Capcom Series including Onimusha May Be Revived
In late 2013 it was revealed that Capcom almost went broke. They had mere tens of millions of dollars in the bank, and it was only the release and subsequent success of Monster Hunter 4 that staved off complete disaster for the company. Fast forward to 2016, and the company has a very solid two year track record of making good decisions. A change in direction first came with the release of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – the game was somewhat unoriginal, yet it jettisoned much of the moribund bloat and silliness which had been strangling the series like a cancer. Following that Capcom delighted fans with two high fidelity ports of well-regarded GameCube classics, Resident Evil and Resident Evil 0. The former game sold like absolute hotcakes on PSN, while the latter appears to have replicated that feat, releasing on the 23rd of January of this year and racking up sales of 130,000 on PSN, 40,000 on Xbone, and 10,000 on PC. To top this all off 2015 saw the announcement of a Resident Evil 2 remake, and now it appears that Capcom are of a view that it is time for other cherished Capcom franchises to make a comeback as well – and this could potentially include the Onimusha series.
One mentions Onimusha specifically because Yoshinori Ono was asked specifically about that franchise, and revealed that there had been recent internal discussions about bringing the franchise back – however that is not a done deal. What is certain however, is the fact that Capcom seem committed to bringing back fan favourite franchises, with Ono specifically stating that some of these franchises will come back:
“All I can do for now is reassure fans that conversations are happening at high levels. We [Capcom] realise the need for different series to maybe come back into the forefront and although there’s nothing to talk about right now, I’m sure in the future there will be news on variety of series that will keep the fans happy. [Fan’s] favourites are going to come back.”
The pragmatic conservatism of Capcom circa 2016 should provide a glimmer of hope to anyone who has ever despaired at the out of touch arrogance and incompetence of modern day Square Enix. Prior to 2013 many had given up on Capcom, with Resident Evil 6 serving as something of a nail in their coffin. They had abandoned making the kind of games that their fans enjoyed playing, and instead had increasingly been producing games targeted towards other markets. To this pre-2013 Capcom mindset gamers no longer bought Japanese games, and survival horror was a dead genre – and as such surely the market could be expected to purchase such Westernized bilge as DmC. This wrong-headedness came to a head when the company almost went under in 2013, and to their credit Capcom were self-aware enough at this eleventh hour juncture to step away from the abyss and begin righting their business. Capcom has once again dipped their toe into the production of survival horror, and have found that the audience for these games never actually went away. Now it appears that the Company is looking to replicate the success they had in reviving traditional style Resident Evil with their other franchises. As such HD remakes and sequels for classic Capcom franchises, including Onimusha, are now on the table. Do not be surprised to see a proper sequel to Devil May Cry announced at some point to cleanse the palate from that Ninja Theory abortion.
The lesson of this tale is that Square Enix need to face financial ruin, as it is perhaps the one thing that could potentially save them.
Xbone Cannot Hold on to Exclusives
For much of the previous console generation the Xbox 360 had the PS3 at a disadvantage when it came to installbase, and even when the PS3 managed to pip the 360 at the post the difference in console sales continued to be somewhat marginal. This directly translated into the Xbox 360 being a formidable platform on which to sell games, which in turn made it far easier to justify making certain software titles exclusive to that platform, since the audience could be relied upon to purchase a substantial volume of content. That obviously is not the case with the Xbox One, as every week it is outsold by the PS4 on an almost 2:1 basis. The PS4 can keep its exclusives, but the Xbox One cannot do the same, as Microsoft tends to over-rely on third party exclusives, and third party companies tend to want to actually sell a few copies.
Early on in the generation PC ports of Xbox “exclusive” games were at least not announced prior to the Xbox One version going on sale, and indeed the PC version would not tend to release until up to a year after the game had made its debut on Xbox One. That is certainly no longer the case, with Remedy announcing ahead of Quantum Break‘s April release that the game will be releasing concurrently on the PC! This port is no mere afterthought, as within a day of announcing its existence Remedy had already provided ‘minimum’, ‘recommended’, and ‘ultra’ requirement guidelines, indicating that the PC port is mature, and has been actively developed alongside its Xbox One counterpart for some time. As a sidenote: one look at the ‘recommended’ settings is enough to make Lusipurr’s famous 32gb of RAM not seem so silly after all. Quantum Break was the one Xbox One exclusive that this author was sad to see stranded on the Xbone, and as such it is the sweetest instance of a game breaking Xbox exclusivity yet! Now, if only one’s computer could run it without going up in smoke!
Twilight of the Sods
It is funny to think that when The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess first debuted on the Wii and later the GameCube there was no such thing as Amiibo. No diminutive hunks of plastic to gate off content. No thriving grey market predicated on their scarcity. There was just a game release, and gamers were able to play that release provided they owned a copy along with the requisite console to play it on. How naive we were. What point is there in Nintendo even releasing games if they cannot be used to stimulate sales of cheap plastic Nintendo figurines?
Last month Lusipurr.com brought you tidings of an extremely solid rumour which had its basis in a listing by Amazon France, that suggested Nintendo was planning to lock away an entire in-game dungeon in their upcoming Twilight Princess HD port for the Wii U. This week Nintendo have unambiguously confirmed the rumour true by releasing a trailer to cudgel their would-be consumers into purchasing an assortment of plastic crap. No fewer than four Amiibo will be required if gamers wish to unlock every function that Nintendo has gated away in this port – though to be fair two of these functions are essentially mild cheats.
Owners of the ‘Link’ and ‘Toon Link’ Amiibo will be able to instantly refill their stock of arrows, while owners of the ‘Zelda’ and ‘Sheik’ Amiibo will be able to instantly refill their hearts. Owners of the Ganondorf Amiibo will be able to use it in order to make enemies deal twice the amount of damage. The game already sports a ‘Hero Mode’ where enemies are able to deal twice as much damage to Link, and the effects of the ‘Ganondorf’ Amiibo are able to stack on top of this, so that enemies will deal four times the standard amount of damage. Finally, the ‘Wolf Link’ Amiibo (included with the physical game at launch, but obviously not included with the digital version) will be used to unlock the ‘Cave of Shadows’, a new forty floor dungeon of trials – where each floor is home to unique enemies and environmental obstacles to overcome.
Any return player tackling ‘Hero Mode’ will want to play with the full 4X damage instead of just 2X, obliging them to pick up a Ganondorf figurine. Anyone wishing to tackle the ‘Cave of Shadows’ dungeon [which will probably be most return players] will be obliged to pick purchase a physical version of the game which (at least at launch) comes with the Wolf Link amiibo. But, if the histories of amiibo availability and special ‘launch editions’ are any indication, then the only way that players will be able to guarantee day one access to the Wolf Link Amiibo is to put down a pre-order for the physical edition of the game. That is no doubt what this trailer was designed to communicate to gamers.
Congratulations, Nintendo, your avarice knows no bounds!
Anime Spotlight: Dimension W
It is the year 2071, and the discovery of a a fourth dimension has gifted mankind with an unlimited source of clean power. The discovery of this dimension has made New Tesla Energy the world’s biggest corporation through their monopoly on ‘coils’, which are essentially high capacity batteries. New Tesla Energy’s monopoly on coils has basically made them a law unto themselves, much like the Shinra Electric Power Company, and they have effectively made third party coils illegal – these illegal coils are then confiscated by ‘collectors’, who operate in a similar way to bounty hunters. Incredibly, the protagonist of the series,Kyoma, is a man – not a sixteen year old boy, but an actual flesh and blood adult man with a beard and mullet! He is gruff, mature, and is generally just a complete badass. Kyoma hates all coil technology, and lives a completely lo-fi life, to the extent that he drives an exorbitantly expensive gas powered car and uses throwing spikes rather than a coil-powered gun. Fate then conspires to partner Kyoma with with Mira, the robotic creation of the late founder of New Tesla Energy, Shidō Yurizaki. Leading into the start of Dimension W Yurizaki had become a recluse for some two years after New Tesla Energy murdered his wife and child, and shortly before suiciding to evade capture he instructs Mira to follow the source of the illegal coils that have been flooding the market.
One’s initial impressions are that Dimension W is excellent. The conceptual art upon which the world is based is arresting, the animation quality is absolutely gorgeous, and the stylised presentation just exudes an effortless sense of cool. This anime is more serious than most, in the sense that it depicts a reasonably mature sci-fi setting without a lot of comic elements in evidence, but it also does not forget to have fun. This is not a sci-fi world that will bludgeon viewers with endless reams of technobabble in place of world building, but rather it is an action series which has thus far mostly used sci-fi as a backdrop. Dimension W began its run on January 10, and there are currently five episodes available. It is simulcast on Funimation Saturdays at 9:00am Eastern. Highly recommended.