In Memoriam: A Farewell to Atlus
Western gamers have had a good run with your interesting, oddball games that were often localised in a competent and timely fashion; but all good things must end eventually. One shall endeavour to look away as the last kernel of your being is sorely abused to make browser and smartphone games, and one will not turn back as bloody-minded Atlus fanboys swear until they are blue in the face that Atlus games are just as good as they ever were; because there is something a tad morbid about dwelling upon what might have been – should have been – even as you are spread wide and thrust open like a common Capcom catamite.
You chose Sega – not us – and it would be pointless to fruitlessly fool one’s self into thinking that our relationship is the same now as it was before; pointless and sad. You first allowed yourself to become subsumed by Index Holdings, before being completely devoured by an exploitative Sega Sammy who was just looking for a good time. Now you will fester away like the gravid payload of a defiled Russian doll until there is nothing left of you but your intellectual properties – and what will be left once you trade away those final meager favours? What will be left for us?
Sure, your affairs will appear to be well in hand during the outset of this new union, but when things begin to decline, they will do so swiftly – and everybody will suddenly wonder where you went, but by then it will be too late. One saw your epitaph today, and it read:
“The Company believes that transfer of Index’s operations to Sega will create synergies, on the grounds that the deal will enable the Company to:
(1) gain access to prominent IPs in the home video game software, through which the Company can expect to achieve steady flows of revenue;
(2) expect further facilitation of revenue growth for the PC Online Game Business and Content Business for Smart Devices operated by Sega and Sega Networks Co., Ltd. by exploiting acquired prominent IPs and
(3) maximize the value of acquired IPs by effectively deploying them in the Pachislot and Pachinko Machines segment, Amusement Machine Sales and Amusement Center Operations segments.”
Nowhere in all that does Sega pledge to do right by you, or to help you raise and nurture your content. Sega is only after one thing – the giddy thrills of cheap exploitation; and so you will be gussied up provocatively for the titillation of shallow strangers, while your pachinko slots are filled up with sordid and soiled currency.
One must now take his leave, and so be spared the pain of searching for recognition in heavy-lidded eyes that now stare blankly, uncomprehending and foreign. One will not be there to observe as your once familiar [now swollen and dirty] form waddles to and fro tending to deformed bastard children, swaddled in the garb of Persona and Shin Megami Tensei. Your place is with Sega now. We will always have P4.
Sony’s Yoshida seemingly Confirms Type-0 Release
After last week’s announcement of Final Fantasy Agito seemingly put paid to the eventual release of Final Fantasy Type-0 [along with traditional Square Enix console games in general], this week has seen some slightly more promising news on this front. After first announcing that Final Fantasy Agito will definitely be localised for the West, director Hajime Tabata subsequently stated that, as a companion piece to Final Fantasy Agito, he still hopes to see Final Fantasy Type-0 released for Western audiences via PSN. A near complete Western localisation for the game already exists, and while final approval for the game’s release has yet to be given, it is nevertheless “definitely in the final stages of planning“.
All of Tabata’s words would essentially count for nothing by themselves, as false hope is an integral part of the Square Enix disappointment cycle, yet these words in particular were given a great deal of extra weight through the insinuations of Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida over Twitter. Yoshida chose to retweet a Eurogamer tweet stating: “Final Fantasy: Agito “will definitely be localised”. Square Enix wants to bring Type-0 to the West via PSN“. When a Twitter-follower subsequently stated “Shuhei. you are the freaking best.“, Yoshida replied “great news, is not it? :D“. There is an outside possibility that Yoshida is promoting this news because Final Fantasy Agito is coming to Playstation Mobile, yet a significantly more likely explanation is that he highlighted the Eurogamer Tweet because he knows that a PSN release of Final Fantasy Type-0 is all but a done deal.
Interestingly, this is the second Square Enix game this year that has seemingly required one of the console manufacturers to intervene before Square Enix was willing to countenance a Western release – and neither Final Fantasy Type-0 nor Bravely Default are anything approaching niche titles. It would appear that 2013 sees Square Enix in a position not dissimilar to the one that Squaresoft was in at the start of the PS1 era; relying on the largesse of others to see many of their games localised. It is sad but also fitting that Square Enix’s muddled seventh generation efforts have served to wipe out the previous decade of inroads the company made with respect to Western markets.
1080p – 900p = 180p
This week Edge Online has been in touch with sources from within multiplatform developers in order to provide a more complete picture as to what the Xbone’s weaker processing and RAM capabilities might mean for the next generation of multiplatform development. The PS4’s memory performance is thought to be 40-50% faster, while its GPU is generally held by developers to be about 50% faster than that of the Xbone, although, to be fair, this figure appears to be taken from a time before the Xbone received a slight overclock a couple of weeks ago. What this performance deficit currently means for multiplatform games is that at present developers are finding that running unoptimised code from either console tends to result in a 1080p resolution and thirty frames-per-second on PS4, and a 900p [1600×900] resolution and twenty-odd frames-per-second on Xbone. One refreshingly undiplomatic developer even bluntly stated that: “Xbox One is weaker and it’s a pain to use its ESRAM“.
Other developers opted to damn Microsoft’s recent console tweaks with faint praise:
“The clock speed update is not significant, it does not change things that much. Of course, something is better than nothing.”
While still other developers have seen their way to outlining scenarios wherein Microsoft’s Xbone may even excel:
“Let’s say you are using procedural generation or raytracing via parametric surfaces – that is, using a lot of memory writes and not much texturing or ALU – Xbox One will be likely be faster.”
That is great news for Xbone games that do not plan on making use of textures!
In a piece of completely unrelated news, it was this week confirmed by Microsoft that Xbone exclusives Ryse and Killer Instinct will run at 900p@30 and 720p@60 respectively. Ryse had been previously confirmed to be a native 1080p game, so this very recent about-face appears to indicate that the scope of the project outstripped the Xbone’s meager capabilities. Meanwhile, it is also thought that Capcom’s Dead Rising 3 runs at a [completely unconfirmed] variable 1080p resolution, meaning that the game runs at 1080p where it can, but drops resolution when the Xbone is unable to keep up. Worry not though, Xbone aficionados, because in the words of Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg: “Xbox One upscales all titles to 1080p & they look amazing!“