Rundown (8/26-9/01) The Trans Everywhere System

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Something I have noticed as of late is the bizarrely high number of people whose work I either follow or followed at some point in my life wound up being transgender. Just going off the top of my head there are Lily Orchard, Jacob Hope Chapman, Tiffany Brockhoff, Kdin Jenzen, Momoka Truong, Katie Lynne Harder, a whole bunch of TG artists who have come and gone over the years, along with people like Laura Kate Dale and Uber Anne, whose I knew were trans when I started following their work. It is all quite different compared to, say, 5 years ago, when I had next to no exposure to trans people beyond a few designated sites I checked. Because of this I struggled to come to terms that I was trans myself, and was only really inspired after seeing someone who I was following announce and begin their transition. Anyways, time for video game news!

Starting with a bit of news that originated last week, Langrisser is a series of tactical RPGs originally released for the Mega Drive and Sega Saturn, primarily as a series of Japanese exclusive titles aside from the western version of the inaugural entry, which was renamed to Warsong. It lasted for roughly a decade, putting out a steady succession of titles before the series’s publisher Masaya Games was shut down in 2000, leaving the developer, Career Soft, to form a relationship with Atlus, producing the Growlanser and Devil Survivor series before eventually merging with the company after Index Corporation fell apart and Atlus was snagged up by Sega.

Then in 2014, the Masaya Games brand was purchased by Japanese entertainment company Extreme Co. Ltd., who decided to revive the Langrisser series on the 3DS, which became Langrisser Re:Incarnation Tensei, a game that was critically lambasted upon release and did quite poorly.  Anyways, I bring this all up because a full remake of the first two games, creatively called Langrisser I & II, was announced, and this time it is being developed by the Kadokawa Games, the developer being titles like God Wars: Future Past and Root Letter. Making them a developer of some acclaim, but not much.

As for how the game itself looks, it seems to be very much akin to the Fire Emblem series, but the overall presentation reminds me more of the mobile game that I spent about a year playing, Fire Emblem Heroes. Which to me states that this is a lower budget sort of affair, not that I could really blame the publisher, but due to how remaking a game, especially one that has already been remade, requires a lot of deviations or bouts of incompetence to make things significantly worse, it still has potential to be a nifty little SRPG when it launches in Japan for PS4 and Switch, with a western release likely being in the cards since the 3DS game was brought over.

Microsoft have announce their previously rumored Xbox All Access financing plan. An alternative to the multi-hundred dollar investment of a new game console that will allow people to purchase a system, along with subscriptions for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass, for a flat monthly free. After 24 months, the subscriptions ends, but the customer is allowed to keep their console, for no additional charge. The plan is currently in what sounds like a sort of trial period, only being available by visiting a Microsoft store in the US for a limited time, but could potentially be a sort of trial run for a large operation, and one that could be utilized with their next generation of consoles.

There are currently two plans available, with the Xbox One S plan costing 24 monthly installments of $22, amounting to a total of $528 for products with an MSRP of $660. While the Xbox One X plan costing 24 monthly installments of $35, amounting to a total of $840 for products with an MSRP of $860. While I do not think the rate for the Xbox One X is much of a discount, especially after I saw Game Pass up for a fifth of its usual price last week, it is an interesting option that could be better for certain individuals. And with the boons of the Game Pass and Games With Gold, one could within reason enjoy the system fully without spending a dime beyond the monthly rate. At least before realizing that the costs and interest rates are actually variable here, and depend on one’s credit-worthiness. So, yes, it’s a good plan… once you get rid of all the crap anyway.

After undergoing a 20 year period filled with cancellations and promising fan projects, the return of the cult classic Streets of Rage series has been announced with Streets of Rage 4. This new installment in the classic beat ‘em up series comes by way of a collaborative effort between Lizardcube, the developers behind the beautiful looking and lovingly created Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap. Guard Crush, the developers behind the beat ‘em up Streets of Fury. And DotEmu, who serves as both a developer and publisher of this title, skirting around the expected rights holders, Sega, in a move not dissimilar to how they handled the rerelease of Windjammers and the aforementioned Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap.

Only a few seconds of gameplay accompanied the 2D animated reveal trailer, showing a promising art style with a good level of fluidity in their animations, along with new character designs that make it clear that some time has passed in universe since part 3. While I am not too well versed in this series, or the overall genre, I know it is beloved by many, and hope that it pleases fans, who have been waiting to see the return of this series for, in many cases, the majority of their lives.

Speaking of beloved series getting revivals, as that may as well be the theme for this week, Capcom is remastering the cult classic feudal Japanese survival horror action title Onimusha: Warlords. This is a project I have heard people discuss for quite some time, likely just expressing their desire for a remaster more than anything else, and this seems to strike the major bullet points. Updated visuals, modernized controls, and a new soundtrack after it turned out that Mamoru Samuragochi was a plagiarist who also faked being deaf. All in all seems like a straightforward update for a much beloved game, so straightforward that it is simply being released as Onimusha: Warlords when it comes out for PS4, XBO, Switch, and PC on January 15th, 2019.

Oh, and Cyberpunk 2077 finally received a gameplay reveal… in the form of a 48 minute gameplay demo that showed an impressively detailed first person RPG with loads of unnecessarily extravagant visual flare. Still, there is a lot exciting about it, though the way in which certain scenes are presented worries me with regards to how this game will approach role playing. As the protagonist, referred to as V, seems to have a default cocky and flagrant attitude regardless of player decisions, along with an established history. Which I found confusing given how They are a player created character, and one who I assumed would be very malleable, when the character portrayed in the demo is a far cry from the character I would want to play.

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