News: Camping Fantasy

Train, train take us away!
The traditional Cid has been given the snip!

Square Enix Details Final Fantasy XV at Jump Festa

Square Enix appear to be in full swing with the development of Final Fantasy XV, with new information dropping on the title every few months. This week saw the game’s director Hajima Tabata deliver a presentation to Jump Festa, whereat massive swathes of new information became available. Like all the information to come from the game since Nomura was ousted this information is a mixed bag, with some of it being a little irksome.

The biggest piece of information to come from Jump Festa is that Cid has undergone a sex change, and is now the busty Cidney. Cidney is a mechanic, and will be a recurring character which aids the player in a mechanical fashion throughout the adventure, while not factoring too heavily into the storyline. Personally, one cannot wait for Social Justice Warriors to lose their shit over the fact that she has nice boobs, when really her creation is a significant step forward for depictions of women in gaming.

There were many positive facets of the game detailed throughout the presentation. In addition to riding in Noct’s famous car, the party will also be able to travel via trains – the interiors of which will be fully explorable, just as in Final Fantasy VIII. The game is also set to feature the Titan summon character, which, if one remembers correctly, has not been seen since Final Fantasy VII. Like most everything in the game, Titan absolutely dwarfs the party, so it will be interesting to see how the Final Fantasy XV team decides to implement summon mechanics into the combat. Finally, Final Fantasy XV will allow players to assume control of random dogs [probably through magic] and explore towns and cities via ‘dog cam’ for whatever reason. Perhaps towns will feature various hidey-holes that the party is too large to explore.

With the good comes the bad, and once again some of the directions that the game has taken are truly perplexing. One hour of the player’s time is set to equal the passing of twenty-four hours within the game world. The party can only go three days before stopping at a campsite, else they can no longer cast buffs or level up. This means that if players have not slept in several hours and come across a dungeon they will have to waste time looking for a camping spot, else risk running out of time while exploring the dungeon, and be heavily penalised for it. Moreover, Hajime Tabata has previously stated that there exists in the game many enemies that will take tens of in-game days to defeat, meaning that buffs will become inaccessible part-way through the battle, and defeating the fiend will result in no experience gained for the party. The truly mind-numbingly stupid aspect to this mechanic is that the party being able to function for three days straight is completely unbelievable anyway, so it is not like they can appeal to realism for justification. Finally, Tabata made it known that the use of magic has not been a priority for the Final Fantasy XV team, and that he considers the use of summons to be much more important to the game. In fact the magic system has not even been implemented into the game yet, as the team plans to add it later as an afterthought.

Still more manly than DmC Dante.
And here I was thinking that Dante’s emasculation was over.

Capcom’s Re-releases Take On an Air of Desperation

We have long known that Capcom’s finances are not in the rudest of health. Their weakened condition has led to them becoming one of the few publishers to not turn up their nose at releasing their classic games on Nintendo’s Wii U Virtual Console, which has been most welcome. More recently they have had to make an exclusivity pact with Sony in order to get Street Fighter V made, while the next installment in the Resident Evil franchise has to adopt an episodic format, presumably because the company could not afford to develop a full scale Resident Evil project. All that is nothing next to this week’s indignity however.

Capcom announced two new re-releases this week, which were not so much cash-ins as they were desperate appeals for help and support. The first title is Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition, a PS4 and Xbone remaster of a game released back in 2008. The title is ridiculously aged to be considered for a HD port, though at least it is arguably a good game, if nowhere near the high watermark of the series. Upon release Devil May Cry 4 sold 2.9 million copies, so at the very least it does deserve to be preserved for posterity.

The second game that Capcom announced this week was DmC: Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition, a PS4 and Xbone remaster of 2013’s DmC: Devil May Cry, a game which was slightly more popular than the mumps upon release. DmC: Devil May Cry was pilloried and ridiculed from the moment it was announced, and upon release it struggled to sell more than 800,000 copies across the PC, PS3, and 360 – eventually selling 1.15 million copies after bargain-bid discounts were applied to it. It sold notably worse than the Devil May Cry HD Collection, which was released in the same quarter. It is not a popular game. Hilariously, Capcom plan to release this dog of a game during March of 2015, a month which will see several of the biggest game releases of the eighth generation thus far, including Bloodborne and Final Fantasy Type-0. Are Capcom so bloody minded that they still refuse to heed the verdict of the market, or do they just want to humiliate Ninja Theory anew? Either way, it was releasing mediocre Western developed dross that got Capcom into their current financial predicament, so it is unlikely that doubling down on this stupidity will help dig them out.

Gabe's kingdom come, his will be done on earth as in the Valve offices.
I’d have gender-swapped Gaben, but Wu would likely just accuse him of cultural appropriation.

Gaben Checks the Privilege of Industry Puritans

Earlier in the week the video game industry’s Social Justice hangers on were crowing with delight, while rubbing gamer’s faces in the fact that the forthcoming controversial murder simulator, Hatred, had been yanked from Steam Greenlight, because they hate gaming. Valve’s Doug Lombardi later came out to clarify:

Based on what we’ve seen on Greenlight we would not publish Hatred on Steam, as such we’ll be taking it down.

In retrospect the disgusting hubris of the puritans was actually quite delicious, because there was something about which they remained blissfully unaware. Even as they were celebrating their victory over gaming, somewhere in the depths of Valve Gaben stirred. Gaben cared not for the unilateral actions of one who would arbitrarily ban a game from sale simply because it was not to the liking of histrionic puritans, and so he smote the initial decision to refuse the game, and hopefully the idiot responsible along with it. Gaben even went so far as to pen an apology letter to the game’s lead, Jarosław Zieliński, for Gaben is mighty even in his humility:

Hi, Jaroslaw.

Yesterday I heard that we were taking Hatred down from Greenlight. Since I wasn’t up to speed, I asked around internally to find out why we had done that. It turns out that it wasn’t a good decision, and we’ll be putting Hatred back up. My apologies to you and your team. Steam is about creating tools for content creators and customers.

Good luck with your game.

Gabe

Steam is about creating tools for content creators and customers, not for outsiders who hate games. This unequivocal statement of intent hit the Social Justice camp in many different ways. Some simply regarded our magnanimous Gaben with stunned disbelief, while those more akin to Josh McIntosh, the man who tells Anita Sarkeesian what to say, were driven to apoplexy. Then of course there were characters like Bryan Wu, who responded by lying, which is really standard operating procedure for Wu. Wu and his husband claimed that following the decision to restore Hatred to Greenlight, gamers had started requesting that various prominent Social Justice puritans be added to the game as fodder to be gunned down, yet when questioned about this Destructive Creations revealed that nobody had ever requested such a thing of them, so one more lie for the pile.

6 comments

  1. Good job, Capcpom. Apparently not only do they lack a spell-check, they also lack a release calendar. Look forward to DmC doing fantastically when pitted against the virtually unknown titles Bloodborne and Final Fantasy Type-0. It’s a good thing nobody has heard of those!

  2. I’d like to see Capcom and Konami pull another Square Enix and form Konami Capcom, just because (1) their game roster seems pretty compatible to have jointly, and (2) it might mitigate some of the financial difficulties both companies seem to be having right now. You (SiliconNoob and Lusipurr) know a lot more about the business aspects of the industry than I do, and thus the feasibility of such a venture; I just think it would be cool.

  3. When watching that latest FF15 trailer, I couldn’t get over how fucking pale everyone was. For people who seem to have some experience adventuring and wielding huge weapons out in the countryside, they sure do look like techno shut-ins. This isn’t exactly new for JRPGs and their protagonists, but I think the higher visual detail just makes it look more absurd.

    Also, stupid me didn’t connect Cid and Cidney. Cool change-up.

    And while I’m very on the fence about this FF game pre-release, I think that’s pretty true most of the time for FF games. You can’t usually tell for certain if you’ll like it until you try it. I thought FF12 looked like crap with a dumb real-time battle system. How wrong I was.

  4. @Matt: I agree their games would probably compliment each other well, and the potential of some crossover action happening is pretty interesting, but I think Konami and Capcom have been diverting themselves away from the traditional market very much on purpose. Konami is increasingly all about mobile games in Japan to the point I’m still a little surprised they’re even bothering with Metal Gear as a fully produced console title. Capcom I think is less zealous about a mobile push, but many Japanese devs are focusing a lot on that platform for the lower cost and the much higher return.

    So I wonder if a theoretical Capnami merger wouldn’t just bring more of the same.

  5. I didn’t know Konami was doing any mobile games, hmm. But maybe that works for complementary business models? Focusing on different platforms, I mean. I’m certain that such a merger wouldn’t produce anything new or different coming out; at least of interest to Western audiences. But just to preserve their companies instead of having to sell off assets down the road or something. I suppose this is getting pretty hypothetical.

  6. Could you imagine the kind of decisions that would be made by Capnami? They’d be more ridiculous than Ubisoft!

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