Rundown (9/17-9/23) Natalie Plays Handhelds Wrong!

It just occurred to me that I do not play handhelds like most normal people do.  From what I can gather, most people tend to play handheld game systems while they are raised to the middle of their chest, and bend their head down slightly while doing so, but are also prone to just playing them while in bed, or laying down on the couch or some such thing.  Whereas I find both of those to be uncomfortable positions, and instead always play handheld games with the handheld placed near by lap or with my arms resting on a desk while I play, similar to how I play games with a controller.  And I have been doing this since I got my GameBoy Advance back in second grade.

Starting with a follow-up, after being leaked due to a misplaced banner, Dragon’s Crown Pro has been officially revealed as a higher resolution port of the original that will surprisingly be compatible with its PS3 and Vita predecessors via the mostly forgotten Cross-Play feature.  The game will also supposedly feature other minor improvements, but if the announcement trailer is any indication, it will be a mostly visual update.  Also, part of me is really hoping that this will wind up being the first Vanillaware title on PC, because it has been so many years since the company showed interest in the platform.

As part of an announcement unrelated to TGS, Inti Creates have announced their next installment in the, likely lucrative, Gal*Gun series, which will be termed a proper sequel, despite being the fourth game in the series after the seventh generation original that was never localized, last year’s Double Peace, and Gal*Gun VR.  Anyways, despite being the first numbered sequel, Gal*Gun 2 looks to be much the same, which is to say, an eccentric rail shooter about cute anime girls being thrust into lewd situations, because that is an easy way to make a quick profit off of a niche market.  The game is due out for PS4, Switch, and likely PC, sometime next year.

In a surprising move, Konami actually had something to announce at the showing, and even more surprising, it actually sounds quite promising.  Zone of the Enders: 2nd Runner – MARS is a remastered version of the classic Hideo Kojima directed PS2 title that will bring with remastered visuals, 4K Resolutions, and, most surprising of all, VR support.  It is a bit odd how the first title in the series is seemingly being left out, with not even with a simple visually updated port, but this is a legitimately cool and fanservicey thing for Konami to do, while also profiting off of the work of an employee whose departure ruined the company in the eyes of many..  The game is being developed by Konami and CyGames and will be out next year for PS4 and PC.

In another surprising move, but in the worse way, D3 Publisher announced a new spin-off title in the Earth Defense Force series, despite the fifth title not even being out yet.  The game, Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain, will be developed by Yuke’s, best known for their work on wrestling games and the Aki engine, and will be a far more serious and gritty version of the pulpy and chaotic series.  An idea that makes me tilt my head and wonder if this Bandai Namco subsidiary knows what the heck they are doing with this IP.  Especially since the gritty take on this or that series normally results in an underwhelming product in almost every regard.  The game is set to release for PS4 in 2018.

Square Enix also had a pair of announcements, first by announcing that the long dormant Front Mission series is back, sorta.  Left Alive is a “survival action shooter” set in the world of the beloved mech series, except it centers around three protagonists and takes place at least partially in a war torn city.  It is an interesting if unorthodox way to continue a series of, mostly tactical RPGs, but with a team led by some accomplished developers, something good could come of this game when it is released next year for PS4 and Steam.

In more uplifting news, Square Enix is currently hiring staff for a Nier related project, mostly people to help the Yoko Taro with scenario production.  News that directly means that another Neir title must be in development after the surprising success of Neir: Automata.  In fact, in the publisher’s recent annual report, they claimed that Neir: Automata did so well, selling over 2 million units globally, that Square Enix believes that the franchise has significant potential.  I just hope that means that Square Enix is not expecting too much of what is and will remain a very niche series.

After going on about how underwhelming Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were as Crystal/Emerald/Platinum styled third versions of Sun and Moon, a new trailer for the games was finally revealed to make the iterative installments seem more worthwhile.  Showing off minor changes that will be coming to the various Island Trails, implying some differences being made to the character of Lillie, who was a rather minor character throughout Sun and Moon, revealing that a scattering of new Pokemon will be added to the region, an intricate photography sub-game, and the ability to surf across islands on a Mantine.  Because for a game set on a bunch of islands, there was a distinct lack of surfing before.  It is still minor stuff, but hopefully it, and various other surprises, will make this game worthwhile when it releases 364 days after the original title.  Just like Final Fantasy II.  

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