This week, if you keep up with gaming news in even the slightest capacity, your ears are surely ringing from the deafening cries of Kinect. Between the release and onslaught of reviews for Microsoft attempt at stealing the Wii’s success, and the massive amounts of promotion and hype surrounding the soon to be released “That FPS That Our JRPG Loving Site Does Not Care About” (alternate title: ‘Call of Duty Black Ops’), the gaming community has been babbling on and on and on with very few breaks in between. As Lusipurr and I already gave Microsoft as thorough shit splattering last week and none of our readers give a rat’s tail about Treyarch, this week’s news follows the stories that were not able to get any coverage, the poor lonely ones that got buried and forgotten in favor of bro-gaming and naked waggle.
Admitting Defeat in Battle, But Not The War
Instead of ragging on M$ or Activision, I turn your attention to the Lusipurr.com other favorite evil corporation to hate on, the beloved Squeenix. Their fiscal report for the first six months of the year was released on Thursday, and if the multiple stories about stock plunging had not made it clear to you, perhaps their 36% decline in sales will clarify that the developer of legend is floundering in their inadequacy. But not all is lost, as CEO Yoichi Wada explained:
“Under a challenging operating environment, which contributed to relatively slower growth of new game title releases, net sales were below our forecasts for the six-month period ended September 30, 2010. … We will continue to strengthen our existing businesses in the third quarter and beyond, while also vigorously pushing forward our three growth strategies of globalization, becoming “network centric” and strengthening our own-IPs.”
As has been discussed here many times before, the globalization of Square’s games seems to revolve around the ludicrous idea of what the West wants, and their own-IPs have been dismissed as shovelware many times over, so we can only hope that Wada’s intentions to achieve these directives involve back the fun bus up and changing course. He does indicate such a plan for the miserable failure that is Final Fantasy XIV, acknowledging that in the month following its release, the MMO has only sold 630,000 units worldwide and player numbers are in steady decline while XI numbers remain steady. He goes on to say that he intends to “regain lost trust,” knowing that “if they think it’s irredeemable, there’s no future for it.” Meanwhile, their latest release for the game, a history tracker, seems to whittle away at that trust even further as it has made liars out of the people who trusted Square, notably one comic writer who was found to have only played ten minutes and lied about her travels. While it caused quite a fuss, it also inspired her to draw several more comics about her character, so even if Square’s popularity is dwindling, at least it is making other people popular. Here’s hoping Lusipurr.com becomes their next beneficiary!
Pokemans, Seriously Srs Bzns
Over the years, fans of the Pokemon series have become accustomed to the goofy hype that surrounds Nintendo’s unveiling of the new Pokethings and the mocking of the silhouettes has become as legendary as the Pokemon themselves. With the highly anticipated Black and White releasing a whole new set of Pokemon without reusing previously existing creatures, it was to be expected that these 156 new ones were the subject of much speculation and rumor. So on September 1st, two weeks before the game’s release date in Japan, twenty-seven year old Makoto Sekiguchi got his hands on an early addition of CoroCoro magazine and took pictures with his mobile phone of the new trio of starter Pokemon. While this earned much fanfare from the masses of fans on the internet, Nintendo and the police were none too pleased with the leak, so Sekiguchi found himself behind bars on charges of copyright infringement. Such cases are happening more frequently in Japan, even in less serious instances, such as the thirty-seven year old man who was apprehended for posting not-yet-aired commercials for the new season of a popular magical girl anime. The official charge there was also for copyright infringement, but we can assume it was because he is a thirty-seven year old man watching magical girl anime.
Speaking of Anime Tropes…
When Valkyria Chronicles 2 was released, the world that played and loved the first game looked at the school drama and collectively asked “WTF is this?!” While many of the game elements were the same or similar, the war game turned high school sim disappointed in many ways, leaving the public on shaky ground regarding the fate of the upcoming third entry in the series. A recent interview with the producer and the director of the series gives us some small rays of hope regarding the PSP title, including a response to the berating about system choice: “as developers we absolutely did not want to make a PS3 version that simply reused the materials and engine from part 1” and added that now that they have made the system switch and see their regrets from 2, this leaves Valkyria Chronicles 3 to be in a much better position. While it unintentionally shines a poor light on 2, director Takeshi Ozawa states that the upcoming title feels like the first real sequel in the series, giving players hope for the lives of Squad 7. However, they do clarify that the original cast will only star as additions to missions, not as the primary characters. The two heroines of the new game, they stress, are not there simply to play love interests and each have their own storylines and available endings. Like Valkyria 2, the third entry will also have many side character missions and stories, with the expectation that the game will take about forty to fifty hours to complete the main story and many more to 100-percent the game. There may also be pre-order bonuses, DLC releases, and bonuses for owners of the PS3 game, but they were vague on these details during the interview, only promising big surprises for their upcoming press conference on November 9th.
No no, that is not industry of your chin. Only a week after my post regarding the PlayStation Phone, China has swooped in with a knock-off of the much anticipated device. While its actual software specifications are unknown, as it would not be too hard to fabricate screenshots that make it look like it operates Android or even to program an Android knock-off, the hardware itself looks remarkably similar and even slightly cleaner than what was presented last week. Priced at approximately $60 US, the phone sports a 3.5-inch touchscreen, 0.3 MP front and rear cameras, dual SIM card slots, a mini-USB port, and Java support. As it is fake and does not have to adhere to Sony brand loyalty, it even comes with an SNES emulator pre-installed. The Unmei Q5 is currently only available in China, and assuming Sony has their way, this cuter wannabe cousin of the PSPhone will probably never see the light of day outside of the Shenzhen marketplace.