News: Fading Fantasy

... But they still don't compare to the HD visuals on PS4.

The pixel graphics are gorgeous in the 3DS version of the game…

Dragon Quest XI Actually Sold More Copies On PS4

A couple of weeks ago when reporting on the strong sales of Dragon Quest XI it was revealed that the 3DS version enjoyed a modest sales advantage, 1,130,468 copies to 950,338. These figures did not take digital sales into account however, and Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda has this week revealed that game sales have actually been stronger on the PS4:

We have seen stronger sales of the PlayStation 4 version than the Nintendo 3DS version, but given the installed base, we have high hopes for growth in sales of the Nintendo 3DS version going forward.

This is truly surprising, given the 3DS’ massive advantage over the PS4 in terms of install base. It really serves as a testament to the quality of the PS4 versions graphics. That is not to say that the 3DS version is ugly, but the PS4 version just looks so nice that it has outperformed the 3DS version despite the disparity in users. In terms of japan the 3DS version of any given game could still be expected to outperform its PS4 counterpart, but for a title of the caliber of Dragon Quest XI which lasts for many dozens of hours it would seem that the Japanese still view the big screen TV home console experience as the optimal way to play. It is not hard to see why playing Dragon Quest XI on a crowded bus might not be the most optimal way to experience the game, at least not the first time through.

They are lucky to come out ahead of tales of tbh.

A ‘ship it in any state’ mentality has led Square Enix to absolutely trash the Final Fantasy brand.

Dragon Quest More Relevant Than Final Fantasy in West

Over the course of the week Takashi Mochizuki, a technology reporter with the Wall Street Journal, conducted an interesting experiment. He made a Japanese language Twitter poll asking his Japanese followers to pick the RPG which they feel best represents Japan. Following this he then made an English language Twitter poll asking his Western followers to pick the best currently active JRPG franchise. The results to both of these polls are extremely telling.

The Japanese poll was predictably led by Dragon Quest at 54 percent, followed by Pokemon at 31 percent, Final Fantasy at 9 percent, and Shin Megami Tensei at 6 percent. This is a far cry from Final Fantasy‘s heyday in the mid-90s when the franchise used to be Dragon Quest‘s main competitor. Now the popularity of Final Fantasy among the Japanese is much closer to that of Shin Megami Tensei, which is fast gaining on it.

The English language poll was led by Zelda at 33 percent, followed by Pokemon at 30 percent, Dragon Quest at 20 percent, and Final Fantasy at 17 percent. Zelda is not really a JRPG, and so can pretty much be struck from this list. What remains is the massively popular Pokemon, which has been resurgent ever since the release of Pokemon GO, leading the pack, as Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy trail behind.

There is not a great deal separating Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, but a win is still a win. Moreover, this fall from grace stunning for anyone who has lived through the high watermark of the Final Fantasy series. When Final Fantasy VII released it turned Final Fantasy into the biggest thing in gaming – to the extent that Square were able to release a major Hollywood-style motion picture just three years later. Back in around 2005 or so when gif avatars were just becoming popular on sites like Gamespot and IGN, every second one of them was from either Final Fantasy X or Advent Children, with the remainder heavily represented by Kingdom Hearts. Final Fantasy held the public zeitgeist, and it felt like the biggest thing in the world. When Dragon Quest VIII released one of its biggest selling points was the fact that it came with a Final Fantasy XII demo – and now Dragon Quest is a more important brand to core gamers than Final Fantasy!

Granted, this sample is comprised from a self-selecting group of core gamers who likely have a preference for Japanese style games. These results would not be replicated if asked of the casual gaming crowd mass market, among whom Final Fantasy will still win out [for now] due to brand recognition – but how long can a series survive without its core? Final Fantasy lost its heart, then it lost its soul, and now it has also lost its core audience.

If this was a Doctor Who plotline it would receive a standing ovation!

So… Degeneracy isn’t good when it’s the Japanese doing it?

Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni Pulled from Steam in Australia, Germany

Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni has been pulled from Australian and German Steam storefronts this week, further confirming the stereotypes we all already hold for these ridiculous nanny states. The Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni game is based on the more well known fan service anime, which features rampant lesbionic lewd relationships between older women and younger loli girls, which are able to transform into weapons when they become sexually stimulating. Presumably the game’s mechanics features a similar premise, which has caused it to run foul of the censors. Marvelous has put out this statement:

As of today, 10th August 2017, VALKYRIE DRIVE -BHIKKHUNI-, VALKYRIE DRIVE -BHIKKHUNI- Complete Edition and the VALKYRIE DRIVE -BHIKKHUNI- Complete DLC Pack are no longer available for purchase on Steam in Australia and Germany.

VALKYRIE DRIVE -BHIKKHUNI- was removed for sale in these countries in accordance with local legislation.

This announcement does not affect any other country and VALKYRIE DRIVE -BHIKKHUNI- will continue to be available to purchase on Steam in other countries.

Those who currently own VALKYRIE DRIVE -BHIKKHUNI- on Steam in Australia and Germany will still be able to play the game from their Steam library.

We are currently investigating the possibilities to make VALKYRIE DRIVE -BHIKKHUNI- available again in these countries.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused and we will provide updates when possible.

What remains unclear is why the game is being withdrawn now, this week. Germany refused classification for the game back on July 22, but has presumably been available on Steam in spite of that until this week. Meanwhile the Australian OFLC ratings board shows no signs of having reviewed the game’s content. The OFLC tends to maintain the information of products that have been ‘refused classification’, making it appear as though the game has not been submitted for an Australian rating. Perhaps Germany’s USK ratings board started swinging their feminine penis around, and Marvelous decided to pull the Australian version at the same time on account of not having bothered to submit it for a rating. If that is not the case then there has been some manner of shenanigans afoot.

3 Comments

  1. Lusipurr
    Posted 2017.08.19 at 10:46 | Permalink

    @SN: We called the decline of FF in the west in favour of DQ. Frankly, I am okay with this. I preferred the worldbuilding and storylines of FF, but the gameplay has gone entirely to shit and now the characters have followed. Plot developlment has become an afterthought, with tacked on narratives and no investment in character development or narrative progression. DQ may not reach the heights of FF4, 6, 7, 9, or 12, but it will never sink below a still-high standard, and I am willing to accept the slightly less serious construction if it means that everything else is beautifully done.

  2. Tanzenmatt
    Posted 2017.08.19 at 21:44 | Permalink

    The older games have some especially antiquated mechanics, some of which are still around, but they’re part of what makes Dragon Quest games challenging and therefore fun. There has never been a bad Dragon Quest game either (providing, of course, that one is willing to pay full price for a turn-based RPG). As Lusipurr said, none of them in particular have the same impact and importance of certain Final Fantasies, but since the makers of DQ have maintained the core gameplay and weltanschauung that work for the series, they’re all very good. They have that special word that’s so important for games: joy.

  3. Lusipurr
    Posted 2017.08.20 at 01:46 | Permalink

    @Tanzenmatt: Yes.

    Ultimately, if Shakespeare is no longer an option, I’ll accept Marlowe.