Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Nov 302020

It’s been a while since we discussed Swery’s upcoming photography murder mystery game The Good Life, but it now has a new trailer and release window.

The Good Life is being published by The Irregular Corporation, and they announced that it will be coming to the PC, Switch, PS4, and Xbox One in summer 2021.

The Steam page is now live as well.

Now, let’s take a look at the trailer.

The trailer gives a good look at its quirky atmosphere and some of the gameplay in both human and cat form, and it looks pretty interesting. I’m a little worried about the frame rate, though.

Things like a game’s frame rate aren’t usually a big deal to me, but it’s noticeable in the trailer that the frame rate isn’t great during the gameplay sections. And since this is a trailer, I have to worry about how its performance will be in the full game itself.

I backed The Good Life on Kickstarter, so I’ll have a copy when it releases to see how it turns out. What do you think of the latest trailer for The Good Life?

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Nov 272020

One series I’d been intending to try for ages is Danganronpa. Murder mysteries, investigations and trials, it sounded like my sort of thing, but I never got around to it.

Well, one of this year’s Celebrating All Things Spooky contest winners chose a game for me to review as his prize, and he picked Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.

In Danganronpa, you play a boy named Makoto who is selected to attend an elite school, but when he gets there, he finds himself trapped along with his classmates and forced to participate in a deadly game. They’re told that if anyone can successfully kill another student and get away with it, they will be allowed to leave. If not, they have to stay there forever.

Of course, it isn’t long before a student turns up dead.

Similar to games like Ace Attorney, Danganronpa is essentially a cross between a visual novel and an adventure game. There are long stretches of time that are solely story-driven, but at other points you’re set loose to explore and investigate.

Once you’ve gathered all the evidence for a case, the “class trial” begins. Unlike Ace Attorney, these trials involved much more action. Pieces of evidence become “bullets” that you shoot at contradictory statements while the text is on-screen. I’m not crazy about my ability to solve a case being dependent on my shooting skills, but the game gives you enough time that it isn’t too reliant on fast reflexes.

At other points you’ll have to shoot letters to spell out a key word to answer a question, and there are also rhythm game confrontations. Of everything, the rhythm game parts are the ones I liked the least, but I endured them.

(Fortunately, if you lose all of your health and get a game over, you can restart from right ahead of where you failed.)

In between each case, you get a few “free time” sections. These sections let you pick a character to spend time with and learn more about them, which also unlocks optional skills to help you in trials.

I liked the characters, and I enjoyed solving the cases (especially as they got crazier and more convoluted later in the game), but what I really loved the most was the overarching mystery. Why are they trapped at this school? Who is the mastermind behind Monokuma, the robotic bear overseeing the game (who fortunately isn’t as annoying as I feared, considering my general dislike of “cute” mascot characters)? What is really going on?

I loved thinking over every clue and developing theories about the overarching story. Sure, I predicted some things that weren’t revealed until the game was almost over, but it was still fun to watch them finally come to light.

Danganronpa also did a great job of building up an “anyone can die” atmosphere. By the second case, I was already looking at each character anxiously, wondering if one of my favorites would survive through to the next one or not. It made everything feel that much more suspenseful.

Aside from one particularly annoying point in a case that involved a drawn-out debate to prove something that could have been resolved with a single sentence, I had a great time playing Danganronpa. I’m not going to start the next one immediately, but I’m looking forward to playing the sequel when I finally do get there.

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Nov 252020

This week’s incredible announcement of NEO: The World Ends With You might only be the beginning of the exciting game announcements we have to discuss.

There are a surprising number of game events coming up as we approach the end of the year, so let’s take a look!

December 8 – Yakuza 15th Anniversary Live Stream

Our next big event is on December 18, when Sega will host a special live stream to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Yakuza series. In addition to celebrating the existing games, it will also include announcements about future plans.

It’s probably too early to hear about Yakuza 8 so soon after the last main entry, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they announce a new spin-off. (Personally, I’m hoping for Judgment 2.) It also would be a great chance for them to announce the hypothetical Kenzan Kiwami, which would also increase our chances of getting Kenzan in English.

…But let’s face it, no matter what they announce, I’ll almost certainly be excited for it. The series is that good.

December 10 – The Game Awards 2020

Two days later, 2020’s Game Awards ceremony will take place. The Game Awards always includes some new game announcements, and this one will supposedly feature the announcement of the rumored Silent Hill reboot.

It was also at the Game Awards in 2017 that Bayonetta 3 was first announced. After all this time, will we finally get a new trailer?

December 11-13 – Granblue Fantasy Fes 2020

Just a day after that is the start of Granblue Fantasy Fes 2020. It will run from the 11th to the 13th, and Cygames announced back in August that more details about Granblue Fantasy: Relink will be coming at this event.

December 20 – Falcom Day

And then on December 20, Falcom will hold its recently-announced Falcom Day 2020 Winter.

It is believed that the next Trails game will be officially revealed during this event. I’m nowhere near caught up on the series (and I probably can’t even read much about the game without risking spoilers), but I’m particularly interested in learning what they have in mind for the new combat system.

Maybe we’ll get an Ys announcement, too, or a game in one of Falcom’s other series. A Gurumin sequel, anyone? Anyone?

??? – Tales 25th Anniversary Live Stream

Finally, the live stream for the 25th anniversary of the Tales series doesn’t have a date yet, but I’m still betting on sometime in December since the anniversary itself is December 15. I’m still greatly hoping for Tales of Arise news.

Update: The Tales anniversary alive stream has been confirmed for December 15.

That’s a lot of video game events with potentially exciting announcements coming up before the end of the year! What are you looking forward to the most?

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