All these games, available on the Metanorn console that doesn’t exist… yet…
Recently, I published the Gamer’s Digest post, and just before doing this 12 Days situation, I remembered Question #14 from the 50 questions bandwagon of posts: What game would make a good anime? We’ve seen Halo get what I thought was a quality ONA series, Mass Effect just came out with the Paragon Lost movie, so some games (and Western games, at that) have been poking their heads into anime land. We also saw a few anime series in 2012 use gaming as a subject to either create a world (SAO, Accel World) or bring the video game to real life (BTOOOM). What I’d like to do with this post is revisit some of those anime and looks mostly at the video game aspects of these series.
Persona 4 The Animation
Starting last fall heading into Winter 2012, P4 The Animation was my first exposure of any kind to the Shin Megami Tensei series. Each week, I followed along with Overcooled, Karakuri and others to see how a game that is as long-lasting as Persona 4 was being adapted into a 25-episode TV series. As I now have played a bunch of Persona 4 Golden, I’m thinking back to the anime and really appreciating what was done with the TV series, picking the right parts to include, etc. While we don’t see the dungeon crawling or the bunches of times Yu hangs out with someone to build up Social Links, what the anime did present was some quality action, great humor and captured all of the characters and the spirit of the game so well.
Unlike the other games that will be discussed, this one already was a video game and is just a straight-up adaptation. The way the game is written and how the character’s personalities are, Persona 4 was tailor-made for an anime. While it’d be fun to see one of the Final Fantasies or Dragon Quest games become a series, those games wouldn’t be nearly as easy to adapt as P4.
If you haven’t watched P4 The Animation yet, hopefully this little read will have increased your Understanding enough to go check it out!
*Also this year was Tales of Vesperia: First Strike, a movie that was a prequel to the game.*
Sword Art Online
I’m sure for many, SAO brought back memories of .hack// as we saw Kirito get stuck inside the game of SAO via Kayaba Akihiko and the Nerve Gear. Seeing the anime makes me nervous about putting on gaming headgear for the moment, but that won’t stop people from trying to make one. There is a device called the Oculus Rift that is currently being worked on, and if anything, it’s the first significant step for VR gaming that could bring us one step closer to something like SAO that we can play from the comfort of our bed. It would make an MMO game feel even more like an “escape” from “reality”.
The game of Sword Art Online itself is one that I thought looked really nice and would’ve been fun to play. It’s an expansive world that had many floors to explore with different settings, and of course there’s the traditional elements like races, clans, etc. I also thought the menu designs shown were pretty sleek, never too busy. I also liked that the series showed some side quests as episodes, always necessary for the sake of leveling up and prepping to fight the next big boss… also why a game takes 50 hours instead of 20.
By the same author of Sword Art Online also came this game-centric series. What Accel World did was use the game as a means to earn Burst Points, and is interesting in that what you earn in the VRMMO fighting game could be used in the real world for your benefit, so long as you don’t lose the game and it force-uninstalls on you.
What’s neat about this concept is what you can do with the Burst Points. Instead of having the PS3 post trophy updates to your Facebook account or unlocking some stupid color skins for your fighter (items that are 0% tangible), you’re getting something in return that can be used outside the game, and that’s the ability to use Brain Burst and accelerate your brainwaves. Using Brain Burst allows you to perceive things like incoming punches as incredibly slow. The game has very specific rules about installation and such, and I could imagine that there’d be a lot of political issues dealing with people that play this game. Heck, it could be baseball’s future version of the steroids issue many many years down the road.
The manga covers are even like a game box
I haven’t watched enough BTOOOM to get heavy into plot details, but I know that the series is more of a “Survivor” anime that uses the awkwardly-named game as its method of violence and action. I just call it Mature Bomberman, but anyways… unique from the other series listed in this section, BTOOOM takes place in the real world.
One thing I thought was unusual was that main character Ryota and Himiko are married in the game. That struck me as a little odd when we’re talking about something that is a combat game, something where you wouldn’t expect relationships other than clans or guilds. Is it possible that I could have a Game Wife in a future Call of Duty game? Makes no sense…
Tablet Gaming & Augmented Reality
Kai can be seen frequently playing Kill-Ballad on his PokeCom. RoboNo takes place in 2019, so there’s a lot to consider about the advancements of mobile devices. While there are some average takes on first-person melee and fighting that have come out (Zeno Clash and Breakdown), K-B looks like a polished and very fast-paced fighter that Kai has gotten amazingly good at with only a touchscreen. As much as the joystick is a fighting fan’s beloved controller, at some point it’s got to become a thing of old as touch controls get better and we as gamers become more comfortable doing more complex touch motions than cutting the rope.
In episode 11, we saw the depth sensors Frau received which look remarkably similar to the Xbox 360′s Kinect. The show uses 4 of these together to start doing some motion capturing with Junna for the GunPro-2. Could something like this for specific development uses be more readily available to the public, and at affordable pricing?
What we have now with the 360 Kinect is pretty decent, but it’s been known that in order for the device to get to a $150 price point at launch, some components had to be removed which would’ve actually improved the device’s ability to track your movements. Leaked documentation of Durango (Xbox’s next console codename) and Kinect 2 show improvements to the device’s motion tracking. While I think Wii’s motion fad has lost steam and Sony made a poor choice by trying to make Move the hardcore version of that, Kinect is one that has staying power. It seems like Robotics;Notes would agree with me on that point. It’s uses are beyond gaming, and as RoboNo seems to theorize, it can be used in the development process for a robot, program, game, etc.
Produces the MetaVerse podcast. Also plays games and watches sports of all sorts.