I’m steadily approaching the 7th anniversary of this site’s quaint little existence, and with it over 7 full years of reviewing every game I played for a significant amount of time, amounting to something like 370 reviews in total, only 230 of which are still public. In that time, I have begun associating the very act of playing a game with the act of collecting my thoughts, writing the review, editing it with varying levels of thoroughness, gathering a sample of the hundreds of screenshots I took, and posting it onto this site where it likely will not garner any real attention, as the only things people come here for are my Press-Switch and Student Transfer reviews. Or rather my flowcharts. It has become such a big part of gaming for me that I honestly cannot ever see myself stopping, and even if I did, I would assuredly miss the sense of closure that penning a review provides. But enough about reviews. This is a rundown, so rundown some gaming news!
Or rather film news because the first trailer for the live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie was released, and it looks like the most delectable sort of awful. Sonic’s design makes him look like a fusion between the Sonic Boom iteration of the character and a random kid they kidnapped from the street, resulting in a very uncanny lifeform whose proportions look wrong on just about every level, not helped by a hyper-realistic aesthetic that only make it more obvious that he is, indeed, a cartoon character brought into real life. It is genuinely upsetting to see so much detailed CG work be put towards a design so clearly the compromise of executives analysts, focus tests, and artists, but the initial yuck factor has all but faded at this point, and I am instead patiently awaiting fetish artists to get their clammy hands on this weird mutant Sonic, because I know they are going to go hog wild over this freakazoid and his grubby little baby hands.
As for the film itself, the general plotline was well outlined with this trailer, centering around an eccentric robot making scientist being brought in by the US military to apprehend Sonic after he used his electrical powers, which he has now because shut up, and it will inevitably result in some high stakes battle that, based on the end of the trailer, will result in Sonic and Robotnik both being isekai’d to Sonic’s world, or part of Sonic’s world being transported here like it was in Sonic X. Oh, and Sonic befriends a police officer who he goes on a wacky adventure with through the rustic woodlands, a desert, and San Francisco, all while fighting against robots that… well, considering the designs seen in Sonic 2006 and Unleashed, look about right.
Watching the trailer a few times, I cannot say that the film strikes me as aggressively awful based on the curated snippets designed to make the film look as good as possible, and instead seems like a dumb idea that too much money was thrown towards, and will result in an enjoyable trash fire of a production. Yet inevitably hyperbole around its usefulness will assuredly persist as that is an easy way to garner attention, and some people are outlandishly angry about the design in a way that strikes me as… bizarre.
This is all a very cyclical routine at this point, and I am just waiting for everybody else to jump on the “golly gee, I cannot wait to see how bad this film is” bandwagon along with me, where we’ll eat chili dogs and roll around in our own feces (like hedgehogs) while Coolio’s discography plays on water damaged speakers. Oh, and Sonic’s design is going to be tweaked going forward, but due to the November release date, this is inevitably going to mean that animators will need to crunch like mad to fix this massive managerial mistake. Congratulations for echoing the game industry with this production!
Moving away awkward Evangelion references that only make sense to me, it was recently announced that instead of purchasing year-long exclusivity for games, Epic is now purchasing companies as a whole, and with the pickings being pretty slim after most independent AA or AAA game companies are either defunct or no longer independent they elected to purchase Rocket League developer Psyonix. This is only surprising in how long it took for Psyonix to be acquired, like I thought they were before this story broke, and shows Epic trying to get its mitts on a lucrative property under the assumption that it will remain evergreen, or at least relevant, for years to come. You know, like your DOTA, Minecraft, League of Legends, and Fortnite. For now, this means very little, but in a year or two I’m sure the effects of this acquisition, whether they be worthy of concern or celebration, will become plain to see. Oh, and the game will remain on Steam, unlike what some people were led to believe.
Speaking of events I thought already happened, for some reason my brain assumed that WayForward would have brought the Mighty Switch Force! series to the Switch shortly after launch, as the titles have roots in Nintendo hardware, and, well, Switch is literally in the name. But nay, that was once again my brain playing tricks on me, as it was only recently that the Mighty Switch Force! Collection was announced. Or rather a PEGI rating for the game was uncovered. Same difference at this point.
Said rating description revealed that the game is a compilation of Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition, Mighty Switch Force! 2, Mighty Switch Force! Hose It Down (the mobile spin-off of 2), and the PC-exclusive Mighty Switch Force! Academy, all for PS4, Xbox One, and Switch. While I only played the first one, and wasn’t a big fan of it, I am always glad to see WayForward things out, and seeing complete compilations like this come out. They’re pro-consumer, pro-preservation, and a good business practice in general. Also, I could have sworn that Academy had a stage builder prior to writing this post, but I guess my memory really is failing me today. Possibly because I have been cramming for comprehensive Master-level finals this last week
Though, that was far from the most eye-catching port ‘announcement’ that I came across this week, as Gaijin Entertainment announced that they are bringing Blades of Time to the Switch as a digital title on May 14th in what they are citing to be a remaster based on the PC version, but did not list any improvements. For those who forgot, or simply never knew, Blades of Time was a middling 2012 title that was truly only remarkable at launch due to how poorly Konami handled the marketing and distribution end of the project which, as the title’s original publisher, was kind of their job. I actually dabbled in its PC version several years ago for the sake of my own morbid curiosity, and it is a very plain action adventure game that wore its inspirations on its sleeves, boasts some nifty time manipulation ideas, but the lack of polish and immensely drab script encouraged me to drop it after a few hours. But hey, at least it will be available for more people to play and (hopefully) enjoy
I mean, just about everything released on the Switch seemed to have done fairly well, including Ubisoft’s side scrolling RPG Child of Light, an acclaimed title that had a successor teased a few months back, but the creative director of the first project more or less declared that the project is not going to happen, citing the core reason for it being how modern Ubisoft accepts projects. Or in other words, they don’t really want to invest resources into a project unless it is an open world live service sandboxes, online multiplayer service, or Just Dance.
It is an approach that I consider a bit foolish due to the value of a diverse portfolio, but I suppose the aforementioned series of projects also tend to offer more returns on Ubisoft’s investment, and while smaller more modestly budgeted projects could very well turn a modest profit, generally accepted business wisdom dictates that one should pursue the projects with the highest profit margin, as doing otherwise would be a wasted opportunity. While that is not what the consumer wants to hear, this is just how business operates, and it’s unlikely to change any time soon.
Anything else? Well, there were some announcements centered around Valve’s latest VR headset and new versions of the Oculus Rift, which I feel inclined to talk about, but I really do not want to. I have not tried VR, I do not care about any of the supposed benefits or competencies it boasts, I do not value the concept of immersion or escaping reality, at all, and I have not seen any VR game that I necessarily want to play for myself. It is something that I am more apathetic towards than anything else, and accordingly I will likely refrain from bringing the subject up in the future beyond a passing mention.
Header image is from The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, because finding appropriate headers is hard sometimes.