This Week in Games
Full Moon Fever
by Heidi Kemps,
Hello again! I was prepared to write this week about two big game announcements: one that's a huge visual novel that laid the foundations for a media titan, and one that's a fighting game. The former we'll get to shortly, because the latter… didn't happen.
Today's announcement of KOF XV and SAMURAI SHODOWN's Season Pass 3 which was originally scheduled for (Jan. 6th) 6pm PST has been postponed.— SNK GLOBAL (@SNKPofficial) January 6, 2021
Yes, in a bizarre case of unintentional clairvoyance, SNK has delayed its combination King of Fighters XV reveal/Samurai Shodown season 3 announcements for reasons unknown. It was disappointing to see this announcement in the morning, but then, uh…. Shit happened! Lots of it! So the delay worked out, sadly, because in hindsight, I don't think KoFXV was going to be on the forefront of peoples’ minds on January 6th, 2021!
So, about that visual novel, then…
THE TSUKIHIME REMAKE IS ACTUALLY, FINALLY HAPPENING
It's finally time.
Yes, the long-in-development remake of Tsukihime, Type-Moon's first visual novel, has finally re-emerged after it was announced almost a decade ago! This is the game that introduced many of the elements that would come to define the unique Type-Moon universe, which includes the massive Fate franchise. While Fate has definitely eclipsed (har har) Tsukihime in terms of global recognition and popularity, it wouldn't be here without Tsukihime, and many devout fans of Type-Moon's work still regard it quite fondly.
But man, Tsukihime has really needed a remake for a long time. The original doujin game was an incredible effort for its time, but from a current-day perspective the amateurish art (character designer Takeshi Takeuchi has improved so, so much in 20 years) and dated presentation drag it down. (And then there's the awful, painfully awkward sex scenes, which… they'll have to be excised since this is a console release, but trust me, that is totally for the best.)
With a brand-new, totally-revamped Tsukihime releasing on the PS4 and Switch this year, though, people can finally see what all the fuss is about. If you're wondering if there will be an English release… given the pull of Type-Moon and the long history of Tsukihime fandom in the West, I think it's practically bound to happen. It's one of the most famous visual novels ever made, and would be a prestige release for any publisher who'll pick it up. (The only problem I could imagine might be Type-Moon asking too much for the licensing.)
“Wait, what's that you said about Tsukihime fandom having a long history in the West?” you say. Well, if you were into fighting games before Street Fighter IV re-invigorated the genre, you would know about a game called Melty Blood. Melty Blood was a fighting game spinoff of Tsukihime released as a doujin game, and eventually, copies of it started making their way westward. Since it was a PC-based game and didn't require a lot of processing power, Melty Blood found itself circulated a lot in fighting game scenes, amassing a strong following of dedicated players who were happy to have a new, unique fighting game with a lot of depth. (It also helped that the game was easily copied from PC to PC, meaning most folks didn't pay for it. Ever wonder where the fighting game community term “poverty game” that refers to more obscure titles came from? It's all from Melty Blood.)
Eventually, though, people wanted to know where all these characters actually came from, which lead to investigating Tsukihime and, eventually, fan translation projects. Visual novel fan translations were quite uncommon in the mid-00s, so this was a pretty monumental event – one that probably wouldn't have happened (or would have happened much later) had Melty Blood not inspired interest in the Tsukihime mythos. Melty Blood would continue on for quite some time, getting console and arcade ports and eventually winding up on Steam for people to buy legally. To this day, you'll still see Melty Blood side tournaments at major fighting game events, stereotypically held in pretty ridiculous locations.
Anyhow, I'm super glad to see that Tsukihime’s remake is going to be more than just vaporware, and I'm eager to see everything in store for the new edition of the game. Also… this means a genuine Tsukihime crossover event is absolutely going to happen for Fate/Grand Order in the future, right?
WELCOME TO THE NEXT LEVEL… NINTENDO
In a move that seems both surprising and completely logical, Nintendo has proceeded to attain full ownership of Vancouver's Next Level Games. Nintendo and Next Level Games have had a strong relationship going since the team developed Super Mario Strikers back in the GameCube days, and their partnership has given us some pretty great stuff over the years. (Hell, even Metroid Prime Federation Force is spoken of nicely by people who have managed to get past the whole “it isn't Metroid” thing.) Luigi's Mansion 3 in particular has sold about 8 million copies, which ranks it among the best-selling Switch games ever.
So, when the owners of Next Level Games indicated that they intended to sell the company, Nintendo opted to swoop in and grab them all for themselves. They now have a nice new development team in Canada that I hope will work to revive old Nintendo IP in new and interesting ways, as opposed to just being a Luigi's Mansion factory. (Can I just have a new F-Zero??? PLEASE???!!!)
FIGHTING GAMES NEWS ROUNDUP: THERE'S NO KING OF FIGHTERS, SO HAVE SOME ANJI MITO AT LEAST
Arc System Works promised us an Anji Mito trailer for Guilty Gear Strive in the new year, and that's exactly what we got! Check out our buff, beautiful fan boy right here:
There's still one more character to be revealed in the base, non-DLC cast. Their trailer reveal is set for sometime in February. Any guesses who it might be? Bridget would be a popular pick, but I feel like it'd be better business to sell him as DLC to make some extra cash. It might be an entirely new character, though. Guess we'll just have to wait and see!
I think that's it for today. TWIG this week is a bit shorter than usual, but I'll be real: my brain isn't really thinking much about gaming right now, as I'm still processing what's happening in our nation's capital. (Also, I expected to devote a fair bit of space to KoFXV talk. Whoops!) I want to remind you that, while games are a great way to de-stress, please don't use them to shut out what's happening in the world around you. It's important, now more than ever, to stay informed. I'll be back again next week, so until then, please stay safe.
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