawsuit against the company in a small claims court that they were offered options to resolve the problem.

https://www.tiktok.com/@maurisousa_/video/7121324447608360198

8. ‘Sims 4’ update accidentally adds incest

The Sims 4 has recently received a large, free update that included curved walls, body hair and new wants and fears. Oh, and incest apparently. Sims also seem to be ageing a lot quicker too. What on earth is going on?

A bug within the new update has made the Sims harbour a new desire to have incestial relationships with family members. Players have shared images online of their Sims wanting to start relationships with their sons, twin sisters, even a daughter wanting one with her father. Yuck!

Fortunately, this bizarre occurrence was made known to the development team, as noted by @SimGuruNick on Twitter, who told fans “we are looking to get it fixed ASAP.”

This also comes after news that sexual orientation options are being added to the Sims in a free update.

9. Roblox’s ‘Oof’ sound is no more

Roblox, a game simultaneously known by many yet remains a mystery to all, has announced that it is removing its iconic ‘oof’ sound.

According to the company, the removal of the sound was majorly due to licensing issues. As of today, they have created a default sound to replace the same.

The iconic sound, which plays when one dies and the game resets, is something even non-gamers will know, having been used in countless meme compilations and as a sound effect in thousands, if not millions, of YouTube videos. As reported by Kotaku, the “oof” sound was created by former game composer and Intellivision CEO, Tommy Tallarico, and it’s not the first time Roblox has run into licensing issues around it.

It truly is the end of an era in gaming. RIP ‘Oof’. You will be sorely missed.