Saturday, November 24, 2012

Let's Chat About the PASBR Roster

So, I still really like PASBR and I'm quite a few characters in now, precisely ten stories down if I'm being direct and having that realization made it quite easy to figure out something else to speak on concerning the game.  One of the biggest bones of contention a lot of people are taking with the game is the roster which is all at once understandable, yet at the same time, I personally think it's fine for a first effort.  You're not going to please everybody, so your main goal is just to please -enough- people and the blend of old and new that Sony managed to pull off with PASBR is very, very good at doing just that since I don't think you can honestly show the roster to somebody who has played a lot of Playstation without them favoring at least one character, much less multiples.  PaRappa the Rapper, Sir Daniel Fortesque and Spike are really there for the old faithful at least, and then you have the new kids on the block like Nathan Drake and Cole to represent the new generation.  It does a really good job of it in my opinion, but a lot of people don't agree with me and I have to sort of wonder at the why, since some of it is more understandable than others.

The bulk of the complaints seem to be directed at Fat Princess who is certainly an outlier in the line-up compared to the rest.  At the same time, however, the game is all about honoring characters that have had a big deal with Playstation one way or another and there's no denying that for any of the other characters.  The thing with Fat Princess however is that the game -was- a big deal....when it came out in 2009 to the entirely too small audience that the PS3 had in the Digital-Onlly Scene in comparison to XBLA.  Basically back then, it was 'the' game to get since it was the new original game for PSN, only for PSN that joined a whole roster of titles that numbered in the teens, probably.  So unless you were 'there' and you got it 'then', then yes, I can understand why it's significance is lost on you, and I am really trying to not sound like a hipster, but I am failing miserably at it so just try and think of that in terms that aren't horribly condescending.  It helps that the game was pretty damn good too.  I'll need to make a mental note to do something with it in the future since I imagine a lot of people haven't experienced it.

The other real outlier here, to me, is Big Daddy since Bioshock....well, it's not a Playstation-exclusive, nor has it been entirely too Playstation-friendly, really.  I mean, yeah, it's improved some with Irrational Games buddying up with Sony for some bare-bones extra Infinite stuff (I think it supports Move?  Maybe?) plus a Bioshock Vita game that we better get, Levine, but the original Bioshock was released for PS3 a year late with a not-perfect port and Bioshock 2 was just lucky to have a simultaneous release.  Still, I guess it was a big deal when Bioshock was announced for PS3, and Big Daddy is by and large the most iconic figure from the series I would assume, even if all three games are in different times/eras or something, I honestly really haven't played a lot of Bioshock because I don't like it.  (Don't hurt me, Chance)  So he works, but he's definitely on the shakiest ice out of everybody in my opinion.  I wouldn't be too surprised if, in the case that there's a sequel (there better be) Big Daddy didn't make the roster for that one.  But that's a year or so in the future at least, so no need to think on it too much now.

So, if you're not complaining about who is on the roster, you're likely complaining about just who isn't and that's entirely fair.  There's some glaring oversights here and I'm sure we can all attribute that directly to the respective IP holders being gigantic assholes.  After all, Sony has no rights over any of the big-name Third-party characters you expect, even if their origins were on the original Playstation and helped bring the system to prominence.  Indeed, the two companies that really hold all the power here are Squeenix and Activision, neither of whom are really....known for playing nice without tons of money being involved or, in Squeenix's case, if they're really really desperate because of poor decisions in the past.  Lara Croft, every Final Fantasy character you love or hate, and possibly even Gex (you remember Gex, right?  No?  err...) are under the umbrella of Squeenix whereas Activision has their claws into Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon and are doing absolute dick with both of them.  Shut up about Skylanders, you don't even main as Spyro, he's just fodder in the game.

A theory that makes a whole hell of a lot of sense that's floating around there is that both companies were waiting for the Paid DLC portion of the post-release, since profits are much more generous for DLC than they would be for an inclusion in the base game.  I don't know if that's actually true, but look at the two companies, look at that reason, and see if you're not tempted to believe that shit at face value.  Because I am.  I am running with that and I am not stopping until someone points out conclusive proof that points to otherwise.  Or....we don't see Cloud/Squall/Lightning/Lara/Crash/Spyro/Someone show up as paid DLC.  But even then, we can just assume talks fell through and the companies just resumed being gigantic assholes.  Because they totally are.  Still, it's clear that there's going to be quite a bit of DLC for the game which I welcome whole-heartedly, and it's going to begin with Free DLC that brings Kat from Gravity Rush and Emmett Graves from Starhawk, who is also known as "That dude from Starhawk", into the fray.  Beyond that, extra costumes, stages, unlockables and the like are all expected and they'll most likely be a blend of free and paid.  I'll have a hard time resisting throwing money at whatever comes for PASBR, because I really do like it that much and I want more of it.  Looking forward to it!


  1. So unless you were 'there' and you got it 'then', then yes, I can understand why it's significance is lost on you


    Honestly, my problem with Fat Princess is basically sort of what you said, except from the perspective of an outsider- I barely heard of her except from you and I suspect that's the same of a lot of people. When you go 'iconic Playstation characters' you don't think of Fat Princess.

    You don't. Shush.

    I mean, you don't think of the same of Big Daddy, either, but Big Daddy is awesome, so I can forgive that. [/bias]

    1. I think what I was trying to convey is that while definitely on the fringe, Fat Princess has its own place as the rest of the fringe players do. I mean, MediEvil and Ape Escape aren't -that- big either and both have sort of already run their course in the past as well. Much like Fat Princess. And I certainly wouldn't say Sir Daniel is what I think of when I think of Playstation either, but the association is there.