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Ocelot

Member Since 07 Apr 2008
Offline Last Active Today, 03:10 AM

#486204 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 09 December 2017 - 09:42 AM

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EDIT - Hey, Nintendo did the Akira meme:

 

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#486201 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 08 December 2017 - 09:11 PM

Wolfie, for you, I will make sure to assume a thoroughly uncharacteristic level of hype if they announce this... 'DMC5', did you say? It sounds interesting.

 

Shaun Layden, the guy who looks like the bad guy from Equilibrium, is sitting on a couch bantering with another guy. He's wearing a shirt with some kind of logo on it under a jacket. All that's peaking out is the top of a white circle; what could it be?

 

EDIT - So this whole thing is a little bit unbearable. It's very pretend-casual, like "Let's bring out the developer of this game and have a totally definitely not at all scripted and rehearsed conversation with him!". The God of War guy says the game's going to be forty hours long, which sounds insane.

 

EDIT - God of War passed with no new footage, not even a release date, and now they're moving onto Dreams, so I might be relegating this one to background noise while I do more important things. Like my daily hours of fantasising about DMC5.

 

EDIT - There's a new guy out there, but I don't care enough about who he is to unmute the stream. Nothing's happening. I'm wondering if this is Sony trying to do a Nintendo Treehouse stream and forgetting that they still have gameplay footage on the Treehouse streams.

 

Wait, the new guy's picked up a controller. AND HE'S PLAYING THE DAVID CAGE GAME! Oh man, you got me, Sony. Back to mute again.

 

EDIT - Audience is going wild...

 

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From front to back, it's a perfect spectrum of pretending to care. Tongue-in-cheek polite applause -> reluctant clapping -> three claps and back to crossed arms -> not even bothering to clap -> not even looking up from phone.

 

EDIT - Oh wait, they're showing trailers. A new one for Soul Calibur 6.

 

OH GOD ONE FROM CAPCOM!

 

No, wait, I think this is just Monster Hunter. God, my heart was pounding for a moment :P

 

EDIT - Now they're just showing the same Death Stranding scene from yesterday. All eight minutes of it. I mean, I'll watch it again, of course, but where's my new hotness, bruv?

 

EDIT - Kojima's here and he's got that weird robo arm thing on his shoulder from the Death Stranding footage!

 

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EDIT - Layden's revealed the thing on his shirt: it's Sir Daniel Fortescue's grave. It looks like they're remaking the Medievil games for PS4 like they did with Crash.

 

EDIT - It seems like that's it for the main show, and now they're going to do panels or something. Oh God he said that Greg Miller is coming up next. I'm out. What an absolute waste of time. Don't do this again next year, Sony.




#486175 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 07 December 2017 - 07:33 PM

But YEAH SERIOUSLY THAT MAN'S SHOULDERS. DAYUM, ZAC. <3 I'm hyped are you hyped *ahem* I mean... video games, yes.

 

Like CANNONBALLS!

 

EDIT - Bethesda is doing this weird thing about how singleplayer games need to be saved, narrated by Lynda Carter. It's really dumb but I kind of like it :P

 

EDIT - YOU GUYS, this man is announcing Soul Calibur 6. The same Soul Calibur 6 that was right alongside Devil May Cry 5 in that rumour from last month!

 

EDIT - Our ol' pal Aisha Tyler came out to give Cuphead another award, and now apparently Norman Reedus is going to be here later.

 

EDIT - Casey Hudson is on stage like he's our buddy, pretending he didn't kill Mass Effect and then jump ship for a few years and then come back to Bioware to make a never-ending always-online infinite grind loot-box-'em-up.

 

EDIT - And here's that new THQ Nordic game they were teasing yesterday. It seems to be a miserable survival game that's going to be Early Access next week.




#486173 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 07 December 2017 - 06:38 PM

I wonder how Ocelot will feel if it turns out the game they are putting out, if it is a new DMC, is a sequel to it's reboot and not DMCV. 

 

I would shoot myself and then everyone else, but we don't have to worry about that because it's not happening and DMCV is going to be perfect.

 

The Game Awards are starting right now, btw:

 

 

EDIT - Turns out they're doing a half-hour pre-show, and the first new game reveal is a zombie thing. Oh boy. Geoff says "You don't want to miss the last five minutes of the pre-show", but then he's also doing something about 'trending gamers' before that so I don't know if I can take it.

 

EDIT - Nier Automata wins best soundtrack. I'll give it to'em. The thing Geoff was teasing was a VR thing, btw. Kill me.

 

EDIT - There was a tease of the next game from From Software. Just a shot of some diabolical fleshy rope machinery thing for like ten seconds and the words "Shadows Die Twice". No idea if that's a game title or just trailer words. So... get hype? Maybe? The show's starting for real now.

 

EDIT - They're doing a medley of game music from this year, but they're not holding long enough on any individual song for it to be satisfying. Someone played the Mario theme on an Otamatone.

 

EDIT - Creators of Firewatch (the Idle Thumbs podcast people) are making a cool-looking Egypt tomb raiding kinda thing. Actually the longer the trailer goes on the less cool it looks, because it just seems to be a lot of giving boosts and pulling your AI partner up walls, but I'll still play it. It's called In the Valley of the Gods.

 

Wolfie, Zachary Levi is here and he's looking really buff! He made a really good joke about microtransactions, too. Chuck doing the lord's work.

 

EDIT - There was a trailer from Rockstar and I got really hyped for a moment, but then I realised it was just yet another GTA Online thing.

 

EDIT - GUILLERMO DEL TORO AND HIDEO KOJIMA ARE BOTH HERE! They're presenting the award for Best Art Direction to Cuphead.

 

EDIT - Eiji Aonuma was on stage dressed as Link, twirling a sword for the new Zelda DLC trailer. It's available tonight, and Link gets a motorbike (also it looks like a really good expansion to the game)




#486166 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 07 December 2017 - 09:46 AM

OOOOOOOH DUUUUUUUUDE!

 

IT. IS. HAPPENING!

IT IS HAPPENING SO HARD, YOU GUYS!

 

Capcom just announced an HD Remake of the HD Remake of the Devil May Cry 1, 2 and 3 Collection for PS4, Xbox One and PC. It comes out March 2018, and if you don't think this is Capcom hyping up the incoming announcement of DMCV then you are KIDDING YOURSELF BECAUSE IT TOTALLY IS!

 

AND GEOFF KEIGHLEY RETWEETED IT WHICH TOTALLY MEANS IT'S HAPPENING! TOTALLLLLLLY!

 

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#486141 SSLF's Official Devil May Cry 5 Rumour Mill/Hype/Appreciation Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 02 December 2017 - 01:34 AM

So, if it wasn't obvious, I've been deep in the throes of hype this past week or so, and I decided to play a little bit of some Devil May Cry to soothe the burn. And, just for funsies, I started with DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition. Oh boy.
 
Alright, let's get the obvious out of the way: it's a travesty. It is, potentially, Capcom's biggest Capcpom ever. Giving Devil May Cry, the most exquisite, technically-brilliant, deepest, most challenging, most Japanese action series ever created... to Ninja Theory. I mean, I think Ninja Theory is a pretty cool developer, when they play to their strengths. They're weird and creative, and their games are nothing if not memorable. But their action pedigree to that point had been Heavenly Sword, a game that ran at like 20FPS and felt like it had a full second of input lag, and Enslaved, an action game where the Triangle button only ever did one move for the entire game. The original release of DmC back in 2013 missed the mark by such a wide margin: 30FPS, no lock-on, enemies that could only be harmed by one weapon-type, a completely broken style meter, terrible bosses, sloooow gameplay, no taunting. Boy oh boy oh boy.
 
But let's not get too negative, because we're talking about the Definitive Edition here. Two years after the original release, Capcom got one of their internal teams, QLOC, to work on a re-released version for current-gen consoles, with a list of changes so extensive they actually put out a PDF listing them all. 60FPS, lock-on, a 20% speed increase, new difficulty modes, too many balance changes to mention; suddenly the game was looking like a big boy action game. And it is; it's probably the best action game ever made by a Western developer. It plays well, and it has some really cool new mechanics that I'd be happy to see make their way into DMC5. Is it fit to be a DMC game? Well, no, but it's better than DMC2, at least.
 
If you can make it past the extremely off-putting... y'know, entire design aesthetic of the game, there are actually some great moments in DmC. There's one mission where you have to kidnap the bad guy's disgusting girlfriend, which starts off in a nightclub and quickly turns into a bizarre neon-lit reality TV show set nightmare, where you run around on these swirling laser-beam paths through the sky. Ninja Theory did not take half-measures with the game's colour palette, and while sometimes it's incredibly ugly, other times it hits really nicely. Ninja Theory's re-imagining of the DMC universe comes with a Heaven, a Hell and Limbo, an alternate world that you get shunted into against your will throughout the game, where the laws of gravity and physics fall apart and the levels themselves will warp and twist and break apart as you try and run through them. For the most part this means a lot of you jumping, double jumping and air-boosting between floating platforms, which isn't especially exciting, but you also have these abilities that let you pull yourself toward a thing or pull a thing toward yourself, and when those start getting pulled into the platforming it's pretty fun. It's a nice change from the standard Devil May Cry approach to level design, which is more or less just 'fight guys and then run to the other side of the room'.
 
Unfortunately, it's when you get into the actual Devil May Cry-ing that the game loses its lustre. The jury-rigged lock-on function they added into the Definitive Edition is... functional, I guess, but it doesn't really work all that well. You can still whiff away at empty air next to your target even while locked on, and it's very difficult to lock on to the right guy in a group of bad guys. The game has this unusual control choice where you have to hold a trigger to use your secondary weapons, rather than switching between them with a single press, and my fingers find it very confusing to be holding R1 to lock on, then hold R2 or L2 to use other weapons. There are some interesting enemy types, some not so great ones, and a pretty annoying tendency to throw bad guys at you in waves that are interrupted by a cutscene of Dante turning to look at the new guys loading in (couldn't they just spawn in during the fight like always? Why you gotta break my flow, bruh?).
 
And double unfortunately, there are only five bosses in the whole game, all of them except Vergil are terrible. They're all the giant face archetype: a big dude/monster that stands in one place and swipes at you while you hack away at it for ten minutes, and they're just tedious. They only ever have two or three attacks that are all perfectly easy to dodge, and because they're big and immobile the best option is just to use the heavy weapons and bam bam bam away with your most damaging combo until they die. Vergil's fight is the only fun one-on-one encounter, and even then it's ruined by like six mid-fight cutscenes breaking the flow constantly. It's a real shame, because these mechanics could have supported a bunch of great bossfights, but Ninja Theory just didn't make them. This is DMC, baby; bossfights are supposed to be the highlights.
 
The original Devils May Cry were perfect examples of one of my favourite video game tropes: Americans as written by Japanese people. Same thing I loved Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid; the Japanese game designers of the late 90s/early 2000s just had such a wonderful idea of what it meant to be an American, all brashness and bluster, loud and gregarious. DmC, by comparison, is what a bunch of dorky English theatre kids think it means to be American; Dante is just kind of a jerk, constantly being petty and rude to people for no real reason. Classic Dante might hurl some cheeky insults around, but only ever at the big bad guys who deserved a good dressing down. DmC Dante, by comparison, slaps Coke cans out of the hands of random pedestrians, and interrupts the poor, put-upon female character to tell her he doesn't care about her clever plan. Ninja Theory were too busy making every character punk and edgy to make any of them actually likable; Vergil even wears a fedora in the original release (hilariously, they edited out the fedora in the re-release :P).
 
The game ends with you taking down Mundus (in what is probably the easiest bossfight in the whole game), after which Vergil suddenly drops the bomb that, "Oh, btw, now we're going to subjugate humanity lol". It's one of the most jarring, whiplash-inducing plot twists, somehow both predictable (because they took it straight from DMC3) and out of nowhere (because they executed it so poorly). You fight Vergil, Dante squeezes the under-written female character's bum unbidden just so we know he's still a jerk, and then the game goes into a credits sequence that perfectly encapsulates the difference between Classic DMC and Ninja Theory DMC:
 
DMC4 ends with our ol' pal Dante walking off camera and giving us a cheerful wave goodbye. See you next time, buddy; it's been a fun ride:
 
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DmC Devil May Cry ends with Dante's voice actor saying "My name... is Dante" into the camera, then rolling away on a skateboard and flipping the bird:
 
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I don't know if they did this on purpose, but it's just the most perfectly on-brand thing for the game. "Our Dante? He wouldn't just walk away, he'd... he'd be on a skateboard! Because he's so cool and aloof and he doesn't care about society's rules, maaaan. And also he'd be giving the finger! Because he's so punk and anti-authority! MAAAAAAN!"
 
Oh boy.
 
I also played the Vergil's Downfall DLC, where you play as Vergil after the events of the main game. It's your standard cheapo post-game DLC, made of re-used assets from the main production and with some ugly motion comic cutscenes to save costs. It's nothing to write home about, except that it botches the Vergil bossfight for a second time. The one in the main game is ruined by the interrupting cutscenes, whereas the one in the DLC (Vergil against Shadow Vergil) is ruined by these newly-added phases where bad guy Vergil teleports out of the arena and spends like a minute sending very-easily-dodged Summoned Swords at you. It's just a total waste of time.
 
But, oh well, that was DmC. I still think the Definitive Edition is a perfectly competent action game, if you can suffer through the awful cutscenes and don't mind disappointing bossfights. But I'll be happy to move on to replaying the real Devil May Cry games, thank you very much. I started up DMC4 SE last night, doing a standard Nero/Dante playthrough (in Nero's cool purple coat alternate outfit), and this is my jam, baby. 



#486125 Movie/Television/Disney Entertainment Conglomerate News

Posted by Ocelot on 29 November 2017 - 07:58 AM

YYEEEEEEEAH BOOOOOOOOOYEEEEEE

 




#486109 SSLF's Official Devil May Cry 5 Rumour Mill/Hype/Appreciation Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 27 November 2017 - 10:08 PM

DMC has already had mooooore than its fair share of Capcpom cruelty:

 

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It's high time for some good news after these long years. These long, long years. SO MANY YEARS.

 

DEVIL MAY CRY FIIIIIIVE!

 

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EDIT - CONTINUE HOLDING YOUR BUTTS, because the original leaker has updated the leak!

 

A LITTLE UPDATE
 
- PlayStation 4 first, PC later. (highly unlikely to be on any other platform)
- Unreal Engine 4

 

On the one hand, it'd be a shame to see DMC go back to being console-exclusive after 4, DmC and the HD Collection were all multiplatform. I want to see the glory that is DMC5 reach as many people as possible, and even if the sales would probably have been Playstation-slanted anyway, I'm sure it would have sold enough on Xbox to at least make it worthwhile. But, then, Capcom isn't the company they once were, and it's perfectly believable that this game wouldn't exist at all without Sony helping to fund it. If it's a choice between a fully-featured but exclusive DMC5 and a multiplatform but somehow compromised (or, y'know, non-existent) DMC5... well, let's just say I'm glad I bought the right console :P
 
EDIT - Alright, you guys, get hype, because now Hideaki Itsuno himself is... potentially teasing?
 
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A target with five dots, and he's holding two Blue-Rose-esque revolver's in a 'V' shape... DMCV CONFIRMED EVERYONE GET HYYYYYPE!



#486103 SSLF's Official Devil May Cry 5 Rumour Mill/Hype/Appreciation Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 27 November 2017 - 03:48 AM

Alright, you gorgeous SSLFers, you. Devil May Cry 5 is, of course, the game that each and every one of us here is most excited about, and that we all dream of every night and spend our days pining over. When will Vergil return to us, we ask ourselves. When will the Big Daddy of action games make his triumphant return to the scene?

 

Well, hold onto your butts with both hands, because this might just be the big one. A big ol' leaked document has popped up on Resetera, aka New NeoGAF, which I will dump here in its entirety for your viewing pleasure:


RELEASE DATE AND PRODUCTION 
 
- The game is slated to release some time in the fiscal calendar year of 2019. That means sometime between April 2018 and March 2019. Original plan was to release it in November 2018 but the date MIGHT have been pushed back to early 2019. 
- Originally DMCV was intended to be announced at PSX but after receiving feedback on their E3 press conference, Sony decided to scale back on PSX and instead scale up E3 2018. DMCV was an unfortunate casualty of this choice and thus it’s unlikely that DMCV gets officially revealed in 2017. 
- There will be a demo for the game sometime before release. 
- Game has been in development for 2 years as of today. When it will release it will have been in development for 3 years at least. That is actually the highest time a DMC game has been in full production for. Pre-production started as early as 2015 around the time that DMC4SE finished releasing. There have been no development hiccups and as stated, the development has in fact been progressing smoothly. 
- There is some form of Playstation exclusivity involved. Sony is paying for some of the funding for the game but the extent of it is not known. Could be completely PS4 exclusive, console exclusive or timed exclusive. If the game is announced publicly then it will be at a Sony event, which is why many people thought that it was going to be at PSX. 
 
- Trailer has been ready for a while now. The initial trailer is 1 minute 50 seconds long (they may add new cuts to trailer to make an extended version since some time has passed from when it was made). It is mostly focused on story, characters and cutscenes. A city like setting is shown in the trailer not that different from Fortuna city in DMC4. 
- The overall game is supposed to be “ambitious” for a DMC title with a broader appeal. 
- Longest cutscene runtime of any DMC game yet. 
 
DEVELOPMENT TEAM
 
- Itsuno’s team that worked on previous DMC games and Dragon’s Dogma is working on DMCV. 
- Yuji Shimomura is returning as the cutscene director for DMCV. He worked on DMC3, DMC4 and Bayonetta cutscenes. 
- Reuben Langdon is reprising his role as Dante. 
- Johnny Young Bosch is reprising his role as Nero. 
- Dan Southworth is reprising his role as Vergil. 
- No word on the actresses who played Trish and Lady if they will be returning, 
- Onyay Pheori is helping with the soundtrack (she did the song for DMC4SE’s launch trailer).
 
CHARACTERS AND STORY (POTENTIALLY BIG SPOILERS!)
 
- DMCV picks up the story after DMC4. 
- More than one playable character in the game, Dante is for sure playable and Nero is possibly playable as well. Up to 3 playable characters have been suggested for now. 
- This is the most serious Dante has been (a "new side" of Dante), of course not counting DMC2. Dante still plays with his enemies and has his usual over the top flair but this game is going to be more personal for him. 
- A third character is expected to be playable as well. Said to be “very powerful.” May or may not be brand new to the series. 
- No word on whether Vergil is playable or not, he will be returning although specifics on how he is returning from his death in DMC1 are unknown. 
- Trish has a prominent role to play in DMCV but no word on whether she is playable or not. 
- There will be a sequence where Nero and Vergil have a confrontation, confirming their relationship (Nero is in fact Vergil’s son as stated in the DMC3142 artbook). 
- Characters switch during key story points in the game. 
- The “Prince of Darkness” is featured as the main antagonist of the story. (Prince of Darkness title normally refers to Mundus so it might indicate his return but that title may have transferred to another character)
- DMCV might be the end of the “sons of Sparda” storyline. 
 
GAME PLAY/SYSTEMS 
 
- Hard lock on is standard. 
- Console is targeted for 60 frames per second like the previous DMC games. 
- Level design is more open than previous DMC games but not going into Souls or open world territory of level design. Movement outside of combat has been streamlined to match the open nature of the game. The structure is more open to make the experience more "smooth." Immersion is important to the team with this game.
- Level design and exploration is more similar to Bayonetta with action set pieces thrown in there but without the QTEs. QTEs in general do not exist in DMCV thus far. 
- There is NO Stamina bar. 
- This is not a Musou game but there will be encounters where you are facing more enemies than you are used to in a DMC game.
- There is some online integration but definitely no multiplayer PvP. 
- Dodge system is reworked and dodging in general is supposed to be a lot smoother than before (get ready to hear the word “smooth” a lot when related to DMCV). 
- Camera pulls back during big fights. The devs are really proud of the new, more dynamic camera system.
- Animations are being improved to be less stiff. Big emphasis on cloth physics (maybe Dante’s sword might not clip through his jacket now!). Battles are beautifully animated and smooth. 
- Mission and Ranking system similar to previous DMC games and Bayonetta. There will definitely be mission/chapter selects. 
- Bosses being ramped up dramatically in DMCV. One of the boss fights moves between multiple areas of the game. 
- Style system is in for Dante - Enemies will react a bit differently to each style.
- Style system has been streamlined to be smoother to use for the players (speculated that the style system might be tuned/reworked to make it easier to get into than in DMC4).
- Certain styles will have advantages on certain enemies similar to DmC/DMC3 (you can use a single style on any enemy just fine). 
- More environment interactivity than any previous DMC game. This is supposed to compliment the combat system, not detract from it. 
- There is some form of dynamic environment destruction/transformation in play but not on the scale of DmC thus far. 
- While this is not an open world game, some inspirations have been taken from Dragon’s Dogma. 

 

Take it with a grain of salt, as with all internet rumours about video games, but maybe also believe in it with all your heart because it sounds so good. Itsuno! Vergil! The proper voice actors! Prince of Darkness! A trailer ready to go!
 
It basically sounds like my dream come true, with the possible exception of another Fortune-style city as the setting instead of a spooky castle/tower like DMC1 and 3, but whatevs I can deal with that. I've been waiting for a proper Dante/Vergil DMC game for almost THIRTEEN YEARS now. DMC3 came out in 2005, and as we all know it is the greatest video game ever made and has yet to be equaled. DMC4 is an excellent action game in kind of a frustrating, incomplete shell, a victim of Capcom's transition to HD development. DmC is a perfectly competent action game (assuming you get the Definitive Edition), but it just isn't that Devil May Cry goodness. But Devil May Cry 5? Fuggedaboudit. It's going to be 400% PURF, and you all know it, and if you say it won't be you're just lying to yourselves.
 
In conclusion, do you remember what we used to say?
 
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#486089 GOTYest Of All Time Games of the Year 2017

Posted by Ocelot on 25 November 2017 - 12:32 AM

Roundabout the end of 2015, Sega added a game named Yakuza 4 to the Playstation Plus free game list thing, and a handsome young man in Australia took that as an opportunity to try out a series he'd always heard about but had never quite got around to checking out. Yakuza, that's that Japanese GTA knockoff, right? Well, that same young, good-looking, Australian man's life was forever changed about an hour later, when he discovered that Yakuza games were incredible and that he loved them all to bits, and that he'd been an utter fool to have ignored them for this long. And, in case you haven't guessed it yet,  that foolish, muscular young man's name? Albert Einstein Ocelot.

 

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The Yakuza games are always set in the year and approximate time of their original release, but Yakuza 0 is a prequel set in 1988, where our intrepid hero Kazuma Kiryu is just a bratty kid, all of 20 years old. Due to some shakedown-related shenanigans, Kiryu is set up to take the fall for the murder of an innocent businessman, and so kicks off a really interesting story of organized crime subterfuge and no-good-ery, during which you have to fistfight like a million guys and have some really excruciatingly tense conversations with guys way higher up the Yakuza tree than you are, whose allegiances are never quite clear. Meanwhile, Goro Majima, a recurring villain up to this point, is dealing with his own conspiracy over in Osaka, and for the first time in the series we get to play as him as he also fights a million guys and gets into a lot of trouble.

 

Japan in 1988 sort of had the neon-lit disco aesthetic of America in the '70s, so imagine that as interpreted through the eyes of Japanese businessmen who mainly know what America is through Hollywood movies, and now imagine that everyone has briefcases full of money on them at all times. If this game is to be believed, Japan's bubble economy was a time when you could just trip over fat stacks of cash in the street, or pluck it out of the air like fluttering rain drops, and that idea reaches seemingly every part of this game's design. Thousand Yen bills fly out of the people you punch in place of blood splatter effects, and said bills take the place of XP in this game. You power up your character by pouring money into a skill tree, so you can go from a billionaire to broke in a few minutes' leveling (and then you have to go and punch more guys!). But be careful about walking around the streets of Japan with that much cash on you, because there are huge walking mini-boss enemies out there who'll take it all away if they catch you and beat you in a fight (a lot of things in these games are solved by punching, btw).

 

Money flows so freely in '80s Japan that later in the game your two characters will accidentally stumble into cartoonishly lucrative jobs. A property investment tycoon spots Kiryu's moxie from a distance and immediately offers him a job at his firm, which leads to a wild series of events wherein you'll more or less buy the entire city and then have to face off against a shadowy cabal of flamboyant property investors who think they can keep Tokyo for themselves. One wants to fight you for control of his district, one challenges you to a round of Outrun, the '80s Sega arcade game. One particularly unfortunate one wants to face off against you in a round of karaoke, little does he know that you are the greatest karaoke-ist in all Nippon:

 

 

Meanwhile, Majima ends up running a Cabaret Club, in what is genuinely one of the most addictive minigames I've ever played. From something approaching the classic omniscient strategy game commander perspective, you'll oversee a night of action at the club, which involves pairing up rich customers with girls that match their personalities in order to try and bilk as much money out of those suckers as possible. With six tables to juggle at once, an endless stream of customers and the needs of your own girls to think about as they tire of throwing fake smiles at gross old men, it can get hectic in just the right way an arcade game should be. I honestly feel like I could buy a whole game of nothing but Cabaret Clubbing:

 

 

Yakuza 0 feels like the peak of Yakuza series to me. After five mainline games and a handful of spin-offs, it feels like the studio took everything they'd learnt along the way and poured it into one borderline perfect video game. They've tried single-character games, multi-character games, giant intermeshing conspiracies and smaller, more personal stories, and all manner of different combat styles and other forms of gameplay, and you can feel the benefits of all that experience in Yakuza 0. The story and writing are probably the best in the series, and the gameplay is without a doubt the best its ever been, with each character having three different combat styles that can be swapped between on the fly for some blazing hot 60FPS dude-punching action. GOODNESS ME it's just an excellent video game all around, and I love it to bits.

 

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#486067 GOTYest Of All Time Games of the Year 2017

Posted by Ocelot on 19 November 2017 - 03:17 AM

Let me tell you fine ladies and gentlemen about the most stylish video game of all time, a game by the name of Persona 5:

 

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Now, full disclosure here, I haven't finished Persona 5. It's a 100 hour JRPG even when the player isn't studying his or her way past a language barrier, and of course I decided to play it in Japanese, so it might end up taking me years to finish. But I do think I've played far enough into the juicy meat to give my expert opinion of what kind of game it is, and how every little bit of it is just oozing with unique, inimitable style. It's a game where any time I reach a new area I have to pause for a minute or two to properly appreciate the new smooth jazzpop bop that my ears are treated to, where every character portrait makes me feel like even more of a boorish lout with their impossibly stylish outfits, and even the MENUS look so cool I can't stand it:

 

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(I recommend this absolute tune for best results while reading my big thing here, btw. The developers just drop this cool customer on you when they introduce you to the place where you buy healing items, the utter madmen.)

 

Persona 5 is the story of a young kiddo with the kind of unruly hair that any male model would kill for, convicted of a minor misdemeanour in his home town and sent to stay with an irascible friend of the family in Tokyo to serve out his probationary period. You'll experience the hardship of transferring to a new school full of cool kids in Shibuya, make friends with a crowd of misfits of varying social circles, stick your nose in all of their business and probably eventually kiss at least one of them, oh and every now and then you'll use a mysterious smartphone app to enter an alternate world born of the unrequited desires of certain unscrupulous individuals, where you'll fight demons in a very Japanese-video-game-esque depiction of young people coming of age and dealing with their internal struggles. Oh, and by the way, this time you're all Phantom Thieves, and the whole game is themed around the idea of you being a team of daring cat burglars pulling off impossible heists. It's like Ocean's Eleven, only with impossibly trendy Japanese teens. And demons.

 

It's awesome, is what I'm saying. While the game doesn't exactly turn the JRPG paradigm on its head, it is at least a perfectly-well-executed one of those with a sense of style that's just second to none. I mean, it seems reductive to boil the whole game down to 'style', but oh man what a style it is! Every moment of the game just looks so beautiful, and sounds even better. It really can't be overstated just what a singular experience it is. All the things you think of when someone describes a game as 'very Japanese'; take that, turn the volume knob up as high as it will go, combine it with a spicy bassline that you just can't help tap your foot to, and you have Persona 5. There's nothing out there that will make you feel more like a cool Japanese teenager who has it all worked out, and I know you might think that sounds dorky when I say it, but what I'm saying is that when you play Persona 5 you won't. This game is a "What It's Like to Be One of the Cool Kids" Simulator.

 

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It's an amazingly well-written game, too. Despite all the fanciful whimsy, they manage to ground the world with surprisingly believable characters. Right at the start of the game, when you're registering at your new school, the game focuses briefly on one of your new teachers who's been saddled with showing you around the place. She's a young woman, presumably fairly new to the teaching gig, without much life experience, and she seems so unsure of herself and anxious about being saddled with this new kid. A transfer out of nowhere, surrounded by rumours of some kind of police record; why did it have to be her class? I found myself feeling sorry for the poor woman even after just a few lines of internal monologue; someone who's ultimately nothing more than a NPC, really. So, if they write their minor characters with such care, you can imagine how well-fleshed out the major players are. It's good stuff. The game taps into that latent trauma we all share just by virtue of having gone to school as young people, and as such feels so much more relatable than your average save-the-world story, but the excellent writing lends it a certain extra effectiveness. You have to give a game credit for making you feel that particular desire to crawl into a hole and die that comes with being reminded of something embarrassing you did in High School that you'll never be able to forget as long as you live.

 

One day I fully intend to finish Persona 5, but until then I'll keep plugging away at it in chunks and enjoying every moment. This game took so long to make that it all but skipped the entire PS3/360 generation, so I'm OK with taking my time finishing it :P




#486064 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 18 November 2017 - 04:48 AM

To my own surprise, I bought that there Star Wars Battlefront 2. I liked the idea of a Star Wars Call of Duty singleplayer campaign, but I obviously had no intention of buying the game under EA's industry-ruining regime. But then they took all the microtransactions out... so here we are, I suppose. I mean, I know they're going to patch them back in, but I only wanted to play the campaign and then stick the game on Ebay, so it'll be long gone by the time that happens. I don't know, maybe I've played myself by buying it at all, but there's no winning move in this game. If people buy the game, EA gets the wrong idea, and if people don't buy the game EA kills the developer. The problem with voting with your wallet is that money isn't very expressive, so the message of "I'm only buying this because you took out the microtransactions, OK?" gets swallowed up amongst all the "Yay Star Wars! I just want to shoot people online forever!" purchases.

 

But I did buy it, and I played the campaign, and I enjoyed it. So maybe I'm a huge scab, but at least DICE gets to keep the lights on for another couple of years. Maybe they'll make another Mirror's Edge one of these days? (lol, they're just going to make Battlefronts until EA loses the rights for good)

 

It's not an especially great singleplayer, but I certainly had fun with it. It's right in line with your standard post-COD4 shooter campaign, which is to say four to six hours of first-person blasting your way through levels full of bad guys, with the occasional slow walk for exposition or vehicle/aircraft section to break the monotony. Battlefront 2 lets you hit down on the D-pad to toggle between first- or third-person at any time, which is nice, but I found I really preferred first-person for this. With no cover system, third-person gets you into that awkward position where you're trying to shoot around a wall but the parallax between your character's aiming angle and the reticle on screen means you're just shooting straight into the wall instead, and first-person obviously doesn't have that problem. 

 

It's a weird first-person-shooting setup. You're only allowed to carry one weapon, and you can't pick up weapons from enemies, so it really forces you to be conservative and take an assault rifle all the time. There's a special ability (on a cooldown) that lets you use a shotgun for a limited period of time, and another that lets you throw grenades, but long cooldowns really discourage any kind of experimentation. There are all kinds of weapons to use, but the fact that you have to use them as your only main weapon means it's just not worth it, y'know? What if the pistol is just useless and I end up having to start the whole mission over again? Two weapon systems are restrictive enough (particularly compared to something like Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, where not only can you carry every weapon in the game, but you can dual-wield and mix-and-match them, too), but a one weapon system? Why design a game that way? I guess because that's how the multiplayer works, and you can't let people have fun in the singleplayer if they aren't allowed to have fun in the multiplayer. God video games are dumb.

 

So you play as that pretty lady who was on stage at the E3 show. She's Iden Versio, a member of an elite Imperial special forces team who, spoilers, realise the Empire is bad and defects to the Rebels. It's a pretty neat little story, more or less starting on the ground on Endor as the second Death Star is being blown up and then continuing a little way post-RotJ. It ends with the battle that left all those Star Destroyer husks lying around on Jakku, and then there's a little epilogue set 'Decades Later' which doesn't really go anywhere but kinda sorta leads into Episode VII (apparently they're going to add a little more singleplayer epilogue stuff with DLC somewhere down the line, but I guess I'll just watch that on Youtube).

 

I suppose the big draw is that you get to play as some of our ol' favourite Star Wars characters during the campaign. They're all voiced by sound-alikes, and have iffy character models, but Luke, Leia, Han and Lando get their own levels, all with their own unique abilities, and all locked to third-person view (which is just fairly irritating). Leia's shooting guys on Naboo, Han Solo's shooting guys around Maz's castle on Takodana, Lando shoots guys on Sullust, and Luke has a particularly stupid level where he cuts down a million Stormtroopers (but then apologises afterwards so you know he feels super bad about it), then spends like eight straight minutes hitting bugs with his lightsabre while an AI character struggles to hack a door. Like, for reals, that's the best they could come up with for a level where you play as Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. Bugs crawl out of the walls and you whack them with the lightsabre, for ages. It goes on so long it's just absurd. And the lightsabre-ing controls are actually pretty cool: you have some very video-game-y special abilities on cooldowns, but you can hold down the L2 trigger to block incoming shots and reflect them wherever your aiming reticle is pointed, so you can headshot guys with their own shots. It feels great. And then they just make you mash at bugs forever. What a dumb thing.

 

And there are some dogfighting levels, too, but they really just made me wish there was a new Rogue Squadron game. You fly TIE Fighters, X-Wings, the Millennium Falcon and a Bespin Cloud Car, and they all feel basically identical. They all have that awful first person shooter control scheme where you do all the flying and aiming with the right stick and the left is only used for throttling up and down and rolling. There's a 'shoot here to lead your target' icon, but the auto-aim is so heavy that it doesn't really matter, and an X-Wing takes just as many shots to kill as a TIE Fighter does. Missiles are on a cooldown timer, like everything else fun in the game, so forget any kind of strategy and just use'em when you've got'em. It wouldn't be so bad if it was just an occasional thing, but there are a lot of these aerial levels, and some of them go on for a long time. It's as if DICE thought they were nailing the Rogue Squadron thing, and let me tell you they absolutely were not.

 

But, y'know, it's a fun few hours. It's nothing you're going to remember a week from now, and this game is going to be in the EA Access vault in a year, so don't rush out and buy it or anything, but I guess you could do worse. It's fun to shoot guys and fly X-Wings, and there sure aren't any other Star Wars games coming out any time soon.

 

I've also been continuing my anxiety-ridden journey into the world of playing video games in Japanese, with 大逆転裁判, aka The Great Ace Attorney. Aka the as-yet unlocalised Ace Attorney game set in post-Restoration Japan/Victorian London, where you play as Phoenix Wright's ancestor and meet Sherlock Holmes:

 

 

And it's great! I mean, if you've played an Ace Attorney you know what to expect, because they are all more or less the same setup, but the characters are really fun, the writing is great (as far as I can tell as a non-native speaker), and I've really enjoyed the first case so far. I think it's the best-looking game in the series by far, with some wonderful character animations that just brim with personality. Our hero Naruhodo Ryunosuke (I'm guessing he's the great grandfather of Naruhodo Ryuichi, aka Phoenix Wright) is still just a law student, not even a fully-fledged attorney, and it's a lot of fun seeing him work out exactly how it all works. When he tries to slam a table he just gets a clammy-handed slap noise instead :P

 

This game came out in Japan only in 2015, and is probably past the point of ever being released in English. It wouldn't be the first Ace Attorney game not to be localised, and it's since had a sequel (also un-localised), so that ship has probably sailed. And, playing it, I can sort of see why. It pretty much comes down to the original decision to pretend the Ace Attorney games were set in Los Angeles for the English localisation. They simply took the original Japanese game, gave everyone more Western names and swapped Tokyo for Los Angeles; easy peasy. This got a little more difficult when subsequent entries in the series started getting Japanese-er, and the English localisation team had to pretend that all the traditional Japanese villages and kimono-clad people carrying Samurai swords were still American, but they made it work. Eat your hamburgers, Apollo.

 

But this game is very unapologetically set in the Great Nipponese Empire. Characters are Japanese, and they speak Japanese, and when the suspect of the first case turns out to be an English-speaking exchange student from the British Empire, nobody can understand what she's saying. In fact, her speech is depicted in-game as illegible fake-cursive script, except when she says some English word that your average Japanese person would be familiar with like 'No' or 'Shut up!'. There's really no way of pretending it's set anywhere but Japan, and it'd be kind of tricky to translate into English. You can do the MGS3 thing and just pretend that everyone's speaking Japanese but we're hearing/reading it in English, but then how do you handle it when a character actually does speak English and the player character isn't supposed to be able to understand it?

 

I think the answer is to just accept it and lean into the silly situation, because there's really no other way around it. Better for the international audience to be able to play it at all, even if it is a bit daft, than for the game to just stay Japan-only forever. But, oh well, it really doesn't seem likely now. Maybe Capcom will remaster it for the Switch one of these days and rethink things.




#486053 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 16 November 2017 - 08:18 PM

Yeah, I don't credit them with any compassion or anything, but I'll take what I can get. Whether they're worried about losing sales, upsetting Disney, speeding up the process of getting some gambling regulations in place on this stuff or whatever else, this is still a high-profile backtrack. Hopefully seeing that not even the biggest publisher with the most popular franchise can get away with this kind of rubbish scot-free will keep everyone else honest, for a short time at least. Obviously this isn't going to stop microtransactions in their tracks, but maybe it'll delay the inevitable death of video games by... I don't know, a month or two.

 

I suppose the other way of looking at it is that EA is selling a game that has no microtransactions at launch, but presumably the same grindy progression curve that was designed to irritate people into buying microtransactions in the first place, so when they do patch those microtransactions in people are going to be even sicker of the grind and even more prepared to get out their wallets. Maybe everything is terrible and nothing will ever be good again.

 

But before you make that trip down to your local Short Length of Rope store, maybe play Killer is Dead for free thanks to the Humble Store's newest sale.

 

EDIT - So apparently the CEO of Disney did call the CEO of EA today, and within a matter of hours we had today's little announcement. Don't make Big Daddy Disney upset :P

 

And Geoff Keighley says to "Expect the unexpected" at his Game Awards in a few weeks. I'm sure I don't need to tell you guys what that means. But, just in case, DMC5 confirmed, obviously.




#486048 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 16 November 2017 - 06:53 PM

EA has removed all microtransactions from Battlefront 2 and says "all progression will be earned through gameplay".

 

This story has been blowing up so widely in the last few days that it reached self-sustaining meme status, and even found its way to CNN, so whether EA's analysts worked out it was going to affect their bottom line or Disney themselves stepped in and gave them a jolly good bollocking for bringing this much negative press down on their baby a month before the new movie, here we are.

 

Now, granted, they also say that "The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date, only after we’ve made changes to the game. We’ll share more details as we work through this.", so it could go back to being just as bad as ever in a few weeks. But, focusing on the positives for now, a stink was kicked up and a change was made. They'll be launching this game and going through its period of heaviest play with no extra revenue beyond what selling a video game would already have brought, no doubt saying goodbye to millions of dollars in profit, because they remembered that it's the customers who pay their salary and the whole idea is to make the customer happy so they'll keep paying your salary.




#486038 Movie/Television/Disney Entertainment Conglomerate News

Posted by Ocelot on 16 November 2017 - 06:43 AM

Album of leaked images from what I assume is an upcoming trailer for Avengers Infinity War. Wolfie, I have a birthday present for you:

 

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LOOK AT THAT BEAUTIFUL MAN!

 

EDIT - Remember those stories about how Henry Cavill grew a moustache for Mission Impossible 6, and then they had to get him back for reshoots for Justice League but the Mission Impossible studio wouldn't let them shave his moustache and they had to remove it with CGI? Remember how that sounded like a really smart idea that nothing could possibly go wrong with and that wasn't super dumb at all and? Well...

 

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