Last Week’s King and Kong (July 27th-August 2nd): Red Ash Real Talk

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

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So, when I do one of these, I poll my fellow contributors of oprainfall for who should be King and Kong for the week. Sometimes, I get a few Kong nominees that I need to decide on. This week, there was one that kept coming up that I completely agreed with.

King, on the other hand, isn’t so lucky.

I don’t know what it is. Maybe we (as a society) are just more attuned to knowing when someone screwed up. Meanwhile, when someone does something right, we just look at it and say “Well, they’re just doing what they should’ve done in the first place.”

So, while Kong will be on the nose with a lot of people this week, King will definitely be debatable. Just remember, this segment is supposed to be entertaining, not necessarily serious.

So, yeah, take these only as seriously as you wish.

KING

Let’s see, better check what’s in the news this week… Final Fantasy Explorers gets announced for localization. Nice. Although I can’t really give it to Square Enix this week because a number of things happened that negated the good will from this announcement. Plus, announcing that a Final Fantasy title is coming over, while welcomed, isn’t exactly Earth-shattering.

And no, announcing new Dragon Quest titles doesn’t count as positive news for them. That just pisses me off more that several games in the franchise have been made yet haven’t come over.

What else… Ooo, Toei announced a new Kamen Rider series. Very cool.

Ah, here we go. We have two incredibly worthy candidates that both deserve the crown. And it’s so close to call that I’ll let you guys decide.

King Nominee Farhan Qureshi | King and Kong

King nominee #1 is programmer Farhan Qureshi for his recreation of the now-cancelled Silent Hills demo P.T. in Unity.

Per contributor Brandon Rose, this is a multiple-point nomination for Qureshi. One, it is an obvious middle finger in the face of Konami. And frankly, given how they’ve acted the past few years, it’s a glorious flipping of the bird.

Two, it gives some credibility to Unity. For a while now, Unity has been shunned merely for being the engine used for asset flips that claim to be games. This right here, the P.T. recreation, shows and re-enforces that Unity can be more than just asset flips. Good games can come from it.

Three, this was a project that was pretty much reverse engineered. The models and textures were created primarily from watching YouTube playthroughs of P.T. And doing so in just a little over 100 hours. That’s some serious programming chops right there.

King Nominee Gaijin Goombah | King and Kong

King nominee #2 is Gaijin Goombah for how he tackled the backlash against Tifa Lockhart for the upcoming remake of Final Fantasy VII. For those not in the know, Tifa is the subject of a number of articles and petitions with regards to shrinking her bust size.

Gaijin’s response: Back off!

The rebuttal focused on two things. The first comes from real life where well-endowed women get harassed — and not just by cat-callers either; focus was put on these ladies being slut-shamed just because of their body. This sucks and needs to stop. And from Gaijin’s point of view, having positive role models like Tifa would be helpful for those with that body type.

The second point: people who are focusing on her bust are completely missing the point on what the character is really about — that being that Tifa is kind of a bad ass. She played a key role in helping out Cloud, including recovering his memories after falling into the lifestream. Plus, she can suplex giant robots — a fact that got some focus during the video.

So, for those that only see Tifa as a large pair of breasts, I implore you: KNOCK IT OFF!

By the way Mr. Goombah, could you pass along a question to your buddy MatPat? When is he going to do the video trying to fix the problems with his theory about Mario that were created by the “Two Marios” video?

[poll id=”242″]

KONG

Not getting it this week are the salty fans of Final Fantasy VII after hearing that certain things in the remake will be changed. It needs to be said that, even though the original game covers four discs, it is still limited in what it could’ve done. Doing a remake allows for a measure of fixing things that the developers didn’t necessarily like.

Why they won’t get it is because of the Star Wars argument made by Noah Antwiler during an episode of Shut Up and Talk with Doug Walker awhile back. To paraphrase: when something becomes such a phenomenon, it becomes part of who we are. When you screw that up, you screw up a part of society.

In this case, even though Final Fantasy VII isn’t on the same level as Star Wars, it is still a major part of the gaming community. And if this remake gets screwed up because developers tinkered with it too much, then it will screw up a bit of ourselves. Tread carefully, Square Enix.

And don’t think I’m not letting you off easy, either. The announcements of Dragon Quest X for PS4 and NX and Dragon Quest XI were all well and good. But there’s this little tick that happens with me every time I hear the franchise name when it isn’t followed by things like “localization” or “coming to the West.”

Also, Square Enix, every time you don’t localize a Dragon Quest game, Erdrick kills a puppy. Do you really want Erdrick to keep killing puppies?

Kong - Keiji Inafune

But our winner, and deservedly so, is Keiji Inafune and his studio, Comcept, for the debacle that is the Red Ash Kickstarter campaign. Our own Jacob Dobbs had a bit to say on the issue this past weekend, so I’ll try not to repeat much of what he said.

So…. where do I even begin with this?

Let’s start with the fact that the campaign started before the Mighty No. 9 release. “Now hold on,” the Inafune defenders are probably saying, “what about Double Fine and inXile? They both had Kickstarter campaigns before their first crowdfunded games released!” Yes, yes they did. And both campaigns reflect on how they handled the first. Broken Age was mangled in financial trouble despite over $3 million raised for the game, resulting in Massive Chalice getting less than half of what Broken Age raised. Meanwhile, the only issue you can really raise against Wasteland 2 is the fact that it was delayed — and you can see how well people responded with Torment: Tides of Numenera, raising over $4 million on the website. And just to put a little bow on their success, they followed that up with $1.5 million for The Bard’s Tale IV, which will then have $1.25 million added on top of that by inXile.

Comcept? It hasn’t been going so well since Mighty No. 9 was first revealed. The campaign, of course, raised over $4 million. They brought in Manami Matsumae and Takashi Tateishi to work on music and sound. They announced that video production company 2 Player Productions was creating a documentary about the game’s development.

And then, the honeymoon ended. They hired on a controversial member of the gaming community to run their forums — and ran it in such a way that many have demanded refunds. They then attempted to crowdfund for full English voice acting and even the first batch of DLC, a rival for Beck named Ray. And then came the animated series, which looks to take Inafune’s mighty creation… and make him as goofy as the characters in Sonic Boom.

So when Red Ash first appeared before Mighty No. 9 had released — and in a time when positivity for Inafune was probably at an all-time low — you could tell that this campaign was gonna have a hard time. And it didn’t help that a physical copy would cost 1.5 times more than a regular retail game. And to top it off, they had an anime getting crowdfunded at the same time. Strangely enough, only the anime was funded, but both will be created because, as it was revealed this week, a publisher was already lined up to help fund the project.

“Now Jeff, didn’t Bloodstained and Shenmue III have publisher support during their campaigns.” Yes they did, but only Shenmue III is a true apples-to-apples comparison because Iga was smart enough to reveal from the very start in his campaign video that he had a publisher lined up waiting to see what type of support the project would get — and in case you forgot, the publisher is Deep Silver and the project got a record amount of support for a video game on Kickstarter; a record it held for a month. Shenmue III, on the other hand, was revealed at the Sony E3 conference and, after literally breaking Kickstarter, went on to break the previously mentioned record… before it was revealed that Sony would have a financial stake in the game, though that may just be from a marketing perspective on the PS4. The campaign also had some other somewhat shady aspects to it, but we’ll really be getting off track if we go into that mess.

Nevertheless, the Red Ash campaign should come as a warning to all other indie developers. One, know your image within the community. Two, if this is your second campaign, be wary of campaigning again if your first game is not released. Three, NEVER have a separate campaign going concurrently with the main campaign.

Oh, and Inafune, I have a message for you from Dr. Ian Malcolm.

Apologies for anything wrong with the video. It was the only one I could find that was synced up properly.

Anyway, Keiji Inafune and Comcept, consider yourselves Konged.

And if you’re wondering why Konami isn’t here for that Castlevania Pachinko machine? Don’t worry, they’ll be here next time.


Agree with the choices? Have your own picks for King and Kong? Let us know in the comments below.

About Jeff Neuenschwander

Jeff has been a supporter of the website and campaign since the beginning. Joining in for E3 2012, he worked his way up the ranks quickly, making it to the Editing Manager post at the beginning of 2013. Jeff has a wide variety of tastes when it comes to gaming and pretty much likes anything that is quirky, although his favorite genres are Action, Platforming, and RPG. Outside of gaming, Jeff is a musician, being trained as a trombonist for Jazz and Classical music, and holds a degree in Sound Recording.




  • JDobbs

    Next week is going to be a fun time.