In Japan, the Dragon Quest franchise is a bonafide phenomenon. Each instalment sells millions of copies within the first few days of launch. It has retained its audience of both casual and hardcore players across multiple console generations, the first game having been released in 1986 on the NES. In a 2006 Famitsu survey of the best games of all time, readers voted three separate Dragon Quests into the top ten. The iconic Slime character is as ubiquitous in Akihabara as Mickey Mouse, Bart Simpson, or the (sorry, but it’s true) Minions are over here. Yet the series has never reached that huge level of popularity outside of its homeland. For the upcoming Dragon Quest XI, Square Enix want to change that. Will it succeed?
I really want to be committed to Persona 5. I want to throw all my spare time into its 100+ hour story and lose myself in its characters and world. For the past month or so I’ve been trying, playing it on an off and whilst I am totally ready for things to get serious, it doesn’t feel like Persona 5 is as keen on the idea.
All games need a tutorial in some form, right? Teach the player the ropes, maybe throw in some simple early plot points; generally help the player settle in and ensure they don’t feel totally alienated right from the go. Unless you’re a Souls game I guess, in which case reverse all of the above.
Please, allow 2018 to finally be the year where “finally” is banned from pop culture headlines. Skim through the articles on any site that covers games, films, or TV with a particularly nerdy bent (which, to be honest, is basically everything these days) and the release of new information, images or trailer footage is framed as something that the collective audience has been anticipating for a long time. And not only have they been waiting, but they deserved to have it earlier. There is a strong vein of entitlement within geek culture at the moment. It’s a weird place to have ended up; I remember being a bookish kid dreaming that, one day, there might be such a thing as a live-action Spider-Man film. Nerds have long for their interests, the thing they were passionate about, to be recognised and taken seriously by the mainstream. We subsisted on the crumbs we were palmed off with until now, in the 21st century, the Alpha Geek reigns supreme over popular culture. That patience was rewarded, but it’s ingrained a whole culture — already with a propensity towards white males who feel, whether rightly or wrongly, marginalised — with a sense of entitlement. We need this stuff to be recognised as important!