Next week is going to be a hectic one for me. I have finals, work, and, of course, surgery all scheduled, and am scattering to get everything done in time. And seeing as how the The Game Awards were held this past week, I’ve got a lot of news to get through.
Starting this week off, Capcom held a live stream celebrating the 30th anniversary for Mega Man and made a few announcements along with it, as one would expect. Firstly, as expected the two volumes of the Mega Man Legacy Collection will be making their way to the Nintendo Switch in spring 2018. Secondly, the eight mainline Mega Man X games will be released for PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC sometime in the foreseeable future. Thirdly, the next Mega Man game, and first original mainline project to be released since Mega Man Legends 3 was abruptly cancelled back in 2011 was announced to be none other than Mega Man 11.
For the most part, the game is what one would expect from a new mainline title based on its minute of show gameplay, capturing the same jump and shoot mentality the series is known for except now Mega Man’s body morphs as he uses his new powers, the the visual style is quite different. Gone are the 8-bit sprites that defined 80% of the prior entries, and in is an artstyle with detailed 2D backdrops and cel shaded 3D models that have a large amount of personality in their animations, excluding Mega Man himself, who also boasts a voice far too deep for his tiny robot boy body. I am not overly fond of the art style while in motion, but it sure as heck looks better than Mighty Number 9.
In other and far more bizarre news, Nintendo Wii games are coming to the Nvidia Shield in China. To back up, this is the end result of a collaboration between Chinese online video and media company, iQiyi, Nvidia, and Nintendo, the latter two of whom want to enter the Chinese game market, and view the best way to do so is to release a lower cost Android based console with a surprising number of available games already, but also ports of various Wii titles such as Super Mario Galaxy, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and Punch-Out!!. All of which will run at 1080p.
Looking deeper into the thread that hosted this news, it was clarified that these games will be running at 1080p, but other enhancements like antialiasing are not mentioned, and that this is a China specific deal, so these games will not be released for the Shield in other regions where Nintendo actually has a foothold. However, it is worth noting that the Switch and Shield share the Tegra X1 chipset, so porting these ports to the Switch should not be too difficult. Meaning that Nintendo may re-release select Wii games via the Virtual Console, whenever that’s up and running.
Moving onto The Game Awards proper, I only skimmed through the show as it was airing, and skipped through sections I was not interested in, which was a lot of them. What bits I did see featured some truly blatant advertisements that do little to legitimize this as an awards show. While I understand having trailers for Oculus, Nintendo, and Sony, some of the trailer and promotional choices just seemed baffling and simply a way for this show to get the funding it likely desperately needs to handle its extravagant presentation.
There were also a couple of plain old odd announcements or showcases tidbits, such as the announcement of a World War Z game from the developers of Inversion, long after the book and film of the same name lost whatever weight they held as zombies passed by like, well, the fad they were. Along with a bizarre PSA where Bethesda had Linda Carter talk about how they want to save single player games… which ended with them making a donation to the ESA, who are in the industry’s pocket.
Moving onto the game announcements that I care to mention, a new FromSoftware title was revealed with a barely moving image of what looks to be a torture apparatus possibly made of bone, along with a cryptic phrase, “Shadows Die Twice.” Which could be basically anything. It could be a new IP, it could be a sequel to Shadow Tower, which was a predecessor to the Souls series, or it could be a new Tenchu game for all we know. Yet people will assuredly speculate about it until it is properly revealed, because boy does FromSoftware have some rigorous fans these days.
In The Valley Of Gods was revealed as the next project from the developers of the critically acclaimed narrative driven game, Firewatch. The game centers around a pair of adventurous black lady explorers, travelling through Egyptian ruins in search of some form of archaeological discovery, while the two deal with their fairly complicated past, which may or may not involve a lesbian relationship. The game is curiously set in the 1920s, and contains a rather strong step forward compared to the more reserved and dialog driven presentation of Firewatch. It is a promising, if a bit vaguely defined title, that is not due out until 2019.
Fade to Silence is the latest game from Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back developer Black Forest games, and it takes the form of an early access survival horror game about a man stranded in the harsh winter wilderness that is also infested with eldritch horrors. It is a sound enough premise, and what was shown really does look like a massive step up for the smaller developer, but it does seem like yet another game about a gruff white man dad-type who is thrown into a bad situation that will be filled with a lot of pain, grunting, and stress. Good games have come from similar premises, such as the recent The Evil Within 2, but it really does not interest me on a conceptual level.
Several months ago, Platinum teased that they were bringing the first two Bayonetta games to the Switch via an peculiar tweet and also teased a third Bayonetta title via a series of awkward videos that played a clip from Bayonetta 1 three times. Well, those teases finally amounted to something, as it was announced that Bayonetta 2 will be brought to the Switch on February 18th, with Bayonetta 1 as a pack-in bonus. This announcement was followed one that confirmed the existence of Bayonetta 3 and confirmed that it is a Switch exclusive. While this announcement assuredly drew the ire from some, I am honestly more happy that this game is being made. Not because I am a fan of the series, but Platinum makes people I like happy, so I like it when they make the games they want.
Death Stranding continues to look like a perfect blend of utter nonsense and absolute unfiltered genius mixed together in a blend that could not be mistaken to be the brainchild of anyone else other than Hideo Kojima. It truly does feel that this is the boundless creative bastion that he has been wanting to explore for a decade now, unfettered by any franchise related obligations. I have no idea what sort of game it is or what it is really about, but I really want to know.
Those were the major announcements for me, though there were others. DLC for Breath of the Wild was revealed to include more information on the supporting cast featured throughout the game, along with introducing a motorcycle for Link to drive, the Master Cycle 0. Soul Calibur VI was announced after the series took an unexpected hiatus following V, but all I personally got from the trailer is that the game looks nice. Dreams was given a new trailer that makes the game look as vaguely defined as ever, but it seems to to be more of an evolution of the stage creator of LittleBigPlanet than anything else. And after being announced in 2013, the game will supposedly finally release in 2018.
I was expecting to hear about Devil May Cry V as part of this showing, but instead Capcom is apparently saving that announcement, and in the meantime announced that they will be bringing the Devil May Cry HD Collection to PC, PS4, and Xbox One on March 13th, 2018. Meaning that even more people will get to play one very dated and odd game, the game that really defined character action for a generation, and the supposedly horrendously terrible Devil May Cry 2.
Also, as a last gasp that came from the uneventful 2017 Playstation Experience, the beloved Playstation 1 classic Medievil is, like many other games of its era, getting a thorough HD remastering. Which was revealed via an incredibly vague teaser trailer that did now show off the game at all, so it is not clear if it is a full remake of the original, or the PSP remake, or how extensive this remake will be compared to something like the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. Still, it is Sony showing some love to a neglected series that has a fair share of fans, and I can certainly respect that.
That’s all for this week. Now I’m going to bed.