Draconus: Cult of the Wyrm is a Dreamcast game that may seem like it has no relevance beyond its year of release. It’s the spiritual sequel to the 1998 PC exclusive, Die by the Sword, which offers free-ranged sword movement 20 years before The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. More importantly, the developer behind Draconus – Treyarch – is now one of the major teams on the massively successful Call of Duty series. Along with Die by the Sword, Draconus is one of the only original franchises the team ever produced.
From the outside, it can be difficult to tell when a series has gone off the rails and into rehash territory. For years Call of Duty was criticized for being the same game released every 12 months, but almost everyone has a beloved franchise that only an active player can see the minute differences in. This is especially true when new ideas get buried in familiar elements.
Note: Disney China was a previous client of my current employer as of posting.
It’s easy to forget about Spectrobes as it had a fairly short run before puttering out. While sales whimpered with the final release, it did go out with a bang. Spectrobes: Origins is a surprisingly ambitious release for the Wii, featuring RPG and action adventure elements with a bit of monster collecting.
This article contains significant spoilers regarding NieR and NieR: Automata.
When I played the original NieR more than half a decade ago, I don’t think I could have ever have foreseen how much it’d resonate with me or that it would be one of many titles essential in changing how I view games today. While flawed, the variety in level design, off-kilter writing, fantastic music, and its surprisingly vulgar yet compassionate cast made a huge impact on me.
I hardly expected NieR to get a proper sequel, nor could I have imagined how disappointing the final result would be.
Aside from the initial reveal, I’ve largely ignored of NieR: Automata. I’ve got nothing against it, I just don’t get much out of preview coverage. Demos, trailers, etc. all present an image of a game, yet the lack of information leaves me more uncertain than confident. It’s up to the consumer to fill in the blanks, whether they be positive or negative. Nonetheless, I succumbed to temptation and played Automata’s Demo 120161128. So, I guess we’ll go down this rabbit hole of speculation and assumptions, because I can’t stop thinking about it and probably not for the reasons others can’t.
NieR: Automata is developed by PlatinumGames. That’s a simple and well-known fact that brings joy to many. There are few developers that could contest with their pedigree when it comes to third-person melee-focused action games. Mixing their high intensity combat with the world of NieR is a promising combination and likely the reason why so much hype is building around Automata.
However, PlatinumGames’ involvement and Square Enix’s expectations of the title mostly cause me distress.
I’m in the odd position of preferring Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U versus the generally agreed upon better release on Wii.
This video includes a quick look at developer Yuji Naka’s recent ventures, comparing the biggest changes between the two versions and how the Wii U version overcomes some of the challenges faced by the original.