For the 0.2 percent of you who didn't know, The Taken King launched last week, and for the 0.2 percent of those who don't know what it is, it's not a tribute to Liam Neeson. It more or less remakes the most popular current console game.
As such the week was jampacked with Destiny news but a few other subjects did manage to squirt through — like Tokyo Game Show, where Sony had plenty to say after skipping a Gamescom keynote. Nintendo also named a new president to lead the company after Satoru Iwata's very untimely passing, though the real news may be in the leadership reorganization that goes along with the appointment. And Shenmue 3 must have gotten nostalgic for E3 2015 — was it really three months ago? — as it reopened a new crowdfunding campaign. They must really need to hit that $10 million Yu Suzuki alluded to in June.
It was a sportsy week, too. The NCAA screwed up the kind of thing it should be good at promoting: Opportunity for women athletes, as it finger-wagged thirteen off the roster of FIFA 16 over its byzantine and heartless eligibility rules. Konami, according to a developer, is left with its Pro Evolution/Winning Eleven soccer franchise after ending plans to make anything video gamers would care about. And while NBA Live 16 didn't get many thumbs up from real basketball pros for their appearances in the game, at least the face-scanning app for users isn't a comical disaster.
Welcome back to Press Start, our recap of news, features, videos, opinion and everything from the week that was, to get you prepared for the week ahead.
Last Week in Five Stories
What I played of The Taken King was more fun, more interesting, more entertaining and flat-out better than most of Destiny and its first two expansions, The Dark Below and House of Wolves. I'm working on a proper review of The Taken King, but in the meantime, here are my (spoiler-free) thoughts from the first 15 hours.
Alex Spruck played his first open tournament for Hearthstone in June, building up to the biggest match of his career so far: the Regional Last Call Qualifier, with a shot at the Hearthstone World Championship at stake. "I can admit I lost fair and square," Spruck says. But before that loss, Spruck's opponent had been breaking the rules.
The level cap for the existing version of Destiny was 34. The level cap for The Taken King, the just-released expansion, is 40. I've been playing The Taken King for under an hour, and I've already hit level 40. In fact, the leveling portion of my day only took about three minutes. How did I pull it off?
There's no doubt that it's been an unexpectedly long journey for Jonathan Blow, but The Witness is finally nearing completion. We've played 20-plus hours of it, and what we've discovered is an engrossing, challenging puzzle game that refuses to hold players' hands and isn't afraid of its audience getting stuck.
Destiny had a lot of problems when it launched a year ago. The Taken King doesn't just represent Bungie's attempt to make Destiny anew; it's an opportunity for a fresh start in dealing with the game's vocal community.