Rundown (6/13/2023) Segmented Summer Showcases (S3) 2023: I’d Rather Be Doing Anything Else!

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This Week’s Topics:

  • A generation of trained 2 B 2-D game haters
  • The big Xbox summer bash
  • Fallout X Skyrim X SPACE!
  • A tray of Ubisoft’s treats
  • Capcom’s box of festive snacks

Rundown Preamble Ramble:
The Title Is Hyperbole

Because there is so much gosh darn gaming news this week, I’m issuing a special extra installment of Natalie.TF Rundown (which I guess is the official name of this segment). The Xbox event fell on Sunday, and a few on Monday, so to keep up with the news and prevent the June 18th Rundown from being an hour long and filled with super dated information, here’s a little stopgap for ya!

Now, I didn’t really want to do this, as I am just regurgitating the same darn content as every other gaming outlet, and as I am prepping this post, I can’t help but wish I was doing anything else. In fact, here’s a list of things I would rather be working on:

  • Dragalia Lost V3 Re;Works
  • Verde’s Doohickey 2.0: Sensational Summer Romp
  • Studying to become an Enrolled Agent
  • Playing a Student Transfer scenario
  • Grabbing images for a big Ramble planned for this summer

…Though, I would rather do this than try to solicit local retro game shops to see if they want to buy my game collection for approximately 20% of its current FMV. So… yeah, I’m lying with the title of this post!

The Rise of 3D Games And Devaluation of 2D Games
(Natalie Rambles About Game History – 3D Edition)

Following the announcements of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown and Sonic Superstars last week, there was some Gamer Discourse™ about how there are certain subsets of the gaming community who view 2D games as inferior to 3D titles. This is something that I want to roll my eyes at, dismissing these pundits as being utter fools, but this has been an issue in the world of gaming for… Well… Okay, no, we need to go back all the way to fully scope this out.

Back in the early 1980s, gaming hardware was nowhere near capable of rendering polygonal displays or environments, but that did not stop game developers from trying. So they began creating pseudo 3D environments and landscapes, which could be seen in titles like Star Wars: The Arcade Game (1983), Marble Madness, Space Harrier or The 3-D Battles of WorldRunner

Even when the art of 2D game design was being learned and coming into its own, developers were already trying to push the envelope with 3D effects. And they quickly developed this idea that 3D environments were something of the ‘next evolution’ for video games. This idea was perpetuated by marketers, the prototypical gaming press, and the fascination of an imaginative audience whose concept of a ‘virtual world’ was based largely on the three dimensional world they lived in.

However, there was initially a lot of confusion about what constituted a ‘3D game.’ Games with pre-rendered graphics, such as Donkey Kong Country and Sonic 3D Blast were considered ‘3D’, and it would take some time for the industry to adapt and evolve the definition of what a 3D game actually was. …Which was something that took an entire generation of iteration to accomplish. 

On consoles, you saw a more concerted effort for games to ditch 2D and embrace 3D, as seen with criticisms levied toward titles like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Mischief Makers. So, by the late 90s, there were fewer games that were played from a ‘2D perspective’. A vague, somewhat arbitrary, term that does not include games with pre-rendered backgrounds like Resident Evil 2 or Final Fantasy VIII. Even though they were played on a 2D axis.

On PC, 3D took a while to take off, and even by the late 90s, you still saw some incredibly popular and acclaimed 2D titles. Such as Starcraft, Baldur’s Gate, and Diablo II. However, that was more due to hardware compatibility, optimization, and economic realities. Upgrading PCs was harder, harder to troubleshoot, and more expensive. Plus, a lot of people who played on PCs just had an out of the box Windows 95 machine that was never meant to be a gaming device.

Once we got into the 2000s though, the adolescent shift to 3D was largely over, 2D games got even rarer, and were mostly relegated to specific genres. Namely fighters, puzzlers, rhythmers, scrolling shooters, and compilations. You still had some RPGs that used a 2D art style like Disgaea and Odin Sphere. And there were the occasional 2D platformer with polygonal graphics, like Viewtiful Joe and Contra: Shattered Soldier. But few, if any, of these were considered widespread successes. Hell, looking at Wikipedia’s GameCube million sellers and the top 100 best selling PS2 games, I don’t see any 2D games except compilations. 

People were not buying 2D games for systems like these, yet they were buying them for the GameBoy Advance, whose library was still overwhelmingly 2D. This helped birth a perception that 2D games were for handhelds, that they were only for weaker hardware, and that they were worth less, as GBA games cost $30 or $35, while console games cost $50.

However, this balance began to change during the next generation of handhelds in 2004, as the Nintendo DS and PSP were both capable of playing fully 3D games. Based on the current trajectory, this should have resulted in the end of 2D games as the industry shifted to more ‘advanced’ 3D titles. However, something strange happened. Despite being paired with 3D offerings, 2D titles like Brain Age, New Super Mario Bros., and Pokémon Diamond and Pearl were wildly successful. 

Developers took notice, and this led to a resurgence of 2D titles during the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii generation, but not on the same shelf as other 3D titles. Instead, 2D games found a new home on these consoles via the PlayStation Network, Wii Shop Channel, and Xbox Live Arcade. All of which openly wanted 2D titles, where they were sold from $8 to $15. Cheap enough to warrant an impulse buy, and while it seemed like a raw deal for publishers (because it was), they didn’t need to worry about unsold inventory.

So, there we have it. 2D games went from the primary way to play games, to a cheaper type of game available on both handhelds and consoles, where they continued to offer high quality experiences. They never got the biggest push, but with production costs lower and design simpler, they didn’t really need to. 

Now, some games attempted to offer a 2D experience while charging a full $50 or $60 price tag, but pretty much the only ones who managed to sell even sorta decently were on the Wii. Nintendo’s first party 2D platformers were some of the best selling titles for the system. There were some other titles that tried this, like Lost in Shadow, A Boy and His Blob, Muramasa: The Demon Blade, and Klonoa, but most of them only did relatively well at most. 

Going into the PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, 3DS, and Vita generation, the overwhelming majority of full priced retail titles were fully 3D video games. While 2D games were relegated to three places. Handhelds. Console eShops, where they were available as cheaper downloadable titles. And Nintendo published titles. This trend continued with virtually no disruption until… today, basically.

I bring this up both as an intellectual/memorization exercise for myself, and because I think it is important to understand why some people think that 2D games are lesser to 3D ones. And looking at the past… 25 years of gaming history, I can see where these people are coming from. 

A lot of vocal online teenagers and twenty-somethings who are invested in gaming only have firsthand experience with gaming in the 21st century. There are a lot of people who started gaming with the PS4 and Xbox One, where 2D games were treated and distributed as cheaper offerings produced by independent developers. There are a lot of people who care about gaming… but do not care or know about what gaming was like before they were born. Hell, there are a bunch of people who openly dislike old games, and consider them to be as alluring as a phone from… 2016.

Now, do I think these people are ignorant and preventing themselves from experiencing the full breadth and possibility of gaming as a medium? Yep! But gaming is so big and mainstream that you cannot prevent people like this from cropping up, as there are always people with this mindset who appear every generation. People who just want to see things get better. 

As such, I don’t think that it is a problem that some people just don’t like or care about 2D games. But I do think that there are two problems to discuss. The subject of price and the subject of discourse.

Gaming is actually a pretty darn cheap hobby to get into when you consider the deluge of digital promotions that happen every week and rapid decline in the price of games. A $60 title will be $30 in a year and the complete edition will be $15 in three. …Except for Nintendo games, because Nintendo plays by their own rules. Complaining about price is like complaining about the weather. Give it a while, and things will be better. 

If the MSRP is above your reservation price, then wait for a discount or don’t buy it at all. It’s economics 101, and with packaged games, the FOMO is only strong if you allow it to be strong. You can think that an MSRP is a bit too high for a product to do well, but if it’s too much for your personal liking, cool, just wait, dude.

Next we have the subject of discourse, which I find to be so, so utterly disappointing. When I have the right permission and prompts, I actually love talking to people. I love getting to know them, discussing topics to learn their perspective on things, and picking up on bits of information and knowledge. Discourse and discussions are wonderful things, but the way they are promoted and cultivated by digital discussion platforms are feckin’ gobshite.

This is a problem with all forms of online or short-hand discussion, where blunt comments, hot takes, and underthought arguments are allowed to live and percolate. If you were talking to someone IRL, either those dumb comments would die in the air, as they should, or you could get up in their shit, change their mind, or make them look like an ass. But because comments are encouraged, and people are trained to be blunt with their comments, centuries are wasted every day bickering with the ghost of the fart of a thought

So many people just don’t want to or don’t know how to facilitate a constructive conversation, and it infuriates me. It infuriates me how much discussion is noise, how people don’t think about what they are saying, and prevent themselves from learning or changing their perspective. Instead, people fling themselves into conclusions, misread arguments, or think with their feelings before anything else. I’m not saying I never did that stuff— ‘cos I totes did— but it annoys me that this keeps happening. 

People like to blame platforms, assigning it as a problem to a specific ‘hellsite.’ And while there is some truth to that due to the complex algorithms behind modern communication mediums, this is also a human problem. It’s a problem with how these mediums work, and how people work. Platforms should be designed to facilitate the ideal behavior from its users, and they do, but instead of the best, it is the most engaged, enraged, and receptive to advertising.

This behavior is cyclical, it is all by design, and after seeing this sort of outrage happen again and again, with nobody actually learning or questioning anything, the more I wish I had the strength to fight it. Instead, I’m weak to the rush of dopamine provided by checking for something new. 

…And now I’m thinking about switching to something that provides me with scheduled updates for every site I habitually visit. But considering how fragmented the internet is becoming with the impending collapse of Reddit and Twitter, I doubt that any solution would work.

Still Waiting For The Xbox Redemption Arc…
(The Preamble Before The Xbox Showcase)

I’ve brought this up in the past, but Xbox Game Studios have had a rough time the past decade. A lot of their most promising titles have wound up under-delivering on concepts, failed to find an audience, or been canceled outright. Despite having gone on an acquisition spree starting in 2018, they really haven’t put out any must-play Xbox exclusive titles to define their systems. Aside from The Coalition, problems have plagued every studio they attempted to build from the ground up. And there arguably has not been a ‘must play’ Xbox exclusive game since… um… I’ll get back to you on that.

The question of ‘why would someone buy an Xbox?’ has been a persistent one for several years at this point. The exclusive library is not there. One cannot trust that announced and demoed titles will ever be released due to the publisher’s track record with cancellations. Every ‘exclusive’ title is also released on PC, which is like a console but you can write off as a business expense.

So, what pros does it have? Well, it has a limited but robust backwards compatibility library, with thousands of games spanning from 2001 to today, and they all run with no fuss. Heck, it still has access to the best versions of certain games that were never ported to PC. The Series S system is pretty cheap, at least before you consider its proprietary storage garbage. And it gives people access to the best version of Game Pass, which continues to be a widely used subscription service, even if it involves a lot of ‘subscription cycling.’ …I’d say that all should be seen as the bare minimum, but… this is the game industry we’re talking about. 

Anyway, I bring this up for the sake of context, and because I hope that they can turn things around and start putting out more quality games. Not because of any allegiances, but because good games are good and in a competitive market, the people are the victors!

Let’s start by going over a few things that I found noteworthy, but don’t have more than a paragraph of thoughts about.

The Fable reboot from Playground Games was given an ‘in-game’ trailer that attempted to re-establish the irreverent tone of the original series by Lionhead. But it was arranged and structured in a way where it could effectively just be a CG trailer, as it did very little to establish how the game plays.

South of Midnight was announced as the next game from Compulsion Games. The Xbox subsidiary behind the thoroughly alright platformer Contrast and the utterly disappointing survival sim We Happy Few. They have done nothing to endear me to their ability to deliver a high quality title, and this was just a strange stop motion looking trailer, so… I would say it is impossible to really assess it.

Towerborne was announced as the latest ‘multiplayer Game Pass title’, being an alarmingly standard looking co-op fantasy beat ’em up. However, it is curiously the latest title from the developers of The Banner Saga, who I thought shut down a few years ago, but I guess I was wrong! I’d be interested in hearing how this project even came to be considering these factors, but I’ll probably forget about it by the time that story is told by the developers.

Dungeons of Hinterberg was the ‘indie game highlight’ for me, as it’s aiming to do a lot, and everything it’s doing is dope! You’ve got exploring a beautiful mountainous region that shifts into a nightmarish otherworldly abomination the deeper and higher one gets. You’ve got a sick Moebius-inspired art direction with bold gut-punching colors. You’ve got flashy action RPG combat. You’ve got a town with “social sim” elements. And you’ve got dope rail grinding mixed with hoverboarding.

An Avowed Take
(Avowed Gameplay Trailer Released)

After being teased two years ago, Obsidian Entertainment’s first person RPG, Avowed, was given its first proper trailer, and… it sure looks like Skyrim. Now, I know that is an obvious and rather general thing that could be said about a lot of fantasy RPGs released over the past decade, but there are a lot of little things that just give me the same vibe.

The right and left hand weapon system, the hand gestures for performing magic spells, and fixation on a binary system of choices. Fighting bears in the woods, zombie warriors in the catacombs, delving deep into ancient ruins to uncover ancient automatons, and encountering lizard people in towns. Heck, even some of the powers seen in the trailer remind me of the dragon shout abilities. The biggest difference is that, instead of being entrenched with murky realism, Avowed is actually thriving with color, and the environments look pretty nice. I mean, the game looks like it was originally designed around the limitations of the PS4 and Xbox One, but still, you can tell there is a concerted effort to use more colors, and I appreciate that.

I guess what I’m saying is that the title looks generic in many respects, but I also cannot really criticize it too much for that. It is trying to be a straightforward fantasy game, and for as much as I can point out similarities to a game I spent 250+ hours with, that game is almost 12 years old, and few games have even attempted something this similar during the interim. Plus, this is Obsidian, so even if the game looks generic, they will probably make up for its shortcomings with its story.

Avowed will be released for Xbox Series and PC in 2024.

Like A Dragon 8: Infinit¥
Like A Dragon 8 Retitled to Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth

So, Like a Dragon 8 was announced last year as a title that would continue the stories of new series protagonist Ichiban and original protagonist Kiryu as they go on some variety of turn-based adventure. Despite there being a Like a Dragon showcase planned for later this week, Sega chose to re-reveal the title at an Xbox showcase via an in-engine cutscene trailer. One that sees Ichiban wake up on a beach in Hawaii, buck naked, doing that thing where something conveniently hides his junk.

Afterwards, the western title for the game was revealed as Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth, meaning that the series is indeed dropping the numbering system in the west. A move that I am not super fond of, but also understand, as westerners don’t want to jump in at part 8, or rather 9, of an ongoing story. Heck, I know that a lot of people treated Like A Dragon 7: Yakuza as a reboot and just started with that.

…However, the big takeaway from this trailer is that Like A Dragon is FINALLY leaving Japan!

This is something that Like A Dragon fans have wanted for a while, when/if the series would leave the setting of Japan and head to another country, and… they’re doing it. Now, some might consider Hawaii to be a ‘boring’ choice, as it has heavy Japanese influences due to decades of regular tourism, and is even home to a fair share of Japanese shrines. However, I would argue that it is a fascinating location as it is a melting pot of Japanese, American, and indigenous culture. Meaning it has had ripe opportunities for cultural exploration, especially when the protagonists don’t/barely know English.I  would say this is an exciting turn for me… but I still have yet to even start the series, and at this rate, I probably never will…

Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth will be released on PS5, Xbox Series, and PC in early 2024.

I Was Promised a Goddess, and You Gave Me a Kamen Rider Samurai
(Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess Announced)

Next up, Capcom announced a new IP by the name of Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess. A title that did pretty much what I like to see from one of these reveal trailers, featuring a lot of in-engine snippets that mostly focus on environments, but also highlight the general gameplay. In this case, the title is a feudal Japanese action game set in a world where demons, monsters, or spirits of some variety have taken hold of the land and must be defeated by a masked samurai.

Visually, the game’s art direction is certainly very busy, with elaborate monster designs and vibrant environments crawling with little details. But it is also surprisingly focused, letting players focus on what looks to be… not character action, but possibly something more on the complexity of an Okami, as far as I can tell.

In fact, Okami is probably a good comparison, considering the themes of restoration, purification, and taking a darkened world and transforming it into something bright and beautiful. It’s honestly a favorite motif of mine in games, and while much of this game is still mysterious to me, what’s there is incredibly promising. 

Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess was not given a release window, despite the in-game footage, but it was confirmed for PS5, Xbox Series, and PC.

Reincarnation of the Goddess: Re;Fantazio – Metaphor of the Worlds
Project Re Fantasy Revealed as Metaphor: ReFantazio

Shortly after the release of Persona 5 in September 2016, Atlus established a new studio, Studio Zero, to work on a new IP dubbed Project Re Fantasy. Virtually no meaningful updates on the title have been given since its December 2017 teaser trailer, and fans have largely been left to forget about it, as there is only so much speculation that one can do when they have literally nothing to work on.

So I can only imagine their surprise when they saw the Studio Zero logo, the Shibuya Crossing, and then this… cavalcade of rapid imagery arranged in a barely decipherable shape of a trailer. Seriously, I am used to trailers being fast paced and going over a lot of small details at once, but this one was excessive

You have a flashy UI that builds off of Persona 5 but with a more classical typeface and artwork. Gameplay that looks like just another Shin Megami Tensei or Persona game— not that that’s a bad thing, as their gameplay is dope. Oodles of fragmentary text about some sort of utopia underlying everything. New characters whom the Fire-Emblem-looking-ass protagonist can form bonds with. Hoverboards, needlessly elaborate mechanized monster vehicles, HELL, a day cycle a la Persona, expansive open cities made of stone. And also anime cutscenes, even though they look like butt compared to actual in-game cinematics. Seriously, I love anime, but they have no place in fully 3D anime style games, and haven’t since Catherine in 2011.

Metaphor: ReFantazio… is not what I think people were expecting Project Re Fantasy to be, given how it’s basically just another Persona or SMT game. But everything I was able to grasp from this trailer looked dope as all heck, and I look forward to being able to understand what this game necessarily is. Fortunately, it should not be too long, as Atlus is planning on a 2024 release on PS5(unconfirmed), Xbox Series, and PC.

The Games Industry Really Is Like Clockwork…
InXile Announced FPS RPG Clockwork Revolution

Inxile was a somewhat strange choice of acquisition for Microsoft, as they were best known for Computer RPGs like Wasteland 2, Torment: Tides of Numenera, and The Bard’s Tale. While they made console titles before, such as the aggressively gray Hunted: The Demon’s Forge, they don’t seem like the sort who want to make more console oriented experiences. So you can imagine my surprise when they announced a steampunk first-person-shooter with RPG elements dubbed Clockwork Revolution.

A title that… immediately reminded me of 2013’s Bioshock Infinite for two reasons. Firstly, its aesthetic and setting are that of an alternate future late 1800s/early 1990s urban center, filled with automatons and assorted steampunk tech. And the story is about traveling back in time in order to usurp a tyrannical leader who has created a society with a persistent underclass who struggle in slums and factories.

Now, this is not a bad thing, as both of those are rock solid concepts to base a game around, and just by judging what is present in this trailer, it looks pretty good. The art direction is powerful and vivid. The arsenal of the protagonist looks decently diverse. And the gameplay incorporates things like destructible environments, which have been woefully underutilized over the past 20 years. 

However, I need to pause and ask what exactly the game is trying to say with its story. Firstly, the central authority figure, and presumed antagonist, of the game is Lady Ironwood. A Black woman who has deliberately arranged a society in a specific way and, despite the aforementioned underclass, the society looks like it is thriving. Skies are clear, bronze and brass structures prevalent and radiant, and everything looks idyllic. But she only achieved this through the power of time travel, and chose to hoard the wealth and power amongst herself.

The protagonist, a (based on their hands) White woman named Morgan, tries to go back in time and stop Ironwood from achieving this future. But in trying to play god, she winds up creating a dystopian society of gray skies, disarray, and where a White man is the implied leader of this society. 

This is a two minute trailer and a press release, so I won’t look too closely into this, but I am definitely curious as to what sort of message this story will try to make about power structures, race, gender, and so forth. Partially as a reflexive response to the mess that was Bioshock Infinite’s narrative. But mostly because Inxile probably a company where the majority of staff are White dudes, and I don’t trust White dudes to tell a story like this. 

Clockwork Revolution will be released for Xbox Series and PC “in due time.” Whatever that means!

Starfield or Starfail – The $100 Million Dollar Question!
(Starfield Direct Happened)

I feel that ‘Bethesda game design’ has been something widely criticized since the release of Fallout 4 in 2015. A title that, while widely received, was nowhere near the cultural touchstone Fallout 3 became, let alone Skyrim, and saw a lot of creative decisions that just immediately turned me off. As such, I have been skeptical of Starfield from the inception, not sure what it would have to offer, and if the ‘Bethesda formula’ was something people still wanted. I mean, it might be hard to remember, but open world games were not that common before Skyrim was released, so any game built on the same foundation would need some evolution.

This is something that I was hoping this 45 minute showcase would help show, but I don’t think it really did. The general structure of the game still seems very… 2011 to me, and I think people are going to view it very harshly compared to titles like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. However, this showcase eventually helped me realize the real hook behind this title.

Starfield is a story-driven open world title jam packed with stories, side quests, characters to interact with, and episodic events that one can encounter. From discovering some strange creatures on an alien world to just making friends with a stranger also traveling through space, to getting involved in intergalactic politics. The story and ability to direct the story in your direction, even if it is a split between compliance and anarchy, is the main draw here. While the shooting, looting, and customization is used to bridge these gaps and help facilitate a cycle of story, action, reward. This is a fine concept but, rather than showing off a vertical slice, they went on all of these other tangents that make me question elements about this experience. 

For example, based on the framing of a scene transition, it does not seem like there is a seamless transition between space travel and landing on a planet. Something that I would really expect from a next gen exclusive title like this. Players are not able to travel to certain planets until they get shit upgrades, which kind of goes against the ethos of Bethesda games’ ‘go anywhere’ nature. And despite having such a seemingly vast open universe, it seems that players can only find interactions in certain sections. 

Planets are supposedly these massive vessels, but it does not appear that players can, or could, travel across the entire surface, and can merely land in certain locations of interest. Now, this is something that I am actually in favor of in theory, as I think a big empty world is the worst kind of game world, but it also highlights a problem with the entire concept of a space game like this. The fact that it takes so long to get to places, and that you seemingly cannot manually make your way from location to location, can create a sense of dissonance and disconnect. Like you are not exploring a vast galaxy size world, but rather a series of disconnected zones. While I am personally fine with the latter, I worry that this will not sit well with people who enjoyed the walking of prior Bethesda titles.

It’s a title where I am going to be very curious to see the broader reception, especially a few months down the line, after people have gotten over their algorithmically demanded hot takes. But considering it is a Bethesda game, it will assuredly have a long life ahead of it, and will foster a thriving modding scene, which is arguably where the ‘real’ game will be.

Starfield launches for Xbox Series and PC on September 6, 2023.

I’m Not Covering Ubisoft Forward, Because Ubisoft Protected Abusers
(Natalie.TF Will Not Discuss Ubisoft’s Games as Games)

There was a big Ubisoft Forward event on Monday, but I did not watch it, nor will I be reporting on its announcements. The reason for this stems from how I promised that I would refrain from reporting on Ubisoft titles back in 2020. When Ubisoft was subjected to widespread criticism for fostering a workplace culture that protected and promoted serial abusers while offering no reparations or recourse for the abused.

Since then, Ubisoft tried and failed to enter into the NFT market. Tencent made a significant investment in the company. Skull & Bones entered its second decade in development. And probably a bunch of other stuff I didn’t tag properly. The publisher has not had a good few years, and while I am more than happy to talk about their fumbles, I’m still going to refrain from discussing their games as games. I can’t find when I formally announced this, but it was probably sometime after E3 2021…

Also, big surprise that Tencent is publishing the next big Assassin’s Creed mobile game, but obscuring it behind their Level Infinite label.

Mega Man Gacha is PRESERVED!
(Mega Man X Dive Offline Announced)

Capcom also held their own little showcase yesterday, and while I was not expecting anything major, there were two announcements that tickled my fancy. Well, three if you count the Ghost Trick demo (please try it, it’s one of my favorite DS games). However, the BIG announcement for me was Mega Man X Dive Offline.

I have made it no secret that I hate live services. They are the worst thing to happen to gaming in its short history, and have led to the destruction of thousands of lifetimes of hard work and dedication, for no good reason. (Economic reasons are not a good reason) I have a lot of problems with them, but things are so bad, so dire, that I would never dream of asking for anything more than a live service game to be preserved. For an offline version to be produced. Which is exactly what Capcom is doing with its 2020 Mega Man X live service, Mega Man X Dive

I never knew anything about this game aside from some nifty character art I saw a while back. And last week when I heard that the game was going to end service on September 27, 2023… I shivered because that’s Dragalia Lost‘s 5th birthday. Aside from that, I just shrugged it off..

But now? I feel that I sort of need to play this game. Not because I’m a big Mega Man fan— I was when I was a little kid but I fell off a while back. Because I need to see how Capcom is retrofitting and redesigning this game to work as an offline title. I am darn near obsessive with this idea— I did mention Dragalia Lost V3 Re;Works, didn’t I? So I feel it is my duty as a gaming enthusiast to take this game and see how it does what it does. Also, this would be a pretty roundabout and fun way to reconnect with a series I liked as a child. Back when I was pure and my mind was neither trained by perversion nor politics. 

Back when I could look at X and not immediately think of that Keisuke sex scene from re:Dreamer

…And also Sigma’s cyber-penis made of smegma. You bet I’m “ready for the real thing” Daddy.

Jesus Christina, how the hell does anybody put up with my eccentricities enough to take my opinions seriously?

Mega Man X Dive Offline will be released for PC, iOS, and Android in 2023.

Ace Attorney Trilogy II, Bay-Bee!
(Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy Announced)

Following Capcom’s previous releases of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy in 2019 and The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles in 2021, it only makes sense that they would announce another re-release of Ace Attorney games to close out the series and move everything off of the Nintendo DS. But doing so would require remastering the two Miles Edgeworth spin-offs, so instead they’re just bringing over parts 4, 5, and 6.

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy is a compilation of Ace Attorney: Apollo Justice (2007), Dual Destinies (2013), and Spirit of Justice (2016). There’s nothing too much to add, as it appears to just be a conversion of the previously released mobile versions of these games, with some TLC to make them more ‘console-friendly.’ Which, for the record, is what I want, as I am frankly DISGUSTED by how often remasters re-dos of existing games just botch the original art direction. It’s at the point where I almost think they’re more trouble than they’re worth…

Ace Attorney is something I have wanted to get into for years, tried in 2012, but simply became preoccupied with other things. I know I would love them, because I already loved the first game, and it helped introduce me to the glorious world of visual novels (despite not being true VNs). But time is a fickler mistress than even I, and… yada yada yada

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy will be released for PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC in early 2024. 

Header image is from Happy Live, Show Up! by Favorite.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Dark Phoenix

    “I guess what I’m saying is that the title looks generic in many respects, but I also cannot really criticize it too much for that. It is trying to be a straightforward fantasy game, and for as much as I can point out similarities to a game I spent 250+ hours with, that game is almost 12 years old, and few games have even attempted something this similar during the interim.” – One thing I think a lot of people miss about Bethesda games is that Bethesda knows how to keep their games going long after similar games have come and gone… Opening up the platform to massive modding. Only indie games tend to rival the kind of openness Bethesda promotes with their games (though it’s partially because it means the fans fix the insane number of bugs that every game has), which is why they last so long.

    1. Natalie Neumann

      Yes, that’s true. The prolonged life of Bethesda games is almost always due to the effort of dedicated modders. However, not everyone who plays their games gets into modding, and a lot of people only view the base game when assessing the game itself. It’s a bit bizarre, but also pretty cool, how varied ones experience with their games can be via mods, and I suppose that is what makes them so special.
      But I was mostly talking about Avowed, which make or may not be readily moddable (we don’t know enough about it to determine if it is or not) and probably isn’t trying to appeal to people are not invested in the Skyrim modding scene. :P