Tag Archives: Atlus

Trailer Roundup: NBA Live 15, Persona 5, and More

Trailer Roundup: NBA Live 15, Persona 5, and More

Yeah, I’ve been out of it for a while. Honestly, all the stuff about Gamer Gate had me put off the idea of even talking to another person, least of all not even bothering with PAX Prime. It was a terribly destructive period of the industry that morphed from slander to verbal assault to a fundamental debasing of reasoning and decency.

Paste has a nice bookend to the whole ordeal, though the problematic existence of bullies and bigots extends far beyond the terminative boundaries of the end of a bookshelf. That’s all I want to talk about it. Others have spoken on it far more eloquently than I ever will and I don’t want to get dragged into a flamewar.

In fact, let’s just get back to what we do best on a Monday. Let’s watch some god damn trailers.

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

NSFW. Maybe? I have no idea. I don’t have a single solitary clue about what most of this trailer is but it certainly feels NSFW even when you take the somewhat naked burlap sack head people out. As weird as The Binding of Isaac actually is (and as weird as this port The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth will similarly be), this trailer takes the cake. Comes out November 4 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PC, Mac, and Linux.

Slender: The Arrival

Slender: The Arrival is a game that you kind of have to buy fully into to get any joy out of it. It’s very easy to play it, get bored, and stop after about five minutes. And even if you last long enough to encounter a thing to run away from, you have to be willing to play along and get perturbed. This is, however, a rather good trailer, though I’m not sure if you haven’t played this game before, what would convince you to do so now. Comes out September 23 for PSN and September 24 for Xbox Live Arcade.

Assassin’s Creed Rogue

This is an absolutely fantastic trailer for Assassin’s Creed Rogue, and for some reason, I just can’t get behind it. While Black Flag was a great game, it was kind of all I needed to cap off with the best of the series’ gameplay (mostly) and realize that without the Desmond story, I’m just not that interested anymore. I’ll probably still play Rogue since that’s how this job works, but the desire is lacking. Comes out November 11 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Hatoful Boyfriend

Basically, if you like this trailer, you’ll probably like what Hatoful Boyfriend has to offer. It’s a weird game. Like, super weird. It’s a visual novel game about being the only human at a school for sapient pigeons. It’s strange and funny but also surprisingly deep with a branching storyline and complex motives for relationship building. It’s out now on Steam, so maybe give it a try.

Ancient Space

I really like how surprised the voiceover sounds when he says “PEGI 12.” I also really like what Joe Fricano, senior producer on the project with Paradox Interactive, said about Ancient Space being more like NASA and less like Star Wars. I like Star Wars, don’t get me wrong, but I like this idea of a clinical take on a deep space mystery. Sounds cool. Comes out September 23 for PC and Mac.

Wasteland 2

The problem with Wasteland 2, the $2.9 million Kickstarter success from April of 2012, is that the prospect of playing it isn’t very inviting, but playing it will undoubtedly be wholly encompassing. I mean, look at this trailer for combat. It’s a seven-minute trailer about just the fighting portion of the game. That being said, I probably will be one of those people playing. Comes out September 19 for PC, Mac, and Linux.

Firewatch

Now that’s a doozy. No idea what Firewatch is but I’m totally into it. Just read this description and tell me you’re not in, too: “Firewatch is a mystery set in the Wyoming wilderness, where your only emotional lifeline is the person on the other end of a handheld radio.” What a hook. Even the website is slick enough to make you want to find out more. Comes out sometime in 2015 for PC, Mac, and Linux.

Persona 5

God dammit, Persona 5, give me something to work with. I feel like that weird chair teaser from February was more informative than this thing. It has my interest piqued, sure, but at what cost, man, at what cost. Comes out in 2015 for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

NBA Live 15

The NBA Live franchise doesn’t die easily, huh. It basically stopped after NBA Live 10 until NBA Live 13 got canceled and then was officially revived with last year’s supremely disappointing NBA Live 14. Considering that the NBA 2K series has been alive and kicking in the intervening years, I wonder if NBA Live 15 will even have enough legs to run and not shit the bed again like 2013. I can’t tell if the song in the trailer is more wishing or telling. Comes out October 7 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

WWE 2K15

Boy, wrestling games seem like a lot of fun to motion capture. Even if you’re still beating the shit out of yourself while actively trying to not quite beat the shit out of someone else, it must be super cool to do all those acrobatic super slams and then watch it go into a game like WWE 2K15. Also, how is Goldberg still alive? Like, as a person. Comes out October 28 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

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Trailer Roundup: BioWare, The Sailor’s Dream, and More

Trailer Roundup: BioWare, The Sailor's Dream, and More

Have you listened to The College Dropout all the way through? It’s Kanye West’s debut album and I just blew through it for the first time. “Last Call” is crazy, right? I mean, it’s nearly 13 minutes of his goddamn life that stands in stark contrast with the person we know today. He portrays himself as a guy who knew he was talented but struggled to find a break and kept getting rejected, but we see him every day as a person completely detached from reality and, quite frankly, a rich ass.

That really has nothing to do with video game trailers. I just thought maybe you guys would want to talk about it. Or maybe something else. Whatever you have on your minds, I’m up for it. It could be about these trailers or maybe the bad day you just had or maybe the wicked salsa you made yesterday. I’m here for you.

Also I want that salsa recipe. You know who you are.

Assassin’s Creed Unity

Do you think they don’t have a colon in Assassin’s Creed Unity as some subtle play into the idea of unity? Just wondering. You already know the deal. We’ve heard these promises before of better control and more fun combat, but whether or not it’s a good or bad Assassin’s Creed game, I’m actually super excited to wander around 1700s France in this crazy quality. A full year to design one of the major landmarks. Crazy!

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege

One of the quotes in the trailer says that Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege was one of the biggest surprises of this year’s E3, and I agree wholeheartedly. The trailer at Ubisoft’s E3 press event was cool but left a lot of questions up in the air. Playing it, however, answered many of them, though still managed to raise more delectable questions. Expected to release 2015 for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

The Sailor’s Dream

With the hopes that developers Simogo can pull out a quality iOS game once more, I’m rather intrigued by The Sailor’s Dream. It hopefully won’t scare the shit out of me like Year Walk, but the writing alone in the trailer got me good. Save for the last one that it fades out on. That came across as cheesy, but my curiosity certainly is piqued. Look for it late 2014 on iOS.

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth

I wonder why Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 succeeded so hard. It has reached Final Fantasy VII levels of spinoff material. It’s my favorite of the series, but I wonder how word of its quality spread with such a convincing visage. It’s a hard enough sell to make people play an RPG let alone one that averages 70+ hours. Oh well. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth releases November 25, 2014 for Nintendo 3DS.

Shadowgate

I was never huge on Shadowgate. I’ve certainly played it—just as I’m sure most of you have as well—but it never clicked all that hard with me. Feel free to judge me as this reimagining accrued almost 3,500 backers and roughly $137,000 on Kickstarter, so chances are you remember it more fondly than I do. New puzzles and fancy graphics, though, so it could be worth remember that it comes out August 21, 2014 for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.

BioWare Teaser

Details are sparse on BioWare’s new project. We don’t even have a title yet. So far it’s just this live action trailer and mostly worthless words from press interviews. World building, contemporary stories (whatever you want that to mean), etc. It’s a cool trailer, but something more tangible needs to be revealed for a meaningful reaction. I do like that there’s some ARG stuff going on, though.

Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom

Do you think there will ever be a good Adventure Time game? While Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?! was more or less agreeable, Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know! was mostly hot trash. I wonder if it’ll take as many tries as South Park to hit South Park: The Stick of Truth-level. Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom comes out this fall for Steam, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo 3DS.

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A Persona 4 Of My Own

A Persona 4 Of My Own

Though I assume it’s the same with mostly every other entertainment industry like music and movies, it seems especially strange in video games that the zeitgeist moves so quickly. It seems like with whatever GDC, Nintendo World Summit, or Microsoft thing that manages to squeeze into February and March, the starter pistol fires early and the races goes on all year. Every writer (and non-industry gamer, I guess) is sprinting towards December where there is a brief respite before we do it all again the following year. It’s the grueling endurance test of a marathon at the breakneck speed of a 100-meter dash with the road behind you crumbling almost as fast as you can run.

But like a marathon, we get little pick-me-ups along the way; publishers and developers holding out their cups and bananas for you to take. The only problem is that it seems like with every step we take, we find ourselves at the feet of another refreshment and another and another until our cups overfloweth with games. Either we blaze through each release with nary a drop of pleasure to be found or we prioritize and leave anything less than necessary unfinished.

So it’s astounding to me when my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds all fill up on the reg about a single game, when it seems like everyone agreed on an unspoken moment of lying on the pavement—sweating and panting—to take a break and look at the clouds. Even though no one had the time, it seemed like everyone took a day to appreciate Asura’s Wrath back in February. Even in a month inundated with must-cover titles like Mass Effect 3, Ninja Gaiden 3, and Kid Icarus: Uprising, somehow every stopped, played Journey, and then talked about Journey for the next two weeks. The Walking Dead, Fez, and Trials Evolution found time to be lovingly caressed amidst the storm of Diablo III, Max Payne 3, and The Darkness 2.

This time of year makes it harder to find a moment to catch your breath. The “holiday push” is what they call it, a massive wave of new releases (and a new console) to play on all that Christmas and Hanukkah spending spirit. Not only that, but most outlets begin to prepare for what seem like potentially endless debate on Game of the Year contenders. There’s just so little time between the Wii U, Far Cry 3, Assassin’s Creed III, Hitman: Absolution, writing about Hitman: Absolution‘s marketing blunders, writing about #1reasonwhy, etc. to even think about how you’re still running.

So imagine my surprise when two weeks later, everyone is still tweeting, booking, and gramming about one game in between headliner reviews and previews (and traveling to Los Angeles, for some reason). Since review copies went out a week before its official release date of November 20, Persona 4: Golden has been shared, discussed, and lauded across the social network of video games writers. That’s three weeks strong in the middle of the winter deluge. Not bad for a game that was new back in 2008.

Why, then, has Persona 4 persisted? Well, besides that it’s a great game, but it truly has no reason to have such staying power. Look at all the other games around it! This was a JRPG released on the PS2 back when video game budgets were still reasonable. In current times, it’s going head-to-head with Halo 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, a new console launch, ACIII, Far Cry 3, and the conclusion of The Walking Dead, arguably one of the best stories ever told in video games. And that’s not to mention that it’s only for the PS Vita, a gaming handheld that not everyone owns (like the 360 or PS3) or even cares to remember.

Simply put, it was too easy to pass over back in the day. At its release four(!) years ago, Person 4 was still up against a plethora of holiday juggernauts (it was released on December 9th) and also on a mostly forgotten console in the PS2. It was heralded as the last great title to come out for the aged and legendary Sony product but had to compete with Call of Duty: World at War, Mirror’s Edge, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Left 4 Dead, Need for Speed: Undercover, Tomb Raider: Underworld, Prince of Persia, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, Gears of War 2, Resistance 2, Fallout 3, LittleBigPlanet, Rock Band 2, Far Cry 2, Fable II, Dead Space, and—HOLY CRAP. No wonder it got left behind!

Everyone had moved on by then. Who has time for an 80-hour game when you have to make time for coverage of aaalllllll that. Just within the span of three months, three (maybe four?) big successful franchises debuted and some of the most hyped sequels to ever hit the industry all drop on us like one big collective Skrillex. 80 hours on a console with one foot in the grave? Nice try.

Which is a shame because Persona 4 is so god damn good. I put in a solid 20 or so hours before I had to call it quits and focus on the more relevant madness surrounding the Atlus opus, and yet I still found it to be one of my favorite games that year.

My first exhaustive experience with the game was watching the Giant Bomb Endurance Run. All 155 episodes of it. And it’s strange that even in my 100% passive participation in the game over those seven months, I developed a deep bond with the characters. Charlie Tunoku was my man.

Those 20+ hours of gameplay I had under my belt prior to watching those two fumble their way through the game put me in a unique position. I’d spent pretty much an entire, unbroken day getting to know Chie and Yosuke and Yukiko. I’d built my Charlie (then Christoph Lavin) in my image through my choices and my words. Put relative on a lifetime scale, I raised him from child to young adult, and then he left me. Or, more accurately, I left him, but the empty feeling left behind was all the same.

So when I watched Gerstmann and Caravella pick up again where I left off, it was like I was watching my kid go on with his life. I’d taken him through his formative years, and now through a MST3K-style lens, I was watching Charlie live. It was what I imagine everyone who watched The Truman Show in the movie The Truman Show must have felt. Hands-off, sure, but that didn’t stop me from yelling at my computer every once in a while at boneheaded mistakes and incredible victories. To the end, I was rooting for the Endurance Run, but I was also pulling for that character I had put 20 hours into.

And watching all these people pick up the game for their own personal playthroughs, I got jealous. I wanted to do that, too. I wanted the feeling of accomplishment of bringing the whole cycle close from creation to termination on my Vita.

But I couldn’t do it. I tried so hard but I just couldn’t do it. It’s not that the surprise was gone (the story beats are still well-played and poke and prod at you accordingly) but rather it felt disingenuous to do it all again. I was lying to myself, as a broken man clinging to memories of his yesteryear. I was lying to Charlie, holding over him knowledge and emotions that I wanted but had lost so long ago. It just didn’t feel right. I had my time in that world and I couldn’t bring myself to cheat my way back into it.

It’s an odd possessive feeling you get with games like this. Stories that rip into your blackened heart and tear away until they get at your core are something to be treasured because they come along so rarely, but more importantly, they feel like they are your own. RPGs and adventure games excel at this because they give you choices (or at least the illusion of choice). This small, somewhat innocuous nod to the player is all it takes to have us with the controller move the Charlie Tunokus of the world from the “some dude” category to “my dude.”

Games like Mass Effect, The Walking Dead, the Final Fantasy series; they all do this because they spin you this large, weaving epic that wraps you up in an overwhelming embrace as you attempt to reconcile the personal stories underneath. Unable to discern the immutable and the variable, we begin to take on these sprawling worlds and characters as our own. They have been molded to us and anchor our emotional cantilevers to something deep inside of us that will never let go.

That’s why it’s so hard to pick up Persona 4 again. People talk about their Femsheps and their hookups but I can’t relate because that isn’t my Shepard. People talk about Clementine and the relationships they forged but I just don’t understand because that isn’t my Lee. People share their times with Funky Student and the Meat Dimension but I don’t hear a word they’re saying because they’re not talking about Charlie. I don’t know any Yu Narukami.

There are changes made to Person 4: Golden over the original release. There’s a cheesy dance title sequence, but that’s pretty much inconsequential (and ill-advised; Naoto don’t dance, dawgg). But they have a new voice for Chie. And they have a new voice for Teddy. And there are new Social Links. And so on and so on. And none of that is real, not to me anyways. It’s not better or worse; it’s just different. It’s different from what I did and what I said and what I experienced. That isn’t my story and it isn’t the story of anyone else who played/watched all those years ago. This is a different Inaba and a different Junes. This isn’t me.

I’m excited for everyone on my Twitter feed playing Persona 4 for the first time. Excited and a little jealous. But like everyone else who can’t be part of this Golden kick, I’ll be spending my 80 hours reminiscing. Is this our chance? No. We had ours.

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