This Week in Games
Kill la Kill on Consoles and Super Smash Bros. Speculation
by Heidi Kemps,
Well, it's that post-E3 lull time. There are a couple of new releases and a smattering of news bits, but it's kind of a recovery period for players and media folks alike.
That doesn't mean that nothing's happening, of course. In fact, a big new game announcement for anime fans was revealed not too long ago…
TOKYO GHOUL RE:CALL TO EXIST IS ANNOUNCED
V-Jump, the gaming-oriented sister publication to the Shonen Jump we all know and love, announced that a Tokyo Ghoul game is coming to the PS4. It's titled Tokyo Ghoul Re:Call to Exist, and there aren't many details about what kind of game it is yet… though the smart money is on it being some sort of third person action thing. Hey, at least we know it'll have multiplayer. That's something, right?
…Wait, you're saying that's not the big announcement everyone was losing their minds over? Oh, wait…
THERE'S A KILL LA KILL GAME COMING FROM (not actually) ARC SYSTEM WORKS
It finally happened – a Kill la Kill game is happening. It took a while, but Arc System Works and Trigger are teaming up to transform the flashy, fan-favorite anime into a videogame.
Details are still a bit sparse, but more information will be forthcoming at Anime Expo, which will be hosting Kill la Kill character designer Sushio and creative officer Hiromi Wakabayashi as guests. There's also a livestream scheduled that will have a bit more info, and apparently it's happening… tonight. As in, the time period in-between when I submit this and when it goes live. So this will already be outdated when you read it. Sigh.
Here's the thing, though. The Arc System Works connection likely has you thinking that the team behind Dragonball FighterZ or Guilty Gear Xrd or Blazblue might be working on this… but, in fact, Arc is only involved as a publisher. The actual developer is Aplus Games, who already have a relationship with Trigger: they made the Little Witch Academia game that Bandai-Namco released recently. (By the way, they're doing a survey about the LWA game, so if you have any strong thoughts on it you should fill that out.)
It's a bit disappointing, sure, and the current lack of information isn't helping, but there's certainly room for optimism. Yes, it isn't the PlatinumGames Kill la Kill that many fans would, erm, kill for, but everyone involved seems to understand what this series means to its fans, and that's a pretty good foundation to build a game on.
FIGHTING GAME NEWS ROUNDUP: STREET FIGHTER V HAS LOOTBOXES NOW
No, there's no Cody yet in Street Fighter V, but there was an update that just hit. The first major change was an overhaul of the game's Survival Mode, which very few people really bothered to touch unless they really wanted some extra costume colors. To make things a bit easier, Capcom is introducing a continue feature and the ability to save your game in the middle of a survival session… but the biggest addition is consumable items called Battle Goods. You can use up to five of them between rounds, and they provide an array of varied benefits.
But how do you get more Battle Goods, you ask? Why, by everyone's favorite modern game mechanic: the lootbox.
Through the new “Fighting Chance” mode, you get to pay resident fortuneteller Menat for a Fantasy Fortune Reading. These “readings” are actually lootboxes: they contain Battle Goods and sometimes – sometimes – exclusive colors and costumes you can't get anywhere else, like Cammy's Cannon Spike digs seen below.
On the one hand, these lootboxes don't use real money: they utilize the in-game “Fight Money” currency that you earn from playing regularly. On the other hand, who's stopping Capcom from eventually just selling Fight Money outright? Lord knows it's already a massive grind, which this is going to make worse.
LET'S PLAY: SUPER SMASH SPECULATION
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was unveiled to the world at E3, and now it's time for the hype machine to kick into high gear. One of the things Smash fans love to speculate on before every release is “Who are the new characters going to be?” And, of course, when the reveals come, there's plenty of excitement, celebration, and reaction videos involving screaming like a kid on Christmas who just got an N64.
Now that Nintendo's proven they can convince any third party to let them use a character in Smash, the doors are wide open for a bunch of new additions both within and outside the Nintendo library. Since there's not much news to talk about this week, let's have some fun speculating about potential roster additions. I racked my brain for some ideas for new additions, and here's what I came up with...
SOMEBODY FROM ARMS
The case for: ARMS was one of the Switch's big launch titles, and it's garnered a serious fan following. The characters are fun and memorable, and the fact that they're already designed for a competitive combat game would make them easy to implement into Smash.
Likelihood: I'd be more surprised if ARMS wasn't represented, honestly.
MIKE JONES FROM STARTROPICS
The case for: Smash has not shied away from introducing characters from Japanese-exclusive games into its roster… nor has it ignored requests for new characters from international fans. (See: Ridley.) So how about Mike Jones, who is a character from a Japanese-developed game only released in the US? That ought to spark some interest.
Likelihood: A longshot, but not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
SOMEBODY FROM A RHYTHM HEAVEN GAME
The case for: How do you make an anthology game consisting of a ton of different music-based minigames work as a character? Well, if the developers could make the Duck Hunt dog work, I'm sure there's some way they could get a Rhythm Heaven character in there. I mean, who doesn't love the wrestler?
Likelihood: Rhythm Heaven is one of the few big Nintendo franchises with little representation in Smash, so I'd say they're probably at least looking at it. Apparently some Smash 4 datamining revealed remnants of an unused Rhythm Heaven character concept, so they might be using whatever was scrapped initially as a base.
The case for: Ubisoft, moreso than any other non-Japanese publisher, enjoys a very close relationship with Nintendo. Mario + Rabbids did extremely well for both companies, and they're collaborating again with StarLink on Switch. Remember how the Mario and Sonic Olympics crossover game was announced a bit before Sonic was confirmed for Brawl? Yeah.
Likelihood: The most likely new third party character, in my opinion.
A MONSTER HUNTER (or a Felyne)
The case for: Monster Hunter’s done very well across Nintendo platforms for the past few years, and even with Monster Hunter World on PS4 being a thing, Capcom's still supporting the series on Switch going forward. A Monster Hunter character would make a lot of sense: it's among the biggest franchises in Japan, gaining traction globally, and has a lot of weaponry and skills that could translate into an interesting character design.
Likelihood: A bit iffy – Nintendo's already got Megaman and Ryu in, so Capcom would probably be open to more... but three Capcom characters seems a bit like overkill.
AN SNK CHARACTER
The case for: Out of the major Japanese publishers/developers, SNK is one of the few that doesn't have any Smash representation. This year marks their 40th anniversary, and they've been putting a lot into the Switch: the Neo-Geo Arcade Archives ports are doing well, SNK Heroines is coming to the console, and there's a collection of classic SNK games due out later this year. Terry Bogard or Kyo Kusanagi would slot into Smash quite well.
Likelihood: Better than you might think at first. Smash is transforming into a celebration of Japanese gaming history, and SNK is one of its most storied companies.
It's a low-key week, but there are a couple of games worth mentioning. The Lost Child is a modern-day dungeon crawler published by NIS America for the Switch, PS4, and PS Vita. Interestingly, this game has connections to the cult classic action game El Shaddai: it's the newest project from director Sawaki Takeyasu, and that game's lead character, Enoch, apparently plays a pretty big role.
The other major release of interest to ANN readers this week is New Gundam Breaker on PS4. This is a game about Gunpla (as in, the plastic Gundam models) rather than “real” Gundam, which means you can do silly stuff like swap parts and weapons among your virtual model collection.
Other than that, there are a handful of arcade ports for Switch (Data East's Wizard Fire, Psikyo's Gunbird 2, and SNK's The Last Blade 2), so if you're like me and love your old, obscure arcade games on the go, snatch those up.
Yup, that's all for this week. Nothing else of note, right?
Oh snap, it's
MARIO TENNIS ACES (Switch)
Okay, okay. I was trying to be jokey about this one, because this is the big Switch release of the summer. After the hot mess that was Mario Tennis Ultra Smash, we're finally returning to form in a proper Mario Tennis game that's chock-full of the goofy charm we love. There's a whole bunch of new additions: specialized Joy-Con controls, a new move called a “zone shot” (and actual raquet damage), and a sweet-looking, time-bending skill referred to as “zone speed.”
Most importantly, though, it has Chain Chomp holding a raquet in its mouth.
That's all for this week. Be sure to keep your consoles well ventilated – summer can cause some serious overheating!
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