This Week in Games
by Heidi Kemps,
Hi folks! We're past January 20th and the USA didn't implode, so I think that's certainly cause for celebration! Normally around this time of year I'd be off at MAGfest hanging out with my friends in the DC metro area, playing arcade games and attending panels and concerts until ungodly hours in the morning. I mean, having a real-life MAGfest event this year in the DC metro area would have been a terrible idea for untold reasons, but I still miss making the yearly journey to visit my buddies on the East Coast. Unfortunately, the virtual MAGfest event that was scheduled for a replacement was cancelled after… well, uh, most of the team quit in protest of abuse of power by MAGfest's then-board of directors. There's been a lot of ugly stuff going on with the show over the past year, and much of it has been detailed on the Friends of MAGfest page.
Fortunately for fans of the event, though, much of that former board has since resigned. That doesn't take MAGfest and its sister events totally out of the woods – right now, pretty much every con is in a weird state of limbo – but it does give hope for positive developments in the future. Hopefully by this time next year I'll be over in National Harbor presenting a panel about weird videogame anime or something.
Anyway, enough about what I wish was happening, more on what's actually happening – which includes a lot of new info and footage for one of this year's biggest games!
MORE INFO ABOUT RESIDENT EVIL VILLAGE FAILS TO QUENCH THE INTERNET'S UNDYING THIRST
I delayed TWIG this week because Resident Evil Village – which I'll just call RE8 from now on – was bound to be this week's biggest announcement, and the showcase was set to go live just as the column would normally get published. Resident Evil's a pretty big deal in the gaming world, after all, and folks online are getting really excited about it. In particular, people are losing their minds over this:
So, let's talk about the Tall Lady. We don't know her name, her backstory, or why she's hellbent on torturing Ethan in RE8. But upon seeing her, the Internet did what it does best: got really, really horny.
And after seeing the full trailer, there are definitely some erotic-horror elements here. A castle filled with creepy, cleavage-bearing monster women who are constantly talking about how much they want to rip Ethan apart? Yeah, pretty overt S&M stuff. Combine the sensuous, sexual words and imagery with bloody mutilation and body-horror transformations, and you've got a strain of horror that I don't think the RE series has ever really explored before. (EDIT: Apparently CAPCOM sources say her name is Lady Dimitrescu, which is a dominatrix-ass name if I ever heard one.)
Fortunately, the game's not too far off: barring any unexpected delays, you'll be able to play it come May 7th, 2021. Besides Xbox Series, PC, and PS5, there will also be versions available on current-gen consoles… though, after the Cyberpunk fiasco, I would suggest waiting until you actually see footage of the PS4 and XBOne versions before plunking your money down.
If you have a PS5, however, you can get a little taste of RE8 right now! And by “little” I mean “about thirty minutes’ worth”, as Resident Evil Village: Maiden is more of a tech demo for CAPCOM's proprietary RE Engine than anything else. Still, if you want to see some of the creepy castle that's a focal point in RE8, go ahead and check it out! Just don't expect anything too substantial, since a multi-platform demo will be coming in a few months’ time that will better showcase what the actual finished game will be like.
Also announced during the presentation: RE: VERSE! This is a third-person, multiplayer-centric game where you assume the role of a fan-favorite RE character, and, uh… try to murder the other fan-favorite RE characters for what I assume are reasons.
RE:VERSE comes packaged in with RE8. And no, it's not the same game as Resident Evil: Resistance, which came packed in with the RE3make. (Watching the trailer, I was like, “I thought this released already?” for a bit .) You can register for a closed beta for a few more days if you're interested, so if this game interests you at all, you might as well sign up!
Additionally, there's a Resident Evil crossover with Tom Clancy's The Division 2, whoop-dee-doo. Sorry, physically impossible for me to get excited for Ubisoft-related announcements. But hey, Leon's sure looking dapper in that new Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness series, which I hope will at least be watchable. The CG Resident Evils seem to have a better track record than the live-action stuff, though the only person I know who really sings their praises is a guy who literally has multiple posters of Leon Kennedy around his apartment, so yeah.
FAMOUS GAME DEVELOPERS ARE DOING NEW, AMBIGUOUS THINGS
It's 2021, and games are being made in spite of… well, everything. In fact, there are some new projects and big moves being made by developers you might recognize!
First off is the always-opinionated Hideki Kamiya. Aside from The Wonderful 101's reissue, PlatinumGames was fairly quiet last year, though we know they've been working pretty hard on a lot of stuff: Babylon's Fall, Project G.G., and the ever-enigmatic Bayonetta 3. In-between his game-making duties, the retro-loving Kamiya has appeared on stream promoting the Arcade Archives line of downloadable retro games. On his most recent appearance, he indicated that, yes, Bayonetta 3 still exists, and if all goes well, you'll probably get a look at it this year. Also, Platinum has a few unannounced titles in the works, but knowing them, that's not surprising.
What's somewhat more surprising, however, is that Tomonobu Itagaki is somehow back in the headlines. It's hard to recover from a late, overcooked, and underdelivering disaster like Devil's Third, but he's certainly trying! In fact, he's got a whole new studio called Itagaki Games to do just that! (Yes, he named it after himself, did you really expect anything else from Tomonobu Itagaki?)
Of course, this brings up a bunch of questions, like “So what's the deal with Valhalla Games, did he leave or get fired, are they still doing anything?” And the answer is “I don't know, and unless there's a detailed tell-all from someone involved, we may never know!” Because you bet your ass Itagaki isn't going to talk about what went wrong with something he was directly involved with!
Finally, there's longtime Nintendo designer Takaya Imamura, who is departing the Big N after thirty-two years. Imamura began his career on the art side, where he designed famous Nintendo faces like F-Zero's Captain Falcon and Starfox’s Fox McCloud before assuming more supervisory roles – particularly in guiding the aforementioned Starfox and F-Zero series. He'll still be working on games and art in a freelance capacity, though, so odds are you'll be seeing his name in the credits of something big in the future. Also, seeing as how Starfox and F-Zero are both currently stuck on the Island of Misfit IPs, I really can't help but wonder if that has something to do with his departure. Hmm.
KING OF FIGHTERS XV HAS BEGUN BROADCASTING ITS FIGHTER LINEUP
In what's likely to be a weekly thing, SNK has begun dropping character trailers giving brief peeks into the cast of the upcoming King of Fighters XV. A brief Shunei trailer dropped mid-last-week (after I submitted the column), which showed… very little that wasn't already seen in the official reveal trailer. However, this week's trailer announces a new returning character: fluffy narcoleptic boy and BFF to Shunei, Meitenkun!
With Meitenkun on the roster, will the KoFXIV protagonist team's third member – longtime Fatal Fury face Tung Fu Rue – return to the fray as well, or will he be replaced? KoF isn't shy about changing its roster, and there are bound to be a couple new faces, so… place your bets!
I think that's everything I wanted to talk about this week! What are your thoughts on Resident Evil Village? Did you get a chance to play the Maiden demo? Tell us all of your Resident Evil-related thoughts (except the impure ones about Lady Dimitrescu) in the forums, which you can visit through the link below. Take care, stay safe, enjoy your games, and I'll see you again in about a week from now!
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