Picture of Jeffrey Matulef

Jeffrey Matulef


Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984. Based in Portland, OR he operates as Eurogamer's US news editor.

Sonic Mania is chock full of references to the blue blur's 25-year legacy, with no shortage of fan service for the most dedicated of Sega connoisseurs. Yet there's one Easter egg that's so subtle and self-deprecating that only the most ardent of aficionados will catch it. Thankfully, we have one such man on staff with the Digital Foundry's eerily perceptive John Linneman putting his Sonic knowledge to the test.

The original Nidhogg was a great example of minimalist elegance. Messhof's two-player competitive fencing game shaved the one vs one fighting game to its core with only two buttons (jump and attack) and a single game mode wherein each player ran towards their goal on opposite ends of a seven-stage scrolling arena. Ludicrously simple on its surface, the depth came from a multitude of context-sensitive movesets. Based on timing, positioning and momentum, you could slide into foes, dive kick, stab, parry, disarm, deflect, and toss your sword. Barring that, there was always the option to viciously rip your opponent to pieces with your bare hands.

Eccentric mask-wearing Nier director Yoko Taro may have put the final nail in the coffin for developer Cavia as Nier sales were too poor to keep the company at bay, but that didn't stop Taro from somehow getting a bigger budget sequel greenlit through Square Enix with PlatinumGames (Bayonetta, Vanquish) on developing duties. Amazingly, this offbeat sequel to a game few played was so successful that it saved the acclaimed action game studio.

Battle.net renamed Blizzard Battle.net

Bigger name change rejected, new logo erected.

For nearly a year Blizzard has been threatening to change the name of its proprietary online multiplayer service Battle.net to the more on-brand Blizzard.net. That is the name of the company, after all, which would theoretically make things less confusing. However, after a scant few months under the new monicker Blizzard rethought this approach because the Battle.net name has been around for over 20 years (since the studio launched Diablo in 1996). Changing it now has led to bewilderment.

Beautiful exploration game Shape of the World releases wondrous new trailer

Coming to PS4, Xbox One, PC and Mac in early 2018.

Shape of the World has to be one of the most visually striking games on the horizon. A relaxed adventure about exploring an alien planet, Shape of the World combines the dreamlike shimmering vistas of something like Proteus, No Man's Sky, or Journey with the world-building hook of Bastion wherein environments are constructed as you walk through them.