Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Mar 302020

In honor of Nier’s 10th anniversary, we knew a live stream was set for yesterday and there were plenty of rumors about a potential Nier remaster.

Well, the rumors turned out to be true! Square Enix has announced NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

(And yes, that’s the name they’re going with, “NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139…” That number is the square root of 1.5, but I don’t want to see any Nier fans picking on Kingdom Hearts titles ever again.)

The remaster appears to be specifically Nier Replicant for both Japan and the west. For those of you who don’t know, when Nier was released in Japan, it had two versions: Nier Replicant and Nier Gestalt. The sole difference between these two is the protagonist and his relationship to Yonah. Replicant starred a young man who was her brother, while Gestalt starred an older man who was her father.

Only Gestalt was ever localized for the west, so this remaster will mark the first time the younger Nier has ever been playable in an official western release. It appears as though this will be the only version remastered.

Now, I’ve been calling it a remaster, but the official explanation translated by Gematsu leaves that slightly uncertain. It was officially described as “neither a remaster or a remake, but rather an upgraded version of the game.”

Voice-overs and background music have been re-recorded, and new elements have been added, including at least one new character, and the voice actors for 2B and 9S from Nier Automata will have small roles. However, it’s still undecided if there will be any new endings.

It still sounds like a remaster to me, but whatever it is, they hope it will feel fresh even to fans who have already played the game. I enjoyed Nier a lot when I played it last year, so I’m keeping my eye on this for sure.

But that wasn’t it for Nier news yesterday! They followed that announcement by revealing Nier Re[in]carnation, a new entry in the series for iOS and Android.

I’m not crazy about it being a mobile game, but additional details translated by Gematsu make it sound more promising.

According to producer Yosuke Saito, “at first glance, it doesn’t look like a smartphone title” and they’re approaching it as though it would be a multiplatform release, and he wants it to “cause a stir” even if it isn’t a profitable game. Director Yoko Taro described it as “a strangely startling type of game.”

This sounds like there’s a chance it won’t follow the usual free-to-play gacha model that turns me away whenever I see a mobile game announced. I’ll be interested in seeing more about Nier Re[in]carnation.

Meanwhile, I’ve gone back to my playthrough of Nier Automata and hope to make progress in that soon. Are you excited for the Nier Replicant remaster? What about Nier Re[in]carnation? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Mar 272020

After Kingdom Hearts III’s Re:Mind DLC launched in late January, one thing about its reception became very clear.

Players who had no interest in fighting superbosses often criticized the DLC as not having enough content, while players who enjoyed superbosses generally found the DLC to be fantastic.

Now I’ve finally finished playing Re:Mind in its entirety.

The DLC is divided into three major parts: the Re:Mind story scenario, the Limit Cut, and the Secret Episode.

(Plus the Data Greeting feature, which lets you pose characters to set up your own scenes for a ton of creative potential. I messed around with that for a while, although I was disappointed that some of my favorite characters like Vexen weren’t available for it.)

Each unlocks after the previous one, so you begin with Re:Mind. The start of the scenario is a little bland, since it largely retreads the final part of the game, with new context and content.

I enjoyed the changes to the cutscenes, but it is a bit repetitive. After that, however, things become more interesting, as Re:Mind gets into new content and lets you finally explore that certain area in Kingdom Hearts III that felt like it should have been an explorable world. The latter half of the Re:Mind scenario has some pretty cool moments, and I enjoyed it a lot.

I took my time exploring, and so that part took me about 5 hours.

Then I unlocked the Limit Cut episode and realized that not only were the superbosses a good portion of the DLC’s content, but I would also need to fight them if I wanted to see all of its story.

The first boss I attempted immediately destroyed me. I was tempted to call it quits there and look up the cutscenes online or even play through the main game again to use the newly-added EZ Codes to make the fights easier (the DLC also added Pro Codes, which make fights harder), but after waiting so long for Re:Mind and finally experiencing a Kingdom Hearts game when it came out instead of years later, I decided to give the fights an honest try.

And so I leveled up until I hit level 99 and started fighting the Limit Cut bosses. It’s strange, but while each boss has its own pattern and style for you to learn, I also felt like I had to learn how to fight superbosses at all. I’d never beaten a Kingdom Hearts superboss before, and they all felt impossible at the start, but there was a certain point where it clicked and I understood how to learn the fights.

Countless deaths and hours later, I’d defeated all of the Limit Cut bosses and unlocked the Secret Episode, which presented me with the most challenging boss I’ve ever faced.

I don’t want to think about how many hours I spent on that fight. Certainly more than 10. I’d sit down in the evenings and fight for an hour or two, dying over and over but slowly learning how to deal with each attack and gradually getting better, until I finally won.

As for the story, I’m confused about everything, but I’m ready to ride this wild ride to the end and see where Nomura is taking us in the next Kingdom Hearts saga.

Re:Mind left me with some satisfying story moments, many hours of death entertainment, and a sense of accomplishment from beating all of those fights. I’m one of the people who found Re:Mind to be an excellent conclusion for Kingdom Hearts III.

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Mar 252020

Silent Hill rumors have been rampant lately, from the claim that Konami is developing a Silent Hill reboot and an episodic spin-off, to the more recent rumor that Sony wants to buy the Silent Hill IP and have Kojima develop a new Silent Hill game.

Well, Konami has officially denied these rumors.

According to Rely on Horror, who initially reported the reboot/spin-off rumors, a North American PR representative for Konami said, “We’re aware of all the rumors and reports but can confirm that they are not true.”

However, they did reiterate that the Silent Hill series is not gone forever.

Some people believe Konami is simply denying the rumors because nothing has been officially announced yet, but since this isn’t the usual “we have no news to report at this time” style of response developers usually give, the outright denial makes me think they’re serious.

I had no enthusiasm for the rumored reboot and spin-off, and I was skeptical about the Sony rumors as well. It’s sad, but I’ve gotten so used to the idea of Silent Hill being dead that seeing this denial barely moved me at all. I can’t imagine Silent Hill returning in a form that actually feels like Silent Hill.

But maybe I’m being pessimistic. What do you think the future of Silent Hill holds?

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