Today they showed off the re-announcement trailer for Dead Island.
Now, this trailer is good. It’s got solid zombie on people action with some emotional content. Killing children to sad piano music does that job quite well. Were this for a movie, or even just a standalone trailer for this scene I would like it better, but it is for a video game.
A trailer for a video game that doesn’t show any gameplay.
So? Why can’t games have nice trailers?
They can. They get them often, this isn’t the problem.
What I’m concerned about is what this trailer reminded me of, which was this trailer.
The Halo 3 Believe trailer showed off a very dramatic battle scene in a grand scale we had not seen in a Halo game before, all set to a somber score. It even showed off what looked like scenes from the games story.
People really liked this trailer. It got them excited for the game.
And then they got none of it.
No battles like this can be found in Halo 3. None of these scenes can be found in Halo 3.
Needless to say, people didn’t like this. The trailer showed them something to get them excited about the game, and it worked, but it wasn’t the truth. It was just promotional material to drum up interest.
Time will tell, but I am afraid that Dead Island will work out the same way. They established a scene and a mood for the game with this trailer that people now associate as Dead Island. This trailer is Dead Island. When they see gameplay this is what they will reference back to. They have a lot to live up to, and for their sake I hope this doesn’t backfire on them.
This is not surprising, -
but it does make me sad.
Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom and many other great games deserve better.
I’m going to be posting a video review/preview of Stacking later on. There will be a lot more activity in the next few weeks.
Since the 3DS is coming in March and the PSP2 is going to likely be announced on January 27, people have been discussing handhelds they’ve never even touched in great detail.
The 3DS is awesome because -
It’s the greatest handheld of all time because -
The PSP2 is going to have x y and z
That’s nice and all, a fine way to waste time. It’s fun to speculate on what’s coming next, but it can have actual unfortunate consequences. Aside from some people setting themselves up for disappointment.
What’s making me concerned are the amount of people who are already setting themselves up as soldiers in a fanboy war over devices we haven’t even touched/seen yet ourselves.
This happens with video games, a lot, and it is for lack of a better term, retarded.
What sense does it make to run around the internet posting everywhere you can that the PSP 2 sucks when you, or the people you are talking to have not seen it?
What sense does it make to call the 3DS garbage/the greatest system of all time when it hasn’t even been released yet?
It makes about this much sense.
Zarblats sucks ass. It doesn’t work, it costs too much money, and it’s just going to be replaced by Zarblats Gigante within a year of its release.
What does a Zarblats do? How much does is cost? Wait a minute, what the hell is a Zarblats?
Hell if I know.
Then how do you know so much about it?
I just do.
This is what reading this sounds like. I swear there is supposed to be some sort of filter in the brain that prevents this sort of stuff, because it doesn’t make any sense to me why people who like video games would want to shut themselves off from more video games.
For no reason.
This isn’t the Highlander. If you put a 3DS and a PSP2 next to each other they aren’t going to fight each other to the death to perpetuate a secret war amongst game systems that has gone on for centuries.
Bill Gates isn’t going to send you a letter telling you how disappointed he is in you if you buy a ps3 to go along with your Xbox 360.
You can buy both.
Just ask yourself this.
Do you like video games?
Imagine that one day you awake to find a magical door in your bedroom.
The first few times you open this door a man gives you a new bike, a very large box of chocolate, and a $75 gift card to amazon.com.
When you open this door again, the man leaps out and thoroughly beats you with a wet newspaper.
Confused, you try again, and again you get the soggy beating.
How many more times are you going to open this door?
This is important, so don’t forget it.
Not long ago a friend pointed something out to me that made me feel like the most ignorant person on the planet.
It was something along these lines.
“So, I have been using the same programs that were good when we were in high school, so I’m going to go see what’s changed.”
I’ve been using the same things that were good when I was in high school ever since. It didn’t make any sense, but I’ve just been assuming that these things wouldn’t change. It’s written in stone, that nothing can beat that free antivirus, or that torrent client, or that file converter. They are insurmountable masterpieces the likes of which the Earth shall never bear witness to again.
Why did I do this?
I thought about it, and I noticed that a lot of people do this. For a lot of things.
People don’t look for new websites once they find one that fills a purpose adequately. They might stick with this website for years.
People will follow an Author’s works for years, possibly ignoring alternatives who write similar books, even when the writer’s work declines in quality.
People will continue to go see a famous director’s movies, even if they are terrible, because they loved one that they made in past.
It seems like people will go out on a limb once for something new to fill a need or desire, either consciously or not. Once they find something that fills this need, that’s it. When the want or need returns, they won’t bother looking again, they’ll just go right back to what they found before.
This becomes a very comfortable habit, and their familiarity with whatever they become attached to will effect their actions.
This is why when they need import games they go to Play-Asia because it worked before.
This is why when they walk past a row of new books the only one they really even notice is the one with Stephen King written on it.
This is why when they see a trailer on TV loudly declaring that this film is a product of M. Night Shyamalan, they are reminded of The Sixth Sense and consider seeing it.
I believe this is why people still care about Sonic the Hedgehog.
Remember that Magic Door? Long term Sonic fans are the people who kept opening that door.
There was that time when Sonic was very good and it left an impression on a lot of young people, but that time has been long over. Sega didn’t stop making sonic games, and fans didn’t stop buying them. Even when they were repeatedly far below expectations. Even when they were terrible.
It’s nothing short of incredible how long people have been able to put up with this and keep coming back to give Sega chance after chance to not give them whatever it is they want from the franchise. Other games with a lot of potential for improvement get shunned for not being flawless the first time, but not Sonic.
2010 was better for Sonic than most years have been since the Genesis died out, and I know the fans were back to try out Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 and Sonic Colors.
Sonic 4 was okay, if not a bit disappointing.
Sonic Colors was good, but far from great.
What Sonic was in the past still hasn’t returned, but it doesn’t matter, because it doesn’t have to. Many of the people who have been following the franchise for years have disregarded the many disappointments and will keep coming back. It’s their habit. Sega is going to announce a new Sonic game soon enough, and the fans will get their hopes up. I can’t tell you how it will turn out, but I can tell you that it doesn’t matter. It will sell regardless. I can’t imagine how the developers might feel knowing their game will sell regardless of how good a job they do.
I don’t know exactly whether or not this habitual return to Sonic amounts to any sort of sincere affection for the franchise, more than a mechanical reaction to fulfill a desire for that old good feeling Sonic gave these people years ago. I do know that they aren’t getting it. What I would like people to consider is that maybe in the years that they have been following Sonic so faithfully something more deserving of their attention may have come out. Something that can give them a better experience more consistently than maybe one out of three or four times.
Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom was released last month, and it was expected to sell over one million copies.
Bandai expected Majin to sell over a million copies, and even made an announcement about it. The game’s release came and went, at which time Bandai felt it was necessary to revise their expectations.
Now, Majin is expected to sell over 300,000 copies.
Right now, I don’t even think 300,000 people have heard of this game.
How is it that a publisher can be so off in their expectations? They were so sure that they just had to tell everyone. Well, I’d imagine the issue has to do with that announcement being about 20% of the marketing for the game. Another 30% of the marketing was done through videos released at E3, GDC, and online. The remaining 50% was hope.
So, the game was thrown into an ocean of more heavily promoted projects, or put somewhere where to find them you have to already know about the game, or just hope that some third party would find them and take it upon themselves to promote it.
One Million sales? You got it chief.
Most stores didn’t carry the game, from Gamestops to Walmarts, because there just wasn’t any interest.
The moral of the story is simple. Bandai is a terrible publisher.
I just hope they aren’t too confused as to why doing nothing didn’t bring them something.
On to the game.
Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom is a lot like a lot of things. The ai companion will remind many people of ico, while the puzzling and structure is reminiscent of Zelda. Visually, it is quite a bit like Folklore, which makes a lot of sense considering that both Folklore and Majin were developed by Game Republic.
The story has you playing as a thief who has lived his whole life in the wild, where he uses his skills as a thief to steal food for his animal friends, whom he can talk to because of destiny or something. A century before, the Kingdom had fallen to a mysterious darkness, which has been constantly expanding since. Now that it is threatening the forest, the thief must go in search of a way to stop it. Here, he meets the Majin, A big, lumbering, magical beast that has a thing for broken English. Freeing the Majin, the thief forms a bond with him, and gains a way to combat the darkness.
You control the thief, wielding a large magic spike, infused with the Majin’s power. You issue commands to the Majin. Where you go from there is often up to you, as there are quite a few ways to handle situations within the game. You can order the Majin to charge into a group of enemies ahead of you, lure the enemies to a point where the Majin is waiting, or maybe even sneak around on your own, taking the enemies out with stealth. The amount of options that you have in the game is one of the reasons that I really enjoyed it. There are times where you will round a corner and start counting enemies and just think, about how much this isn’t going to happen. Then, you start poking around and you realize that you can take out a few guys on the left with stealth, bring the Majin over, get him set up behind a pillar, lure the biggest enemies in front of it, then have the Majin push it over. You feel pretty clever a few minutes later when it’s all done, and the Majin is eating his latest power up.
During my first few hours of play, I knew that this was similar to Zelda, but different in a way that I couldn’t quite figure out. What was different is that the entire over world is one big Dungeon, rather than a hub for multiple, self contained dungeons. As you wander the overworld, you will see a lot of familiar features of a Zelda dungeon spread across the overworld, like locked doors, self contained “room” puzzles, and things that clearly require some undiscovered powerup to use. If there were a roof over the whole world, it would be instantly recognizable as one massive dungeon. Within this world dungeon, there are many sub-dungeons, with their own bosses. What you accomplish in one sub-dungeon will open doors in another. It all comes together very well, and honestly I’m a little surprised that Nintendo never tried this sort of thing with a Zelda game.
What don’t I like about the game?
I got lost a couple of times, but I do that in a lot of games like this.
The Majin is a little stubborn sometimes. In the middle of combat you might need him to do something other than what he is doing, so you give him the command. Then he stands there. Maybe only for a second, maybe for 5-8 seconds. When combat works as you want it to, it is fantastic. When it stalls, it is frustrating.
Some of the boss fights are a joke. Rather than being challenges, a few of the boss fights are just puzzles with a time limit, sort of. Figure out what makes the creature die, before you do. These boss fights exist to push the story further, but they might put you to sleep.
Haven’t we been here before, twelve or twenty-two times? Being one large dungeon, and some things not being too clear, you will find yourself wandering the world, either through exploration or intentional, determined travel, a lot. Passing through the same areas, a lot. Eventually, you gain access to some rooms that transport you around the world, but there aren’t enough of them to eliminate the need to backtrack.
What did I like about the game?
The feeling of accomplishment. When you finally resolve most problems in this game, you feel like you really accomplished something. Whether it is a minor puzzle or an enemy encounter that requires some advanced planning, you’ll get a kick out of overcoming your challenges.
It doesn’t hold your hand. Welcome to the world. Good luck. You figure out what you need to do for most of the game, with only occasional hinting at your next objective. The solution to puzzles aren’t spelled out for you in sickening detail. The solutions to taking down a large force of enemies is are not handed to you on a silver platter. The game lets you play it.
Rewards for observation. More often than I ever expected I would find, there were situations in which an observant player would be rewarded with a more elegant solution to a problem, where as a hasty player would just storm on through. In backtracking, these just served as options for dealing with repopulated enemies how you want to, rather than just having to fight your way through straight every time.
Detail. Time passes in the game. Day turns to night, bringing different enemies and situations in the overworld. Certain areas have varying weather effects, that changes the appearance of your character and the Majin. I really like things like this.
The Extras. I hate collectathons. I don’t have the patience to go fetch you seventeen crystal coconuts, so I can go find six silver keys so I can open the door to Silly Swamp, so I can complete the seven regular stages to unlock the eight extra stage where I can save Krispy Koala, so I can use him to do more crap. That being said, I have zero problems collecting things in this game. There are alternate costume pieces for your character, that grant you new abilities, and memory shards to find, and they are a treat to find. It always feels like an extra bonus, and not a tedious side quest, like in Darksiders. Leveling up your character and your friendship level with the Majin is a pretty fun reward as well.
Should you buy this game, avoid it, what?
Just buy it. It was $23 on the day of launch on Amazon.com. It is now $36.99. On eBay, you can get it for between $20 to $30 shipped. People don’t want a game they don’t know exists, so people are selling them cheap. You can do a lot worse for under $30 than supporting a developer who got shafted by possibly the dumbest publisher of 2010, and netting yourself a rare and excellent video game.
Buy Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom. It’s an excellent game at a budget price.
It’s pretty sad when it seems like like I’ve done more to promote this game than the publisher.
“hope that some third party would find them and take it upon themselves to promote it.”
Welcome to my blog.
You probably followed me here from my Youtube Channel. If you didn’t, subscribe?
I can’t produce as many videos as I would like to, so some of the things that I can’t produce as a video will be finding their way here.
I will be posting some articles on certain games or gaming related subjects that I can’t get around to doing a video of.
This means game reviews, recommendations, and discussion of certain game features.
I’m going to critique a lot of things.
If I make you mad, please post.
Post whatever you please.