It's that time of the week again, folks! The Zetta Complains About Things While Being Moderately Peeved Power Hour is upon us! So get ready, because on the first and last episode of this exciting extravaganza of excitement, we're talking Mighty No. 9, Keiji Inafune, and Comcept again! This time, though, it's probably going to be the last time, at least I'd like it to be, so strap in kids, 'cause this might get bumpy.
And no, this won't be as much RED ASH, because honestly, I've said all I'm probably going to multiple times over at this point, but it'll probably pop up here and there.
Now let's get started!
Company A is making a game. They're making another game, and maybe a TV show and movie is on the table, but most importantly, they're making a game and they intend to deliver it to the people who are willing to buy it. No one is being made to buy or watch any of this, mind you.
Company B won't let anyone outside of their country play a great many of their games despite the fact that there seems to be very little financial reason for it, because there is a demand. People want to buy their games, and would happy do so if made, but they are being denied the option.
Company C has destroyed the futures of numerous beloved franchises, studios, and actual human beings alike.
Guess which one has more articles on the front page of most video game websites right now?
Disclaimer: I could totally do hundreds of blogs about why the other Call should have been chosen over this one though.
With that little teaser up there getting people riled up out of the way...
Mighty No. 9! Let's (briefly) (yeah right) go over it all. And then let's, knowing me, repeat ourselves a few times.
It's a Kickstarted game that, thus far, hasn't come out yet, but has had word of an animated series and then more recently a live action movie in production despite the game not being out yet. From the same company, there is also another game on the way with its own animated short-that-may-turn-into-a-movie that may or may not have some relation to Mighty No. 9, but there are no definite signs of that yet.
Apparently these things are such grave sins that the company involved should be damned to hell, or at least reduced to no more than its present, and all other people involved with the production of these products can be ignored because there's a scapegoat that makes things like "facts" and "faith" and "benefit of the doubt" as easy to ignore and forget as a suit actor's bulge in a really good action scene.
Look at it.
I know that probably sounds bitter, but can you blame me? Agree or disagree, at this point I'd just be repeating myself if I started getting into these details. How much would I be repeating myself? Not one, but two blogs on the matter as well as a (now slightly outdated) informative image that contains a lot of information about the topic that doesn't get brought up much. And I'm going to likely be repeating a good chunk of it all here as well.
With all the effort I'm going to here, I'm willing to bet most of you might think I'm some massive Inafune fanboy, blinded by love of growing up with years of the man's work and all of that good stuff.
Well... The thing is... I, uh... I don't think I'd really... heard of it him until a few years ago? As in very recently?
Okay, to clarify, I knew of the guy... probably... but as I've talked about in a few blogs before, my video game "growing up" was weird, and mostly on handhelds, so my classic Mega Man, which is what Inafune is most known for, didn't come about until later on. In fact, I didn't play a Classic game until the late '90s, most coming about much later, and I never owned an X game until I got the collection on the PS2 some time in the PS3's early life cycle, which was still after I'd played the Zero and Battle Network games, and while I don't remember exactly, possibly even after the ZX games as well.
And sure, I basically beat my first X game in a GameStop that I had gotten left in many years prior, but I'm not sure if that counts... I did play through and love the heck out of the PSP remakes of the first Classic and X games, which I played well after playing through those collections, but again, do those count?
Then there's the fact that my favorite Mega Man game, as I mentioned a few days ago, is actually one he didn't have a lot of involvement with beyond being Battle Network's general producer. If anything, the designer of that series is the person that I should be a fanboy of! And that guy is, uh... Who are they again? Hold on...
Point is, my Inafune history is pretty lacking, and my reason to have some huge bias towards his work isn't really all there. Soul Sacrifice aside, which, while fantastic, was a joint project between Comcept, Sony's Japan Studio, and Marvelous (then still Marvelous AQL, who later went on to add a bunch of Soul Sacrifice-esque monsters to Senran Kagura 2 but with more breasts), so while Comcept/Inafune may have added a lot to what is undeniably one of the Vita's best games and one of my favorite games, many of the reasons it's such a good game are also undeniably not completely, if at all, Comcept/Inafune's work. From what I understand, after all, Comcept are just the idea people for the most part, they get developers and publishers for the bigger stuff.
So what gives? Why the hell have I wasted quite a few hours doing this, talking about this subject over and over, and why am I wasting time doing one more blog about it now? If I'm not a fanboy, and at this point, if it's not some burning hype to play Mighty No. 9, then what is it?
A broken heart?
Well... I've talked about it before, but I want to make things too. In some cases, not just things, but, yeah, big things too. I don't just love games, I love live action shows ("OH MY GOD, REALLY!?" said absolutely no one) and anime and more, and while I've never thought about anything that grand yet, I'd still love to be able to use these mediums with all the ideas I have, should the chance ever come my way. I've certainly thought about it on a smaller scale, at least, and if I ever get the chance....
I won't, and I probably never will, but a boy (and man, maybe?) has the right to dream... r-right?
"Your name doesn't rhyme with Keiji Tookmymoney, does it?"
This is the part of the blog where emotion is going to start seeping in more, so you have been warned! This is under the Personal tag for a reason. Got it? You sure? Okay, good.
Because while there's plenty of factual reason I've taken issue with all the (very much) unneeded negativity and hate these projects have circling around them, I think the reason I can't let it go, rather than just saying my piece and moving on, is perhaps a more personal one.
I have my life, and I have to do something with it. I don't work well with finality, and the idea that I'll end up not doing anything with my life just... It's beyond a "want." I have to. If I don't, I will probably look back on my life and just consider the whole thing a wash. It took me too long to realize it, too long, just enough so that I'm set in my ways and probably unable to learn all the things I need to be able to do any of the things I feel like I need to do, forget to do it and be successful, but that's just the way it is. Or maybe I'm making excuses for myself, but it's not getting any easier, I'll tell you that.
Despite that, I want to create and I can't and damn it all does it bother me when people take issue with the people who do create and actually are creating and are trying to provide their content to people, all while taking the scraps of those who do the opposite. I sit here feeling helpless in my own skin and like a goddamn fool who's wasted nearly three decades of life sometimes over this kind of thing, and I see people who are doing all the things I wish I could getting hate for it, and it just baffles me.
It doesn't make sense to me. It just doesn't. Yes, people have the right to criticize even if they didn't back, but what is actually being criticized here? Maybes? Possibilities? Things that we've known for months going on years? Things that other companies can get away with and have gotten away with fine without all of this fuss? Things that shouldn't even require the phrase "gotten away with" in the first place?
What the hell? What's going on in your heads? Did that one tweet of Kamiya's link to a brainwashing gif if you clicked the last letter in it and I missed it? Was it how Inafune left Capcom, despite the fact that Capcom was doing somewhat poorly at the time he left? Not to mention what we know (especially now) of the Japanese gaming industry?
I know this probably just pissed off someone, but I really just do not get it, and like I've said before, I really haven't seen any issue to take with the whole franchising thing.
I get it. I've heard the argument that a franchise needs to prove itself before other things come out. Many times. I could point out that you also have your Yokai-Watch and similar franchises that have conversely proven that some franchises do not take off without exposure like that, and then others will point out Yooka-Laylee doesn't have that, and then we'll just keep going in circles.
The thing that bugs me about this argument, and I've said it before, is that by the time we see any of this other stuff, if we see it at all, the game probably will have either proven itself or not. If any cart is coming before any horse, it's that one. It's all of this reacting and assuming. One could argue that production shouldn't move at all before they see whether or not the thing takes off in the first place, but at the same time, who's to say they can't just stop if it doesn't? Who's to say they're far enough into the live action movie that it's even that much of an issue right now anyway?
We don't know, yet so many people are just jumping right into reacting.
And in regards to RED ASH, the idea that it's a spinoff to Mighty No. 9 in any kind of "you need to appreciate the other thing before you can appreciate spinoffs" is, as far as I can tell, something only detractors have come up with on their own. The Kickstarter itself treats RED ASH purely as its own thing, with connections to Mighty No. 9 limited to the names of the protagonists to create a sense of community, a feeling of "these are for fans, funded by fans" sort of thing from the sounds of it.
Sure, they could definitely retroactively make it a spinoff to Mighty No. 9, but looking at the actual Kickstarter, I don't get that feeling.
It sounds to me like they just... want to make this thing. And people are going to get that thing. Spare me the "broken promises" spiel for a second here, because the likelihood of Mighty No. 9 not coming out at all is slim to none. It might be getting delayed. Sure, the projected release date was Spring 2015, but that was the projected release date pre-Stretch Goals. Post-Stretch Goals, and the game went from being a game releasing on just PC to virtually every single possible console it could, short of mobile. That is a huge leap to make.
Remember Shovel Knight? Everyone's GOTY 2014? Its expected release date was September 2013. Delays happen. Especially with Kickstarter games. In fact, I'm pretty sure it happens with most of them? A lot of them, at least. So if you're going to ostracize one company for it, ostrasize all of them. Follow the precedent, don't make up a new one every time.
And sure, there's a business side to these projects, of course there is, but are people really sitting here thinking that that isn't true of other companies?
Are you really going to tell me that Nintendo might not purposely have left out gameplay modes most shooters have come to take for granted from Splatoon so they could add them in later to reinforce the "Nintendo does DLC right" mantra people have come to love to chant, all the while Super Smash Bros. keeps adding in a ton of DLC you can't even use online? The games may have different teams, but surely they know what people think of them enough to consider this kind of strategy. Sure, maybe it's all innocent, but do you see how easy it is to consider something that might be as something that isn't?
For crying out loud, people are hacking Nintendo's consoles just to play games they own because Nintendo won't let them do that. That is 100% a business on Nintendo's part. Let's not forget Square-Enix, Level-5, or Sega and their localization policies either. Only one of them is even attempting to seriously turn themselves around in that area. These are companies that actively do not provide their creations to people who want them.
Yet the company getting all the articles written about them is the one trying to deliver their creation to people. Worse still, people won't even consider the possibility that all of this business stuff might be so that they can just keep delivering products, possibly without having to keep resorting to Kickstarters and other publishers. Comcept isn't big enough yet to do any of this on their own, guys, despite all of the experience its employees have.
Looking at that and wanting to create myself, that's just depressing. It's bad enough that it looks like so many are being beyond unfair in judging as it is, which is one reason I've put so much time into being the "defense force" and all that, but to think that, if I did somehow, miraculously, actually end up in a position where I could reach the stars... This is how I could be viewed? A businessman?
Is ambition just not allowed anymore? Because this industry wouldn't even be here if not for that.
Let's talk the Mighty No. 9 talk.
We are getting a game. Maybe a TV show too! Maybe even a movie!
So what? Is it your money going into the two latter things? No? I didn't think so. The game will be out before them more than likely, and at that point, your course of action will be pretty easy to decide on:
A: I liked the game! I'm going to check out these other things and see if I like them too.
B: I didn't like the game, so I need no more of it in my life./I liked the game, but not enough to seek out any more of it.
C: ... Maybe it'll be like Sonic Boom?
And that's it. The phrase "vote with your wallet" rings true. If the no one watches the show, buys merch, or goes to see the movie, they'll know it! But is talking about all of it for months, even years really accomplishing anything?
Like, here's one. Mighty No. 9's concept art was nicer looking than the game's art. Okay, cool. I get it. Believe me, I really freaking get it. And I know, in the history of video games, there has never once been a case of a game, especially a game made on a budget, especially a multiplatform one, where the art style on the box didn't match the in-game assets. That's never happened.
Despite that, I have a crazy idea.
Can we maybe, you know, move on already? Accept that it's not changing like adults, instead of whining about it like a bunch of children? Seeing as we've known pretty darn well what the game was going to look like for well over a year now, the fact that people are still so frustrated over labeled and explained concept art is nuts. This topic should have been settled when they released the prototype footage (that current footage shows they have improved significantly on), which was done during the Kickstarter campaign.
Admittedly, it was towards the end, but we still had a dozen seconds of what to expect and more than enough to give people who would have been turned off by what it is now (much improved over that) time to back out of the whole thing.
Yet here we are, nine months (in game development years) or so later...
I'm not saying don't criticize. I'm not trying to "deny the right of the consumers" or whatever people want to call it. Criticize, by all means, people, criticize. Even I've been criticizing how RED ASH has gone down, which is one reason why it's not as prominent here compared to Mighty No. 9. All I ask is that if you want to raise criticisms, make them valid ones.
Don't make things up, don't twist the truth, and don't act like things we've known for months, or worse, things we've known about from the beginning, are a big deal anymore. Don't give Comcept or "Big Bad Inafune" crap for things that we accept and even encourage from other developers, and don't gloss over the position Comcept is in. Don't ignore the different teams working here, and don't assume I have a single goddamn clue what I'm talking about or more all knowing than anyone else and suddenly decide I'm the next Kamiya either.
At the very least, and also most, I'd say I know about as much as they've offered on the subjects, which is more than a lot of people throwing down can say for themselves.
You can also take the simpler route: People, just don't buy the damn things and move on with your lives if it's really such an issue. Why be the guy that goes to a Super Sentai party just to talk about how much better Power Rangers is and how Super Sentai fans are self-hating racists?
Giiiiiiirl you did not just go there.
You want to talk about people who are businessmen and not creators?
Look at Konami. Take a good, long, hard look at Konami. Mind, this doesn't mean so much now, but this blog has been in the works in my head and as jotted down passages since last week. Still, perhaps that says something — it took something like that for Konami to hit the front page, to get people to look at them negatively again. A game possibly being delayed has already gotten at least two.
Nintendo releases limited 3DS models that you have to have faster than Compile Heart knocks up another company to make new Neptunia games, yet they have an outdated account system that makes it so you can't even own a 3DS and New 3DS at the same time, let alone two of their limited edition consoles. They've arbitrarily decided to keep SNES and GBA games off the 3DS, despite the fact that we know GBA games work on it, just "not to the standards" Nintendo wants or... whatever.
Sony has locked Vita from using many PS1 and PSP games, content they paid for and on a system that can use these games. Sony then went and gave PS Now subscriptions to the PS3 before the Vita, which still doesn't have it. This is despite the fact that the Vita was one of the first things listed to be getting it, whereas the PS3 was never initially listed for it. Forget the whole memory card "issue" — Sony has been screwing Vita owners, even/especially the people who shelled out for those memory cards, for years.
This is the kind of crap that is the problem! These are the kinds of things that we should be seeing on the front page multiple times! People aren't any less screwed over just because it's not recent! It's not even like a lot of this Comcept stuff isn't even recent anymore either — not when we can look at Mighty No. 9's campaign page and dismiss a lot of the complaints people still have to this day!
I could go on, though. I did earlier, so I won't, but seriously, for all the people who love to throw this line around, there are probably employees at companies like Konami that are wishing they could be doing "business" like Comcept is right now.
Yet they're the company people can't shut up about? The one that, at the very least, is the one that's trying to make content of some quality and let people enjoy it?
Why in the world do I want to do this again? Am I just a huge masochist or what?
Whatever would give anyone that idea?
I want to think "Is it because it's a Kickstarter?" and let that be the end of it, but it's beyond that at this point. Far too many uninvolved people have stepped up here, and other Kickstarters have done similar or worse things and not only been allowed a pass, but had their end products praised despite the broken promises.
Shovel Knight is a 10/10 game, as I've mentioned before, and I love it to pieces, don't get me wrong, but it was delayed too, and repeatedly at that. What's more, as amazing, fun, and content-filled as it is, none of the promised Stretch Goal content has yet to be released. Sure, it will be releasing free, and it's not like people weren't told about it, but I don't see any indication that it would be delayed to any huge extent on the Kickstarter page. Is that common sense? Sure.
On the other hand, isn't a game jumping from being released on one console to about seven to nine, depending on how you count the Mac and Linux versions, also something that common sense would let you know might be delayed? I admit, I hadn't considered this until recently, so perhaps I should have been saying this months ago, but it's a good point.
How about Chroma Squad? It was only releasing on one* console, yet it jumped from December 2013 all the way to April 2015. Tons of dialogue was promised and not really delivered, and seemingly not checked over by an editor either.
It also released without the promised multiplayer content that is still right there on the Kickstarter page, not to mention the fact that *they also say on the Kickstarter game that the game will release on tablets and mobile in "mid-2014." That didn't happen, it it has a TBA 2015 release set currently for some other consoles now, but will it make those dates?
Is it okay that stuff didn't happen? Well, I would say yes, given the circumstances of being a Kickstarter game... but at the same time, a lot of stuff that people actually might have based their backing the game on genuinely isn't in the game. On the other hand, we are likely going to get Mighty No. 9 with all the promised content, with its greatest crimes being that it doesn't look like art that they never said it would look like and that there is Mighty No. 9 content outside of the game in production before the game's release.
It also might not be as good as people want it to be, definitely, but that's a criticism of a more subjective nature that could be true of any game one purchases.
So by the logic many have used against Mighty No. 9... No, it isn't okay to handle things the way Chroma Squad did. Clearly, the fine gentlemen at Behold Studios are promise breakers and dream crushers, and nothing more. Better cut Shovel Knight's scores too while we're at it.
Ssshh, it's okay baby, I'm just saying it for the blog.
I've been told I'm being consumeristic before, and maybe I am. I'm stupid. I can be an absolute moron about things sometimes. I'm one of the biggest dunderheads I know, and if nothing else, at least I'm not afraid to own up to messing up because of it, so maybe this is just another one of those times. I know what the word means, I've looked over the definition, and I couldn't tell you if that's me. I don't think it is. I'm going to be repeating myself again, but this blog was written in multiple parts on multiple machines over many days, so it probably already looks pretty disjointed anyway, so I hope we can move past that.
Part of it is that I just want this shitstorm to end, more than anything. At this point, the idea of actually playing Mighty No. 9 isn't even crossing my mind so much, and I'll be one of the people getting a code for it at some point in the future. Even so, I feel Comcept and Inafune is just being treated unfairly beyond reason, and maybe I'm simply not cynical enough for it, but I can't agree with it.
The other part, though, is that it kind of tears me up inside that the things I love and want to do myself are apparently what people consider to be bad. The things I want to do — not to make money (except perhaps out of necessity to keep creating, should I ever somehow get to that magical point, not to get rich or for any purpose than just... to keep doing it), but because I want to do them — are apparently the kinds of things that most think of as sleazy and foul and so on. Is it really so sleazy and foul to want to do these things? To want to make something bigger than one thing from right out of the gate?
What about books, then? Or TV shows? Is it just different for mediums that can have their first entry be part of something bigger, or is it just that video games are still so young that we're not at a point where it's okay for something to release knowing there's more out there?
Mega Man had a little of this and that, yet I've seen some say that branching out as what marked the beginning of its downfall, yet those are what I consider some of its best years. Battle Network having an anime and a manga, all with their own unique stories that were able to take advantage of the different mediums they were in was cool back then, but now, I just think it's brilliant. The fact that all three products are at the very least good, and even great at times (mostly the games, but the manga had moments), isn't something to dismiss either.
I love the idea of spinoffs. I even love the idea of using different mediums. Maybe I'm just not cut out for making things in today's society, or any society for that matter, but if I could, and if I had the idea that called for it, yeah, I would like to think I would. I've seen what live action can do and the strengths it has over animation — and vice versa. I know what video games bring to the table and how immersive they can be, and I even know how moving visual novels can be when done well. I would love to be able to do something that just... has it all, somehow. And if I could, I'd put it all into action as soon as I could, one to the other to the other. I'd probably enjoy keeping busy like that.
If I had the motivation, the idea, and the means, I wouldn't let the fact that the first thing hadn't launched yet stop me. I wouldn't waste that time. Time is precious, far more precious, than any of that. I would keep moving and keep going.
If you haven't guessed it by now, yes, most of all, these blogs were in many ways and perhaps even primarily for me.
And yes, I feel like I've gotten nowhere with myself since I posted them.
Maybe I truly am just a naive little fool. A dreamer, not even the big and bigger biggest one. Nothing more than that. Maybe I'm impressing myself onto this situation far, far too much, and Inafune is just a scumbag who happens to have a lot of people on his staff who have a lot of faith in him because he's bribing them with his businessman businessmoney and I just see the things I want to do in the things he's doing and am being blinded by my own aspirations and failings to see "da troof."
I don't know. A little of Column A, a little of Column B, maybe?
Maybe most of you can't understand it, maybe only some of you other bloggers and writers out there know what I mean, at least a little bit, but that's where I stand.
And maybe it's because I need to do something, because I have to. I need to create — and to see someone ridiculed, not even because their something is bad, but simply because how they're going about making it isn't to the approval of the masses? Or because these people just didn't pay attention at the beginning?
We can't keep acting like the whole concept art argument has or ever had any validity to it, people. It doesn't and it never did, yet people are clinging to it like it's the noose around Inafune's yet — and if enough do, it might as well be.
Just... Wow. This whole thing really does make me wonder why one should dream at all, why I should, almost. Load of good it's doing guys like Keiji Inafune and Hideo Kojima right now. Even Masahiro Sakurai's become, sadly and understandably, trapped by his passions.
Anyhoo, unless something insane happens going forward that's worth writing about again, I'd like to think that this is where I drop out of writing and/or arguing about this topic. Much of the coverage I've seen on the topic here and elsewhere isn't to my tastes, and I'm really just tired of repeating myself over and over again, nor to do I want to keep doing it aimlessly forever.
Like I mentioned waaaay up there in the beginning, I threw a macro together the other day that covers a lot of the inaccuracies people are touting as fact if anyone out there cares and wants an easy way to respond to some of this junk, but I'm not doing this to be known as "the defense force" or "damage control" — I just wanted the facts out there so the game could get a fair shot.
Sadly, I think this is the point where I accept that people don't care about any of that. So why should I, right? Someone else has probably been raring to go and become Destructoid's Resident tl;dr Jackass, right? As far as this subject goes, anyway.
Here's a fun question I want to end with.
People are going "fuck Konami" this, and "fuck Konami" that, but how many of you have even considered passing up Metal Gear Solid V completely to put your money where your mouth is? Seriously considered just not buying it and never buying it. If the rumors are true and Kojima gets a salary regardless of how well his games sell, no one needs to buy a single copy for him to be paid for his work. He'll already have been, it looks like, though that's only assuming this is true.
So, assuming it is, how about it? Who's willing to pass up what may be the last Metal Gear Solid to show a real villain that they're crossing the line?
Yeah, I kinda thought so.
Well, you guys have fun in the comments! For what it's worth, I do very much mean all of what I said in my last blog, should anyone specifically feel like I'm trying to start something. I'm not, don't get me wrong, but I've still got my own feelings and opinions too, and this is the place where I'm supposed to get them out.
So with all of them put out there, let's cut to the chase and end this trainwreck!
I disagree with all of you sexy people in advance, Gardevoir, obligatory out of place Kamen Rider reference, thinly veiled penis joke, and... Yeah, that about covers it!
I'll see you all at my place tonight!