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Animenewsnetwork – This Week in Games

This Week in Games – Jojo Posing? No, Jack-O Posing! (also Gamescom)

Animenewsnetwork - This Week in Games

Hey kids! Have you heard of the hot new trend sweeping the nation the world the Twitterverse? Get on the ground and put your booty in the air like you just don’t care, because we’re talking about the Jack-O Challenge!

Jack-O is the latest character to return to the roster of Guilty Gear Strive, and she just debuted along with the newest balance patch. She looks pretty darn rad! But this fact actually has very little to do with the Jack-O Challenge. The Jack-O Challenge involves posing like her goofy crouching stance, shown above. At first, it was individuals trying to replicate her pose to varying degrees of success in real-life photos, but it very quickly went viral as artists realized they could have a lot of fun by drawing their favorite characters doing the same pose. And that’s where things have gotten ridiculous…ly awesome! Check out some of my faves:

I always like when something silly like this takes off and people have fun with it. There’s plenty more on Twitter, but be careful searching the hashtag, as there are plenty of… um, not-safe-for-work variations, let’s say. Children, avert your eyes!

As for “normal” news, well, there’s plenty of it! We’re a little later than usual – circumstances made getting a column out last week extremely difficult. But Gamescom happened, and it’s brought a lot of announcements, including a new Metroid Dread trailer, which I am committed to not watching because Nintendo wants to tell us everything about that game before release and I will have none of it, thank you very much. Since we’re already (sort of) talking about fighting games, let’s start with the big King of Fighters XV news!

KING OF FIGHTERS XV: SHATTER ALL EXPECTATIONS (FOR A BIG ROSTER)

While SNK‘s been fairly frequent with their character reveal drops for King of Fighters XV, we haven’t heard all that much about actual gameplay or features. Well, good news – we finally have more details on how KoFXV actually plays, along with teases of old and new cast members!



https://youtube.com/watch?v=utssckRFBN4

Oh man, a 300-song SNK jukebox? That sounds amazing! Combo trials should provide YouTube personalities some content to get comically upset at in an entertaining fashion! And, of course, rollback netcode, which has done wonders to make Guilty Gear Strive the most talked-about fighting game of 2021.

It’s the roster that has some fans concerned, though. Only 39 characters will be in the game at launch, which is quite a reduction from KoFXIV‘s initial roster – and we can already see that some new characters are taking up those slots. Not everyone in the initial roster has been revealed yet, but fans are already speculating that some longtime favorites might be cut. A King of Fighters without Kensou? Without Daimon? Without Kim Kaphwan? King of Fighters XII got a lot of flack for its reduced roster size (remember “No Mai, no buy?”), so it’s weird to see another KoF shipping that also cuts out many longtime favorites. It’s likely some of them could be saved for DLC, as “hey here’s Kim for you” would certainly incentivize folks to open up their wallets.

Despite this, from what I’ve seen of the brand-new characters, I’m really liking them! Especially she-Shunei here:

Overall, KoFXIV looks like it’ll be a pretty solid entry in the series. Whether or not you dig the specific gameplay is up to you – my longtime Neo-Geo fan partner is pretty meh on what he’s been seeing – but it’s encouraging to see SNK really stepping things up with regards to presentation and functionality.

And boy, do some people still really hate Ash Crimson.




NINTENDO IS DOING THE THING AGAIN

What time is it? Oh, Nintendo shutting down fan projects time. You know, just the usual for Nintendo.

Nintendo first made news by sending a cease and desist to the creators of a Metroid Prime in 2D fan project. Not terribly surprising, given Nintendo‘s long track record of shutting these things down as soon as they get noticed. But then this happened:

Project+, for those unaware, is a patch for Project M, the long-running Super Smash Bros. Brawl mod, and Riptide is a very well-known set of Smash Bros tournaments. This turn of events is also not terribly surprising, as Nintendo has clashed with Smash Bros tournament organizers before about them running various unauthorized Smash Bros mods. However, that one-two punch of “taking down a fan game” and “pissing off Smash players yet again” turned into an explosion of hatred for a company seen as hostile to its fans – particularly in contrast to Sega, who turns a blind eye to things like the big yearly Sonic Amateur Games Expo.

Unfortunately for the #savesmash crowd, it’s pretty obvious by this point that Nintendo is very firm in their positions and does not want to budge. Don’t make fangames, and play Smash the way Sakurai intended – them’s the rules. This puts tournament organizers in a tough spot: fans want to play mods, but running tournaments with them will almost certainly raise Nintendo‘s ire.

Could some small-scale, grassroots efforts try to run unsponsored tournaments specifically for modded Smash? Probably, but even then, there’s the looming threat of Nintendo wanting to throw their weight around. It’s a lousy situation overall, but at this point, I think we just have to accept that this is what Nintendo does and either live with it or abandon playing their games. And I don’t know of anyone, especially in the Smash scene, who is prepared to do the latter.

ACTIVISION-BLIZZARD SHITSTORM UPDATE: OOPS WE “ACCIDENTALLY” DESTROYED RECORDS, BUT HEY, WE RENAMED THE COWBOY

Didn’t Activision publish that one Platinumgames Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game that everyone agrees was really disappointing? Well, it might be delisted from storefronts now, but Activision kept one part of it around – the Shredder! Ha ha haaaaaaaaa

Folks, this is what we call “gallows humor.”

Yes, once again, Activision-Blizzard has upped their “let’s be big ol’ shitbags” game. According to an amended complaint filed by the State of California – whose lawsuit brought the many allegations of abuse and power harassment at the conglomerate to light – Activision-Blizzard has worked to destroy damning evidence, and has also been extremely hostile to many of its contract-work staff as well. Some have speculated as to why they might be doing this:

But hey, what’s that? Hey! Look over there! It’s a cowboy! A newly-nameless Overwatch cowboy!

I noted a few weeks ago how Overwatch League casters were deliberately avoiding saying McCree’s name during commentary, but it looks like it’s official: cowboy named after employee accused of terrible abusive practices is getting a new moniker. How very convenient that this decision came out right after the news about documents getting trashed, huh? Almost as if they want quick and easy praise for “doing the right thing” after doing some very, very wrong things.

Seriously, screw these guys. I don’t want to play another Activision-Blizzard game again in my life.

GAMESCOM + BITSUMMIT ANNOUNCEMENTS AND OTHER NEWSBITS

  • April O’ Neil is a playable fighter in the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Return of the Shredder, which is looking better and better every time it’s shown.




    She’s also been announced as a character in Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, along with Catdog. 2021 is really turning into a good year for our plucky yellow-suited reporter, huh?

  • Tales of Luminaria, an all-new Tales mobile game, was announced at Gamescom with a trailer. This appears to be the first mobile Tales game to be 100% original, as it appears that the cast will consist entirely of new characters. Many previous mobile Tales offerings have relied heavily on bringing back characters from previous games in order to encourage gacha purchases, so it’ll be interesting to see how things work out for this.
    Actually, I wonder if it might not even be a gacha game? I mean, Fantasian’s been getting a lot of good press lately, and that’s not gacha-based at all. Hmmm. In any case, I’m interested in seeing where Bandai-Namco takes this one.



  • One of my favorite small developers, Onion Games, has opened Steam pages for two of their games: moon (which released on Switch) and the bizarre Flappy Bird-like Mon Amour. moon especially is one of those games I think everyone should play and form an opinion on, so please, do check it out when it debuts.
  • Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania is slowly but surely turning into some sort of bizarre Sega and Atlus All-Stars thing. First Sonic, then Kiryu, and now Persona 5’s Morgana are joining the fruit-fetching fiesta!




    But wait, there’s more! Upcoming DLC includes everyone’s favorite feline who has no mouth and cannot scream, Hello Kitty!




    Okay, that’s an addition that was kind of out of left field, but it looks like that’s still not the end of the DLC. The next character is… Suezo? From Monster Rancher? I… what? How did this happen




    I am so confused as to why Monkey Ball of all things is turning into a giant crossover. Given recent rumors that Toshihiro Nagoshi might be departing Sega, perhaps he’s trying to go out with a bang.

  • I’ve had a Cave-on-consoles kind of feeling lately. First off: ESPgaluda II on Switch has a trailer, and it will be out soon worldwide!



  • Secondly, the long-in-the-works Deathsmiles I+II compilation is nearing release! This set includes Deathsmiles, Deathsmiles Mega Death Label, Deathsmiles II, and Deathsmiles IIX. Even better, the package will contain an English text option out of the box for all of the games!
    Also, there’s a big DLC package in the works (included with the premium editions of the game) featuring the five heroines from my favorite Japanese-only gacha score-attack fest, Gothic wa Mahou Otome, which is set in the Deathsmiles universe. I’m sure nobody cares except for me, but dammit, I’m really hyped! (It would have been better if the DLC was the five demons instead, but still.)




  • Speaking of shooters, PlatinumGames’s Sol Cresta is releasing on December 9th! It’s currently being shown off at Japan’s indie-centric Bitsummit event. There will also be DLC featuring a narrated, fully voice-acted story written by Hideki Kamiya himself. No word on an English dub, though I doubt it’ll happen – this game is crazy niche and probably not worth the expense.



  • Also announced at Bitsummit: Luminous Avenger iX 2, the latest game in the Azure Striker Gunvolt universe. In addition Gunvolt 3 is due out in summer 2022. Man, I really have to get around to playing all of these someday…



Phew! Damn, that’s a lot of news stuff. I’m exhausted. Maybe I should play a game to wind down. Oh hey, No More Heroes 3 is out! I’ve been playing it, it’s super-fun and very much a Suda51 game. I’m doing some guides over at Gamespot, so if you’re interested in some ProTips from yours truly, take a peek over there over the next several days.

Anyway, you know the drill by this point. You got thoughts on the gaming news? You go to the forum below and type away. Yes! See you again soon, take it easy, and enjoy games!

This Week in Games – Jojo Posing? No, Jack-O Posing! (also Gamescom)

Animenewsnetwork - This Week in Games

Hey kids! Have you heard of the hot new trend sweeping the nation the world the Twitterverse? Get on the ground and put your booty in the air like you just don’t care, because we’re talking about the Jack-O Challenge!

Jack-O is the latest character to return to the roster of Guilty Gear Strive, and she just debuted along with the newest balance patch. She looks pretty darn rad! But this fact actually has very little to do with the Jack-O Challenge. The Jack-O Challenge involves posing like her goofy crouching stance, shown above. At first, it was individuals trying to replicate her pose to varying degrees of success in real-life photos, but it very quickly went viral as artists realized they could have a lot of fun by drawing their favorite characters doing the same pose. And that’s where things have gotten ridiculous…ly awesome! Check out some of my faves:

I always like when something silly like this takes off and people have fun with it. There’s plenty more on Twitter, but be careful searching the hashtag, as there are plenty of… um, not-safe-for-work variations, let’s say. Children, avert your eyes!

As for “normal” news, well, there’s plenty of it! We’re a little later than usual – circumstances made getting a column out last week extremely difficult. But Gamescom happened, and it’s brought a lot of announcements, including a new Metroid Dread trailer, which I am committed to not watching because Nintendo wants to tell us everything about that game before release and I will have none of it, thank you very much. Since we’re already (sort of) talking about fighting games, let’s start with the big King of Fighters XV news!

KING OF FIGHTERS XV: SHATTER ALL EXPECTATIONS (FOR A BIG ROSTER)

While SNK‘s been fairly frequent with their character reveal drops for King of Fighters XV, we haven’t heard all that much about actual gameplay or features. Well, good news – we finally have more details on how KoFXV actually plays, along with teases of old and new cast members!



https://youtube.com/watch?v=utssckRFBN4

Oh man, a 300-song SNK jukebox? That sounds amazing! Combo trials should provide YouTube personalities some content to get comically upset at in an entertaining fashion! And, of course, rollback netcode, which has done wonders to make Guilty Gear Strive the most talked-about fighting game of 2021.

It’s the roster that has some fans concerned, though. Only 39 characters will be in the game at launch, which is quite a reduction from KoFXIV‘s initial roster – and we can already see that some new characters are taking up those slots. Not everyone in the initial roster has been revealed yet, but fans are already speculating that some longtime favorites might be cut. A King of Fighters without Kensou? Without Daimon? Without Kim Kaphwan? King of Fighters XII got a lot of flack for its reduced roster size (remember “No Mai, no buy?”), so it’s weird to see another KoF shipping that also cuts out many longtime favorites. It’s likely some of them could be saved for DLC, as “hey here’s Kim for you” would certainly incentivize folks to open up their wallets.

Despite this, from what I’ve seen of the brand-new characters, I’m really liking them! Especially she-Shunei here:

Overall, KoFXIV looks like it’ll be a pretty solid entry in the series. Whether or not you dig the specific gameplay is up to you – my longtime Neo-Geo fan partner is pretty meh on what he’s been seeing – but it’s encouraging to see SNK really stepping things up with regards to presentation and functionality.

And boy, do some people still really hate Ash Crimson.




NINTENDO IS DOING THE THING AGAIN

What time is it? Oh, Nintendo shutting down fan projects time. You know, just the usual for Nintendo.

Nintendo first made news by sending a cease and desist to the creators of a Metroid Prime in 2D fan project. Not terribly surprising, given Nintendo‘s long track record of shutting these things down as soon as they get noticed. But then this happened:

Project+, for those unaware, is a patch for Project M, the long-running Super Smash Bros. Brawl mod, and Riptide is a very well-known set of Smash Bros tournaments. This turn of events is also not terribly surprising, as Nintendo has clashed with Smash Bros tournament organizers before about them running various unauthorized Smash Bros mods. However, that one-two punch of “taking down a fan game” and “pissing off Smash players yet again” turned into an explosion of hatred for a company seen as hostile to its fans – particularly in contrast to Sega, who turns a blind eye to things like the big yearly Sonic Amateur Games Expo.

Unfortunately for the #savesmash crowd, it’s pretty obvious by this point that Nintendo is very firm in their positions and does not want to budge. Don’t make fangames, and play Smash the way Sakurai intended – them’s the rules. This puts tournament organizers in a tough spot: fans want to play mods, but running tournaments with them will almost certainly raise Nintendo‘s ire.

Could some small-scale, grassroots efforts try to run unsponsored tournaments specifically for modded Smash? Probably, but even then, there’s the looming threat of Nintendo wanting to throw their weight around. It’s a lousy situation overall, but at this point, I think we just have to accept that this is what Nintendo does and either live with it or abandon playing their games. And I don’t know of anyone, especially in the Smash scene, who is prepared to do the latter.

ACTIVISION-BLIZZARD SHITSTORM UPDATE: OOPS WE “ACCIDENTALLY” DESTROYED RECORDS, BUT HEY, WE RENAMED THE COWBOY

Didn’t Activision publish that one Platinumgames Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game that everyone agrees was really disappointing? Well, it might be delisted from storefronts now, but Activision kept one part of it around – the Shredder! Ha ha haaaaaaaaa

Folks, this is what we call “gallows humor.”

Yes, once again, Activision-Blizzard has upped their “let’s be big ol’ shitbags” game. According to an amended complaint filed by the State of California – whose lawsuit brought the many allegations of abuse and power harassment at the conglomerate to light – Activision-Blizzard has worked to destroy damning evidence, and has also been extremely hostile to many of its contract-work staff as well. Some have speculated as to why they might be doing this:

But hey, what’s that? Hey! Look over there! It’s a cowboy! A newly-nameless Overwatch cowboy!

I noted a few weeks ago how Overwatch League casters were deliberately avoiding saying McCree’s name during commentary, but it looks like it’s official: cowboy named after employee accused of terrible abusive practices is getting a new moniker. How very convenient that this decision came out right after the news about documents getting trashed, huh? Almost as if they want quick and easy praise for “doing the right thing” after doing some very, very wrong things.

Seriously, screw these guys. I don’t want to play another Activision-Blizzard game again in my life.

GAMESCOM + BITSUMMIT ANNOUNCEMENTS AND OTHER NEWSBITS

  • April O’ Neil is a playable fighter in the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Return of the Shredder, which is looking better and better every time it’s shown.




    She’s also been announced as a character in Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, along with Catdog. 2021 is really turning into a good year for our plucky yellow-suited reporter, huh?

  • Tales of Luminaria, an all-new Tales mobile game, was announced at Gamescom with a trailer. This appears to be the first mobile Tales game to be 100% original, as it appears that the cast will consist entirely of new characters. Many previous mobile Tales offerings have relied heavily on bringing back characters from previous games in order to encourage gacha purchases, so it’ll be interesting to see how things work out for this.
    Actually, I wonder if it might not even be a gacha game? I mean, Fantasian’s been getting a lot of good press lately, and that’s not gacha-based at all. Hmmm. In any case, I’m interested in seeing where Bandai-Namco takes this one.



  • One of my favorite small developers, Onion Games, has opened Steam pages for two of their games: moon (which released on Switch) and the bizarre Flappy Bird-like Mon Amour. moon especially is one of those games I think everyone should play and form an opinion on, so please, do check it out when it debuts.
  • Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania is slowly but surely turning into some sort of bizarre Sega and Atlus All-Stars thing. First Sonic, then Kiryu, and now Persona 5’s Morgana are joining the fruit-fetching fiesta!




    But wait, there’s more! Upcoming DLC includes everyone’s favorite feline who has no mouth and cannot scream, Hello Kitty!




    Okay, that’s an addition that was kind of out of left field, but it looks like that’s still not the end of the DLC. The next character is… Suezo? From Monster Rancher? I… what? How did this happen




    I am so confused as to why Monkey Ball of all things is turning into a giant crossover. Given recent rumors that Toshihiro Nagoshi might be departing Sega, perhaps he’s trying to go out with a bang.

  • I’ve had a Cave-on-consoles kind of feeling lately. First off: ESPgaluda II on Switch has a trailer, and it will be out soon worldwide!



  • Secondly, the long-in-the-works Deathsmiles I+II compilation is nearing release! This set includes Deathsmiles, Deathsmiles Mega Death Label, Deathsmiles II, and Deathsmiles IIX. Even better, the package will contain an English text option out of the box for all of the games!
    Also, there’s a big DLC package in the works (included with the premium editions of the game) featuring the five heroines from my favorite Japanese-only gacha score-attack fest, Gothic wa Mahou Otome, which is set in the Deathsmiles universe. I’m sure nobody cares except for me, but dammit, I’m really hyped! (It would have been better if the DLC was the five demons instead, but still.)




  • Speaking of shooters, PlatinumGames’s Sol Cresta is releasing on December 9th! It’s currently being shown off at Japan’s indie-centric Bitsummit event. There will also be DLC featuring a narrated, fully voice-acted story written by Hideki Kamiya himself. No word on an English dub, though I doubt it’ll happen – this game is crazy niche and probably not worth the expense.



  • Also announced at Bitsummit: Luminous Avenger iX 2, the latest game in the Azure Striker Gunvolt universe. In addition Gunvolt 3 is due out in summer 2022. Man, I really have to get around to playing all of these someday…



Phew! Damn, that’s a lot of news stuff. I’m exhausted. Maybe I should play a game to wind down. Oh hey, No More Heroes 3 is out! I’ve been playing it, it’s super-fun and very much a Suda51 game. I’m doing some guides over at Gamespot, so if you’re interested in some ProTips from yours truly, take a peek over there over the next several days.

Anyway, you know the drill by this point. You got thoughts on the gaming news? You go to the forum below and type away. Yes! See you again soon, take it easy, and enjoy games!

This Week in Games – Botched Launches and Many Marvels

Animenewsnetwork - This Week in Games

Heya folks! What have you been up to this week, gaming-wise? I’ve been playing the hell out of several things for various work assignments, but there’s one game I wanted to make at least a little time for: World Flipper, a unique gacha-pinball hybrid mobile game packed with cute pixel art and lots of enemy-smashing action.

I played the Japanese release of World Flipper quite a bit after its launch a couple years ago, but after hearing that the game was finally being picked up for a global release, I set that version aside. On Wednesday, the global version of World Flipper finally launched, and… well, it’s been messy, to say the least. “Rerolling” (resetting your account to get a more ideal starting gacha roll) has been made much harder, server disconnects are frequent… and while parts of the localization are excellent, much of the system/UI text is a hot mess. (Why oh why do companies keep treating UI localization as less important?)

Some of the character splash art has also been edited a bit to be less suggestive, like Ahri here. This one is particularly funny in its ineptitude, as the edit now makes her look like she’s wearing assless chaps… which is even more inappropriate than a battle leotard.

Despite everything, though, World Flipper is a tremendously fun mobile game with surprising depth and a really cool and diverse cast of characters. I hope it keeps up its momentum in the same way games like Arknights has. Give it a try if you’re on the fence – though you may want to wait a couple days until the servers get better.

Anyhow, PAX West happened, but not a lot came from it, announcement-wise – I completely forgot it was even happening until someone on Twitter was like “hey, wasn’t PAX this weekend?” I don’t blame the showrunners and sponsors for keeping things low-key, given the current COVID surge in many places, but I’m still a little surprised at how it just came and went with so little fanfare.

Also, Sonic Colors Ultimate has been the talk of Twitter, but not for good reasons: numerous reports and footage of the game having launched in a stunningly buggy state are all around social media, with the Switch version taking the most flack.  (I’d normally put in a YouTube embed here showing the bugs, but some of the graphic issues might actually trigger seizures, so… no. Just search on YouTube or Twitter.) All versions of the game seem to suffer similar issues, which has led many to think that remake developers Blind Squirrel poorly used the free and open-source Godot engine when porting the game (and also forgot to include the necessary license documentation in-game, apparently!). I was all set to grab it on Switch, too. Hopefully things get patched very quickly, because this is not a good look.

But hey, there’s the PlayStation Showcase. Let’s take a look and see how that went.

PLAYSTATION SHOWCASE: DO YOU LIKE MARVEL, GUYS? DO YOU?!!!

Well, considering that this was mostly just a procession of trailers, I don’t know how much commentary I’ll be able to provide. But hey, in case you missed it, let’s look over what was shown! What was shown that fits in with this column’s general coverage area, anyhow.

So what was the theme of the presentation? Well there were three Marvel Comics games shown in some form. Rumors were swirling beforehand that Sony might be bringing back its original superhero franchise Infamous, but nope, they’re going all in on the licenses. Which might not be a bad thing.

First off, there’s a new trailer for Square-Enix and Eidos’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which we saw way too much of during E3. But have some more anyway.




If that’s not to your liking, well, how about a game from Insomniac about everyone’s favorite gruff, be-clawed X-Man?




Not much to go on here, but hey, Wolverine! It’s a game that will exist! Given how much everyone liked Insomniac’s Spider-man it’s probably in good hands. But speaking of Spider-man




That’s getting a sequel too! With Venom in it! Insomniac’s making that one, too, which means they must be extremely busy right now.

If that’s not enough mainstream, socially acceptable nerd material for you, here’s STAR WARS




A remake of the much-loved Knights of the Old Republic, to be precise. No real details or anything, because all they gotta say is “KOTOR Remake” to get fans salivating.

Other interesting stuff shown included Ghostwire Tokyo, which looks weirder and creepier and more interesting every time I see it. I’m personally looking forward to this one quite a bit.




Project EVE is a Korean-developed hack-n-slash action game from developer SHIFT-UP that looks extremely stylish and fun, taking obvious cues from Devil May Cry and Bayonetta. Hey, if you’re going to make a game in this vein, learn from the best. The artist and director behind this is famed illustrator Kim Hyung-Tae, which explains the wonderfully crazy fashion on the main heroine. It’s definitely on my radar.




Gran Turismo 7 has a release date. I am extremely not a car person so anything GT-related leaves me cold, but I’m sure there are folks out there losing their minds over this, and I’m glad they’re happy.




More stuff! Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, a spinoff of the Borderlands series! Now with Babymetal!




A remake of Alan Wake!




A collection of Uncharted games!




Vampire the Masquerade: Blood Hunt!




I think Tchia looks cute and charming, but I’m a big sucker for tropical settings and games that let you swim around with exotic fish.




Square-Enix‘s Forspoken, from their Luminous Productions studio. I’m warming up to this the more I see it. Launching in Spring of next year, supposedly, but I feel like announced release dates from Square-Enix are more of a suggestion these days.




And finally, the thing most of the audience was probably watching just to see, God of War: Ragnarok‘s first reveal. No release date for this one other than “2022,” so expect plenty more trailers between now and when it finally releases.




So yeah, kinda underwhelming presentation for me personally, but lots of folks I know found things there they are excited about, so overall I think the presentation went pretty well for Sony. Now if only people who wanted a PS5 could buy one…

YOKO TARO’S NEW THING IS A TRADITIONAL RPG, like, REALLY TRADITIONAL BUT ALSO NOT BECAUSE IT’S A YOKO TARO GAME

We’ve known that our good pal Yoko Taro has been working on something new at Square-Enix for a while now. I think we all assumed that it would be some sort of action/RPG-type game, as that’s what he’s most famous for, but this time he’s doing something very different. Very traditional. Very card-y. And, from the looks of the trailer, very Yoko Taro.




Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars is the title of this new card-driven (virtual) tabletop RPG. A lot of veteran staff from the NieR/Drakenverse is here, including character designer Kimihiko Fujisaka, Keiichi Okabe on music, and Yosuke Saito as producer. While there’s not a whole lot to go on from the trailer, the cards and the text contained upon them are clearly the focal point. According to the press release, the game contains “an enchanting story depicted completely by cards.” I don’t know about you, but I think that sounds rad as hell.

It’s also the kind of thing that Yoko Taro wouldn’t have been allowed to make if NieR:Automata hadn’t been a runaway success. I’m certainly glad that game’s given Taro the money and clout at Square-Enix to do weird experimental stuff like this. Hopefully more will be revealed soon!

ASSORTED NEWSBITS

  • It’s the Dreamcast Anniversary Day as I write this, and what better way to celebrate Sega‘s console legacy than with… uh, Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania DLC where you play as Sega consoles?




    I’d say “this game is getting really weird now” but that happened when playable Kiryu was announced a while back. Now put the Columns III cover guy in the game and we’ll have a game that encompasses peak Sega nerdery.

  • Konami‘s Edens Zero mobile game has opened up for pre-registration with an English launch later this year. Check the official site to see what you need to do to sign up. The That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime mobile game is taking pre-registrations for its English launch, as well. You usually get nice in-game goodies as a pre-registration bonus, so if you’re interested, I recommend taking the time to do so.
  • Prinny Presents NIS Classics Vol. 2 is headed to Switch and PC. This package includes the strategy game Makai Kingdom and a personal favorite of mine, the goofy roguelite
  • Onion Games is bringing more of their catalog to PS4 (and PS5 by extension), including the “no, seriously, this should be played by everyone who takes gaming as art seriously” adventure/RPG-deconstruction game moon and dark Fantasy Zone-esque shooter Black Bird. Please play them, they are fine games.

Okay! I think that’s everything I wanted to cover for this week. So, what was your favorite part of the PlayStation Showcase? Or was it some other news this week that sparked your interest? Discuss this week’s game industry developments in the forums with all your ANN buddies (and me) at the lovely link below. Have a good week, stay safe, and enjoy videogames!

This Week in Games – Botched Launches and Many Marvels

Animenewsnetwork - This Week in Games

Heya folks! What have you been up to this week, gaming-wise? I’ve been playing the hell out of several things for various work assignments, but there’s one game I wanted to make at least a little time for: World Flipper, a unique gacha-pinball hybrid mobile game packed with cute pixel art and lots of enemy-smashing action.

I played the Japanese release of World Flipper quite a bit after its launch a couple years ago, but after hearing that the game was finally being picked up for a global release, I set that version aside. On Wednesday, the global version of World Flipper finally launched, and… well, it’s been messy, to say the least. “Rerolling” (resetting your account to get a more ideal starting gacha roll) has been made much harder, server disconnects are frequent… and while parts of the localization are excellent, much of the system/UI text is a hot mess. (Why oh why do companies keep treating UI localization as less important?)

Some of the character splash art has also been edited a bit to be less suggestive, like Ahri here. This one is particularly funny in its ineptitude, as the edit now makes her look like she’s wearing assless chaps… which is even more inappropriate than a battle leotard.

Despite everything, though, World Flipper is a tremendously fun mobile game with surprising depth and a really cool and diverse cast of characters. I hope it keeps up its momentum in the same way games like Arknights has. Give it a try if you’re on the fence – though you may want to wait a couple days until the servers get better.

Anyhow, PAX West happened, but not a lot came from it, announcement-wise – I completely forgot it was even happening until someone on Twitter was like “hey, wasn’t PAX this weekend?” I don’t blame the showrunners and sponsors for keeping things low-key, given the current COVID surge in many places, but I’m still a little surprised at how it just came and went with so little fanfare.

Also, Sonic Colors Ultimate has been the talk of Twitter, but not for good reasons: numerous reports and footage of the game having launched in a stunningly buggy state are all around social media, with the Switch version taking the most flack.  (I’d normally put in a YouTube embed here showing the bugs, but some of the graphic issues might actually trigger seizures, so… no. Just search on YouTube or Twitter.) All versions of the game seem to suffer similar issues, which has led many to think that remake developers Blind Squirrel poorly used the free and open-source Godot engine when porting the game (and also forgot to include the necessary license documentation in-game, apparently!). I was all set to grab it on Switch, too. Hopefully things get patched very quickly, because this is not a good look.

But hey, there’s the PlayStation Showcase. Let’s take a look and see how that went.

PLAYSTATION SHOWCASE: DO YOU LIKE MARVEL, GUYS? DO YOU?!!!

Well, considering that this was mostly just a procession of trailers, I don’t know how much commentary I’ll be able to provide. But hey, in case you missed it, let’s look over what was shown! What was shown that fits in with this column’s general coverage area, anyhow.

So what was the theme of the presentation? Well there were three Marvel Comics games shown in some form. Rumors were swirling beforehand that Sony might be bringing back its original superhero franchise Infamous, but nope, they’re going all in on the licenses. Which might not be a bad thing.

First off, there’s a new trailer for Square-Enix and Eidos’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which we saw way too much of during E3. But have some more anyway.




If that’s not to your liking, well, how about a game from Insomniac about everyone’s favorite gruff, be-clawed X-Man?




Not much to go on here, but hey, Wolverine! It’s a game that will exist! Given how much everyone liked Insomniac’s Spider-man it’s probably in good hands. But speaking of Spider-man




That’s getting a sequel too! With Venom in it! Insomniac’s making that one, too, which means they must be extremely busy right now.

If that’s not enough mainstream, socially acceptable nerd material for you, here’s STAR WARS




A remake of the much-loved Knights of the Old Republic, to be precise. No real details or anything, because all they gotta say is “KOTOR Remake” to get fans salivating.

Other interesting stuff shown included Ghostwire Tokyo, which looks weirder and creepier and more interesting every time I see it. I’m personally looking forward to this one quite a bit.




Project EVE is a Korean-developed hack-n-slash action game from developer SHIFT-UP that looks extremely stylish and fun, taking obvious cues from Devil May Cry and Bayonetta. Hey, if you’re going to make a game in this vein, learn from the best. The artist and director behind this is famed illustrator Kim Hyung-Tae, which explains the wonderfully crazy fashion on the main heroine. It’s definitely on my radar.




Gran Turismo 7 has a release date. I am extremely not a car person so anything GT-related leaves me cold, but I’m sure there are folks out there losing their minds over this, and I’m glad they’re happy.




More stuff! Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, a spinoff of the Borderlands series! Now with Babymetal!




A remake of Alan Wake!




A collection of Uncharted games!




Vampire the Masquerade: Blood Hunt!




I think Tchia looks cute and charming, but I’m a big sucker for tropical settings and games that let you swim around with exotic fish.




Square-Enix‘s Forspoken, from their Luminous Productions studio. I’m warming up to this the more I see it. Launching in Spring of next year, supposedly, but I feel like announced release dates from Square-Enix are more of a suggestion these days.




And finally, the thing most of the audience was probably watching just to see, God of War: Ragnarok‘s first reveal. No release date for this one other than “2022,” so expect plenty more trailers between now and when it finally releases.




So yeah, kinda underwhelming presentation for me personally, but lots of folks I know found things there they are excited about, so overall I think the presentation went pretty well for Sony. Now if only people who wanted a PS5 could buy one…

YOKO TARO’S NEW THING IS A TRADITIONAL RPG, like, REALLY TRADITIONAL BUT ALSO NOT BECAUSE IT’S A YOKO TARO GAME

We’ve known that our good pal Yoko Taro has been working on something new at Square-Enix for a while now. I think we all assumed that it would be some sort of action/RPG-type game, as that’s what he’s most famous for, but this time he’s doing something very different. Very traditional. Very card-y. And, from the looks of the trailer, very Yoko Taro.




Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars is the title of this new card-driven (virtual) tabletop RPG. A lot of veteran staff from the NieR/Drakenverse is here, including character designer Kimihiko Fujisaka, Keiichi Okabe on music, and Yosuke Saito as producer. While there’s not a whole lot to go on from the trailer, the cards and the text contained upon them are clearly the focal point. According to the press release, the game contains “an enchanting story depicted completely by cards.” I don’t know about you, but I think that sounds rad as hell.

It’s also the kind of thing that Yoko Taro wouldn’t have been allowed to make if NieR:Automata hadn’t been a runaway success. I’m certainly glad that game’s given Taro the money and clout at Square-Enix to do weird experimental stuff like this. Hopefully more will be revealed soon!

ASSORTED NEWSBITS

  • It’s the Dreamcast Anniversary Day as I write this, and what better way to celebrate Sega‘s console legacy than with… uh, Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania DLC where you play as Sega consoles?




    I’d say “this game is getting really weird now” but that happened when playable Kiryu was announced a while back. Now put the Columns III cover guy in the game and we’ll have a game that encompasses peak Sega nerdery.

  • Konami‘s Edens Zero mobile game has opened up for pre-registration with an English launch later this year. Check the official site to see what you need to do to sign up. The That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime mobile game is taking pre-registrations for its English launch, as well. You usually get nice in-game goodies as a pre-registration bonus, so if you’re interested, I recommend taking the time to do so.
  • Prinny Presents NIS Classics Vol. 2 is headed to Switch and PC. This package includes the strategy game Makai Kingdom and a personal favorite of mine, the goofy roguelite
  • Onion Games is bringing more of their catalog to PS4 (and PS5 by extension), including the “no, seriously, this should be played by everyone who takes gaming as art seriously” adventure/RPG-deconstruction game moon and dark Fantasy Zone-esque shooter Black Bird. Please play them, they are fine games.

Okay! I think that’s everything I wanted to cover for this week. So, what was your favorite part of the PlayStation Showcase? Or was it some other news this week that sparked your interest? Discuss this week’s game industry developments in the forums with all your ANN buddies (and me) at the lovely link below. Have a good week, stay safe, and enjoy videogames!

This Week in Games – The Not Very Epic Conclusion

Animenewsnetwork - This Week in Games

Hey folks! By the time you read this, the internet will be on the cusp of going completely bonkers over Deltarune Chapter 2. It was announced on creator Toby Fox’s Undertale 6th anniversary stream that the game will be dropping at 8 PM EST today, so if you don’t want spoilers, you should probably know when to enact a personal social media blackout. It’s only on PC and Mac for now, but I’m sure other platforms will happen at some point.

So, what’s in the news this week? Well, we’ve got a resolution to the Epic vs. Apple lawsuit, a bunch of out-of-left-field retro remakes, some fighting game stuff, and a bit of a preview of this year’s Tokyo Game Show. Let’s dive right in!

EPIC VERSUS APPLE CONCLUDES, MANY LS WERE HELD

The gaming lawsuit that could determine the fate of gaming platforms is over. Kind of. So, who won? Well… it’s kinda weird, but ultimately, it’s the best outcome I could have hoped for. Basically, both Apple and Epic got the business end of the judge’s hammer, and the ultimate winner is likely to be consumers, who will now have the ability to bypass Apple’s app store for payments if they so choose.

But it’s a bit more complicated than that. Apple actually won on nine of the ten counts, with the judge declaring that they’re not a monopoly in the strictest definition. However, it’s that count they ruled for in Epic’s favor that’s the big one. Despite being declared not a monopoly, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers found that Apple was still engaging in anti-competitive behavior for not allowing developers to offer their own payment options, chaining them to App Store payments and their 30% cut.

In the judge’s words: “The Court does not find that Apple is an antitrust monopolist in the submarket for mobile gaming transactions… However, it does find that Apple’s conduct in enforcing anti-steering restrictions is anticompetitive.”

The court also found Epic at fault for breach of contract, since they pulled their little stunt to try and bypass App Store payments. So, despite giving Apple a good smacking over their App Store rules, the court said that Epic still owes Apple 30% of the money they made while they had their alternative VBucks purchase system running. Also, Epic’s developer account is still frozen and Fortnite isn’t coming back to the App Store until Apple says so (probably not anytime soon).

The responses are about what you’d expect: Apple is being smug about not being declared a monopoly while trying to avoid mentioning that they lost on perhaps the most important count, while Epic vows to appeal the lawsuit and CEO Tim Sweeney acts like a petulant child on Twitter.

As someone with no love lost for either of these companies, this ruling pleases me. Apple (and likely other similar storefronts like Google Play) can no longer tie developers to their payment systems and exorbitant fees, while Epic’s obnoxious theatrics about being the poor, abused dev who dared to take on big bad Apple were comically shot down. It’s hard to say if this is the end of everything – as I mentioned above, an appeal is practically guaranteed – but it’s nice to feel like both of these big companies got some of the punishment they deserve.

NIGHT SLASHERS RISES FROM THE GRAVE OF OBSCURITY

So this one’s waaaaaaay outta left field. Who here besides me is familiar with Data East’s arcade beat-em-up Night Slashers? Okay, a couple of you. So, for those unfamiliar, Night Slashers is a 1993 arcade-only brawler with some of the coolest designs and atmosphere the genre has ever seen. Think Alien vs. Predator but with classic horror monsters. Want to beat the crap out of legions of the monstrous undead with an American cyborg, a dandy British vampire hunter, and a female Chinese martial artist? Then Night Slashers is the game for you. The premise, memorable visual style, and general “just throw everything in and see if it works” attitude of developer Data East has won the game a cult following, though the quality of the actual gameplay is rather hotly debated among beat-em-up nerds.

Anyhow, love it or hate it, we’re about to get more Night Slashers, as a remake was just announced by… Forever Entertainment? Those guys again? Holy crap, just how many projects do they have going on right now? There’s this, the House of the Dead remakes, the Panzer Dragoon Zwei remake, a new Magical Drop game, some unannounced stuff for Square Enix… yeah, I’m a little concerned that they’re biting off more than they can chew, here. They did get some investment from Nintendo recently, so who knows, maybe they’re going to go on a big expansion and hiring spree.




Anyhow. Night Slashers is getting a remake! We know almost no details – though it’s probably safe to assume it’s headed for the Switch – and we’ll have to wait until Forever Entertainment releases more details… like with basically everything else they’ve announced. If you’re curious, you could certainly give the original a whirl while we wait for further news. Who knows, you might really dig it!

TWO NEW TAITO GAMES ARE COMING… FROM MICROIDS

Oh boy, Taito‘s in the news! I get to talk about one of my favorite subjects: Taito games!

Taito‘s been making a push to get back into the console/PC game market over the past few years, and it’s been going pretty well for them overall, thanks to a mix of internal and outsourced development. We have just received details of another of those outsourcing endeavors, as today the company announced that they have inked a deal with French publisher Microids to create two games based on existing Taito IP.

Now, as a dedicated Taitologist, I’m always a bit concerned when I hear that somebody else is handling their creations, especially if I haven’t heard of them before. I didn’t recognize Microids’ name, which alarmed me, so I did some research – and honestly, I feel a lot more confident that they’ll make something worthwhile after doing so. Microids is based out of France, and has actually been around since the mid-80s, going through a slew of name changes and owners over the years but still managing to keep a steady pace of releases. They’re most known for adventure games, particularly the Syberia and Oddworld series, but in recent times have expanded their offerings to publish casual, indie, and arcade-y experiences. The latter is what I’m most concerned about with regards to handling Taito IP. Looking at their catalog, they’re the ones that managed to get the long-in-development-hell Toki remake out. That’s certainly encouraging!

Anyhow, since the games themselves haven’t been announced, I’ll go out on a limb and guess that the game licenses Microids will be working with will be stuff that’s traditionally done well in Europe, like The NewZealand Story and Rastan Saga, rather than obscurities like Puchi Charat or Crime City. (If the licensed game got a bunch of conversions to microcomputers in the late 80s and early 90s, then you’ve already got a lead on that European nostalgia market.)

FIGHTING GAME NEWS ROUNDUP: OH NO, HE’S BACK

Oh no, did we really need Kukri back in King of Fighters XV? Reminder: This guy canonically set up all of  SNK Heroines for the sole purpose of being a creeper.




Also of note: Phantom Breaker Omnia has been delayed into 2022. Definitely the right call, seeing as how the segment of fighting game players who would be the most interested in Phantom Breaker are currently focusing their attention on the impending Melty Blood Type Lumina release. 2021 has been a big year for fighting games, so why risk being overshadowed?

NEWSBITS

  • Sega is teasing a new RPG announcement for TGS 2021. No word on if it’s a new IP or something classic dug up from the vaults, but man, could you imagine how many people will totally lose it if something Skies of Arcadia-related emerged?
  • Atelier Sophie 2 got leaked via the Australian ratings board. Some folks might be disappointed that we’re not getting more of Ryza and her thunder thighs, but jeez, give the girl some time to relax!
  • Former Gundam VS developer Byking announced that they’re reviving their original Magician’s Dead arcade IP as a PS4 game titled Magician’s Dead: Force of the Soul. A bit of odd timing for a new installment, seeing as how the original arcade game has been offline for almost three years now… still, I’m keen to see how it turns out.

And that, as they say, is a wrap for this week! How’s gaming going for all of you folks? Tales of Arise still keeping you busy, or are you more into Deathloop? Hard to believe that we’re already halfway through the month, and there’s still so much left to play! Looking to talk about your favorite games, announcements, and lawsuit results? We’ve got forums for that, so click on that handy link below to begin your journey into peer-to-peer interaction with your fellow ANN readers! Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll see you again next week!