Wherein I discuss international gunslinging, the unseen side of Midgar, and a reborn oddity.
In my post, Natalie Rambles About 2019, I, as one would expect, rambled on and on about the events and happenings of the aforementioned year, but as I did so, I failed to make a note of how it also marked the end of a decade, nor did I look back on said decade. This was mostly because I already had a plethora of things I wanted to discuss in great detail. But now that 2020 is well underway, I’ve been thinking back on the 2010s decade, which contained the bulk of my formative years. From finishing high school, getting a Master’s degree in Accounting, undergoing my gender transition, starting Nigma Box, or writing 5 novels, 8 novellas, and nearly 400 game reviews (about half of which are not publicly available).
I did a lot that was productive, a lot that wasn’t, but it has shaped the person who I am today and will be going forward in the future. An individual who attempts to be polite, kind, and generally courteous, but is also a bit of a pervert who regularly engages with, and produces deviant and indecent content. While I try to say that I do so from a more analytical perspective, I know that’s not entirely true. I love messed up things, I like the dark and twisted, and I relish in creating content like that. And while I should ideally, or theoretically, be growing out of this type of content as I grow older, I’m instead a 25-year-old writing stories chock full of rape, incest, and pedophiles. Or at least that’s my itinerary for Randoms in Q1.
Anyhow, what did the faeries of the games industry bring for me to usher in this brave new decade? Well, Square Enix made a passing reference to how the popular arcade series, Gunslinger Stratos, a sci-fi third-person-shooter that is typically played using elaborate gun peripherals and is supposedly quite good, shall be making its global debut as it clips its way to consoles and PC with its next entry. A news story that I got really excited about for a moment, only to realize that I forgot why precisely the series was so acclaimed and then began to lose interest in this notion, as it just means that an anime shooter is going to hit the market in the relative future.
Instead, I found myself more intrigued by the fact that a demo for the Final Fantasy VII Remake was leaked to the public, and subsequentially datamined, revealing a number of details about the full game… meaning the first part of the remake— the one coming out in 2020. These details included assorted additions and alterations to the storyline, unseen content that is presented in an incomplete form, and information that implies that there will be a PC version of the game, much to nobody’s surprise. As of now, the demo has yet to be publicly released, but I think this goes to show just how damning the prospect of releasing a demo is in 2020, as people will inevitably wind some way to get into the game, break it apart, and share information on it before release. Which is something that no company really wants, and warrants the question of whether or not demos should even continue being made. I mean, they’re pro-consumer, but they just seem like more trouble than they’re worth most of the time.
Just like fan games! They are admirable efforts and a true form of flattery afforded to developers, showing an incredible amount of reverence and love for the source material, but they’re also not a very viable avenue for developers who want their games to exist, let alone sell. Now, some fan games can be successful, such as Sonic Robo Blast 2 and Another Metroid 2 Remake, which have garnered a great deal of attention from wider communities, but there have been myriad examples of projects that have been subjected to DMCAs, delistings, and legal action, preventing these games from ever seeing the light of day.
It really does not make a lot of sense for talented people to work on such things nowadays when a team could make an obvious homage to an existing property, release it as their own product, and relish in their own creativity, rather than co-opting something owned by another company. Which, incidentally, is exactly what happened to what was once known as the Mother 4 fan game, but has recently been retitled Oddity. A quirky little JRPG that wears its influences proudly, mimicking the art style and aesthetic sensibilities of the series quite nicely, while clearly having its own distinct tone, style, and inspirations beyond the Mother series. Currently, no release date has been given for this project, but it’s a pretty safe bet that Oddity will launch on PC, Mac, and Linux before Mother 3 ever launches outside of Japan… which I seriously don’t see ever happening at this point, and it’s probably all because of the prominent non-binary characters seen throughout the game.