Rundown (5/06-5/12) The Glory of Employment!

Like with most of my breaks between semesters, I have been working full time, though full time might be a bit of a stretch here, since I have actually worked from home in the evening and worked on Saturday as well.  From writing checks, diagnosing PC problems, and setting up new PCs. According to my mother, this is the norm for most companies in my home country, where its full time employees are expected to try to better their employer even after normal hours of operation, in order to keep costs down for the employer and allow the employees to maintain their positions.  I am actually quite fond of it if I may be fully candid, but then again I also like the idea of employees living in company mandated dormitories and company towns.

After about a full year, Nintendo has finally unveiled their plans regarding the premium online service for the Switch, and they are about as bare bones as people should have probably expected them to be.  The service will allow for Online play with “compatible games”, grant subscribers access to 20 NES games with online multiplayer, take advantage of special sales, give them the ability to backup their saves via cloud storage (though not for every game), and allow them to use voice chat via the asinine online app for voice chat that everybody hated and nobody used.  It will cost $20 annually for a single account, and $35 for a family membership including up to 8 accounts.

Furthermore, it was discovered that the Virtual Console will not be returning to the Switch, though the PR representative responsible for delivering such news did not claim that classic games will not come to the system.  Personally, I think they will just start releasing higher priced bundles of many games in hopes of using that to draw more consumer revenue than any other normal re-release.  The massive success of the Classic Editions of the NES and SNES compared to the allegedly low sales of Virtual Console releases in the past could easily lead Nintendo to view such a prospect as the way to go for the future.  Which sucks like a bucket of ticks, but at least it makes me feel better about emulating everything, because it’s not like they profit off of second hand sales of decade old games..

With E3 still gearing up, it is unsurprising to see leaks spring from the hype machine just as it is going through its first few revolutions, and thanks to some prematurely added products on Walmart Canada’s website, quite a few previously unannounced titles were given retail listings.  These include expected or long rumored titles such as Dragon Quest Builders 2, LEGO DC Villains, a new Splinter Cell, and Borderlands 3.  Some more or less expected sequels in the form of Just Cause 4, Gears of War 5, and Forza Horizon 5.  Along with a genuine surprise in the form of a supposed sequel to the 2011 post-apocalyptic Id developed flop, Rage.  

None of these are really my thing, except for Dragon Quest that is, with the majority of them being more or less expected sequels that I would have anticipated, excluding Rage because, well, why would you make a sequel to an overhyped game that failed to earn a strong critical or commercial reception and lacks any sort of strong fan following?  Or, at least I was led to believe that it lacked any fan following. Regardless, this does leave me curious as to how these games will be handled come their inevitable E3 announcements.

Last year, there was something of an uproar over how Capcom was seemingly not going to release the updated version of Monster Hunter Generations for the Nintendo Switch outside of Japan, with the publisher saying how they wanted to focus on the upcoming Monster Hunter: World in international markets.  Well, now that Monster Hunter: World came out, and became a massive success, Capcom has decided, or has the resources, to release Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate for the Switch.  The game will be out on August 28th, and I’m sure that many people who wind up checking the game out will be a bit disappointed by the lack of quality of life improvements that were introduced in World, as is the nature of going back chronologically for involved minutia driven series such as these.

To close things off, I recently began going through several RPG Maker games that I have started reviewing this past week, and while I do express issues with the limitation of the engine in… every single one of those reviews, I want to say that I will always respect and admire approachable game making tools.  As such, I was quite intrigued when the makers of RPG Maker, Kadokawa, announced Pixel Game Maker MV, a simplified game engine that will allow people to create their own 2D action games, platformers, multiplayer games, or even pinball if you really wanted.  

I am certainly very open to the idea, and will very likely play a few games made in this new engine, but I feel as if it is coming out a few years too late.  It is 2018 and the “indie” bubble has burst, following the opening of the floodgates, and the absurd number of titles that are released on major storefronts on an annual basis.  Regardless, the engine will be available sometime this summer, and I look forward to seeing the quality of the games people can make with it, and the quirks that come with this particular engine… Wait, is that a 640 by 480 screenshot?  They are still using 3:4 aspect ration as the default? Goldarn!  Get with the times Kadokawa!

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