This Week in Games
Gotta Nope Fast

by Heidi Kemps,

Welcome back to This Week in Games, and – let's be real here, you're all reading this because you know we're going to talk a lot about that. Yes, it was looking like an unfathomably slow news week, and then Paramount decided to drop a huge steaming turd upon the internet for everyone to gape in horror at.

So, without further ado…

THE TRAILER'S HERE AND SOMEHOW, THE SONIC THE HEDGEHOG MOVIE LOOKS EVEN WORSE THAN WE ALL ANTICIPATED

Hey, remember back when Weird Al wrote Amish Paradise? Apparently at the time, Coolio was kinda peeved about it! Gangsta's Paradise was a very serious and meaningful piece of music, and Al “desecrated the song.”

Just thought I'd remind everyone of that. Anyway, here's the trailer for Paramount's Sonic the Hedgehog movie.

Okay! Let's examine what I liked and didn't like about this trailer.

LIKED: The rings instead of the stars around the Paramount logo made me giggle a teeny bit

DISLIKED: everything else good god this looks unfathomably terrible even by Hollywood family film standards

So yeah, as bad as we expected film Sonic to look from the teaser posters and leaked marketing images, somehow this uncanny-valley, revised-design-by-marketing-committee version manages to look even worse. Sonic looks wildly out of place, his origin is really muddy (I hope they're not doing the lazy “he's an ALIEN!” plot), both he and the mechanical stuff look really weird and out of place in a realistic setting, and who in their right mind made the music choice here?!

I've heard some people saying something to the effect of “I want to see Jim Carrey ham it up as Eggman/Robotnik!” Which… well, going by this trailer, I'm not seeing a whole lot he's bringing to that particular role. (Also, I wonder how many of these people would have said “I'm going to see the live action Grinch to see Jim Carrey in the title role!” back in 2000. Probably zero.)

I've also heard some folks saying they want to see it just to take in what a trainwreck it'll be, but, like… guys, this doesn't even look like the good kind of trainwreck. This isn't Street Fighter the movie goofy camp or Uwe Boll levels of stunning incompetence. It's the kind of overproduced, marketing-motivated trying-to-move-Happy-Meal-toys trash on the same level as those awful Alvin and the Chipmunks movies. (And just like most modern kiddie CG flicks, I'm positive Sonic's going to make a thinly-veiled dick and/or poop joke in a half-assed attempt to give the parents forced to go something to laugh sadly at.)

The trailer's bad enough, but what makes it even worse is that we've seen a bunch of material for Detective Pikachu, which has been received very warmly and actually looks like a pretty fun film! So, I've been thinking, trying to put my finger on exactly why Detective Pikachu looks to be a better movie.  I think one of the big things is that it just comes right out and establishes a fantasy universe where it's normal for people and weird CG Pokemon to coexist. It doesn't look exactly like the world we know, and that makes it easier to accept a furry talking electric rat and a bunch of other oddball critters running around. Meanwhile, Sonic and Eggman here are clearly in The Real World with Real People, and the biggest lesson we should have learned from Sonic's gaming exploits is that Sonic does not interact well with realistic looking people. Not even this weird pseudo-Sonic with human teeth manages to pull it off.

Also, god, that “every hero needs a genesis” line just made me die inside. I get the joke. It's not that clever. However, it did spawn one of my favorite meme images, which I've been peppering throughout this piece because if anything good will come from this film, it'll be from photoshop wizards and artists on Twitter.

Anyway, Sonic the movie looks like the worst kind of blockbuster trash, and hopefully it bombs and we get more good Tyson Hesse animated shorts instead. Speaking of which, here's one for Team Sonic Racing!

EPIC JUST BOUGHT PSYONIX, AND THE WAR OF THE LAUNCHERS LOOKS TO GET EVER FIERCER

Meanwhile, in the world of PC gaming, Epic just pulled another Epic by buying up a big developer. The company has been making a fair few cutthroat deals in order to secure exclusives for the up-and-coming Epic Store on PCs, including securing a lot of exclusives, but this one is leaving everyone going “wow, that's kind of a dick move!”

It was just announced that developer Psyonix has been acquired wholly by Epic. You might not know who Psyonix are, but you probably know their biggest game, soccer-with-supercars fan favorite Rocket League. The game's been a big, big success for the small developer, becoming popular among hardcore eSports types and casual players alike. (I can personally attest that I've seen a lot of Rocket League get played among family when I've visited relatives for Easter and Thanksgiving.)

Of course, with Psyonix essentially being Rocket League, it's safe to assume Epic acquired them primarily to get their hands on the Rocket League rights, and to make it another Epic Store exclusive. The problem is that Rocket League has been on Steam for years now, and existing players may be forced to migrate if Epic decides to dump the Steam version.

While there's been some heavy speculation that Rocket League's Steam version will vanish sometime after the deal closes, Epic has been… well, vague on exactly what's going to happen. They haven't said “we're going to yank this from the Steam store at some point,” but they have said “long-term plans will be announced in the future” in a PR statement to The Verge. They've also mentioned that it will “continue to be supported on Steam for all existing purchasers,” suggesting that you could still play the Steam version if you bought it there, but you might not be able to do that in the future. Hmmm.

Anyhow, it's one thing to secure an exclusive for an upcoming game, but acquiring something that's already out and has an established audience on a competing platform, and then moving it over to yours? Yeah, that's pretty brazen… and not great for PC Rocket League fans. Yes, the game will still be supported on Steam if you've bought it there, but will you get everything it'll offer on the Epic Store? Who knows!

I'm still waiting to see what the first Japanese PC exclusive for the Epic Games store will be. I bet it'll be a Platinum title. Remember all the salt over Bayonetta 2 on Wii U? An Epic-P* exclusive might just destroy the nerd internet.

NEW RELEASES

I bought Final Fantasy XII again. This time on Switch. Fran is too much for me to resist.

If you're feeling like another text-heavy game without the pesky RPG stuff attached, however, you might be interested in World End Syndrome on PS4 and Switch from Arc System Works and Pcube. It's a visual novel about finding love in a sleepy seaside town… which also happens to suffer from a nasty zombie curse every hundred years. Guess what year in the cycle it is? There's also cyberpunk visual novel/bartending sim VA-11 Hall-a on PS4 and Switch, which I'm playing through now and hope to review soon!

GAME FREAK's Giga Wrecker Alt, which I thought released already but I guess got pushed back, also hits PS4, XBOne, and Switch this week. If you like 2D action games, you should definitely buy it. Finally, SNK Anniversary Collection makes the trek over the Xbox One, making it available on all the major consoles (but still not PC).

Anyhow, we're done for this week, and I am done looking at hedgehog teeth basically forever. Please stop posting that image, I beg you.


discuss this in the forum (16 posts) |
bookmark/share with:

This Week in Games homepage / archives