News: Lionhead Gets 22Shitcanned!

You are most welcome! declares victory in the war on Fable!

Microsoft Dissolve Lionhead in Grovelling Submission takes gleeful pride in the fact that we are one of the most humble blog sites on the internet, and as such we would certainly be the very last publication that would ever want to toot our own horn by seeking to lay claim to accomplishments that are not our own. That being said, it is probably not overstepping the mark to suggest that’s Zestria (TM) blockade of the Microsoft Game Studios offices proved instrumental in undermining employee morale, ultimately leading to their acceptance of our terms for a full and unconditional surrender: namely the cancellation of Fable Legends and the dissolution of Lionhead Studios. Proof of this can be observed by dint of the fact that Microsoft did just that. Fable Legends has been unceremoniously cancelled without so much as a word’s warning to the Lionhead staff that were working on it, and Lionhead themselves are to be shuttered at the end of the month – as per our demands:

After much consideration we have decided to cease development on Fable Legends, and are in discussions with employees about the proposed closure of Lionhead Studios in the UK. Additionally, we will close Press Play Studios in Denmark, and sunset development on Project Knoxville.

These have been tough decisions and we have not made them lightly, nor are they a reflection on these development teams – we are incredibly fortunate to have the talent, creativity and commitment of the people at these studios. The Lionhead Studios team has delighted millions of fans with the Fable series over the past decade. Press Play imbued the industry with a unique creative spirit behind games like Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and Kalimba, which both captured passionate fans. These changes are taking effect as Microsoft Studios continues to focus its investment and development on the games and franchises that fans find most exciting and want to play.

While the above paragraph might suggest that Lionhead Studios is simply being shuttered because they do not make games that people find “exciting” and “want to play”, and while the casual observer might simply conclude that this is the logical result for a studio when their last well received title was released over eight years ago – both of these explanations serve as a mere smokescreen for Microsoft to save face in the hour of their greatest defeat at the hands of the world’s foremost Zestria (TM) Barron, Lusipurr. In a state of Zestria-deprived delirium Microsoft’s hand was forced, and as a result the streets now run red with the blood of’s enemies. In the mid-to-late 2000s was created for the express purpose of decimating Lionhead Studios and ending the Fable franchise once and for all. This week our plans have finally come into fruition, and Lionhead studios will never recover from this mighty blow we have dealt them! Let it never be said that does not play the long game.

They look both fair and balanced.
Let’s talk tits!

A Very Important Announcement About Tits

It is time to talk about TITS, and who does not like TITS? Substantial and well rounded – a pair is certainly more than a handful, but three is just ideal! To this end JRPG fans were given some incredibly good news this week with confirmation that The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd will be seeing a 2017 release for PC! For a while there it seemed unlikely that this game would ever see a release in the West owing to the extremely tight effort-to-sales ratio in translating such high volume games for the moribund PSP platform, however 2014’s Steam release of the original game in the trilogy opened new doors, as by all accounts it proved to be much more successful than anyone was expecting. Sadly, this time around Xseed were unable to swing a PSP/Vita release of the game, but it was not through lack of trying:

To address some common questions thus far:

-PC version only. Sorry, but we couldn’t swing the PSP, PS3, or Vita versions of the game (and all for completely different reasons, to boot — none of which I’m really at liberty to talk about in any great detail, so you’ll just have to trust that we tried our best!).

-Localization duties are not being handled by Carpe Fulgur as with SC, but by more or less the same team responsible for the Trails of Cold Steel games. So if you liked the way Cold Steel turned out, you’ve got nothing at all to worry about with 3rd!

-Nothing is being edited out or removed. In fact, as others have said, I believe Sara will even be attempting to add the previously PSP-exclusive elements to the PC release — though of course, nothing can be guaranteed there, especially at this early stage. It’s just sort of an idea/goal at this point.

-No Japanese voices, sorry! As with FC and SC, 3rd will include English voices only, as once again, the rights to the Japanese voices were not available. (Wait’ll you hear the English voice for Gilbert, though — sooooooo good!)

So, yeah… to all y’all who said there was no way in hell 3rd would ever see the light of localization, all I can say is, EAT IT. ;) Heheheheh…


One finds it rather telling that JRPG localisation butchery has become so bad of late that companies now have to pointedly announce ahead of time that they do not plan on deliberately ruining the games they bring over, but what else can one expect in [CURRENT YEAR]? It really is too bad that Xseed could not complete the trilogy on the PSP, but it is also incredibly fortunate that they found success on the PC when they did. To this end Xseed have announced that between Trails in the Sky, Trails in the Sky SC, and Trails of Cold Steel the series has now sold over 350,000 copies in the West, which is great to see since it helps to secure the future localisation of these games. Xseed also took the opportunity to announce that Trails of Cold Steel II will be releasing for the PS3 and Vita in the Fall. In celebration of these announcements Trails in the Sky and Trails in the Sky SC have been heavily discounted for the next week on both PSN and Steam. The former has been discounted by 50% to $9.99, while the latter has been discounted by 30% to $20.99 – so there is no time like the present to add both highly regarded titles to your Steam library!

Tears are almost assured - but for the wrong reasons.
Given the quality of Square Enix writing, the ‘Noct dies’ ending may actually come as a relief.

Final Fantasy XV Director Aims to Make Players Cry

This week the director of Final Fantasy XV, Hajime Tabata, revealed that he has been developing the game with the aim of making players cry. It is good to finally have confirmation on this point. As far back as the Episode Duscae demo it seemed like the game might be being developed to make players cry, but it was also possible that the elements seen in Duscae simply coalesced into an unhappy accident that was wholly unintended. With that in mind it is a very good thing that we finally have confirmation that Final Fantasy XV is being developed for the express purpose of making gamers unhappy, because Tabata looks to be right on target to deliver on this ambition!

I want to create a very emotional ending to the game and want to make as many people cry as possible. You’re spending so many hours playing the game, so when I finish a game and it ends on a sour note and it doesn’t move me, it gets me disappointed. At least make me cry or give me some emotion! I want to give a moving ending for the consumers who invest so much time.

Speaking seriously now, many fans have interpreted this to mean that Noctus dies at the end, and one certainly could not blame them for reaching this conclusion. If the death of Aeris taught Square Enix anything, it was that literally the only human ’emotion’ that matters is sadness – though possibly the saddest thing about this is that Final Fantasy fans have likely guessed the ending of the game months before it has even been released. The reason that the death of Aeris had such an impact on gaming was because Squaresoft used to be able to keep a secret, and nobody saw it coming. If in the run-up to Final Fantasy VII‘s release Yoshinori Kitase had been giving the gaming press repeated winks and nudges about the permanence of Aeris, then it is unlikely that her death would still be such an iconic moment in gaming. It made an impact because its suddenness felt like a gut-punch.

Beyond this frustration, many Final Fantasy fans have reacted with exasperation to Square Enix killing off a character as a shortcut to manipulate player emotions, when in fact Square Enix struggle to even write believable characters these days, much less ones that players can establish an emotional connection with. One can only agree with this sentiment to an extent. Tragic tear-wringing endings are certainly a valid direction that a narrative can be taken in, and are a potent tool for making an impact upon a game’s players – but the thing is that such endings have to be justified throughout the narrative as a whole, and executed near perfectly. How many of Final Fantasy XV‘s elements could one claim to have been executed perfectly? The full game is still months away, but Episode Duscae was certainly sufficient to cast doubt on the game’s overall quality. One feels that fan misgivings about Final Fantasy XV‘s ‘sad’ ending are rooted in the fear that it will simply be a transplant of Zack’s ending from Crisis Core, and one could hardly fault them for harbouring this concern.

...There are certainly worse ways to gain one's super powers.
Fusing with magical goddess waifus…

Anime Spotlight: Luck & Logic

Luck & Logic is a magical girl anime with a difference – namely that the show’s protagonist [Yoshichika] is a guy. This seems like a pretty obvious harem setup, and after watching a couple of episodes that certainly seems to be the direction it is being taken in. The premise involves goddesses who have fled to the human world after losing a war to demons in their home realm. This causes the demons to turn their focus on the human world, and they are able to open dimensional gates and possess human hosts in order to wreak havok. In order to protect the human world the goddesses are able to combine their logic with that of humans known as logicalists, in order to clothe them in some fancy monster-bashing magical girl uniforms. In the world of Luck & Logic ‘logic’ and ‘paradox’ levels pretty much stand in for Dagon Ball Z-esque power levels for the heroes and villains respectively. That aspect is a little tedious, though the show on the whole makes for some light-hearted fun. Luck & Logic‘s strength is probably in its setting and art design, with special mention also going to Yoshichika’s father and sister, who make for some fairly decent comedy skits.

Luck & Logic began its run on Janurary 9, and there are currently nine episodes available. It is licensed with Funimation, and new episodes are simulcast on Saturdays at 8:30 am Eastern. Honestly, this is probably not a show that is worth planning one’s schedule around, but it is still quite fun for what it is – making it a good filler anime to watch in between episodes of more important shows.


  1. Nicely done, as always.
    Some thoughts on FFXV:
    Character death is a cheap, but effective, device to evoke emotion from players. Would it be enough to provide a game that delighted players so much that they felt joy, rather than depression at the end of the game? Nah, let’s just make ’em cry!
    Actually, in this age of inclusion and mandatory adherence to pop psychology whims, it could be said that Final Fantasy games have been making players cry for years. Watching the hero fall on the battlefield, only to see the horrific ‘game over’ screen to reinforce a sense of failure? How sad! Gamers, no, people need love. Constantly.
    Let’s hope that if a character is killed off at the end of FFXV, it’s because they held controversial opinions, or displayed prejudice in the story. Then the death, while possibly still sad, could be a form of, shall we say, social justice? A just and rightful death would help prevent damage to the delicate flowers who need validation every three to five minutes of every waking hour.
    Or perhaps the localization will remove anything negative/controversial/thought-provoking? (Probably not; it isn’t on a Nintendo system, after all.)
    Let’s at least hope that the character is as annoying as Squall, so we can enjoy his (hopefully long and excruciating) on-screen death.

  2. I don’t believe that Square Enix is still capable of delighting and uplifting gamers like they did with FFIX.

  3. I miss the Squaresoft days… Square-Enix has no apparent hope of recapturing any of the pre-merger magic.

  4. Seb: Let’s hope that if a character is killed off at the end of FFXV, it’s because they held controversial opinions, or displayed prejudice in the story.

    You joke, but just wait.

  5. If Square-Enix wants to make me cry then they need to make games like they used to. I will cry when I play another FFIX.

  6. I’m thinking about games that have made a mark emotionally; actually resonated beyond an appreciation of good gameplay mechanics, graphics, and so on… In the 3D era graphically impressive games took precedence over story-driven games, though this was not the fault of the technology itself. Tastes change. A look at the way a present-day blockbuster film is directed and edited will give you a glimpse of what it is that people are looking for in gaming now. Fast. Loud. Bright. Full of action. Not all people prefer this style, of course; there are still those who care enough about quality in gaming to provide an audience for a great, emotionally involving release. It would sell, if only it could be made.

    I’ll bring up Chrono Trigger as an example of a game that has stood the test of time; charming, involving, providing a satisfying experience that lingers. A Link to the Past is another title that provides a rich, memorable experience. And these two games were released for the Super Nintendo more than twenty years ago. My point is that graphics mean absolutely nothing when you’re talking about a moving experience. Books are a rather obvious example of this, and text-based role playing was the origin of the RPG gaming industry as it exists today. But text alone isn’t sexy. Shiny graphics are sexy. No one is going to have a deep, satisfying experience from reading a novel that was poorly written, and with a bad plot. This might pass the time, and some light reading – though trash from a literary standpoint – can be amusing. But these are not classics. They are the junk food of books.

    Mainstream gaming today is like junk food, for the most part. There really isn’t much of a difference between a shiny, unsubstantial game, and, say, Doritos. Doritos relies on a very strong, temporary flavor (augmented by monosodium glutamate) to make you salivate and grab another chip. It’s unsatisfying; though temporarily gratifying.
    Genius needs limitation to thrive. If you have unlimited choice, it’s very difficult to properly focus. Great games have been created at the end of a console’s life, where the obvious deficiencies and limitations of the hardware were ignored, but the story was not. Give me an immersive SNES title any day, and I won’t need a next-gen console. My original PlayStation will play a number of really good games, and I don’t care if the graphics are blocky by modern standards.

    Writing should never be the weak point of a game, and dialogue counts. A great RPG tells a story. It draws you in, and involves you emotionally. When I fought Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII, I was angry with him. I wanted to hurt him. It was deeper than just needing to beat a boss to advance the game. And there were moments in FF IX where I felt real emotion, too. Regardless of how they look, and what mainstream sensibilities might be in a given year, I will always seek an experience like the ones I’ve had. A great game is like a great film, or book. The images stay with you, and the best ones deserve to be read/watched/played again at some point in our lives.

  7. That was beautifully said.

    Good writing would have to be one of the cheapest ways to make a game both good and memorable, yet all too often it is treated as an afterthought – and many of the people who do focus heavily on the writing tend to be fanfic-tier hobbyists like David Cage…

  8. All too true.

    And there’s so much more great writing already in existence than there are great games (though adaptations of great stories don’t necessarily translate in the good games, either).

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