…I really hope Nintendo’s virtual console service for the Nintendo Switch is better than the dreck I’m dreading it to be. That is, what it has been in the past, with perhaps some nebulous and obnoxious downside that people expect from the company in the same way they expect a retarded child to make a scene whenever they are taken out anywhere. Just dump all the ROMs you have from prior systems on the service, make them cost very little, and make them all run well with modern emulator sensibilities. I mean, people can get all the SNES games on their phones in about an hour, and that needs to be considered when devising a service like this. Also, make Wii games available for sale, because the Joy-Cons can totally emulate the Wii Remote and nunchuk.
I don’t really bring it up too often, but I am actually quite a fan of the Saints Row series. Well, at least most of the games… some of them… two of them. Point is, I like 2 and IV enough to care possibly a bit too much about the franchises as a whole, and by extension its developers Volition, so I’m naturally quite curious about Agents of Mayhem, an upcoming title of theirs that was given some additional gameplay footage and coverage this past week. From what was shown, the game is more of a third person shooter with a side focus on open world shenanigans that is primarily built around switching between a group of three characters to best approach various situations. Unfortunately, I’m kind of worried about what was shown.
The focus on established characters sounds acceptable, except the bulk of those who were shown all look very archetypical in their design and stereotypical in their personality, while the world looks like a pretty standard future city, and the humor does not seem to grasp the same level of humor that the Saints Row titles offered. I still hope the game will succeed in being the zany open world adventure that I crave, especially seeing as how this is actually the only upcoming western developed AAA title I am interested in. I guess I’ll finally see on August 15th, 2017 when the game comes out.
Following a deluge of negative criticism and feedback towards Mass Effect Andromeda, Electronic Arts and Bioware have announced their update roadmap for the game, which includes various patches meant to alter the animations, fix the countless bugs, and even alter some conversations. All of which sound good, yet I truly do worry if it is even worth it, given how much disdain already exists towards the franchise, and this game in particular. I believe the series is eternally linked with negative receptions and rantings, to the point where it will literally never be able to recover, and probably should have been euthanized after the release of Mass Effect 3: Citadel. Which I say as somebody who considers Mass Effect 2 and 3 as some of her favorite games of all time.
Speaking of EA, the company has recently announced their plans to increase their workforce in Montreal by 500 people over the course of the next ten years. Showing that the company intends to repopulate their workforce after having closed down so many studios over the past decade, and that Montreal is still a hotbed for game developers. What with its 30-37.5% tax credit on labor costs for game developers, which are the biggest cost unless you’re doing it wrong. Actually, that number might explain why Mass Effect Andromeda only had an alleged budget of 40 million. It was developed at Bioware Montreal… and EA Romania, where labor costs are far cheaper.
After about a year of sitting on their hands and trying to twiddle their thumbs with numb hands, Microsoft has finally revealed some details about Project Scorpio, their enhanced version of the Xbox One. While the system itself was not shown, its high end specs were revealed, and some specifics were shared. Like how it will play certain games at higher resolutions, remove stuttering, improve texture filtering, and shorten load times. All of which will apply to both Xbox One and Xbox 360 games. This is ultimately good news, but with Xbox One sales being roughly half compared to the PS4, and the library of games being notably less robust, I wonder if Project Scorpio is really the best direction for Xbox division. Simply because, while performance is important, it is not that important to the mass market of game buying consumers.
Okay, that’s about enough mainstream news for me, onto the niche stuff. With Persona 5 having come out this week, people were overjoyed to have finally gotten the sequel they’ve been waiting a better part of a decade for. However, Atlus was very worried and concerned over the discourse that would be around their game, and expressed the utmost concern over spoilers, to the point where they are issuing content ID claims against anyone who shares footage of the game past July 7th. On one hand, I understand. On the other, no. You don’t get the right to state what people do with your products after they purchase them, and everybody who is spoiling the game indiscriminately is completely justified in your actions, because both your actions and reasoning are bad. The lovely Jim Sterling actually did a video on the subject, and as per usual, I pretty much agree with everything he has to say.
XSEED has made two announcements for the Legend of Heroes series, which is admittedly referred to as Trails or Kiseki more based on my experience. Anyways, the long awaited Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd will be releasing on May 3rd for PC across the three big distribution platforms. A move that reminds me how I dropped the original Trials in the Sky early on for how unremarkable I found it in spite of its blatantly apparent quality. It was amazingly average, and I could not justify playing it for much longer than the 8 hours I did years ago.
As such, the announcement that excited me more was hearing that Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is coming to PC sometime this summer, with its sequel arriving eventually afterwards. This is pegged to be the definitive version of the game with approximately 50% more English voice over dialog and the sort of features one would expect to see from a quality PC port. It’s certainly going on my list of games to check out eventually, though being the cheapskate that I am, that does not mean I’ll be reviewing it any time soon.