Top 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2018

2017 was a pretty so-so year in terms of gaming.  It had a very strong opening, with two games that captured my heart pretty strong – Persona 5 and Horizon: Zero Dawn.  Both games were masterful works.  While the second has some flaws that hold it back from true greatness, the former is a milestone in its genre for other games in the JRPG vein to measure themselves up to.  It is amazing.  We also had a prequel to my favorite game of 2015, and while I have been very skeptical, Life is Strange: Before the Storm has been a fascinating take on a video game soap opera.  This genre may have some potential, so long as the writing is good and the characters are interesting.

But now we come to the upcoming year.  Next year promises some amazing things.  And the really nice thing is that almost everything I am stoked for next year isn’t a sequel.  There is a remake and a reboot, but the rest is brand new IPs.  That’s really nice.  Let’s get into this.

10. BioMutant
This game has me both intrigued and apprehensive.  See, the premise looks engaging.  A game set in a fantasy world where it mixes furry creatures, RPG elements, mech combat, gunplay, sword combat, and potential other abilities.  This concept intrigues.  I saw this gameplay demo that admittedly has me a little apprehensive.  The combat in this game looks like there is the risk that it could get really repetitive, but maybe that was just because it sticks you in what is meant to be the intro level.  From the devs behind Just Cause, I see the potential for greatness and that has me paying attention.  We’ll see what it becomes.

9. Left Alive
Speaking of mech combat, let’s talk about this game.  Set in a near future Eastern Europe, the concept behind this game has me interested, to say the least.  A game that combines stealth-action gameplay reminiscent of Metal Gear Solid 5 and mech combat, this idea has a lot of potential.  I say potential because there isn’t a whole lot known about this game thus far.  It was just announced and is coming out next year.  No gameplay breakdowns, nothing.  Just an idea, some brief gameplay bits, and a cool opening hinting at a war in Eastern Europe that has gone out of control.  We shall see what this inevitably becomes.

8. Sky
It kills me that a game made by my favorite Indie gaming company is so low on this list.  It really does.  But so much of what I’m hearing about it is conflicting me so much.  For starters, the release said that this game was only coming out for iPad and Apple TV, two things I don’t have an never will own.  Then I saw some stories in the news about how it is coming to other platforms but is a timed-exclusive to that one.  Okay.  So when will it come to others.  Then I’m hearing that this game may have some kind of DRM thing going on.  Everything the creator says is about the social interaction.  Okay.  Lastly, they are marketing this game as “free-to-start.”  Um, what?  Didn’t Nintendo try this and have it blow up in their face?  There are a lot of reasons to feel apprehensive, and I most definitely am, but it still looks so cool!  The visuals, the sound design, it’s all on point in such a fantastic way.  I want to like it, and I will see what it is and give it a chance, but damn am I apprehensive here.

7. Kingdom Hearts III
Another game that it just depresses me how low it is on this list.  But Square Enix definitely had that coming.  This game is so late to the fucking party.  It’s not even funny how late this game is.  This game is over 10 years late.  That’s how long it has been since we’ve had an entry in this franchise.  Maybe, if it had come in sooner, Leonard Nimoy would have been able to reprise his role as Xehanort.  But no!  They had to fuck around on a bunch of add-on games and things like II.8 (a game that kind of pissed me off, since it wasn’t even a complete game), we are just now getting to see trailers for it.  Still in Japanese.  That being said, I am excited.  We see that there are Pixar worlds, which has had me giddy for a while.  I am still worried they will put Marvel and Star Wars worlds in there (please don’t!  For the love of Groj, please don’t!), but seeing our characters in a world based on Toy Story puts a warm feeling in my heart.  Plus, the combat looks so much better.  And we get mechs!  Lots of reasons to be excited.  Now we just need an English trailer and an official release date.

6. God of War
This is a game that I want to get really insanely hyped about, but there are some things holding me back.  For starters, as cool as it is to have Kratos killing Norse mythology, how did he get there?  Last we saw of him was a blood smear trailing off Mt Olympus after he had effectively destroyed the world.  How does this work?  Next up is the kid.  It’s clearly not his by blood.  So what’s the deal?  Kratos seems really eager to fuck up Norse mythology as well.  Why?  This game has a lot of unanswered questions, and I just hope that it doesn’t cop out with them in some bullshit way that has me sitting there going, “really?”  That being said, the visuals look amazing, and the gameplay looks fun as well.  They are marketing the game as all being done in one continuous shot, which is a bold claim.  I am also admittedly a little bummed about the change in voice actor for Kratos.  But we’ll see what it is and judge it then.

5. Ghost of Tsushima
The first game I bought for my PS4 was inFAMOUS: Second Son.  The game was fun.  The subplots were a little boring, save for the tagging.  That was legit fun.  But the game was a fun open world experience with gorgeous visuals and fun characters.  Now Sucker Punch studios is back at it, with a game set in feudal Japan about a nameless samurai who is after revenge from a Mongol who destroyed his village.  Set in an actual historical setting, this game looks really interesting.  I am still looking to see what the gameplay is like, but it’s clear there is a lot of passion here.  We’ll see what it becomes.

4. Vampyr
Ever since Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, something I have noticed is that there hasn’t been a good vampire game in a long time.  But then I heard tell of an open world game where you play as a vampire and have to make moral decisions.  The concept intrigued me, but once I saw the actual gameplay, I was hooked.  Victorian London, playing as a creature of the night who has to use his talents as a vampire to help stop an epidemic of monsters in the city.  This has so much going for it.  The combat of the game looks to be the biggest short-coming of what I have seen so far, but I am reserving judgement until I get my hands on it.  Let’s hope this is an actually engaging game about London.  Last time we got a really boring game in Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, or as I told my ex the other day Grand Theft Carriage with Batman’s grapple gun.  This game has creepy powers, moral decisions, and a beautiful aesthetic.  What more could a guy ask for?

3. Shadow of the Colossus
From Software has decided to take a crack at remaking one of the greatest games of all time.  Another one of these games where I am very excited, but there are these doubts nipping away at me.  What doubts, you ask?  I see over and over about how this game looks 1000X better than the original, and that surely does seem to be true.  But there is something I am desperately hoping this remake does – fixes some of the gameplay issues of the original.  The original game has not aged well in respect to gameplay.  The HD remake had some serious flaws that showed the game’s age in a big way.  I am genuinely hoping that we can have some of those remedied.  That being said, this looks amazing, and the kid inside me who played and loved the original all those years ago is super excited right now.

2. Marvel’s Spider-Man
The first thing I notice about this game is how the gameplay looks so fun.  Having clearly taken a lot of cues from the Arkham games, this game is still going out of its way to be all its own.  For starters, we have a new villain!  I’ve never seen Mr Negative in a video game before.  There are bits showing other villains making the cut.  I am hoping we get to see some of the villains that we don’t see in other media.  Ones like Jack O’ Lantern, or Beetle, or Kraven the Hunter.  So much potential, and it’s clear that the creators of this game have so much passion for it.  Not tying in to any films or other properties associated with Marvel films, this game is all its own, and I cannot wait to see what happens next.

And the most anticipated game of 2018 is…

1. Detroit: Become Human
This is it.  We finally are getting to see David Cage’s latest project.  This game has recently come under fire for a trailer where you see a girl potentially getting beaten by her father.  Apparently the moral busy-bodies are mad that a game is showing something that happens in real life.  More idiots who want to ignore all the very good evidence that video games do not cause real-life violence.  But hey, what do I know?  Oh, that’s right – that this game looks amazing!  Tank controls, sure, but so much solving of puzzles, making decisions, living with the consequences, and shaping a narrative of a world where robots exist and are treated as slaves, with multiple characters to experience the story through.  I am so stoked for this, and I don’t have to wait much longer.

What about you?  What games are you stoked for?  Let me know in the Comments

Until next time, a quote,

“We were friends once, before I was reset.  Maybe we can be friends again.” – Kara, Detroit: Become Human

Peace out,

Maverick

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Is Gaming Hype Wrong? (A response to George Weidman)

Something you all should know about me – I am a HUGE Kingdom Hearts fan.  I know, it’s shocking, what with my two Top 10 lists about worlds and characters I want to see in Kingdom Hearts III.  When me, my cousin Griffin and my girly-mate Mandy got to the end of Kingdom Hearts II, the three of us were excited beyond belief at where the franchise went next.  We talked, long into the night, about what we wanted to see.  What Disney worlds we were eager to see brought to life.  This was when Pixar was in its hayday, so we wanted to see some of their worlds.  Still do, actually.  So much eagerness.  Young passion that was stoked.  Then we waited.  And we waited.  And we waited.  But it never came.  It never was talked about.  There were handheld games after handheld games, but they all felt like something tacked on.  Aside from Birth by Sleep, that is.  Eventually, our hopes kind of faded and we moved on.  Granted, the three of us aren’t a trio anymore.  In fact, my cousin, the brother I never had, is dead to me.  And my girly-mate has kind of gone in her own direction, and I in mine.

However, when I saw a teaser at E3 last year, that finally showed me that Kingdom Hearts III was coming, I was over the moon!  So much excitement!  The franchise I grew up with was back!  And it looked better than ever.  But that was a teaser.  I wasn’t about to get very excited until I saw some gameplay.  At this year’s E3, I saw just that.  And it looks amazing!  The visuals are astounding.  The gameplay looks smooth.  The world looks massive.  I would have liked to see more worlds, but still.  Everything I saw gave me confidence that this game was going to own.  I can’t wait to see what comes next!  That childlike love was back, and I don’t regret that.

Today, I saw a video on a channel that I am subscribed to on YouTube, called Super Bunnyhop.  It is run by a guy named George Weidman.  In it, he lamented this year’s E3, and made a lot of stabs at the industry and those who consume this, like what we are watching is wrong, and our endorsement of what E3 represents is wrong as well.  I think I’ll let him state his case.  That’s only fair.

An interesting case, he makes.  I don’t always agree with George on his opinions.  But that’s a good thing.  It’s good that I can listen to someone I don’t always agree with and at least be open to their opinion.  Unlike the SJW crowd, I don’t live in an echo chamber.  Alternate opinions can give you new perspectives, and that’s a good thing to have in life.  Still, I don’t always agree with his opinions, and in this case, I felt the need to voice my discontent.

Here’s the thing, George, I am with you on a lot of parts of this.  There is a lot of bullshit associated with E3.  The spectacle can take priority over the quality of content.  Gaming companies can spend inordinate amounts of time whoring themselves out to their consumers.  But, that’s kind of the point of this event, isn’t it?  To reach out to consumers and promote your material?  Sure, they could do it in a less gimmicky sort of way, but this entire event is to showcase gaming.  What’s wrong with that?  What’s wrong with an event that promotes video games and allows gamers to come and see what they want to see up close?  Is it because of all the bullshit?  I’d actually get your argument, if it is.  Might even be with you, to a point.  If we could just cut the fat and the grand-standing at E3, that would be excellent.

That doesn’t sound like the argument you’re making, though.  It sounds like you’re getting on gamers for participating in this at all.  Like it is gamers’ fault that we get excited about new games.  Yeah, the teaser for the Final Fantasy VII remake was just a teaser.  Just like the teaser for Kingdom Hearts III was just a teaser last year.  Just like a movie teaser is just a teaser.  These things exist for that purpose – to tease.  To get people talking.  Then, you have a trailer from the game itself, and we get more context.  That gets people talking even more.  It’s called the hype train.  When done well, it gives people enough information to give them a general sense of wonder, yet leaves room for surprises.

I can hear the counter-argument – but come on!  Look at how many games pretty much spoil everything in their promotion!  Again, I agree with that.  There can be a little too much advertisement.  That’s a hype train not done well.  When gamers know everything to expect from a game.  There are also the ones that give us false expectations.  That was the problem with last year, and the big games like Watch Dogs and Destiny.  There was too much hype, for games that were not bad, but not that great either.  Rather run of the mill.  Though, honestly, if our expectations had been a little lower, do you think we would have been as bothered by that.

The thing I take the most umbrage with as at the end of the video.  When you say that it’s better to just go into something blind.  I disagree with that.  Rather strongly.  This is our money we’re risking.  You don’t think that maybe we should get some idea where our money is going?  I get that AAA companies have no obligation to tell us, but it’s in their best interests.  Do you really want to spend money on a game without having some idea that your money is being well spent.  But I can hear – that’s why reviews are made!  I majored in Journalism and Public Communication, George.  I got my Bachelor’s in it.  Wanna know something – I learned about marketing.  To this day, do you know what the best form of marketing is – word of mouth.  It does more to sell a product than any review will EVER do.  I like watching Angry Joe or even you talk about a game, but the truth is that I often look at a game’s trailer and gameplay footage and judge for myself whether or not I think it will be a good game.

It’s the reason that I am now enamored with the game Life is Strange.  I saw the trailer, and heard people talking about how it was “SJW: The Video Game.”  I got annoyed at that statement, because nobody had even played the game yet.  Later on, the SJWs would actually be annoyed at the game because it is written by men.  Go figure.  But the trailer intrigued, and I wanted to see more.  That’s how the game got me.  And I’m glad that I did see that trailer.  If I hadn’t, then I might never have known.

There’s nothing wrong with getting people interested in a product.  That’s how you sell anything.  If nobody hears about a game, and then somebody sees it on the shelf, do you think they are going to play it?  Or do you think that they will see the trailer, as I did, and then think – I think I might like that game!  If they do, then they tell their friends, and the word of mouth chain grows.

I think the problem that you have is the spectacle.  And I’m with ya.  Really, I am.  There is too damn much of it.  But, I am not about to guilt gamers for loving getting hyped about a product.  Because if we didn’t get excited about gaming, then what the fuck are doing in this hobby?  We do this because we love it?  Right?

Until next time, a quote,

“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.”  – Gloria Steinem

Peace out,

Maverik

Lucien’s First Take: Kingdom Hearts III E3 2015 Trailer

It’s been over ten years since we saw a numbered sequel in the Kingdom Hearts franchise.  Between those points, there have been a TON of spin-off or prequel games.  Almost triple the numbered titles, now that I think about it.  Some of them have been excellent.  Like Birth by Sleep, one of the most depressing games ever made.  Others have been garbage.  Like Recoded or Chain of Memories or 358/2 Days.  But, this franchise has built a story that is epic, with characters who every fan of the series loves.  It’s a testament to the love and passion that went into the first two numbered games that this franchise is as beloved as it is.  It’s because of that passion that the fans of the games have been growing ever louder over the years, demanding a numbered sequel.  We want to see where the story goes from here.  And there are hints that this isn’t the end.  That the end of the franchise will be in a fourth numbered game.  I can’t wait.

This year, at E3, since Square Enix decided to waste a perfectly good opportunity to pimp out the other project that people are fawning over, they did give us a trailer for Kingdom Hearts III.  And before any of you get on me – yes, I saw the trailer for the remake of Final Fantasy VII.  I’m stoked too.  I bet most of you thought I was going to do my First Take about that, didn’t you?  Let me tell you why I’m not – because it’s not an actual trailer.  It’s a teaser.  A cool teaser, don’t get me wrong, but still a teaser.  When a real trailer, that features the story and gameplay comes out, I am all over that like stink on cheese.  Until then, I am stoked, but let’s wait and see.  Moving on.  Let’s see what Square Enix has done with their latest trailer for Kingdom Hearts III.

Okay.  This trailer got a lot of things right and a lot of things…so-so.  For starters, am I the only person who thinks that they gave Sora a new voice?  I don’t know what it is, but there’s something off about his voice.  But maybe it’s because Haley Joel Osment is in his 30’s now, if they did keep him.  Regardless, that is the first thing that stood out to me.

Second – this trailer is GORGEOUS!  I was hoping that they would make real use of the current gen’s hardware, without sacrificing the cartoon-y look of the game, and they did just that.  The visuals are half of the selling point on their own.  I could watch this game all day.  Well, more like play it, but if there is cool scenery, I’m on that!  Gonna take me a TON of screenshots on my PS4.  Finally put that share hardware to use, eh?  I also like how they have a brief moment where they show you that all the little separate areas in the worlds are gone.  It’s all one giant map.  When Sora jumps off the cliff, and they show his descent, that was a either a dumb coincidence, or a VERY cool hint at how this game plays.  I’m hoping that it’s the latter.  Still, this game is so fucking beautiful.  I’m not one of these people who thinks that good graphics make or break a game.  One of my favorite games of all time is Ocarina of Time, after all.  But it certain does help.

The combat also looks pretty cool.  I remember reading about how each keyblade is going to have alternate functions.  The way they showed that is pretty cool in this.  Can’t wait to see how that plays.  Here’s hoping that it doesn’t make battles all cluttered.  The seamless style of combat was one of the best features of Kingdom Hearts II.

However, this gets me into my negatives.  Just let me make my case.  First – if you are going to pimp how well this game looks, why do I only see two, maybe three world?  And two of them are worlds that I’ve seen before – Olympus and Twilight Town.  I love the latter more than the former, but whatever.  They spend so long on this game’s combat, when they really should have been pimping the worlds.  Now, maybe they don’t have much done there.  But the whole point of an E3 trailer is to make something with spit and polish to pimp out your product.  They could have made little snippets where we just see worlds.  Part of the magic with players were getting to explore worlds that we love.  This trailer would have been miles better if the would have cut out about thirty seconds of the combat and just given us some panoramas.  Let me know if you agree with me there.  If you don’t, and think this is the most awesome thing ever, I get that.  For real, I do.  I think it’s pretty cool too.

This is a good trailer.  It’s a lot better than the teaser from last year.  But it’s still missing something.  Maybe it’s the worlds.  Maybe it’s the story.  Maybe it’s the magic.  Here, I saw a bunch of cool fights with cool enemies and cool visuals.  That scene where the two kids are playing chess was the thing that interested me most.  Because it felt like there was magic.  The simple game felt like more than a game.  That’s good story-telling.  Plus, the way that the light reflected off the pieces are amazing.  Let me know what you think in the Comments section.

Initial Verdict
7 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONL/R: Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae (Demo)

I want to strangle the people at Square Enix, sometimes.  I really do.  For all the amazing things that they have done, they also make the most infuriating decisions sometimes.  They recently had a thing where they wanted player feedback about their company and their work.  I am hoping that I was not alone in demanding that they do an HD remake of Final Fantasy VII and VIII.  Not to mention carrying the banner with me that we do NOT want Marvel and Star Wars in Kingdom Hearts III!  I can’t be the only one who doesn’t like that idea!  Someone recently pointed out how the Tron Legacy world in Dream Drop Distance was awesome, as a counter-argument.  I gave them the response that that level worked in that game for the same reason that the original Tron world did – because the style that the film was lends itself to animation.  It isn’t my fault that Disney fucked up and made Tron Legacy a CG color paradise that did, admittedly, look good in the Kingdom Hearts universe (and I hope it comes back in the next game).  Good thing, too, because the rest of that movie sucked.

With the release of Final Fantasy Type-0 in the US, they had a piece of Day-One DLC that they tied specifically to this game.  Didn’t buy it, like me?  Well – tough shit!  This amazing demo was not available to you.  One of those little jackass decision that Square Enix makes.  They aren’t known for doing great all the time, right?  The DLC was the vaunted Episode Duscae, which is a demo for Final Fantasy XV.  A game that has been through the ringer of video game production, with its release still uncertain, the hype train is going to rage-inducing proportions.

Videos of playthroughs are easy enough to find, so I won’t link it here.  From what I’ve heard, the fact that this is a demo was very apparent.  The framerate apparently drops quite a bit during hectic battles.  That’s a problem.  But I am forgiving of it, because this is a demo.  The idea was to showcase the style of the game (whenever it ends up coming out) and get players even more hyped.  In that regard – success!  The elements look fucking amazing!  The Summon that you get to see is so fucking cool!  I want this game!  I want it now!

Oh, right – it isn’t coming out for at least another year!  The last press statement said that they have roughly 60% of the game finished.  That means another year, maybe more.  Part of me thinks that, on a PR level, Square Enix may have made a bad move here.  This Demo didn’t come with a release date.  That’s typically how this works.  You release a demo and give people a release date for when they get the rest of the product.  A smart way to do business.  This game has been at the top of the hype train.  It is going to make of break Square Enix’s future in console gaming.  You’d think that I am for the hype train being in motion, but the truth is – I just want the damn game already!  This is driving me nuts!

If I have to give Disney credit for one thing, it’s that whoever they have got to get the hyped for Avengers: Age of Ultron, they are damn good at their job.  They release trailers in perfect timing to get the audience ready to run to the movie theaters and watch the film.  Each trailer has been better than the last.  Making a trailer is an exact art.  There was a time when Gametrailers made videos on the elements of trailers.  I liked those.  Guess it got downsized, along with the rest of their really creative content.  Square Enix could take some lessons.

First – don’t get your audience salivating, if you are only going to tell them in the next sentence to have to wait.  There will come a point where the audience will be driven nuts by this and just decide to walk.  I keep almost doing that, then you have Square Enix doing this.  Why?!  Look, Square – your audience wants this game.  It’s one thing to make sure that the development team gets the game right, but you know what – you can tease a gamer too much.  When you dangle that carrot and keep denying it, to the breaking point of people’s patience.

What should they have done?  They should have released this demo at E3, with a solid release date.  Instead of forcing people to buy another game, this should have been stand-alone.  But we need a release date.  Hell, give us a tentative one.  Just stop teasing your customers!  Our patience only goes so far.

Until next time, a quote,

“Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.” – Khaleed Hosseini

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Final Fantasy XV Isn’t Coming Out This Year

I knew it.  I fucking knew it.  I hate being made to look like a fool!  I really do!  It grinds my gears something fierce when I am all for something and am then made to look like an idiot.  For real, it pisses me the fuck off.  What’s more, I don’t get how Square Enix can pull this kind of thing, when they know damn well that they are just setting people up to be disappointed.  See, there was a recent reveal about the demo that is coming out for Final Fantasy XV.  It is attached to the release of Final Fantasy Type-0, as Day One DLC.  Don’t plan on getting that game?  Well, tough luck, buddy!  You’re going to have to wait, until the game comes out in earnest.  When is that going to be?  Oh, you’re going to love this.

During a Q&A session with the team that is developing XV, it was revealed that roughly 60% of the game has been complete.  Are you kidding me?!  That’s it?!  You’re releasing English dub trailers, and you are barely halfway past getting the game complete?!  This is so annoying!  For real, it’s kind of infuriating how dumb this is.  The article linked above wants to get people hyped for the demo, but I wasn’t born yesterday.  I can read between the lines, and what I see here tells me that this game isn’t coming out this year.  Not a chance.  They are barely halfway done, and this game was announced nine years ago.  It’s going to be at least another year.  Maybe more.  I’m fucking done!  Square Enix is never releasing this project!

I get the feeling that I know what happened to this game.  See, Tetsuya Nomura is no longer in charge of it.  It’s some new guy.  Nomura has been relegated to working on Kingdom Hearts IIIFinal Fantasy XV was supposed to be his passion project.  It was just handed off to someone else?  I get the feeling that the studio has gotten sick and tired of waiting.  They pulled Nomura and handed the project to someone else, with an understanding – get it done.  With more and more rumors about Kingdom Hearts III being released sometime this year, and this game clearly nowhere near done, my worst fears are coming into focus – that both of these games are going to be rushed out the door.  With FFXV, it is going to be an amazing-looking half-baked game, and KHIII will be a cash-grab that features all the stuff that Disney wants to whore out, like Marvel and Star Wars.

I have waited for nine years.  Nine fucking years since the game was announced.  Now, it looks like it will all have been for nothing.  Kills me to see Square Enix go like this.  I just know that if FFXV doesn’t make bank in a big way, that’s the end of Square Enix as we know it.  Just terrible.

I want to believe, Square!  Man, just calling you that.  Makes me think of the good old days.  Back when your studio was synonymous with great games.  Hell, I even remember the Squaresoft days, when you made one of my favorite games of all time – Final Fantasy X.  What happened to that company?  Where did it all go wrong?  Did you purge all the people with talent in your company?  I really want to know what happened.  Get back to me on this, because I refuse to believe that I’m the only person who is losing faith here.  I mean, does anyone else remember the last game that was in development for ten years?  It was Duke Nukem Forever, and that game was a giant pile of shit!  That game was so bad that you could play with shit!  I don’t want this entry into a franchise that I used to love, and that I have so looked forward to, to be turned into another bad game that gets rushed to market.

Maybe I’m wrong.  I hope so.  But the people running the show are telling me that they are only 60% done with this game.  Does that say soon to you?  God-dammit…

Until next time, a quote,

“Everybody lies.”  -Dr. Gregory House, House MD

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Ways to Make ‘Kingdom Hearts III’ the Most Awesome Thing Ever!

Kingdom Hearts IIII’ve been playing Kingdom Hearts II.5 ReMIX again.  I am in love with this game.  It was my favorite game of last year, without a single competitor.  For real, nothing even remotely came close.  It blew past the competition without a backwards glance.  Sure, there was that annoying third game that was nothing but cutscenes, but I don’t even care about that.  It doesn’t exist, in my mind.  All that exists in the first two – Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep: Final Mix.  Both of those games are absolutely stunning.  The amount of content and great narrative just combines to make great games.  The former is one of my favorite games of all time.  What’s more, the HD remix version blows away the original.  As I sit here, watching Tron tell the MCP who’s boss, I can’t help but think about the next entry in the franchise.  I keep hearing about it.  Some of what I am hearing is unsettling.  Like, it’s going to be released this year?  That makes no sense.  They just began production in earnest.  How can they be ready to release it already?  Also, I am hearing talk about making Marvel and Star Wars worlds.  We’ll get to that in a few.  I compiled a list of the top 10 ways that the next entry into the franchise could be one of the greatest games ever made.  I doubt Square Enix will ever read this, but if one of you could send it their way, I’d be very grateful.

10. No ‘Let it Go’, or musical levels
I swear, if I hear that god-awful song in this game, I am going to beat someone to death with their spine.  I get that Disney wants Frozen in this game.  They are big on whoring out their stuff.  But for the love of God, no more musical levels!  They suck!  We know this!  Let’s leave it at that.

9. Pixar Worlds
Why has Pixar been avoiding your love?!  I know that Disney has rights to Pixar’s stuff.  Their logo wouldn’t be in those movies if they didn’t.  So why have we not seen any Pixar-based worlds?!  That kind of animation lends itself easily to the style of Kingdom Hearts.  So let’s get on that!  With all the great selections to choose from, why not go bold?  Toy Story comes first to mind, but they could all be great.  Call me crazy, but part of me would love to see a Ratatouille world.  I know, just thinking outside the box.

8. More NPCs
I get why the original two games didn’t have a lot of these.  The second game pushed the PS2 hardware to its limits.  It was a marvel of digital creation.  But as I play Birth by Sleep, I can’t help but be a little put off of how deserted all these worlds feel.  With how rich some of these environments are, they don’t feel lived in.  The next game is going to be for current consoles.  There is NO excuse why the worlds should feel barren.  It’s time that we get people to interact with.

7. Take Your Time!
Why am I hearing about this game coming out this year?  It was just announced!  Unless you all have been busting ass without anyone knowing about it, it sounds like you are rushing to get this out there, now that Square Enix is on people’s good side again.  That’s not cool!  I want the next game in this franchise to be a powerhouse!  I want it to wow my eyes and blow my fucking mind!  You can do this, Square Enix!  Just tell them to chill and to get this thing right.  You’ve put almost a decade into a game that you are hedging your company’s future on (no joke, if Final Fantasy XV sucks, their company is probably going down with it), so take the time and get this thing right.  Polish the edges to a smooth shine.  Cook it to perfection.  Metaphor for getting it right!  Get it right!

6. Bring in Final Fantasy Villains
Now, I am hearing that this game will not be the last in the saga.  It will end the Xehanort saga, and then end with them finally sealing the Door to Darkness and stopping the Heartless problem for good.  If that is the case, then maybe this can wait for the last entry in the franchise.  But the universe of Final Fantasy has some awesome villains!  You brought in the most iconic, but how about some others?  Like Seymour from Final Fantasy X, or even better – Kefka!  He would be awesome!  I had this scene in my mind of the next game introducing him.  He’s like this perplexing character, who you have no idea whose side he’s on.  Is he evil?  Is he good?  What is he?  Then, in the end, he kills the final boss, after you beat him, and busts open the Door to Darkness and lets it all out.  He lets the Heartless run totally effing nuts in all the worlds.  Effectively making shit get real.  That would get me so pumped for the next entry!  Wouldn’t it you?!  So yeah, just putting this out there, it’s a big catalog of great villains.  Use them.

5. More Side-Quests
I couldn’t help but notice that pretty much every side-quest in the original two games was either collecting stuff or doing jobs for cash.  In all the worlds that we could visit, give us stuff to do!  I will say that it never felt like busy work, but you can do better.  Have character interactions and random assortments of shit to get done.  Just putting that out there.

4. More Creative Levels
I touched on this with my post about the worlds I want to see in the next game.  However, I thought I would clarify here.  In Kingdom Hearts II, there was a world based on the old Disney films.  It was rendered in an old Disney style.  You even had Sora done in old-school Japanese animation.  That was clever!  That kind of creativity should come into the next game.  I still hold that I would love to see you all play with the concept of Fantasia.  Have a place without dialogue, where the music tells the story.  I have a million and a half ideas about how that could be done, but it’s you all’s show.  I know that it’s easy for you to just give Disney what they want by whoring out their shiny new stuff.  But you all can do better than that.  A sprinkle of mad-crazy creativity will go a long way.

3. More Final Fantasy Characters
An extension of the previous idea, we need more characters from Final Fantasy.  And not just the 3D ones.  Give some love to the 2D games!  Let’s get Edge in there!  Or Shadow.  Or Locke.  I’d say Terra too, but you already have a character with that name in the franchise, so that’s out.  Also, let’s throw the SJWs a bone and have Lightning be in the game.  I really liked her character in XIII, and it sucks how she got milked in two terrible games that followed.  Now’s a chance to have her shine, fighting side-by-side with Cloud and Leon.  The three could be a trio of ass-kicking badasses.  Or have a girl power moment with her, Tifa and Yuffie fighting it out.  We need more characters from this franchise in this game.  It’s time.

2. A-Game Voice Actors
Now, here is where it gets sticky.  Part of this is due to Square Enix putting Kingdom Hearts on the back-burner for so long.  Haley Joel Osment is in his 30’s.  Hayden Penetierre isn’t far behind.  David Gallagher is too.  The three biggest names in the franchise, and they might not sound the part.  If so, honestly, I am not against replacing them.  I know, I know!  It would be terrible, in some ways.  But I’d rather have a good game that has great voice acting than bringing them back.  Not to mention, they might not come.  Not sure what any of them are doing, these days.  I know that Penetierre is starring in a new survival-horror game that is based on old slasher movies.  So maybe she’s still got it.  But if changes have to be made, do what you have to do.  Though get people who can sound the part, eh?  But aside from those three, it’s time to bring the A-Game to the table.  For real, I want this to have the best people you can find.  Whoever ends up dubbing this game, you have a lot riding on you.  Get it right!

And the best way to make this game awesome is…

1. No Marvel and Star Wars!
Why do so many people want this?!  Am I the only one who saw how ugly the world of Pirates of the Caribbean was?!  Not to mention, why do a Marvel world, when you could do a world based on The Incredibles?  That would be totally awesome.  But, for real, all worlds based on real-life places look awful.  I find it so amazing that you knew to adapt Final Fantasy character models to fight in the game’s style, but didn’t do the same with real-life characters.  I get that Disney wants to whore this out right now.  But you must resist!  For the sake of not making worlds that suck!

So, what do you all think?  What would you all like to see in the next Kingdom Hearts?  Do you want to see Marvel and Star Wars in there?  Let me know in the comments section.

Until next time, a quote,

“It isn’t how often you see each other that’s important.  It’s how often you think about each other.”  -Hayner, Kingdom Hearts II

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Where the F*ck is Evangelion 3.33?! and a side-note on Kingdom Hearts III

This has gone WELL beyond the point where it is ridiculous.  For real, instead of actually talking about this movie, FUNimation has seen fit to simply choose to ignore it.  Like the people who pre-ordered it on Amazon just forgot.  I have to talk about this, because this pisses me off!  They talked about a tour of the film to specific theaters nationwide.  I see that FUNimation has decided to milk this cash-cow for all its worth.  Now, however, their total and utter silence on this is beyond insulting.  I would think that they would be rushing to get the film out.  If it was good enough for theaters – it’s good enough for DVD/Blu-Ray!  So where is it?!  Where is this movie?!  It’s been over a year, and nothing has come out.  Where the fuck is this movie?!

This is the year of companies in Japan fucking with their audience.  I just don’t get why they think it’s a good idea.  At least with Final Fantasy XV, it’s Tetsuya Nomura’s ego project.  What’s the excuse here?  It’s done!  The film is fucking done.  What possible reason do they have to delay it?!  Do they even known?!  Does anyone?!  I’m dying to get an answer here.  Someone on Reddit said that we should “politely” take our issues to FUNimation.  Well eff that!  It’s been over a year since you released this film in theaters.  I could maybe accept this bullshit from HBO, but you are FUNimation.  You all ran as fast as you could to get Attack on Titan out in English.  I refuse to believe that a film that myself and other people actually want to see would go beneath your notice.  Did it get lost in the shuffle?  Were you too busy working on shit like Tokyo Ghoul (yes, I’m sorry, it’s shit) to notice the film remakes that everyone has been waiting for?  I want an explanation!

I don’t get how so many Japanese companies can make these kinds of rookie mistakes.  If it isn’t Square Enix saying that a remake of Final Fantasy VII wouldn’t be financially feasible (the stupidest statement of all time.  For real, that is so stupid that it bear repeating).  While we’re on the subject of Square Enix, let’s talk about Kingdom Hearts III.  I am hearing a lot of stuff about this game coming out this year.  That…confuses me a little.  I haven’t seen a single English trailer.  They just started development of this game last year.  For real, this all feels REALLY rushed, to me.  I hear them talking about Marvel and Star Wars and Frozen worlds.  All three of which sound terrible.  It sounds like something being rushed out the door as a cash-grab.  We’ve had enough of that with this franchise.  This company has been delaying and delaying and they are still hiring people for Final Fantasy XV.  Why is this game being rushed to market so fast.  We don’t have screenshots.  We don’t have anything.  What is this game and where is it coming from?

But yeah, this all comes back to – where the fuck is Evangelion 3.33?!  FUNimation, if you would be so kind a to let me know, me and my split personality would be most appreciative, you teasing fuckers.

Until next time, a quote,

“FUNimation: you should (not) be watching.”  -Reddit comment

Peace out,

Maverick