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What the hell was this week? I’m taking a few days off from work, and suddenly Nintendo, Sony, Ubisoft, and Sega all decide to get the rhythm going when I get back? Not to mention all the Tokyo Game Show news. I’m exhausted – a good exhausted, but yes, still tired. The irony is that I haven’t really had the time or energy to play many games this week other than checking out the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla DLC.
This is going to be one of my longer Focuses, considering how we had this much going this week. I’ll talk mostly about the shows, but I’ll have to stop talking about some of the TGS news and the Xbox/Twitch show just because I need space. It’s been a long week and I’m just glad I got the chance to talk about it, even if I sound a little cranky doing so.
Ubisoft has a sharp idea for a stealth game, all of you
No surprise, Ubisoft makes Lake Assassin’s Creed. I have no doubt that Mario+Rabbids: Sparks of Hope will be a good game, and Skull & Bones will definitely be a game. I’m also very happy that we’re getting a new Valiant Hearts game. I’m not exactly sure if it will be a Netflix exclusive, but anyway, I’m playing it. But the AC showcase was where Ubisoft really showed their vision for the future.
I feel confused about the whole showing. On the plus side, Mirage’s CGI trailer was cool and Basim could be the most interesting protagonist of the series, given certain facts about him that I won’t reveal. Assuming the theories about Hexe set in 16th-century Germany are true, that sounds amazing – it’s an obscure historical setting that I know little about, exactly what I want from Assassin’s Creed.
As for the negative side. . . Have you ever tried to pitch an idea to someone, such as a boss or a friend, that they will reject, only to later present it as their own idea with complete sincerity? That’s what the AC showcase felt like and it was a bit unbearable. Fans have asked them to “go back to their roots” (meaning: create an AC game that focuses on actual stealth and murder) since about Assassin’s Creed 3. But no, Ubisoft wanted AC to be an open-world action collectathon game. Oh, isn’t that what Assassin’s Creed is about? Good to make that’s what matters. The same goes for the feudal Japanese setting – we’ve been asking for that since the second game launched. It’s a bit rich to expect a pat on the back to do it nowUbisoft.
Nintendo shocks with agriculture and Fire Emblem, but no Metroid
Now, on Nintendo. If you start with a new Fire Emblem game coming out in less than a year, you’ll come out swinging. And when you’re done with footage from the new Legend of Zelda game, you’ll know you’ve got an ace in the hole. I’m most excited about Fire Emblem: Engage, Pikmin 4 and (tell me, you know it’s coming) Bayonetta 3.
Perhaps the funniest part of the show, not to mention this entire week, was the number of farm sims announced or named. Nintendo showed Fae Farm, Harvestella, Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life and Rune Factory. Resembling someone tries to recreate the success of a certain life sim game that became popular during the pandemic. I have no idea if any of these games will be another Animal Crossing. Story of Seasons certainly has the pedigree for it. Anyway, at least we have an abundance of fun games to look forward to.
But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little one bit disappointed with the lack of Metroid Prime (remakes or the fourth game) and Legend of Zelda remakes. The latter surprises me less; assuming Tears of the Kingdom comes out on time, Nintendo probably doesn’t want to overload the launch window. But I’m a little sad that Nintendo isn’t taking advantage of Metroid Dread’s good press to bring some more news on that particular series. It seems the time was right.
Sony has a lot more Ragnarok where that comes from
Sony has spent much of its show on the VR titles coming to its new PS VR2 headset. This makes sense now, with it being revealed today that it won’t be compatible with its predecessor’s games. It also literally came out swinging with Tekken 8. Other interesting titles, including Rise of Ronin, an upcoming historical adventure set in feudal Japan (note, Assassin’s Creed: Codename Red), might seem interesting.
For the most part, the company highlighted the work of Japanese partners, including showing off Square Enix’s upcoming Crisis Core remake for non-PSP consoles. Synduality, from Bandai Namco, and Stellar Blade, formerly known as Project Eve, also made their appearance. Of course, the company couldn’t resist closing the show with a new trailer for the upcoming God of War: Ragnarok. And it’s about time too – that game should be released soon and we’ve seen nothing but relatively short trailers. I think I know what’s going to happen in the game: Kratos is going to commit some kind of murder. But it’s still good to see Thor, of all the gods, can give him a solid run for his money.
Sega is happy that western gamers have discovered Like a Dragon
Sega and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios are going all-in for the Like a Dragon series (formerly known as Yakuza). It’s funny because, until a few years ago, the Yakuza/Like a Dragon series was more of a niche in the western market, at least as far as I know. Now that we’ve all finally gotten wise and fallen in love with this frenzied crime drama, Sega has pulled the cork from the figurative champagne bottle and announced not on, not two, but three new games in the series. Sure, one of them is a remake of an older title, but given the historical adventure Ishin never released in the West, it’s actually new to me.
As for the actual new games, we’re getting the next direct installment in the franchise called Like a Dragon 8. At this point, that’s pretty much all we know from the short teaser. I’ve seen some fans a little nervous about former main character Kazuma Kiryu’s new haircut – I tend to be more forgiving as he’s had the same haircut since the ’80s. And if anyone misses her, you can see it in the other game, Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, which follows Kiryu after the events of Yakuza 6. Of all the things announced or discussed this week, this is the one that gave me the biggest smile apart from Bayonetta 3. Like a Dragon is a fun series and I will be accepting more of it.
What to play this week?
- Metal: Hellsinger
- The Despot’s Game
- You suck at parking
- SCP: Secret Files
- Little Orpheus
- Quirky Beach
- Edo No Yamic
New on subscription services:
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (Xbox Game Pass)
- Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (Xbox Game Pass)
- Ni no Kuni Wrath of the White Witch Remastered (Xbox Game Pass)
- Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation (Xbox Game Pass)
- DC League of Super-Pets: The Adventures of Krypto and Ace (Xbox Game Pass)
- Fugue: Melodies of Steel (Xbox Game Pass)
- Double Kick Heroes (Xbox games with gold)
- Portal 2 (Xbox games with gold)
- QUBE 10th Anniversary (GeForce Now)
- Animal Shelter (GeForce Now)
- Spirit of the North (GeForce Now)
- Startup Business (GeForce Now)
- Alisia Dragoon (Nintendo Switch Online)
- Beyond Oasis (Nintendo Switch Online)
- Earthworm Jim (Nintendo Switch Online)
- Garden Tails: Match and Grow (Apple Arcade)
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