Tokyo Game Show Recap
This past week has seen the Tokyo Game Show kick off in the land of the rising sun, and, as one may well imagine, that has led to all manner of game announcements. As one might also imagine there was a fair bit of retardation to be had from the usual culprits, which has monopolised much of the attention of the gaming press. Capcom took to the stage at Sony’s conference, whereupon they evoked the history of the Resident Evil series, listing each of the cherished [and not so cherished] entries in the series, and reminding onlookers that next year marks the twentieth anniversary of Resident Evil, which is kind of a big deal. This all seemed to be leading up to a big announcement right up to the point that Capcom revealed that they would be celebrating this milestone with the release of Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps to the PS4, a game which looks to be the sequel to the utterly reviled Operation Raccoon City. As far as trolling goes this was a pretty good effort. It probably is not even being developed internally at Capcom. Not to be outdone, Square Enix then took to the stage to announce Kingdom Hearts II.8, a game singularly remarkable in the fact that it does not contain a version of Kingdom Hearts II in it, this even in spite of its name seemingly indicating otherwise. This is certain to not confuse anybody! The Package will include a HD version of Dream Drop Distance, all the cutscenes from Kingdom Hearts X: Black Cover, and an original spin-off from the horribly bland Birth by Sleep titled Birth by Sleep 0.2, which is intended as a bridging chapter into Kingdom Hearts III.
The news was not all lame however, with Gravity Rush 2 being announced for PS4, along with a HD version of the original game. Similarly, Yakuza 6 was announced for PS4, along with a HD re-release of the original Yakuza game for both PS3 and PS4. Westerners will likely see neither of these games, though one lives to be proven wrong in this respect. King of Fighters XIV was also announced for PS4 [and one presumes other platforms], and continues a worrying trend of formerly sprite-based 2D games shrugging off their old aesthetics in favour of adopting full 3D graphics. King of Fighters XIV actually follows Guilty Gear Xrd Sign in this regard, only Xrd Sign used a method of cell shading that was so good that one almost did not notice that the game was rendered in full 3D – this is absolutely not the case with King of Fighters XIV, which looks lousy. Interestingly, this is not the first time that SNK has attempted to transition their 2D fighting games to a 3D graphics style [Samurai Shodown 64, Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition, King of Fighters: Maximum Impact] , yet previous results were always so poorly received that they immediately reverted to a 2D graphics style. It would now seem that creating 2D pixel art has become prohibitively difficult for the studio that gave us the Neo Geo. Sad. King of Fighters XIV‘s announcement trailer has been downvoted to oblivion on Youtube. Other than this, Danganronpa 3 has been announced for the PS Vita and PS4, while a game called Nioh has been announced for the PS4. The latter is mostly remarkable on account of being based on an unfinished script penned by Akira Kurosawa.
Other than the ridiculously named Kingdom Hearts II.8, Square Enix used the opportunity to show off some of the other games they have in the works. Project Setsuna is in development for PS Vita and PS4. Visually, there was not enough shown to wholly convince one whether or not the project is something that Square Enix is putting their best efforts into, yet the fact that it is an internal production which is being given a PS4 release gives one hope. Another thing which gives one hope is the exquisite beauty of the music which greets one upon entering the game’s official website – truly impressive stuff. All in all Project Setsuna is the Square Enix original development which probably has the most potential at present, but then Square Enix are masters at pulling off the AAA game mirage, wherein a title looks to be solid only to shimmer into a pile of sand and disappointment on contact. Two games which look to have much less promise are SaGa Scarlet Grace and a full 3D remake of Final Fantasy Adventure, and one says this mostly on the basis that they are being released on both PS Vita and mobile. A mobile release means that both games will be built on a foundation of microtransactions, and one is not entirely convinced that Square Enix will do such a good job in re-balancing the games as standalone Vita releases. SaGa Scarlet Grace will presumably be Akitoshi Kawazu’s next awful project, which will likely please a handful of people over at Cat Fancy, and nobody else. Meanwhile, Final Fantasy Adventure is actually the first entry in the Seiken Densetsu series, which is better known in the West as the Mana series of action RPGs, and so it may at least provide some mindless fun.
Finally, a couple of games used the occasion of the Tokyo Game Show to announce delays in their scheduled releases. Both Persona 5 and Star Fox Zero were originally intended for a 2015 release in both Japan and the West, but now they will release in Spring of 2016 for Japan [with no word on a Western release date]. History suggests that Star Fox Zero will release in the West at the same time as the Japanese version, but that Persona fans may be left waiting until early Summer of 2016 until they can get their hands on the next entry in the series. All of the titles mentioned in the write-up will be releasing in 2016 [in Japan] with the exception of Danganronpa 3 and Final Fantasy Adventure, both of which do not appear to have been given release dates as of yet.
One final thing to note is that Square Enix has revealed that the PS Vita release of Final Fantasy Agito+ has been put on hold, so it is beginning to seem doubtful that we will ever see a Western release of the game.
PS2 Classics May be on the Verge of Coming to the PS4
Thank the heavens! One thought this day would never come on account of Sony’s seeming contentment at using backwards compatibility as a cudgel to force PS4 owners onto Playstation Now. Happily, it looks like the PS4 is about to gain access to Playstation’s back-catalog of masterpieces, so one supposes that Playstation Now has ultimately proved to be less than ideally profitable for Sony – looks like gamers prefer to have some semblance of ownership over their games, even when those games are in digital format.
This week Dark Chronicle [the sequel to Dark Cloud], Ape Escape 2, and Twisted Metal: Black were rated by the European classifications board [PEGI] for release on PS4. The ratings in question suggest that the games could be released as early as Monday, however, when Suikoden III‘s release was leaked by PEGI it suggested much the same thing, only to be released months later, so the release date listed on the submissions is by no means binding. Personally speaking, none of the games listed are particularly exciting in themselves, however, the prospect of their release is very exciting indeed, as it suggests that there will be more to come. One would dearly love the opportunity to be able to play Silent Hill 2 and Silent Hill 3 on the PS4. One would also cherish the opportunity to do the same with Final Fantasy XII, though one suspects that is more like a pipedream, as Square Enix will likely continue holding that title over the heads of the gamers that want it.
Mighty No. 9 Trial Version Is Delayed
In order to end the week’s game coverage with some side-splitting feelgood comedy we will now turn our attention to the horrendously ill-fated development cycle of Comcept’s Mighty No. 9, and just how Keiji Inafune has fucked up this time! The project did not get off to the most auspicious of starts, as backers who were given forum privileges as part of their Kickstarter pledges were promptly banned by Comcept’s Social Justice community manager for disagreeing with her on Twitter, and things only got worse when a playable version of Mighty No.9 was released to certain backers, only to turn out to be quite shit. The revelation of the game’s exceedingly poor quality caused its release to be pushed back into 2016, but to soften the blow Comcept announced that a trial version of Mighty No. 9 would be released on the fifteenth of September by way of apology. Astute readers may have picked up on the fact that the fifteenth of September has been and gone without the release of a Mighty No. 9 Trial Version to trouble us. This is just another way in which Comcept and Keiji Inafune have fallen short of their promises.
Finally, we know that all of our fans are looking forward to the Special Demo Version we are preparing, and we just ask that you be a little more patient. The team is working on it, but some issues popped up regarding the distribution method so there is a good chance it will not be ready to launch by the 15th. We are really sorry for the inconvenience.
As soon as we have more info, we will let everyone know immediately.
Great. So no word on when backers can expect the issues surrounding the trial version to be rectified. When Keiji Inafune left Capcom and founded Comcept he made sure to let the press know that he felt that Capcom had lost its way, and that he was founding Comcept to be the company that Capcom should be. It turns out that Comcept is a complete mockery of the Capcom name, just as Mighty No. 9 is a mockery of the Mega Man series. In such a short amount of time Comcept has managed to get all these different [highly derivative] projects underway, yet has managed them so poorly that they can no longer even get their games funded on Kickstarter. Inafune should watch himself, as just this week the Attorney General of Washington, Bob Ferguson, has seen fit to make it so that crowdfunding backers are entitled to compensation if a crowdfunding beneficiary fails to follow through on their promises, so if the rest of America follows suit then that is pretty much the end of the road for Keiji Inafune and the sweet ride he has been getting from Kickstarter.
Fraudulent Anime Spotlight: Live Action Prison School!
Life is full of constant surprises for individuals with fingers so loosely on the pulse as oneself, and one such delightful surprise is that the live action television adaptation of Lusipurr.com’s deviant otaku readership’s favoured lewd anime, Prison School, is nearly upon us! The production is being led by Noboru Iguchi, who has directed such titles as Zombie Ass, Machine Girl, and Robogeisha – none of which one is familiar with. The casting of the show is, in a word, ideal; with the cast looking uncannily like the characters they are to portray. That being said, Asana Momoru, the actress portraying the underground student council’s VP Meiko Shiraki, cannot hope to compete with 2D depictions of the character when it comes to mammary prowess [though she is still very impressive nonetheless].
The program will begin airing on the twenty-fifth of October on Japanese television, though one is not aware of it being scheduled for simulcast on Funimation or Crunchyroll – obviously due to the fact that it is live action and not in fact an anime. That said, one is nonetheless hopeful that the anime community will be just as attentive in translating episodes, seeing as it is based off of a popular manga and anime. Here is hoping that the lewdness of Prison School woorks just as well in 3D as it does in the second dimension. Kotaku is already talking it down, so one figures that it has every chance of being quite good.