Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Have to Do News

Even though I could go on and on and on about my Vita and how I got Dynasty Warriors Next today and played it and spent entirely too much money also buying the starter kit from GameStop that includes a cleaning cloth, card case for eight games and two memory sticks, a slip-case for the Vita, ear buds that I will never use and screen protectors, I shouldn't.  To cement that fact, I want to do one of these mish-mashy 'here's a few news stories' posts because 1.) Not only is there not a whole lot of news (imagine that!) but, 2.) I need to catch up on posting things that aren't, roughly translated OHMYGODTHEVITAEEEEEEEEE!".  Roughly.  Very roughly.  So throwing down a few things to contemplate will likely help, even if they're just little bits of news.

The above image is a picture tweeted by Hideo Kojima himself to confirm to everyone that, much like with the MGS HD Collection that had Metal Gear Solid 3:  Subsistence, the version of Zone of the Enders 2 included in the ZoE HD Collection will be the "Special Edition" that never saw release in the states.  The Special Edition apparently saw the addition of extra difficulty options (I imagine one is the "European Extreme" equivalent), some more cutscenes and story, and some more missions to play.  The only downside to this that I can foresee is the possibility of having to -play- Zone of the Enders on a really really hard difficulty to appease the trophy gods which I really wouldn't look forward to.  At the same time, there is no other occasion where I would -not- look forward to playing Zone of the Enders 1 and/or 2 (Especially on my Vita, sorry, had to do that one) so more game is much more appreciated.

Some more information on this all would be nice, like when we can expect to buy and play the game for instance, but any news is good news.  Some stylish giant robot action will be exceptional but I don't know when I'll be able to fit it in, as this is officially the year of too many games.  I have two Vita games that I've barely played, three more to buy during the summer, and three PS3 games in the near-immediate future that I have to buy.  You know that I average about 12 games a year, at least games -from- that year, and already I have eight on my plate, technically speaking, before I've even started the year proper!  But there is always time for Zone of the Enders and that's why I'm excited for the Vita version since, as a basic fact, I just have more time with the hand-held.  It is, in fact, sitting right in front of me as I type, eagerly awaiting a push of the PS button so I can rip away the lock screen to play again.  Which reminds me - Note to self:  Look for Zone of the Enders Wallpapers.

Speaking of this being the year of too many games, Sega of America has teased the next Dreamcast game to receive the PSN/XBLA port treatment.  With no title.  No characters.  No Release date.  Really no information at all.  So why are people excited for it?  Because it is very obviously motherfucking Jet Set Grind Radio for the Dreamcast.  It doesn't need to be said in anything beyond what was offered in the video.  Funky beats, stylistic approach of visuals and, the tell-tale of all tell-tales, the character boombox at the end from Jet Grind Radio, these are all of the things that point to this thing of beauty becoming an actuality, an answer to so many dreams and hopes.

At least....a possible one.  I don't mean to harsh any buzzes, especially my own, but we did have another game, fairly famous for its soundtrack, having that stripped out when it was re-released because of licensing issues.  I imagine that's the main reason a lot of people have held off on Crazy Taxi, and I should certainly hope that the issue with it is not one with JGR as well, since that will most likely kill a -lot- of desire surrounding it.  About 26 songs (version dependent) is a lot, and while I don't remember if Crazy Taxi saw the majority of the songs taken out or, in fact, all of them, you can bet that if even a one is missing, you will not hear the end of it from the internet.

Still, starting the next group of Dreamcast titles to be released with JGR, music or no, is a hell of a move and makes one wonder just what could possibly be next.  Will the try and top it with the game that will never be finished in Shenmue?  Or the game we never wanted to end in Skies of Arcadia?  Or will they pretend Sonic Adventure 2 was important beyond a few of the stages with fantastic music and pretend it's a bigger deal?  Smart money is probably on the latter of the options, but it's more than possible that all three games will see a release on at least one of these fancy digital platforms before all is said and done.  And let's just hope that if they re-release them all combined on a disk, they don't lock it to 360 and PC only because, damnit, I would've bought it, I don't even care.  Sonic Adventure and the (gimped) Crazy Taxi are more than worth it.

Some of you might remember the year of Amnesia:  The Dark Descent as "When did that come out?", but I'm guessing the vast majority of the internet remembers Frictional Games' horrific first-person romp with some perverse combination of wistful adoration and sheer terror.  So the news that a sequel is being made is likely good and awful news for all since it means another Amnesia game.  This is one of those cases where you can say the exact same thing like "Oh god, Amnesia Sequel!" and the inflection is what makes the case for the joke, but this is the internet and text, so just imagine your own internal dialogue for that.  Because there are certainly things there.

You might wonder about the video I linked above and it's purely for convenience and a point of reference.  I've talked about Helloween4545 several times for the pure simple fact that he is really really entertaining.  That he has a Let's Play of Amnesia:  The Dark Descent is not only expected (given that he's a horror-LPer) but welcome for the obvious facts of topical-ness as well as that it's just absolutely wonderful.  Despite it being hilarious, it allows for moments where you actually can genuinely be frightened by the game.  And that's precisely what The Dark Descent tries to pull from you, that fear and terror you have - it yearns to drag it to the surface and revel as you don't know what to do with it.  It is, actually, a lofty goal that A Machine of Pigs seeks to surpass by not only hitting that bar again (with new tricks, since gamers are likely immune to the ones The Dark Descent employed) but by evoking more feelings than just fear.  I have faith that they'll be able to do just that, though what feelings they're going for, I can't be sure.

While the game is a sequel, it will not be a direct one and the only connection will be that it takes place in the same universe as the first game, though several decades later, bringing it up to 1899.  The Victorian Age will be in full swing in the game, and, if the title is anything to go by, there will likely be heavy usage of machinery and industrialization.  Not only in the puzzle elements of the game, but the driving force behind it - this apparent machine that is 'fit only for pigs. Fit for the slaughtering of pigs.'  I'm not sure just what that means, but I think I'm already getting the chills at the considerations.  With any luck, the game will be out right before Halloween to be perfectly timed for everyone involved.

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