This Week in Games - Ace Greatness

3 weeks ago 19

Heya folks! Hope you're all doing well. I'm finally scheduled to get my first vaccine next week, which means that hopefully I'll feel comfortable going out to gaming gatherings and arcades again soon! It feels like forever since I've touched a pinball table. In the meantime, I'll be grabbing NieR: Replicant this weekend and continuing more Monster Hunter Rise and SaGa Frontier Remastered. It's an interesting news week overall, so let's take a look at what's going on!

GUESS WHAT, SONY ISN'T CLOSING THOSE ONLINE STORES AFTER ALL

Well, that didn't take long. After originally announcing that shutdowns of the PS3 and PS Vita online stores were coming in a few months’ time, Sony has backpedaled and is now keeping the digital storefronts open for the foreseeable future. Which is fine for now, I guess, but how long will it be before they go “no, seriously, we're closing them this time?” Also, the PSP store shutdown is still happening, though I'm not sure if that means all those Vita-compatible PSP games will be delisted from that storefront, since it's remaining online. Might as well buy Tactics Ogre just in case!

everyone worrying about a non existent Denuvo problem when what they should be worrying about is

ERROR CE 34878-0

when the ps4 cmos battery dies (and it will) it renders all ps4 digital files unusable without a server reconnection and in ps4 it also kills disc playback pic.twitter.com/0TYE2rOeBC

— Does it play? (@DoesItPlay1) March 10, 2021

All of the hubbub about the closure-then-not-closure of these online storefronts has also highlighted another issue in HD PlayStation consoles: the CMOS battery. The CMOS battery is used to handle the consoles’ internal clock, and keeps on ticking away even when the systems are disconnected. But they're also integral to the consoles’ security schemes: when the battery dies and needs replacement, you need to connect to the PlayStation Network for the system to re-verify the time. Simple enough, right?

The issue is when these checks happen. If you want to play a downloaded PS3 game, the system will do the PSN connection and check when the game is booted. The PS4 and PS5 do it for any game, download- or disc-based. If you can't connect to PSN to complete this check, you can't play the game. So it's no problem when PSN is up and running… but what happens in the future when network services for the affected consoles inevitably end, and the battery needs replacement? All of that data is now totally unusable.

Ars Technica has a more detailed article about all of this I highly recommend checking out. Thankfully, Sony has already said they're looking into the problem for the future… which I doubt they would have bothered doing had people not dug deeper into Sony's security measures in response to the store closure announcement. Good work, everyone!

THE GREAT ACE ATTORNEY IS FINALLY COMING WESTWARD

This news actually leaked a few months back in a massive CAPCOM data breach, but I didn't feel comfortable reporting on it since it involved someone extorting CAPCOM for money to keep their sensitive information quiet. That's an ethical line I'm not comfortable crossing, personally. Besides, it's always more fun when you get the full-on reveal with pictures, websites, trailers, and more. So yeah, here's Ace Attorney creator Shu Takumi to tell us about The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, coming to Switch, PS4, and Steam!

The Great Ace Attorney is a localization of the Dai Gyakuten Saiban games released on the 3DS in Japan a few years back. Ryunosuke Naruhodo, the progenitor of our “Phoenix,” is set during Japan's Meiji period in the mid-1800s, a time of significant change and turmoil as the country opened its borders, changed its government, and worked to modernize. Unlike the localized modern-day Ace Attorney games, which changed the setting to a weird Japanifornia hybrid, TGAA keeps the setting in Japan… though there are a good amount of reference to the British Empire of the era as well. Also, a few changes had to be made to tiptoe around hungry lawyers…

(Yes, I know there is another Herlock Sholmes created by another litigious author's estate with ties to anime. The whole thing gets funnier and funnier the more you learn about it.)

I'd been avoiding the fan translations of these titles in hopes that an official release would eventually materialize, so I'm extremely glad to see this happen. (I'm also reminded that I need to play that last 3DS Ace Attorney I never got around to!) You'll be screaming OBJECTION! at the top of your lungs come July 27th, so get those pointer fingers ready.

SAKURA REVOLUTION IS DEAD, BUT WHO KILLED IT?

Hey, remember that mobile Sakura Wars spinoff game Sega and Delightworks (of Fate/Grand Order development fame) were working on? It released in Japan a few months back, and things didn't go very well. It had a pretty tepid start when it launched, and things didn't improve much in the months following.

Well, I hope you all weren't thinking “well, maybe an English version will save it!” because that ain't happening. Sakura Revolution is shutting down in June, and all purchases have already been disabled. It's a pretty severe blow for both Sega and Delightworks, who had a big budget for producing and advertising the game, but if the gacha-whales aren't rolling a few months in, then it's unlikely they ever will. It also leaves questions about future iterations of the Sakura Wars IP, as this was part of Sega's big push to revitalize the series along with Shin Sakura Wars.

So, what happened? Well, we don't know, though there are rumors and alleged insider reports circulating, but a lot of the hate is being directed at one man: Hideo Baba. That name probably isn't familiar to most folks, but among certain fans – particularly of Namco's Tales series – he's something of a pariah. He was last seen working at Square-Enix, but left when Project Prelude Rune was cancelled. If you want to know why Tales fans don't like him, there are writeups you can read about the Tales of Zestiria mess he made. Personally, I don't get the fan vitriol about him “ruining” Tales, as most of the games he worked on at Bamco were pretty solid, including Tales of Graces and Tales of Vesperia.

Anyway, he went to Square-Enix, and for whatever reason his project got cancelled, and since then what he's been up to hasn't been made public. However, the recent rumors posit that he secretly joined Delightworks last year to work on Sakura Revolution, and apparently screwed things up. Believers point to the Zestiria thing and his failed Square-Enix project as proof of his incompetence, but to me, it all seems extremely speculative: there's no official confirmation of his work at Delightworks, nobody knows why the Square-Enix project was canned (remember, it happened around the same time as a big restructuring at Square-Enix, which included the Final Fantasy XV DLC cancellations)… and even if he was involved with Sakura Revolution, it's extremely unlikely that he alone was the reason for its downfall. It's easier to blame things on a guy everyone already loves to hate than it is to analyze a complex web of business relationships, IP development, market factors, and management practices, after all.

In any case, I doubt Delightworks is going anywhere – they've still got Fate/Grand Order and will soon be publishing Melty Blood on every console out there. Not much choice here but to bury the game and move on, but I do hope that someday a semi-official "what happened here" expose comes to light.

FIGHTING GAME NEWS ROUNDUP: THE HYPE INCREASES

No King of Fighters XV reveal this week – instead, SNK gave us a trailer of Hibiki from The Last Blade 2 making her official appearance in Samurai Shodown. She'll be available to download next week on April 28th.

Now, we have to talk about THIS.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Ahem. Okay, I don't want to speculate too hard here, given that all we've got is a single image, but… it really looks like the characters have new models??? I mean, VF5 still looks nice and all but it is a smidge dated, so a refresh would certainly help if you want to market the game as a big shiny eSports thing! Just…… COME ON SEGA CAN YOU DROP A TRAILER ALREADY YOU ARE KILLING ME HERE

DATE-RELATED NEWSBITS

Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis will have its official worldwide launch this June! The global closed beta test will be happening from May 14th through the 16th, and you can sign up here! Tales of Arise, which was delayed from a release last year, now has a solid release date of September 10th. Also: new trailer!

Senran Nin Nin Ninja Taisen Neptune, the Neptunia/Senran Kagura crossover, has a new trailer and a Japanese release date of August 26th. I suspect we'll have an Idea Factory International announcement sometime this summer for a late 2021/early 2022 release.

Finally, the official Judgment/Judge Eyes website is teasing countdown to May 7th. Recent trademark leaks have pointed to a follow-up to the Yakuza series spinoff being in the works, so this is likely an official reveal.

Well then, I think that mostly wraps things up. Are you all hyped for the return of Ace Attorney in the west? I know I am, but right now my brain's thinking too hard about Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown to fully process it. Did you play Sakura Revolution, and if so, are you upset about its closure? And are you breathing a sigh of relief that the PS3 and PS Vita stores are staying online? There's a lot to discuss this week, so feel free to post your takes in the forums. See you all again next week for more gaming!

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