News XBONE

Published on May 25th, 2013 | by Christian

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Gaiden – Xboned

Hello and welcome once again to the return of the weekly news roundup here on Gaijin Densetsu.  If you’ve been paying attention, you will have noticed that the title format for the post has changed from “News GaiDen xx/xx/xx” to just “Gaiden – xxxx.”  I think the old style post title was a little too on the nose. It’s obvious from the category that this is about news, and although there was some clever wordplay with Gaijin Densetsu converting to GaiDen, it’s probably better just to say Gaiden.  Anyway, here we go!

Microsoft reveals their next-gen console, the Xbox One.

Source: Microsoft / Wired

We don’t talk much about Microsoft’s consoles here on Gaijin Densetsu, because frankly they don’t have much to offer folks interested in Japanese developed games with the puzzling exception of Cave schmups which come out exclusively on Microsoft’s 360.  Still, I couldn’t help but be amazed, bewildered, and ultimately disappointed by Microsoft’s press conference earlier in the week which detailed a lot of their upcoming console’s features and showed very little in the way of games. You might recall my disappointment in Sony’s conference three months ago, but that thing was a fucking masterpiece in comparison to what Microsoft put on display.  I’ll run down the major highlights of the conference.

  • mandatory Kinect 2.0
  • required online game license authentication and installs to hard drive; a strictly anti-consumer “feature”
  • focus on an all-in-ONE (ahhhh very clever) media box rather than strictly on games
  • partnership with EA for timed exclusive in game features
  • Call of Duty Ghosts was shown.  Looks like garbage compared to existing high-end PC games (see Crysis 3).
  • New Forza.  Looks like a racing game alright.
  • Not backwards compatible with the 360 for basically no reason; at least for Sony’s machine it makes sense (i.e. cell processor is a mess)
  • Tons of nonsense about “the cloud” which is obvious buzz-word bullshit (see Sim City 4)
  • Console looks like a VCR. Not really a big deal, but Jesus Christ.

By far the most glaring problem with this thing seems to be Microsoft’s unclear messaging about what exactly is going to be required for game authentication.  As far as I can tell, based on comments to Wired from Phil Harrison, the discs will just be delivery mechanisms for the games which will be non-transferable. So no more lending your games to your friends, they’ll have to pay an activation fee, which depending on how new the game is, could very well be full price ($60).  I couldn’t make this shit up even if I tried.

This might sound like vitriol, but to be fair Sony hasn’t been extremely forthcoming with details about how this stuff might work on the PS4 either.  E3 is less than three weeks away at this point, so I imagine that we’ll find out a lot more about both platforms then, but for now it seems like Microsoft has stumbled hard out of the gate and produced an opportunity for Sony to scramble and refine a message that satisfies gamers who are on the fence about which console to adopt for  next-gen.  I was never going to buy Microsoft’s box no matter what.  I don’t have any desire for them to fail, but it’s hard not to balk when they so brazenly adopt policies that are aggressively shitty for consumers.  Lastly, a lot of folks, especially “games journalists” have been pointing at Steam as an example of how systems like this already exist, but for reasons of brevity I won’t get into why that’s complete bullshit here. Maybe next week on the Wednesday post.

New Guilty Gear, Guilty Gear Xrd, in the works

Source: Arc System Works

What!?!  Wow, after all these years the Guilty Gear franchise is returning to fighting games with Guilty Gear Xrd.  The game is under development using the Unreal Engine (double-what?!?) and is looking like a very phenomenal 2d/3d graphical hybrid.  I’m very excited about this game, and looking forward to picking up where I left off in Guilty Gear XX so long ago, being a total nuisance with Faust.  While Arc System Works has developed a bit of a Capcom sized reputation for milking their franchises into the ground with tons of iterative releases of essentially the same game, Guilty Gear holds too much of a special place in my heart for me to care this time.  I’m looking forward to it, though it’s unclear what platforms this is coming out on at the moment.

Project X Zone Demo comes to EU 3DS eShop

Source: Nintendo of Europe

It doesn’t happen often, but occasionally I feel as though I am living in the wrong region for games.  Most of the time North America is treated fairly well compared to other regions (except maybe Japan, obviously), but this time the EU gets the jump on us with an early demo of Capcom, Sega and Namco Bandai’s bizzare cross-over strategy game.  Project X Zone seems like the kind of bizarre licensing nightmare that very rarely results in a game that makes it out of Japan, not most entries in the Super Robot Wars franchise, but this hot pile of fan-service is coming in just about a month to NA and shortly thereafter.  This summer is going to be pretty packed as far as games go, so I don’t think I’ll be picking it up unless it gets an overwhelmingly positive reception online, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out regardless, and I’ll definitely play the demo once it is available for NA.

Kirby blows into the Wii U Virtual Console

Source: Nintendo

This week we get a trio of Kirby games on the Wii U VC: Kirby’s Dream Land 3, Kirby Super Star, and Kirby’s Dream Course. All are available to download for $8 each, and if you purchase two of them before the end of the month you get the third one for free.  If it’s not obvious by my avatar here on Gaijin Densetsu, I’m a HUGE Kirby’s Dream Course fan.  Oddly enough, I never owned a copy on the Super Nintendo, but rented it numerous times from the Blockbuster Video and played the hell out of it.  SNES copies are readily available online, but with my SNES across the country I never bothered to pick one up.  Now with the game on the Wii U VC I don’t really have much of an excuse to not get this game and enjoy it all over again. As far as I’m concerned it is both the all time best Kirby game and the all time best mini-golf game.  Honestly I have a hard time wrapping my head around why we’ve never seen another entry in the Dream Course franchise.  If you haven’t played it, I recommend it highly. It’s just sublime.

 

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