Rundown (12/16-12/22) Friends Until It All Ends

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The biggest most tangentially gaming related news for me this week would easily be the announced end of the Super Best Friends. A group of three, formerly four, let’s players whose videos and podcast have been a part of my life for… about 6 years or so, providing bumbling playthroughs, endearing goofs, and general happiness for me and thousands of others. While all three will continue to do their own thing, they will no longer be collaborating as they once were due to personal issues and, well, their friendship fading. It’s been a fun time following the miscellaneous nonsense attached to these scrublords over the years, but I suppose that all good things must end, and at least things ended reasonably here. It’s better than Pat dying from scurvy, or the channel and the three slowly spiralling into a void of lackadaisical rambling nothingness, like some other people who I used to follow.

At a recent investor meeting, acclaimed Japanese RPG developer Nihon Falcom announced the latest entry in their illustrious Ys series, Ys IX: Monstrum Nox. A title that looks to adhere to the structure, format, and technical standings seen in 2016’s Ys VIII, that of a speedy action RPG with multiple party members. Aside from a few screenshots and some details about the story, which is set in a prison city of sorts, there is not a whole lot to go on here. However, I am something of a fan of the series, so I will probably be keeping tabs on this entry before it inevitably drops in the western market and on PC. Though considering it is set to release in Japan on PS4 in 2019, I’m guessing that it will be quite a while before I get around to playing it, especially when considering how I need to catch up on the last three Ys titles… Still waiting for those 50% sales…

Now, having too many games to play is certainly not a problem, though it can rapidly become a problem when those games are delisted, as was the case with Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, a PS Vita and PS4 RPG that took many cues from the Shin Megami Tensei series, and began a new age of annualized Digimon games. Normally when games are delisted like this it can be attributed to some sort of licensing deal expiring and the publisher not wanting to pay to keep the game up for sale. However, the publisher, Bandai Namco, fully owns the Digimon IP and funded this project, are still making Digimon games, and put out a sequel to Cyber Sleuth earlier this year. While I would be willing to accept this if it was some sort of deal expiring, I see no justification or good reason for this delisting, and as somebody who wanted to play the game eventually, this just sucks eggs on toast. It’s even weirder when considering that 2014’s Digimon All-Star Rumble is still on North American PSN, and Cyber Sleuth is still on European PSN.

Though there was thankfully something of a Christmas miracle that happened this week, and that was China resuming their game approval process after freezing it back in August. This is very good news for the nation’s gaming industry as it allows more games to enter the market, keep things active, and generally ensure that China continues to be the most valuable gaming market in the world, despite seeing very little growth in the past year on account of this freeze. While this entire situation is kind of bizarre when one stops and thinks about it, this does mean that China will resume their established growth in the game industry, and will gradually begin encroaching into the western market beyond certain small developers putting their niche games on Steam.

Anyways, that’s all the noteworthy news I was able scrounge up this week. I wish you all happy holidays and general prosperity as this year comes to a close and the final year of the 2010s draws near. But before ending things, I want to make a bit of an update about my future novels. Quite simply, I originally wanted to release my latest novel, The Saga of Vincent Dawn, here as a year end present to you all. But I still need to give the story a thorough edit, which is a time consuming activity hampered by how my free time is becoming increasingly more limited, and my responsibilities are growing. As such, I can no longer guarantee release windows for my future novels, even though I really want to, if only so I could pair them up with silly release dates.

Header image was created by Rafael Trujillo.

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