So, because I feel the need to counter yesterday's post full of happiness and rainbows to balance the universe, today I'm going to talk about a couple of bits that have just pissed me off. Like, just straight-up, 'Who pissed in your cornflakes' type of things, because it is very cleansing to just talk about them and get them out there. One bit because I just found out about it, and the other because I haven't talked about it directly since I found out about it and I figure it's about time I do that. Because it's really gotten my ire up and I just need to really directly address it to have it out there and make it known. So let's start, shall we?
The above is an imagine we're likely going to have to get used to because, as far as I can tell, that's the American Box Art for the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection in America. Take a real good look at it, because there is something that is missing there. Something that is very obvious, very glaring, and very, very annoying. Clearly, the thing missing is any hint, nod, or showing of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker which was, indeed, included in the HD Collection for both Playstation 3 and XBox 360. You would think that, since Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 HD are being ported from their PS3 versions to the Vita, it would be a simple matter to port the PS3 version of Peace Walker to the Vita as well. It's not really a matter of needing to figure out the way it handles Vita-specific functions, since Metal Gear Solid 3 is already doing that, going so far as to bring in Major Zero's voice actor to record new lines about these new functions. I can only assume the same will happen for the NA version.
Could the information be false? Quite possibly. The only reason I'm not blindly shouting that I think Peace Walker will be included is because of the press release in this Joystiq post which very obviously seems to be American-centric. Now, the Japanese version of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection only had Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, whereas Peace Walker HD was it's own, separate game. Why? I don't know. I literally have absolutely no idea as of this post and I'm not too fussed to go off and research it. Unless Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 were on their own disks in Japan, because I believe there's some regulation over there that they can't have more than one game on a disk or something. Whatever regulation meant that they had to sell Ico HD and Shadow of the Colossus HD 'separately' or together but with their own cases. If that's the case, then just selling Peace Walker HD on its own makes a little sense for them. I cannot, nor will I attempt to make a case for why that's even remotely acceptable here when we literally have a product that is everything the Vita version of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is, but then some. Unless it's a size/space issue, but if that's the case, why isn't there some sort of disclaimer about that?
This raises the question about the price of the Vita's version of the Collection as well, which I've yet to see a solid figure on. I should hope that if it's only released as both games, we can look forward to a $10 reduction (making both games $15, rather than ~$13, which I can take), but I never take these sort of things at face value. It also raises the question as to why, at this point in time, it doesn't look like an HD version of a Portable Game is going to be on an HD Portable system. Like, this is beyond dumb if you look at it for what it is, so I can only hope for some clarification on the whole thing and soon. I don't think "Just Download Peace Walker, you know, the PSP version" is sufficient as a suggestion either, especially, especially because as of this post, you literally cannot Buy, Download and Play Peace Walker unless you have a PS3, since you have to get it on there and then transfer it to the Vita, as it's not on the Vita's PS Storefront. So really, I guess the ball is in Konami/Kojima Productions Hands at this point. Hopefully they'll get us an answer relatively quickly.
So, if you're a faithful reader of this blog, you probably know what's coming because of the above picture. This isn't new news by any means, but it's news that I need to pass out regardless because I have my own opinions on it and I really need to get them out in a way that is more effective than a couple tweets about it. For everyone else, the above pictured is something from Warriors Orochi 3, which was something I was so excited about that I made an entire post about it being localized, citing the simple fact that it wasn't going to have English Voiceovers as something that I would just have to get used to because it could, in no way, dampen the excitement I had for the game. Because I really really like the Warriors Orochi games for the simple fact that the blending of the characters and such makes for a very interesting story, something they're given real free reign on since it's all fantasy.
I was so wrong. Now, I'm going to just go ahead and state the, er, 'facts' of the matter first off before I really get into my own editorializing and fact-spewing over the whole situation. In the US, Warriors Orochi 3 is going to be Digital Distribution only for the Playstation 3. That is the stated fact, nothing going to change it that is exactly, clearly the word as it is. It will be available as a Retail (meaning on-disk) title for XBox 360 and, quite possibly, also be in their Games on Demand or whatever service; the one that sells full games that isn't Live Arcade. That's not confirmed, it could be assumed given that it will be available (only) through PSN for PS3, but all we know is that 360 gets a Disk, PS3 does not. Tecmo-KOEI states the reasoning for this is the 'strict' policy SCEA has about not allowing games to have a Disk Release if there is not English Dub present. Which KOEI stated it would be without, y'know, hinting that it would cause release troubles. Of course, SCEE has no policy because it covers too broad an area to restrict languages, so the only region that won't get Warriors Orochi 3 for PS3 on Disk is North America.
So, those are the 'facts'. Now it is conjecture time and my conjecture is thus:
That is far fancier looking than I anticipated, but it is what it is. There are so many goddamn holes I can poke in this line of reasoning that I don't even know where to start. But I guess the obvious is the best place here: Yakuza games since number 2 have been released in America, On-Disk, with Promotion, without having English Dubs. Of course, the stand-by to knock that down is "It doesn't count, it's an exclusive franchise". Okay, fine - What about Way of the Samurai 3? Or, as the comments of the above article so helpfully point out, Agarest War Zero and it's sequel? The PSP games that I assume are bound by the same rules as PS3 games? All had Japanese Dubs only, (In the case of Way of the Samurai 3, I don't think there was even enough content to count as a 'dub') and all had physical media releases. There are more, if not just as many, exceptions to the rule provided that it just doesn't count as a rule anymore. So right there, without any outside interference, I call bullshit.
There is absolutely, positively, no denying that Tecmo-KOEI, specifically the KOEI portion off the company, has a vested interest in Sony. More of their titles than not are Exclusive to Playstation Systems, by choice rather than regulation, and while it may very well be because Sony has a better market in Japan, it still counts and it's still obvious. The several disgruntled 360-only people who are fans of KOEI's products will attest to this, seeing as they have gotten shafted out of a lot of games for little reason other than "360 doesn't sell well in Japan". So, if you're trying to tell me that there is absolutely no way KOEI could use the clout they very obviously have to waive the oh-so-strict rule about No-Dub-No-Disk, then I call bullshit on that too. At the very least, they could've just sweetened the pot with the DLC trick; keep it exclusive to the PS3 version of the game or at least just timed exclusive. Bam, incentive to buy it on the PS3 rather than the 360 (which would in turn, give Sony incentive to let them have their game released on disk) is there, quick and easy.
So I reiterate: There is absolutely no reason why Warriors Orochi 3 will be PSN-only in North America and it's killed my interest so much that I might literally just skip it. I've looked into importing it from the UK which won't be -too- costly, but I really really just don't know if I'm willing to bother. There are entirely too many games to be had this year, I was already wobbly because of no English VA (pretty much purely because I wouldn't get to listen to Jamieson Price as Lu Bu), so any extra hoops added just really start tipping me over. And, aside from all that, given the way things are priced these days, I have absolutely no reason to think that the PS3 version will be cheaper for the simple fact that there is no physical media to it. In fact, I would suggest it's rather naive to think that.
So, we'll see. Regardless, I've gone and made myself extra grumpy now, so it's time to go listen to inappropriate music (K-Pop or something similarly vapid but enjoyable) and just try and relax.