I want to be able to vote for both of the options, because it 100% absolutely is both of those things.
MoonwalkSA's forum posts
Kojima almost certainly has the money to start his own studio by now. Obviously not on the extremely high budget level of what MGS has been, but new smaller-scale games by Kojima Productions seems a whole lot more likely to me than him agreeing to get snapped up by Sony or MS, especially since the rights to Metal Gear aren't going with him.
He's always been arguably the most important videogame auteur, so it makes sense for him to branch out into a role that gives him more creative freedom than a company demanding more MGS or MGS-likes. I'd expect to see projects from him of about the same not-quite-high-budget scale as dudes like Swery or Suda51, and that seems like a perfect fit.
I don't have any problem with this so long as it doesn't water-down Nintendo's console and proper handheld experience.
As for the quality of the mobile games themselves, it's too early to say. It'd depend on who is actually involved in the development of those projects, and so far that answer hasn't been given in anything but the most vague sense.
It's odd to me that they specifically mention not doing ports, seems like that'd likely be providing better games than anything some mobile company makes using Nintendo IPs, but maybe it's a sign that they want to keep their best core gaming experiences on Nintendo platforms. If it is the latter, then this is good news, or at the very least not bad news.
The two GBA Fire Emblem games are my standout, with Fire Emblem (aka FE7) being about as close to the ideal as any game in that genre could be. It's a shame that newer fire emblems will never again be capable of that quality level, just from lacking the GBA's amazing battle sprites and animations (on top of everything else that's happened to the series since then; real shame about the total mess that they put out on the gamecube). FE7 also happens to have the most well-realized final battle level in any game I've played, turn-based strategy or not.
Disgaea is unique in a really cool way, but honestly, the postgame elements that make it stand out from the competition are also super-grindy to the point that it's difficult to recommend, since it's difficult not to get bored before seeing the majority of it. The main campaigns are still fun at least, if kinda easy. Makai Kingdom and Phantom Brave are both awesome games from the same studio, and utilize a similar combat system, but with more open radial movement rather than a grid, plus some fairly out-there team/character-building mechanics.
FFT is obviously a standout. Like most of the mechanically interesting FF games, it's less about being challenging or having deep tactical choices and more about making a system that is fun to exploit and break wide open. The Jobs system is always awesome for that sort of thing, and it's arguably the best final fantasy product out there, though I don't know that I'd call it a great tactical game after the first half or so. It stops being about the more puzzle-like optimal choices that make good strategy games tick, and more about how much more overpowered you've become than whoever it is your team is punching at.
The original two Shining Force games still hold up, but they're a very old example of the genre at this point, and mechanically somewhat stiff compared to more modern takes on the concept..... In basically the same sort of way that original turn-based RPGs feel stiff compared to more modern jrpg battle systems. Still great, though; really fun and well-designed.
The original Xcom is still playable, but has always been extremely buggy in a way that usually served to make it a lot more difficult (for better or worse), on top of having an ancient and clunky UI. Go for the Open X-com project (a free re-write of the game from the ground up with tons of UI improvements and bug fixes, though I believe you'll need a legit copy of the original from Steam or elsewhere to run it) if you want to experience the game at its best, or Xenonauts if you want to play a very faithful re-skin.
Good Modern Mentions: New XCOM, Massive Chalice, Banner Saga, New Shadowrun/dragonfall, FE:Awakening, Devil Survivor series. The TBS/SRPG/TRPG/whatever-you-want-to-call-it genre really lives on the strength of its major standout classics, since it's always been somewhat niche and is often not well-executed, but fortunately it's seen a huge revival in the last year or two from both western and japanese devs.
Older games that I've heard good things about but never gotten a chance to play: Tactics Ogre series, Vandal Hearts
@giantlizardking: Yeah, we'll have to agree to disagree I guess, since the only game you specifically listed out that even shows up on my top ten radar would be XCOM. Most major AAA studios are entirely ignorable these days and have been for the past few years, while indie games and new studios are the life of the industry. With some help from established japanese companies like Atlus and Nintendo, who have always been great but are doing especially well in terms of quality lately.
"Relative weakness of the competition", really?
I know you've got very limited tastes, Jeff, and have always written off truly great things due to some minor complaint or specific system that you haven't enjoyed before or aren't used to enjoying. And that's fine.
But 2014 has been easily the best year for videogames in a very long time. There's been an incredible amount of incredible games released this year, just not really in genres that you tend to play or pay attention to.... Ah well.
I was ridiculed by two of my Wii U owning friends for saying I have great interest in this game. It made me wonder how many people will disregard it because of their feelings about Dynasty Warriors - some of which are founded completely upon other people's reviews online instead of actually playing any of the games in the series.
I'm looking forward to this. Another unique experience on the Wii U.
I was once like that. I knew nothing about this series other than what Jeff & co. thought about it and that it gets ridiculed everywhere. Then I read about it, after HW got announced, from people who actually play and enjoy these games and could explain why. While I don't think this is a type of game one needs to play every version of, I also don't see why this series has become such a joke. The crowd management and battlefield strategy seems really intriguing. Of course this is another one of those types of games that doesn't lend itself well to the game review process of "play until you see credits roll, write up absolute statement with a number value attached to judge it by."
All the insane combat and strategy in this game coupled with the fanservice have me very excoted to take my first dive into this style of game.
It's pretty much that exactly, Dynasty Warriors comes out looking awful if you approach it from the perspective of a games reviewer - someone whose job is to play through a certain way and then assign a score, and who is aware of every iteration and sub-sequel and spinoff coming out, and who is used to grading things in part on how much they change from sequel to sequel. That's nothing like how a normal player would or should approach it, especially the last bit where people assume it to be stagnant just because it tells the same story and attempts the same general style of gameplay every time.
I can't speak for people who follow the franchise so closely that they play every single one of them, but Dynasty Warriors is a perfectly great series to jump into once or twice every console generation, and it's unfortunate that the stubbornness of reviewers has made them an almost completely useless resource for helping people determine which Warriors games those should be (3 or 4 and 7 or 8, for the record).
Other somewhat nonsensical categories in this day and age:
"Best Action Game" should really just be Best FPS, i mean look at the nominees. Then just turn the action/adventure category into... uh... best non-FPS action game? I dunno exactly, but naming them Action and Action/Adventure makes this thing read like it's from the mid-90s.
"Best Online Multiplayer" is weird, for the reasons Alex described and because it's also mostly the same shooters from the Best Action category. Plus, online is kind of a weird and arbitrary and needlessly restrictive distinction, considering that couch-multiplayer focused games tend to wind up being much more interesting and exciting in gameplay regardless of whether they have an online mode.
"Social/Casual" seems outdated for obvious reasons, especially considering that Social/Casual Gaming these days mostly means free iphone apps or facebook games which are probably not putting up much of a showing at E3. It's pretty much just used as "Misc", and surely there's got to be a better solution than that, right?
Plus, categories with almost nobody in them, like Sports or Racing, could easily be merged with each other or replaced by things like Best Puzzle or Best Platformer or Best Music Game depending on what actually shows up to E3..... But then again, this whole awards song and dance seems like Best Shit That Nobody Cares About, unless you need to plaster awards and quotes onto a retail box.
I can totally understand not seeing any purpose to the Best PC/Best Console distinction anymore, Alex, and you're right. It just seems like an excuse to have even more slots for big budget titles that shouldn't need anybody's free publicity, since it otherwise doesn't matter at all.
Personally, I barely even see the point of distinguishing those games against Handheld games since a good game is a good game, but at least for handhelds vs consoles there's some real and obvious difference between them in terms of scope and performance.