Rutabega is a Fruit

Or, the best news I’ve heard this week.

This week’s been light on news and stuff. Most weeks are light on news and stuff, actually. So I’ve decided to condense all your weekly news into one omnibussal megapost, where I pick out one solitary thing that’s more important than all the rest. It’s condensed new. Like condensed soup, but without the added water.

This week’s big news, or at least big from my perspective, was the announcement that Dark Souls will come to America via Namco Bandai, who’ve sneakily taken the title of Publisher with a Fucking Soul from…well, who had it? It’s like THQ and Namco Bandai teamed up and beat the remaining soul bits out of the big four of EA, Activision, Ubisoft, and Square Enix and have decided to run with it.

I mean, you talk sequel for Enslaved when it doesn’t even sell half a million, then you save Dark Souls from a fate worse than Nintendo? Good on you.

But why should we give two shits about Dark Souls? Read on, my good friends.

I’ve never actually written about Demon’s Souls on this blog, a fact that really needs to be rectified. I’ve made one short post, ironically about Dark Souls by a different name, and what I said there still applies: Demon’s Souls is the most important game of the past five years. Unquestionably. It’s a tough game to write about because not since Chrono Trigger has a developer gotten so many things so fucking right, and when everything is right, it’s hard to criticize. Everything about that game is perfect, right down to the arcane world tendency systems.

So Dark Souls is interesting. It’s not a sequel; previews have made very sure that we do not think it is a sequel, possibly because it is…just Demon’s Souls again. Looks the same, quacks the same, is the same. Sure, it’s supposedly more open world, but World 5-2 was pretty open world too, and was my favorite part of the game. It was the game at its nonlinear best, and I’m glad they’re saying that’s how it’s going to be in the sequel.

What Dark Souls represents is another chance. It’s a chance to see if From Software really got it, or if they’re just pretenders to the crown of best active Japanese development studio*. Most importantly for us, it’s another chance to play a game from a bizarre developer who make better a Western RPG than lots of Western RPG developers.

And that, alone, is worth celebrating.

*You say, What about Level 5? Well, I love Level 5, but Izanuma Eleven will never come out in America, and I will hold that against them. Because I had the idea for Izanuma Eleven when I was fucking ten (just with…a sport other than soccer) and I still think it’s the best idea for a game, and I weep everyday from 9:12 until 9:22 in the morning that it will never come to America. When you have spawned ceremonial weeping from a grown man over a children’s soccer game, you can’t be the very best.