Music of the Month; CHALLENGER + Review of the Month; Star Trek Beyond

I tend to have music selected few weeks beforehand for these, but this time I had none. You could call it a rut or something similar, but it’s not really that. Let’s boot the ol’ ‘tube and see what we come across.

I don’t put much personal stuff on this blog. Here or there you might pick up something or I mention situations making typing things down somewhat erratic. I don’t have a release schedule, I never had. A post early in the week and one later has been the standard for few years now. Things have become more or less a routine in this sense, and while that is not a bad thing, I find myself wanting to touch upon subject after subject beyond the scope I want to explore them. However, As this is a hobby, there would be no sense for me to write an entry every other day about every single thing that I want to. You’re not reading this blog for stuff like that.

For example, I had planned the failure that is the Themes in Godzilla for some time now, and despite it getting the summer special slot, it’s something that should’ve been more meatier rather than few sentences per movie. I had planned much more for the entry, it to be more grandiose and in-depth than what it ended up being, but I’m guessing it was also a topic nobody cared about. Godzilla is passé, despite Shin Godzilla gaining positive reviews in Japan.

Another example would be the latest brouhaha about the Nintendo NX design, it possibly being a portable and a home console hybrid of sorts, something that I would personally embrace fully. Ever since the DS and PSP were launched, I questioned the point of designing, developing and producing two separates consoles when the hand held consoles could muster good enough graphics, gameplay and controls as is. I am a broken record with this, but it is about the software. Seeing population is moving towards portable solutions with each technological iteration, it would make sense to emphasize that to a certain degree. Traditional desktop computers have made way for laptops and pads for a time now, and while I still am headstrong in my decision to stick with a more traditional wired Internet connection and a desktop computer, I can’t argue with reality around me. Full portability is where we’re going, it’s just a matter of when.

Perhaps the third and most pressing example of my conscious aversion of not writing âge related. This is not a blog just for Muv-Luv and Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. They certainly are a part of it and most likely the topics that have attracted most readers on the long run, but perhaps some of the 1990′ ideology of not-selling-out sticks to me at this point. The whole point of giving what the consumer wants fights against this, and I probably should start writing more about Muv-Luv in general not only for blog content, but for the simple raw reason to gain more views. I do intend to do a TSF comparison this month, as long as I can find good enough pictures of some TSF, F-16 Fighting Falcon being probably the strongest contender. This may be my own hubris, but I do see that there are topics and subjects that I am more equipped to discuss when it comes to Muv-Luv as a whole than others. Of course it’s my own hubris, both Type-94 (link on the right) and Chris Adamson do it better as is.

The only obstacle is that I don’t care about the views as much as I should. Perhaps an argument could be made that I am not as passionate as I should be about the topics, that I don’t care what makes people read the most or that I lack ambition. It doesn’t help that my current situation is still in the gutters, but you won’t see me explaining how dire my situation is or how in the gutters I am professionally speaking. It has no other relevancy for the blog outside whether or not I am able to write.

I’m not sure how successful the Monthly Three series has been. I expected last month’s theme of Video game culture and history to go well, but it seems that it was something very few cared about, despite it being one of the core themes of this blog. I deemed those and Dizzy’s design comparison posts as one of the best examples of what I could write about and felt oddly good, almost proud, about them. Of course, reality sets in and none of them were really successful even in a limited fashion. The Guilty Gear design comparisons have been yet another views collecting topic, so I’ll most likely I’ll have to give those more weight in the future.

Usually I set some goals for the of the month in these opening rants, but this time all I’m going to say that bets are off for now. Despite being able to keep up reviews for a time now, I’d rather call off my reviews than resort on making a video game review nobody reads. Screw that, here’s a first impression review of Star Trek Beyond I wrote after I was asked how I felt about it via Twitter. That’ll serve well enough.

Perhaps, just perhaps I am at a burnout of sorts. I don’t feel that I am getting the best quality stuff I could, despite the aforementioned being something I feel good about. There are a lot of subjects that I want to touch upon, but there are no driving reasons for me to invest the time in them. Well, there are, but I have to reason on how I spend my time, and to be completely honest, I am not using my time well at the moment. I should either be polishing up what I know and what I can do rather than spent time on writing. Maybe the thing I need to do is to take some time off and get shit sorted out. Maybe try out a voiced version of this blog, discuss topics out loud rather than in text. You can vote here, if you’d care about a thing like that.

Maybe I need a break, but if I take one, it’s not this month. But I do need food, and because my kitchen equipment is unusable at the time, I guess I’m going to eat out today.

Silence is golden

This Friday Nintendo had a six minutes long announcement that surprised nobody. Generation 1 Pokémon games were announced some time ago and people have seen signs of new Pokémon games in the air for some time. The only bit that was largely  surprising was the fact that you can transfer monsters from the Virtual Console Pokémon to the upcoming Sun and Moon via Pokébank. What does this tell you?

That Virtual Console has power.

The reason why I have not updated my Nintendo devices for ages is because there is no reason to. They add nothing, often make Custom firmware installation harder or nigh impossible, and accessing the eShop is pointless when there are no games to purchase. Nintendo and other companies have left the Virtual Console in a rotten state willingly, because Virtual Console was too powerful.

Virtual Console is a powerful thing because it has great games. Companies can cherry pick the best to release on it, and any game released on a platform that has a VC would have to go against juggernauts like Super Mario Bros. 3 and The Legend of Zelda. Even Iwata’s friend bought nothing but VC titles when he got a Wii for himself, a fact that seemed to cause some worry for Iwata. Any developer should be worried as these titles are concentrated fun. EA lamented at one point how the Wii brought back fun into gaming, a fact that the customers celebrated.

You have seen the shift in Nintendo’s priorities for a long time now, starting with downgrading their VC support to absolute minimum. Then, Nintendo’s own games on both 3DS and Wii U have been sparse, often just ports of Japanese applications like the sticker arcade thing or small projects that the third-rate teams were developing. And Nintendo is silent.

Nintendo was not all too silent with the Wii U, but they were with the Wii. Until full-blown revelations, we had very few details about it. We don’t even know what the NX is, we only have assumptions and guesses based on the information at hand. People have complained about the shortage of the Pokémon stream, but they’re not looking what they said. Game Freak and Nintendo are working. We know very little of either Pokémon Sun and Moon, and the NX, and that is a promising sing. That means that they are working on NX titles and platform, possible the account system too as well as with the new Pokémon title, which without a doubt has been under work for significant time already.

The only time Nintendo has showcased what they have has been during E3 and in similar events. That’s when they bring in the big guns.

However, the question that always lingers behind this is what sort of titles are they working with? The fact is that Nintendo’s four most successful machines, the NES, Game Boy, Nintendo DS and the Wii all had several things in common, but especially one extremely important; simplicity. All of them had a large quantity of games that anyone could pick up and play with low accessibility level, like Super Mario Bros., but also games that a more seasoned veteran could tackle. Super NES, N64, GameCube and the Wii U had games almost solely designed for the veterans from their launch titles up.

Trickling information like this, bit by bit, also serves as a silent hype machine. People will make assumptions and theories. Already people have tried to guess where the new Pokémon game will take place based on palm trees and vehicles seen. The little information we have of NX has made some people to make wild guesses. The way they have been revamping their account systems might signify that they are intending to make a true account system that would last from generation to generation… which would lead into having Super Mario Bros. on each new generation without needing to buy it again.

Whether or not Nintendo will reveal details about the NX or anything during the next E3 is an open question, but it is not out of the question. History tends to rhyme, and I expect them to make at least one big revelation regarding the NX, be it about the overall account system utilises or about the machine/s.

A true account system would be NX’s largest trump card. Neither SONY or Microsoft have games on their own that have the same pull that Nintendo’s games have. However, seeing how Nintendo’s actions with the Virtual Console doesn’t fill be with trust, I have my doubts that they will be utilising it to any larger extent. It seems not even Nintendo can trump their older games, and most likely they don’t want to.