Japan Software Charts: Type-0 Sells Big, But Not on Xbone
Here at Lusipurr.com we have been hypothesising for the longest time that the only people buying Xbox One consoles in Japan are the US marines who are stationed there. This week we have the solid proof that this is so. The past week has seen the release of Final Fantasy Type-0, this of course sold very well on PS4 [92,094], and very poorly on the Xbox One [fewer than a thousand copies sold] – there is nothing peculiar with this result.
Media Create’s top fifty software chart shows the PS4 version of Final Fantasy Type-0 taking top spot for the week, yet the Xbone version failed to chart. The PS3 version of Resident Evil Revelations 2 charted at second place selling 73,373 copies, and the PS4 version of the same game charted at fourth place, selling 42,358 copies. Again, the Xbox One version of this game failed to chart within the top fifty. There is nothing overly surprising in the Xbone versions of these titles failing to crack the top fifty, but here is the kicker: the Xbox One version of Battlefield Hardline did crack the Japanese top fifty, charting at the forty-first position, and selling roughly 3,200 copies. If any proof was required to substantiate the notion that it is not the Japanese who are buying Xbox Ones in Japan, then this is it. There is no further proof needed. Why does Microsoft even bother?
Zelda Wii U Has Been Delayed into 2016 and Beyond
In a move which came as a surprise to absolutely nobody the Wii U installment of the popular Zelda franchise has been delayed into 2016 and beyond. In his address to the internet, the game’s producer, Eiji Aonuma, stopped just short of saying as much, yet the implications were very clear. He stated that in developing the game’s open world, the team had come to realise all the possibilities that this game design offered, and so having the title finished by Christmas 2015 was no longer the team’s primary goal, as they were now attempting to create the ultimate Zelda experience etc. &c. We all know the routine.
“As I said in the video, we would like to take this time so we can bring you a very special experience, by making the ultimate Zelda game. Since we’d like to focus on developing the game we’ve decided to not show the game at this year’s E3. Thank you for your continued support, and I hope you’ll look forward to the game!”
One is generally of the opinion that it is best for these big titles to take the time they need in order to be polished and brilliant products [goodness knows that Final Fantasy XV could use another three years of polish]. What does stick in the craw though is Nintendo making out that this is a sudden development, and holding up open world game design as a smokescreen. It was clear last year that a 2015 release date was an absurdly bullish [and one might add irresponsible] prediction on the part of Nintendo, as the game has yet to even be given a name, much less demonstrated any sort of legitimate gameplay. The game was never going to be ready for 2015, and this has nothing to do with Aonuma’s claims of newly discovered avenues of possibility – rather, it is because this is an extremely ambitious project which needs more time in the oven in order to meet fan expectation. Simple as that. Nintendo would be infinitely better served by simply being upfront about the reasons for the game’s shifting release window.
Tabata on Why Final Fantasy XV Needed to Manspread Its Wings
The gaming world at large was very happy to allow Final Fantasy XV to be a boys only roadtrip back when it was still known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, but all that changed when the project became a mainline entry in the series. When asked, Tetsuya Nomura was always very quick to state that this boys only roadtrip vibe was a theme which was integral to the story he wanted to tell, and did not make any apologies or equivocations beyond this explanation. This was all that ever needed to be said on the matter, and this is the message that should have been maintained up to the game’s release.
This approach came unstuck with the removal of Nomura from the project. Hajime Tabata is now the face of the Final Fantasy XV project, and unlike Nomura he does not appear to have a clear and uncompromising defense of the premise. This is a problem, as feminist complaints about this male party ‘sausagefest’ have not diminished since Nomura left the project. Nomura seemed to understand that not all people are going to like certain creative decisions, yet Tabata has made the grave error of attempting to reason with his detractors over the decision to go with an all male party – and, unlike Nomura, his reasoning comes off as muddy and somewhat unconvincing.
“Speaking honestly, an all-male party feels almost more approachable for players. Even the presence of one female in the group will change their behaviour, so that they’ll act differently. So to give the most natural feeling, to make them feel sincere and honest, having them all the same gender made sense in that way.
The world might be ready to see the curtain lifted on what boys do when girls aren’t around, when they come out of the tent all prim and proper. That’s kind of the idea behind it… we think, male or female player, that everyone will feel a certain connection and bond with the four characters.”
At best Tabata’s description of an all-male party being “more approachable” was a poor [and likely unconsidered] choice of wording, leading to even greater animosity from his detractors [with several histrionic fruits swearing to boycott]. At worst this was a claim made in earnest, and one which is easily falsifiable if one looks at the more cherished Final Fantasy party rosters. One feels that it is a case of the former rather than the latter, but whatever the case this brief sentence managed to suck the oxygen from the remainder of Tabata’s defense of the game’s scenario.
Tabata’s view that the male-only party dynamic allows for more open and disarming relationships between characters is certainly persuasive, as it is broadly true that men almost always maintain some sort of front when in mixed-gender company [and the reverse is very likely true also]. That said, one feels that Tabata would be better served by not attempting to explain away the decision to go with an all-male party at all. Nomura’s story required an all-male party – end of story. The kinds of people that Tabata is attempting to reason with are only going to be further enraged by a reasonable explanation.
At any rate, critics of the decision are living in a myopic bubble. It has scarcely been a decade since Square Enix decided to go with an all-female party for Final Fantasy X-2, and Lightning Returns was more-or-less an all-female party by default. Moreover, it is widely assumed among the less culturally blinkered of us that the decision to go with an all-male cast of pretty boys may have been made to appeal to Japan’s female demographic – the very gamers that Bandai Namco’s Tales of games are marketed towards. There was no sexism involved in the making of this decision beyond the mere observance that males tend to act differently when not around women. Regardless, in this current climate of hostile cultural Marxism all developers are going to have to take a bite of the shit sandwich, so best to just soldier on.