The Quest Log: May 16, 2017

Hey Gamers! Long time, no see. It’s good to be back in the newsroom after a short vacation last week. There’s plenty to talk about, so let’s get right to it.

Voice Actor John Cygan has Passed Away

John Cygan has passed away at the age of 63. During his career in voice acting, Cygan delivered some very memorable performances, particularly as Solidus Snake in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and as Canderous Ordo and Mandalore in the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games. We at the Gamer HUD are big fans of the Metal Gear Solid series, and I know we’re not alone in saying just how much we’ll miss Cygan’s contributions to gaming.

Phantom Dust for Xbox One Releases Today

Aaron Greenberg, the head of Xbox Games marketing, took to Twitter yesterday afternoon to announce some surprising news: Phantom Dust, the bizarre online anime-super-hero shooter from the original Xbox, is getting re-released for Xbox One and Windows 10 today.  Even more surprisingly, the game will be free to download and play.

A sequel or reboot for the series was previously planned for Microsoft’s current-gen platform but has since been scrapped. Given that Phantom Dust was never particularly popular but has since gained a cult following, it’s really mind-blowing that we’re seeing it again at all. I never played the game back in the Xbox days, so I know I’m excited to finally see what the fuss is about.

Sega Reveals Custom Heroes for Upcoming Sonic Forces

Here’s a fun game to play: type “[your name] the hedgehog” into Google and see what comes up. There’s a good chance that there already exists a character in the Sonic the Hedgehog fan universe named after you, and it’s also pretty likely that character is absurdly powerful, edgy, and obviously written by a teenager.

Well, Sega have decided to capitalize on that particular curio of some of their most diehard fanbase in their upcoming Sonic Generations follow-up, Sonic Forces. The upcoming title, which blends sidescrolling platforming with modern high-speed shenanigans like its predecessor, will allow players to assume the roles of Modern Sonic, Classic Sonic, and, now, a custom hero of their own making, who they promise will play a pivotal role in the game’s plot.

The garbage dump of new characters Sonic Team have introduced into the series over the last twelve or so years has only contributed to the series fall from grace, and the choice to restrict players to Sonic exclusively was one of the high points of Generations for me, so my own reactions to the news are mixed at best. Still, at this point, it just makes sense for Sega to give (some of) the fans what they’ve been clamoring for.

Alan Wake Disappears from Digital Stores

Remedy Entertainment broke the news last Friday that Alan Wake would soon be disappearing from digital stores (probably) forever due to an expiring music license agreement. There have been a number of discussions in recent years about the difficulty of preserving classic games for posterity, and limited licensing arrangements for music and other assets is definitely one factor in the ongoing problem. They sent off the 2010 game of the year winner with a 90% discount on Steam, but the game should be disappearing from all digital retailers, including the official Xbox stores, today.

To be clear: those who already own Alan Wake digitally will continue to be able to download and play the game at will, but it will no longer be purchase-able for those who do not.