Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Day of Crisis in my Hometown!

(Originally written Sept. 14th)

It’s been a windy all day here in Yellow Springs, the town that J & I live in. I’m sure it’s bad in all the surrounding areas too. The wind has blown so fiercely that tree branches (and even whole trees!) are coming down, littering streets, blocking roads and crashing into houses. The power has been going out all over town & our electricity just went out about fifteen minutes ago (I’m writing this in a notebook now since I can’t post or use my computer). The wind is so bad it even ripped the metal roof off of a beloved family restaurant nearby.

Awhile ago, the wife & I were able to go into town, survey the damage and get some food. Almost everything in town is closed, save for Subway and the pizza joint that J works at and, at least at Subway, the line was out the door. I wonder if lots of people are ordering pizzas too (if so, sorry about your luck, J).

Anyway, while gathering nourishment in town, I started to think about Disaster: Day of Crisis, a Wii game by Monolith Soft (of Xenogears and Baten Kaitos fame) which was announced when the Wii was shown in action for the first time back at E3 2006. Since then, nothing has been heard about the game and many believed it to be canceled…until just recently that is. A European release date was recently announced (Oct. 24th) confirming the game was alive and well. It’s also coming out in Japan but there’s no North American release date—yet. That’s a shame because the game looks quite interesting and insane.

Disaster has the main character, Raymond Bryce, fighting his way through a day of crisis indeed. Some of the things Raymond must deal with include: dealing with armed enemies, defusing a bomb, jumping out of a plane, avoiding falling into lava, outrunning a tidal wave, driving through what looks to be a meteor shower, rescuing people and last, but not least, encountering a very angry bear. What the hell is happening to cause all this craziness?

While “survival/disaster” games of the past I’ve played are dull, playing like Resident Evil sans the action, Disaster: Day of Crisis apparently plays a couple different ways. First, as expected with a Wii game, there’s motion controls (good ol’ waggling) used in dangerous situations. Whether motions will be specific to each scenario is unclear. Then there’s Time Crisis-like gameplay where you must shoot, then take cover. Hearing that raised my interest quite a bit.

Again, unfortunately, there’s no word on a North American release, while it hits other territories next month. With Nintendo having a weak E3 showing (at least for hardcore gamers, which is Nintendo’s core audience no matter how many grandmas are playing Wii Sports…) and later saying they don’t have any other games to announce for 2008, there’s once again a huge gap in Wii game releases that Nintendo is publishing releases. What’s the deal? Does this “Day of Crisis” involve things like terrorists or Armageddon? (Certainly touchy subjects but by no means too taboo for video games; they’re actually somewhat common themes in many games released stateside—just not Nintendo really). Or is this a similar situation to Endless Ocean, the scuba diving sim, which released in late summer 2007 in Japan but didn’t make its way over here until the tail end of January 2008. Nintendo of America not acknowledging Captain Rainbow is one thing, even understandable, but Disaster doesn’t look too ridiculous (even though a million bad things are happening on the same day to one guy) or terrible not to be given a chance in North America. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, check out the compilation of Japanese commercials to get an idea of what it looks like, and just how jam-packed full of DISASTER it is.

My mom just called me to tell me the local police are issuing a request to preserve water because the water plant has no electricity. Power lines are down all over town, the weather’s supposed to get worse as the night goes on and a family friend informed my folks that Cincinnati (about an hour from here) is also blacked out and that the electricity could be out for days. Looks like it might be awhile before this gets posted…


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