Rundown (3/29-4/04) Please Be Nice

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Wherein I discuss a personal quibble, a much-anticipated revision, a mobile Re;Birth, a baffling split, a rumored revelrous re-release, the seasonal guffaws, and the future of industry events!

In recent years, I have tried to adopt a more easy-going disposition to things, people, and general circumstances, calling things out when they are crummy, and trying to restrict feelings of malice or disdain to only a select few people. The world isn’t in a good shape, things have been weird for… decades, and I would much rather try to be open and respectful to people than disregard them entirely or refuse to give them the benefit of the doubt. I think this is a good practice to stick to, and few things upset me more than seeing people actively dogpile onto others, and for… horrible reasons.

What sparked this weekly quibble of mine was when I, out of sheer curiosity, checked out a video by some controversy spewing YouTuber who openly called a person by a name they would rather not be addressed by and justified their actions by saying that this person in question was a cis-white-heterosexual-male. I guess the logic here is that because they are a person of a societally favored demographic, they do not deserve to be given common decency, and they deserve to be put down a peg. But that’s a load of rubbish spewed by the sort of people who guise themselves as being more socially progressive when they’re just assholes who like putting down a visible group identified by their gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. Which should never be tolerated for what should be obvious reasons.

Everybody is just a person, every person deserves to be treated decently, and people should try to be nice to each other. Yes, there are times to be angry and hateful to people, but that’s only when they broke the loosely defined social rules by being a criminal, misusing power, harming others, or just being a ripe little poop nugget that does not respect others. Just be nice, be open, be more mellow, don’t be an asshole, and don’t screw with people just because they tweeted some dumb nonsense or said this or that questionable thing. Kay? …No? Well, I guess this conversation is over then.

Venting aside, following the release of 2017’s Nier Automata, a surprise success that brought what was once a cult classic series into the limelight thanks to the capable developers at PlatinumGames, many people began wondering what was next for the Nier/Drakengard series. Whether it be a sequel to Automata, a Drakengard 4, or an enhanced version of 2010’s Nier, which only a small subset of Automata’s fanbase actually played. Now, three years later, Square Enix has announced an “updated version” of the original by the name of NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139. A game whose name partially references how the original Nier, and its squirrely release history. The PS3 version, Nier Replicant, featured a young boy protagonist on a quest to save his sister. While the Xbox 360 version, Nier Gestalt, featured a middle-aged man on a quest to save his daughter and was the version that was adapted for the western release

History lesson aside, NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139 is being developed by the support-studio and Happy Wars developer Toylogic, presumably, because the original developer, Cavia, has long since been doubled-liquidated into Marvelous. This new version will feature new characters, new voice recordings, a re-recorded and expanded OST, and possibly a new ending. No release date was given, and no gameplay was shown, but it was confirmed that this title will release for PS4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam.

As somebody who loved Nier Automata, and considers it to be one of her top 20 games of all time, I am naturally excited to experience a more refined and polished version of the original title which I, like many others, opted to experience through video essays and let’s plays rather than actually playing it myself. Here’s hoping the changes implemented in this version are widely regarded as positive, and that this much-beloved title is no longer marred by middling combat or general jank.

Oh, and a Nier mobile game by the name of Nier Re[in]carnation was announced for mobile devices from developer Applibot, and was revealed with a vague teaser trailer that features some alternate version of the character Kaine and Emil, but with a sheet over his stony face. It will likely be looked at with low-key scorn from certain devotes who would rather have all their Nier be contained in console games, short stories, and stage productions, rather than mobile-based server-dependent live services. I mean, I am in that same boat, but I am also a gacha trash goblin who is actually looking forward to Yoko Taro’s other mobile project, SINoALICE, when it launches in the west this summer.

On the subject of endeavors by mobile game developers regarding niche Japanese intellectual properties, 8 months ago it was announced that Steins;Gate and Chaos;Child developer Mages Inc. was splitting off from the Kadokawa Dwango Corporation and all ownership would be transferred to Chiyomaru Studio. This was seemingly done so Chiyomaru, who was already a related party, had more direct control over Mages, and to streamline production. Which makes it all the more perplexing that Chiyomaru sold Mages for roughly $15 million to Colopl, a Japanese mobile game developer. No reason was given why this acquisition was made, and I am left with a strong sense of concern over how this will affect Mages’ titles going forward. I hope that business continues as usual, but… I don’t know, this just gives me bad vibes.

On a more uplifting note, a spectrum of outlets have been, rather confidently, confirming that Nintendo has significant plans for their as of yet mostly unknown 2020 line-up. It’s a bit of a sprawling story with details having been spread and corroborated by Video Games Chronicle, Eurogamer, Gematsu, and VentureBeat. And from mixing, matching, and cross-referencing all of these things, the current story is that Nintendo is planning on going all out in celebrating Mario’s 35th anniversary with remasters of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, Super Mario Galaxy 1, and Super Mario Galaxy 2. That not being enough, Nintendo is also apparently planning to release a Deluxe rendition of Super Mario 3D World with some additional content along with a brand new Paper Mario game that supposedly brings the series back to its roots.

All of this was supposedly going to be revealed at E3 2020, which would have seen a very Mario-centric show floor from Nintendo. But because COVID-19 had to go and ruin everything, Nintendo is likely re-evaluating their holiday plans in this volatile environment. Considering the groundswell around these rumors, I think it is safe to say that things are indeed happening, and I honestly could not ask for anything more if this is true. I love seeing older games be remastered, I would love to revisit the first four 3D Mario games, and I loved the first three Paper Mario games, so I would naturally love to see the series come back.

However, for as much as I love hearing this announcement, it also breeds a degree of fangirlish paranoia in my supple little mind, as I cannot help but ponder and pontificate just how much I would love to see this same remastered treatment be afforded to the Zelda and Metroid series, both of which are celebrating their 35th anniversaries in 2021. But that sounds like a good future, and if this year has been any indication, we are all in the bad future.

Speaking of bad futures, despite the craziness going on, people still made sure to celebrate April Fool’s day with some goofs and guffaws. Which, for the most part, warranted a nifty chuckle, even if there were some disappointing moments here and there: I won’t go through all of them, but here are some highlights I saw:

Now, I expected that to be it, but IGN decided to break the floodgates open on Friday by announcing the Summer of Gaming event. A global digital event with involvement from “2K, Square Enix, SEGA, Bandai Namco, Amazon, Google Stadia, Twitter, Devolver Digital, THQ Nordic, and more.” One that will involve the sort of interviews, hands-on demos, and extended coverage that games receive beyond the E3 press conferences, while also promising announcements. However, from the sound of things, this will be more of a deeper dive into already announced projects, rather than a platform for developers to announce entirely new projects.

The Summer of Gaming event will kick off sometime in June, and depending on the success of it and various other digital events, we may very well be done with media circus conventions… or at least that’s what I thought at first, but then the ESA busted down the metaphorical door, a matter of hours after IGN’s announcement, and declared the E3 2021 is a-go-go, and is set to happen from June 15th to 17th in 2021! I honestly have mixed feelings about this, as I personally think major conventions like E3 are a waste of resources, and I actually like the idea of darn near everything being done remotely and digitally. But I guess that now is not really the time to champion this sort of thing when people are being forced into this stuff.

Anyhow, that is all I have lined up for this week. Remember, stay inside, stray safe, and keep yourself busy by enjoying some joyous media! Such as this anime adaptation of When I Woke Up, I Became a Bagel Girl, a Korean TG webcomic that lasted for 35 chapters, only one of which was translated. …Yeah, somebody decided that that deserved an anime adaptation with 15 12-minute episodes. I could only find the first episode, and it was not subtitled, but it’s actually way, way better than the original comic, adding and revising a lot, and building off of it with presentation values that make the original look like a slapdash production in comparison.

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