The Quest Log: August 4, 2017

Hey Huddies, as another weekend arrives, let’s take one last look back at what happened in gaming news this past week.

Dishonored Composer Passes Away

Beloved film, television, and game composer Daniel Licht succumbed to cancer last Wednesday at the age of 60. Gamers likely knew Licht best as the composer behind the scores of both Dishonored and Dishonored 2, and he was an accomplished musician and composer whose credits included all eight seasons of Dexter.

Activision Considering Other Remasters Following Crash Bandicoot N-sane Trilogy’s Success

Bolstered by the success of the Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy’s success, Activision says they’re considering remastering other classic games. In spite of some mechanical quirks with the remastered trilogy, which actually goes beyond simple texture and resolution upscaling and lands somewhere between a traditional “remaster” and a full-fledged remake, Crash’s return to gaming has been welcomed warmly by new and old fans alike. As a result, players who grew up with Crash and other classic Playstation-era titles are perhaps more hopeful than ever that we may see other Acitvision-owned franchises–like Spyro the Dragon–make a similar return.

The Long Dark Leaves Early Access

After nearly three years of being on Steam Early Access and the Xbox One’s Game Preview program, survival game The Long Dark has been officially released for PC, Mac, Xbox One, and PS4. Early Access titles on Steam, particularly those in the survival genre, have something of a bad reputation of remaining perpetually unfinished, so it’s nice to see The Long Dark join the ranks of titles that have successfully graduated from it into a full release. As a survival game, The Long Dark departs from some of the genre’s fantasy and horror tropes by pitting players against more grounded threats like wolves, bears, and the elements.

Most Anticipated Games of Q2 2017

It is time yet again for another look into what the next 3 months of videogames hold for us, following up on what most certainly was a historic Q1. After sinking hundreds of hours into games like Zelda BOTW, Horizon Zero Dawn, & Resident Evil 7, it’s time to look forward and review what we have in store from April 1st through the end of June. Without further ado, here are my most anticipated games of Q2 2017:

1- Person 5

Release Date: April 4, 2017

After the huge success of Persona 4 and the PS Vita iteration Persona 4 Golden, the cult classic franchise is finally upon us and looking to start off Q2 in a big way. The JRPG is promising all of the familiar tropes that we have come to expect– you’re the new kid in the area just trying to make some friends and discovers he has the special ability to use Personas– and from there it takes off. I had the opportunity to play this last December for about a half hour, and it delivers on all the look and feels that we have come to love, with the addictive gameplay loop that will keep you going for hours (hundreds is more accurate here). Whether you are an old fan of the series, or a first timer looking to get on the hype train, Persona 5 promises to be a thrilling experience you won’t want to miss. 

2- Outlast 2

Release Date: April 25, 2017

Who’s ready to scream? Outlast 2 is finally here, following the huge success of the original’s debut back in 2014. The first-person survival horror game is set in a small village in the Sonoran desert, where you are separated from your wife in a helicopter crash. You are tasked to find your wife and to survive as long as you can, all the while catching as much of this craziness on your trusty camcorder (let’s hope he brought a LOT of batteries with him this time). Outlast 2 is already looking to be one of the scariest games of the year, and if it plays any similar to the original, it will give you plenty to lose sleep over. 

3- Prey

Release Date: May 5, 2017

Let me start this by saying, I was incredibly disappointed the day that they canceled Prey 2, the originally intended sequel to the 2006 cult classic. However, early previews have described their time with the game as Bethesda’s take on the Dead Space franchise, and now I cannot wait. You control Morgan Yu, trying to make his way off of a space station and escape a violent alien race known as The Typhoon, sound familiar? Blessing it as the spiritual successor to System Shock, players will be given the ability to craft weapons and even mimic everyday items found around the space station to help make your way off. The truth is, the original Prey was a blast because it was a game that didn’t take itself too seriously, and gave the player the ability to feel like a badass; so far the newest entry of the same name looks to be much of the same, only better.

4- Crash Bandicoot N sane Trilogy

Release Date: June 30, 2017

Whether you grew up playing the games or have never controlled the bandicoot for yourself, one thing is for sure: Sony is finally giving the fans what they wanted. The N sane Trilogy is composed of the first 3 entries in the series, Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back, & Warped. Remastered with updated graphics, PlayStation owners will get to re-experience the platformer since the last title had been released nearly 20 years ago. Crash will always hold a soft spot for me, since I can attribute these games in helping me learn the mechanics of basic games all those years ago. 

5- Tekken 7

Release Date: June 2, 2017

I will be the first to admit that I am not exactly “great” at fighting games, so I was a little questionable to put this game on the list. However, since it has been nearly 8 years since the previous entry, I thought it only right to highlight the upcoming title. With a focus on 1v1 combat, there are 2 new features being added to the game that will help shape a change in the flow of the game: Rage Art & Power Crush. The first of the two, Rage Art, will offer a new technique for each character that can damage up to 30% of a player’s health once their health bar is critical. The latter, Power Crush, will allow the player to continue dealing damage to their opponent even while they are being hit themselves. Needless to say, I cannot wait to get my hands on the game that pros were showing off at last year’s EVO tournament. 

To Remaster, or not to Remaster?

     If it’s one thing that the Crash Bandicoot Remaster announcement from the Sony Showcase at E32016 has shown me, it’s that everyone has an “exception” to the saying, “I’m tired of all these remasters, use resources on new IP”. It has gotten to the point that whenever I start discussing this topic with someone and they start giving me the “waste of time” speech that I usually ask them what was their favorite game of the last 10 years, and follow up with “What if they remastered that?” I could bet you know what the answer to that question is 99% percent of the time. For the other 1%, it’s usually because they aren’t thinking hard enough on what game they would want most. The fact of the matter is that everyone, and I mean everyone has that one game or franchise that they wouldn’t mind seeing get a polish to bring over to current hardware. For those of you on the PC that is about to give me the “well that’s why I play on PC, you can play any game blah blah blah”… Obviously this discussion is geared towards the console player. I still love you though. Enjoy playing every game ever created with the click of the mouse.

     Now for those poor souls, such as myself, that don’t have the convenience of the Steam Marketplace, what game would you like to see remade? For me, I play with this question often. I normally come up with Kingdom Hearts port for the remakes they did, or Prince of Persia. The question that I think needs to be discussed however, are Remasters necessary, or are they a waist of developers time? Personally, I think they are a necessary evil under the circumstances.

     Keeping in mind that we are living in a console community now that full backwards compatibility is a thing of the past for both Xbox and PlayStation, we have to rely on these masters if you want to be able to play some of your favorite titles as time marches on. Yes, I know that Xbox One offers some compatibility, boasting a roster of over 200+ titles now, however there are still classics I can’t boot up (Rockstar I’m looking at you. Red Dead Redemption *Wink*). The fact is that if we are to expect that publishers aren’t going to bump up the prices of games as we move from one generation to the next, they have to allow the developers to make their money somewhere. For some, it is this function that allows them to break even on a game. Look at Dark Siders 2, that was a game that no one was clamoring for a remaster, but the developer was able to regain some of the lost capital buy repackaging and selling it once more.

     Developers such as Bluepoint, have created a business out of these remasters and definitive collections. With a catalog such as The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection he Last of Us Remaster, it’s now wonder that some of these devs dedicate their entire staff to producing these products. That is what many of us fail to remember, that while we may think that a remaster is a waist of time for the developer, many times it is not the original developer doing the heavy lifting. In the case of Crash Bandicoot, you will see another 3rd party company step in and handle that one, not Naughty Dog. That would be a huge mistake, and I mean that. 

     Now while I get ready for the overload of direct messages and emails, asking me if I am crazy or the imminent “Naughty Dog should make another Jak & Daxter” argument, I am going to sit here and dream of a Mass Effect Definitive Collection. After all, if you were all honest with yourselves, you know there is a game or two you wouldn’t mind seeing remade. If you have a game that jumps to mind, let me know in the comments below. Time to go boot up Tomb Raider Definitive Collection.