I’m going to keep this introduction brief, as I have a Zero Time Dilemma to solve, and I’d rather find the solution sooner than later. So… Yeah. Time for another week of video game news with only a handful of things I want to talk about.
So, here’s a rather interesting story to start things off with. Developer Trek Industries has been building and updating a space shooter by the name of Orion for the past few years, gradually building upon it and introducing more and more content. But it was recently removed from Steam, during the summer sale no less, by Activision, who issued a DMCA takedown as the game allegedly stole assets, namely gun models, from Call of Duty Black Ops 3. While this was initially passed over as another reason to poo-poo on Activision, research has indicated that Orion did actually contain assets, albeit modified, from the game in question. Around the same time, the head of Trek Industries, David Prassel, effectively lost their marbles and went from a rightfully peeved little guy into, well, a liar and thief from what it looked like.
After much confusion and senseless defending from what I assume to be a very stressed, confused, and irritated man, Prassel came forward and stated that they realized that some assets were stolen, and the 3D artists who supposedly are to blame have been fired after causing a PR nightmare. They realized that mistakes have been made, and the company has supposedly already removed all offensive content from the game. It is a reminder of how messy the games industry can truly be, especially when doing something like having almost every employee work remotely.
But since I couldn’t help but be curious, I noticed that there is a lot that’s… odd with Trek Industries. They effectively released the same basic game three times, with four different Orion games, one released every year, which sounds shady on several levels, as the prior games have pretty negative reviews. There’s also the weird message that the company puts forward on their website. “We will be extending our resources into generating advancements and awareness into additional sectors including Clean Energy, Artificial Intelligence and Natural Preservation.” What? They’re a game developer who had 17 employees earlier this week, how do you realistically assume that your company will grow to a point where you can develop proper artificial intelligence? You know what? I shouldn’t even bother asking.
Another batch of new Pokemon have been revealed for Sun and Moon, seven in fact, so I’m going to talk about them for three paragraphs. Tapu Koko is an Electric/Fairy Pokemon that serves as a guardian deity for its nearby area, and has a design that is very obviously inspired from Hawaiian culture with its distinctly designed shell. Charjabug is the evolution of Grubbin, and is a Bug/Electric Pokemon that looks like some sort of novelty eraser, but is actually a biological battery bug. Its evolved form of the same type, Vikavolt, a levitating insect with a very angular and pointy design with a very large set of face pincers that look like a railgun. They also use Charjabugs as additional battery packs, but drop them after using up all their juice.
Bruxish is a Water/Psychic type fish that looks like they were painted by a group of giddy young girls, and whose proper design looks positively villainous in a delightful way. They are also a predatory antisocial fish who scares all the other Water types away and use their psychic powers to incapacitate and detect prey. Drampa is a funky looking and Normal/Dragon Pokemon who looks like a Chinese cigarette mascot made to market tobacco to children. According to lore, they actually have very close ties to children, and will set someone ablaze with paralyzing dragon flames if they dare mistreat their favorite youngsters
Cutiefly is a Bug/Fairy type that looks like an arts and craft project by a six year old come to life, and lives up to its name by being a decently cute fly. Also they can detect auras, but otherwise, the only noteworthy thing about them is how they may receive a more interesting evolution. While Togedemaru is an Electric/Steel type (boy are there a lot of electric types on display here) who follows the trend of Plusle, Minun, Pachirisu, Emolga, and Dedenne as being this generation’s residential electric rodent, with this one being a chubby little ball who can summon spikes from their chubby little body. While the general color scheme on display is a little… flat, excluding Bruxish, who is the stand out of this lot, I’m actually pretty excited to see more of this generation, and with about four and a half months to go, I only hope that there are more than 72 new Pokemon this time. Yeah, I know there were Mega Evolutions as well, but Mega Evolutions were a mistake.
Onto the boring stuff that I’m talking about because it’s worth noting. It’s taken 200 years, but 2K Games has finally come open about their plans to release a Bioshock: The Collection, a remastering of Bioshock 1, Bioshock 2, and Bioshock Infinite, with all single player DLC included, and all of the multiplayer features removed from part 2. It will be interesting to see how people will reassess this series, as the original was heralded as a modern classic and one of the best games to begin off this generation, the sequel was pooped on, Minerva’s Den is probably the best Bioshock game in general, but nobody really paid attention to it, and Infinite was initially praised, but is now universally derided for some reason. The collection is coming to PS4, XBO, and PC (sans Infinite) on September 13th, 2016.
The Japanese online services for LittleBigPlanet are ending. This applies for the first two PS3 titles, the racing spin-off, the PSP title, and the Vita title, but not LittleBigPlanet 3, so I guess not all is lost… Regardless, the closing of any in-depth online service is always upsetting, but necessary due to the costs of maintaining servers and such. It’s why I avoid most games with online features. Thankfully, this is only for Japan, a country where I’m assuming the game was not very popular, and Sony has no plans to end these services in North America or Europe.
Also, Degica, the publisher of RPG Maker, games made in RPG Maker, and a collection of niche Japanese games, announced that they are creating a Visual Novel Maker, with plans to release it during autumn of this year. My interest in creating visual novels is well cemented, as I really enjoy writing stories, even though as of late my output for writing for my various novels and novellas has been needlessly slow, but I really like the idea of including a visual element alongside it. So I’m naturally curious how this fares as a toolset, or if I should just try to learn Ren’py instead, even though I wouldn’t do anything more intricate than branching paths.
Kay, I’m off to remaster a story. See ya later.