Over the past week, I’ve been finishing up God Eater Resurrection, which I reviewed last year, and while I ultimately enjoyed the game over the 100 hours I have now invested into it, it becomes completely absurd after a point, with the game asking a lot of the player while explaining very little, simply presenting a series of mechanics to the player without much in the way of guidance or explanation of what the best strategy is, instead hiding behind the veneer or player freedom. It is a game that had be confused as to how to play it eighty hours in, and even as I am in the endgame content, it still baffles me with some of its challenges. I honestly hope things are better with its sequel, which I should be reviewing sometime this year.
After being insubstantially announced last year, Koei Tecmo have provided details on Dynasty Warriors 9. The game supposedly is a reinvention of the prior titles, one built more around open world exploration rather than a exploring maps through a series of themed levels, and with a new combo system so gameplay doesn’t consist of pressing the X-X-X and the Y-Y-Y until your combo meter becomes inflated to 1,000 hits. While I am not familiar with the series, with my closest experience being with Sengoku Basara: Samurai Warriors, I have been wanting to try it out for a while, and even though I am dubious towards the prevalence of open world titles, I am admittedly interested in seeing how this plays out.
Continuing the saga of Square Enix and baffling decisions, or rather the saga of Square Enix, the company has “withdrawn” IO Interactive, developers of the Hitman series, and is looking for potential investors to sell the company to. This is surely a result of last year’s Hitman reboot, which was an episodic title that was updated throughout the year with new missions, maps, and timed content that was only available to those who bought the game early, and remembered to play it at set intervals. All of which were dubious business decisions that soured what was, from what I heard, a very fine game that captured the essence of its series nicely. Due to the aforementioned reasons, along with the confusing release pattern that began with a lacking launch, Hitman 2016 likely did not perform how Square Enix was expecting.
Now, I could go on about how this is all Square Enix’s fault, as they decided to make Hitman 2016 an episodic title at the last minute, and how many of their practices are omens of deplorable practices, but I do need to give them some credit here. They did not do what most other AAA game publishers like to do and close down the studio. They are actually trying to sell them, and are letting them retain the Hitman IP. It is sad that I view that as a positive, but welcome to video games. It’s all fun and games on the surface, but there is some major rubbish that people have become accustomed to.
According to multiple sources who spoke with gaming site Kotaku, following the release of Mass Effect Andromeda and what could be charitably described as a mixed reception, EA has decided to put the Mass Effect series on hold for the time being and to downscale Bioware Montreal into a support studio. The once populated studio is now significantly smaller, with many of its employees being relocated to EA Motive in order to work on the single player campaign of EA’s Star Wars Battlefront II. While those who are still at Bioware Montreal are now serving as a support studio for projects by other Bioware titles or are working on patching Andromeda.
This is an understandable state of affairs, and the most interesting bit of news here is, of course, how Mass Effect is on hold, which means that it may never come back, seeing as how diluted the brand has become after putting out two games are charitably received as a wasp bite. And if it is? That would be fine. I love Mass Effect 2 and 3, I would even say they are among my favorite games of all time, but I am perfectly content with them never receiving a quality successor. In fact, I would vastly prefer that over another problem riddled entry in the series.
Shifting away to the opposite side of the industry, the creators of Parappa The Rapper and Gitaroo Man, NanaOn-Sha and iNiS have announced a collaboration by the name of Project Rap Ribbit, a rhythm-action game that little to no details were provided for aside from a teaser image and a nice background track included in the announcement video. Based simply on these however, I am excited to download the soundtrack of this game and check out a full playthrough, because goodness knows I cannot play rhythm games to save my life. I mean, that’s what I’ve been doing with the Parappa The Rapper games over the past few weeks.
By the way, and this is a completely unrelated tangent, Parappa The Rapper 1 is an incredibly obtuse and unreliable rhythm game that becomes insanely difficult after a while, and left me with my mouth agape based on some of the nonsense it pulled later on. Parappa The Rapper 2, meanwhile, manages to really miss the point of the original with a truly insane storyline that boggles my mind in a bad way, while failing to understand what made the original a cute yet simple love story about a boy trying to grow into a man through the medium of rapping with a cast of colorful and memorable characters. It also features really unwanted shading that makes many characters look far less cute than the flat coloring of the original. Regardless, the soundtracks to both of them, and Um Jammer Lammy, are pretty dope.
Nestling into the near weekly news on PC reports, Sega has announced that, after numerous teases as subtle as a giant pink dump truck, that Vanquish is indeed coming to PC via Steam, and will be released on May 25th. This is good news for all of the supporters of the 2010 action shooter, for those who did not play the game at launch, for Platinum Games, who is likely still reorganizing themself after two projects ended over the past few months, and for Sega, who will hopefully view the likely success as this game as justification for further PC ports of many of their beloved titles.
On the other end of the spectrum, SNK has announced that they are bringing King of Fighters XIV to PC via Steam, when I actually thought the game was already on the platform considering how XIII had a successful PC version. I’d say more, but much like with rhythm games, my interest infighters is limited due to my fairly poor reflexes and ability to enter inputs properly. It is probably related to my autism, but I’ll talk more about that in the review I have scheduled for Wednesday.