Shenmue III: First Teaser Shown!

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.

Is Okami HD Coming Soon?

As of this point in time, quite a few people want to see Okami on modern consoles. After all, it looks amazing, with a visual style that seems almost perfect for a Wind Waker style reimagining. It plays well, getting near unanimous praise on its initial release.

And well, the game has stirred up quite the cult fandom over time. In that sense, it’s almost like Capcom’s Psychonauts or something. Namely, a classic beloved by everyone who played it.

Yet despite that, the chances of said game being ported have always seemed fairly slim. After all, Okami wasn’t the biggest seller in the world, and Capcom barely remembers their lesser known franchises now.

In a world where even Mega Man seems to have been neglected, what chance has Okami got of seeing another rerelease?

Well, a better chance than before anyway. That’s because as the title suggests, evidence has now popped up that Okami HD could be coming to the PS4 and Xbox One on the 12th of December 2017. This evidence is from various video game retailers, who have data for that exact title on their systems right now.

That’s good news if true, especially given how amazing the PS3/Xbox 360 remaster of Okami really looks.

But is it actually true?

Well, it’s hard to tell.

On the one hand, you have to keep in mind that Okami really didn’t do well in terms of sales. Seriously, it was one of the biggest disasters Capcom ever had. All those positive reviews absolutely failed to translate to financial success on any platform.

As a result, you have to ask whether they’d even consider remaking it again. I mean, it was released on the PS2 and failed. It was released on the Wii and failed.

And while remaster sales figures don’t seem to be online anywhere, it’s likely they weren’t utterly amazing.

So, in that sense, you have to ask yourself whether Nintendo would port it to even more consoles. It’s certainly good enough to deserve a port for sure, but Capcom isn’t a charity. Heck, they barely remember Mega Man exists, let alone stuff like Ghosts ‘n Goblins and Viewtful Joe. Are they really going to remaster it again for more modern platforms?

It’s a bit doubtful there. It seems like a poor move from the company on a business level.

Yet at the same time, it also seems fairly plausible in other ways. After all, they did port it all these times already, and the data is in retailers’ systems.

So there’s evidence of both Capcom supporting the title and of its existence in some form.

And when you add how it’s likely just an upscaling of the original HD remaster, that makes it far more ‘likely’ than a lot of other rumoured games.

That makes evidence of a port or remaster more convincing than usual.

But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens for the time being. The evidence on both sides is just too evenly matched for a simple yes or no answer.

Still, what do you think? Would you want to see Okami HD on PS4 and Xbox One? Is the game even a plausible idea?

Post your thoughts on that (and more) here in the comments or on the Gaming Latest forums today!

Source:

Report: Okami HD Heading to PS4 and Xbox One (Kotaku)

Sonic Mania; Review Roundup

It’s amazing.

Okay, I’m done here. Review round up over. Everyone go home!

Nah, just kidding. I mean, I could say that, and it’d be pretty much entirely accurate. Sonic Mania is an amazing game that’s gotten near perfect reviews across the board. So, in that sense, you really could sum it up by simply saying how incredible it is.

But I won’t. Instead, I’ll do my job properly and tell you exactly what the critics think of the game overall. So, strap yourself in, get comfy and get ready to look at all the critic reviews for Sonic Mania!

Starting with the entirely positive ones. Namely, Gaming Age and The Sixth Axis’ perfect reviews for the game. These two give the game 100%, saying it surpasses the Mega Drive games and calling it a fantastic entry in the series overall.

And while some other critics aren’t quite that generous, they’re not alone in the high review score camp. Jim Sterling (always a controversial internet critic) has given the game a very positive 95% score, saying it acts as a true sequel to the Genesis games in every way. That’s pretty good for him, especially when compared to his somewhat more critical reviews of titles like Zelda Breath of the Wild.

Another site in the extremely positive camp (which isn’t really a surprise given its origin as a Sonic exclusive site) is TSSZ News. These guys don’t just say Sonic Mania is a great game, they outright state it’s the best Sonic game of all time. That’s… impressive. Especially given that the Sonic fanbase would presumably be some of the hardest to please where a full successor comes in.

Moving down a bit (to the 90% range), you’ve got Metro GameCentral, Attack of the Fanboy, Dual Shockers and Gamespot. All of these sites are deeply positive towards the title, though perhaps not enough to say it’s a perfect game. This is probably where most big site scores will fall to be honest, especially given how they’re usually a tad more cynical about nostalgia than lesser known ones.

Meanwhile, IGN gives it a reasonable 87% score, saying it’s the classic throwback fans have been waiting for. Their only negatives are that boss fights can drag a bit, and that they wanted more checkpoints in certain levels. Eh, seems acceptable now. Though perhaps a little indicative of how modern critics are a bit rusty with the old game playing skills.

US Gamer goes down to an 80% score, shared with God is a Geek, Push Square and Destructoid. Why the lower score? Well in the case in the former, they simply think it’s a bit heavy on nostalgia, and think the game should have gotten more original levels. Again, fair enough. Sonic Mania does reuse some old level themes for whatever reason, and that may not be to everyone’s taste.

And then that brings us to the few mediocre reviews. Oh boy, these are the most controversial by far.

Why? Because sometimes it feels like these critics didn’t quite understand the appeal of the series. For example, Polygon goes as far as to say Sonic is terrible with precision platforming and complains about lives and checkpoints.

However, here’s the issue:

Those aren’t really problems with the game. They’re problems with the reviewer not really being all that good at it.

Yes, you have to go back to a checkpoint if you die. And if you get a game over, you have to go back to the start of the level.

But that’s just how every platformer works. Mario works like this (even in New Super Mario Bros and 3D World). Donkey Kong works like this. Wario Land works like this (heck, Wario games before Shake It don’t even have checkpoints!). Heck, I’m pretty sure everyone from Mega Man to DuckTales to Rayman likely does it.

Sonic using this setup is just continuing how the original games worked. Which, guess what? Worked perfectly for millions of fans in the 90s.

It just feels like they got someone who never really enjoyed a Sonic game and who wasn’t all that good at it to review the newest one.

Which contrasts rather amusingly with Slant Magazine’s negative review. Whereas the Polygon reviewer said it was too hard, the Slant Magazine reviewer says it’s too EASY. It makes you want to imagine the two reviewers in a debate. Seriously, can you imagine it? You’d have the Polygon one saying “God I hate these bosses, they keep killing me” and the Slant Magazine one saying “God I hate these bosses, they’re too easy” while the two of them look at the other like they’re from Mars. It’d be absolutely glorious!

As far non-scored reviews go… well those seem to be pretty positive for the most part. At least, Kotaku’s is, saying the game is pure joy and a ‘spinning ball of fun blazing towards the next adventure’. Interesting choice of wording, though a sentiment most would agree with none the less.

Onto video reviews now, which seem pretty positive towards it. You’ve got GameXplain’s mini review here:

Which despite being short (for embargo reasons) is entirely positive about the game and how it plays. And that’s also true of Dunkey’s review, again entirely positive about the game and its design:

So overall, it seems the game is doing pretty damn well for itself. Has it all pleased all critics? Nah, there’s always a few who don’t understand 90s game design or classic Sonic gameplay. But for the most part, they’re extremely positive about it overall.

And for a series like Sonic, that’s amazing to see. Kudos Sega, Headcannon and PagodaWest Games, you’ve made the dream Sonic game fans have waited years for!

Let’s hope Sonic Forces continues the trend!

WatchMojo Caught Stealing Content from Guru Larry on YouTube!

As you may know, WatchMojo is one of the most popular channels on YouTube. Covering everything from TV and films to video games, their videos are usually your standard top ten lists about various subjects. Like the top ten worst selling consoles or the top ten most expensive sci-fi movies.

You know, the typical stuff you find on Buzzfeed like clickbait factories. Poorly researched, minimal effort attention grabbers that often retread the same ground as legions of others beforehand.

But in itself, that’s not a bad thing. After all, top ten lists aren’t a crime against humanity. And hey, everyone does need to just switch off and watch something a bit more mindless every now and again, right?

Well, I guess so. Except there’s just one problem.

Namely, the info in the videos is stolen from other YouTube creators.

Yep, I’m not kidding. All the facts are straight from other people’s work with no credit given.

How do we know this?

Because Guru Larry has seen his whole video ripped off and reused as a WatchMojo list. Yep, they took one of his Fact Hunt videos, noted down the entries there and remade the entire thing as a video on their channel.

Normally, that wouldn’t be too noticeable. Unfortunately for WatchMojo though, Guru Larry was prepared.

That’s because Guru Larry (like many map makers and dictionary writers of old) is known to sneak ‘copyright traps’ into his work. These traps are very minor ‘mistakes’ that can then be used to prove someone stole your data and reused it in their own work. They’re quite common on maps, with ‘trap streets’ often used to prove a mapmaker copied one of their rivals.

And since WatchMojo clearly didn’t do any other research on the topic, they copied the fake information without checking. Good job guys! How lovely of you to tell us where you get your information from now!

Here’s Larry’s tweet about the subject going into a bit more:

As well as Top Hat Gaming Man’s great video about the controversy:

So either way, the cat was out of the bag and Twitter was talking about it. So what did WatchMojo do?
Did they apologise for their actions like mature people would? Take down the video to stop people being fooled by fake information?

Well, not quite. They took down the video sure, but actually admitting they stole someone’s research never factored into it. Instead they sent Guru Larry the following, rather hilarious letter:

As you can see, it’s filled with examples of questionable journalism ethics. For example, why don’t the organisation credit people for their findings?

Because they don’t know said people are the original finders. Yes really. They outright say they won’t credit anyone because they don’t know said people are the ones they should be crediting.

That’s just… wow. Can you imagine if someone did that in school or college?

Like, if they handed in an essay with no citations because they ‘didn’t know’ the researcher was the original discoverer? Or told the lecturer they didn’t credit anyone because they didn’t know whether their sources were the original ones?

They’d probably get thrown off the course. That’s an obvious example of plagiarism, no matter how you cut it.

Yet that’s not all the letter implies.Oh no, it also implies they’re rather terrible at research.

Why?

Well, isn’t the job of a journalist about verifying the information they’re posting about? Aren’t journalists supposed to hunt down the source of a piece of information before writing about it?

Yeah, I think they are. But thanks to the fact WatchMojo clearly isn’t finding the original source, it implies the channel’s ‘researchers’ don’t actually do much research at all. That they find whatever a few other YouTubers or writers have said about a topic, copy down the information and merely assume it’s accurate. Verifying stuff? Who has the time for that, right?

Additionally, they also seem to imply they don’t really check their videos for originality all that well either. That’s because their letter goes and says ‘their tool didn’t pick up the similarities to your video’, implying the only thing they do is put the information through an automated plagiarism checker and hope nothing comes up as a match.

That’s again pretty bad for a channel like this. It’s basically admitting that people can send in anything and they’ll post it so long as it doesn’t ‘look’ enough like the source it’s paraphrasing. It feels like one of those cases where someone assumes Copyscape or Turnitin is good enough on its own.

And when you add this to the clear mistakes the channel makes in their videos (Top Hat Gaming Man references the terrible ‘Jaguar sales data’ in his response), you’ve got a lazy, uninspired YouTube channel trying to cash in on other people’s work for their own gain. Which is a trend that’s all too common now. Giant clickbait channels spamming low effort videos based on other people’s work for quick views.

So don’t support these guys. They clearly don’t put a lot of work into their videos, they steal from other people and their journalistic integrity is virtually nil. Treat them like you would Brash Games or other thieves. Organisations you refuse to support for their complete lack of morals and sheer laziness.

Because WatchMojo doesn’t deserve your patronage. And nor do any other such channels who refuse to credit people for their work.