When it comes to difficulty settings in games, there are hundreds of ways mechanics can be handled to make things more interesting. You can merely up the enemy health or damage, like in Mario & Luigi Dream Team or most Zelda games.
You can change a couple of thousand variables to make things annoying, like in Super Smash Bros Brawl’s Subspace Emissary mode.
Heck, you can even redesign the entire game to suit the new difficulty. Like in Ocarina of Time 3D with its Master Quest mode, or the classic NES title with its second quest.
But one thing these games don’t do on difficulty settings is change how your character actually looks. They change everything else sure, and occasionally an extra mode adds a joke character for laughs (like Tofu in the Resident Evil games). But for the most part, character design remains unchanged throughout difficulty modes.
However, that’s not the case in South Park the Fractured But Whole! Oh no, in this game, the creators have decided to do something extremely controversial for the difficulty modes.
Namely, they’re changing the skin colour of your character the higher you ratchet up the difficulty slider. Put simply, the harder the difficulty, the darker their skin colour will be in the game. Here’s a video showing it in action:
As you can tell, it’s an… interesting system. After all, it’s clearly making a political point about racial inequality (since black characters have a harder time in game than white ones), and they’ve definitely tried to reflect that in the design. For instance, enemy health and damage doesn’t go up with difficulty increases, but the amount of money you get in game does decrease. This aims to mirror what it’d be like growing up in a struggling household without much in the way of immediate job prospects.
Add how the game changes the way you’re referred to based on your skin colour (to try and show racism from the characters in universe), and you’ve certainly got a creative set up for a difficulty slider.
Back in 2011, Rockstar and Team Bondi released a game called LA Noire. Set in Los Angeles in the 1940s, the game tried to merge detective fiction with an open world setting, complete with cases to solve and perps to question.
It was an interesting game really, and it did pretty well on the market. However, with Team Bondi’s development practices coming under fire and the game design not quite matching that of GTA or Red Dead Redemption, it faded into the background shortly after.
But it seems it’s making a comeback! Why? Because as the title suggests, the game is being remade for current gen consoles like the PS4 and Nintendo Switch. Here’s a tweet confirming it by Nintendo UK on Twitter:
So, what’s included here?
Well for the Switch version, it’s your typical extra control mechanics. You’ve got gyro controls with the Joy-Cons. There are touch screen controls when playing in handheld mode.
And there are some minor additional bits in game, like extra camera angles. No, I’m not quite sure what they mean by that one either.
For the PS4 and Xbox One on the other hand, it’s really more of an upscaled port than anything else. The textures are upgraded, the lighting effects are made better and in their own words… they’ve now got ‘enhanced clouds’. It’s your typical video remaster really, with the changes basically existing as a way to justify not putting it on PSN/Xbox Live.
Finally, there’s also a VR version for the HTC Vive too. This one is simplified to fit the hardware (only 7 cases are included overall), but it provides a way to experience the title in a virtual reality set up none the less.
And that’s it really. A few system specific features, some upgrades to camera angles and resources as well as a new version to show off VR tech. It’s not the biggest set of changes in the world, but it works well enough for this game. Especially given how Nintendo fans haven’t experienced the game at all by this point.
But enough of that. What does this all mean for the brand as a whole?
Well, a few things really. Firstly, it shows Rockstar are willing to give the Nintendo Switch a chance in general. That’s great news for Nintendo fans, and means it’s not completely unlikely that their more hyped games (like GTA and Red Dead Redemption 2) could be heading to the console themselves further down the line.
It also means that LA Noire as a brand isn’t dead. Which again is great news for those who enjoyed the original game, since we’ve heard basically nothing about it for the last 6 years at this point. So, there’s now the possibility that if it does well here, an actual LA Noire 2 game could be in the pipeline at some point.
Either way, LA Noire is being released for Switch (and other modern systems) on November 14th 2017. So, are you buying it? Does the idea of Rockstar possibly releasing games on Nintendo systems get you hyped up enough to give it a chance?
Or are you waiting for other games by the company to come out on the system instead?
Post your thoughts here or on the Gaming Latest forums today!
Back in August, Capcom released Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 to the world. A collection of the later Mega Man games (aka 7, 8, 9 and 10), the game was released on all the major platforms. PS4, Xbox One, PC… it was released on them all.
Well, all except the Switch that is. Because for whatever reason, this is what they had to say on the possibility of a Switch release:
There are no plans for a Nintendo Switch version at this time
Yep, just that. In one sentence, they’ve shot down the possibility of a Switch port and stated they have no plans to port the game to the system.
And it’s quite baffling to be honest. I mean, what is Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 anyway?
A simple compilation of later Mega Man games. Just one SNES game, one PS1 game and two retraux games designed in the style of the NES titles.
So that’s not exactly something that would strain Nintendo’s system. Nor is it something that’d take too much time to port over. Or fail to sell, given how many Mega Man fans own Nintendo systems.
But hey, it is what it is I guess. Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 isn’t coming to Switch, and that’s that.
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 Interview (Technobuffalo)
Well, this is a piece of news we didn’t expect! Turns out that classic SNES RPG Secret of Mana is getting a remake, which will be released on the PS4, Vita and PC on February 15th 2018! Here’s a trailer showing the game in action:
As you can tell, it looks okay. Nothing spectacular mind, but a decent enough 3D rendition of the original game none the less. The art style works fine, and every aspect you enjoyed is ready and accounted for.
However, there are a few things I’m not a fan of here.
Firstly, why isn’t this game coming to the Nintendo Switch? Or heck, even the Xbox One for that matter?
Because it’s not a hugely ambitious game that can’t run on either platform. It’s a decent looking 3D remake of a SNES title that worked on far inferior hardware.
So there’s no apparent reason it’s not coming to all platforms. It’s not sales related. Cause the game would sell much better on the Switch or even Xbox One than on the Vita. Is it exclusivity deal related? Possibly, but then you’d think Sony would tell Square Enix not to make a PC port. At least, for the time being.
Console release wise, something doesn’t make much sense here.
Back in 2015, Shenmue III was announced on Kickstarter. A revival of Sega’s ambitious open world series from the early 00s, it promised the finale for the series that fans had been waiting years for. It was a dream come true. A once in a lifetime opportunity to fund a sequel to one of the most ambitious, expensive franchises in gaming history.
And oh, did the industry go wild for it. Meeting its $2 million goal in a mere eight hours, the game eventually smashed Kickstarter records, becoming the highest funded video game project in the site’s history and the sixth best funded project overall. It was an absolutely massive success which blew past all expectations.
However, fans didn’t really see much of the game at this point. Yeah, they knew it existed. Yes, there was a Kickstarter video consisting of footage from the existing game to go with it.
And obviously some concept art existed. But that was it. For months, there’s been practically no footage of the game at all.
Until today. Because at Gamescom earlier this week, the official PlayStation YouTube posted the first ever teaser for the game! So here it is. Here is the first ever footage from the upcoming Shenmue III:
Sadly for the team behind it, it’s gained mixed reactions online to say the least. On the one hand, you’ve got some a decent amount of people who like the look and think it works well. After all, it’s only a start. The game’s gonna look better in future, and it’s certainly no Mighty No 9 as far as disappointing Kickstarter game aesthetics are concerned.
Yet at the same time others consider it a disappointment. They say that the facial expressions just don’t look right, and the effects seem rather cheap for a game like this.
And that’s a fair point to make too. Remember, Shenmue 1 and 2 prided themselves on the great graphics and overall high production values. There’s a reason the former cost around $50 million to make after all.
So, the fact that Shenmue III looks the way it does has caused controversy here. People just aren’t sure whether it looks up to modern standards or not.
But hey, that’s not the only thing that matters here. No, the main key to the original’s popularity (or at least cult following) was its large world and the options it opened up. You could play old Sega games in an arcade. You could get a part time job as a delivery driver at the docks. Heck, you could just live in a realistic seeming world with weather patterns, a full day and night cycle with shop opening times, a daily routine and absolutely everything else needed to make the world immersive.
And the teaser for the third game… well it doesn’t really give more detail on much that aspect of the game.
So, until we do get a bit of info there, it’s probably best to look at in an optimistic manner. The creators have proven the game is in development, it’s moving along at a decent pace and hey, it seems likely we’re getting a new Shenmue game after a decade without one.
That’s what really matters overall. Let’s wait until it’s further into development (and more footage is available) before judging this game overall.