Rundown (9/24-9/30) A 13-Year-Old Dream Lives On!

I believe that I have talked about how back when I was around the ages of 12 – 14, I was a big fan of a lot of Newgrounds flash animations, amateur made cartoons that often took the form of video game parodies, and provided one of my friends and I with countless hours of enjoyment.  One of my favorite series from back then was TTA or TVTome Adventures, a story driven and incredibly ambitious series centered around a convoluted anime-esque story about people playing a virtual reality MMO based loosely on the online interactions of a bunch of teenagers.  It was a 73.5 episode saga created primarily by one person, Chris Niosi, throughout his high school years, along with other various flash cartoons.  

After the series was abandoned, as it was originally going to be 100 episodes, Niosi sought to reboot the series but remove a lot of the more nebulous elements of it, and not make it using poorly edited video game character sprites.  This was TOME: Terrain of Magical Expertise, a 15 episode series that matured and developed the original story of TTA into something legitimately good, opposed to its cringeworthy original incarnation.  I bring all of this up because a Kickstarter for a turn based RPG based on TOME recently went live.  After knowing that TTA was originally meant to be a game, and after being so nostalgic for the series as a whole, I honestly could not justify not backing it.  Plus, it has an affordable tier where backers can insert their OCs into the game, which I absolutely could not say no to.  I’ll finally be able to insert my Mary Sue edgelord OC of Abigale Quinlan into a game.  Hau~

So, the first story I had lined up this week was about the PC port of the magical dancing girls RPG, Blue Reflection, which was being handled by Koei Tecmo.  Shortly before the game’s release, a representative of the company announced that the PC version contained 720p art assets comparable to those found in the Vita version of the game, opposed to assets from the PS4 version.  However, that was a communication, and likely translation, error that nevertheless had a representative say that “we hope you will accept this” in response to a needless graphical downgrade.  The actual port is missing several features seen in the PS4 Pro version, which is still baffling until one recalls how this is a Koei Tecmo PC port and Koei Tecmo does lacking PC ports.  As PC port master Durante put it, “Koei-Tecmo, this is why you fail”.

As is becoming an unfortunate trend, more and more online storefronts for game consoles have been shutting down as of late, and it is no surprise that the Wii Shop Channel is next on the hit list.  With the storefront closing on January 31st, 2019.  After serving as a cute first attempt at an online store by Nintendo, the service hosted loads of interesting WiiWare titles and the most exhaustive collection of retro games outside of an emulator with the Virtual Console.  However, because server costs are still a thing, a closure is necessary.  Thankfully, the Wii is lucky enough to have a good emulator with Dolphin, which means that even if the games are not available for purchase, they can still be played rather easily.  Though, I do hope Nintendo reuses the Wii Shop Channel theme…

Following the release of Agents of Mayhem, an underwhelming title that fared poorly both critically and commercially, and for some reason was put out despite seeming rather bereft of content and polish, I was half expected to hear about a wave of layoffs at the developer, Volition, and that is exactly what happened.  With 30 of the staff of 200 being let go.  This is a due procedure and likely necessary after such an underwhelming title, and I am honestly now worried about what this means for the future of Volition, the developer responsible for 2 of my… top 25 favorite games of all time, and the Saints Row series.  Honestly, I’m just hoping that this was a quick side project done mostly by new staff, as Volition expanded after Saints Row IV, and that the fifth Saints Row game is on its way.  

After being weirdly revealed a few months ago Atari, or at least the company who owns the name Atari, finally revealed additional details on their upcoming Atartibox console.  Basically, the system will be a Linux based $250-300 game system that will have a nostalgic branding, slick design, and will likely be able to run Steam in some capacity.  Or at least I would hope so, because no actual games have been shown for this system, in a very worrying move.  However, the most worrisome aspect is how Atari intends on both launching the system early next year, and intends on holding an Indiegogo campaign for this new system… which is incredibly bizarre on many levels.  

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