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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.

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.

@maurisousa_

Comprei uma placa de video na Amazon e recebi potes de areia - PARTE 2 😡 Me ajudem comentando e compartilhando, pf!! 🙏

♬ som original - MauriSousa_

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.