You guys still playing Pokémon Go? I’m surprised to see that for many people around the country, the answer is still a resounding Fuck Yes. It’s not that I don’t think it’s worth putting some time into it every once in a while, but I’m surprised so many players have stuck with it despite being hampered with unequivocally busted servers. But I wonder if some of the mystery driving the game is gone now that 1) folks have broken down the data and 2) some guy already caught them all.
Next week, however, will be a veritable deluge of games to take away your time from that or whatever else you’ve been doing (perhaps playing the excellent Furi?) Quadrilateral Cowboy finally comes out, as does Double Fine’s Headlander and the conclusion to Telltale’s Minecraft: Story Mode. And let’s not forget some of the biggest movie releases of the year like Jason Bourne and Bad Moms. (Go watch Star Trek Beyond now before it falls out of theatres!)
But that’s for later. This is for the now! For trailers! (Of things that will be in the far flung later, so, uh, whatever.)
Batman: The Telltale Series — World Premiere Trailer
My biggest question, one that I’ve had since this series was announced at The Game Awards, is what can Telltale bring to the table? We already know what they’re capable of as a studio, dipping between the dire and the joyous, and we know what Batman is capable of exploring as a character. There must be something new that Telltale wants to say about the storied caped crusader that we haven’t seen before.
Or at least that’s the hope. This trailer doesn’t show much that would give that away, but the promise at the SXSW panel was that there would be more Bruce Wayne stuff than Batman stuff, including the possibility to wholly excise the mask from the game. That does sound interesting, so we’ll see. The first episode “Realm of Shadows” comes out for, like, every platform on August 2, 2016.
Upsilon Circuit — Indiegogo Campaign Video
I’ve rarely heard as interesting an ideas as Upsilon Circuit. I think it was at last year’s SXSW I saw it (or maybe it was a PAX?) and had I not been familiar with the developers Robot Loves Kitty from the super slick Legend of Dungeon, I might have ignored it. But that would have been a mistake.
The premise, if you didn’t watch the Indiegogo video above, is that you take the role of either a viewer or a player in a single global instance of one singular multiplayer action RPG. If you are a viewer, you can impact the elements that the players will face Hunger Games-style. If you are one of the eight players, you try to reach the end. But if you die, that’s it. You don’t play again. Pretty cool, right? Check it out if you’re so inclined.
NES Classic Edition
Wow, definitely forgot that this was announced, and that was barely a week ago. It was news that largely passed my field of view and kept on going. It was neat, but its impact on my life was almost null despite my love for a great number of the included games.
After seeing this trailer, though, I’ve gotta say, I think I want one. It totally won me over in its short 44 seconds. Seeing the attitude and aesthetic and era of it all makes me miss those simple, blocky times. Besides, I’ll never say no to playing Metroid again. It will be available on November 11, 2016, for $59.99.
BrightLocker — Grand Finals
Okay, so that trailer isn’t strictly speaking a recent one, but it does explain what BrightLocker is. I’m going to guess you’re either going to skip the video and read this or skip this block entirely, so let me break it down for you: instead of crowdfunding, you participate in crowdpublishing, so you’ll be voting on what gets funded and developed. And during development, you get to give input on how it gets made and maybe even get royalties.
On one hand, that sounds pretty neat. I love the idea of getting regular people more exposed and educated on what goes into pitching and then designing/programming/releasing a game. On the other hand, coming from a background where uninformed input is the bane of my existence, that sounds awful for the developers. Anyways, the finals just started and go on until August 5, so you have until then to vote on what gets made.
Marvel’s The Defenders — SDCC Teaser
This is the definition of a teaser trailer. Here’s what we see: some logos. Here’s what we hear: Nirvana’s “Come as You Are” and a man deliver two lines. That man, I’m guessing, is Stick from Daredevil, but who can really say. (I can. I’m telling you it’s Stick.)
It will be the union of Netflix’s little slice of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Daredevil and Jessica Jones while setting up Luke Cage and Iron Fist, both of which also got trailers at San Diego Comic-Con. And really, those are the ones worth watching (they both have really fitting showrunners). The Defenders and Iron Fist land sometime in 2017 while Luke Cage premieres on September 30, 2016.
The Lost Arcade — Trailer #1
Good god this trailer is evoking some deep, trampled emotions in me. I grew up in arcades just like Chinatown Fair. They were dirty and grimy and felt just barely safe enough to where I could go and my parents wouldn’t mind so long as I didn’t tell them beforehand. (Forgiveness versus permission, am I right?) The modern era of arcades are, umm, artificial, I guess.
So-called “barcades” are always more bar than arcades, players garnering dirty looks from the folks buying shots in bulk. Restaurant arcades are always filled with new, shiny machines, lacking the intrigue of old. The loss of arcades like Chinatown Fair, basically, is a tragedy. And if this documentary captures that cultural failing, both its forlorn beauty and heartbreaking diminishing, then it definitely has my attention.
Godzilla Resurgence — Trailer #2
Listen, okay, I thought 2014’s Godzilla from Gareth Edwards, writer/director of the terrific Monsters and director of the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, was just okay. I definitely didn’t hate it, but I thought it had a lot to do to make it at all compelling. It was just…okay.
But for all the muddled aspirations it had as a film that would carry forward the monstrous name and monster in the Western canon, the wholly Japanese Godzilla Resurgence is more a comprehensively dour and dark deliverance of what made the originals so engaging. Which is to say you get to see a lot of a giant monster stomping on buildings while the military shoots things at it. It premieres on July 29, 2016, in Japan. (It’s also the 31st film in the Godzilla franchise and Toho’s third(!) reboot of the franchise.)
Kentucky Route Zero, Act IV — Observational Trailer
Yeah. Wait, correction: YEAH. Let me lay out the timeline of this episodes series for you. Act I comes out in January of 2013, a mere four months before Act II releases (and they were good). But then it’s a whole year until Act III hits computers in May of 2014 (and wins the GDC Award for Best Narrative). That’s right: it’s been over two years since we last saw a fresh episode of Kentucky Route Zero.
So you can probably understand why I’m just fucking psyched for this thing. It’s a weird sort of rage hype. Not angry, per se, but just ready to unleash all of this forgotten and pent up aggression for not having closure on this game for the past two years and that we won’t get for another, well, hopefully not another two years. Give me Act V already!
Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 — Announcement Trailer
Comes out for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in September 2016.