Max Brooks is Writing an “Official” Minecraft Novel for Mojang

minecraftThere are probably lots of novels based on Minecraft on your shelves, but Mojang has announced they’ve partnered with Max Brooks to produce a series of official novels based on the blockbuster game.

Brooks is best known as the author of World War Z, an “Oral History of the Zombie War” that was recently adapted into a movie starring Brad Pitt. But Brooks is also the author of The Harlem Hellfighters (which features many of the same events and people as this Fall’s Battlefield 1) and The Zombie Survival Guide. He’s also the son of legendary parodist Mel Brooks and Oscar-winning actress Anne Bancroft.

The first novel will be titled Minecraft: The Island, and according to Mojang Blog, readers should expect “cuboid Robinson Crusoe, but madder: a hero stranded in an unfamiliar land, with unfamiliar rules, learning to survive against tremendous odds.”

“I’m very excited to be part of this new venture,” Brooks said. “Finally I can justify all those hours I’ve spent playing Minecraft.”

It’s not known when Minecraft: The Island will be released, but it’ll be published by Del Rey Books.

This Week’s New Releases + Game News: September 26, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is yet another three-way tie.

Believe it or not, Bungie released the original version of Destiny nearly two years ago. After building up a devoted fanbase that continues to obsessively play the shooter to the this day, the developer launched the game’s final expansion this week. The Rise of Iron expansion will be exclusively available to download from the PlayStation Store and Xbox Games Store, but players who haven’t yet jumped into Destiny’s universe should pick up Destiny: The Collection this week for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One. In addition to the original game and Rise of Iron, The Collection will also include all of Destiny’s previously released expansion content… Expansion I: The Dark Below, Expansion II: House of Wolves, and The Taken King. Destiny: The Collection is highly recommended for all your patrons who love shooters.

Also recommended this week is Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition, which technically made its debut during the Xbox One’s launch period. The Definitive Edition is a collected edition that includes all 26 characters and 20 stages from the game’s first three seasons, as well as a pair of bonus games (Killer Instinct Classic and Killer Instinct 2 Classic). Fans of fighting games will definitely enjoy seeing it on the shelf.

Finally this week, Atlus published Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, a side-story to the original Shin Megami Tensei IV, for the 3DS. Fans of the weird world of Japanese RPGs will enjoy the chance to check this one out.


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This Week’s New Releases + Game News: September 19, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is expanding this week thanks to the beginning of the “Fall Gaming Season.” With more than a dozen new titles this week, there’s something to recommend for everybody.

The NFL season kicked off two Sundays ago, so let’s start with some new sports games. EA Sports released Madden NFL 17 a month ago, but the publisher was back this week with NHL 17 for the PS4 and Xbox One. If you’re more of a basketball fan, 2K Games released NBA 2K17 this week for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Soccer supporters will also get a new simulation this week with the release of Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 on the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. And the checkered flag goes to NASCAR Heat: Evolution, which was released for the PS4 and Xbox One this week. All four games always score very well with gamers and would make a good addition to any collection.

Far away from Earth’s athletic fields is the planet of Far Eden, an interstellar colony that’s been overrun by villainous robots in Microsoft’s ReCore. Developed by Armature Studio, with additional idea work by Keiji Inafune, ReCore lets players fight back as Joule Adams, a resourceful woman who has her own team of robotic helpers. ReCore is available for the Xbox One.

Finally this week, a trio of re-releases will reintroduce gamers to a few beloved franchises. BioShock: The Collection will bring BioShock, BioShock 2, and BioShock Infinite together in a single package for the PS4 and Xbox One with improved graphics and exclusive commentary by Ken Levine and other developers from Irrational. Meanwhile, Capcom’s Dead Rising also makes the leap to the PS4 and Xbox One with improved graphics. And Square Enix and Nintendo collaborated on a brand new localization for the 3DS release of Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past, an absolutely massive RPG that was originally released in 2001.


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This Week’s New Releases + Game News: September 12, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II, a turn-based RPG for the PS3 and Vita.

Published by XSEED and developed by Falcom, Trails of Cold Steel II is a tactical turn-based title where the fate of the kingdom is at stake and only a plucky band of outsiders can save the day. Players interested in obscure Japanese RPGs will definitely be interested in this one.

Also of note this week is Just Sing, Ubisoft’s singing spinoff of the Just Dance franchise. Available for the PS4 and Xbox One, players will be able to sing (or lip sync) along with songs from Britney Spears, Sia, Justin Bieber, and others. Best of all, Just Sing can easily be used during an open gaming program because it doesn’t require a microphone peripheral. Ubisoft has released a companion app that’ll turn any smartphone into a microphone.


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This Week’s New Releases + Game News: September 5, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is a tie between two monster-hunting titles… Bandai Namco’s God Eater 2: Rage Burst and Koei Tecmo’s Attack On Titan.

Japanese developers love pitting a single player (or a small co-op team) against a giant monster. Ever since the success of Monster Hunter back in the PS2 days, “monster hunting” games have almost become their own genre. And this week, players might be interested in trying out God Eater 2: Rage Burst, a PS4 game where players use “God Arcs” to battle demonic entities known as Aragami. The Aragami like to chow down on lowly humans, much like the Titans at the center of Koei Tecmo’s Attack On Titan, which is another adaptation of the popular anime for the PS4 and Xbox One.

Also of note this week is a trio of re-releases. Let’s start things off with Assetto Corsa, a racing simulation that was originally released for the PC and is now available for the PS4 and Xbox One. Your patrons might also be interested in slaying more giant monsters in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Game of the Year Edition, which collects all of the game’s downloadable expansions in a single package for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Finally, Capcom added improved graphics to Resident Evil 4, which is a bona fide classic, and re-released it for the PS4 and Xbox One.


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This Week’s New Releases + Game News: August 29, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is a tie between Madden NFL 17 and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

The release of Madden NFL 17 on the PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360 means that it’s time for FOOTBALL, and for this year’s entry in their annual sports franchise, EA Sports focused on improving Madden’s famed Franchise Mode. That should make the hardcore statheads very happy, but Madden appeals to almost everybody, so most patrons will be happy to see it on the shelves.

Many gamers are excited for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided as well, though it’s a very different kind of game… a science fiction story that has many parallels to our world including civil rights, terrorism, and government surveillance. Its heady themes make it one of the smarter games out there, and one that many PC, PS4, and Xbox One owners are very interested in.

Also of note this week is The King of Fighters XIV, a one-on-one fighter for the PS4. Players familiar with the long-running King of Fighters franchise will want to check it out, as will fans of one-on-one fighting games like Street Fighter V and Mortal Kombat X.


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Dark Souls Comic Miniseries Will Be Released as Graphic Novel on December 6

darksouls-graphicnovelThe final issue in Titan’s Dark Souls comic book adaptation is now available to purchase from your local comic shop, but Titan has also announced that a collected edition will be available this December. Written by George Mann, and with artwork by Alan Quah, the Dark Souls comic looks at an unexplored side of the game’s world by following Fira, a “battle-hardened warrior”:

The official comic set in the world of the best-selling Dark Souls videogame franchise! Join Fira – a battle-hardened warrior – as she embarks upon a perilous quest to save her ailing kingdom, fighting countless hoards of demonic foes along the way!

Dark Souls: The Breath of Andolus will be released on December 6 and contain all four issues from the miniseries.

Tetris: The Games People Play is a Graphic Novel About the Game’s Creation That’ll Be Published in October

tetris-graphicnovelMost people know that Alexey Pajitnov created Tetris while working for the Soviet government in the early 80s, but the story will be retold this October in a brand new graphic novel by Box Brown.

Tetris: The Games People Play will be published by the Macmillan imprint First Second, and it’ll reveal the story behind the game’s creation and the subsequent legal battle over distribution rights to the puzzle game outside the USSR:

Alexey Pajitnov had big ideas about games. In 1984, he created Tetris in his spare time while developing software for the Soviet government. Once Tetris emerged from behind the Iron Curtain, it was an instant hit. Nintendo, Atari, Sega—game developers big and small all wanted Tetris. A bidding war was sparked, followed by clandestine trips to Moscow, backroom deals, innumerable miscommunications, and outright theft.

New York Times–bestselling author Box Brown untangles this complex history and delves deep into the role games play in art, culture, and commerce. For the first time and in unparalleled detail, Tetris: The Games People Play tells the true story of the world’s most popular video game.

Brown has experience with finding larger-than-life figures from pop culture and adapting their lives into graphic novels. The writer and artist was previously responsible for Andre the Giant: Life and Legend, a well-received graphic novel that was originally published in 2014.

Tetris: The Games People Play will be available on October 11.