This Week in Games
by Heidi Kemps,
Happy Monster Hunter Rise day! I've been spending the last few weeks glued to this game, as I've been writing guides elsewhere on the internet, but I haven't been able to discuss it much due to press embargoes. Well, the game's out, and I can safely say that it's a ton of fun, especially with a pack of pals to back you up. However, I didn't really care for the new tower-defense-inspired Rampage mode much when I first played it, and… honestly, even though I'm better at protecting my strongholds from monster hordes after many hours of play, I'm still not a huge fan of it. I don't want to be building mounted guns, just let me use my Insect Glaive and fly around like a moron to kill things, please!
However, I have to put Monster Hunter Rise down for a while and talk about the news this week. There are some interesting things afoot in gaming, particularly if you're into fighting games. Let's hop to it!
MORE DETAILS ON THE TSUKIHIME REMAKE EMERGE…
The latest issue of Japanese magazine Type-Moon Ace – a publication that, as you might surmise from the title, covers all things Type-Moon related – revealed a bunch of new details about the recently re-revealed Tsukihime remake. Such as: a release date and a subtitle!
The game, titled Tsukihime ~A piece of blue glass moon~, will launch in Japan on August 26th of this year. No word on an English version yet, but if one will come out, you can probably expect it in 2022, because there's going to be a lot to translate here. In fact, everything's been completely rewritten and the story will have double the content of the original, according to Type-Moon Ace. I mean, that could well be PR puffing things up, but this game's been in development for many years now. They had to have been spending that time on something!
But there's a bit of bad news, too: This particular release is only going to contain the “Near Side of the Moon” story routes of characters Arcueid and Ciel. The “Far Side” routes featuring Akiha, Hisui, and Kohaku seen in the original full PC version of Tsukihime will be contained in a later release, probably as another full-priced package rather than DLC. It might sound cynical, but let's be real: Tsukihime and Type-Moon fans will easily pay full price, twice for a split release. The fandom for this visual novel is rabid and starving. But there's more….
… ALONG WITH ANOTHER REMAKE TO GET HYPED ABOUT
And in the same issue of Type-Moon Ace, we got a surprise announcement: Melty Blood, the fighting game spinoff of Tsukihime, is also getting a remake!
The original Melty Blood developers at Team French Bread are back to re-do the game that put them on the map. PS4, Xbox One, and Switch versions are planned, with the game being playable on PS5 and Xbox Series consoles through backwards compatibility.
I've already talked a lot about the impact Melty Blood had on the fighting game community and early Type-Moon fandom back when we discussed the Tsukihime remake's announcement. Suffice to say, there were a lot of fighting game players who were absolutely losing their minds on social media today over this. Melty Blood really is a formative fighting game for many, so having it come back is a pretty big deal!
So what all is new here? Quite a lot! Everything's basically being remade from the ground up, so you'll have nice HD visuals to savor. There will also be new pre- and post-battle dialogue unique to each character matchup. And internet play? You betcha. In fact, it's already been confirmed that Melty Blood Type Lumina will be using rollback netcode for online versus matches, making it the first French Bread title to do so.
The only real disappointment here might be in the character roster, which will only have “around 10 fighters” at launch. The original Melty Blood saw lots of new cast additions over its lifespan, but since Type Lumina directly ties into the two A Piece of Blue Glass Moon routes, certain characters won't be appearing. Well, until the inevitable upgraded versions to tie into the release of the Far Side routes, anyway.
Seeing as how the official website has both English and Japanese versions, I'd say this one making the trip over here is basically a done deal. No word on who the international publisher will be, but there are plenty of candidates who would be interested. I'm glad that it's coming to multiple consoles — and, very likely, PC sometime down the line, since ease of setup and access was part of what made Melty Blood so big in the first place. Now the upcoming Switch version of Type Lumina makes playing Melty matches in the restroom easier than ever. What a world!
Earlier this week, website TheGamer reported that they had heard from sources that Sony plans to close down the online PlayStation Store game and DLC download services for the PS3, PSP, and PS Vita within a matter of months. The shutdown date for the PS3 and PSP stores is rumored to be June 2nd, while the PS Vita will live on a little while longer, vanishing from the interwebs on August 27th.
So, let's clear up a few things. No, Sony has not confirmed this news. No, if these stores shut down, it would not make your downloaded PSP/PS3/Vita games unplayable. Yes, the stores going offline likely means that you can't download those games again should something bad happen. Yes, if you want to buy digital games on those platforms, you should probably do it sooner rather than later. Yes, it sucks. Yes, a shutdown of these stores is probably inevitable at some point regardless of whether or not it happens on the exact dates specified in the article.
This wouldn't be the first console from that time period to end online purchases, either: Nintendo shut down the Wii Shop early in 2019 after 12 years, while the DSi shop closed back in 2017. In some ways, I'm rather surprised that the PS3 and PSP stores lasted this long. I'd also say I'm surprised that the PS Vita store is dying this quickly, but then I remember that thing's almost 10 years old. Ten years! Time sure flies, huh?
Anyway, once again, it's worth stating that this news isn't confirmed by Sony yet, but even if it doesn't happen now, it will happen someday, so please don't hesitate if you want to get some of those PSOne/PS2 classics or download-only games.
ADDITIONAL FIGHTING GAME NEWS: THE DEAD WALK AGAIN
Finally, finally, we have the whole Tekken 7 Lidia trailer. Here's the karate-using Prime Minister of Poland in all of her glory:
She also comes with a new stage, Island Paradise. I don't really associate tropical funtimes with Poland, but sure, why not! I do dig Lidia's style a lot, though she actually looks a bit younger than I expected.
And then there's KoFXV. SNK teased this week's cast reveal with a silhouette that I was pretty sure was Ryo Sakazaki. I mean, they'd already revealed his sister Yuri, surely Ryo would be shown soon, right? A few other folks thought so as well.
But that's not who we got. We got a big surprise.
Yashiro's back! Holy crap! For those who don't follow King of Fighters storyline stuff, Yashiro's last appearance in the KoF canon was King of Fighters 97. (Any other appearances were in non-canonical “Dream Match” games like KoF98 and KoF2002.) But he's back and alive, and while we can't hear the dialogue he's having with Iori in the trailer, I'm sure it's something like “WTF are you doing here?!”
It's interesting timing, as there was a lot of talk on Twitter earlier this week on whether or not the whole New Face Team of Yashiro, Shermie, and Chris could come back for KoFXV, as Shermie was revived for SNK Heroines Tag Team Battle. With Yashiro in the roster, Shermie and Chris both seem extremely likely to join him.
That's a wrap for this week! Are you hyped for the return of Melty Blood? Bummed over the potential closure of PlayStation digital storefronts? Excited to see Lidia and Yashiro? Too busy playing Monster Hunter to care about anything else? Share your thoughts with the anime- and game-loving world in the forums, conveniently linked below! Later, gamers!
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