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This Week in Games
I Have Many Regrets

by Heidi Kemps,

That show was three and a half hours long

Okay, look, we are all well aware at this point that The Game Awards are an interminable slog of a program, sandwiching the content people want (trailers) in-between endless slices of miserable celebrity walk-ons and cringeworthy banter. Hell, barely any time gets spent on the actual awards in comparison, rendering them almost entirely meaningless.

Screw that. Why bother talking at length about how The Game Awards sucked yet again? Instead, let's use this preamble to instead honor an individual whose work in gaming is still felt today. Let's talk about Masayuki Uemura, who passed away earlier this week.

Uemura designed a whole bunch of hardware over the years for Nintendo, including a fair bit of stuff they made before they even set foot in the video game business. He'd go on to design Nintendo's line of pre-NES Color TV Game consoles, then collaborate with Ricoh and Sony on the hardware of the Famicom and Super Famicom, respectively.

Uemura also designed the Famicom Disk System and Satellaview add-ons—peripherals that aren't very well-known in the West, but introduced a lot of important innovations that later consoles would iterate on. He produced several early games, as well, like Clu Clu Land and Ice Climber. He would retire from Nintendo in 2004, moving to a position at the prestigious Ritsumeikan University where he spent his time researching and teaching about video games and their history.

Masayuki Uemura had a profound impact on the whole of the game industry. His work and lasting legacy deserves far more attention than any ~world premiere~ trailer. Thank you, Uemura, for everything you did in life, and may your efforts inspire many future creators and game historians for many years to come.

Alright, well… we can't avoid it, so let's get to the VGA trailers. As usual, I won't cover everything from the show, just the things I found particularly interesting or noteworthy in some way.


Right, well, how about we start with the movie trailers? There are two very big videogame movies out soon-ish, both of which had trailers shown at the VGAs. First up: Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which introduces Knuckles to the film-Sonic universe and features an actual voice actor from the video game: Colleen O'Shaughnessy as Tails!

And now, the Super Mario Bros. Trailer… well, despite a lot of speculation, this was not actually at The Game Awards. Nintendo didn't show anything new, in fact—no new Zelda, no Xenoblade 3, no Bayonetta 3, nuffin’. Doug Bowser took the award for Metroid Dread, Reggie Fils-Aime (who isn't with Nintendo anymore) announced for a bit, but that was it. The VGAs were a bust for the Switch fanbase, alas.

But what the hell, let's toss in the trailer for the long-in-the-works Halo live-action series for good measure. This thing was first announced back in 2013 when Microsoft was drunk on the idea of making the Xbox One an always-online one-stop entertainment box. Hey, at least it's out of development hell now.

Tunic is an isometric classic Zelda-like starring a little fox wearing the titular clothing. I remember playing this at the last PAX West I went to, which was… quite a while ago. Suffice to say, it's been in development for quite some time, and seems to have shaped up very nicely.

“Telltale Games,” who have barely anything to do with the old studio that imploded spectacularly back in 2018, is making a game based on the Amazon Prime series The Expanse. Instead of posting the trailer, I am simply going to paste in this exchange I had on Twitter.

Meanwhile, a bunch of actual former Telltale Games staff are working on a new Star Trek adventure game. Go support Star Trek: Resurgence instead.

Boy, it really feels like the hype for the Square Enix/PlatinumGames project Babylon's Fall died off as soon it was announced to be a live service game, hasn't it? I know my interest definitely dropped. A bit of talk pops up again once a new trailer drops, but other than that, interest has basically flatlined. Maybe it'll pick up again when it releases next March, but I don't think things are looking good right now.

Forspoken, in contrast, looks more and more intriguing to me with each trailer. I hope it can deliver a solid next-gen action/RPG experience.

Persona 4 Ultimax is coming to PC, PS4, and Switch! This is the 2.50 balance-adjusted version that was previously exclusive to Japanese arcades. Also, no word on rollback, which is… strange, given an announcement from earlier in the week that we'll discuss soon.

Oh no, that Quantic Dream Star Wars game that was rumored a few months ago is real. I have never seen initial hype die so quickly after a developer logo got revealed at the end of a trailer! Well, instead of posting the trailer for Star Wars Eclipse, I'm going to post a reminder of how shitty Quantic Dream is.

WAKE UP EVERYBODY!!! SOMEBODY SAID THE WORDS “SILENT HILL!” …okay, well, it's not Silent Hill, sorry. But this new game from Bokeh Game Studio does have some Silent Hill alumni on staff: creator Keiichirō Toyama (who also worked more recently on Sony's Siren and Gravity Rush series) and composer Akira Yamaoka. Say hello to the urban horror game Yakushi: Slitterhead!

While we're on a survival-horror vibe, we've also got Alan WAKE II, the sequel to Remedy's cult favorite. This one's a full-on survival horror experience, as opposed to the original, which was more of an adventure game with horror elements.

Didn't get enough Sonic from the movie trailer? Well, we've finally got a decently-long trailer for that new, next-gen Sonic game that's been in the works for quite some time now! But, well… aside from confirming the long-rumored Sonic Frontiers name, there's still not much to go on here. No gameplay footage, just Sonic running through environments and fighting a really big robot while ominous voices cry out. But we've at least got a release date: Holiday 2022. I say take your time, Sonic Team—we're willing to wait for a truly spectacular Sonic game.

Monolith Studios is making a Wonder Woman game! We haven't heard from Monolith since Lord of the Rings: Shadow of War—a much-anticipated game very much ruined by the monetization demands of corporate overlords—got rightfully pummeled by critics and fans. It's reassuring to see that they're doing something with a fairly big DC Comics property instead of being blamed and shut down for Shadow of War's mediocre performance.

Meanwhile, Rocksteady Studios of Arkham series fame have finally released the first bit of gameplay footage for another DC-themed title, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. What happens when a bunch of famous heroes all get mind-controlled by Brainiac? You call in the villains.

“Look, everybody! It's my pot friend!” – Geoff Keighley, 2021

Alright, now, how about DLC and content announcements? We'll start with a new character for King of Fighters XV, Krohnen. He is a COMPLETELY NEW CHARACTER and LEGALLY DISTINCT from any other character that has ever existed ever. No, you haven't seen him before, why do you ask? Also, there's another KoFXV beta happening later this month. Hopefully it goes better than the last one.

Cuphead DLC? Oh my goodness, yes. This is looking like a very meaty batch of new content, showcased in a retro-styled trailer packed with puppets. Ah, I love physical props so much! Seriously, it rules. Watch it.

More details about Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak were shown in a shiny new trailer. We'll be leaving the Japanesque environment of Kamura for a bit to visit the European-flavored setting of Elgado, picked with new characters, new monsters, and new environments. Looks like a great time!

Finally, we have a new trailer for upcoming Genshin Impact content. A lot of this is old news to devoted Genshin players, but the stinger at the end seems to be teasing the addition of the character Yun Jin in a future update.

Yes, I know I'm leaving a lot out or forgetting things, but I was just audiovisually assaulted with far too much information for the past three hours and there's no damn way my brain could manage to retain everything. I guess there was a whole bunch of Matrix stuff, too? Seriously, by the time Keanu came on stage I was just done. I'm sure you all understand.

Okay, well… how about some news that's not tied to the VGAs?


Some surprising fighting game news happened this weekend at the CEO tournament in Orlando. While the event was a bit less raucous compared to previous years (for obvious reasons), we still had some great announcements for fighting game games to get excited about.

First off: new Guilty Gear Strive character reveal, and she's one of everyone's favorites. It's our lovely one-armed warrior and recent Samurai Shodown guest star, complete with a (not too dramatic) Strive makeover!

There wasn't much gameplay or a release date shown, but her reveal was enough to get Twitter art favorite and Baiken superfan Hungry Clicker to post cute fanart of her and the still-absent-from-Strive Bridget as characters from goofy baseball manga Dokaben. (Seriously, follow Hungry Clicker, your timeline will immediately be made better.)

But she wasn't even Arc System Works's biggest CEO announcement. Completely out of nowhere, ArcSys dropped that both Blazblue Central Fiction and Blazblue Cross Tag Battle—two games that most players had assumed were done getting any additional support—would be receiving an update to patch in rollback netcode. BBCF will be getting the patch first early next year on PC, while BBTAG will get the update sometime next year on PC and PS4 (but not Switch, it seems).

The announcements were met with immediate praise from the Blazblue fanbase. Even if they're not getting any new characters or balance updates, improved netcode will go a long way towards reviving interest in these two games, as well as enticing new players to try them out. It also sets a good example that developers can—and should—retrofit old games with better netcode when they can.

Sadly, there's no news about Dragonball FighterZ or Granblue Versus getting similar updates. I assume that because they have additional publishers involved (Bandai-Namco and Marvelous/Cygames, respectively) there's a bit more corporate BS they'd have to go through to make it happen. Keep the hope alive, though, it's not impossible.

Speaking of games where we're keeping the rollback hope alive, Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown got an update recently to add a bunch of stuff: new customization items, a new soundtrack (a Virtua Fighter 3 arrange which… makes some interesting choices, I'll say that much), and a whole bunch of Yakuza-themed outfits and music.

All of the character/outfit choices are really inspired, but Sarah as Goromi is absolute galaxy brain-level stuff. I hope there are more ridiculous Sega-themed crossover outfits in the future, because I am loving this.

Well, I'm done. I do not want to think about the VGAs anymore right now. So I'll pass it along to you. What were your “favorite” and least favorite parts of the show? Did any of the announcements really bowl you over? Did anything you were looking forward to no-show or disappoint you? (Probably) Please bring all your hot takes and roasting gear to the forums, which—as always—are conveniently linked below.

Also, let me say what Geoff Keighley was too afraid to: Fuck Activision.

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