Rundown (3/11-3/17) Natalie’s Future is Looking Bright

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Recently, I’ve been thinking about how my foreseeable future is going to play out, making my plans for the rest of the year, and I have to say, I’m pretty satisfied with them. In May, I will meet up with my boyfriend in person for the first time, and also finally release Psycho Bullet Festival: The Odyssey of Abigale Quinlan (I just finished the first draft this week). In August I will finally finish college, graduating with a bachelor’s in Accounting, and I’ll get a Switch as a graduation present. From there, I will spend the rest of the year working full time at my mother’s workplace, while studying for the CPA Exam, so that I can get a job as an accountant come 2021. With a new job, new insurance, and a greater influx of money, it will eventually become time for my Gender Confirmation Surgery. So yeah, my future is looking pretty bright all things considered.

Recently announced that Sega will be releasing Sega Genesis Classics, their obligatory Genesis game compilation for this generation of systems, on May 29th for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Normally, that would not warrant so much as a glance from me, but I found the lack of a Switch version to be interesting, albeit incredibly sensible from Sega’s perspective. Why should they put out a 50 game compilation for $30 when they can release all of those games for $8 on the Virtual Console. Which in turn reminded me of a very prominent question. What the hell is going on with the Switch’s Virtual Console, Nintendo?

I understand that this new era of Nintendo is going to be a more reserved one when it comes to reveals and announcements. One where they do things according to their own schedule and don’t offer too many reveals or details about anything far in advance. This tactic has been working for them, as some people have been crazy about Nintendo speculation since the NX rumors started picking up in 2016, but it is starting to frustrate me at this point. I certainly do not mind surprises, but I absolutely hate waiting months upon months to hear basic information about something I know is in the works. If they just said in a bloody tweet that they would talk more about the Switch’s Virtual Console when the online service launches, that would be fine. But instead they have been so distant that some people doubt you will even be able to buy games on this new Virtual Console.

Speaking of things that have been known well in advance of their formal announcement that people have been patiently waiting to hear about for a while. Namely since October 2016. Square Enix finally saw it appropriate to announce the long known about third entry in the Tomb Raider reboot series, Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The game was revealed with a teaser trailer that showed… basically nothing of substance, with a proper “reveal” being set for April 27th. Because the hype cycle needs to be carefully maintained for maximum profits, and the title must be mentioned in the statements following the fiscal year.

Regardless, I have very little to say about the game even in its conception, as I did not care for the initial entry in this reboot series, but I do hope that this entry goes on to impress people, and continue to lay down a foundation for subsequent entries to follow. Shadow of the Tomb Raider will release on September 14th for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. A date early enough to both avoid the Q4 rush, and to be marked down to $30 come the holiday sales.

The next bit of news is not so much expected, as much as it is unsurprising, as after a litany of leaks Konami announced that Super Bomberman R would be coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC in this June during the week of E3. The title originally served as a Switch launch title back in March 2017, and based on its new release window, I’m guessing that it had a one year exclusivity deal that just expired. This is ultimately good news as a new, albeit not particularly great, Bomberman game is on. And as an added bonus, the game will come with platform exclusive character in the form of Ratchet & Clank, Master Chief, or P-Body from Portal for the PS4, XBO, and PC versions respectively, which is actually a far nicer feature than I would have expected from Konami.

Speaking of surprisingly nice actions from game publishers, Electronic Arts, is apparently not making a single dollar off of A Way Out, the second game part of their EA Originals line. Now, the wording here is ambiguous in the sense that I am unsure if it means that EA will not seeing any revenue from the game, or that they will recoup their investment with this project, and all additional proceeds from that will go to the developer, Hazelight. I presume it is the latter, as otherwise it would just be a bad business decision, but regardless, I do think that is a positive move on their part, and represents how I wish EA behaved more often as opposed to being the, often justified, manifestation of everything wrong with the AAA game industry.

Jumping back to Sega, the company recently held a Sonic related conference at the SXSW conference this year. A brief teaser trailer was shown for a car based Sonic racing game that lines up ever so nicely with the Sumo Digital kart racer leak I talked about last month. While Sonic Mania will be receiving some additional love in the form of a series of five minute long animated shorts, called Sonic Mania Adventures, along with a free update to the game itself. This update will add the oft neglected characters Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Squirrel among the character line-up, while introducing a new and vaguely detailed Encore mode. This update will launch this summer, and will be included in a physical release of this game, dubbed Sonic Mania Plus. All of which goes to remind me that I probably should get around to playing and reviewing Sonic Mania sooner than later.

The localization wizards at XSEED recently held a livestream to lead up to a mysterious new title that was set to release this year, and while it could have been anything, they took a rather expected route by announcing the follow up to last year’s PC port of Ys Seven with a PC port of Ys: Memories of Celceta. The port is being handled by the same team as before, and will release sometime this summer, though XSEED has a loose definition of that term. I’m honestly rather excited to see this game arrive on PC, as it marks an instance where every Ys game, or at least every one that came out in the west, will be available on a single platform, and that I will now have a far better opportunity to play this installment in the illustrious series.

Closing things off with one more piece of news that did not bubble up until I was getting this post ready, Grasshopper Manufacturer has announced that they will be remastering two of their cult classic titles, Flower, Sun, and Rain, along with Killer7. As somebody who heard only good things about these titles, yet has never played them, this is rather exciting news. It will be another opportunity for these games to be experienced by a new generation, and will allow for these titles to live far longer lives thanks to the nature of digital storefronts, PC ports, and backwards compatible consoles.

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