Rundown (2/09-2/15) The Review Conundrum

Wherein I discuss a personal predicament, the reprisal of an anguishing anthem, and… electronic component shortages. 

Throughout the 8 years I’ve been running this site, Nigma Box has transformed into this odd mishmash of things I like and like to make.  From semi-professional game reviews, short TG stories, TG novels, opinionated rundowns of video game news, and casually written personal essays.  But for most of my readership, this site is mostly a place to get information on Student Transfer and Press-Switch.  Two TG visual novels that I immensely adore (as if I need to preface that) and talk about whenever the scheduled opportunity arises.  

Because of this, I regularly feel as if I should expand into talking about other TG visual novels, which I have done in the past, as seen in my reviews of Gender Bender DNA Twister Extreme, Max’s Big Bust, Glory of the Self-Styled Diehard Girl, Highschool Possession, and Highschool Romance: Magi Trials.  But there are a number of other titles that have been brought to my attention.  Most of which tend to be these persistently updated Patreon supported personal passion projects that have new builds released on a very regular basis, and have their own burgeoning communities.  Games like Pact With A Witch, re:Dreamer, and a bunch of other ones that I only vaguely even know about.

I actually do want to cover more games like these, but I have personal reservations against covering something that is in active development and is clearly incomplete.  I like to play games when they are done, and while I do make exceptions for P-S and ST, that’s because they, by nature, will never be completed.  They’re both these expansive visual novel storytelling platforms without a clearly defined main route, and new content is only added to them on an annual-ish basis.  There is a clear time to signify when I should review these titles, and that simply does not exist for this bold new era of Patreon supported niche fetish games. I mean, unless the game is actually done and reaches a 1.0 state, but that might never happen.

Anyways, if any of you readers have any suggestions on how I approach this, or games you think I should cover, please leave a comment below.  But now that I’ve gone on a 300+ word tirade, let’s get into some video game news.


Anthem was subjected to an immensely negative reception when it launched in February of 2019, receiving subpar scores, drawing immense dire from the gaming community as a whole, and being subjected to several resounding post-launch blunders.  Bioware, the developer of this unfortunate title, remained largely quiet in the ensuing months, offering paltry content updates to this live service, and not fixing many fundamental issues, or offering a clear roadmap to improvements. Because of this, the game was forgotten, seemed to be neglected, and only now, coming up on the one-year anniversary title, has Bioware made their long-term plans clear.

Said plans involve putting the current version of Anthem on even more rudimentary life support than it’s already on, recycling what little existing content there is, and letting the game sit for several months.  In the meantime, the developers will work on a dramatic update that will supposedly reinvent much of the game, uprooting much of what has been established in an attempt to shape the game into something better.  While I do commend this type of dedication, I have to wonder if it is necessarily well placed. People do not like Anthem.  They do not like the world, characters, or much of anything about it beyond some of the core gameplay and certain character designs.  And because of the lack of value in Anthem as an IP, I cannot help but think that it would be best if Bioware and EA cut their losses, repurposed what they could, and began work on something else.


On a completely unrelated note that I am not even going to attempt to transition to gracefully, Sony has been quiet about the price of their latest system, and so has Microsoft, with both companies seemingly adopting this wait-and-see approach before listing the MSRP for the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X.  According to a recent Bloomberg report, the supposed reason for this secrecy, at least regarding the PS5, can be attributed to the rising costs in components such as DRAM and NAND flash memory, both of which are highly demanded by the smartphone industry.  This has caused the bill of materials for each unit to balloon to $450, necessitating that the console is sold at a higher price than the largely accepted $400 sweet spot, and most likely slapping the system with a $499.99 price tag.

At first, I assumed that the reason for this could also be attributed to how the Coronavirus has shut down sections of China or the tariffs imposed on Chinese goods entering the United States, but at least the former concern appears to be a non-issue.  Regardless, this higher price will likely turn many people off, but these consoles seem to be poised for another prolonged generation with a slow start, so perhaps waiting a year or two before jumping into the next generation isn’t the worst thing. Yes, the news side of the industry likes to leap forward whenever new hardware is available, but that is because it is new, garners more attention, and helps keep relationships with hardware manufacturers on the positive side. Oh, and surprising nobody, a new version of Playstation VR is apparently in development.

Now then, I just finished working a couple 10+ hour days in a row and need to work on Nigma Box stuff.  So until next time, see ya.

Header image comes from re:Dreamer.

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