So I realized something.
If I start calling these segments "Wallet Abuse Weekly" instead of "Wallet Abuse Wednesday", not only do I get to keep the anacronym, but no one can really say I'm late as long as I release one every week. Hey, I told you people my work ethic was going to suck this week; I am nothing if not honest to my readership.
And while I'd like to sit here and tell you kind people that the reason why I didn't get this finished until sometime in the wee hours of Friday morning is because of this week's incredible slate of wallet abuse-worthy gaming, the honest truth is between work and a complete creative implosion I've just not felt up to getting in front of the keyboard. I apologize for that, but I promise to all of you that I'll make up for it with a wholly irresponsible spending spree this weekend.
This is one of the better non-holiday weeks I can recall, with virtually every current platform receiving a game worth of a hardcore console afficianado's attention. Even the Playstation Portable managed to get something worthwhile this week, even if it is a remake of an SNES JRPG. The only system that didn't recieve any love this week remains the poor venerable Wii, who's only release--
Will not be discussed out of respect for Wii owners who've quite frankly suffered enough already.
Developer: Mindscape, Inc
I think we all knew deep down that the Wii was going to be responsible for the death of gaming, I didn't know it'd come in quite this way:
Dance Paradise combines full-body waggle with music video. Waggle, rhythm and FMV-- it's the unholy trinity of suck; the only thing keeping the seventh seal intact is the lack of a cartoon mascot.
Also what happened to Mindscape? These were the guys responsiblef for Shadow of the Horned Rat; now they're stuck converting the Ginger Spice cover of It's Raining Men into videogame form. This is even worse than the time they somehow managed to be talked into developing a videogame about the 1988 election as told by Gary Trudeau:
It's hard to tell if this is the same Mindscape PC gamers of the 80's know and love. Googling up the term "mindscape" results in page upon page of links regarding web app sales solutions and new age holistic healing programs and angry prog-rock bands from Ohio. Simply searching for Mindscape.com will result in a redirect to a French site laying claim to development of Dance Paradise-- Perhaps Dance Paradise represents some sort of payback for America's refusal to embrace Beyond Good And Evil and instead forcing Michael Ansel into producing Raving Rabbid titles.
Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation
Developer: The Good Half of Square/Enix
Publisher: Nintendo of America. Somehow
Platforms: Nintendo DS
Let me get this straight.
Squeenix is in desperate need of money. Revenues are down, Final Fantasy 14 is a fiasco and the President of the company has admitted that the Final Fantasy name has been whored out to the point that no one cares about the brand at all anymore (despite immediately afterward announcing the development of Final Fantasy 13-2).
Meanwhile people all over the world love Dragon Quest. People all over the world love the DS. People love Dragon Quest on the DS so much Arizona was forced to sign into law a bill refusing marriage rights between men and Dragon Quest IX.
So why does Squeenix refuse to publish their biggest worldwide IP on the most popular console of all time?
s this part of some sort of underhanded contract Nintendo of America foisted upon Squeenix using heavy narcotics, farm animals, and the resulting blackmail photographs thereof? Is Squeenix just generally clueless that no one in America buys PSPs for the purpose of buying PSP games? I mean, take a look at what they're bringing to America instead:
How does this make any goddamned sense? You're going to maybe get three dozen of the biggest weeaboos in North America to drop sixty bucks on this package; everyone else who cares enough about Dissidia to play it will just download the stupid thing because oh hey YOU JUST RELEASED A PSP GAME IN NORTH AMERICA. Somehow this company keeps finding funding whereas other publishers have to act like adults and fire hundreds of people when Guitar Hero Whatever doesn't sell 500k units in three months.
Sadly I have nothing to say directly relating to DQIV as I only have love in my heart for Rocket Slime.
Hard Corps: Uprising
Developer: Arc System Works
Platforms: Xbox Live Arcade
As much as I deride mainstream-friendly pap like Dance Central and Wii Play and to a lesser extent Madden and Call of Duty, I can never be too mad at them. Because no matter how many spaz-tastic wagglefest games are released, no matter how many incremental EA Sports roster upgrades are sold to 40-something dads across the country, no matter how many dudebro fragfrests are greenlit there will always be sadistic bastards like Arc System works who's hate for humanity and love of old school gaming result in regressive throwbacks such as Hard Corps: Uprising.
God bless you, Konami.
To say that Hard Corps: Uprising is "inspired" by Contra is sort of like saying Warcraft's art design was "inspired" by Warhammer 40k. It's not inspired, it's a complete rip-off, but the sort of rip-off that results of more of a good thing. In Hard Core: Uprising's case we wee a spiritual successor to a series we were not likely to see a true sequel to in a long time, if ever. If you love Contra and Contra-derived platformer shmups like Metal Slug and Cyber-Lip, (and if you don't, I'm not exactly sure why you're reading this) then you need to buy this game. Sure it's fifteen bucks for a game that considers attempts to defeat it as a personal insult, but you'd have gladly paid fifty or sixty bucks for a game of this scope and polish in the sixteen bit era. Even if you're not normally into this sort of game it's worth having around; fifteen bucks and a gig of hard drive space is a small price to pay to expand your gaming horizons beyond Rock Guitar and Battlefield of Honor: Army of Gears.
I do have a couple gripes with Uprising. As good as the sprites are there are jarring bits of 3d geometry that don't quite mesh with the rest of the art style notably in a handful of randomly out-of-place platforms. I also think the game might be trying to do too much with it's controls-- the game has separate buttons for locking your character in place as you fire in all eight directions and another button that locks your firing position in place as you jump about, something which would have been far better suited for the right analog stick.
Most other complaint regarding Uprising seem to be written by people who decidedly Do Not Get It. Yes, it's incomprehensible. Yes, it's sadistically difficult. It's a Contra game by Arc System Works, the people who brought you this:
Uprising isn't meant to be the sort of game that gives up all it's secrets simply because you bought it. This is a game from another era; and maybe in this age of player agency and constant tuturals and handholding it's important to step back a bit and remember exactly why so many of us fell in love with this hobby.
Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
Developer: Capcom (by way of Ryota Niitsuma)
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
I'm still debating on if I want to buy this or not.
On one hand it's the motherfucking sequel to the best 2d fighter Capcom ever made, and something there will be a strong online community for for the life of the system. Also I finally get to play with a new Morrigan character model and can compose a team consisting of Dante, Iron Man and Dr Doom and have the classiest tag team in history. On the other hand the existence of Super Street Fighter IV pissed me off to an irrational degree and for some insane reason Capcom went with with Spencer from Bionic Commando HD instead of Bionic Commando Classic's Spencer.
So you can see why I'm torn.
Oh who am I kidding, I just renewed my Xbox Live Gold subscription and there's a 50% off Trade-In bonus at Gamestop. Of course I'm buying MvC3. I just don't know if I want to buy it. But a year from now when we're hearing about Super MvC3 with Spectator Mode (finally) include, all DLC characters and four new exclusive characters are just remember I told you so.
Tactics Ogre: Let us Cling Together
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PlayStation Portable
I only ever played one Tactics Ogre game, Knight of Lodis for the Game Boy Advance, but I preferred it's setting and art style to it's contemporaneous counterpart Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. There was just something Tactics Ogre had in the way it carried itself, solemnly but not in the taking-itself-too-seriously manner of Final Fantasy games of that period and beyond. It also helped that Knight of Lodis was the far better videogame than any Final Fantasy Tactics game I've ever played, including Advance 2 and the PS1 original. I'm not sure if I liked it better than the Shining Force games, but seeing as how we'll probably never get another true turn-based RPG in the manner of Shining Force 1-3 it's probably for the best that we not touch that subject.
This is the third port of Let Us Cling Together following the rather disastrous PlayStation 1 port of the SNES original-- the graphics remain much the same (late-era SNES sprite-work still remaining beautiful to the present day)-- but without the constant gameplay-breaking load times and an improved levelling system that levels entire classes at once instead of individual characters. All told you're probably looking at the best game of it's type ever released and it's sort of insane you'll only be able to play it on the PSP.
All twelve North American PSP Go owners will be glad to note that you're not out of luck even if you are certifiably insane and should not be trusted with a credit card-- Let us Cling Together can be purchased off PlayStation Network as well, although you'll still be paying the retail price of $40. Prospective PSP2 owners will probably want to wait unless you just really feel like paying eighty dollars.
KILLZONE 3 is coming out and we swear it's an important Sony game despite the total lack of an ad campaign
None of that matters because you should buy BULLET STORM instead!
YS I & II COLLECTION Basically exists as proof that Falcom somehow managed to survive longer than Hudson