News: The Grand Plan of Squenix

Square Enix Unrelease Crystal Chronicles: Disastered Edition in Australia

Well… This is just about the most gloatworthy instance of instant karma that one can recall. Square Enix cannot abide people who import their games, which is a problem when all platform holders support a region free development environment. How dare the customers import games from regions where they might be a few dollars cheaper! How dare customers purchase the Final Fantasy X Collection from Japan in order to get both games on a physical card, thus costing Square Enix more money during the manufacturing process. How dare they buy the physical version of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII from Asia instead of buying both games separately, do they not know how much printing physical cards costs Square Enix?!

A horrible, awful, wonderful plan!
Square Enix had a plan!

But Square Enix had a plan. They would develop several entirely separate versions of Crystal Chronicles, one for each worldwide region, and each game would receive its own unique online NetCode implementation – Nintendo and Sony could not very well ask for a universal application when each version is fundamentally incompatible with one another. Well, both Nintendo and Sony versions of Disastered Edition have been pulled from sale in both Australia and New Zealand!

Apparently across all versions of the game players are unable to stay online for more than a few seconds after connecting – woops! Too bad Square Enix removed local multiplayer!

We have had reports that some players in Australia and New Zealand are having difficulty accessing the multiplayer feature of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition. This is being investigated at present and to ensure customers have the best possible experience, further sales of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition in the region will be suspended until the issue has been addressed. We understand that this is not ideal and would like to offer our sincerest apologies for the inconvenience caused. We’ll post the latest updates on Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition here, so please bear with us.

To prevent a perceived loss of a few pennies here and there caused by imports, Square Enix have made it so they have had to unpublish their games throughout two different countries. How many of these people have requested a refund? How many of these people will consider repurchasing the game once its problems are fixed? It is a retarded backward view to even think that imports were costing the company money. In many cases games were being imported because they offered something that could not be obtained through other versions of the game. By and large, people do not want to wait weeks to import a game simply in order to save themselves a couple of dollars. Once again Square Enix have completely fucked themselves through their own greed.

Nintendo Finally Pulls the Trigger on Mario Collection

We have been waiting months for Nintendo to formally unveil their HD Switch ports of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy, and this week they did just that – and they are just weeks away from release! But one gets ahead of himself, as this was just one announcement made in a Mario-packed Nintendo presentation celebrating the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros..

You might want to pick up a second copy, because production is limited.
This looks like a great way to own Mario 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy!

First up Nintendo showed off a Game & Watch device which ran Super Mario Bros.. The device also functions as a clock, which in this instance is animated with a ton of neat little sprites from across the series of Mario games. The device can also play The Lost Levels, which was the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2, as well as a simplistic ball game based on one of the original Game & Watch titles that were available back in the day. This Game & Watch device will be available on November 13. It looks really neat, but will probably be horribly overpriced for what it is.

Next up Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury was announced for a February 12 release next year. This game has been kind of infuriating to wait for, since it has probably been ready to go since the release of Toad Treasure Tracker, which seems like quite a while ago now.

Super Mario Bros. 35 will be available to Nintendo Online subscribers. It looks like a battle royale version of the game where 35 players compete simultaneously (but not together), and can send defeated enemies to another player’s game. Get it? 35 players, 35th anniversary, Super Mario Bros. 35? It will become available on October 1 of this year, and will be available until the 31st of March 2021, after which point it will be taken down.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is an augmented reality Mario Kart game, where players set up a course around their living rooms and then race remote controlled karts around it. A camera is mounted on each kart, and sends footage to each player’s Switch, which is also used to control it. This is kind of neat, but if everything the player sees and interacts with is done through the Switch, then are the remote controlled karts even necessary? Kids are bound to love it regardless tho, and that was probably Nintendo’s target demographic anyway. The game releases October 16 of this year.

Super Mario All Stars is now available for Nintendo Online subscribers, if this is your thing. Personally, the original versions of these games are much more palatable, but anyone who did not grow up with the NES will probably prefer the graphical enhancements of the SNES versions.

Finally, Nintendo unveiled the main attraction: Super Mario 3D All Stars – a game that has been 24 years in the making! The package will include Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy, though it is not known whether the Super Mario Galaxy 2 content will be included with that. One suspects not. The game will be available for purchase on September 18, just a couple of weeks from now – but here is where it gets weird. It would appear that Nintendo really like the idea of artificial scarcity, as, much like Super Mario Bros. 35, Nintendo will only be selling this until March 31st of 2021. There will be no more physical copies made, and the digital version will be delisted from their store. It might be an idea to grab an extra copy of the game to sell later.

Eiyuden Chronicles Campaign Round-Up

As promised here is a round-up of the final state of Eiyuden Chronicles’ Kickstarter campaign. All up the campaign managed to pull in 481,621,841 Yen, which converts into around $4,533,103 USD. The campaign crows about the fact that this was the third highest funded gaming project on Kickstarter. It is indeed an impressive effort. What they do not crow about is that this princely figure was amassed by a relatively low number of backers, and that their record setting success is largely attributable to the extreme number of physical items of swag that were on offer.

All signs point to trouble tho.
We love Suikoden and want this to be good…

Throughout the campaign a number of stretch goals were reached, radically expanding the scope of the game, with tons of additional game modes and mini-games. There has been a massive 28 pieces of additional game content added to the project, which are listed below:

10 additional recruitable characters (bringing the number up to 110)
Fortress town mode
Cooking mini-game
New game plus
Guild system
Fishing mini-game
Top battle mini-game
Full orchestra
Party conversations
Psychic detective agency
Trading mini-game
Racing mini-game
Hot springs
Monster raising mini-game
Voiced cutscenes
Flag design mode
‘Another Story: Marisa’ DLC
Farm system
Duel system
Card battle mode
Ranking mode
‘Heart of gold’ (theatre system)
‘The Depths’ (Hero Mode; a randomised dungeon)
‘On My Own’ Time (Asynchronous Mode; players can battle one another’s armies)
‘A New Style’ (Fortress Asset Pack) DLC
‘A Good Offense’ (Battle Defense Mode)
‘State of Mind’ (Another Story: Seign) DLC
‘A Quiet Place’ (Companion Game)

As previously stated the project is also promising a staggering number of physical rewards, a simply massive 25 in total (or 31 if you count the Chibi figures and 1:6 models seperately):

Background novel
Steelbook
ChibiChara Figures x5
Snappies
Cloth Map
Collectable Cards
Backer Hero
Companion Game (developed by Natsume)
Sticker set
Poster
Replica weapon 1:16
Acrylic standee (diorama)
Apron
Recipes
Character enamel pins
Tote bag
Notebook
Playbill
Scenario book
CD Soundtrack
T-shirt
Vinyl soundtrack
Hardcover artbook
Figurines – 1:6 x3
Replica shield

4.5 million dollars sounds like a lot of money, but it is quickly spent in the pursuit of game development. Every additional pair of hands that are added to the team can be viewed as an investment of $150k at a minimum, but is probably actually more like $250k. But the team does not simply have to develop the game – they also have to make good on their stretch goals and physical rewards. Given the intricacy of some of the physical rewards, 4.5 million dollars seems like a lowball figure even if the game development could be done for free. Development of an epic JRPG loaded with bonus content in addition to the production of 25 pieces of high end swag sounds like an extremely dubious prospect on such a modest budget. One of the additional rewards being developed is an entirely separate game made by a different developer (Natsume). It is true that the dev team are in talks with potential publishers, which may see extra funding allocated to the project, but this is by no means guaranteed.

It kind of looks like the game’s backers are being used as collateral in the developer’s negotiations with publishers. That would explain why an unrealistic amount of physical goods were on offer with this campaign, so that the team could hit a high funding amount at any cost in order to argue that this translates into insatiable gamer demand for the product. Such an argument does not really hold up though, as, when viewed in context, the number of people backing the project is not all that impressive. If Eiyuden Chronicles is able to pick up a publisher then there will probably be nothing to worry about, but if this is not the case then one would have to conclude that the project will be placed in a dire situation. We are very partial to the Suikoden series here at TDT, so nobody wishes to see Eiyuden Chronicles succeed more than we do. We would however be remiss in our duties if we did not point out that the project is throwing up all kinds of red flags. Best of luck to them in their negotiations.

7 comments

  1. There are concerning realities in the Eiyuden Chronicle situation. To hope is nice, but we also have to look at the challenges they face and report on how difficult they are to surmount. I hope they DO overcome them all and produce something truly special, but prior experience suggests that will be extremely difficult for them to do so.

    Crystal Chronicles aside (technically last week’s release), what a great week for gamers! Mario, Mario, Mario, Mario! Everything we wanted (bar Galaxy 2) is coming to pass–and soon! Two weeks!

  2. Time for a Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered mini-review!

    Square Enix’s has summarised their work with Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles thus:

    The team has also focused on making it as simple as possible to actually experience it – something that wasn’t necessarily the case with the 2003 GameCube original.

    I cannot begin to describe what a load of horseshit this is.

    First, the game has a setting to ‘disable cross-platform play’. This means only Switch players can play with other Switch players etc. However, if you enable that, it actually disables ALL multiplayer play, including with other identical systems. So keep that little quirk in mind. You either have to play with every platform or no one at all (because, remember, there is no local multiplayer). Nowhere in the game is this bug/mistranslation noted, so it took us about half an hour of fiddling and then searching the internet for us to figure out why we couldn’t see anyone or play with each other.

    Secondly, when you play multiplayer, only the host gets ‘credit’ in the game’s progression for clearing the stage. This is unlike the original game, where all characters who participated received ‘progress’ for beating a dungeon. Although everyone gets to keep their one piece of found/selected equipment, all other progress is locked to the host ONLY.

    So what does this mean? Well, because the game requires players to progress to different areas to unlock different dungeons, it means that they CANNOT join later dungeons (after the first three) unless they host games to get the progress to be able to reach later dungeons on their save files.

    I understand that this is fairly complicated to understand if you have not played the game, but essentially it works like this: you have an URN which needs to match the specific ELEMENT of a miasma STREAM in order to pass through the stream and get access to areas beyond the first dungeon. The only way to get the element on your Urn is to take it into a dungeon and drop it on a elemental pedestal that changes its element (or to do this from the map screen on a level you have already completed).

    Although all players can see/carry the urn when someone else hosts a game, and even change its element, once the multiplayer is over and players are returned to the world map, the urn will be whatever it was before the players joined multiplayer (except for the host). You can only change YOUR urn’s element when YOU are the host.

    Worse yet, the game doesn’t record clearing the stage when someone else hosts, so other players don’t get moogle mail and they can’t use the map menu to change the urn element (because that shortcut only works on stages that players have already cleared).

    So what do you have to do? Let’s say there are two of you (Players A and B) and you both want to play the game. You have to play every stage twice, once with player A as host, and once with PLayer B as host. That way, both players get credit for progression and both can open up access to later stages. That sounds awful, right? BUT IT GETS WORSE!

    The Lite Edition (demo), is billed as ‘being able to play everything but the end of the game as long as the game is being hosted by someone who owns the full version.’ The Lite version can only *host* the first few dungeons. Now, you should be able to figure out why this is a problem. Because only HOSTED games count for progress, and because progress is NEEDED to get access to the later dungeons, and because the Lite edition can only host the first few dungeons, they can’t get enough progress to access later dungeons, which means they can only play the first few dungeons after all.

    In addition, when you create a multiplayer game, (1) invites do not work, (2) the friend invite system is buggy and laggy, (3) and the lobby created can only play the one level–there is no way to change the level selection without disbanding the entire party and creating a new online session specifically for another stage.

    My wife and I were sitting in the same room playing online with each other and there was noticeable latency (dropping the urn and it would teleport to a different location, etc). In addition, my game crashed at the end of a level during the results screen, so I didn’t get anything for playing it.

    Moreover, and this doesn’t have to do with the multiplayer as such, this game has the worst menu system I have ever seen in any game since Vagrant Story. There are a bunch of submenus, the ‘confirm/cancel’ buttons are different for different menus (it’s often unclear how to get into/out of menus), including for submenus, and options are buried in places you wouldn’t even imagine.

    Also, the voice acting is simply terrible. Not ‘haha, cheesy terrible’ awful but the blandest most unfitting garbage VA you will ever hear these days. I have never had to do this before, but I actually went into the game settings and turned the Voice volume to 0. I am willing to put up with almost anything, but it is BAD. When Stiltzkin (a fucking MOOGLE!) started talking and he just sounded like random 40-year-old dad character extra from low-budget FX tv series, I knew we were in trouble.

    I cannot imagine what the hell they have been doing with this project in the YEARS that they have been working on it. I’m just astonished. It looks, feels, and plays like they spent two weeks on it. If I were setting out to ruin Crystal Chronicles I couldn’t have devised something like this absolute shitpile.

    Grade: F

  3. Addendum: The FFCC Lite (Demo) save file doesn’t even transfer over to the full game! Amazing!

  4. This is absolutely bloody scandalous. Did they not even QA test the fecking game?

  5. Eiyuden Chronicles – what is a Psychic detective agency, and what does it possibly have to do in the game? What is the difference between a Playbill and a Scenario book? Why aren’t they all part of the same Hardcover art book? What are Snappies?

  6. The campaign page is an actual genuine nightmare to try any make sense of. It took me a really long time to go through because bits of information are just all over the place, and not really logically grouped together. I would get confused by different things like whether the Chibi figurines were the same thing as the plastic character models…

    If they can’t order a Kickstarter page, then how can they order the production of a video game (with multiple studios working on it, and multiple other entities working on producing physical rewards)?

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