Zero Escape: The Nonary Games launches March 24

Via Techraptor:

Aksys Games has announced that Zero Escape: The Nonary Games will be releasing on March 24 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Steam in North America. The European PlayStation 4 digital version will launch on the same date as the American release, but the physical version for the PS4 will be coming at a later date, with a specific release date to be revealed in the next few weeks. Both physical and digital versions of the PS Vita release in Europe will be delayed as well, to “later this year”. The PC version is being self-published by developer Chunsoft Games.

I’m pretty excited for this, even though I’m still working through the original DS version. I played the iOS version…such as it was…imagine my surprise at having to actually solve the puzzles in each area, rather than having some text gloss over when moving between sections.

John Carmack’s response to the Zenimax win

I wasn’t following the lawsuit between Zenimax and Occulus much, but I have to admit I was taken aback both by the damages awarded to Zenimax, and some of the allegations that came out of the trial. John Carmack googling how to wipe a hard drive…really?

Carmack’s response is here:



No more Deus Ex

At least not for a while. I suspected that sales of the latest game, Mankind Divided, weren’t so hot when I saw the massive discounts relatively early. From Eurogamer:

Square Enix’s shift in focus to its recently-announced multi-game Marvel project, combined with underwhelming sales of last year’s Mankind Divided, mean the Deus Ex franchise has been placed on hiatus, Eurogamer understands.

The original Deus Ex has a place in the pantheon of cult hits, but recall that its ballyhooed direct sequel, Invisible War, effectively put the franchise in a coma for 8 years. Human Revolution was a decent attempt at a prequel revival, but there’s just not enough there to justify the series promotion to flagship status. I’m glad to have seen Square Enix and Eidos give it a fair shake, but better to concentrate those resources into other more profitable projects.

The new media hybrid games

The other day BBC was invited over to Kojima Studios, where they received a nice media tour and some philosophizing from the man himself. As usual Hideo was cryptic and vague, but what caught my eye was his idea that all our forms out entertainment are converging. From the interview:

“In life people are very busy doing lots of things,” he explains through a translator.
“The time you have to choose what media or entertainment you experience is dwindling.
“More and more people are looking at types of media that combine elements together.
“If we just make a game people are less likely to choose that as something to do.”

As if to buttress that notion, a new Kickstarter has launched to videogameify Apocalypse Now, the famous Heart of Darkness in Vietnam Coppola flick. Now let’s suspend our common heuristic that most video game adaptations of movies end up being pretty terrible. The project has a bunch of Kickstarter dev vets, and the RPG pedigree is certainly there (Obsidian, etc). Still, I imagine as Executive Producer Larry Liberty will have his work cut for him. I wonder how much input these various entities will have on the project.  They’re pitching this as a survival horror RPG which I suppose is as good a vehicle as any for the movie. The main question I would ask myself is how do you marry an interactive narrative with a static one? Or rather, how do you give narrative control to a player without railroading the plot? To me that seems like the biggest problem facing any kind of hybrid game especially of the film + game variety.

To circle back to Kojima’s idea, consider this:

“He’s planning on a future where movies are playable and games give players the choice to access more extended movie like content within them.”

I’m guessing that playable movies won’t be like the Futurama audience voting on the hero’s next action.