Hey! Look! Listen!


I can’t wake up today. I laid in bed until 1:30 p.m, and I’m still not awake. A bit of an annoyance, to be sure, but I suppose there’s nothing to do but attempt to meet the day head-on in spite of myself.

…or what little is left of today, rather. Welcome to Riddlethos.com, everyone, and welcome to my twice-weekly (sorta) column, Hey! Look! Listen! More than a few things caught my eye today as I scanned my RSS feed, so without further ado, let’s get to the meat.

Damn straight.

IGN Reviews BioShock 2

Hoo boy, it really is almost here, isn’t it? The sequel to what remains my favorite game of this generation, and possibly, of all time. For the last few months, all the many reservations and concerns I had for BioShock 2 have been slowly melting away, and with the heralding of IGN’s written and video reviews, I can safely say that they’re gone. Check out IGN’s US review here and their UK review here. They awarded the game a 9.1 and a 9.0, respectively.

If the reviews are any indication, 2K Marin knew their source material well, and delivered a sequel accordingly. If that’s the case, (and I’ll know for sure in a few short days) then I can’t ask for any more.

No More Original Xbox Games on Xbox Live

Well, it had to happen eventually. After March 15, 2010, Microsoft will not be supporting online play for original Xbox titles. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing on an original Xbox or a 360.

Apologies to the (likely absurdly large number of) people still playing Halo 2 online. I’d almost like to get some official numbers on that. Having never even owned an original Xbox, (or a Gold subscription, for that matter – see the editorial below) this really is a no-never-mind affair to me.  I imagine that it might suck for a variety of other people, but seriously… the world has to move on at some point.

To read Microsoft’s PR spin on the matter, check out the original story on Kotaku.

bayonetta-witchYes, Bayonetta Was  a Commercial Success

Lots of publishers are in the process of reporting Fiscal Year result to this point, and Sega is no exception. And guess what, a certain Bayonetta was their second most popular game in the last nine months, second only to Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. (Which really doesn’t count anyway.)

Reportedly, the game has sold 1.1 million units since its initial release in Japan. I brought up sequel talk a few weeks ago in this very column, and it’s only looking more likely now. (VG247)

Oh Shit: Disgaea Publisher’s Financial Fortunes Looking Grim

Any Disgaea fans out there? Yes? No? Possibly? I know I’m not one of them, but I bought the original game for my brothers a while back and they’ve been telling me to give the series a try since then. I also know a certain Shawn Cooper enjoys them quite a bit.

So, if you do enjoy Disgaea, or any game published by Nippon Ichi Software, you may want to be aware: in the first nine months of its current fiscal year, NIS’s operating profit is down an astronomical 97.5 percent.

Ouch. Big-time, major ouch. I’m too lazy to research in detail right now, but in the last nine months, has NIS release a single game in North America? The Kotaku article I read mentions several titles released in Japan, (Disgaea Infinite, A Witch’s Tale, another Phantom Brave) but not a single game that made it across the ocean.

Just an observation. (Kotaku)

Tease.Final Fantasy VII on PS3 Looking Less and Less Likely, Square Enix Hates Making Towns

Y’know, looking back, I’m forced to wonder why and how the gaming community became so convinced that a Final Fantasy VII remake for the PS3 was going to happen. They showed us a flashy video back in 2006 (which was probably little more than chopped Advent Children footage) called it a “tech demo” and like the hopeless fanboys we are, we latched onto the prospect of a glorious, HD remake, and haven’t let go.

Granted, Square Enix hasn’t really helped the matter; every time it’s brought up they say something to the effect of “yeah, that WOULD be totally awesome, wouldn’t it?” And yet, four years later, they’ve failed to provide such a remake, and they’ve failed to provide adequate an adequate reason as to why it wouldn’t/shouldn’t/couldn’t be made.

Until now, that is. Speaking to Ultimania Magazine, Square Enix big shots Motomu Toriyama and Yoshinori Kitase finally explained why a Final Fantasy VII remake isn’t feasible: designing towns in HD is just too much of a bitch.

No, seriously:

“It is a result of considering HD graphics will be the mainstream. Considering the amount of work to make graphics that deserve HD, it is hard to make towns in the conventional style,” Toriyama said.

“It is very hard to make games on PlayStation 3 in the same style as the games in that era had. Making graphics will take enormous time,” Kitase added.

Well, there you have it. I suppose this is why Final Fantasy XIII did away with towns altogether, eh?

Weak, Square Enix. Weak. (VG247)

I Want This

Yes, it's for real.

Yes, it's for real.

We’ve reached the end. You’ll note I didn’t include any clever remarks about how this column was somehow worse than February. And that’s because this column isn’t worse than February. February sucks ass.

‘Till next time!

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11 Responses to “Hey! Look! Listen!”

  1. SiliconNooB says:

    -Funny, Mistwalker seemed capable of creating towns in Lost Odyssey …

    -There is nothing unusual with a publisher’s profits being down 97% in 2009 if they had a good fiscal year 2008. The industry works in cycles of peaks and troughs, which competant publishers will budget for. You can’t have big franchise games come out every year unless your a mega-publisher or Koei. I bet if you look accross SE’s financhial results for the last five years then you will find at least one year where profits were down at least 50% from the previous one (probably more), and SE have the capital to crap out games all over the place. NIS have much more limited capital to invest in their projects, and so they will have lean years, and then they will have fat years. There is no need for sensationalism unless this becomes an annual trend (this is a very typical Kotaku beat-up story).

  2. 7thcircle says:

    The crippling flaw in SE’s “conventional towns” excuse is that FF7 didn’t have conventional towns. It had 2D backdrops that a hideous 3D representation of Cloud ran around on top of, growing smaller in the distance and larger in the front to give the illusion of depth. If SE kept that style, FF7 would be extremely easy to HDify. Hell, they could outsource that part of it to Vanillaware if they’re scared of making beautiful 2D backgrounds.

  3. SiliconNooB says:

    … I don’t exactly think thats the remake that all the fanboys are crying for. I don’t personally think it would make financial sense to remake a HD FFVII.

  4. Riddles says:

    @7: Yeah, I think what they were saying is re-creating those 2D backdrops in 3D would be too difficult. Which, of course, is still bullshit.

    Not that I care, particularly. I’ve always been largely indifferent on the prospect of a FFVII remake.

    @Noob: true enough. Still ouch. For the moment, at least.

  5. SiliconNooB says:

    The only OUCHY part about it is the reporting, which may hurt the share price, since investors rarely take the time to familirise themselves with a company’s fiscal position …

  6. DarthGibblet says:

    @SN: That’s why I prefer the “trade what you know” strategy

  7. Ethos says:

    Yeah, I’m also in the camp that doesn’t care about a FFVII remake although I’m a sizable fan of the original.
    Also, didn’t A Witch’s Tale make it to North America?

  8. Well i dont believe the crap about “We can’t make towns in HD” when they made perfect remakes of the towns from FFVII in FFVII CC on the PSP!

  9. Ethos says:

    Erm, but the PSP is definitely not HD, so although their argument might be void for other reasons, I wouldn’t call it void for that.

  10. im just saying that if they can do a 3-d remake of those towns on the PSP why dont they release a FFVII remake on PSP?

  11. DarthGibblet says:

    @Volke/Ethos: While the PSP isn’t HD, I’d totally jump all over a SD Remake of FFVII just as fast.

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