Dear Aksys, I Will Still Sacrifice My Firstborn Child For Fate/Extra CCC

A few years ago, I wrote about how I would sacrifice the firstborn that descended from my loins. I just want Aksys (or any interested publishers) to know that the offer is still up, and I’ll even throw in the second one too for free.

Fateextra-CCC

To rub the salt into my wounds, Saber’s bride outfit is exclusive DLC for The Umbral Star.

Ironically, while it’s been over four years since Fate/Extra CCC was released in Japan and still remains unpublished overseas, the sequel to Fate/Extra CCC – Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star – was released at the beginning of this year on Playstation 4 and Vita, and ported later during the summer to PC and Nintendo Switch.

Unfortunately, the fate of Fate/Extra CCC ever reaching overseas may forever remain out of reach as the game developer, Imageepooch, filed for bankruptcy in 2015 and the company CEO still remains missing to this day.  Which would be a shame, since the Fate franchise has slowly been growing outside of Japan over the past few years. Netflix will be offering Fate/Apocrypha to stream on November 7 and earlier in the year, Aniplex localized the mobile RPG Fate/Grand Order (abbreviated as Fate/GO or FGO by fans) which is right now  celebrating over 1 million downloads in the US and Canada.

However, the localization of Fate/Grand Order hints that CCC might not be forever out of reach for the english-speaking fanbase. Earlier in the year, the Japanese version of FGO had a special collaboration with Fate/Extra CCC. It was a pretty important event, as several new gameplay elements were introduced to the game, with the story involving characters that have only appeared in CCC.

But so far, there’s no answer. The only thing left for me to do is to keep on waiting and offering my offspring to any takers.

Return to Diablo 3

Can it be? Am I having... fun?

Can it be? Am I having… fun?

I actually haven’t played Diablo 3 in more than a year. Sure, it was fun in the beginning as I was blazing through the story, even though my friends who were lore purists were foaming at the mouth at the direction the latest game had taken. But then, I hadn’t grown up playing the first two Diablo games like they had (I was too busy playing The Sims). And it was still fun when I was trying to reach the max level on my Demon Hunter, even while my other friends were voicing their frustration with how all the stats for item drops were completely, utterly random in the game. Which meant that nine times out of ten, the rare or even legendary drop was just pure garbage. It wasn’t until I hit max level that I slowed down and realized just what awaited me at the end of the game: a long, ceaseless grind, with me sifting through a endless pile of useless item drops in hopes of finding something I could actually use. All while trying to avoid getting my face stomped in by the hordes of beefed up monsters roaming around.

I decided I would have more fun slamming my non-existent penis over and over again in a door and joined the rest of my friends in leaving for better games.

But now with patch 2.0.1 for Diablo 3, I find myself actually enjoying the game once again. Every class has been reworked and I find myself exploding enemies instead of being the one leaving a bloody smear on the ground. Every single item that drops is useful in some way to my character, and I’ve actually seen a legendary drop in front of me instead of being something that happens to other people. The revamped Paragon system also makes me feel like I’m doing something useful on my max level character instead of wasting precious time or experience that could be used on another character – because the experience and levels I earn in Paragon 2.0 carries over to the rest of my characters.

I haven’t had much time to play Diablo 3, but I’m already trying to convince my friends who’ve left to give it another try. It really is a game that deserves a second chance – it may not be for everyone, but gosh darn it, it’s actually fun now.

The Sims 3: The $400 Loading Screen Simulator

Loading screens: the most exciting and thrilling game never.

According to Steam, I’ve logged more than 170 hours playing The Sims 3. I’ve brought every expansion for the game, not to mention shelling out $20 for each of the content packs – and yes, I do in fact own the Katy Perry themed one too – which in total comes to well over four hundred dollars. I’ve been playing The Sims since the first one came out in 2000 and I was still in elementary school. The first game that I saved my lunch money and bought on my own without asking anyone to buy it for me was one of the expansion packs for the original series. I’ve sunk a good chunk of my life playing all three games throughout the years, and it holds a special place on my shelf.

But I haven’t been playing the game in a while lately and when I was booting up my game, I remembered why. Despite being a five year old game, it runs like hot garbage. In the meantime, recently released games that are more graphic and CPU-intensive run on my desktop with little to no trouble at all. I found myself getting up to go make myself dinner and to come back twenty minutes later to The Sims 3 still struggling to load the neighborhood, and decided I had better things to do. Not even the lure of living (or ruining, depending on my mood) the life of my little virtual family could convince me to stick around – not when the game was stuttering so badly just trying to load.

The Sims: simulation game or secret eldritch summoning program?

This is terrifyingly common in The Sims 3.

The general consensus is that the game is terribly coded and poorly optimized to include the newer expansions. I mean, you need to forcefully enable V-Sync for the game – you know, the thing that stops your graphics card from overheating and melting on itself. People have reported that the game actually runs better with a minimum amount of expansions and content. Some people may be willing to play that way and prefer to do so, and that’s fine. But I’m not satisfied with that, not when I’ve faithfully brought every single expansion and content pack available. Apparently in doing so, I’ve somehow punished myself for loving a franchise too much, as the game chugs to a halt under the weight of eleven expansion packs.

It’s a shame, really. The Sims has always been one of my favorite games ever since I was little, but the amount of legwork and runarounds I have to do to make Sims 3 even playable is ridiculous. I still can’t help myself about getting excited over The Sims 4, which is supposedly coming out this fall, but I’m not sure if I’m going to get it right away. Don’t get me wrong, it looks great… but I’ll just have to wait and see if it can actually run without tripping over its own two feet.

Video Games Ruin Lives According To Katie Couric

There are a lot of things that I want to say about Katie Couric’s recent special on video games being harmful, but other people have said it better and broken down just why her piece was biased, sensationalist, and exploitative. But maybe I’m just a little hasty in calling her biased – after all, she’s opened the floor for people to explain the positive impact of violent video games… just as long as it’s in 140 letters or less. By they way, have I mentioned that those tweets will be used for a future show?

I can guess which ones she'll be ignoring (hint: it's the reasonable ones).

Yeah, I’m not holding my breath for a fair and unbiased followup.

I agree that there are problems related to video games and that people can become legitimately addicted to them – there’s a reason why Everquest, the widely popular online multiplayer game of the ’90s, would be semi-jokingly called ‘Evercrack’, and over the years disgruntled and frustrated spouses began referring to themselves as computer widows. Unfortunately Ms. Couric chooses to instead blame video games as the sole reason why Daniel Petric killed his mother and tried to kill his father when they took away his copy of Halo 3 or how Quinn Pitcock lost a promising NFL career due to video game addiction.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzKZ0DuqcTI]
"Kill your parents."

“Kill your parents.”

What Katie Couric completely fails to mention is that both men suffered from depression – Daniel was stuck at home recovering from a staph infection, unable to go to school, hang out with friends, or do anything physical, while Pitcock (who also had ADHD) would play video games to counter his depression, much like how other athletes turn to drugs or alcohol. All of that is ignored, of course, and Daniel’s cold-blooded killing of his mother is blamed completely on video games. He may have been influenced but the eleven million, nine hundred and ninety-nine people who’ve played Halo 3 have somehow managed to avoid killing another human being. It’s not like this is something new – after all, the Columbine shooting was blamed on musician Marilyn Manson and the 1994 movie, Natural Born Killers, has supposedly inspired a list of crimes. But what Ms. Couric and others against violent media seem to overlook is that while violent video games may be the catalyst, they’re not the cause. Maybe instead of crusading against video games they should be finding out how they can reach out to troubled minds and get them the help they need before we have another tragic headline in the news.

You Too Can Become An Idolmaster On Your iPhone!

The Idolmaster

Kind of like Pokemon, but with girls singing and dancing instead of fighting.

So The Idolm@ster (pronounced ‘Idolmaster’ for those of you wondering if there’s some funky pronunciation needed), the Japanese rhythm based game,  has finally been released in the United States. It’s become a pretty established franchise in Japan since it’s release for the Xbox 360 (and apparently giving the console a huge sales boost), with several sequels, spin-offs, and ports to other consoles since it’s release in 2005. But it’s easy to see why it has such a devoted fanbase – in Japan, celebrities are more commonly known and referred to as idols, hence the game’s title. In addition to the rhythm-based gameplay, Idolm@aster is also considered a raising simulator, where the player takes on the role of a producer at a fictional talent agency who guides a group of young women from wannabes to superstars, usually by making sure their points are high enough in certain areas.

Truth to be told, I’m actually not a big fan.  But I’m all for more games that are just different from the norm, or at least being brought stateside by a big publisher like Namco Bandai (they’re the guys who release Pacman, if you’re wondering who they are) because it’s fun to try something new instead of following the same basic formula over and over again. So you know what – I’m on Idolm@ster’s side and I hope it succeeds because it’ll show that there is a market for these sorts of games, we’ll hopefully see more, and we’ll get a version where you’re a lady producer grooming a band of young men into superstardom. (Hey, I can dream, can’t I?)

Other gameplay decisions also include dressing up and accessorizing the girls, which can get pretty creepy in the wrong hands.

Except that The Idolm@ster Shiny Fiesta has been released for the iOS platform… for $54.99. And did I mention that there’s three different versions? So if you’ve gotta catch ’em all, be prepared to shell out about $165 for all three. And it’s not like there’s major differences in gameplay for each different version, just the girls striving to be idols. Of course, if this had been released for anything else but the iPhone, the price wouldn’t seem so bad – after all, nobody bats an eye at dropping $60 for a console or PC game. But only time will tell if Idolm@ster is a success in the American market or if it’ll be written off for being ‘too Japanese’.

Dear Aksys: I Will Sacrifice My Firstborn Child for a Fate/Extra CCC Localization

Fate/stay night

The main character (you) is a dude but these three ladies are the stars and can pretty much kick his ass.

I am a huge, huge fan of the Fate series. Unfortunately, the chances of Fate/Stay Night, a nearly ten year old PC game being translated and brought to the United States is pretty much nil – even though anyone I’ve described the story of the game to thinks it’s AWESOME. The story behind the Fate series is that there’s a hidden society of mages in the present day and every once in a while the Holy Grail appears in Japan and selects seven of those mages to fight for it.

Those seven mages then summon legendary heroes such as Hercules, King Arthur, Joan of Arc and Gilgamesh to fight for the Holy Grail, and in true highlander style, there can only be one. With seven games, an anime tv series, a anime movie, two novels, and a manga based on the first game, there’s a large cast of well-developed characters that get their chance in the spotlight – both male and female, with some of the women the most powerful characters in the games. Not to mention that the story line holds no punches on the twists and turns in the story – there are three routes, each with their own unique plotlines and story twists, with characters that barely appear or die in one route may have a bigger role in another route.

As awesome as this sounds, a few factors probably prevented it from localization: the first game and it’s direct sequel are visual novels (basically a choose your own adventure book with graphics, which are a pretty non-existent genre in a Western market) and those games were originally targeted at a more uh, adult market. Fortunately remakes of the original game has removed the explicit content, which always felt tacked on and forced as if they had only put in the bare minimum needed.

Nor is there any chance of the very many spin-offs hitting US shores – hell, the one fighting game that did make it was released with minimal fanfare, only available through digital download, and was eventually taken out of the store. So when I heard that they were releasing a Fate role playing game for the PSP a few years back, I had zero expectations of ever being able to play the game. I mean, I didn’t even really follow the updates because I couldn’t handle the crushing disappointment of never being able to play the game myself.

And then, out of the blue, like a bolt from heaven, game publisher Aksys announced that they would be releasing Fate/Extra on PSP. I’m pretty sure I pinched myself a few times to make sure I wasn’t having some sort of fever dream or hallucination and you can bet that I slammed down my money down as fast as I could. The only way I could have given it to them any faster was if I traveled through time. I would have given them more money if it was possible, just for this one single game, just for taking a gamble on localizing a series that was rather obscure in the United States. And you know that? Their gamble paid off. Fate/Extra actually sold more in North America than it did in Japan – pretty cool, considering that the series was big enough to run a themed coffee shop in Japan last year.

Okay, so this isn't exactly the first time I've tried sacrificing my firstborn to get something.

Okay, so this isn’t exactly the first time I’ve tried sacrificing my firstborn to get something.

And finally, after a series of delays, the sequel to Fate/Extra was finally released: Fate/Extra CCC. I’m not sure what CCC actually stands for but it must mean awesome because from what I’ve seen, the sequel is even better than the first game (Marvelous AQL, the Japanese publisher, has announced that they’ve shipped over 110,000 units – double the amount of the original game), and it has me yearning for it with my grubby little hands – as usual. But unlike last time, I have hope. After all, it seems Aksys is on a roll with localizing obscure and niche games in the US market – maybe I won’t have to be sacrificing any of my unborn children. But in the meantime I’ll be consoling myself with replaying my copy of Fate/Extra and rewatching the Fate/Zero anime for the third time… but this time in English.

Fate / Extra US Release

Japan still gets the cooler editions with better collectibles.

If you’re interested in showing support for the localization of Fate/Extra CCC, why not sign the petition – or better yet, let Aksys know by tweeting them directly at @aksysgames?

World of Warcraft: Give Peace a Chaaaaaance

Last entry I promised to give my opinion of the story plot advancement in the latest content update for World of Warcraft. Right now we’re in the middle of Mists of Pandaria and hostilities have really gotten worse. One of the series’ iconic heroes, Jaina Proudmoore, has had her personality and viewpoint dramatically altered during Mists of Pandaria. Previously, she had advocated for peace between the Alliance and the Horde and struggled to spread her message among the rest of the Alliance, trying to convince them that orcs aren’t really bad people at all. Except then she just had her city destroyed, right before her eyes, as close friends and allies were vaporized by a magical version of the atom bomb, utilized by Horde under its new leader, Garrosh Hellscream.

Jaina, right before life decides to take a huge dump on her.

Understandably, she’s a more than just a little upset at this sudden turn of events, and has gone from advocate of peace to actually about to wipe the Horde capitol off the face of the planet. Unfortunately, most of that isn’t actually shown in the game, just in the tie-in novel. But we do get to see the aftereffects of the events that happen in the novel in the game itself: the Alliance and the Horde are really at war once again, and that’s how Mists of Pandaria starts out. Caught in the middle of the newly heated up war is Pandaria – a newly discovered land (with coincidentally a totally new playable Panda race) that both Horde and Alliance are fighting for dominance over. And since then, things have really been heating up. In a content patch released a few months after the launch of MoP, Blizzard created a storyline that spanned over several weeks that allowed players to sabotage the opposite faction while ultimately cultivating in a showdown between Garrosh and the young son of the leader of the Alliance forces, Prince Anduin, who has inherited Jaina’s old viewpoint. Spoilers: a seventeen year old boy gets his face pretty much stomped in by three hundred pounds of angry and mean orc.

Jaina after everything she’s built turned into a huge smoking crater in the ground.

So far, it looks like peace between the two in-game factions is impossible for now. But Blizzard has stated that the end of Mists of Pandaria will feature Garrosh as the end boss for both factions – so both Horde and Alliance will be taking down the (probably former, when the story is finally released) leader of the Horde. And you know what? It would be nice to for Alliance and Horde to actually team up to defeat Garrosh. Yeah, we technically did that for Cataclysm, according to the story, but in the actual gameplay, Alliance and Horde were still kept separate and unable to interact with one another. I know I keep being told that we worked together to take down the big evil dragon that was destroying the world, but I sure didn’t see the other side helping me do that. Yeah, I know the title of the game is ‘World of Warcraft’, but can’t we all just get along for once?

Why can't we be friends?

Why can’t we be friends?

Garrosh certainly isn’t doing himself any favors Horde-side – considering that Anduin is the best friend of one of the leaders under him in the Horde, not to mention pretty much just a kid in the eyes of many in both Alliance and Horde, nearly killing the kid isn’t helping with his popularity. And then there’s trying to assassinate the leader of the trolls under him, just because he doesn’t like the guy. Hell, the next content update – patch 5.3 – is about how the Horde is unhappy about Garrosh’s leadership. How does that saying go – ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’? Come on, Blizzard, no one actually likes Garrosh anymore, so why can’t we team up to take him down together? Especially since we’ve got Mr. Dark and Mysterious lurking around hinting that we’re going to need to team up for some bigger threat that’s coming soon. I’ve got friends on both sides of the fence in the game, so it’d be really nice to be able to actually play together instead of having to leave one group out because they picked the wrong side.

Seriously, Garrosh could probably bench press the kid.

I just hope after this, we aren’t forced to deal with a revenge-crazed Jaina who won’t stop until she’s annihilated every single person from the Horde. Blizzard just really likes the ‘well intentioned hero corrupted by power and falls from grace’ trope.

%d bloggers like this: