Friday, March 9, 2012
So Much 'Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee~!'
It's one of those magical times where I literally have a wealth of information to dispense and merely have to think about the proper way to do so, rather than the normal scrounging about at Joystiq and Siliconera for something that I think I can talk about or thinking about anything of interest otherwise. Originally, this was just going to be about the above which I will get to in a moment, but I just discovered something else from the Vita Game Heaven Event that I just cannot help but talk about, so I'll just go ahead and combine the two pieces into a single post that covers a full spectrum of awesome. Because that's just how I do, and I'm glad to do it not only because I'm personally excited about the news, but because I'm excited about being able to share it.
Yesterday during a GDC Panel Yasuhiro Wada, also known as the guy who created Harvest Moon and is thus a person who I actually know about, made a little mention about working alongside Hidetaka Suehiro or Swery on a Deadly Premonition project for the Playstation 3. When it was initially announced, nobody knew if it meant a sequel or something of that sort or if it was actually the long-awaited localization for the game to PS3. It has been released in Japan on the PS3, but under the Japanese name of "Red Seeds Profile" so the mention of it being "Deadly Premonition" meant specifically the Western release. After the panel, people caught up to him for a clarification where he made it perfectly clear: He's working on an enhanced Port of Deadly Premonition for PS3 with Swery, likely in the Executive Producer position as he was on the original version of the game.
Now, what does an Enhanced Port of Deadly Premonition mean for us, the people intending to buy it? Well, if you pay attention to Joystiq, then it means the same game as the 360 version, but with more content (it says 'scenarios' which I believe might mean 'episodes') and support for the Playstation Move. The former makes complete sense, being that it's a provision for approval for PS3/PSN games to have additional content when ported from another system (mostly the 360), but they seem pretty lax on just how much new counts as enough. This means we could end up with a 20-minute extra episode between two original ones, or a fully fleshed out couple of episodes that explain a whole lot about the game that was otherwise left up to imagination or supposition. Or just a new location or something, I don't know, it literally could be anything, it's all just up to what Swery and the rest of the team decides to put in.
Playstation Move controls, however, not only make sense but could make the game a much, much better version of it than it was otherwise. Now, you know I champion games with poor gameplay, so long as they have a great story (whether it's legitimately great or so insane it's great), but to say Deadly Premonition was clunky was, apparently, an oversight. We've gotten to the point where we can fully, openly, and truthfully acknowledge that Resident Evil 4 played like a pile of crap, and a lot of allusions to that were made in the reviews that came out for it. However, it's also agreed that the Wii version of Resident Evil 4, with Wii-mote aiming, made for quite possibly the definitive version of the game, taking one of the big flaws of the original and fixing it completely, though some might consider it 'too fixed' since I do believe a common complaint about Resident Evil 4's new control scheme was that it made the game fairly easy. I'll take that happily, though, if it means I get to finally play Deadly Premonition rather than just hope.
The other nice bit of news that came out, pretty much the important piece of news that came out from the Game Heaven event, is that Phantasy Star Online 2 will be released for the Vita. Not only that, but it will feature Cross-Play with the PC version of the game, meaning that you can meet up with your PC friends in the same world, same server, and quest with them as if you were all on PC. Or all on the Vita. You get what I mean here. Similarly, if you have the PC version and get the Vita version, you can take your character out and about if you're out and about and have a stable internet connection to use. But -only- if you have a stable internet connection as, that seems to be the catch because of the Cross-Play feature; only the PC version will feature Offline Content. The Vita version will always be online which means you might want to also have your charger handy, but it's worth it if you simply have to have your PSO fix.
At least, that's how the landscape of it is currently, and it could change based on fan feedback or what have you. The game itself is only 10% finished (slated for a 2013 release), meaning there's still a lot yet to be done, and new things, both positive and negative, could yet be found out while the game is getting closer to being complete. I think the more prudent question to ask, with regards to the second version, is how the subscription for it will work. Will it require a separate subscription fee? If so, will it be a wholly separate one at full price, or a lessened one, similar to Final Fantasy XI/XIV's extra character fees or the like? Or will the cost of the game itself be enough as a secondary buy-in to the game and it'll just work off your account (or, if you -only- have the Vita version, you'll pay for that only, with the ability to get the PC version, at cost, but pay the same sub price) for that? And you have to wonder, with Samurai and Dragons coming out, how big a part Microtransactions will play in the game.
Satoshi Sakai, producer of Phantasy Star Online 2, also hinted towards more Phantasy Star related surprises to come out this month after confirming that the Vita version of PSO2 was, itself, a surprise hinted at last week. Of course, what this means is up to anyone's imagination, but I would put good money on a Phantasy Star Portable-style game (tentatively referred to as "Phantasy Star Victory") being announced as something to play around with in the meantime. At least, I'm hoping for it, or -something- to do with that style of game, even if it's just a remaster of Phantasy Star Portable 1, 2, and/or Infinity for the Vita. Provided it would actually come to the States, of course. Since we do enjoy these games, no matter what Sega thinks. (Yes I realize Sega thinks we enjoy them, but don't enjoy paying for them and while I can't exactly fault that, I want these games and will pay) I guess we'll just find out at some point this month!