Sunday, August 26, 2012

Squeenix Hates You - TWEWY News is iOS Port

I don't think there's really any doubt that this -is- going to be a TWEWY project and with what's being thrown down here, I would highly doubt that it's something as banal as like an iOS port of the game, but I wouldn't quite put that past Squeenix.
                                                                                           -Mogs (August 19th, 2012)
I am wrong a lot.  We have established this several times over and we will continue to do so because I clearly exist on a different plane of existence when it comes to anything resembling sense or sanity.  I pride myself, however, on at least trying to own up to instances where I am completely wrong, as this case was.  I mean, yes, I suggested it was a possibility, and it was always a thought in the back of my head, but it was more one of those "Man, wouldn't it be hilarious if they were dumb enough to make a fuss about an iOS port?" thoughts that you get.  I don't think I really, honestly thought it would turn out this way, but in a way, I'm pretty happy it did.  Blasphemy, I know, but it's not for any reason as you would suspect.  I don't derive a bit of pleasure from seeing people excited and then let down for a game that I don't particularly care about, nor do I derive pleasure from seeing Squeenix squander potential like this, as they've done on several occasions before.

The reason I am okay with this bit is that the iOS version here (Well, versions, plural, since there's separate ones for iPhone and iPad) is clearly designed with only one screen in mind, rather than the DS' two.  Now, it's always nice to have a game specifically catering to the features of the system it's on, so as to clearly identify itself as a game -for- said system, TWEWY's handling is....not ideal.  Having combat on both the top and bottom screens, combat that seems to rely on both screens, requiring you to completely split your focus in a big way seems to really just obfuscate people, like me, who are interested in the game based on the high praise it carries.  And it just serves to make you wonder -how- it got the praise, since it seems the type of thing that one simply does not end up understanding.  Clearly, it is an understood concept to people and when and if I play TWEWY again, perhaps it will sink in, but I doubt it.

The strength of a single screen, however, in my mind at least is the obvious at first:  accessibility.  I don't see how that could be over-complicated any -more- than the two screen design and while it's not directly in-line with the original game, such is the price we pay I guess.  What really matters is just that, however - is it easier to play and enjoy on a single screen?  Because if so, then there might be good money in putting it elsewhere without stopping at iOS.  I'm not sure quite how accessible the game would be with a full-fledged controller in your hands, since the iPad/Phone release retains the touch-screen at least, so a PSN/XBLA version might not be in the cards, but if it were, I doubt very many people would balk at a $20 price-tag.  For me, I wouldn't balk at that price for a Vita version, with the best of both worlds, but that goes without saying and Squeenix aren't going to bother, I'm sure.  Since why would they; it's far easier to just doctor up a version and throw it at a giant pool of people who have, likely, zero interest, than doing up a version and offering it to people who are probably more inclined to purchase it.

Of course, a lot of people just aren't happy that the 'big' TWEWY news is a port of the game they have likely already played on a platform they may or may not have, but probably don't have a good reason to purchase on.  Most people are just never happy when it comes to video game news, but I daresay that these people might just have a point in this one for reasons that I might have stated in the previous sentence.  This move isn't really -for- the faithful, isn't really something that does anything for anybody except potentially draw in new fans for a fanbase that has sat by for four years, waiting with bated breath for something, anything new related to this.  I imagine the inclusion of Neku (TWEWY's protagonist) in Kingdom Hearts 3D wasn't really impressing anyone, so this is still a bit of a far cry from giving them -anything-.  And so, of course, the way it's been handled has been just as haphazard as everything else related to this whole project as a whole.

After a leak that spelled out directly that the site was for an iOS version to release in 2012, Brian Grey who was the lead translator on TWEWY, went on to say something basically to the effect of "There's more".  Specifically, he said: "Before everyone decides the countdown is over, they might want to wait for the countdown to be over. " which, understandably, gave everyone a lot of hope.  False hope, of course, as that was basically everything.  I suppose the soundtrack for the game might go on sale in the iTunes Store as well, but that's really not 'big' enough to sustain itself next to the iOS port job.  Seeing it all painted out in a line now isn't nearly as offensive as hearing about the leak, hearing the reassuring news the same day and then waiting a few days to learn that no, no the iOS thing is basically it.  Certainly not a 'drip' of the leak unless a dam only drips when it's allowing buckets of water to pass through its walls.  Perhaps something else will get announced in short order, or perhaps the other 'big' part of it was simply the fact that as soon as you were likely to hear about it (unless you stay up at all hours of the night like.....well, most of us), you were able to buy it, effectively announcing its launch than it's release date.

This is pretty much all in a day's work for Squeenix, however, so no real surprise in here to be found I think.  I don't mean to belittle them based on a series of hilarious misunderstandings that they clearly hold when it comes to their fanbase and the delusions and hopes they hold, but, well, I don't necessarily -have- to, since they do a nice job of that themselves.  Which is kind of the point I was making here.  As I said, this might be a good thing in the long run if it proves to be a gateway project; a means to get something new and/or original with the IP out on other platforms, just to have it out there, but it's just not there.  There's absolutely no reason anyone has to believe that this is anything more than throwing something else at the iOS market and hoping they buy in droves because it's easy money, what with it being $18-$20, depending on what you buy it on  (which seems arbitrary to me - just two dollars extra for the iPad?  I'm not sure how the costs factor into that at all).  Of course, maybe that's just a bit of conjecture drawn from a similar move to surface just recently.  Who am I to say, really?  In all senses of the word, when it comes to this stuff, I'm merely an observer, but it is a teensy-bit funny, the timing between these two things.

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