The Week in Videogames:
Return of the Comeback
By Matthew Arcilla
The week in videogames has been a weird confluence of comeback stories. Whether it’s the quiet resurrection of long dormant brands and franchises or the stealthy return of those that were forgotten, it’s been a reminder that in videogames anything might go down, but nothing is ever trulyx out.
8. Square Enix teases the return of Valkyrie Profile hard
Square Enix sneakily launched Twitter account for Valkyrie Profile and used it to announce they’ll begin to “share information” on Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth. They also released a mysterious teaser trailer. Speculation right now is a re-release of the original Valkyrie Profile for current platforms. The cult classic combined side-scrolling dungeon crawling, rhythm-based combat and a sweeping operatic story about star-crossed lovers and the end of the world.
7. Yakuza 6 was fully playable, then taken away
Eyebrows were raised when the eagerly anticipated demo for Yakuza 6: The Song of Life was a massive 37GB download. While the demo was just supposed to be the prologue, it turns out that it was the entire game, and players quickly found ways to access the rest of the playable content for the open world crime action game. Sega pulled the demo, confirmed the error and apologized.
6. Killer7 won’t stay dead as it ‘collabs’ with Let It Die
As a celebration of the 20th anniversary of Grasshopper Manufacture, the studio announced that Killer7-themed content would be added to their free-to-play action game Let It Die. It’s being called a “collab,” which suggests something more exciting than cosmetics or whatever for this love-it-or-hate-it classic. With months lead time, fans are excited to see what else will materialize.
5. Overwatch’s new hero looks straight out of Paladins
Since 2016, first-person MOBA Paladins has contended with accusations of copying team shooter Overwatch, thanks to similarities that were noted between their characters. The tables have turned with Overwatch’s latest hero, Brigitte, a tanky healer that looks a lot like Ash, a tanky front-liner from Paladins. The creative lead of Paladins has been a good sport, saying, “At the end of the day, we all stand on the shoulders of Team Fortress 2.”
4. Chrono Trigger on PC is a reminder that re-releases should be better
When Square Enix quietly added the legendary Chrono Trigger to the Steam store, JRPG fans on PC rejoiced. That lasted for all of five seconds when they realized that the version released was a piece of trash, prone to crashing and awful graphics from the mobile version of the game. It’s pretty much the Final Fantasy V and VI scandal all over again.
3. Bethesda is most critically acclaimed publisher of 2017
Nintendo might have had a banner year with games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey but it seems that another company is the secret darling of critics. According to Metacritic, Bethesda Softworks is the most critically acclaimed publisher of video games, thanks to releases like Prey and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.
2. Software regulatory board has a label for lootboxes
In response to the mounting fury and uproar over loot boxes, the ESRB announced that they will now make it mandatory for videogames to sport labels declaring whether they feature in-game purchases. While it’s nice to have more purchasing information, like the ESRB ratings which declare age suitability for games, the new labels obscure too much and don’t distinguish loot boxes from paid DLC, season passes and microtransactions.
1. Trump announces summit with video game companies
In an attempt to give the illusion of doing something, the Trump administration said that it would be meeting with representatives of the game industry to see what it can do about “school safety” and “gun violence.” The statement follows comments from Trump about how violent video games are “shaping young people’s thoughts,” and that “maybe they have to put a rating system.” The ESA, which effectively represents the video game industry said they’ve yet to receive any invites.
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