The reception to my last Gaming News Roundup was generally positive and I felt motivated enough to do a second one. I don’t know how long this motivation will last, but we’ll have to see how it goes. Now onto the news!
Eiyuden Chronicle (New Suikoden) funded!
So that game I talked about last week from the creators of Suikoden had its Kickstarter earlier this week and, as expected, it hit its goal in the matter of hours. Turns out, if you decide to make a game that people actually want to play, they will gladly fund you, so I’m happy to see them reach their goal so quickly.
At the time of writing, the Kickstarter has already smashed through its original goal of $500,000 USD with it currently sitting at $2.4 million. This also puts it well above most of the stretch goals, including the $1 million required for a console release. There are still a couple stretch goals left, but those are likely to be reached in the coming days, probably by the time this video is up. Whatever the case, this is definitely a game I’m keeping my eye on.
More secrets uncovered in the Nintendo Gigaleak
For those unaware, someone has been steadily leaking stuff from old Nintendo games over the past week or so. And this isn’t some minor leak either, there have been full-on source code dumps for a lot of early Nintendo projects and it’s not clear how the leakers have access to this data. Since the data was dumped, people all over the Internet have been giving it a deep dive and uncovering all sorts of secrets hidden in these older titles.
The decades old theory that Luigi was hidden in Super Mario 64, for example, finally has some credibility, as dataminers have now uncovered a Luigi model in the game’s source code. Other notable finds include an unused villager in the original Animal Crossing, a prototype version of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, a full-blown SNES computer, and even some sort of building asset that appears to include a naked Mario and smoking Toad sprite. It doesn’t stop there though, we even got into weirder territory with Nintendo office floor plans and even a Nintendo employee’s naughty video folder.
Honestly, I’m surprised someone with this level of access has been able to continue doing this without getting caught, and even more surprised that Nintendo is keeping such obscure stuff hidden away on old drives. There’s a ton to unpack with these leaks and I’m sure more info will be coming out in the next couple weeks, maybe I’ll end up talking about it again next week.
Japan’s best-selling games of 2020 so far
So onto this interesting tidbit from Japan. Famitsu, one of Japan’s biggest gaming publications, released a list of the country’s top selling games so far this year. The results are a bit surprising to say the least. I expected Animal Crossing: New Horizons to at least be in the top 3, but not only did it make the #1 spot, but it did so with almost 5x the sales of second place.
I mean, I heard the game was good, but man, Nintendo’s really killing it there. In fact, they pretty much dominate the rest of the list. At least Yakuza managed to make a mark, but this really drives home the fact that Nintendo has been on fire ever since the Switch was released. Of course, in the case of New Horizons, it also helps that they’ve been giving it updates since its launch, with their big summer wave 2 update also having launched a few days ago.
Taimanin Yukikaze fan translation ripped off
Now onto some visual novel news, which I actually got quite a bit of this week. First up is Taimanin Yukikaze, a relatively popular hentai VN that had a trial released on Steam with an official English translation. As it turns out though, that “official” English translation was anything but, instead being ripped off from an earlier fan translation released back in 2016.
When I saw this news, I was like, okay, maybe the translation is just really close or maybe they just used it as a base. But no, they straight-up used the exact same translation, even including the typos. I know nukige companies generally run on a low budget, but come on, did they really think that this would go unnoticed?
Well, after claiming that the translation was their own and ghosting the original fan translator for a bit, Lilith (the company that made the game), finally came out and admitted that it was in fact stolen. They then stated that they will be removing the translation and “fixing it”, but noting that it will take some time. As for how long that will be, who knows? They have not actually taken the game down from Steam, so the stolen translation is still up.
Bokuten banned from Steam
In other visual novel news, and honestly, more major VN news, the VN by the name Bokuten: Why I Became an Angel has been banned from Steam. Some of my viewers may recognize this one because I did do a review on it back in February. It was a good visual novel, one that has pretty much gone without issue until a few days ago, when it was suddenly pulled from Steam without any sort of warning. Obviously, Steam has been having issues with visual novels on the platform for years, but this one is pretty high-profile and comes from MangaGamer, one of the major VN publishers on the platform.
So, you may be wondering, what exactly caused this removal? Well, it wasn’t clear initially. Usually, the case with such removals is that the game features 18+ content with characters that, while canonically over the age of 18, appear to be minors. In Bokuten’s case though, the game was released as an all-ages title, so none of that content should have been present on Steam. Of course, one could acquire an external patch to add back in that content, as is the case with most eroge released on Steam, but the actual Steam version of the game is released without it.
Or so is usually the case. Valve responded a couple days after the game was removed stating that 18+ content was in fact present in the files being distributed on Steam. MangaGamer then denied this claim, but as a user on r/visualnovels demonstrated, there were in fact a few H-scene CGs present in the Steam version, even if they were not accessible without extracting the game files. I don’t know how these were missed on MangaGamer’s part, but the fact that they were present actually puts Valve in the right this time. Rockstar had to go through the same issue with GTA: San Andreas, ending up paying millions in settlements related to the “hot coffee” minigame that, while present in the game files, could not be accessed normally.
MangaGamer has since patched out the content, but the damage has already been done at this point and it remains to be seen if the game will be added back onto Steam. Honestly, this whole situation is just upsetting to me, not just as a fan of the game in question, but of the visual novel medium as a whole. When news like this goes mainstream, it just paints the entire medium poorly, further reinforcing the “visual novels are just hentai games” mentality that a lot of people have.
I won’t deny that there are a lot of hentai visual novels (which the term “nukige” describes), but this game is one of the cases where that isn’t correct. It’s a high production value VN made by a reputable Japanese studio with an actually good story to it, one that I praised in my review months ago. The 18+ content is a mere fraction of that experience (definitely less than 1% of it), and only if patched into it. Of course, It’s a shame that many such studios have to include the 18+ content in the first place in order to sell the game in their own country, but it’s unlikely that that is going to change anytime soon, however much I wish it did. That is why situations like this only hurt the medium in the long run.
At the time of writing, the game is still not visible on Steam, but is available through MangaGamer’s own store and if you’re a fan of story-heavy VNs like I am, then I definitely recommend checking it out – links in the description.
Adding some more unfortunate news on top of that is the delay of Rewrite+. We’ve gone from a November 2020 release window to a January 2021 window. It’s only two months, so nothing too terrible, but I was looking forward to playing it over winter, as that just feels like the right time to play a Key visual novel. Whatever the case, the game just went from one of my most anticipated 2020 titles to one of my most anticipated 2021 titles.
Big Ghost of Tsushima news
So let’s get back to more positive news, and yes, it’s Ghost of Tsushima yet again. Last week I talked about how it was setting sales records, but this week a couple things happened. First is that the game got a massive update, including a new “lethal” difficulty mode, a “lower intensity combat” option, and some much needed subtitle configuration.
Those are great to see, but what’s even cooler is the praise the game has gotten from Japan. Toshihiro Nagoshi, the executive director for the Yakuza series, praised the game in saying that “we (as in, Japan) were beaten and that the game should have been made by Japan”. Of course, what he means is that the game feels so Japanese that you wouldn’t think it comes from an American developer. That’s probably the highest praise you can get for a video game so heavily based in Japanese culture and history. I have yet to play the game, but all of this positive press definitely has me wanting to.
Big Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice update
And while we’re on the topic of games getting big updates, we got a surprise announcement that Sekiro would be getting just that. It adds something I know has been requested countless times for FromSoft titles: a boss rush mode. This mode has you battling any of the game’s bosses either individually or consecutively, which is a nice mode to have as it no longer requires players to run through the game again just to fight these bosses again. The update also adds some new outfits and a new gameplay recording feature dubbed “remnants”. Honestly, this kinda came out of nowhere for me, but it’s nice to see the devs adding such highly-requested features. The free update is slated for October 29, so that’s something to keep an eye on.
Persona 5 Scramble
So last week, I joked about how slow ATLUS is in getting their games localized, citing Persona 5 Scramble in particular. Well, it took a few days, but they obviously listened to what I had to say, because now we have confirmation that a Western release is in the works. This didn’t come as a traditional announcement, but rather from a Koei Tecmo financial presentation, which listed the game as having a PS4 and Switch release in North America and Europe. Unfortunately, no release window was mentioned, but now we at least know it is coming. If I had to guess, I would probably say we’ll be getting it in early 2021, but a holiday 2020 release isn’t out of the question either.
Monster Rancher 2
This next one is definitely neat. I may be a Pokémon and Digimon fan, but one similar series I never got around to trying out was Monster Rancher. And now after watching the trailer for the upcoming Switch release of Monster Rancher 2, I can definitely say I’m intrigued. I’m a big fan of monster collectors and this one not only looks fun, but actually looks decent given that its a port of a game from 1999. A shame that it probably won’t get an English release anytime soon (if ever), but maybe it will be interesting enough that its worth playing in its original language.
PSP battery issues
And now back to more concerning news. So this past weekend on Japanese Twitter, the hashtag “PSP battery” was trending. The reason? Well, apparently PSP owners began to notice that their PSP batteries were swelling up, some even bursting open. As it is a lithium battery, this was bound to happen eventually, and you’re supposed to dispose of the batteries once they began doing so. So it got me wondering: “how is my own PSP doing?”.
It’s been up in my closet for years and I can’t even remember the last time I used it. Well, I pulled it down and found that, yes, the battery is actually swelling up. In fact, the battery cover wouldn’t even close and was almost at the point of popping off by itself. So thank you to Japanese Twitter for that, I went and disposed of it properly and no longer have to worry about it bursting open while its hidden away in the closet. Granted, I’ll have to order another one if I ever want to use the PSP again, but that probably won’t be anytime soon.
We got not one, but two new Disgaea game announcements this past week. Okay, not technically “new games”, but rather new ports of Disgaea games. The first is Disgaea RPG, which had a PC version announced for release sometime this summer via DMM Games. No language information was available, so I’m gonna go ahead and assume that it’s going to be Japanese only. I don’t particularly care either way as it’s a mobile game port and likely won’t match the quality of other Disgaea games.
The better news is that Disgaea 4 Complete+ is going to make its way to Steam this fall. NIS America published it on the Switch earlier this year, but I held out hoping for a PC release, so it’s nice to see them answer my prayers. I reviewed Disgaea 5 back when that came out on PC and got blasted by dislikes, so it will be interesting to see if the same happens when I inevitably end up reviewing 4.
Konami busting into the gaming PC market
And in completely unexpected news, Konami has revealed that they are going to be entering the gaming PC market. They are doing so under the brand name Arespear and have already revealed the first of their new gaming PCs. What immediately caught my eye though was how terribly priced these computers are. The lowest-end one costs around $1760 USD and sports an i5-9400F CPU, a GTX 1650 GPU, and 8GB of DDR4 RAM.
So if it wasn’t already obvious, that is a terribly overpriced computer. I could get sub-$1000 laptops with better specs than that. In fact, a Reddit user went so far as to show that you could build a PC for less than the price of the lowest-cost Konami one and still get double the power. I mean, I knew Konami was on the decline in recent years, but this is just insulting.
MOON getting a re-release
Now for something a little bit more obscure. The 1997 PlayStation anti-RPG, MOON, is getting a Switch release on August 27th. For those unaware, this is a bizarre little game that takes traditional RPG elements and basically flips them around, parodying them in a way. For example, the game directly addresses the question “why is it OK that this hero is breaking into houses and stealing items from people’s drawers?” and other such RPG tropes that we’ve become accustomed to.
It’s a bizarre game for sure, but it was well-received upon its original release and even served as an inspiration for Undertale. This will mark the first time the game will be released in English, so I’m definitely gonna be keeping an eye out for it.
Battletoads release date
One of my most anticipated upcoming games finally has a release date. The new Battletoads will be arriving on Xbox One and PC on August 20th and it will be available on Game Pass at that time. From the previous trailer, it looks like they cleaned up the art a bit. I’d be lying if I said I liked it more than the original art, but at least they’re giving the series another chance. If anything, I’m wondering how difficult the game will be compared to the original, especially so since the graphics and voice lines appear to be targeting a younger market this time.
New Higurashi game
Fans of Higurashi, it is time to rejoice, for we have a brand new Higurashi game coming up. The only problem? Well…. it’s a gacha game. Yup, so there goes any and all hype I may have just had. Not only is that a disgrace to fans of the series, but I wonder how the series is even a good fit for that kind of game. But since everything appears to be getting the gacha treatment lately, I’m sure they’ll work it out. Regardless, it is an immense disappointment to see as someone that loves the series.
Bleach: Brave Souls
So Higurashi is not the only one getting the gacha treatment, we’re also going to be getting that from Bleach in the form of a PC port of Bleach: Brave Souls. It’s already been listed on Steam and will be free-to-play when it releases this summer. I can’t say that it looks any good, but I found it funny that I was literally just discussing the lack of good Bleach games with a commenter on a video a couple days ago. I mean, I’m happy for the fans that might enjoy this, but it’s about time we got another proper Bleach game, one that actually tries to be good.
Halo: Infinite going free-to-play
So it’s been over a week since Halo: Infinite got its big showing at the Xbox Game Showcase, but it didn’t stop there. It was just revealed that the game’s multiplayer is going to be free-to-play. That is a massive departure for the series and honestly has me a bit worried. It’s good in that the esports scene around it will grow and the playerbase will likely be good, but bad in that it will probably end up including some form of in-game currency or microtransactions. A known Xbox leaker has stated that there will be some form of battle pass system, so I’m already a bit worried.
Microsoft also revealed that the game will be targeting 120 fps on Xbox Series X, which I believe is the first time any game of this scale has run at such a high framerate on console. If anything, that could explain why the graphics seem to be subpar for a next-gen game. I’m still excited to play it, but I really hope they don’t mess up the multiplayer.
Tekken 7 Season 4
Now for some Tekken news. If you’re not already aware, I’m a big fan, I even included Tekken 7 in my top 10 games of the decade. So of course I am excited that they are going to be continuing work on the game with a season 4 releasing sometime this fall. As usual with these seasonal updates, that means every character gets some new moves, balance changes, and of course, we got some new characters on top of that. The teaser image they showed seemed to suggest that Kunimitsu would be the first of these new characters. I haven’t played a Tekken game that featured her, so I’m excited to try her out if that ends up being true.
They’re also redoing how the ranked system works and further refining the game’s netcode, which is definitely something they need to do if the game is going to remain relevant while we’re all in quarantine.
GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- coming to PC!
And while we’re on the topic of fighting games, GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- also had a couple announcements. We got two new characters in the form of Leo, who is returning from the last game, and Nagoriyuki, a brand new character that appears to be some sort of cyber samurai vampire dude. And finally, we got confirmation that the game would also be arriving on PC via Steam (along with PS4 and PS5). Most of the previous games were already on PC, so I had little doubt that this one would too, but it’s nice to finally get that confirmation. This one is definitely one of my most anticipated games this next year, so here’s hoping that it doesn’t suffer any more delays.
Featured Game of the Week: Fall Guys
So that footage you’ve been seeing throughout the video is from this week’s featured game: Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. You may have already seen it on Twitch, but for those unaware, it is a massively multiplayer party game that has 60 players duke it out for the #1 spot through a gauntlet of different games. These can be anything from an obstacle course to a soccer match, with every round eliminating more and more players until just one remains. I had a blast playing the beta this past weekend with a group of friends, so thanks to the publisher for sending over beta keys so I could check it out.
And that’s all I got for this week’s roundup. I didn’t expect to make it this long, but it just kinda happened. Again, this series is still kinda a trial thing and I don’t know if I’ll continue it for long. I’ve been contemplating maybe doing just single videos on topics I can talk a lot about (like the Bokuten ban) rather than this set schedule thing, but we’ll have to see how things go. Do leave any feedback in the comments down below though, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.