Videogames, politics, science, all the important things in life.

Wallet Abuse Wednesday 7-28-10: The Summer of Suck Continues

Posted by nfinit on July 28, 2010

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Arc Rise Fantasia
Publisher:  Ignition Entertainment
Developer:  imageepoch
Platforms:  Nintendo WiiAdmittedly I don’t play them often anymore nor do I pay much attention to the scene, so I may well be talking about my ass, but it feels like at some point over the previous console generation JRPGs got really “poofy”.  What I mean by that is that at some point everyone started dressing like they were going to a goth loli convention or were being designed by the same people responsible for Rozen Maiden

For instance:
Tales of Symphonia

67919image1.jpg picture by bigredcoat
Crystal Chronicles
Final-Fantasy-Crystal-Chronicles--My-Life-as-a-Kin-5.jpg picture by bigredcoat
Luminous Arc
Luminous2_jacket1280.jpg picture by bigredcoat
Arc Rise Fantasia
untitled-51.jpg picture by bigredcoatY’know, poofy.

Which I suppose is about right, as Arc Rise Fantasia is as generic as a generic JRPG can possibly be, and most of it’s hopes pin on the fact that not very many games like it exist for the Wii and this is possibly the last JRPG release of note for the system until The Last Story, which won’t come out until sometime shortly before President Newt Gingrich’s first midterm election.

This would appear to be a risky foundation on which to build your hopes upon– after all, if you’re a JRPG fiend who happens to also only be a Wii-exclusive gamer is about as common as a Gran Tourismo addict who’s Wii-only.  Moreover, the supposed success of ARF leads to troubling questions about our own industry– if ARF can succeed on a recipe of exclusiveness and mediocrity, what does this mean for Kinect?

That said, ARF provides what promises to be Perfectly Acceptable Gaming provided you can ignore it’s “Jill-the-master-of-unlocking” level of voice acting, it’s mid-generation PS2-level graphics, the fact that it relies on the Classic Controller to play properly and oh this:

untitled-53.jpg picture by bigredcoat(on a wholly unrelated note, every time I see this game’s title I can’t help but read “Battle Fantasia”, which saddens me as I’m reminded that Battle Fantasia exists and I spent twelve American dollars on it instead of an equivalent amount of Woolite by which to inject directly into my eyeballs.)

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BlazBlue  Continuum Shift
Publisher:  Aksys Games
Developer:  Arc System Works
Platforms:  PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
BlazBlue continues it’s weird parallel-universe Street Fighter 4 track with a $40 pack of balance tweaks and new characters.I’ve never actually played BlazBlue outside of demo units, for the simple reason that it’s difficult for me to stay good at two games of the same genre at the same time– I’m pretty sure if I tried to keep up with BlazBlue I’d just pick the character that looks nearest to Chun Li and try to play her in the same way.  However, for $40 BlazBlue makes a compelling argument simply as a digital artbook of simply stunning 2d sprites, the likes of which we used to only get through Vanillaware games or when SNK updates King of Fighters.

As far as Continuum Shift goes, as near as I can tell you’re only really getting three new characters at launch, with the fourth to be released as DLC later, presumably for free.  I’m not a fan of fighting games releasing new characters as per-character downloads, after all everyone’s going to need these same characters to play against at some point.  That data already exists on your hard drive until you unlock it and I’m not sure that’s a good direction for the gaming industry to go in.  That said, it’s something we’re going to have to get used to, as console versions of Super Street Fighter Four will probably do the same thing with characters introduced in the arcade version.

BlazBlue and it’s like trouble me though, in that as more quality 1v1 arcade fighters are released the easier it becomes to talk myself into spending money on an arcade stick, and down that path only lies madness.  Madness and a growing, inescapable pit of debt to the Sanwa Denshi Corporation.

Clash of the Titans
Publisher:  Namco Bandai
Developer:  Game Republic
Platforms:  PlayStation 3, Xbox 360You remember Clash of the Titans, right?

clash3.jpg picture by bigredcoat
No, not that Clash of the Titans, although it’d probably have made for a better game.  This was the one that came out in April, lost something like 400 million dollars and was soon forgotten because hey, who the fuck asked for a new Clash of the Titans?

Still don’t remember it?  Right.  Liam Neeson dressed in tin foil and shouting about squids

Clash-of-the-Titans-Zeus-Perseus-Clip-24-3-10-kc.jpg picture by bigredcoat
That’s it!  Clearly you weren’t the only people who forgot about Clash of the Titans as Game Republic has only now remembered they were supposed to ship this flaming turd of a videogame to store shelves– the last time I remember a game being released so late from it’s movie counterpart was Wanted: Weapons of Fate, a game translation so poorly received that the parent company was dissolved, it’s offices burned to the ground and the development staff stripped naked and forced into the Swedish tundra.  Oh yeah.  This one’s bad.
untitled-54.jpg picture by bigredcoatMeanwhile, what the fuck happened to Game Republic?  We’re talking about a studio founded by the guy largely responsible for Street Fighter 2 and their last output has been this godforsaken thing an a PSN port of Settlers of Catan.  It’s possible that Okamoto lost so much money because of Folkore that he now owes the Japanese mafia an endless string of shovelware ports and party games.  We’ll know if this is true or not if it turns out Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom is actually a Team ICO kart racer.


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