The Best Video Game News This Week: Gearbox, Nier, and Paper Mario
It’s Friday! Or is it? Time is a social construct, so I could tell you it’s Wednesday today, and how could you prove me wrong? It’s Friday because it’s the fifth day this week, but when did this week start? Can’t prove that either, I’m afraid. Well, the calendar in the bottom right corner of the monitor says it’s Friday. Who told the computer that it’s Friday? Anyone could change that display in the settings. What I can say, for certain, is that events occurred and news transpired in this indefinable time period, and it’s been turned into bite-size chunks, here in the round-up…
I’ll be honest, I don’t take stock of what my dreams conjure up. A lot of the time, they elude me as soon as I wake up, so there isn’t much to report in any event. Am I jealous of those who see epic odysseys in their sleep, brought on by a bout of cheese consumption? Not really. Most dreams sound exceptionally stressful, like going to work but discovering you’ve forgotten to put trousers on, or getting married but your teeth are now all falling out.
I do remember last night’s dream. Or some of it, at least. I couldn’t go and visit a particular person, but my mind created all of these other people that could visit me and kept me stuck in my home, hosting these strangers who were strangely familiar to me. This is clearly derived from our current circumstances in the UK, where we are in lockdown. My dream’s influences are disappointingly obvious, so I looked up what various things mean in dreams to glean some sort of insight:
- Jewelry – “represents your self-image, worth, and personal value.”
- Cat – “represents adversity, deceit, and poor fortune.”
- School – “indicates that you still harbor unsettled feelings and emotions about your youth.”
- Fire – “to dream that a house is on fire suggests that you should reflect on possible personal changes.”
- Teeth – “to have teeth which are dirty, stained, cracked or broken in a dream represent problems making connections with people.”
- A sale – “indicates that there is something lacking in your life.”
- Tadpoles – “represents indecision in a business venture that will cause concern.”
Why are all of these… negative? Is it not possible to have a nice dream about falling grand pianos that suggests you’ll win the lottery? Here’s the news.
“Our highest priority is that all of you, including those who live in countries currently facing the biggest disruption, can play the game at launch,” said producer Yoshinori Kitase and director Tetsuya Nomura. “So we made the decision to ship the game far earlier than usual to Europe and Australia.” Square Enix recognises that this is not the ideal launch for the anticipated remake, but it urges players who get the game early to “think of others and don’t spoil it for them.” Physical copies of Final Fantasy VII Remake going out to the rest of the world will be shipped within the week commencing April 6.
Before Automata, there were two Nier titles: Nier Gestalt and Nier: Replicant. Gestalt was released for the Xbox 360, and Replicant released for the PlayStation 3 but only in Japan. The former had an older protagonist protecting his young daughter, and the latter used the story of a young boy seeking a cure for his sister’s illness. This has been a crash course in Nier for you and for me. Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139 will feature fully voiced lines, new content, and new music by the original composer, as a “version up” of the original release(s).
Capcom’s Resident Evil 3 Remake was developed in collaboration with M-Two, a company formed of former Platinum Games developers. The new report alleges that this same studio will be taking a lead role in the production of a new remake, and there are a couple of contenders for what it could be. A Darkstalkers remake isn’t out of the question, though “there [was] nothing Darkstalkers on the immediate horizon” back in 2014. What about a Dino Crisis remake? That would fit the criteria of a “larger remake project,” and Capcom has previously said it would need more manpower to help it remake games like Dino Crisis. Or, it could be a Power Stone remake. Creator Takeshi Tezuka enthused about the possibility of a Power Stone game on the Switch, and said that plenty of people pester him for a new entry to the series.
“Orphan of the Machine was inspired by many games—a huge inspiration was Metroid,” revealed developer Dynamic Voltage Games. “You’re going to have a jellyfish floating though space?! Fine, I’m going to have you fighting robots underwater.” The mysterious exclusive title will feature big boss fights, a “non-linear nature,” and a “Viva Pinata-esque Aquarium bonus mode.” Dynamic Voltage Games assured that the game will hit 4K resolution at 120fps on the Xbox Series X, and it will be sharing more videos soon.
In celebration of the series’ 35th anniversary, the developer is apparently remastering the majority of the Super Mario series for the Switch, as well as producing a new Paper Mario game. This entry would be a return to the puzzles, turn-based battles, and role-playing goodness of the N64 and Gamecube titles. The reports also allege that these reveals were meant to be set for E3 2020, but now that the event has been cancelled, Nintendo will be showcasing the games in a digital presentation.
At the studio, employees are offered a lower-than-average salary than its competitors would offer in their relevant field. However, Gearbox employees are entitled to up to 40 per cent of the Gearbox Software’s profits, which are to be shared equally among eligible employees in quarterly “bonus” payments. This actually works out for a higher pay than they would have gotten elsewhere. Well, it would work out if the studio was paying them the bonuses that they were promised.
A new report claims that bonus checks from Borderlands 3 will be much lower than originally stated. This is due to the game’s increasing costs, a new division was opened in Quebec, Canada, and their sales estimations were flawed. Gearbox supplied its own statement in response to the accusations, asserting that it does not “issue forward looking statements to the public, but we do practice transparency within our own family.”
Mortal Shell, a “deep action-RPG that tests your sanity and resilience in a shattered world,” debuted its trailer and showed off some seriously spooky imagery. The “Dark Father” bids the vessel—that’s the player—to explore the apocalyptic to find the sacred glands. Challenges and enemies will try to steer them away from their destiny, so the player will imbue themselves with the abilities and powers of those who came before. These are the Mortal Shells, and the vessel becomes increasingly formidable with each lost warrior they discover. This isn’t to say that the vessel will shake hands with the Dark Father himself, because slow and steady wins the soulslike.
“SIE has made the difficult decision to delay the launch of The Last of Us Part II and Marvel’s Iron Man VR until further notice,” announced the company yesterday. “Logistically, the global crisis is preventing us from providing the launch experience our players deserve.” The economic impacts of the pandemic are being felt by the video game industry, with Capcom and Square Enix communicating shipping complications for their games. Moreover, many studios are working remotely to reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus, and this has led to unforeseen effects in development.
Naughty Dog offered its own statement on the delay, and explained that it is “doing everything possible to preserve the best experience for everyone.” The game is “nearly done,” with the teams “in the midst of fixing our final bugs,” but the release will have to wait until current circumstances improve. “We’re hoping that this won’t be a long delay and we’ll update you as soon as we have new information to share,” added Naughty Dog.