Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Sep 152023

Yesterday was both the Nintendo Direct and the State of Play, and while they weren’t as unbelievably exciting as last year’s, they still had some great announcements.

A few things from the Nintendo Direct leaked ahead of time, including one I never would have expected: a remake of Trace Memory and its sequel.

Another Code: Two Memories, titled Trace Memory in North America, was a DS adventure game about a girl named Ashley searching for her father on a mysterious island while solving puzzles. I loved it, and I was so disappointed that the sequel, Another Code R for the Wii, was never released in North America. Considering how niche they were, I never expected to see them again.

But now Another Code: Recollection has been announced for the Switch, a collection that includes both games. Not only that, but they appear to be fully remade.

They look amazing. Another Code: Recollection will be out on January 19 (even with a physical release), and I can’t wait.

They also showed the upcoming Princess Peach game that was announced in the last Direct, and you know what? It looks like it could be incredibly fun.

Princess Peach: Showtime! sees Princess Peach trying to save a theater that’s been taken over by a group of bad guys, and the way she does this is by transforming to get new costumes and skills suitable to the situation at hand. Swordfighter Peach fights with a sword, Detective Peach investigates a scene to find clues, etc. I was curious about it before, but now I really want it!

This one will be out on March 22.

(Lots of people have been describing it as “Balan Wonderworld, but good” and that’s… actually somewhat fitting.)

Vanillaware’s new game was also announced at the Nintendo Direct: Unicorn Overlord. I was excited to learn what their next game would be because of how much I loved 13 Sentinels, but I’m not sure if Unicorn Overlord will be my type of game.

Nevertheless, I’ll keep an eye on it.

It will be out on March 8.

Eiyuden Chronicle also got a new trailer and an April 23 release date. When I backed Eiyuden Chronicle on Kickstarter, its 2022 projected release window felt like it was so far off, and here we are waiting until April 2024. But it looks excellent, so I’m looking forward to it a lot.

Finally, the Nintendo Direct closed on a surprise announcement… one that’s been rumored so often that the last time it was rumored earlier this year, I dismissed it and actually forgot all about it. Yes, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is being remade.

It looks great, and it appears to be more than just a simple graphics upgrade. In addition to the upgraded visuals, fans also noticed that several characters such as the partners have back sprites now, the partners are more expressive, and there’s at least one new NPC.

I’m so happy. I love the original Paper Mario games, and it’s been so long since we’ve had an actual true Paper Mario game in the original style. I loved Bug Fables enough to come to terms with the possibility of never having a Paper Mario RPG again, but now my hopes have returned. While this might not be a new game, it’s clear they’re putting a lot of effort into it. If the Thousand-Year Door remake sells well, we could see Paper Mario return to the original style with a new entry!

So while it wasn’t a thrilling Nintendo Direct, Another Code: Recollection, Princess Peach: Showtime!, and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door were enough to make me happy.

Then came the State of Play in the evening, and while there wasn’t anything as Earth-shattering as last year’s Ishin reveal, we finally got to see the reason for that mysterious Tales of Arise: Beyond the Dawn copyright.

That’s right, Tales of Arise came out two years ago, Beyond the Dawn was copyrighted almost one year ago, and now Tales of Arise: Beyond the Dawn has been revealed as story DLC set after the main game.

According to official details about it, it’s supposed to be around 20 hours long. That’s edging into being an expansion, so maybe the long wait makes more sense.

Although I had mixed feelings about Tales of Arise (which is how I already intended to write that before looking back and realizing it’s literally what I titled my review post), I’m intrigued by the idea of the DLC. Unfortunately, it’s out on November 9, which means it’s probably not being played before Like a Dragon Gaiden.

Meanwhile, the State of Play closed with a new trailer for Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth, and it looks fantastic. The parade scene? The Nibelheim flashback? Cait Sith? Vincent? The Gold Saucer and its mini-games? Oh, I was worried they wouldn’t include the Gold Saucer mini-games in the remake, but there they are and I couldn’t be happier!

It’s appearing more and more like there really are changes being made to the story and my big theory will come to nothing, but I’m pretty excited for what was shown here.

Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth will be out on February 29, which means next February will truly be an insane time for JRPG fans.

Overall, I would give a slight edge to the Nintendo Direct for having three games that really excited me, compared to the State of Play’s two (one of which is DLC while the other is a new trailer for a game I was already looking forward to), although both events were kind of medium overall with just a few standout moments.

What games are you most interested in from the Nintendo Direct and the State of Play?

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  4 Responses to “Paper Mario is Back, FFVII Rebirth Has a Release Date, & More!”

  1. Lots of exciting announcements, even if nothing brain-breaking was included. The Peach game was the biggest surprise to me, in that I wasn’t sure I’d be interested on initial announcement but now it’s caught my attention! I enjoyed the original Trace Memory so it’s nice to see that come back, and seeing Paper Mario again is bringing back lots of nostalgia for me! I do wonder if they’re adding anything new to it…

    I’ve had mixed feelings on the Vanillaware games, though I loved 13 Sentinels, so I’ll keep an eye on this one as it gets closer to release. It looks interesting for sure, follows their art style while being a new gameplay style for them. Could be an interesting experience!

    I was also really happy to see Spider-Man even though I’ve not gotten a PS5 yet… I’m trying to go through my remaining PS4 backlog first, will have to see how that goes, haha…

  2. “(Lots of people have been describing it as “Balan Wonderworld, but good” and that’s… actually somewhat fitting.)”

    I reject this. …Not because we dunno if it’s good or not but because the costumes might not be anything thematically (or gameplay-wise) like Balan Wonderworld. Like, maybe you’re switching Peach’s costumes on a chapter-by-chapter basis instead of constantly. Balan Wonderworld was like a bad Kirby game in that regard.

    • It does look like each stage will have a specific costume that it wants you to use, but I think the comparison still holds since you’ve got costume changes with different abilities, plus a theatrical-themed villain. (And Balan stages did generally have 2-3 transformations they were built around using.)

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