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Ralek Tehone

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Recent comments

  • Avatar for Ralek Ralek 27 days ago

    I have to say, that I never managed to find any appeal in Animal Crossing. Adding micro-transactions to the proceedings does not make it one bit more appealing obviously, so I won't even bother trying this. I mean, for what they were Super Mario Run and FE Heroes were by no means horrific games, yet I had lost interest in those, too, after a day or two. Still, I appreciate what Nintendo is trying to do here, and at least in terms of the latter, I'd say, that more Fire Emblem is always a good thing in and of itself.

    Few things made me as happy as seeing the series future secured and it's role in Nintendo's line-up even expanded, incl. spin-offs like Mirage Sessions and Warriors. I'm not entirely happy with the changed tone of the series, and the whole focus and waifus/husbandos and the massively expanded meta in terms of 'breeding', but at least for now, I can accept that as part of the deal of FE not only survival, but actual surge. I do hope though that the forthcoming Switch FE will be a bit more .. grounded and traditional, or least - and that is probably more likely - provide some kind of option to go back to that time, basically like an inverse-casual mode.

    Anyways, I image that these games are doing the job they are supposed to do, aka getting folks interested and aware of Nintendo products, just fine. Hence all in all it's probably a success totally irrespective of how I feel about this stuff on a game-by-game basis! :-)

    Posted in Be in IRL Debt to Tom Nook When Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Launches This Year

  • Avatar for Ralek Ralek 28 days ago

    @discohospital I remember reading those headline as well, though I don't recall one that drew an argumentative line straight from more-Zeldas-sold-than-Switchs to Switch-must-be-a-great-success. That is not to say that none such existed, just that I didn't come across one like it.

    The point is that you cannot derive an insight into the attach rate of a system based on one game. In fact, that is the polar opposite of what attach rate is all about:
    Let's assume everyone who bought a Switch, would have also bought Zelda (some people, for whatever reason, might have even bought several ones). That could be a good indication in terms of a strong attach rate down the road, sure, but it could also mean, the exact opposite, that people bought the Switch for Zelda, and then went on to buy nothing else or very litte else for it ... hence you'd end up with truly horrible attach down the road.

    That is important, because seeing as it is a 'rate', or in other words a ratio between two different units (sales of the e.g. 'console' and 'games') it is not contingent on absolute sales numbers. If the Switch had only Zelda, the attach rate would be fantastic, but the same would be true whether there was one Switch sold or a millions Switchs sold.

    At least that is my understanding of the concept. Obviously though, you are quite right, that without a significant installbase, the best attach rate will not lead to the number of sales companies tend to look for :-)

    It's true that the library of the Switch will fill up and this 'gold rush' will come to a close. It's worth noting though, that the Switch will - for the foreseeable future - have a smaller library by a significant margin that the Switch, and that also holds true for games that could compete with SMTV. I think the Switch will be an amazing jRPG down the line (with games like Xenoblade and Octopath Traveler already on the horizon or only weeks) away, but alas, there is still a ways to go until it caught up with the PS4 in terms of sheer numbers of jRPG games available (though that is an argument bout quantity, not quality to be sure).

    As you say, it's quite possible that the game will be still like 2 years away from a release in the WEst, but the same is true for any other major jRPG that could be newly announced for the Switch any day now. Hence, I doubt the market will be saturated by the time SMT comes around, which of course, it wouldn't be anyways, because the game is so specific in terms of it's audience.

    "I see no equivalency between Xbox One and PS4 (nor indeed between Xbox One and Switch) when it comes to Atlus’ target market."

    That was kinda my point though. The xbox audience encapsulates the mainstream 'western'/ North American audience like no other systems. The games that sell the best through-out a given year, are the core pillars (at least traditionally) of the Xbox brand, think like:
    Call of Duty, Destiny (Bungie), Assassins Creed, Fifa, Madden (!), NBA (!) ... with Madden and NBA and Fifa obviously having particular tilts within the 'western' region.

    You made a point about japanese developers wanting to reach out to broader audiences in west. Well, not to oversimply, but if you really want to make it BIG - capital letters - this is the audience we are talking about. In other words, if you are successful with that audience, you definitely can make it on Xbox - or, to put it on its head, if you can't make it on Xbox, then that audience is probably not accessible to you.

    Hence, you basically said it yourself then, the mainstream of 'western' gaming is not accessible to Atlus. An Atlus RPG will never to the yearly sales charts in North America or Europe, not even by a long shot. All possible tendencies of convergence aside, the Japanese market is very different from those two markets and incidentally that is exactly where Microsoft never matched to even so much as create a meaningful foothold.

    But I think we are already in agreement, that it's really only about finding and possibly creating more niche markets in the west, instead of really appealing to the mainstream. That much is definitely more likely on Playstation than on Xbox, absolutely. PS has a rich history going back to the PSX in terms of bringing this kind of content to dedicated audience in the west, even though that reputation - in my humble opinion - has suffered in the Ps3 and Ps4 era somewhat (which is of course due to many factors, with the cost and demands of HD developments being just one of them).

    I still think that a game like SMT has different priorities: With No. 1 being trying to find success within Japan, and only No. 2 being about 'compatibility' with a broader western audience. Persona, as you said, is definitely a strong seller in the west, but even that cannot be a stand-in for a mainline SMT game. I'd point to the pivot of FE Awakening towards 'waifus'/'husbandos' and the whole social-sim/breeding aspect, which afforded the game unprecedented success in the west. Persona works in a different vein, definitely in terms of 'waifus'/'husbandos' fandom appeal, but also the whole actual dating sim aspect of it - which is absent from SMT. Persona I think, starting with P3/FES, had a strong structural and stylisic appeal beyond Japan, that SMT never quite achieved.

    Hence, if you ask me, I think ATlus thinking was this: SMT is very much a Japanese game. SMT is very much a game suited to portable play (think about all that grind ^^). The Switch is future of portable play (besides smart devices of course), certainly in Japan. The Switch actually has a more than decent chance of overtaking the PS4 down the road. I'd go so far as to say that this is a way more likely outcome than an unlikely one. With the 3DS dying, moving to the Switch must seem like the most logical course of action for them.

    They are thus not chasing the mainstream western market, like e.g. Capcom with Monster Hunter, but they are trying to stabilize their existing market on a new device. In short that is the purpose of SMTV in my book. It's supposed to safe guard the transition of their existing audience from the 3DS to the Switch. THAT cannot be accomplished by bringing the game to the PS4.

    I'd found this on Siliconera: "Atlus decided on going with the Nintendo Switch so that fans can enjoy the game’s story in HD at home on their TVs, while playing portable or tabletop mode to put in the grind to level up and fuse demons at the comfort of your own bed."


    This gels well with my view on what's going on. I think the point could be made that ALSO bringing the game to the eg. Ps4 (or even PC) would not necessarily hurt it's purpose in terms of facilitating the 3DS-Switch-audience transference, but keep in mind that Atlus is actually a small company with still very little experience in terms of sprawling HD RPGs (actually only Persona 5 and GIR#Fe come to mind, with Cathrine being not much HD and not much sprawling ^^), that has a strong need to focus its development ressources very carefully.

    It is quite possible, that down the road, the game will be announced for other systems as well, in terms of forthcoming ports, but right now, it's a Switch exclusive. Just to be clear, I don't think that is any kind of malice on Atlus part, or any kind of naivete of theirs in terms of sales potential on the Ps4 (or PC), but just a reflection of their priorities sitll being somewhat Japan centric, and certainly more focused right now on bringing 3DS audience to the Switch, than to expand or please potential audiences on the Ps4 (or PC).

    Those are just different goals simply put. There is the sales of one game, SMTV, then there is the sales of major Atlus projects (developed and published) down the road, like e.g. Etrian Odyssey sequels and bunch of other stuff. For this to be viable in the future, the Switch needs to be established as a clear 3Ds successor over the next 2 years. Again, my read here is that is the priority and that is pretty much all there is to this.

    SO yeah, to directly address your comment in this regard, I think it does make sense to keep doing exclusive, esp. if a cross-platform PC-PS4-Switch development of a niche title like SMTV is maybe too taxing, esp. IF (I could be wrong after all) the purpose of the whole game is really not making a giant profit by itself, but rather paving the way into the future. I mean, there are companies who operate single-mindedly from quarterlies to quarterlies, but thankfully that is not a universal theme all-around yet.

    Last but not least, I also hope it'll a success, for the sake of the franchise, for the sake of Atlus future, and for the sake of the Switch being more than a Nintendo-1st-party-games-machine! :-)
    I'd definitely suggest getting a Switch, if you have any interest in the library it is building. It certainly is my most used gaming device these days, and I do have a PC, an Xbox one, a PS4, a 3DS, a Vita and a bunch of other oldies ^^ I can only see it taking even up more of my time, with time consuming RPGs like Xenoblade and, as you mentioned, Octopath Traveler (the demo was amazing btw ^^) out in the next couple of weeks and months. I mostly use it in portable mode, though TV mode works better in some situations, like playing ARMs with friends or FE:W in splitscreen ;-)

    It's wonderfully flexible, and I think that will definitely speak to the reality of the life of the jRPG audience in Japan - that is just an educated guess though :-)

    Posted in Atlus Will Live Stream Details About the Shin Megami Tensei HD Switch Game Next Week

  • Avatar for Ralek Ralek 28 days ago

    Anyone else thought this looked a lot like Tokyo Mirage Session (esp. the first part with the 'faceless masses'), just with a severely toned down color palette? Anyways, I am totally psyched for this, I really enjoyed Tokyo Mirage Sessions. I mean, SMTV was fine, but I kind hate the static way combat was "animated". TMS was so much more lively and dynamic, and I actually think, it added a few cool mechnical twist to the formula/ combat. I really hope SMT will pick up on some of that stuff.

    This and Xenoblade and Octopath Traveler really turned the Switch into the most excting jRPG prospect going into 2018 for me. The PS4 made leaps forward this year in terms of RPGs from Japan, but still, we are a long way from the range and consistent quality of the PS2 era. We'll probably never get that back, but I do believe that Switch could offer a fair chance at a decent jRPG revival for the years to come.

    I'm mean this on top of a home-console quality FE, so ... OMGomgomg amazing stuff's happening! :-)

    Posted in SMT For Switch Is Officially Shin Megami Tensei V

  • Avatar for Ralek Ralek 28 days ago

    @discohospital Well, based on the reveal earlier today, it seems that for the time being, it'll be a Switch game.

    You make some good points, but ultimately, I don't think all of them a valid. For example, I strongly disagree that the Switch is more risky than the PS4. It's a common mistake to assume that larger installbase equals more total sales at the end of the day. This obviously makes sense, and it definitely can turn out to be true, but it's not a self evident law, other factors play a role as well:

    For example, the attach rate matters more than just the sheer number of customers.
    Equally important: What customers are we talking about? Or to put it differently, if Persona 5 runs okay on the Ps3, bringing it to the X1 should have been a no problem, one would assume, even for a small dev like Atlus. The pertintent question though is, how big a market is there in terms of Xbox owners interest in Persona 5, who don't also own a Ps3 or Ps4. Apparently, Atlus decided that this was a rather insignificant group.
    Also highly important is the matter of what else is available. There is currently an almost literal gold rush going on in the e-shop with certain indie games posting their strongest overall sales on the Switch, despite being multiplatform releases, incl. much more populated systems like the PS4. There is simply right now that not much competition for attention on the Swtich, hence every single title has a good chance of finding an audience ... even titles that would be otherwise drowned out in MASSIVE catalogues like the PSN, Xbox Live and Steam.
    This is twice as important, if you are a company with a limited marketing budget. it's less an issue for Activision than it is for Atlus in short.

    And yeah, the fact remains SMT is a niche game, with niche appeal, esp. outside of Japan. There is a lot of pressure on the Japanese market, esp. in terms of traditional home-console market, and hence it makes sense for developers to reach out to the vast western audiences to sustain their sales numbers, but also certainly to find any hope of growth. Alas, I think that is also a bit of a pipe dream. Western audiences are conditioned differently, have been for decades. Atlus could wish to turn Persona into the next Witcher or Mass Effect of course (in terms of adding sales in the west to theirs).

    I'm not opposed to SMTV coming to other platforms. I just think it's not as likely as you made it out to be, despite some good reason in favor of it.

    Posted in Atlus Will Live Stream Details About the Shin Megami Tensei HD Switch Game Next Week

  • Avatar for Ralek Ralek 30 days ago

    @discohospital Maybe, but isn't the more important point, that it is actually coming to the Switch? I think jRPGs a great fit for portable systems, esp. all the ones that turn-based and like ... really, really loooonnngggg (aka the vast majority of them ^^).

    I'd definitely prefer SMTV on the Switch over the same game on PC or PS4. I mean, looking at Atlus track-record "HD" does not really mean that much. It's not going be a game anyone is going to play for it's visuals, Unreal engine or not. If anything, it'll be played for it's visual style and design, like Persona 5, but not the graphics as such.

    It's also worth noting, that Atlus only rarely bothers with porting and multi-platform releases as far as SMT and it's spin-offs go, and possibly more importantly, for the longest time now, basically since the PS2 era and P4, the games have been very much portable centric. I think the reason for this is that these are very much niche games, that are still mainly focused on the Japanese market (Atlus lacking a EU publishing branch for the longest time), and that market shifted to portable device during the HD era.

    Anyways, all of this is just conjecture, but again, what matters is that it'll be coming to the Switch, and I'm positive that this will be a great match.

    Also, I really hope this is "V" - if not in name, then at least in spirit. I am not generally opposed to spin-offs of any variation, with DDS and Persona being amazing series on their own, but it's so long since I've played a mainline SMT game on anything but a tiny 3DS screen, that this really feels like a game changer. Fingers crossed then :-)

    Posted in Atlus Will Live Stream Details About the Shin Megami Tensei HD Switch Game Next Week

  • Avatar for Ralek Ralek A month ago

    I really hope they move on to the Switch sooner rather than later. Since I got that damn thing, my tendency to pick-up and play my 3DS has really gone down the drain ...

    Posted in Etrian Odyssey 5 is the Best Hardcore RPG You Don't Know About

  • Avatar for Ralek Ralek A month ago

    @BulkSlash I enjoyed 3D Land, but I was really bored by 3D World. It was a competent game, but in the last exciting and tame way possible. I have to say though, I'm not a big Mario fan, or a fan of platformers in general, but I am kinda excited for Odyssey.

    Mainly because until BotW came along, I was really down on most so-called open-world games (with a few exceptions like RDR and GTAV, though I think I liked them despite this rather than because of it), but BotW really showed that exploring an open-world can be highly enjoyable in and off itself, IF it is done right.

    This is what really gives me high hopes for Odyssey. If it can tap into the same sensation of "let me just check what's behind that next hill, then I'll stop ...", then it will be quite a treat!Edited last month by Unknown

    Posted in Edge Magazine Reportedly Gives Super Mario Odyssey a Perfect Score

  • Avatar for Ralek Ralek A month ago

    "We broke down our impressions of loot boxes (loot chests) in Shadow of War, explaining how they ultimately serve to cut down the time you spent grinding in the actual game. "

    Fantastic! So all I have to do to spend LESS time playing the game I paid $60 for, is spend some MORE money it!? That's truly brilliant and yes, I'd even go to far as to say that this is the very definition of "benign" ....

    Give me a break. They designed the game not only to 'make room' for loot-boxes, but to incentivize buying them, which btw (and just for laughs and giggles) also means that buying them is OPTIONAL, feeling their impact on the game design is 100% MANDATORY ... there is nothing even remotely benign about this. I had exactly 0.0 need and/or incentive to grind in the original game. If anything, not spending points to not actually overpower yourself straight away was the way more pressing concern. If there is any need to grind in the sequel, then one does not have to suggest an evil corporate conspiracy to argue that this is almost certainly intentional aka creating ones' own demand.

    Seriously this is complete insanity. What is there even to debate here? If anything, the only debate we should be having is whether the game is so mindblowingly fantastic, that consumers should seriously consider supporting this kind of monetization scheme for sake of this potentially second-to-none gaming experience. I haven't played the game, but if it's anything like the first one (which was pretty good, if a blatant Arkham rip-off), the answer clearly is NO! This year is crowded with fantastic releases, so exercise some reason folks, it's there for a ... uhm ahhh well ... reason, I guess :-)

    Posted in The Next Loot Box Debate Will be About Star Wars Battlefront 2

  • Avatar for Ralek Ralek A month ago

    @moroboshi Haha, tru dat about the music! Pretty much my biggest gripe with the game, besides the fact that all the cool story-related activities in the game can only be done once in the "campaign" and then never again. Anyways, you can turn the music off, so it was really not a major problem for me.

    Still, the rest of the game is fantastic, easily one of the most purely and genuinely enjoyable games I've played in a very long time. Charming through-out, solid mechanics and absolutely no bullshit (no padding, no grind, no micro-transactions and so on and so forth) - last but not least: incredible attention to detail. For example, I just loved how, when you open the menu, the characters eye's will always follow your selection.

    I think Nintendo should get the two folks behind this game a job, and put them to good use making Mother 4. Also, I'd love a tennis game being made by them in this style. Hell, I think I'd play a cricket game made by them - or anything really (just fix the sub-par music plz ^^).Edited last month by Unknown

    Posted in Why Is Everyone Going Nuts over Golf Story?

  • Avatar for Ralek Ralek A month ago

    I'll wait for the VC release. That might be another 20 years for all we know, but what ever, one is used to thinking in decades when it comes to Nintendo :-)

    I still think launching a VC service on the Switch would have been a decent way to make money for them, esp. if it launched with some highly demanded almost mythic games like Star Fox 2 and Mother 3. Not to mention the kind of positive publicity and good will those kind of releases would have created for the Switch as such.

    Maybe they are holding back until the Switch sales slow-down or they want to have something up their sleeve for one of the upcoming E3s ... I don't have an MBA, so I don't know anything ^^

    Posted in Less Than a Day Into the SNES Classic Launch and the Star Fox 2 ROM has Already Leaked Online