Out This Month is a roundup of some new games that are coming out this month.
Square Enix has been pretty quiet on the Murdered: Soul Suspect front since I saw it at last year’s E3. I’m going to go ahead and assume that the game hasn’t changed much since then, which means it’s time for a brand new Out This Month segment: “A New Video Game As Understood Through Matt Gerardi’s Demo Notes From A Year Ago.” Okay, the title could use some work. But here are actual lines I apparently wrote in my notebook during a Murdered demo last year:
- “You’re solving your own murder. You can walk through walls.”
- “You meet other ghosts and help them solve their murders”
- “Holy shit, that font is bad”
- “Adjectives: The Game” [Because the puzzles have you picking from adjectives that float in the air in the awful font]
- “Wait. This guy has been convicted of multiple felonies and became a homicide detective?”
- “GHOST CIGARETTES”
There are some neat ideas at the heart of the Hyperdimension Neptunia series. The games are set in a world called Gamindustri (subtle). Each of its regions is inspired by the design and philosophy of a video game console, usually from the PlayStation 3/Wii/Xbox 360 era. The real focus, however, is on the “CPUs,” anime girls who personify each console and guard over its respective kingdom. Looking to destroy the world is the evil Arfoire, who is named after piracy-enabling R4 cards and is the literal embodiment of video game piracy. Usually, Hyperdimension games are simple Japanese-style RPGs. Producing Perfection, though, has you manage the new pop-star careers of the anime girls in an attempt to save the video game industry from an obsolescence brought on by the world’s descent into “idol culture.” So really, it’s just an excuse to ogle scantily clad cartoon ladies, and also rub them using the PlayStation Vita’s touchscreen, as the trailer assures with this not-at-all disgusting declaration: “Sure, you can have some private time with the Neptunia cast and tap them in various areas, but they’ll get pissed if you tap them the wrong way!” (Such as on the crotch, they mean. They’re referring to the crotch.)
At this point, it’s difficult to separate Tomodachi Life from the controversy it created. Unless you’re talking to a diehard fan, it’s easier to refer to it as “that Nintendo doesn’t care about gay people game” than by its weird half-Japanese title. The manic 11-minute video Nintendo put out to promote Tomodachi (seen above) was already filled with all sorts of odd romantic implications—namely, multiple Nintendo executives courting the female characters they either created or currently work with. However, rewatching it with all this nasty business in mind, there’s one short scene that sticks out. At the 1:34 mark, we see the avatars of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata and Nintendo Of America president Reggie Fils-Aime hurling a bunch of knickknacks at each other. After a few seconds, they stop and stare at one another, both men huffing and puffing. “You’re so cold-blooded, Iwata! It’s like talking to a dinosaur,” Reggie shouts. You see? There are same-sex relationships in Tomodachi. It’s just that only Nintendo executives get to have them.
Valiant Hearts is an anomalous war game. For starters, it’s set in World War I, a conflict that has been largely ignored by video games—which is strange given the innumerable games that have drawn on the Great War’s sequel over the past four decades. And the few games that do visit WWI are typically flight- or strategy-focused, not story-based affairs that seek to tell the stories of soldiers in the trenches, which is an explicit goal of Valiant Hearts. According to the developers, much of the story and narration is based on the correspondence of actual WWI soldiers. Levels and puzzles are taken loosely from the details of actual battles. All things considered, there’s an air of gentle, earnest reverence surrounding the project, a spirit that extends even to its title. It’s (presumably) derived from “O Valiant Hearts,” a famous hymn written for the fallen soldiers of WWI. That’s a classy touch.
“EA sucks”—Dana White, president of UFC: