So, I’m currently replaying Final Fantasy XIII, because I felt I had unfinished business with that game, and I am thoroughly amazed that the creators were able to tolerate their creation. As a writer, there is so much about this game’s story that drives me nuts, and I cannot believe that 65 million was invested into such a lackluster story. That, and the gameplay’s auto battle system simply does not work as it is told to— I’ll save it for the review proper, for now, The Game Awards and the Playstation Experience both happen, so here is a rundown of some of those things.
Well, before getting into those events, New Danganronpa V3: New Semester for Everyone’s Killing got another trailer and some details with it. Namely that there will be no recurring characters beyond the Monobear, there is a new bluffing system involved in the Class Trials, a very “psycho cool” aesthetic, and you probably will play as Robo-Makoto. Nifty, but what about all the loose ends made by the first two games and Ultra Despair Girls? Well, look no further than Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak Academy, an anime series set a few years after Danganronpa 2 that will do things that can only be done in the medium of anime, whatever that means.
Game Awards time, although this time I opted out of viewing the show itself, as I have been fooled too many times to not learn a lesson of some sort. As such, I’ll just recap the reveals. Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is a video game that combines classic Americana adventure aesthetic with an art style inspired by the work of Van Gogh, made by one of the people who made Gone Home, only to then leave the company him and his friends made. It is certainly nifty looking, but I have zero clue what kind of game it will be based on this teaser trailer. It’s why I don’t really care for teaser trailers in general, such as the two that Telltale had in the show, mimicking what they did last year. This year they showed the first in-game footage for The Walking Dead: Michonne, which looks like one would expect, and a teaser for a Telltale Batman game, which I could be interested in they, say, have you play as a different character in every episode, with none of them being Batman.
Psychonauts 2 was announced as a crowdfunded title that is currently up on that new crowdfunding site, Fig, with a goal of 3.3 million dollars, matching the amount Double Fine got for Broken Age. I’ll be brief and say that while I did not really like the first Psychonauts as a game, I am very pleased to see a game like this exist. I am also incredibly happy to see Shadow Complex Remastered, which I learned about through a PEGI rating leak, and then it was released for free on PC, albeit tied to Epic Games’ launcher for Unreal 4 and such. I would have much rather bought it than install proprietary software, but I’ll gleefully go through the game after I’m done with the one I’m in the midst of.
However, I do want to see more niche Japanese titles in general, hit the PC market, as Idea factory did at the same time as TGA, as they cater to very different audiences. Firstly, they are localizing MegaTagmension Blanc + Neptune vs Zombies for Vita in early 2016, a game set in a universe where all of the Neptunia characters are Japanese schoolgirls who are filming a movie in order to save their school, because why not? It is also a successor to the Tamsoft developed Neptunia U: Action Unleashed, which is coming to PC next year along with the Sting developed SRPG Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart, and Monster Monpiece . Speaking of Monster Monpiece, the game will be uncensored for its PC release, which I hope somebody fixes with a quick mod, as I don’t want any premature girl smut on my PC. Also, a Megadimension Neptunia VII trailer went out, detailing how the game is actually a combination of Zerodimension Neptunia Z: Twilight of the Desperate CPU, Hyperdimension Neptunia G: The Golden Leaders, Reconstructors of Gamindustri, and Heartdimension Neptunia H – Trilogy Finale: Into Legend… I conceptually love this series more than I do any other.
Onto PSX, or the Playstation Experience. First off, as was leaked a while before the announcement, PS2 games are coming to PS4, will have trophy support, and will be rendered at 1080p. It is certainly a nice feature, but I’m guessing that people would have prefered proper PS2 emulation as well as this upscaling. PS1 games are still not coming to the platform for whatever reason, but the port of Final Fantasy VII was finally released on PS4 on the day of PSX, alongside a new gameplay trailer for Final Fantasy VII: Remake. How does it look? Troubling, to be honest. A lot of the color and exaggerated features that made the characters so distinctive were lost here, as so much of this game is dark, wet, and grey. Cloud should be wearing a dark purple, the Shinra guards should be wearing blue, and Barrett, who now has rad shades, a somehow stupider looking gun arm, and a very gravelly VO, should be wearing a green vest. There is promise, but I hope the developers, who are indeed Square Enix proper, realize that they will be in the deepest shit if they screw this up.
Street Fighter V’s second to last new world warrior was revealed to be F.A.N.G. a chinese stereotype who is incredibly flamboyant, and will probably make some people upset even though Street Fighter is simultaneous inclusive and mildly racist to all nations, and that’s pretty great. But if you want old characters, the first Street Fighter V season pass at the end of the trailer, and will include Alex, Guile, Boxer, Ibuki, Juri, and Urien. So that is a total of 22 characters by the end of the first season of Street Fighter V, and King of Fighters XIV is going to have fifty, but still looks like a game that’s been sitting on a shelf for seven years and was only recently recovered, as the models do not look very good at all. It looks worse than a generation behind.
Speaking of being a generation behind, the final big PS3 exclusive, Yakuza 5 is finally coming to PSN on Tuesday, while Yakuza 0, the 1988 side story of the series, was confirmed for a western release only on PS4, which is understandable. I actually thought Yakuza 5 was releasing on both systems, but no, just PS3. Although, some multiplatform titles, such as the six game Bit.Trip Collection will be gracing the PS3, along the Vita and PS4. The generically named Brutal could probably run on all three of those systems, as it is a dungeon crawling hack and slash with an aesthetic built around ASCII art, but it is also a 3D game with a notable amount of blood in it, hence the name. It really does little but make me pine for a 2D platformer with ASCII art, as that would be far more appropriate. Heck, there are probably tons of those.
However, there are not tons of AAA games that very clearly take inspirations from Dark Souls, which is why Team Ninja’s stylish action game set in feudal Japan, Nioh, continues to grab my attention. Granted, the trailer did little but remind me that the game exists and will probably be good. Tecmo Koei also announced a game with a title so similar Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, a sequel presumably in name only without any involvement from Studio Ghibli. The game focuses on a boy king going out on a quest to retake his rightful throne from the forces of darkness, which is part of the reason why I was not as enamoured by this announcement as I thought I would be. Something about the art direction just doesn’t gel with me, and I’m really not sure what, or why. Regardless, I will certainly check it out if it goes to PC like many of Bandai Namco’s more recent titles.
On the subject of ports, Rez, the trippy, sensory stimulating, cyberspace shooter was revealed for PS4 in the form of Rez Infinite, which will also act as a marquis title for the Playstation VR. While something like The Modern Zombie Taxi Co. will be a more experimental game wherein you drive people, who are British zombies, around in a taxi in London… as developed by Sony Santa Monica, surprisingly. One of the more mainstream, I guess, titles for the peripheral will be Ace Combat 7, which unfortunately was not shown beyond some CG wherein a woman jumps off of a tower while some planes have a plane war.
I could say the same mildly upset thing about Golem, which looks pretty gimmicky based on the GC teaser trailer, as I know nothing about the game other than it may have motion controls, and you control a sentient pile of rocks going through a desert. At the very least you can discern what Ubisoft’s Eagle Flight is suppose to be, and that’s a seamless multiplayer bird flight simulator wherein you go around beautiful set pieces of major cities and nature locales with a collection of your friends via seamless multiplayer. It may have no real goal or objective or gameplay beyond flight, but that’s perfectly fine as long as you can get some enjoyment from the experience.
Double Fine is also making a game for the Playstation VR, a Psychonauts spin off made to surely help fund Psychonauts 2, Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, which was only teased through a new model of Razputin, as development presumably just began on both projects. THey are also, well, they personally are not making these, but two LucasArts adventure game classics, made by some people currently employed at Double Fine, are still being remastered in the form of Day of the Tentacle Remastered, and Full Throttle Remastered. All done as it is easier to repackage games than it is to create new ones from scratch, as is the case with Destiny: Sparrow Racing League, a game announced three days before its launch, and will be some sort of accessory title to one of the most disappointing games in recent memory.
100ft Robot Golf was also shown, and it looks appropriately goofy with giant robots playing golf on the moon, but I think it will sadly only warrant a week of attention before it is forgotten forever. Three things were not shown at either of these events, but some expected were the leaked, Platinum developed, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan, as Activision loves working with those guys, and it gives them money for vanity projects. Demon’s Souls Remastered was teased by the Bloodborne social people, but it could be nothing in the grand scheme of things. Also, Kojima was banned from attending The Game Awards, presumably by Konami, who still somewhat owns him for the remainder of 2015, after which he will start making something spectacular and will start talking mad shit about some old man executive who was keeping this fifty-year-old down. Yeah, Kojima’s over fifty, which is hard to believe, but time in general is an awful things that makes less sense as your body gradually turns to rubbish. So make use of your youth before you die, and be sure to take every possible drug at once in order to become the archdiety of potassium chloride.