Operation Backlog Completion 2017
May 232015
 
Sovereign the Reaper from Mass Effect

Technology is great…
…until it turns on you.

If you’ve been following my blog long enough to know that I post regularly these days–usually three times a week outside of special circumstances–you might be wondering what happened to me this week.

Technology turned against me.

I thought I would be greeting you from a PC with a brand new graphics card installed… instead, I’m dealing with a PC that can’t run for more than a few minutes without the fans going crazy. Then it shuts down, most likely to protect itself from overheating.

Sure, this is nowhere near as bad as what happens when fictional machines turn on you, but for a writer, blogger, and gamer, not having a working machine is a pain.

So, my usual posts will be delayed until further notice. With any luck, I’ll be up and running again soon.

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May 182015
 

All right, so when I said I wouldn’t talk about The Witcher again until I played the first game, I was mistaken. And despite my plan to catch up on the entire series in time for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, I’m not going to make it. I haven’t even started playing The Witcher yet.

And Wild Hunt comes out today.

Witcher-3-Ciri

I know, its release date is actually tomorrow, but digital copies will become available at 1 AM in Warsaw, which is this evening in the United States. But even if I consider tomorrow as the actual day, I can’t play through The Witcher and The Witcher 2 in a single day.

But I’m still excited. Even though I planned to not even order Wild Hunt until I finished the previous games, speed-reading the fan translations of The Tower of the Swallow and The Lady of the Lake over the past couple of days left me even more excited than I was already.

I know what the Wild Hunt is, and why they want Ciri (probably).

I know how the books end, and how the games begin (sort of).

I know that the Witcher series still has plenty of surprises in store for me, and I can’t wait to see how the games continue the story. Now, the author of the books considers the games to be non-canon. In his eyes, the story ended with The Lady of the Lake. Right now, I can see both perspectives. Lady of the Lake had an unusual ending, one I’m not wholly satisfied with. It concluded the main plot well enough that, if there was nothing else in the series, I think I’d be content with it.

On the other hand, since the games do continue the story (canon or not), I’m happy that it isn’t over yet. I wouldn’t want to end here, without playing the games.

Now I’m starting to ramble. The point is that even though I won’t be ready in time for The Witcher 3, I still intend to play the games soon. My new goal: finish the Witcher series by the end of the summer. If you also need to catch up on the series, the order is…

  • The Last Wish – This short story collection has a different tone than the rest of the series, but it sets the main events of the saga into motion. Take a look at my review for more information.
  • Sword of Destiny – This is also a short story collection. Like The Last Wish, some of its stories tie into the overarching plot.
  • Blood of Elves – The first novel centers around Ciri and truly begins her story. I also reviewed this one.
  • Time of Contempt – The plot really begins to pick up in this next novel, which also introduces the Wild Hunt. As I indicated in my review, it has the most self-contained plot in the series.
  • Baptism of Fire – The last novel translated into English continues the story and introduces some memorable characters, along with a brief interlude of bizarre humor. Once again, you can take a look at my review if you want.
  • The Tower of the Swallow – This felt like one of the darkest novels in the series (though they all have some pretty dark moments), but also one in which we really learn more about Ciri and what she is capable of.
  • The Lady of the Lake – Old enemies are confronted, new enemies reveal themselves, and everything comes to a climax in the last novel.

The first game picks up a few years after the last book, and that’s where I’ll be headed next.

What about you? If you’re interested in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, are you planning to play it right away or wait a while? How familiar are you with the rest of the series? What do you think about Ciri and the Wild Hunt?

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May 152015
 
Will this be our year at last?

Will this be our year at last?

It’s almost that time of year again! E3 2015 press conferences will begin in just under a month. While I don’t suspect the gaming companies are plotting something huge, like I did last year, I can’t help but dream of what could be.

Are these E3 predictions? Nope. While some are possible, these are my less plausible wishes, my E3 2015 pipe dreams.

Ace Attorney Investigations 2

As usual, I hope this E3 is the time Capcom will finally announce an official localization of Gyakuten Kenji 2, or Ace Attorney Investigations 2. The more time passes, the less likely it seems… but on the other hand, DS games are finally appearing on the Wii U virtual console. Ace Attorney is one of my favorite series, and this is the one game I’m unable to play.

Fatal Frame V is being localized, so maybe this will finally be AAI2’s turn.

(I’d add in my wish for Dai Gyakuten Saiban localization, but that is perfectly possible and not a pipe dream! …Please?)

Ace Attorney Investigations 2 localization needs to happen. Not only does it include Gregory Edgeworth, the return of Shelly de Killer, and a storyline that many fans claim is the best in the series, but it also has some incredible music!

The World Ends With You 2

Remember when Square Enix created a teaser site that got everyone excited for a sequel to The World Ends With You? Remember the disappointment when it turned out to be an iOS port of the original, instead? Remember the renewed excitement when the iOS port ended with an image of a brand new character and the message “New 7 Days”?

Blatant sequel tease

Blatant sequel tease

That was in 2012.

Since then, the iOS port broke and was pulled from the store, and there’s been no sign of a sequel. That’s a shame, because TWEWY is one of my favorite DS games. I poured more hours into it than into any other game. Not only that, but it ended with clear hints of a potential sequel or series, especially if you unlocked the secret ending.

TWEWY Secret Ending - MAJOR spoilers

Not to mention a couple other loose ends…

Square Enix is having a dedicated E3 press conference this year, so maybe it’ll finally announce the game it teased almost three years ago.

More Bayonetta

Bayonetta-2-wallpaperBayonetta and Bayonetta 2 (which includes the original) were such amazing games, I can’t help wanting more. Bayonetta was amazing, I liked Bayonetta 2 even better, and PlatinumGames already expressed interest in creating a Bayonetta 3 or a 3DS spin-off.

So why do I consider this announcement unlikely? First, because Bayonetta 2 just came out last year and it feels too soon for a sequel. Second, I expect Platinum to be focused on Scalebound, which it announced last E3.

Still, even a hint of Bayonetta news would be great.

Tales of Symphonia Prequel

Tales of Symphonia Chronicles, because anything related to the prequel would involve spoilers.

I loved Tales of Symphonia, I’m going to try its much-maligned sequel, and I really want it to get a prequel.

And I don’t mean any old prequel, I mean one starring the Kharlan Heroes.

I really want this game. I mean, I really want it. When Bandai Namco trademarked new Tales names, my first reaction was to wonder if one of them could be a Symphonia prequel. Tales of Symphonia has a backstory just begging to be turned into a video game, and some of the key details were left vague enough to allow it twists and turns despite the details Symphonia players already know.

Of course, such a prequel does come with one big problem: it spoils some of Tales of Symphonia’s plot twists by its very nature. For the actual game, I think that could work fine (and make the original game a very different experience for anyone who plays the prequel first), but marketing is another matter. I think bait-and-switch protagonists could work, but then even if it was announced at E3, we wouldn’t know that’s what it was…

I’d actually love that. A new Tales game that’s actually a Symphonia prequel in disguise.

E3 logo 2015

So there you have it, the games I most want announced at E3 2015 that probably won’t be: Ace Attorney Investigations 2, The World Ends With You 2, a Bayonetta 3 or spin-off, and a stealth Tales of Symphonia prequel.

What are your E3 pipe dreams?

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