Last Week in Gaming – Amazon Introduces the Crucible

Welcome to TAG Roundup!

Ever wonder what you missed in the world of gaming last week? No worries – we’ve got you covered!

We read a ton of video game articles each week and wanted to share some of our favorites with the Average Gamer community. We’ll feature everything from previews to reviews and everything in between.

The articles we share will be from a combination of well-known sources (like IGN) and more niche blogs that you may not have heard of. In the previous TAG Roundup post, we talked about Unreal Engine 5, Tony Hawk, Super-Mega Baseball and more!

At the top of the hour, we’ve got some early thoughts on Amazon’s MOBA, Crucible. I played through a few games and I think Crucible has a lot of potential! 

Crucible - Amazon Moba

Crucible brings Amazon to the Forefront of Gaming – Yahoo

Amazon has their hands on pretty much everything imaginable. They’re most known for being the world’s largest store, but are quickly making moves in the media space. 

Last week, Crucible launched as a free-to-play, third-person PvPvE MOBA on the Steam store. Amazon’s latest shooter delivers team-based matches with a unique leveling mechanic.

Crucible enters a crowded gaming space, with Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony out to an early lead. Decades, even. Luckily, Amazon has hundreds of billions of dollars at its disposal to try to close the gap.

While Amazon owns Twitch, they haven’t had their own gaming title to go against the heavy hitters. In Crucible, each hero is unique and has abilities that make them useful in specific situations. I’ve only used Captain Mendoza so far but you have ten heroes to choose from.

The gameplay is fairly straightforward but the skill ceiling is high. I’ve seen people fly through the air with ease while landing no-scope headshots on the opponent. I’ve also seen teammates get stuck in a gang of turtle-dinosaurs with no hope.

The reviews have been mixed so far, but my take is that Crucible is only a couple of modes away from being a household name. In-game events are lacking and there’s only one map at launch.

Still, Crucible shows promise with the visual design, gunplay, and variety of abilities. I’ll be playing over the next month so check out my stream to see more!

Artifact Beta 2.0  – Endgadget

Valve tried to compete with Hearthstone by launching Artifact about a year ago, but it flopped pretty badly. The company paused updates and decided to revamp their card game, bringing major changes to a 2.0 release.

If you played the original game, you’ll have priority access to the beta. Everyone else will be at the will of their lottery system.

Artifact has your standard deck building, game board, and turn-based play. The beta is going to be used to test some different mechanisms and it’ll open up to more players after this round of “experimentation and development”.

More Gameplay from The Last of Us Part II – Laptop Mag

The Last of Us had one of my favorite storylines of any game ever. If you’ve been keeping up with news on the sequel, you have likely been disappointed by the leaks. On the plus side, the devs are still releasing news to keep the community engaged.

Last week, they showed us more gameplay that emphasizes the “pressure of survival”. It’ll be interesting to see just how much jumping and going prone will affect combat. Check out the video for their full gameplay and commentary!

8-Bit Metroidvania Sidescroller – Kotaku

I’ve never heard of Rygar before last week, but it looks like a unique combination of Contra and Metroid. The titular hero has some cool weapons, including a grappling hook, crossbow, and shield-yo-yo thing.

There’s a leveling system that allows the player to gain points by defeating enemies. The UI isn’t great, but if you get more strength, you’ll be rewarded with more life.

It’s available on the Nintendo Switch store now if you’re looking for a dose of 80s 8-bit fun!

The Greatest Violin Cover – Games Radar

If you’re a fan of music, games, Mario or just impressive performances, you need to check out Teppei-sensei playing his violin alongside some Super Mario gameplay. He covers the game music AND the sound effects made by the cover!

Without seeing Teppei, you might think the audio was actually coming from the TV. But it’s not. It’s all Teppei. He’s incredible and has similar videos for F-zero, Sim City and more!

Go check out his channel now.

Phantasy Star Returns – Forbes

Phantasy Star Online 2 is coming to Xbox One next week! It initially launched in Japan back in 2012 and is finally making its way to console with crossplay.

Similar to Dauntless, the game pits you against big bosses – team up with a squad for a team fight! There are many types of character types and you’ll get to progress through some cool progression tree abilities.

PSO2 will be fair to play and features a battle pass, as expected. The rewards are cosmetic-only so there’s no pressure to break out your credit card.

Pick up PSO2 in the US on May 27th!

Turn-Based RPG Action – Geeky Gadgets

Indie developer Ink Stains Games launched Stoneshard into early access and the game has received a warm reception on Steam. The turn-based RPG boasts “complete freedom of character development and complex injury treatment system”,

Traveling through procedurally generated worlds, you’ll become a mercenary who challenges unique foes. The trailer shows off some impressive customization with a large array of skills and equipment to suit your playstyle.

I see some Diablo influences here and the gameplay looks intriguing for any fans of the dungeon crawler genres!

A Sims Competitor – Kotaku

The Sims franchise dominates the virtual life-simulation genre, but Paralives is here to compete!

You can do all the things you’d expect to, from customizing your character to fully furnishing your home. The Steam page mentions ‘complex personalities and character AI’ and I’m excited to see how Paralives will differ from The Sims in this aspect. 

It’s description labels Paralives as a “doll house life simulation indie game” so they may put the most emphasis on creating your dream home. We don’t have a release date announced yet but you can add the game to your wishlist for more updates.

The Biggest Minecraft City – VG24/7

My creator content spotlight is often filled with Minecraft creations, and Greenfield is certainly deserving of this week’s honor. Construction of this city began almost a decade ago, with hundreds of folks stepping in to contribute over the years.

There are 20 million blocks currently and only 20% complete. If my math is correct, we’re looking at another 40 more years and 80 million more blocks until completion!

The video shows the elaborate buildings and layouts that grace the city. Take four minutes to enjoy this masterpiece-in-the-making!

That’s All For Now

There were plenty of other highlights from last week but these ones really stood out. Be sure to check in next time to read about video game current events. 

For more regular updates, feel free to follow our Flipboard, where we have a news feed of all the latest and greatest gaming news!

What were some of the most interesting things you read last week? Leave us a message in the comments so we can check it out!

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