This week on the Geekly Roundup, we don’t have a new podcast episode — but we do have some fascinating developments in science, in the Final Fantasy game series, and even in tedious government paperwork — which is far more interesting than you’d think! Read on to learn about all the fun and interesting news we’ve dug up this week!
Final Fantasy VII remake will see “dramatic changes”
Much as we have grown up, and the Final Fantasy franchise has grown up, so has the gaming industry as a whole. In this interesting news-opinion piece from Kotaku’s Phil Hornshaw, we learn that Tetsuya Nomura has said that “dramatic changes” are coming to the Final Fantasy VII remake. And as much as the game is a classic, and one well-loved from a nostalgic standpoint…why not? Technology has advanced, storytelling in video games has advanced in many ways, and even the Final Fantasy franchise has drastically changed the ways in which it engages newer gamers and tells its own stories. So why not take advantage of a full rebuild of a classically beloved game and make it something new in the same vein and fashion and world of the old?
After a strong critical reception for its storytelling, atmosphere, and intelligent view into a culture we worry the world may lose, Never Alone was a standout of 2014 gaming despite some minor technical issues. Now, the game that brought together the members of a culture and a team of veteran developers will see DLC in the form of Foxtales, which takes place during a different season with a new storyline. The DLC doesn’t simply rehash things from the original game, but also adds some new mechanics and a very different feel that makes it seem less like a money-grabbing set of new costumes and animations and more like buying the second novella in a series.
After fifteen years of implementing censorship, strict approval, manufacturing, and sales policies that conservative reactionaries in American can only dream about, China has finally dropped its ban on the manufacture and sale of video game consoles, including those by foreign manufacturers. Companies like Microsoft and Sony are now free to make and sell their consoles in China outside of the “free trade zone” established outside Shanghai in 2014, and to do so without requiring a partnership with a Chinese electronics company. Censorship and game approval still remains a prickly road, so while the consoles will make their way into China, many of the games will be stopping long before the border.
We’ve discussed how much we enjoy the approach and ideas posted by the Wachowskis’ Sense8 before, but the origin of its main theme, its Brainwave Symphony, has been revealed; the song (which can be found on Spotify here) comes from a jazz-like interpretation of the brainwaves of eight participants, who were shown psychedelic imagery. Their brainwaves in response were charted and turned into the musical score that underlies the innovative Netflix show’s theme music.
Filing expense reports is always a tedious, extended process no matter how interesting the trip has been. In the annals of NASA’s documents, though, is a travel voucher for one Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr., who in the course of being one of the first humans ever to set foot on the moon filed a travel voucher that includes the destination, well, “Moon”. It brings a certain grounding to the reality of the historic space voyage to know that the paperwork was the same as anyone else’s; we just hope Aldrin remembered to keep his receipts for gas.
Forbes contributor Paul Tassi has thoughts on the newly revealed Nintendo patent for a “Quality of Life” sensor and some of its proposed capabilities and functions, and posits some ideas regarding how Nintendo might use the concept to affect games. Though the ideas aren’t the most attention-grabbing, they’re innovative, and some of his thoughts for third-party developer riffs on the concept are intriguing as well — an interesting discussion-starter on the idea of monitoring a user’s emotions and how that can apply to a gaming perspective.
Elsewhere on the Internet:
Script writer confirms all-male Ghostbusters reboot (Comicbook.com)
Ivan Reitman shoots down talk of second Ghostbusters movie (Spinoff Online)
Vacation co-directors confirmed as Spider-Man screenwriters (Comic Book Resources)
CW developing “gritty”, “dystopic” adaptation of Little Women (Spinoff Online)
Agents of SHIELD adds Constance Zimmer as recurring character (Comic Book Resources)
Nosferatu stakes out a remake (Spinoff Online)
TV anime adaptation coming for Attack on Titan: Junior High spinoff manga (Anime News Network)
You can make your own Fallout Pip-Boy right now (The Nerdist)
Hackers find way to make self-aiming sniper rifle change targets (Talking Points Memo)
ThinkGeek phone charger turns your car into Knight Rider’s KITT (Comicbook.com)
Anthony Bourdain to open giant Blade Runner-themed food market in New York City (Consequence of Sound)
That’s it for this week’s Geekly Roundup — give us your opinions in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter, and tune in again to hear the latest interesting tidbits and under-the-radar news stories when we talk more geek next week!
The Geekly Roundup is a weekly Ace of Geeks feature that brings together all the interesting things we’ve encountered across the Internet this week.
Contributions for this week’s Roundup were submitted by MalKontent and Ben.