Mid-Week Musings 7/9/14

Mid-Week Musings 7/9/14

Ben: I've been preoccupied in my quest to rid the land of the Order of No Quarter in Shovel Knight lately, but I've persevered and managed to conquer the Enchantress and put an end to her evil ways (read the Short Pause review here!). With the world saved and peace once again restored to the land, that can only mean one thing: it's time to muse! The so-called doldrums of summer are upon us, but that doesn't mean there is not plenty to play. My backlog is running amok as usual, so this is as good a time as any to get caught up on some of those nagging titles festering in my pile of shame before Diablo III and Destiny drop for the PS4 at the end of the summer. Batman: Arkham Origins is firmly on my radar as I gear up for probable Game of the Year contender Batman: Arkham Knight. What games are you hoping to finally spend some time with this summer season?

With that said, let's get on to this week's Musings!

Compelling Evidence That Shovel Knight is Coming to PlayStation Platforms...Eventually

If you've had the privilege of playing Shovel Knight, via the Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, or Steam, you know that's it's an awesome game. You also know that it's not available on PlayStation platforms, and that it would be perfect on a PS3, PS4, or especially, a Vita. 

And you're not alone.

If you've been following Yacht Club Games on Twitter (@YachtClubGames), you may have noticed the staggering amount of people tweeting at them and inquiring as to when Shovel Knight is going to make an appearance on one of Sony's shiny black pieces of hardware. And Yacht Club Games has not shied away from the questions. In fact, they've all but confirmed the game is coming to PlayStation devices at some point.  

There are fifteen tweets posted in this section related to Shovel Knight being brought over to a PlayStation system, with most of them interested in the game arriving on the Vita. That's fifteen chances to outright deny the game was PlayStation bound, and not once was there a hint of negation in any of Yacht Club Games' replies. In fact, you can almost feel a palpable sense of excitement when they're asked about the game arriving on PlayStation platforms. Questions asking if the game would be released on PS3, PS4, or Vita were met with a number of enthusiastic "Maybe!" and "Perhaps!" responses. Twitter user @akodo_ryu flat out asked Yacht Club Games if there were any plans to port the game over to PlayStation devices after they were finished with the game on Nintendo platforms. YCG boldly responded, "We have interest, but nothing to announce."

Perhaps the most telling evidence of an impending PlayStation release came when Twitter user @p0s0r stated, "Just for the record, I'd love to see Shovel Knight on PS4 or PS Vita [...].  What's the chances folks?," to which YCG responded, "Fairly likely." Couple this with the fact that Yacht Club games has "interest" in getting the games on PlayStation systems — and have noted they are "buried in Vita requests" — and it appears to only be a matter of "when", and not "if," we see the little blue fella on a PlayStation device near you. There is a ton of interest from gamers, a seemingly healthy dose of interest from Yacht Club Games themselves, and assumedly a wealth of interest from Sony, in seeing this game reach a PS3, PS4, or Vita.


All of the inquiries that Yacht Club Games fields in regards to Shovel Knight appearing on other platforms get referred to this link, which is a blog post on their website that details the status of the game post-launch. One paragraph in particular outlines the goal YCG has in terms of seeing their game on as many platforms as possible. It reads:

On The Horizon: New Platforms?!?

A lot of people are learning about Shovel Knight for the first time and there is a vast sea of awesome gaming platforms out there. It is a goal of ours to see Shovel Knight arrive on all sorts of platforms — from consoles to handhelds and maybe even a few things in between? However, we still have our hands full with our initial plans. Once we have some surefire details we’ll be sure to tell you all about it!
— Yacht Club Games

Clearly they have ambitions to bring Shovel Knight to as many platforms as possible. When it comes down to it, it just makes way too much sense, from both a philosophical and business perspective, to get this game on PlayStation hardware. With Sony's warm embrace of the indie scene in recent years, along with their core gaming audience, this is a title that would thrive on a PlayStation device. This thing was made for Vita, and I can't wait to play it on there at some point in the near future.

By the way, the in-game Feats are ripe for Trophy-ification! Yes, I made that word up. And yes, it's glorious.

Trophies > Achievements > Steam Achievements

Speaking of Games We Need a PlayStation Version of...

Hey Gio Corsi (@giocorsi) and Adam Boyes (@amboyes), are these on the list?!

A Heart-to-Heart with DrinkBox Studios

Dear DrinkBox Studios,

I love you guys, you know that right?

I just don't know where we went wrong. I supported you on the PS3. I supported you on the Vita. I bought Tales from Space: About a Blob and the potential was clearly there. You were the newest up-and-coming indie studio to enter into the Sony family, and I couldn't be happier. I was excited for the future and what fun, quirky, and innovative titles you would bestow upon us. You were like that crazy uncle I was meeting for the first time; sure he a little out there, but I was drawn to his magnetic presence! I bought Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack when I became a proud new Vita owner. The game was amazing. The studio was hitting its stride, and I was excited to plop down my money in support. It was the latest indie success story coming out of Sony, and one of the many reasons I'm honored to be a PlayStation gamer. I loved Mutant Blobs Attack so much, I went ahead and hunted down all of the Trophies for my next 100% at the time.  

I've been here since the beginning, DrinkBox.

The "Dryad" billboard is a perfect example of the inside-joke-humor of  Mutant Blobs Attack .

The "Dryad" billboard is a perfect example of the inside-joke-humor of Mutant Blobs Attack.

Then Guacamelee! hit the PS3/Vita, and the studio had fully realized its potential. Your craft had been honed after the last few games in the Tales from Space series, and Guacamelee! was the culmination of everything you had been building up to. It's arguably the best "Metroid-Vania" game to not be named Castlevania or Metroid. Everything from the Mexican folklore setting, to the vibrant graphics and colors, to the combo/fighting system, to the unforgettable characters, to the exploration of the world, and on and on and on... Guacamelee! was a beautiful harmony of setting, gameplay, and everything that makes video games worth playing; there was not a hint of dissonance to be found.

And you gave us Flame Face. For that, I can never thank you enough.  

The eternally drunk, flaming skeleton with the heart of a cowboy...few characters have ever been as awesome as Flame Face.

The eternally drunk, flaming skeleton with the heart of a cowboy...few characters have ever been as awesome as Flame Face.

Guacamelee! was a magical experience, and I couldn't get enough of it. I obtained the Platinum Trophy, but I was hungry for more. I bought the Skin Pack and El Diablo's Domain DLC (El Diablo is hilarious, by the way), tracked down all of the DLC Trophies, and after 25 hours or so, I had done everything there was to do in your fantastical lucha libre world. I had a great experience, and I couldn't wait to see what you guys would do next.  

This is where we started to... grow apart.

What would your next game be? What off the wall, wild, and so-insane-you-need-to-be-committed idea were you guys going to explore next? Would it be another 2D action-platformer? What interesting gameplay mechanic would it include? Ooh, what if you made this 2D, Mega Man-inspired action-platformer where you're this mysterious, bad-ass she-warrior who wakes up with a missing arm, fights all of these monsters and bosses and uses their severed limbs to attach to your body, gaining new powers and leveling up your warrior in the process, set to this thumping tribal soundtrack with these dark, Guacamelee!-like graphics and...*breathe* what? You ARE making this game?? Oh, wow that's great news! This sounds so awesome I can't wai...Huh? A first-person action/dungeon crawler with touch based controls? For iOS and mobile??

WTF?? Cue the Panda.

Now granted, Severed is a 2015 title that's still early in development. There's a good chance that this game lands on the Vita with "proper" controls, and from what I've seen, it honestly looks pretty cool. So I won't get too upset about this guys...but have you ever tried to play a first-person game on a touch-only device? I'll hold out hope that if anyone can make an awesome touch-screen based game, it's you fine folks at DrinkBox.  

But this would still be totally awesome as a 2D Mega Man-style platformer. Totally. Awesome.

Then came Guacamelee!: Super Turbo Championship Edition. Wow, a Super Turbo Championship Edition of one of my favorite games! This can only be great! Except then you left out the PS3 and Vita owners. Look at that panda up there again.  

I understand you guys want to broaden your horizons. There are all of these wonderful, untapped gaming platforms you guys have yet to grace with your unique brand of digital entertainment. There's Microsoft's hulking, no-it's-not-a-VCR, Xbox One, and their "oh, you really haven't given up on this thing yet?" Xbox 360, Nintendo's third-party starved, Wii U, and Sony's own new family member, the PlayStation 4, that need love too. I get that. I really do. I'm all for expanding your reach, and you guys have earned it. You deserve all the success coming to you.

Presumably, this is one of the bosses you'll encounter in  Severed .

Presumably, this is one of the bosses you'll encounter in Severed.

But the Vita and the PS3 owners have been there for you since day one. They've purchased the Tales from Space games and the first iteration of Guacamelee!, and presumably made this Super Turbo Championship Edition and your continued success possible. Of course, your hard-work and great games have been the primary reason for your prosperity, but they still had to buy the games.  

What I don't understand, is why PS3/Vita owners don't get the extra content at all?

Why not make it a $5 DLC download for owners of the original game? Or maybe it's enough to warrant an $8 DLC. How about a Guacamelee! Complete Edition, with all of the DLC and STCE content for $15 or $20? I realize you guys are a small, independent studio, but you're so familiar with the PS3 and Vita, not to mention the Super Turbo Championship Edition is already on PS4, that I can't imagine it would be too difficult to port the extra content over to the other systems. But then again, I'm not a programmer. I don't know what goes into to an undertaking such as this. While I myself am lucky enough to own a PS4 as well, I'm just speaking on behalf of those PS3/Vita owners who don't get to experience the rest of the game.

To make matters worse, Xbox One owners received Guacamelee!: STCE free as part of Xbox Live's Games with Gold promotion for July. I'm not mad at you for that. Sure, I'll give you a gentle ribbing for crossing over to the darkside (I kid, I kid!), but like I said, you need to get your feet wet in the Microsoft pool, too. European PS4 owners who previously purchased the original edition of the game on PS3/Vita received the option to purchase a "PS4 upgrade" for the equivalent of $5.45 on PS Plus. North American PS4 owners who already purchased the original game on PS3/Vita? Nothing. The game was available for 10% off on PS Plus, or $1.50, when it released, making it $13.50. Where's the North American "PS4 upgrade" edition?Shouldn't those who've previously purchased the game and want to experience what the new edition has to offer be thrown some kind of discounted bone?

Bring  Guacamelee!: Super Turbo Championship Edition  to PS3/Vita owners!

Bring Guacamelee!: Super Turbo Championship Edition to PS3/Vita owners!

To recap, if you've bought the game on PS3/Vita, you have no way of playing the new content on either of those devices, and if you're lucky enough to own a PS4 as well, you need to buy the whole thing all over again to gain access to the Super Turbo Championship Edition stuff.

And Severed is still a touch-based, first-person dungeon crawler on iOS and mobile. *Shudder*

But you can fix all of this DrinkBox! Don't forget about the audience that first supported you on PS3 and Vita! Bring the Super Turbo Championship Edition content to these platforms! Keep making awesome games! Make me believe in touch-based gaming with Severed (while bringing it to Vita in the process, of course)!

Remember, I only write because I care.

I still love you guys.


A Concerned Fan

Destiny gets Ghost...literally and figuratively

Instantaneous sell-out!

Instantaneous sell-out!

The above image is the page I was greeted with when trying to order my copy of the Destiny: Ghost Edition for the PS4. "Sign up to be notified when this item becomes available," which is a euphemism for "Sorry, you're too damn late and you better hope someone cancels their pre-order." I saw this message a few hours after the Ghost Edition was announced!

I was at work earlier in the day. When I was browsing my phone between tasks, I saw the PlayStation Blog post detailing the various limited editions of Destiny. I saw the Ghost Edition and said to myself, "I must have this!" Fast forward to that same afternoon. I arrive home from work, change my clothes, hop onto my computer to order the Destiny: Ghost Edition and it's already gone. Look at that discouraged panda up there again. Since when are these limited editions actually limited?!

As of now, the Destiny: Limited Edition on PS4 is also sold out at Amazon. Both the Limited Edition and the Ghost Edition sat at #1 on the Amazon video game sales charts until they sold out (in fact, as of right now the Limited Edition and Ghost Edition are still sitting at #2 and #4 on the Amazon charts respectively). Newegg and GameStop also had the Ghost Edition available for pre-order, but the PS4 version instantly sold out at these outlets as well. This game is going to be huge, methinks, especially on the PS4. Activision is putting their considerable advertising might behind this title, and after the well-received Alpha, people are genuinely excited for this game. Sony seems to have backed the proper horse in this race, and people are associating this game with the PS4, regardless of the platforms it's available on. From what I've seen and played, I personally can't wait to play the final game myself!

Oh, and if someone out there could kindly cancel their Ghost Edition pre-order so a certain writer of this post could slide in there with a pre-order of his own, he'd be greatly appreciative! Thanks in advance!

Countdown to Destiny...

Destiny - PlayStation 4
The PlayStation 3 Offerings: Surprised And Delighted

The PlayStation 3 Offerings: Surprised And Delighted

Shovel Knight (PC): A Short Pause Review

Shovel Knight (PC): A Short Pause Review