Happy 2018 and what not, everyone. Except for the cynics out there, happy “next day on the calendar” snark day. Both Ace and I talked about what we were playing over the break, so maybe I’ll take the day of looking forward that is today and talk about what I’d love to see over the next year or so.
Virtual Console on the Switch
You know what the best thing introduced on the 3DS, Wii, and WiiU was? The virtual console. A back catalog of Nintendo titles that let you play classics ranging across decades of Nintendo hits (and misses). It wasn’t without its flaws, chief among them the scheduling of how they drip-fed the different titles, as well as the fact that you couldn’t cross-buy between platforms. But still… when you are are jones-ing for a hit of that sweet, sweet, A Link to the Past magic… it was a great thing.
The Switch, for the great year it had, launched in an unfinished state. It was missing key features, like social interaction (unless you want to count the elaborate practical joke that is the mobile app), wallet integration, and of course, a Virtual Console. If I had to guess, it seemed like Nintendo launched the hardware a year early, mostly in an effort to sweep the WiiU away as fast as it possibly could.
There’s seemingly no technical reason keeping the Virtual Console other than just time and development on Nintendo’s part. It would be a great way to soften the fact that perhaps twelve people could get their hands on the classic consoles (eight of which were just scalpers on eBay)… make the various games on the NES and SNES classic available on the switch.
We aren’t likely to get many WiiU titles released for the Switch unless they’re changed and optimized… the hardware is just too different and the Switch isn’t anywhere near powerful enough to virtualize the U. But it should be able to get the back catalogs that are on there for us, along with some of the stuff that was on the Wii or WiiU virtual console. I’d love to play some Majora’s Mask or Wind Waker on the Switch.
Oh, and while we are talking about the Switch, Nintendo, it’s 2018… get some social tools that work for your console.
A Star Wars game that doesn’t Suck
There’s probably a better than 50/50 chance we get a virtual console, or at least some classic back catalog games, on the Switch this year. Realistically, though, there’s a near zero-percent chance of us getting a Star Wars game that isn’t terrible so long as EA controls the license.
Battlefront 2 was a crippled, horrible mess that was designed to rob and cheat players instead of rewarding them for playing the game. It is the most egregious example of a big publisher making a game worse to sell micro-transactions. EA really didn’t make a good game all of last year, Star Wars or otherwise. Micro-transactions were a huge part of that, wrecking
That, in itself, is a trend that’s been going on for awhile but getting worse, and EA screwed up so bad that legal regulators started to get involved. I don’t expect anything to come from officials, and the companies that are guilty of it aren’t suddenly going to become any less anti-consumer. EA, Microsoft, Activision-Blizzard, Ubisoft, and WB Interactive are going to dial it back because they got their hands bit, but in the long run, won’t change.
That’s only part of why we won’t get a good Star Wars game anytime soon, though. The bigger reason is that, honestly, most Star Wars games suck. What was the last good Star Wars game we had? Probably one of the LEGO games, though I’m not a fan of them. Otherwise, the last Star Wars game I just loved was Galaxies, and the last one I still long to play is probably Jedi Knight II. In active games, I go back to The Old Republic from time to time to play the story, and then promptly cancel because it’s just a mess of a business model and rudderless in direction.
EA will never make a good Star Wars game… they hate single player and keep murdering the studios that once upon a time made great single player games. They’ve learned nothing from the missteps lately, and Bioware is all in on creating a Destiny Clone that absolutely no-one asked for. Eventually, Disney will get fed up and pull the license because EA is tarnishing the brand and that’s something they will not abide… but the cost of buying the license will prevent anyone good from picking it up.
All that being said, I’d love to be wrong. Someone out there please make a new Jedi Knight game…
Less Toxicity in the Gaming Community
Gamers suck. I’m not certain that’s even a charged statement at this point.
Don’t get me wrong… I love video games and have played them nearly my entire life. But I’m way past the time when I used them as the defining thing in my life… if I ever even did. If you follow the news around games, or even in general, you see all kinds of examples of gamers being awful. From getting people killed by making prank calls over a stupid game of Call of Duty, harassing women because they dare to talk about games, to attacking developers and writers at companies just because they work there… there are so many reasons to distance yourself from the gamer community.
If you’ve ever been on Xbox Live in a match of… anything… you know what I mean. It’d be easy to write that off as an aberration, but that’s honestly not the case. A lot of gamers are just terrible people. A lot. I’m talking about people who have ever been personally offended that someone didn’t like a game as much as they did, or talked about some real problems in games (such as male-gaze design or a lack of diversity), or called for people to be fired because they gave a game a score in a review that was the lowest ever… like a 7/10.
Video games should be fun. They are entertainment. But too many gamers seem to make their only goal in life to ruin the fun for everyone else. There’s a general lack of respect in general, with insults thrown at other groups who dare to enjoy the medium in a different way. That only serves to push people away. Much like how comics, or movies, or other properties don’t need their “fans” as gatekeepers, video games don’t need a bunch of asshats driving anyone away.
There are plenty of games I’m looking forward to as well. I’ll be grabbing Bayonetta / Bayonetta 2 next month when it comes out on the Switch. I really wanted to get the sequel on the WiiU, and I’m excited that it’s getting a re-release. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is also supposed to drop this year (though I kind of doubt it), and the last two entries were fantastic games everyone should try out.
Death Stranding is also scheduled for this year, though I’d sooner expect Disney to provide free copies of the original theatrical release versions of the Star Wars trilogy, and free cookies, before Kojima releases a game on time. Red Dead Redemption is also supposed to come out, assuming it won’t be a game wrecked by online junk and micro-transactions (like GTA V). Not to mention all the other Switch titles that may or may not be coming out this year… we will probably know more about that after the Direct next week, but they can make me cheer for Metroid Prime 4 and Yoshi.
That’s my list, at least what I can think of off the top of my head… what is everyone else wanting out of gaming this year?