Hey! Look! Listen! #54

Oh, hey! It’s this column!

I know I only missed a week, but it feels… longer. But, then again, last week felt like it lasted for 327 years, so that might be why. In any case, I’m back, and sincerely happy to be here. I have seen the world outside, and it’s a far less pleasant place than Riddlethos.

Generally speaking.

I actually *don’t* have Alan Wake at this exact moment, but that’s only because I rushed home to begin work on this very article. Still grabbing it tonight, and I’ll have impressions up by tomorrow evening at the latest. Or, if I’m feeling crazy enough, tonight. (Don’t count on that one, though. Just throwing it out there. To torture you.)

Final Fantasy XIII Sells 5.5 Million, Square Enix Has Record Year

I didn’t realize until now, but during its 2009-2010 fiscal year, Square Enix released a numbered Dragon Quest, a numbered Final Fantasy, and two Kingdom Hearts games. The result? Money, and lots of it.

In an earnings report today, Square Enix announced that their games division had seen a 128.4 % increase in sales over the previous year, to 109,949 million yen. Operating income went up 254% over the previous year to 23,814 million yen. All considered, it’s the best fiscal year they’ve had since the Square and Enix merger in 2003.

Impressive, eh? You can thank Final Fantasy XIII, sad as that is to say. It’s sold a combined 5.55 million units since its release in Japan last year. Perhaps even more absurd, though, is the four million strong that Dragon Quest IX pushed – seeing that it was only released in Japan.

So, despite the apparent loss of their ability to make good RPGs, Square Enix isn’t going anywhere. And that’s all I’m really taking away from this. (IGN)

Square Enix “Looking Into” Releasing Vs. XIII on 360

Totally called this. Not that it’s much of a “call” these days. Publishers tend to release games on multiple platforms. It makes sense, and it’s not as difficult to do as it (apparently) once was.

During an investor meeting, in which financial matters (such as those in the story above) were being discussed, Square Enix’s president Yoichi Wada had this to say concerning Final Fantasy Vs. XIII’s multiplatform-ness:

“We’ll be looking into it internally until right before the formal announcement.”

Looking into it. Alrighty then. You know what I’d like to see, now that I think about it? A breakdown of how many copies that Final Fantasy XIII sold on the 360. I have a feeling that, if I could see one, I might be able to predict their decision. (VG247)

Aggregate Ranking Roundup: Alan Wake, Prince of Persia, Red Dead Redemption

As you’ve likely gathered, it’s Alan Wake Week here at Riddlethos. But, Alan wasn’t the only contender for the “honor” – a certain Prince and an assortment of outlaws from the Old West made fine arguments in their favor. Now that the week is here, how exactly are the three games faring in the critical realm?

Sitting comfortably on the first place position is Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption. It’s currently holding down a 95.79% aggregate score on GameRankings. (It’s worth noting, I suppose, that the PS3 version only has a 93.36%). Impressive. Most impressive. Only based on twelve reviews at this point, but still. Maybe we should have made this Red Dead Week. Oh well.

Coming in at number two is our very own Alan Wake, with an aggregate score of 84.40% And that’s based on 40 reviews. Solid. Quite solid. I’m excited to judge for myself.

And, at number three, everyone’s favorite Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands with a 76.00%. That’s only based on five reviews, yes, but… disappointing? The reviews are actually largely positive. But, frankly, when I play Prince of Persia, I’m expecting a masterpiece. Then again, after 2008’s rather underwhelming reboot, maybe I… shouldn’t. Ah well. I’ll buy it and play for myself eventually; frankly, I’m hoping it drops in price as quickly as the last game did.

Aw, C’mon: Mass Effect 2’s Mining Streamlined

I didn’t do a whole lot of mining in Mass Effect 2, which I know did me no favors. (You gotta do it if you want to get higher-level weapon upgrades.) However, the reason I didn’t do much mining in Mass Effect 2 is because it was slow. Very. Very. Slow. It was actually kinda fun in an odd way, but god damn… was it ever slow.

Anyway. I think you catch my drift. The reason I’m writing this story is because BioWare released a patch for the 360 version of Mass Effect 2 (PC patch coming soon, supposedly) that addresses this exact issue. And according to Gaming Today’s Phil Owen, “The scanner now moves very quickly, and the scanner itself is much larger… talk about streamlining.”

Well fuck. That would have been nice four months ago, BioWare. Then, maybe then, I could have acquired that awesome [insert high level something or other here] that I always fucking wanted. (Gaming Today)

Oh, For Fuck’s Sake: Nintendo Attempting to Make New Zelda “Easier to Play”

I haven’t been reminded of this fact terribly often lately, but it remains: I hate, hate, hate, hate Nintendo. So much. So much. So. Much. It started with childish gimmicks like motion controls. Then it was instructional DVDs teaching us how to play games. And now? Well, now they’re taking my once-favorite franchise of all time and… doing god-knows-what. Whatever it is, it can’t be good.

Shigeru Miyamoto, the man who created Zelda, was recently speaking with a German gaming site Gaming Media about the illustrious, unreleased Zelda title for the Wii. (1UP transcribes). During said interview, he claimed that Nintendo was “creating a new way to play the game.” Excitement? No. Definitely not excitement. Why? Here’s why:

“We are trying to make Zelda, which has become very complicated, easier to play.”

Complicated? Complicated?! Complicated?!

Pardon me while my mind explodes.

Ahh, that’s better.

Okay, maybe I’m thinking of the wrong Zelda here. You know, the fucking bread-and-butter of action-adventure games? Crawl dungeons, fight baddies solve puzzles? Again: bread-and-butter. BREAD AND FUCKING BUTTER.

BREAD AND BUTTER IS NOT COMPLICATED.

Oh man. I just… have no words. Link… what are they doing to you over there?

It’s just… I have these awful mental images of everyone’s favorite Hero of Time being chronically sodomized by grinning, aging Japanese businessmen. For a while, I imagined Miyamoto merely sitting on the sidelines and watching; perhaps with a sort of subdued distaste. But now? Well, now’s he’s part of the action. And I just can’t handle that.

…and now that I have concluded the most disgusting tangent ever written on Riddlethos.com, I will take my leave. Goodnight, everyone. Enjoy the mental imagery.

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12 Responses to “Hey! Look! Listen! #54”

  1. SiliconNooB says:

    -Part of the credit for SE’s revenue windfall would also have to go to Arkham Asylum and other Eidos properties such as Just Cause 2.

    -If I remember correctly 1/3 of America’s FFXIII sales were for the 360. I really hate to see SE rewarded for their poor game designs, it means they won’t learn from their mistakes.

    -I read the Zelda article that you mention, I thought the context of the conversation was that they were simplifying the controls. We already knew that they were using Motion Plus for accurate melee combat, my guess is that they’re going to tie as many functions to the waggle as possible.

  2. 7thCircle says:

    I’m totally with your head exploding reaction to the Zelda news. Hopefully something was lost in the Japanese to German to English translation. My #1 issue with Twilight Princess, as I’m sure we’ve discussed before, was that it held your hand too much. What’s the point of putting a “puzzle” in a room if as soon as I walk in, the camera pans to a switch on the wall, then to a key in a cage, then to a locked door, and finally pans back to Link. Let me explore, fucking Nintendo! I figured out OoT, which had some bitchy puzzles in it, I can handle fucking Twilight Princess without all the fucking hints. If fucking New Zelda is fucking easi– *head explodes*

  3. Ethos says:

    You guys got it.
    I’d MUCH rather SMG2’s method of an instructional DVD because then they can leave the game to be as difficult as they want. That game’s shaping up to be incredible.
    Zelda, however? I’ve gone from outside hope to no hope. I’m going to have to be genuinely intrigued, as just the “Zelda” title doesn’t really hold sway for upcoming titles.

    To make it worse, even with the Wii Motion Plus “fix”, it still doesn’t work. Leave the Wii to pointer control, that’s the only good (underused and under-appreciated) thing that’s come from the Wiimote.

  4. SiliconNooB says:

    But really, if GC Zelda was over easy, what did you expect from Wii Zelda?

    The Wii has the most obnoxious interface of any system I have ever encountered.

  5. evilpaul says:

    God of War kind of did the panning the camera at everything important in solving a puzzle thing too. Except when it didn’t and it usually meant it was a puzzle solved using the kick-the-block-instead-of-dragging-it move that you used maybe three times in the game. Which I never figured out and had to go read GameFAQs to progress.

  6. SiliconNooB says:

    Hey, do you think Nintendo could be stupid enough to make the new Zelda a Red Steel style 1st person game? It would probably fit with the motion plus requirement, as normal waggle would likely be sufficient for 3rd person melee. I remember Miyamoto saying that he originally wanted Orcharina of Time to be 1st person …

  7. Constipated_Cow says:

    Don’t be a cock. “Easier” means “more accessible” in Nintendo’s language. It will be the same Zelda, just with easier controls… which is only ever a good thing.

  8. Ethos says:

    And more accessible can mean dumbed down.
    You’re missing the point that Miyamoto said Zelda was TOO COMPLICATED.

  9. SiliconNooB says:

    All actions beside movement will be tied to waggle, there will be fewer actions available to players. They’ll want it so that someone can just pick up the controls from a store display and be able to play the game …

  10. Ethos says:

    Yeah c’mon, Matti. I’m a Link-defending Zelda fanboy through and through and I can’t put a positive spin on this. And I was the guy defending Wii Motion Plus controls for the title but months ago.
    We should need to be convinced. There’s no proof to still have faith the series will get better and not worse.

  11. SiliconNooB says:

    Ask yourself what motion plus will do to the perspective of the game, I’ll warrant it is for more than mere bow mechanics …

  12. evilpaul says:

    Why do people still care about Zelda? >.>

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