This Week in Games
Delays of our Lives
by Heidi Kemps,
Hey all! How've you been holding up? Keeping entertained? It feels like everybody's going in hard on Fall Guys right now, thanks to it being free on PS Plus. It's nice to see a battle-royale game outside of the typical shooter mold get this much attention, and it'll be interesting if Mediatonic can keep interest going for a while. I haven't really played it, but as I write this, my partner is streaming it and having a good time. Maybe I should give it a shot.
(Also, a Fate/Grand Order update to follow up last week: my partner got SSR Jeanne and BB off random single tickets. I'm happy for him and totally not jealous. Really. I got my oni and that's all I need.)
Anyhow, let's get to this week's gaming news!
MICROSOFT LOSES ITS KILLER TITLE FOR THE LAUNCH OF THE XBOX SERIES X
It blows my mind that we're are just a few months away from two major new console launches, yet there's still a lot we don't know about either of them. We're still in the dark when it comes to pricing, all of the features we'll be getting at launch, when exactly they're launching besides a vague “around November”… and what games are going to be available alongside each platform when it hits store shelves. Honestly, with so little to go on, I feel totally justified in my decision to wait at least a few months before picking up one of the new platforms.
There was one game that was all but assured to be a launch title for the Xbox Series X, however. Halo Infinite has been promising longtime fans a return to the glory days of the franchise, which lost a bit of luster during the Xbox One's run thanks to some poor decisions and mismanagement. (Remember Master Chief Collection's online issues? Oof.)
Unfortunately, the game many have expected to be a system-seller… won't be launching alongside the system.
Yes, Halo Infinite is yet another game whose development has been hampered by the wide-reaching effects of COVID-19, and thus has been pushed back into 2021. Not even “early 2021,” just… sometime in 2021. Which is quite a disappointment if you're a die-hard Halo fan who was looking forward to playing Master Chief's latest outing as soon as that Series X you pre-ordered hit your doorstep. Instead, you'll have to make do with… uh… wait, what's supposed to be launching with the Series X again? Oh, Yakuza: Like a Dragon! Actually, yeah, that one'll do just fine for me. Still, for most folks, the launch is looking a little anemic now.
Anyhow, I'm sure Microsoft has known about the need to delay the game internally for a while, and carefully considered when to break the news. I kinda feel like not announcing the delay during the recent game showcase (where Halo Infinite was prominently featured) is a bit of a dick move, personally, but gotta maximize those pre-orders, I suppose. Will this affect early Xbox Series X sales? It probably will, but how much of an effect it'll have will be anyone's guess. I mean, it's not like the confirmed PS5 launch lineup is any more exciting right now.
I also suspect that Halo Infinite won't be the last high-profile 2020 release to get pushed back into 2021 due to COVID, and publishers are just waiting for the right time to break the bad news. I'm sure a lot of stuff that was due to get announced over the past couple of months has been delayed internally too, which is why companies like Nintendo and Sega have been more quiet than usual. (Remember how we were supposed to hear a bunch of Sonic-related news this year?)
FIGHTING GAME NEWS ROUNDUP: YOSHINORI ONO HANGS UP HIS GLOVES
Y'know, I was wondering why producer Yoshinori Ono, the enthusiastic face of Street Fighter since 2009's Street Fighter IV, hadn't much of a presence in last week's big Street Fighter V season 5 presentation. As it turns out, Ono's going to be leaving CAPCOM by season's end.
In a way, this feels like the end of an era. Yoshinori Ono was the guy who pushed hard for a proper Street Fighter revival, which resulted in Street Fighter IV and a mass influx of interest and talent into the fighting game community. Ono represented SFIV at demos and tournaments around the world, hyping it up with a goofy, infectious enthusiasm that earned him a lot of fans. Of course, given his public-facing persona, he also took the brunt of criticism when things didn't go well.
So why is Ono leaving now, as Street Fighter V enters its prime? He didn't give an exact reason. However, rumors had been floating in certain corners on the internet that a Street Fighter VI is both in development and in trouble, and Ono's departure lends of a bit of credence to that. The CAPCOM higher-ups wouldn't want another mess like Street Fighter X Tekken or the Street Fighter V launch to tarnish their only active fighting game brand, and if he was leading this supposed problematic project, that could be a good reason why he's leaving.
Ono was certainly a bit divisive, too -- besides tweets expressing disappointment and wishing Ono well, I've also seen a fair few tweets from community figures insinuating that Ono might not have been the jovial personality presented on Twitter and at tournaments on the job. I've heard some rumors myself that I'm not at liberty to share, but there does seem to have been a divide between the public persona of Ono and what went on behind the CAPCOM curtain. Perhaps we'll learn more in time – the passing of years tends to loosen lips.
As to what Ono will do next… who knows? Some are predicting that he'll crowdfund not-Darkstalkers, but honestly, if he Kickstarts something, I want it to be the revival of Deep Down. Remember Deep Down? That sure existed, possibly!
In other fighting game news, Granblue Fantasy Versus saw a recent update that added more chapters to the game's single-player RPG mode. A Granblue livestream showed off a first look at upcoming DLC character Belial the heavenly angel of horniness, along with teasing a Cagliostro announcement. Belial will debt on September 24 along with a major patch that includes “online match functionality improvements.” Please be rollback netcode please be rollback netcode oh please please please
SHIN MEGAMI TENSEI III NOCTURNE HD REMASTER NOW FEATURES DANTE FROM THE DEVIL MAY CRY SERIES
A few weeks ago, when the Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD remaster was announced, the immediate question on everyone's lips was, “will we see the return of Dante from the Devil May Cry series?” After all, when western SMT fandom was in its infancy, Atlus would take every opportunity it had to garner more attention to the then-niche games, such as declaring loudly on the box that Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne was Featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry Series.
Obviously, Dante from the Devil May Cry series was in the game thanks to a deal with CAPCOM (who got some Kazuma Kaneko-drawn Devil Triggers for DMC3 out of the deal). But a later Japanese re-release of the game replaced Dante from the Devil May Cry series with Kuzunoha Raidou from the Kuzunoha Raidou series, so it was assumed that the licensing deal with CAPCOM had expired and Atlus simply did a find->replace on Dante from the Devil May Cry series with another fan-favorite character. It was soon revealed that the HD remaster would, in fact, be the version featuring Kuzunoha Raidou from the Kuzunoha Raidou series.
But there is some good news for fans of Dante from the Devil May Cry series! Atlus will be releasing a DLC pack for the Nocturne remaster that re-features Dante from the Devil May Cry series! This DLC pack is called the Maniax pack (named after the Japanese edition of SMT3 where Dante was featured), and will swap all of the content featuring Kuzunoha Raidou from the Kuzunoha Raidou series with the different content featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry series. You'll be able to pick which version to play from the title screen.
The bad news is that this DLC will set you back about 10 bucks. Is Dante from the Devil May Cry series really worth an extra ten dollars? If you're really, really committed to the character of Dante from the Devil May Cry series and want to meme it up like it's 2004, well, go wild. Me, I rather like Dante from the Devil May Cry series, but I think I'm going to just enjoy my time with Kuzunoha Raidou from the Kuzunoha Raidou series. I think this meme may have just run its course, and I'm not helping.
That's another TWIG for the books! With Halo Infinite delayed and console launch lineups uncertain, are you reconsidering purchasing a PS5 or Xbox Series X at launch? Are there any other big releases that you're worried might slip into next year? How do you handle the delay of a game you're looking forward to? We've got our lovely forums below, so come join the conversation! We'll be back again next week, so until then, keep on gaming!
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