Seeing as how Nintendo will be unveiling a whole lot of information about the Switch next week, there really have not been that many announcements made this past week, or a lot that I consider to be worth discussing. Well, other than PC ports, which I will always go out of my way to talk about as it is something that pretty directly benefits me, as it increases the library of games I can play on my platform of choice for the past 3.5 years.
With the new year being fully in effect, it should unfortunately come as much of a surprise that certain licensed games have been delisted from digital storefronts. The titles affected by this were The Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2 along with every Activision published Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game. Including the Platinum games developed Mutants in Manhattan, which was released a mere eight months ago. While the quality of these titles is largely lacking, some games are now far harder to get, some DLC is now unavailable for purchase, and some games are no longer available to anyone but the people who own them. This is always a shame, and another reminder that something really should be done about modern game preservation.
Moving onto the next bit of news, this will require a bit of explaining. For those unaware, Falcom is a Japanese game developer who is best known for the Ys and Trails series. Both of which they licensed out toe Chinese game publisher Joyoland, who went onto create PC versions of several Falcom titles, including Ys Seven, Ys: Memories of Celceta, The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure, and The Legend of Heroes: Trails to Zero. All of which Joyoland put up on Steam Greenlight, with the intention to release these games in Chinese speaking markets, as Steam is becoming a more popular gaming platform in those markets.
Little else is known about this release, and I naturally have several questions about these releases. Will these ports be updated or patched, as I heard some not too great things about them? Will the XSEED English translation of the two Ys games be included in this release? Will XSEED translate these two Trails games for this release, seeing as how they lack an English version? I know in the back of my head that the answer to all of those questions is probably no, but the prospect of them all being a resounding yes is the stuff dreams are made of for me. Then again, I viewed the Steam database leak of 2015 as comparable to an E3 press conference due to the girth of PC ports of niche Japanese games that were revealed. Also, Joyoland actually announced an English PC version of Ys Seven 3.75 years ago. I forgot about that, but it is worth mentioning.
On the subject of games being rereleased by companies who inherited the rights to them, the 2008 DS base building strategy game, Lock’s Quest, has been rated for PS4, XBO, and PC in Germany. Which is as good as an official announcement of the game’s existence. This is likely the next game as part of Nordic THQ’s attempts to make the most out of the intellectual properties and games they purchased the rights to after THQ folded in early 2013, and I’m all for seeing a port of a very positively received DS game.
However, not everything can come to PC, which I also consider to be the platform where games are never truly delisted or gone. As was decisively stated by the PR manager of Atlus USA and Sega of America, neither Yakuza 0 or Persona 5 will be ported to platforms after launch, not to the PC, not to the NIntendo Switch. Though, why anybody would announce otherwise before either game comes out in the west is beyond me. Regardless, I would have never expected these games to leave Playstation consoles, regardless of what would make me happy. …Goodness how wonderful would it be to have the Persona games on PC?
That said, a port is never impossible, as I was recently reminded just a few hours before this post went live. I say this after learning that a group of incredibly dedicated game developers have been porting Sonic The Hedgehog (2006) to PC by using Unity as a backend. The very concept of this is ludicrous, especially considering that Xbox 360 emulation is still a fleeting fancy, but not only is it happening, it is playable… and it is a really shockingly good port. Game’s still rubbish though.