Sunday, October 7, 2012

Release Dates and Reveals and Announcements, Oh My!

So I alluded to it the other night when I talked about Retro City Rampage and how it has a release date now, but on that day, a whole bunch of other stuff -also- got a release date or a reveal or -something-.  As a veritable treasure trove of information, I can't exactly pass it up, but at the same time, it's just a -lot- of stuff all at once and I don't really have an attachment to much, if any of it, to really be able to talk at length about it.  Of course, that was all before I really delved into the trailers and such for this stuff which is pretty much what I'm going to do now.  And with the magic of this all being a single post, it'll just take the distance between this paragraph and the next to make me knowledgeable, if at least a little bit more than I was about these games that I will talk about tonight.  So hopefully, I'll be able to do them a bit of justice, which they probably (definitely) deserve.

First up is the above pictured Planet In Distress which was just recently shown off at the Playstation Blog with a release window of "Very soon", so I suppose that, and the fact that it's been in development for two years and shown before this means it's not technically new but I'd not heard of it prior to now, so there.  What it seems to be is a sidescrolling Adventure/Puzzle Platformer type game with a reliance on a few tools to get around.  In the trailer that's in the blog post itself, it pretty much just shows off the thing that you throw to put out reverse tractor beams - things (pictured above) that just sort of push you in a direction slowly without offering much deviation, allowing for some nice precision.  What seemed to be the highlight of the post I linked, however, is something that seems to be a trend with platformers as of late.  The big thing seems to be about the difficulty of the game, which is a very, very delicate thing to be messing about with.

Specifically, the trailer goes to show off the vast amount of differences in layout and play-style between Normal and Hard mode.  It honestly looks like two entirely different levels even though the backgrounds are the same from Normal to Hard footage, simply because there's just so much more and different in the Hard mode videos themselves.  This is interesting, I thought, making difficulty -that- much of a difference.  I'm not quite sure how it will work in practice, but it definitely goes to show the level of dedication on the part of the developers, since they have to, essentially, put in double-time to the game - design it twice, more or less.  Once for Normal which entails trying to keep it at an acceptable level while also scaling, and then again for Hard to make sure it's, well, Harder than Normal but -also- scales nicely.  For my part I'm....not especially interested since Sidescrollers are a thing that are very hit-or-miss for me, I've learned, but I'll keep an eye out for it at least.

Next up is The Unfinished Swan, which has been given a release date of October 23rd, though Playstation Plus members will be able to purchase the game as early as the 16th.  It also has a price announced of $14.99 which is...pretty much what anyone could have expected, I would say.  That's more or less what games are kind of coming out for anyway, and nobody really wants to push up into $19.99 unless it's Capcom releasing an HD version of a mediocre-but-universally-loved shitfest of a game.  One that I'm not bitter about or anything like that.  And $9.99 apparently doesn't pay the bills unless you're really budgeting properly (which means nobody prices their game at $9.99).  $14.99 is certainly not a bad price, and certainly not for a game that looks as....well....interesting as The Unfinished Swan does.  Yet, I say this as somebody who still has absolutely no idea what the game is.

I watched some trailers.  I've read a little about it.  It is certainly a -thing-, but what that thing is, I'm still not sure I can quantify it in my head.  If I'm right, the game is about a kid who is chasing a swan into a world of white space.  You can navigate the space in a first person perspective, using paint that you throw about to understand the actual geometry of the world to be able to get around.  So you throw paint on the ground to know where there's a gap, where there's stairs, etc. etc.  Of course, that's basically just the introduction as, with the screenshot above as evidence, you'll get into areas that are plenty defined all their own, and I suspect your painting abilities will be used in another fashion.  It seems like one of those games that you have to play to absolutely understand it yourself which is fine with me, by all means.  I am definitely curious to say the least and would go so far as to suggest that I would be willing to throw 15 of my dollars at it to experience it, if just for the simple fact that I get to use my Playstation Move wand with it.  Since I kind of need to use it.

This definitely looks like the kind of game that just....needs a demo, though.  I mean, yes, it's all about being surprised and intrigued and such, but that's what makes it the perfect candidate for a demo - since you give people a taste of that, which is very addictive.  Provided you can capture just the right bits of the game in it that will effectively show off how you use this mechanic, it'll give anyone who plays it, -anyone-, reason enough to say "You know what, I can definitely buy this to see what's going on with it".  I say this because I'm really, really hoping for a demo so I can experience the game in some fashion, even though I'm not planning on getting it right off because, well, I can't really afford to.  I just bought a $20 Playstation Card I didn't need to buy Retro City Rampage and Xenogears Tuesday (I hadn't bought Xenogears yet.  I'm...terribly surprised.  But waiting to just get both at once.) and there's Ragnarok Odyssey and Assassin's Creed:  Liberation coming in this month and there's just no money to be had.  But there are also games to be had.  It's a terrible cycle.

Instead of picking out any of the remaining five games to talk about, I'm just....going to bring up the rest of the five games to get their news bits down and be done here so I can go off and do...other things.  Gaming things.  If you want to imagine that I have five note cards that I read off of and then throw off behind me unceremoniously in a semi-dismissive manner then I certainly cannot stop you, though it's not a sign of disrespect.  Just that I cannot really speak well enough for these things as I'm not really in the 'fandom' for any of them, I'll say.  This Tuesday Joe Danger 2 will be releasing like several other things and will come with some rather extensive exclusive content known as Joe Danger Gaiden.  It is....basically an entire other Joe Danger game (10+ hours) which is really, really neat and kind of a 'sorry 360 had to get this game with stuff we could never give you' gesture I suppose.  Also coming out Tuesday, October 9th is Machinarium for the PS3 at least at the $9.99 pricetag -just- to spite me for what I said earlier.  A Vita version is incoming, but at an unannounced date. 

The very last Dreamcast game ever(?), will see a Playstation 3 release later this fall as Under Defeat HD which will be a retail and digital release, both for $29.99.  People who buy a Physical version of the game get....a lot of stuff, with most of it not confirmed to also be in the digital version.  I mean, I don't see how you could put a letter from Hiroyuki Maruyama in the digital game, but the rest seems like stuff that could be included in the digital download itself.  We'll just have to see, I suppose - it might also just be free DLC outside of the game download itself.  Or paid, which would be a bad idea for the devs that would get blamed on Sony, but whatever.  Also joining the October 9th line-up is the Vita Version of Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock which has been a long time coming. that a pun?  I didn't mean for it to be a pun.  The wait was basically because they were implementing touch controls, Near functionality and making sure shared cloud saves with the PS3 version worked.  Presumably they do. 

And finally, the last title that was announced recently, outside of Playstation Blog's 'The Drop', is SunFlowers for the Vita, a $3.99 puzzler to get your pick-up-and-play fix sorted for folks who might be burnt out on Treasures of Montezuma Blitz.  At $4 and coming alongside a demo, the game pretty much deserves -some- of your attention, if not your dollars, so why not show them a little support?  If you're not too busy playing any one of the like twelve -other- games coming out the 9th that is.  So there it is.  There is the News Dump of announcements and reveals and release dates and such that was served up as a deluge the other night that I had to at least try and concentrate into a post to get that information out there and give me a reason to look into some of the titles that I haven't looked into otherwise.  Since you never know what you'll learn!  I learned SunFlowers was getting a demo which is really cool.  Also other things.  I learned other things.  Mostly about The Unfinished Swan.  So what I mean to say is that I think I learned things, but I really just...don't know.

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