Latest Revision XV
As the bleak stormfront of Final Fantasy XV‘s looming release hangs unhappily over us all like a black omen, there is at least a slight glimmer of positive change. Whether or not this extremely marginal mitigation will be enough to redress the kitchen sink of colossal missteps Square Enix has encumbered their latest pseudo JRPG identity crisis with is anyone’s guess, but as far as Final Fantasy XV is concerned any change is a good one, since no change could conceivably make the game any worse than it is at present.
When Episode Duscae was released one of its notable features was the ability for players to hold down the attack button in order to perform a 4-hit attack combo which would keep cycling through until the player either released the attack button or were staggered by an enemy. Each hit in this combo was performed by a different weapon, each of which came with their own unique speed, power, and technique characteristics – the results were about as good as one would expect. This variable speed automated combat combined with a low framerate, hyper enemies, sluggish camera, and generally just too much ‘realistic’ character animation to build up an impenetrable wall between the player and the action that was taking place on screen. It was an experience more enjoyable to watch than it was to play.
Happily, the camera has already been altered some time ago [though one has not sufficiently delved back in to determine whether it has been fixed], while the weapon switching mechanic is set to be switched out for a far less retarded one. Players will now be able to use the dpad in order to switch between their four different equipped weapons – meaning that weapon switching will essentially be handled like it was in Devil May Cry 3. This means that players will be able to continually use their quick weapons on fast moving enemies, while reserving their more cumbersome arsenal for heavily armoured slower enemies – which is to say that it finally makes some bloody sense now!
Square Enix De-Fragment Their Augments
Square Enix appear to be made of good decisions this week, making for a pleasant change. This good decision seems to have been made by their European arm, Eidos, and is aimed at undoing the damage they wrought with their pre-order campaign for Deus Ex Mankind Divided, which ironically divided Square Enix from their customer’s money. The pre-order campaign must have been doing particularly badly for them to have enacted such a large-scale reversal.
The campaign, originally titled ‘Augment Your Pre-Order’, required certain pre-order thresholds to be met in order to unlock reward tiers, and each tier would allow pre-orderers to choose between two rewards for that category. Eidos’ stated reason for doing this was because in the past when the studio had decided upon different pre-order configurations for different regions it had left certain customers unhappy, as there would be people who would want a specific reward that was only available in another region. Logic would seem to dictate that the way one solves such conundrums is by offering a uniform selection of rewards in every region, yet Eidos instead opted for a campaign of convoluted bullshit which failed to make anyone particularly happy.
To their credit Eidos and Square Enix are looking to turn the situation around, and as such they are making all the advertised content available to any customer who pre-orders the game or secures for themselves a Day-1 edition of the game. In addition to this, the game’s release date will no longer differ depending on pre-order numbers, and it will now release on the 23rd of February 2016 for pre-orderers and common gamers alike. This is a really good move on the part of both Eidos and Square Enix, and it is reassuring to see them doing the right thing in the end.
The Shills Who Trolled Singapore
Call of Duty is a brand that practically sells itself. All marketing needs to necessarily do is to implement the same time-tested PR routine and keep a firm hand on the tiller. It would seem that Activision’s marketing department was not content with this happy little arrangement however, and then someone got an idea. An awful idea. An employee got a wonderful, *awful* idea!
Activision’s marketing department this week dreamed up a shockingly terrible wonderful idea. With a month to go until the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 the marketing department was no doubt looking to give the hypetrain a hurry-along to launch. The genius idea that they had was to re-skin the Call of DutyTwitter account so that it appeared like a news aggregator and the renamed it to Current Events Agg. They then proceeded to tweet out a rolling calamity that was in the process of befalling Singapore. Singapore was under attack. There were explosions and gunfire. There was a quarantine zone, with roving gangs of Singaporeans attacking people, rioting, and causing property damage. In fact, there was a thirty mile quarantine zone established when in actual fact Singapore is only thirty-one miles wide!
“BREAKING NEWS: Unconfirmed reports are coming in of an explosion on the North bank of the Singapore Marina.
City Authorities urge the public not to panic, and to not hinder the emergency teams that are converging on the area.
UPDATE: Singapore Authorities have officially announced a state of emergency and declared martial law.
James Chung, commander of the Singapore Armed Forces, has issued a statement about the situation on the ground. Points follow.”
There were around twenty such tweets over a five hour period made to an audience of 2.9 million Call of Duty followers, plus anyone who saw the retweets in their Twitter feed. Responses consisted of a fairly uniform condemnation for this irresponsible prank. Activision’s flagrant disregard for Singapore was hilariously funny to be sure, but this is probably not the sort of thing that a good corporate citizen should be doing. Activision’s explanation for what occurred was that: “This was a glimpse into the future fiction of #BlackOps3“. This would be all well and good if Activision’s marketing did not also replace all of their Twitter profile’s images so that it looked like a legitimate source of news. If the Twitter account had been allowed to remain skinned in its usual Call of Duty propaganda then nobody would have given two shits about the tweets, but it was the decision to pass it off as the genuine article which has garnered so much negative attention – which may have been Activision’s intent all along. Only time will tell whether this international troll was a masterstroke, but it seems quite unlikely that the stunt will result in any harm to the brand.
Anime Spotlight: One-Punch Man
Saitama is just an average guy, but decides to become a super hero for fun. Unfortunately he trains a little bit too hard, and now he can take out any villain with a single punch – which is not very fun at all. Saitama must defend City Z from monsters and villains while also searching for a rival capable of providing him a fun challenge. Saitama eventually joins the Heroes Association, yet despite being able to easily best monsters that the rest of the Association are unable to defeat, he is nevertheless unable to gain respect because his physique is so ordinary.
The studio producing One-Punch Man is Madhouse, who gave us such popular titles as Paranoia Agent, Wicked City, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Trigun, and Black Lagoon. The director helming the project is Shingo Natsume, who previously worked on Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos. The series is set to be simulcast beginning October 4, and is viewable on both Neon Alley and Hulu.